* GUNS FOR WOMEN *
Most women purchasing a gun are going to get advice from a man on the type of gun and caliper size they need.
Unfortunately most men suggest guns that are PERFECT FOR A MAN...BUT NOT FOR A WOMAN.
After learning to shoot and getting my purchase permit I headed out into the world of male dominated gun shops. After stopping at a few I found a man who took time to explain each gun to me and he finally convinced me that I needed to carry the gun that he actually owned. The problem was he was a 200 lb body builder and I was not (ha ha). Needless to say I purchased a .40 caliber semi-automatic and bought the ammo and headed to the range.
While all the other women in my group were loading their clips with ease, I was struggling to the point of my thumbs nearly bleeding. When I finally got the gun loaded and ready, I took my position and began to fire. BAM BAM BAM. The noise was tremendous, the recoil was more than I ever wanted and by the time I was done shooting everyone was staring at me. Though I still hit the target my shoulders were sore and my head hurt.
This was NOT the right gun for me.
Of course my husband did not see my problem. He was gracious enough to take the gun (which I now see is a conspiracy on the part of men)
and I continued on my search for the right gun.
Unlike most men I know, I was not raised shooting a gun.
I knew very little about them and found that in this case knowledge and comfort
were the two most important things I needed to focus on.
Guns scare me and I needed a gun that I could feel safe around, know how to load and unload and that I could ensure was safe around my children.
These were not things that anyone in a gun shop had ever asked me about and I knew that needed to change.
When a woman comes into my shop the questions I ask are.....
1. Do you have children in the house (to me anyone under 18 is a child) SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY
2. Is this your first gun? I usually recommend a revolver for a first time gun owner - super easy to load, unload and clean.
3. Do you plan on carrying this gun for personal security? Makes a difference on size, weight and safety features
4. Do you plan on taking this gun out for target practice (which I strongly recommend so that you become comfortable with the gun)
5. Will anyone else be using this gun (at the range) most men don't like shooting pink guns
When a woman comes into my shop these are questions that THEY ask me about handguns....
1. How do I open the gun to put in the bullets? The revolver is the easiest of the handguns to load and unload. In the case of a semi-automatic pistol, some guns required you to load the clip and then ratchet the gun back to put one bullet in the chamber. Not all pistols require ratcheting. Make sure if you buy a semi-automatic pistol that you CLEARLY UNDERSTAND from the seller how to load the gun correctly. Guns should come with an instruction manual that should also have instructions. Do not be embarrassed to ask!!!! This is going to be your line of defense and you need to know how to use it.
2. What if the bullet jams? Revolvers do not jam. In the case of a semi-automatic pistol it is possible to have a bullet jam due to inferior ammunition; the gun needing to be cleaned or a weak or stiff clip spring. Jams do happen in semi-automatic pistols and you MUST know how to clear the jam safely. Ask your seller and read the instruction manual.
3. How do I know the gun is loaded? In the case of a revolver, you slide open the cylinder and can easily see if the gun is loaded. Some semi-automatic pistols have "load" indicators such as a colored dot. ALWAYS PRESUME THAT A GUN IS LOADED. When looking at a pistol always remove the clip and ratchet back the slide to view inside the gun to make sure it is empty. Do not look down the barrel or pull the trigger to check. All it takes is one bullet!
4. My husband said that I need a .40 or .45 caliber gun because anything smaller won't stop someone. More people are killed by a .22 cal. bullet then any other round. The purpose of a gun is to PREVENT harm, not to cause it. It is more important that you are able to load the gun and can control it .
I recommend a .38 special or 9 mm for woman. If they want a larger caliper I always suggest that they shoot one first before making that their first gun.
Some gun shops offer an indoor or outdoor range where you can rent a gun which is an excellent way to try different types of handguns.
5. My husband said I should have a gun with a laser...is that true? Lasers are very popular and definitely make a gun "cool" looking but I always tell people to know how to aim their gun correctly first, and not to depend on the red dot. On a bright sunny day the dot may not be visible.
6. How much should I spend on my first gun? Depending on the brand and style of gun you choose, your gun could cost anywhere from $250 and up. Most guns come with a basic warranty (if purchased new). We sell handguns that can cost up to $1500 but we don't recommend anything like that for a first time buyer. We sell a nice selection of revolvers for $300 and up. There is nothing wrong with a used gun for a first time owner as long as it has been inspected by an authorized gun dealer. Don't be afraid to ask friends and family for recommendations, it is an easy conversation starter!
7. If I lock up the gun and need it in a hurry, what do I do? Practice locking and unlocking your gun. Whether it is a cable lock through the gun itself or a trigger lock, make sure you know where the keys are and how it works. We do not recommend storing guns loaded. If you have a gun for personal protection leave a clip loaded but out of the gun (and out of the reach of children). My husband always teases me that if I ever needed my gun in a hurry I would be better off hitting the intruder with the gun box then trying to remove all the safety features. My response is that I have children in the house and that takes priority over everything else.
8. How do I clean the gun? How often? A clean gun is a gun that is going to serve you well. It takes very little time to clean a gun that has been fired and worth every minute. The instruction manual and/or gun dealer can show you how to properly clean and care for your gun. All inclusive kits are available for around $15.00
9. What difference does the barrel length make? A great bit of difference. The longer the barrel the more accurate the gun. Most conceal and carry guns are short barreled and made for easy storage on your body. Some people have a gun for carrying and a gun for target shooting. There are quite a few guns designed to do both, just let your seller know what you want your gun for. We sell a short barreled .380 that is perfect for self protection but not a gun I would take to the range.
10. How can I carry my gun? Check with your local gun laws. Every state is different. In North Carolina, you need a Conceal & Carry permit to carry the gun on your body (out of plain sight). We sell several purses with holsters built right into them (since most women would be unable to find a gun in a hurry if they simply dropped their gun into their purse (ha ha). There are holsters designed for wearing on your hip, concealing inside your pants and ankle holsters. We sell a t-shirt where the holster is sewn onto the fabric and can be worn under another shirt (for both men and women). How you carry your gun is just as personal as what kind of gun you have.
11. What is an ambidextrous clip release? It is a button on semi-automatic pistols that allows the user to release the clip from either side of the gun (preferred by left handed shooters). Not all guns come with this feature.
12. What if I already own a gun but I don't like it? Depending on your local gun laws and local gun dealers you may be able to trade your gun in for one that is right for you. Always check around since the value of a gun varies GREATLY from one gun dealer to another. Our shop offers consignment (most shops do not). Be cautious of the neighbor that "will take it off your hands". That is usually a good indicator that the gun is worth more than they are offering. Don't be afraid to call around or look your gun up in the "Blue Book" for reasonable values. Be careful of using web sites to determine the value since in most cases the price listed is "asking price" and not what the gun sold for. Check your local laws before selling your gun to a private citizen.
13. Someone gave me a gun. How do I register it? Check your local laws since State Laws vary. North Carolina does not have a gun registration so therefore you are entitled to own the gun. If you are going to transport the gun across state lines CHECK WITH EACH STATE you will be traveling in first. If you have a Conceal & Carry permit for your state check and see what other states allow you to carry your gun in their states.
14. Other than a gun, what do you recommend for personal protection? With the introduction of tasers, people now (depending on your state's laws) have the ability to have a home protection device that can give them time to stop the intruder and get help. Tasers are usually designed to "shoot" a pronged device up to 15 feet - an electrical charge is applied and the person usually drops to the ground for 5 seconds - giving you the ability to defend yourself without direct contact. A background check is required when a taser is purchased to active it. Most tasers cost over $250.00 and re-fill cartridges can be $30 or more.
15. What do I need to buy a gun? Check with local laws. In North Carolina a Purchase Permit or a Conceal & Carry Permit is required to purchase a handgun.
16. Can I buy a gun from a dealer in another state? Check with local laws. We can sell a gun to you and ship it to another state but it will be sent to a registered FFL Dealer (Federal Firearms Dealer). When you go to pick up the gun you must have whatever is required in your state (purchase permit, etc.).
You will pay the purchasing gun dealer for the gun and shipping and the receiving gun dealer will charge a "Transfer Fee" which may be around $25. All paperwork will be filled out by the receiving gun dealer. Bring your permit and identification (or whatever is required in your state). DO NOT buy a gun for someone else!