This edition, I want to give special attention to the ladies. I have more ladies than men attend my NRA pistol classes. Many ladies have a unique set of problems when selecting a handgun for self defense. The main problem is men! Too often, men try to select a gun for their wives or girlfriends. Me-thinks there is a nefarious plot here. Guns are to men like shoes are to women! I think the saying goes, “He who dies with the most guns wins?” Well, there might be a subtle “misquote” there, but I think you get the idea. If a man buys you a new gun and says, “Honey, look at the cool gun I bought for you, I want you to feel safe,” I hope you realize he just bought another gun (for himself).
Several years ago, I was working at a big box sporting goods store selling guns. I was helping a man select a handgun. It was near Christmas and the gun counter was packed with lookers and buyers. The man had selected a Glock 9mm and just as I was finishing up the paperwork, the man’s wife arrived. She asked “What on earth do you need another gun for? You have a whole safe full of guns!” The man looked at me with an expression which said, “Help me!” Well, I just had to put in my two cents worth so I said, “Asking a man why he needs another gun is like asking a woman why she needs another pair of shoes!” It took a few minutes for the laughter to die down among the mostly men crowded around the gun counter. The man left with a smile on his face, the wife, not so happy looking, even though she had a show box under her arm.
So, to make amends for the error of my ways, I want to offer some serious help for the ladies who want to buy a gun. Choosing a new gun is kind of like selecting a new boat. Whoops, I will say as little about new boats as possible. Forgive me, it’s a man thing. Guns, boats, trucks and dogs; sorry, we just can’t help it. When choosing a boat, you have to ask yourself, “Do I want to cross the Atlantic or paddle up the Elk River? Obviously, the same boat will not do both. It’s the same with guns. There are literally dozens; no hundreds of different sizes of guns. Ladies, you must ask yourself a number of questions.
A) Is this gun for self defense or target shooting?
B) Do you plan to carry the gun concealed on your person or in your purse? Are you going to keep it close by at home in a drawer or safe?
C) Are you of slim, light build, or are you a little sturdier? (I’m trying to be careful here)
When choosing a gun, size matters. I often hear the ladies say, “Oh, I like that small one, I don’t want one that kicks so hard.” This is just the opposite of what they need. Fact: the smaller the size of the gun, the harder it will kick. The small, lightweight gun of the same caliber will have much more recoil than a larger heavier gun. The weight of the heavier, larger gun absorbs the kick or recoil. We also must take into consideration the caliber of the gun. Caliber is the size of the ammunition a specific gun uses. A study of calibers and bullet weights is a whole other lesson. Remember too, the larger caliber will have more ‘knock down power.” Putting that bluntly, the bad guy gets stopped.
Have you decided you want to carry concealed? If so, you will want a gun that is easily carried and small and light enough so you won’t decide to leave it at home, because it’s too heavy.
Remember, it’s a constant trade off in size, weight and caliber. A small gun will carry fewer bullets. A larger gun such as my Glock will hold sixteen bullets. Glock makes different sizes and calibers. Many popular guns for carrying concealed may only hold seven or eight bullets. There are some very small but powerful guns on the market that only have two shots available before reloading. Higher capacity guns are quite popular right now. But considering the facts of “close encounters of the deadly kind,” two shots are fired and at a distance of less than three yards.
Be on the lookout for part two…
Paul Foreman Is a retired Deputy Sheriff from Lee County, Florida.
For firearms training, Paul can be reached through E-Mail at Captureman@PaulForeman.com or his web site, www.PaulForeman.com. Paul is a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, AHA Certified Instructor in First Aid, CPR & AED.
By: Paul Foreman