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Concealed Carry Pistol For A Woman

woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior MemberPosts: 2,725 Senior Member
This question has probably been beaten to death here on the Forum in the past, but I very rarely look at the Personal Protection Forum so I've missed out on this question and I'm not savvy enough to know how to research it. But....

I have been asked by a young woman to suggest to her a style and even a make of pistol that she can carry concealed for personal protection. Her work hours place her in a possible risky situation. I'm not a hand gun expert by any means, and have experience only with a 1911 in the military, and this is not what she needs. My thoughts are maybe a hammerless snubbie that she could easily carry concealed and simply point and pull the trigger if attacked. (The "Snubbies" topic on the Firearms Forum ties in with this subject). How about giving me some pointers on this so I can help this Gal. She's tough as nails, and I wouldn't want to cross her, but still she's a pretty woman and is at risk.
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Replies

  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    First and foremost is she going to train with it? If not somebody will only take it from her and use it on her.

    She needs to try out several and see what she is comfortable with. I think the Kahr CW45 makes a nice gun that is perfect for a woman or man. Low recoil, non Punishing, good stopping power of the .45 acp is a good place to start.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Also, how will she be carrying it? In a holster or in a bag?

    Holster carry presents a lot more options, but bag carry gets dicey for things like Glocks and M&Ps, where something could get inside the trigger guard anc cause an AD.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    I've thought a little about this, and Yes most definitely I will insist that she get training, and that is available locally. I'll make darn sure that she is properly instructed and trained. ( Dad is a good friend).

    Personally I would think that body carry is the most desirable way to go. To me it just makes more sense to have the pistol instantly available and not in a pocket book to be snatched from her.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,138 Senior Member
    If there is a range available that will allow her to try various firearms that's probably the best way to go.... let the gun find her..
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    My wife carries a Kahr pm9. Great little gun. I want one for myself. It certainly has a kick, but is manageable. Coupled with a belly band for carry, she can still wear most of what she would like.
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,591 Senior Member
    My daughter got a S&W Shield in 9mm for Christmas. Fits her nicely, simple to operate, reliable, and she practices with it.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,615 Senior Member
    I'd recommend a S&W 642 or similar. A revolver is a safe and simple choice for someone who doesn't shoot a lot of rounds. At face-to-face threat ranges, shooting is more important than squeezing them off and form.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • N320AWN320AW Senior Member Posts: 648 Senior Member
    For a woman who does not shoot often or at all, I have always suggested a 38 special revolver with preferably a 4" barrel. It is accurate and most importantly reliable.

    Semi-autos are OK for someone familiar with shooting and guns, but they can malfunction easily and are rather complicated to correct a malfunction . . . especially when one only has a second or two to react appropriately to the situation.

    Maybe a 4" barreled S&W 38 special might not be the ultimate concealed carry choice, but there is one thing for sure: THEY WORK!

    My two cents worth.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,615 Senior Member
    If you have a malfunction in an assault, your butt is gone, regardless of how easy it is to clear. As for accuracy, it just isn't needed at breath-smelling range. I'm an auto guy, but revolvers are much simpler for very occasional use.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    I would think a good S&W Air Weight in 38 Spec. Also one of the smaller Glocks or the Kahr in 9mm. But as for saying get her this or that if she doesn't shoot much or if she's not that familiar with guns, I say bunk. Anybody that carries a gun needs instruction and time with it in order to be both safe and effective with it. That should be mandatory.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,577 Senior Member
    This question has probably been beaten to death here on the Forum in the past, but I very rarely look at the Personal Protection Forum so I've missed out on this question and I'm not savvy enough to know how to research it. But....

    I have been asked by a young woman to suggest to her a style and even a make of pistol that she can carry concealed for personal protection. Her work hours place her in a possible risky situation. I'm not a hand gun expert by any means, and have experience only with a 1911 in the military, and this is not what she needs. My thoughts are maybe a hammerless snubbie that she could easily carry concealed and simply point and pull the trigger if attacked. (The "Snubbies" topic on the Firearms Forum ties in with this subject). How about giving me some pointers on this so I can help this Gal. She's tough as nails, and I wouldn't want to cross her, but still she's a pretty woman and is at risk.

    Simply,

    The largest caliber per desired gun size she can comfortably shoot. And that goes for guys, too.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,513 Senior Member
    My wife caries a Ruger LCR, I prefer my S&W 642. The revolver will always go bang, no safety or slide to worry about. Can be fired inside pocket or purse if things get desperate, and no chance of jamming. Can shoot mild wad cutters for practice and carry +p's for extra poop!!
  • N320AWN320AW Senior Member Posts: 648 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    While a revolver may be more reliable as a whole, they are far from easy to correct if they have a malfunction.

    Just what type of malfunction are you speaking of?
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,886 Senior Member
    Ejector rod backing out tying up or slowing the aciton, bullets pulling and tying up the cylinder, high primers tying up the cylinder, the hand breaking and not advancing the cylinder, cylinder ratchets get banged up and you get binding or failures to advance, mainspring breaking, modern Smith and Wessons have been known for the internal lock to engage, crud getting in the action and messing with either trigger rebound or slowing down or binding the hammer, unburned powder residue gets under the cylinder star keeping the rounds from fully seating - preventing you from closing the cylinder, bent ejector rod can tie things up, crud in the cylinder can make ejection difficult to impossible with anything less than a mallet...

    Then there's reloading: much easier to do on a bottomfeeder than a revolver. Even with a speedloader you're lining up 5 or more rattly cartridges.

    While older autos may be less reliable, modern ones are pretty solid.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Ditto to all the comments on training. How many or us would buy a car to drive to the hospital in case of an injury or emergency, and not try to learn to drive until after an accident happens? While target training is important, "combat mindset" and practicing shooting quickly and accurately in a less-than-ideal situation definitely needs to be part of the practice experience.

    A compact .380 or 9MM auto with a minimum of controls to manipulate coupled with enough practice to make aiming, shooting, reloading, and clearing malfunctions would be my choice to start a lady out with, assuming she has the hand strength to run the slide properly- - - -some ladies don't. The Ruger P3AT or their similar pistol in 9MM would be worth a look-see. I usually carry a Polish P-64 in 9X18, but the sights aren't wonderful for a novice shooter.
    Jerry
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,693 Senior Member
    The biggest factor in my wifes choice is.......... will she actually carry it?

    She will not dress around the gun, so it has to be small. I don't like that it is so small, but better she have a small pistol than no pistol.....

    She had a Ladysmith........

    model36LS.jpg

    She shot it pretty darn good, but she didn't like the size or weight when carrying (although it helped when shooting it). So we traded it for a Kahr P380.... I added a laser...

    13B.jpg

    She has all of her classes done. Just need to get to the Sheriffs office and apply for the permit. I got her a Crossbreed Microclip to start. Still need to get a ankle holster. Don't like those either, but it will pretty much guarantee she will carry more often...

    GetDynamicImage.aspx?path=Crossbreed-Microclip-P380-Right-Hand1503.jpg&h=326&w=278



    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,886 Senior Member
    Regarding buying a firearm for a woman...

    How many of you guys here buy clothes for your wife/significant other without consulting her? How about her car? How would you like it if she did that for you? "Hi honey, I bought you this shirt. Because I thought it was best for you. I didn't bother to think about what you'd like, I went with my ideas...."

    Same thing (or more) with a firearm. What you think is adequate and has good features she might hate. She might have a hard time with the trigger, a part might chafe her hands that you don't have a problem with, etc. Let HER pick out the handgun. In my opinion, the man's job is just to provide information and maybe set some minimal guidance (no .22s or .25s, etc.)
    I'm just here for snark.
  • Rim PhyrRim Phyr Member Posts: 71 Member
    A quality small frame DA .38 cal. revolver with a covered hammer. Reliable, potent, easy to operate, conceal, carry and draw.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Take her to a gun store, one where the staff are knowledgeable and will spend time with the customer, and let her take a look at the various types and models.

    My former girlfriend, a very petite gal, chose the Kahr P9 (9mm single stack) because her hands are fairly small and she thought it fit her nicely. That's quite important as you already know. Caliber .40SW would also be good to look at, whereas .45acp might be a bit too kicky for her preference.

    And yes, a good quality snubbie wheelgun in .38spl or .357 is also fine choice.

    She must feel comfortable with the gun, and it should feel "natural" for her to shoot. That much we know. But there are other factors that may be more important...

    1. Can she take a life in self defense? Assuming that all the legal specifics are okay, is she morally and spiritually accepting that, if necessary, she could be taking a human life. This is probably the most important question, far more essential than which brand or caliber.

    She cannot have it in the back of her mind that she's be "okay" to shoot the attacker in the leg or simply brandish the gun, or fire a warning shot, and it will fix everything without her needing to cross that line. Such halfway measures can get her killed. So she's got to be certain, in her own thoughts, that she can (of course if the circumstances are morally and legally allowable) to shoot someone right straight in the bucket.

    I can't stress this enough. And to understand this, I'd recommend she read any of the excellent Massad Ayoob books on the subject -- any good gun store will carry them, and there's also Amazon.

    Once she's reached the decision "yes" then she needs to examine the various gun types and brands and be shown her choices. Hopefully a range that rents guns for practice will let her find which handgun is best for her. And of course, good guidance from the staff or from friends who carry for self defense. Incidentally, if she's unsure of her resolve in using deadly force for self defense, she's better off to not have a gun, instead some top quality mace.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    I'll also add that yes, she should get herself into a self defense class (maybe a concealed carry license, depending on the state she lives in), but minimum, a class that teaches how to use a firearm for lethal defense.

    Regarding the actual type of gun, assuming that the brand and model are of good quality, the actual choice is not that important. My former gf tried a couple of my .45s (including my compact Glock 36), a small .357 revolver, and a 9mm large frame. Although she could manage the .45 okay, it was still quite a powerful gun for her, and she felt lots more comfy with the 9mm, so we got the Kahr P9.

    If you'll check other postings here, you'll find that Kahr is a good, solid choice and comes in several sizes and calibers. There are of course plenty of other good pistols.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    A beginner should carry a revolver. If she becomes more proficient she can trade up to or get a semi auto.

    A S&W 642 or a Ruger LCR are what I recommend to all 1st timers that want to purse carry in a holster or body carry in a holster because they are simple, easy to use emergency tools.

    Not only does she need to be trained she also needs to practice. Few people are willing to dedicate once a quarter to be proficient with a revolver. Fewer still are willing to commit to once a month for six months and then once a quarter with a semi auto.

    For 95% plus a revolver is the way to go. Train up from a .22 to a .32 S&W long to a .38 with powder puff loads to a full power .38 special. In a snubbie they are a handful.

    If she really likes it and continues to shoot she should then consider a pistol.

    IMHO!

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • Shooter13Shooter13 Member Posts: 125 Member
    timc wrote: »
    First and foremost is she going to train with it? If not somebody will only take it from her and use it on her.

    She needs to try out several and see what she is comfortable with. I think the Kahr CW45 makes a nice gun that is perfect for a woman or man. Low recoil, non Punishing, good stopping power of the .45 acp is a good place to start.


    I disagree, a .45 is the worst place to start for a new shooter, a new woman shooter at that,, its loud and intimidating. Atleast work her up to it..
    To the OP, if its a revolver recomend a Ruger LCR in .357 that way she has option to run .38s if the .357 is to much,
    If she prefers semi, i would recomend a Smith&Wesson M&P Shield 9mm its still more recoilthan my wife likes so she carries a Ruger LC380..
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    The Kahr in 9mm or the Glock G26 in a good holster would fill the bill, are easy to conceal, and the recoil isn't bad from either. And whatever SHE chooses that she likes to shoot, and shoot with some regularity. The more she shoots her preferred pistol, the better she'll be with it and the more confident she'll be.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
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  • Shooter13Shooter13 Member Posts: 125 Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Ummm, and a short barrled revolver in 357 would be quiet?

    Only reason i said get the .375 is to shoot .38 out of it. the LCR is very manageable with .38 rounds if shes comfortable she can move up to .357 if not stick with .38 rounds.. why recomend a .38 only revolver when if you get the .357 you have more options..
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,068 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    If there is a range available that will allow her to try various firearms that's probably the best way to go.... let the gun find her..

    That's what I did, and my wife ended up buying the XD. Not where I would have gone at ALL... But she shoots it like a house afire.

    Let her pick it.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Mine started with a customized Walther .32 PP, and ended up taking my S&W M&P9 Compact.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    A beginner should carry a revolver. If she becomes more proficient she can trade up to or get a semi auto.

    A S&W 642 or a Ruger LCR are what I recommend to all 1st timers that want to purse carry in a holster or body carry in a holster because they are simple, easy to use emergency tools.

    Not only does she need to be trained she also needs to practice. Few people are willing to dedicate once a quarter to be proficient with a revolver. Fewer still are willing to commit to once a month for six months and then once a quarter with a semi auto.

    For 95% plus a revolver is the way to go. Train up from a .22 to a .32 S&W long to a .38 with powder puff loads to a full power .38 special. In a snubbie they are a handful.

    If she really likes it and continues to shoot she should then consider a pistol.

    IMHO!

    D

    Wow, you would really irritate most of the women I know... "powder puff"? Maybe the little woman should stay in the kitchen?

    A point of order-- I've never seen or known anyone, male or female, who needed to start with a .22 and "train up". That's like starting learning to drive in a teeny compact with a stick shift rather than a full size car with auto ****.

    Although quite a few people (some of them women) have indeed expressed their dislike for a fairly powerful .45acp load or a hot .357, nobody has quailed from a 9mm or a .38spl. And the idea that you need to "start" with a revolver is just not a fact that I agree with, respectfully. Any properly functioning auto is a fine starting point. Racking a slide just isn't that major a skill that you need to ramp up to it a little at a time. If someone hasn't the brain capacity to learn how to use a semi right out of the chute, that person probably shouldn't be shooting in the first place.

    As an example... my former girlfriend had never fired a handgun in her life -- she's a country gal, a Southerner, but had only shot .22 rifles and .410 shotguns. The first handgun she ever fired was my Springfield 1911 with standard target loads. She had been forewarned to expect a considerable kick but nothing she couldn't manage. And from the start, she did fine, but indeed preferred the 9mm I let her try. Which led her to select the Kahr P9 and she's enjoyed shooting that pistol ever since.

    My opinion only, but "starting low" such as a .22 is just not necessary unless the person is particularly weak or handicapped. I don't recommend a .45 either, unless the newbie really likes it -- one of my former gfs really got buzzed at the substantial recoil and ended up buying a Glock 36 for carry. But midrange, like a 9mm? Just fine for starters.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    That's what I did, and my wife ended up buying the XD. Not where I would have gone at ALL... But she shoots it like a house afire.

    Let her pick it.

    Right. The XD is not a pistol I'd have first recommended, but it's in fact an excellent model, reliable, accurate, and reasonably priced. Just a bit large for most females' hands.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Mine ended up with a Kimber UlteaCarry .45 and her best friend with a Scandium .357. Both shoot their gun very well. Generalities mean nothing when it comes to guns. Training is key and absolutely necessary.

    That last sentence is the most essential. Regardless of the weapon, learning to use it properly is mandatory.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,146 Senior Member
    A point of order-- I've never seen or known anyone, male or female, who needed to start with a .22 and "train up". That's like starting learning to drive in a teeny compact with a stick shift rather than a full size car with auto ****.
    That's how it worked for me
    Highstandard .22 and a and the stick shift Cosmopolitan.

    Then .32 S&W long

    Did not get to .45 acp until the USMC

    Actually worked quite well.

    :popcorn:
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