This is not going to be a real razzle dazzle post – Pics ? – Charts? – Graphics? – not really – just a whole lot of rambling – some links – and free advice – which by the way is now up to $74.10 . . .
The majority of people that ask me “which gun?” are female – guys tend to be pretty wrapped up in their “guy thing” to lower themselves to ask advice about guns – and my reflex answer to guys that ask “which gun” I automatically respond 16″ x 50 cal ( 50 being the reference to barrel length vs diameter of the bore of the gun – 16″ x 50 = an 800 inch barrel – which comes out to a little over 66 feet of barrel ) I love it when a guy doesn’t realize there is a difference in nomenclature – “gun” vs “firearm” – “clip vs magazine” – Most of you folks know better than to feed me a straight line unless you ARE seeking the smart ass answer . . .
Women tend to ask straight forward questions and they do so because they want a straight answer – guys tend to ask questions to show how much of a manly man they are – and are actually harder to deal with than women. I will run with this relatively straight – with apologies up front for those of you expecting a superlative level of smart assery with just the slightest glimmer of rationality . . .
So Bruce – which gun should I get?? Have you ever shot a pistol before? If yes try to remember which – revolver or semi-auto – How was the experience – Good – Bad – Ugly??
Important Step – If they have not shot before I try to steer them to the range and into the first shots class – it’s a really great program and many ranges utilize that format because it works.
If that is not an option for you – start with the 4 rules – and build from there – how to check “clear” – how to aim – trigger pull – all the little boxes need to be checked – ears – safety glasses etc. And if you can – let them shoot a semi-auto and a revolver both – IN 22 RIM FIRE – don’t be the fool that hands a 120 lb gal a 500 S&W MAGNUM so you can video it on your phone and post it on the internet. Assholes – they walk among us . . .
Ask them what the use will be – are they planning on it living in a drawer in the night stand? Are they planning on carrying it? I recommend revolvers quite a bit simply because the manual of arms ( the manipulations and machinations to operate it ) are a simpler process – you can toss one in a drawer and literally years later pull it out and it will go bang without having to remember safeties or other things about the operation.
And there are women out there who like semi-autos – they have no issues with the manual of arms and really like them – my blushing bride either has a CZ75 , a CZ2075, or a full size 1911 on her and she shoots them all well . . .
If they are planning to carry – you need an assortment of holsters to try for both semi-autos and revolvers – either one will conceal well if done properly. Inside the Waistband? – Outside the Waistband? – Belly Band? – A holster that “works” for me may or may not work for thee . . . If you don’t have at least 50% more holsters than handguns – You’re not trying hard enough! – LMAO!!
Which caliber? or How much gun? The largest caliber & the largest hand gun that they can shoot good / conceal well and be consistent with – it is just that simple. I DO NOT recommend 22 rim fire as the round has too high of a failure rate to be fully confident it will go bang every time – the two loudest sounds in the world – a gun that goes bang when it should have went click – and a gun that goes click when it should have went bang.
I have “sold” a lot of women on the 32 S&W Long over the years – low recoil – little muzzle blast – very accurate round – H&R 732’s were great little guns – built like a miniature tank – you could run down to Otasco and get one – enough weight that recoil was not bad and well made – sadly neither H&R or Otasco are around any more – H&R 732’s are still out there on the used market, but “nice” examples are getting harder to find – but Charter Arms sells their little snub nose revolvers chambered in 32 H&R Magnum – which will fire the 32 S&W long – and they are very well made – 38 Special?? S&W 642‘s and Charter Arms sell as fast as they make them – Taurus has really stepped up their quality control in the last few years and Armscor / Rock Island are now building revolvers – the biggest issue I have with 38 Special is people tend to go with heavier bullet weights in plus p loads and the recoil tends to be abusive – most people ( men and women ) simply won’t practice enough to be as proficient as they could or should be with them – snub nose revolvers are a “thing” that needs to be practiced. Hell folks the 642 in my pocket is loaded with 148 grain standard pressure wad cutters – out to about 25 feet I can pick the shirt button where I want the magic hole to appear – but it takes a LOT of practice. And full size revolvers – S&W K frames – Ruger GP100’s – are all very concealable with the right holster and clothing – I carried a S&W Model 10 4″ barrel forever ( well it seems like it anyway ) because it was all I could afford at the time. A lot of folks tend to dismiss revolvers but people keep buying them and new models show up all the time – there must be something there . . .
The semi-auto has a lot going for it these days – especially with the compact / sub-compact offerings available today. And for the most part you end up with two “primary” caliber choices – 380 and 9mm – The biggest thing is “how does the pistol feel?” And that is a personal thing for folks – generally handle several different ones and pick out one or two or three and shoot them – the best feeling one is not always the one they shoot the best. ( my blushing bride just chimed in with “No Shit!” ) The ability to conceal a semi-auto is generally better than a revolver since they are “flat” compared to a revolver. But you end up in the same box as with a revolver – the lighter the pistol – the more felt recoil you have to deal with – and the heavier the pistol – yep – less felt recoil. The tiny little 9mm pistols that are incredibly popular – Ruger LC9 series and the Sig Sauer P365 series are two that come to mind are fantastic little machines – and they are very difficult to master them to the point that you are effective with them . . .
Here’s YOUR favorite part – “some random thoughts” . . .
But Bruce – I need stopping power – that’s why I carry a 45 / 357 Magnum / 454 Casull / 500 S&W Magnum . . . Handgun stopping power is pretty much a myth – Yep – I said it – A Myth – folks – all you are doing is poking holes in things – the vast majority of handgun “stops” are psychological stops – the bad guy decides he / she doesn’t want any more holes poked in them and breaks off the attack – if you are fortunate enough to hit an area that affects the electrical circuitry ( CNS ) then that draws things to screeching halt – there are such an assortment of hand guns available you will find one or two ( or more! ) that will fit and function for YOU – don’t be overly concerned about printing – the people around you ARE NOT paying attention to anything except their phone – Pocket Carry?? / use a holster designed for that!! – Full size hand guns CAN be carried and concealed AND are much easier to shoot well – Epstein didn’t kill himself ( that’s for YOU – and most of us know who YOU are ) – find a friend to help you with all of this – get some training – 45 ACP in a full size 1911 is a hoot to shoot . . .
Thoughts from my Blushing Bride – – so you need to find a gun that is comfortable to YOU and feels good in your hands – try several – shoot them – one or two WILL talk to you – my CZ’s whisper sweet nothings to me on a regular basis – LOL! – I really like the 1911 platform but I need more practice with it – love my Fusion, again – I just need to practice more with it – and yes I am as bad with that P word ( PRACTICE ) as Bruce – that draw / aim / fire thing has to be second nature – and if you draw it?? Be prepared to shoot it !! – I highly recommend the First Shots Class – best 25 bucks I ever spent – the class really helped me with my comfort level around fire arms . . .
Folks – fire arms are starting to creep back into the supply chain – ammo is another thing entirely – most ranges are able to keep enough ammo in stock to supply range needs – the sticker shock on the prices – WOW – and who says you can’t buy a thrill??
Have Fun! – Run the Gun! – and remember – Fish Heads are Cheap!!