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Discussion Starter #1
What hangun do you recommend for women to carry for self defense?
 

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The one they can shoot the best, try several calibers and types and chose the one she likes and can shoot.
 

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For a house gun I would lean to a 3-4" "K" frame sized revolver with fixed sights and chambered in 357 Mag BUT using 38 Special +P 158 gr. LSWC Hollow points. Practice, practice, practice...with target loads of 148 gr. Lead wadcutters with a cylinder full of the +P's thrown in at the end of the session. Rational. Keep things simple...just pull the trigger. If a round fails to fire, pull the trigger again. Target loads will enable the shooter to gain competence and confidence in her weapon, fixed sights (once regulated) will never have to be worried about, and 38 +P LSWC's will be more then adequate for the intended purpose.

For a carry weapon, same as above except a "J" frame sized 38 Special with a 2-3" bbl. JMO

Muab Dib
 

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John S said:
The one they can shoot the best, try several calibers and types and chose the one she likes and can shoot.
X2!
It won't matter what the caliber or style is if she can't hit the broad side of a barn.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm aware she'll need to be able to hit her target. I wanted a little more specific info on the pros and cons of the different calibers, barrel lengths, loads, concealability,etc.
 

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Revolver... .38 caliber, hammerless...pull the trigger goes bang. A set of crimson trace laser grips would be a goos addition too. Smith & Wesson makes quite a few models in a range of weights with "trace" grips.
 

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For house gun would be 20 ga pump. Talked to local chief of police one day and he agreed that is someone hears a pump gun being worked and they still keep coming fire away!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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As I said in your other post, my wife settled on a Ruger LCP. It's small size/weight means that she will take it with her rather than leave it at home. Having a pistol that she leaves at home because it's too heavy, bulky, or she can't conceal with how she's dressed, is as good as having no pistol at all.
 

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I got the new Ruger LC9 with the intention of having it be my wife's house gun. However the long DA pull has been problematic for her accuracy. It is now my preferred choice to carry and my wife snagged a Ruger SR9C which is bigger than the LC9 and way bigger than the LCP. TheSR9c has a very crisp trigger with very little take up which she shoots very nice groups with now. CT lasers are coming soon for both!
 

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mightyjoeyoung said:
Revolver... .38 caliber, hammerless...pull the trigger goes bang. A set of crimson trace laser grips would be a goos addition too. Smith & Wesson makes quite a few models in a range of weights with "trace" grips.
I'd have to agree that this might be your best bet at least starting out and a good choice period. I'd consider this more of a back-up gun cause I like bigger calibers for SD but that's just me. My favorite to shoot is probably the 44 special, big hole, bullet weight, not bad in recoil. You might want to stay away from the lightweight J frames, nice to carry but she might not like the recoil of even a 38. Go with a steel frame model.
 

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Muab +1

For 98% of woemn a double action revolver in 38 is the BEST for defense. No safety, no mag release, no buttons or clap trap. I teach it as "cap gun" technology. Same LSWC for practice and defense.

Keep it simple and get her to learn to shoot well, and enjoy shooting. No need for +P either, less muzzle rise and smoother shooting.

Again IMO an auto in any cartridge is the biggest mistake for a female defense weapon.

If the 38 special is too much for her to master, I'd not hesitate to go to a 32 or a 22 MFR. In a defensive situation you MUST be able to shoot well under stress and HIT something important!
 

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Depends on the woman and how much effort she wants to put into it. My wife handles a 1911 better than most men, and a 357 snubbie isn't a deterrent to her.
My MIL is a lot happier with a 32 ACP that she can use without hurting herself.

The bottom line is "One she can shoot WELL". 1 hit from a ruger single six is better than 50 misses with a 44 magnum.

IF she knows how to shoot, then let her pick what she wants. If she needs to learn, then a 22 revolver FULL SIZED is a great place to start.

Move her to a 38 revolver that isnt a snub later as she gets the hang of it, then she can drain your gun budget. If you want to , go with a 357, it will be heavier, but you can shoot 38's in it. FYI clean the chambers before you run 357 in after 38, the 38 is shorter and will leave a carbon ring in the cylinder where the case from a 357 will try to fit. Makes extraction a bear.

If she is willing to put the effort in, then a auto could be a way to go. Thing is with autos, they have more parts, and more things to go wrong/ not be in place. For example, you don't have to learn how to clear a jam with a revolver, but you better run through the exercise with any auto.

A handgun is a compromise. One shot stops are rare. The 38 was a duty weapon for years for a reason, it is enough to do the job.
 

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My wife's favorite is her S&W 38 Special. She shoots it very well.

She has a 380 auto that is lighter and a better CC gun but for some reason can't shoot it with consitent accuracy (the gun shoots fine). As a result it seldom leaves the gun safe.
 
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