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My mother is debating getting a carry permit. She would also need a pistol. She has never really handled any type of gun before. After the safety and permit classes, What would be a decent pocket/sub compact pistol for her to purchase? She also lives in the Greenville/Spartensburg area of SC.
 

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My mother is debating getting a carry permit. She would also need a pistol. She has never really handled any type of gun before. After the safety and permit classes, What would be a decent pocket/sub compact pistol for her to purchase? She also lives in the Greenville/Spartensburg area of SC.
First teach her to shoot, and get her some practice. The permit class does not count. She won't even be comfortable with a gun at that point.

Then let her try a couple of your guns. See what she likes.

Don't buy anything that's cheap: HiPoint, Jennings, Cobra, etc. They're junk. There are a few others.

There are too many good guns out there to list them all. Get some ideas, then find out what she likes. Make sure it is a caliber and size she can handle before you buy it. No airlight 44 magnums, even if she really wants it. :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First teach her to shoot, and get her some practice. The permit class does not count. She won't even be comfortable with a gun at that point.

Then let her try a couple of your guns. See what she likes.

Don't buy anything that's cheap: HiPoint, Jennings, Cobra, etc. They're junk. There are a few others.

There are too many good guns out there to list them all. Get some ideas, then find out what she likes. Make sure it is a caliber and size she can handle before you buy it. No airlight 44 magnums, even if she really wants it. :shock:
I agree completely. I was going to teach her to shoot before the class. I also was going to look into other classes that she can take to get comfortable around guns. For the caliper size I was not going to let her get anything she is not comfortable with (I was thinking 9mm).
 

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I would not go any smaller than a 9mm.

I immediately assumed something small would be great for my wife. Wrong. The PF9, in 9mm, has proven to be too much for her to handle.

On the other hand, she unexpectedly shoots my full sized 1911 .45 quite well.

My point is, smaller is not necessarily better for women (contrary to my assumption). Find what she prefers to use and what works for her. She might shoot .45 better than 9mm, or maybe a mid sized instead of a compact will be better for her. It all depends on her abilities.

Get her out there, get her some practice, then get her a gun.
 

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Take a look at a Kahr CM9. Perfect size for small concealment. My wife loves the feel of it.
 

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I would not go any smaller than a 9mm.

I immediately assumed something small would be great for my wife. Wrong. The PF9, in 9mm, has proven to be too much for her to handle.

On the other hand, she unexpectedly shoots my full sized 1911 .45 quite well.

My point is, smaller is not necessarily better for women (contrary to my assumption). Find what she prefers to use and what works for her. She might shoot .45 better than 9mm, or maybe a mid sized instead of a compact will be better for her. It all depends on her abilities.

Get her out there, get her some practice, then get her a gun.
This is very true..take her to a range and let her pick up everything in the case and then go shoot..
 

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My mother is 83 and carries a 38 snub Lady Smith. She shoots groundhogs in her garden from her second story bathroom window. It fits her hand well and she swears by it.
 

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Maybe a 380 revolver. She will always be able to tell if there is bullets in it. the cleaning process is easier plus its easy to just drop bullets into the wheel.
 

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Get her enrolled in a basic handgun safely and handling course. Take her to Allen Arms in Greenville and rent everything they have. If they don't have something she wants to rent, get her to handle whatever they have in the case.

At first, I would stay away from the small, lightweight revolvers or semis. Both may have an uncomfortable recoil for a newbie. That being said...

The "best" gun is the one SHE likes, not anyone else. It will be a compromise of:

1. Fit - It should fit in her hand like she was born with it there.
2. Reliability - It should go BANG about 99.8% of the time she pulls the trigger.
3. Accuracy - In HER hand. It's how well SHE shoots it.
4. Concealability - It should be comfortable enough to wear and easy enough to conceal so she won't leave it laying on the dresser at home.
5. Cost - She doesn't want to scrimp on her "life protector" weapon, but she probably doesn't need a $1,000 Kimber, either.
6. Enjoyment - The caliber and gun should be fun to shoot. If it isn't, she won't practice with it like she should.
 

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You never mentioned your mothers age, how old is she? It makes a difference in recommended guns. Old people don't learn very fast. Anyway 1st time shooters and owners are going to nee a simple opperating gun that easy to load and unload. Automatic handguns do not work for most of them. So, you will need a revolver that is double action only with no external safetys and a small enough caliber that she will not be afraid of it. These calibers will be acceptable in a prefered hammerless gun, .22, .32, or .38, nothing bigger. She will be plenty safe and will not have to worry about safetys or FTF, FTE, racking the slide and what to do before the gun will fire.;) Her gun has to be one she can grab, pull the trigger and put back away without concern about how to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You never mentioned your mothers age, how old is she? It makes a difference in recommended guns. Old people don't learn very fast. Anyway 1st time shooters and owners are going to nee a simple opperating gun that easy to load and unload. Automatic handguns do not work for most of them. So, you will need a revolver that is double action only with no external safetys and a small enough caliber that she will not be afraid of it. These calibers will be acceptable in a prefered hammerless gun, .22, .32, or .38, nothing bigger. She will be plenty safe and will not have to worry about safetys or FTF, FTE, racking the slide and what to do before the gun will fire.;) Her gun has to be one she can grab, pull the trigger and put back away without concern about how to do it.
She is in her 50s
 

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All good advice. Let her try em.

My wife (who hates guns) got a permit a couple years back when there was an "issue" and carried a S&W 642 w/ a Crimson Trace. It is very good at what it was designed to do.
 

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I would say a revolver in 9mm, .38, or 380 auto. Hammerless if she plans to purse carry.
 
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