If there is a gun store in you area that rents guns that is a good place to go and try various ones to find one that suits you.
This is a discussion on Hesitant, But Need CC Permit and Gun..Advice? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi, Brand new member and first post. I am 35 and female. About 5' 8" and maybe 135 lbs. Reason for that info is I ...
Hi, Brand new member and first post. I am 35 and female. About 5' 8" and maybe 135 lbs. Reason for that info is I was hoping for advice on what type of gun would be a good fit size wise for someone my size. Where I live the places around here are really bad about pushing what they want you to purchase for their own profit not so much as what is best for you. I plan on using this for not only as my personal CC firearm but as my home firearm as well. I just learned what SA versus DA is on your forum so that is how green I am. I have shot numerous times, just never had to purchase before so I am very very nervous about the whole idea. I do know that I do not want a revolver, just personal preference.
So, what do I need to say/ask when I go to make my purchase so I don't get taken and know that I am making a good CC purchase? Thanks for any and all help guys....
If there is a gun store in you area that rents guns that is a good place to go and try various ones to find one that suits you.
"One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
--Thomas B. Reed, American Attorney
Second Amendment -- Established December 15, 1791 and slowly eroded ever since What happened to "..... shall not be infringed."
Thank you for your reply and the welcome! Ironically, I happen to live in the same town where the suicide happened today at the gun range where they rent guns at so I am only assuming that they won't be renting any for at least a short while...go figure it would happen here. I feel for the family that's for sure.
Having shot handguns in the past do you remember what calibers they were and which ones you liked the best? There are a lot of people that like 9mm for starter guns the most favorite seem to be the Glock 19,S&W M&P 9 compact,the Springfield Armory XD9 compact,the Beretta Px4 sub compact 9mm,You need to handle them and see which guns fit your hand the best,and point more natural ,In Other words when you grip the gun and extend your arm do the sights tend to line up more natural with where you are aiming.
It's also a good idea to get some training so you are not only safe but can learn to not only shoot well,but be able to effectively clear any jams that may happen,under normal conditions not something you want to happen in a carry gun,but should be able to clear it if the need arises
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
I second the "start with a 9mm and see which one feels right" theory as a starting point.
Oh, and welcome.
I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
I am of the thought that 9mm is a very good caliber for a number of reasons.
The ammo is the most reasonably priced of all the common defensive calibers (both practice ammo and defensive ammo).
It is a more than adequate defensive round with good modern defensive ammo and has a good track record.
The recoil of the 9mm is also easier managed than most of the other defensive calibers. Of course there are other factors when it comes to measuring recoil such as how the gun grips fit your hand, the weight of the gun, etc, etc. But there's no also no dispute that the 9mm has a noticeably lighter recoil than .40 cal, .45 acp, .357 mag among others.
The lighter recoil also tends to make the gun easier to shoot and easier to become more accurate with that caliber.
Most guns will also hold more 9mm rounds than guns of other calibers.
With all that said, there are still other calibers out there which have a lot of die hard followers and proponents. I have shot and carried a variety of calibers over the years. I'm also a big fan of the .45 acp. However, I have most recently switched over to carrying 9mm guns for self defense for a lot of the reasons I mentioned above. Not the least of which, is the price of ammo.
I own a S&W Shield, S&W M&P full size, and Springfield XD-9 sub compact. I shoot them well, really like them and can whole heartily recommend those without hesitation. I have owned others and liked them fine, but these are my current crop of 9mm pistols. Glock 19 or Glock 26 are also two very popular, extremely reliable and scary accurate guns in 9mm. There are tons of other brands, types and styles out there and one is best served by trying out as many as they can before they buy, if possible.
Because there are so many different types and styles of guns these days, one can really get one which pretty much fits them like a glove. Both in how they feel in the hand, and how they carry on the body. It's best to rent as many different types as you can or find as many friends as possible who has a variety of different guns you can try out.
I don't have problems with people who offer recommendations as long as they take the time to explain their reasons for making such a recommendation. You can usually tell which people are the ones who are really trying to help make you a more informed and more knowledgeable buyer, and who isn't. I'd steer clear from those who seem to want to push a certain gun or type on you based only on what they like, or think what a woman should have.
It really should be you who decides which gun to buy. But it helps if you are able to make an "informed" decision. Good luck in your quest.
Know this... I know plenty of women who started out shooting Colt 45's, magnum revolvers and the larger calibers and have done just fine. So don't let people talk down to you and steer you in a direction based on a B.S. bias.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
Welcome! You've gotten some great advice so far and I'm sure you'll get more! I agree 9mm is a great round for starting out, I've only been shooting for a year, carrying for 6 months and I have a 9 - the main reason is better priced ammo means I can get to the range often and practice practice practice. I bought my first without trying it in advance and found I really wasn't happy with it at the range, it tired my hand and was a bit difficult to shoot, especially for a newbie. Then I made a list of guns in my price range that I liked for one reason or another and rented them - was able to make my decision from there and have been very happy with how much improved my shooting is with a gun that fits me well. Good luck! (I see you're in FL - is there a Shoot Straight near you? They typically rent guns and they offer no range fees on Mondays for ladies which is a great way to get some cheap practice time!)
If a revolver is out of the question then try the actions out on the semis. See which one will work the easiest in loading a round (for those that want to jump too conclusions...I do not mean loading live rounds, I mean working the action back and forth to see if the OP has enough hand strength to feel comfortable with the particular firearm as some springs are more difficult than others and some pistols will feel better). The lighter weight the firearm the greater the recoil so keep that in mind. Also make sure you are able to lock the slide in the back position and then release the slide with just your thumb strength. If you do not want to keep a live round in the chamber [(now if you don't some folks on this forum will question your masculinity) oops...already decided] make sure you can operate the slide quickly and comfortably. Usually a smaller caliber weapon will be much easier to operate and have less recoil. Believe it or not a 22LR semi auto pistol can be quite a good defensive pistol. Maybe not the knockdown power of a 9mm but half a dozen shots on target from a 22LR in the same amount of time as a 9mm can be pretty effective.
Last edited by lizjimbo; October 15th, 2012 at 07:52 AM. Reason: spelling
Not sure why a revolver is out of the question?
If possible, find someone local who has several different firearms you could try out. How? Find a local firearms webiste and post on there that you are new and looking to try out some guns. Arrange to meet someone who has several handguns you can try out at a local indoor range. Yes, I know you have to be careful about meeting strangers, and that is why you go to an indoor range on a busy day. Gun people are amazingly helpful.
English is my second language, I have been told my use of it is harsh, apologies if this is the matter.
You know what stops a bad guy with a gun? A good guy with a gun
Welcome to the forum! LOTS of good folks here who have a wealth of advice.
First, keep your eyes peeled for *anything* posted on this forum by Limatunes, or on YouTube by her (possibly under the name Limalife). She has a website as well, but I don't remember the link. Her advice is very, very good.
Cornered Cat | If you have to fight, fight like a cornered cat. is another excellent website which will address many of the issues you'll be facinig. I'm sure others will chime in as well with additional resources.
Regarding renting guns and meeting at a range to try out someone else's... the folks here are an interesting combination of protective, feminist, and courtly: protective, as in the whole reason most of us are here is because we want to protect girlfriend or wife and kids, and protect ourselves so we can continue to protect mom, girlfriend, or wife and kids. Feminist in that we are encouraging and thrilled beyond words when mom, girlfriend, wife or daughter chooses to protect themselves. Courtly in that we want to do all we can to help, without jamming things down said mom, girlfriend, wife or daughter's throat. And each of us wants to help some OTHER guy's mom, girlfriend, wife or daughter along this road as well.
It is likely that with the exception of the occasional mall ninja*, blowhard or aggressive salesperson, MOST of the folks you encounter at the local range or gunshop are likely to be the same type of people as you find here. The only thing these 'good old boys' DON'T tolerate well is someone who saunters in and announces their ignorance dogmatically and refuses to listen and learn. In your case, you've already demonstrated that you're not that sort. Thus I predict you'll get a warm welcome at the local gun shop (sometimes abbreviated LGS here) and at the range. Think Roy Rogers tipping his hat and such, though you may need to be on guard a bit against some of the hotbloods who would like a girlfriend who shoots. At 35 you're likely to have good defenses already in place against such sorts.
Quickly, regarding caliber: see above. The tiny pistols are pretty hard to handle and I would encourage you to wait a bit on them. The hand cannons can also be difficult to handle and ammo is expensive, so the 9mm seems a good place to start. Concealing? You can conceal a machine gun if you're willing to dress for it! But in keeping with fashion and style, you probably won't want to go that far. Lima shows well that a petite young lady can certainly conceal a full-sized 45. But again, the 9mm would be a bit easier. Critical question, already raised above, is hand strength and technique in racking the slide. That *is* something that can be learned... and something which one can try out at the gun shop.
Wishing you the best!
* Mall Ninja: a guy who dresses up as a Green Beret (for example) and hangs out at the local mall with his Concealed Carry badge prominently displayed, hoping some girl will be impressed. Used here and elsewhere as a term for someone putting on a 'look how cool I am' show. As a newbie you may not have run across Gecko45 yet or references to him, but he's the quintessential (and legendary) mall ninja, and would bear a search some quiet evening... but get your popcorn ready - along with a hefty dose of disbelief. (BTW, this site is rightly quite against Concealed Carry badges, sashes, and tiaras, in case you hadn't noticed.)
Recently updated website: http://www.damagedphotorepair.com
As to what'll be an effective concealment rig on you, much will depend on your shape and your specific clothing choices. And that you'll only find via trial-and-error, since everyone's shape and clothing differs.
For example, you can have whatever body shape you have, but with skin-tight, curve revealing clothing, you're not likely to conceal anything successfully. By comparison, so long as your shape basically has a spot around the waist that allows a closely tucked-in holstered firearm to blend in with your shape, then a lot of clothing choices can be selected to successfully conceal what you've got hidden.
Most of us have found it's worthwhile to make minor clothing changes to accommodate concealment. In some cases, that involves slightly larger pants/belts; in others, addition of a jacket, and/or addition of shirts with patterns/colors to help break up the bulge.
If new to firearms/holsters, be aware there are a few basic means of carrying on your person:
- OWB -- outside the waist band, on the belt, in which the gun and holster rides on the outside of your pants, attached to the belt.
- IWB -- inside the waist band, on the belt, in which the gun and holster rides inside your pants.
- Pocket -- inside the pocket of pants or jacket, holster and all, shaped to not shift around such that the butt of the gun is always presented to your hand (should you need it).
- Shoulder -- holstered around your shoulder/chest, concealed by a coat or jacket.
- Ankle -- holstered onto the lower part of your leg, concealed by pants.
- Or, off-person, such as in a purse, bag, fanny-pack or briefcase.
Assuming you're speaking of OWB or IWB belt-carry, mostly it'll depend on your body shape and clothing choices as to whether it'll conceal well enough to get by. It also matters what the ramifications are if someone else were to notice you've got something in there (ie, fired from job, arrested, or just snarky looks and comments which you can endure).
With pocket carry, generally it'll most depend on your clothing choice (ie, large/billowy enough pants) and how small the firearm is.
I've carried OWB, IWB and pocket, depending on the size of gun. I've carried a ~2in barreled revolver, Kahr P380, Kahr PM9, Heckler & Koch P2000SK, CZ P-01 and Browning BDM. Obviously, the larger and heavier the gun, the tougher it can be to conceal completely. Then, choices in clothing matter more.
If considering pocket carry, check this comparison page for some initial ideas: PocketAutoComparison @ Mouseguns.com.
If considering OWB or IWB carry, you can use this search to get some initial ideas: Handgun Database Search @ Genitron, sort by Overall Length.
To start, for something relatively flat and compact you should check out the line of Kahr pistols. In 9mm, the Kahr PM9, CM9, CW9 and K9 would be worth evaluating (from lightest/smallest to the largest/heaviest). The Kahrs tend to be some of the most-compact and thinnest pistols on the market. Many people swear by them, though some have reported issues finding a reliable one. Knowing nothing more than what you've said, I think this would be a good place to start.
For further ideas, from a woman's point of view, check the following:
- Cornered Cat web site
- LimaTunes -- both a YouTube page and a BLOG
- And check the Defensive Carry Guns forum, specifically the "stickies" group of posts at the top of that forum: click. There, you'll find a good discussion thread on Selecting a Handgun, one on pistols and one on revolvers. Good ideas in there.
Same, everywhere. The trick is, as with a good mechanic or doctor, to find a shop that has a philosophy of helping you to find the best solution for you, specifically avoiding pushing what's merely profitable or in stock. IMO, that's the sort of shop that garners repeat business and earns the "buy local" loyalty they supposedly want. In any major metro area, you're likely to find one or two. That'll depend on the owner and the staff that's been hired. Hard to find, but they're golden.Where I live the places around here are really bad about pushing what they want you to purchase for their own profit not so much as what is best for you.
Let me start by welcoming you to the forum.
The advise given by Bark'n pretty well covers things. 9mm is a good starting point to look from. You can also try larger and smaller calibers to see what suits you and your needs. Gun wise, my recommendation would be a compact pistol such as the S&W M&P 9c, or Ruger SR9c as a starting point. A sub-compact may also work for you. In sub-compacts look at the S&W M&P Shield, or the Kahr CW9.
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My wife is 5'4 and about 120 and she just purchased a S&W shield 9mm and absolutely loves it, the slide is easy for her to work and the recoil is very tame. Shot it next to my Glock 19 and the recoil is better (IMO) on the shield and her opinion also. But dont get me wrong I would never get rid of my Glock 19 for a shield, but for her the shield is alot more concealable with the type of clothes she wears.
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
- Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
My one piece of advice to someone is your situation is to not get overly concerned about size and, especially, weight. You will find that it's much easier to shoot a gun that you can get a good grip on, and it's much easier to shoot a gun with some weight to it. Rent a bunch of guns (and I mean, as many different types as you can) and get a feel for what you like, but make sure to rent a few that may appear too big or heavy when you first look at them - that way you can make an informed decision.
Call up the shop and see if their rental range is open yet or when it will be. Don't let something like that deter you from picking a weapon.
I'm going to jump on the 9mm bandwagon myself. dukalmighty, Bark'n and ccw9mm have pretty much covered everything, but I will add that you will have to compromise to find both a ccw and a home defense (HD) pistol. Mainly due to size, a small pistol that is easy to conceal might not be the best for HD, and a larger pistol that is great for HD won't conceal as easy.
Generally the larger a pistol is (in barrel length and weight) the easier it is to shoot accurately, plus it usually has a larger ammo capacity. That being said you have received some great pistols that can do both. The Glock 19 or Glock 26, Smith & Wesson M&P 9 compact, the S&W M&P Shield in 9mm, the Springfield XD9 compact or subcompact. Any of these will be more than adequate for home and personal defense.
I will also suggest that you find someplace to get some training and practice.
A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.