No doubt a few women that know more about guns then I do. One the
other hand most tend to become intimidated when coming into contact with
anything resembling a firearm. When faced with the prospect of choosing
a handgun for self-defense they become lost within the maze of choices
For those with no experience with firearms, training becomes a necessity. Spending a week at Front Sight would be great but realistically out of reach for most. Most areas offer hunter safety courses that are free to anyone wanting to take part. If you live in a state that issues handgun carry permits, sign up to take the required classes, they are great for learning basic care and safety rules.
If your husband, boyfriend, father or other has skill in this area
this can be an excellent source of information, just be certain that the
one doing the teaching knows more than the one doing the learning. You
would be surprised at the number of people claiming to be an expert in
this area that know little or nothing of what they are talking about.
There are two books that I recommend for those new to handguns and shooting. "The Concealed Handgun Manual: How to Choose, Carry, and Shoot a Gun in Self Defense” and "Tactical Pistol Shooting". Both books get my highest recommendation and lay a good foundation for beginning shooters.
Fit and Feel
How does the gun feel in your hand? Are you able to get a proper
grip? Can you reach the trigger without twisting your hand and wrist to
compensate for reach? Your index finger should extend at least ½ inch
past the trigger when holding a shooting stance with the finger held
straight along the side of the weapon. In this case size does matter.
Revolver or Semi-Auto
The debate over Revolver vs Semi-Auto has been going on for years,
for the most part this has been a complete waste of time and effort.
Both are effective and safe in competent hands, the important thing is
to become proficient with whichever you choose.
Bring enough Gun
As the saying goes; bring enough gun. If the intended use is
self-defense choose at least a .38 special for revolvers and a 9mm for
semi-autos. Some of you will be temped to get a .22lr or .25 auto, don’t
do it. The .22lr is great for training, plinking and small game hunting
but is not the best choice for defense. The .25 auto is worthless for
just about everything. Yes; both can and will kill, just don’t bet your
life on either to stop an attacker before he can kill you.
Weight and Size
If the primary intention is concealed carry, size and weight should
be taken into consideration. Personally I prefer a two-inch .38 special
"snubbie” revolver with concealed hammer for concealed carry. In the
home where space and weight are of no consideration I prefer a four or
six-inch barrel for revolvers or a full size semi-auto pistol.
Just because you are a woman doesn’t mean you need a man for
protection, with training and the proper tools you can defend yourself.
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.