Teaching Your Wife to Shoot

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

One of your biggest defense challenges may very well be in getting your wife to shoot. The kids are usually all for it; but many women are afraid of guns, a fear driven by their dangerous reputation and the noise they make.

My wife was very much in favor of my buying guns and getting a concealed carry license. We live in an area where there is a lot of drug trafficking and the associated danger. She wanted me carrying, so that I could better protect her and the kids. But she was so afraid of guns, that she would close her eyes, every time one appeared on the television screen.

But there was a big flaw in her reasoning. That is, I’m not always at home or with her when she’s out. So there was no way that I could protect her at those times. Even though I brought that up to her, she wasn’t convinced. She didn’t want to shoot, even though she encouraged me to.

Getting Her On Board

As I was looking for a way to get my wife to try shooting, our local range had a couples night, as a means of getting women into the range. That was my chance and I took it. I invited my wife to go on a “date” (she didn’t see it that way) at the range. She only agreed to try and get me to shut up.

This was important, because it gave my wife an opportunity to talk to women who are shooters. That was an important part of her coming around. Shooting is seen as a masculine pursuit in our society, making it that much more foreign to most women. But seeing women, even feminine women, who were packing iron and could shoot well showed here that it wasn’t just for men.

That got her far enough, that she was willing to try it out. That was the breakthrough that I needed. I got another breakthrough in that we won the door prize drawing, receiving a gift certificate for a free concealed carry class (that’s required before getting your license in the state in which I live). Since I already had my license, my wife decided that SHE won the gift certificate and she was going to use it.

Teaching Her to Shoot

This was a big deal for my wife, because she was afraid of guns. But she decided that she was going to overcome the fear and learn to shoot. She wasn’t going to be able to get her concealed carry license otherwise. So, we went to the range twice a week between the time she won her concealed carry class gift certificate and the time the class was scheduled.

One of the more foolish things you can do with a gun is to give a new shooter a powerful gun to shoot. I’ve seen lots of supposedly funny videos of people getting knocked on their cans or having a gun hit them in the forehead, because it was their first time shooting and they didn’t know what to expect. That’s a great way to get someone seriously hurt, if that’s your goal. If not, start them out with something light.

I started my wife out with a .22 semi-automatic pistol. The low recoil and small amount of noise that the .22 makes is much easier for new shooters to deal with. Then, when she was comfortable with that, after about two weeks, I stepped her up to a .380, and then even later, up to my 9mm Glock. Even though I carry a .45 daily, I have never given it to her to shoot. It would probably be too much for her.

From the beginning, I had my wife use an auto-loader for filler her magazines. She doesn’t have the hand strength necessary to force rounds into a magazine, especially once the feed spring starts getting well compressed. With an auto-loader, she can load her own magazines, without problem.

Picking a Gun for Her

One of the problems women shooters have is that they don’t have the hand and arm strength to deal with the recoil spring on larger caliber semi-automatic handguns. The solution to this is to either have them shoot revolvers or stick to lower calibers. My wife’s carry gun is a .380. That’s not an ideal defensive carry caliber, because it’s a low power round, but it’s better than nothing.

In looking for a concealed carry pistol for my wife, my main criteria was in finding her something that she could handle. I found it, in the SigSauer P250, .380 caliber. This gun has the lightest recoil spring of any semi-automatic pistol I’ve seen, making it ideal for my wife’s weak hands. She is able to rack the slide easily, making it possible for her to do normal gun manipulations, without my help. This gun came with tritium sights already mounted, which I consider an important upgrade to have.

A Quick Wrap-Up

One important factor that I discovered in the course of teaching my wife and picking her gun is that if we expect our wives to shoot, we need to make it enjoyable for them. That means picking guns and calibers that are appropriate to them, not trying to get them to shoot what is appropriate for us. It also means going to the range when there aren’t so many people, so that they don’t have to put up with all the noise.

Now, my wife has been carrying for two years. She is comfortable enough with her gun, that she goes to the range alone to practice, if I can’t make it. While she isn’t at my level yet, she has become proficient enough that she can defend herself, if necessary.

I’ve always felt that if anyone needs to carry concealed, it is women. Now my wife and my daughters are able to defend themselves. When a woman pulls out a gun, it gives criminals pause, because they were expecting an easy victim. Well, we don’t have victims in my family, and I hope you don’t have them in yours.

So, like always, keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand, and don’t forget to teach your wife and kiddies to do the same.

Chris and Dr. Rich

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