Skip to comments.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. Im rather overwhelmed by all the shiny guns at Cabelas. ;) Thank you very much for your time!
On a thread like this, there will be as many suggestions as there are posters.
A few general principles:
1. The best firearm is the one that’s with you when you need it, rather than home in the dresser drawer. The .38 or .380 you have with you is far better than the .45 you left at home.
2. If you’re not going to practice much, then a wheel gun is better than a semi-auto.
3. If you have small hands, then don’t overwhelm yourself - something on the order of eighty to ninety percent of conflicts end with the production of a weapon, without fire.
4. With the above in mind, a Smith and Wesson .38 should be fine; if its relatively small size worries you, load with modern hollow points, and consider keeping the chamber under the hammer empty for carry unless the revolver works on the principle of the transfer bar (another term to learn...).
Recenty, I was home alone, heard a big noise that woke me out of deep sleep. My heart was pounding, and I waited for “it” to take the next step....Praise, God! “It” wasn’t there.
Big lesson. My Judge was in it’s holster, in the chair next to bed. I was too scared to make the big reach, remove holster, etc. Then I had time to contemplate handling my 9mm (the slide, and all)under same scenario.
Men jump up, grab gun and go to war...
The fear factor in women. I’m no wimp, but pulled the covers up and layed real still. Finally turned on light and searched the house. Moved unholstered Judge to pillow, along with flashlight.
All of that to say, I want “point and shoot” above all.
I can take the head of a snake clean of with my .38. It’s a wonderful feeling. Aim low.
Hadn’t thought about the recoil. Sure doesn’t kick like my “Defender!”
If you are not an avid recreational shooter and are primarily concerned with concealed carry / self-protection, the weapon you choose needs to be compact and comfortable enough for you to be willing to carry it always. Also, it should be simple to use / operate. Bells & whistles cause complication. Point/aim and squeeze should be the mantra. Small frame double action revolvers fit the bill except they lack thinness and the better quality ones (J frame S&Ws for instance) are not very low cost. The .38 Special, (when loaded with an appropriate defensive load), is generally considered effective and has a descent track record in actual shootings. Unfortunately, the cylinder causes some bulk if you are willing to deal with that, (willing to dress accordingly in order to conceal & carry it), theyre great choices if they dont exceed your budget. I would advise against the .25 autos the caliber has an abyssimal record of performance as a defensive caliber. The .22s in a QUALITY weapon (such as the Berea 21) is marginally better and ammo is much cheaper thereby making practice more likely.
In the .380 ACP, the Kel-Teks have questionable quality issues. IMO, the Ruger LCP is far superior. However, the .380, although a big step up from the .25s and he .22s, is still not a reliable manstopper. If you choose a .380, look into the Buffalo Bore hard cast +P loads the Speer Gold Dot +P JHPs, (also from Buffalo Bore), is also good, but penetration is what makes a .380 viable. The JHPs may not always get that done, although they will PROBABLY do the job at close range.
My wife has a S&W Model 38 Airweight she carries in bulky coat pockets, but in the warm weather months she carries the Ruger LCP loaded as outlined above in a pocket. She also has the aforementioned Beretta 21, but the 380 (as before stated) is a step up. (I do believe the quality of the little Beretta is hugely better than the LCP (and the 21 is capable of single action operation, but that adds complication in stressful situations).
Summary ANY gun is better than NO gun. And, as John Wayne said as J.B. Books in The Shootist, being WILLING trumps just about everything else.
All things considered, the LCP should do OK, provided you practice at reasonable distances (5-7 yards) and make multiple, and fast hits your goal. Little guns are not easy to shoot, so getting some instruction would be a good idea.
Go with a .38 revolver that is designed for +p rounds.
Taurus has some that are highly recommended.
Keep in mind that your first gun is rarely the one you finish with, particularly if you are a Freeper.
But I would like to add that people should consider having more than one carry gun. As with everything else, this isnt a one size fits all world.
People should consider having a small and light carry gun for Normal situations something youre comfortable carrying all the time, and maybe a heavier weapon for when the threat probability is higher when you need to go to more urbanized areas or we are at a heighten threat level from terrorism.
yeah, but who the heck makes a good conceal carry holster for a single action- preferably in cross draw?
i’d love to carry my single six, but i can’t find good, concealable leather.
If you are a gun newbie then I would suggest a small .38 (or .357) caliber snub-nose revolver, due to its simplicity, safety and reliability. They are a bit thicker than a slim semi-automatic and harder to hide on your body, but no problem in a fanny pack or purse. When an emergency demands a quick response, you don’t have to remember whether a round is already chambered, or rack the slide, or fumble with the safety. Just point and squeeze. A semi-automatic is more likely to malfunction when you can least afford it to: ammo feeding problems, brass ejection problems, jamming due to loose hold, fatigued slide and magazines springs, etc. A revolver gives your 5 or 6 reliable shots. Most gun fights are up close and average fewer than 3 shots, according to police stats.
At least you had your defender handy.
At least you had your defender handy.
Yeah, all I’d have to do is rack it!
I’m a grandma. I enjoyed the thread.
We’ll I hope the thread is helpful to the original poster.
I think it probably was.
I have not taken the time to read all the comments, but from experience with these types of requsts, my professional advice is for you to retain the services of a well-established and reputable firearms trainer.
While well meaning for the most part, asking posters here for advice would be like asking the general pulic for advice on criminal defense-you wouldn’t, you’d find a good attorney.
There are many good resources for quality firearms training from NRA trained instructors in your local area to professional insitutions that train clients like you all hte way to the elite forces of our military and law enforement agencies etc.
Go to hrahq.org and from there you can find a list of certified folks in your area as a start.
WHY WOMAN SHOULD USE FIREARMS
Ms. Jean Assam,
Witness to Jean shooting
Thank you to Jean
and Ms. Suzanne Hupp,
Good Samaritan save
Store clerk # 1
Store clerk #2
See Guy Smith compilation of DOJ, FBI, facts @ http://www.gunfacts.info
Jeff Cooper’s Rules of Gun Safety
From Pages 8-10 of The Modern Technique of the Pistol, by Greg Morrison, Gunsite Press, Paulden, Arizona, ISBN 0-9621342-3-6, Library of Congress Number 91-72644, $40
RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
There are no exceptions. Do not pretend that this is true. Some people and organizations take this rule and weaken it; e.g. “Treat all guns as if they were loaded.” Unfortunately, the “as if” compromises the directness of the statement by implying that they are unloaded, but we will treat them as though they are loaded. No good! Safety rules must be worded forcefully so that they are never treated lightly or reduced to partial compliance.
All guns are always loaded - period!
This must be your mind-set. If someone hands you a firearm and says, “Don’t worry, it’s not loaded,” you do not dare believe him. You need not be impolite, but check it yourself. Remember, there are no accidents, only negligent acts. Check it. Do not let yourself fall prey to a situation where you might feel compelled to squeal, “I didn’t know it was loaded!”
RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
Conspicuously and continuously violated, especially with pistols, Rule II applies whether you are involved in range practice, daily carry, or examination. If the weapon is assembled and in someone’s hands, it is capable of being discharged. A firearm holstered properly, lying on a table, or placed in a scabbard is of no danger to anyone. Only when handled is there a need for concern. This rule applies to fighting as well as to daily handling. If you are not willing to take a human life, do not cover a person with the muzzle. This rule also applies to your own person. Do not allow the muzzle to cover your extremities, e.g. using both hands to reholster the pistol. This practice is unsound, both procedurally and tactically. You may need a free hand for something important. Proper holster design should provide for one-handed holstering, so avoid holsters which collapse after withdrawing the pistol. (Note: It is dangerous to push the muzzle against the inside edge of the holster nearest the body to “open” it since this results in your pointing the pistol at your midsection.) Dry-practice in the home is a worthwhile habit and it will result in more deeply programmed reflexes. Most of the reflexes involved in the Modern Technique do not require that a shot be fired. Particular procedures for dry-firing in the home will be covered later. Let it suffice for now that you do not dry-fire using a “target” that you wish not to see destroyed. (Recall RULE I as well.)
RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
Rule III is violated most anytime the uneducated person handles a firearm. Whether on TV, in the theaters, or at the range, people seem fascinated with having their finger on the trigger. Never stand or walk around with your finger on the trigger. It is unprofessional, dangerous, and, perhaps most damaging to the psyche, it is klutzy looking. Never fire a shot unless the sights are superimposed on the target and you have made a conscious decision to fire. Firing an unaligned pistol in a fight gains nothing. If you believe that the defensive pistol is only an intimidation tool - not something to be used - carry blanks, or better yet, reevaluate having one around. If you are going to launch a projectile, it had best be directed purposely. Danger abounds if you allow your finger to dawdle inside the trigger guard. As soon as the sights leave the target, the trigger-finger leaves the trigger and straightens alongside the frame. Since the hand normally prefers to work as a unit - as in grasping - separating the function of the trigger-finger from the rest of the hand takes effort. The five-finger grasp is a deeply programmed reflex. Under sufficient stress, and with the finger already placed on the trigger, an unexpected movement, misstep or surprise could result in a negligent discharge. Speed cannot be gained from such a premature placement of the trigger-finger. Bringing the sights to bear on the target, whether from the holster or the Guard Position, takes more time than that required for moving the trigger finger an inch or so to the trigger.
RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET
Know what it is, what is in line with it, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything you have not positively identified. Be aware of your surroundings, whether on the range or in a fight. Do not assume anything. Know what you are doing.
Make these rules a part of your character. Never compromise them. Improper gunhandling results from ignorance and improper role modeling, such as handling your gun like your favorite actor does. Education can cure this. You can make a difference by following these gunhandling rules and insisting that those around you do the same. Set the example. Who knows what tragedies you, or someone you influence, may prevent?
FIVE RULES FOR ccw ALSO KNOW AS LEGAL CARRY
GUN HANDLING SKILLS ARE PEARISHABLE UNLESS PRACTICED REGULARLY.
I FIRE 5000 ROUNDS ANNUANLLY MOSTLY WITH SEMI AUTOMATAICS.
HOWEVER FOR PERSONAL “HOME SAFETY” AND “CARRY USE” A WHEEL GUN (REVOLVER). WHY? WHEN I AM SLEEPLY, OR RUNNING AND FINDING COVER AND MY GUN JAMS (WHICH SEMI AUTOMATICS DO) I CAN CLEAR MY REVOLVER BY JUST PULLING THE TRIGGER WITH ANOTHER TRIGGER PULL. NONE OF THIS TAP AND RACK BS. OR WORSE YET I AM INJURED IN ONE ARM.
IF YOU ARE A SMALL FRAME WOMAN BUY A 8 SHOT 22 LR, A LARGER WOAMN A 38 “2” WHEEL GUN WITH HOLSTER WOULD BE JUST FINE.
REMEMEBER JUST SHOWING A GUN WILL CAUSE 99.999 OF THE PERPS TO TURN AND RUN. JOHN LOTT SAYS YOU WILL ONLY FIRE ONCE FOR EVERY 2000 DRAWS.
High Ride PS9, can be used for both strong side and cross draw. Excellent quality and customer service.
You can also get them from Dillon Precision.
awesome! thank you. they even have shoulder rigs for SAA. i think i know what i’m getting myself for Christmas now :)
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