Females and Firearms Series: Why the Choice Needs to be Yours

In a world where personal safety is paramount, the choice of a firearm is a decision many of us might face at some point. It’s an essential decision, one that’s not only about protection but also empowerment.

But here’s the thing: when it comes to choosing your firearm, it’s crucial to be the captain of that ship. I’m talking about making that choice yourself, rather than relying on someone else, especially a well-intentioned male partner.

This advice is based on observations of a trend I see often with women who attend my classes and our local women’s shooting group. Many times, women will regale me with tales of how much they dislike the gun that their partner provided to them, and how much happier they are once they picked out their own firearm based on their own needs and preferences. More alarmingly, there have been many times when the woman will express how much she dislikes shooting, but once she tries a different type of firearm, the dislike instantly disappears.

That first exposure to a firearm that someone else has selected can often turn women completely away from shooting, which is the exact opposite of the intent!

Women's shooting class
Exposure to education is a worthwhile investment.

Let’s set the scene. You’re considering purchasing a firearm for self-defense or sport. It’s an exciting and empowering prospect, isn’t it? However, it’s not uncommon for women to feel a bit uncertain or overwhelmed when navigating the world of guns, especially if they’re new to it. In such moments, the advice or assistance of a partner, family member, or friend might seem invaluable. And it can be if it’s supportive and collaborative rather than prescriptive (telling you what you need).

But here’s where things can get a bit tricky. Sometimes, whether inadvertently or not, women may find themselves deferring to the expertise or preferences of their friends when choosing a firearm. It might come from a place of trust or a lack of familiarity with firearms. However, it’s vital to remember that the best firearm for you isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. It’s deeply personal and should align with your comfort, needs, and preferences.

The firearm world often has a predominantly male presence, leading to a wealth of advice and suggestions primarily coming from that perspective. While this advice can be valuable, it’s essential to ensure it complements rather than overshadows your own instincts and requirements.

So why is it crucial to choose your own firearm? Your firearm isn’t just a tool; it’s an extension of your safety and confidence. The right firearm—one that feels comfortable in your grip, suits your hand size, and aligns with your shooting style—can make a significant difference in your ability to handle it effectively and feel in control.

The Right Firearm
Understanding which firearm suits your style the best means you will be more comfortable with the choice.

Choosing your firearm also involves understanding its mechanics, learning how to handle and maintain it, and, most importantly, practicing safe and responsible gun ownership. These are skills that empower you with knowledge, giving you a sense of command over your safety.

Additionally, the decision-making process itself is empowering. It’s about recognizing your agency in matters that concern your well-being and security. Taking charge of this decision not only boosts your confidence but also reinforces the idea that you are more than capable of making choices that affect your life.

Now, this isn’t to say that the advice or guidance from a knowledgeable partner, friend, or family member isn’t valuable. On the contrary, having someone supportive by your side who can provide information and guidance, and help navigate the nuances of firearm selection can be immensely helpful. The key is to ensure that their role remains one of support and assistance, allowing you to make the final decision based on your comfort and needs.

So, how do you go about choosing the right firearm for yourself? Research is your best friend. Take the time to explore various options, visit reputable firearm dealers, and, if possible, attend shooting ranges where you can test different models. Seek guidance from professionals who prioritize your preferences and needs rather than pushing a particular agenda.

Remember, your firearm should feel like an extension of yourself, something you’re comfortable handling and proficient in using. This could be a compact semi-automatic, a sturdy revolver, a full-frame 1911-style pistol, or even a shotgun—whatever suits your lifestyle, hand size, need and purpose, and shooting proficiency.

Women's class 2
The choice of your firearm should be yours!

Ultimately, the crux of the matter is this: your firearm, your choice. Take charge, explore your options, and make an informed decision that resonates with you. Embrace the empowerment that comes with being knowledgeable and assertive in this realm. And most importantly, prioritize safety, responsibility, and continuous learning.

To all the women out there considering their own firearm: may your choices always be yours, your confidence unshaken, and your safety prioritized.

Stay empowered, stay safe.

Known as “the eclectic one,” it’s probably easier to tell you what she hasn’t done. Meghan is an accomplished professional, consultant, wife, competitive shooter, researcher, writer, proud Army mother, and instructor. Her day job keeps her quite busy, but in the evenings and weekends, you are likely to find her outside on adventures with her horses, teaching a wide range of firearms classes, hosting shooting events, practicing fine art, and building a weird set of emergency skills that may or may not come in handy someday. There is no question she’s beneficial to have on a trivia team and is likely to be high up on anyone’s zombie survival lists. You can follow her on her Instagram account (@SmackRackandRoll) which is a play on words with firearms but also incorporates her former roller derby moniker from an internationally competitive team.

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