Caribou Gear

Handgun virgin seeks advice & recommendations

WNC2500

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May 28, 2018
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North Carolina
My recommendation would be a full size 10mm or 45 ACP for her. Like several people have said, it would not be near as bad for the recoil.

Other option would be a revolver. Although my wife and daughters like the automatics above for ease, they like my Ruger Alaskan and Ruger 44 mag so much more for the ability to be accurate.
 

Phaseolus

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Apr 26, 2014
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EOM Western Colorado
I'm completely in agreement with you and I keep trying to tell her a shotgun is way easier to operate... but she's convinced it's too big. And I also agree with you that if we go the handgun route, SHE needs to be shooting it too
Get her an autoloading 20 guage then.
 
R

rwc101

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Since we're all going outside the parameters of the original question.
Screenshot_20220813-165016.png
 

T Bone

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West Slope, CO
Whatever she chooses, get her some training, if she is willing.

My wife learns better from some one else. Any one else. Literally any human being on the planet besides me. Even if we say the exact same words.

If she were to hear the shotgun opinion from another woman, it may stick.
 

SFC B

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When selling guns to folks with no experience for home protection I ALWAYS started with the 18ish in defense shotguns. You can get a Mossberg Maverick 88 for about $230 and it is a no frills, dead reliable gun. Pistols......those that are truly effective on bears (especially Mr Griz) are going to be the wrong place to start a pistol novice. If you HAVE to get a pistol, take her to a shop with a good selection and let her try a bunch for grip comfort. Told my wife she could have any 9mm in our shop (except a Staccato :) ) and she chose the Glock 48.....nothing I would have gone for but as soon as she picked it up she knew.
 

270.Rose

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Dec 12, 2020
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From the perspective of a woman who didn't grow up around guns and has only learned to shoot since my husband taught me after our marriage, my number one choice for home defense is my 20ga over/under shotgun. My husband got me several of those bad-guy-charging targets and let me alternate between guns practicing loading, bringing the gun up, and firing. That gun has the least number of things I need to keep track of besides remembering the fundamentals of gun handling/safety. Drop a shell in, snap it shut, and boom. My second choice would be my husband's .357mag revolver, but if I can I'll grab the shotgun first.
 

Hunting Wife

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Nov 18, 2014
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Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
From the perspective of a woman who didn't grow up around guns and has only learned to shoot since my husband taught me after our marriage, my number one choice for home defense is my 20ga over/under shotgun. My husband got me several of those bad-guy-charging targets and let me alternate between guns practicing loading, bringing the gun up, and firing. That gun has the least number of things I need to keep track of besides remembering the fundamentals of gun handling/safety. Drop a shell in, snap it shut, and boom. My second choice would be my husband's .357mag revolver, but if I can I'll grab the shotgun first.
Having “taught” several female friends, my husband’s female friends, and even my mom, this has been exactly their feelings as well. To a woman, they have been most comfortable with the revolvers, even over the micro semi autos. I think hand and wrist strength can be a big factor in troubles with semi-autos for some women that doesn’t get taken into account.

My dad started us shooting the .22 pistols when we started school so I’m no stranger to handguns. But if the shit hit the fan in my home and I had a choice, I would choose my shotgun every time.
 
R

rwc101

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It took about a year and a half for my dad and I to persuade my mom that a 20 gauge wouldn't break her shoulder if she decided to start shooting clays.
 

EastTNHunter

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Jun 13, 2018
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Some women don’t like auto loading handguns because they are hard to rack the slide on. I can shoot a handgun better than a revolver due to training, but a .357 revolver with 4” or 6” barrel has a good sight radius and is easier for a woman to handle. Practice with .38 specials for low recoil, load it with 158gr cast .357s for bear.

I agree on the shotgun being better for bear, but may be better off with a 20ga for a woman
 

Sheltowee

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Jun 29, 2022
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The Front Range
Glock 19 or, if your wife prefers a slimmer grip, the Glock 48. Add XS Big Dot sights. Glocks are near [email protected]$&-up-able (even less so than a DA revolver), simple, rugged handguns that do not take terribly long to establish competency on. If you/she are the least bit recoil sensitive, I would not jump straight to a .44 Mag or 10mm (although 10s are near and dear to my heart).

I’d suggest investing in a case of FMJs for practice and a couple of boxes of Buffalo Bore P+ 147gr. hardcast for woods carry. In a life or death situation, I’d much rather have a beginning handgun shooter capable of putting 10 rounds of a lesser cartridge on target than spraying the treetops with a .580 Thunderblaster he or she can’t control.
 
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mxracer317

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Nov 20, 2020
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627
Blown away that no one has yet to say 9mm SBR or 556. -compact, light recoil and lots of firepower (30 rounds in the mag).

Whatever you do, be very cautious about shooting direction and over penetration of the walls. Especially with your daughter in the home.
 

std7mag

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Aug 23, 2016
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central pa
On a side note.
Friend of ours lives in Front Royal, VA.
They have lots of bear run ins.
As in on the deck, checking out the sliding glass doors.

Thus far what's been effective for them is
1) paintball gun
2) firecrackers & bottle rockets
3) shot gun with bean bag rounds.

They've had several trapped by the game commission & transplanted.
Have only HAD to kill one.
 

longbow51

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Aug 2, 2020
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On a serious note, my sister wanted a handgun for her car as she travels for work in the Houston area. Told her to go to a range, try them out, and I would get her whatever she wanted; encouraged her to look at the Kimber K6s which my wife just got, but she wound up with a Sig P365.

For the home though, shotgun all the way, and in these days with multiple intruders the norm, likely not a double.

So, what SFC B said.

And, I too thought compact AR as well, but if she's new to guns, the black rifle might be a bit much. Actually with a red dot and correct ammo to avoid overpenetration, though, could be a good solution. Low recoil compared to shotgun.
 

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