Friday, October 08, 2021

Buying Her A Pistol

 A lady, a longtime friend of Belle came over yesterday afternoon for a visit.  She showed me a pistol that her husband had bought for her.  It was a compact 9mm from a reputable manufacturer.  The brand doesn't matter.

She could not operate it.  She didn't like it, she didn't want it.

What she wanted was a small revolver.  But, her husband bought the pistol that he thought was best for her.  It was a nice gesture, but totally unworkable from a self-defense standpoint.  

From long experience, I 'have learned that if the lady wants to have a handgun, she should be intimately involved in the purchase.  She needs to pick out her pistol, and what you think is not part of the equation.  I would no sooner tell my lady what handgun to carry than I would tell her what underwear to wear.  The choice of personal firearm is almost that personal.

Don't do it, guys.  If you lady wants a personal handgun, let her pick it out.


Anonymous said...

Oh yes, for sure. (I've also seen a number of men buy their lady a J-frame 38, also believing that's the best choice. Might be best for simplicity of operation but is almost never the best choice for a new shooter to learn how to shoot well)

However, if I might make one suggestion that might be helpful.
Some women will rule out a semi-auto because initially it is more difficult to operate than they expect.
If that might be the case, I suggest have this person try a revolver at the range and see how it goes.
The tip or trick to consider is this: if the revolver (especially if a snappy J-frame) is not showing good results due to heavy DA trigger pull and snappy recoil, introduce a semi-auto at that point.
*Dont'* talk about the manual of arms, racking the slide or anything, just transfer the loaded and ready firearm to the new shooter and have her try the same thing but with the semi auto, and explain not to worry about the slide etc we'll talk about that later.

When someone's been fighting a J-frame or a Ruger LCR, hating the snappy recoil and getting frustrated and ticked off over not being able to hit a paper plate at a few yards, I'll tell you it's almost magic when they shoot something like a Glock 19 (that's ready to shoot) and see how just a little effort lets them shoot the center of the plate out with an ergonomic gun with a reasonable trigger.

*then* having seen what they can do with the semi, then they're much more willing to learn ways of operating the slide etc.
Worth a try, anyway. I used this trick not so much to nudge someone into a particular firearm as I did to sneak something into their hands that's much easier to shoot and make good hits with.
You could get a similar effect maybe by switching the frustrated new shooter from a J-frame to a large frame revolver still in 38.

Robert Orians said...

I bought my wife a sweet little Makarov 9mm back in 89 when the Berlin Wall came down and the guns the border guards used were mostly shipped to the US to raise some cash . It worked well until lately she has trouble racking the slide . Her old hands are worn out from diapers , canning , and such chores . I'm thinking a nice .38 that will take P+ loads with a tactical load for expansion . She still has a great eye and can outshoot me on her good days . The darn revolvers are so loud though and she has a bad ear from our old daily shooting days . It's a conundrum !

Eaton Rapids Joe said...

Going to the gun range first is always a sound idea, especially if they have a good instructor and a wide selection of handguns for the buyer to test-drive.

My sister's father-in-law bought her a Derringer in .38 Special. It was, in his opinion, a "lady's gun". What a miserable thing to give a new shooter.

Her husband, in a moment of sanity had her shoot a wide range of handguns before touching off the Derringer. When sis went to her CPL class she carried a .22 semi-automatic. Not most people's choice for a self-defense gun but it is what she carrys and she is not afraid to aim and pull the trigger.

Old 1811 said...

If I was ever stupid enough to buy a pistol for my wife without her input, I'd buy one that I wanted for myself. Then when she rejected it, I'd say, "But it'd be a shame to lose all that money on it selling it used. I'll just keep it for myself and you can buy what you want."
Think it would work?

Well Seasoned Fool said...

My youngest son married a woman with little exposure to firearms but was eager to learn. Between my son and I she was able to try out several. She liked and settled on my son's Makarov. As far as I know that is still her carry piece. My son wasn't too pleased to find she could outshoot him on his best day. My handgun skill is such I can hit a barn wall if I'm inside the barn.

Judy said...

Why are male spousal units so unhappy when their female spousal units are better shots? Seriously I want to know? I've had the same problem. My brothers, my dad, cousins all think it is great I can hit what I aim, but not a spouse.

Drew458 said...

It's the wrong gun for her, and will always be the wrong gun, because he made the decision. Wife and I looked at pistols some years back, when it turned out the little Kimber .45 I bought didn't fit her hand and I got tired of her claiming my GP-100 at the range as hers. So we went shopping, and wound up getting a pair of the smallish Ruger SP-101 .357s for both of us. It fits her small hand and her purse. It's a solid chunk of stainless steel and that mass eats up the recoil pretty well. I put bigger grips on mine, and spent a couple bucks shimming the trigger and hammer, which made them much smoother to shoot. Nice little bedside or toolbox pistol.

Point is, she picked it, it fits her, and it isn't painful to shoot with .38+P+ or mild .357s.

Most Likely II said...

Naw. Buy her one. THEN let her go out and get one she wants. Then she'll have two.

If she has two guns, and she "doesn't even need one of them", then it's easier to argue that you have 48 guns even though she says you don't need ~ 40 of them.

Unknown said...

I have been selling firearms for 30+ years, and in never ceases to amaze me what Husbands will buy for their wives, without input from the actual user… Nobody should just walk into an FFL and just buy a firearm for someone who has never held or fired a weapon, before… This is just stupid and Braindead from the Get-Go… Take her to the Range, and start with a .22 LR, and over a month of Sundays, see what fits her hand, and what is comfortable for her to handle…50+ years ago, I did this with my wife.. Our Range was out in the National Forest, while hiking and camping on weekends before we had children.. Just the two of us with our small tent and our backpacks She quickly picked up the Gun Safety Skillset, and as we worked up in caliber and power, she became a fair shot at 15 meters… She learned to enjoy my “ Dirty Harry” S&W M-29 8” barrel and she had enough wrist strength to handle a dozen rounds, before the shock became to much… later that fal l we went to the local Dealer and we bought he a nice little Lama .380ACP semi-auto Pistol… I was shooting my Colt 1903 38ACP Pocket Pistol then… After a few years, I retired the Colt as an Antequic and bought a New Belgian Browning HighPower.. once she fired that it became “Her Gun” until I bought he a Dan Wesson Stainless .357 Mag PistolPak, just to get My HiPower back..She still carries the Dan Wesson, and I still have the HiPower…. All our children, and most of our Grandchildren were raised and taught FireArms Safet from the time they were 3 years old.. They ALL received their first firearm (.22 Rifle) on their 12 th birthday.. One they picked out of the Gun Buyers Guide… Each was given their choice of Handgun on their 21st Birthday… Our oldest daughter now owns the S&W M-29 8” and is as good as her mother with it, if not better… This has been a tradition in my family going back at least four Gen erations before me, and I find it works for us going forward as well…

Anonymous said...

Especially when if comes to CCWing, women face "challenges" men have no concept of. The first that comes to mind is whether to carry on-body or off-body (I don't know many men who carry purses, so it generally isn't a consideration with us). Another is hips, which can cause a very pronounced (pardon the pun) complication to carrying about the waist.

Then there are fashion considerations I wouldn't hazard to guess at unless under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms. I would never deign to buy shoes for my significant other, and it would be just as pointless for me to pick out a sidearm for her.

XTphreak said...

Better to hit an assailant with a handful of .22 LR, than miss with a magnum.

Any gun is better than no gun.

I was in a situation back in those past days where I hadn't amassed quite the choices I now have, when all I had was a Ruger MKII (5 1/2" bull barrel).

The potential attacker looked like a refrigerator/freezer with a head.

And had displayed a knife.

I dropped the bolt (internal, not a slide), so he heard it and calmly told him I'd shoot him in the face 10 times.

Having chased golf balls around on the ground for target practice, I felt comfortable that I could indeed put 10 minimag 40gr solids in the triangle of eyes & nose.

I also had 2 more magazines ready to go.

I didn't feel undergunned, but really wished I had my HiPower instead.

XTphreak said...

Oh yeah
He left.

XTphreak said...

GrandDaddy here.

Waiting not so patiently for my grandson to get to the point I can get him a little Cricket to start.

My dad started my brother and I with his old Savage 29B 24" (?) Barrelled .22 pump.

We'd take turns kneeling with the barrel on one shoulder as a sibling bipod so the other could aim and shoot.

Wish there'd been something like the Cricket-sized single shots back then.

Drew458 said...

Once upon a time ... I took a woman shooting. It was her first time. I showed her what to do, and let her use my big GP-100 with full zoot .357s. I didn't say a thing about recoil or that it was a powerful pistol or anything like that. She handled it, and this is a pretty small woman. Later, we went shooting again with smaller, lesser pistol. "These things are a joke" she said "where's the real gun?" Recoil was not an issue because she'd never been told to be bothered by it or afraid of it.