What caliber for my wife?

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What caliber for my wife?

Postby wittmeba » Tue, 23 Dec 2014 09:44:19

My wife is starting to become inquisitive about handguns to carry.

I'm just wondering if there is a caliber between .380 and 9MM that might be suitable for personal protection. My experience with a .380 is they are a little weak and I'm not sure if she would be comfortable with a 9MM. Our son has a 9MM Ruger that I love but he wants to keep it. She could do comfort testing with it. I'd just like to know if there is something in-between that may fit better.
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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby FiremanBob » Tue, 23 Dec 2014 10:25:39

So she hasn't tried a 9 yet? Properly introduced, and with some practice, even small women find it a comfortable round to shoot as long as you don't give them some ultra-compact pistol.

I find the key thing in teaching women to shoot is to get them solid on their skills with a .22LR, especially proper grip, trigger squeeze, and follow-through. Once they have those, the recoil of the 9 is trivial.

The Kahr CW9 is a great balance of concealability and shooting comfort. The all-steel Springfield compact 1911 in 9mm is even better, but at a higher price point.
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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby Viper21 » Tue, 23 Dec 2014 10:30:21

My wife, & my mother both carry revolvers. The ease of shooting, loading, etc comes into play. A .38 revolver packs enough punch to handle a close quarters situation, & yet....still very concealable, & easy to use.

Whenever possible, go to a range where they can fire multiple platforms, & actually determine what feels comfortable for them.


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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby trailrunner » Tue, 23 Dec 2014 10:34:18

You should probably factor in the size of the gun, in addition to the caliber. I have a Ruger LCP in 380 (for when I'm on my bicycle) that has a snappy kick because it's so light. My daily carry gun is a G19, but doesn't have much felt recoil. I have a 1911 in 45acp that doesn't kick much because of the relatively heavy weight of the all-metal gun, but my S&W 642 in 38 special has a nasty kick.

A good compromise might be a G42 in 380.


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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby ShotgunBlast » Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:31:37

Agree with everyone. Rent some guns and figure out what she likes both in caliber and firearm size. My wife tried a 9mm and found it too snappy for her taste, but loves her 380. I look at it like I'd rather her have the 380 and actually carry with it than a larger caliber gun that she just leaves at home.

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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby Snakester » Tue, 23 Dec 2014 21:01:17

My wife has carried a Ruger SP101 .357 mag. for two years. She target shoots it a lot with .38 specials mostly...and some Magnum Loads just to keep fimilar with it. She also has a 9mm , but like Shotgun said it is Very snappy and she just can't get confortable with it ! I also like her carrying a Revolver over a Semi-Auto Pistol...But that is just me !


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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby VACoastie » Tue, 23 Dec 2014 22:38:28

I think not so much caliber but weapon fit is what the worry should be. My wife can actually shoot my Beretta px4 Storm Better than I can shoot it because I wasn't smart and bought the weapon for its name and not comfort. I've tried different grips to no avail. She's also a noob to shooting and listen to instructions very well and takes critique very well and applies it. The 9MM doesn't do too bad with her. I'm actually interested to see how she'll do when I buy the XDS .45.

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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby Hammer » Tue, 23 Dec 2014 23:28:22

My wife has a Ruger LCP and a browning BDA 380 but prefers our Beretta M9 which is a 9 mm for target practice. She also enjoys my ruger sr9c (9mm) and s&w 1911 (45 ACP). She really ought to sample a few firearms to find one that suits her. Caliper is is only part of the equation.

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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby Jollyrogers66 » Wed, 24 Dec 2014 08:33:42

A little story: I have a range out back, reload, etc. My wife would come out and shoot 22lr w/ a Ruger Standard. She had a 38spcl revolver J frame she hated. I was shooting the G26 a bunch and she asked to shoot it, to much for her she says. Wants her own. She picks out a Bodyguard 380, shoots it a bunch and likes it well enough.

Then one day I am shooting 22wmr, she asks what's that? 22 just a little hotter. She shoots it and loves it. Is great with it... Starts shooting it all the time. Then one day, I am shooting 5.7x28, she asks about that... again a 22, just a little hotter... she shoots and is in love with it, and lays claim to it as hers. Visiting my uncle, we shoot his 22tcm and G19, she doesn't bat an eye and is scary accurate and good with follow-ups. Embarrasses my uncle. Asks what is this Glock? 9mm. She says she is ready for one herself. She picks out an HK and hasn't looked back.

Point being, let her work up her skills and acclamation to recoil and noise as she goes, and she will get there with patience. A 380/38spcl in a pocket gun is not a good choice IMO, but say a G42 or the Walther is. The Walther CCP 9mm would be a good one possibly, blowback and light recoil spring, so very easy to work slide with light(er) recoil.


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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby wittmeba » Wed, 24 Dec 2014 08:50:21

Thanks to all for the input. We have access to a 9MM and .380 so she can get some shooting experience with both. The .380 is a Taurus TCP and a Ruger P95 9MM. I personally did not like the Taurus due to the excessive long trigger pull.
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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby sasquatch92 » Thu, 25 Dec 2014 02:04:29

Just thought I would throw my two cents in here,

So I will admit right off the batt that I am partial to the Springfield XD (m,s,mod.2) line of pistols. I have both the XD .45 and XDs .45.

I often take new shooters to the range and start them off with something light like my Ruger Mark 2 to get the basics down, but every single person I have taken out has shot the XD .45 for the first time and LOVED it and most were scarry accurate for a first time shooter. The only other caliber I have not shot in the XD line is the 9mm. I have shot all sorts of pistols, 1911, Glock, M&p, Tarus, FN, H&K. Ranging in all calibers and my honest to god sense is that the recoil I feel on the XD .45 is like the recoil on a 9mm of any other gun I have shot and with that logic the 9mm in a XD would be like that of a .22. So I would highly recommend taking a look at some of the XD line, specifically the XD(m) and XDMod.2 series in 9mm they have all differnt sizes. The only XD that I shot where recoil for a .45 was... well deffinatly noticable.... was the XDs, mostly because I can only get 2 fingers on the grip so I am not too sure about the recoil on that with a 9mm but it is deffinatly a super light Concealed Carry weapon for sure.

Anyways sorry for the long rant, thought I would throw in some more info.


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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby wittmeba » Thu, 25 Dec 2014 12:45:54

My original post was a check to see if I was missing something on calibers available. No caliber or gun is out of the question. I just need to get her out with our sons 9MM and see what she thinks. My .40 might be a bit overkill but who knows :)
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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby Chasbo00 » Thu, 25 Dec 2014 14:09:11

wittmeba wrote:My wife is starting to become inquisitive about handguns to carry.

I'm just wondering if there is a caliber between .380 and 9MM that might be suitable for personal protection. My experience with a .380 is they are a little weak and I'm not sure if she would be comfortable with a 9MM. Our son has a 9MM Ruger that I love but he wants to keep it. She could do comfort testing with it. I'd just like to know if there is something in-between that may fit better.


What's in between, technically that is, is the 9x18 Makarov cartridge. The standard 9mm is 9x19 and the .380 is 9x17 millimeters.

There are still plenty of used commie guns around chambered for 9mm Makarov. Here is an example:

https://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm ... 001638&dir

These older pistols are all steel and felt recoil is fairly low. Not a bad option al all.
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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby eburton2 » Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:59:07

My wife doesn't carry but one of my daughters does. She likes her hubbies G19, and is very good with it!!! I told my son-in-law, "You sure you wanted to teach her how to shoot???" :confused:


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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby retiredUSN » Thu, 19 Mar 2015 16:20:55

Snakester wrote:My wife has carried a Ruger SP101 .357 mag. for two years. She target shoots it a lot with .38 specials mostly...and some Magnum Loads just to keep fimilar with it. She also has a 9mm , but like Shotgun said it is Very snappy and she just can't get confortable with it ! I also like her carrying a Revolver over a Semi-Auto Pistol...But that is just me !


I took my wife to the range with my SP101. We went through a box of target round .38's. I let her fire off a .357 round, and she had a crazy look in her eye afterwards.

Me: What?

Her: I liked that one.

Me: Huh?

Her: Yeah.....that was a lot better than those wimpy rounds.

Me: Dumbfounded.


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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby MarcSpaz » Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:56:40

It is my opinion that any man, woman or child should be taught propper technique with a dummy weapon or unloaded weapon, aloud to fire a low caliber weapon to demonstrate execution of proper technique, and then should be able to handle any caliber weapon, providing the size and shape of the weapon allows for propper technique (grip, able to hold the load/weight of the wepon) etc.

If you try to use something that is disproportionate to your size, to big or too small, regardless of skill or caliber, you will be at a disadvantage.

Above all else, the best gun for personal defense is the one you have. Don't buy a gun you're not willing to be in a gunfight with. That goes for women too.

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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby JamesDuncan » Mon, 04 Jan 2016 03:20:38

Tell her 45 ACP -- plump is the best shape. After she gets used to `em, then a more practical and lightweight 9mm is an easy sell.

You'll get in trouble if you tell her "those new, thin .17 caliber bullets are sexy".


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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby SigP250Guy » Mon, 18 Jan 2016 07:50:17

I took my wife out not too long ago, I had a .380 for her to shoot, a .40 and a .45. She was a sport and tried all 3, she was most comfortable with the .380. It was light, the trigger pull was just right. It is just a matter of personal preference. It is truly up to her what she prefers and best fits her.


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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby wittmeba » Thu, 21 Jan 2016 12:38:56

What was the .380 gun used?

I'm hoping that Safeside Tactical (new store in Roanoke, Va) will have some guns of various calibers to try when they get their indoor range in operation. This would be perfect for her to try different guns and calibers. I sent an online message asking about this to them but never received a reply.
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Re: What caliber for my wife?

Postby GettingOld » Mon, 15 Feb 2016 17:50:12

Jacketed non-expanding 840000 grains. :wave:


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