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I am planning to get my wife a handgun for protection at home while I gone. She is nervous about using my long guns due to their size. Which cal. would you recommend for a female the .380, .40 or the 9 mm? I am planning to go with an semi over the revolver.
 

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well i would suggest takeing her to a range that rents gun, and let her handle and shoot a few that SHE likes, not you or the salesman but her.
As long as it is of good make several of my female students shoot the sig 232 in 380 and love it. a few others shoot sig 225 in 9mm or the 239 in 9mm, a few have glocks as well , i suggest letting her try each of her choices and shoot hem and let her decide which she likes best! any of those calibers are fine
 

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funny, my sgt shot a man 2 yrs ago at distance of 9 feet with a 380 and dropped him dead! one shot stop guy died end of story yeap it was a head shot but he died! so go toss your trash around some palce else!
 

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Which Gun

All three calibers you mention are semi-autos. If you wife is a novice shooter, then you should consider a revolver. I like Ruger revolvers. They are extremely well made. If I were to choose a handgun for my wife, I would choose a Ruger SP101 357 Magnum with 2” or 3” barrel. Load it with 38 Special +P+ JHP or maybe Federal Hydro Shocks. It’s light enough for a woman, easy to handle with the 38 Special loads, and a revolver doesn’t have safeties and magazine catches, or “Is there one in the chamber?” to worry about. Just point it at the center of mass and pull the trigger. I would also make sure she practiced a LOT.

If you go with the semi-auto, then a 9mm would be a good choice. Again, IMHO Ruger makes the best of the best. Loaded with a good hot round, the 9mm comes in close to the 357 Magnum in performance (see www.chuckhawks.com). A Ruger P93 or even an old P85 is pretty light, and easy to control with the 9mm round. Having 10 to 15 rounds in the gun won’t hurt either. If you go with a semi-auto, then you might want to make sure she becomes very, very, very familiar with the gun.

Good shooting.
 

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Good 9mm -- a 9 x 18 Makarov

If you don't want to spend a lot of money, but you want to buy a good, small, safe-to-handle pistol, I would go for a Mak, which you can buy for under $200. The hammer is fairly tangle-free, but big enough to get hold of, and DA is not usually all that bad, either. A 95-grain bullet traveling at around 1000 fps is generating a considerable bit of energy. And any Mak I ever shot pretty well sent the bullet where it was aimed.
 

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Brian

Before it gets lost in the clutter, let me ditto Deputy's advise - get her shooting several handguns, pistols and revolvers, and buy what she is comfortable with, not what looks good or seems best. For home use, a short shotgun may be the best of all options if she is not gonna physically carry it but put it in some accessable place, the most likely scenario. The key here is to get her shooting before you buy anything.
 
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