Self-Defense Handguns for Women: Armscor M200 .38 Revolver v. Glock 27 Semi-Automatic

The grip on the 27 I shot was a typical old-school Glock grip.

Over the weekend, I had a chance to take two of my girlfriends shooting—one a beginner and one intermediate. Neither have a strong affinity for guns, but both own a gun for self-defense. The problem is their male partners, without their input, purchased these firearms. The males in question are gun guys—one is a collector and avid shooter, the other an IDPA shooter. In the guy’s mind, both these gun purchases were thoughtful. They bought them for shooting ease and stopping power. The beginner’s husband bought her an Armscor M200 .38 Special revolver, while the intermediate shooter’s boyfriend gave her the sub-compact Glock 27 .40 S&W semi-automatic pistol. This weekend gave me the perfect opportunity to compare a semi-automatic pistol to a revolver in calibers suitable for self-defense with three different women’s opinions on the pros and cons of each gun.

All three of us agreed the M200 recoil was more than manageable.
All three of us agreed the M200 recoil was more than manageable.

Armscor M200 .38 Special Revolver

In my opinion, there is too much encouragement for women to buy a revolver over a semi-automatic handgun. For some women, the revolver is the correct choice. Revolvers don’t jam, you don’t have to worry about racking a slide—especially if you have weak upper body strength or joint or arthritis issues. They have fewer mechanical parts, making them easier to operate and overall less intimidating to a women.

On the other hand, revolvers do not hold as many rounds as a semi-automatic handgun and generally come from the factory with rudimentary sights. If you aren’t a regular target shooter or train with your revolver, it may take more than six rounds to stop a threat. There are speedloaders for revolvers, however reloading like that takes practice.

The Armscor M200 has a full-sized, wide polymer grip with finger grooves. All three of us quickly found a natural, comfortable and firm grip on the revolver. With its 4.02-inch barrel and 1.76-pound weight loaded, the recoil of the .38 Special was more than manageable. Follow-up shots were quick and accurate. The beginner who owns the gun and the first time shooting the gun was pleasantly surprised, as well as was the intermediate shooter.

We shot the gun in double-action instead of single-action. It has a traditionally long pull, as does any revolver at 11.5 to 13 pounds in double-action. However, for me, the perceived trigger pull was less than what I’ve experienced on some semi-autos—I’m looking at you S&W .380 Bodyguard. We had no problems staying on target while waiting for the shot to break.

I’ve read on the Internet that some people who have purchased the Armscor M200 find the revolver’s finish and parts to be mediocre. Our pre-owned revolver’s parkerized finish was still in pristine condition and all parts ran smoothly without any hiccups.

The sights on the Armscor are rudimentary, both front and rear sights are fixed, but at the 50 feet we were shooting from, the sights were adequate to hit our target.

In my opinion, the size of the M200 is too big for comfortable conceal carry. It is 8.75 inches long overall and 5.44 inches from the bottom of the grip to the top of the hammer. All three of us agreed that the Armscor was pleasant to shoot, reliable and comfortable.

Specifications and Features

  • Caliber: .38 Special
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Barrel length: 4.02”
  • Sights: Fixed
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Finish: Parkerized
  • Overall length: 8.78”
  • Height: 5.44”
  • Weight: 1.98 pounds loaded

Glock 27 .40 S&W Semi-Automatic Pistol

The grip on the 27 I shot was a typical old-school Glock grip.
The grip on the 27 I shot was a typical old-school Glock grip.

The Glock 27 semi-automatic pistol holds nine rounds of .40 S&W ammunition. Despite having to rack the slide to chamber the first round, a semi-automatic handgun typically holds more rounds than a revolver and reloads more quickly.

Glock’s “safe action” safety system means there are no external safeties and besides pulling back the slide, the Glock is ready to fire when you chamber the first round. In my opinion, it is easier to operate than semi-autos with external safeties. The controls are minimal making the gun is easy to manipulate. With the right technique and practice, racking the slide for me has become natural and quick.

Even though the Glock is an incredibly reliable and tough gun, unlike revolvers, semi-autos have the reputation for malfunctioning. If you are an inexperienced shooter, a jam can cost you your life. However, with practice and training, clearing malfunctions can become second nature.

The Glock 27’s grip was a typical old-school Glock grip. We were not shooting the Gen 4 Rough Textured Gen Frame—which I do not like. The magazine did not have a finger extension, but for me, gripping a Glock is comfortable either way. The beginner shooter had no issues finding a comfortable and firm grip, however the intermediate shooter couldn’t get a comfortable grip or stance. She was also afraid of the recoil and was finished shooting after only two rounds.

The beginner shooter, despite her good grip on the gun took awhile to recover from the .40’s punch before she could realign her sights. As a target shooter, this would be fine, but for self-defense, quick and on-target follow-up shots are crucial. Neither the beginner nor the intermediate shooter wanted to continue firing the Glock, as the recoil was too much for them. I, on the other hand, who is used to and enjoy shooting larger calibers had no issues with the Glock 27.

The Glock’s barrel is slightly shorter than the revolver’s at 3.46 inches. The combined power of the .40 S&W round with the shorter barrel makes the felt recoil worse on the Glock.

Some people complain about the Glock’s trigger pull. It has a much shorter pull at 5.5 pounds than the Armscor revolver; however no complaints here. The pull is smooth with a quick reset.

Glock quality is top-notch. They last forever and retain their resell value. There is no question on the Glock 27’s reliability for the duration of your owning the gun.

The fixed sights on the Glock are like the M200, but Glock steps it up a notch with high-visibility white bar and dot. I find the white dot front sight quicker to obtain my target than fixed, plain iron sights.

For concealed carry, the Glock fairs better than the Armscor. It has a flatter profile and is slightly smaller at 6.29 inches long, 4.17 inches tall and 1.18 inches wide. It weighs just a few ounces less than the Armscor at 1.686 pounds loaded.

Specifications and Features

  • Caliber: .40 S&W
  • Capacity: 9 rounds
  • Barrel: 3.46”
  • Sights: Fixed, high-visibility white
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Finish: Tenifer
  • Length: 6.29”
  • Height: 4.17”
  • Weight: 26.98 ounces loaded

Which is Better?

As far as pricing goes, these two guns are not in the same league. A Glock’s price is a Glock’s price and there is no arguing that. Glock does not sell any of their models for under $500. On the other hand, Armscor has a solid reputation for building a reliable sharp shooter for an extremely affordable price. The M200 costs less than $250.

As far as which gun is better, the answer all depends on you. Both the Glock 27 and Armscor M200 have valid pros and cons. Be it either a revolver or a semi-automatic, which ever is most comfortable for you is the best.

What do you prefer? A revolver or a semi-auto? Tell me what your favorite gun is and why in the comment section.


The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (162)

  1. I have the 4 inch Armscor M- 200 for a home defense gun with Non- Plus p Hornady Critical Defense Ammo 110 gr.JHP and feel well armed and have no problem going to sleep with this as my dresser Gun!! It is a solid revolver!!!😁

  2. All these comments are interesting and viable. I practice KISS. Keep it simple stupid. Ladies, the gun has to fit your hand. Gun has to feel comfortable. Practice, practice, practice. Dry shoot in your home, see yourself facing an attacker, pull the gun, and shoot him. Over and over. Build the memory, get that set so well in your mind, it is rote, automatic, needs no thought. Be safe, stay safe.

  3. I didnt read every post, so if this handgun was mentioned, I apologize. This is my opinion and what worked for my family only – yours will likely vary.

    My daughter is very petite, so we looked at/shot a lot of handguns. She settled on a Walther PK380. I know, not the best stopper, but with modern self defense hollowpoints, it’s more than adequate (I wouldnt let you shoot me with it!).

    The PK380 has a locked breech design, so the slide is VERY EASY to operate. The frame is a nice lightweight polymer, with finger grooves and an accessory rail. Very comfortable for her small hands. An 8 + 1, single stack magazine keeps it slim. Has an easy to operate slide mounted ambi safety.

    Fit and finish is first rate, and Walther has an excellent reputation for quality firearms.

    Size is smaller and slimmer than a Glock 19, but substantially bigger than the pocket-sized 380’s. Handles and shoots very nicely. Recoil is quite managable.

    Shortcomings? Only one – the single/double action trigger is a little on the heavy side. I’m hoping this will work out some with usage.

    This is one of the best features: we already had a Walther P22 that we use as a practice/training/recreational pistol. The PK380 is almost identical to the P22 in dimensions and weight; with the same trigger and controls. 22 Long Rifle is an excellent way to build confidence and skills (and lots of fun).

    Pick up a PK3380 at your local gun dealer, its hard to put down. My daughter loves hers.

  4. Statistic from several years back showed that the police force with the highest hit ratio (in actual shootings) in this nation was the NYPD at a staggering 12%, that means 88% are misses. Check-out So California a couple of months ago over there in Torrance when they were looking for Dorner. Look at all the bullet holes in the trucks, the houses & of the three victims the guy was missed completely but I believe that both the women were hit twice each(all non-lethal hits, thank God). Not bad mouthing, just stating facts about men and women whose job it is to be proficient when trouble comes to bare(fear, adrenalin, excitement will cause accuracy to suffer)but what effects them effects us all. And we are not afforded unlimited ammo & range time and or large quantities of both. So mind set and training, lots if it(as much as you can)and regularly introduce stress to your training sessions. Teach your loved ones & shoot straight!

  5. “Totally agree with practice, practice, practice! Nothing replaces it.”

    But the value of practice is its relevance to what you are training for and its fitting the skill set actually needed in that actual event.

    If that event is ‘shooting to live’ that is ‘self defense’, then developing aimed fire marksmanship at the range is just not that relevant to using a pistol in self-defense.

    This truth is also made statistically clear when one compares range marksmanship to shooting in actual gun fights by police for about 70 years now. These studies show there is no corelation between range markmanship and the accuracy of shooting of a given LEo’s shooting in real gunfights with armed felons.

    It is like with classical martial arts people training in most dojod npw, these practiced skills of the MA person rarely transfer effectively to an actual SD situation for that martial artist.

    The practicefor any activity is only of value to the degree that it hones the truly needed skills in the real thing.

    Targeting shooting at paper targets with aimed fire is like the martial artist doing Katas rhearsed forms) or entering tournaments. The training is not congruent (does not match ) with the actual skill set needed for using a firearm for self-defense.

    There are few with the experience to know what the actual ‘skill set’ neeeded for either activity really is because they have never been in a real life and death ‘hand to hand’ fight or been in a gunfight.

    Yet many will teach people how to handle both of these activities, and call it good practice that is key to surviving, are there not?

  6. Living in California a CCW is pretty much out of the question but at home moms with small children should give much consideration to semi-autos, slide locked on an empty chamber until such time that round needs to be chambered. Most young and small children will find it impossible rack until they much larger and older. Maybe by that time they will have been taught safe gun handling. Go moms!!!

  7. To the original question. Pick a cartridge “that will do the job”, even under marginal circumstances because you could just as well carry a pencil or a b-b gun for defense due to they’re weight and compactness. A book by Evan Marshal & Ed Sanow “One Shot Stops” or check out the “Strasbourg Tests”. That said, now find a firearm that fits your hand and if possible by two, one in 22cal to learn how to shoot. Play gun games, a favorite is “dueling pistols” target being an empty 12 gauge shotgun shell (in a place thats safe & go for speed). Common sense be so uncommon these days, remember that when you are thinking self-defense its to save your life or someone you love (personal comfort should be way down on list). Way back when when you learned arithmetic it may have been difficult but you learned it because you’d need it later (no matter how painful). Cudos to Cat, Peyton, Guy and Robert Ando. Glocks are great guns that lead the industry with the use of polymers, all but one that I shot have been extremely accurate (I’m talking punching out the little orange dots at 7 yds). I would not purchase one because of there issue with digesting hard casts bullets and the second reason would be the lack of a external slide safety. Biggest problem being God forbid someone taking or retrieving your gun “THE TRIGGER IS THE ONLY SAFETY”, which under all circumstances as some of us realize is no safety at all. If in fact your slide locked defense weapon is taken by an attacker you will have some valuable time (few seconds) to get it back and retrieve and use your secondary weapon while the BG tries to figure out how to use your gun!!! Just as an FYI the Gatling gun is over 100 years old ( all fighter aircraft, mini-guns, A-10 tank buster and smaller gatling three barrel 50’s). Ma-2 is been in use and deployed more than 80 yrs. Also back in the early 1900’s when the U.S. Gov’t extensively tested and realized the 45 cal. bullet @ around 800 fps would be the perfect fight stopper and set John Browning to task(the rest is history). Another FYI all teams with the U.S. military have dropped the 9mm and gone back to a proven fight stopping team that has served well for over 100 years. Old upgrade slab side in 45 ACP! Antiquated, I don’t think so… P.S. Keep your practice ammo the same so if it ever come down to the wire and you are forced to defend life it will all be familiar!

  8. I agree with o e thi g the previous poster said…”practice, practice, practice”!!!!! I go to the range once or twice a month and practice!!! No class can take the place of practice. Not only do become a better shot but you’ll become much more comfortable with your gun!!!

  9. If you’re still around and reading the posts, if its not too late, I would call and order the G19 instead of the G26. The G26 would be great, but you’ll probably need to get a magazine plug to get a full handed grip. The G26 is the subcompact 9mm, while the G19 is the compact 9mm model. It’s still small enough to conceal, but is a little larger than the 26, so you get a full grip plus 5 extra rounds (holds 15 rounds)!!! If you can’t exchange them, don’t worry about it, you can find magazine extenders on the after market. Look at the G30…they look like that. I don’t know why they didn’t put extenders on all the subcompacts!?!?! Also, in an earlier post, someone talked about the trigger safeties on Glocks being a “joke”. You’ve OBVIOUSLY never owned a Glock or know anyone who does. The trigger safeties ace NOT a joke!!! Far from it!!! You obviously also haven’t bothered to read the safety studies. You can’t base your opinions on idiots at the range who don’t know what they’re doing!!! I’ve had Glocks for many years and know plenty of other people who own them! They are very safe. When someone is trying to rob or abduct you or has broken into your home, the LAST thing you need are safeties to mess with!!!

  10. OK… My turn I guess…

    For a semi, I always go to the HK P7M8, if you can find one/afford it. This one is as safe as you can get with a round in the chamber, and as reliable as a fine Swiss watch. It’s also relatively easy on the recoil, easy to shoot well, deadly accurate and quite confusing the the un-educated if it get’s taken away. It is also somewhat small and thin for it’s capapbilites (although it is heavy). Once you shoot one for a while, there is no other semi that compares (IMHO), if you can get past the unique manual of arms.

    For everyone else, get a good S&W revolver. Pick the frame, barrel, finish, grips, sights (laser if you wish), capacity (5 to 8) you want or feel comfortable with. Nothing else I know of offers the staggering combination of options and fitment. Add to that the universal operating system, simplicity, reliability and ammo tolerance (work with any loads, unlike some semis) and you have a winner.

    Just let that Lady pick the one she wants and let her tailor it to her comfort level.

    And practice, Practice, PRACTICE… And then drill and practice again.


  11. My wife(5′ even and about 105 lbs.) shot several different guns at the range over a month or more. We covered everything from the little .380 up to 45 auto’s. She settled on my Ruger 357 magnum(Which she can not have) so a smaller S & W revolver it was. What sold her was she was able to practice all day with .38’s or 38 +P cartridges and then run a couple cylinders of the .357 mags at the end of the day to stay accustomed to the heavy recoil when loaded for self defense. Practice is cheaper
    with .38’s and when needed she will still have what it takes to use the Hornady critical defense round to drop any attacker. Now she has the new Ruger nine in 22 LR when she wants to just practice control and different position shooting skills real cheap. Nice to run off 9 rounds from a revolver before reloading.

  12. A CC in our state is virtually impossible. Let me take that back. It is impossible. They just don’t issue them any more unless you have VERY REAL and fully documented paperwork that you carry more than $5,000 to the bank on a regular basis. At one of the NRA training classes we took together they had a .45 and surprisingly she said it didn’t kick as much as she expected. One step at a time but I’m glad she’s doing everything the right way from the beginning. I’ve seen many people posting that you should not choose a gun for someone else. Well, first off, there are none in the shops to pick up and feel. Second, don’t you think you should give advice to someone that knows absolutely nothing about gun quality, reputation, and reliability? Especially if you’ve done a lot of research and read hundreds of posts and You Tube videos saying the Glock has a nice grip. I mean, you wouldn’t allow a loved one to buy a used Yugo car just because the seats are comfortable.

  13. Hi again, was reading with interest a comment from Bill M.# 138 regarding the 38 pistol and why law enforcement moved away from it . Let me tell you a story of a day in the middle 60’s when a police officer (neighbor) inadvertently dropped his 38 revolver into a snow bank, while exiting his personal car. School was letting out and one of two twin boys found the police revolver. The boys were found 100 yards and 10 minutes later when one of the twins shot his brother with what he thought was a toy.
    Shot in the face and head, he died at the scene. Shortly after that aprox 60 days, ALL 38 HANDGUNS WERE ORDERED BACK TO THE POLICE STATION and they were destroyed, replaced with the semi autos that they use and have upgraded over time. Now tell me about the reason 38’s discontinued by police departments again Bill. That happened all over the country and Bill did I mention that I witnessed this whole incident ? 38’s are inherently dangerous, most folks take the one out of the chamber for that reason, but I love the way they shoot and love the 38 cartridge.

  14. While I agree that weapon lights are a great thing, one should know one’s state law before undertaking such a practice. Since weapon lights align with the muzzle, one is effectively covering a target with a firearm when using the light.
    I am not a cop, a retire cop or a veteran. I am a former felony drug prosecutor with 23 years of experience in the criminal justice system. It is also a good idea to know the policies of your local DA’s office or prosecutor’s office. In big cities, that office is likely to be run by a liberal gun hater. If that is the case, your better bet is to use a hand-held flash light. I prefer Streamlight or Surefire in both hand held and weapon mounted. I am also a fan of LASER/White light combinations. A LASER is very helpful when shooting from behind cover or any time one cannot use his or her sights. I agree that 9mm is the lowest caliber I would trust to stop an aggressive criminal. A .22 would kill an intruder eventually but it takes two seconds to cross 30 feet and plant a knife in a person’s aorta. The goal and the articulated reason for shooting is to stop the attack. Personally, I prefer .40 S&W or .45 ACP to 9mm because the 9mm has a sharper recoil. The .40 and .45 have a more rolling recoil that I find more pleasant.

  15. A holster or firearm is not a “fashion” choice. The .380 ACP is less of a manstopper than say the 9mm and far below the .40SW. But in almost every case I studied where a 380 ACP was used it did stop the attack.

    I mean I have an Ak-47 by my bed and 92F , but neither of those weapons are going to be carried under my permit as they are just not easily concealable to say the least. The 92F is but I only carry that giant pistol on rare occasions and situations.

    Mostly I am in blue jeans and T-sshirt, and maybe a denim jacket. The only gun that will help as so many have said is the one you have with you in your hand when you need it. This is why the .380 pisotl exists.

    I carry a P64 (better, mor rleiable clone of the Walther PPK) it is chambered in 9X18 Makarov whihc is a litle more power than .380 acp but not a lot. But I can ccarrty it all day in my front pants pocket with a pocket holster tha breaks up the ouline and does not print the weapon.

    On the othjer hand I can draw the P-64 in a fraction of a second. A full second is lonmg tie in this context. Juts could ‘one thousdand one, one thousand two’. If it takes a full second to draw any concelaed wepon to my mind that is too long.

    Consider how accesable youe CW really is. Rember you will be panicked in trying to get it out in real deal. This means loss of motor control esepcially fine motor control.

    I know other disagree ansd surley have right to as well, but I would never carry any striker fired pistol concelaed. A Glock is striker fired of course. They are accidents waiting to happen.If so many cops shoot themsleves with them in the dressing room and the street doen’t that suggest something to you?

    Or just enter “Glock Accidental Shootings” in your Google search line and you would be reading about more legal cases thnan could be speed read in a month doing it 10 hours a day.Maybe even as much as six months really.

    The NYS DA years ago said at the hearing ” You knew the Glock was unsafe, or certainkly should have known when you sold them to the Sate of New York”. The DA won the case and the NY Trigger was born making the Glock more like a ‘double action only ‘pistol (not quite that hard realy of course) and thus a safer carry.

  16. I just remembered…the name of the company is Raven Concealment. It takes about 6 weeks to get a custom holster, but well worth the wait!!! Also, if she wants to just use the mini holsters (just covers the trigger guard), those don’t have to be customized and can ordered and received pretty quickly. FYI, they don’t work with all handguns, but they do work with Glocks! Also, they fit VERY snuggly!!! You really have to pull HARD on the lanyard to get them to snap off!! Also, I’m NOT recommending Mexican carry, I’m just saying its much safer with this type of trigger guard cover. She could also carry in her purse, but she’d need a customized purse. Unfortunately, I’m a purse snob and have a large collection of designer purses so that wasn’t an option for me. I either use my IWB customized holster or the mini holster in a designated and easy to get to part of my purse.

  17. FYI, and just my opinion, but personally I would never consider a 380…just not enough firepower! Don’t forget about a 12G shotgun for the bedside!!! Lastly, she should have a light/laser on all her handguns and shotgun!!! I like the new TLR-4!!!! That’s what I have on my G30. I have the TLR-2 on my G21!!! The only difference is that the TLR-4 doesn’t have a strobe function. The only other problem is that she’ll have a hard time finding a holster. I have a custom made kydex holster made specifically for my gun/light combo. I can’t remember the name of the company off the top of my head but I’ll find and post it. This company will make custom holsters for just about any gun/light combo. They also make a great little “mini holster” that only covers the trigger and trigger guard. It’s got a lanyard connected to it so all you have to do is grab the gun, hold on to the lanyard then pull…it just pops off!!! That’s what I have on my G21…the one I keep in my glove box. The ONLY semi-safe way to carry “Mexican”.

  18. I think the G26 would be a great choice for her! Lots of rounds and the 9mm ammo they make now is far superior to the old stuff. While I love my .45’s, a 9mm is a great choice for a newbie!!! Maybe she can rent a .45, practice with it and eventually get the G30 (holds 10+1 rounds) and use the G26 as a back up. Also, I think she should DEFINATELY get her CC permit!!!

  19. WE can all speculate on the ammo shortage and its cause, but the shortage is very real.

    1. All online ammo suppliers have no ammo at present
    2. Walmart has lines going outside on Tuesday and Thursday in the town nearest me (45 miles) and they are lined up to the ammo counter where they are each allowed two boxes of what is left. I talked with the man at the Walmart sporting goods counter about this.
    3. The Department of Homeland Security has ordered 1.2 BILLION rounds of small arms ammunition. Two Senators asked them why, for weeks they gave no response, then under pressure said it was less expensive to buy in bulk. The order was for lot of hollow points which are of course more expensive and not used as a rule in training.
    4. I read in my local paper the Sheriff telling us that he has to reduce training time on the range for his deputies because they can’t buy any ammo, thus have to save what they have.

    Now I am not the alarmist type or ‘conspiracy nut’ but isn’t thsis something we should be wnating to know why? It is obvious that 1.2 BILLION rounds can never trulbe needed by DHS. WE have yet to expend that many rounds in 10 years of war in the Middle East. I am wondering if Obama made it known he’d like DHS to by this much ammo in order to create a civilian shortage. But I am not thinking it’s for any ‘martial law’ or ‘gun confication’ scheme. But it is worth noting that the Federal Goverment can dry up the ammo supply to the citizens this easliy and quickly.

  20. Debroah I am glad hear of your self-reliance. THis is true story and it made be bust out laughing. I am paraphrasing the incident though here

    The cop pulls over this car and sees a woman of very advanced years, maybe 85 driving. He also sees a revolver on the passenger seat (legal in ther state as car is extentison of your home law wise)

    The offciers asks “Mam, do you any other firearms in the car?”

    She replies ” Yeas, I got z 1911 in the glove box, a .32 colt auto underthe seat and I am carrying a .38 in my purse”

    The officer said “All those guns? What are you afriad of?”

    The woman replied ” Not a God Dammed Thing”

  21. Great to hear a woman (Deborah) chime in. My 26 year old daughter, living alone, came to me and asked if she could own a gun for home protection. I insisted she take safety and training courses and, so far, we have taken one, 12-hour NRA course, together. We have 2 more NRA courses scheduled. So now, what gun to buy for her? (Not because she is 26, LOL) but I’ve read a lot and like the Glock G26 Gen 4, 9MM. So we ordered one and are in our state waiting period. (The waiting period law is 8 days but the State Police are really backed up and it’s more like 8 weeks.) So some opinions on the G26 for her would be appreciated. And I’ve considered the Sig P232, .380 for her. I’m an old revolver guy and she is getting my interest in semi-autos stirred up. When I last practiced with semi’s, 30+ years ago, they jammed often.

  22. Hmm…Reading some of the comments leaves me rather puzzled. #6 from Pete “high rate of accidental discharges from Glocks”-I’ve never seen one discharge without someone depressing the trigger(Glock armourer & over 500,000 witnessed range rounds fired). #135 by Gary-Sorry but the 9mm with everything but ball ammo exceeds all 38 ammo and the reason we(the police) transitioned from revolvers to semi-autos was for increased fire power(many more rounds) and had nothing to do with unwanted discharges or width. The best gun in a gun fight is the one you have with you. A good hit from a .22 is better than a poor hit from a .45. I start everyone with a .22 revolver and work up from there.

  23. I have a Taurus PT 24/7 .45 12 round mad with an ambi thumb safety. I love it. 12 and 1. I also have a Taurus PT 140, …….much smaller, yet still has 10 round mag and a thumb safety. No question about the stopping power. I also have a very inexpensive Rossi 5 rnd .38 with extremely comfortable rubberized grips. With the right ammo, I am confident regardless which I carry. The .38 is much lighter and easily concealed. The revolver is easy to teach someone to shoot on. I feel the right choice is the one you make by determinig how comfortable you are with a peticular weapon, how you plan or would prefer to carry, as well as your size and preference in carrying. I would say the revolver would make a good gun for anyone, male or female, experienced, or not. I like a previous comment that talked about a revolver, gummed up with “things from the purse” and that it would still fire. I say likely, but you get the point. Love semi-autos, but love my revolver as well.

  24. I would take a beginner to the range with a 9mm or a 380. Both these can be purchased from a manufacture that make the hammer go to half cock, meaning the shooter still has the pull the trigger causing the hammer to go back prior to firing, but, there is still a rounf on the chamber. Safety not required to be on. I have a Kel-Tec 9mm (7 in the mag, and one in the chamber) and two extra mags in my pocket. I also carry a Glock modle 22 on duty and a Glock 27 as a back-up and off duty. (Did I say I am a Police Officer?) 9mm or 380 would be better for a beginner.

  25. The thought that a 9 mm is equivalent to a 38 in impact power is ridiculous, The 38 is on of the finest rounds ever developed, and by the way police departments stopped using the revolver due to unwated discharge of the revolver, it was also a space in width issue

  26. As a WOMAN…this article IS about women shooters…I think too few women consider a .45 cal semi-auto. The recoil is MUCH easier to manage than the snap of a .40 cal!!!! I have fallen in love with my Glocks (I have all 3 of the .45’s plus a full sized 10mm.) I also have a 9mm S&W Shield, but that’s my BUG (back up gun). I carry my G30 (subcompact .45) concealed or at the bedside…along with my 12 gauge shotgun and Daniel Defense AR-15!!!! I keep my G21 (full sized .45) in my glove box. I keep my G36 (single stack .45) hidden in my back seat. I also have a couple of revolvers (Ruger sp101 .357 and Taurus Judge .410/.4LC), rifles, my other DD AR-15 hidden in strategic locations. I have my CC permit, plus additional training. I’m just telling you all this to prove that any woman can handle anything she wants!!! It just takes training and practice!!!! BTW, I’m a very feminine woman and the people I work with would NEVER believe that I have so much fire power!!!

  27. I carry a hammerless 38 special with laser grips, polymer, in a cross breed holster. I have no problems with comfort and pretty much don’t know it’s there. Not all jeans work but most of mine do and of course I wear the ones that work best most often. When I purchased this sweetie I considered a glock but, have always carried a revolver and did not want to have to think about what I am reaching for if I ever need to. I also feel that a revolver is safer. I do on occasion carry one of my husbands glocks, usually when my cross breed won’t go with what clothing I have on.

  28. Personal protection, is personal choice. I agree with your comment 124, it’s up to the Lady after trying several types and Cal’s.

  29. I agree with Dave (comment #120) No one should ever choose a personal defense weapon for someone and then try to make them comfortable with it !! Ladies: Go to a gun shop and handle many different types of weapons, go to a range with someone who has differnt types and try them. If you are not comfortable with a certain gun then you might as well be carrying a boat anchor !!

  30. I am a woman and have been shooting firearms most of my life. I enjoy shooting handguns. I have both semiautos and revolvers. I have my personal preferences based on what feels comfortable to shoot and will do the job required. I tend to carry the judge for personal protection just because I like the feel of it. I love my S&W xframe, but it’s size limits it to hunting duty. I do not think a smaller caliber should chosen just because it is a woman’s gun. I personally love my encore with the 375 JDJ barrel on it. The thing is legal to hunt elephant, my husband won’t touch it because it generally leaves him with a bloody hand. I enjoy shooting the hand cannons and have worked hard to learn how to deal with them. Shooting a 45 or 357 seems tame to me and the small size of a regular handgun lends them to carry more easily. I understand there is a purpose for the different types of handguns. The point that I want to make is to let the lady chose what is right for her. Let her find something that feels good in her hand and doesn’t scare her to death to shoot.

  31. There is some good information on this board. Even if I know this info allready, or learned it from expieence, seeing it said somewhat different ways is still enlightening to me.

  32. While in the Service, I carried the 1911A1, S&W M10 .38spcl and the M9 Baretta. The M9 was (to me) chunkier than my G20. I didn’t care much like the M10 as a duty weapon (too small all around). The 1911A1, I was very comfortable with it.
    I own a Sig, a Glock and 1911 style in .45. The Sig, Glock, and M10 have no safeties, and do present an accidental discharge opportunity if not carried in a way that prevents objects from snagging the trigger (including an old/worn/soft holster). Therefore, train well with your gear and inspect it every time you wear it. Be safe.

  33. Bottom line and straight forward period! WOMEN need a weapon for protection as proven 100% from the woman in Georgia who protected her life and HER CHILDREN from robber during the day do not have time to insert a round in the chamber and action the slide when micro seconds count to act and best way is to have lock box with palm identifier to open the door and a loaded weapon ready to go! My wife does and of course most revolvers ie TAURUS are double action and good expensive XP Remington home defense .38 or .357 is more than enough to thwart a murder or attack!

  34. The right gun is the one she likes the best and will carry in .38/9mm or larger. Everything else is a training and desire issue. A correct grip on a G27 or G36 does not require a mag extension. She needs to try several and pick what she likes.

  35. I haven’t seen it written any where, but for women I personaly think the ” kick ” of any ccw weapon should be considered. I carry the Ruger LCR in .38 cal and have no problems. My recommendation for women would be the Ruger LCR in the .22 magnum. This round has almost no recoil and is offered in a 45 grain jhp . What a mean round. With proper training the revolver can be ( almost ) reloaded as fast as a auto- not to forget how loud the .22 mag is when fired. The .22 mag ammo is also not as expensive as other rounds.

  36. Try the Glock 27 with a 40 to 9mm conversion barrel. Practice until comfortable shooting the 9mm, then step it up to the 40 S&W. There is quite a bit more snappiness to the 40 but also more stopping power. Just my 2 cents worth. My wife carries a Glock 26 (9mm). I carry the 27, but use 9mm conversion kit for practice (cheaper ammo).

  37. I beg to differ. I am 62 Y/O and have carried a 38 revolver since I was 21. When I saw the new plastic semi-auto’s come out, I stayed with my 38. Became even more efficient as I reached the point to where I could use my speed loaders faster than other Officers I worked with could drop a clip and put another in. I have seen too many officers semi-auto’s misfire. This is caused by not rotating the clips in order for the spring in the clips to regain their strength after keeping the spring in the clip compressed too much. That is when you get a misfire. My 38 over the years not once misfired. Another thing is nobody knows where those spent shells are going to hit or land. I saw one officer get an eye injury on the range that was permanent because the ejecting shell from the guy next to him on the outside firing range hit him in his left eye from the ejecting shells from his semi-auto. But this will be a forever argument between semi-auto and revolver owners. I have always said practicing to be proficient with your revolver with a kill shot, you won’t have to spray 9 to 30 rounds. All spent shells have fingerprints on them. You can control spent shells of any revolver but not all that spray out all around you and others as a semi-auto fires.

  38. It might be the technique they’re using, not the gun. As a woman, I’ve tried different methods to rack the slide and have also shown these techniques to other women. I don’t recall a situation when any of these women could not rack the slide including an older woman with arthritis. And with any skill, they all got better at it with practice. I encourage my friends who are starting to shoot semi-autos to use a push method of bracing the slide with one hand and then pushing the gun against the brace to rack the slide. Once they are successful with that and starting practicing a bit, they can often change to the slide pull approach. I get frustrated with so many men who think because they weren’t successful the first time, they can’t do it. Last comment on the subject – if changing the technique doesn’t work, have them start with a semi-auto .22 to practice and learn some muscle memory. Most will quickly advance to larger calibers semi-autos.

  39. I have tried several handguns for my wife ranging from a 25 bereta semi auto to the 38 Smith & Wesson snub nose revolver. She hates recoil of ant type and she can not remember the operation of the safeties and seems to be to gentle handed to pull back the slide firmly enough with any consistency. She does not desire to spend a great deal of time practicing, which is a problem for most regular gals..

    my answer is a concealed hammer Smith & Wesson Air Wieght with Crimson Trace Laser Grips. it’s a snub nosed barrel and it fits her hand just right.. No hammer to get snagged, no safety to remember, nor slide to chamber around, no misfires, easy to aim with the laser grips, and in the 32 H&R Magnum this very compact revoler holds 6 rounds ( unlike the 5 Rd. 38 splecials in the same model), and the recoil is very manageable for her.

    This is certainly not the weapon I’d choose for myself, but for my wife it’s the best choice and I bet there are more gals out there that would agree,


  40. The major flaw is buying a gun “for” anyone in the first place! If the new shooter isn’t enthused enough to choose something themselves, they will never really be one with the choice. I’m an old guy, and I have learned through expense and disappointment that this applies to wives, girlfiends, guyfriends, children and grandchildren.

  41. “If you can safely carry a Glock then God Bless you but the majority of people can’t. They seem to have trouble doing it at the range so why would that change off the range. ” THis pretty much sums it all up.

    Glocks have NO SAFETY at all. The ‘trigger safety’ was a ‘marketing gimmick’, the orginals Glocks did not even have it. It performs no safety function at all. I mean think about the ‘safety’ is ‘on the trigger’, it’s laughable.

    Then two internal safeties’, hogwash. It is a ‘striker fired pistol’ that tells the whole tale. Now striker fired pistols have been around for a century or more but until the Glock this ‘striker fired design’ was limited to the very cheapest, zinc frame pistols like the Jennings or Bryco.It is just the least expensive way to make a pistol.

    Who here can remeber propsed legislation 35 years or so ago to ban the manufactuer of striker fired pistols largely becasue of their safety problem? I am not for nbaning guns at all really, but rmeber Jenning and Bryco were sued out of existence by ambulance chasing lawyers.

    Also few people seem to know it it seems but the Glock was designed by two machinists at Berretta.They did so to show using ploymers and striker design they could mass produce a good pistol at the rock bottom cost to manaufactuer on CNC machines.

    Berreta declined the deisgn saying it was too dnagerrious as striker fired pistol for them to risk selling. At about this time Austraia was looking foer much less expensive pistol than their Steyr GB (a delayed blow back deisgn in 9mm)

    The law demande it be of Austrian manufactuer. So the two Berreta machinists went to Austria, sold their design to Glock (which is not mainly a fireamrs manufatuere) and the rest is history.

    Glock has had more ‘wrongful deaths’ and ‘personal injury’ law suits than any pistol sold in the 20th and 21 st Century.

    The NYS trigger came about as part of a legal settlement against Glock by NY State. That settlement also included huge but undisclosed amount of monetary damages too so the State could pay off all the claims from both State Tropers who shot themsleves or another trooper or from wrongful death law suits for people the Troppers shot by accident when their partner was holding them to be cuffed.

    I have seen Glocks discharge too by just setting them down on the shooting table.It was not even in the peron’s hand who put it down when it fired. This is what I saw happen two times so anybody saying its ‘not possible’ is clearly wrong.

    Ok the good aspects of Glocks, a great natural pointer and I shoot very well with any of them people bring to my classes at my shooting range. They are extremely reliable pistols too. They can be dissembled and cleaned well by anyone very easily too.

    Glock sent me one of the first made decades ago to evalautte. I mention all the positive aspects I mention above but warned that the US shooter is not accustomed to ‘striker fired’ guns and there will be more accidents because of this design. But that the Glock was an acceptable choice for SWAT entry teams.

    Triger pull will not and cannot be felt in an actual gunfight, that is a fact.

    The long trigger pull of double action auto like the PPK, P64, or 92F etc some gunwriters say “the trigger pull not being consistent makes accuracy difficult” THis betrays their total ingnorance of what its like when it’s al real and scared shitless and facing the reality that you can die in the next moment.

    Every police study has shown no corelation at all of any statistical signifcance between an offcier’s performance on the shooting range and that officer’s performance in an actual gunfight that occured.

    Most shootings occur at less than 6 ft and almost never as far as 15 feet away in any case.

    So the fact that you can’t use the sights on a pistol in a real gunfight anyway demands you practice ‘point shooting’ and under stress and in very low light as that is when the majorityof shooting incidents occur.

    Very little you will ever do ‘punching holes in papaer targets in full daylight for precision and accuratte fire’ has anything to do with the ‘skill set’ or ‘mindset’ needed in an actual gunfight. is not

  42. The Glock 23 instead of the 27. Slightly larger, dampens recoil better, adjustable grip for different hand sizes. As noted elsewhere, Glocks are a trigger pull away from going bang – holster that covers the trigger required, whether in some carry bag or on your person! For men, I like the IWB crossbreed style, for women wearing jeans, or the like, the same – being pretty, or being prepared are not mutually exclusive and I think most women can figure out how to git’er dun;)

    The Glock pistol, when properly gripped, is very controllable in most configurations. If you are not prepared to shoot enough to become comfortable with whatever you ‘carry,’ hire a bodyguard.

    Unlike some, I am not a fan of the .38 as a ‘life saver’ arm. The military, long ago, the FBI, more recently, and most law enforcement agencies DO NOT rely on that caliber for good reasons! The recent confrontation by an Atlanta woman with a home invader is relevant: upon being discovered, she shot the thug five times with her .38, missed him once, and he asked her not to shoot him anymore (now empty, she could not have anyway), he still managed to walk out and get in his truck – the incident worked out, in this case, in the woman’s favor – but it also shows the shocking ineffectiveness of the .38.

  43. One more thing. The small frame Armscor “Firestorm,” (if you research it on the computer) will tell you it is tough enough to shoot .38+P hollow point ammo. I bought mine new at a gun shop here in Mississippi for only $189.00 plus tax, new in the box. You simply can’t beat that price for this little “bad boy” revolver. I used 5 shots and blew a 5 inch limb out of a tree that is not on my property but hangs over my fence from a vacant abandon lot after Katrina, in my backyard. If you are looking for a Saturday night special, “this is your pistol.” I am confident to ride around the French Quarter in my power-chair with this nice little .38 pistol under my leg in a brand name “Sticky holster” where I can grab it and use it easily as the Sticky holster holds firmly against bare skin as I am always dressed in jersey shorts. The Sticky holster works very well for my limited ability to protect myself sufficiently. You need to understand that an old man with one leg & a half crippled arm is nothing but a “rolling bulls-eye for criminals.” I feel confident now when I am rolling back to my handicap van and have to pass a dark alley “at night” in the French Quarter of New Orleans. We all know there are a lot of bad guys there looking for a guy like me as an easy target to rob & do great bodily harm. But boy does this crippled old ex-cop have a surprise if I feel I am in a life or death situation or I know they are about to commit serious harm to me. I use the joystick of my power-chair to drive and turn with it. When I am leaving the Quarter, this revolver is in my right hand. The very same hand I am using to control the joystick on my power-chair with, covered with a black hanky over my hand and no one even notices as who would think an old man in a power-chair was ready to fire on them if they try to accost me.

  44. Got a Taurus Titanium Hamerless with Crimson Trace Grips . Not a problem in concealed cary or aming at the target if it is and emergency.. Best Combo for Female… After all we are limited to how many times we can shoot the assailent….

  45. The marines Large order of new 1911’s are part of the reason Ammo is in short supply. Yes we have our hoarders, but the 1911 as we all know can be mod to shoot 22lr for training to 38. 9mm and 45. cal. All being purchased up my our marines before cutbacks kick in. I for one am happy to see the new 1911 brought back into service as the Marines new primmary sidearm once again. Ellak Monalar United states Navy Retired.

  46. The best gun for ANYone to carry is the gun they WILL carry. It doesn’t do you any good if you leave it in your night stand or locked in the glove box. I will say over the years, my gun of choice has changed a few times due to personal economy and state of mind….the older I get, the more I appreciate laser sights and night sights. If you need reading glasses, a laser sight can be an incredible asset, it also allows for accurate shooting from the non-dominant hand.
    Also, practice from distances you might encounter in a real life situation. If you’re concerned about home defense, decide what the farthest point could be between you and your target, and practice shooting at that distance until you can hit accurately every time. Shooting at 50 feet is great, but you must be able to react within the distances you have in your home or whatever setting you’d be defending.

  47. Someone is not up to date with the so called old obsolete 1911…..Our Marine core just ordered over a million 1911’s to be delivered in 2013…. Tried and tested now back in action.

  48. My wife has a S&W Featherlite .. 38 spl … hammerless .. light, 5 shot and can shoot from inside ourse or pocket.

    If she needs more .. she is hanging in the wrong hood !!

  49. Okay it is announced above that, “the sights on the Armscor are rudimentary, both front and rear sights are fixed, but at the “50 feet” we were shooting from, the sights were adequate to hit our target.” Okay, but I am in my mid 60’s with a 12 ga 00 buck wound where back in 1974 my right arm was blown off as a robber shot me through a plate glass window I was only one foot from. I also have a 6in tear in my rotator cuff as my right arm as I fell causing it to pop out of socket. The tear could not be repaired. I have only 1/3 use of that arm now with arthritis in it. I own a 380 semi auto, 44 Bulldog Pup, one double barrel 12 ga and a Mossberg pistol grip riot shotgun with 00 magnum shot for it. But my best defense, since I cannot take the recoil anymore to my right arm, is a Firestorm .38 single action 2 inch pistol which has a hidden hammer. It is made by Armscor corporation. It shoots .38+P hallow point ammo. I have little recoil with it. The main thing is I will not be shooting anyone that is 50 ft away from me. Good for practice but at 50ft you are going to have a hard time explaining why you shot someone at that distance. I use mine for close contact of maybe 10 to 15ft from me in my “power chair. I have a Sticky/brand holster with no slippage. It holds my Firestorm .38 great under my crotch in my chair. ” am a NRA member and believe that every home needs to have at least three firearms in it. Obviously a 12ga shotgun, a simi-auto that fits your needs and lastly a 6 shot revolver. I am a retired cop that used a .38 S&W Model 15 for over 28 years and am proficient in speed loading it. So with my aches and pains this little Armscor Firestorm is the right pistol for me with it’s little recoil even with the .38+P ammo.

  50. As a guy who has been shooting guns for over 60 years and now have Rhumatoid Arthritis, I can say that your needs and capabilities DO change over the years. My wife first bought a S&W .38 snubby for her CCW a few years back, she has moved on and I now carry that snubby in a cross draw paddle holster and load it with +P HP, except at the range I use regular loads (my thumbs, wrists and elbows are affected by the RA). It’s my bedside gun and also goes every where I go – always is ready and I don’t have to worry about whether my arthitis will be flaring up the day I need the gun and I won’t be able to rack a slide, cock the hammer or even have the thumb strength to flip a safety. The wife is now getting a bit of arthritis in her hands and keeps asking to shoot the snubby whenever we’re at the range – the last time we were there I ‘accidentally’ gave her a box of +P rounds and she didn’t use all of them. On the way home she said “I don’t remember that snubby being so snappy!” Shhhh – don’t tell her. Maybe now I can keep the thing for a few more years!

  51. Best luck I’ve had is with a Russian Makarov in 9×18 round. Concealable,accurate and easy to break down and clean. I have small hands so it works for me. Yup let a person pick their own,might make a difference in accuracy.

  52. My Wife and I both carry Ruger LCR in 38spcl+p. Both of them perform flawlessly, and for their size the recoil is very tolerable with a 158 gr. slug. Regardless of which gun she may pick up, they are identical, and function the same. Good enuff for us.

  53. I share the expressed safety concerns about the Glock, but there are other options. Sig makes some beautiful concealable pistols (I own a P238 and am thinking of trading it for a P938). The Sigs have an exposed hammer and a safety, so it is perfectly safe to carry them with a round in the chamber and the hammer down (although it would require one to pull back the hammer before firing), or with the hammer cocked and the safety on. This gives one the advantages of the semi-auto and mitigates the safety concerns. I have always believed that the automatically self-resetting pistols like the Glock are inherently less safe than those like the Sig with exposed hammers. Don’t really know why one would consider a pistol (revolver or semi) that is almost 9 inches long…way too big for carrying–might as well carry a S&W 629!

  54. The post form Guy is right on! With the correct training any gal is capable of handling any firearm along with helping to clear her mind of mental brainwashing in how she is suppose to think on what to like. Deciding for her is wrong and yes – demeaning. On my fist purchase I had a gentleman friend join me to help decide, so to speak, and he immediately went for the “smaller” size/caliber on suggestions. I realized his appraoch, ignored what he was pushing and ended up purchasing a glock 23. Oh, how I now so enjoy practicing with it. That being said, conceal carry is an issue with this model due to its large size and I refuse to even consider carrying in a purse. The next purchase was a .380 for conceal and this includes havng different holsters appropriate to what is being worn. Sadly it’s still fussy with which ammo it likes to use. Now if we can get past this never ending ammo shortage and skyrocketing costs it would be so much easier to get the practicing and the breaking of the newer purchase along with honing the skills that is needed.

  55. I didn’t read all of the comments, but of those I did read, it appears as if most are from men commenting about what their wives, sisters, or girlfrieds like/use. My first handgun was a Bersa Thunder .380 because my brother-in-law thought it was a good size that a woman could handle and conceal. When I got my concealed carry and continued to train (80 hours in my first 6 months), as I believe everyone should do, men and women, I quickly outgrew my Bersa and wished I’d never spent the money. However, my mom is now using it for handgun handling skills practices.

    My second gun was an XD Subcompact .40. I read a lot of reviews on it and for the most part – really like it. It’s reliable, shoots well, and relatively concealable. I also bought an XD Compact .45 ACP and a Beretta Tomcat .32 over the first six months owning guns. I love the .45 – great for target practice and IDPA competitions (I have deadly aim with my .45 and it sleeps next to me every night), but you can’t conceal it on your body (in my opinion the only way to conceal). For me – a size 10 women’s – it’s too heavy to carry on your hip all day and pulls on your pants. Its fine with winter clothes, but not spring or summer. That’s the only reason I bought the Tomcat .32, which it too small for protection, but when you don’t have anything else – it’ll do in a pinch. Its great to wear with summer clothes or easy and comfortable to strap on my ankle when riding my motorcycle. It is fun to shoot too, but not good for distance accuracy. That is a pistol that you’d use for close combat when you might be shooting from your hip, or when that’s all you’ve got.

    But for me, I love my Glock 27. I bought it after 3 years of trying other guns, trying concealment options and holsters, and just figuring out what I like. It’s just enough smaller than my XD Subcombact (narrower and the grip is shorter) that it’s easier to conceal (even with lighter weight clothes). It’s accurate and feels comfortable to shoot. I like the magazine release tons better than that of the XD, which makes you work to hard to release the magazine. And as for the no safety issue – I keep a round chambered all the time – my finger is my safety. My recommendation – find a gun you’re comfortable with – ask to shoot other guns that friends own or rent different guns at the range until you find your match – then train, train, train. All the other issues go away when you know your gun and your capabilities.

  56. I used to have and HR 22 single action loved it but defense or carrying it was just impossible. For lack of funds at he time I traded it for a hi-point 380. Eventually I added a 9mm and a 45 along with my favorite of them all a Taurus 357 hammerless revolver. Then I bought my wife the Taurus pt25. We went to shoot and she did not like the pt25 at all. She shot the 357 (38s for tartget) and it was too much. She shot the 45 a big heavy gun it was ok. Then the 9mm and 380. The 9mm she had no opinion good or bad stuck in the middle. Then she shot the old hi-point 380 and I no longer have a 380. It is her gun and she shot 200 rounds that day with it. She constantly asks when we can go shoot HER gun. It may be just a 380, and to some a cheap piece of crap because it is a Hi-point but she loves it, she shoots very good with iot and to me that is what matters most.

  57. The Glock is disaterious choice. It is stiker fired and thus too dangerious to carry conceklaead unless there is no round chambered. That takes it out of the running period. There is a reason more police have shot themslevs and others accidently with Glocks and it is not simply becasue they are les costly than qulity DA auros and a lot of department issue them.

    The revolver is simple, it can always be ready to fire. You cna’t use the sights of a pistol in real SD situation nayway, your brain (amygalda) will not tlet you look at anything but the enmey about to kill you. This not theory in the elast with me I have demonstarted this reality hundreds of times, even the most ardent ‘aimed fire’ only peiople discover they can’t use sights or even know the pisotl has sights in an realitc scenario that gets them adrenalized like the real deal always will.

    A .38 speicl with +P HP rounds will do the job, a handgun is light weapon anyway for an animal as large as human being. And unless you hit them and the bullet enters the brain case or hits the left ventricle of the heart. their is no medical reason the attacker can not coniynue the attack or dtaw his own weapon and fire.

    In most every shooting I have investigated if the person shot was not killed as described above, then they stopped their attack because they simply did not want to be shot anymore.Other times they ran away and showed up at the hospital later.

  58. I have taught many of my friends to shoot over the last few years and most of them have been women. It has been my experience that the first time handgun owner is best served with a revolver. They are simpler to operate and the maintenance is easier and less complicated. A revolver in 38-357 caliber is also good because ammo is less expensive and more readily available. Most of the ladies that I taught bought revolvers because of cost and problems with racking the slide.

  59. how many guys feels safe if they were without(for whatever reason)their handgun, and the wife had hers? would you ask her for it to do the shooting provided there is time, or are you comfortable knowing she has trained, and knows what to do, that you dont need to worry? it maybe a .38+P, it maybe only 5 rounds before reloading, but she can reload and get back into action almost as fast as you can change a magazine? maybe im strange, but if i dont have my weapon, and she has hers, im not afraid.

  60. I have carried a glock 23 for years. since CA has gone magazine limit, i went to the glock 30. there is almost no difference in recoil. my wife likes the 30, but she didnt like clearing a jam, and didnt like having to rack it if the need arose, becuase i do carry one “in the pipe”. because her first gun( my old ccw pistol) is a S&W 442 loaded with LSWCHP nyclads. (it took a long time to find them on the internet, and the was before december. im glad i bought 1000 rounds of it) while it doesnt have the punch of my .45ACP, that old FBI load nyclad makes for one heck of a nasty round to be hit with. my wife has trained and practice with the 442, and i dont see a need for her to change. also she likes being able to carry speedloaders in the glovebox or her purse. she is almost as accurate as me, and her follow up shots always wind up in the 10 ring when she she practices rapid fire. i feel safe with her and the 442 if i was to find myslef without my 30…

  61. Good Article, thank you. I carried a .40 Glock w/ a slide guide pulse laser (I have a larger collection) and switched to an HK P30L (v3) in 9mm for a few reasons. My 2340 in Sig .357 is good as is the Ruger P89 but I enjoy the HK; none of which are probably the choice for my wife (women). She is better with the Colt Mustang, Walther PPK, .38 Snub Nose (w/out a round under the hammer), the small Baretta .22…

    First, HK is quality, brings me 16rounds and in a bad public situation where god forbid it must be used, 9mm is more likely to penetrate and stop without going through other people, like perhaps my Sig 357, 40’s or .44 Desert Eagle. Being considerate and cognizant of actual circumstances can save me and other families great heartache. Think about it! The P30L is always chambered and safe in a minimalist holster as it has Decocker and Safety, namely, features that allow a guy to do it safely. Lastly, I found a fellow in Ohio by the name of Kevin (Nightingale Leather) that makes me excellent custom gun leather at very affordable prices thus making the larger HK more comfortable to wear concealed.

  62. I find humor in the fact that in response to an article on female shooters that received guns with no personal input, all of the responses are from guys that, for the most part, want to tell women what they should shoot. Are there no female shooters out there, other than the author, that read these articles? Just curious. It was all a good read, though.

  63. I am a 5’4″, 140 lb, female and have carried a Glock 27 for about 14 years. Unfortunately I used to work in DC which means I had to disarm every time I crossed the Potomac River. I also have a Berreta 92FS in a 40 caliber as my home gun (until I get more comfortable with my 20 gauge). The Berretta is very easy to shoot as it has a bigger frame but not suitable for CCW. The Glock 27 has more recoil but I have sent thousands of rounds downrange so I am very comfortable with the feel and recoil. My accuracy out to 25 feet is excellent. I’ve had a number of misfires at the range and they were all very easy to clear. I mostly purse carry but am looking into better on the body carry options that are comfortable in all positions (e.g., standing, sitting, driving). Practice is definitely key. As my old instructor used to say, these are perishable skills. I do not feel comfortable carrying one in the chamber especially since I have small children around so I practice racking which does take some hand strength. It’s a trade-off I’ve personally decided to make knowing the risks of both options.

  64. Well, fun reading, but what happened to the women’s opinions? I am a beginner, don’t want a self-defense gun, agonized over what handgun to purchase (it was a big investment for me), went to several stores to get a “feel” for something … anything. It was amazing how I could pick up a gun and within 3 seconds put it down and say, no, didn’t quite feel right/good (and I never even held a gun before). The grooves not right, grip too wide, too thin, too short, too long! I was surprised. But when a gun felt good, it was really good. All of this is before I even shot it. Long story short, I purchased a Ruger SP101 revolver .22LR (no CC in Calif) as my first gun, mostly for ease of getting used to a gun and cheap ammo. I love it. It just feels good and comfortable in my hand. Mostly practice weekly. Now I’m ready to move up to 9mm. Picked up an old S&W 639. After practicing with it, I don’t like it and will look around for something else, but it got me used to a slide and recoil. I’m going down to the indoor range and rent through their choices to see what works for me. Don’t care for Glocks. The choices out there are endless. Trial and error, but you’ll know what you like when you find it.

  65. My wife has gone through many handguns before settling in on a primary carry. Sure she chose a .38 snub wheel gun first – her opinion was it was easier to point-aim-fire, with the option of single or double action. With a stronger double action trigger pull, she noted that she would often drop the tip in the pull compared to single action (but didn’t like having to cock the hammer back) – so wasn’t as confident as she wanted to be.
    Next, she went to several of my 9mm semi’s, but keep fighting the strength to pull the slide back on some – so again was not confident unless a round was in the chamber. She liked my Springfield XD sub-compact since you could feel in the dark if the trigger was engaged and a cartridge was in the chamber – but it was too heavy for her to CC easily.
    She keep looking … GUY’s, note what I just said – let her keep looking and shooting until she finds what SHE WANTS and thus will be confident with it FOREVER. Remember, she wants something she is sure off to protect herself first – even over you!
    She chose the Sig Sauer P238 and has become a confident super shot. Sure, you old school guys are going to say “It’s only a .380” but something is a lot better than nothing, in my opinion.
    She’s added the Crimson Trace laser and at 25-30′– she’s gets grouping of 3 inches for seven rounds. Advantages, of the Sig P238, fits her hands which are small, it has a hammer so can be either single/double action, has a slide lock and safety like the big semi’s (1911’s), racking a round is easy with the slide spring (but she carries with a round in the chamber since it has a hammer) it is very compact while functional. With zip recoil, she’s working on her double-tap and perfecting it! Disadvantage – cost, and some will say only 7-rounds (so carry a 2nd magazine!), but once you buy a Sig, which is extreamly reliable and well built, it will last you a lifetime. I’ve used Sig’s for years starting with law enforcement in the 1980’s.

  66. I’m a 45 year old woman who’s been around guns all her life (my father was an avid sportsman). I’m certainly no expert, but I like guns and have shot many different kinds. I have 2 girlfriends who enjoy going to the range with me, and we practice as much as possible. My friends aren’t as comfortable with guns as I am, and they’re having trouble finding a handgun they feel secure with.
    One bought a Glock 17 (I think?) 9 mm, and a S&W .357 magnum revolver. She hated the S&W but liked the Glock; however, the Glock is too big for carry. So she recently bought a Walther .380 and has been practicing with it; however, she’s not sure she likes it either. She can’t seem to find anything that suits her and she’s frustrated. My other friend was given a S&W .38 special revolver by her husband, being told “that was what she needed to carry.” She absolutely hated it; it scared her to death. So she bought herself a Walther .22 and loves it, and she also bought herself a little North American Arms mini .22 Magnum and loves it too.
    Now, you may be thinking that a .22 and even a .22 magnum are too small to be highly effective for concealed carry, and you may be right. But, my opinion – and it’s just my opinion – is this: it’s better for these ladies to carry a gun they’re totally comfortable with rather than something they’ll panic over. What good is it to carry around a gun you’re scared of? I’d rather shoot a bad guy with a .22 than nothing at all. I may not drop you right away, but i’m damn sure going to hurt you, and if I’m comfortable with my gun and can shoot it pretty quickly and pretty accurately, i’ll get several rounds in you before it’s all over, and several rounds of .22 in the face WILL stop you.
    I have a Walther .380 that I absolutely love. It’s accurate, lightweight, has low recoil, and rarely jams or gives me fits. I keep it beside my bed. My other handgun, which I like to carry on me, is an older one that was my father’s: a S&W .22 magnum revolver. It’s the most accurate revolver i’ve ever fired and i’m totally comfortable with it. It may not pack as big a punch, but i’m fairly certain I’d be able to quickly put several rounds into an attacker. And that’s the more important objective, in my opinion.
    I totally agree with the mantra of practice, practice, practice. It’s the most important thing. Know your gun, and practice until loading and firing is second nature to you. No gun will stop a bad guy if you aren’t willing to fire it.

  67. sorry, concerning the colt mustang pocketlite, I meant to say, if you have a problem with the trigger pull, pull the (hammer) back, then pull the trigger with ease. sorry.

  68. both guns have good points & bad points. my opinion, for maximum safety, easy concealment, and easy to use is the mustang pocketlite. they have resumed making them in 2012. I own 2 of them that were made in the 90’s. the caliber is .380 acp. don’t discount the power of this gun. a JHP defense round will take somebody down and keep them down. the mustang is a miniature version of the famous colt 1911, that is over 100 years old. that was chambered in .45 acp. the best features about the mustang: single action-it’s easy to pull the slide which, of course, loads the chamber. you drop the hammer down to it’s safe position. then, you also have a thumb safety. the gun is tiny, but mighty. and it’s safe to carry ,but ready to use in 2 or 3 seconds. in the position I described above, you pull it out of your pocket, move the safety, and you have 2 choices. if you have difficulty with the trigger pull, pull the trigger back first. if you can handle the double action, or time is critical, that’s good , too. I personally think it’s the best conceal carry on the market. try one out at your local gun shop. you’ll love it.

  69. DARN Kindle! My comment above was incomplete. It continues: …that reason I carried a Model 60 for backup and off-duty for the time we used the wheelguns.

    Our department went to Beretta Model 92s, similar to the Military’s M9. Wow, that was a tough transition for many of the officers – both young and old. I never liked the double-action to single-action trigger on the Beretta we carried. I never did carry it off-duty nor did I try to find a similar, but smaller, backup weapon staying instead with my faithful little Model 60.

    We only carried the Beretta a couple of years. The wondergun, the Glock, became available and we were among the first in our area to make the change. The department gave us the opportunity to handle both the Model 22 and the Model 23 and decide with we liked best. Such an improvement over the Beretta. The transition went smoothly and most officers reported being satisfied with and trusting of the Glock. There were also a few Model 27s provided to admins and plainclothes officers.

    I was so impressed with the “Baby Glock” that I bought one of my own for my backup weapon. In my humble opinion the Model 27 was and still is the perfect weapon for CC. Practice, practice, and more practice. Dry fire drills from your carry position are a must. It has to be a matter of muscle memory. You need to position the weapon on your body in the same place and in the same holster EVERY time. It has to be like going for your wallet – you know which pocket your wallet is in.

    In closing, I would suggest only one thing regarding your personal carry weapon. That thing is PRACTICE! Make your choice of weapon using careful research and practical handling of that weapon. Find a holster that works for you – and use it religiously and exclusively. Range time must be done getting familiar with the weapon and presenting it for firing. Also, use the ammo you are going carry. Better to know what the recoil and muzzle flash are like with the “hot” loads than to practice only with the “cheap” stuff and get the crap scared out of you when the time comes to “run what you brung”.

    Good luck!

  70. 38 revolver and a full sized one at that, vs 40 ???? for women??? Lets be realistic, While both are good calibers for self defense, lets keep in mind that as well as being smaller than most men and having smaller hands, a woman cannot grip a larger gun firmly enough to be safe. If you had chosen a 38 in say the Lady Smith or some other comparable sized revolver and a single stack 9mm or 380, I think it would have been a more realistic and informational test.

  71. I have a friend that has had a Chief Special for years, but said she wanted to try an auto. I brought 4 autos over for her to try. Emptied and put the empty mag in and told her, draw the slide back until it locks back. With her carpal tunnel, she could not work the slide on any of them. If she can not work the slide, she can not load or reload. I told her she is going to have to stick with the Chief 38 unless we can find an auto she can work. Does anyone know of an auto that does not require so much force to rack the slide?

  72. I believe that a women’s gun should be small, comfortable as to feel as it is part of your hand, and deadly. Aiming at targets with the sights is fine. It is my experience that to really be safe it a stressed situation, you need to learn to shoot the target with out using your sights. The way I teach women to shoot accurately is to get a box and cut a six inch hole in it. Give them 6 handballs or tennis balls and let them throw the ball in the hole. First underhand and then overhand, the same way you would bring a gun up or down. This gives the brain the hand-eye connection. Then you go to the range. It is amazing how good these women can shoot. It is not about a bulls-eye in self defense, it is about bringing your target down. A police officer once told me, after a break in that I should shoot three shots, one to the head and the next two to the center of the body. Always shoot three shots and you always have three more for his accomplice if one shows up. If there are three guys, you better cut back to two shots or have an automatic with at least nine shells. Most home evasions have three guys involved. Hope this is helpful.

  73. Good article. I just went through the same thing with my wife. I’m a retired Marine with experience and training during and after the Corps and find my 1st Gen. Glock 27 fine for its intended purpose. I would not spend a day at the range with it as a shooter but for the practice I need and the amount of ammo I use it’s fine. Bought for concealed carry, I find the stock sights great and I shoot it accurately.

    My wife on the other hand is neither and experienced shooter nor one who enjoys it. She practices using a tool to save her life for that purpose. Amazed at her strength when we were both younger, arthritis has made the sharp recoil of the 27 too much for her and admittedly she does not like the noise. I had been looking for a suitable personal protection weapon for her that would be comfortable, require as little manipulation as possible and so forth for her. Then I came across several articles and videos of Glock 40 cal to 9 mm conversions. After some research I tried it and am pleased with the result for both my wife and me. The Wolf barrel is a drop in, the recoil spring is the same for both the 27 and 26 according to Glock and I managed to score a two factory Glock mags and one from KSI, all of which work. Because of the current situation I didn’t think factory Glock mags were going to be available within a reasonable time so when I found the KSI I took a chance and was pleasantly surprised. Comparing the factory and KSI mags side by side attention to small detail is needed to find any difference. The only problem I found was one I also have with the Glock factory mags in both 26 and 27 and is easily fixed. I find the polymer mag covering in front of the feed ramp where the mags has a stepped shape to be too long and too easy to bend which in the case of the original 27 mags was problem that interfered with inserting the mag and locking it in place. I used a pair of sharp wire nippers and a file to remove the excess evening the polymer with the underlying metal and now all mags seat and function fine. The conversion works as well as the factory barrel and the KSI mag at roughly half the price is a great deal.

    I do use two original length 27 mags/26 mags and two of the higher capacity Glock 19 mags with a mag extension cover in both calibers. The longer mag is in place when used as her nightstand gun and the original length for carry. The longer 19 mag feels better, offers increased purchase and control for her and of course holds more ammo. So… problem solved. She is satisfied with the now Glock 26, is willing to practice with it as it doesn’t hurt her hand, is confident in her ability to rack the slide and change mags and to tap, rack and fire in case of a malfunction. The key of course is practice. She was not willing to practice with the 40 cal but is with the 9. I reload practice ammo using a round practice regimen when we practice. She starts with 10 rounds of the same factory self defense ammo we keep loaded for emergency use and then follows up with 40 rounds of reloaded practice ammo which I load to be a little softer but not much. That way it is both affordable and gives her enough for the drills we use without wearing her out.

    What we did when younger is no longer practical in our 60s but we make sure we use a routine that keeps us sharp. I was raised on 1911s and their still my first choice but I enjoy the Glock 27 with the 9 mm conversion and with reloading, affordable for regular practice.

  74. During my 26+ years, now retired, at a 30-member Police Department I carried a few different department-issued handguns. My career began in 1983, long before semi-auto sidearms were “all-the-rage”. Smith & Wesson Model 66s were the most popular handguns at my Academy class. There were a few S&W Model 19s (basically the same firearm, only blued) and a handful of varied semi-auto oddities rounded out the class.

    No matter what the firearm was, there were a number of candidates who had zero (0) experience with their sidearms and the only thing that “helped” those rookies was copious amounts of lead downrange. Familiarity with your weapon of choice is absolutely mandatory – not just advised.

    It was for that reason (familiarity) that I chose a backup gun, and off-duty carry weapon, that was physically similar in manufacture and operation to that of my duty weapon. For

  75. I too agree somewhat with this article, you must have one in the tube to be an effective defender. I have used MANY different handguns and believe the revolver is surly the safest ONLY IF YOU HAVE LITTLE OR NO PRACTICE handeling a firearm. However if you are willing to help someone LEARN ABOUT THEIR WEAPON (break it down and rebuild it and let them playout situations while drawing it unloaded) as well as how to shoot their weapon, then they will be comfortable with either revolver or semiauto pistol. I gave my daughter who is 26 my Bersa Thunder 380 for Christmas and she loves it. BUT SHE SHOOTS IT FROM TIME TO TIME to be comfortable with it.

  76. Both good weapons, totally up to an individual on which they feel comfortable with, .40 cal recoil isn’t for the meek. But carrying in a purse is a total no-no. It isn’t very responsible to have a lethal weapon not on your person and under your control, thats why it’s good to find your preferred holster and carry position, but definitely not in a bag or purse. If someone isn’t sure about how to carry a sidearm, consulting a well-known and reputable instructor should give good results. Great article, and the revolver isn’t dead…

  77. My wife carries a S&W model 638 .38+p in a pocket holster from blackhawk completly out of site the holster breaks up the revolvers outline. some people have posted about carrying in thier purse bad idea as the first thing a crook is going to do is grab the purse then he has your gun as well .

  78. I also teach Pistol classes an tell everyone (guys too) it’s like picking a new pair of shoes or boots…try them and make sure they fit and you like them, if they don’t then you won’t wear them and have tossed your money away. So go to gun shops, pawn stores, and gun shows try them all. Find one that you like and fits your hand. For my wife (problem racking slide, doesn’t like recoil, etc) tried LCP, Keltec, SW 642, Gs, etc.. Found she shoots and can manage the SW Shield in 9 really well (Don’t send the Police, just the Coroner). For smaller carry the NAA 22Mag works fine and with the new 22Mag ammo..going to hurt. Me? Outside carry Sig 226 in 40 or G19, CC Taurus PT145 (10 rds of 45ACP) or SW 432PD (32 Mag) for light carry- like 12oz. Do have and like the Ruger SR40C. recoil is nothing, nice sights. Little heavy.

  79. You have a clear answer here from the results. If the lady is not an advanced shooter, the revolver is a better choice. Even the intermediate shooter put the gun down after 2 shots. What good is higher magazine capacity if it is not used. Conceal-ability can be answered with a shorter barrel revolver and staying with an all steel gun for stability.

  80. I can’t emphasize enough my belief that the type, make, and caliber of a pistol used is dependent on the shooter when it comes to self defense. It is dependent on what type and which pistol the shooter consistently hits the target. Although you can argue about it’s lack of stopping power, it is better to hit the target with a .22 then it is to miss it with a .44 magnum. Personally I prefer a Kimber 1911 in .45 ACP, but I have two sons, one who enjoys shooting and religiously cleans the firearms that I have given him over the years. A semi-automatic weapon would be a good choice for him since I know that he would clean and lubricate it regularly while my other son who occasionally will go shooting with his brother and me, and is a better then average shot, is not that interested in firearms and in all likely hood would put a firearm away and not touch it for months or years at a time. I gave him a S&W model 66 .357 magnum. It is stainless steel, adjustable rear sight, and he can use it to fire .38 special ammunition. It can sit for a long period of time without being cleaned and still function perfectly. Ultimately for both sons, I have given them firearms that I think suits them best, but THEY need to be the ones that determine which ones work for them best.

  81. I enjoyed the review. An issue I have with guns that big for the women in my life is that the are too big to carry on your person if youre a smaller type female. Purse carry is a no-go. I’d recommend a single stack subcompact nine like the kahr pm9 (or shield) or a 380 as a primary to have a bigger more serious gun like a glock 17 etc staged elsewhere.

  82. Until the Supreme Court gets involved I can only have one wife, but I don’t have to limit myself to one gun! I once saw a S&W 1 /12 in .32 RF fire 4 rds in a row after being forgotten at the top of a closet for over 60 years; too corroded to unload otherwise. So the wheel gun load and stash arguement is spot on.

    On a pick it up and stuff it on person gun, and external hammer is useful for one more thing that I think has not been mentioned: It tells you it is cocked and load. Pick up or draw a hammerless auto and you usually have to sneak the slide back for a peak! When I see a cocked and locked 1911….no questions. Questions answered incorrectly are called accidental discharges.

  83. Frontsight, the firearms training outfit in Pahrump, NV, published their safety reports a few years ago. Out of the negligent discharges they reported (not that many, considering the level of activity at their facility), most occurred while drawing or re-holstering and nearly all of those were with Glocks. Not passing judgement, just saying that training counts, a lot.

  84. Well it seems the word God is not execpted in this comment section my comment was deleted saying I all ready said this when I have never saw this artigal befor. Onething I deeply despize is when we have removed the black book rules on what this country was founded if you don’t like the Use OF God Leave this country. I cn asure you would live beyyer some place else. Now post this one damn it.

  85. I took my granddaughter and her boyfriend to the range to shoot my Glock 27….They are liberals from Seattle, and neither had ever fired any type of gun…They were a little nervous, but did extremely well, hitting the bulls eye more frequently than not…Neither had any problems with recoil…Amazing!…So the message is: Take a liberal and a Glock to the range! PS Granddaughter want a Glock 27

  86. Well I am a guy I carry a Kel-tec P3At 380 with one in the pipe I carry it in asneaky Pete holster. Yes I have 7 shots but if I am going where it might be abad area I carry aseconf with the larger mag in the small of my back. I have been in the rar spot where the rule of 3’s comes in. 3feet, 3 seconds 3 shots. If you have to stop and say Wait to the bad guy { I have to load my gun before we go any futher} You bare Dead. My recamendation is to buy a gun that won’t break your bank then buy 3 50 round boxes of ammo go to the rarange shoot 100 round and get use to it the last fifty change hands. Things happen so fast you have No idea what you are going to do so practice, practice, and more practice. If need be high an instructor no body know all the guns on the market. The seconf suggestion is go to arange that allowes you to try different guns before you buy. ( Alway stay in your budget) (Clocks do jam) Bad ammo will cause any gun to jam. So Buy agun you can afford, Practice till the cows come home use grade ammo. and say afew words to God before you go out that you will be safte on your jurney. this what I have told my children. Guns are a tool only pull if you can KILL that person. If you should don’t run go to the hospital after the police arrive and don’t talk till the next day to them they will tray to get you to talk I had one at my bed side for hours. All sorts of things were running through my head including the blood!.

  87. I have a Glock 27 and my wife (114 lbs) did not like the recoil at all (ditto, the Glock 23). However, when I installed a Lone Wolf Enterprise’s 9 MM barrel and compatible magazines, she handled it quite well. As for the Ruger LC9, for pocket or purse carry, the safety is essential, IMHO. She has no trouble shooting that one-handed, but with a two hand hold has trouble with the long trigger travel. My daughter has a Lady Smith, 5 shot revolver that she shoots like a champ.

    As a reasonably large man who has been shooting pistols (plus a bunch of other weapons) for more decades than I want to admit, I would never, repeat never, try to select a gun for any woman. Their size, frame, build, and personalities all enter into the choice and are totally incompatible with my own. Finally, I must concur with the thought that a .22 which you shoot a lot and that goes with you is better than any size with which you are not familiar that is left at home.

  88. First I would like to suggest if a man wants to buy a gun for his lady that is terrific, hand her a wad of $100’s and send her on her way but do not go buy a person a gun unless they have made it specifically clear what they want. If your lady does not know what they want give her the best gift you can, get her some professional training and then let her decide what she wants.

    The old concept that a woman needs a revolver because it is simple is demeaning, you are saying they are too dumb to operate a semi. The old concept that revolvers do not fail have never heard of the cylinder lock engaging on its own due to firing debris, and when it happens you have a paper weight. Revolvers are 200 year old technology, there are a lot better guns out there today. Out of all the women we have taught in the last few years not a single one has selected a revolver to purchase.

    Women when trained by a professional can shoot anything a man can. The fallacy that they cannot cycle a slide is baloney, with the right technique taught I have an 83 y/o lady student with severe arthritis that shoots a P226 in .40 S&W. The fallacy that a woman cannot handle the recoil is baloney, all of my students finish their first course of fire with a .44 Mag doing head shots are 10 and 15 yards, and they ALL love it.

    When women don’t know what they want the first question I ask is what is it for as there are different guns for different uses. My normal suggestion for self-defense is start with a gun from a manufacturer whose makes guns for Federal LE and Military as those are battle proven to be reliable (betting your life on the latest, cheapest and greatest gun is ill advised), then select a caliber that has a proven track record (OIS database, hint they both start with a 4) in actual gunfights that will quickly convince the BG to go away.

    Bottom line, it starts with professional training.

  89. Ruger LCR in 38 special +P(the 357 is way to heavy). 13 oz gun. Laserlite has a new front mount laser and a houge grip. Now you have something that is easy to cary and shoots well. Use personal defence +P ammo and you are ready. My LCR has a crimson trace laser and I use a galco holster. Easy carry, quick to get it out and at the ready. shoots very accurately. No malfunction or safety to mess with. This weapon has become very popular for good reasons. Give it due consideration.

  90. Hello,

    I may be a bit out of my lane here with all of you avid shooters but I read above that the (Glocks “safety-action” means no external safety) I belive this to be a untrue, Glock uses 3 safeties, 1 external and 2 internal!

    The external safety is a small inner lever contained in the trigger. Pressing the lever activates the trigger bar and sheet metal connector. The firing pin safety is a solid hardened steel pin that, in the secured state, blocks the firing pin channel (disabling the firing pin in its longitudinal axis). It is pushed upward to release the firing pin for firing only when the trigger is actuated and the safety is pushed up through the backward movement of the trigger bar.

    I only point this out as a laymen who wants people to have all the information in order to make informed decisions based on fact! I feel that’s important when making a decision to purchase something as important as a firearm!

  91. If you had been shooting a glock22 gen 4 then the recoil and time on target would have been much less, as for the ballistic you stated the 40 s&w speed is 1175-1000, and the 38 special+p runs from 1250 -1162. Not a lot of difference, I personal have a Rossi .357 with the 4.5 in and find it as well as my Glock 21 gen4 .45cal very carry friendly, my wife prefers the .357, but the Glock has vault the recoil…

  92. I bought (and waited two years for) the KelTec PMR30 to be my carry firearm. A resident of Florida but I spend a good deal of time in Georgia where they have open carry. Still it is not hard to conceal when I am in Florida.

    It is a .22 mag with one in the pipe and 30 in the mag. Perfect gun to carry in a purse and almost zero recoil. My wife shoots it just perfectly fine when I allow here to get her hands on it.

    You can’t stop the threat with 31 rounds you better be a track star.

  93. As for home protection, I remain adamant on the use of a short barreled shotgun, preferably a pump. It has been said,” the best deterrent to a criminal is the sound of a pump shot gun jacking in a round”. For the ladies, and most men all revved up on adrenaline, it is a near impossibility to miss at any, in house distance, with a shotgun loaded with #2 shot. I have one by my bed and one by my front door ALL THE TIME!

  94. I myself carry a Ruger LCP. My wife like the size and weight of the LCP but found the action hard for her to work. She tried a S&W bodyguard and liked that because the action was a little easier to work. She has settled for the Ruger LCR in the 38 cal. which she really enjoys. Thanks for your post.

  95. Good article. Good comments. My 26 year old daughter lives alone and wants a gun for self-defense. I am making the buy decision because she has zero experience with guns or shooting. We went through one, 12 hour NRA pistol class, (a long day) and now have 2 more NRA classes scheduled. I insisted she take several courses. Although I’ve been shooting for years I’m taking them with her. They have been fun. Now for gun choice. I’m an old, old revolver guy. My theory is, you can load a STAINLESS steel revolver, put it in your nightstand for 30 years, pull it out at 4 AM, (only when absolutely necessary) and it will go “bang”. Semi? Well, will the springs get weak in the mag after 30 years? Will it jam? With shaking, trembling hands in the dark, clearing a jam is not easy regardless of how much practice you have. I know, I know, you only have 6 shots with the revolver. Isn’t that enough in your bedroom? Still shopping but, interestingly at the NRA courses she has tried both wheel guns and semi’s and she prefers the semi’s. Now which is more reliable? Glock? Sig? Springfield? etc, etc. And it’s still hard for me to give up on revolvers.

  96. My research leans in favor of the S/W Governor, esp. for the ladies. It is respectively light to carry, has laser sights, and best of all, shoots 3 different rounds. I like thew fact it shoots a .410 shot-shell that is specifically designed just for this weapon. Load with 2-3 shot shells followed with 3-4 .45ACP/.44LC for followup. Virtually impossible to miss with the shot shells.
    Price wise it falls into the same category as the Glock or any other similar weapons.

  97. why do you folks keep saying “50 yards ?!?” “FIFTY YARDS ?!?”…re-read line 39 of the text (or have a 6 year old child read it to you) 50 feet ! you know, feet…the little twelve inch things, NOT the big 36 inch thing-a-mabobs…Geez !!

  98. We own several Glocks (23, 26,27), and my .40 G27 is my daily carry. My wife and I have gone through several handguns for her looking for the right model. She had been a beginner. A DiamondBack DB9 she initially selected was (was expected) too snappy due to its small size & low weight, and until I ran a few hundred rounds through it to break it in had too many FTE/FTF issues. She tried the Glocks, and as a beginner felt tey were a little unwieldy for her, and the slides took a lot of effort (nerve damage in her left wrist causing some weakness in her grip)[side note: she likes the G26 9mm now]. Finally she landed on a Sig P238 .380, which is not a blowback design, it has a locking bolt, which means the recoil spring is very light, making it easy to rack – like butter smooth. Despite the relatively low power of a .380, that Sig is her current carry weapon, and I can see why regardless of having an external safety and hammer. Sig now has a P938, which is a slightly upsized version of the P238 in 9mm. I finally found one to purchase, and if its slide is anywhere close to as easy to rack as the P238 I think she is going to use that as her daily carry for the added punch of a 9mm HP round. I like the Sig P238 also, but it is too light of an impact for me to be comfortable with. As much as I love the Glocks, if the P938 proves to be as small, light, and effective as I hope it is I may just need to rethink my primary carry handgun choice. Then again, Glocks will fire no matter what the condition at hand, whereas I do not know how tolerant the Sigs are in comparison.

    One more side note, one reason I like the Glocks is there is no external safety lever, just the safe action trigger, which is fine with me. About 35 years ago I had to draw my SW 9mm in a bad situation, and just as I leveled the handgun, which was enough to stop the bad guy in his tracks (he did not see that coming, and he turned and ran faster than anyone I ever saw run in my life), the last thought that went through my mind just before the decision to fire was, “Oh shit, did I flip off the safety?” I did not have to fire, thankfully, but the safety was still on, and had I had to fire that one error could have been the difference between life and death for me. THAT is why I love the Glock design, and may be the only reason I remain a Glock carry fan no matter how much I may like the Sig P938.

    All that said, I agree with a prior poster, it is so wrong for any guy to pick out his mate’s handgun for her “as a gift”, better to get a gift card and help her choose from an array of options. What works best for me is not what works out best for my wife, so we invested a lot of money on different platforms until we got the one she liked best at the time. If she does not like the new P938 as much as the P238, so what? I just want her comfortable with her choice, and able to effectively defend herself.

    Finally, from all of our choices in the quest to find my wife a nice handgun for her we have opted to keep all of the handguns, and offer to let others try them out before going out and making a choice that may not be right for them. I wish we had that opportunity before spending all we did on our various units.

  99. For women I like the revolver. My wife has a Smith & Wesson Titanium 38+P with internal hammer. The only thing I don’t like about a revolver is the fact that if you have children they are much more dangerous than autos. Young kids just cannot cock an automatic so loaded without a round in the chamber autos are much safer than revolvers. I replaced the beautiful rose wood grips on my wife’s gun with soft rubber grips and she likes it much better because the recoil with the wooden grips was hard on the hands.

  100. My wife uses a titanium Taurus .38 also. with the Federal Hydra Shok. 5 rounds, very lightweight, hidden hammer, no snags, concealable, no shell caseings on the ground. Just point and shoot, Like taking a picture. (Do’not) carry it in your pocket book/purse or leave in your vehicle. Make it a part of you. Practice with it once a month at the range. CLEAN IT. BE SAFE and keep it away from childern. DUH

  101. I’m tired of reading articles that are “just for women” concerning which firearm to get. As this article pointed out, it really depends on the person. Wow! Amazing! Tell me something we didn’t know. Any firearm is a personal decision, whether the person is a male or female. Why is there so much talk about the “right” firearm for a woman? There are never articles about the “right” firearm for a man. There are women who can fire the biggest calibers with the most recoil, and there are men who want nothing but the lowest recoil. There are women who like a wide grip and there are men who like a thin grip.

    Everyone, the choice is personal. Stop all this male/female separation. Buy the gun that works for you and that you will carry. That means shop around, do research, and ideally shoot several before you buy.

  102. I read all of the comments to date. I always enjoy everyones opine. The little wife and I bought our first hand guns 2 days after Obama’s election in Nov 08 for home protection as WI did not have CC until Nov 2011. I carry a Taurus PT140 Milenium Pro. Debra has a Taurus .38 with a pink handle (yeah I know cute) and she would not hesitate for a second to deliver all 5 rounds if needed. She does not carry even though I have encouraged her too. She is gorgeous and if there is a most likely threat between the both of us, it would be her. So these purse vs holster carry experiences are helpful. I carry full time. I always have 1 chambered and optionally have the thumb safety on or off at my discretion. I also have a Glock 22, but seldom carry it because of its size. It’s dependability is all that and a bag of chips. I target practice with my Taurus. 40 and have become familiar with it’s likes and dislikes with certain ammo.
    These comment formats are NOT friendly to smart phones. Carry safely everyday and fight for freedom!

    David in WI

    ammo vs ammo.

  103. John T, nobody cares if you’re sick and tired of 1911 fans. And did you really answer a rhetorical question you asked yourself? “Yes I just went there” ooh we’re impressed. Also, using a phone is no excuse for your incomplete sentences and incoherent rambling. I own a Glock and a 1911 they both work fine. Carry whatever you like best and are most comfortable with.

  104. For my first gun, I bought a Kimber 1911 Ultra TLE II Compact .45 cal and I love it! I have no difficulty with the slide or with the recoil. Just because a man thinks a woman is weak does not mean she is. My hands are however, fairly small – even for a woman – I am only 5’3″ and about 140lbs. This meant that I had to spend some time testing out multiple guns for a comfortable grip. I have practiced with the safety and I prefer not to lock it when in a self defense situation. I am aware of the risks of negligent discharge and try to remain cognizant at all times of my finger positioning in relation to the trigger. Because of the cost of ammo – I have been looking at a Ruger SR-22 for a fun practice gun. I have found it to be a great fit for my small hands and I’m very accurate with it. Bottom line is that no one can/should pick out a gun for someone else – your grip, strength, and recoil tolerance will never be the same as someone else’s!

  105. As far as the Armscor not being concealable, they make a Colt Cobra clone snubby in .38 special which is easy to conceal. As far as which gun is better for self defense, the one you can shoot well which in these ladies’ case would be the .38 special. Next time time you take these ladies shooting, try a .380 or a 9mm so it won’t be apples and oranges. I thought you would’ve know better.

  106. The first three guns my wife wanted to try were a S&W Airweight Centennial: she emptied the gun, put it down, saying “I never want to shoot that gun again.” Next was a lightweight Charter Arms .44 Special Bulldog Pug which she fired once, put it down and repeated the former assertion. It was difficult getting her to touch the Magnaported Desert Eagle .50AE. She eventually, reluctantly fired with her eyes closed, then smiled, opened her eyes, emptied the magazine and asked for another.
    She sent a lot of lead downrange from many handguns before deciding on a concealed carry and bedside gun. Her CCW is a Kahr PM-380 with C/T Laserguard, interspaced Glasers and Hydra shocks (anyone disparaging the .380 should review the Strassburg tests)in a holster tucked away in the pocket provided in a CCW purse or attached somewhere on her body. Her bedside gun is a Kel-Tec PMR 30 w/railmaster laser and 31,.22WMR Critical Defense bullets. She doesn’t miss – even under stress! I’m nearly a month short of carrying concealed for 60 years! No negligent discharges.

  107. Sorry…….but I have just a few comments…….no gun is safe from accidental discharge period………I carry 98 percent of the time …….no training or self defense classes….just enough to get my permit…..failure on my part for sure…..just like my typing….lol….anyway I carry bersa fire storm 9mm……..always one in the chamber…never served never been a public servant ……..sorry about that……..wish I would of……I carry in the swell of my back… has thumb safety and a hammer and can be fired from just pulling the trigger 8 to 10 lbs…..not sure of that …….all I have to say is 2 seconds in any situation is not enough time to make life threating choices………god bless me if I .ever have to use it ……..every morning I pull it out of its location and aim ……..pretending I need to use it……….I put it back and go about my day oand forgvyet about it……but I know its there………god forbid I need it……but just knowing that I have it and know how to get it I feel better……I reholster it pull it out reholster ..and so on…..I am sure I need more practice and professional training….just a sheet metal worker in Ohio talking here……. know the weapon you carry and hope you never need it………..god bless our troops and public servants……………keep the powder dry my fellow patriots ………..and …nothing better than a shotgun at your hard to carry…lol.. trying to make sense
    …I guess I am trying to say that any gun is a good gun (better than not having one)

  108. In addendum: There are some people that shouldn’t have a gun, not because they can’t have one, but are too irresponsible to practice or think straight. Rights are not a factor there. If you are sheeple,(or libertard) don’t bother…

  109. In over 50+ years of shooting, I have heard them all. The logical answer is to fit the gun to the type of person and willingness to practice. In a perfect world, she would be shooting a compact DAO .45acp caliber pistol. From there we go downward. Next a short barrel .357 [.38 spl.] revolver. Then may a small 9 mm. If a revolver, then the biggest caliber she can safely handle in rapid fire. Again, fit it to the shooter. I have known little ladies [5’3″ 100# wet] competing with a full sized Colt 1911, so there are those out there. ADs [accidental discharges] will happen to everyone sooner or later – just be sure the barrel is always pointing in a safe direction. I “fear” any dude that claims to have never had an AD, because he is an accident waiting to happen. One hit with a .22 is better than a loud miss with a .44 !

  110. Just a side note on the 50 / 50 question. The author even apologized for saying 50 yards when she meant 50 feet. Here is the exact quote from above:

    “The sights on the Armscor are rudimentary, both front and rear sights are fixed, but at the 50 feet we were shooting from, the sights were adequate to hit our target.”

    Far as I can tell, nobody said 50 yards to begin with. And I used the “find” feature on the page to confirm it. Did I miss something?

  111. My wife loves her Ruger SR9c. Compared to my XD40, the recoil is amazingly small (one reason she did NOT want anything chambered in 40S&W, since it is a very snappy round). As a matter of fact, the Ruger is so smooth and has such little recoil, I’m considering it for my CCW. The only pain is takedown is more complicated than the XD or Glocks, but in use, the little Ruger is a pleasure to shoot. It had the side 1911 style safety and the Glock/XD style trigger, so purse carry is much safer when a round is chambered… Just make sure you practice with the safety on, so flipping it with your thumb on the way to the target becomes natural.

  112. I wasnt sure what the trigger pull was but I remembered it as being about 7 lbs. Thanks for the info. They did that because several NYC cops shot themselves in the locker room as well as other accidental discharges. I think I remember Florida police had the same problem. Trouble is, a heavier pull really affects accuracy. I believe it was the &th SFG out of Bragg at the time that bought Glck 45’s to take to Afghanistan with them rearly in the war. They got rid of them because of the accidental discharges. Glocks arent a bad weapon however they could be made safer.

  113. Page 148, “Glock, The Rise of America’s Gun” ..The New York State Police Trigger….was brought up to a steady 8 pounds…..on the Glock 17″.
    Pete Hallock

  114. Yes, I have had three or more 1911s. One was a Remington WWII 1911A1 I bought for $35.00, as new, in 1955 ( about).I thnnk at Golden State Arms in Los Angeles county.
    It was stolen as was a new K-22 Smith and Wesson. That said, combat 1911A1 were built for combat, so they were very reliable.. I like the 1911, but it is far too heavy to carry and hide. Makes a great home protection pistol though if you thoroughly train yourself. No too good for the wife if she does not have the same traing ,though. A revolver is her best option, I feel. Not as much training needed, eh?
    Pete Hallock

  115. “Glock, The Rise of America’s Gun” by Paul Barrett says there is a NYPD trigger option. Can not look it up, but it was like 8~10 pounds…somebody here will clarify it..
    Pete hallock

  116. Man, people get testy when they talk about pistols. BTW I come from a family of military, cops and doctors no one minded being called a cop. BTW what is the current trigger pull for Glocks sold to police departments vs the what 5.5 pound pull on ones sold to the civilian market?

  117. I apologize for my dyslexia. It’s the result of an Army injury. One of a few I had in 10 years as an Army Officer Infantry and Ordnance – weapons, heavy vehicles and munitions. I to carried a 1911 but seldom fired it because it was worn out. New plastic toys doesn’t make them better, just new and different.

    Its easy to get complacent even with firearms. Couple of years ago they almost closed a local pistol range because a long time firearms training instructor had an accidental discharge which resulted in the wounding of his daughter and he best friend. If you can safely carry a Glock then God Bless you but the majority of people can’t. They seem to have trouble doing it at the range so why would that change off the range.

    I love my 1911 but I also love my Sig P220 .45 I also have a Glock 19 but I would never conceal carry it. You did say something intelligent though. Conceal carry in a holster. Very good advice. Unfortunately to few people do that.

  118. Guys, I want to point out much of the bad press about the 1911 was the direct result of 2 things. First it was mass produced by several manufacturers for the war which resulted in spotty accuracy and 2 the last 1911 made for the military was manufactured in June of 44. The army refused to issue out any of the tens of thousands they had in storage and force us to use worn out pieces of crap.

    If you don’t like the 1911 then don’t buy one. Personally, I don’t believe most people maintain enough awareness of the discipline need to carry a modern hammerless pistol. They just can’t keep their fingers out of the trigger well. I also dont think they are safe because of the accidental discharges caused by something depresing the trigger safety. Cant figure out why some of you are so against a thumb safety like is avaible on the M&P. Its ergonomically correct (for me anyway)and takes little effort to switch.

  119. nope, don’t quite care for 1911’s, current carry is a full size S&W M&P .40 ( in a Blackhawk level III Serpa with a Xiphos NT light)

  120. It’s called typing on the smartphone Mike who has deemed himself moderator. Not always easy to get typos out on them. As for being a dispatcher, not likely, but since you inserted yourself into this I worked in a major city department for 4 years in the inner city, and a Sheriff Department for 7 years. I carried a S&W 4026 and a Glock 22 during that time. I made over 100 DUI arrests, close to that many Felony arrests and misdemeanors I lost count of. Some of us in Law Enforcement do not like the term “cop” so like DB Cooper know what your talking about before you open your mouth. I stand by everything I said and your reply shows you’re probably one of the 1911 worshipers I referred to.

  121. My apologies to Suzanne for going off tangent here but John T. needs to be addressed here, if you’re going to comment on an article John, then just do so, you have no room to talk about someone needing an English course, did you even proofread your own crap? periods in the middle of sentences, no spacing even after unneeded punctuation marks and since you only say “law enforcement experience” instead of “I was a cop” that means you were probably a white shirted, red shoulder patched, unarmed security guard “mall walker”.

  122. Spot On ! I carried a 1911A1 in the Air Police in Morocco in 1951 when we were building TAC,SAC and MATS air bases during the Korean War. I have had three since then.To me, 1911s are boat anchors. My Walther P-38 (P-1 Version ) was THE WWII pistol, bar none. I have it in my dresser drawer for first response home protection. Now, the 1911 is a gunsmith cottage trade industry.
    Pete Hallock

  123. Wow DB Cooper (original name.there) try taking a basic English course.Not a little insecure there are you. Have no clue what you’re talking about. If someone shot himself in the groin, my.level of sympathy is limited, because he didn’t keep his finger off the trigger and he was probably not using a holster. The guy above is right, there are only negligent discharges, and yes.braniac, lots of people like you that have more.confidence in mechanical safeties than proper weapons safety have negligent discharges. It’s the attitude not the weapon.I was in the Army when the 1911 was still issued, so I’m well familiar with it. So before you talk shit about someone know what your talking about. I have 11 years law enforcement experience, I was in the Infantry for 9+ years, have been around weapons all my adult life and was a unit armorer, so please spare me the condescending bull shit. Fact is the 1911 is antiquated. I’m sorry you have so.much of your masculinity tied up in what weapon you carry.

  124. Hell, I did it years ago with a 4 5/8″ blued “Convertible Single Six” with staghorn grips, and the magnum cylinder in. And, with the “Transfer Safety Bar.” Shot right thru the left sleeve, up thru the arm pit, and out the back of my new nylon, down filled parka, then thru the nearly new faux naugahide couch it was sitting on. It happens.

  125. There is no such thing as an accidental discharge. It is a negligent discharge. I had one with a CZ-75 model type that lacked the drop hammer feature, somehow. I had removed the magazine, and was racking it to remove the chambered round. Naturally, I had it pointed at my new bed mattress set. My new mattress has a neat hole in it when the slide slipped and I had my finger inside the trigger guard. No, no such thing as an accidental discharge ! Negligent discharge it was, indeed. Negligent on my part or some could be a negligent discharge by a manufacturer.
    Pete Hallock

  126. Obama’s sequential sequester is on. Airport towers and now schools are closing, putting even more people on the streets, along with the returning disabled veterans who say they’d have been better off killed in combat, and want to kill Police, and the Gov turns their back on them without aid for two and a half to three years of unprocessed files. While major flooding is predicted up north, the rest of the country is facing the biggest drouth ever, and the eastern seaboard has no funding for huricane cleanup. Now, state by state they’re re-writing the second ammendment next week, and want to pay us for turning each other in for posessing magazines, and outlawing black powder guns, calling them firearms. Any gun those girls have is better than no gun, practice, and stock up on ammo.

  127. John,Please tell that to the HIVAC repairman in Ohio that is now much less of a man because of the glacks lack of a safety. You are obviously ill educated about the 1911. Counting the barrel safety there are 5. If you have an accidental discharge with a 1911 you should never ever be allowed to touch a pistol again.

  128. I concur with everything in his message maybe with a caveat or two. First, I am concerned a great deal with take aways and as mentioned, mind set. Take aways are a major concern for if anyone hesitates for a nano-second, they could be dead for the bad guy could grab your handgun and use it on you. So, Mind set and handgun choice is critical. Revolvers are simple. just pull the trigger. Pistols need to have their slides racked which is no issue if your auto loader has already chambered a round.
    So, mind set, handgun of choice, and most of all practice, But not just at the range, but an empty handgun, in the purse, CCW holster, whatever, and practiced daily drawing and dry firng. You only have a second or two to save your life, and how you handle your handgun is the key. Then, have your mind set….Me or him…me or him..
    Pete Hallock

  129. I am sick and tired of you people who worship at the alter of the 1911 perpetuating the myth that Glocks and any other pistol without an external safety are unsafe. Your comments show your utter lack of knowledge about anything outside of the obsolete 1911. Yes I just went there. The 1911 was designed around 1907 or so (Army adopted it in 1911). Glocks are modern, better and simpler design. More dependable. More accurate OUT OF THE BOX that a Colt or Remington, the two oldest manufacturers of 1911’s. There have been fewer accidental discharges with Glocks and similar pistols than the 1911 styles, even accounting for disparity in numbers. NO pistol is safe to carry in a purse that doesn’t have a dedicated compartment for it. So get over it and join the 21st Century. I own a Glock 22 and a Sig 250, neither of which has a safety. While the .40 S&W might have been a bit much for the shooter, the Glock itself is exactly the right choice for her specifically because of simple to operate. You talked about carrying it in Condition 1 and that you automatically thumb off the safety when you draw, fine, but how many hours did you have to practice to get that reaction ingrained? Have you done that under and stressful situation, whether real or simulated? The fact is it takes a long time to get that habit ingrained and most people just plain will not put in the time. Period

  130. I have quite a bit of shooting experience (over 60 years) and am often asked to recommend a suitable self peotection handgun for women. My advice is almost always a small, easily concealable, high quality (reliable) revolver in .357 Magnum caliber. (like the Ruger LCR or S&W Bodyguard). Since all .357’s will shoot .38 Special, .38+P and .357 magnum loads, a woman (or recoil sensitive man) can start with inexpensive, low recoil .38 Special rounds, then move up to the .38 +P and finally the .357 magnums as they become comfortable with the ascending recoil for each of these loads. And, if she/he cannot handle the .357 effectively, then the .38 Special or .38 Special +P loads will get the job done, in most cases. But strive to be able to use the .357; it is one of the best “threat ending” cal-[scroll down]
    -ibers you can buy. And use ammunition specifically designed for self-defense — like Hornady’s Critical Defense or Special Duty cartridges.
    Most women find semi-auto’s, even in small calibers, too difficult to rack, as well as too complicated and thus more intimidating. But a good Double Action Only revolver is pure simplicity. Find a range, or a gun nut like me, that will allow tou to shoot several guns. Try some guns of different types and calibers, then choose the one YOU are most comfortable with — not necessarily what your guy recommends.

    The key is LOTS of practice — and continuing practice; both with operating the gun and also being able to hit a man-sized target repeatedly. Don’t get comfortable with whatever gun you choose then put it away until needed. Practice every month or two at least!

    A final word of advice…. IF you are ever forced to defend your life with your gun, be mentally prepared to do so instantly, without any hesitation. AND do NOT fire just one shot and wait to see if the creep falls. Fire 2 or 3 shots at the chest area, just as quickly as you can get back on target. If the criminal still does not go down, aim 2 more quick shots at his head. (Many criminals are wearing body armour — as the Colorado theatre shooter did. But their faces/heads are always unprotected).

  131. I have trusted my life to the Glock 27 for more than a decade. It is my Spring and Autumn gun. It is every bit as reliable as a revolver and much faster to clear in the event of a malfunction. As a plus, it accepts the larger capacity magazines. My Glock is very accurate and fires very fast once one learns how to reset the trigger. Were I limited to one handgun and dropped into anywhere on the planet, I would want my Glock 27 or my slightly larger Glock 23 which is my winter carry gun. I have owned and fired close to 100 different handguns. I love the 1911 and I would never fault a Sig. But when I started working for a narcotics task force as their prosecutor, it was my Glock 27 that rode along on warrant executions and buy busts. That speaks volumes.

  132. going back to my drag racing days this kind of applies to CC, ‘run what ya brung and hope ya brung enough!’ suffice to say that whatever you have on you that you’re comfortable with is better than being a spectator, sort of a case in point my mom used to carry a Lorcin .25 but hated it, hard for her to rack, etc. now she carries a Taurus M85 .38 and enjoys the heck out of it, on the other hand my twin brother and I carry full size M&P .40’s and love ’em!

  133. I bought my wife a Taurus millennium pro 9mm a few years back for conceal carry/ purse carry with a small holster. it holds 10 + 1 and has a manual thumb safety, which is a must so she can safely keep one in the tube!! in all her pocket books, i purchased Velcro strips and used them to secure the holster to the inside so it stays out of the way and she can easily transfer it from purse to purse. it has become 2nd nature for her to thumb the safety when she pulls it out. the gun is very accurate, reliable, has low recoil, easy to rack, easy to disassemble and clean, and cost less than $400 brand new, although I have seen some dealers sell it as much as $450. I let her shoot the PT 24/7 .40 and it was too much, although one of her sisters loves to shoot .45 cal., the other sister said the .40 was also too much. I started my wife out on a .38 revolver for ease of shooting and reloading, but for self defense, she prefers more rounds of the semi and quicker reloading.

  134. It is a shame that the intermediate shooter’s boyfriend bought her the G27 without knowing her ability to handle the energy of .40 S&W coming out of the short barrel. I wonder, only because I have seen this before, if he was really buying it for himself knowing she would not be that interested in it. I hope that she gets the opportunity to shoot the G26 9mm which would probably be better suited to her and give her a slightly greater capacity.

  135. It really depends on the woman. I try to put myself in a womans position and think which would be better. If I had no experience whatsoever with a firearm and shot the Glock with it snappy recoil being its a smaller Glock, I would feel very hesitant. The revolver with its .38 spc would be more to my liking as far as recoil but as it was mentioned in the article, you lose round capacity. I would choose +P ammo for the .38 If you cant have the capacity, best to make each one count with a high powered load. There is still less felt recoil with the +P than there is in a small Glock 27.

  136. I believe that a .357 small frame revolver is the ideal protection gun. When you hit them with a 125 grain .357 going 1100 fps there aren’t many thugs walking away from that.

  137. i think there isn’t enuf (any!) attention being paid to the realistic/statistical/logical range at which a female will probably have to kill a dirtbag: maybe 2 feet or less; here, w/o going into paragraphs of details, ‘contact shooting’ esp to the cranium, will be the best bet for stopping power (duh), esp w/ a quick shot at the face for distraction, esp w/ a .357 j-frame/pocket holster, of course revolvers will be the ticket for contact-shots, re avoiding malfunctions

  138. I’ve been carrying a Glock 27 for over a year now. It fits very well inside jeans with a Comp-Tac Minotaur holster. Until she gets used to the recoil, she could always step down to a 9mm Glock 26, or get the 27 and buy a 9mm barrel for it to get comfy with shooting before putting the .40 barrel back in. Find a range that allows quick draw from concealment, and practice drawing and hitting the target. A gun in a purse that does not have a dedicated, special pocket just for the pistol, is dangerous. But if the gun can be carried safely, it should be loaded and have a round in the chamber ready to go. External safeties are the first thing she will forget, and that split second of wondering why the trigger won’t pull could cost her life.

  139. I concur with Pete about safeties and the XD series.

    I regularly teach a women’s self defense class and most of the women who carry do so in their purse. Most guns will fire through the bottom of most purses just fine. However, a semiautomatic has the opportunity of jamming on something inside making it a one shot wonder. Where you carry matters a lot.

    I like to recommend a purse that has a specific location and internal holster such as the purses by Gun Tote’n Mamas. I believe it’s important for the gun to be easily and reliably drawn and that means the woman has to know where it is by feel. If it’s at the bottom of a purse, that’s not going to be easily and reliably drawn. The holster makes such a huge impact on this that the choice of gun is almost secondary. Almost.

    I also tell women not to carry a gun smaller than law enforcement does. I know of LEOs that carry as small as 9mm or .38 but I don’t know of any that carry a 380 (for a primary weapon).

    I would be inclined to recommend the Glock 27 if it were holstered safely. The M200 is an awfully large gun for typical concealed carry. I’ve found the Ruger LCR to be a great choice for many reasons. Whatever the gun, the woman has to feel comfortable and confident with whatever she carries.

  140. I originally bought a FNH 5.7 for me for a CCW gun. I took my wife and 11 yr old son both to the range and promptly lost my gun. My wife loves the feel and the almost zero recoil from the gun and with 21 rounds (20 in the mag 1 in the chamber) she now carries it in her purse where ever she goes. My son also had no problem shooting or handling the gun.

  141. I’m kind of tired of gun-guys recommending weapons for other people that they themselves would not use. The next time a gun aficionado recommends a Remington 870 for home defense, ask them what they use. Odds are it is a high-cap handgun with a light attached. Same with heavy chunks of 38 special. Police stopped using 38s, oh, I don’t know, FIFTY years ago because it is weak. Having 6 rounds of “you better place this right” in a full sized gun is not something any of us gun-nuts would use ourselves. Having a weaker pocket-pistol, yeah we all do that.

    My wife, sister, and female friend all use hi-cap Springfields in 9mm. The Springfield part is a coincidence. These ladies have no problem with the recoil.

  142. 50 yards is where it starts getting fun! Yes I said yards! Hi-Point makes an awesome 9mm. Looks as ugly as a Ford Excursion, but I can keep 6 of 9 rounds on the plate at 100 YARDS, yesss yards! If I can do that with some frequency then I am sure to fare well in a more intimate situation.

  143. Oh, and on the external safety note, the SR9c has a 1911 style thumb safety which I use and currently training with. Whether for home defense or concealed carry, mine always has one in the pipe and the safety on. I grab the gun, thumb the safety, and am ready to rock!

  144. I have and love shooting my Ruger SR9c. It’s a tad large for concealed carry, but I can manage with baggier clothes or purse carry. The dual spring setup in the Rugers makes recoil very mangeable…shooting this gun is a dream! The 9mm is a substantial enough round for me to be able to defend myself…and I’ve practiced different aiming techniques at the range and can still hit my intended target without using the sights. I would love to have a revolver for reasons mentioned above, but have had issues with recoil recently, so have yet to shoot and find one I like. The M&P series are nice guns also…but I had an issue with the one I shot where I was too high on the trigger with my finger. I don’t want to think about moving my trigger finger when I’m having to use my gun for self defense though. Thinking about possibly the new Ruger LC380 for concealed carry because of its smaller size and the reported easy recoil manageability which is crucial for me.

  145. It is very dangerous to carry any hand gun in a purse! Scumbag gets your purse he’s
    got your gun! Any fire arm should be on your person for quick deployment and retention! These days there are so many carry options for women no need for a purse carry! Indiana,Security

  146. For new to hand guns, I would use a revolver. However, because more women might carry in their purse, they need something with a covered hammer. My wife carries a Ruger LCR 357 and as back up a SR40C with here at all times. No chance of accidental hammer accidents and the SR40C also is easy, reliable and small enough for a cc weapon.

  147. Snap harsh recoil of the .40 S&W round would discourage anyone not used to handguns, and therefore they wlll not tend to practice as much. In a pistol, the 9mm Luger round is the one I would advise my daughters to use. Both a revolver and a Glock have high risk of accidental discharge and alarming dangers of take away situation. The Bad guy only needs to pull a trigger and you are dead. I would mull over the idea of a pistol with safeties like the Springfield XD series. While the bad guy is trying to figure out how to fire the XD, you can be long gone. Like everything else, practice, practice, practice.
    Pete Hallock

  148. Thanks for the article. My wife uses a titanium Taurus .38 with plus-p Federal Hydra Shok. 5 rounds, very lightweight and concealable.

    One caveat for women: Since the glock doesn’t have external safeties, it can be very dangerous to carry in your purse. Of course, if there is no round in the chamber, it’s OK, but no one wants to have to rack the slide in an emergency. So, with the Glock loaded, if something snags the trigger while you are trying to take it out of the purse, you could have an accidental discharge. Very bad indeed. Just a word of warning about purse carry.

    Question: Your article says 50 yards. Surely you meant 50 feet?

  149. For what its worth I agree with everything in the article. Butt (and to me a big smelly one)in my opinion a conceal carry pitol is useless unless it has one in the pipe ready to go and chances are you arent going to have time like in the movies to rack one. I believe thats what makes all hammerless semi-auto pistols (except the M&P with external thumb safety)a very very bad choice for these women. They are just unsafe for them to carry. I bought my little sister a .40 Storm XP subcompact to carry, She loves it. Very manageable recoil for a bigger cal rd and very accurate. It fits her hand perfectly. I do hate it though when she tells people “I really like it because it looks like a Buck Rogers Ray Gun” 🙂

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