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Thread: Wife wants to carry

  1. #1

    Default Wife wants to carry

    Well, now that we are in Alaska and the wife is out and about hiking etc.. she wants a side arm.

    She has killed deer with a rifle and was in the military so she's not foreign to guns. She has however never owned a pistol. I have never bought or even considered a pistol for her so quite honestly I am at a loss as to what a good gun for her would be.

    So, I would appreciate some suggestions. She will be carrying mostly when she is hiking, berry picking etc.. She is more concerned about the loonies than bears. I am thinking an auto but not sure what a good caliber would be. Obviously I would like her to have the largest she can comfortably shoot. I am thinking that something is better than nothing if she would surprise a sow or a moose decided it wanted to make a taco of her or the dog.

    I can look at ballistic charts all night but I would like to hear from some of you who have experience in this arena.

    She is a medium build and could probably handle some of the medium calibers pretty easily. The larger calibers she could probably shoot but I am not sure how well she would react to the recoil. I know for sure she would not do well with my 44 mag and buffalo loads for bear.

  2. #2
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    well first of.. consider this..

    when i bought my wife her first hand gun.... the card read... please remember how much i love you and don't hold this against me......


    nothing says trust like buying her a dangerious weapon....


    for a lady in a large cal.. i like the Para. small frames.. my second wife has a P-10 that fits nice with little recoil.. my current wife is 5-9" and tough she can haddle the red hawk she has but it is at the top end of her ability.

    have her pick the one that fits her hand.. go to a range that rents them. and let her try several cal.. then be willing to spring the cash when hers cost more then yours....
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    well first of.. consider this..

    when i bought my wife her first hand gun.... the card read... please remember how much i love you and don't hold this against me......


    nothing says trust like buying her a dangerious weapon....


    for a lady in a large cal.. i like the Para. small frames.. my second wife has a P-10 that fits nice with little recoil.. my current wife is 5-9" and tough she can haddle the red hawk she has but it is at the top end of her ability.

    have her pick the one that fits her hand.. go to a range that rents them. and let her try several cal.. then be willing to spring the cash when hers cost more then yours....
    That does bring up an interesting point. Does anyone know of a place in the Mat-Su area that has a range were she can try some out?

    The P-10 is a nice compact frame and apparently the 380's now pack a pretty good punch compared to the loads of the past. I was thinking something a little bigger though like a 10 mil? Maybe that is asking to much..

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    ours was the .45 p-10... NICE!!!! 8 rounds
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Depends on the lady, but most would be safer with a revolver. Less to think about. I got my wife a S&W Ladysmith .357. Nice slim grip and it is "pretty"

    Perfect for two legged critters.

    Times of stress, adrenaline flowing, I like revolvers for all but the most experienced shooters.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default Nobody flinches on the FIRST shot

    Quote Originally Posted by dvarmit View Post
    Well, now that we are in Alaska and the wife is out and about hiking etc.. she wants a side arm.

    She has killed deer with a rifle and was in the military so she's not foreign to guns. She has however never owned a pistol. I have never bought or even considered a pistol for her so quite honestly I am at a loss as to what a good gun for her would be.

    So, I would appreciate some suggestions. She will be carrying mostly when she is hiking, berry picking etc.. She is more concerned about the loonies than bears. I am thinking an auto but not sure what a good caliber would be. Obviously I would like her to have the largest she can comfortably shoot. I am thinking that something is better than nothing if she would surprise a sow or a moose decided it wanted to make a taco of her or the dog.

    I can look at ballistic charts all night but I would like to hear from some of you who have experience in this arena.

    She is a medium build and could probably handle some of the medium calibers pretty easily. The larger calibers she could probably shoot but I am not sure how well she would react to the recoil. I know for sure she would not do well with my 44 mag and buffalo loads for bear.
    A handgun is a poor, poor choice for protection against bears or even moose. The only legitimate reason it is so popular it that they are easy to carry and not often left leaning against a tree 15 yards away, when where you want an emergency firearm is WITH YOU.

    So, handgun to do double duty as protection against dangerous animals and against threatening people.

    10mm is nice, but most of the bullets available are far too lignt to be effective on bear. 9mm and 45ACP are ok for people, but also not so good on bears or moose. 357 mag is likewise marginal on moose (even in the heaviest loadings) and the bullet construction good against people is not good for any large animal.

    Large bullets work best on both types of threat. Since they are already "pre-expanded" to a large diameter, you don't need hollow point construction to be effective on a person. 44 Magnum is good. 45 Colt is 10 percent larger frontal area and the 500 S&W is 23% larger than the 45 The gun itself is a pain in the hip to carry, though. It's heavy.

    If you handload, a 5" Ruger Redhawk in .45 Colt is a good compromise. The 45 Colt loads that approach 44 Magnum energy levels have less felt recoil than the 44 Magnum loads (don't ask me why - heavier bullets, lower speed having good momentum for effectiveness, the 45 Colt at 1000 fps and above in the heavier bullet weights can do as well as 44 mag.

    Caveat: I am not a hunter. I just have done a lot of listening to guys who know what they are talking about. And what they say makes sense. Energy shreds flesh. Momentum breaks bone. To stop a large, well-muscled animal intent on doing you harm, you need to break bones to stop them. Then you can take a kill shot from a safe position.

    Whatever caliber she gets, she will need a lot of practice. Use light loads and shoot A LOT! With a few full-power loads for acclimation. If it is necessary to plug a bear, it will happen very fast, the target will be moving (If it is standing still, it may not be necessary to shoot.) and she/you will be depending on that muscle memory and training to put the bullet where it needs to go.

    A viable alternative to an anti-bear sidearm is bear spray. I carry both. The 454 Casull is there if the spray does not work.

    Spray is easier to aim and does not require you to go through all the "Defense of Life or Property" red tape and all that. $50 for a large can of OC is less than a box of decent bullets.

    Lost Sheep

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    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    my wife carried a 32 tomcat until it was stolen by our house movers.

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Take her to the range and let her shoot out a bunch of guns then let her pick her own.Best not to buy her shoes or her gun

  9. #9

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    My wife had a choice of anything she wanted and has shot all of my guns from 38 special to 44 magnum. She settled on the Lady Smith .357.

    For in town self protection she carries 125 grain loads. For walking the woods she loads it up with the Federal cast precision haradcast lead loads.

    She carries this easily and is confident with it. Certainly not the best choice for bear but 5 180 grain hard cast bullets are better than nothing. Given that the odds of bear attack are so small she understands the trade off and accepts it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Take her to the range and let her shoot out a bunch of guns then let her pick her own.Best not to buy her shoes or her gun
    That's a good thing to remember

  11. #11

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    Thanks for all the input folks!

    Still open to anyone who has additional suggestions! I plan on getting her lessons so she doesn't learn my bad shooting habits.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    One more vote for let her pick it! Mine also has a 357 Lady Smith and takes it every place with her. I hate the little thing as it's a hand crusher with 357s but the wife shoots them all the time in it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvarmit View Post
    She is a medium build and could probably handle some of the medium calibers pretty easily. The larger calibers she could probably shoot but I am not sure how well she would react to the recoil. I know for sure she would not do well with my 44 mag and buffalo loads for bear.
    So there, is your approach. Let her choose. Just suggest to her, what NOT to get.

    No 44 Mag. or above. No Short Barrel. No tiny grip. Etc. Etc.

    You're probably talking about a 357, or possibly a 44 Special, or even a 45 ACP revolver.

    I got my wife a 38 Special with a 4" barrel, which she likes. It's loaded with 125 grain JHP FLs at home and I've loaded 158 grain Hard Cast +P Handloads for the woods and berry patches.

    Yeah, that's mighty light for a Moose, or Bear, but remember what YOU said. "I am thinking that something is better than nothing".

    I agree, and I know my wife, and I knew what she might like and what she wouldn't even deal with. I believe she is better off with this revolver, than nothing.

    She's not a gun-nut like me, and she doesn't look for an excuse to shoot or pack a gun around, like I do.

    The important thing to me, is that she can shoot her Bolt Action Rifle, and a Revolver SA or DA. She likes this gun, and she will carry it.

    It's a good and positive thing, that your wife wants to carry. She'll be safer, and you'll feel better about it.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post

    Mine also has a 357 Lady Smith and takes it every place with her. I hate the little thing as it's a hand crusher with 357s but the wife shoots them all the time in it.
    Same here. I hate the gun in my hands, but she loves it. Could be the name, "Ladysmith" in a market dominated by male interest, not sure. But she loves it. Pretty wood grain grips, nice finish, "Ladysmith" on the side. She runs 38s through it and keeps it by the bedside with .357 hollowpoints. Great gun (for a chic)
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    I agree with several other posters about the 357. My 44 mag is too big for my wife and she is pretty tough.
    I know there are lots of arguments regarding safe carry, but I just don't feel safe carring around an automatic with a round in the chamber. So I carry revolvers. Just to be on the safe side I even leave the cylinder under the hammer empy even though I know they have the new passive saftys.

    But maybe I am paranoid.

  16. #16

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    My wife has a Ruger SP-101 in 357 cal. Nice small frame w/ 5 round capacity. It fits her small hand and she can shoot 38 cal through it. It nice because the 38's don't beat her up at the range yet the hydroshock 357 cals that she carries will more than do the job. She wont notice the recoil if the BG has her intense focused attention just before he surcumbs to the occupational hazzerds of being a thug.

  17. #17

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    Here's how my wife is going about this: She took a shooting class where she got to try a bunch of compact & full-sized autos and revolvers. I also took her shooting, where she got to try full-house .357 & .44 magnums.

    Her preference? She thinks Smith model 36 is sexy. She LIKES the recoil of a model 629. But, she's not comfortable carrying either, especially for protection from bears. She's not an expert shooter, and she prefers the idea of carrying bear spray.

    My buddy lives up in Fairbanks, and his wife totes a 12-ga shotgun loaded with slugs when they take their kids into the woods. My mother lives in the Southeast and has never carried any protection to my knowledge. Everybody's different.

    However, here are my recommendations if you and your wife could use some starting points:

    -Revolvers are generally prefered over autos for woods carry since they can generally handle more powerful cartriges. A good cartridge if you're in the woods but mainly worried about 2-legged creatures is .357 mag, but .44 mag is definitely better if the recoil isn't too much. Good guns to look at in .357 are S&W models 686, 620, or Ruger GP100. In .44, other good guns are Smith 629, Ruger Redhawk, or Ruger Alaskan. In either caliber, 4" is convenient for packing, but 6" is better for shooting since it recoils a little less and is easier to aim.

    - In autos, something in 10mm is ideal, since it's about as good as .357 magnum. I think Glock has one with porting if recoil is an issue. If 10mm is too much, then my second choice would be long-slide gun in .45 auto; a longer barrel makes for a little better bullet penetration, and the longer sight radius makes it easier to hunt with if you need to.

    - Most shooters think the best bullets for woods carry are heavy hardcasts. They penetrate big animals better than hollowpoints. Federal, Corbon, Buffalo Bore, Grizzly Cartridge, Garrett Cartridge, and Double Tap all carry hardcast ammo that would get the job done.

    - Almost forgot. With a revolver, you usually have the option of swapping out grips, which is nice for women with small hands. Look up Hogue and Pachmayr; one of them should have a grip that your wife might like. Rubber ones usually absorb recoil better than wood, but there are more woods ones to choose from.

    Hope this helps!
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    Default Depends on the predator

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye
    (Truncated for brevity) My buddy lives up in Fairbanks, and his wife totes a 12-ga shotgun loaded with slugs when they take their kids into the woods. My mother lives in the Southeast and has never carried any protection to my knowledge. Everybody's different.
    Yeah, those sound like good choices for the particular threat. Interior bears tend to be a bit more aggressive, as they have to be more predatory to get fed. Southeast bears are better fed and accustomed to eating fish, which don't require stalking, fighting and killing. So they tend to be less aggressive (but only comparatively speaking. They still are a feisty creature.)

    What's the 12 gauge loaded with? Brenneke's seem to have a lot of favor.

    Lost Sheep

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvarmit View Post
    Well, now that we are in Alaska and the wife is out and about hiking etc.. she wants a side arm.

    She has killed deer with a rifle and was in the military so she's not foreign to guns. She has however never owned a pistol. I have never bought or even considered a pistol for her so quite honestly I am at a loss as to what a good gun for her would be.

    So, I would appreciate some suggestions. She will be carrying mostly when she is hiking, berry picking etc.. She is more concerned about the loonies than bears. I am thinking an auto but not sure what a good caliber would be. Obviously I would like her to have the largest she can comfortably shoot. I am thinking that something is better than nothing if she would surprise a sow or a moose decided it wanted to make a taco of her or the dog.

    I can look at ballistic charts all night but I would like to hear from some of you who have experience in this arena.

    She is a medium build and could probably handle some of the medium calibers pretty easily. The larger calibers she could probably shoot but I am not sure how well she would react to the recoil. I know for sure she would not do well with my 44 mag and buffalo loads for bear.
    This decision is not yours, and you shouldn't be asking questions about it here. Take your wife to Great Northern Guns, give her the credit card, and take off for a bookstore. Come back in an hour. What she buys is what she wants.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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  20. #20

    Smile my wife...

    My wife has 2 guns, according to her. One is a Mod. 94 Winchester chambered in .44 mag. It is light and holds 10 of those big flat nosed 280 grain hard cast LBT's. Her 3" S&W K Frame holds 6 of my hand loaded .38 Spl. 140 grain Hornaday XTP's. Thats as big as she will go.

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