Skip to comments.Three Steps to Equipping A Gun Aversive Significant Other with a Home Defense Handgun
Posted on 06/07/2011 4:58:44 AM PDT by marktwain
Lets get this out of the way: the idea that you, a man, should choose a firearm for a woman whos never had one is sexist and disrespectful. Women are fully capable of making their own decisions. They dont need you, a man, telling them what gun is best for their home defense. To even think such a thing reveals you as a Neanderthal. Contact your local community college and sign up for some sensitivity training at your earliest opportunity. Now, lets have a look at the three questions you need to consider before you choose the right gun for your woman . . .
1. Where will you put the home defense handgun?
Most men looking to arm their Significant Other (SO) start with the question Do you want a gun? They spend countless hours trying to convince their SO that a home defense firearm with her name on it is a necessity. This involves a lot of discussion about horrific violence and constant entreaties to go to the range.
That strategy depends on wearing her down. Like all long-term campaigns, the Annie get your gun battle is fraught with danger. Simply put, you can REALLY piss her off by harping on about her gun. Which leads to nasty high volume conversations about her lack of situational awareness. Then its maison bow-wow for you Boyo.
Hello? Of course she wants a gun. A gun. Not the gun. You know: the gun thats real, right there in her hand. That gun that makes all that noise and puts her in league with all those crazy gun guys. Unless, that is, someone is trying to rape her, kill her or f with her children. Oh then she wants a gun. Any gun. That gun is OK.
The best method here: an assumptive close. Simply assume youre going to buy her a gun. Honey, Im trying to decide the perfect home defense gun for you. I thought we discussed this. I dont want a gun. [Ignore.] Where should we keep it? Unless she says something like in the safe, pay no attention to any statement after that.
Ah, but should you keep her handgun in a safe? Ive said it here a dozen times (and counting): the proper place for a home defense handgun is on your person. Unless youre sleeping. In which case a quick access bedside safe is the way to go. (Review of 9G version next week.) But if shes awake, the gun belongs on her. Where she can get it, but kids and strangers cant.
Keep in mind the question about her guns eventual 10-40 is strictly rhetorical. Youre just getting her adjusted to the idea of gun ownership. The where of the matter is something you have to ponder on your lonesome, based on your knowledge of her psychology and your persuasive abilities.
The chances of you getting her to home carry right from the git-go are small. While it should be your goal, you may have to start with an easy-to-shoot larger gun locked in a safe and work your way towards carry. Yes, size matters . . .
2. What size home defense handgun should she own?
In general, really small handguns of a reasonably-effective self-defense caliber suck. The recoil puts new not-to-say-extremely-reluctant shooters right off the whole idea. In the hands of an average shooter, dinky guns are only good for close-quarters combat. Even then its entirely possible theyll miss their target at point blank range. And most small semi-automatic pistols are fiddly and prone to failure through limp-wristing.
On the positive side, small guns appeal to non-gun-o-centric women. They are not as intimidating as hand cannons (which are easier to shoot, counter-intuitively enough). Theyre cute! Small guns even come in girl power pink! (Sexist perhaps, but true.) Most importantly, smaller lighter guns are easier to carry.
The general rule of thumb: choose the heaviest version of the smallest gun with the largest caliber that she can comfortably shoot and carry. Base that decision on any prior firearms experience your SO may have; her size, weight, strength and general demeanor. Also your sense of her style. Which one of your guns does she like, if any?
Basically, stay well away from lightweight guns and dont buy something cheap and nasty looking. The stainless steel .38 caliber Smith & Wesson 642 and Ruger SP101 are the entry level revolvers to beat. (Plan for Home Carry: go hammerless.) Small semi-auto nines are also a good choice, such as the Ruger LC9 or Baby Glock.
For some reason, a lot of guys try to make this selection a cooperative endeavor. Do you like the way this one feels in your hand? Shall we rent this one at the range? How was the recoil on that? How about we try a .22 and work our way up? Would you carry this one in your pocket? That process is the dictionary definition of a fools errand.
Have you ever gone shoe shopping with your wife? Well, exactly. Now imagine that she doesnt want shoes (alternative universe I know) and youre pleading with her to try on and critique ten pairs that you chose, whilst explaining mind-numbing detail why you chose them. Just buy her the damn gun. If it doesnt work out, you have another carry gun.
3. How can you convince her to become proficient?
If youve listened to my sage advice and bought her a relatively heavy gun, her home defense handgun will not be painful to shoot. Thats good. But not good enough. Its one thing for your SO to own a gun, its another for her to know how to shoot it. To do that she has to shoot it. Which she may not want to do.
If you failed to win the home carry debate, youve got your work cut out for you. A handgun locked in a safe is out of sight, out of mind. Even if your SO does consider the gun as hers, she may not have (i.e. make) time for range practice. Ever. The trick here: forget about the range. Get her to wear the gun.
Car salesman call the technique puppy-dogging. Give someone a puppy (i.e. a new car) for a while and they wont want to give it back. Get your SO to Home Carry her gun and shell own the firearm.
If she wears it often enough shell naturally want to shoot it. I swear this works. But you have to be patient, and realistic. At the moment, my wife only home carries when Im not in the house. And shoots maybe once a month. And thats the way it is.
So focus on the holster. Buy the perfect holster for her gun. Indeed, you might want to start with the perfect holster and work your way backwards to the type of gun that fits in the perfect holster. Back up. Start with the perfect belt to hold the perfect holster to hold the perfect gun for the perfect holster supported by the perfect belt.
This is as at least as difficult as it sounds; as you know from the large number of holsters gathering dust somewhere in your basement. Your SO may reject a holster out for no good reason. She may needyes needseveral different types of holsters to match her outfits. Her holster budget can dwarf the gun buying investment. And she might only wear a gun once in a blue moon and shoot it with the changing seasons. The longest journey and all that . . .
To finish as I started (as a sexist pig), its best to think of your SOs handgun as a fashion accessory rather than a self-defense weapon. Not because youre trying to trick her into Home Carry but because no, wait. You are trying to trick her into Home Carry. If she likes the look and feel of her handgun on her person, she might feel the need to look like she knows what shes doing.
To those of you who didnt have to resort to deviousness to git er done, I say congratulations! For the rest of you, the ends (getting the one you love to take at least some responsibility for her self-defense and the defense of any sprogs) justify the means.
Good article! But my wife is the type that does not want a gun, until something actually happens to her, then she’ll change her mind.
The article made me laugh.. why? Because when my husband and I married, I brought my Daddy’s Mosin, two .38’s and a shotgun to the home. I guess it was part of my “dowry”. Granted, I didn’t have to talk him into it and I didn’t have to worry about a holster matching his outfit.
Have you taken her to the range? Personally, I find that very stress reducing. May I suggest this: find every article you can about home invasions, burglaries where the bad guy finds the woman alone, etc... I think some people have the false impression that something bad won’t happen to them. She is assuming that the first “something actually happens to her”.. well, that she will go unscathed.
Yes, but she won’t even shoot anything, even a .22 rifle or handgun. He father and brothers are all gun people but she won’t shoot anything. I don’t know what to do.
Where do we even start with this sexist drivel?
If the answer to that is "no" or "maybe", stop now.
A gun in that situation will be very dangerous.
I personally wouldn’t think of marrying a woman who has absolutely no interest in guns. If they are open minded, different story.
“I personally wouldnt think of marrying a woman who has absolutely no interest in guns.”
I agree. She would be worthless during a zombie invasion. For a real woman I would recommend the Rhino .357 with the 4” barrel and laser sights. Minimal felt recoil and puts big holes in bad guys.
That, I am not ashamed to say, is sheer idiocy.
You’ve convinced them to not even try.
You’ve driven the notion of self-defense from their minds.
You’ve made them victims because the one option provided is far beyond their capacity, and they’re smart enough to see at least that.
Assuming she does buy such a .50AE cannon, assuming she can pick the #@%^ thing up, assuming she can get her hands around the massive grip and pull the heavy trigger, she now has a gushing gaping gash on her face where the thing leaped from her grip and smashed her forehead, she can’t hear a #@%^ thing because the blast is deafening indoors without serious hearing protection, and now horrible things are being done to her because she missed ‘cuz she couldn’t aim that massive thing because it’s too heavy, too powerful, and she never practiced with it for those reasons - and now her assailant knows she is unarmed, defenseless, debilitated, and has REALLY P!$$#ED HIM OFF.
Just because you think a quarter-inch difference in diameter is so much scarier than a pathetic little .25 caliber.
Allegedly open minds may close when goals are achieved.
“Interest” may not be necessary, but recognition of ownership and practice IS important. Trust me.
Exactly I hsve a gun and my husband doesn’t. What holster do you think would be appropriate for him?
I am NOT suggesting this but simply relaying a story. My brother’s wife said in no uncertain terms that a gun of any sort would never be allowed in their home. My brother went along with this for years but there were some issues involving his safety from work... so he secretly borrowed mine for a year. I know, I know... one shouldn’t involve themselves in other’s marriages and I should have respected the wishes of my SIL but this situation made me decide to ignore that for the safety of my brother and three nephews. During that year, my brother purchased his own firearm. I am wondering... since she grew up in a family with guns, did she experience fear from her Dad? It almost sounds to me like there may be an incident involving fear of the person with a gun rather than the gun itself.
Go to your nearset NRAmember club. Take basic pistol and personal protection courses and in a very short while any spouse will become very skilled, informed and confident.
I was looking at the Ruger LCP .380 for my (in 5 days) wife. She has been to the range a few times. She just needs more practice b/c her aim is not that good. A .380 could solve that (correct??). Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated. BTW she shot my Ruger SR9 at the range.
No, she has no fear of her Dad or guns. I have quite a few around the house in various places. They are loded and ready to go and I carry, so that is not an issue.
Thank goodness my husband was smarter than any of these suggestions when he started teaching me about guns. Granted I wasn’t opposed to guns outright but I wasn’t comfortable around them.
He taught me to shoot with small calibers like .22. He helped me find a first gun that I liked - it wasn’t remotely a “defense” gun. And it wasn’t something he liked at all so it wasn’t a case of “here’s your gun honey you don’t like it? oh well I’ll take it”.
Now we swap gun purchases. He got the last one so that means I should be up again soon...
I heard an idea recently on the survival podcast - airsoft.
If this is your wife, have some “together play time” shooting plastic pellets at a sticky target in your house/basement. It goes “ping splat”, and you can bet some silly things on the outcomes of your friendly competition.
That’ll get her hooked, and you can teach safety at the same time.
I’ll bet her house is full of other lethal implements, especially that harbinger of death, dihydrogen monoxide.
My skinny, pre-teen daughter’s first shots were from a 9mm XD and a P226. She wasn’t scared of the recoil after the first shot,and was surprized that it wasn’t worse.
“... I have quite a few around the house in various places”
Well, at this point I simply see it like one person liking eggplant and the other hating it. Personally, (whether genetic or societal) men tend to think more about safety for the family than women in a lot of cases. It is admirable in my opinion. She may not LIKE the guns but I bet she will be happy you have them (God forbid) if you ever truly needed one to protect her and your family.
My daughters like shooting our XD 40’s.
“I’ll bet her house is full of other lethal implements...”
Sadly, many people (men and women) are just frightened of guns. I can only assume that this fear is based mostly on ignorance. They assume it will just go “off” like it has a mind of its own. When I was a young 21, I was taught to shoot. To be honest, the first time I held a .38, I was a bit frightened. With practice, comes a comfort level. Once that “fear” is gone, it is gone.
Answer: You don’t use a handgun for home defense. You use a shotgun. 20 gauge is good for most women.
Great point. I see that so much with some of my friends and such. I can understand it more with having small kids in the house (of course, thats a matter of discipline and securing your guns. But I do understand that fear of a parent), but I do not understand a couple not having a gun in the house. Like you said, they don't go off by themselves.
Answer: You don’t use a handgun for home defense. You use a shotgun. 20 gauge is good for most women.
Although it coulda been written better here's the nugget of truth in this article. The 642 has a lightweight alloy frame, and the SP101, which is made of stainless steel, is "usually" chambered for .357 magnum. According to the website Ruger still makes some of them in .38 special, as they all were back when they were first introduced, though I don't really know why.
The LCP is pretty small with a big kick for someone just starting to shoot. I’d stick with the 9mm for a while before you try to move her to a small gun. Rent an LCP before you buy it. The LCP won’t improve her aim - too much kick and a long trigger pull.
My daughter has an LCP and doesn’t really like it - it hurts her hand to shoot it much.
BTW, congratulations on your upcoming wedding.
This was always my point with people that don't want to have a gun in the house. If something were to happen and I didn't have the means to protect my family, I would never forgive myself.
I have especially noticed it with people who weren’t brought up with guns. They see them on television or on the police/military and equate it directly with violence. (I equate it with protection but that is me). If a person is educated and pushed past this fear then it is gone. What is sort of funny is after I learned to shoot, I tried other things that seemed a bit frightening to me. For example, I used a small chain saw. To be honest, knowing how to properly use a gun seemed to make me less fearful of other things. I know that sounds crazy but it is true.
A pink one?-—Just kidding, LOL!
Get him to the range, and chances are he will love shooting and will soon want a gun of his own.
If not—well, you’ll just have to be his protector, I guess. I had to work at getting my husband “hooked” on guns, and while he’s still not wildly enthusiastic, he has learned to use it and does take it with him when he’s out on our rural property.
She never quite got the message about keeping it pointed down and away and keeping your fingers clear. Maybe she just likes me to do all the cooking (hey, wait a minute...).
In any case, I have unsuccessfully tried to get her to come to the range with me and find a gun she might be comfortable carrying. I figure if I can get her to memorize, practice and obey the Golden Rules of gun safety, I might just start trusting her with the kitchen cutlery.
Good point about the kick. Also, I did not know the trigger pull for the LCP was long.
Thanks for the congrats as well.
“I would never forgive myself”.
I understand completely. A family has to know how to protect themselves. I’m not talking simply about living in urban areas with bad guys either. I’ve known people who live in the boondocks but know a rabid animal could come their way. How I see it is this: there are people who “assume” that they pay taxes for other people to protect them (i.e. the police) and people who assume they have the ultimate responsibility to protect themselves. My husband travels quite a bit and works midnights so I am responsible for my three babies. It isn’t an “Annie Oakley” thing but a Mom thing. Between my guns, my teen son knowing how to shoot and the 110 pound GSD... I have it covered. To be honest, I sleep rather well at night knowing that.
I would almost say that some of the “I’m scared of guns in my home” types mistake lack of fear (of the gun) as having a cavalier attitude towards guns. It’s important to get comfortable with weapons and still maintain the respect of them as well. The “I’m scared of guns in my home” crowd doesn’t understand this.
Oh, I agree! Believe me, I’ve heard all the nonsense from people that I know who don’t want a picture of a gun in there house besides a “real” one. I’ve heard it is a “phallic” symbol for people lacking, a female macho device... you name it. It is simple ignorance. Guns are like anything else... it takes practice and safety knowledge. Plain and simple. I actually know one man who was dead set against guns. He had anti gun bumper stickers on his car, belonged to some organization to ban guns... the whole 9 yards. Funny thing happened. Someone tried to break into his house while he was at home. He called 911 but they don’t magically appear, do they? Needless to say, he was scared out of his wits. Within a short period of time, he purchased a gun and took a gun safety training session. Funny how life experience can change one?
“my Daddys Mosin”
Cool. What model Mosin? 91/30,carbine? Hex receiver?
(I like mosins!)
Smaller guns are more difficult to shoot.
Yeah. You hate to see it come to the point were someone has to experience a break in (or worse), but some people just don’t get it.
I have a Bersa 380 and love it. And they are reasonable too. Shoots well and a great pocket weapon.
VERY counterintuitive. I was astonished to learn just how much more comfortable the "giant" handguns ( a Colt 45, a 357 magnum) were to fire, than the 38 revolver, which hurt my hand so much I don't think I'll ever practice with it again, much less CC it.
Theyre cute! Small guns even come in girl power pink! (Sexist perhaps, but true.)
I want a mother of pearl handled derringer. Probably pretty worthless for protection, but I like the history behind them-the cachet-and they're so pretty!
Most importantly, smaller lighter guns are easier to carry. The general rule of thumb: choose the heaviest version of the smallest gun with the largest caliber that she can comfortably shoot and carry.
I carry the Ruger LCP. I have a CCW purse with the concealing compartment, and I intend to get holsters so I can carry when the purse clashes with my outfit. It's red, so it doesn't 'go' with everything and yes, being color coordinated IS important!
Some day I’ll get to shoot my m44 at night!
(just picked up a 91/59 carbine. shoots very well for a cut down 1942 izzy.)
Now that is just a beautiful picture! Thank you Joe! I want to show it to my 11 year old daughter. I am debating a good age to send a child (with no interest) in guns to learn how to use one. She is a girly-girl but I think every child should learn how to properly use a gun (male or female). I guess the debate is at what age?
>> That, I am not ashamed to say, is sheer idiocy.
(psst... I think D. Y. was just making a funny...)
Yeah I have seen those as well. And I’ve always heard good things about them.
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