Handgun virgin seeks advice & recommendations

FLS

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I coached the clays teams at my sons school. Im also an avid 3 gun shooter and helped teach folks looking to get involved in that sport. I’ve taught a lot of young ladies/ women to shoot. Generally they are easier than the boys. A 12 gauge with reduced recoil loads will actually kick less than most small framed 20s, the issue for most girls/ women is length of pull. A shortened stock with reduced recoil loads makes a 12 gauge easy to handle. I will also argue that a semi auto has a much simpler manual of arms and is more reliable in someone’s hands that does not shoot a lot. A short stroked pump isn’t even a good club. My wife is familiar with guns, but not an avid shooter, and much prefers a semiauto 12 gauge to a pump. I have an 1100 with a 22” barrel and an extended mag tube. It will hold 8 rounds of 2 3/4” low recoil buckshot in the tube magazine. An oversized charging handle makes it easy to charge. Then it’s just point and shoot. Stay away from inertia guns if you decide to go with a semi. They’re not reliable with reduced loads in my experience, and need something solid to recoil against, I’ve seen smaller shooters struggle with them.
If you want to get a handgun, a mid sized 357 revolver loaded with 38s is potent, manageable, and reliable. Much simpler to operate under stress and won’t stove pipe if she limp wrists it.
 
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wytex

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Personally I Like q 12 ga for a shotgun protection, let her learn with low brass.
I also prefer a revolver for protection because it is always ready, double action, no need to rack the slide.
If I had a semi auto for home protection I would want it locked and loaded, not the best around a child.
I have a 41 mag, and a 357 mag that I like to have handy. Both can shoot lighter loads for practice, 38 special or 41 special loads.
Take her someplace and let her shoot various guns to see what fits her, she may surprise you.
 

mxracer317

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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.
Just because it looks scary to her doesn’t mean it’s any less lethal when you pull the trigger.

Spend some time educating her and I’m sure she’ll realize it’s not as bad as what she thinks it might be.

Also, you hit the nail on the head with the multiple intruder comment. Exactly why you want more capacity than a shot gun or pistol.
 

jeff_gibbons

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It sounds like she is somewhat inexperienced, in which case she will likely find a full sized semi auto handgun unwieldy to handle as well, at least anything that would be worth a damn for bears.

I would seriously consider a smaller shotgun for your stated objective, and bear spray for walks. If she must have a handgun, go with a revolver. And make sure she spends enough time at the range to become proficient with whatever you go with, or this is all kind of pointless.

Good luck!
+1 on above thoughts
 

JLS

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It’s not hard to put a recoil reducing stock in a shotgun. You can stick one on a 12 gauge and 100 pound females can shoot slugs out of one.
 

Gr8bawana

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l prefer revolvers for new handgun shooters, if it were us in our position, l would get a 4 inch barreled 357 magnum, it will be loud but the recoil isn't bad, plus you can shoot 38 special or 38 special plus p loads. if you have to buy a semi auto then get a glock in 40 smith and wesson, they are simple and reliable. shotguns are great, l bought my wife an over under 20 gauge, she loves it.
I totally agree with the revolver advice, a double action. Because should your wife have a panic situation all she would have to do is pull the trigger.
No pulling back the slide of a semi-auto and there is zero possibility of it jamming.
 

hardwoods

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M&P 9mm SHIELD EZ loaded with a durable bullet.
This is what I got for my wife, still a work in progress however. Easy to rack the slide which is very nice. Revolver would be a shorter learning curve. Your wife would need to really commit to learning how to use it and become accurate. I think a shotgun is your best bet as well for around the house. The 9mm Shield EZ would double for both a carry and home defense. Best of luck in your research.
 

PorterHouse

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For all around utility and for either of you to use, as others have mentioned, I’d be looking long and hard at an SBR with red dot. There’s not going to be anything else that is as effective at putting lots of rounds on target very quickly.

Second would be a 20 gauge auto loading compact shotgun. My wife loves hers for bird hunting and it fits her very well at 5’3”…would work equally as well for home defense with slugs or buckshot.

Based on what you have described, I probably would not be going the handgun route for the wife. Much steeper learning curve, hardest of all the options to shoot well. And not nearly as much energy as a rifle or shotgun. Remember the military mantra…the only thing a pistol is good for is to fight your way back to a rifle (long gun).
 

Robert N

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We don’t have kids…and we also have 3 dogs. Loaded bedside guns is SOP for us.

Personally, I’d look at a 20ga shotgun (my wife has a Franchi AL48 in 20ga for upland and can handle the recoil very nicely) and a toss up between a 9mm auto. I’d have no issues with a 20ga Marine 870 with a tube of short buckshot. Recoil Would be very managed, add a red-dot and it’s gold. Personally, I have the 12ga…it’s a bit much for my wife.

In my wife’s case, she chose a Springfield XD Full-size…mind you, she can’t rack the slide (hence there’s always a round in the chamber)…but assuming no jams she has 18 rounds on tap…or a Ruger SP101 .357 stoked with .38 Special +p+ loads in her office.

Me? A Springfield Hellcat 9mm in the bedside and a S&W 640 stuffed with heavy .357 Mags in the office…and a Ruger LCP for when I need to be properly dressed.

The dogs are the first line of defense.
 

Jasher

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If you decide to get a Semiautomatic most manufacturers make a 22 version of their most popular products. I'd get one of those also and use it to practice. Ammo is very cheap and the gun functions exactly like the big ones. That's what I did for my wife and stepdaughter. Some also have conversion kits that you can buy so you only need 1 gun. All the brands named are very reliable I would just add 1 to the list and that's Beretta. The best defense ammo is Speer gold dot.
 

Festus

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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.
Agree with shotgun. For all the reasons mentioned, but also rubber bullets are a very effective deterrent for yard bears.
Lots of bears around here and local Game commission recommends hazing with rubber bullets (will even provide for you). It does deter them from hanging around the house.

I noticed a few here recommended an over/under, though?? My mind went straight to the side-by-side - I thought this was pretty standard equipment 🤷‍♂️...

granny.png
 

Scott85

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I would take her to the gun store and get her a get her a pistol and shotgun. I would let her pick weapons that feel most comfortable to her, with a pistol I would look for one that really feels good to her and that sight alignment should come natural without having to fight it. Everything else comes to down to training and muscle memory.
 

NDGuy

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I am with most on the shotgun recommendation

Mossberg 590 or Remington 870 loaded with slugs and buckshot, several shortened models with 5-8 round tubes.

Handgun if she can be proficient

Glock 43x 9MM
Glock 45 9MM
Glock 20 10mm

Glocks are boring tupperware but very reliable and no fking around with a safety, point and shoot.
 

NDGuy

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I am with most on the shotgun recommendation

Mossberg 590 or Remington 870 loaded with slugs and buckshot, several shortened models with 5-8 round tubes.

Handgun if she can be proficient

Glock 43x 9MM
Glock 45 9MM
Glock 20 10mm

Glocks are boring tupperware but very reliable and no fking around with a safety, point and shoot.
Also if 9mm/10mm and dealing with bears use Buffalo Bore Outdoorsmans
 

MtnElk

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Conifer
Thanks all for the help. I let her read through the thread and we are in agreement the shotgun makes the most sense for her. But she still thinks I should grab a handgun... so that's a bonus. Appreciate all the recommendations.
 

mtmuley

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Thanks all for the help. I let her read through the thread and we are in agreement the shotgun makes the most sense for her. But she still thinks I should grab a handgun... so that's a bonus. Appreciate all the recommendations.
Don't get her a 10mm. mtmuley
 

wa_archer

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E. WA
So this comes from an LEO that has been a range instructor for a while. I would recommend a 9mm practice and practice. practice first dry firing and reload drills. When amped you will fall back to what you practiced so practice not only shooting but getting the gun un jammed when you double feed or anything else in the moment. if you have practiced you wont have to think about it also start slow and stay safe. smooth is fast, fast is smooth. in this way your training yourself the correct way and you wont have to think about it in the moment if that occurs. I can tell you when in the moment it will be in your hand before you realize it. practice from where you will carry. I like what some other have said M&P shield or the ne i like the sig p365. you can get small safes with hand ID that can sit on shelf. we have a grandfather clock that the face tilts down to hold gun, the kids dont even know there is a gun in there. Buy a self defense +p round. you want something that will open and slow immediately so your not punching holes through something and through the remaining walls.

I say 9mm as that is what a lot of leo have gone to with the majority of new officers having no prior shooting experience. better to be able to put several small holes than one slightly larger hole. Less recoil will add to better accuracy, not being afraid, not developing bad shooting habits.

for in home i would honestly say go buy a cheap pump action shotgun. leave the action empty with round in magazine. The sound of a pump shotgun being racked will take care of anyone trying to break in.

review laws in your state regarding self defense. IE you cant shot someone for just being on your property. I will defer to your local laws.
 
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