Handgun For A Woman Question

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Phoebe Ann, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    Houston ish
    I'm new here and have a few questions. I looked through some of the threads and didn't find my answer as it relates to a woman carrying a gun. Hopefully you guys and gals can help me out.

    I would like to buy a handgun to carry on my person when needed. Most likely it will be in my purse when I'm out so this is a consideration I'll have when buying a gun. In my mind I'm thinking "small" is important but I read a thread earlier where someone said to get away from that kind of thinking.

    What type and size gun would you all recommend for a woman carrying a gun? .38?

    What are the pros and cons of a revolver, semi auto?

    How important is it to go with a major manufacturer vs. a lesser known manufacturer?

    New, used?

    Does a pink gun make it feel less manly? Ok, just kidding on that one.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.


  2. navyguy

    navyguy TGT Addict

    Oct 22, 2008
    DFW Keller
    The smaller the gun, the easier to conceal and carry, but also the harder to shoot and more recoil. My wife carries a SW 637 in 38 special, (15 oz gun and very small and light) and even with Federal "Reduced Recoil" loads, she can't shoot very many before getting a sore hand. But, she can hit center of mass with it, and hopefully she will never get in a gun fight requiring more than a couple of shots.

    You don't have a location in your profile, but if you are in the DFW area, you could come out to one of our shoots, and try out lots of different guns. That is the best way to decide.
  3. Hoji

    Hoji Bowling-Pin Commando

    May 28, 2008
    Mustang Ridge

    Now to your questions:

    If you are going to carry , you should carry on your person and NOT in a purse. If your purse gets snatched, you are out of a gun. A gun carried should ALWAYS be under your control at all times.

    Small is a relative term. There are many subcompact models to choose from in adequate calibers.

    Carry the largest caliber you can comfortably and reliably shoot.

    A revolver does not have feed jams, but it is harder to conceal and holds fewer rounds.

    A semi auto is more compact, easier to conceal, and holds more rounds....but could jam{ not likely with proper care and a reliable make}

    You get what you pay for. Shoei{sp} motorcycle helmets have a great ad that states "if you have a 10 dollar head, buy a 10 dollar helmet"

    Depends on the condition of the used gun, who you are buying it from etc.

    The only drawback on a pink gun{ or any other wild color} is the bad guy might think it is a toy and force you to shoot him{ as opposed to just seeing the gun and running like hell in the direction he came from}

    Hope this helps.

    Oh and check this site out. http://corneredcat.com/
  4. hk boy

    hk boy Active Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    Fort Worth
    I'm not a big fan of purse carry
    the purse is the first thing the crook goes after
    the purse can be seperated from owner
    it's better to have gun on your person
    as far as which gun to carry?
    you need to handle & shoot as many as you can to find that right gun
  5. Big country

    Big country TGT Addict

    Mar 6, 2009
    Cedar Park,TX
    My wife to be is not interested in getting a CHL but she shoots my full size 40 pretty good. Do you have a CHL or plan on getting it after you buy a gun? I would suggest a compact over a sub compact any day of the week. And like navy guy said if you can make it to a shoot to try different guns that is a good place to start. What general area do you live in? If I was to guess that you are not that familiar with firearms. I would highly recommend going to a reputable firearms instructor for training/ advice so you will have a safe environment in which to learn. O yeah don't carry the gun in your purse when you get you CHL.
  6. Texas42

    Texas42 TGT Addict

    Nov 21, 2008
    I just want to say that smaller isn't necessarily better. It makes the gun hard to shoot, and can increase the gun's recoil. With the right equipment, you can reasonably conceal a pretty large gun.

    Always go with a major brand. They have the best warrenties and easiest to find parts for.

    I personally am an auto person. They usually carry more rounds of ammo, and 9mm luger is the cheapest (besides .22LR) ammo to shoot. Many people have problems with racking back the slide, but that is mainly a problem of technique, not strength. A cheap automatic is less reliable than a cheap revolver, but most name brand auto's will fire extremely reliably, but you have to test ALL guns you depend on for self defense with the ammo you plan on using. Either way, get what you feel most comfortable with.

    As to caliber, a 9mm luger's recoil is very managable, and there is a lot of good ammunition for it. .380 auto is a lower power round, but I'd avoid it right now because it is impossible to find ammunition for it.

    If you get a revolver, I'd get a .357 magnum. That way, you have the option of shooting 38 specials or .357 magnum, whichever you feel most comfortable. 357 magnums guns are stronger, and tend to be a little more expensive and a little bigger. If you really wanted a revolver, I'd also want to find some information about the .327 magnum. According to hearsay, it has similar ballistics and lower recoil than the .357 magnum. I'm not an expert, but this looks like an interesting round, but it would be harder to find ammunition for it (and more expensive).

    They call it a personal firearm for a reason. It is a very personal decision, and there is no perfect firearm for eveyone. I personally like a glock 19, but you might like something else.

    Remember not to forget to buy a good holster. Good self defense ammunition is also a must if you plan on carrying or using guns for self defense.

    Good luck, be safe.
  7. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    That would have been me. Too many people make the mistake, in my opinion, of assuming they need a micro machine for a carry gun. Now there are some obvious exceptions such as tight fitting clothing, absolute need for no printing (work carry for example), and other issues, but for the most part the far majority of people can conceal a medium framed semi-auto.

    The downsides to a smaller gun is as such:

    1. They are generally lighter and have heavier recoil springs (in semi-autos) which both translates to sharper felt recoil. Even if you can control the recoil it will cause you to take longer between shots.

    2. They almost always are a larger gun made compact. This means that there is less room for parts to move, shorter cycle times, harder recoil springs, and other minor things that can make the gun more prone to jamming... especially if you do not have proper form.

    Honestly there is no "women's gun" on the market. The caliber all depends on the person's ability with a firearm, and just about anyone can be trained to handle all of the standard self-defense calibers on the market.

    I would suggest handling as many different kinds of guns you can, and only then will you get an idea of what is going to work for you. One thing you really should not put too much emphasis on is recoil. Too many women want something that is light shooting, and honestly in a self-defense situation you are not going to be concerned with the recoil. Recoil is going to be more of an issue when you are practicing with the gun, but that can be overcome with practice and a little training. All shooters have issues with reacting to recoil when they are new.

    Another common thing women want is an ultra lightweight handgun. While this isn't bad from a carry aspect it really translates into alot of punch in your hand. Just be forewarned as many firearms sellers, especially box stores, aren't too savvy when it comes to knowing the guns they sell. I've heard alot of stories about women being coerced into something like a S&W Airweight because of it's lightness then being surprised at the recoil even in something light shooting like .38 Special.

    In my personal opinion, I like the following guns for carry:

    - Ruger SP101
    - Walther PPS
    - Glock 19
    - Kimber Pro Carry II
    - Sig P239

    If you want my personal opinion, I'd sell everyone in the United States a Walther PPS. They are damn near perfect in my opinion for a carry gun. They come in .40 S&W and 9mm, of which I suggest the later.

    Semi Autos

    - Ammo Capacity
    - Faster Reloads


    - Jamming
    - Price Point


    - Wider Caliber Choice (.22 LR --> .500 S&W)
    - No Jamming
    - Cheaper (Generally)


    - Less Ammo Capacity
    - More Complicated Speed Reloading
    - Cylinder Width (Translates to wider holster / bulge)

    You'll find that alot of people will swear by one or the other, but I find that you can't go wrong with either so long as you do two things:

    1. Buy a quality gun.
    2. Learn to use it properly.

    This question is best answered by asking yourself if you'd trust a lesser gun to save your life, and my reply to everyone is to buy the best quality you can afford. If you are a single mother with a couple kids, then you might not be able to afford a Performance Center S&W revolver, but it's always best to buy something as quality as you can.

    Brands I would trust are:

    - HK
    - Kimber
    - Glock
    - Ruger Revolvers
    - Walther (Not the PPK Series)
    - S&W Revolvers and the M&P Series Semi-Autos
    - Sig Sauer
    - Springfield Armory
    - Colt
    - CZ
    - Magnum Research

    All of these are good choices in my opinion.

    I personally avoid:

    - Lorsen
    - Raven
    - Jenkins
    - Jimenez
    - Bersa
    - Hi Point
    - Taurus
    - Kahr

    I've seen more than my fair share of issues with these guns, and would not personally own them. Many people would disagree with me, but they are entitled to their own opinion.

    A used quality firearm can save you some coin. Keyword is quality. I would suggest taking someone along that knows what to look for in a used gun, or going to a reputable firearms dealer that will be straightforward with it's condition.

    Shooting someone with a pink gun is like adding salt in the wound. Not only did you get shot, but you got shot with a pink gun.

    I'm sure Shorts will be along to offer a women's perspective.
  8. F350-6

    F350-6 TGT Addict

    May 25, 2009
    I would suggest you find a range that will rent you some weapons to test fire, or make some friends here or around you and borrow different types of weapons. Keep an open mind and try everything from big to small.

    My wife has a "Pink Lady" 38 special from Charter arms. The pistol is amazingly light and has a full size grip. Now that she has it, she likes shooting my Browning Hi-Power better. The one that was too big and too heavy before.

    Something else I would urge you to consider before making a purchase, is see how hard it is for you to take apart or pull the slide back on a semi-auto. With a revolver, if you pull the trigger and nothing happens, you just pull the trigger again. With a semi-auto, you have to pull the slide back and chamber another load when this happens. Ask yourself if you're capable of performing this action quickly if needed.

    Also, the snub nose 38 revolver is a bit less accurate for an inexperienced shooter. Whatever pistol you decide on, remember, you need to learn to shoot, and practice makes perfect.
  9. GM.Chief

    GM.Chief Well-Known

    Mar 16, 2009
    Hi. This is GM's wife, April. I just went through all this, so hopefully, I can give you a women's POV.

    I have a Glock 23 and DH got a Springfield XD. Both are .40 compact. They shoot, IMO, very similarly, and you wouldn't tell the difference unless you literally shot one right after the other. In looks as well (no comments from all you men out there....this is a woman's POV lol), they look almost identical. I've heard the running joke is that Springfield took glock and made it better. But I like mine better....which I'll go into in a few.

    Dh just got a Sig, .45. I don't like it. I feel that compared to the other guns we have, it takes longer to get back on target and the grip is lower. The recoil/power isn't much different between the two calibers, but I don't like the SIg anywhere NEAR the glock or the XD.

    Between the glock and the XD (and all other guns I've personally seen especially the ones i've shot), there are a few differences that I think are worht mentioning.

    The glock is lighter. There's a reason why it is used so much as a carry for police officers, who carry it all day long. It's easier to carry because it's a bit lighter than it's couterparts...including the XD that's so close.

    The glock is easier to disassemble/clean. It's very basic, and it's the easiest (even DH agrees lol) to take apart. You really don't need to know anything about guns. lol Dh thinks the glock gets slightly dirtier than the XD, but I suppose if you're going to be cleaning.....it is what it is.

    I feel that I get on target faster and that there's almost no recoil. I tried out a lighter gun, Bersa .380, but needless to say, I was very worried after I bought the .40 before I shot it. I thought it would be like a canon or soemthing. really not bad considering what everyone talks about and how it can grow in your head.

    I like the bigger grip. I've heard some women say that they didn't like it for this reason. I personally feel it gives me a better grip for shooting, my hands feel more solidly around it and in place. I suppose the only way to describe it would be using two different shovels for heavy work and the feeling that the one with the smaller grip was gonna break any minute now. lol

    Lastly about the Glock....from what I've heard, while most people think it's "ugly", most will admit that it's "no fuss". It can take a licking and keep on tickin. KWIM?

    About concealing......

    I dress in tight clothing, about as girly as you can get, and i was very frustrated with a bunch of women in flannels and loose jeans talking about how easy it was to carry on your body concealed. I didn't want to carry in my purse as even if the assailant isn't a thief, in a hand to hand struggle, your purse is likely to get thrown off your body. Furthermore, if you're anything like me....it would take a full 3 minutes to even FIND the gun to begin with!

    We looked at harnesses and straps and on and on. Guess what we figured out? I can ' carry on body concealed.....by itself. But, I CAN put a hip harness on, put what little bit of shirt tail I have over it, and then wear my over the shoulder/body purse where the pouch part of the purse lays over the gun on my hip. Unfortunately, this is about as good as it gets. Either that...or get a knew wardrobe. lol

  10. boycan

    boycan Active Member

    Mar 6, 2009
    North Dallas
    Great rundown April! Applause!!!!!!!


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