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Old 03-11-2008, 03:00 AM   #211
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While I agree, in principle, with the other posts regarding the stopping power of the .380 and just like a car or moho, you never have enough horsepower, let me add this. A firearm of any caliber is as much a deterrent as anything else. Many times shown doesn't mean used, but it is your willingness to use it in the right, or wrong, situation that counts. I carry a Sig .380 and also a Glock .40, depends on where and when. I feel comfortable in my abilities with either pistol and you should too, regardless of size and shape.

I have never liked the Ruger semi autos and would especially steer clear of a new design. There are plenty of smaller concealable pistols out there that are tried and true. Anything you carry must be comfortable in the hand and on the range and must have your complete confidence.
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:32 AM   #212
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Thanks for your responses!

Let me add:

CC for personal protection.

I took an excellent 3-day CCW license class
at a local gun club. I have smaller hands and do not have a lot of hand strength. I found racking a 9MM hard.

I understand about stopping power and adequate penetration however I just don't think given my strength I could handle a .45

After using some weapons and thinking about what would be a good choice for me, I considered
a .38 special that could use +P ammo

And I do agree with Ithrnk, "A firearm of any caliber is as much a deterrent as anything else."

Anyone care to make some specific suggestions for a firearm for a woman without a lot of hand strength?
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:33 AM   #213
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I have seen a lot of small woman as a cop rack 9mm and 40 cal it not really how hard or easy it is to rack on the spec. it how you do that makes it easy. for exp. if you rack it and do it like they do in the movies that makes it hard but if you t and c tac and rack is a tac term then it becomes easy. i also feel a three day course is not enough training... I went through 250 hours of trainign for firearms and feild... but you also have to beable to feel your weapon and know your weapon... I have thought my sons and daughters the same and correct way I learned... I'm know retired but I offer private civil courses here in the state of MD... I take are courses and break them down for civilan use... If you like you can send me a PM and we can talk on the phone and I can see if I can get you into one of my courses so you can watch and see Ias a irv2 friend i will give you the first one for free... so you can see what it's really all about... Best of luck
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:30 AM   #214
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How about a smith and wesson .357 Airweight!
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:57 AM   #215
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The wife decided she needed a gun for bedroom or in rv.I bought a cheap 9mm semiauto.I tryed it an seemed ok but little hard to pull the hammer back or to pull slide back to load.Gave to wife could not pull back slide.Took back an she picked out tarus semi auto 22lr with tip down barrel to put first bullet in an 8 shot clip.It dosent have much stopping power but with 8-9 shots should disable whomever.Dont want to kill just disable or stop till help arrives
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:12 AM   #216
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smith and wesson model 59 is my choice. 15 rounds and by carrying with a round in the chamber you do not have to rack the slide, just take the safety off and pull the trigger. have tried the 45 cal but cant hit bull with it. can handle the 9mm without flinching.
hope i never need to use it.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:27 AM   #217
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Which ever caliber you choose, get some silver tip, hollow point bullets for when you carry.

I have a Beretta 92FS in 9mm and a Colt Pocket 9 in 9mm both loaded with silver tip hollow point bullets.

Many, many people have been killed with .22 caliber rifles and pistols. I know a fellow that took multiple 30-30 bullets in the chest and drove himself about 10 miles to the hospital - he finally succumbed to the internal bleeding.

Shot placement is important. Two to the chest and one between the eyes is a very good deterrent in stopping anyone, whether you are using a .380 or .45.

Learn to shoot with your off hand. You can't ever tell if your strong hand will be usable in a bad situation.

Shoot your weapons often. I shoot FMJ bullets mainly for target practice, but in keeping the bullets fresh, I will 'unload' the silver tip hollow points routinely.

When teaching women to shoot, I always suggest that if they have to pull the gun to defend themselves, point and pull. An old black gentleman in Memphis, TN told me a story one day. He had just bought a new S&W .38 Special and told me the first thing he did was have the front sight taken off. I asked why? He said when he was much younger and more foolish, he pulled a gun on a person and wasn't willing to use it. The person took the gun away from him and proceeded to perform a prostate exam on him with the barrel of the pistol!

Be careful! Gun control is hitting your target!

P.S. An unloaded gun is darn near as useless as NO gun at all. My guns are loaded and ready. You might not have time and space to rack a shell into the chamber.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:51 AM   #218
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For simplicity of operation, a small framed .38 caliber revolver is often the prefered weapon for people with small hands, or weaker hand strength. Revolvers have no safety levers/buttons. "Closed hammer" revolvers are one of the safest designs of handguns. They are basically double-action only (hammer cannot be cocked). All revolvers should be used in the double-action only mode (meaning never pull the hammer back before you shoot).

Auto pistols also come in double-action only models. A Glock 9mm auto would be an example of a double-action only auto pistol. If you decide to buy an auto pistol, a double-action only auto is easier to master than a double-action / single-action variety. An example of the later would be a Beretta 92FS.

Many small .38 revolvers can use .38+P ammo (a more powerful load) as long as hundreds of +P rounds are not fired through the gun. .38+P is also the preferred ammo to use in .357 magnums with short barrels, especially with shooters with weaker hand strength. It makes the gun much more controllable. A .357 can shoot .357, .38 special, and .38+P ammo.

A .38+P round is more powerful than a .380 auto round for stopping power. .380 autos however have the benefit of being a flatter gun to conceal, but working the slide on auto pistols is often hard for people with weak hands and safety is a concern once a live round is in the chamber of an auto pistol (safety & decock levers to contend with).

25 yards is a very long shot with any pistol or revolver with a barrel less than 4 inches or even 6 inches. Short barreled pistols and revolvers are for use on targets 20 feet away or closer (most shootings are within 5 feet!). In life & death situations, people who can score a perfect paper target at 15 yards can miss a refrigerator size target at 15 feet.

Whatever hangun you decide on, practice, practice, practice...until it's operation is muscle memory. Get trained on that particular weapon. Once you master the weapon, then work on accuracy. If you have to think "how this gun works" in order to shoot it in the dark while you are panicked, you are a danger to yourself and bystanders.

Shooting another human, for whatever reason, will change your life forever. If there is a way to escape or save those you are protecting by any othe means, then do it. I have been in law enforcement for 23 years. I absolutely believe there are times when deadly force must be used. It is absolutely the last thing I wish on anyone to have to do. I have no problems with civilians having CCW permits and have yet to hear of any case of someone with a CCW permit using it to commit a crime.

Good luck and !get good training!
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:30 PM   #219
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ever thing here that i have posted it true and i agree with I wish the person who started this post the best of luck... good Huntings
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:06 AM   #220
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This is an interesting and helpful discussion and I appreciate the input from you folks who are in/retired from law enforcement.

Some 13 yrs. ago I purchased a S&W model 65 Ladysmith for my DW. Took her to the range and she did very well with the gun. It is the 'nightstand' gun at home. I recently purchased a Springfield XD40 for myself and it is a wonderful gun to shoot but DW cannot work the slide. Recently, DW fired the Ladysmith loaded with 38 specials and, while she can still handle the gun, would prefer a smaller gun. I had considered the Springfield subcompact XD 9 but think she will have problems with the slide. A shooting friend recommended the Keltec .380 but I also wondered about the lack of stopping power.

Agree with all that every other available option to avoid any encounter that would necessitate using lethal force should be considered. However, in this unpredictable world, I think it best to be prepared. Also agree that lot's of practice is essential and one must be expert with any weapon they choose.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:21 AM   #221
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Joanie, you don't need a hand cannon for it to be a deterant against an intruder, or anyone up to no good!! I perfer the Walther PP 32 auto or the PPK 380 auto. Both are very good handguns, with the best safety features. Remember this is a carry gun, you want one that can be carried comfortable, not lugged around.
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:02 AM   #222
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My two cents worth:
My wife and I have .410 revolvers for self defense. Ours are made by Rossie, and are no longer in production. It is now being made by Taurus in model 4510 in both stainless or blued with 3" or 61/2" barrel. It will fire .45 Colt or .410 shotshell ammunition.
The reason for this choice of weapon is two-fold. First; Self defense means just that and is usually in a panic or semi panic situation. Accuracy goes out the window even with the shooter being well trained and familiar with the weapon. Second; In an invasion situation what is needed is a lot of firepower in a very short time. With A five shot revolver firing .410 shotshells loaded with buckshot, thats a lot of firepower, with very little accuracy required. The 61/2" barrel version weighs in at about 2-1/2 lbs. and most anyone can handle it. There is very little recoil beacuse of the short barrel. The one thing that I noticed was how fast dear wife gained confidense in the weapon and her ability to use it.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:52 AM   #223
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This conversation has been very intersting but I owuld know like to add afew more things... In 1993 when I wa a feild offier before I became a dect. in 1996 I was forced to do something I do=id not want to do... I agree ever day I come home from the world and after visiting my grandchildren and my parents and i sit down to have dinner with my beautiful wife there are nights that I wishI just cried but my wife knows what I have done and have gone through and she does what she can to support me... As a Cop or a CCW carrier you have to make spilt second decision... I had to make mine and look at what my outcome was... I live and have some nightmares time to time about what I did... I Dreed the day anybody or I have to ever to do it again... I rarley ever carry a weapon anymore expect to the gun range or into the city or to the bank... I have four different weapons that i'm used to and used on a regular basic at the gun range or when i teach a class... The first one is made by KHAR it's the 9mm (7+1 cap) the second is the sig sauer p225 9mm (8+1) the thrird is another sig sauer P229 40 (12+1) and the last is the .357 sig sauer (12+1) Keep in mind I only carry the two i'm good with the KHAR 9 and the 40 I used the other to teach in class to prove point ans different TAC training and for fun at the gun range I also use them to teach my wife about how to shoot and different kinds of guns... one thing I teach a lot of my students is that a weapon is only as good as his or her instructor is trained to use it... I hope i have been a lot of service to all and hope that I can do more in my time here at Best of luck to all
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:22 PM   #224
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Thanks for the wonderful and informative responses. I am copying and pasting to my "firearms to Consider" doc

Let me say first off, I hope I NEVER have to use my weapon. However, that being said, in this day and age being a single woman, especially traveling solo necessitates carrying and knowing how to use a personal protection firearm.

I do intend to do A LOT of practicing to find the perfect for me firearm and then practice some more. I live quite close to a gun club and a gun shop with an excellent indoor
firing range. The guys at the gun club are more than willing to help a "newbie" and allow me to shoot several kinds of firearms. The gun shop also rents different kinds of firearms for practice at the gun range. I understand that most situations are not like TV and I want to practice defensive shooting.

Jack Neefus
Your private civil courses sound great! However, it would be a long drive from Michigan!
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