Handgun for ccw for wife?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by jammer, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. jammer

    jammer Member Supporter

    I'm interested in a small, effective, low recoil handgun for my wife to use as ccw. She hasn't had much experience with guns but we're going to do some training and range shooting in addition to a ccw class.
    Her sister gave her a .25 Sterling Auto that I fired a couple of rounds thru. Seemed to work alright, but I've read several posts that they jam quite often.
    Any ideas out there 'bout which gun would be best for self defense for her?
    Thanks, John
  2. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    Hi jammer,

    Welcome to the FTF.

    It depends from person to person. The auto-loaders

    will provide a lower recoil than revolvers, as the loading action soaks up

    a lot of recoil. Also they are flatter, for enhanced CC.

    380s are all the rage right now, and 9mms are also

    very viable.

    IF you were to step down to the .25, you might

    want to consider the more reliable 22LR pistols available today.

    IMHO-take your wife to the range, let her try the 22LR, .380,

    and 9mm. Then take her to lunch and mull it over.

    If she can handle the 9mm, I would advise it over a .380,

    but a good 9mm in a handy CCW size will cost more.

  3. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    The one she wants to carry.
    Get her training, take her to a couple of shops, let her pick the gun of her choice.

    Remember things you bought her in the past and she doesn't wear anymore?
    Same thing with a firearm. You buy what you think is best and she will find something wrong with it and will not carry it.

    The first rule of any gun fight is to have a gun. And if she does not carry it, she will not have a gun when needed.
  4. gollygee

    gollygee New Member

    Do you possibly have a gun store that also has a range & rents firearms? Best that she actually shoot several, next best is to handle a lot of them to see what feels right. A good gun store with interest in helping her find the right firearm, not just sell another gun, is invaluable. If you find one, buy from them even though they may not be the cheapest.
  5. jimbobpissypants

    jimbobpissypants New Member

    If weight is not an issue, Ruger sp101 in 357 is what my wife carries. 38 specials shoot fairly user friendly.

    In an auto, Sig 238 is a metal frame gun, which is very reliable, not as snappy as a Ruger LCP, and easy to use.

    Personally, I recommend at least a .380 or larger.

    Any gun is better than no gun though.
  6. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

    Get rid of the Stirling. Although many will argue that they are better than nothing, the .25 caliber pistol is a lousy self defense choice. If you love your wife, let her decide what she wants to get. Self defense is no place to go cheap. What is your, or your wife's life worth?

    Many women are coming into the self defense world, and surprisingly many seem to prefer semi-auto 9mm pistols. I know some women who prefer .45 caliber 1911s.

    Picking out something for "the little lady" would be a serious mistake, if in fact you and she are serious about self defense.

    Avoid the temptation to train your wife how to shoot. Even if you are a certified instructor, your wife will feel a lot of unnecessary pressure and may suffer performance anxiety with you there. Find a professional self defense instructor (different than a CCW class) and you shouldn't even be on the range when she is in training.
  7. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    Absolutely THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    IME, .25s are all cheap, jammo-matic BUGs. I had a Galesi .25,

    (note the 'had', the only gun I ever got rid of) supposedly the

    "poor man's Beretta" it jammed every mag. All my friend's .25s

    have also been the same. IMHO, caliber is also important as a

    factor of dependability.

    Given her experience, as much as I hate to admit it, her best

    option may be a Glock 9mm. They soak up a surprising amount of

    recoil, and are among the most dependable.
  8. vincent

    vincent New Member

    Ruger fan club checking in...all great advice listed above...+1 to all...The LCR is a nifty little shooter. I'd advise getting one chambered in .357 that way you/she can shoot .38 as well. Wheel gun simplicity if ideal for a new shooter, the .38's are really controllable as well. It's lightweight and can be safely carried in a pocket or purse...with a good holster of course :cool:
  9. jammer

    jammer Member Supporter

    Thanks for all the input. We will be heading to the range soon. There's one close that rents and applies the rental to the cost if u buy.
    I think I'll try that.
    Thanks again, John
  10. tiberius10721

    tiberius10721 New Member

    I bought my wife a smith and wesson 38 special Airweight and she loves it. Easy to carry in her purse or even in her pocket while she is going for a walk.
  11. wjnfirearms

    wjnfirearms New Member

    I get just this question asked from time to time.

    I'd also ditch the Sterling as pioneer stated along with what else he stated. I ended up getting my wife a Bersa Thunder .380. That seems to be the one she likes the most and the recoil is manageable. It's a bit larger and weighty compared to most small .380s, but a good gun in it's own right.

    I sold a friend a Charter Arms .38 J frame lightweight a while back for his wife, but she was hinky on the recoil from the '38. This is a good choice for someone inexperienced and for general protection.

    One woman recently bought a Bond Arms Snake Slayer from me to replace her .38. These 2 shot marvels are gaining popularity for concealed carry. I even know one cop that carries one off duty.

    I do agree with your plan to let her try several different guns. Unfortunately, everyone doesn't have that opportunity due to not having a rental facility in their area. I generally advise people to try to find a comfort zone with feel, weight, and what makes them comfortable in regard to complexity of the weapon (revolver vs. semi). At least to go to a gun shop and handle various weapons for general feel and try to shoot at least a few guns that friends own to see what level of recoil makes them uncomfortable. Yes, any caliber gun is better than nothing, but I've seen first hand .22s and similar not penetrate. I had one street call once where a heavier set woman was shot twice in the chest with a .22 and they didn't penetrate the chest wall. I saw the x-rays at the ER and they were impressive. My first clue was when she walked up to me when we arrived at the scene like nothing happened and I asked her who was shot.

    The smallest calibers I'd go with are .32, .380. or 9mm. These stand a reasonable chance of doing the job.

    Good luck in your quest.
  12. undumb

    undumb New Member

    My wife carried a. Kel tec .380 ( Took a lot of different ammo until we found one the fed properly and consistently, eventually I considered it reliable cc ) she hated it! It was ugly, was hard to get a good grip, made her hand hurt (sharp edges) after 25-30 rounds, but she still carried it. Then she started to carry my S&W airweight .38, nicer gun but too bulky for her purse, it spent a lot of time in her glove box... Not good!
    Now, we both carry the S&W bodyguard .380, she loves it, it's a better firearm than the kel tec and can be carried safely with a round chambered. The best part is... She always has it with her and that's the important thing
  13. jyo

    jyo New Member

    Kahr CW9---my wife likes hers---low recoil.
  14. sharpshot

    sharpshot New Member


    My wife has been carrying a Walther PK380 and loves it. The Walther may just be the ticket you're looking for. Great reliability, ergonomics, and with the advancements in ammunition, the 380 cartridges are pretty stout. Having a nice SA/DA trigger with a nice safety all add up to a great EDC.
    Just an option worth looking at.

    Be well and be safe.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  15. Billy9mm

    Billy9mm Member Supporter

    I'm gonna agree with Sharpshot on the Walther PK380. My wife loves hers, softer recoil, easy for her to handle and very reliable.

    Attached Files:

  16. GunRunner

    GunRunner New Member

    As the above poster said the Walther pk380 is a great choice. My wife now has this


    Its a SigSauer 40 cal SP2022
  17. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

    Even letting my wife totally pick out her weapon of choice... she's on her 3rd firearm as her primary carry. First one (XDM9-c) was too big for her to comfortably carry, 2nd one (P22) had enough reliability issues I wouldn't let her carry it, 3rd time is a charm (Bersa .380).

    HOSSFLY New Member

    After umpteen guns my wife settled on the Ruger SR9C
    Kind of a size comparision pic -
    Guess which one has a round in the tube :rolleyes:

  19. jammer

    jammer Member Supporter

    Thanks everyone!
    We went to the range and she tried my Browning 9mm HiPower and was pretty darned accurate. She has a really hard time operating the slide with this gun though. We rented a Walther PK380 and she liked it somewhat but by this time she was getting tired.(the slide is much, much easier to use). She didn't seem to be as accurate with this gun. I think we're going back and try it again along with the Bersa Thunder 380.
    Will let you know what she decides
  20. 007BondJamesBond007

    007BondJamesBond007 New Member

    I would stay away from a 22 for sd. With the rimfire design that round is not reliable for SD. It may not go bang. I never had a centerfire not go bang. I had FTF and stovepipes but the frist round when loaded correct will 99% of the time will go bang. That being said my wife carries a SW 642CT 38 spl+p. The recoil is a little more snappy but you can load standard 38spl for practice and the +p for carry. With a auto you need to teach tap & rack with a revolver she only has to pull the trigger no safety to work. If the first round don't go bang just pull the trigger again. This not a target gun. It was designed to save her life. The 642CT has the Crimson Trace laser on it. Nice thing about that laser is if your holding the gun right it will come on no thinking involved. When SHTF she will not notice the recoil. If you do go with a auto for her a 9mm will have less felt recoil then a 380. Most 380's are a blowback design as oppose to 9mm recoil design. The recoil is felt more in the blowback than recoil design. Heaver gun will have less felt recoil then light ones. My wife likes to shoot the 1911 better than my PPK/S in 380. (less felt recoil) Have her go to Cornered Cat and read up on CC for women.