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  1. #1
    INGO Mom Pami's Avatar

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    Buying a Gun for the Women in Your Life

    There has been a recent influx of new threads that run along the lines of "I'm buying my [female relation] a gun. What should I get her?"

    This is disturbing to me for several reasons, but these are the top two:
    1) Maybe in the effort to be brief it was left out, but it appears to me that the woman doesn't really have much of a choice in her firearm.
    2) If she does have a choice, she appears to be making it based solely on appearance.

    There are a few things in my life that my husband will not buy for me even if he knows I'd really like it. Clothes are one of them. I am so incredibly picky about the fit, the comfort, the color, the style, everything, that he won't even consider purchasing a new shirt for me without bringing me to the store to get my opinion and trying it on myself. Shoes are the same way. So are my firearms.

    My husband is not built like I am. His body shape is different. His hands are bigger. His arm strength is stronger. His mindset is definitely better. His instincts and mechanical inclinations are much more honed than mine are. Therefore, what works for him does not necessarily work for me.

    So, if you are considering purchasing a firearm for your mom, your sister, your girlfriend, your wife, your aunt, your cousin, your neighbor, your co-worker or any other woman in your life... please take these into consideration:

    a) Appearance does matter to women at least initially, but don't let her be swayed by how the gun looks in a magazine or on a website. If it's strictly a color thing (pink seems to be a popular theme here), kindly inform her that the color of the gun can always be changed. It doesn't matter how pretty it is if once she gets it she won't shoot it because the slide bites her every time she shoots.

    b) She has to be able to operate it herself, so make sure she knows how to load and unload it. If it's a semi-auto, can she rack the slide by herself in a safe manner? While it's true that new shooters would do better with a gun that has less buttons and levers, please don't start out with the sentence "Women should start with a revolver because there are less things to learn about it." Some women see that as an insult to their intelligence, and it's something they will have to learn on their own. Feel free to point out that this gun is easier to operate than that gun because of the lack of extra controls on it, but please don't say it's specifically because women can't learn to work with all those extra controls. Demonstrate that in the heat of the moment there are areas that she might fumble over the extra buttons and how much extra time it takes to operate.

    c) If possible, have her actually shoot the gun she thinks she might be interested in in the caliber she's looking at. There are two schools of thought on how to proceed: one is to start with a .22 and work up to the .45 so she gets used to the recoil and firearm operation, and another is to start with the larger calibers and work down so she can recognize the difference. I'm torn on which way to go. Personally, I started with a .22 and forced myself to shoot the 9mm and .45 firearms that my husband had. Once I became more comfortable with the higher calibers, I shot those first when we went to the range to practice and then went back to the .22 when my hands and arms started getting tired. I barely acknowledged any recoil in the .22 then. It was the same way when moving from the .45 to the 9mm.

    The most important thing to remember here is that SHE NEEDS TO MAKE THE DECISION. She needs to choose. You need to support her and help her make an informed decision. Don't push her into something you like to shoot because it's what all the cool kids are shooting these days. Even if she decides to go with a .22, at least she's making the effort to learn to shoot and to carry it. A .22 in the pocket is better than a .45 in the safe. Eventually she may move into a larger caliber handgun, but it's important that she be the one that makes that choice.
    Epilepsy is underfunded and under-researched, but seizures kill more people than breast cancer does each year.

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  2. #2
    Master Bubbajms's Avatar

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    Repp'd, Pami..

    Good points all around!!

  3. #3
    Expert right winger's Avatar

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    Buying a Gun for the Women in Your Life

    I took my wife to Plainfield Shooting Supplies.
    And let him help her pick the right gun for her.
    I know what I like. But it would not work for her.
    I have a Glock model 22
    "A free people ought to be armed. George Washington

  4. #4
    Sharpshooter G McBride's Avatar

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    I took my wife to a couple of gun shops to look a few pistols over and to handle some of the types that she and the gun shops thought might work best for her. She ended up liking a 38 Snubbie and I told her I had one at home, same caliber, same size and we would get it out and let her shoot it to see if she wanted us to buy one for her carry gun.

    She and I recently took the Utah course and have sent off for our Non Resident permits. I went with her to the Wayne County Sheriff to apply for her Life LTCH and that is off in the mail for her also.

    She has always been around guns and has shot mine and had an understanding of how to operate the different types that I have owned from rifles, shotguns and pistols. As we are creeping into our more senior years and would look like more of a target to criminals, we are both preparing each other not to be such victim.

    Once we get the decision worked out on what gun she would prefer to carry and how to carry it, the next phase will be a home protection course. And of course we will plan on getting practice at the range at least once a month.

  5. #5
    Expert gglass's Avatar

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    I don't believe that many of the "I bought a gun for my wife" statements involve giving a woman a gun sight-unseen.

    For my part, I did by a firearm for my wife and she was 100% involved in deciding which gun was right for her. The gun she choose was the Walther P22 and she even had an entire store from which to choose. (actually 3 stores) The statement of "I bought a gun for my wife" stems from the fact that it was a gift from me to her.

    There are others who might say "I bought a gun for my wife" as it underscores who may be the bread-winner in the home, and may have nothing at all to do with blindly delivering a firearm to their spouse.

    But then again, you could have someone like my chauvinistic friend who has no problem buying his wife a car, gun or anything else for that matter without her input... I do know that there are guys like that out there, but so many of us are not that way. And, should not be clumped into that category by how we phase a given sentence.

    That's off my chest now.
    "Si vis pacem, para bellum"

  6. #6
    Expert dice dealer's Avatar

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    I let my wife shoot any gun i have ...hell she has even shot a friends .50
    and when we go into the gun shop ....if she sees a gun she likes she buys it ..

    I have no problem with that at all ..

    only gun she has i bought her sight unseen is one i had custom made for her last year for christmas

  7. #7
    Plinker dman65's Avatar

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    picking a gun!

    Well I took my wife out to purchase a gun for her about 3 months ago and she decided on a very simple easy to use 38 revolver. After a couple of trips to the range she found my S&W 40 compact a better fit for her... so she took it . Then last week she decided she needed a 45.. So we went and got it… Sooooooo I guess what I am saying is taker her out. let her pick out whatever she likes for whatever reason then every time you go to the range have a couple of different guns for her to play with and next thing you know she is looking at a firearm as a defensive tool as opposed to an accessory

    BTW the Last one I went out and bought her... After she told me what to get anyway

  8. #8

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    JMHO, any man that just goes out and buys his wife, girlfriend a gun unseen or not having talked to her a lot is just buying himself a new gun.
    When my wife told me to get in the truck we were going to go look at guns she already knew what she liked but also knew that it wouldn't be practical for her. The main issue that most women have I think from talking to her and female friends who are LEOs is carrying the gun on them most (not all ) women don't wear thick wide belts so a hip holster won't work for them at work or out for the evening. She does carry her Kel-Tec P3AT in her purse which I don't like, but she also makes sure she knows where it's at in her purse so she doen't have to go digging around in all the junk that she has in there.
    Handgun control is using both hands.
    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." - Robert A. Heinlein

  9. #9

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    This is a great site for this topic.
    It actually has some very good gun buying tips for anyone, male or female.
    Cornered Cat

    I particularly like this passage, from her (tongue-in-cheek) essay "What's the best gun for a man?"
    Because men are generally less precise and less patient than women are, it is best to avoid guns which require them to carefully align the sights and gently squeeze the trigger without disturbing the sight picture. Therefore, a shotgun, perhaps a 12-gauge, is probably the best gun for a man. It is big and powerful, thus avoiding the social scorn caused by using a smaller gun. Because the shot can be expected to spread somewhat, an impatient or imprecise man will not have to carefully align the sights. Many shotguns don't even have sights. Better still, a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun sounds masculine in every way. The very name is masculine, and the gun itself sounds intimidating and powerful both in preparing to shoot and in actually firing. Working a pump action also allows the man to flex his biceps and use his usually well-developed gross motor skills so that he does not become frustrated or bogged down in unaccustomed detail work.
    Regarding your points, Pami:
    1) It's not just women who care about the appearance of their guns. Read the posts here: this is a major issue for guys, too.
    2) The advice to buy a small lightweight revolver for a woman, because it's simple and you know she isn't going to practice much, is somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. My wife has a J-frame, and I can't think of a better gun for discouraging practice. It has a short sight radius and gutter sights, so it's not particularly easy to shoot a lot of X's. It also has a harsh, unpleasant recoil feel. This is exactly the opposite of what you want in a range gun, especially for a beginner, which is a) easy to shoot well, so as to help build confidence and b) mild recoil, pleasant to shoot.

  10. #10
    Marksman farmboy365's Avatar

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    My wife has several guns but no time to shoot do to small children.
    I miss shoting trap with her.

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