What do you look for first?

What do you look for first?

This is a discussion on What do you look for first? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; If I can convince my wife to go to the LGS for herself, besides having her try everything she wants, what criterion comes in what ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member
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    What do you look for first?

    If I can convince my wife to go to the LGS for herself, besides having her try everything she wants, what criterion comes in what order?

    I know not everyone goes to an LGS and says that all they want to look at is Beretta's (even though they should).
    Is make the first criterion? I would want a good name that will be reliable.
    Is caliber more important? If it can't stop the BG what good is it? (Yes, I know placement is paramount, but, remember, we are newbies)
    Is conceal-ability? After all, if you can't carry the 44 Magnum with the 12" barrel, why get it for CC

    Then after those, and probably others, there is the grip and the natural aim of the gun.

    But with hundreds of possible guns out there, there has to be some refining method.

    What do you suggest?
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    I always say do some basic research know what brand is good and not good what make is better or rarer then other .. And of course what calibers you like or think you may like and the. Just let it flow..

    My local gun shop is tiny but I have scored pretty good just walked in there for ammo and saw a gun I had read about/shoot and went from there ..

    But for a first timer do have some general idea say two- three guns/brands you want to feel ..


    I mean I own guns that are massive anti air guns just because and yes I do open carry some for the heck of it ...


    If the store lets you rack the slide and dry fire all the better


    And for caliber I say 380 and above is ok ..I mean I carry a 32 acp some times but loaded with banned steel core hotter then heck ammo that is up there with 380...really 9mm and up will do it..



    Also consider frame ..steel etc will be heavy but should not kick as much ..lightweight single stack pocket guns have a bit of kick that you got to remember
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    Distinguished Member Array CDW4ME's Avatar
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    No magazine disconnect, no internal lock, minimum use of MIM, consistent trigger (no DA/SA).

    Edit: For a female (or male) the Kahr P9 or K9 meets the above criteria; my wife has a P9 and likes it, as I do my K40.
    Glock meets ths criteria too (some MIM) but with a thicker grip.
    Last edited by CDW4ME; May 29th, 2014 at 10:28 AM.
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    No internal lock or magazine disconnect on my pistols!

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    Senior Member Array RebelSoul's Avatar
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    What is going to be the primary purpose of this gun? Will she get her CCW and carry it?

    Home defense only?

    Range fun?

    Narrow down the purpose and then you can zero in on the choices better.
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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Reliability and comfort level in shooting it are equal parts in the new gun equation.

    Manufacturer, caliber, etc are not important if either of the above two aren't fulfilled first. If she won't shoot it, nothing else will make it work.

    I'd suggest that instead of going to a local gun shop, try getting a group of friends who have a variety of different guns together and have a demo day at the range. Chipping in for ammo and having a variety to try may help point her in a more focused direction.
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    I just choose something I really like, in a caliber I really like , and go from there.
    If it's something I really like , I'll make it work.
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    Senior Member Array hdhnict's Avatar
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    In the process of looking for a pistol for my daughter, so I can relate.
    Some like revolvers. They have that simple, classic look. She has a .22 revlover , and loves it!
    Some like semiautos. Their modern and compact.

    But feel the grip! Does it feel comfortable? Are the controls easily operated?
    I tell my daughter, this will be a pistol I expect you to use.
    Weight, balance and other ergonomics have to be held to evaluate.

    She has held every pistol I own. Shot all but one. We like some similar things, and like different things.
    We are still looking for her semi auto.
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyPX4 View Post
    If I can convince my wife to go to the LGS for herself, besides having her try everything she wants, what criterion comes in what order?

    I know not everyone goes to an LGS and says that all they want to look at is Beretta's (even though they should).
    Is make the first criterion? I would want a good name that will be reliable.
    Is caliber more important? If it can't stop the BG what good is it? (Yes, I know placement is paramount, but, remember, we are newbies)
    Is conceal-ability? After all, if you can't carry the 44 Magnum with the 12" barrel, why get it for CC

    Then after those, and probably others, there is the grip and the natural aim of the gun.

    But with hundreds of possible guns out there, there has to be some refining method.

    What do you suggest?
    Most men make the mistake of telling the women in their life what to get.

    Let her pic what feels the best and go from there. Let her decide, give support, not, I told you so.....
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  9. #9
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    For my wife it was about caliber first. She had shot my Ruger 9mm but didn't want that much recoil. Second for her was looks. Didn't have to be a "pretty" gun to get her attention, Just had to get her attention somehow. Next was how it felt in her hand and how well she could manipulate the controls. Don't be a stickler over some features that others will tell you to never consider. My wife's Bersa Thunder 380 has a mag safety, thumb safety, and a keyed trigger lock. Though she doesn't make use of them, she feels better knowing they are there if she wants them.

    My LGS has a shoot and return policy. You get 30 days from the purchase date to shoot the gun as much as you want. If you decide you don't like the gun, they will give you full credit toward another choice. Great for first time shooters, as the gun may not suit them after they get to shoot it.

    Above all else, the point that gets repeated time and time again, let her guide you through the selection process. Answer any questions she has, make points about reputation. recoil, weight, etc. NEVER let her think you are deciding for her.

    Your wife sounds a lot like mine was. She was terrified that I kept a pistol at the house for HD. Eventually she decided to learn to use it in case she was home alone. After a couple of trips to the range she wanted her own gun. She picked a Ruger SR22.

    If your wife decides she want's a .22, buy it. It's likely just a starting point, and a .22 is a blast at the range.

    Good luck!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Norm66's Avatar
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    When my wife and I went shopping for a carry gun for her last week we had it narrowed down to 9mm, easily concealable and striker fired (because almost all DAO trigger pulls were too long/heavy for her).

    Our LGS laid out a selection of guns fitting that description to handle and dry-fire. I was heavily favoring the Shield for her because she shoots mine well but in the end she made her own decision to go with the M&P 9c and she loves it.

    My wife is very recoil sensitive and I didn't want her to get something so small it hurt her to shoot so I was happy with her choice (not that it mattered). After shooting 50+ rounds Saturday she reported no pain and I can attest to her improved accuracy.
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    A woman can learn to shoot any gun--ask those fine young ladies manning an M-2.

    I don't place much emphasis on whether a lady should get a revolver or a semi. They can handle both with training and practice. What is the wife planning on doing with it, CC, HD only, keep it handy just in case?

    My criteria for my wife, should she get the urge, would be in no particular order:

    1. Ease of operation. No sense getting something she can't operate the slide or work a heavy DA trigger.
    2. Natural fit. Not to say a heck of a lot of ladies can't shoot a full-size 1911--and they do.
    3. Caliber she can handle. I think .38s are fine for SD, but maybe in a snubbie isn't. Recoil can be stouter than some like and accuracy takes a lot of practice.
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    VIP Member Array Aceoky's Avatar
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    remember, we are newbies
    To me that means at the very top since you don't know that much about guns, customer service and reputation of the LGS and the manufacturer of the gun(s) would be top of the list . Established ones with a solid reputation for care and repair - luckily that is not hard S&W , Ruger, Colt RIA etc. etc. should fit the bill easily enough . Next is fit and feel (IMO) you can usually shoot better with a pistol or revolver that "feels right out of the gate"

    And yes by all means make sure She picks out her gun herself - she needs that confidence that comes with that and all the other already mentioned reasons IMHO
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array hayzor's Avatar
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    If its for your wife, and you want her to carry it, then the only thing that matters is that she is comfortable with it.
    Otherwise its just another pair of shoes that will stay in the closet.
    For me, I can make almost any reliable gun suitable for carry, with the right holster, practice/training, etc.
    In most cases - for women, if they don't like it, it is staying in the safe.
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    You dont really say what its for but Ill go from the SD aspect of it. Reputable manufacturer. Enough gun to get the job done without having to shoot the BG in the eye.
    Able to be carried Concealed. Mag disconnects, external safetys, etc etc arent really a concern. She learns to shoot with a external safety she will flick it off without thinking about it. Mag disconnects can be removed easily if the gun really fits her otherwise and she doesnt want one.

    Inside of the can carry it and enough thump to actully do anything, what she likes and shoots the best.

    The recoil question always makes me wonder in the 9mm to 45 range. If my tiny 9 yr old grandaughter can shoot a SR40c with no recoil problems and hit with it, an adult shooting in that caliber range saying a 9mm has to much recoil sort of makes me curious. Assuming there are not health concerns or disabilities involved of course.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    criterion - a CCW gun, a BUG, a house-gun..? if it doesn't need to be concealed or carried, it can/should be full sized. only reduce barrel length and capacity if your intended role requires it.

    fits her hand- make sure she understands the basics of sight alignment and pointing a weapon. then let her point every gun in the case. as many times as necessary. make sure she knows, and the clerk if necessary, she can point as many as she wants, as many times as she wants. if her favorite pointing weapon is an known low-quality, look for similar attributes and work form there.

    I would pretty much settle on 9mm for auto and .38 for wheelies, once she's comfortable and capable she can decide if and when to move up the caliber food-chain. (I don't think a .380 from 9mm drop helps controllability that much, unless it's a true mouse gun, hopfully her first isn't a mouse)

    make sure she can rack the slide if it's an auto, but make sure she understands to NOT do it gentle, so many times I've heard women say they couldn't rack the slide of their husbands gun, and low and behold their trying to do it slow and nice-like. tell her to slam that thing as hard and fast as she can, jerk the slide all the way back, and LET GO.

    I second the notion of no "fiddly bits" - no internal lock, safety disconnect, safety, decocker, SA/DA...etc.

    WHAT FITS HER HAND!!!

    a note of DAO vs. Striker fired guns... from the point of view of your hand they work exactly the same. the actual PSI weight of pull of the trigger will be so close btween the two it will actually come down to manufacturer. the two major differences are; a DAO will have a LONGER STROKE.... but "break" cleaner. a striker gun has a shorter pull, but (my favorite description of striker guns ever) - "it feels like some plastic part inside the gun breaks" is a good descriptor of 90% of striker guns. DAO guns generally have a nice break, and good ones don't even have that heavy of a pull, just long.

    and I love glocks, but all striker guns (except I guess a P7?) have crap triggers.
    Last edited by DingBat; May 28th, 2014 at 05:14 PM.
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