I carry a .380 because it is easy to conceal with the clothes I need to wear. I fretted about that until I was exposed to this (though in my practice I'm doing triple taps just in case): An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power | Buckeye Firearms AssociationThe 9mm is substantially more powerful, but what I find interesting are the studies that compile data on hundreds of actual shootings. They seem to indicate that in real-world practicality, the .380 is nearly on par with the 9mm in terms of stopping an attack.
Im in total agreement. Having had to just go through this with my mom. She hated the snappiness of her LC9 and could barely pull back the slide. She basically told me she hated it and we needed to find her another pistol. After looking we found a cute little walther ppk380. My mom loves that thing. She can easily rack the slide and its a puzzy cat to shoot, as compared to the little 9mm. Actually one of the main reasons i suggested the 380ACP to my mom was because i had recently shot one of my friends glocks. She uses that as her primary cary piece. The 380's are easy to shoot and that will promote practice. No one is going to practice if they dont enjoy it, or it is painful. Thats just human nature. Last i heard from my mom, she was buying a few more mags on ebay for her ppk and looking forward to the next time she gets to go out and practice with it. That right there was proof enough that atleast 1 woman i know prefers the 380 over the 9.I know that felt recoil and snappiness is subjective to the individual but I do not consider my wife's S&W .380 EZ snappy at all and of course has much less felt recoil than my Beretta 92FS 9mm.
I enjoy shooting the .380 when I'm shooting my other guns, even as well, although my wife is a better shot than I am with both the .380 and 9mm. She also likes how easy the S&W .380 EZ is to rack as compared to other .380's she shot as well as my Beretta (she can rack it but has to put some effort into it) and the XD 9mm I had (she couldn't rack that one at all) for awhile.
I agree that it's better to let them figure out what they want though. I bought the S&W .380 EZ for her and the one thing she does not like is the grip safety, which I got so she wouldn't have t deal with a thumb safety. I think a .380 with a hammer and decocker and no other safety may work better for her but next time I'll let her try it first.