Senior Lady Needs Some Advice
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Thread: Senior Lady Needs Some Advice

  1. Senior Lady Needs Some Advice

    I am 64 and haven't handled guns in over 30 years. I would like to take some gun handling courses and get a hand gun and a 22 rifle and possibly a shot gun. I live alone and these would be for protection. I would also enjoy doing some target shooting. I plan to buy these guns one at a time. Which gun should I purchase first? (note--I'm not a "little old granny" type. I lived in Alaska for many years and backpacked. I still ride horses.)

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    MA, Away from the liberal loonies...
    Depends on what you need/want the gun for. Like a tool, each gun has a purpose. What are you looking to do with it? What is the high priority? For fun shooting and practice I have several 22's both pistols and rifles... They work for home defense also. not the ideal tool for that purpose, but they will work. Ammo is cheap and plentiful for 22LR...

    For carry I have several compact and full size handguns. For home defense a shotgun would be a good choice in either 12ga or 20ga... It really depends on the task/purpose...
    You can give peace a chance alright..

    I'll seek cover in case it goes badly..

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by epona View Post
    I am 64 and haven't handled guns in over 30 years. I would like to take some gun handling courses and get a hand gun and a 22 rifle and possibly a shot gun. I live alone and these would be for protection. I would also enjoy doing some target shooting. I plan to buy these guns one at a time. Which gun should I purchase first? (note--I'm not a "little old granny" type. I lived in Alaska for many years and backpacked. I still ride horses.)
    It all depends on your priorities. I would definitely recommend taking the courses before making a selection. You may even be required by law to do so, depending on where you live.

    If protection at home is a high priority (known or perceived elevation of risk), then I would consider the shotgun first. I keep a Mossberg 500 12 gauge loaded with #00 buck shot for home protection.

    If protection outside the home is a high priority (again, with known or perceived elevation of risk), then I would consider the handgun first. If you prefer a revolver, .38 special and .357 magnum calibers are the most popular. If you prefer a semi-automatic, it's mostly a choice between 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP.

    If your known/perceived risk is low and you want to do a lot of target shooting before choosing defensive guns, then go with a .22 rifle or pistol. CHEAP to shoot at $0.03 per round...while the higher caliber handgun ammunition costs $0.20 to $0.60 per round for practice ammo. And while .22 caliber is not the best for defense of self and home...I don't know anyone who will willingly volunteer to be shot with one! Any gun is better for defense than NO gun.

    Hope this helps. And PS - 64 is the new 44. ;)
    S&W M&P 45; Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum; Charter Arms .38 Undercover

  5. #4
    The shotgun is the most effective home defense gun. The .22 is the least expensive to practice with. I would recommend the pistol if you can only get one. The pistol can be used inside the home and carried in your travels. The pistol is also where you are likely to get started in your training.

    Once you have selected your handgun training should be your next priority. I would suggest that you take a concealed carry class. Even if you do not yet choose to carry having the permit does give you the option. Even more important the CC class will give you some training in the legal aspects of gun ownership. You might want to consider competing in IDPA or other shooting sport to improve your skill. This will also put you in touch with a lot of like minded people who would love to help you develop your skills. I would recommend "In the Gravest Extreme" by Massad Ayoob as a great book. You might also like "The Cornered Cat".

    When you do choose a handgun do not go too small. Some women go for these cute little guns. A very small gun is an expert gun, they are difficult to shoot properly. The light weight causes them to kick quite a bit and you will not choose to practice enough. I recommend that you pick a compact (midsize) gun that fits your hand. I like the Glock 19. The 9MM is a good round, you can purchase inexpensive range ammo, quality hollow point ammo is available for carry purpose, and it has a relatively light recoil. Don't let me or anyone else pick your gun. Find a gun that feels right in your hand. Have fun, I hope you enjoy shooting as much as I do.
    Armed Citizens Legal Defense Fund

  6. Thanks for all the information. I think I will start with some classes to help me choose the right handgun and gain the necessary skills, then get a shot gun. There is a rifle range nearby that offers a lot of classes. Even tho I live on five acres in a rural area, I am surrounded by drug dealers and their customers. Time to be prepared. Thanks again!!

  7. #6
    Don't know what state your in.
    You might check if your state has ranges and training.
    In the Kansas City area the Lake City range has free
    Introduction to firearms class's just for women and follow
    up class's up through CCW for women taught buy a retired
    female officer.The CCW class cost some money but not as
    high as most.
    The first class's no firearm is required. They furnish them.

  8. #7
    I would start with a .22. They are relatively cheap buy and cheap to shoot, so you can practice a lot. The Glock 19 is a fine weapon, but the grip area is a bit big for those with small hands. Try handling as many different handguns as you can before you buy. Consider the S&W Shield, in 9mm or the S&W Bodyguard, in .380, and it comes with a laser attached from the factory. The Ruger LCP in .380 and the Ruger LC9, in 9mm are also good choices. Revolvers can use different grips that can fit any hand. S&W, Ruger, and Charter Arms all make quality .38 SPL revolvers. .38 SPL can be loaded from mild to wild, depending on what you feel comfortable carrying. In a shotgun, a 12 gauge is generally considered the best way to go if you can handle it. If not, a 20 gauge is still pretty effective. I recommend Winchester PDX1 ammunition for self defense. I prefer semi-auto shotguns, but pump actions are very popular as well. Remington and Mossberg are the top brands and the Winchester model 12's are also good. Good luck with your search.
    War to the Knife, Knife to the hilt.
    If we don't want to live in a trashy area, we all have to be willing to help pick up the trash.

  9. #8
    welcome to the forum epona! you will find all kinds of useful information here but the ultimate choice is yours
    best wishes stay safe whichever gun or guns you decide to purchase just be sure to practice and familiarize yourself with them so in case you do need to fire in self defense you can efficiently and effectivelySenior Lady Needs Some Advice-meow-hidenseek.jpg
    gun control is being able to hit your target

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Keysville Va.
    Check at the shooting range near you and see if there are any clubs that you can join. If you can you will most likely meet people that will help you along and both show you and let you shoot their diffrent type and calibre weapons. You will them have a broader base to make your decision on about the type and calibre weapon that you want.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Sandpoint, Idaho
    I'm with Phil. Sixty-four isn't really senior status these days :)

    Like others have said, try out as many guns as you can, especially when it comes to handguns. Can you find a friend who has a collection you can test? Or a range that rents different guns?

    In my experience, these are the things I look for in a handgun. They are pretty female-specific:

    1. Caliber: Higher calibers mean better protection, but harder handling. Experts will tell you .380 is the minimum you should carry, and generally vouch for 9 mm or .40

    2. Size: The larger a gun relative to its caliber, the easier it is to handle. In other words, a really big brick of a .22 is going to feel like shooting a BB gun. Soft and easy and you can do it all day. A tiny large caliber gun, like a super-compact .40, is going to hurt your hands and be hard to aim, because there is no frame to absorb the shock. Your hands and arms get it all. You can carry it, but you won't want to practice with it.

    3. Style: There are advocates for semi-autos and revolvers. There are pros and cons to each. I prefer the semi-auto.

    4. Brand: There are also lots of brands. Everyone makes the same kinds of guns, just higher or lower quality, more or less features. The exception is Glock. For the most part, all Glocks are larger caliber weapons. They all operate the same way, are virtually indestructible, simple, and have NO safeties. I think they're awesome weapons for self defense, but haven't met one yet that my delicate hands could handle. They are all too big for me, even with reduced grips, and the kick isn't something I would like to experience on a regular basis.

    I carry a Walther PK .380. Even at full-size, it's an easily concealable gun. The caliber is on the lower end of the spectrum, but it's easy to shoot and I can control it. I'd rather be in a situation where I have to put multiple controlled rounds into an attacker, than trying to handle some beast of a cannon and hoping I just get one good placement. I went through a few guns before settling on mine. So if you have that ability, I suggest the same.

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