Best Gun for Beginner/Female

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

  1. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    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.
  2. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2012
    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!

  3. langenc

    langenc Active Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Montmorency Co, MI
    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
  4. aa1911

    aa1911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    +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!
  5. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Nashville TN
    I'm just hoping mhott returns
    and shares some of her experience
    We can use it.....always.
  6. firefighter1635

    firefighter1635 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    FEMA Region V
    With ya there. I always like to hear what a new shooters experences are, expecially a woman since there isn't that many around here.
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    A customer of mine. Mrs Menger, Had me do an action job on her Ruger SP101 DA .357 mag. She is a small statured woman in her late 40s early 50s and doesnt have much hand strength to cycle the DA reliably. I performed a basic action job and installed reduced power springs to get the DA pull down. I had my 9 yr old daughter fill in for the small reduced strength hands and I worked it until she could cycle the action easily.

    When Mrs Menger picked her revolver up she was excited because she could now easily pull the trigger. She went to the range and proceeded to squeeze off a couple boxes fo .38 special ammo and a cylinder or 2 full of her .357 mag defense ammo.

    The handgun fit her wonderfully from the beginning, but you could see a night and day difference between her pre action job targets and her post action job targets. She is a very satisfied customer and, heaven forbid, if she draws on, and kills a badguy trying to cause her or her family harm with that pistol, I am proud to have had the honor to help her better protect herself and her loved ones by making her weapon more user friendly.

    I suppose the point to this story is, shop for a gun that fits your hands perfectly. Then if the action/trigger leave a little to be desired, dont hesitate to take it to a gunsmith and have him go over it and make it the way you want it. Its how you make a good gun great, and good shooters better.
  8. Ruger_Fan

    Ruger_Fan Former Guest

    Nov 23, 2012
    In my experience most new shooters do better with a rifle in their first few shooting sessions. I taught my niece and my wife with a marlin model 60. The dovetail sights on the model 60 transfer right over to pistol shooting.

    If you don't have someone in your life to teach you the basics it's best to hire a qualified instructor. Many shooting ranges have a women's day. One gun club in my area brings in female instructors for a girls day at the range. These courses are often deeply discounted. Once you find a gun that you really like buy that gun and don't let anyone put you off it. Having an experienced haggler will help you get a better price. Then again if you have bought a few new cars you are prepared for the haggling part.
  9. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    If you are a first time shooter and want to shoot pistols then start out with a .22 cal and work your way up to a cal. that you feels good to you.
    Make sure the gun fits your hand and you can load one in the chamber (if it is not a revolver) and the trigger is easy for you to pull.
  10. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Heck......ALL of my SP's needed trigger work....
    right out of the box.
    Of all my Rugers, for all these decades,
    I have never seen such bad triggers....
    especially from Ruger.
    And only the SP's.
  11. Ruger_Fan

    Ruger_Fan Former Guest

    Nov 23, 2012
    You are correct about that. Many guns need springs of some fashion. manufacturers are scared of lawsuits. In turn, they install springs that aren't the best for the shooter.

    When I buy a new gun I shoot it enough to see if I want to keep it. Once I decide it's a keeper I take it to my gunsmith to see if there is anything he can do cheap and easy - almost always he knows of a spring kit that makes the gun smoother than silk.
  12. aa1911

    aa1911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    holy smokes, both my SP101 and GP100 came with phenomenal triggers. I did a little stoning and polishing and they are beyond a dream to shoot now. Stock weight springs (on the 3rd set, replaement spring pack from Brownells) too. Both were purchased about 10 or so years ago also if that makes any difference. I've started to hear of this lawsuit nonsense and the spring weights. Easy fix, springs are cheap.

    check out this video, used this to attack the DA pull and smooth them out, might help anyone's who's got bad triggers on theirs. both the SP and the GP have the same guts
  13. Ruger_Fan

    Ruger_Fan Former Guest

    Nov 23, 2012
    You are correct, springs are cheap. Some people aren't mechanically inclined or in my case I would rather pay my gunsmith to get the best parts the first time. I don't own a dremel tool and have no desire to own one. It's easier and cheaper in the long run to pay my gunsmith $60 to $80 to make my gun perfect the first time.

    Since the OP doesn't have a lot of experience with guns it's safe to say she doesn't know how to select the proper parts or polish the right surfaces. If she was so inclined she would be posting in the gunsmith section.

    I must be right about amateur gunsmiths since you are on your third set of springs in 10 years. I have a Super Blackhawk that is over 30 years old. It still has the same springs a gunsmith put in it the day it was delivered. It has fired thousands of rounds and is still just as smooth as the day I got it. Maybe leaving gunsmith work to the pros would be your best option.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  14. Recon 173

    Recon 173 Member

    Apr 11, 2008
    Central Illinois
    As an instructor, the best results I have had with women shooters involve them using a .357 magnum revolver with a 4 or 6 inch barrel loaded with .38 special ammo. The longer barrels contain recoil better for them and allow for more precise shooting too.

    I had one lady show up at a class with a 6 inch revolver in .32 caliber and she did some impressive work with her pistol!

    With women who shoot semi-automatic pistols, a good Bersa in .32 or .380 caliber is hard to beat. Some of the lady shooters, with practice, can make a Bersa pistol really work well for them when needed. And if you get them shooting the Mozambique scenario of 2 bullets to the chest and 1 bullet to the head, those women can become a quite deadly or effective shooter. Nothing that you would want to mess with at all.
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