So I was doing what I like best the other day – browsing through a gun shop. As seems to so often be the case, it was busy with lots of people and too few store assistants, and I found myself chatting with a woman waiting to be served. She was probably in her early 60s.
She was considering the purchase of her first ever firearm. Her adult children were encouraging her in this and were also in the store, but they had been distracted and were looking at other gun goodies themselves, leaving her to look at a small light weight short barreled pink revolver. Her son had recommended this would be a good gun for her.
I guess it might work as a carry gun, and it wouldn’t look out of place in a lady’s purse the way an ‘evil’ workmanlike blued steel creation might. So I approached the matter cautiously and asked her what she wanted it for – a carry gun or a home defense gun.
She said she’d never choose to carry it. She just wanted something for home defense. There had been burglaries in her neighborhood, and after years of hating and being scared of firearms, her worries about her own safety overwhelmed her dislike of guns, and with the active encouragement of her adult children she was now about to buy her own gun for self defense at home.
Her sons had recommended this pink revolver to her, because it looked nice and because it was small and lightweight.
Which scored them a fail on all three points.
Listen up, ladies. If you’re confronting a bad guy, you don’t want to show him a pink pistol. The only way that would work would be if he died laughing. If you need to present your weapon at a bad guy, you need to put the fear of God into him, and to immediately dominate and control the situation. He needs to know, at a very basic primal level, both that the gun pointed at him could kill him, and that the person pointing the gun is ready and willing to do so. Paradoxically, the more lethal looking your gun – and you – are perceived to be, the less likely you are to need to actually take a life. A pink gun doesn’t have nearly the same authority as does a regular blued, or black, or even stainless steel gun.
Now next, let’s talk about size. The heavier the gun, the easier it is to shoot, with less recoil. The longer the barrel, not only the heavier it is, but the more accurate it becomes and the ‘nicer’ it is to shoot, with less muzzle flash and muzzle blast.
If you’re not needing to choose a small lightweight gun to carry with you, then choose the biggest heaviest longest barreled pistol you can find as a home defense weapon. You’ll shoot straighter and better, and you’ll also dominate the situation much more with a big and ‘dangerous/deadly’ looking pistol than you will with a tiny ladies gun.
I tried to explain these issues to her, but her sons had told her to get a small pretty pistol, and I was merely a passing stranger in a gun store. Who was she going to believe?
And possibly, for some of you now reading this, I’m similarly merely some guy writing some sort of blog. That’s okay. Because you don’t have to trust or believe me (or, even if you’re tempted to, take note of that famous line ‘Trust, but Verify’). So, before you buy any gun, try it out, and also try out some other guns – bigger and smaller in size/weight; and of larger or smaller caliber.
You want to get a gun that you can fire a dozen times without it becoming painful to you, and which you can fire without flinching. Any such gun, for sure, will be much bigger and heavier than what you might have first expected.
As for the issue of revolver vs semi-auto, that’s a really complicated topic and the subject for another discussion entirely. And please don’t even get me started on the choice of caliber…..