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Hello friends.
I'm in Minnesota. And my mother is finally ready to buy a handgun for home protection. I have no experience with handguns, so I don't know what to recommend.
So, she is about 5ft 4in tall. Strong for her size, deceptively strong
What type of small handgun would have more controllable recoil?
Also, please tell me in plain English, what caliber would be recommended for considerable stopping power? (I have been researching this topic, but with 834,478,289,389,548 websites with opinions, I am more confused now than ever before.)
Should some brand of handguns be avoided?
Also, semi-auto is a must.
And finally, is it possible to get something for under $250 used?
 

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take her to a local shooting range that rents handguns and let her try a few. The people there will be able to size her up, and recommend something appropriate. And while you're there you may want to look into the both of you taking a beginner handgun class.

My wife is 5'2" 106 LBS and I've found a good old 38 special is the best handgun for her. There are bigger calibers and numerous other handguns but It comes down to what she can control and hit her target with and has complete confidence in. And for her, that's a 4" S&W 586. For some women, especially those who are small framed with small hands, racking the slide on a semi auto is difficult. So you may want to reconsider a good revolver.
 

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- Don't recognize your location but have some knowledge of open carry and concealed carry if your mom is going to carry it with her.
- A gun safety class is a must.
- A revolver has less parts to go wrong. Not sure why a semi-auto is a must as a 38 revolver is easy to conceal if that is what she is going to do.
- She won't feel as much recoil with a heavier gun but she may get tired with a heavy gun.
- For stopping power, a well placed 22 cal shot is more effective than a bunch of 45 cal shots scattered all over. (One of the people at my LGS uses a 22 pistol for SD) Hollow points are a type of bullet with more stopping power.
- What MB53 said - take her to a gun range and let her try some out. How it fits in one's hand is highly important.
- Keep us informed how all this progresses.
 

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To repet ..Take her to a range let her try ..Then make sure she takes a good safty class even better in many states these double for CCW training so there you go ..I would +1 to getting a CCW if not hard in your state will make less issues on transport etc .

Any gun will kill ..Stopping power unless you go to the massive bore does not really come into play people have shurged off 14 45 rounds before or even rifle fire ...It is all about where you hit unless you use some sort of handcannon like a 44 mag etc that tends to slow most people down



Me I would buying a basic idot proof guns would be a 4inch s&w model 10 pre lock with houge rubber grips ..Slap some white paint or glow in the dark paint on the front sight and there you go ..No safty to mess with easy to see if loaded and easy to use and understand ...And you can get low recoil 38 rounds to start ...

But please let her chose dont give her a gun some ladies all they can handle might be a 22 or 25 others love a 44 mag ..Just goes person to person
 

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My wife and I are new to guns and this is what we did.
- We both obtained a purchase/rental permit. It only took about 1/2 hour.
- We both took a general hand gun class together. They had us shoot 22's.
- Wife had another one on one class where the trainer had her shoot 4 different guns. She then picked the one she shot best. (we purchased that for home defense.
- We both went to the range (3 times) and rented smaller carry handguns that we thought we liked.
- I purchased what I liked, practiced and then took a CC class. All is good.
- We discovered that she could not rack my gun so we got a different brand for her.
- She then took a CC class
- We can now both carry.

Home defense — Springfield MOD 2 4 inch, 9mm
My carry gun — Shield 9mm
Her carry gun — Walther PPS 9mm
 

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Thanks so so so much guys. I will see where I can find a range that will rent guns to shoot.
Not sure where you are located in Minnesota but Bills Gun Shop & Range is a great place to go! Nice facilities and they will give you a deal on a gun if you buy it there after renting some of their guns.

Locations in Moorhead, Circle Pines, and Robbinsdale in Minnesota.
 

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Start with .38 revolvers and 9mm pistols. The only semi auto under $250 i would shoot is a Ruger P95. I had one, but I wouldn't carry it. They are a bit bulky. Still, they are great range and home defense pistols. The next budget gun I would consider are Bersa. They are well built guns for the lowest budget I would consider.

Still, my first choice for a new shooter would be a Smith and Wesson 442. It is a 5 shot .38 special. Load it with +P defensive rounds for carry.
 

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I'd look for good condition used Police revolvers in 38 Special. I have a Ruger LCR in 38 and I still find it hard to shoot accurately. A slightly larger, heavier revolver is easier to shoot with


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Hello friends.
I'm in Minnesota. And my mother is finally ready to buy a handgun for home protection. I have no experience with handguns, so I don't know what to recommend.
So, she is about 5ft 4in tall. Strong for her size, deceptively strong
What type of small handgun would have more controllable recoil?
Also, please tell me in plain English, what caliber would be recommended for considerable stopping power? (I have been researching this topic, but with 834,478,289,389,548 websites with opinions, I am more confused now than ever before.)
Should some brand of handguns be avoided?
Also, semi-auto is a must.
And finally, is it possible to get something for under $250 used?
1. If the handgun is for home protection only, then there is no reason not to go to a full size model. A full size pistol will have less felt recoil, will be more accurate, will be easier to rack the slide and you will have full ammo capacity. If she can't handle a full size pistol, then a next size down compact model will do fine.

2. 9mm will do just fine for stopping power and will be the most controllable for her. It is also the least expensive centerfire handgun ammo.

3. By something modern from a major manufacturer. If it were my Mother, I would spend a little more to make sure she has something decent.

4. Yes, it is possible to find a used semi-auto for under $250, but your choices will be limited and it may be an older firearm. Avoid the big retail stores like Gander Mountain and look at local gun shops, pawn shops and newspaper ads.

I just bought a brand new Taurus PT111 Millennium G2 in 9mm on sale for $240 out the door. This is one you might consider. It's a sub-compact handgun intended for concealed carry but will work for home defense.
 

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Like many have said, try before you buy. She has to be comfortable and confident in the gun she picks. There has been a lot of good advice given in the above posts. I know you say semi-auto is a must, but for a new shooter a revolver is the way to go. If they gun fails to fire you simple pull the trigger again. There is no need to become familiar with clearing drills that accompany a failure to fire in a semi-auto gun. If you are dead set on a semi-auto for her make sure she gets some training on the operation of the gun (loading, reloading, tap and rack drills, etc). As for calibers, again lots of good advice above. It all depends on how good her fundamentals are (grip and stance). These will help her manage recoil and allow her to shoot accurately. Again this comes down to training. The best thing you can do for her is to get her in a class from a reputable instructor and let her try many different guns to make sure she is comfortable with what she decides on.
 
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I'm with the rest of the guys here. Find a place that will let you rent pistols and have her try them out. Even though you say she's strong, she may have trouble racking the slide for a semi auto, then again she may not. You just have to find what works for her.
 

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Before even trying out any handgun may I suggest that you first take a course in safety as well as basic firearms handling from a competent instructor. If there is a range nearby that rents guns they probably know a few instructors. If they don't contact the NRA for instructors in your area. Having a gun is only one part of the system. The rest relies on knowledge. That knowledge in safety (on and off the range), home firearm responsibility, legal use of deadly force. There are more subjects but this will give you an idea about what to expect. A lot of people buy a gun for defense and if lucky the will go to the range once to test fire the gun. Then they may or may not clean it but they will put it away and won't bother to touch it until there is a dire necessity. Please do not be one of these. Take the training, buy a suitable firearm, learn to maintain it, then practice, practice, and practice some more. These are skills that can easily be lost if not practiced. Good luck on your search and I hope it is never needed for its intended purpose.
 

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a 4inch s&w model 10 pre lock
That's what I love about this site, you can learn so much and be motivated to keep learning. Tried to figure out what a pre-lock was. Didn't find out yet but found a fascinating article on the Model 10, also called an M&P. A gun that truly stood the test of time.
 

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Derp You have no experience so best thing you can do is BOTH of you find a handgun instruction or defensive trainer to aid your mom and maybe you . As it stands you have nothing to give so learn with your mom . My 61 year old wife is 5-3 one daughter is 5-5 but all of 115lb of girly girl and both carry lite snappy semi-autos and have full size 9mm or 40sw for home defense and have trigger time behind AR15 carbines and 357mag revolvers pistols and shotguns . What a person is capable of shooting well is more of a head game as to what you can handle well and like or dislike .
 
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