Thinking of getting a handgun- need advice

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by CityGirlintheCountry, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Let me start this by saying that I know nothing of guns. My dad has given me a couple of his old hunting shotguns, but I have never shot either of them. There is a local shooting range where I could practice with a handgun. I live alone in the boondocks with a huge coyote problem and it makes sense to perhaps have a gun that I could use.

    So.... I am thinking a girl sized handgun. I could take classes and get a carry permit. Training and practice and all that. I just don't know what to look for or ask for. I know I want something smaller and lightweight as I have small hands. Do y'all have any suggestions before I go ignorantly into the gun store?


  2. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    Go ahead and go ignorantly into the gun store. I went to Gander Mountain here just to look around and had a nice chat with the "gun guy". He showed me the gun his wife carried (ha) and gave me a flyer on where I can take classes and had all sorts of neat info. I would go to look and not buy.....and see what all they tell you. Mine recommended an auto-advancing 38. Big enough to hurt, small enough not to knock me down. No hammers to fool with, etc.

    The guy had lots of good info though [​IMG]
  3. I agree to go look around, most gun store people are very helpful. With that and ALOT of research then you can make up your mind on what works for you.

    A revolver is very easy to operate and just about jam proof, downside is you have 6 rounds - upside, if you can't do what needs done with 6 rounds you need to go back to the range and practice. [​IMG]

    An automatic isn't always user friendly for somebody new to handguns, more prone to jam.

    One I recommend to people is a 357 magnum, it's a revolver, comes in a million and one different barrel lengths, frame sizes, weights. The best thing about it is it can shoot either .38 specials or 357 mags. So you can practice with low power .38 specials and work up to magnums later. .38 special ammo is semi cheap, low recoil, fun to shoot, 357 ammo costs more, kicks alot more, you can hunt with it up to deer sized game, very effective on 2 legged predators.

    A few other things, the lighter weight of the gun the more it will kick in the same caliber, the shorter the barrel the more muzzle flash and blast you will have. The biggest thing no matter what you get is learn how to use it inside and out and shoot it well, in the dark or any other condition you can think of.

  4. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Crowing

    Apr 23, 2008
    Central Louisiana
    My personal handgun that I carry is a .39 calibre Smith-and-Wesson Ladysmith, 5 shot double-acting hammerless revolver. When I carry it for protection I use hollow point ammo. It is small & fits my hand perfectly & easy to shoot. Visit some gun stores & shoot several types and you'll find one that is perfect for you. Just remember to practice---if you don't stay in practice, you may as well just throw a rock if it comes to actually having to protect yourself.
  5. Stumpy

    Stumpy Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    My DH does firearms instruction as part of his job, so I've been exposed to a lot of different ones. Go to a range and ask to practice with different ones. Personally I prefer my little .38 revolver over a Glock 9 mm. It's just a personal thing. My hands are small and I don't like a lot of kickback. One particular kind of gun will be the right fit for you.
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Many ranges have guns you can rent too. Doesn't hurt to just go to the range and rent out the guns to shoot and try. The one I go to charges the 10 for the range fee, then I think another 10 to use any of the guns in the display case for as long as you are there. Just have to buy and use their ammo with their guns.

    That said, if you want to hunt vermin, like a cyote, I'd use a long arm. A hand gun can do the job, but isn't really the best choice in my mind if you really want the thing gone.
  7. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    One suggestion, from a small woman with small hands- don't get a .22 if you are wanting anything for personal protection. You need at least a 9mm. .357 and .40 are good too. Some women with small hands like a .22 because those pistols can be small and don't kick much. But you might as well be buying a feather on a long stick for all the good it will do in a dangerous situation. You really should practice with your shotguns as well. Nothing quite like that distinctive "snick snick" of a shotgun being racked to scare someone off. Shotguns are great for predators as well.

  8. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    For Coyotes and such, I have a single shot .22 rifle.

    If you try make it through my front door uninvited, you'll get to meet my Remington 740 30.06 before you peek your head all the way in.
  9. I have a 40 cal. Tarus. My uncle griped "It's too small" when I showed him my shiny new pretty. "It fits MY hand just fine," I told him. My mother insists that 40 cal is overkill for the groundhogs, but oh well. I'm not "hunting", I'm doing self-protection and flock protection.

    When I go to check on my chickens, I wear my fanny-pack. The Tarus is in the big section. It's angled just perfectly for me to unzip and grab one-handed. My cell phone rides in another section. No, this is not as good as a long gun for varmits, but since I'm more likely to run face-to-face with a varmit, I think my handgun will be more "up close and personal". [​IMG] I'm more likely to wear the fanny-pack than to carry a rifle all the time.

    When the kids go back to school next month, I hope to make range practice a weekly thing.
  10. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:For the purpose of Coyotes and general use varmints getter, I'd go with a bolt action 22LR rifle. (practice with those shotguns, you can't beat a scattergun for close in results!)

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