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Thread: Choosing a Concealed Carry Gun for a Woman

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatGunChic View Post
    Hello,
    I recently recieved my pistol permit & am in the process of choosing my very first gun, which will be used for concealed carrying. I'm only 5'1" so I'm trying to find a small gun, but one that will still work great for defense.
    I've been renting what I can at a range to test before buying.
    So far I tried:
    Glock 26 - Love it but it's bulky for concealment
    Ruger LC9 - Hate it! The mag falls out when I shoot it, which might be because of my grip, but I havent been able to stop it. Never happens on any other gun. Also hate the long trigger pull.
    Ruger LCR .38 - The recoil is too much for me.
    S&W .357 mag - Not a conceal gun but I had to mention it because I'm in love. If only it were small! 

    I plan on trying the Ruger LCR .22mag, Glock 42&43, and the Colt Mustang .380. If the range has them for renting that is.

    My questions:
    1) Are the .22mag & the .380 suitable for defense? I thought they were but I'm not sure.
    2) Do you have any pointers or comments on the guns listed?
    My wife is a very petite woman. She is shorter than you and tiny. For a long time she carried a Colt 1911 Commander. Now she carries a Bersa Thunder 380. She is scary good with that gun and can easily out shoot me. So if you can pick up one of these... give it a try.

    To me the 22 Mag would be too small and you would need to be very sure of shot placement with something this small.

    Take Popeye's advice when he said, " Don't be in a rush to purchase. Keep on trying as many different handguns as you possibly can. Eventually one will 'talk' to you."

    Don't settle for what does not speak to you. Be patient, there is a gun out there that will fit your hand and you will be completely comfortable shooting it. You'll find it.

  2. #12
    Senior Member FortyFiveAuto's Avatar
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    Bersa Thunder PLUS.

    Its a .380, but with a 15 round magazine. Plenty of firepower while still being small. Plus the wider grip helps dissipate recoil across a larger surface area of your hand. Highly recommend it.
    KW Gary M and Siplace like this.

  3. #13
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    See if you can find Walther PPS M2 to try out
    Your doing great :)

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  5. #14
    Senior Member CatGunChic's Avatar
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    Thanks Everyone.
    I went to the range again yesterday (thats been about once a week lately, yikes! 🤑lol) and tried out a 1911 .45 the guy suggested. Definitely not a carry weapon for me (they didnt have any I was interested in to rent), but it was a NICE gun. The recoil was just within my range of handling. I'm not opposed to playing with it more but it's not something I'd buy anytime soon either.
    I've also decided that my first gun will be atleast a .380, but preferably a 9mm. I still want to find the LCR in a 22mag to try, but I think it's too small for an everyday carry gun, atleast for me. If I can comfortably handle & shoot a .45, why the heck would I buy a .22 for carry? LoL

    I'm trying to take my time and have patience searching for my gun, but at the same time I feel I should have one for safety as soon as possible. That, and I'm finding a new hobby (albeit a pricey one) in guns & the range. My family has the same love of shooting but my friends think I'm nuts, haha. 😋
    KW Gary M likes this.
    ~ Shoot Like A Girl ~

  6. #15
    Senior Member CatGunChic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortyFiveAuto View Post
    Bersa Thunder PLUS.

    Its a .380, but with a 15 round magazine. Plenty of firepower while still being small. Plus the wider grip helps dissipate recoil across a larger surface area of your hand. Highly recommend it.
    Unfortunately a 15 round mag is illegal in CT. 10 rounds is our limit.
    ~ Shoot Like A Girl ~

  7. #16
    Senior Member NGF Addict! KW Gary M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatGunChic View Post
    Thanks Everyone.
    I went to the range again yesterday (thats been about once a week lately, yikes! 螺lol) and tried out a 1911 .45 the guy suggested. Definitely not a carry weapon for me (they didnt have any I was interested in to rent), but it was a NICE gun. The recoil was just within my range of handling. I'm not opposed to playing with it more but it's not something I'd buy anytime soon either.
    I've also decided that my first gun will be atleast a .380, but preferably a 9mm. I still want to find the LCR in a 22mag to try, but I think it's too small for an everyday carry gun, atleast for me. If I can comfortably handle & shoot a .45, why the heck would I buy a .22 for carry? LoL

    I'm trying to take my time and have patience searching for my gun, but at the same time I feel I should have one for safety as soon as possible. That, and I'm finding a new hobby (albeit a pricey one) in guns & the range. My family has the same love of shooting but my friends think I'm nuts, haha. 
    If you had no problem handling the .45 look into a Springfield XDs. They come in 9mm, .40 and .45. They all fit CT's heinous 10 round maximum law. I think the 9mm holds 8+1, the .40 is 7+1 and the .45 is 6+1.
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  8. #17
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    You like the 1911 platform and can handle recoil from a .45 ACP round.

    I'll bet the range person handed you a Government sized 1911 (5" barrel and 7 or 8 round magazine)



    Next time ask to see an Officer's sized 1911 (3 - 3-1/2" barrel and 6 or 7 round magazine)



    Shorter barrel and shorter grip frame. The size difference is considerable.
    The difference between a Socialist and a Communist is that the Socialist doesn't have all the guns yet.

  9. #18
    Senior Member NGF Addict! Yosemite Sam's Avatar
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    And recoil.
    "I am fatigued Captain." Khan

  10. #19
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    Recoil is subjective.
    The difference between a Socialist and a Communist is that the Socialist doesn't have all the guns yet.

  11. #20
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    I think this:

    The mag falling out of a gun would be a concern. It does not sound normal. Yes, it could be your grip. It could be specific to 'that' gun and not others of the same make/model.

    Go to a good gun shop and handle as many as possible that you would consider. How they feel in your hand is very important. Then create a short-list of guns you would like to try in various calibers.

    There are semi-auto and revolvers. Only you can decide which is best for you. It seems to me a semi-auto would be easier to conceal especially for a female and dress codes. They are typically thinner than a comparable revolver. This may be a good first cut during your search.

    Any caliber will have pretty much the same recoil and recoil will increase with bullet weight which is usually driven by caliber. The fact that you felt the .380 LCR had too much recoil might suggest trying a different gun. A .380 is pretty mild in the lower end of calibers. To me, small guns are difficult to hold which equates to less comfort and 'feeling' more recoil. 9MM sounds like your upper limit in the right gun.

    Any gun is the 'counter' effect to recoil. The heavier the gun the less 'felt' recoil. Doesn't mean it isn't there just feels different. There are other factors that will also affect 'felt' recoil such as grip size, barrel length, trigger pull, barrel location relative to the gun frame, etc.

    If you continue to shoot a 9MM in the various mentioned guns if you decide to go with a .380 it may feel much more comfortable with practice.

    You are on the right track to try several guns and different calibers in each model. That is the best way to evaluate for your decision. Guns are too expensive to do much purchase/experimenting with.

    My opinion to your questions: Any gun is better than none for defense. A .22Mag or a .380 is fine if that fits you. There are lots of people who carry a .380 for their defense.


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    Last edited by wittmeba; 02-05-2016 at 08:07 AM.
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