I'm new to handguns. When I first started looking, I was sure I wanted something like the Walther PPK, always loved the look. However, I decided to go with 9mm Luger in the Beretta Nano due to the fact that it's ammunition is more readily available and for a decent price. On top of that my carry ammo is the Gold Dot, which is used by thousands of police officers. If they can trust it, so can I.
I might buy a .380 at this time, but in no way regret the 9mm as I think it was the best decision for me at my stage.
The .380 is not adequate for self defense. tests show JHP projectile performance is erratic and penetration is inadequate. FMJ rounds meet minimum penetration standards but do not expand. Go with 9x19!
Check out the S&W Bodyguards 38 & 380. I have both. Carry with good defensive rounds.
As stated already, both are adequate. There's always going to be a caliber that's better than another, but after all, we can't easily conceal something in 30.06 or higher.
The FBI standards came about with stuff like auto glass and other barriers. While it may not be a totally moot point in this situation, you don't carry a pocket pistol with the intent of having a full blown Hollywood style shoot out. Otherwise you'd be carry something bigger. Let's be realistic here.
Get your wife a gun that she likes, that she will carry and that she will shoot. That way she can practice and hit what she aims at. As she becomes more comfortable you can upgrade in caliber.
thanks for all the advice everyone, very big help. i have convinced my wife to take a trip to the shooting range with me this weekend so she can feel the recoil from one of the pocket pistols she was interested in compared to a med-full size handgun. they have those handbags for women that have a pocket to conceal a full size handgun so the size of what she gets shouldnt matter from that aspect. thanks again everyone il let you know how it goes.
Let her try different calibers, different platforms, different sizes. Ruger LCP, Kahr PM9/CW9, Glock 26, Ruger LCR, S&W 642, Ruger SP101. That way she gets to try semi-auto and revolver, something heavy, something light.
First and for most the gun has to be something she is comfortable with. I haven't had any luck with the .380's. I have only every shot 3 of them and each of them jammed within the first few shots. Just bad luck I think. She may need several depending on her dress at the time :). I have found, for me personally, the smaller the gun the more the recoil. My 709 has more recoil than my sr9c. She really needs to shoot a few different kinds so she knows what she wants. I wasn't lucky enough to be able to shoot them before I bought them but I did ask around and researched a bit. Then went to the gun shops and held a few. Some I thought I would like and didn't like at all. The sc9c I loved. I thought it was a bit bigger and a bit heavier but I did like how it felt. Hubby said to heavy to big if you want it get it but you won't use it. He can eat CHEESE lol he just wants my gun. I carry it all the time and I think, for me, because it is a bit bigger and a bit heavier than the 709, I have better control. Now I have to decide what I would like next lol. I would like something a bit smaller than I have but I don't want the recoil I have found so far with the smaller guns.
I hate Keltec! Hurts to shoot. Go Ruger SR9 compact or lc9.
I agree with the latter part of your comment...she should choose what works best for her but don't be under any illusions about the terminal ballistic capability of either choice.