1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!
  2. We're giving away over $1,000 in prizes this month in the Northwest Firearms Winter Giveaway!
    Dismiss Notice

Wife's first carry...suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by PDXWolf, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. PDXWolf

    PDXWolf Oregon Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Title says it! :thumbup:

    Time to go shopping for her. She is new to the idea of carrying or having her own outside of home defense.

    Like to see suggestions from members, especially the lady members, and please note the has fibromyalgia so I am thinking slide frames are out of the questions.

    Mentioned Charter and my buddy almost ripped my head off...so I have come across two so far of interest:

    #1 - Ruger LCR Pink Revolver, 38 SPL, Limited Edition
    #2 - Smith & Wesson 442 Pink 38 Special Revolver

    I'm siding with #2 right now and yes pink/purple is best...if she don't like the way it looks she won't shoot it, ha!

  2. Morpheus

    Morpheus Columbia Gorge Anyway, back on the farm.

    Likes Received:
    Sig Sauer P238 or P239.

    While on the spendy side, nice solid pistols. And feel good in your hand.
  3. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Is she new to the idea of carrying, new to the idea of shooting, or both? How much experience does she have? Pocket pistols don't typically lend themselves very well to the female shooter. I would much rather light off a .44 magnum than a pocket pistol.
  4. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    I'd take her to a rental range and see what she likes to (and can) shoot.
    orygun, Backfire, Fast Eddie and 17 others like this.
  5. PDXWolf

    PDXWolf Oregon Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Both...why I was considering revolver. Slide frames with her arm strength I do not think will work out

    Ranges...good ideas; suggestion for the westside of Portland?
  6. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    ^^ This ^^

    You need to find out what she's comfortable shooting and how she is going to carry it. Purse gun? I'd recommend a hammerless revolver. On the body -hip- I would recommend a sub-compact, double stack 9mm. On the body -bra or thunderwear- I would recommend a single-stack .380ACP or 9mm...mind you body type is also a huge factor.

    The most common mistake newbies do is shove a .38SPC snub-nose for a woman to fire who has no idea how to shoot a gun. Doing so, is an accident waiting to happen.

    *.38SPC out of a snubby kicks about as much as a .45ACP
    *Revolvers have very limited capacity
    *Almost all revolvers have no safeties

    Mind you, I'm not knocking revolvers. For females, I actually recommend a S&W 432PD (Hammerless, .32 H&R Mag)

  7. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Snub 38s are experts weapons and have vicious recoil and very limited capacity as well as slow reloading. My wife has one for a BUG and jogging gun only. I would look at a compact 9MM like a Glock 19 or Springfield XDS, first

    Her M65 S & W .357 magnums are a lot sweeter to shoot. I'm a bear with XXL+ mitts and an iron grip and I hate that snub .38

    I would buy her a Bersa 380 before I would buy her a snub 38, and I consider 380 as too weak for primary carry, but at least she will practice with it and be able to score hits

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    As a former gun shop owner and now working with the guys at OFA for the last 17 years plus working with a lot of women students I'll weight in....Do NOT buy her a gun! Do not even consider picking a gun out for her and then only leaving the color choice up to her! Purchasing a personal defense firearm is a very personal thing much like purchasing shoes - especially for women. I asked a class full of women if a guy bought them a handgun or a pair of shoes what would be wrong with either one - and they didn't hesitate and retorted "Everything!"

    Take your wife to a range or better yet to a class where they actually shoot, really train (more than just shoot) and get to manipulate a handgun. Go with her and support her but let her do this on her own with you attending alongside showing her you're learning with her too. Make this a team effort and your going into this with your mind wide open. Let her make the final decision! While there, let her try different firearms. We work with a lot of women at OFA who suffer from fibromyalgia, arthritis, and weaker upper body strength or hand strength. If someone doesn't tell them "this gun is too much for you, or to powerful for you..." then they'll be fine.

    The biggest problem for women is some well intended guy filling their heads with nonsense - telling them what they can and cannot do, or what gun will or will not work. The biggest issue is "my husband said this is the best gun for me or I won't be able to operate that gun or he doesn't like that brand of handguns". Now we have problems. At OFA we start out assuming they can operate any firearm and go from there. The deal is the racking of the slide is 98% technique. Once we teach them the most effective technique they can rack just about any handgun slide! Most men do not know how to work with women or how women learn - which is differently than men. And they do not understand how to modify techniques to accommodate women's strength and other unique needs.

    And a smaller handgun is not necessarily better. Smaller handguns means the springs are more compressed relative to the same cartridge in a larger frame handgun (meaning smaller handgun = less mass meaning stronger spring tension - larger handgun means more mass, less spring tension needed), smaller handguns tend to hurt the women's hands more than mid size/larger handguns, smaller handguns have a smaller surface area to make full, positive, hand contact, smaller handguns have miniaturize controls such as mag release, safeties, decockers, and slide stops again making it more difficult to operate, smaller guns have smaller, generally harder to use/see sights, smaller handguns are generally too small even for small framed women meaning fingers and hand can inadvertently end up in front of the muzzle, and smaller guns are generally harder to use - especially for women. I realize this goes against the conventional wisdom - but this is the truth! After seeing literally hundreds if not thousands of women training at OFA - what I'm sharing is based upon empirical evidence/fact not some guy's opinion. Women who show up with little guns get frustrated generally very quickly and when we trade out the smaller handgun for a mid size handgun about 98.7% of the time the women are thrilled with the mid size handgun and want to sell their itty bitty handgun. Not always but more times than not.

    Take her to a class or range with competent instructors/coaches who have a lot of experience and training to work with women and let them assist her in making up her own mind - and picking out her own gun! Once she makes the choice - she'll own it mentally, emotionally and physically. But what the heck do I know?
  9. Red Rider

    Red Rider Puget Sound New Member

    Likes Received:
    solv3nt is asking some good questions.

    Sounds like your wife is not new to shooting, but will be new to conceal carrying. I am in a similar position, and will share what we have done to date in selecting a handgun. My wife has owned an XD-SC 40 for about ten years, and she has had her CPL the whole time. In those ten years, the XD-SC has been her home defense and range pistol, but she has never carried it due to size (weight and width of the double stack were issues). In this same time span, she did not pursue shooting other caliber types, or pistol configurations, so she didn't really know what pistol would make a good conceal carry firearm based on her own needs.

    We started off by taking a few steps back to develop a baseline for her:

    I signed us both up for a basic beginner handgun class that was designed for newer shooters. I did this as the class went over the pro & cons of the different types of pistols (SA/DA/SF & revolver vs semi-auto) along with the different types of calibers. The class also included range time with a number a different handgun types, and included an abbreviated range session, with the various types of pistols that are currently available on the market. This class proved to be a great starting point to allow my wife to start thinking about what would make a good conceal carry for her needs.... and I (***cough**cough**) did learn a thing or two as well (I ended up modifying my hand positioning).

    She then self initiated by doing her own due diligence, and researching handgun spec's in order to come up with a number of prime candidates. While she was doing her DD, we also made our weekly trips to the range so she could try out some of the rental that were on her wish list.

    In the end, she decided to go with the S&W Shield in a 9mm for CC, and down the road she will also pick up a Ruger LCP for deep conceal. Ultimately I think she may defer to the LCP due to the concealability factor, but we both prefer 9mm or larger (not trying to get into a caliber war) so the thought was to go with the Shield and see how that works out for her for an EDC.

    The take away here (as others have already mentioned), is that the range time is crucial to figuring our what will work best for your wife. As we all know, if the handgun doesn't work for her for any number of reasons, she will be less likely to carry it on a day-to-day basis (i.e. XDSC).

    Another big issue with women is in regards to how they plan to conceal. Women tend to wear tighter clothes than us dudes (unless you a hipster....I am guessing not!). Not sure if your wife has started this endeavor, but conceal location definitely comes into play when narrowing down the handgun selection. You might want to have her check out he flash bang holster. It appears to have some potential.

    And yes, it is a reassuring feeling to know that you, and (more importantly) your significant other can address a negative situation with strong resistance in effort to produce positive outcome.

    Good luck on the search
    gryghin and (deleted member) like this.
  10. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    OFADAN gives good advice
  11. bnsaibum

    bnsaibum Corvallis, OR Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer

    Likes Received:
    +1 Beat me to it.
    and +1 for OFADAN

    Don't rule out semi automatics.
  12. Ligito

    Ligito Oregon Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Let her shoot several calibers and don't tell her ahead of time, what they are.
    Some are intimidated when they hear the caliber aforehand.

    Just handling them is not enough.

    And teach them how to properly rack the slide.
  13. simon99

    simon99 Central Oregon Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    My advice to you is to not buy your wife a pistol, but rather take your wife to a shop ( even better if it has rentals) put every model in her hand and let her pick it out on her own. Believe me, if you go any other route, whatever you buy will sit in the gun safe, not get carried by her or be on the WTT/WTS forum.

    I just knew my wife wanted to carry a Glock 26, but she picked out a Ruger SR9C....go figure.
  14. 40calruler

    40calruler Lake Oswego Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    I have gone 6 months going through guns to try and find one my wife likes so she stops scaring me by carrying my Sig 230 my grandfather had. It is flawless and I really do not like it being in a purse....holster or not it has remained flawless for generations and is my safe queen. I tried a LCR and LCP and she liked the LCP in rasberry color but did not like the recoil of either. I could list all i have tried but that is a lot of thinking back and remembering all her likes, dislikes and hates about the dozen or so guns she has shot. Settled on a Ruger sp101 .357 with a 3 inch barrel that has 38+P loaded up and she loves it and shoots it well and feels the recoil is much more manageable than anything else she has tried.
  15. 1200bruce

    1200bruce Port Angeles WA Active Member

    Likes Received:
    My wife likes her LCR 357, and shoots 38 special for practice.
  16. 40calruler

    40calruler Lake Oswego Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    100% agree as I made the mistake of picking the first few guns assuming she would like them. A Glock 19 feels a lot different in my hands than my wifes which are of course half the size. Just never thought about that at first. Picked guns I liked and knew well and she hated them.
  17. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    My wife has gone through a gambit of firearms.
    She's not into it as much as I am, but understands the potential need and has taken 8 hour courses before.
    She started with the Keltec P380, Ruger LCR, Ruger SP101 and just found out how very fine…my S&W 66-1, 2 1/2" barrel is!

    She took it!

    Be well,

    BTW: nice to see you're still around Dan, Good post! Thanks!
  18. packman

    packman coast Active Member

    Likes Received:
    this is very good advice as usual from ofadan
  19. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    My opinion is that you two should find something she can practice with a lot because at the end of the day it’s the first shot that counts the most and if it turns out that she can shoot a SR22 pistol enough without flaring up the symptoms of her Fibromyalgia and can put a few fast 22lr’s in someone’s eye then she would be far better off than a grazing wound with a 357mag if it bothers her to shoot it enough to become a crack shot with it....Disclaimer :all calibers used in this post have been for example not debate
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  20. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

    Likes Received:
    Let her choose.

    What is it about shooters that they think they can do this for their women?
    orygun and (deleted member) like this.