If you have a dealer locally that will let her rent and try various guns, let her decide what feels right and works for her. I would never try to decide what my wife should have, she knows what is right for her. She really likes Sigs, she has both a P228 and a P239 (her favorite carry gun).
Never make the assumption that a "cute gun" is the right one for a lady.
First thank you for your service sir. Second, I think Mr. Howlrwy gave some excellent advice. It is basically what I suggest to folks when they ask that same question. What feels good to person A may well feel terrible to person B, and vice versa.
Ideally, if you have a range in your area that has range/rental handguns, take your wife there with you. Start off by letting her hold, operate several various handguns - so she can get a feel of how the various brands and models fit her hands. Can she reach and operate the various controls is a pistol? Can she operate the cylinder release if a revolver - and what is the DA pull like on either platform to her. She may well decide she prefers a revolver to a semi-auto pistol.
Really she has to be the judge for what ends up fitting her hands the best. Then try to find a rental of that make and model she can fire. She may want to compare two or three possibilities by shooting them. That is the best way in my opinion, for anyone, husband or wife, to select their next handgun. If at all possible, I suggest they try to find a store with range rentals they can try out.
If not, then ask around among your friends. It is possible one of them has the handgun your wife wants to try out, or they may know someone who does that will loan it to them for your wife to try.
Also remember within reason, there are aftermarket grips that can improve the feel/fit of some handguns for person A, while person B simply prefers the grips installed at the factory. So that is just another variable to consider as well.
Once you get home, or now for that matter, if you have further questions, please post them so our members can try to offer their thoughts for you.
Hello Jerad- My wife shots a Browning Hi-power in 9mm, she also likes the Glock in 9mm. 9mm is relatively inexpensive compared to other calibers so practicing with it won't break the bank. Be safe over there, my daughter's boyfriend just came home.
Let me second twoguns: Thanks for your service in Iraq, whether as soldier, civil service, or contractor. Best wishes to you and come home safe and sound.
Twoguns and Howlrwy also pretty much stole all the thunder worth listening to -- the only point I think I can add to it all, is that it will have to be a gun she is willing to keep available for its intended purpose.
For example, if the gun is for her to carry concealed for self-defense, then it must be a gun that she is actually willing to tote around all the time. A 1911 in .45 ACP may fit her perfectly, and she may shoot it well, and can reach all the controls and all that, but if she is not willing to carry it around because it is too big, then it's not much use.
If is gun to be kept around the house, then some of the issues of concealed carry (like size) don't matter as much, but you have to figure out a way to keep it handy and ready to use while keeping it safe from others.
Me, I have a 9mm Hi Power cuz it fits my stubby fingers. Would fit my wife's hands, but no way does she want to tote it around. She has a Kel-Tec P-3AT in .380 ACP. Not my favorite defense caliber, but a gun she has with her is better than no gun at all.
Best wishes, and by all means, post here if you need something.
Hello. What the others said; thanks from my house to yours, for your sacrifice for our country.
I also agree with the notion of letting your wife shoot several handguns and decide what she actually likes best. My wife wound up choosing a pre-lock S&W LadySmith Model 65 3" but with 38 Special +P rather than magnums. (I was so afraid that I'd lose one of my cherished Hi Powers, but for her such was not the gun of choice and I'd have lost a bet on that one.)
My ;wife has her fathers S&W Model 19 2.5" round butt. With only a little training, she is adequate with it. She has never cared to invest the time to become competent with a selfloader and I think the action on a K Frame is better than most J Frames. Therefore, I am recommending a S&W K Frame RB loaded with 38 SPL +P ammo.
I wish I was not over 50 and useless. I would go to Iraq/Afghanistan or even to shovel stuff in LA if so ordered. I would give them back that silly MSM for the right to wear the 1 CAV patch on my right shoulder. But that is just me...Best of luck.
The forum members have given very good advice that I doubt can be improved upon. When training people I suggest thier first handgun be one that they will be willing/able to carry all of the time. Usually, this turns out to be a small frame revolver or a small semi-auto. Caliber no smaller than .380 ACP or .38 Special.
The wife has many firearms, but her companion is a 3" S & W Model 60 with full underlug and adjustable sights. As noted it is her choice and she's comfortable with that.
Oberstlt, I know what you mean. I'd give back some ribbons, medals, and awards to be able to serve now. Medical conditions prevent me from doing that...even as a contractor. I console myself with the fact that I did serve for 23 years and that young men like jerod are carrying the torch for us old farts...
I do miss the Marines.
I second Wes's comment about NDP selecting small snubbies or semiautos. It often has been written that the snubbie or other small gun is an "expert's only" choice. Not necessarily so IMO. Jeff Cooper had it right. Real world SD is rarely as much of a marksmanship challenge as it is a mindset and readiness challenge. When it happens in a blink at 10 feet and closer, even a snubbie is a tackdriver - capacity wise. But she has to have SOMETHING.
OTOH, if her desire is to take up shooting and build REAL SKILL as my notorious internet "pal" used to upper case (see if Stephen picks up my entendre then look hard at .22's.
Or a G19.
I am a long time reader but post rarely on any forum. As I've dealt with trying to arm a nonshooting wife for a long time, I thought I'd share my recent experience. My wife shops with her sister at the Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City and was there shortly before the Muslim shooting spree so she finally decided she wants to be armed as she continues to shop there. She's handled and shot a dozen handguns to see what she liked and more importantly, didn't like. What I thought would be perfect for her wasn't (Kahr P9, Browning P-35, .38 Special Centennial, 9 mm 1911, etc). She found a S&W airweight Centennial in .32 H&R magnum to be the most comfortable handgun to carry and to shoot. She likes the thought of more than 6 bullets, though, so has tried a number of semi-autos again. Of high capacity semi-automatics, she finds the XD-9 to be most comfortable to shoot over Glock, High Power, Sig and 1911 and doesn't have the hand strength to work the slide on a Kahr. The Springfield's too big for her to carry most of the time so the .32 still got the nod. A .38 Special Centennial really beats up her hand and if it is uncomfortable, she won't shoot it. I am more comfortable with her carrying a .32 than nothing, particularly since she enjoys shooting it so she practices. She practices with the XD also and has interested several girl friends in shooting and the couple that I've talked to like the .32 H&R magnum over their husband's .38's and Glocks and plan to get one. I thought the High Power I bought my wife would fit her hand perfectly in an adequate caliber with a lot of cartridges but she didn't want to deal with a thumb safety so she got my XD-9 for hiking and fishing and as a car gun and I got 'her' High Power so all's well. She feels (and is) safer now and as she puts it "I won't be shot in front of Williams and Sonoma."
I am fairly new to the shooting sports. At the completion of my NRA Basic Pistol class the instructors provided a ten station test session. Station one had four 25s and station ten had four 45s, stations two through nine had a mix of everything in between. You could shoot as many or as few as you liked. The purpose was to give students an opportunity to try an assortment of firearms.
There were fourteen instructors and I hit it off with a few of them. I also shoot on a regular basis with a few of the students that were in my class. Basic Pistol provided a good network to help find the firearm that best suited me. More importantly it provided a group of gracious shooting sport enthuses that help with my efficiency in handling a firearm.