When it comes to choosing a gun, especially your first one, there are many factors to consider.
Each gun, just like any other tool, has a specific implementation and as I am sure you know by now, there is a vast variety of them out there for your shooting pleasure. If you are like me, though, all of those choices can start to get a little overwhelming. But fear not! I have some advice that will aid you in finding the right gun. I will also list a few of my favorite female friendly firearms as well as a few recommended by the readers.
Shopping for a gun, as my friend Gracie from Packing Pretty says, is like shopping for a pair of jeans, new shoes or a new bra. You have to try several to be able to find the right one. Guns are very personal pieces of machinery and you need to be feel comfortable shooting the one you ultimately choose. The primary factors that play in to choosing a firearm to purchase are the following: Purpose, Comfort and Cost.
What will your gun be doing? Do you want to use it for concealed carry, home defense, hunting, or just for fun? Many guns can be used for more than one purpose (ie, home defense + hunting, concealed carry + etc), but most of them have a specifically designated purpose. The more involved you become in the shooting sports, you will inevitably find that you need more than one gun to satisfy all your firearm needs. But dont let that overwhelm you. Start here:
Below is a list of some of the best guns for women as recommended by readers.
.45 Caliber: Springfield XDs**, Glock 21,
**Voted among the best concealed carry for women in an informal Girl’s Guide Poll
Click here for a more extensive list of common concealed carry firearms for women from the makers of the Flashbang Bra Holster (fyi: there is a photo of the bra holster in use on a live female on this page.)
Many people choose a shotgun for home defense, though others prefer rifles or handguns.
This area is pretty technical and I will let the hunters weigh in on this in the comments below.
Fun/Target shooting (paper, steel, skeet and trap)
All of the above!
Grip– This is a major factor that I cannot emphasize strongly enough. The gun should feel comfortable in your hand and equally as important, you need to feel comfortable shooting it. If you aren’t comfortable shooting it, you won’t practice and practice is imperative.
Weight– Train with your prospective gun. Shoot and handle it for at least an hour or two to know whether you like the weight of it.
Control/Snapiness– Can you control the gun effectively when firing it? Can you keep the muzzle from popping upward?
Training will help quite a bit in this area, but be observant of this factor with every gun you try.
Hogue Grips is a fantastic company that can help you with any issues you may find with the grip of the gun you choose. For instance, many people find the Ruger LCP to be perfect for their conceal carry needs, but a difficult gun to grip. Hogue has created a customized rubber grip to solve that problem.
The financial piece is a big one for most of us these days. You want to stay within your budget, of course, but the last thing you want to do is compromise safety by buying an inadequate gun. There are a couple of ways to find a reasonably-priced firearm without putting your safety at risk. Namely, I would check out the USED selection at gun stores, look online, hit up gun shows, auctions, estate and yard sales. Any time you are buying a previously owned firearm, I suggest that you have a friend or relative who is knowledgeable about guns check out the used firearm you are eyeing before you buy.
Do not forget to include the price of ammo in your decision. For instance, .22 is a wonderful, inexpensive caliber. I love to practice on paper with a .22, but it does not pack the punch that a .380, 9mm or .45 will. Many people like the 9mm because the ammo is plentiful and less expensive than, say, the .45.
There is so much to know about this subject and we are really just scratching the surface here. Talk to your friends, send me a message here or on facebook or twitter, and definitely ask the people behind the counter at the gun store if you have additional questions. And if the people behind the counter are not cool, find another gun store. There is no need to put up with prejudice or bad customer service.
Now go practice!! Shooting is a perishable skill and it is key that you maintain your ability. I like to take a class at least every 6 months to keep my skills sharp. If you need a group to go shoot with in your area, check out A Girl & A Gun Shooting Clubs around the country. And if you can’t find one, start your own! Also, find a list of ranges and class providers here.
NOTE: This article is a work in progress. If you would like to see a firearm or section added, please comment below.
The Wedding Dress Moment
When a gal tries on wedding dresses, they’re ALL pretty, and white, and they make you look like a princess. But there’s ONE that causes light to shine down from Heaven and the angels start singing and you know that its THE ONE.
Same thing happens with guns! They’re all kinda cool looking…they go *bang* when you pull the trigger, but every now and then you’ll run across one that makes you shoot straighter and gives you that feeling of an angelic choir in full “Laaaaaa!” When that happens…..GET THAT GUN!!! – Lisa Looper, creator of the Flashbang Bra Holster