Skip to comments.Vanity- For a gun novice, what pistol for self-defense?
Posted on 10/12/2006 12:05:09 PM PDT by domenad
I am positively ripping over here right now. About an hour ago, my wife calls me to tell me that someone behind her in traffic got out of the car, slammed his fist on her window and threatened her for not blowing through a "Yield" sign fast enough. This is the third time something of this nature has happened. Florida is growing at a meteoric rate, especially the Tampa area where I live. As with all growth, some is good and some is bad, and a surge in the number of physically aggressive, downright threatening people on the roads is one of them.
I've always supported the rights of any non-felon to own a weapon, even though for some reason I never chose to own one for myself. This is probably because I'm a large individual who is experienced in martial arts. My wife, on the other hand, is petite and has a bad back, making a physical confrontation unwise as well as unadvisable. In the back of my head, I always secretly figured on some level that my family and I were safe enough that we did not need firearms. Today has proven me wrong, and so I am turning to my fellow Freepers for advice - what weapon would be ideal for a woman in a car to own? What safety precautions, such as trigger locks would you recommend, in light of the fact that the weapon will be largely carried in a car? What laws are applicable? It would be simple enough for me to pick up a book (and believe me I intend to), but some things need to be filtered through human experience to get the most out of them.
Small to medium .38 Special revolver, or a .357 Magnum, which will also shoot the .38 Special round. Of course, this somewhat depends on your Wife's hand size and strength.
Whatever you chose, go take classes so you know how to use it properly, and safely.
Ping to part of the bang list that I kow off the top of my head.
Generally, how big is your hand vs the grip size.
I have a friend who carries a derringer in her purse. I can't advise abou twhich weapon, but can advise you go to a gun store or a shooting range and discuss with people who already own weapons and are experienced with them. And then take lessons and practice practice practice.
Ah-HA! The usual suspects!
..in all seriousness though, whatever you or your wife can handle
IMO, I would not keep it in the car. If your car gets broken into or you get jacked, they have the gun and you are the owner.
As for handgun, little, light. .32 auto perhaps from S&W or a .25 auto. I can get to the links from work but, search S&W's site an look around.
(Minus my coffee)
Go to http://www.thehighroad.org or http:///www.packing.org
Go to a local gun store that has an indoor range. Rent some guns to find one she is comfortable with. Get one that is as powerfull as she can reasonsbly handle. Many women prefer the small .38 caliber revolvers. I prefer a semi-aut that has more capacity.
Whatever she gets, she needs training. Also, forget trigger locks and alsway keep the gun ready whenever it might be needed. Tigger locks are OK for storage, but you never want to confront a perp with an unchambered gun, or worse, one with a trigger lock on it.
That is in agreement with some of the advice I've solicited among friends. I think that may be the way to go.
Do not leave a gun in a car..., it will be stolen eventually. Also, a gun with a trigger lock is merely a very miserable club! Seriously, have your wife try out various handguns at a gunshop with a range (the largest caliber she is comfortable with should be selected). Then practice regularly and attend a concealed carry course, get the Florida license and pray she never has occasion to actually draw the gun!
Don't bother with any of the above if your wife is not fully prepared to shoot an assailant (she'll be disarmed if she is not)!!!
Good advice on these replies. Also, consider that your wife (with training) won't actually wave a handgun around unless she is ready to shoot someone. And, if she is going to shoot someone she won't want to advertise it in advance. That said, the confidence she will have knowing she can defend herself is a huge factor in keeping her safe. Consider an NRA bumper sticker, too. Think of it as an "early warning" system!
"Walther PPK would be a good choice for a lady."
That's what my wife uses. She is quite fond of it but it is a tad small for me.
"That's what my wife uses. She is quite fond of it but it is a tad small for me."
Hence the .45 ACP I lug along in the glove compartment.
"Hence the .45 ACP I lug along in the glove compartment."
I wouldn't ming having a M11911A1 like yours. Always been a big fan. Right now I keep a Glock 22(.40 cal). I like it too, though.
I just bought a matched pair of S&W 642s -- one for me (I'll carry it in a nifty "pocket holster") and one for my wife's purse.
Five shot, .38 special w/a 1.5" barrel and Laser sight. Nice shooters, though for some very strange reason, the lasers were zeroed at fifty feet! Both are now zeroed at 20'!
We still have to spend some time at the range with them, but so far, so good. We'll shoot wadcutters for now, and switch to people killers (125 gr. 38 Special +P Jacketed Hollow Point) when we get our concealed carry permits!
.38/.357 revolvers are nice, but are somewhat larger and heavier. I figure that 5 rounds of JHP .38 +P will do the job quite nicely!
Check it out, and bargain with your dealer -- I got mine for $500.00 each on a gun show special. List was $688.00.
I got a good deal on it. I had a Glock 19 I bought from a friend several years ago that I never shot, and about a year ago, traded it plus an additional $125.00 to get the .45.
Hit something with a .45, it goes down and stays down.
FL Gun Laws: Packing.org
Stay safe, that area has seen a surge in violent crimes lately.
I will echo the try-before-you-buy sentiment - I tried a compact Glock and didn't like my pinkie hanging off the bottom of the grip, but the mid/full size Glocks were just fine. For me.
Really? Where did you read/see that? I'd like more information before I buy a house.
That's about the size I would like to have used on that jerk.
I know where one's for sale. :)
Central Florida shattered it's homicide record this year (over 50?). 3 cops have been killed in C. Florida. I realize this is a bit east of Tampa, but it's along the I-4 corridor.
You were playing the odds, and they caught up with you. It could have been much worse, so thank your lucky stars or appropriate diety, and be better prepared for the next time...which may be the *worse one* you just missed.
- what weapon would be ideal for a woman in a car to own?
The next time trouble comes to visit her may well not be in the car. She may be getting in or out of it, at work, atr home, or otherwise. The car itself is a much better weapon than most handguns, if she knows how to use it as such- and is willing to do so.
What safety precautions, such as trigger locks would you recommend, in light of the fact that the weapon will be largely carried in a car? What laws are applicable? It would be simple enough for me to pick up a book (and believe me I intend to), but some things need to be filtered through human experience to get the most out of them.
I don't generally think much of trigger locks on weapons carried for personal defence, since most such devices require that the weapon be unloaded first. An exception, and suitable for automotive carry, is a small safe, bolted to the car floor, in which the weapon can be securely deposited for those instances in which it cannot be carried, such as courtrooms and airports. I used such an arrangement in both personal and company cars while working as an armed courier delivering jewelry and pharmaceuticals and receiving cash. The vehicular safe used was large enough for either the short shotgun or submachinegun I carried to be so stored with relative security, along with other materials yet to be delivered. Unless you are in that or a similar line, you can probably get along as well with something about the size of a lunchbox.
FYI, I can put you in touch with a Tampa-area friend who may be able to better advise you as to local custom; FReepmail me for details. The requirements of Florida law can be seen here, and considerations as to caliber and weapon type are better considered with a little more knowledge about the potential user:
left or right handed?
glasses or corrective lenses? left or right dominent eye?
Any considerations of clothing or accessories [bag or purse] that may influence or limit weapon type
The physical limitation you described makes it sound as if firearms self-defence would be pretty well the only option for her- but carry of a less-lethal alternative [pepperspray or Mace®] IN ADDITION TO her firearm would be a good starting point, and might assure cops/prosecutor/jury that any lethal defensive measures on her part were a final step, and last option. It's mindset that you'll need to develop.
I hope some of the female FReepers who carry for protection have some thoughts to offer for her. But such advice is usually better delivered firsthand.
Check out the "Lady Smith" revolvers, by S&W of course, in 38 special.
What a cute little rifle!
Hey archy - looking good!
What safety precautions, such as trigger locks would you recommend, in light of the fact that the weapon will be largely carried in a car?
This may be redundent since I haven't read the other posts, but forget the trigger lock. Any gun that is unusable is a paperweight.
A handgun is a personal choice with many variables to consider. Foremost is that it goes bang when you pull the trigger.
And if she goes semi-auto, she needs to have one in the pipe.
There are many options for some nice purses for concealed carry that we fellows don't have.
She should try alot of guns before purchasing.
A revolver can usually be handled with one hand -- not all semi-autos can (you might have to rack the slide which takes both hands). Consider that if she is in her car with her purse sitting next to her on the seat.
For concealed carry, try this baby:
Smith And Wesson Model 649 Five-Round .357MAG / .38+P
Posts# 2, 3 & 27 pretty much sum it up. Don't worry about the debate -- it will go on forever. $:-) I carry various semiautos myself, but that means I also have to deal with more complexity, more maintainence, and more regular training.
One thing that must be taken into supreme consideration when making the decision of choosing a firearm for the purpose of self-defense: The person's mindset must be adapted to actually being able to pull the trigger on another human being. This is not something to take lightly, and if this isn't considered and decided beforehand in the affirmative, it's better to never even show a weapon.
For people who cannot find it in themselves to kill if and when the need arises (and there certainly are such people and that's OK), flight is better.
I'm a small woman with small hands, my first gun was a Bersa .380, because of arthritis in my hands I traded it in on a Tauraus ultra lite 38, I really like the feel and size of it, and the recoil isn't bad. Both conceal well.
This is an excellent suggestion. If she gets comfortable with a magazine-fed, semi-automatic pistol, get her a GLOCK 19 or a GLOCK 26.
FWIW, while trained on autoloaders, I prefer a revolver for beginners- it's simpler to understand and has no baffling safety and loading/unloading drills to learn- you "make a fist, and bang!"
But Joe's right-- the debate will last until the Sun burns out.
What's with all the love for S & W on this thread? I've got four Ruger revolvers, all of which I'll put up against S & W any day of the week!
[And Rugers cost a lot less, to boot. The Smith brand is really overpriced IMHO.]
In any event, I'll most definitely vote with those who recommend a revolver for Mrs. Domenad's self-defensive weapon: Just let her start practicing with a .22 and then work up to a .38 special, or to a .357 using .38 special rounds.
[Moreover, once she gets the hang of things, I bet you'll have trouble keeping her off the range! At least that's the story in my household!]
Training is a MUST. I'd hate to see it become a legal requirement, but it really IS one of those things that everyone should stop and take the time to do. Even if it's only a couple hours with an instructor at a range. You have to have faith in your tools, what they do, and how you use them.
For you.... "large" martial artist that you are. Anything belt fed should do the trick. Unless you know how to low block a 9mm slug moving at 900fps, try and find something in .40 S&W or .45 ACP flavor. Teppo Do beats Akkido 10 times out of 10.
I haven't read through all the posts but in addition to visiting ranges, etc and trying guns, your wife needs some education in situational awareness and how to manage the one big projectile she has control of now, her car.
The lug behind her should not have had the opportunity to approach her vehicle and bang on it.
I highly recommend the following:
Smith & Wesson 9mm
Colt Mustang 380
Taurus UltraLight 38
Count me among the revolver dudes. Once you get into shooting, you'll find that you just can't have too many revolvers around. They're a joy to shoot, and full of advantages.
How about a 45mm? That ought to have enough punch to discourage road rage incidents.
From another thread ( http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1718207/posts ), where a teacher got suspended for having a "toy gun [that] strongly resembled a 45 mm gun," I understand that they are small enough to put in your back pocket.
As long as the clip isn't in it, that is.
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