“That’s awfully generous of you! Did she specifically ask for that model?” I ask hoping she did, otherwise I’m going to have to have “The Talk.”
“No,” he replies, “but so-and-so says it the best gun for women on the market”. I cringe. Here we go…
Don’t get me wrong, this guy is AWESOME and I know he has the best intentions. He wants to surprise his wife with a wonderful gift meant to protect the life he so obviously cherishes, with THE BEST the industry has to offer. This is beautiful! A word of caution though to all men considering buying their wife a gun, this could also end in disaster, just like trying to buy your wife lingerie. There are a few who manage to crack the code and buy the perfect gun, but they are certainly in the minority.
I hear this complaint from women all the time, both personally and in online gun groups. Its rarely spoken of outside the sisterhood. We don’t want to seem ungrateful, but a firearm is such a personal item. Since you can’t return a firearm, and will definitely lose money on a trade, a wrong purchase can lead to disappointment.
So before you end up selling that gift in a parking lot to a buyer on Craigslist, gentlemen, please hear me out!
Does the gun fit her hand? More specifically, can she reach the mag release easily? Can she grip the gun comfortably? Without her input, you don’t know. Will she like the trigger pull? Women have about ½ to ⅔ hand strength compared to men. What feels great to you, may not feel that way to her. If it doesn’t fit or the trigger is too heavy, it will be unpleasant or difficult to shoot. The point is to encourage regular training, not discourage it.
Beware of Marketing
There’s a phrase in the industry: “Shrink it and pink it.” This phrase is so condescending. Micro pistols are notoriously unpleasant to shoot, and some women hate the thought of being pushed toward pink guns. It’s like a car salesman trying to sell us a car based on color- we want to know about the features!
Some men buy their wives guns for concealed carry without the consideration of concealability. Concealability is a major issue; many women find it difficult to carry and maintain their sense of style. This is one of the top barriers to women carrying daily. I love shooting full size guns. A classic 1911 or the Glock 19 are some of my favorite guns to shoot, but these are very difficult for ladies to conceal. Without her input, this gift might not fit her body well, and might not be carried.
So what’s a guy to do? I suggest surprising her with a gun shopping date. This is a gift, and shopping for it together could be a lot of fun!
Find a range that rents firearms and let her try them out before deciding on one. If you don’t have a range nearby that rents firearms, let her grip and dry fire as many as she would like. Just remember to check with the sales associate first, since some firearms, typically older rimfire, can be damaged by dry firing.
If that’s not something you’re interested in doing, I suggest encouraging her to get involved with an organization like The We’ll Armed Woman. Their instructors can help ladies make the best choice to meet their needs. They’re a non profit shooting organization for women that seeks to “Educate, Equip, and Empower women” in the safe use of firearms. There are chapters nationwide that meet monthly, and they have comprehensive online resources specifically for women. Got to www.thewellarmedwoman.com for more information, and www.twawshootingchapters.org for chapter membership.
Or, you could just ask her what she wants.
Women like to have choices, and you know what they say, “Happy wife, happy life!”
As a a rape, domestic violence, and stabbing survivor Autumn promotes and advocates for self-defense training, concealed carry, firearm safety, and continued firearms training. She hopes that by sharing her experiences, she will help change the public’s perception of who a gun owner is, and why the Second Amendment is so important for all Americans, especially women.
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