Marlin Firearms Forum banner

1 - 20 of 76 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife is a ccw holder and is good at using her weapons. But she doesn't have any to carry and sometimes her job sends her to places where she needs to have something on her at least. So that got me thinking which brand/model is best for women. I saw this Springfield Armory Xds and thought she might like but would like to hear your opinions. Please leave them below if you can. Just a brand/model suggestion is appreciated. Pros and cons too is highly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,204 Posts
Sig 365 9mm. The new ones have amerdex safety, 10 shot with a 12 shot clip opitional. Large dot on front sight, very accurate, light and compact. Its what most of my friends carry. They are not cheap, around 500 dollars but in my opinion, one of the best carry small pistols out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
There have been a few articles in the NRA American Rifleman magazine that concern weapons for women. One of the latest: https://www.americanrifleman.org/ar...ican-rifleman-ladies-pistol-project-wraps-up/

They seem to ignore the Colt Mustangs in the .380 category for some unknown reason even though that model is the pattern for some of the others.

For low cost and recoil, I would consider a S&W .32 revolver, perhaps a Regulation Police model, that you might find for $150 - $200.

You mentioned that she is "good at using weapons" so she may well have preferences that you should honor. Please let us know what she selects.

Welcome to the forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
My mom has been thinking about have something to keep at home, my dad travels alot for work and sometimes has 2 or 3 days he is gone, she wants something small easy to hold with not alot of recoil and has been thinking of keeping it around a .380. I told her at least keep the shotgun close most times hearing the click clack of a round being loaded most will run. I watched a vid about which caliber is good for defense and most likely to succed in the kill, he said a shotgun if you think about it at home is best as many pellets come out an scatter but even small calibers if hit in the right spot can be deadly even a 22, he also said don't rule small pistols like a 380 can be fatal if hit in the head or torso it was a interesting video.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
Take a large can of tomato juice and put it inside a very large box.
Have her shoot it with whatever caliber she can hit well with.

Then have her look it over with all the splatter and red ooze dripping inside the box and ask her if she can do that to someone, if she can, then she can carry a gun.
If she can not honestly do that to someone, then she should not be carrying a gun.

She should only carry what she can effectively hit with under pressure.
Pressure = you screaming at her up close while she is trying to shoot.

It is a harsh world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,588 Posts
For a semi auto, I would suggest check out the S&W EZ Shield 380. For a revolver, the Ruger LCRx with 3" barrel, adjustable sights and a slightly longer grip.

Best to have her look at a number of handguns and make her own choice.

The small light weight 2" barreled 38 Specials are good, but recoil is harsh. This makes them a bit difficult to shoot well.

My wife likes her 3" barreled S&W M64-3 in 38 Special that I bought her in 1982. It is our house gun. She wont even shoot my semi autos.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,107 Posts
I have had the opportunity to coach women in several classes on basic familiarization and firing of their personally owned handguns. The women who participated ranged from young to old, large to petite, strong to weak, and experienced shooter to first time shooter. It really was an eye opener. For the most part, if the woman had good hand strength she would have no trouble operating whatever firearm she brought. Even a new shooter could load, unload, clear, and shoot full sized, large capacity autos as long as she had good hand strength.

But there were often "oh, my" moments for shooters. Many did not have the strength to operate the slide and some did not have the strength to hold the firearm on target for more than one or two shots. These women often purchased their firearm solely on the recommendation of a friend, boyfriend, husband, or salesman. Many had been told their firearm was "the best" personal defense gun, a "good gun for a woman'", or "anything smaller won't stop an attacker". Unfortunately, such recommendations are worthless if the gun is too big or the woman too small and weak to shoot the darn thing.

If a woman is big enough and strong enough to handle pistols like those issued to law enforcement and military personnel then she should be able to handle those and similar weapons just fine. After all, women account for a significant percentage of law enforcement and military personnel. That makes sense. However, if the woman is frail and/or petite I guarantee she will have trouble with racking the slide of any but the smallest auto or holding and shooting a large revolver. I have seen it over and over again. What did I tell a woman who showed up with a handgun she was just too small and weak to handle? I told her to get a different gun and made some recommendations.

Revolvers - anyone can shoot a double action revolver with very little instruction. For the small, petite woman a J-frame sized revolver is best. Caliber needs to be something they can handle as well. So for them I'd recommend .38 Special . If the recoil from that was too much (I saw some drop the pistol after the recoil) then I recommended something in .32 H&R Magnum, .32 S&W Long, or .22, of course, going for the largest of of those she could handle.

Autos - If she can handle a full size auto than she can handle virtually any compact auto. But for a surprising large number of women the slide of most autos is too much for them to actuate. Remember, they need to be able to load, unload, and clear as well as shoot. Full size autos are too big for many women. The little .380s feel great to hold and point but the spring pressure of a .little 380 is too much for most women's hands. Most women can handle a .32 auto. That makes it a good choice. If she has trouble pulling the slide of a .32 then 22 LR might be a good choice. Before you gasp at that you have to accept the concept that if a .22 is the biggest gun she can handle then she's better off with the.22 than carrying a bigger gun she cannot physically operate, FWIW, I never recommended the .25 acp. One thing that helped women shooting the autos is a method I taught them to use to make it easier to pull back the slide. I taught them to hold the slide in one hand and push the pistol forward by the grip using the other hand. That's the exact opposite of what we guys do. We hold the pistol in one hand and pull the slide back with the other. Doing it my "easy way" really makes a difference to smaller hands. Try it, you'll see for yourself.

Eventually, I started taking a few different types of firearms to the range and I let the women see what they could and could not shoot. Some small women preferred the biggest thing they could barely shoot. Some large, strong women who had no trouble with full sized guns preferred one of the small, light handguns. Whatever works, right?

An exception to the rule is the Beretta line of double action autos incorporating a tip-up barrel. These pistols are loaded first by inserting a magazine of ammunition. Then the shooter can opt to release the barrel and rotate it up and forward to insert a cartridge directly into the chamber. The loaded barrel is then pushed back down and locked in place. Using the tip up barrel feature allows the shooter to load, operate, and unload the firearm without ever having to pull the slide back. They are currently available in two models, a .22 LR, called the Bobcat and a .32 acp, called the Tomcat.

My wife weighs less than 100 pounds and has dainty hands. She cannot operate the slide of a 9mm, a .380, or even a .32 auto to save her life - literally. So, I got her shooting a Walther 10 shot .22 LR. It is light and easy for her to hold and handle, the grip is not too large, and 10 shots makes up a little for the small caliber. Best of all, she is confident in her ability to rapidly engage and shoot a potato sack sized target at 7 yards (yeah, I trained her for center of mass on gunny sacks). She just advanced to shooting a 1940's era S&W hand ejector. It's an I-frame, double-action revolver in .32 S&W long. For those who pooh-pooh the .32 Long I would like to point out the cartridge is on par with the .32 acp and bests that auto cartridge when shooting MagTech's 98gr .32 Long SJHP. I'm also kicking around the idea of getting her a Beretta Tomcat. We'll see. If she was bigger and stronger she could shoot any of my firearms but such is not the case.

It boils down to this. Have her try some different pistols and find out what she can and can't handle, manipulate, operate, and shoot with ease. Preferably that ends up being a .32 caliber or larger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
My wife is very analytical. When she decided it was time to have her own firearm and learn how to use it, I got samples of auto and revolvers out of the safe and demonstrated the manual of arms for each. I also tried to explain some of the difficulty in carrying large guns and the difficulty she might have making hits with a small gun. She then checked each gun to make sure they were empty and practiced the manual of arms for each. Then it was off to the range. I placed the upper power limit on .38 Special/9MM. It didn't take long for her to start hitting the target with some regularity with some of the candidate guns. After the range session and some reflection she purchased a S&W Model 67 for her personal protection gun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
If your wife is familiar with guns then she has become familiar with what “feels” good. Some will “fit” her better than others. The only way to find out is to let her handle as many as possible. I recommend going to a gun shop that is well stocked and let her handle as many as possible. You both may be surprised as to what that might be.
Different situations may dictate different guns. Remember a good house gun may not be good to carry and a carry gun may not be best for grabbing in the middle of the night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,622 Posts
What I think is irrelevant. What others have implied is pertinent. At any rate, I think she needs to work this out for herself. Hand size, hand strength, ease of use is all dependent on her. I think White Cloud's approach makes sense. If she doesn't have much experience then start there. She needs experience to make an informed decision. She can probably shoot any gun okay, but can she shoot it effectively. That is all dependent on her. There are a lot of good guns out there that were designed with women in mind. Find a gun range that allows rental of the different guns and that can start the process. She'll take it from there.
V
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,260 Posts
I second the two previous posts.

It is very important that she picks out something that fits her hand. She must pick it out for herself. You can't do it for her. If she doesn't like it, she won't carry it. The micro .380s can be too small to hold well. They are so light that they can still have a sharp recoil, and frequently they have sharp edges and "bite". They can cycle unreliably if not held just right.

In our case, I took my wife around to several LGSs and she must have handled about 30 different handguns. That way she could see how it felt in her hand, how heavy it was, how easy or hard it was to pull back the slide. Her pick was the Kimber Micro in .380, as she insisted upon something with a safety. She also has a S$W M&P Compact in 9mm (a little bit bigger and heavier), and a S&P 386 3" which is too heavy to conveniently carry.

Since choosing the Kimber, we learned that she tends to "limp wrist" and has occasional stove pipes. I have since seen other women with the Micro do the same thing. It cycles reliably with a firm grip. However, she shoots her M&P the best. (The Sig 365 wasn't available when we made our purchase). She does not have this problem with the M&P as it has enough mass to cycle itself virtually regardless of how it's held.

It is very important that your wife can operate the slide. Many women have difficulty holding the slide tight enough to draw it back, my wife included. The hand strength just isn't there, especially after age 50. There are tricks, that help. One is to hold the weapon on the strong side, muzzle pointing down. With the weak side hand reach across the body and grip the slide, holding it tight. Now lean toward the strong side and push down with the strong side arm. The shoulder moves down. This gives enough strength to draw the slide for many shooters who otherwise have trouble.

Another method is to do a single hand cycle. The weapon is held in either hand, and one of the sights is pushed against the edge of a table, heel of shoe, or anything else, allowing the slide to cycle. This is more of an answer for a compromised shooter, than for an every time cycle.

In summary, you can't pick out a handgun for a lady any more than you can pick out a handbag or any other personal item. If she chooses it herself, she will much more likely shoot it and carry it. Sometimes the appearance is important. Maybe she want a pink one, or rainbow titanium. But that way, it will be her gun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,300 Posts
I have had the opportunity to coach women in several classes on basic familiarization and firing of their personally owned handguns. The women who participated ranged from young to old, large to petite, strong to weak, and experienced shooter to first time shooter. It really was an eye opener. For the most part, if the woman had good hand strength she would have no trouble operating whatever firearm she brought. Even a new shooter could load, unload, clear, and shoot full sized, large capacity autos as long as she had good hand strength.

But there were often "oh, my" moments for shooters. Many did not have the strength to operate the slide and some did not have the strength to hold the firearm on target for more than one or two shots. These women often purchased their firearm solely on the recommendation of a friend, boyfriend, husband, or salesman. Many had been told their firearm was "the best" personal defense gun, a "good gun for a woman'", or "anything smaller won't stop an attacker". Unfortunately, such recommendations are worthless if the gun is too big or the woman too small and weak to shoot the darn thing.

If a woman is big enough and strong enough to handle pistols like those issued to law enforcement and military personnel then she should be able to handle those and similar weapons just fine. After all, women account for a significant percentage of law enforcement and military personnel. That makes sense. However, if the woman is frail and/or petite I guarantee she will have trouble with racking the slide of any but the smallest auto or holding and shooting a large revolver. I have seen it over and over again. What did I tell a woman who showed up with a handgun she was just too small and weak to handle? I told her to get a different gun and made some recommendations.

Revolvers - anyone can shoot a double action revolver with very little instruction. For the small, petite woman a J-frame sized revolver is best. Caliber needs to be something they can handle as well. So for them I'd recommend .38 Special . If the recoil from that was too much (I saw some drop the pistol after the recoil) then I recommended something in .32 H&R Magnum, .32 S&W Long, or .22, of course, going for the largest of of those she could handle.

Autos - If she can handle a full size auto than she can handle virtually any compact auto. But for a surprising large number of women the slide of most autos is too much for them to actuate. Remember, they need to be able to load, unload, and clear as well as shoot. Full size autos are too big for many women. The little .380s feel great to hold and point but the spring pressure of a .little 380 is too much for most women's hands. Most women can handle a .32 auto. That makes it a good choice. If she has trouble pulling the slide of a .32 then 22 LR might be a good choice. Before you gasp at that you have to accept the concept that if a .22 is the biggest gun she can handle then she's better off with the.22 than carrying a bigger gun she cannot physically operate, FWIW, I never recommended the .25 acp. One thing that helped women shooting the autos is a method I taught them to use to make it easier to pull back the slide. I taught them to hold the slide in one hand and push the pistol forward by the grip using the other hand. That's the exact opposite of what we guys do. We hold the pistol in one hand and pull the slide back with the other. Doing it my "easy way" really makes a difference to smaller hands. Try it, you'll see for yourself.

Eventually, I started taking a few different types of firearms to the range and I let the women see what they could and could not shoot. Some small women preferred the biggest thing they could barely shoot. Some large, strong women who had no trouble with full sized guns preferred one of the small, light handguns. Whatever works, right?

An exception to the rule is the Beretta line of double action autos incorporating a tip-up barrel. These pistols are loaded first by inserting a magazine of ammunition. Then the shooter can opt to release the barrel and rotate it up and forward to insert a cartridge directly into the chamber. The loaded barrel is then pushed back down and locked in place. Using the tip up barrel feature allows the shooter to load, operate, and unload the firearm without ever having to pull the slide back. They are currently available in two models, a .22 LR, called the Bobcat and a .32 acp, called the Tomcat.

My wife weighs less than 100 pounds and has dainty hands. She cannot operate the slide of a 9mm, a .380, or even a .32 auto to save her life - literally. So, I got her shooting a Walther 10 shot .22 LR. It is light and easy for her to hold and handle, the grip is not too large, and 10 shots makes up a little for the small caliber. Best of all, she is confident in her ability to rapidly engage and shoot a potato sack sized target at 7 yards (yeah, I trained her for center of mass on gunny sacks). She just advanced to shooting a 1940's era S&W hand ejector. It's an I-frame, double-action revolver in .32 S&W long. For those who pooh-pooh the .32 Long I would like to point out the cartridge is on par with the .32 acp and bests that auto cartridge when shooting MagTech's 98gr .32 Long SJHP. I'm also kicking around the idea of getting her a Beretta Tomcat. We'll see. If she was bigger and stronger she could shoot any of my firearms but such is not the case.

It boils down to this. Have her try some different pistols and find out what she can and can't handle, manipulate, operate, and shoot with ease. Preferably that ends up being a .32 caliber or larger.
Excellent advice! It's imperative that anyone looking into purchasing a gun, try as many as possible to find what fits THEM, both in the hand, the manner in which they plan to carry it AND ability to fire/load/reload effectively! Took my SIL to the LGS with the intention of her gettin' the Shield in 9mm like the one I have (said she liked how it felt in the hand). After lookin'/handlin' multiple handguns (revolvers and semi's) SHE decided on the Sig 365! After purchasing it we took it to the range in the back along with several different guns I brought and she shot them all. Turns out she LOVED the Sig...said it felt much better in the hand and felt she could control the recoil better than the Shield! New gun owner...with a new gun...that got excited at the range! Doesn't get much better than that! Told her all that is left is practice, practice, practice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,354 Posts
My SP101 is chambered as 357 with a 3" barrel.
It is a tiny gun.

Being a revolver, it never fails to fire.
No slides, no magazine springs, no auto-load. Just "bang".
So far, revolvers are not subject to the whims of California politicians like pistols are today.

Here in CA, neither of us carry.
The State makes it too much of a PITA, and the consequences of using it are catastrophically severe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,453 Posts
My wife has carried an older S&W 459 9mm (15 shot) for decades, and likes it very well.

+1 on she has to make the decision of what she likes. If she doesn't like it or shoot it well, she won't carry it.

The one issue that I am seeing lately in "large gun stores" (and not just big box stores), is that most of them have trigger locks on all guns, and many places (like Cabela's) will NOT remove them for any reason. I don't about other people, but I absolutely cannot get the proper feel for a handgun with a trigger lock on it.

If you have a range that rents handguns, that might be a good place for her to try out some different models. If that isn't a possibility, maybe a friends or relatives with different handguns she can try out would help in the selection process.

Good Luck in your search!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Sig 365 9mm. The new ones have amerdex safety, 10 shot with a 12 shot clip opitional. Large dot on front sight, very accurate, light and compact. Its what most of my friends carry. They are not cheap, around 500 dollars but in my opinion, one of the best carry small pistols out there.
Clips are for opened bags of potato chips. Magazines feed firearms..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
We have a gun range that has speacials pending what day of the week it is. I think saturday its a 20 dollar free for all, so basically 20 bucks and can shoot any and all rentals plus the cost of ammo. Thats not a bad deal to spend 20 bucks and get to shoot every kind of handgun and be able to find feel that one tha works can handle and fire.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
27,720 Posts
My wife is a ccw holder and is good at using her weapons. But she doesn't have any to carry and sometimes her job sends her to places where she needs to have something on her at least. So that got me thinking which brand/model is best for women. I saw this Springfield Armory Xds and thought she might like but would like to hear your opinions. Please leave them below if you can. Just a brand/model suggestion is appreciated. Pros and cons too is highly appreciated.

First up, welcome to Marlin Owners.

The best thing you can do for your wife is take her to a range and rent handguns in auto and revolver of various MFG's. The best handgun is the one she likes and shoots best. That includes what caliber she will prefer.

That said, out of all the autos my wife has spent time with, her #1 pick is my Beretta PX4 in 9mm. She still loves revolvers though. She is narrowing it down between the PX4 in 9mm and either the Kimber K6 or Colt Cobra in 38SPC. It's her decision as all would serve her well although, she shoots the most accurate with the PX4.

Jack
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,026 Posts
Okay, here's a question for the OP.........What's the best handgun for a Man?

See how silly that sounds?

Everyone is different. As has been stated well and plainly here, let her try as many options and then let HER decide. My honey prefers revolvers, but the majority of my students wind up with a small auto, usually a 9mm.

There are lots of things she has to like about it. Number one is how it feels in her hands. Number two is how easy the sights are to pick up. After that comes ease of discreet carry, ammo capacity, perceived recoil, trigger pull, reach and reset, all those little things that go into her perception of how the gun feels to her.

Don't settle on a caliber, and go from there. Settle on a platform, then get her the biggest caliber she can safely handle on that platform.

Some women shoot 1911's well, especially the shorter ones, which fit in a purse WAY better than the longer ones. But ideally the gun should be carried on her person, lest she be separated from the purse!

Good holsters are worth what they cost. Plan on spending at least one-fourth of what the gun cost you. Cheap holsters are a waste of money.

After she gets the gun, set a training budget and stick to it. Shooting is a perishable skill that MUST be practiced regularly to maintain proficiency. I have shot well over a half a million rounds through pistols in the past 40 years, and if I don't get some range time in every week or two, I SUCK until I knock the rust off.

Bear in mind one other thing.....when Mama likes to shoot, the ammo budget goes up! :bandit:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,953 Posts
Okay, here's a question for the OP.........What's the best handgun for a Man?

See how silly that sounds?

Everyone is different. As has been stated well and plainly here, let her try as many options and then let HER decide. My honey prefers revolvers, but the majority of my students wind up with a small auto, usually a 9mm.

There are lots of things she has to like about it. Number one is how it feels in her hands. Number two is how easy the sights are to pick up. After that comes ease of discreet carry, ammo capacity, perceived recoil, trigger pull, reach and reset, all those little things that go into her perception of how the gun feels to her.

Don't settle on a caliber, and go from there. Settle on a platform, then get her the biggest caliber she can safely handle on that platform.

Some women shoot 1911's well, especially the shorter ones, which fit in a purse WAY better than the longer ones. But ideally the gun should be carried on her person, lest she be separated from the purse!

:bandit:

PJ,

Very well stated...................

Tom
 
1 - 20 of 76 Posts
Top