Gun Range Frederick | Shooting MD | Firearms Training 21704 - Machine Gun Nest

Purchasing the RIGHT Firearm for a Novice Female Shooter:


Guys looking to get your lady into the sport of shooting? Or ladies have a desire to learn yourself, but not sure where to start? Lets us help you from a ladies point of view…

Starting off shooting I started with BB guns at beer cans in the back yard, and a .22, which when I was younger was great. Once I started getting into the sport of shooting though and found out it was something I love doing, I needed to start somewhere else. Luckily for me I had some good friends and family who were able to start me off on the right foot.

So I want to break it down for those ladies looking to learn and guys who are looking to get your gal into the sport.  Here are some tips that might help make her first experience a good one because who knows, this might even become something that she enjoys doing more than you do…

1. Size… It Does Matter

            One thing I’ve learned is that just because I’m a women, doesn’t mean I need the prettiest and smallest gun out there. In fact, I don’t personally care about the color and I want something that is going to give me a little bit of a challenge. Now settle down guys, just because I’m saying the smallest thing isn’t the right fit doesn't mean the biggest is either. So many times at TMGN we’ve seen guys put some little pocket pistol chambered in .40 in a ladies hand and once she shoots it she hates it.  That is because it’s just to much to start off with. Finding the right fit makes a big difference.

Our recommendation at TMGN is a Full Size 9mm. Lets break it down even a little bit more…

Frame Size: Why a full size pistol? Great question… Ladies, don’t let the full size of this pistol intimidate you. Starting off with a full size, metal framed gun will actually help reduce the amount of recoil you feel in your hands when firing the gun. That’s because it weighs more.

Think of it like this… If you are driving down a back road and accidentally hit a deer, which do you think you’re going to feel it more in? An SUV or a small compact car? … The compact car of course…same concept.

Caliber Size: We strongly recommend to start off with a 9mm. Here’s a few quick bullet points on why we think it’s the best place to start…

   This ammo is readily available at a decent price
   Great options for both target practice and personal protection
   Effective round for defense … Most police officers carry it
   Just enough recoil, when firing this caliber, to learn proper recoil management. (It’s important to learn good habits from the beginning and some smaller calibers such as .22 don’t tend to have enough recoil, for most people, to actually reenforce proper recoil management habits. A .22 for most people is easy to shoot even with bad form, but don’t get comfortable here, give yourself credit you can handle more.)
   Largest selection of firearms available

Here are some recommendations of some good Full Size 9mm pistols that we like to start off some of our new shooters with…

Glock 17

Glock 17

Sig Sauer P-226

Sig Sauer P-226

Springfield XD-M

Springfield XD-M

CZ P07

CZ P07

One of the most important things when starting off is to make sure whatever gun you first shoot is a good fit for you. Guys, just because you like it and it’s your baby doesn’t mean this is going to work best for her. If you want her to come back make sure to get the right fit for her!

Some things that you want to think about when trying out a new gun to find the best fit…

   Can you properly grip the firearm? (Proper grip is a lesson for another time so we’re going to leave this up to the awesome dude who brought you to go over the basics for now.)
   Can you easily manipulate the trigger?
   Can your fingers easily wrap around the firearm to get a good hold of the firearm?
   Does it feel comfortable in your hands?

Ladies, try holding a couple different firearms to find what fits best in your hand. This is about you having the best experience and it all starts with having the right gun in your hands.

If you have smaller hands, like myself, and some of the recommended full sizes are a bit to big, no worries. Some other great options that are just a tad smaller but still with a good weight are…

Glock 19

Glock 19

Sig Sauer P229

Sig Sauer P229


+  Basic and Simple: this is a great starter because there isn't much to it.
+  Rarely going to fail: you wont have to worry about many malfunctions on a revolver so when you’re first learning you can really focus on the basics.

-    Don’t have a safety: for somebody new sometimes they like the comfort of having that safety device on the firearm.
-    Full Size can be more expensive: this may or may not be an issue for you. If you are looking to purchase a firearm this very well could be a factor but if you are just looking at getting into it, this could be something that doesn’t matter at all at this point.
-    Less options: Although a great firearm choice, you will be more limited on options with revolvers the you will semi-automatics.
-    Not a bad carry option for a purse: they make small frame revolvers for personal defense, however they have a limited number of shots, and aren’t the best to carry on your body.  Carrying it in a purse would typically be a better option for a woman.

Looking for a great Revolver option… We recommend the Ruger GP100, reasonably priced and chambered in .357 magnum.  This makes the gun versatile because it will allow you to shoot .38 special, .38 +P and .357 mag. with one firearm…

Ruger GP100

Ruger GP100


+  Several Options: This allows you to really find what is the best for you but not limiting your choices.
+  Large Price Range: Because there is such a large selection of these there is a very large price range as well. You will have more options in a lower price range then you would a revolver, however there are several, more expensive options as well. Thus allowing you to really find the best gun for you need.
+  Great Concealed Options: You may not be looking into getting your concealed carry permit right away, however if later down the road you decided to, you’d have several choices for that, and you’d already have a familiarity with how the firearm works.  Plus online the revolver, some of these options can be very easy to conceal under clothes.

-    More to Learn Upfront: There is more to the semi-automatics with how they work compared to the revolver and more things to learn upfront. For example, loading the magazine, racking the slide, and properly operating the firearm.
-    More Malfunctions: Although this is still a rare occurrence, compared to the revolver, you do have more chances of a malfunction with a semi-automatic. Although learning how to correct them most malfunctions is simple and a great skill to have. 

Some last tips…

*Ladies: Don’t doubt yourself. Yes it can be a little intimidating at first, however with the correct girl and stance you can handle much more then you think. Don’t sell yourself short.

*Guys: If you want to keep your lady coming back to learn more, remember to make this first experience about her. It’s about finding the right gun for her and that’s not always what you like.

*Try to find a range near you, like TMGN, that you can rent a couple options or hold a couple different firearms to find what is the best fit for you.

Shooting can be a blast to do (pun intended), a great stress reliever and an empowering experience when done in a safe manner. Having the right understanding and the knowledge of it is the most important thing. At TMGN we want to help change the way people think about guns and gun ownership one experience at a time and we hope some of these tips, from some of the TMGN ladies, can help make your first experience a great one!

Better with video? or want to share some of this knowledge with someone you know?… no problem! Check out our video explaining these same things on TMGN TV…

PewPew On Ladies!

           ~ Hailey Jones

Comment below on your first time shooting and what you took away from it to help other ladies as well!