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Personal defense handgun suggestions for women?

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Vito

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Y'all:

Both of my college age daughters have expressed an interest in personal defense handguns, so I'm looking for suggestions from youse brethren & sistren who know more than I do.

I've taken them shooting with my own firearms, and they both like the Sig Sauer P230 (which is no longer manufactured). Neither was able to hold the 9mm Beretta Model 92FS firmly enough to keep it from jamming on the reload, so I think .380 ACP is probably their best shot (heh).

Recommendations?

 

Richard Burley

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For actual carry, rather than just something they "like" on the range? An S&W Model 36 Airweight variant of their choice. I think there's a LadySmith or something.
 

tarheel7734

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look at a smaller framed 9mm. Take them to shops and let them hold the s&w shield and a few other handguns. They need to see what is comfortable in the hand as if it is not comfortable, they will not practice and will not carry or use it if they dont practice as they are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with it. If they are looking at something a little larger, take a look at the p30 and the vp9 by h&k as they have adjustable grips.
 

Thistleoak

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I have a walther pk 380 that i carry when work sends me to big cities. Small frame, very easy to conceal. Can be an oil eater but i have never had a jam or misfire out of it. Even though its small and God Forbin they ever have to use it.... lokking down the barrel of a 380... might as well be looking down the barrel of a Howitzer.
 

BriarBeagle

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I'm a big fan of sigs. Always reliable and consistent. For a carry weapon, I really like my Sig p238, chambered in .380 acp, though there are many other fine options as well. I guess I'm just a Sig kinda guy.
 

BriarBeagle

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You might also consider the Sig 938, which is the same frame (I think) as the 238, but a bit more firepower as it is chambered in 9mm
 

Fazby

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Just have them be comfortable with it. A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .45.
 

scotties22

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I have been looking at a gun to carry while I am out. I have settled on the S&W 637 Airweight. This isn't something to be brandished about just so people can see how big my gun is. But, if the need arises I can get myself and my kiddos out of trouble with it. I'm all about extraction and escape and if 5 rounds won't do it it's not gonna happen.
 

scotties22

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If it helps, I'm 5'9", 175lbs, and have big hands for a girl.

My kitchen gun is a S&W 686 Plus. While I am extremely comfortable with the weapon inhand, it is next to impossible to conceal and concealment is what I am after.

The 637 gives me a bit smaller of a frame so it's easier to tuck away. And I can get a good grip on it.....that way when I run out of bullets I can beat the poor schmuck that was stupid enough to mess with me in the first place.
 

BriarBeagle

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Fazby":2j6g8a46 said:
Just have them be comfortable with it.  A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .45.
I'm on board with this strategy. Have them shoot a bunch of different guns, and select the one that they shoot with the most accuracy and comfort. I agree that hitting the target is far more important than the caliber. (Still a personal fan of the Sig, though) :lol:
 

Fazby

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It wasn't original with me. I saw it somewhere a long time ago. It stuck cuz it makes sense.
 

Vito

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Thanks to all for your suggestions.

Actually, for the best combination of power, small size, and ability to shoot accurately, I would have thought that .22 magnum makes the most sense. But when I went to a gun store recently, the guy I talked to did his best to discourage me from using .22 magnum.

"See that big guy over there?" he said, pointing to a hefty dude. "Unless you're lucky enough to get a heart shot or a head shot, you're never going to stop him with a .22 magnum. Plus, the ammo is getting harder to find." WTF? I can go out to the local Big 5 Sporting Goods store and buy as many boxes of CCI copper clad .22 WMR rounds as I want. And while I can't say that luck isn't involved, it seems to me that reaction time, comfort with the weapon, and accuracy are more important...and those are all learnable skills.

In any case, it still seems to me that a .22 magnum semi-auto handgun makes a lot of sense for someone whose lack of wrist strength affects their .380 ACP accuracy, and completely rules out the more powerful 9 mm parabellum round. It goes back to what Fazby said: A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with anything else.

As far as accuracy goes, .22 WMR is relatively inexpensive ammo, so it doesn't cost a lot to get enough practice to be able to shoot the gun accurately. It can be made small, light, and easy to carry and conceal.

The downside seems to be that there aren't many on the market from which to choose. It also appears that some of the semi-auto .22 mag pistols have had jamming problems, allegedly due to deformation of the rimfire casing. A gun that won't fire when you need it is useless.

Anyhow, we're still in the hunt, so I appreciate any and all suggestions, especially from folks who have direct experience with their recommendations.

 

Fazby

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I believe I have heard a cop say that a .38 may not stop a large attacker. Yes, a .22 has less power. Empty the weapon into the big fella. As he gets closer, the head shot, or at least body center, may get easier. If he sees a new clip being inserted, it should get his attention.

 

puros_bran

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The thing to remember is a handgun is a crappy weapon. It's not nearly powerful enough to stop someone unless you score a spine/brain/heart shot. So "stopping power" is pretty mythical. A 22 will kill someone, but will they kill you before they die?
Most handgun stops occur before the round is even fired...if not then usually after a hit the assailant breaks and runs. If they are still in the fight who knows what happens.

Take those girls to a range that rents firearms and let them try out a few.
If you stick with 22mag I'd suggest a S&W 351pd. Cost a little but their grandchildren will fight over who gets granny's guns.

A Bersa Thunder in 380, should be at or below $300
A multitude of Beretta model numbers all called 'cheetah' is a nice choice as well..they have them in 22, 32acp, and 380acp.
Ruger makes a SP101 in 327mag. The 327 will get it done but the gun shoots a variety of 32 rounds, 32 H&R, etc.

YouTube up Hickhock45 for good in depth reviews. It's usually cheaper to find a local FFL that will do the transfer and you purchasing direct from kygunco or budsguns
 

puros_bran

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Wait..  the newest incarnation of the KelTec PMR30 might be what you are looking for. Gunzinc.com had a couple last week for $499.  30 rounds of 22WMR should solve most problems. Lol
 

Vito

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Yeah...I'm looking at the PMR-30, pb. The reviews and especially the user comments are very confusing. Some folks say they've never had a jamming problem, and others say the opposite. Some say the gun is very well made, and others say it's a piece of junk. The only way to know for sure is to find a recently made one and try it, so your suggestion is a good one.

It might be a moot point. Unless KelTec makes a 10-round clip for it, the stock 30-round clip makes the gun illegal here in the People's Republik of Kalifornicaty, thanks to our Stalinist governor and his Soviet legislature.

The moronic voters in this state just passed an initiative require background checks on anyone who buys ammunition. It doesn't go into effect until 2018 or 2019 (I can't remember), but that's how stupid it is here.

We're looking for other states to move to. :x

 

BriarBeagle

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Vito":9t3l6869 said:
Yeah...I'm looking at the PMR-30, pb. The reviews and especially the user comments are very confusing. Some folks say they've never had a jamming problem, and others say the opposite. Some say the gun is very well made, and others say it's a piece of junk. The only way to know for sure is to find a recently made one and try it, so your suggestion is a good one.

It might be a moot point. Unless KelTec makes a 10-round clip for it, the stock 30-round clip makes the gun illegal here in the People's Republik of Kalifornicaty, thanks to our Stalinist governor and his Soviet legislature.

The moronic voters in this state just passed an initiative require background checks on anyone who buys ammunition. It doesn't go into effect until 2018 or 2019 (I can't remember), but that's how stupid it is here.

We're looking for other states to move to. :x

California...what a state! I'll be stocking up heavily on ammo and tobacco in the near future.
 

puros_bran

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Vito, I remembered that in the first post and completely forgot it concerning the PMR30.

The PMR30 jams, all semi-autos jam sometime or another, limp wrist, ammo, magazines, the gun itself...there's too much going on to keep Murphy at bay. Keltec quality slipped when the PMR30 exploded into a crowd favorite. I believe they've caught up in quality and quantity.

If all I can have is 10 rounds of 22WMR, I'd give up four rounds and buy  a quality revolver.  22WMR is still a rim fire and I'd like to have second strike ability. A fail to fire or fail to eject in a semi-auto at the worst possible moment requires a tap/rack/bang and that does need to be pounded into their heads. You'd be surprised at the number of otherwise rational people that will look at the gun, pull the trigger, look at the gun, pull the trigger like it's somehow going to unjam itself.
 

Lonecoyote

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I'm a big Sig Sauer fan and my Summer carry/conceal is the Sig Sauer p238 Equinox. The ammo for critical defense carry I've used and fired at the range, .380 Auto Hornady Critical Defense 90gr. FTX Hollow Point   You need too also practice with the rounds you plan on defending yourself and loved ones with!  I've fired over 2,500 rounds without any jam what so ever. I also recommend Rand CLP, the finest I've ever used.
Also, the p238 is based on the same principal as the 1911, easy to field strip and keep clean.
My Winter carry/conceal is usually one of my 1911's or my faithful S&W J frame .357. Good Luck and may they always be safe :sunny: :sunny:

PS
I personally would not trust my life with the PMR-30, from my experience.

KEEP ON PUFFING!!!
 
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