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I am a female, and am looking for advice on a pistol. I have a situation in my life, where I may need one to carry at home or with me for safety reasons and protecting myself/my family. I understand I would have to get a concealed weapon permit, which wouldn't be an issue.

1. What sizes would be good for a female who has never used one before, would be able to fit in a purse or small area?
2. Do you recommend professional lessons, or an experienced friend?
3. What brands/sizes would be least expensive?

I know pretty much the rest of the info I need to know, as far as if I'm mentally fit to carry/use one, when to actually use it, etc.

Thanks!
 

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Ma'am you are going to get a LOT of input on this from the folks around here I do believe! There are some variables, like your experience with firearms in general. A revolver is the simpliest as far as the "manual of arms" goes, or simply put, it is the simpliest to operate. If that sounds like the route you wish to go I would recommend a Ruger LCR, Ruger SP101, or a Smith & Wesson Airweight. Rugers are a personal favorite of mine and are very durable. If they are a little outside of what you wish to spend ( about $600 in my area) then Charter Arms makes a solid revolver for around $400 (again in my area). You can find semi-auto's in the price range as the Charter Arms but reliability may be an issue with some of these. In the used gun market you can often find deals on premium guns so I might try that route as well. If you are comfortable with an semi-automatic pistol, I recommend Glock. They are the easiest to operate, durable, reliable, and cost less than most other pistols. Good used specimens abound on the used shelves of most firearms stores, and you can get them around the $450 to $500 range around here. I would recommend receiving professional instruction if at all possible. If not, a truly well versed person can help you along the way.
 
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Sorry ma'am, you specifically referenced sizes and I didn't address that fully. The revolvers I noted are the smaller snub nose variety and conceal easily on the person or in a purse, and are offered in 38 Special or 357 Magnum versions. The Glock line that I mentioned offers a Model 26, which is a sub-compact 9mm. It is very easy to shoot and conceals as well as the snub nosed revolvers I mentioned.
 

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Age and medical condition are important also. Example my wife has been a shooter for years but a weaker grip now makes an auto a no go for her .
She now carries a revolver.
Some basics.
The smaller in size a weapon generally the hard it is to shoot until you spend some time with it.
Many agree that a larger caliber is better than a smaller caliber. But because many agree that don't make it right.
Try to keep price out of it until you narrow down what you are looking at, weapon shopping should not be price driven
You are not going to war what you need is a weapon you can carry with out it being a big problem or you will just leave it home.
My wife carriers a S&W 38 revolver, Daughter a Ruger LCP 380 . Their choice .Both can get the job done if needed.
How you will carry plays a roll in what you carry . If others you know carry spend some time with them and their weapons and try different ways see what works for you .
If you know other women that carry that is a big help,
Limit your search by that I mean leave out the big boy guns like full size 45's and double stacks .
Start at a good local gun store block out the sale pitch and hype hold them as you do ask your self can I carry this all day.
Don't rule out revolvers with out a good look .
Take your time, get some good basic instruction.
 

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A really great way to whittle-down your choices (and there's a TON of 'em) is find a range that has a selection of handguns to rent and shoot. That'll give you a baseline to start looking at, more specifically, what might be right for you.
 

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Personal message LIMATUNES on this board. See if she will provide you with links and information. Also go here: Cornered Cat | If you have to fight, fight like a cornered cat.. Also search the boards here for conceal carry for women

Get training with a quality instructor. See if you can try different handguns with them while training. Go to a local gun range and rent different guns with an instructor.

FWIW: Carrying your gun in your purse is a very slow and difficult way to access your protective pistol under the pressure of assault. I suggest that it will work only in very few circumstances where you have alot of time to see the threat coming. I strongly suggest you find a way to carry on your person.
 

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Carry at home to protect your family raises a red flag. You will need to select your firearm with those goals in mind. A revolver is much easier for a child to misuse. A chamber empty semi-auto is more difficult for a child to make ready. A gun in your purse is not going to work. It sounds like you will need the gun on your person whenever possible. This being the case, the chamber empty auto may be your best balance of safety and utility.
 

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Passing on what I've read here before (I'm not an expert):

Some gun stores/ranges will rent pistols for you to try out on their range. This gives you the chance to find out if you like the pistol before you buy it. The pistol's recoil, weight, size, grip, etc. - general feel in your hand - will all be determining factors. You don't want a gun that you're uncomfortable shooting.

On that note, some of the ultra-lightweight guns may feel great until you shoot them. Lighter weight = more recoil transferred to your hand/wrist. You may find that you don't like shooting it.

Good luck on the gun and your situation!
 

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I am a female, and am looking for advice on a pistol. I have a situation in my life, where I may need one to carry at home or with me for safety reasons and protecting myself/my family. I understand I would have to get a concealed weapon permit, which wouldn't be an issue.

1. What sizes would be good for a female who has never used one before, would be able to fit in a purse or small area?
2. Do you recommend professional lessons, or an experienced friend?
3. What brands/sizes would be least expensive?

I know pretty much the rest of the info I need to know, as far as if I'm mentally fit to carry/use one, when to actually use it, etc.

Thanks!
Hi and welcome! I'll try to be concise since you'll be getting an avalanche of info lol...

1) for purse or good concealment carry, consider a Ruger LCR revolver (easier to learn easy to manipulate but low ammo count), Ruger LCP (semi auto, decent capacity, very light, hides very well, no safeties to manipulate but slightly harder to shoot because its light and small). My top recommendation would be the Ruger LC380. It's small enough to keep anywhere, light recoiling, decent capacity, very easy to manipulate the slide, and should serve your needs well. It has a thumb safety too should you choose to use a safety.

2) yes! Get at least basic instruction but keep advancing as you can afford. There's no such thing as too much training.

3) the three Rugers I mentioned are all below $500. I'd try them as rentals and see which one you like handling and shooting the best. Maybe have an instructor there with you while you rent.

Good luck and let us know what you picked!
 

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Some gun stores/ranges will rent pistols for you to try out on their range. This gives you the chance to find out if you like the pistol before you buy it. The pistol's recoil, weight, size, grip, etc. - general feel in your hand - will all be determining factors. You don't want a gun that you're uncomfortable shooting.

On that note, some of the ultra-lightweight guns may feel great until you shoot them. Lighter weight = more recoil transferred to your hand/wrist. You may find that you don't like shooting it.
+1 From personal experience I absolutely agree. You can read all about a particular model and it can look great on paper only to find that you can't shoot it worth anything. You may also find that you really like ones that you didn't originally consider. For example, my wife wanted a small revolver and got a S&W 638. The heavy trigger pull and short sights make it hard for her to be accurate and the heavy recoil hurts her hands. Instead she carries a Glock 26 (which someone mentioned above), as do I, but she also discovered that she really likes the 1911 series. Initially she had limp wrist problems with the small semi-autos (fail to feed, fail to eject, stove piping) and required some practice to work through these.

TLDR version; definitely try them out before you buy because it can save you a lot of money and trouble.
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum.

My suggestion is that you become a regular member of the forum. At first it may seem confusing, but there are decades of experience here, and we all learn from each other. As other's have suggested a visit to a local range that rents gun's is the best first step I can think of as well. I'd suggest visiting other gun and pawn shops to get some idea of whats available, and the price ranges in your area. Knoqledge is power.

My personal recomendations are that you be prepared to spend between $300., and $500. In your search for the right gun at the right price I'd recomend you consider used firearms opposed to lower priced new guns. In that vane I'd suggest you read the sticky regarding the purchase of used revolvers. Both quality used revolvers and used autoloaders offer IMO the best value. I'd suggest you visit the forum with every step, and share with us. Your only going to get good information.

You may want to give your needs some serious consideration and include one or more less than lethal options. Given the information you share with us, I'd suggest a revolver. My reasoning is that the revolver is easier to learn, has a much less complicated manual of arms (how the thing works, how to load and unload, how to make safe, how to inspect). U disagree with another poster that carrying in a purse is a bad method. I think it gives a definate advantage. My personal recomendation is a full weight 2" barrel revolver with internal or shrouded hammer such as the S&W 640, 638, or 40. These revolvers will fill all the roles you suggest. There are some neato uber light weight guns in these configuration. I reason a full weight revolver because I also recomend serious professional training, and practice, practice, practice on a regular basis. If you are unable to get some local, or reasonably priced training... practice anyway... as often as possible. Those light weight guns are really really difficult to master, and can be downright painfull to shoot.

Again GOOD LUCK!
and welcome to the forum... dont be a stranger
SPUK!
 

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A really great way to whittle-down your choices (and there's a TON of 'em) is find a range that has a selection of handguns to rent and shoot. That'll give you a baseline to start looking at, more specifically, what might be right for you.
This would be a good start. You can also watch youtube for info keep in mind with youtube you'll see a lot of idiots posting.I would use youtube for reviews and the like.Getting hands on experience is the best. I haven't read all the responses but I'm sure a lot of responders were not fond of off body carry.
 

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My recommendation is to get training from a professional before you purchase. You said in your introduction post, that you have relatives who are LEO's. Ask them for advice on a good training program in your area. The trainer can help you to determine what is the best type/caliber weapon that will work best for you. Until you have made the purchase, get and carry OC spray. Again, your LEO family members can make recommendations and point you to places to purchase it.
 

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Ma'am you are going to get a LOT of input on this from the folks around here I do believe! There are some variables, like your experience with firearms in general. A revolver is the simpliest as far as the "manual of arms" goes, or simply put, it is the simpliest to operate. If that sounds like the route you wish to go I would recommend a Ruger LCR, Ruger SP101, or a Smith & Wesson Airweight. Rugers are a personal favorite of mine and are very durable. If they are a little outside of what you wish to spend ( about $600 in my area) then Charter Arms makes a solid revolver for around $400 (again in my area). You can find semi-auto's in the price range as the Charter Arms but reliability may be an issue with some of these. In the used gun market you can often find deals on premium guns so I might try that route as well. If you are comfortable with an semi-automatic pistol, I recommend Glock. They are the easiest to operate, durable, reliable, and cost less than most other pistols. Good used specimens abound on the used shelves of most firearms stores, and you can get them around the $450 to $500 range around here. I would recommend receiving professional instruction if at all possible. If not, a truly well versed person can help you along the way.
^^^THIS!^^
 

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There are a number of good weapon choices that will fill your need for a purse gun.

If you have never been around firearms then please get as much firearm safety instruction and shooting instruction as you can until you become comfortable with the weapon. A little extra time and money for safe carry and use is well worth it.

There are some excellent suggestions here for a purse gun...go to a range and try a few if possible. You will find the one that
fits you.

Best of luck ...stay safe...
 

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I'm worried about this person's 'story'. Sounds like she's just had a divorce, or has an abusive spouse or a stalker. She can't get the cops to help her, she might have small kids at home. She wants to carry around a "small" gun in her purse. This means to me she doesn't want to use it, just wants to feel 'safe'. She has never shot a gun and never shot a person. I don't know, and she probably doesn't know if she could really shoot someone.

Thus, all the 'get a revolver' advice in the world is not going to help her. She won't be prepared to actually shoot her stalker and being unfamiliar with gun safety and storage could end up with her or her kids being harmed.

I think she should get training. Having a gun does not mean you can 'fight with a gun'.

Even female black belts when faced with having to harm another person, lacking a sporting background (i.e. real aggressive attitude against other, different aggressive opponents) can flinch and fail to react, though they might talk big.
 

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I recommend you go out to gun stores with a knowledgeable and patient friend and look at different guns and sizes to see what you are comfortable with handling and carrying. Choose the largest gun with the largest caliber you will be able to shoot effectively and will still carry every day. It is all a compromise between size, comfort, and recoil. If possible, rent guns at a range or borrow friend's guns to see what recoil you can handle. Felt recoil is dependent on gun size, weight, and caliber. The longer the barrel, the better the sight picture for accuracy. The bigger the gun, the less felt recoil. The heavier the gun, the more you tend to leave it home. The hotter the caliber or load, the more felt recoil. With the same ammo, a light weight short barrel handgun will have much more felt recoil than a heavier longer barrel handgun. Different grips on the same gun will affect the felt recoil. Recoil and sound affects how many rounds you will train with and how often you shoot the gun. Always wear hearing and eye protection when practicing or training. If you ever have to use it in self defense, you likely won't feel the recoil or hear the blast.

Revolvers are simple to operate. If you are going to carry a revolver in a purse or pocket like my wife does, then a revolver with a shrouded hammer and low rounded sights is the best to not hang up when drawn. You need a purse with a dedicated concealed space for the gun like a Coronado purse. My wife carries an S&W 640 most of the time. You can shoot it with .357 magnum or the much lower recoil .38 special ammo. The draw back to some of the shrouded hammer snub-nose revolvers is they are double-action only which are not great for target accuracy and trigger pull.

Some people have a very hard time racking the slide on semi-auto pistols. There are tricks like pushing in both directions instead of holding the grip and pushing on the slide. Other people have a better time if they hold the slide and push on the grip. There are some small caliber guns with a tip up barrel instead of racking the slide to chamber the first round. If the gun has an exposed hammer, cock the hammer before trying to rack the slide.

After you find out what works for you, then go for professional training. Too many husbands, boyfriends, or male instructors will just tell you what you want in a gun and caliber. It should be your choice after trying different types, different sizes, and different calibers. It has to become part of you, not what works for someone else.
 

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I think the truth is she needs to move to another location and 'disappear', or at least harden her house. What good is it to her kids if she shoots this stalker and then goes to jail? I think someone who has never used a gun or isn't prepared to do a good shoot can often shoot prematurely, in fear and end up indicted. Let's be cautious about 'get a gun' as the solution to every problem.
 
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