Help Getting Wife to Carry More

Help Getting Wife to Carry More

This is a discussion on Help Getting Wife to Carry More within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I really hope this thread is not over. This is for "Lima" since I need the female point of view and hopefully the solution. I ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array bolocanolo's Avatar
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    Help Getting Wife to Carry More

    I really hope this thread is not over. This is for "Lima" since I need the female point of view and hopefully the solution. I bought my wife the S&W bodyguard 38 revolver as a carry weapon. The end result has been that everytime I ask "where is the gun" the reply is always "in the car". She has bought many bags with zippers compartment to carry the gun, but the complaint is that it "weighs too much". The other complaint is that when she pratice's with it, "it hurts my thumb".

    The result is that she is no longer interested in going to the range. You need to understand that my wife has a high profile job, very well compensated and works long hours, and often leaves her office after dark. We're are both in our late fifties empty nesters. She is not aware of her surroundings. The proof is that I perpously went down to her building the other day, and parked next to her car. I watched her leave the elevators and walked to her car, she did not notice I was there, and as she was about to get in her car I lightly said "Boo" she was slightly startled and said" Ohh thanks G-D it was you". See what I mean!?

    A funny footnote to this story. The last time we went to the range I asked her to shoot with my S&W Model 60 revolver. I had the option of loading .38 Cal or 357. Loaded her carry ammo (38+P) and the reaction was "wow I shoot better with this one than with the bodyguard" No, but I wont put it in my purse because it weighs more than the bodyguard. What now HELP!!!! We have four grandchildren, and is terrified of carrying a semi-auto with a load in the chamber, even with a safety, so semi-auto's are out.

    I think I need to overcome her fear of "guns" more than anything else, but in order to do that I need to put her in the right frame of mind, to get her back in the range. I've taken her to instructional classes and offered to give her private classes with a personal instructor. What else can I do? help needed in South Florida.
    Last edited by JD; November 6th, 2011 at 10:50 PM.


  2. #2
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    bolo, I moved your post (and made it it's own thread) so that you could get some more specific help and not take away from the other poster's issues and so that all of the post are (or should be) relevant to your specific problem.

    Now, since you specifically asked for my input I'll go ahead and chime in to the best of my ability.

    First and foremost, your wife is an individual who thinks for herself. You can't make someone more aware of their environment or crime or to take things more seriously. People have to learn those things on their own. You can keep trying but ultimately it is up to them how seriously they are going to take their own safety.

    My advice would not be to get her into another gun class but rather into a class like Refuse To Be A Victim (RTBAV). Gun classes are typically for people who already understand the gravity of crime, etc, and it is more centered around shooting and legalities. A class like RTBAV is much more centered around awareness and avoidance and understanding criminal mindset, etc and (in my opinion) is much more important than just whether or not someone carries a gun.

    A person can take the knowledge and skills and advice in a RTBAV course everywhere ... including places you can't take a gun.

    Next, I don't blame her for not wanting to shoot her bodyguard often. It's a light-weight gun with a lot of felt recoil and it hurts to shoot it. I would hate to shoot it all the time as well.

    My recommendation on that area would be to let her practice with your 60 which has the same manual of arms as her bodyguard and then have her only put a cylinder or two through her bodyguard just to stay fresh with it. Let's face it, those little tiny, lightweight j-frames were not meant to be range guns. They were meant to be there when you needed them but they will hurt and do damage if you try to force yourself (or your wife) to put a large round count through them. Let her practice on the heavier, easier-to-shoot revolver and she'll probably be willing to practice more.

    Lastly, as far as safety is concerned. She needs to realize how irresponsible it is for her to leave her gun in the car or in any insecure location. The bodyguard is a very light little pistol and she might be okay with carrying in a shoulder holster or something on body where she won't have to think about it. It's worth asking.

    MANY guns are stolen out of cars and it sickens me to think of the criminals who get their hands on those guns because of an owners irresponsibility. If they want your guns they should have to break into a locked house and be expert safe hackers and have to WORK for those firearms it should never be as easy as breaking a pane of glass and opening a glove box.

    If a woman carries in a purse she should be willing to secure that purse to her body in a manner in which it cannot be easily snatched (cross body). If she puts her purse in her desk at work it should be a secure desk with a key that she can lock or perhaps she should add a small safe to that desk where she can secure and lock her pistol if she's not going to have 100% control of it at all times.

    If she MUST leave it in the car it should be in a car safe like a COM safe that is secured to the frame of the vehicle.

    Securing a firearm is part of the responsibility of owning that firearm and it's usually through irresponsibility that accidents happen or firearms are stolen.

    If she's not willing to take that responsibility seriously then maybe she shouldn't be carrying a gun (dare I say)?

    There are plenty of other personal protection devices out there that have far less risk if found by children or criminals. Pepper spray, tasers, personal alarms, etc... Are they perfect? No. But neither is a gun.

    A gun is not going to do anyone any good if the individual carrying it does not have the awareness or mindset to use it.

    You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink and sometimes even if you take a hose and put it in the horses mouth they might involuntarily swallow a little bit of water their ultimately going to do nothing but choke on it. My point is that you can try to force your wife to go into this and be more aware but I caution you not to force the issue so much that she ends up carrying the firearm for YOU and it ends up getting stolen or (worse-yet) taken away from her and used on her.

    My suggestion would be to start with an awareness class like RTBAV, get her some pepper spray and keep taking her to the range to practice with the 60 and let her come to her own conclusions about the kind of level of personal security she is comfortable with.

  3. #3
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    +1 on everything Limatunes said. My wife does not have the mindset, situational awareness, inclination or desire to CCW. While I don't find that reality particularly comforting, it is the reality with which I must live.
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    Ex Member Array Doodle's Avatar
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    Have you heard the expression, "trying to get blood from a turnip?" Just Kidding Lima :)

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    It's been 5 years of gentle pursuasion and allowing for her self discovery, but my wife is beginning to take her gun with her much more than she used to.

    She bought her first guns several years ago. We had been looking at them in stores, she always picked the lightest revolver, but I knew she'd hate it if she ever shot it, so I took her to a range where she could rent a wide variety of guns. In the end she liked shooting a Ruger BlackHawk .357 magnum shooting .38SP but hated reloading it. She liked reloading a Taurus 85 (all steel snubby) but didn't like shooting it. She didn't buy anything but went home to think about it.

    I married a smart woman. She has a Bachelor of Science in geology and biology, Master's in education. She didn't say much driving home but I could see the wheels turning.

    A couple of days later she said, "you've been mentioning <gunstore in Gettysburg>, want to go down there and look around?" We did. She bought a 6" S&W 686 .357Mag and a 6" S&W M17-2 in .22LR. She likes them a lot. I reloaded some powderpuff loads for her and gradually over the years worked her up to .38Sp +P equivelant loads in her 686. It's a heavy gun and very comfortable to shoot, even with full house .357 loads in it. The 686 is her home defense gun. It's been equipped with a CT laser grip, and is in her bedside safe. She always shoots it single action, but she shoots it. She has been to a half dozen fun steel shoots and has a ball taking down steel with it.

    She has tried several carry guns. Ruger SP101, and did not like shooting it, the size, or the weight. Ond day I came home and she had bought herself a Ruger LCR - that was about a year ago or more. She has been very anti-automatic because she hasn't been able to rack the slide on one, and the small ones are nasty for her 70 year old hands to shoot. She didn't like shooting the LCR either.

    Finally, a couple of weeks ago, exactly two weeks ago today in fact, she bought a SIG P238



    because it's relatively light and small, barely bigger than a Ruger LCR as you can see in this comparison picture,



    and most importantly because it has what may be the easiest to rack slide on the planet, a nice trigger, and can be loaded, unloaded, and cleared with the safety on. The first time she shot it she said "that's soooooooooo sweeeeeeeeeet" in this soft little voice that let me know, her search for a carry gun was over. She had it.

    Since then, she's been actively getting familiar with it. I loaded her a couple of mag loads of dummy rounds. Brass and bullet, no powder or primer. Every day she's been practicing, making friends with the gun, loading the magazines, loading and clearing the little pistol, practicing the manual of arms with it. She's been packing it loaded with dummy rounds all around the house and on my sister's farm, if I want to see it I have to wait till she's asleep!

    Yesterday, for the first time, she packed it loaded, cocked and locked pretty much the whole day. She hasn't carried it to the grocery store yet, but I think that will happen soon.

    She suggested we get our Utah permits (I about dropped my teeth) and so we went to class for that last Saturday. She also asked me what a 1911 was since it came up a lot in class. I told her, and said if she gets a big automatic she should get one of those because the safety is the same as her SIG P238. I can see the wheels turning. I don't think she will get one unless she can rack the slide, and she shouldn't, but it's progress, and she's open minded about it.

    This has been a long process, but it's working.

    Fitch
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” by H. L. Mencken

  6. #6
    Member Array bolocanolo's Avatar
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    Thank You very much Lima and the others. Great info. I will do some research into the RTBAV in my area. I failed to mention in my post, that like "Fitch's" wife, my wife also complains that she does not have the strenght in her hands to rack a gun, which is another reason why she won't buy a semi-auto. I will work on some of your suggestions, and look into that Sig P238. I own a sig P232 380 she shoots with it OK, but can't rack it. I know exactly how you feel Mike1956, and "Doodle" what can I say!?!? "Lima one more thing, should I let her read these posts? Will it motivate her to get serious about her self defense?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolocanolo View Post
    Lima one more thing, should I let her read these posts? Will it motivate her to get serious about her self defense?
    I have NO idea about that..lol.

    Some people (male or female) can be really offended when they find out their spouse is talking about them with strangers. You know your wife better than any of us and only you know her well enough (or trust her enough) to know whether or not something like this would be motivating or enraging.

    Racking a slide is a common problem among inexperienced female shooters. We naturally do not have the upper body strength that a man has. You could try getting her to try a technique like this.....



    Sometimes it's not about strength but about applying what strength one has.

  8. #8
    Member Array trip20's Avatar
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    Great website and good book for your wife: Click Here

  9. #9
    Member Array bolocanolo's Avatar
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    Thank you Trip, already bought her that one. I dont think she's read it yet. Hey we keep trying, it's all you can do when you want your loved one's to be safe.

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    I have NO idea about that..lol.

    Some people (male or female) can be really offended when they find out their spouse is talking about them with strangers. You know your wife better than any of us and only you know her well enough (or trust her enough) to know whether or not something like this would be motivating or enraging.

    Racking a slide is a common problem among inexperienced female shooters. We naturally do not have the upper body strength that a man has. You could try getting her to try a technique like this.....



    Sometimes it's not about strength but about applying what strength one has.
    Thanks for the video. I showed it to my wife. She'll try it on my Glock and see if the can make it work. She is sounding like she may want a semi-auto for home defense. I told her it should have a safety like the one on her P238 so she doesn't have to remember which of two guns she has in her hand in a moment of stress. There are 1911 style 9mmP guns out there. Para C9 has a DAO trigger but a safety like a 1911, or she could use a real 1911 in 9mm with pracrtice. She liked the looks of your Wilson but we both think that's a bit on the pricey side (she saw their website). I think she'd do as well with a good name brand factory gun as seldom as she'd shoot it.

    Fitch
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” by H. L. Mencken

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    As a female, I would say let her get used to shooting, hopefully she will enjoy it. Make it fun and let her develop confidence....it sounds like that is lacking, esp. with semi autos....start with a .22, let her get successful (if you havent already). Then move her up to fullsize and stable guns...nice stuff to shoot. Then let her try different guns and see what SHE would like to shoot. And then hopefully one day carry.

    If it's just one more daily chore that doesnt get the focus it requires, it's more than useless...it becomes dangerous.

    I think good SA is more important. And if there is something else that she can carry, like OC spray instead, or to start....begin there. For personal protection, I think I would meet up with more scenarios where retreat or spray would come in much more appropriately than a firearm. The gun is just one more tool.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

  12. #12
    Member Array bolocanolo's Avatar
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    Point well taken 9MMare!! She shot a Luger 22 when she completed her training course to acquire her CC permit, Not since then. I had her shoot my S&W 6906 9mm and didn't care for it. I don't own a 22 of any kind, except a rifle. But like Lima suggested I think the first thing I'm going to do, is get her to attend a RTBAV session. I've given her the information and waiting for her to react to it. If she agrees and her outlook is positive after the training, then I can proceed with the different suggestions made here. I might add that she has shot several of my .45 acp but got turned off by the recoil. This is a work in progress here in sunny South Florida. Thank you all again for your input.

  13. #13
    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Why not leave it alone? Those are your needs - lots of people don't carry guns or enjoy them. So what if your wife is one of them? Live and let live,, my view anyway..........

    Quote Originally Posted by bolocanolo View Post
    I really hope this thread is not over. This is for "Lima" since I need the female point of view and hopefully the solution. I bought my wife the S&W bodyguard 38 revolver as a carry weapon. The end result has been that everytime I ask "where is the gun" the reply is always "in the car". She has bought many bags with zippers compartment to carry the gun, but the complaint is that it "weighs too much". The other complaint is that when she pratice's with it, "it hurts my thumb".

    The result is that she is no longer interested in going to the range. You need to understand that my wife has a high profile job, very well compensated and works long hours, and often leaves her office after dark. We're are both in our late fifties empty nesters. She is not aware of her surroundings. The proof is that I perpously went down to her building the other day, and parked next to her car. I watched her leave the elevators and walked to her car, she did not notice I was there, and as she was about to get in her car I lightly said "Boo" she was slightly startled and said" Ohh thanks G-D it was you". See what I mean!?

    A funny footnote to this story. The last time we went to the range I asked her to shoot with my S&W Model 60 revolver. I had the option of loading .38 Cal or 357. Loaded her carry ammo (38+P) and the reaction was "wow I shoot better with this one than with the bodyguard" No, but I wont put it in my purse because it weighs more than the bodyguard. What now HELP!!!! We have four grandchildren, and is terrified of carrying a semi-auto with a load in the chamber, even with a safety, so semi-auto's are out.

    I think I need to overcome her fear of "guns" more than anything else, but in order to do that I need to put her in the right frame of mind, to get her back in the range. I've taken her to instructional classes and offered to give her private classes with a personal instructor. What else can I do? help needed in South Florida.

  14. #14
    Member Array bolocanolo's Avatar
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    I must respectfully disagree with you "Walleye" When you've been with someone for 35 years you develop a bond and a love for that person, that you're willing to sacrifice everything for that person. Isn't that the reason most of us made the decision to carry in the first place? If you're married it is your duty to make sure that your entire family is protected and out of harms way. It would be irresponsible not to try. "Live and let live" is a liberal cliche' and it's a life style I don't adhere to. I'm not saying "its my way or the highway" but we've raised our kids to do the honorable thing, and now that they're adults they're free to do what they wish. They know that they will be responsible for their actions, and will someday have to answer to the almighty. I'm totally at peace with my insistance that my wife is aware of her surroundings, and seeing that she get's into the habit of carrying for personal defense, not because I want her to but because she will be convince herself. In the end we have enough confidence in each other to tell one another what we like and what we don't like. If she decides not carry, I will understand and accept it. My conscious will be clear because I tried, and she will always be protected when she's with me. Thank You for your in-put.
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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolocanolo View Post
    I must respectfully disagree with you "Walleye" When you've been with someone for 35 years you develop a bond and a love for that person, that you're willing to sacrifice everything for that person. Isn't that the reason most of us made the decision to carry in the first place? If you're married it is your duty to make sure that your entire family is protected and out of harms way. It would be irresponsible not to try. "Live and let live" is a liberal cliche' and it's a life style I don't adhere to. I'm not saying "its my way or the highway" but we've raised our kids to do the honorable thing, and now that they're adults they're free to do what they wish. They know that they will be responsible for their actions, and will someday have to answer to the almighty. I'm totally at peace with my insistance that my wife is aware of her surroundings, and seeing that she get's into the habit of carrying for personal defense, not because I want her to but because she will be convince herself. In the end we have enough confidence in each other to tell one another what we like and what we don't like. If she decides not carry, I will understand and accept it. My consscious will be clear because I tried, and she will always be protected when she's with me. Thank You for your in-put.
    I still belive those values as they apply to guns are a view and chosen. She has her own. Millions and millions are honrable and moral and religous who don't own guns or have an interest in them - or own and use them and are moral, upright and the rest but do not apply your moral standards to guns (including me).

    And there are other ways to go about self-protection. Guns are one way. They fit for some, they don't fit for others. Such is life........

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