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  1. #1
    jessyred is offline Junior Member
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    Female Firearm help!

    Hi,
    I am fairly new to shooting and I was looking for a 9MM to start but then fell in love with my boyfriends Ruger 10/22...while a rifle won't work for Conceal Carry, I am torn between what to do....I've seen plenty of video on .22 for personal protection and heard they pros vs cons... but its so economical that I am still leaning toward it... and 10-22 rounds of a .22 placed together in a nice grouping, will hurt....I almost feel like with a 7-8 clip magazine if I have 3 people break in my house my shots are very limited, so if I miss it could be a problem....

    I shot a Kahr Arms CM9 and loved it.. but there are no safety features on it and for a first time gun owner, I don't think I am ready for that....I shot a Kel-Tec PF9 and HATED it. It was far too heavy and rough on recoil, same with Taurus 45.

    I have been told to get a Ruger LC9 or for $50 more, a Ruger LC9 with laser (but then was told that it adds 1 more button to think about with all the additional safety features)

    I have been told to get a Taurus 40 Slim, A Ruger SR22, Walther P22, Springfield XD9 Compact.... I am so torn because none of our ranges have these guns available to practice on and I don't want something I will regret.

    Any helpful quick tips??

  2. #2
    scooter's Avatar
    scooter is offline Supporting Member - Legally Armed Scooter Trash
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    dont forget or rule out the .380 there are lots a variants and they are between the 22 and the 9mm for recoil/power.....not the best for defense but not the worst. Try asking friends about theirs, might surprise you who has one for you to try

  3. #3
    jrwilson's Avatar
    jrwilson is offline Junior Member
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    I have a Bersa Thunder Plus .380 and its one of the best guns I own. 15 round clip so plenty to drop someone (or more) if you need to, on the bigger side of CCW but I use it only for my big jackets during winter time. A dream to shoot at the range, just enough recoil to know your shooting, very accurate, and affordable to boot! Now all the Bersa haters can show up!

  4. #4
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    Before you get to spending your money, I recommend you continue to read up on things.
    For starters, got to this site: Cornered Cat
    It is written by a woman for women. It's very likely she will have a number of suggestions that won't occur to to us men.
    I also suggest you search out a basic handgun class.

    Of the guns you mention, I am only familiar with the XDs. Good pistols, should you go that way.
    My wife ended up buying herself a Walther PPK/S .380. It's a bit snappy, but she likes it. I thought I'd hate it, but they are pretty cool.
    While better than nothing, I'd stay away from .22s as a defense weapon. You want a bit more thump on the receiving end, IMHO. With all the available (superior) choices out there, I just don't see the need.
    Above all else, take your time, get it right.

  5. #5
    TwoSixShooters is offline Junior Member
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    take a look at the ruger LC9 nice little piece!!

  6. #6
    viper7342 is offline Junior Member
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    First off, as someone else suggested, you should seek out some good training, like a basic handgun course, that will give you the knowledge needed to make your own decision as to what handgun you want. Secondly, will you be using this handgun for concealed carry, for a range gun/homedefense weapon, or for a combination of these things? If you're going to be using it strictly for a range/home defense gun, I would suggest a good double action revolver, such as a used Smith & wesson model 10 with a 4 inch heavy barrel. These can be found at Discount Guns for Sale - Buds Gun Shop by going there and doing a search as well as other places. If you're going to be carrying it, there are a multitude of smaller weapons that fit the bill, but, my suggestion would be either the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Compact or the Ruger SR9 Compact, one of the better places that I've dealt with is Jet Guns Jet Guns, Smokin' Deals although Buds and Gunbroker Guns for Sale - Online Gun Auction - Buy Guns at GunBroker.com and others are good also.

  7. #7
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    jessyred;
    Some thoughtless people seem to believe that the correct response to your questions is: "Get a little gun for the little lady."
    As your own experience has shown, that's not the answer that you need.

    Small pistols are the very hardest to control, and to shoot well. They are not appropriate for beginners. Forget the CM9, the LC9, the LCP, and the P3AT.

    A beginner needs something that's simple to operate, that presents the very same set of circumstances for each and every shot, and that has enough size and weight to help "soak up" the recoil that every adequate self-defense cartridge delivers to the gun user.
    Once the beginner has learned safety techniques, sight-picture control, trigger control, and recoil control, and is able to place effective shots wherever they are required at all self-defense distances, then she might consider taking on a small-size pistol and learning how to control it. Until then, don't even consider it.

    Large, heavy pistols are easy to learn to shoot, but hard to conceal and carry. There are two ways to handle these facts:
    The first is to remember (I'm using someone else's words) that a defensive weapon should be comforting, not comfortable. Learn to carry and conceal the gun you've got and are already used to.
    The second is to wait until you have achieved proficiency with the larger gun, and then to switch to a second, smaller and lighter pistol.

  8. #8
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
    SouthernBoy is offline Senior Member
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    First off, welcome aboard. If you don't mind, a simple correction in terminology, semi-auto pistols use magazines as does the Ruger 10/22, not clips. Not a flame by any means... just a helping hand as you enter into the world of firearms.

    Most trainers and folks who have "been there" will tell you that for a self defense handgun you should purchase the most powerful caliber with which you can comfortably, consistently, and confidently deliver rounds to target. Generally, this is going to be a 9mm with quality SD loads, however if your chosen caliber that fits the criteria mentioned in the previous sentence happens to be a .380ACP than that is what you should use. The important thing is being able to hit your target and be able to do this repeatedly and with confidence.

    Next, don't rush into this. Take your time, learn as much as you can, attend a few major gun shows where you can see and handle a variety of different handguns, pistols and revolvers, and learn how to separate the pseudo-information and BS from facts. You'd be amaze at the amount of nonsense there is in this field and gun shop people and police are not immune from this. This is very important because you can easily be led astray by people who think they know everything and impart bad information and recommendations.

    You will need to handle as many guns which meet your personal criteria as possible (how you will carry, weight, size, etc.) in order to develop a list of viable candidates. A defensive gun should feel natural and comfortable in your hand, be a natural pointer (the sights line up quickly and consistently), not intimidate you with its recoil, quick with followup shots, and one that when pulled from a holster does not cause you to fiddle with your hold in order to obtain a good grip. In a word, it should feel like it belongs in your hand.

    Find a range where you can rent guns and shoot as many as you can from the list of the ones you have narrowed down by your visits to gun shows and gun shops. If this is not possible, try to hook up with friends who shoot to see if they will let you join them (but watch the BS here).

    Establish a price ceiling but keep in mind what price is your life worth. Buy quality... don't scrimp on a defensive firearm. And just because a certain gun costs less than another does not mean it is of a poorer quality. Case in point is Sig Sauer and Glock. Sigs tend to cost around $300 more than Glocks but Glocks have a proven track record and are among the best in terms of reliability.

    When you have narrowed your choice down enough, you MUST consider these three factors in this order;

    o Reliability. The gun MUST go bang as close to 100% of the time as possible. If it doesn't, the next two factors are moot.

    o Practical accuracy. The ability of the gun/shooter combination to deliver rounds to target effectively, confidently, and consistently.

    o Power. The selected caliber and load must be able to drive deep enough into an assailant to reach vital organs and cause the quickest cessation of aggressive actions as possible.

    You mentioned the Kahr CM9 and you said, "..but there are no safety features on it..". This is not correct. The Kahr pistol is of the DAO design (Double Action Only) and its DAO design is one of the best out there in terms of a consistently smooth and evenly weighted trigger. It's safeties are built into the gun so there are no external safeties and for a DAO carry gun, that is a good thing. So you needn't worry about the Kahr design and safety. If you like the CM9, take a look at their K9 series as well. These are all steel, beautifully weighted with excellent ergonomics for the female hand.

    Some guns to consider? In no particular order and price not being a serious consideration...
    Glock
    Smith and Wesson M&P series
    Springfield Armory XD series
    Ruger LC9 and SR series
    Sig Sauer
    Kahr
    Taurus
    Beretta
    Heckler & Koch

    There are certainly others but these should get you started. Visit their websites and check them out. Oh and you'll probably want to decide early on whether your direction will be towards revolvers or semi-autos. Size and weight are also important factors so pay attention there.

    Lastly, do seek training from a qualified and reputable person. Spend the time, effort, and money to get the best training you can and trips to the range. And learn the laws of your state as they relate to the carrying of a handgun and the use of deadly force. I cannot stress these things enough.

    Hope this helps you out. Please feel free to ask more at your pleasure.

  9. #9
    Holly's Avatar
    Holly is offline Member
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    Listen to Steve.

    That's my advice.

  10. #10
    sgms is offline Member
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    I agree, listen to Steve, what he says is the same as most of the personal shooting instructors I know tell their students.

  11. #11
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    (It's OK. It's just my fan club.)

  12. #12
    Holly's Avatar
    Holly is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    (It's OK. It's just my fan club.)
    I wish you could hear me cheering, every time you call me your fan.

  13. #13
    Russ is offline Banned
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    Consider a 357 Snub Nose Revolver Ported

    Quote Originally Posted by jessyred View Post
    Hi,
    I am fairly new to shooting and I was looking for a 9MM to start but then fell in love with my boyfriends Ruger 10/22...while a rifle won't work for Conceal Carry, I am torn between what to do....I've seen plenty of video on .22 for personal protection and heard they pros vs cons... but its so economical that I am still leaning toward it... and 10-22 rounds of a .22 placed together in a nice grouping, will hurt....I almost feel like with a 7-8 clip magazine if I have 3 people break in my house my shots are very limited, so if I miss it could be a problem....

    I shot a Kahr Arms CM9 and loved it.. but there are no safety features on it and for a first time gun owner, I don't think I am ready for that....I shot a Kel-Tec PF9 and HATED it. It was far too heavy and rough on recoil, same with Taurus 45.

    I have been told to get a Ruger LC9 or for $50 more, a Ruger LC9 with laser (but then was told that it adds 1 more button to think about with all the additional safety features)

    I have been told to get a Taurus 40 Slim, A Ruger SR22, Walther P22, Springfield XD9 Compact.... I am so torn because none of our ranges have these guns available to practice on and I don't want something I will regret.

    Any helpful quick tips??
    Jessyred:

    I would consider buying a snub nose revolver that has been ported. A semi auto can be difficult for some women to rack especially one with a stiff recoil spring which is common in the 3 inch barrel semi autos.

    I have never shot a snub nose revolver ported but a friend who is making me a gun holster for my Beretta Nano purchased a snub nose 357 ported magnum for his 5'3" senior citizen wife and she loves it. Porting reduces the recoil and a revolver is much easier to operate over a semi auto.

    Russ

  14. #14
    johnr is offline Member
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    a combination of ideas from previous post:

    - listen to steve
    - proper saftey training
    - buy a handgun, used, any caliber, semi, auto, what ever. learn to shoot this gun
    - decide for yourself what you liked, didn't like, or what you may want in your "next" purchase
    - a good value bought used, may be the same as a trade-in on your next purchase, negociate!
    - IMHO, hand gun saftey is 95% mental and 1% mechanical with 4% as a wildcard.
    - as you get comfortable with live fire in a handgun, the built-in "safetys" may seem redundant
    - listen to steve

    you asked for opinions.........

    everybody has one of those too

  15. #15
    Brevard13 is offline Member
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    Consider starting off with a revolver. While it might not have much as far as how many rounds you can carry you have less to have to work with. No magazines, slides, feeding problems, jams, etc. Definitely a good start.

    Now, if you can shoot different calibers and see what you like. .22 is better than nothing. And while .22s have killed alot of people I wouldn't recommend it for personal protection UNLESS it was all you had. I am personally not a big fan of the .380s, but in all honesty they aren't bad. I would recommend going with a .38 as a starter and deciding how big of a caliber you want to go to.

    As far as size of a gun. Find something sort of in the middle. I can't shoot a large handgun as well as I can a smaller one. Never have been able to. When starting my wife off I had her try to shoot a larger handgun and while she didn't do bad she was hands down better with a smaller gun. I agree with Steve on the really small pistols (like the Bersa Thunder, Kel-tec P3AT, Ruger lc9 or lcp. For my wife and her first handgun I bought her a Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm compact. She absolutely loves it, can't say I don't blame her I love it also. Recoil minimum, very accurate, very reliable, and mid-way on the price range. There are other great guns out there, but if you are looking for a semi automatic this is one I highly recommend you at least give it a shot.

    Start with a big gun shoot those in several calibers, and then drop down to a smaller size and repeat. Find the right size and caliber for you. Also I might be one of the few, but find one that you think is comfortable. if you don't think it is comfortable you won't want to practice with it. And practicing is a big part.

  16. #16
    usmcj's Avatar
    usmcj is offline Member
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    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, once proficient with the fundamentals, anyone can learn to shoot any caliber, as well as learn to shoot either a revolver, or a semi-auto. If the safety is that much of an issue, consider a double action only semi auto..... same basic function (point and pull the trigger) but you get 4 more rounds..... Just sayin' ..... most of 'em have a double-action trigger that is far superior to most ANY out-of-the-box revolver.

    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 there wouldn't be the huge selection of handguns to choose from.

    Hey ........

    GO SHOPPING

  17. #17
    recoilguy's Avatar
    recoilguy is offline Senior Member
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    I would like to welcome you to our site and thank you for asking your question. It is, as you can see not a simple answer, like ok, go get a gun, type of thing. I have helped more then one beginner pick out their first weapon and a couple of those were women. You say you loved the CM9 but were uncomfortable with it's lack of saftey features. What did you love about it? You need to know what you like about a gun as well as what you don't.

    I think you are going about this correctly, in that you are actually trying a few guns out. Remember this, it will be your gun, not your boyfriiends or your neighbors or anyone on this sites gun. It has to be one you are comfortable with and can control and operate effectively and will actually use. You know how strong you you know your tolerance for recoil and also for noise, you know how much you want to spend and what feels good in your hands. I normally tell the first time people I am talking to that they should try and narrow down their selection, before they begin the WEB CONFUSION stage. There are so many people out here with opinions and who are experts that I get confused when I read them, and I know a little about guns sort of.

    I think Southernboy gave you some pretty sound advice in some of his points. As another poster pointed out trigger control is very important. I think having confidence with your gun is equally, no more important, then a big heavy gun. I have started a couple new folks out with .22's not big, not heavy, very little recoil, they became confident in their ability and and got used to the noise the gun made. They then moved to a bigger heavier gun and with the confidence they had developed were able to operate and be very effective wit the bigger caliber heavier weapon. I have also started folks with 9's and .45's They became confident and proficent with them and now can shoot and do shoot very well.

    Keep trying some guns. Go to gun stores and hold guns. Then ask your boyfriend , your friends, or his friends if they have the guns you like so you can try them out at the range. Pick the one you will shoot, and that you can shoot. Don't get a CZ P-01 because I like the gun or a snub nose revolver because another lady someone knows has one or a 1911 .45 because a guy with a fan club likes them. But do not discount them either as they are all very good suggestions. It is not a simple question If you like a .22 and will shoot it and can and can well then get a .22. If you like the big heavy gun and can shoot it and shoot it well and will shoot it, then get it. Good luck be safe.

    RCG

  18. #18
    Sac327 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    jessyred;
    Some thoughtless people seem to believe that the correct response to your questions is: "Get a little gun for the little lady."
    As your own experience has shown, that's not the answer that you need.

    Small pistols are the very hardest to control, and to shoot well. They are not appropriate for beginners. Forget the CM9, the LC9, the LCP, and the P3AT.

    A beginner needs something that's simple to operate, that presents the very same set of circumstances for each and every shot, and that has enough size and weight to help "soak up" the recoil that every adequate self-defense cartridge delivers to the gun user.
    Once the beginner has learned safety techniques, sight-picture control, trigger control, and recoil control, and is able to place effective shots wherever they are required at all self-defense distances, then she might consider taking on a small-size pistol and learning how to control it. Until then, don't even consider it.

    Large, heavy pistols are easy to learn to shoot, but hard to conceal and carry. There are two ways to handle these facts:
    The first is to remember (I'm using someone else's words) that a defensive weapon should be comforting, not comfortable. Learn to carry and conceal the gun you've got and are already used to.
    The second is to wait until you have achieved proficiency with the larger gun, and then to switch to a second, smaller and lighter pistol.
    Speaking as a female who just got my CWP this year, I am surprised at how my earlier opinions changed the more familiar I got with different types of handguns and other firearms. Everyone told me (men) I had to get a 9mm for power but although I could shoot it with easy accuracy, it was just too big to carry and I just did not have the strength to chamber a round. Next I thought that a revolver Ruger LCP w/crimson laser grip was the ticket for me because it was uncomplicated and easy to use. But, the fact was the recoil was a killer and it was not as accurate because the barrel is so short. After 10 rounds I couldn't shoot it anymore and was jerking the trigger in anticipation of the recoil. I was getting frustrated and looked for somthing in between the size of the Glock 19 and the Ruger LCP revolver. I handled alot of options and landed on a Walther PPK/S .380 because it fit my hand perfectly, I could rack the slide, the recoil was manageable, I find it very accurate and it is so very easy to conceal in a very small cross body purse, a coat pocket or even my jean pockets.
    I've heard alot of pros and cons of the .380 caliber but what it came down to for me to carry I needed a gun that I was not afraid to shoot many times and could manage the slide. I now carry the Walther almost always unless I have a large purse and think I may need to shoot through it. But I have concluded that I would rather carry it on my person and eliminate the fear of someone snatching my purse with my gun it.
    I'm still learning but I have found a comfortable niche with the Glock 19 for home and car defense and my revolver or Walther for concealed carry. I wish more handguns were designed for womens strength and size needs. I will continue to explore and may find another one that I feel as comfortable with but for now, it's the Walther PPK/S for me. My husband even likes shooting it.
    Thought I'd share my experience but yours may be completely different. Think 'confidence' when you choose your handgun. You're life may depend on it.

  19. #19
    Brevard13 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmcj View Post
    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, once proficient with the fundamentals, anyone can learn to shoot any caliber, as well as learn to shoot either a revolver, or a semi-auto. If the safety is that much of an issue, consider a double action only semi auto..... same basic function (point and pull the trigger) but you get 4 more rounds..... Just sayin' ..... most of 'em have a double-action trigger that is far superior to most ANY out-of-the-box revolver.
    Seriously? Wow! A revolver being simple has nothing to do with a "ladies" gender. What it has to do with someone being new to handguns, and starting out simpler is better. Man or woman someone who is just starting out may be overwhelmed by having to worry about magazines (maybe accidently hittig the mag release, if the gun has a problem with mag dropping, etc.; then you might have external safeties you will have to work; then you have them trying to rack the slide, clearing malfunctions (to which I know some people who have shot for awhile who still can't clear a malfunction when they are relaxed much less understress). Then let's not forget how much easier a revolver is to clean.

    I find a .38 snubnose to feel like a 9mm compact as far as recoil goes. My wife thought it wsa a little bigger, but not as bad as my .40 or my cousin's .45. Then if you pick up something like the 686 that is steel and about the same size as most full sized semi autos it will have less perceived recoil due to the weight.

    As far as number of rounds. I guess the arguement could be made what if I need more. 5 to 6 rounds compared to say a 8 round mag of 9mm in a small compact isn't that bad. After all you can always use a speedloader or a speed strip if you need to reload. Just my .02.

    A revolver is a good way to start. After that ANYONE can move up to a semi and give them a whirl. As for ease of maintenance and simplicity is why I recommend that she try a revolver. Not saying this is for everyone, hence, why I suggested she give it a shot.

  20. #20
    pistolpositive is offline Junior Member
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    I am new to the forum and probably should spend more time reading then writing. In any event, my wife and I spent a couple of hours at a gun store yesterday looking for her first "service-caliber" level handgun. She has been shooting a lot and usually shoots one of my K-frame revolvers. She generally has enjoyed shooting my Bersa Thunder .380 (which I have carried for about 2 years). I now carry a Walther PPS. The Bersa was always a challenge to rack.
    In any even after handling pistols ranging from a small .380 sig (which she loved) to M&P and a variety of other semi-autos, she settled on a glock. She needed ease of racking and comfortable hand fit and one that pointed easy. This will be a range gun and probably a night-stand gun, not a carry gun.
    For carry, she has her Texas CHL, I would imagine she will finally settle for a shrouded revolver.
    But to get to the heart of the matter, some training, say the same course your state offers for concealed carry might work as a starter and some time on the range with any gun you feel comfortable with are in order, in my book. I would never recommend a .22 for personal defense, but that is my opinion which can easily be dismissed.

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