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Help choosing a handgun.

Posted on 11/30/2010 7:39:38 PM PST by Elixyveth

Hey Freepers, I am turning 21 soon and was wondering what handgun you would recommend for a girl looking to carry concealed. I’m rather overwhelmed by all the shiny guns at Cabela’s. ;) Thank you very much for your time!


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: banglist; firearms; handgun; sw357
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1 posted on 11/30/2010 7:39:41 PM PST by Elixyveth
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To: Elixyveth

ruger .380


2 posted on 11/30/2010 7:44:04 PM PST by 1st Division guy
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To: Elixyveth

I have a 9mm Sig Sauer P228. Extremely easy to maintain, fairly low profile, feels great in the hands. However, see if a friend with a few guns will let you try them out to find what feels good in your hands after putting some rounds through it.


3 posted on 11/30/2010 7:45:40 PM PST by fred4prez
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To: Elixyveth

The best gun is the one you are comfortable with. There are so many good ones out there, you will probably get a dozen or more different recommendations. Instead, I would suggest going to a range that has several types you can try out yourself.

Also, think about how you plan to carry it. If it is in your purse, take that with you and see how each one fits and how comfortable you are getting to it.


4 posted on 11/30/2010 7:46:39 PM PST by mnehring
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To: Elixyveth

Have you done much shooting in the past? If not, I’d suggest getting some training and try out some different guns to see what feels right to you.

If you have, you might have a general idea of what you’re interested in buying.

Good luck!


5 posted on 11/30/2010 7:47:46 PM PST by cryptical (The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.)
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To: Elixyveth

A lightweight 38 special revolver.Very safe. Very reliable. Very good stopping power with +p rounds.


6 posted on 11/30/2010 7:48:24 PM PST by rsobin
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To: Elixyveth

Bersa 9mm. not to big not to small and not expensive. Its a Argentine knock off of a Walther PPK. My wife has one. I prefer the 7 shot Nagant Revolver, its cheap it works, and if I ever have to use it and turn it in for evidence I won’t worry about it. Its the home defender, not a carry weapon.


7 posted on 11/30/2010 7:48:24 PM PST by Bringbackthedraft (The candidate they smear and ridicule the most is the one they fear the most.)
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To: Elixyveth
Since you don't have any real friends who are shooters, please get some help from a pro.

Next best is going to a real gun store where you can rent a few and see which ones you like and which carry systems work for you.

8 posted on 11/30/2010 7:49:45 PM PST by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it freedom has a flavor the protected will never know .F Trp 8th Cav)
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To: Elixyveth
The only sure way to find out what pistol is right for you is to find a local range that rents guns and try out as many as you can.

Look for a range near you here:

wheretoshoot.org

9 posted on 11/30/2010 7:50:04 PM PST by voteNRA (A citizenry armed with rifles simply cannot be tyrannized)
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To: Elixyveth

Casul 454. but you will need a bigger purse


10 posted on 11/30/2010 7:50:17 PM PST by beebuster2000
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To: Elixyveth
Yes, Ruger LCP .380


11 posted on 11/30/2010 7:50:23 PM PST by t-dude
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To: Elixyveth

Have you done much shooting in the past? If not, I’d suggest getting some training and try out some different guns to see what feels right to you.

If you have, you might have a general idea of what you’re interested in buying.

Good luck!


12 posted on 11/30/2010 7:50:33 PM PST by cryptical (The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.)
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To: rsobin
A lightweight 38 special revolver.Very safe. Very reliable. Very good stopping power with +p rounds.

+1 on this. I'm no expert on this stuff but that would be hard to beat. If you have small hands you can get one with a fairly tiny frame. Just learn to use your tools, a hammer in the hands of somebody with no experience in hammering leads to smashed fingers.

13 posted on 11/30/2010 7:51:56 PM PST by West Texas Chuck (US out of the UN - UN out of the US)
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To: Elixyveth

You’ll shoot your eye out!


14 posted on 11/30/2010 7:51:56 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: Elixyveth

15 posted on 11/30/2010 7:52:15 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'hobbies.' I'm developing a robust post-Apocalyptic skill set.)
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To: Elixyveth

I’m a woman. I carry a small .38 revolver, no hammer. Fits in a vest pocket, small purse, or fanny pack. Real easy to conceal.
I have a Judge for shooting snakes. It’s a fun handgun to shoot because it will take cartridges or shells.
I like it’s action. Looks fierce, and makes a big bang, but it’s twice the size of the .38, and heavy. I wear mine in a holster, on a belt.
It’s probably the better gun for defence, but too bulky for easy conceal.
You need to make a decision between fire power, and ease of carry. For me, the .38 wins.


16 posted on 11/30/2010 7:52:15 PM PST by WestwardHo (Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad.)
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To: Elixyveth

BRAVA!!!

Someone mentioned the Ruger .380. Great choice for concealment. That class of polymer framed pistol is light small and with enough grip for small hands as to be effective.

There is a whole crop of that class of pistol too. Kel-Tec makes a fine .380, and if you feel like learning the controls for a 1911, the Sig is nice. The Ruger LCR (.38 special revolver) is also a viable small weapon.

All these small guns are nice because of the size and conceal-ability, but they lack everything that will allow one to learn marksmanship. SMALL sights, short sight radius, and less than precise triggers.

Consider buying TWO guns!!!

A .22 revolver or semi-automatic is a great way to practice on the cheap, and learn how to precisely place slugs where they need to be. Then once comfortable with marksmanship, transition to the carry gun and start the practice all over again (great way to spend a year).

Good hunting!


17 posted on 11/30/2010 7:55:28 PM PST by petro45acp (Hey Doc! Don't tell me how to live my life. CURE what ails me so I can live how I choose.)
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To: Elixyveth

18 posted on 11/30/2010 7:55:32 PM PST by oldleft
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To: Elixyveth
Get a good snub-nosed revolver.


19 posted on 11/30/2010 7:56:05 PM PST by umgud
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To: Elixyveth
First, shoot a few different caliber rounds. Once you find out what caliber you are comfortable with, go to a store and hand up a few pistols and revolvers in that caliber. If the gun does not have a consistent and positive feel for you in your hand it's no good for ya...keep looking til you find the “one”. This is different for everyone, IMHO.

My personal favorite is the Springfield XD. I shoot it in both 9mm ad 45acp.

Peace...and happy shopping!
B Cool,

20 posted on 11/30/2010 7:56:15 PM PST by b cool
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To: Elixyveth
The best way is to figure out what is best for you is to go to a gun range that has rentals and try a bunch out. Fit range time and training courses and into the budget for the pistol. Most people go through a number of holsters and carry methods before they find what works best for them so if that happens to you don't feel bad.
21 posted on 11/30/2010 7:57:16 PM PST by Durus (The distance between us has grown, and I struggle to quantify it. Windage adjustments are done.)
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To: 1st Division guy; Elixyveth
A Diamondback 380.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

•Capacity: 6+1 Rounds
•Weight: 8.8 Ounces
•Width: .750"
•Barrel Length: 2.80"
•Firing Mechanism: Striker Fire
•Trigger Pull: DAO 5 lbs

22 posted on 11/30/2010 7:57:31 PM PST by ansel12
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To: Elixyveth
What ever gun you end up getting , and there are a lot of good ones to choose from, get to know it personally. Get to the range and load and shoot, get advice if you need to. A gun is just a rock to throw at someone if the owner does not have a personal relation with it. (okay, some smart ass will make something sexy out of this) LOL but I mean it as good advice. Almost all guns are good, the trick is to find the one that you feel the most comfortable with.
23 posted on 11/30/2010 7:58:06 PM PST by fish hawk
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To: Elixyveth

How tall are you?

Don’t get a gun that is too big for your hand. A .357 Taurus 5-round revolver with a shrouded hammer is an affordable, reliable, concealable and deadly pistol.

If the .357 is just too much recoil (more bang than jump), you can shoot .38 Special through it.


24 posted on 11/30/2010 7:58:18 PM PST by SampleMan (If all of the people currently oppressed shared a common geography, bullets would already be flying.)
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To: Elixyveth

I always recommend that a woman who has little or no experience purchase an S&W LadySmith .38 revolver.


25 posted on 11/30/2010 7:59:24 PM PST by paddles ("The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates." Tacitus)
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To: Elixyveth

Smith & Wesson Model 67 4” barrel

Don’t be fooled by light weight models.
You’ll likely never get back on target for the 2nd shot.

Ladies don’t usually carry on the waist, so a special carry purse or fanny pack works well. You don’t have a lot of gun functions to remember in a stress situation. Nice sights, although I recommend learning “point shooting”.
Sights are great for practice and confidence building, but reflex is necessary for stress situations.


26 posted on 11/30/2010 8:01:07 PM PST by G Larry (When you're right, avoid compromise!)
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To: Elixyveth

What rsobin said.....


27 posted on 11/30/2010 8:02:31 PM PST by Adams (Fight on!)
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To: G Larry

Oh....S&W Model 67 is .38....


28 posted on 11/30/2010 8:02:53 PM PST by G Larry (When you're right, avoid compromise!)
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To: Elixyveth

Glock 19 or 26 (9-mm), Ruger LCP (.380), Kahr P-9, Ruger SP101 (.357 Mag or .327 Fed Mag), Springfield Armory XDM9 Compact,Sig Sauer P250SC (9-mm), Sig Sauer P226 (9-mm), Taurus Millenium Pro PT109.


29 posted on 11/30/2010 8:07:28 PM PST by DarthVader (That which supports Barack Hussein Obama must be sterilized and there are NO exceptions!)
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To: beebuster2000
Casul 454. but you will need a bigger purse

Nah, try a 460 Smith & Wesson Magnum.

30 posted on 11/30/2010 8:08:15 PM PST by mike-zed
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To: Elixyveth

Go to your friends, their parents, gun stores etc.... fire LOTS of different weapons. Find out for yourself the follow three descriptions of weapons

1) most comfortable in your hand both before and after firing
2) the one that you can shoot most accuratly slow fire
3) the one that you can shoot 5 rounds with the tightest shot group in less than 5 seconds

These will be the three that you will want to work with, but all three will take practice. You may find that one model will be able to cover a couple of those requirements.

#1 is the gun you can grab and engage with the fastest (think fast draw)
#2 is the one that you will be able to make the longest shot with (think pistol competition)
#3 is the one that will let you put rounds on target consistantly (think combat shoot)

The truth is that being able to get to your gun, engage with it, and shoot accurately is FAR more important that size, weight, caliber, looks etc.

I know a granny that can fast draw a .22 and shoot your eye out at 15 feet. The woman is scary accurate with the .22 and I dont care what anyone says, taking a .22 to the head will stop just about anyone. That same granny cant hit the torso with a .32 People are funny that way.

Anyway, get what works for YOU! and practice practice practice (repeat)

Oh, and dont be in a hurry to buy a gun.


31 posted on 11/30/2010 8:08:48 PM PST by taxcontrol
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To: Elixyveth
Ruger LCP .380 in Pink. They have a snappy recoil due to the lightweight. You should rent one at your local indoor range and shoot it a bit. On the plus side, they're very reasonably priced and have a good fit and finsh.


32 posted on 11/30/2010 8:09:37 PM PST by Errant
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To: Elixyveth

Get thee to a good range, with a gun rental desk. Learn from somebody that’s a good teacher. Try lots of guns. Read everything that Massad Ayoob wrote.

The right answer is going to be the largest caliber gun that you can fire accurately and comfortably. I know some women that are perfectly comfortable firing a .357 magnum or a .45. Some others that prefer something smaller like a .380.

The truth is that *any* pistol is better than no pistol. If you want to carry... smaller and ligher is better, mainly because the easier it is to carry the more likely you are to actually have it with you when you really need it.

I carry a .45... and one of three that I have. When I can carry a full-size pistol in a shoulder rig I carry a Sig-Sauer P220 Elite. When I have to carry in a pocket I carry my Kimber RCP. It’s very small and light.


33 posted on 11/30/2010 8:09:49 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: rsobin

“A lightweight 38 special revolver.Very safe. Very reliable. Very good stopping power with +p rounds.”

Read no further than the above quote. It’s all you need for protection!


34 posted on 11/30/2010 8:11:07 PM PST by 9422WMR (Illegal is not a race)
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To: rsobin
"A lightweight 38 special revolver.Very safe. Very reliable. Very good stopping power with +p rounds."

I agree, I carry a S&W Airweight .38 revolver (matte black--no shiney) The hammer is encased so its good for purse or pocket carry. I have an ankle holster or a waistband holster. I can carry all day with comfort. Consider ammo availability and don't leave home without it. Get some range time, and read a few books on personal security. It's not all about hardware: personal security starts with honing situational awareness, and learning to minimize risks. Best wishes and stay safe.

35 posted on 11/30/2010 8:15:19 PM PST by two23 (Liberals Have Created a Culture of Lies)
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To: Elixyveth
Beginners should start with NRA Certified training

I would recommend training
from an NRA Certified Instructor in

Refuse to be a victim
NRA training for women
Basic pistol
Personal protection in the home
and the newly released
Personal protection outside the home

NRA Gun Safety Rules

Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction

Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot

Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use

NRA T/C CRSO

36 posted on 11/30/2010 8:15:47 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: Elixyveth

A compact Kimber .45 is a sweet pistol with one shot knock down power. You just can’t beat a 45!!!!!


37 posted on 11/30/2010 8:16:26 PM PST by Circle_Hook
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To: Elixyveth

I carry concealed, a ruger .380 in an in the waistband holster. When I save up enough money, I will get a crossbreed supertuck holster for my walther pps.

I would never carry in a purse, special concealment purse or not, as I figure a mugger is gonna run up and snatch it, then you are in deep doo.

The J frame & variants- revolvers by Smith and Wesson-They really, at least for me have a bigger profile than is practical for me to carry concealed on my person.

Seriously, the bigger your butt, the bigger the gun you can conceal in an In the waistband holster just above your hip..ditto for big boobs, and a shoulder type holster.

For me, anything bigger than a Walther PPS, is gonna show a lump, and my behind is not that small.


38 posted on 11/30/2010 8:16:26 PM PST by sockmonkey
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To: Elixyveth

Ruger 380


39 posted on 11/30/2010 8:17:05 PM PST by DWar ("The ultimate destination of Political Correctness is totalitarianism.")
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To: Elixyveth

Read......http://corneredcat.com/


40 posted on 11/30/2010 8:18:12 PM PST by colinhester
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To: Elixyveth
Any sort of compact 1911 in .45.

This is your life we're talking about, and there is no screw-up wiggle room.


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

41 posted on 11/30/2010 8:18:51 PM PST by The Comedian (Government: Saving people from freedom since time immemorial.)
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To: Elixyveth

I suggest you find a range that will let you shoot few different kinds of pistols.

How do you intend to carry it?.
You can hide a big gun in a purse, And larger pistols are often more manageable for women than small pistols that have a lot of recoil.


42 posted on 11/30/2010 8:22:32 PM PST by mylife (Opinions ~ $1 Half Baked ~ 50c)
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To: WestwardHo

You dont find the recoil harsh?
Most women are shocked at how hard a .38 air weight snubbie can kick.
Men too for that matter


43 posted on 11/30/2010 8:29:24 PM PST by mylife (Opinions ~ $1 Half Baked ~ 50c)
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To: G Larry

I agree with you on the air weights.


44 posted on 11/30/2010 8:34:12 PM PST by mylife (Opinions ~ $1 Half Baked ~ 50c)
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To: Elixyveth

Springfield Armory, XD-40, 3 1/2 inch barrel, 12 round capacity.


45 posted on 11/30/2010 8:34:56 PM PST by cgchief
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To: cryptical; Elixyveth
Have you done much shooting in the past? If not, I’d suggest getting some training and try out some different guns to see what feels right to you.

Some of the best advice on this thread; the place to start if you have not done so already.

My father carried a S&W five shot .38 revolver that was a very nice small weapon. Good stopping power, small, easy to use, easy to conceal. He usually carried it in a magnetic belt holster in the small of his back. I expect it would also fit very well into a purse.

I'm sure there are various manufacturers of something similar. I would avoid the larger models and smaller calibers. The glock 9mm, for example, is too large a gun and the bullets are too small to provide the stopping power you want. Also, given the ergonomics of the average female, you will probably want a smaller weapon that fits your hand well.

46 posted on 11/30/2010 8:35:00 PM PST by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: Elixyveth

Springfield Armory, XD-40, 3 1/2 inch barrel, 12 round capacity.


47 posted on 11/30/2010 8:35:06 PM PST by cgchief
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To: oldleft

Oldleft, may I enquire as to your set up? Regards.


48 posted on 11/30/2010 8:35:54 PM PST by samadams2000 (Someone important make......The Call!)
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To: Ramius; Elixyveth

What he (Ramius) said.

I would advise a revolver versus an automatic for a beginner, but Ramius is correct on all points.

If I were behind the counter, I’d start you out with a Smith & Wesson .357 Model 19 or 66 with 2 1/2 inch barrel. It can shoot .380 if you can’t handle the recoil of a .357, and you can always work up to .357 with practice.

Besides being incredibly reliable and accurate (adjustable sights), it just looks nasty.

Do NOT buy a pink gun. If you have to draw it, you want to be taken seriously, not worried about accessorizing with your make up. Nor do you want anyone to think it is a toy.


49 posted on 11/30/2010 8:45:40 PM PST by Salvavida (The restoration of the U.S.A. starts with filling the pews at every Bible-believing church.)
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To: Elixyveth

taurus slim 709 because it has a real safety. 99 percent of semi-autos don’t....they trigger safety and/or hand grip safety will not prevent a novice from mistakes....

Test it at the store to see if you can rack “or work” it’s action....If you have very low hand strength, you may have to go to a 380 But this 709 is the size of a 380 with the stopping power of a 9mm

it should be around 3-400$

WhatEVER you choose, if you don’t practice with it at least once a month, you woud be better off without.


50 posted on 11/30/2010 8:51:09 PM PST by BereanBrain
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