Help Choosing First CC Gun for Wife

This is a discussion on Help Choosing First CC Gun for Wife within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello to all! I'm new to this forum and to CCW and need some advice on choosing a weapon. I"m 63 and my wife is ...

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    New Member Array virgilj's Avatar
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    Help Choosing First CC Gun for Wife

    Hello to all! I'm new to this forum and to CCW and need some advice on choosing a weapon.

    I"m 63 and my wife is 62 and we live in central Florida. Unfortunately there are a significant number of dirt balls that live in our fair state that prey on the seniors because they consider them easy targets. Because of this my wife has decided that she would like to learn to shoot and get her CC permit. She has never fired a handgun. The local range offers beginners courses and CC courses by NRA certified instructors that she intends to take.

    My problem is I have owned long guns all my life, but the only handgun I own is a Browning Buck Mark .22 target pistol so I'm not very educated on pistols or revolvers. After spending several days reading everything I can find on the internet I've pretty much made the following choices:

    I want a revolver for it's ease of use and reliability.
    I want a small framed gun, but not an ultralite. something in the 20oz range seems a good balance between usability and recoil reduction.
    38 special seems to be the most popular caliber and should offer a wide range of loads from light for learning and practice to heavier for SD carry.
    I want a DAO hammerless model to make it easier to draw should she ever need to.
    I'm going to equip it with Crimson Trace grips mostly for the intimidation factor a lazer provides.
    She'll be carrying it in a holster purse so concealment should not be a problem.

    With the above criteria that leaves me with an ungodly number of gun choices. Right now I'm leaning toward a Taurus or Charter Arms for their low price and decent quality although $100 bucks one way or the other isn't a show stopper since I'll only be buying it once.

    I would greatly appreciate the opinions of more knowledgeable people and any help you would care to offer.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    S&W Lady Smith Cal. 38 Special............great gun for the lady.....IMO.

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    I would gently suggest you take her to a range where she can try out many different weapons and make her decision. Give her a vote in the matter and she might respond well. That is not to say some gentle guidance while explaining your rational is not in order.
    Last edited by Rock and Glock; January 23rd, 2012 at 08:54 PM.
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    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    Look for an older S&W Model 60 (no dash .38 only), or Model 36. Also consider an older Taurus Model 85, it's almost an exact duplicate of the S&W Model 60. If you want something a little heavier, a 2 1/4" Ruger SP101.
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    Member Array jerp's Avatar
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    Firearms are reliable not all but most, and are desently priced. What makes a firearm unreliable falls under negligence of proper maintenance. My next choice, let her pick what is comfortable for her, easy to use, better to hit the target. As stated previously, take her to the range, and try some, get an idea. Let her choose, and work with her from there.
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    New Member Array virgilj's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your replies!

    We're already scheduled to go to the gun dealer tomorrow morning. They carry the Taurus in stock as well as a large variety of used guns. At least she can handle some various models and get a feel for them.

    The only local range that rents guns does have a S&W 642 available for rent, but nothing else suitable. I think a trip down there makes good sense.

    Searching on line I've found the Taurus 85 and The S&W 642 with the crimson trace grips already installed. The Taurus is $435 and the S&W is $550. The S&W is a little light at 15oz and the Taurus is heavier(17oz) but is exposed hammer.

    I think either would be fine. For $100 more I think the S&W might be the better choice.

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    S&W has just about everything you could ask for.

    I recommend on body carry, and therefore the 15 oz airweights 642, or 638 if you want a shrouded hammer design for the single action option.

    Most of the gals I know who carry all the time use a belly band. The happiest are those with a 12 oz 340PD 357, but they practice with mild mannered 38's. If she's mad enough or scared enough, she won't feel the recoil of a slightly lighter gun with +p loads. Present some facts and options; then let her decide.

    I think she would profit by learning how to shoot well with your 22.
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    24 kt. gold standard

    S&W steel J- frames are the standard by which all other small revolvers are compared. Weight will be 21 - 22 ounces. Ruger is arguably equal - each has their pros and cons and are pretty much a wash depending on who is doing the arguing. Taurus and Charter Arms are pryite.

    Other than pocket carry, a 3" barrel will conceal just as well as a 2" barrel and is easier to shoot accurately.

    Lasers are a whole 'nother ball of wax. They have their place but the intimidation factor is way down the list of reasons to have one. And they do not eliminate the need to learn to use the iron sights. Lots has been written about lasers - try the search function and you should keep busy for a while.

    Now for a few general teaching tips:

    As has already been mentioned, letting your wife begin with your .22 would be a good idea. The "twenty two" is a great training gun to learn the fundamentals. There is less likelyhood of developing an early case of flinchitis. Then ease in to the .38 with some light loads to start.

    Short regular shooting sessions beat long sessions. Safety first, technique second, and speed is not on the radar. Speed comes with the repetition of smooth technique. Set easy goals to begin with and and heap on the praise for each successful little step. The mental fatigue factor can occur quickly with some beginners, so watch and when you first see it developing have her stop on a successful note, as success begets success.

    Shooting can be a fun activity as well as provide peace of mind. You can enjoy it together and meet others to share your experience with for many years.

    Best wishes in your pursuit of happiness!

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    New Member Array virgilj's Avatar
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    It hadn't occurred to me to teach her to shoot my 22. I was just assuming it would be better to teach her on the gun she would be carrying.Don't know why I overlooked the obvious.

    I just got the Browning out and removed the aim point sight I had on it. I let her handle it and she said it felt good in her hand and wasn't too heavy. The gun weighs out at 35oz unloaded. Since that wasn't too heavy for her just about any carry gun should be fine as far as weight goes.

    Tomorrow we'll head for the range and I can teach her a little on the 22 and rent the S&W642 so she can put a few rounds thru that. By the end of the day I should have a much better idea of what she can handle.

    Thanks again for the good advice.

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    Senior Member Array High Altitude's Avatar
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    I would definitely shoot the J frame first before buying. They are not easy to shoot well.

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    Member Array Copperjacket's Avatar
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    A 642 (or any aluminum j frame) is a really small light gun. It's an excellent weapon, and you can get low recoil .38 rounds, but it's not necessarily the best choice for a beginner. If you guys definitely want a small revolver, consider a Ruger SP101. It's .357, so it can handle .38 easily, all steel, the extra weight really soaks up a lot of shock, plus really excellent shock absorbing grips on that gun. Will also take crimson trace laser grips. Also, they make a hammerless one if you are going to carry it in a purse, that's ideal because you can shoot through the purse (or a coat pocket) without worrying about the hammer getting caught. That said, I really don't like off body carry. There are so many other options.

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    To virgilj

    Check your private messages.

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    Look at the Ruger SP101.
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    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    Again another recommendation for the SP101. If weight is not an issue and you want to go with revolver, it is one of the heavier revolvers for it's size available. An SP101 runs 25 to 27 ounces depending on barrel length. The .357 will shoot both .357 and .38 and you can always replace the spurred hammer with a non-spur hammer. You can also replace the main spring with a 9lb spring from wolf and lighten up the trigger pull.
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