Question Advice needed for Mom/Daughter with Self Defense Guns, please.

Question Advice needed for Mom/Daughter with Self Defense Guns, please.

This is a discussion on Question Advice needed for Mom/Daughter with Self Defense Guns, please. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello. Thank you for any help you can offer. I am trying to find a self defense gun for my daughter that is off to ...

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Thread: Question Advice needed for Mom/Daughter with Self Defense Guns, please.

  1. #1
    Member Array girlswithguns's Avatar
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    Sep 2013

    Question Question Advice needed for Mom/Daughter with Self Defense Guns, please.

    Hello. Thank you for any help you can offer. I am trying to find a self defense gun for my daughter that is off to college (off campus) and another for myself. We do not like recoil, so have eliminated all shotguns.
    Do not have very much experience shooting (and are having a difficult time finding ammo) so not very accurate with hand guns.
    Currently own a Beretta .32 Tom Cat, which I do not really like (to much kick). Just traded in our 20 gauge Remington semi auto for a Bushmaster A3 M4 which I LOVE, but is kind of big for my daughter to hide under her bed. Here are my questions, thank you in advance for your time and help!!

    1) What is the best self defense weapon for my daughter to have given the above experiences/information.

    2) What do I need to know about the Bushmaster A3 M4
    a) Best ammo for this gun? (both for target practice and for self defense)
    b) Recommended accessories?
    c) Maintenance suggestions?

    3) Is there a reliable and fairly priced place to buy ammo?

    4) Is there a gun that you would recommend that would be great to learn how to shoot with, that ammo is available and inexpensive?

    5) Any other advice you would give a inexperienced gun owner?

    Thank You so much for your time!

  2. #2
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    Array FlaRon's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
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    I do not know the area of the country you live in however I would suggest you locate a quality firearms training academy and invest in lessons and live fire courses.

    I live in south Florida and the shooting association I belong to has NRA trained and certified instructors for courses starting from beginner to advanced and all in between.

    Knowing your particular states self defense laws is very important.

    I have enclosed the web site of my shooting association so that you can get an idea of the type of facility and training you should be looking for where ever you live.

    Martin County Sportsmen's Association Inc.


    Bad Bob and girlswithguns like this.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    It's almost become a cleche' (sp) that women do better or well with revolvers. I know too many women who are really, really good with various auto pistols. A few years ago I found myself in a similar position. Ex wife and daughter living alone, and daughter go's off to college. One year in the dorms and she moved back home.

    My wife is a store manager and she's required to open very early and close kind of late. After which she has to make a bank drop, late at night. She wanted a carry gun and asked my advice. After trying a few different choices she settled on my S&W model 36 with the 3" barrel. A few months later she asked about a smaller gun she could carry in addition, kind of a hide out desperation gun. We visited a LGS and she decided on a Beretta Tomcat in .22long. pop up barrel thing. We practiced together, and had my daughter practicing. When it came time for my daughter to get one I gave her a nickle S&W 36 with pink grips. She had already practiced on the platform so the transition was easy for her.

    I tell this whole long drawn out story mostly to illustrate the logic, and reasoning in choosing what we did. So... in sum and substance I'd suggest that you and your daughter consider similar weapons. I'd recomend as simple a platform as possible. I believe that the tomcat is a good start. The .32acp is considered by some a somewhat underpowered round. It beats a .22 short, or a .25. If you have an issue with recoil the.32 in a gun that size IMO is a good choice. You may want to visit LGS's and if possible rent to shoot a few different firearms. My further advice is that you stick to the major manufactures. A used major will almost always be better than a new second rate gun. Also I'd suggest that you not follow some experts suggestion that you need some polimer major caliber 17 round wondergun, or that revolvers are 18th century technolology and are obsolete. Take your time, do some research.

    I'd like to welcome you to the forum. I believe you will find over time that this forum is a great resource and the membership has a depository of knowledge and experience that would be hard to find anywhere.
    Last edited by Secret Spuk; September 8th, 2013 at 11:58 AM.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    This is a post I sent in reply to your other post. Im posting it here, (as well), as Im not going to type it twice, lol.

    Welcome. OK...yeah, the .32 tomcat really does have a kick that is surprising for that gun. I have one in stainless, which is heavier, so I would have expected it to kick less. Maybe it does kick less than blued steel, but darned if it doesnt kick a lot.

    On the plus side, it works. Ie it doesnt jam, and will fire any ammo. In my experience, few guns work well nearly all the time, with all ammo, under most all conditions.

    Two that do, that would fit the bill for you are a Glock 19, in 9 mm, and a Smith & Wesson M&P compact 9mm. I own both, and have fired both extensively.

    Yesterday I could have bought good federal (target) ammo at walmart in 9mm. I have ordered ammo from cabelas, and gotten good prices, though its certainly been harder to find, since sandy hook. Below find a link that will help you finding ammo for your AR & in other calibers.

    For AR ammo, I like lake city, 5.56, in 55 grn, for general purpose.

    What I think you need most? TRAINING.
    Aceoky and girlswithguns like this.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    I will never recommend a caliber smaller than 38+p or 9+p.

    I will suggest professional training and live for experience for her. If she is going to be the one shooting it, she needs to be able to shoot it before it comes home with her.

    Shoot several guns. Don't just take advice on what to get. Experience is better than advice.

    There are lots of ammo sources. I like georgia arms (when they are in stock). They deliver bulk ammo to your door in metal ammo cans.

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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array old grunt's Avatar
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    The best advice I can give is to do your homework. Narrow your choices down to 3 or 4 handguns and then try to get some range time with each. These "test drives" will reap better results than any specific recommendations we can make here. Good Luck and let us know how you make out.
    NONAME762 and girlswithguns like this.
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Please do not buy any guns till you both take some classes. Your post dictates how inexperienced you are about firearms and trying to buy an operate any handgun without safety classes would be almost negligent. Most of us on the forum seem to have grown up around guns or military, Leo training at the least have had some classes ourselves. Take that step first.

  8. #8
    Member Array OkSlim's Avatar
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    My kids all had BB guns when they were 5. Taught them gun safety. They started shooting .22 youth rifles around 6-7. Graduated to youth model 20 gauge shotguns.
    By the time they were 10, they were proficient with rifles, shotguns and hand guns.

    By telling that story, here is my advice. I would not put a self defense gun in her hands and send her off to college with it until she became proficient in whatever firearm you choose for her to learn on. I mean mentally proficient as well as mechanically.

    Not trying to be a Dick, I think guns in untrained hands are more of a liability than an asset.

    Just my 2 cents and worth every bit of what you paid for it.

    Another thing is mental attitude. All three of my children, 1 boy, 2 girls were trained. They are all now adults.

    My two daughters have their permits and are comfortable carrying for self defense.
    My son has chosen not to carry because quite frankly, he knows, he is not capable of taking a life.

    I respect all of their opinions.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Regarding your daughter's gun, you left out a very important point - will she be carrying this gun on a CCW permit, or simply keeping it in her room? This has a major bearing on what she selects. Larger handguns for home defense usually recoil much less than small, lightweight handguns used for carry, and you said that recoil is a consideration.

    You could go with either a semiauto or revolver for your daughter, depending on personal preference. From the standpoint of balancing lower recoil with acceptable levels of stopping power, I'd probably recommend .38 special in revolvers and 9mm in semiautos.

    Assuming that you want one gun for your daughter that can do double duty for both carry and home defense, I would recommend either of the two shown below - a Smith & Wesson model 66 revolver in .357 magnum with 3 inch barrel, or a Sig model 239 semiauto in 9mm. Both guns are heavy enough to tame the recoil (32 ounce revolver and 28 ounce semiauto), and are compact enough to be carried. Both guns are noted for accuracy and neither one has a manual safety. I have carried both and they are easily concealed with a good belt and holster covered by a shirt, sweater or jacket. I have fired both on many occasions, and consider the recoil to be mild.

    The revolver will shoot .38 special ammo even though it is capable of firing hotter .357 magnum.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array virg's Avatar
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    I can not recommend ur daughter having a gun in her room with roommates and friends running around everyday.. Its just a bad accident waiting to happen. Buy her a can of spray or some type of stun gun... U will have enough to worry about without her having a gun in her room.. Good luck !

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array GentlemanJim's Avatar
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    If the handgun is for home defense I would look at a full size Beretta M92 or something similar in size and weight. They really don't recoil much more than a .22 but 9mm is far superior to a .32 for defensive applications. Another possibility would be a 4 - 6 inch K-frame in .38 Special.

    An M-4 clone would be good but I know a couple of young women that really like to shoot their M-1 carbines too. There are also some pistol caliber carbines out there that would probably work well for your application also.

    girlswithguns likes this.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    WELCOME to our little tribe! IMHO, if you're troubled by the recoil of a .32 Beretta Tom Cat, you're better off with qualified training than you are trying to find a solution by attempting to vanquish the Laws of Physics.
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  13. #13
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    I'm in the training camp as well. As your daughter is just starting college, she is probably not old enough for a concealed carry license. That said, don't mess with those small guns. I'm also in the camp of using an AR for home defense - no recoil, easy to operate, penetration characteristics of the round, lots of rnds on tap. If you decide on a handgun, get a larg(er) gun around the size of a Glock 19; not for the round count, but for the longer sight radius and full grip. A short sight radius and a small grip that doesn't really let you hold on tight will be problematic in learning how to shoot and shooting accurately in a defensive encounter. Also, since you apparently have the funds for a $1k rifle, and if you are able to do it again, look at the Bennelli shotguns as they have a very effective recoil reducing system. Given the lack of experience and CCW I would go with an AR, Bennelli shotgun, and pistol in order of appropriate weapons for your daughter. Any way you go, make sure she has a dependable way of securing them - think in terms of drunk friends in the home.
    girlswithguns likes this.

  14. #14
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    My suggestion for something smaller than a 20ga shotgun and an AR-15 would be for a decent handgun, in either 9mm or .357mag.

    If unfamiliar with a range of handgun alternatives, I'd recommend heading off to a couple of decent rental ranges to see what's preferable. There are a good number of decent, reliable, quality pistols and revolvers around.

    If "hiding it under the bed" is the goal, and not concealed carry, then I'd say any of the mid-sized to full-sized pistols that typically get suggested here would be decent alternatives: Glock 19, CZ 75 series, H&K USP, H&K P2000 or P2000SK, Bersa Thunder Ultra Compact Pro, the Ruger SP-101 revolver, or any of the mid-weight S&W revolvers (Model 60, etc). The third-generation series of pistols from S&W are also pretty well thought of, including the 3900, 5900 and 6900 series. Though discontinued, they're reliable, durable, high-quality, and generally fairly easy to shoot.

    Be sure to have a decent safe, as well. Bad juju, otherwise, with all the people coming and going that's typical in a student's apartment.

    And the tips on acquiring some training isn't off-base, either. Can be a firearms/knives oriented general defensive course. That would probably be the best sort, as it'll address a range of defensive situations and issues, much of which won't involve arms as such. Highly useful, if from a quality program and instructor.

    Here's a search tool that might assist in narrowing down some options: Handgun Database Search @
    girlswithguns likes this.
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  15. #15
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    PepperBlaster ll PepperBlaster II She can probably carry it to classes (check university regs) and it is less scary to have around with airheaded roomies. It is much easier to use than a handgun and should work well in most situations. I bought my daughter a handgun for her birthday and she is pretty good with it now but she was raised in a household with guns and shot them at least once a year as she grew up. By then she was out of college.

    Universities tend to be anti gun so having one on your person when you need it might be problematic. She needs something she can have on her IF and when the time comes she needs it. My personal first choice would be a gun, this device would be #2 and maybe #1 if I were going to class everyday. When I was attending the university (1969 till, well seemed like forever) there were not so many restrictions and I had my Walther P-38 and an H&R 9 shot western revolver (P-38 was 9 mm and H&R a .22).
    girlswithguns likes this.
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