Inasmuch as I have owned different kinds of firearms during the last 60 years or so, most people who know me consider me to be a bit of an expert. Well, I don’t know about that, but I have had a number of different types and learned how to use them. So,I can admit that I do have some experience with guns.
Because of the escalating epidemic of crime that's occurring in America, some men are thinking that, because they are unable to be with their wives every minute of the day, these ladies need a gun to protect themselves. A question I often hear is : What would you recommend for my wife? I want something that is a smaller size that she can handle and has enough horsepower to get the job done. Is there anything that would work for her?
My answer is : “There ain’t no such animal! If there was, I’d want one for myself. The thing is, that to have power coming out of the barrel, you’re going to have recoil on the other end. You gotta take it to give it! Has she ever fired a gun before?” Most of the time the answer is “no.”
So, then I make some recommendations. “If she is new to shooting, a revolver is preferable. It can be kept loaded and ready to go with just a pull of the trigger. If she gets a misfire, she can just pull the trigger again to cycle another bullet beneath the hammer. (A new shooter should not have to learn the 2 handed procedure to clear a semi auto handgun until she has had some experience IMHO).
I recommend that she get at least a .38 Special. If her hands are large enough, I would get her a .357 Magnum and shoot .38 Specials in it. If the extra power is ever needed, the gun could handle it. Also, if you can afford it, get a .22LR revolver which is similar to the other revolver. .22LR is cheap to practice with and, if she is a novice shooter, she needs a couple of thousand rounds under her belt to be fully proficient. And, if possible, she should get some professional training. You can’t do better than that!
You can’t just hand a gun to anybody and say: “Here you are. Now, you’re protected!” It doesn’t work that way. It’s like playing music; you need practice, practice, practice! Once she reaches that [point, you could purchase a high capacity semi-auto pistol for her. But, nothing less than 9X19 Luger. I think that at that time she would be qualified to protect herself and her family if it ever becomes necessary.