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Thread: Handgun for my Girlfriend

  1. #1

    Default Handgun for my Girlfriend

    Hi all,

    I am looking to get a handgun for my girlfriend for her birthday this year. We will be apart for some time and I want her to be able to feel safe.

    She has little experience with shooting so I want to get her something manageable but that would still have some stopping power.

    What would you guys recommend in this situation? My budget will be $300 and under.

    Also if you have any used guns that would fit the bill I would be interested in buying one so PM me with what you have that may work and costs.

    Thanks,

    Matt

  2. #2
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Have her shoot some different pistols if possible and then let HER choose the gun she wants without interference from the guy. She will be much more satisfied with the gun and more likely to enjoy the experience that way.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    For under $300 you're going to be limited in what you can get (especially in stopping power). I was just at Fred Meyer's here in Fairbanks, and saw a Ruger LCR and LCP for both around $300. They're both small, light weight, polymer-framed, easily concealable guns that are fairly new on the market. The LCP is a 6+1 .380 ACP pistol. The LCR is a 5 round .38 Special DAO revolver.

    Personally, if I were you, I'd save up a couple hundred more dollars and spring for a Glock 19. Light weight, VERY reliable, easily concealable (especially for a woman who carries a purse), and most importantly; a high magazine capacity of 15+1 9mm.

  4. #4

    Default Thanks guys

    I guess I should have clarified. She is not interested in concealing. This would be more for home defense.

    I figured my budget would be a little low and am hoping someone has a good deal on a used piece in good condition.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    Have her shoot some different pistols if possible and then let HER choose the gun she wants without interference from the guy. She will be much more satisfied with the gun and more likely to enjoy the experience that way.

    Exactly!!!! on top of it... shen she picks hers out... she uses hers. not yours when you want to use yours cause thats the one she likes...



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  6. #6

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    Make sure she tries out revolvers. Much simpler than semi's for my wife. My wife finally decided on a S&W model 66. It is a small frame that fits her hands. I let her target shoot with 38 wad cutters and then when we return home, I put 38 plus p in it. In a defence situation, I doubt she will notice any difference, but the wad cutters have very little recoil and boost her confidence. You can also purchase laser grips later if you really want to boost her confidence in home self protection.

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    Ya, buy a small framed .357 and load it with .38 wadcutters. She'll love it. Forget the auto's until she's technically proficient.
    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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    kelTec P3At in 380.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    Ya, buy a small framed .357 and load it with .38 wadcutters. She'll love it. Forget the auto's until she's technically proficient.
    Absolutely. No complicated "failures to feed" or slide pulling for her to deal with.
    She'll NEVER have to worry about "limp wristing" it.
    IF it misfired she doesn't have to "clear it"...but just pull the trigger again. (5 or 6 times!)
    And a .357 can be loaded with (and practiced with) softer recoil .38's and yet you can load .357's in it for defense/animals.
    The smaller handled snubby's generally FIT a smaller hand better.
    You can still get a 3" barrel for increased volocity, etc.
    Can STILL be carried CCW (very comfortable) if she decides to do that later.

    That being said, if it's STRICTLY for home defense...get her a small 12ga or a 20ga with #4, and teach her to use it, and where to keep it. Show her what the pellet spread is on it. Get her comfortable with it. That's well UNDER the $300.

    NO MATTER WHAT you get her...teach her a complete STRATEGY for around the house.
    Keep the CELL PHONE in the bedroom. Have her keep the bedroom door locked and CALL 911 if she hears a noise...never try to "clear" the house by herself.

    AND, after she calls 911...she must stay on the phone (holed up with the weapon) and talk to dispatch while the officer arrives.
    MAKE SURE the information is relayed to the officer that she's holed up in the locked bedroom with a weapon.
    Also Keep pepper spray in various locations in the house (and extra in the bedroom near the bed).
    A GOOD alarm system is as important as a weapon. (Dogs?).

    Her BRAIN is her BEST weapon of defense.

    I have made the complete loop including the 1911 and HiPower semi-autos...and have returned to the Snubby Revolver for myself...for just the reasons mentioned above. Simple and dependable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armo_Ak View Post
    Hi all,

    I am looking to get a handgun for my girlfriend for her birthday this year. We will be apart for some time and I want her to be able to feel safe.

    She has little experience with shooting so I want to get her something manageable but that would still have some stopping power.

    What would you guys recommend in this situation? My budget will be $300 and under.

    Also if you have any used guns that would fit the bill I would be interested in buying one so PM me with what you have that may work and costs.

    Thanks,

    Matt
    I would look for a 38 Special revolver, OR 357, (You can use 38 Special in a .357) You might find one for that price at a Gun Show.

    Just make sure it has a 3 or 4 inch, or even longer, barrel, and not a SNUB-NOSE. My wife didn't like the Snubbie, and I didn't either. The longer barrel is more pleasant to shoot, and she should be able to shoot it more accurately, too.

    My 3 inch barrel 38 Special has huge Hogue grips, but it's easy to conceal. I don't think your gain a lot in concealability with a snub-nose barrel.

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  11. #11

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    A good used model 10 would be perfect!

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    I've seen too many guys try to "pick a handgun" for their wife/girlfriend and have it not work out. Although all the advice in the posts is well meaning, have her choose her own defensive firearm. If I pick a handgun for you, it probably won't be the one you want. Same with you choosing one for her. Give her a gift certificate to a trusted gun shop and steer her towards a respected instructor with a variety of pistols to try out.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    I REALLY like my S&W442 .38special (about $450). As EKC said, the S&WMod 10 could be had for less...but may be on the large size for her hands. Gunbugs is right, she needs to put it in her hand and see how it fits. She has to be CONFIDENT. Some ranges will let you rent and try guns...this would be perfect. I HIGHLY recommend the revolver over a semi-auto though, for simplicity and reliability. (especially under the pressure of a life/death/rape situation).

    But for MUCH LESS money (usually $229 on sale) a small 20ga pump would be better strictly for home defense (and most animals too, with a variety of different loads).

    Again, having a PLAN is more important than the actual weapon.
    Many folks buy a gun, throw it in the nightstand drawer...and consider themselves "prepared".
    Whatever it is do some training, and have a PLAN.

    We lock our bedroom door at night, as well as set the alarm (yup, battery backup) and have a dog.
    If it ever gets to the point of using the .38 (AND 12ga) from the bedroom...they have gone through 3 layers of defense before the shooting starts...and it's probably a zombie invasion. I am considering a steel BR door though...just for kicks.
    Both the wife and I already have vests (in the "safe room" walk-in BR closet, where she is trained to go and lock the door and call 911 on the cell) Trauma kit and backup 12ga in there with her also. WE have a PLAN!

  14. #14
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    SEMIAUTOS

    My wife carries a S&W M&P .40 SW (full size or compact depending). This is a good semiauto for our household because it has a reversible mag release (she's a southpaw) and adjustable backstraps for different sized hand. However, it will not fit your price criteria.

    Cheap semiautos within your price range are probably limited to HiPoints or Makarov com-block surplus. Before everyone flames me for suggesting a POS gun, let me just point out that the low price point of these weapons lets a good chunk of that $300 go to ammo. What is better at 3 AM when she hears that bump in the night... A glock that she's fired 20 rounds through, or a HiPoint that she's fired 200 rounds through?

    If you go for a handgun of any type, be sure to pick up a cheap uncle mike's holster. Every pistol should have a holster and its only $10.

    REVOLVERS

    We also have a Ruger GP-100 4" in .357. This is also quite manageable, especially with .38 special as has been mentioned. This will be tough to fit into the budget too, but a used security six might be an option. The versatility to use .357 magnum for critters or glaser safety slugs if you live in an apartment with thin walls is excellent too.

    I would steer clear of snubbie revolvers. They are a design that makes significant tradeoffs in order to gain extreme concealability. If she doesn't plan on concealing it, then go with something larger. A heavier gun will have less felt recoil, and a larger gun with a longer sight radius will be easier to aim.

    If you get a revolver I'd suggest getting a few Bianchi speed strips or a speedloader or two to go with it.

    SHOTGUNS

    As has been mentioned, a 12 or 20 gauge seems natural. Get a mossberg 500, put an adjustable stock and maybe a light on it, call it a day. The downside to this is that it is harder to answer the door carrying a shotgun discreetly than it is to answer the door with a pistol discreetly.

    CARBINES

    A pistol caliber carbine might be a good option too. Carbines are often easier than handguns for new shooters to shoot accurately -- especially under stress -- and a pistol caliber carbine is effective within 100 yards. Price might be an issue but you may be able to find a HiPoint or lever action out there.

    THE KEY


    The key is for HER to feel comfortable with it, not you. It may be easier for you to provide her with some material to read and then set her loose. If you can take her to the range and let her try out a few different platforms that is good.

    Here's a website she might find helpful written by a woman for women: http://www.corneredcat.com/

    What would be better yet would be saving up money for a lady's handgun course with Steve at Alaska Tactical. Training is about as important as equipment. Steve does a top notch job.

  15. #15
    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nittanytbone View Post
    The key is for HER to feel comfortable with it, not you. It may be easier for you to provide her with some material to read and then set her loose. If you can take her to the range and let her try out a few different platforms that is good.
    Agree 100%.
    This is true for Everyone in fact.

    The only reason to go with a snubby instead of a larger revolver is it may fit her hand better...and most encounters will happen at less than 21ft anyway, and most at contact distances...so the extra volocity is not all that critical.
    I still think for the $$$ go with 20ga./#4shot.

  16. #16
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Ah, the age old 'pick my girlfriend a gun' thread...

    Nittanybone makes some great points above. I dont mean to beat a dead horse when I say let her choose, but she needs to choose with some sort of guidance as well.

    If $300 is your absoulte maximum, you might be limited in your quest, but quality can still be found inexpensively.

    I hear 'get her a revolver because its simple'. I would bet that any sewing machine is more complicated than an auto-loading pistol. The argument can be that simple is best in a high-stress situation, which is true. However, TRAINING is paramount when it comes to how you are going to use your chosen firearm for defense.

    I do, however, disagree with nittanybone in that you are limited to hi-points and other 'less quality' firearms. Names like Glock, Smith and Wesson, Springfield, Ruger, etc. come to mind when you should be looking for what it says on the side of your firearm.

    If you cant afford the M&P line of smith, take a look at the Sigma.

    If you can afford a new Glock/Ruger/Springfield, look at the used market/get a GSSF certificate/look at the police trade-in market (believe me, lightly used Glocks even with night sights can be had in the $300 range)

    I would suggest NOT getting her a 'mouse gun' like an LCP, Smith Bodyguard, J-Frame revolver, etc. They are small, easy to carry, easy to conceal, but HARD to shoot!

    Someone new needs a decent sized pistol that they can shoot comfortably and have some accuracy sucess with to gain confidence. There are always compromises in life and guns are no exception...

  17. #17
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    Forget the auto's until she's technically proficient.
    Disagree 100%

    Women aren't inherently stupid...I'd venture to say that most guys on here aren't as technically proficient with their semi-auto pistols as they need to be (along with myself).

    Whatever the gun is, get familiar with it, get some range time in, get some professional training, and go from there.

  18. #18

    Default Thanks guys

    Thanks for all your opinions, I wasn't expecting to get so much feedback. I like the idea of having her go to fire what is comfortable for her. I live in Healy though which complicates things a bit. Can you guys recommend a quality gun shop and or range in Fairbanks. A quick google search was not promising based on reviews and outward appearance of stores.

    I like the idea of a VERY easy to use gun. I have taken my girlfriend shooting before but she is how you say....high maintenance....and has very little experience with firearms in general.

    Also I was wondering what it takes to purchase a handgun in this state. I am from Wisconsin and come up here to work every 6 months. Will this hinder our ability to purchase and what sort of documentation is required.

    Thanks again this has been a fun thread to read.

    Matt

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    If she is small in size suggest you swing by a gun store and have her handle a Beretta Bob Cat which is a 7 shot .22 semi. Small, light, easy to handle, very accurate and inexpensive to shoot and become familar with.

    As long as you or her are 21 and have a Ak drivers license or military ID I think you can purchase one in Alaska provided you can "pass" the criminal questions on the form.
    Tennessee

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    Disagree 100%

    Women aren't inherently stupid...I'd venture to say that most guys on here aren't as technically proficient with their semi-auto pistols as they need to be (along with myself).

    Whatever the gun is, get familiar with it, get some range time in, get some professional training, and go from there.
    Guilty here as well! I have been shooting a Glock forever...point and pull the trigger. Last time my wife went shooting with me I embarrassed myself when she let me shoot her .380 Firestorm. The dang thing has a hammer and a safety. I fumbled around with it just long enough for her to notice. Thats not suppose to happen.

    The Firestorm .380 is a well made little auto that can be had for less than $300. They are made by Bersa and are pretty much the same gun as the Bersa Thunder. My wife shoots hers very well.

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