Best 9mm Pistol for a FEMALE?
Hi, how are you? I am a female in my 20s and looking to purchase my first pistol. There are times with my job that I need to drive through neighborhoods that arent 'ideal' and therefore would like to buy a pistol for protection. I have gone shooting with my brothers a handful of times and also plan to take lessons once I purchase, but was hoping you could help give me some ideas as to which one(s) I should be looking at. I am slim and slightly taller than the average woman and I have slightly longer than average fingers for a female too -- though I am not a strong girl at all. I will likely carry the gun in my glove-compartment or some place else in my car when I go through those areas, but also (with a permit) may carry in my purse...so I would need something that is a bit on the light side, and a smaller barrel, but something easy to shoot and it must be reliable.
Can anyone help a girl who is new to buying a pistol with some idea(s) of which pistol(s) I should look to buy -- again, for a female please. I very much appreciate your help.
Thank you for your time!
Are you modestly proficient w/ semi-auto handguns, or have at least a good understanding. Of those times you went shooting w/ your brothers what type of pistol(s) did you shoot and did you like the fit and feel of any of them?
Last edited by denner; 05-20-2012 at 11:15 PM.
Get a holster if you are going to ccw. Ankle or hip under a jacket. In a bad hood your purse is the first thing to go bye bye and it won't do a thing for you in the glove box. There are several compact 9's available. Ruger also makes the LCP 380 with laser sight for 360 ish. It would be a nice hideout and ammo is $13-17 a box so you can shoot it a lot at the range to get proficient.
Check out the new S&W Shield in 9mm they might be a bit hard to find but sounds like a perfect fit for your needs.....JJ
I think your on the right track with a 9mm, and as the others have suggested there are allot of options available to you, my advise would be to go to a range that rents guns and see what they have in the size and caliber your thinking of and shoot them, handguns are very hard to give advise on and if you ask 10 people you will probally get just about as many different answers, I bought my wife... which sounds about the same size as you a S/W M&P 9mm and she handles it very well, the m&p has 3 different palmswells that you can try to get the best fit for your hand size I think that is a very nice feature, Just a word of caution, there are many different types of saftey features on handguns that will come into play. esp. with a newer shooter, the m&p also comes in different sizes also. some are compact for carry and some are full size and are a little harder to concelle (sp) also as someone just said they just came out with the M&P Shield which is sub compact, just keep in mind as you go with a smaiiler frame the gun can get harder to handle. my 2cents
Girls can shoot anything boys can shoot, if they put in the same amount of effort. I have seen tiny girls shoot .45's like a pro, and big men whine about the recoil on a .38 Special.
If you intend to practice as much as you should to be proficient enough for concealed carry, I would recommend a medium sized pistol, or maybe even a revolver in 3" or 4" barrel. You could get something about the size of a Glock 19, or maybe the XD-9 that would be a decent range gun, and maybe swap it later for something smaller, if you think it necessary.
If you start out with something too small, it's going to require a lot more practice to master, and be less pleasant to shoot. Typically, small 9mm's are tiring to shoot a couple thousand rounds through....which is about the minimum number of rounds I would suggest before carrying a gun for the first time. At that point, the Kahr 9mm's are a good option, or a double stack like the Glock 26, XD-9 subcompact, or any one of several others.
If you aren't going to practice frequently, it might be best to go with a revolver, since they are probably easier for the inexperienced shooter to figure out.
I would like to recommend you take a self defense class BEFORE you decide on a weapon. You will learn things in the class that will change your thoughts on how/where you want to carry your handgun. As mentioned, in the glove compartement is going to do you little good and a purse if the 1st thing someone will go after if they are not after you personally. There are numerous ways and locations to carry on your person and that is where the class may help.
Also find a local range that has a decent rental fleet. It is difficult to know what is going to work best for you. Once you have had the class and a better idea of how you want to carry you can try different guns at the range to see what you are more comfortable with and fits your carry needs.
I went in looking for a full size all steel 9mm, I ended up with a Full size still, but went for the M&P. I think a M&P 9c or shield might work well for you, but you need to try them 1st. They are available with and without the thumb safety depending on what you prefer.
I agree with the suggestion of attending the class before buying the gun. My CCW rotation: Sig P290, Beretta Nano, Taurus 709, Glock G19. They are all good shooters. However, for some reason, I carry Nano more and more. I would highly recommend Nano for you if it fit in your hand nicely. Handle them all, shoot them all if possible. The gun is very personal thing. I was a bit too rush into buying, ended up too many guns in hand. Only have 2 sons to pass them on. Good luck in finding the right one for yourself.
If you live in a good sized city there may be gun shops that rent different guns to shoot at their range....You need to see what sized guns you are able to shoot accurately.... Small 9mm`s have hefty recoil and may be difficult to shoot accurately...And it`s not just women that have problems shooting them...men have problems also....
That said my wife liked the Smith&Wesson M&P 9mm semi auto pistol...the grip fit her very well in fact I liked it also....She also liked the Walther PPQ 9mm. pistol...There are more also
If you can only afford one gun, take your time and do your research before buying. Semi-autos are cool but they require regular maintenance and can be a hassle to take apart for proper cleaning and lubing after a shooting session. They can also be finicky about what type of ammo they will eat. Not only do you want one that fits your hand and doesn't bite your skin with the slide, or freak you with the recoil, you want one that's RELIABLE and easy to maintain.
Go check out the gun videos on youtube. Type in a search for any gun you're considering and you'll probably find a handful of videos of people shooting or reviewing that model. You'll also find lots of videos of women and even children firing different guns. That'll give you a general notion of how easy it might be to handle. It will help you narrow your choices. Then you can go to a gun store or range and see what they have. The reason I suggest watching the videos first is that you can hold a gun in store but won't have an idea of how it handles. And if you go to a range there's a chance they will have a limited array of models to choose from. In both cases, they may try to sell you whatever they profit from most.
And don't be too hung up on caliber. Lightweight guns will recoil more than steel ones, and smaller guns more than big heavy ones. A big bullet with a powerful load will be harder to control in a pocket pistol. It's better to shoot someone dead in the face with a 32 than shoot the air all around them with a dozen stray 45s.
Also, Bisley's suggestion that you consider a revolver is a good one. A lightweight hammerless 357 or 38 special might be a good choice. Revolvers are much easier to maintain, but you'd probably want a new one, and a name brand. Don't be tempted to buy a cheapie if you're staking your life on it.
If you are set on a 9mm semi, check out Berettas and a CZ-75. Both are reliable, well-made guns you can trust.
It's also wise to google the name of any gun you are considering. You will find a wealth of info, good or bad, on just about any gun that was ever made.
Good Luck. Or should I say Happy Hunting!
Just because a revolver is functionally "simpler" than a semi-auto, doesn't make it any more of a ladies gun than any other firearm. To assume that a lady must "love guns" before being able to cope with a mechanical safety, is silly. Personal preference is one thing, and gender bias is another. You don't have to love guns in order to carry one, but if you carry without being proficient with your chosen firearm, you're a fool....male or female.
The age-old "trade-off" in handguns is especially applicable to the ladies..... short barrel, light weight, only 5 or 6 rounds equals much more perceived recoil. REGARDLESS OF GENDER. That being said, get some training FIRST.... a good instructor will have a variety of guns for you to try out.
Once proficient with the fundamentals, then anyone can learn to shoot any caliber, as well as learn to shoot either a revolver, or a semi-auto.
Caliber comes AFTER proficiency in the fundamentals. Start with a .22 caliber something. Once a new shooter begins to flinch from shooting a large caliber right away, it's tough to "unlearn" it.
Shop for a firearm just like you shop for shoes.......
Shoes...... when you buy 'em, you try 'em on first...... if they don't feel good, you don't buy 'em..... if they feel good, and you buy 'em, chances are that you still might need to break in the shoes, and your feet.
Guns..... try 'em on first...... if they don't feel good, you don't buy 'em......... if they feel good, and you buy 'em, chances are that you still might need to practice with it, and enhance your ability to use it.....
Buying a handgun simply because someone else has one is just foolish. If there were a "best" handgun, we'd all own it, and the huge selection of handguns to choose from wouldn't exist.
The bolded part of your statement is the only point I was trying to make, when suggesting a revolver.
Originally Posted by usmcj
I have introduced a few folks to handguns that were completely clueless, going in, and one of the conclusions I have made is that some folks (most) immediately love shooting, if started out in a way that will remove some of their preconceived notions about recoil, 'knockdown power,' and the supposedly devastating power of whatever the Internet 'experts' are touting at any given time.
However, some don't immediately love shooting, and are merely trying to take a sensible approach to protecting themselves, with the minimum amount of intrusion upon their lifestyles. Women often occupy this latter group, in greater numbers than men. Among this group, the perception is quite often that revolvers are simpler to operate than pistols, and believing that, these folks are able to move on, past the confusion of how the gun actually works, and focus on safety and the mechanics of making a bullet hit a target. I think this is a perfectly acceptable approach, for a person who does not necessarily 'love' shooting, but is merely adding something useful to whatever they have chosen as their self defense strategy. As this type of person progresses, they often transition into pistols, but they do it at their own pace.
I personally favor striker fired pistols, without manual safeties, for self defense, but each person needs to determine their own personal comfort level, in order to make the most of their training.
Revolvers are simpler for some ladies to operate until it comes to reloading. If a lady needs more than 5 or 6 rounds, the speedloader learning curve is usually greater than that of a magazine fed handgun. Over the years, I've personally seen far more women trade in revolvers for semi-autos than the other way around. That being said, it's entirely a matter of personal preference... as it should be. In my Basic Pistol class, I provide around 12-15 handguns of varying platform, caliber, and size, so that folks can see for themselves where their preferences may lie.
I'm constantly amazed at the folks who (with nothing but GOOD intentions) recommend a particular handgun to a new shooter, as if the new shooter is supposed to have the same "feel/fit" preferences. I compare that to suggesting a particular brand/model of shoe for another person.... it's rarely a good fit.
IMHO S&W Shield and Ruger LC9 (with finger extension mag) are good choices. 7 rounds. Safety. small and light. Find what fits you hand, which trigger you like (long or short pull) and which mechanisms (safety, hammer or striker, etc.) and take a gun safety course and practice practice practice.
The Best Female Carry Guns - YouTube
Damn she has a LOT of guns... not necessarily any I'd go for but worth a peek.
Plus there are other videos in the "related" column worth looking at.
Like the one from a female instructor.
The BEST Female Gun Collection - YouTube
Ditto! Some decent advice being given by many but it's hard to do anything but guess or postulate about our own personal preferances without some answers to these questions.
Originally Posted by denner
A point about any handgun, but semi autos in particular, the hand strength required to execute the manual of arms to operate the weapon, load the weapon, rack the slide, disassemble and assemble, load magazines, etc. Male or female recoil, weight and size is highly subjective but the ability to comfortably perform the manual of arms is step 1 critical. Same would apply to men or women, arthritus suffers or someone with a hand injury. Some springs and tight fitting parts can make operation difficult if you do not have sufficient hand strength with good dexterity. After checking out multiple types to see what appeals to you make sure you can perform the manual of arms. My wife owns a Sig P228 but she doesn't carry and isn't particularily interested in guns. But she can shoot and operate that P228 easily enough. By contrast my sister-in-law can't rack the slide so the 228 would be a non-starter for her. What works well for one does not necessarily work well for others. Once you have narrowed down your choices only you will be able to make some of these pass or fail decisions.
On a final note I'd caution against buying into the only small guns are suitable for women speeches you may recieve at the gun counter. On average they are harder to shoot well and recoil can be unpleasant to down right brutal. The ideal goal would seem to be a weapon small and light enough to meet your carry needs yet large enough to get a good grip on and shoot well with practice.
"Best 9mm Pistol for a FEMALE?"
The one she likes best.
The one you shoot best.
There are so many pistols available today, my advice is to go to a range -- rent a different pistol each time -- and shoot it.
Size will vary with your needs. if you are going to carry it in your purse, make sure you can access it quickly. Often our bodies are not contoured for IWB (inside the waist band) holster carry. The "pocket pistols" some guys suggest don't work if you're wearing a skirt, or a business suit.
I do not quite understand why so many women ask Guys, "what gun should I carry?". They often suggest totally inappropriate guns. Guys seem to LOVE to suggest little snub-nosed revolvers, ultra-light ones, for Women -- then wonder why those Women do not want to shoot with them. The fact they (the Guys) don't like the recoil of the little revolvers never seems to count.
Little pocket pistols tend to be hard to hold on to. Short grips. It's also difficult for a new shooter to be minimally accurate with those little guns. Short barrels, exaggerated recoil, short grips -- all a recipe for frustration.
Perhaps a midsized Glock (G19) or a compact or sub-compact Springfield XDm in 9mm -- at least to start. I lean toward the XDm just because of the additional safety features.
BUT -- it depends on what you like to shoot, what fits YOU best, what YOU handle best -- my hands a fairly large - so I shoot pistols some of my friends just can't handle. At the same time, due to age and arthritis I am no longer comfortable shooting pistols I once handles easily.
You have to find what fits you best. Of course, if you take advice given -- and then discover it's not the right gun for you ---- it's not the end of the world -- just move on and buy another one. What you like might just change with experience.
Originally Posted by sonja
Anybody that takes self defense seriously is probably gonna have to do a lot of mixing and matching to find the right gear. It's just unlikely that a first purchase will keep a person satisfied, especially if they are practicing as much as they need to be.
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