This is a discussion on In need of a "girl" gun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My wife has had no problem with the Smith & Wesson 5906. She loves this gun....
My wife has had no problem with the Smith & Wesson 5906. She loves this gun.
And for everyone who has posted about going to the range and trying out guns, my town is very small. The range doesn't offer any guns and hardly anyone ever uses it. Majority of people who do have guns shoot else where. I have a few friends who have guns, and I loved the .22, but as everyone has mentioned- it's not going to be the best when it comes to defense. The gun stores and local arm dealers who have the guns in their house, don't allow you to shoot before hand. That's kind of why I went to the internet for help. So far, this site has told me not to be a Taurus (which I was looking at) Hahah
“A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” --George Washington
My wife didn't care for a 9mm and the range where we shoot allows her to rent models to try. She fell in love with the Sig P238 380 ACP. She uses Corbon, Hornady Critical Defense, and they feed fine without excessive recoil. I enjoy it too!
My personal carry weapon is a Ruger SR9c. Conceals well, accurate, and feeds most ammo. Also very reasonable price.
First their are no girl guns, Msgt/ Ret had the best advice go to a range that rents guns and handle and shoot as many as you can until you find what you like...
I would rather live my life as if there is a God,
And die to find out there isn't, than live my life
As if there isn't, and die to find out there is.
Ah, a kindred Montanan. Here's the skinny: small guns=more felt recoil. A full size M&P is easier on you than a compact. Not so easy to carry, but easier to shoot.
Lots of good advice already. I don't know that I really have much new to add, but can affirm some of the earlier recs.
I'd think about doing things in reverse order. How 'bout getting a gun to practice with and then getting a gun for home.And the gun is for home. Basically, just looking for something to start out with that I can practice with. I think the more time I practice, the better I'll be with handling the guns.
I like the idea of a 22 LR similar to whatever home gun you hope to end up w/. If you want a semi-auto home gun, get a similar semi-auto 22 LR. If at some point you change your mind and decide on a revolver home gun, you could start off w/ a 22 LR revolver.
I know you said you don't want a revolver, but there are a lot of good reasons to consider a revolver. A revolver in 38 Special is a respectable home defense gun. Currently you can get a 4" barrel S&W Model 10 38 Spec police trade in revolver for only $269.
Since your gun is for home defense, there's no need for it to be small, light, short or concealable. When dealing w/ recoil, weight is your friend. Get a heavier gun to dampen recoil, as long as the gun's not too heavy for you to handle well. If the M&P compact is to much for you to handle right now, then I'd certainly get something heavier (22 oz w/o mag) than it. I agree w/ the rec to shoot a lighter, non +P load in the 9 mm. I'd stay away from a 380 micro, 9 mm subcompact or 40 S&W as all will probably be snappier or recoil than you'd get in a 9 that's heavier than the M&P compact. If you get a semi-auto be sure you can rack the slide well on your chosen model since you said you "have little hands and lack strength."
And most importantly, like a number of prior posters said, get some good, formal training.
Enjoy your journey!
Last edited by Gary T; February 23rd, 2012 at 11:26 PM.
Glock 26 XD9sc
Ruger SR9c Ruger LCP
This is a well written question and lot's of good advice has come from it. Instruction? You bet! Get the best instruction available to you. Caliber? Well placed shots MAY be more important. Learn to shoot. Pistol/caliber choice? There are so many choices out there. Traditionally, I shoot a .45 in 1911, but I love my Beretta 92 (9MM) and if I could own only one gun, it would probably be my Beretta. The older I get, however, the more I find myself looking at .380's. It isn't a great defense load, but nobody wants to get shot with it either. I have found them fun to shoot. I'm looking very seriously towards a Beretta 85 or a Sig 232. They are both decent sized pistols that shoot a .380 round and they are relatively easy to carry and easy to put into action if need be.
Just my $.02
I just thought I'd share from another post about how my GF decided to pick as what she says "the best gun for me".
Background on the GF:
5'3" 115 pounds (shhhh don't tell her I told you!)
She grew up on the fence about firearms. Never held one, or shot one until she met me 5 Years ago. She took to shooting as a "mans" sport, and took some time to get used to. Although she tried to come off as not enjoying shooting, she slipped after a trip to the range and told me she actually likes to go with me and shooting. I already had a handgun and we tossed around the idea of her getting one. (Baby steps into getting her to carry)
Now to actually go out and find what she wanted. I know from experience that just holding the gun doesn't compare to shooting it. So over the course of a few months, she got to shoot the following:
S&W model 19-2 Snubbie .357mag
Taurus 85 .38 Snubbie
XD9 Sub-compact 9mm
S&W Model 36 .38 snubbie
S&W Airweight .38 snubbie
Khar CW9 9mm
M&P9c Compact 9mm
Glock 26 9mm
After a few years of shooting my handgun and my dad's/uncles/friends collections she sat down with me and went through a check list of what her gun had to be capable of doing. She not only just went to the range with me, but we went to tactical shoots as well. The major question she had to answer was Revolver or Semi? She really had her eye set on the "Lady Smith" .357mag/.38spl from S&W.
At this point she warmed up to the idea that she will be carrying this gun sooner or later. She also still wanted to come with me on tactical shoots (moving, finding cover, running, reloading etc.) and said that a revolver is not something she enjoyed using for tactical shoots because she felt like she spent more time reloading it than shooting it,even with a speed reloader. She liked when she used my semi how fast she could put a mag in and keep going.
She also didn't like the felt recoil of the light revolvers, especial the Airweight J-Frame. She said she would carry it but not shoot it alot. Which she knew was a problem, because she likes to practice and feel comfortable with what see carries.
Pros-Light weight, easy to conceal
Cons-recoil, low round count, slow reload time.
Revolver or Semi?
answer was Semi
Her Check list:
2)fits hands, feels good (very important due to small hands)
3)Smallish (will carry it concealed someday)
4)more than 5-6 rounds (wants to shoot in competitions)
5)easy to use (no safety, didn't want to have to click it off under stressful situations.)
6)not bigger than a .40S$W round. Doesn't want alot of recoil.
We then took the top two choices in handguns from her view. The M&P9c and the Glock 26. She shot both side by side. Like both as far as accuracy goes, liked the "dot in box" sights on the Glock better. When it came down to it. She picked the M&P9c as the winner.
Felt less "blocky" in hand. Natural point of aim. Good round count. 9mm not alot of recoil. Small enough to conceal. Easy to use. And since it is a S&W she knows it is reliable.
She takes it to tactical shoots and IDPA matchs. Just puts a full size M&P9 mag into it with the XGRIP : Sub-Compact Handgun Magazine Adapters : Product List
She qualified with it for her CPL class. Now she Open Carries with it in her Blackhawk Serpa, or Conceals with it in her Crossbread Super Tuck. Fits her well.
NRA Certified Rifle/Pistol Instructor
Accuracy ALWAYS WINS! So carry what you can hit with.
If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics stink.
Like others have said you need to practice practice and practice. With some proper training you will probably be able to handle the m&p just fine. My wife had the same trouble at first. But she really wanted something for home protection when I work nights. So I went and bought a used 20 gauge 870 pump shotgun. I loaded it with 5 rounds of 00 buckshot. She actually likes shooting it. Then we took time and she took a training class and got comfortable with a pistol. But after shooting both she says if she has to use one in the house it will be the shotgun.
Gen 3 Glock 27
Gen 4 Glock 23
Ruger sp101 .357
It's the softest shooting tiny semi-auto I've fired by a huge margin, and I've shot most of them.
The gun has over 500 rounds through it now and has never failed to eat anything we fed it. It's a tiny semi-auto that handles and shoots like a compact. It has way less felt recoil than a .38SP Ruger LCR. I'd go so far as to say if you can't shoot the P238, you probably won't find anything you can shoot.
“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