Need suggestions for Wife's first pistol

Need suggestions for Wife's first pistol

This is a discussion on Need suggestions for Wife's first pistol within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Well, my Wife who hates the idea of the day I get my CHL in the mail told me last night that she may have ...

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Thread: Need suggestions for Wife's first pistol

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    Need suggestions for Wife's first pistol

    Well, my Wife who hates the idea of the day I get my CHL in the mail told me last night that she may have to learn to use "my stupid pistol."

    I have been feeding her news stories from around the country and I think the final one got to her, the woman who disappeared from her house in FL with her 2 kids in their cribs.

    Do I take this opportunity to try and turn her to the dark side and go ahead and get her a pistol, if so what are some good suggestions?

    I would be very hesitant to get her an autoloader, unless there are an overwhelming list of suggestions. I know my S&W .40 Sigma would be too much recoil for her.

    OR, do I just keep feeding her the news stories and the things I read on this forum and wait for her to make the final decision herself?

    How have other people "turned" (for lack of a better word) those they care about to take responsibility for their own protection?
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

    -Paco
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  2. #2
    JD
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    I think if you push to hard, she may "give in" for lack of a better term only to make you happy, not because SHE wants to get her own gun.

    Slow and steady wins the race, while she's dropping hints, just having a gun isn't enough, she needs the will to use such a tool, if she lacks the will, or doesn't fully grasp what it means to have a gun for self defense, she may be better off with OC spray. Work on her mindset first.

    Also, don't discount the autos. When it does come time for her to get her own gun, let her choose, find a shop with range that has rental guns and let her try as many as possible. While a lot of women love J-K frame revolvers, they don't fit everybody. Choosing a firearm is a very personal thing. Everyones likes and dislikes are are different.

    While your .40 may be to sharp in the recoil dept. (I don't like .40s for this reason) there's no reason to exclude 9mm and .45 autos from the list. My itty-bitty wife favors the .45ACP. in a 4" all steel 1911.

    You may find some of these links helpful.

    Member PAX's website: Cornered Cat

    And my wife's (Limatunes) Website

  3. #3
    Member Array spooter66's Avatar
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    Greetings Paco,

    After having just gone thru this with my girlfriend I do have a little advice that may make things a little easier.

    Either borrow a couple guns or go to a range where you can rent some guns. Start with a .22 and teach her the basics with it. With little to no recoil she will concentrate on her form, site picture, and safety without being affraid of the gun or its' recoil. Then work your way up in caliber until she finds her upper limit.

    Mine can shoot my 9MMs but doesn't really like to. She really likes my Bersa .380 and carries it most of the time, can't get it away from her. Sounds like a good excuse to buy a new gun.



  4. #4
    Member Array Jaystekan's Avatar
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    Well, I am sure there will be no shortage of advice here. I can say that my wife stole my Bersa .380 from me. My wife is all of 110 or so lbs and a grand total of 5'1". She has trouble shooting her army issued 9mm, but thats more due to the size of the gun, rather than the recoil. While teaching her to shoot, I found that she preferred semi-autos over the wheel guns. She found them easier to load, more fun to shoot, and she found the recoil to be a bit easier. Best bet would be to go to a range that rents guns and try few out. Unfortunately, our local range has a very limited rental selection, and had no .22s, so the working her way up calibers wasn't an option. I wouldn't "push" her to carry, that may do more harm than good, but let her pick out a gun that SHE wants, rather than one that you think she would want. I just got lucky and my wife happened to fall in love with my Bersa(but she insisted on custom wood grips to personalize it before she would carry it).
    Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

  5. #5
    Member Array chickdiver's Avatar
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    I'm relatively new to shooting. The first handgun I ever fired was a .40 Glock 22. I own 2 handguns- the .40 Glock and the new Walther PPS in 9MM. I ~almost~ bought the Walther in .40 as well- but they didn't have one I could shoot- so I went with the known- but it was a hard decision.

    I don't find either one difficult to shoot- and I am 5'2" and have tiny hands.

    The point to this- don't discount your wife just because ~you~ think she can't handle the .40. It's condescending and almost guaranteed to be a turn off.

  6. #6
    Member Array Benthic's Avatar
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    In my opinion you're wife's comment that she may need to learn to use your pistol is a sign that she may be coming around to your way of thinking where guns and personal defense are concerned--but I don't think it's time for you to declare victory just yet.

    Keep up with the dropping of hints, perhaps offer to take her to the range the next time you go. Whatever you do, don't presume to 'know' what she will or will not like where guns are concerned and what she can and cannot handle. Don't make those decisions for her. When the time comes, help her make them for herself.

    Brian

  7. #7
    Member Array wagglebee's Avatar
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    My wife hates the recoil on larger caliber semi-autos. However, as soon as she tried a revolver she loved it. She bought a S&W 686 Plus with a 3" barrel, it's 357magnum/38 special and she has no problem putting all 50 rounds in the black. She liked the added weight over the Lady Smiths.

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    Senior Member Array CR2008's Avatar
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    A revolver would be perfect...

    I would take her to the range and let her try the different guns of her choosing, I would not simply buy a gun and throw it at her hoping she will be reasonably comfortable and competent with it.

    IMHO, for someone who is not an experienced shooter, a small framed revolver should be the primary choice because there are less factors to cause a malfunction, easer to maintain, easer to shoot (no worries about limp wristing especially in smaller semi automatics) and even if left neglected still is more dependable than any semi automatic... and it's not dependent on ammo types to fire consistently, not dependent on a round not loaded correctly in the magazine, not dependent on a magazine to get dirty and cause a malfunction, won't fail if fired from contact range with attacker, won't fail if fired from inside jacket pockets (hammerless centinal models).
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  9. #9
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    My wife is most sensiative to muzzel flip. She like heavy guns and not polymers.


    Hence a Bersa .380 or Taurus 605 loaded with .38 +p's

    She likes the simplicity of the revolver over anything else.


    Biggest advice I can give you is let her pick her gun and then pay for her to take a class instead of trying to teach her yourself.

    After her class then go to the range together and let her show you what she learned. This really helped with me and my wife
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

  10. #10
    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post


    Biggest advice I can give you is let her pick her gun and then pay for her to take a class instead of trying to teach her yourself.

    After her class then go to the range together and let her show you what she learned. This really helped with me and my wife


    Ditto. It's very hard to "teach" your spouse anything.

    I tried it, and then had to give up, it just wasn't working.

    This ought to be a good read for the OP, it's a post of mine from another thread, but it should have some relevant info regarding this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Well "We" meaning "I" had it pretty darn easy, Lima has been a shooter since before we ever met, mainly with rifles, she was OK with it, but didn't enjoy it as much as she does now (her words).

    When we got married, I had a few long guns and two handguns, and to be honest, I don't think she even looked at them for the first 6 months to a year we were married.

    We had looked at guns for her prior to me buying her first gun, so I had a basis of what she liked, but we didn't talk about it a lot.

    Just before our wedding, I think the day before I picked up a Bersa .380 which she had mentioned that she liked, and I gave it to her as a wedding gift.

    She was still 20 at the time, so carry wasn't an issue, but I wanted her to have "her" gun for times when I was on the road to at least have something that was hers to keep next to the bed (no kids)

    You can actually read about this on her website in her blog, she was very receptive of this as she did see the point of having a gun around the house.

    As she was getting closer to the big 21, I mentioned that I would like her to get her PA license to carry firearms, as I was going out of town more and more for work related trips, she agreed and didn't make a fuss, and in fact was insistent on getting more training. My only concearn was that she choose another gun in a caliber larger than the .380 that she had at the time. We sat and talked at long lengths about what she liked didn’t like and what she wanted and she chose her Kimber Ultra Carry in .40S&W.

    She's "evolved" quite a lot since then, she is all ways willing to learn and seek knowledge and putting lots of effort into her skill development.

    I really don't have any advice on how to persuade someone to carry who doesn't want to, because Lima wasn't like that.

    However, what I can do is explain my side of "The Lima Saga" as it sometimes seems.

    First off, I never made it about me, there was no "I WANT YOU TO CARRY..." it was "I'd like you to carry..." It was never really about what I wanted, but what I would prefer. If she had said no, I would have quit the frontal approach and gone for more subtle methods and not made a big issue of it.

    The biggest thing that made this whole thing easy is that we communicated through every step of it all, if she had doubts, or misgivings we talked about it in depth.

    “My wife has a very nice Sig P226 (so nice I often want to borrow it), but she is reluctant to take it out of the house, unless she is on a road trip to south Florida to visit me if I am down there for an extended period of time.

    In a situation like the above quote, you have to ask WHY it’s a pretty important thing, when you do find out what “why” is, don’t be condescending and tell her she’s irrational….TRUST ME. Take her thoughts into consideration and discuss it intelligently.

    Second, I don't like people that go out to buy guns for their wives with no clue on what they (the wife) may like, they just go out and buy whatever they think their wives will like. About the only thing that gets considered is grip and is it super small.

    Honestly I don't get it, yes guns are tools, but they are personal tools and should be picked out by the person who is going to shoot it and carry it. We spent days and days looking at different guns, discussing caliber, looking at carry options, laws, a lot of talks regarding mind set and scenarios . Now at the time I had a limited arsenal, and didn't have the bankroll to go out and rent a bunch of guns and pay for range time for her to try out a bunch of guns. But I was receptive to her wants and needs in her firearm, I'd taken her to enough gun shops to know what she liked and didn't like, the Bersa was one that she liked (one of the few)

    Don't buy your wife something just because someone says "my wife loves "X" by all means solicit opinions, but make it a "bonding experience" let your wife look at the suggestions, then hit a gun show and let her handle the suggestions.

    That's the third thing, make it fun, and do it together, let her know that this isn't some excuse for you to go out and play with more guns.

    Again this goes back to it's about her likes and wants not your's.

    BE SUPPORTIVE.

    If she does want a little .32 to start with, that's fine don't berate her choices. As the saying goes it's better to have .32 in a pocket than a Sig 220 in the dresser. She'll need to like the gun if she's going to carry it.

    If she wants to carry in the purse at first, BE SUPPORTIVE, again better to have the .32 in the purse than at home.

    As time goes by she may decide to get something bigger, and may decide to change carry methods.

    BE SUPPORTIVE

    **Note, to any ladies, I'm presenting this as husband’s perspective simply because this is based on my perspective and experiences.

    Now here’s the big problem, you have to realize and be man enough to admit, that while you may have tons of knowledge, you may not be the best one to teach and instruct your spouse on the finer points of shooting / concealed carry.

    We did have some issues with this, I was used to teaching Marine Infantrymen how to use communications gear, and on occasion teach them how to shoot the M16 better on the range…..
    TEACHING MARINES AND TEACHING LIMA WERE TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!!!!

    While you can tell a Marine to “suck it up” “deal with it” “do what I say or I’ll stomp a mud-hole in your chest…."

    Not a good approach with your spouse

    I got her through the basics, but after a bit, I was starting to do more harm than good and it was making it more awkward on the range, that’s when I started looking into outside training.

    Now as I realized that there would be some questions I could not answer and lots of things that I could not teach her (for my own lack of teaching skill, and for spousal stubbornness) I wanted to increase my knowledge in order to steer her right and started looking for information, guess where that led me? HERE. After a while, I got sick and tired of her always asking me everything, I wanted her to start looking up information on her own and finding her own resources, and answers. Guess where she ended up? HERE.

    I guess the biggest things in trying to get your spouse into shooting / carrying are:


    1) It’s not about you; you know that, she doesn’t.

    2) You can’t pressure them; it makes it far from enjoyable for them.

    3) Make it something that you can learn from together, Lima and I just came back from a training class we took together, how cool is that for a bonding experience?
    1200 rounds, ear muffs, guns and range attire. What could make a better “date”

    4) You have to be supportive if and when she starts shooting; I’ve seen some guys make fun of their spouses for not shooting well. Guess what guys, if you do that, your just going to **** off your wife and she’s not going to want to shoot anything but you. This leads to #5, can you guess what it is?

    5) BE SUPPORTIVE. In general, women like to have someone to stand beside them.

    6) In all things, be supportive, know the difference between constructive criticism and criticism. (*NOTE: The whole men are from Mars, women are from Venus thing comes into play, you have to communicate effectively in woman speak when dishing out constructive criticism, otherwise your just an to her. (see above portion on intelligent discussion)

    7) Have fun, at first when I was carrying around Lima, I pretty much acted like I had a stick up my rear, you can still carry, have a good time, while remaining alert and watchful, if you come across as a tightwad while carrying, guess what? Your wife thinks the same might happen to her and she might not want to act like a tightwad.

    I think that covers it for the fundamentals. Now I’m not saying we (gun guys) are all like this, but you have to admit, when you look at the majority, you can see it, and it’s always the guys who will do the complete opposite of this post that are always complaining that their spouse wants nothing to do with guns.

    Well that’s about it for now, it’s late and unlike Lima I don’t usually write long posts, my brain is fried and my fingers are cramping….

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Great Post JD. I will second that the wife MUST have the desire to learn to use and own a pistol that SHE likes, as well as it is likely her partner is not the best person to teach her to shoot. The fact that there is a " romantic " relationship involved tends to color the training process on both sides as each have expectations of the other that can run afoul of proper training protocols .
    If your pretty much against an auto for her ( which i feel is a mistake ) you might have her look at something like a 3" Ruger sp101. It has a reasonable sized cushioned grip for most hands ( including smaller hands ) and enough weight that starting out with .38 spec wadcutters is little more recoil than a .22 , but at the same time she can advance as she learns thro full house .357, the 3" tube offers enough more sight radius to make hits a bit easer to achieve, and yet is not unweildy . With that said My wife settled on a sub compact 1911 in .45acp ( Original Detonics ) for her ccw , and a Browning hp with a couple of mods for her small hands for her duty gun . My daughter carries a firestar in 9mm for ccw . I am the only one in the family who has much use for dao autos and as a rule revolvers , tho the wife loves our Ruger stainless single six convertible for her pickup kill snakes and other vermin gun .
    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 .
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    Great replies and suggestions from all. Now that I think about it when I, a seasoned IT guy, try to teach her simple things like how to manage Email or do a mail merge it can get pretty hairy, add in some ammunition and it could get down right ugly.

    I have sent her to corneredcat.com and that has opened the door a little more. I think in the mean time a nice OC spray will help, get her used to carrying something.

    Then off to the range, DFW Guns has a great selection of firearms to rent, and a nice all in 1 CHL/Defensive handgun course.

    Thanks again to all.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

    -Paco
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    New Member Array wwsmith's Avatar
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    As a first weapon I would highly recommend the Ruger 22/45 for the following reasons: 1. little to no recoil; easy to shoot. 2. inexpensive ammo; cheap to shoot. 3. control placement and grip angle similar to Colt 1911. This way she can enjoy shooting for it's own sake as well as theability to practice on her own time at her own pace , and should she decide to "trade up" to a combat handgun, the psychomotor skills AKA " muscle memory" will already be present and may be scaffolded upon to acceptable defensive competence.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array jeep45238's Avatar
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    Whatever SHE picks out - based on ergonomics and feel within the price range you both can live with.

    Do NOT pick them out for her - and do NOT let her base her opinions on "it looks pretty."
    ~Mike F.
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  15. #15
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    My wife was anti. Then I took her to the range after peppering her lightly with my own little campaign slogans etc... I'd also leave interesting threads from DC.com open on the screen and she'd read them when she sat down in front of the computer and they were there..

    I took her shooting a few times, she really enjoyed it. Rented a few guns for her, she seemed to like the Kahr P9 so I bought her an MK9. She had said she couldn't imagine carrying around something as "big" as my Kahr P-40...

    So anyway, when I brought her home her new shiny pistol she was visibly excited, playing with it dryfiring etc... acting like a spec. ops agent around corners in the house hahaha...

    She doesn't seem to care much for revolvers, and after taking Brownies ITFTS course, I think a Glock 9mm Is an excellent choice. She shot it very well, and I'm on the hunt for a couple of those for both of us now.

    The funny thing is, though, that she didn't like the G26 at all. Sometimes you just don't know what's best for you until it's too late. I didn't like the Kahr P9 at all either when I first started renting them.

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