- Published on Thursday, 08 April 2010 22:29
- Written by Christine
When women look for a firearm, be that a pistol or a rifle there are considerations that the average man does not need to be concerned with. The average woman has a smaller hand than the average man and a shorter arm span also. As I am sure you have found, guns are marketed for men or children. Yep you either get a full length rifle or a little youth version.
As a woman, when you go to buy a rifle you need to pay special attention to the length of the rifle and the fit of the rifle into your shoulder. It is sometimes recommended that a woman get a standard rifle but with a youth stock on it to accomdate the difference in length of the arms. This way the you have a full length barrel but a shorter stock that accomodates a shorter arm span than the average man.
When it comes to purchasing a hand gun you the trigger and hammer pull have to be considered. My .44 Mag is hard for me to fire not just because it is a big, powerful gun but because the length between the grips and the trigger is just slightly too long for my finger reach. Oh I can get there but it is harder and really does not provide a proper hold. I would not use it as a primary protection weapon for this reason.
When we were looking for a gun for my mother we had to take into consideration the hammer pull on her revolver, as well as the length of her trigger pull. The little .22 revolver she picked out fits perfectly in her hand. If the distance is too long for her thumb to reach the hammer or if the hammer is too hard for her than it would not be a good gun for her. The same would go for the trigger.
Most men have more hand strength than women. My husband has a great little Kel-Tec P9 and the fit in my hand is actually really nice. I was considering getting on too until I tried to pull the slide and found that the slide is so hard on it I could not do it without really going into some unusual holds that would not be same and would probably not be recommended when speed is in need of my response.
The weight of a weapon is also a consideration. Depending on your upper-body strength some rifles can really be a literal pain to hold for any length of time. I love my Mosin-Nagaunt but without a rifle rest it can be quite a task to keep it on target for any length of time. I use a sling when I do not have a rifle rest but it is still a challenge to maintain target with that much weight. The Marlin 336a weighs about half of what the Mosin does and with a sling it can be quite easily held on target without assistance.
Weight is not just a consideration for rifles but also for pistols. If you have a pistol that is too heavy for your hands it will be hard to keep on target. A gun that is too heavy for your hand can also add to limp wrist syndrome (LWS). LWS is not a real technical term but something that I call it when a person fires a gun and their wrists are not held stable which allows the gun to fling up and down limply causing loss of target. This can also be very dangerous for obvious reasons.
I would recommend that you go to a gun range and rent a few guns to try and see what they feel like before you purchase a gun. This is especially important for any gun that you are considering for concealed carry or for home defense. The gun range that we frequent is often visited by very friendly people that love to share their guns with others. I can not tell you how many times I have gone to the gun range and had people ask me if I wanted to fire their guns. Of course in return if you have a gun you should offer to allow them to shoot yours too.
This page will continue to be a work in progress. If you have additional information to share on helping to fit the best gun for the female hand please email us so we can review them and update this article.