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Discussion Starter #1
My mother called me today and, besides pestering me to 'get a real job', also mentioned she was looking for a handgun to keep in the house. For intruders. She asked that it be "simple." My first thought was a wheel gun in .38; what could be simpler or more user friendly than that? My questions are, (and this is my first stop of the research chain, as you fine posters are always so helpful and knowledgeable) A) Could I really buy a 'bad' .38 revolver for her, considering her needs.

B) Is a .38 DA revolver really the way to go? I know there are plenty of pocket pistols out there and most of them are user friendly, but for pure simplicity of care and operation, is there anything better than a nice wheel gun?

Anyway, she'll probably shoot it fifty times, my dad will hate it, and I'll be the only one to use it when I'm home for holidays. Hit me with what you think.

Thanks.

100shots
 

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Yep! You can buy a bad revolver. You can also buy a bad toaster. Do your research first. .38 isn't a bad choice for a lady though. Just my personal opinion, but a good double action revolver for a lady that won't use it for any practice or range time, is a good selection. Keep it simple! :D
 

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You really can't go wrong with a .38 revolver. My wife has used her S&W .38 for years. And of course, Taurus makes some fine .38s. The .38 is a decent all around caliber, because it has reasonable stopping power without being too harsh on recoil. Is she wanting to buy new or used? If used, go with a dealer you can trust. Also, IMHO, go with a brand name, e.g, S&W, Taurus, Colt, Charter Arms, etc. There are some poorly built revolvers available out there, and you don't want to mess with them. As for a load she might be okay with, try Federal's 110 gr Hydra-Shok non +p hollowpoints. they give near +p performance with less recoil. Also, as she is not going to be carrying it (?) I would recommend something on the order of a 4" barrel.
 

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A lot of good advice here, a 38 special is a good starter for women, simple and adequate stopping power.
 

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For someone thats not a "gun" person a DAO 38 revolver is the perfect choice. They don't get any easier then that. Taurus, Smith & Wesson, and Ruger all make fine examples.
 

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Yeppers..a good .38 in most brands with a heavy boolit in the +p 130 grain and pre-cut notches is going to have pretty close to a .40 ballistics. Simplified. its gonna be a heavy torqued fist in someones chest. expanding to a mid size ripping slug and if it goes thru it won't go too far past that plaster board wall.

Whereas a 38 +P FMJ is gonna be a severe feeling tiny hole thru soft tissue and even bone mass and out the other side looking for another target.

Its all about ballistics and boolit weight and grains.
 

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I agree with the 38 rev. Just make sure she can pull the trigger. Some wheel guns have more trigger pull than others. I own smiths and Taurus rev and has much as I hate to say it the taurus rev have much more trigger pull. Model 85 hammer less is the toughest of the lot. But for $25 you can get a spring kit and lighten it up.
 

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I'd step up to a .357 at least. You can always run .38 special rounds through it but not vice versa. Of course if it were me I'd probably get a Taurus Judge because there's nothing like a little close range destruction.
 
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My 2 cents.... A nice four inch medium frame .38 is perfect for a lady and nice for you to take to the range. I like a old target S&W K .38 for punching holes in paper and they make a good home defense weapon too but a little difficult to CC.

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I just helped my 78 year old neighbor sell her sexy (she said she bought it because she thought it looked so sexy) little Beretta Tomcat because she no longer had the hand strength to rack the slide or even push the safety off. She has a beautiful stainless Charter Arms .38 Special snub nose that she still feels quite competent in using and she has no problem cocking it, or pulling through in double action.

Here's the checklist for inspecting a revolver.

http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/taurus-revolvers/15648-revolver-buyers-checklist.html
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
She'll never carry it, so that isn't a concern. Nor will I, as much as I love my "Dirty Harry"/"Walking Dead" moments. :) Trigger pull would be an issue; obviously the more she enjoys shooting it, the more she'll practice with it. (Not to mention the fact that she/I will hit better) I hadn't considered that, to be honest; thank you for pointing that out harley 1986. Going with a brand name is a great suggestion, as well. Obviously the best way to test trigger pull (besides buying several guns...my personal favorite) would be to try out a few at the LGS. Now it's on me to do some footwork and the shameful act of pestering my LGS with endless questions, as well as handling several guns without buying one...

Mostly I was hoping for confirmation that I was at least close to the right track. Arguments for certain barrel lengths? I'm partial to a 4"-5" barrel myself, for looks as well as balance. Again, no concealed carry, no target ranges, just simple to load/care for/shoot bgs. I know there's a thread on here about what to look for while purchasing revolvers, as far as flaws/lock up issues etc. (Again, not an expert, will do my research before I purchase. I've been burned by not inspecting/knowing what to look for, so I'll try to be more careful this time around).

Sadly, I don't think the Judge is right for her. (And by that, I mean I'd rather she buys something else for me to shoot) But realistically, I wouldn't want to confuse her with .410 shells vs. .45 shells, or try to explain to her why I loaded Slugs> birdshot >.45 lc rounds, and how they'll all react differently when she pulls the trigger. Not to mention training her to have several different boxes of shells on hand. I think one box of shells, marked (picturing bright blue or red paint) for her will be much simpler and safer.

Second: Is a price range of 350 - 450 out of the question for a quality, brand name .38 DA? As much as I'd love to 'suggest' that she buy a stainless 4.5" Kimber with competition sights, she'll probably balk at a $1200 price tag. Not that her budget doesn't allow it, but the lower the price tag, the more likely she'll be to purchase and shoot it.

Thank you all for the info.

Edit: Double thank you, GreenWolf70
 

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"Again, no concealed carry, no target ranges, just simple to load/care for/shoot bgs. "

Do her a favor and buy a shotgun.
If I could only have ONE firearm, and home defense was it's job...................
Shotgun.

Edit, if not going to practice, and really become familiarized with the weapon.
Nothing simpler than a SxS for a woman, I'd say 20 gauge.
 

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A 38 revolver is enough for a bedside table gun. I don't know about your Mom, but mine wouldn't be able to handle heavy recoil. A 38, shooting 158 grain hollow point, would be the limit of her control. My wife loved her M85 Ultralite, until arthritis made it hard for her to shoot. In the price range you stated, you should be able to find a wide range of revolvers with 2 to 4 inch barrels that would fit the bill.
 

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I have to respectfully disagree with the 4" barrel preference. If the gun is strictly for 'in house' security, there should be no distance that wouldn't be within accurate reach of a 2" .38. It would be easier to handle, and could be an 'all steel' weapon, without being too heavy, and would be strong enough for +P ammo, if she desired it. Personally, I would use the standard load 158 grain semi jacketed hollow points. I think if she held both, she would prefer a 2".

And I think a .357 would scare the toots out of her if she ever fired any, and would be a heavy weapon.

And that was my toot.
 

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For a SHTF house gun I would lean towards a 2 or 3" barrel. Longer barrels give a BG more to get a hold of or deflect it away from himself.

A 38 or 357 wouldn't make a lot of difference as I would suggest keeping it loaded with reduced flash +P ammunition.
 

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Here's some homework for the both of you to go through.

http://www.coneredcat.com
www.babeswithbullets.com
www.womenandguns.com

This has to do with her pick of firearms and what fits her and her needs.
http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/b...helping-women-select-first-handgun-woman.html

From another thread:#28




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You cannot convince someone who does not want to deal with deadly force or someone who cannot possibly take the life of another when defense of ones person call for it. That's not written in stone and there are exceptions to that. There are less than lethal instruments such as OC spray that someone might be able to use. Training is needed.


One has to be able to get across and get the others to understand that we are all responsible for each person's safety. That and nowhere is really ever safe.

Should one decide to take that responsibility up then take them along slowly and get them to the right sources for training and in gaining knowledge. The NRA has the "Refuse to be a Victim" seminars. These are not about firearms, but what the title says exactly.

NRA

Then the other training can be taken.

NRA and NSSF - National Shooting Sports Foundation have basic safety gun courses,basic defensive gun use, and other training. There are women only courses. There are some advanced training with them to be had.

Let the wife or girlfriend get a well rounded basic knowledge and then let her make the choices of which gun and ammo combo work best for her needs. She can either start off with centerfire or rimfire guns. It's her pick. Not the guy's pick.


The 461/461 Rossi family is a .357 magnum revolver, but hefty, and a 6 shooter.These are fine guns.

There is also the Taurus 82 and the Rossi 851. These are .38 Special +P qualified 6 shooter, but have 4 inch barrels. I do own a 82 and it is a fine gun,a but has fixed sights.

The Rossi 851 ,www,rossiusa.com , costs a bit less,is an excellent pick, and has adjustable sights which are an advantage over fixed sighted guns.

The 85 is an excellent gun. I own a older 85 CH. Very nice gun and the household members can use it.

One other Taurus recommendation. A Taurus model 65 fixed sight or 66 , .357 magnum revolver, with 6 shots.

The other recommendation is the Ruger SP-101. Granted, it's a .357 magnum, 5 shot revolver, but these can be had with 2 or 3 inch barrels. Just recently a 4 inch barreled model has been issued by Ruger! I own a SP-101 in .327 Federal magnum with the 3 inch barrel.

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Let's try this form another angle. It's her purchase so she needs to know something about shooting and firearms before SHE can decide what's best for her and her needs.

NRA and NSSF - National Shooting Sports Foundation have basic classes that she should take prior to selecting anything for any reason. There are women only classes given by both groups locally several time a year. She'll be immersered into the shooting culture,to firearms, and firearm safety in a relaxed atmosphere. Then she will have a good basic knowledge as to what gun/caliber combo will work for here. It would be worth the trouble of going somewhere, even 25-30 miles, from where you live to get her to one of these classes. Local gun stores should have access to these classes or should be able to point her to who does have the classes. If not there has to be local gun clubs or gun ranges that do! Take a look at the two links for the NRA and National Shooting Sports Foundation. They can get her to local or near local classes.

Have here also look at these and read all the way through them. These are helpful links for women. You need to go through them with her or when you can go through them alone.

Cornered Cat www.babeswithbullets.com www.womenandguns.com

The revolver idea has merit. Yes, the Taurus 82 is a good idea. So is a Taurus 65 or 66. There is also the Rossi 851 in .38 Special.
Here's the story on the Rossi 851. Anything said in it is still valid.
Rossi 851 by Bob Milek July 1, 1985
The 851 has adjustable sights. That's a plus.

Mild .38 Special rounds has merit as well.

There are 110gr.-125gr. standard pressure rounds if recoil, muzzle flip, and flinching are considerations for her.

Federal makes the 125gr Nyclad standard pressure round. It makes a nifty practice and real world documented defense round.

Georgia Arms. Bitteroot Valley Ammunition & Components - 漏 2011Ventura Munitions | Online Ammunition Sales | Cheapest Ammo Online | Hunting Ammo and Ammo For Sale : Cheap Ammo : Find Ammunition at AmmoSeek.com can help in finding standard pressure bulk buy rounds for what ever caliber she decides she can handle.

If you can introduce here to the .32 calibers. In revolver there is the .32 H&R magnum and the .32 S&W Long.

The first cartridge is mild,can be used for training, for fun, and for defense. Even out of snub revolvers this is a low recoil, mild noise, and user friendly cartridge. Revolvers abound in this caliber. Taurus has two snub revolvers currently capable of shooting these. I own a Taurus 327 in .327 Federal. It can do what the Ruger mentioned below can.

Taurus also has the a model 731 that is till available in limited quantities on line and maybe from the local gun store. These can also be a used item and found online at internet gun auction sites.

Ruger has the 3 inch barreled SP-101. This can be either a considered as a primary or snub revolver. Yes, it's in .327 Federal magnum, but the .32 H&R and ,32 S&W Longs can be shot from the Ruger. The extra inch of barrel give a better sighting plain, a bit more velocity, and keeps the barrel down more for better recovery shot to shot.

The .32 S&W Long is a great beginner round and one for a fun gun as well. It's a bit less powerful than the .32 H&R magnum.

In .32 ACP the CZ 83 and the PT132 Mil Pro are available. For how long is a mystery and may be for only a very short period. These are available at online gun stores and gun auctions. These have longer barrels than the mini-guns. Hold more rounds than the mini guns, but are more user friendly. So is the cartridge, These are more like a medium framed or slighty smaller gun.

Granted, it is no powerhouse, bur in recent decades premium ammo with bonded and improved bullet design have brought the cartridge up off it's knees.

There's a lot to go through here,it is true. This is about saving her life which is precious. It's worth while to do all the research and take the pains to make sure she can handle
The .32ACP will go through sheetrock well like any other bullet,buckshot, or slug. Most bullets regardless of the caliber normally have enough energy left to kill ,cripple, or maim. It is true to a point that the lighter bullets will have less mass, less density,less velocity after hitting a object,somewhat less penetration, going for it if it is a JHP, Glaser, or Magsafe type round. There are no guarantees that the bullet will not cause mayhem on the other side of what was penetrated.

The lighter are not made for less penetration. The .32 ACP premium ammo was designed for better internal ballistics when passing through the human body. The shorter barrels put severe handicaps on any round. This is true for any sub-compact pistol or gun that has a barrel 3 inches or shorter. Again, it's rule of thumb and a guide.

JHP's noses can clog and act like FMJ after passing through walls and related objects. A lot of times JHPs do not clog. Not written in stone. Results from actual shooting incidents and documented experimental results in the lab show that the JHP clogs less than one might think. Again, no guarentees.

Sofas, bed mattresses, recliner chairs, and such make poor cover from bullets of any kind. That inludes the rimfire calibers.

It all depends on what is there to block the bullets or other projectiles in the dwelling. Could be heavy wood furniture, books,or other obstacles. Problem is the obstacles need to be thick and cover the areas where bullet penetration is most likely.

Since the she is going to be out and about penetration has to be considered but not as much. That is if a JHP or round nosed slug expanding like Federal Guard Dog is used. Corbon Power-ball is also an excellent pick.

She should shoot the largest caliber she is able to do so proficiently. I'm not sure what her disability is, how much the disability is going cause shooting problems, and her limitations as to what she can shoot well. That's regardless of where she lives.

I would check with the local gun ranges/stores and see if they have the NRA or NSSF - National Shooting Sports Foundation basic firearms courses. There should also be classes for the disabled available locally or through these two organizations. For the NRA, training programs for shooting and the Women's Programs should be looked at. Call both organizations and query as to what resources they have for the handicapped. and what classes if any and where.

Having her look at Cornered Cat , www.babeswithbullets.comwww.womenandgun.com You can go through it with her or have her do it at her convience.

A revolver in .38 Special or .32 H&R magnum might be all she needs, but I'll leave that to the experts. The pistols are fine, but has to be able to take care of mafunctions if they happen. Is she capable of doing that?

First things first. I could recommend some guns to take a look at but first she needs to know what she cna handle and to what level.

And a real good one to go through all the way.
http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/taurus-revolvers/62379-my-new-idea-give-me-your-2-cents-worth.html
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the info! I forgot about the .32 round. Another fine cartridge for her needs. Again, up to me to do some shopping for her and see what is available locally in a price range. I also know for a fact that there are two 20 gauge 870's in the safe in her bedroom, which would no doubt be the best choice for home defense. However, as per her last email:

I think I would be very comfortable with a gun like this 鈥 for some reason I am NOT comfortable with the rifles/shotguns鈥 I suppose because I never mess around with them.
Anyway 鈥 you can keep me in mind if you are ever out 鈥渟hopping鈥 somewhere 鈥 see what you think 鈥 I鈥檝e been wanting a pistol for the last 26 years 鈥 your Dad always says I can鈥檛 have one because I have a temper! Ha Ha!
- pasted from her last email.
 

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Your welcome.

If you want Taurus revolvers that would fit the bill here goes. Since we do not know her level of proficiency I'm going to assume that the 3 inch barrel on up are good ideas. Stopping at anything with 4 inches is also a factor here.

In no particular order:
Rossi 851: 6 shot,.38 Special and +P capable. Very good under rated revolver.

Taurus 82: 6 shot .38 Special +P rated,fixed sight.
Taurus 65: Like the 82 but is a .357 magnum. Can shoot .38 Special.
Taurus 66: Direct kin of the 65. Has adjustable sights. Holds 7 shots.
Taurus 990 or 907: .22lrf revolver for training

I look at snub revolvers as specialist guns. Not that someone new to shooting couldn't master one. It does take more time,dedication, and practice to master over mdeium framed guns.

Ruger SP-101 in .357 or .327 Federal magnum can also go on the list. Longer gun barrels are no available on certain models. .327 Federal magnum can come with a 3 inch barrel. The versatility of the .32 calibers has already been discussed. If not the .32 H&R magnum and the .32 S&W Long go well with the .327 Federal round.

With the 3 inch barrel and 6 shot capacity the gun can be a primary carry one.

Charter Arms makes good guns as well. Do not go for the ones that are under 20 ounces as recoil will be harsh...... unless it's a .22lrf version and even then it might be a handful for her.

S&W has stopped unfortunately most of their K framed line. The L frames are good. Just that they may be a bit hefty for the intended user. Something used in K frame would be good.

Is she okay with pistols? Or no experience?
 
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