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Old 08-09-2017, 02:21 PM
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Default Wife needs first time cc options

I'm looking for her first cc firearm. She does not like guns but has fired a revolver. We can train later. The gun will likely be carried off body in a purse. She is not a very strong person so I'm thinking that racking a slide is not an option. What guns (S&W and others) should we be looking at? I'm trying to stay above .380. I carry a BG .380, but I can shoot.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:27 PM
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Will simply share my wife's relatively recent similar experience. She's a realtor and does purse carry. She is very girly and lacks upper body strength. She confidently handles a Ruger LCR in 22 mag. It was a long process and multiple handguns were purchased, including a 442 which I now proudly carry. But this LCR is the handgun that she is fearless with and can't seem to mess up with.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:33 PM
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A tip up barrel Beretta will work but those come in .22, .25. and .32, assuming there are any around at all. Any .22 caliber revolver will work, the S&W 43c is a good, modern choice if a .22 will work:

Model 43 C | Smith & Wesson

They tend to have hard triggers but can probably be modified some.

But if you must stay above .380 you're not going to find a host of revolvers that will work except J-frames in .38 caliber (.38/.357 but you'll stick to .38). A lightweight J-frame is an excellent purse gun but (i) she needs to be prepared for some vicious recoil, and (ii) she needs to properly carry it where it is easily accessible, does not get messed up by other things in her purse, and (iii) she never loses contact with that purse.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:33 PM
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S&W 442 but get an Apex trigger kit.

Glock 43 9 mm or S&W Shield 9mm.

Sig Sauer HD P238 380 would be the easiest to shoot.


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Old 08-09-2017, 02:35 PM
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My wife's CCW favorite is the S&W New Model Bodyguard .38 Special +P with Laser.
Good Luck.
Happy Shopping.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:38 PM
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Aside from a S&W J frame, Charter Arms makes a decent .38spl 5 round smallish revolver that comes in all kinds of colors if that might interest her. The grip area on it is a little longer than a J frame. My GF has one and really likes it.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:40 PM
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Will simply share my wife's relatively recent similar experience. She's a realtor and does purse carry. She is very girly and lacks upper body strength. She confidently handles a Ruger LCR in 22 mag. It was a long process and multiple handguns were purchased, including a 442 which I now proudly carry. But this LCR is the handgun that she is fearless with and can't seem to mess up with.


Haha....my wife is also a realtor. That's the whole reason for this.


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Old 08-09-2017, 02:45 PM
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I was also going to suggest you look at the 38 special group of revolvers. A lot were made and still are being made. Fairly cheap and give you a huge range of various options in different barrel lengthes. Take her to the lgs and let her pick through some of the 2 to 3 inch barrel length models. I'm sure she will see one she falls in love with. Good thing is she can practice with semi wadcutter shaped bullets which have very mild recoil so she will be confident and become a good shot. Then buy some +p ammo just to carry and she won't be afraid to use it if she needs. Most all new S&W revolvers are rated for +p and I wouldn't hesitate to shoot +p out of 90% of the older ones made.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:51 PM
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Let her select her own firearms!

Find someone (not you) to teach her to shoot.

Get her to a range that rents firearms and let her pick the guns she wants to try.

I'd discourage even trying the Tupperware bodyguard38: these things jam up too easily. I'd also stay away from 22 mag: much too noisy for a new shooter to enjoy and trivial benefit in velocity in a handgun over a 22lr.

Stick with wadcutters in 38 special: very effective sd round that encourages skill development.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:57 PM
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Let her select her own firearms!

Find someone (not you) to teach her to shoot.

Get her to a range that rents firearms and let her pick the guns she wants to try.
This ^^^^^.

If she chooses it and tries it and likes it, she'll carry it.

Take her to an LGS counter person you trust, and walk away until they are done.

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Old 08-09-2017, 02:57 PM
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For purse carry I gave my daughter 340 MP with Crimson trace grips. She practices with .38 sp but carriers with .357. Great lightweight gun, simply point the laser and pull the trigger and it always goes bang. Just my two cents. Wasn't cheap but small price to pay for peace of mind.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:01 PM
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Why do so many just assume a woman can not handle as much handgun as a man can....Well they can..believe me...I know quite a few....

I have yet to meet the woman I can not teach to rack a slide with the push push opposite direction method.

If your wife is going to purse carry and need to rack the slide to use the weapon she probably should just carry pepper spray or a revolver with a safe chamber.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:02 PM
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Have HER TRY. You can't guess if she can or can't rack the slide or how it feels in her hand. Take he to the store and have her try

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Old 08-09-2017, 03:09 PM
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I agree that many women can be taught to rack a slide but any woman, or man, actually, with hand issues, sometimes back issues, or wrist issues, can always have difficulty with racking slides. And some folks
are just not dexterous and/or are too weak to do it.

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Stick with wadcutters in 38 special: very effective sd round that encourages skill development
As a matter of fact, I agree totally, wadcutters are no slouch in the self defense department.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:25 PM
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While I most assuredly agree with letting her pick her own gun and going to a range that rents them, I will make a suggestion.

I bought my wife a 640. A stainless version of the 642 and 442 that weights about a .5 lb more. The extra weight makes the felt recoil when shooting .38 specials not feel as harsh as it's Airweight brothers. It's a DOA, so the ability for her to be able to shoot through her purse is an extra added benefit. She wouldn't even need to draw the gun if it's use became necessary. Hope this helps!
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dben002 View Post
Why do so many just assume a woman can not handle as much handgun as a man can....Well they can..believe me...I know quite a few....



I have yet to meet the woman I can not teach to rack a slide with the push push opposite direction method.



If your wife is going to purse carry and need to rack the slide to use the weapon she probably should just carry pepper spray or a revolver with a safe chamber.


That's why I was posting in the revolver area. She's not strong, not enough hand strength. I figure a revolver is the way to go...... and you can shoot them in/through the purse, no hammer to catch, and they go bang every time. I wouldn't want her to have to do that with a semi auto.


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Old 08-09-2017, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expygator View Post
I'm looking for her first cc firearm. She does not like guns but has fired a revolver. We can train later. The gun will likely be carried off body in a purse. She is not a very strong person so I'm thinking that racking a slide is not an option. What guns (S&W and others) should we be looking at? I'm trying to stay above .380. I carry a BG .380, but I can shoot.
Thanks!
I'm going to address the two issues in bold above.

What makes the slides on most .380 ACP pistols hard to rack is the blow back operation. Thats also aggravated by short barrels and slides that have less weight and thus need a much stronger recoil spring due to the lighter weight and the shorter length.

The solution to that is a delayed recoil locked breech design, like the Colt Mustang, Kimber Micro, Sig 238, etc. The recoil spring is much lighter and they are easy for even women with small hands to cycle.


If you're saying you want to stay "above" the .380 ACP, you're also saying that you want to stay "above" the standard pressure .38 Special, at least when fired in a 1 7/8" or 2 1/8" revolver.

.380 ACP performance has improved and any of half dozen loads using the 90 gr Hornady XTP will meet the FBI's penetration and expansion requirements when fired out of a 3.5" barrel where the velocity is around 1000 fps.

Even in a 2.75" barrel like the pistols mentioned above it'll get 12" penetration and expansion in bare gelatin 100% of the time and get 12" penetration 100% of the time and expand about 60-80% of the time in the heavy denim test when the velocity is around 900 fps.

Looking at it the other way, those 90 gr XTP loads in a 3.5" .380 ACP will out perform all standard pressure .38 Special loads shot in a 2" revolver and are as good as most .38+ loads shot in a 2" revolver.

And, most .380ACP pistols are a 6+1 or 7+1 pistol compared to a similar sized or larger J-frame that offers only 5 shots.

----


That said, a .380 ACP pistol like the Kimber Micro, Sig P238, or Colt Mustang will work well for your wife, as would a J-frame in .38 Special, using +p loads. Similarly a J-magnum frame revolver like the Model 60 in .357 Mag will also work well with .38 +P loads.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dben002 View Post
If your wife is going to purse carry and need to rack the slide to use the weapon she probably should just carry pepper spray or a revolver with a safe chamber.
Agreed, but what is "a safe chamber"? All DA modern revolvers are safe and can be carried fully loaded - do you mean an empty chamber, a'la a Single Action Army style pistol?

I carry two .38 snubby's all the time (Taurus AL Model 85 and Rossi steel snub - basically a Model 85). Fully loaded w/ 5 rounds.

But, let her go to the range and pick a few to try - we had a bunch of ladies in our Basic Pistol class on Saturday that started out on 5 shot snubbys and ended up w/ 9mm pistols - XD compacts and Taurus PT111G2's. You can always swap springs for easier slide racking.

I'm trying to figure out how to carry my SD9VE daily now... love that huge thing :-P
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Let her select her own firearms!

Find someone (not you) to teach her to shoot.

Get her to a range that rents firearms and let her pick the guns she wants to try.

I'd discourage even trying the Tupperware bodyguard38: these things jam up too easily. I'd also stay away from 22 mag: much too noisy for a new shooter to enjoy and trivial benefit in velocity in a handgun over a 22lr.

Stick with wadcutters in 38 special: very effective sd round that encourages skill development.
Quote:
This ^^^^^.

If she chooses it and tries it and likes it, she'll carry it.

Take her to an LGS counter person you trust, and walk away until they are done.
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She's not strong, not enough hand strength
So what makes you think she will have the hand strength to pull a heavy DA trigger or handle the recoil from a small 38, even with wadcutters?
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:36 PM
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Traditional logic says a 2" .38 k-frame............ if you can find one.............................

That said.......................

Got my wife a M&P .22 Compact for Valentines Day....... she loves it ......

over the past few months I've decided I'd rather she has the 10rd .22 Compact with her than; her have her K-frame at home.......

no one likes to be shot with anything........I'm teaching her to shoot 3-5 string "bursts" at 10 yds.................................

she will not be facing down drug crazed muggers or a horde of Jihad's by herself in the otherwise safe "Burbs of the Burgh"

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Old 08-09-2017, 04:42 PM
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So what makes you think she will have the hand strength to pull a heavy DA trigger or handle the recoil from a small 38, even with wadcutters?


Because she's shot a .38 special during her gun safety class.


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Old 08-09-2017, 05:17 PM
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There is ONE main piece of advice given here,

Take her to a range that rents guns and let her try a lot of
different ones. And it is HER decision.

Wives don't decide what gun their husband gets for CC.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:24 PM
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I've got a Ruger SP101 chambered for 327 federal magnum. It's not too big, not too small. And will chamber anything in 32 that has a rim. So There's plenty of options, including the 32 H&R magnum. I definitely wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of those 327 magnum rounds. It's a nice little gun, that I picked up for my wife. Definitely worth a look.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dben002 View Post
Why do so many just assume a woman can not handle as much handgun as a man can....Well they can..believe me...I know quite a few....

I have yet to meet the woman I can not teach to rack a slide with the push push opposite direction method.

If your wife is going to purse carry and need to rack the slide to use the weapon she probably should just carry pepper spray or a revolver with a safe chamber.
I can rack the slide on most any handgun but it is not easy.
I don't know how many I tried while trying to pick out a 1911.
And for me, the smaller the gun the harder to rack.

Caliber, I have no problem. One of my favorites is Model 57, 41 mag.

SA vs DA, I can shoot SA faster and stay on target than I can DA. The key phrase..stay on target..

Just my 2 cents from this old broad.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:03 PM
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Let me clear something up. There's a lot of hate being thrown around about me picking her gun. Not the case. She can pick her own gun. I asked for recommendations based on the preset parameters. Thank you all for the info so far. It's been great.


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Old 08-09-2017, 06:09 PM
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You definitely need to take her to a LGS that also has a range with guns to rent to shoot. Otherwise you could end up with several guns she ends up disliking. Weight of gun laying in her purse, trigger pull, recoil, and her ability to shoot it with confidence.
I would definitely suggest a revolver and not a feather light either because she might hate the recoil causing hand pain. I definitely discourage shooting any gun, especially a revolver, from within a purse unless absolutely necessary.

I have a 640-1 that has a good trigger, has good weight but not heavy, can shoot 38spl, +P or 357. I don't think most women would shoot a 357 twice. Even a 38spl wad cutter is decent for protection without the harsh side effects on the shooter.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:10 PM
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I don't think she can go wrong with any J-Frame, and it's probably safer than a small, narrow auto.

She needs to practice in order to feel better about it. That's what turns off so many new shooters. They blame the gun rather than inexperience. Lessons, until she's ready to shoot on her own, seem to provide some security.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expygator View Post
I'm looking for her first cc firearm. She does not like guns but has fired a revolver. We can train later. The gun will likely be carried off body in a purse. She is not a very strong person so I'm thinking that racking a slide is not an option. What guns (S&W and others) should we be looking at? I'm trying to stay above .380. I carry a BG .380, but I can shoot.
Thanks!


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Read your own post... she does not like guns and we can train later... CCW recipe for disaster.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawngal View Post
There is ONE main piece of advice given here,

Take her to a range that rents guns and let her try a lot of
different ones. And it is HER decision.

Wives don't decide what gun their husband gets for CC.
Yep - and if she can pull a DA trigger on a snub and handle the recoil, then she should be able to use the push-pull method to rack a slide so as not to rule out a semi.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:25 PM
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The gun will likely be carried off body in a purse.
If this is the case she can carry anything she wants. She is not limited to small, concealable handguns. My wife purse carries and her two favorite guns are a M28 4" and a M&P9C. She's 4-11 and also not particularly strong. If shown how to do it properly, almost anyone can cock anything. I've seen petite females pick up Harley Davidson's that have been dumped. It's all about leverage.

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That's why I was posting in the revolver area. She's not strong, not enough hand strength. I figure a revolver is the way to go...... and you can shoot them in/through the purse,
Shooting through the purse (or pocket, or coat, or whatever) is a dumb idea. Not only will there probably be a fire, but the hollow point will probably plug. Sights are put on guns for a good reason. If the assailant is too close to use the sights the incandescent gases do really nasty things to a body from a contact wound.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Rpg View Post
Let her select her own firearms!

Find someone (not you) to teach her to shoot.

Get her to a range that rents firearms and let her pick the guns she wants to try.
THIS!!! Above everything else. LET HER PICK IT... PERIOD.

You risk choosing a gun for her she won't like and will not carry. Let her try as many as she needs to and LET HER PICK. Your prejudice is already showing by your statement that it needs to be heaver than a .380.

My wife ultimately chose a .32 and I am very happy with her choice. She carries it and practices with it.

Don't set limits on her caliber options. If she can only shoot a .22 comfortably, then go with that because she may not carry anything else.

I can't say it often enough, LET HER CHOSE.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Rpg View Post
Let her select her own firearms!

Find someone (not you) to teach her to shoot.
Definitely this!
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:53 PM
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Handbag Carry.

Her handbags may not be made to support the weight of a handgun and holster and the strap gussets may tear out. I've ruined a couple of bags before I got purpose built bags.

Handguns can be hard to find when needed in a regular handbag, if not well secured.

If a purpose built handbag is used, the added strength required may make it substantially heavier than a regular handbag. This makes the combined bag and firearm weight more than may be expected. Though I rarely bag carry, my combination bag and carry weigh a ton compared to what I was used to. If that is her intent, then maybe she can test the combo at the LGS. Don't forget the weight of the items she regularly carries.

Last edited by bigwheelzip; 08-09-2017 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:27 PM
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Hello, you should be proud your wife wants to carry!! Some don't,
I agree about her picking gun of choice, I had the same problem a few years ago, I have 3 j frames didn't like them many k frames, didn't like them, out of all the guns in the world she like a LCR 38, a 9 shield and her favorite is a mp 22 compact/ go figure
She purse carrys the shield with a green viriden laser.
Good luck, I tried to make this find a gun process something that we did together and I made it all about her! ( the hardest part )
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:05 PM
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My wife's carry evolved over time, you will probably not find that just right firearm for her. If she gets into carry then expect her to expect to widen her carry options.

She started with a 38 snub, then moved to my Star Super A, from there my Colt Police Positive. She also carried a SMC380 in her purse. Those options have changed yet again. She OC's a Witness Pavona, a NAA Black Widow in her pocket, and a Mace pepper spray gun in her purse.

The SMC used to be in her purse but now the pepper spray resides in the purse. At least if it does get stolen all they get is the pepper spray instead of a gun.

For a semi auto the Pavona is a good option. Because the hammer can be cocked manually it reduces the force needed to rack the slide.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:28 PM
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There have been many good suggestions. I have found the Walter CCP to be very easy to rack and shoot. The PPS M2 is another good one. I would choose a heavier small revolver than the lightweights and would stick with S&W, Colt or Ruger. The trigger is very important and I have found that if your gunshop has several of the same gun, the triggers may vary. Also once you choose the gun, check out some of the reduced recoil ammunition that is becoming more popular. Good luck with your shopping.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Expygator View Post
I'm looking for her first cc firearm. She does not like guns but has fired a revolver. We can train later. The gun will likely be carried off body in a purse. She is not a very strong person so I'm thinking that racking a slide is not an option. What guns (S&W and others) should we be looking at? I'm trying to stay above .380. I carry a BG .380, but I can shoot.
Thanks!
before you buy anything....your wife should rent some different guns/calibers at a local range and get first hand experience shooting them....only then will she be able to choose the right firearm for herself.....
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:41 PM
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A couple things to consider:

1) The heavier it is the less likely she is to carry it. Heaver weight also limits on the on-body carry options.

2) On the other hand, the lighter it is the more it will tend to recoil (with some caveats), the less comfortable it will be to shoot it and the less she will practice with it.

3) Off body carry has some very sharp downsides:
a) if a mugger grabs the purse, he's just grabbed the gun as well;
b) it takes practice and a well designed purse to be able to access the gun quickly and shoot from inside the purse; and
c) because of a and b above, it demands a high level of situational awareness and some thought and training in retaining the purse.

----

There's a balance in there, but the Colt Mustang/Sig P238/Kimber Micro are worth having her try because they are compact, light weight, easy to cycle due to the light spring, and surprisingly easy and comfortable to shoot.

Revolver wise, you've got 4 basic options.

1) The alloy frame J-frame revolvers.

They are compact, and lightweight, but that lightweight makes them a lot less comfortable to shoot. They run around 14oz for the exposed hammer models and about 15 oz of the shrouded and hammerless models.

2) The steel J frame revolvers.

They are heavier at around 20 oz for a 1 7/8" Model 36 and 2 1/8" Model 60 and around 22 oz for a 3" - but the extra weight makes them much more pleasant to shoot. The Model 60 can also fire .357 Magnum - but it's a handful.

3) The slightly heavier Ruger SP 101

These run about 5 oz heavier than the steel framed S&W J frames but are very comparable in overall size. It makes them slightly heavier to carry, but more comfortable to shoot. And they are also chambered in .357 Magnum.

4) The K frame revolvers.

These will run around 34 oz with a 2.5" barrel. That's 7 oz more than an a 3" SP 101, and 12 oz heavier than a 3" Model 60 - but they are much more comfortable to shoot, and it's the point where the .357 Magnum starts to become a reasonable option.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:41 PM
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Don't know if this helps or not. My bride can rack a slide but won't. She wanted a revolver for the simplicity of being able to point and shoot and not have to be concerned with anything else. She chose a 637 J frame with CTC grips. Qualified for her concealed carry with it and will not consider any other gun to carry. Ask me how I know.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:44 PM
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Default 'J' frame or Shield.....

That pretty much explains it.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:51 PM
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My wife purse carries a 4" 66-3.
Must be an Italian thing.
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:43 PM
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My wife is a revolver kind of girl. She has at her disposal S&W models 642 and 67 and a Ruger SP101. She wants nothing to do with autos in any way shape or form. She has had experience with exactly one round of .357 and wants nothing to do with it either. The 38 Special works fine for her. She weights in at 113 LBS but has no trouble with a DA trigger pull. You don't want her shooting at you with the model 67.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:46 AM
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No hate involved here. You wanted opinions and recommendations... and you got 'em straight and honestly. Why bother asking if you are just seeking reinforcement of what YOU think she should carry?

CC and personal defense are very subjective things. The choice of weapon is best left to the one who will be doing the carrying.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:28 AM
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Bigwheelzip and Rpg have it right. Get a purpose-built bag, and get yourself uninvolved from the process. Let her try stuff--a trip to the gun store might be in order. Don't discount automatics, or cartridges. Many women, I have heard, find the Ruger SR22 to their liking, and I can think of quite a few that I wouldn't want shooting at me with anything. Period.

In other news, doesn't your regional realtor's association have a Realtor Safety class? Around here, it's part of the certification. Namely, you shouldn't be meeting people for the first time at the location, among other things. Guns are your last line of defense, not your first.

Last edited by Wise_A; 08-10-2017 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:35 AM
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If she is going to carry in her purse why not go with a full size revolver but I discouraged my wife about purse carry as it is way too easy for a bad guy to snatch or separate a woman from her purse but if she is adamant about it let her try a full size revolver .
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:06 AM
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My purse is by Gun toting Mama's. It has a dedicated pocket with easy access and a holster velcroed in to keep in the correct position. I keep a couple of speed strips in the same pocket. My carry weapon is a Model 60 no dash. If I feel the need my 659 will fit but it's really too heavy.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:31 PM
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Get a steel revolver because she can always swing the heavy purse at the bad guy.

Or, if her key ring is anything like my wife's, just use that as a weapon. It's already in her hand.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:46 PM
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model 21 A Beretta.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:14 PM
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I'll second the Gun Toten' Mamas recommendation for a pocketbook:
Concealed Carry Purses and Handbags – GunTotenMamas

We shopped around, read the reviews, etc. and ended up with that for my wife. Great pocketbook that looks good on its own, but also has that special pocket. Also has a steel cable running through the strap.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expygator View Post
There's a lot of hate [experience] being thrown around ....
I like my word better.

Having worked in a gun department in a Nevada sporting goods store at one point in my life I saw lots of gals who wanted a ccw. I can't recall ever seeing it go well when a husband/boyfriend tried to help. Typically they were gun guys and hauled in all their built-in prejudices along with their lady. The guys thought they should do all the talking. When I'd talk to the lady the guy would always (there aren't many absolutes in life, but that was one) butt in and answer for the gal. I'm not suggesting you're that guy. I'm simply sharing my experience, like so many others here have done.

We didn't have the plethora of S&W J-frames or semi-autos back then. I would think it would be a hoot to work in a big shop nowadays, helping new shooters pick out something that feels comfortable and they can operate.

If I had that opportunity today I believe I would focus on Centennial model revolvers for a gal who wanted to carry in a purse. As with pocket carry, there's no hammer to get hung up. I put a Hogue Tamer on my 43C, 8-shot, 22lr. There's hardly any felt recoil, and the same grip on my M&P 340 makes the .357s seem not so bad.

I make two points here. Any gun right out of the display case might not feel or fit right. If there's an opportunity to try different grips on a gun it can make all the difference in the world, no matter the caliber.

Slŗinte,

Bob
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