Best Gun for Beginner/Female

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by mhott, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. mhott

    mhott New Member

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    Hello,
    I'm a young woman who is interested in getting a concealed carry permit and a handgun for my car/home. This is a relatively new idea for me so I was wondering what y'all would recommend as a good handgun for a beginner and female? I don't want one that is too expensive and not too complicated. Thanks so much for any feedback! I hope you all have a wonderful day! : )
  2. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

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    I love it when women join our humble little community. I just wish more of them stuck around

    Couple questions. Have you ever shot a gun before? Do you know what caliber it was?

    We can give you better answers if we know more of your shooting history
  3. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Welcome mhott ,

    ma'am i'll explain what i do here , i've done this with many ladies including my daughters

    we attend a licenced range that will hire you a range of guns

    the instructor or myself will teach the lady the basic of guns and handling and start them on something like a .22 and work through to a calibre thats a bit much and then go back to were they where comfortable

    i like to find what the shooter thinks is comfortable with

    then try differing model in that caliber

    that way they
    1 get the most power they can handle with ease and assurity
    2 get good practise and a gun they can practise with alone
    3 most important of all

    be comfortable with their own choice

    too much gun can put people off, so its very important to find what suits you , and not some gun sales person would like to sell you

    if you have a friend who you can shoot with even better as this makes it a social activity and thats the best side of shooting , catching up with other like minded folks and learning from each other and enjoying your new hobby

    I wish you the best in your search

    cheers and good luck

    1 daughter ended up with a .380 the other a .22 lr , every one is different , find what YOU like and exposure to as many as you can try is the only way to know for sure ;)
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  4. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i agree.. shoot many before you buy 1.
  5. jedwil

    jedwil Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    What city/state are you in??
  6. GunnyGene

    GunnyGene New Member

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    I'd agree with Appliancedude, but also add that you should sign up for a class or 2 before you buy a gun. That will likely give you the opportunity to try out a few different ones before you plunk down your money.

    That said, I bought my wife her first handgun about 15 years ago and she had the same questions you do. We settled on a .357mag/.38 special Smith and Wesson revolver (5 shot) with a 3" barrel. It's simple to operate, just pick it up and start pulling the trigger, no slide to mess with, no safeties to worry about what position they're in. Sufficient power to discourage anyone. Fires both .38 special and .357 magnum, which is cheap and plentiful. Price back then was about $300 if memory serves.

    Down side is you only get 5 shots, but if you need more than 2 or 3 you're probably going to lose the fight anyway.

    You'll need to practice with it a lot, just like going to the gym, until you "get in shape" and can hit what you aim at, or in the usual case what you point at, since in a personal defense situation you likely won't have the luxury of aiming. It will be up close and personal and will happen very fast, and you probably won't be expecting it. You may still be half asleep and in a dark bedroom trying to figure out what is going on.

    My point is you need to understand the bigger picture before you pick out a weapon.

    PS: I'm not trying to discourage you, but dropping the hammer on someone is serious business. If you live in an apartment or have close by neighbors you don't want your bullets to hit them - know what's on the other side of your target.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  7. Carne Frio

    Carne Frio Member

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    Welcome to this fine forum and to the world of firearms.
    The best advice I will give to you is to go to Kathy's site
    It's called the "Cornered Cat". It is for people just like you.
    http://www.corneredcat.com/
  8. targetacqmgt

    targetacqmgt New Member

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    20 gauge pump shot gun for defense. Mossberg relatively reliable and inexpensive. Seen to be the most popular for the country girls here in NC.

    To practice marksmanship a 22 LR bolt action rifle.

    I have yet to find a beginer pistol for a woman that has enough stopping power BUT I am not a pistol expert.
  9. targetacqmgt

    targetacqmgt New Member

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    What Gunny said:D
  10. mhott

    mhott New Member

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    Thank you all so much for you responses! I've shot shotguns and rifles a couple times before but that was a while ago. I want my dad to teach me how to use his 22 rifle around Christmas and there's also a beginner NRA handgun training I'm looking into taking. I talked to my friend and he said I should look into getting a 9mm. He's also going to let me try out a couple of his guns next month so I'll get more experience. And to Jedwil, I live in WV. Thank you all so much, again! : )
  11. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

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    Stick around. Post or not, there is a lot of good info here. And we need more women in the shooting sports.
  12. mhott

    mhott New Member

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    I've been looking around at these but I need some real shooter's opinions: mouse guns, are they generally good? Or would they not do much damage. I know they're considerably smaller however, a gun is a gun, right? Any help would be greatly appreciated! : ) Also, I think I'm taking a training class during the week of Thanksgiving! Yay!
  13. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    Mouse guns...and caliber choice...
    It's probably the most discussed topic
    on any and all gun forums.
    Any reliable gun is better than no gun.
    Many bad guys are usually that...guys.
    If a female that knows how to confidently
    handle a firearm, and has to pull it out for
    protection, most of them bad 'guys' will most
    likely freak anyway.
    Generally speaking, and general consensus....
    nothing smaller than a 9mm for self-defense use.
    Many still use a .380acp and feel comfortable, as
    they are easy to handle. In fact, one of the most ...
    if not 'the' most reliable .380 semi-auto is a Bersa
    Thunder .380 and slightly larger than a mouse gun,
    still very concealable and not expensive [except ammo].
    A revolver is still my recommendation for most that
    are new to firearms. Simplicity in all areas.
    Everyone has a unique feel for recoil....no matter the
    persons size or gender.
    Before you purchase any gun, do your best to go hold
    and touch as many as you can at gun stores. This in
    itself, will give you a great direction in 'feeling'
    what fits you best...in gun size....
    Go shoot your friend's guns...provided they are not
    monster hand cannons.....
    Indoor shooting ranges rent a variety of handguns.....
    and you can shoot many sizes and calibers that way.
  14. ka64

    ka64 Well-Known Member

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    Personally if it is a matter of saving my life or the lives of the ones I love, I want to carry the best there is!!!!

    Welcome to the club. ;)
  15. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    unfortunately.. the 'art' of discreet CC is a compromise.

    If I wanted to cary the best possible weapon to defend myself from an attacker.. it would not be easilyl concealed.. nor practicle.

    the best weapon to have concealed for protection fits the follow:

    1. you are 110% proficient with it in a stress environment, including fast laoding or unlaoding it, clearing a jamb or other OOB situation, while not looking at the gun either due to darkness.. or wathing your attacker / souroundings.

    2. you are accurate with the gun at a resonable distance where you might have to use that gun. IE.. no need to be able to pick head shots off at 50 yards with a 1.5" bbl pocket gun.... but you should be able to hit a 6" circle at 6-8' which is a reasonable self defense distance according to most law enforcement sources. A 'throw down' raven or pheonix arms 25 acp can hit a 6" circle at 8' by pointing your finger along the gun slide straight toward the target.. no sights needed. same with most smaller guns. if you can point at the target.. you SHOULD be able to hit it at that range.

    3. it needs to be concealed. if you are giving your carry away.. the attacker may see it before you see him. An attacker that knows you are carrying may act more lethally / quicker. better to have an attacker that is surprised when you draw on him.

    4. it needs to be on you, and pretty much 100% habbit and always on you where legal. a CC weapon NOT carried, does you no good. we don;t get to choose when / where we will need it.. thus should always have it whenever legally possible.

    all that said. i'd take a .22lr over a 25 acp any day. past that.. a 32acp.. and from there anything and up that you can hide reasonably.


    that's my take.
  16. carver

    carver Moderator

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    mhott, Welcome to the forum! I'm with OZO here, but after holding as many guns as you can to get the feel for what's right for you, you also need to shoot as many as possible. I can honestly say that I would not feel under gunned with a .380, or a .38. Both will work, but they have a limited ammo supply. I spent the morning with another member here, Iron Eagle, and his 17 year old dauther. She shot several handgus today for the first time in her life. We started with a .22, then moved up to the .380. Next up was a .38, then a .45ACP. Guess which gun she liked best? The .45! You just have to try a bunch to see what you like best. BTY, the .380 is the smallest caliber most of us will recomend as a Self Defense hand gun.
  17. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    funny you mention that.

    I'm teaching a buddies 16 yr old to shoot. she's not a pistol girl.. likes rifles.

    I took out a bunch for her to shoot. after a day of shooting she had went o the top of the caliber list I brought and chose 30-06 :) go figure!
  18. langenc

    langenc Member

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    Two suggestions-

    Go to your local gunshop and ask to hold several guns. Might want to try a small revolver. Heft several/many. Dont get over a 9 mm or a 38 for recoil reasons. Maybe the gunclub you choose will have a range and you could shoot your choice, Better yet ask if the have a 'ladies night' for pistol shooting.

    If so, go on that night and ask some shooters to shoot their guns.

    Second is like the second suggestion above. Find out what night your local gun club has 'pistol night'.. men or women.

    Go and ask to shoot. Anyone that shows up at our club always gets to shoot a few dozen shots, if they want that many.

    Do NOT shoot a 'cannon'--357 mag or some such. You will never want to shoot again. Even try to start with a 22.. Dont let someone else select the gun for you-YOU select it. Yopu will be shooting it. Practice, practice and then some more.

    PS I didnt see all those responses. It looks like Im right on.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  19. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    +1 for hitting up a local gun store that offers classes. Don't be afraid to drop a few hundred bucks for a couple of good instruction sessions if not more.

    learning and shooting a variety of guns before buying one is for certain wise advice.

    Revolvers are generally easier for most folks to operate, load/unload, perhaps start with a .22 LR revolver and then move up to a nice 38 special revolver.

    Stick with S&W or Ruger for revolvers is my .02, both make great small frame 5 shot 38/.357's in more flavors than you can ever want.

    and welcome!
  20. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    I'm just hoping mhott returns
    and shares some of her experience
    We can use it.....always.
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