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Thread: Starting my wife with a Hangun????

  1. #1
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default Starting my wife with a Hangun????

    My wife would like to learn to shoot a hangun, I am pleased to hear it.
    I have 357 mag
    My question is this- can I shoot 38 cal shells in the 357?
    If I can, will it reduce the recoil so my wife feels more comfortable before I go to a 357 shell.
    Thanks

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    Default Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by Burke View Post
    My wife would like to learn to shoot a hangun, I am pleased to hear it.
    I have 357 mag
    My question is this- can I shoot 38 cal shells in the 357?
    If I can, will it reduce the recoil so my wife feels more comfortable before I go to a 357 shell.
    Thanks
    Burke,

    Welcome to the forum, welcome to the shooting sports and welcome to your wife, too.

    In a word, "Yes" 38s will work just fine in a 357 revolver.

    Because the .38 Special also works in .357 revolvers, it is popular with users of the .357 for the reduced recoil, lower noise, and lower cost. (clipped from Wikipedia)

    Lost Sheep
    Last edited by Lost Sheep; 01-17-2009 at 16:24. Reason: Spellling and Web problems

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    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Thanks, that is what I wanted to hear. If the noise and recoil can be reduced I hope my wife will enjoy it enough to stay with it and she may graduate to shoot skeet w/ a shotgun as well. I also like the cheaper part of the 38. That always helps.

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    Default More on 38/357 and also some male/female advice

    I thought I would expand a bit on the relationships between 38s and 357s.

    The 357 Magnum "grew" from the 38 Special in the 1930s.

    Quote Originally Posted by from Wikipedia. _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.357_Magnum_

    The new round was developed from Smith & Wesson's existing .38 Special round. It used a different powder load, and ultimately the case was extended by 1/8th of an inch (0.125 in, 3.18 mm). The case extension was more a matter of safety than of necessity. Because the .38 Special and the early experimental .357 Magnum cartridges loaded by Keith were identical in physical attributes, it was possible to load an experimental .357 Magnum cartridge in a .38 Special revolver, with potentially disastrous results. Smith & Wesson's solution, of extending the case slightly, made it impossible to chamber the magnum-power round in a gun not designed for the additional pressure.
    However, the extra length created a potential for a cleaning problem.

    The extra length of .379 inch diameter space in the .357 chamber in front of the shorter 38 special cartridge case leaves room for fouling. That fouling, if allowed to remain in the chamber after firing a lot of 38 special ammunition, may make chambering 357 cartridges difficult. So, take a cleaning brush to the range with you to swab out the chambers if you find it difficult to chamber 357s after firing your 38s. Your regular bore brush is OK, but a slightly larger "chamber brush" would be slightly better.

    By the way, what 357 do you shoot?

    Unsolicited Advice:

    Depending on your wife's hand size, upper body strength, finger length, she may eventually want a different set of grips or even a different gun entirely. If so, be prepared to actually ENJOY a shopping trip with your wife. But DO let HER do the shopping.
    Read this thread
    http://concealedcarryforum.com/forum...?TOPIC_ID=2658

    I always (whenever it is possilbe) like to keep a 22 rimfire "companion piece" to any gun I own. 22 ammunition is MUCH cheaper to shoot and allows training and practice with low-recoiling rounds so I can concentrate on sight picture, trigger control and safety training without concern about cost or recoil.

    REALLY GOOD ADVICE:

    Get the best hearing protection you can find and the best quality eye protection you can find. Then find a way to afford them. Do not skimp here. I use both ear plugs and ear muffs simultaneously.

    Consider taking a gun safety course togeter. It can be a bonding experience. One poster on another forum had this to say:

    Quote Originally Posted by from _http://concealedcarryforum.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7943_ on
    another forum
    My wife was giving facials when I took my class and seemed uninterested. Once the class was done, I talked it up quite a bit because of the content. A few weeks later, I asked if she would be interested in taking a class if I sat through it with her. She did so and was more comfortable with a friend of hers there, as well.

    I enjoyed it, myself, because it was a different instructor and a whole new set of parameters in teaching methods. I gained a lot from both classes, myself.

    Sit through it with her and it may be much better for her.
    If she feels like it, check out web sites:
    http://www.corneredcat.com/
    http://www.besafeguntraining.com/wom...t-handgun-buy/


    Good luck, good shooting,

    Lost Sheep

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    Even a 38 is plenty loud, and a short barrel will exacerbate recoil and noise.

    Naturally, I wanted my wife to be able to shoot a hangun.

    She didn't like a SNUB NOSED 38 I USTA own, so I got her a longer barreled 38 Special and she likes it.

    If your 357 is a Snubby, going to 38s may not be comfortable enough to encourage her.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    My wife used to carry a .38 but she has moved on to a Glock 23 in .40 s&w. The semi-auto absorbs so much recoil that is much more pleasant to shoot.

    If she does shoot the revolvers, make sure you coach her on hand positioning so she stays away from the front of the cylinder.

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    Member jay51's Avatar
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    My wife cut her teeth on a 4" S&W Model 19 combat masterpiece with .38spl. Over the years she has worked her way up to mild .357 loads in that gun, but she doen't like shooting ANY short-barreled guns, even my 351pd 22mag! The sharp recoil-snap is too much for her. She much prefers guns with a 4"+ barrel, she loves her Beretta 92, because she can actually rack the slide by herself, as well as my Glock 17. They both shoot soft enough that she doesn't flinch, so she can put the bullets where they need to be.

    There are many times when I come home from work to see that old workhorse Model 19 on the coffee-table within her reach and it makes me feel good.

    One time I asked her why she had the revolver out instead of one of the autos and she simply said, "I just feel better with that gun." Smart woman, God I love her!

    Best of luck with your wife, keep the recoil low and the barrel long, and she'll be out-shooting you before you know it!

    Jay

    p.s. Ruger mark I/II/III .22lr are great for introducing recoil-sensitive folks to shooting, and nailing wose wascaly wabbits!
    Last edited by jay51; 01-18-2009 at 13:10. Reason: grammar

  8. #8

    Thumbs up 3" K Frame.....

    A 3" S&W K Frame with a round butt and stocks that fit the shooter is a well balanced hand gun. They are easy to carry and are easier to hit with then the J frames and don't weigh a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jay51 View Post
    Best of luck with your wife, keep the recoil low and the barrel long, and she'll be out-shooting you before you know it!
    Great.
    Finally, someone who agrees with me on this.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  10. #10

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    I know I'm piling on here, but the 38 sp rounds should be fine for your wife. The only exception being if the gun is one of the lighter snubbies. My wife does care at all for my snubby s&w 642, even with light target reloads. She says it smacks the palm of her hand too hard.

    If your wife shows some interest you might encourage her to get some training. My wife took one an NRA class over at Rabbit Creek that was put on for just women. She enjoyed the class and got to shoot many different guns in the process. She then went on to take a class over at Alaska Tactical. Again it was an all women's class and it was at the inside range in Palmer.

    Having two little girls we don't go to the range together all that often, but occasionally a date involves taking several handguns to the range. We might shoot anything from a 22, 9mm, or 500 S&W.. We have a little friendly competition and it's not at all uncommon that she out shoots me. She particularly enjoys shooting our Wilson 45acp. Last time we went out she put three off hand shots into a two inch group at 25 yards. She quit immediately and declared herself "the best" ever since. We need a rematch.

    Good luck shooting with the wife.

  11. #11
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default Good thoughts

    Thanks for all the good thoughts....The whole thing started with friends of hers inviting her to the womens night at the Palmer range. I just want her to have the best start so she will enjoy it. I know she will never hunt (she likes all the meat in white paper before she touches it ) ) but If she can at least enjoy shooting that would be great.
    Most definitely ear and eye protection. She really wants to start with the 38 special her dad left her. I thought it might be a little too much at first because it is short. That is why I thought about putting 38 into the 357, it is a little longer and heavier for recoil purposes. She said she will try the 38.
    I do look forward to a shopping trip eventually...she had to miss the gun show at Wasilla though. That might have been a good place to start. Oh well the Palmer gun show is coming up.
    I had not thought about the fouling with 38s inthe 357...I will make sure I watch that.
    Thanks again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post


    However, the extra length created a potential for a cleaning problem.

    The extra length of .379 inch diameter space in the .357 chamber in front of the shorter 38 special cartridge case leaves room for fouling. That fouling, if allowed to remain in the chamber after firing a lot of 38 special ammunition, may make chambering 357 cartridges difficult. So, take a cleaning brush to the range with you to swab out the chambers if you find it difficult to chamber 357s after firing your 38s. Your regular bore brush is OK, but a slightly larger "chamber brush" would be slightly better.



    Good luck, good shooting,

    Lost Sheep
    Glad to see someone posting this, it is often overlooked. While your at it also clean out the carbon build-up in each cylinder so you don't get undo high levels of pressure. Every couple of rounds won't hurt.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRDATR View Post
    Every couple of rounds won't hurt.
    It's only an issue when you switch from 38 specials to 357's, whether in the same range session or before the next cleaning. You can shoot 38's till the cows come home with no pressure buildup if you don't move to the longer round. You can also switch from 357's to the 38 specials with no problems. If I'm planning to shoot both in the same range session, I either shoot all my 357's first or bring along a bore brush and the short cleaning rod that came with the gun. A few strokes with the dry brush in each chamber are enough to take care of any potential problems.

    I gotta say that the fastest I ever saw anyone learn the mechanics of handgun shooting involved a cheap air pistol or air soft gun, and lots of fun shooting at home. No noise, no recoil, and lots of fun. Cost you less than $50 for both the gun and enough ammo to do the job. You could spend $50 on 22 ammo for a handgun and move a long ways toward the goal, but only with lots of trips to the range.

    Once they have the mechanics down in the back yard, you'll be flabbergasted how fast they overcome the noise and recoil of even a 22 at the range. It's a small move from there up the scale to midrange wadcutter 38 special loads. They'll love it and do lots more of it if they can hit what they're shooting at.

    Only very late in the game should you move up to 357's, and then only if they're really addicted to shooting. The noise and recoil of the more powerful rounds should be something that they enjoy, rather than fear. Move them up the noise and recoils scale too fast, and you'll really set back their skills and enthusiasm.

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    Member BigHinER's Avatar
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    I bought a .357 from a buddy a while back and HouseHold 6 was all pissy about it. ' Why do you need another gun?' Well, I bought the gun, brought it home and showed it to her. She just kinda shrugged her shoulders and walked away. We went out shooting and I put some .38 shells in it. SHE LOVED IT. Well, I put some .357 rounds in it and it is still manageable for her. After about 12 shots she turns to me and says ' This is my pistol.' I just said " Yes Dear." So to answer question...... again, yes you can use .38s in a .357 but BE CAREFUL. She may take it from you.
    Originally Posted by BIGBOB
    Estimate of time of death appears to be same day he died.

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    Default Wise words

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    It's only an issue when you switch from 38 specials to 357's, ... truncated for brevity... Move them up the noise and recoils scale too fast, and you'll really set back their skills and enthusiasm.
    Wise words, Brownbear, and thanks for detailing the process for minimizing the 38/357 cleaning issues.

    I would add that even if you never shoot .357s, cleaning that extra debris in front of the .38 casings is still important because that fouling can retain moisture. leading to corrosion, if for no other reason.

    Also, I want to add (on the subject of starting with air guns, or 22s, that primer-powered wax or plastic bullets gives practice with the same gun for low cost and no recoil.

    Lastly, if one does develop a flinch from shooting before one is ready for the recoil, it is VERY difficult to lose that flinch. I think I will start a trhead on the subject.

    Lost Sheep

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    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default How about blank pistol to start??

    Thanks for all the comments...

    I had another thought, since I do not have a 22 handgun or anything smaller, I have the starter pistol for training the dogs.
    would it be good to have her shoot the starter pistol, it uses shotgun primers????

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burke View Post
    Thanks for all the comments...

    I had another thought, since I do not have a 22 handgun or anything smaller, I have the starter pistol for training the dogs.
    would it be good to have her shoot the starter pistol, it uses shotgun primers????
    Nah. It isn't going to have a meaningful trigger, and she's sure not going to learn much about sighting. I'd spend a very few buxx to get an BB pistol or a cheap airsoft pistol. You can shoot it at home with a safe backstop, and ammo is cheap and probably reusable. That will teach her a bunch more and be a lot more fun while she's at it. The nightly practice and the shear fun of it is what's going to get her hooked and keep her that way.

  18. #18

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    My wife started with a Glock 19. After a few days she was shooting the .44 Mag. I explained to her that it was all a matter of mind over matter. As she realized that recoil was really no big deal and didn't develop a fear of it she progressed rapidly. This concept of shooting baby loads to start just reinforces the idea in ones mind that recoil is a tough thing for a woman to control. The better approach is to convince her that recoil is irrelavent and that she can shoot whatever she want's.

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