Okay, this is my first post and I am sure not my last. I just was wondering if anyone else has noticed the uptick in females purchasing weapons? I feel as if the women are buying more than men do. I own a small shop Smoke Mountain Armory in Sevierville TN, and I have had more requests from woman to help them get rid of their current gun for something more fitting. What I have noticed is us men not taking the time to speak with these woman when they want to purchase a gun, we spend no time insuring that the weapon they have actually fits them and their needs. So listen up gentlemen, take your time with these ladies, ask questions and help them get a gun that fits them and their situation . It will make sure that if the lady wants to make another purchase she will come back to you but more importantly the lady is confident with what she carries and you know she can protect herself and you if needed. So slow down get to know the lady just like you would do if it was a guy friend and get their gear right for them.
My mother wants a gun, therefore, I think I’ll get her one EXPO weekend in MO (thats where she lives) but she keeps swearing by a .45 (She don’t know what brand )
What that means:
She can’t shoot a .45 it just sounds good! So, we should take a moment with lady friends or even strangers at gun counter.[I’ll make sure she gets the right one]
Oh, but welcome aboard!
Well said, and welcome!
My advice to you–make sure they shoot the guns before they buy them, and start them on a .22 and let them work up. BOLO for flinch, and help them work on trigger control.
An investment here will pay huge dividends (the next generation, voting, more safely armed citizens).
Well said and welcome, We had a similar thread awhile ago about training for women as well both of these issues go together training and the right firearm.
Great advise on the .22. The wife carries a Ruger LCR357. She trains with the LCR22. This way she knows the feel, and workings with firearm without the “OMG” with firing the 357. She does hit the 357 from time to time so as to remember that there is more recoil and more pep to it. She wants the big caliber to stop anyone that would be hurting the children she says. More power to ya’.
She figures that just the noise alone will send a bad guy to flight if she only gets 1 round off.
That’s an AWESOME field observation… I believe it’s true, but always nice to have additional confirmation.
I see this a LOT. It’s not so much active discouragement or “well now little lady…” or “good ol’ boys club” as it was 30 years ago, but it’s often not yet a recognition of how to support this critical new segment of the market. There are a LOT of women’s groups forming up, and classes, and women’s shooting orgs, and the women’s CC groups on FB are VERY active, but yeah, a lot of gun stores aren’t getting it yet on how to help develop the skillset needed for new women shooters.
This is AWESOME advice
Welcome to the group @Edward62!
Also… I’m always interested in personal observations about what you’re seeing, what’s working, what’s not, and anything that surprises you about your new and increasing female contingent… anything you see that’s a surprise?
yeah, lots of folks think the sound of a pump shotgun will stop a badguy too… oy! Just keep on teaching her better! An ordinary person? yes. A crazed or drugged bad guy with nothing to loose? not so much.
Yes, I am always willing to help where I can.
@Edward62 and everyone here another thing to keep in mind is it isn’t just the gun store owner’s and employee’s that do not support women very well. Our husbands, boyfriends, and male friends can be just as bad as well. I remember when I was deciding on which EDC I wanted my man was like you need to get xxxxx brand and model in such and such caliber. I replied back with that’s a pretty large handgun and hard for me to conceal on my body with what I wear. Then I got “CC is purse carry for a woman”. Ummmmm, no and there’s plenty of talk on here why it’s not always the best choice. Fortunately for me having grown up around firearms and having been in the military I know a bit more than someone who hasn’t. Yeah, that was fun teaching him otherwise lol.
I am not a trainer. Maybe I should be? LOL
I have help more than a few women get comfortable with shooting. My ‘date’ started at zero, and worked up to competition, then CCW. I do let them figure it out, with some pointers here and there. May not be the right way to some I suppose. My circle of friends is just as supportive, especially if they want to shoot 3gun… LOL We LOVE to see women out at the range.
When my date wanted to get a CCW gun she already had an idea of what she wanted. I drove her the 2 hours to the indoor range. She rented and shot the pistols she was considering, and came away with a winner. That has been her carry gun since, and yes, she shoots it regularly too.
I will say though that she has run into the pandering to women types at the gun stores. They don’t like it when she knows more about ammo or guns than they do (she also reloads). Or that she has an informed opinion about anything gun related. I guess small blonde women are not supposed to know such things? Should have seen the faces when she went to buy her .30-06 hunting rifle and scope…LOL
@Zee @Lacy Zee, I’m so glad to see you’re a moderator and USCCA instructor. You’re super and have so much knowledge and experience, plus you’re not about to tell it like it is, in a very respectful, interesting way. Like Lacy, I’d be glad to throw my 2 cents in for discussions in which I can offer some perspective. I was in the military for 21 years and although I didn’t grow up around guns, I have spent a lot of time around them in my adult life, much to my joy.
Women are just getting interested in carrying weapons or even being around weapons, and I salute that change. There’s a long way to go, though, and men can help out a lot. Talking to and listening to women and what is making them think about carrying a gun can go a long way to helping her decide what she needs. It’s important not to be condescending or know-it-all, but most men, I think, would rather make a difference in their women’s decisions in a responsible way than in another, less acceptable way. It’s fun to have a partner in shooting and carrying, and that is where listening and talking will get you. Emphasis on LISTENING! Women who are just coming into the market and mindset often don’ t know what to ask or what to look at, so a respectful, interested conversation can be so helpful for all concerned.
I recently went with my sister to a shooting range. She is brand new to guns and shooting and didn’t know anything except that the muzzle is where the bullet comes out and the trigger is what you have to pull to make that happen. Unfortunately, she invited her boyfriend, who was one of those males who owns a gun, doesn’t ever shoot it or ask questions, and wants to be the instructor for newbie females like my sister. I had to correct a lot of what he told her and showed her, which didn’t make me especially popular with him, but I was nice about it and tried my best to include him in the discussions so his ego wouldn’t be offended. It all worked out well enough, and my sister had a great time and learned a lot, but I shudder to think what would have happened if she had gone with him alone! He was not a very good shot, as you can imagine, and I manage to get fairly nice groupings, so my sister was able to distinguish between the expertise of her boyfriend and me, to a great extent. It was not a hostile outing at all, don’t mistake me, but I ran into a situation that called for finesse and respectful treatment of someone who knew less than I, which is similar to what most men encounter with less experienced and knowledgeable females. It definitely goes both ways. Another thing that helped was that my sister was not afraid to ask questions and to take instruction, so she was a good student and was hitting her mark nearly every shot by the end of the session! She’s going to be better than I am if she keeps up the practice and stays interested. Heck, maybe she’s better now!!! I certainly have to watch my ego, too!
Hope this forum takes off and we get lots of feedback. Oh, and I still take lots of instruction, too!
@MarkinMT Sounds like you SHOULD be a trainer! Your approach sounds excellent, both respectful and informative and really supportive! Keep it up!
BTW, @MarkinMT, what was the pistol your date settled on and why? I’m very interested to know…
Welcome to the community. Great topic, great first post. Shortly after 12/19/18 (you can do forum search if interested). My wife decided she wanted to get her Concealed Carry Permit. So I took her to the range taught her the 4 Universal Safety Rules, grip, site picture, etc. When it came time to go to the line I noticed she was tense. We talked, and decided to get her a woman to train her. There was an amazing young woman at the range, former Marine, and she helped my wife.
As a “graduation present” I bought her a nice M&P Shield with a laser in .380. She shot it once. Then she went to my safe and got out my full size Ruger .45. That .380 still sits in my safe.
That’s her at the range. Her instructor taught her to shoot pelvic area. I always wince when I look at her targets and remind myself and “the boys” don’t piss off the wife.
That is an awesome story. Well done!
Thanks from me on behalf of all women; I’ve been blessed with just the kind of help you are giving the women in your store. For seven years, my EDC was a 9mm over/under Derringer, but as I got older and less physically able, a few years ago I decided it was time to upgrade. I had to try on a lot of pistols in order to find a slide I could rack with my weakened hands and I have left stores and gone to others simply because the help I was getting was not the kind of help that you’re recommending- the patient, ‘I’ll help as long as you need’ kind. You already know how grateful the ladies are, and I hope women everywhere will benefit from your advice.
^^^ excellent question @MarkinMT … maybe you SHOULD … we can always use more well-educated trainers
^^^ and that’s what I’m talkin’ about
Aaaaaand… we still run into that sometimes. I don’t see too much of it lately, but it still occasionally happens. And if they keep it up, my money goes elsewhere… and I tell them why. And then I refer my friends and students somewhere else.
The best solution I have for this situation is my hubby… If I know its going to be an issue, or if I’m stepping in at a range where I see something has to get handled, he engages the guy and they go talk gun stuff or shoot together at their pace and leave me working with the beginner. Works out well for everyone.
If I’m flying solo, I’ll sometimes suggest that since when guys take their ladies to shoot they don’t get to do much of their own shooting, maybe he’d like to go do some shooting while I work with the gal. Often there’s resistance initially, followed by relief they won’t acknowledge, but it can work for everyone.
@Jane2 What gun did you get to replace your derringer? Have you ever looked at the S&W M&P Shield EZ in .380? It is really easy to rack, load, and clean, built especially to be EZ to do all those things! I totally understand how difficult it can be to rack and field strip a weapon, and the need to find something easier. I also have the problem with my 1911s, and have been known to take them to my local gun shop for a good cleaning so I don’t have to work so hard at taking them apart and putting them back together. They’re happy to do it for me, too! I am a good customer, of course! LOL
@Zee do you ever loan your hubby out? Sounds like he’s a handy guy to have around!