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Thread: Self Defense for 110lb female

  1. #1
    Member Snug's Avatar
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    Default Self Defense for 110lb female

    I have a co-worker that is looking for a handgun for personel protection.
    She is not strong enough to pull the slide back on a semi-auto.
    Give me some ideas.

    Thanks
    Doug

  2. #2
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    12 gauge, 000 buckshot should do the trick, good for home defense

  3. #3
    Member fozz's Avatar
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    smith and wesson j frame 357 with laser grips. load the gun with 38 specials.

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    My wife was in the same position and she's about the same size. After trying virtually every semi-auto on the market, she found that a Springfield Armory XD9 fit her very well, was easy to operate, and the slide (and slide release) were all well within her abilities to operate ...and she's kinda wimpy in hand strength. She's really quite happy with her gun. You might get your friend to try an XD9 at the local gun store counter and see how it goes. Otherwise, if no semi-autos work for her, then I agree with the S&W revolver loaded with .38 Specials. The .38 Special is not a bad self defense round, especially if you buy the personal protection hollow points (Gold Dot, CorBon, Federal HydraShok etc) and it's easy to shoot.

    If your friend is talking 'in the home' only, then the shotgun IS a good answer and nothing deters a robber quite like a scared women with a 12-gauge in her hands. I got my wife a Winchester 1300 Ranger Lady's/Youth Special in 12 gauge. The forestock is moved aft a couple of inches for people with shorter arms. The pistol grip is slimmed down and moved closer to the trigger for shorter hands, and the butt stock is slimmed down and shorter as well. And her's has the shorter barrel too ...26" I think. It comes with the Winchoke system so it makes for a fine shotgun as well as a slug gun for when we're picking berries and what not. This shotgun fits her perfectly and for the first time ever, she's having fun busting clay ...and looking forward to busting ruffies.

    Brian

  5. #5

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    So much depends on what the person, in this case a woman, wants the gun for. Is it for home defense or does she want to carry concealed?

    I have a revolver s&w 642 (38 special) that I think is great for concealed carry. It's small enough and light enough that I will almost always carry it when a larger gun doesn't make sense. Being a snubby makes it a bit snappy in recoil. My wife would rather shoot my 45 caliber 1911 or 9mm beretta. The larger gun makes the recoil a non factor for her. She's also had some training. She took an NRA intro class at the rabbit creek range and soon will be taking a class with Alaska Tactical across town.

    At the very least I'd have your lady friend take a basic concealed carry course. It will help her with safety, the law, and basic shooting skills.

    Don't automatically assume she can't rack a slide either. I took a class with a little woman a few years back that with the proper technique ran a full sizxed 1911 like a champ. I'll bet she tipped the scale at right around 100 lbs.

    Check out thefiringline.com and do a search and you'll find tons more on this subject.

    Good luck .

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    Member wldboar's Avatar
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    Sounds like I am the same size as your co-worker. Being a smaller woman I bought myself last year a Smith & Wesson 642 centennial. Love it. Fits my small hands perfectly and small enough to fit in pocket, purse what ever. Don't know how familiar your co-worker is with guns but if she can bend her finger she can shoot this. Price wasn't to spendy either, if that is a consideration. Or she could try a .22

  7. #7
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by fozz View Post
    smith and wesson j frame 357 with laser grips. load the gun with 38 specials.
    I agree, although I'd forego the laser grips and put a comfortable set of rubber grips on it to buffer recoil and give the lady several hundred rounds of cheap practice ammo.

    Unless she is going to get active with her weapon, a semi-auto is just too complicated for most folks. Revolvers are simple and virtually foolproof.

    All my women have double action revolvers.

  8. #8

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    If she isn't planning on using for concealed carry but still wants a handgun for home defense, then the options are pretty wide: any medium-framed S&W or Ruger loaded with .38 special would be much more controllable than a compact gun like a j-frame. If she is still learning how to shoot, then something of this size would also be less frustrating due to the lesser recoil and longer sights. Also, any .44 magnum loaded with .44 special is also a good contender for self-defense, at least from a non-concealed standpoint.

    If she plans on concealed carry, I'd recommend a Smith j-frame or Ruger sp101 chambered for .38 special. Steel j-frames are usually better for beginners than aluminum or scandium ones; the latter have a much greater recoil when firing the same ammo.

    A good firearm safety course might offer her a selection to try out.

  9. #9

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    .38 special.... S&W 63 ( I think they offer it in their "Lady Smith" trim) would be a good one for that.

    .45 ACP.... S&W 325 would be a great choice for this one... the 45 is a proven stopper and doesn't kick hard.

    If she finds that she can pull back a slide on any auto she may want to consider a Glock 17 or Springfield XD. I don't like the poor finish quality on the XD, but it's a good shooter. Both of those autos are simple, reliable, and as much as I love my SIG's and HK's there are too many things to think about for a novice shooter. My USP9F V1 is a bit too complicated for somebody who is not familiar with firearms..... If I wasn't experienced I'd hate to have to wonder what lever position decocks, what's fire, and what's safe. Keep it simple.
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  10. #10

    Default revolver ?

    A 2" 640 S&W if it is going in the purse or a 3" Mod. 65 or 66 for the house. She needs to get some "good" training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I agree, although I'd forego the laser grips and put a comfortable set of rubber grips on it to buffer recoil and give the lady several hundred rounds of cheap practice ammo.

    Unless she is going to get active with her weapon, a semi-auto is just too complicated for most folks. Revolvers are simple and virtually foolproof.

    All my women have double action revolvers.
    Mark,

    I'm going to agree with you, better write that down somewhere.

    I would drop the laser grips and find some other ugly but comfortable grip of rubber. And lots of 38 special ammo. I've never met resistance with this combo.

    There may be a semi-auto somewhere for her but the small 357's are very functional, reliable and simple to operate. Ditto!
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  12. #12
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    ....the small 357's are very functional, reliable and simple to operate......
    And the ability to use both 38 special and 357 magnum loads is nice, too.

  13. #13

    Default Another Option

    If the lady is not yet "Gun Smart" a viable option may be a Taser. Saw one last week for about $325.00 Range 12-15 feet, Power 500,000 Volts, Would knock down a 250-300 lb guy for 15-20 minutes. I've seen tasers in action - the person hit is rendered useless.. Best yet they now come in designer colors for the Ladies. Me I would rather put some lead into someone

  14. #14
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Default K.i.s.s.

    Keep it simple. Now this is just a generlization, it doesn't apply to all women. (And some wanna-be men in in the forum!)

    Small frame hammerless 38 revolver. Won't jam in a crisis, low maintance, safe, won't get caught on clothes, purses and misc. items.

    Just pull out and BAM BAM BAM.....Then watch the would be weasel shake a moment before gasping for his last beath.
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    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    a semi-auto is just too complicated for most folks
    Agreed in most cases.

    My wife hated her Lady Smith 38 and loved my Kahr Elite 98, so we got her one as well. The Kahr has a slide release and a magazine release and that's it. Not any more complicated than a revolver. I loved our Kahrs, but if the lady can't rack a slide, the lady can't rack a slide.

    I would suggest hand strengthening exercises if only so she can open jars and do other things for herself.
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  16. #16

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    I've got, or should I say "had" a 2-inch hammerless, stainless steel Smith in 38. I say "had" because my wife took it over. It's not her favorite gun for casual shooting, but it's her numero uno for carry. We tried Pachmyer grips on it, but in addition to making it really bulky, she didn't shoot it as well. Last time I looked in her purse it was wearing stock grips again.

    Her second favorite isn't in the house yet. A friend has a round butt Smith, 3" barrel 44 special. She shoots it like a house afire with factory equivalent loads, and would probably use it as her all around gun if I'd ever locate and buy one. It's only a little bigger, but much more controllable for both of us than any snubby 357 we've tried.

  17. #17

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    Women's self defense class. It should give her a good idea what is out there as far as options are concerned.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    A friend has a round butt Smith, 3" barrel 44 special. She shoots it like a house afire with factory equivalent loads, and would probably use it as her all around gun if I'd ever locate and buy one.
    I think Smith makes a new one now, but it's 2.5" and in scandium. Then there's always the Charter Arms Bulldog, but you'd be rolling the dice with quality.

    It just came to me that if someone's serious about self-defense, it's a good idea to learn to fend off physical attacks as well as learn to use a gun. If your friend takes a self-defense class, they'll also teach her about awareness & avoidance, which I think is a better approach to staying safe than anything else.

  19. #19
    Member wldboar's Avatar
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    Default Self Defense Class

    I know the UUA police department just finished a R.A.D. class. Cost was only $35.00. Not sure when next class is but your co-worker might want to keep checking UUA webite for upcoming class. Just a suggestion.

  20. #20
    Member Snug's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    I just wanted to say thanks for all the responses. This is a great place to get so many different ideas.
    I will talk to her about the class and I've offered to take her to the range and try several of my pistols.

    Thanks
    Doug

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