Can you recommend a pistol for a woman? - Pistolsmith
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Old 05-21-2004, 08:12 PM   #1
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 62
Can you recommend a pistol for a woman?

We like Smith revolvers but the ladysmith handles are too tiny. I am looking for a small gun (under one pound empty) that will stop an attacker but not kick so hard that she hesitates to fire when she must. Would you go with something of a small bore and count on firing more than once? Maybe a .22 or a .32?
 
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Old 05-22-2004, 04:45 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 503
Potgut;
Welcome! Glad you joined us around the "cyber pot bellied stove".

Not to sound officious but I don't know of any such weapon. To explain, there is enough problem stopping an attacker with a .44 or .45 even when shot well. It is not that it does not happen occasionally or even fairly often with smaller calibers but it becomes a matter of chance.

Psychological factors aside (becuase they are unpredictable), incapacitation comes either from a hit to the central nervous system (which is difficult to hit) or from causing a lack of oxygen flow to the brain by creating blood pressure loss..at least with any handgun (rifles seem to be another matter).

This is where the dichotomy comes in... you need big holes and lots of them to bring about rapid incapacitation. Naturally you need to deliver them quickly and to the center of the chest (forget "torso" or "center mass" hits, they simply don't work quick enough). The idea of small and light works directly contrary to the delivery of rapid big holes. This is not to say you must carry a big heavy gun, it is to say you have to work out your own compromise recognizing that nothing is perfect. Most of the time I carry two full sized 1911s and by no means do I think that system is a sure thing or perhaps even "enough" (but I cannot pack a rifle all the time).

While others will differ, as a rule of thumb, anything up to and including the .380 you shoot for the eyes (head hits are seldom effective unless they enter the ocular window and damage the brain). 9mm .38 spl and above you shoot for the sternum (or actually what's behind it and hope you might also catch the spine for an instant stop). Most likely you will need more than one bullet...there is a good chance you might need half a dozen. The only reason we don't see people shot more is because most of the folks involved are not good marksmen and at that we do see some remarkable things.

This probably sounds discouraging, don't let it be. Any gun is better than no gun and many times you won't even have to fire it. But counting on that is probably not conducive to a long life.

Poke around the forum and get a feel for what bullets really do.

And again, a sincere welcome!

Jim H.
 
Old 05-22-2004, 04:46 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 503
Potgut;
Welcome! Glad you joined us around the "cyber pot bellied stove".

Not to sound officious but I don't know of any such weapon. To explain, there is enough problem stopping an attacker with a .44 or .45 even when shot well. It is not that it does not happen occasionally or even fairly often with smaller calibers but it becomes a matter of chance.

Psychological factors aside (becuase they are unpredictable), incapacitation comes either from a hit to the central nervous system (which is difficult to hit) or from causing a lack of oxygen flow to the brain by creating blood pressure loss..at least with any handgun (rifles seem to be another matter).

This is where the dichotomy comes in... you need big holes and lots of them to bring about rapid incapacitation. Naturally you need to deliver them quickly and to the center of the chest (forget "torso" or "center mass" hits, they simply don't work quick enough). The idea of small and light works directly contrary to the delivery of rapid big holes. This is not to say you must carry a big heavy gun, it is to say you have to work out your own compromise recognizing that nothing is perfect. Most of the time I carry two full sized 1911s and by no means do I think that system is a sure thing or perhaps even "enough" (but I cannot pack a rifle all the time).

While others will differ, as a rule of thumb, anything up to and including the .380 you shoot for the eyes (head hits are seldom effective unless they enter the ocular window and damage the brain). 9mm .38 spl and above you shoot for the sternum (or actually what's behind it and hope you might also catch the spine for an instant stop). Most likely you will need more than one bullet...there is a good chance you might need half a dozen. The only reason we don't see people shot more is because most of the folks involved are not good marksmen and at that we do see some remarkable things.

This probably sounds discouraging, don't let it be. Any gun is better than no gun and many times you won't even have to fire it. But counting on that is probably not conducive to a long life.

Poke around the forum and get a feel for what bullets really do.

And again, a sincere welcome!

Jim H.
 
 
Old 05-22-2004, 09:39 PM   #4
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2
You might look at a SIG P232. My wife carries one and loves it. It shoots like a dream, accurate and dependable. Recoil is managable and it's very well made. Caliber is .380 and it holds 7+1rounds. Cost around $400-450.
At close range, loaded with Gold Dots, it will ruin someone's day and maybe make yours!
 
Old 05-22-2004, 10:00 PM   #5
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 239
take her gun shopping with you and find something that fits her hand. i would not handicap a loved one with a caliber that has a track record of less than decent performance. with training even very petite women can control full boogie 44 magnums. with that in mind id probably start looking at a snubby ruger or smith 38 special, and go from there.
 
Old 05-23-2004, 05:40 AM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 876
The handles are too tiny?
The Ladysmith - I assume you mean the 5-shot Smith & Wesson - is built on the standard S&W "J" roundbutt frame. Every grip maker in the business makes replacement grips in a wide variety of styles and sizes. Shop around for something to fill her hand. You may have to look in catalogs and go by appearance and description and buy more than one set to get something to suit.

One pound?
Any one-pound gun in a reasonable defense caliber is going to have substantial recoil. Professional training and practice can get her by that but it will take some work.

Revolver vs auto?
Revolvers are simple to operate but you have to haul back a 14 pound double action trigger each and every shot. This takes strength, technique, and practice. Autos require that the slide be racked against a 16 pound or so recoil spring to charge the chamber. Once per magazine full. Auto triggers are usually much more manageable, especially on single action, DAO, and "trick triggers." Traditional DA-SA autos combine the worst of both, with a slide to retract and a heavy trigger pull for the first shot.

I'd get her a look at a Kahr K9 or P9. Comfortable grip shape that soaks up recoil and a long light trigger stroke. Rack the slide? Sure, but remember, that is once per seven shots. She will just have to grit her teeth and DO it.
 
Old 05-23-2004, 02:17 PM   #7
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 503
I did a little quick mental inventory. Of the folks I know who carry concealed weapons regularly the percentage of ladies who carry .45 autos is about twice that of the men (within their gender - I do know more men who carry by quite a margin though).

I hadn't really thought of looking at it that way before...interesting. Obviously the ladies might be right in their claim they they think with their whole brain while men use only half of theirs

Onward and upward!
Jim H.

PS - I guess I dont have to explain that this little estimate is not meant to gauge the general carrying population as I run into most people during training or gun events.
 
Old 05-23-2004, 03:11 PM   #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 988
My advice is buy her a nice little .22 revolver and about 5,000 rounds of ammo. Make shooting a blast---not a chore. Once she becomes used to the noise, recoil, etc., you will likely have created a monster that can and will out-shoot you. Then, take her to a big rental place and let her shoot what they have. When she finds something she likes, buy it.
 
Old 06-02-2004, 05:21 AM   #9
ah
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 17
I really like the 1911 9mm.
I have a Springfield Ultra Lightweight 9mm that weighs only 28oz and shoots like a dream. Recoil is minimal.

Also the 1911 is so easy to shoot and looks great with Ivory Polymer grips on it. Perfect for a lady.
 
Old 12-02-2005, 01:48 PM   #10
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1
My wife's gun...

I have to strongly agree with Bruce's advice. Following his advice may save you from having to buy extra guns! In the beginning, my wife was fairly intimidated by firearms in general, so she thought that her gun ought to be simple, small and light. So, we played bunch of small revolvers in the store and she decided on a titanium/scandium S&W in .32 H & R magnum. (Yes, that's right .32 Magnum) It was a very expensive addition to our collection, that she shot-the-hell-out-of for about a month. During which time, she became comfortable with guns and shooting, and decided she wanted something a bit bigger a felt that she was compentent enough to try her hand at semi-auto's. So, back to the store we went, and after looking at probably every fairly normal model semi-auto that gunstores carry, we made a list and tested about six potential winners at the local range, and in the end, she liked the Para Ordinance P-12 the best. So we went looking online and ended up buying a used, but well maintained and tastefully modified, Para P-12 Limited. Also, an excellent but expensive gun. If I had followed Bruce's advice, I could have saved about $700 by not buying the .32 magnum and probably another $200+ by buying .22lr instead of .32 H & R magnums for her to get accustomed to firearms with.
 
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