My wife is looking to get a handgun for shooting,home defense and maybe carry on hiking trips. she is 5'5" 130lbs small hands. Any help would be appreciated. This is for an idea to what she may look for in a gun. Thanks to all who respond.
Take her to a gun shop with a good selection of handguns and let her handle them to find one that fits her comfortably. You do need to think about recoil because she will not want to practice or shoot a gun that she is half afraid of. Also don't consider the one you buy to be the one she will carry forever. After she becomes comfortable and competent, she may want to move up.
Girl I work with just bought a ruger LCP with crimson trace laser grips. She said she loves how it is light, fits her hands and the laser makes it very easy for her to hit where she is aiming, she said the only drawback is that it has a lot of hand shock as far as snapping her wrists back and can only shoot it at targets a little at a time, however she said she know if she needs it for self defense she is confident in the fact she can hit where she aims it.
I'll second the Ruger LCP. I got my wife one and she loves it. Due to it's size and weight, it does have more recoil than you would think for a .380....but it's not too bad. She has no trouble shooting 2 boxes (100 rds.) each time we go to the range.
Bought my wife the LCP also and she was able to shoot 100 rounds out of it for a conceal carry class but also didnt care much for the recoil. I have since bought her a 9MM smith and wesson M&P as she can change the back strap and make it fit her hand and she says the larger frame takes the recoil better
JohnS hit the nail on the head. The ruger now sits in the safe
I've got an XD40, but some may find it too snappy.
If she walks in the woods by herself she may consider open carry if weather permits. Quicker draw, and deters would be 2 legged vermin. She needs a retention holster and a little retention training, though this may be a non issue in the woods. In a parking lot, shopping center or a Starbucks ( LOL), you need the retention stuff.
As always John S has given some good advice. I made the mistake of doing it opposite. I got all caught up in wanting to buy my wife a nice concealable pistol and went to small. I got her a Keltech P11 9mm a few years back and the recoil was to snappy for her with the small frame. She shot it, but I could tell she wasn't real comfortable with it. Since then we discovered the Glock 19 fits her excellant and she loves it. She shoots the heck out of it and the Wolf ammo. Thats something I factored in and was hoping to find her a 9mm that she liked and could shoot proficiently, due to the availabilty and cheap pricing on 1000 round cases of the Wolf 9mm. +P+ Hydrashoks are in it for HD and PP.
If she is going to be carrying the weapon on hiking trips and maybe in a specially designed handbag/holster, I say go standard size Glock 17 if she likes the 9mm. My wife has a 17 that she has for home defense with night sites and a 32 round mag. She also loads with HydroShoks. The Glock Line has served me well in the field and has saved my skin more than once. "Forget about it!"
Also get her some real offensive/defensive combat handgun training. If you can't find someone, I would be happy to run her through a bunch of drills that you both can practice to make you more of a combat handgun shooter.
A lot depends on how familiar the person is with firearms, that goes for men and women. I'd advise using the KISS principle, and go with a revolver. Just pull the trigger and shoot. In a stress situation, it's the best way to go.
Something with a 2" to 4" barrel so they can conceal in purse or belly bag. Possibly a .357 loaded with .38's or .38+P's to keep down on recoil. A .22 magnum is nasty too.
Also, like JohnS mentioned let them try out a bunch of pistols and see what they like, fits well, and they are not afraid to handle.
Yes KISS. But don't discount the harsh recoil and muzzle blast from the average short barrelled revolver. I've always been of the oppinion that J frame sized revolvers are for more experienced shooters. Not saying that women can't handle them, just beware that they are not for everyone. Also, their tiny size usually means a tougher DA trigger pull.
Best bet would be if you have access to one of those gun shop/ ranges where they let you rent guns to try them out.
Smaller pocket pistols are 'snappy'. If the purpose is personal defense, it's important to be able to reacquire the target as quickly as possible- hence why recoil or 'snappiness' is an issue. Especially if the woman in question doesn't want to practice with it on a fairly regular basis.