Wednesday, March 16, 2011

(Chortle) Just when you thought something was so obvious it didn't need to be said...

Breda's got a post about how a lot of gun dealers still suggest .38 snubbies to woman customers looking for a first handgun. She thinks this is very bad advice:
Sure, snubbies live up to a lot of their selling points (It's small! It's light! It'll fit in your purse!) but no one ever seems to tell women what it feels like to shoot one. So let me say it right now...

It sucks.

A lightweight .38 snubnosed revolver is quite possibly the worst choice for a potential new gunchick because, you know what? Practicing with one enough to actually be able to hit your target is the opposite of fun. The recoil hurts, your hand goes numb, and if the trigger is heavy, JMB help you...your finger will be sore and red long after your trip to the range. You'll be tempted to give up and let your "best gun for a woman" collect dust in a drawer somewhere.
That's pretty much always been my take on it. The lighter the pistol the heavier the recoil, all other factors being equal. I've never understood why lightweight revolvers with heavy triggers and lousy sights are so commonly offered as the best choice for new shooters who are likely to have issues with recoil and the hand strength it takes to keep a light revolver on target while you drag a DA trigger through what it needs to do its thing. You still hear the same bad advice year after year, but I'd have thought a bunch of experienced shooters would consider it so obvious it barely even needed to be said.

Which just shows how wrong I can be, because you gotta check out the comments she got! I haven't seen such an argument since a forum poster said something nice about 9mm.


Anonymous said...

I agree 100% - snubbies are small, but not fun to shoot, more an endurance. I did buy a .22 magnum snubbie though - that is a definite mouse gun, but figured if I live long enough to become very old and arthritic, the recoil from that would not hurt nearly as much as a .357 snubbie (which for record for me feels like a Black Cat exploded in my hand everytime I shot it).

My Kel-Tec P3AT is much the same - very light gun, but recoil from the .380 in such a light gun isn't exactly pleasant. But that one sure is compact.

David H. said...

Just read through the comments, and it seems to me that it was mostly one guy being willfully obtuse, with a bunch of folks trying to gently introduce him to reality. Still, mildly entertaining. ;)

Anonymous said...

Y'know, I've been studiously avoiding jumping in here.....obviously I failed.

A 38 snubbie is an excellent carry gun. It is a lousy plinker/target weapon.

Using it as the gun of choice for a newbie shooter, absolutely not...Hell, *I* don't shoot my carry gun (a 357 snubbie) at the range much...its just too unpleasant to shoot.

But for its intended purpose, lightweight, small footprint, lotsa punch, simplicity, its tough to beat.

The very best carry gun is the one you brought. If its too heavy/large/bulky, it will stay in the dresser drawer at home.

Joel said...

Absolutely. My CC gun is a PA-63, which is basically an aluminum-frame PPK in 9mm Makarov. Definitely recoils, definitely has crappy sites and a short barrel. I carry it in situations where I'd be shocked to actually need a gun, but I know I can hit with it because I'm fairly experienced shooter and pistol recoil doesn't bother me.

Of course in situations where there's a good chance I will need a gun, I carry a rifle.

MamaLiberty said...

If anyone is interested in the opinion of a woman, and a woman who trains others, you guys are all wet.

The "ultralight" revolvers, of any length, are ugly to shoot- no questions asked. I would not recommend them to anyone at all. I keep one to show my students the difference between them and a regular steel revolver.

The ultralight is not the only option.

I carry an SP101 Ruger .357m in stainless. It has a 2 1/2 barrel. It is easy to shoot well and the long trigger pull is the SAFETY!! It is no more onerous to use than the fool mechanical "safety" on most semi - autos.

This revolver is an ideal first gun for a woman - IF it fits her hand and feels good to her. Women choose all kinds of guns, for all kinds of reasons, just as men do.

But the revolver is what I start all novices with in training. As they learn, they can progress to any other gun they find they like - and I give them the opportunity to shoot a lot of different guns.

My students learn both sighted and point shooting methods, depending on the range. They also learn to shoot with either hand ALONE. Most do not have the hand strength to do that last with a semi-auto.

My rule for a gun is to carry the largest caliber one can reliably and consistently control. If that is a tiny .22 short, so be it... any gun is better than no gun. Especially to start with.

Do not, I beg of you, discourage anyone - especially women - from starting out with small (not ultralight) revolvers. They don't do every job in the world, but neither does any gun. They have a very solid place in the larger scheme of things... or they would not have been around for so very long.

[/rant] :)