August 21st, 2007 04:08 PM
While I'm waiting
Hello folks. I'm new here but have been reading the forum for several days now. I know this has probably been hashed over a million times but...
My CC class is not until mid october. I've been talking with my friend about what he suggests I carry. He works in a gun shop and says he sells alot of the S&W .38 airweights. That is also what he suggested I go with. I like the feel of the gun...it is light and small.
I'm a farm woman who just took a "town" job in ag sales. It will have me walking onto other folks property and they may tend to forget that I have permission. I'd like to have something other than my pocket knife in the event things get ugly.
I'm not a small woman. 5'10" and 160 lbs. I almost always wear wrangler jeans and t-shirts. I'm looking for something with stopping ability yet very concealable.
I'm an avid hunter but hand guns are foreign to me. I have not even shot the .38 I mentioned above. Shotguns, rifles and bows are second nature to me. Never shot a pistol.
My kids start school tomorrow and by friday I plan to have several rounds thru several different guns. But I was wondering what you all suggested I try out?
Is the sw .38 a good choice or not? What do some of the women here carry?
Thanks for your time.
August 21st, 2007 04:19 PM
If your new to the idea and practice of ccw allow me to be the first to suggest that you visit http://corneredcat.com/ and do a bit of reading. That site is pretty much geared to women's ccw and may well be a help on some questions that you dont even realise you have yet lol .
Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .
Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.
August 21st, 2007 04:27 PM
Shoot it before you buy it is all I would recommend. .38's Snubbies are very popular and an outstanding choice. I do not have one personally, but I base this on "NOBODY TRYING TO SELL ME ONE" at a non MSRP price. I have even checked all the usual suspects and still no avail. If the $ on the smiths is a little to high I would say check out Taurus as well, from what I understand they use the old S&W machines to build them, and Taurus quality is alot better than what it has been in the past.
“Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll
Its not about guns...Its about Freedom!
August 21st, 2007 04:33 PM
+1 on shooting the Airweight first. I have one(S&W 642) and it is my daily carry, but it is NOT enjoyable to shoot. I like this gun b/c it is the smallest and lightest, still powerful gun I can conceal, that I can afford.
I usually have a service/duty size auto on my side, with the Airweight as a BUG. Somedays due to dress, I only carry the Airweight.
It is a very easy gun to forget you are packing!
August 21st, 2007 04:36 PM
The bigger guns will be easier to shoot well. You may have to change your clothing a little bit to accomodate carrying a firearm. I, as a man, buy my pants 1"-2" larger in the waist to accomodate IWB carry. I also buy my Polo Shirts one size too large, looks big, but not unreasonably so, just loose and casual.
Check out http://www.corneredcat.com/
I'm not a big guy, but I carry a 4" S&W N-Frame Revolver and a little J-Frame daily when I am Off-Duty. Learn to "Dress Around The Gun" because as Clint Smith said, "Guns should be comforting, not comfortable." Also, with good leather you will be amazed at what you can conceal.
Feel free to PM me if I can be of any help.
August 21st, 2007 04:53 PM
IMO: Revolvers are one of the most reliable weapons ever created - much fewer moving parts. The down side to revolvers are that they hold less ammo than a semi-automatic pistol. Airweight are very light, but the down side is that they kick like a mule.
Recommendation: Shoot the exact models you are considering before you buy. Don't just take anyones recommendation.
Be Observant and Be Safe.
Current: S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9, and Glock G26, G19, G23C,
and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
Former: Taurus 92SS, SIG P220 TT, S&W 360, SIG P239-40, Ruger 22/45 MKII
August 21st, 2007 04:54 PM
Concealed carry is a trade off of different factors. You sacrifice weight and perhaps caliber for small and concealable. Revolvers are always a good choice as they are easily to clean and with few moving parts almost never malfunction. They are wide of course because of the cylinder. Autos are flat and easier to conceal but are harder to clean and more prone to malfunction. Keep them clean and determine which brand of ammo they like best and you should have no problems. You might also try a Kahr Arms auto in a 9MM.
DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONtestING THE VOTE.
Certified Instructor for Minnesota Carry Permit
NRA Pistol and Personal Protection Insrtuctor
Utah Permit Certified Instructor
August 21st, 2007 04:55 PM
Well, I just put up a long post on Choosing a Defensive Handgun. It's intended to help novice self-defense shooters choose their first handgun, so it might be a good read for you.
If you want the cliff notes version as it applies to your situation, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. I definitely second Rob's advice about shooting before you buy. The most important thing in a self-defense handgun is going to be how well you can shoot it. Since you don't have any handgun experience, I'd go a bit further and say that you should shoot several different guns to see what you like. Don't get locked into one gun, or type of gun too early.
Speaking of a type of gun, revolvers are simple, almost deceptively so, but they're difficult to master. Compared to a semi-auto, getting a revolver to run is easy, you just pull the trigger and it goes bang. However, a double action revolver has a long heavy trigger pull that takes a lot of practice to shoot well. Revolvers also hold fewer rounds and have a much longer and more involved reloading process than a semi-auto. In particular, a snubnose revolver is going to have quite a lot of kick. The airweight guns are extremely light, revolvers have a high bore axis, and a short barrel, all of which contribute to greater recoil and muzzle flip. A snubnose airweight .38 is probably going to have more felt recoil than a full size .45. The simplicity and reliability of a revolver is certainly tempting for a self-defense handgun, but it does have some drawbacks. There's no such thing as a free lunch. You may decide to go with a revolver in the end, but you ought to look seriously at "point and shoot" semi-automatic pistols like the Glock, Springfield XD, and Smith & Wesson M&P.
Finally, you seem to be putting a lot of emphasis on small size and concealability. These are great features, but they always come at the cost of a handgun's fighting qualities. A defensive handgun is a piece of lifesaving equipment. I wouldn't want to compromise on the effectiveness of an airbag, parachute, or fire extinguisher because my life may depend on them. I feel the same way about handguns. The ultimate question here is, "Which gun will do the best job of keeping me alive?”
August 21st, 2007 08:38 PM
I own and carry my 642 regularly. I was always told "its not fun to shoot" or "it kicks like a mule" but I didn't find that it kicked too much at all. Maybe I just expected it to jump out of my hands with the way people talked about it but it really wasn't that bad. It does have some recoil but its a nice solid gun that I can shoot very accurately (regardless of recoil). Don't let people dissuade you from getting this gun because of its "kick". Its really not that bad--go shoot one for yourself.
It also fit very nicely in my pocket. The only issue I take with this gun is that it holds 5 rounds of .38special +P. While imo that round is a solid PD round...tehre are only 5 of them. Its the price you pay for a very small reliable gun.
People will tell you that size and concealability shouldn't preempt it effectiveness. I would argue that if its small and comfortable enough for you then you will have it when you need it (read: effective). A .22 (or in this case a .38spec) in your pocket is better than a .45 in your sock drawer back home.
August 21st, 2007 10:29 PM
Many women stay clear of semi-autos because they feel they don't have the hand strength to pull the slide back to chamber the first round or to clear a jam. Based on how you described your physical build, you probably won't have that problem, so don't let anyone steer you exclusively toward revolvers. Revolvers only carry 5 or 6 rounds of ammunition; to me that is a huge weakness of that gun type; and unless you are a speed shooting professional like Jerry Micelek, it takes longer to reload a revolver than it does a semi-auto.
Take your time to learn the different types of trigger actions of both families of firearms. Understand what double action triggers are vs single action triggers and how to safely carry each one. Study different holster types and learn what wardrobe compromises are required for each type. Read gun magazines and visit manufacturers' websites.
August 22nd, 2007 01:03 AM
Carry that .45 every day for a month and you'll hardly notice it's there. And you'll be much better armed.
Originally Posted by kavity
August 22nd, 2007 01:49 AM
I also find the S&W Airweights very attractive for their low weight/size. I rented one not that long ago and put 50 rounds through it. While I don't consider myself very recoil sensitive, it sure got my attention. I would strongly suggest trying one before you buy one. I wouldn't say it hurt, but I would say it made practice more like work.
Another aspect of the 340PD I rented was a fairly heavy trigger pull. I found that while I'd probably consider my accuracy 'good enough' at close range, it wasn't nearly as good as I'd like and wasn't nearly as good as with my Sig P239.
I may still get one of the 340PDs, it is a very nice firearm and light enough to carry in challenging situations. But I'd probably only carry when it wasn't practical to carry anything else.
Other firearms to take a look at:
- H&K P2000SK
- Glock 26
I have a Sig P239 which is very nice, but a bit heavier and lower capacity (than the Glock and H&K). The upside on the Sig is it is a single stack so slightly slimmer.
When I rented the 340PD, I also rented a Glock 26. My accuracy with the Glock was pretty good. Not quite as good as the Sig, but not shabby at all for just picking it up.
If *I* were to rank them based on desirability for a carry firearm, it would look like this:
1) H&K P2000SK (very accurate, reliable, higher capacity)*
2) Sig P239 (very accurate, reliable)
3) Glock 26 (accurate, reliable, higher capacity)
4) S&W 340PD (fairly accurate, reliable, very light!!!)
Another thing I thought I'd point out. You mentioned you were going to be on *other* people's property and concerned about potential confrontations. My suggestion would be that if they don't want you there -- leave. While every situation is different, personally I wouldn't be inclined to draw unless I felt my (or others) lives were in danger.
* Admittedly, report on the H&K is based on reading. I've been meaning to see if I can find a rental, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. The main upside vs the Sig is higher capacity and somewhat lighter weight. Both are reputed to be extremely accurate and reliable. At the time I purchased my Sig, the H&K was not available.
August 22nd, 2007 02:49 AM
Added note that she does not need to choose an alloy framed air-weight and she could easily carry a stainless steel J-Frame S&W - They are easier to shoot and there are some very decent low recoil personal defense loads floating around out there to choose from. And a nice set of recoil absorbing grips are always a plus on any small frame revolver also.
Just a thought.
Ultimately though she should try shooting a variety of handguns and make up her own mind.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
August 22nd, 2007 02:40 PM
Thankyou very much for all the replies. I'm headed to the range to shoot tomorrow morning.
I have borrowed the friend's s&w airweight. The range has told me they have the glock 26 on hand as well as an extensive selection of other revolvers and semi-autos.
I'll let you all know how it goes.
August 22nd, 2007 03:21 PM
the S&W 642 is a great gun (have one for sale with extras in the buy, sell, trade forum for a great price...PM me if intersted) anyway, try the 642 with .38 special first. If it's agreeable, try the +p loads and see if it's still agreeable. If not, but you like the hammerless design and size, you should also try a S&W 640. It's the same hammerless design as the 642 but has the added weight of stainless steel construction to help control the recoil. It's also chambered in .357 which means that you can shoot .38 special and .38 +p as well as .357. The 640 comes with a larger grip than the 642, but you can easily switch it out for some boot grips to make it just as concealable as the 642.
Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes...that way, when you criticize him, you're a mile away and you have his shoes.
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