How to get your wife to shoot

This is a discussion on How to get your wife to shoot within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Someone had posted a question in another thread (I can't find it now) how to convince his wife that she should learn to shoot and/or ...

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Thread: How to get your wife to shoot

  1. #1
    Member Array LibertyGal's Avatar
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    How to get your wife to shoot

    Someone had posted a question in another thread (I can't find it now) how to convince his wife that she should learn to shoot and/or carry.

    I have a few suggestions from a woman's point of view . . .

    1) Don't scare her with your gun. Don't handle it carelessly, don't make her think she'll have to use a beast like the one you carry, don't throw around technical terms or gun slang, and don't make shooting/carrying a "macho" thing.

    2) Have her read the first chapter of Paxton Quigley's book, "Armed and Female" - you can get a used copy on Amazon.com. It will scare her to death. (We don't want her scared of guns - see #1 above - but we DO want her scared for her life.) I would also recommend the "Concealed Hangun Manual" (very compelling cover photo with a mother protecting her child!).

    3) Let her know that you care for her safety. Let her know that if she gets hurt or killed, she'll leave you a widow and your children motherless. Play on her emotions a little. Sometimes we want to think that nothing's going to happen to us, but we forget what the impact would be on other family members. What if someone tried to hurt her when she was with the children/grandchildren? Wouldn't she want to protect them? Most assaults are over in seconds or just a few minutes - the police simply will not get there in time. Believe me, I know - I have a sister who was raped, and I was accosted at knifepoint in broad daylight on a busy street.

    4) Let her know that shooting is an achievable skill, and it's something the two of you can do together. Let her know that she doesn't have to spend every waking hour at the gun range, just to practice occasionally once she gets comfortable with the gun.

    5) Ask her to go to the gun range with you "just once, honey, for me." Then get organized and make sure you have everything you need for that day - ear protection, eye protection, demo or borrowed guns, target ammo, targets. Don't get sidetracked once you are at the range or shop - I know you could spend hours in there shooting the bull with the other guys, but you are on a mission. Stay focused.

    6) See if your local gun shop/range has demo guns. Let her try out a gun that feels comfortable to her (most likely) smaller hand and weaker grip. Autos are intimidating to a first-time woman shooter. Start with a small-caliber revolver - maybe a .22, EVEN IF that would not be the self-defense gun she should pick. Just start with the .22 and let her shoot it until she's comfortable, then move her up to maybe a .32 or a .38 & let her try that.

    7) Start with the target at a very "hittable" range - maybe 5 feet. There's nothing like success to spur you on! Don't worry if her form isn't absolutely correct at first. Let her pop a few before you start worrying about grip, stance, etc. The first time I ever shot, I really didn't want to. I thought guns were noisy, dirty, dangerous, and hard to handle. But a well-placed short-range shot with a little .22 got me so pumped up, I was hooked!

    8) If you can get a demo gun or a borrowed gun with laser grips, do it! My S&W 642 Airweight is outfitted with Crimson Trace laser grips. What a confidence builder - not only for target but for self-defense confidence. I believe that it has really helped getting me in the right "zone" so that my shooting is better even when I don't use the lasers. Plus it is SO cool!

    9) If you have competent people in the gun shop/range, let THEM instruct her in shooting and in choosing a weapon. If you must instruct her, don't be overly critical or abrupt. Be positive. She doesn't have to get everything right the first time out. Praise her effort and her results.

    10) Make it fun! Take her out to lunch afterwards - make it a date. (Yes, I know you would rather stay at the range and shoot 20 boxes of ammo - sorry! Invest a little time now and it will pay off!!)

    11) Don't ridicule her efforts or her choices. If she insists on carrying nothing bigger than a .22 for now, get it for her and let her shoot it for a while. You can always resell it or use it for target shooting when she reads enough about guns to realize her error. A .22 that she is comfortable using beats a .44 that she will never carry because she's scared of it. I personally don't recommend anything less than a .38, but she may need to move along a little more slowly.

    12) Hook her up with this forum, and let her talk to other women here!! Subscribe to Concealed Carry Magazine so she can see other "regular" people from all walks of life who carry. If you have any friend's wives who shoot/carry, get the two of them together for some range time.

    13) Personally, since I have started carrying, I feel much more relaxed. My fear is gone. I am still alert and aware of my surroundings, but I no longer get that skittish feeling when I have to walk through a deserted parking lot, drive through a rough area, or get on an elevator alone. I no longer get that adrenaline rush of fear when the dogs start barking late at night. I just calmly listen, review my plan in my head, and check to make sure my gun is in reach.

    Hope this helps.

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  3. #2
    Member Array SSKC's Avatar
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    Excellent post, LibertyGal! It's good for those of us on the other side of the gender fence to have a clue on how to approach the issue of getting the women in our lives to be comfortable, then proficient with firearms. Thanks for your insight.

    KC

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    VIP Member Array Nick's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting that Liberty Gal. I did buy my wife "Armed and Female". She's promised me she'll read it (hoping she does so soon). All of your points and tips are worthwhile, and appreciated. I'll be referring back to them again.




    - Nick
    "To disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them."
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    Senior Member Array Rugerman's Avatar
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    Wife's timidity

    Yes my wife is afraid of guns and I am trying to get her to the range with me. She hasn't said she won't go but she hasn't said yes yet either. I know she will like it because she likes shooting the pellet guns on our property. Thanks for the insight and tips.
    George Washington: "A free people ought to be armed."

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    One of the best posts I've seen on guiding your significant other to take up arms and train....excellent Liberty! Thanks!
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Nice post LibertyGal but ill ad a couple of points . I got my wife shooting real similar to that years ago and she went on to become a LEO (reserve) . The only problem now is she not only hogs the ammo but feels she must " grade sort " my guntrades and fully belives she has the right to " confiscate" any firearm she finds interesting. sometimes too much success can be a mixed blessing LOL

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LibertyGal
    12) Hook her up with this forum, and let her talk to other women here!! Subscribe to Concealed Carry Magazine so she can see other "regular" people from all walks of life who carry. If you have any friend's wives who shoot/carry, get the two of them together for some range time.
    And for that matter let her see some of the men and point out the "What do you do for a living?" thread. Some people, regardless of gender, have this horrible idea or stereotype in their heads of who is armed. They think we're all a bunch of Bubbas.

    Someone needs to do some CCW PR and show the world at large that all sorts of people, even sometimes people with nothing else in common at all, take efforts to protect themselves. They're bound to see someone in that group they can identify with to some degree.

  9. #8
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    Excellent advice! I think you hit the nail on the head!

    I find it very refreshing and enlightening that CC has women such as you, Betty, and others that are positive about women and shooting, and share your insights with the males of the species. Kudos! The number of women in the sport is increasing, which is positive. That will help the sport move into the mainstream of politics and the associated issues - CC, RKBA and the like!

    As an aside, the indoor club and range we (my better half and I) attend also has a 17 caliber rifle available for "low impact" shooting, and is starting a "Woman's Night" at the club.

    Thanks for the post, and welcome again!
    Richard

    NRA Life Member

    "But if they don't exist, how can a man see them?"

    "You may think I'm pompous, but actually I'm pedantic... let me explain the difference."

    "Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything."

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    Quote Originally Posted by LibertyGal
    6) See if your local gun shop/range has demo guns. Let her try out a gun that feels comfortable to her (most likely) smaller hand and weaker grip. Autos are intimidating to a first-time woman shooter. Start with a small-caliber revolver - maybe a .22, EVEN IF that would not be the self-defense gun she should pick. Just start with the .22 and let her shoot it until she's comfortable, then move her up to maybe a .32 or a .38 & let her try that.
    Every time I see this it brings a smile to my face. My wife brought the subject up and as it happened I was helping to teach a basic pistol course, so I enrolled her. On range day we had 3 9mm autos (2 SIGs and a Berretta), and 2 ".38s" (a snub nose and 357 with a 6" barrel).

    Much to my surprise the pistol my wife liked most was the 38 (357) with the 6" barrel. She wants one now!!
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  11. #10
    Member Array LibertyGal's Avatar
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    Real women shoot guns

    I certainly don't mean to stereotype women by some of my suggestions - for instance, I have rather large hands and need a more substantial grip, and after I shot for just a short time, I was enthusiastic about trying some real boomers. But the average smaller-boned woman who is not brought up around guns, or who, as the original husband stated in his post, is less than enthusiastic about getting involved, would definitely benefit from a more low-key approach.

    To Nick, who bought "Armed and Female" for his wife - don't wait for her to read it, just pick it up some evening and read the first couple pages of Chapter 1 aloud to her, about the lady who was forced into a trunk. Stop where the guy opens the trunk. That ought to get her attention!! I can almost guarantee she will rip the book out of your hands to see what happens!

    And Redneck, you reminded me to add one more tip:
    Don't get upset when she outshoots you!!

    Happy shooting!
    LibertyGal

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Lib she was 2nd in her acadomy class and seldom fell below 3rd on all qualifications , even when other agencys qualified with them . she can shoot , i am now getting her going a little better on scoped rifle shooting ( starting with a kimber barrelled 10-22 that i built her up )

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array WJP9's Avatar
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    Good tips. I think you have a lot to offer to this forum. When do we get to see pics of your wheelgun?
    -Bill

    "Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."

  14. #13
    Member Array LibertyGal's Avatar
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    WJP9 sez: "When do we get to see pics of your wheelgun?"

    Well, I guess I better stop shooting my gun and my mouth off, and shoot the camera instead, huh?

    LibertyGal

  15. #14
    Member Array MidnightRambler's Avatar
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    I'm attempting to get a .22 revolver for my girlfriend to start out with. If she ever wants to. She's not nearly as wary of guns in general as she used to be, but I am not going to pressure her in any way to go shoot. She's shown some curiosity and I figure she'll know when the time is right.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array czman2006's Avatar
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    Here's an easier way to get your wife to shoot. Let her catch you and your girlfriend together!
    "Let not your heart be troubled." John 14:1

    USN Retired Vietnam/Desert Shield/Desert Storm

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