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Something I’ve Never Understood Either

Shelly Rae opines on offering the little lady a nice .38 revolver. I’ve noticed, perhaps too anecdotally, that this advise is far more likely to come from older men than it is younger men.

11 Responses to “Something I’ve Never Understood Either”

  1. Mobo says:

    At the risk of sounding PC, I’m sick and tired of this notion that certain guns are more suitable for women than men. I carry a 642 all the time, and I don’t see the point in carrying a “manly” gun 99% of the time when a j frame is sufficient for the overwhelming majority of real life encounters on the street.

    Women are perfectly capable of carrying and using full-sized handguns just as effectively as men. Men are just as likely to “limp wrist” as women. It’s all muscle memory and confidence. Physical strength has very little to do with firearms proficiency.

  2. jones says:

    Mrs Jones just bought her second .38 in preperation for Scott Walker washing away Wisconsin’s CCW shame. She loves them.

  3. Kelly says:

    I concur. There seems to be an unwritten rule here at the largest gun shop around that women get the S&W Airweight revolver. Then when they show up for the basic pistol or CCW class the majority of them do not like to shoot it and they are really interested in either the .380 Bodyguard or GASP, the M1911 on my side.

  4. Henry says:

    My “little lady” likes her .44 spl and she knows how to use it.

  5. FatWhiteMan says:

    This year, 68% of my CHL students were females. Every one of them save one (my sister) brought a .38 S&W revolver. All of them except 3 preferred either my SIGs, Springfield XD or 1911. They all thought the automatics were easier to control and shoot and thoroughly liked them and trying different models.

    However, all but a couple claimed that they would prefer carrying the .38 SPCL in spite of better shooting with the auto because it was lighter, smaller and easier to carry.

    Some said that it was also because they were not gun people and this is what their husband, father, brother, significant other bought for or gave them to carry.

    When I have new students, my recommendation first is try as many as you can and choose for yourself. However, when dogged into a recommendation, my suggestion is not gender driven but tends to end up weighted that way. If someone is dedicated to CCW and will practice and continue to gain education and skills, I recommend a semi-auto pistol of some configuration. If they are not going to shoot again until their license expires or, God forbid, they end up in a defensive situation, then I recommend a revolver. Since you will sink to the level of your training in a bad situation, the revolver is the best choice for someone with little developed skill set. Unfortunately, that tends to lean more towards women than men but not exclusively. I have also recommended revolvers to men who claim they will probably rarely ever train.

    Also, in spite of my repeated warnings, some if not a significant number of these newly minted CCW’ers will carry in their purse and without a holster. As much as I preach against that as unsafe, at least it is a little safer with a double action revolver than some cocked and locked wonder nine if they are going to do it anyway.

    So while it is absurd to automatically say a female needs a 38 SPCL, there are sufficient examples to prove that stereotype out. Now the goal is to get them to train and visit the range often, carrying a good auto strongside and spoil that common misnomer.

  6. Wolfwood says:

    FatWhiteMan is on the right track. Actually getting the woman to carry (or simply have at home) is sometimes an almost insurmountable hurdle. Not everyone is all that interested in guns, and many are flat-out afraid of them. Even with that fear, though, a lot of people are able to say “The gun is scary, but I’d still like to have it in case I’m attacked.” The trouble is that even a Glock might as well be a complicated space blaster for all the confidence many people have in it. No, it’s not rational, but neither are people.

    Revolvers, though, are things everyone grew up seeing on cop shows and in Westerns. The good guy carries a revolver; the bad guy carries an automatic in flat black (and James Bond carries a cute little silvery thing). And while a Glock is even simpler to use than a revolver, just about everyone you meet is confident that they could use a revolver in a pinch.

    So maybe it’s best to think of a revolver as a “gateway gun.” If she’s serious about learning to protect herself, it won’t take long for her to discover that there are much better options. If she’s not interested in learning more, then at least she has something.

  7. rkh says:

    I carry an airlight J-frame because it’s small, light and generally easy to carry. No need to dress around the weapon. Folks that don’t mind non-pocket carry (or prefer to carry reloads) might be better served with a Kahr, Walther or Keltec, but I consider the S&W to be a unisex solution.

  8. denton says:

    Hey, I’m a 200 lb guy, and I think a little five-shot 38 is a great choice for ANYBODY to carry. You can shoot it with your elbow bent and not get a stovepipe, and you can press it up against someone and not push it out of battery. Misfire? Just pull the trigger again. I do like my carry revolver a lot.

    OTOH, I also have a great little Sig in 380. Ever since my wife saw it, she has cast covetous eyes on it. So this year, that’s what she gets for Christmas.

    Oldest daughter has a lightweight 38, and I load 124 grain cast bullets with a light powder load, and it shoots very comfortably. It gives her something that is light enough to carry, gentle enough to enjoy for target shooting, and with “business” loads, potent enough for protection.

    It’s critical to get a firearm that you enjoy shooting, so that you’ll practice.

  9. Sebastian says:

    Good to hear a family sharing such an enthusiasm :)

  10. denton says:

    For a long time, my youngest daughter was the family holdout. She sort of barely tolerated her husband’s firearms.

    Late one night she looked out of her bedroom window, and there were three guys trying to break into her downstairs back door. Somewhere in the milliseconds that followed this observation, she understood the need for a firearm.

    And that’s why my wife’s 38 is at her house, and I had one more good reason to get her the 380.

    Given that girl’s mindset, anybody that did break in and threaten her children would probably spend the rest of their life worrying about how to get back out.

  11. Mulliga says:

    The 5-shot lightweight revolvers are hard to shoot. Heavy triggers, high recoil (considering the caliber), small sights, small grips.

    I’ve seen new shooters fail to hit a silhouette target with them at 5 yards. I’ve seen new shooters anticipate the recoil so much that their rounds hit the _floor_ of the indoor range.

    Even with all those problems, they’re still probably the best option for someone who doesn’t shoot much because they’re reliable, especially compared to the small .380s (which in my experience are jammomatics).

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