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So as I mentioned in another thread where I asked about pricing and such on the P238, my fiancee took her CWP course yesterday from a private instructor with her parents.

She said overall it went really well and she was glad she got to ask so many questions and she seems to have learned a lot. The other great thing that came out of it is that she listened to him when he advised she try revolvers for ease of use and reliability (gee I seem to remember saying the same thing...) and she's going to give them a try at the range today.

Well, we were discussing the class and what she learned last night and there were quite a few things I didn't necessarily agree with and wanted to get everyone's thoughts on it... since I don't really know.

He advised that a woman carry nothing other than a .357 revolver, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP for defensive carry. He said that things in the .380/.38 Special category lack the necessary power to make it an effective defensive weapon.

Personally, I disagree. My understanding is that modern defense ammo has made even the "smaller" calibers effective for defense. Also, considering her issues handling my P239 in .40 S&W there are comfort concerns with the larger caliber.

I don't want to start a caliber war, so please don't. What I want to know are thoughts on what caliber we should be looking for. She handled a .380 at the range very well and like the way that it shot... but now she's terrified by what the instructor told her because she doesn't think it'll be able to stop anyone.
 

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JMO, but I'm thinkin he told her that for one reason only. "Use the largest claiber you can carry and shoot well". If you're new to firearms and your main reason for getting one is for SD, then I would agree. Buy something that will do the job and learn and develop your skill set on a platform that will do the job with plenty of power to help aid the novice shooter, and you wont be wanting to upgrade for a lack of potential stopping power. Shot placement is key, but IMO, a decently placed .357, .40 or .45 round will certainly tilt the scale to your advantage in a confrontation.FWIW

GBK
 

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I don't like it when "instructors" give narrowing advise such as that because it may work for some, but not for others.

I know people who cannot consistently work the trigger on a revolver. To tell them they should "start" with a revolver would be placing them in a position where they will never learn gun skills.
 

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I would never tell a new shooter to go to a 40, there is just too much snap to the recoil. 9mm with modern hollowpoint designs are effective. I don't know about the 380s, haven't done much researching on those since I'm comfortable with a 9 for carry purposes. 45s are good if you can conceal them and are comfortable with the lower round count in the gun. 38 Specials have been effective for decades with the soft lead bullets, the newer design bullets are just a plus. Just make sure the gun isn't too hard to conceal/carry, nor too light for the caliber (the ultra-lightweight 357 Magnum revolvers, for example).

A 380 she shoots well and is comfortable with is better than a larger caliber she is uncomfortable with and can't shoot well. A hit with a 380 will be more effective than a miss with a more powerful round.
 

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Best visual here.

Another good visual here.

And a great post from Caleb the blogger here.

Bottom line for me? With modern hollowpoint ammunition, 9mm, .40, and .45 have so little difference between them as to be negligible, while .380 lags a bit but is still acceptable. Once you go under .380, it's a different story. But starting at .380 and moving up, there's just not enough there to yell about.

Tell her not to worry.

(Oh, very good points about practice above. To my way of thinking, once you get past the truly minimal calibers, the very best self-defense caliber would be the one you are willing & able to practice with the most. Right now, .380 is a bit too precious to really burn through the ammo with it on the practice range, and that's worth thinking about. But if she IS willing to practice with .380, and is NOT willing to practice with a different caliber, then .380 is her best caliber of choice.)

pax
 

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My sister carries a p22 because she can hit her target with it and she can't with a 9mm. My father carry's a .380 because he doesn't like carrying a larger gun (pocket carry). I carry a 9mm because I am back on target faster with it than my 45 and I carry hi-capacity or metal frame guns as I am not weight sensitive.

As always, carry the biggest caliber you can shoot effectively in the largest frame you will actually carry.

I currently carry one of the following...

1. G19 (IWB)
2. 9mm Kimber ProCarry (IWB)
3. Detective Special (OWB)

And my current plans are to supplement these with a P9. (IWB)

Point being everyone is different.
 

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Yes, everyone is different. My wife for example is a rather good target shooter with her Bersa 380 or my Glock 19, but she feels more comfortable carrying a S&W 642. She isnt nearly as accurate at 7 rads with the small revolver with the longer and harder trigger pull, but she feels safer with this for carrying. AND in my opinion (and backed up by FBI stats), if she needs it in a defensive capacity, the guy/gal will be almost on her and she can hit anyone within 4-7 feet with any of the guns.

Once she gets more comfortable with carrying and the inherent safety of "keep your finger or anything else away from the trigger", I would think she would move to a semi. Bottom line, we live in a country where we can choose, and as long as you choose decent defensive ammo, and have good command of the gun and the situation, it is hard to argue that anything over a 380 is a bad choice.

If it were me, I would have your wife shoot as much of different guns and calibers as possible to get herself comfortable with her choice and let her choose from there. And remember, the instructors opionion, whether based on pure opinion or based on facts and history is just an opinion and we all have them. Good luck.
 

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I suggest a 9mm to any female I discuss firearms with. The ammo is cheap, easy to find, and you get more shots per mag. There's also less recoil compared to a larger caliber. Just my $0.02

But it's simply a suggestion... I also suggest they try as many different guns as they can...
 

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I suggest a 9mm to any female I discuss firearms with. The ammo is cheap, easy to find, and you get more shots per mag. There's also less recoil compared to a larger caliber. Just my $0.02

But it's simply a suggestion... I also suggest they try as many different guns as they can...
Yep, my wife settled on a Glock-26...:yup:

To the OP...
It doesn't make any difference (.380 or 9mm) which caliber or which gun, as long as SHE picks it out. OMO:bier:
 

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Best visual here.

Another good visual here.

And a great post from Caleb the blogger here.

Bottom line for me? With modern hollowpoint ammunition, 9mm, .40, and .45 have so little difference between them as to be negligible, while .380 lags a bit but is still acceptable. Once you go under .380, it's a different story. But starting at .380 and moving up, there's just not enough there to yell about.

Tell her not to worry.

(Oh, very good points about practice above. To my way of thinking, once you get past the truly minimal calibers, the very best self-defense caliber would be the one you are willing & able to practice with the most. Right now, .380 is a bit too precious to really burn through the ammo with it on the practice range, and that's worth thinking about. But if she IS willing to practice with .380, and is NOT willing to practice with a different caliber, then .380 is her best caliber of choice.)

pax
+1 couldn't have said it better myself!!!:argue:
 
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