Being a gunnie, I will occasionally venture to Gander Mountain – while their prices aren’t the best, they will at times have something that’s difficult to find or is worth paying a little extra for to have in hand “right now” as opposed to waiting for shipping. They also will sometimes have deals on used guns – every now and then something will pop up in their used gun case that is absolutely worth it. For example, yesterday they had not 1 or 2 or 3 but 4, 4 HK USPs in .40 S&W with night sights for about $500 each. That’s a deal for a USP…but you could also buy a brand new Glock 22 for that same price, so caveat emptor.
All that aside though, Gander Mountain is a great place to hear things that make your head hurt – and so I relate this story to you. Yesterday I’m idly cruising around and debating whether or not a used USP is really worth $200 more than a used Glock (answer: if you like HKs, yes otherwise it’s not) and I see a young couple talking to one of the counter guys about getting a carry gun for the female member of the couple. They’re standing over a rack of 1911s, so there’s a part of me that’s hoping that they’re going to do something smart like pull out an all steel, easy to shoot Kimber in 9mm – basically the easiest shooting gun on the planet. Needless to say, I was hoping in vain, as out of the case comes a micro-compact 1911 in .45 ACP with a 3 inch barrel. Let’s see, small grips, excessive recoil, short sight radius – clearly it’s the perfect first gun for a novice shooter! On the bright side though, it wasn’t a snub nosed revolver…but alas I spoke too soon, as the very next gun out of the case was a sierra foxtrot Taurus Titanium .357. Now you’ve hit the perfect gun: really excessive recoil, small grips, low ammo capacity, crappy sights, and to top it all off, a lousy trigger! IT’S PERFECT.
Rant mode off here for a second, as I’m going to talk to the ladies. Ladies out there, I implore you: if your husband wants to get you a gun, for the love of all that is good in this galaxy please demand that he take you shooting to a range that has rental guns if you’ve never fired a gun before. Hold as many guns as you can until you find one that fits your hand well and allows easy access to the controls. In fact, if you could find someone other than your significant other to help you select a firearm, that would be ideal as it would avoid any of his personal biases.
Now for the guys. Gentlemen. Men. Do not ever buy a gun for your wife unless she wants to get a gun. And then when you do, let her pick the gun. That’s it. Two simple rules. Don’t buy a “girl’s gun” or a “man’s gun” because there is no such thing. There are two kinds of guns in this world: guns that fit a shooter, and guns that don’t. Let her find a gun that fits her hands and that she enjoys shooting. Doesn’t matter if it’s a .25, a 9mm, or a .45 ACP. Let her pick.