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Women Shooters vs the Small Pistol

Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to have a few classes full of women seeking their own training with their firearm.  They have all been very coachable and eager to learn.  Most of them had limited experience firing and operating their firearm.  Almost all of them had their firearm purchased for them by a loved one.

I have seen mainly two calibers; .380 ACP and 9mm.  Most are firing a compact or subcompact firearm from a quality manufacturer.

I learned a couple of nuances that are women specific.  Most women’s pants don’t have belt loops. Who would have thought that belt loops could become an issue for concealed carry for women.  On-body carrying of a firearm can be a little challenging without the ability to securely attach your holster.

Most of the women could not find a quality holster to fit their firearm. They carry their firearm in a purse most of the time or the pistol is left in their vehicle (P.S. the vehicle is not a holster).

The need to on body carry is recognized but very inconvenient to achieve.  Once the Ladies are exposed to the Phlster Enigma and the options that it provides for them, almost all are excited to try it out. 

The next issue identified is that of the micro pistol.  Finding a high quality Kydex holster for a micro pistol is difficult. 

I try to accommodate the shooter and allow them to work with their equipment.  The sub compact pistol often has a great deal of recoil with a small grip in which to mitigate the recoil.  The shorter slide requires a stiffer recoil spring.  This means that it requires more strength for the shooter to rack the slide. The smaller slide requires more grip strength to squeeze that slide and pull it rearward. The shorter sight radius makes it less accurate than a pistol with a longer sight radius.

I allow my students to shoot their guns for a little while.  I hate to see them get frustrated.  It is about that time that I get a midsize to large frame pistol from my bag and let them give it a try.  I really try to watch their faces as they start shooting. They will shoot a few shoots and then look at the gun, look at me, look at the target, look at the gun, and then say, “Ohhhhhh, I see what you mean.  I really like this.  I hate that other gun.”  Immediately their confidence goes way up.  Their performance makes a large jump, and they start having a really good time. By the end of class, I am usually writing down exactly what gun they were shooting and what holster they should buy.

If I had a piece of advice for the new Lady Shooter, it would be to go out and shoot a few guns before you go and buy one.  James Yeager of Tactical Response would say that” You should only carry a gun you are willing to get into a gunfight with.”  Little guns are cute but have no place in a gun fight. Your gun should have at least a 12-round capacity. Most gunfights statistically consist of 3-5 rounds at 3-5 yards in 3-5 seconds.  You must be able to access and be able to deliver those rounds quickly and accurately.  Selecting the right equipment and testing it through training is the only way to pressure test your gear.

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