Buying Tips & Info
One Woman’s Guide To Girl Guns
Both when I was a new shooter, and in chatting with my friends who are new to shooting, I’ve noticed a trend in guns that are commonly recommended to women. Much like common advice on how to carry a gun, I have a few objections based on my now-much broader experience.
Find useful tips on woman's guide to girl guns and know which firearms are suitable for those small hands.
RELATED: Women And Guns: More Than Meets The Eye
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Woman's Guide to Girl Guns | Best Handguns for Her
When my friends and I were new to shooting, I’ve noticed a trend in guns commonly recommended to women. Much like common advice on how to carry a gun, I have a few objections based on my now-much broader experience.
Before I start, please keep in mind that these aren’t knocks on the particular guns pictured or mentioned. These are my take on certain types and features of guns.
Smith & Wesson J-Frame Revolver
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard the Smith & Wesson air-weight J-frame and similar revolvers mentioned as a perfect gun for women. “It’s so light and easy to conceal!” they say, “and revolvers are so much simpler to operate!”
The very fact that these guns are so tiny makes them so punishing to shoot. There’s nothing to soak up the recoil except your hands and body.
I don’t enjoy them as a very experienced shooter and they’re definitely no fun for a new shooter.
As for the simplicity argument? I’ve figured out how to drive a car and operate both my stove and my clothes washer.
I’m pretty sure I can handle learning a modern handgun, especially a striker-fired gun without a manual safety.
By the way, the argument that revolvers are better for smaller, weaker hands because there are no heavy slides to rack? How much hand strength do you think is necessary to shoot a heavy, double-action trigger?
After I reject the miniature revolvers, miniature semi-auto pistols usually come out next. I appreciate the acknowledgment about me handling a gun “more complicated” than a revolver, but they’re still quite unpleasant to shoot.
The Kahr MK40 in the picture above is a heavy metal gun, but quite small and chambered in .40 S&W. That’s a lot of snappy recoil and the diminutive size doesn’t give the shooter a lot to hang on to.
More effective and more fun would be more controllable small handguns the shooter can use her whole hands to manage recoil, rather than just a few fingers.
RELATED: 8 Best Guns For Women Living Alone
Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380
On the opposite end of the “girls need simple guns” spectrum are the claims that “girls need lots of extra safeties and other gizmos.” Here’s the thing about extra levers and buttons: I might be smart enough to learn how to use them, but that doesn’t mean I want to carry the burden if I intend to use my gun in stressful situations.
The tiny, flat safety on the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 above is not what I want to fumble with if I had to draw my gun in self-defense, especially with all of the other, similarly shaped and textured levers right next to it.
For me, I’m more comfortable relying on practicing Gun Safety Rule #3 than on trying to push the right lever in the right direction, and trusting that it won’t be broken.
Finally, the “girl-colored” guns, like this SCCY CPX-2 that is exactly like the black (and every other color) version except for the color polymer used in the frame.
As manufacturers have begun to address the quickly growing women’s market segment for firearms, one of their sales tactics has been to make custom guns for ladies like pink and purple, even though color is one of the most minor decision-making criteria for women buying guns (less than 10% of all considerations, according to the NSSF).
I don't object pretty guns for females, but my priority is a gun that functions flawlessly and I can shoot well. Manufacturers tell me why a particular gun is right for me because of its mechanical design characteristics, not its cosmetics.
Colors are a bonus feature only. My highly customized competition pistol. The slide coating, engraving, and glitter came last.
Watch this video by The Budget Shooter about a review of the SCCY CPX-2 9mm:
The guns for me aren't necessarily the guns for you, or for the women in your life. As Tamara Keel pointed out, if a “girl gun” is bought only because of its girlish characteristics and it doesn’t get shot, it might get left in that carry- purse that also might not have been a great idea, and try to make its way through airport security.
Hopefully, I've given you another perspective on women's right approach towards choosing a gun.
What guns have been recommended to you that you didn’t like? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 2, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.