Sadly, the myth that women are somehow less able or too weak to shoot a powerful handgun exists; it exists in gun stores, on the web or anywhere a woman might go to purchase a firearm. I was at a gun show recently and approached one of the vendors to look at the guns he had for sale. The first thing he said to me was "so, you are looking for a smaller, lower caliber handgun that you can handle, right?" I gave him a "look" maybe "stare" is a better word, and walked away.. What we WANT is a gun that will do what a gun needs to do....stop an attacker in his tracks.
The best size and caliber of that gun depends on the same factors it would for a man looking for a gun for self protection. Most agree that a small caliber handgun like a .22 revolver or a .25 or .32 caliber automatic just isn't powerful enough to stop a 250lb attacker, who might be high on drugs, which makes it less of a deterrent or even worse, make him even angrier. So a larger caliber gun is really more of a necessity than of choice.
So what type of handgun is best for self defense? There are two choices, a revolver or a semiautomatic pistol. Your decision will be based on your specific and unique needs, physical traits and your likes and dislikes.
Revolvers and semi-automatic pistols each have their own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. The one best for you will be based on how you prioritize or rank these advantages and disadvantages. The size of your firearm must be considered if you plan on concealed carry. It has been shown that the smaller the gun, the harder it is to grab away from you, but you want the accuracy and power necessary to stop an attacker. Hand strength and your tolerance for recoil are other issues to consider.
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