When choosing a gun, ladies, size and width do matter.
Well at least length and width, anyway. Are you going shopping for a new pistol? If you are, you might first want to establish its purpose. Is it going to be used as a home self-defense gun or a concealed carry permit gun? Is it going to be used for competition or maybe a target practice? If you’ve watched the movies lately you’ve probably seen the glamorization of big guns. In real life, you may be better off, depending on the purpose, with a smaller gun. Women especially might consider the thickness and width of the grip as a major thing. Will it fit your hand comfortably? Will your finger reach the trigger without having to change your grip? How you grip the gun is going to affect your aim considerably. When faced with a potential life and death situation, you will want to make sure you have a firm grip and hold, ready for fast body movement. Now, the size of the gun may or may not correlate with a small or large caliber. There are target pistols whose barrel is much longer than a carry pistol, but are a smaller caliber. If you want a pistol for competition, you may want one with a long barrel. The longer the barrel, the more accurate you’ll be at long distances. If you have a concealed carry permit, you might want one with a shorter length and width to prevent printing. You may also be surprised at how large of caliber you can shoot out of a stout barrel.
So in short (no pun intended), when it comes to choosing a gun, size does matter.
Filed under ccw, concealed carry, Firearms Safety, guns, home defense, National Rifle Association, NRA, pistols, revolver, semi auto, women
I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would touch a gun much less shoot one. As it happened, one day I reached an age where I decided not to be afraid of the unknown. After all, guns were on the news every day, in every prime time show on television, in every major movie. I don’t think they can make a blockbuster movie that doesn’t have at least one woman and one gun in it. It was one of those movies that got me thinking seriously about getting a gun. No, it wasn’t a cops and robbers movie, or an international spy movie that did it, it was a movie about a world event leading to chaos in the streets and the human response.
That day, I decided to buy a gun for home defense. Seriously, me a so called liberal. I, who in college chose my debate subject on gun ownership and why I was against it! I felt like a different person with a different perspective on life. The innocence and naive thinking of my youth had changed. Sadly, I realized that we no longer live in a country where we can feel safe in our own homes. The increase in poverty and crime and the decrease in education coupled with diminished resources for law enforcement, make for dangerous times.
I used to think the media was sensationalizing crime and exaggerating it for the purpose of ratings. Now I feel that it’s the complete opposite. I think for every one story they report on TV there are at least ten others they never get to. You hear about home invasions, but only the ones in neighborhoods where there were none before. I subscribe to a crime statistics and reports website, called Spotcrime and my local City’s Patch site, where I get the real local news. This is how I know there are many more crimes than are ever reported by the nightly news.
So there I was picking up my beautiful new gun, a small semi auto. I had taken the required, written test for a Handgun Safety Certificate in California. Then, I waited the required ten days after my background check cleared. I was so excited, but at the same time nervous. The feel of steel and protection in my hands felt strangely comforting. Although, I now had a means to protect myself and loved ones, I in no way felt confident enough to use my new firearm. I still needed to learn how to safely use, transport, store and maintain it. I wanted to be able to properly protect myself and prevent a tragic accident. Otherwise, if the time ever came when I needed to use it, I might not have the skills to preserve my life and my loved ones lives.
So, I scheduled a private lesson with a shooting instructor, I knew it was the only way I would feel safe handling my new firearm. Yes, firearm, not weapon. I quickly learned that safe gun handling begins with the right attitude. The National Rifle Association’s safe gun handling rules, are comprised of knowledge, skills and attitude. I totally agree, you need all three to be a safe gun owner. Whether you remain ignorant or become negligent is up to you. The result is the same for both of those, in that it may result in a tragedy. And so began my journey to becoming an NRA Certified Instructor.
Have you been thinking about purchasing a gun for personal defense either for your home or concealed carry? Do you know what type of pistol to buy? How you plan to use it will determine the type of pistol you should consider. Will you use it for home defense, plinking, target practice or competition?How much are you willing to spend? Have you calculated the cost of the pistol, the ammunition, ear protection, eye protection, pistol instruction, range practice, cleaning supplies
and storage? In California you must purchase a Handgun Safety Certificate which is good for 5 years.
Hand strength in women can also be an issue, since a semi automatic pistol requires you to rack the slide. This can be managed however by proper positioning of your body and using the push forward method. But this is something to consider. A revolver on the other hand doesn’t require much hand strength other than pulling the trigger. Some snubbie revolvers have a very long and hard trigger press.
One of the best ways to decide is to go to a gun range with a friend and rent different guns. Buying a gun on an impulse or by looks alone can be a costly mistake. Not to mention a lot of paperwork and a long waiting period for nothing. Start off with a .22 caliber if you’ve never shot before, at least until you get accustomed to the noise and recoil. Try different guns in the same caliber such as a 9 mm. You may find one gun feels better in your hand and easier to manage. Make sure you don’t have to reach too far to press the trigger, otherwise you may end up pulling your shots to the side. Can you align your hand and wrist to form a straight line? If not, the grip may be too thick. Try a different manufacturer. Or try a different type of pistol. Try a double action pistol and then a single action pistol. There is a major difference in the trigger press. Mainly in the distance your finger must travel on the trigger to take a shot.
If at anytime you feel you are unable to handle the gun safely or if you experience a malfunction at the range, STOP. Raise your non shooting hand and ask for the assistance from a range safety officer. Some indoor ranges do not have an RSO in each shooting bay, but they must have someone on staff that is. You may have to place your gun on the bench,while pointed down range, and notify them that you need assistance with the gun. Never feel embarrassed to ask, it is imperative that you don’t attempt to clear your gun if you aren’t yet sure of what you’re doing. Most ranges have beginning pistol instruction classes that you can take. The National Rifle Association has a list of classes and instructors in your area. Find NRA Instruction classes nearby