When you are unfamiliar with the different kinds of firearms that can be used for personal protection and home defense, selecting your first weapon can be overwhelming. You want to make the right choice. More importantly, however, you need the right training to use the gun properly.

I had to go through this process when I advised my wife, my daughter-in-law, my two sons and other novices and less knowledgeable shooters who needed different degrees of assistance when they wanted to select firearms for protection. While all of this is second nature to me, I recently got my wife to kick things up a notch and transition to a semi-automatic pistol in addition to the .38 Special revolvers that she is already comfortable using.


Because my wife now suffers from a touch of carpel tunnel syndrome, she is only barely able to retract the slides on my 9mm SIG 228, my 9mm SIG 226 Navy Model, my 9mm Glock 17 and my friend Larry’s 9mm Glock 19. So far, between the SIGs and the Glocks, my wife clearly shoots a 9mm SIG 228 the best. Naturally, I hope that with continued training it will become second nature for my wife to use the decoking lever to lower the hammer and make her pistol safe if she ever has to fire a few rounds from the 9mm SIG 228. I also plan to continue to train my wife to use my 9mm Glock 17 in lieu of the Glock 19, which produced too much felt recoil for her liking.
My other concern is that my wife may not be able to clear a stoppage or execute a slingshot combat reload in the event that one magazine worth of ammunition is not enough to take care of a serious threat. The important thing is that my wife wants to become a more proficient shooter.

Even when I had my wife operate my Beretta Model 70S .22 LR caliber Mossad Pistol or a full-size stainless steel 9mm Springfield Armory 1911, we still ran into problems. My wife had to deal with the slide-mounted, thumb-activated safety lever that needed to be lowered when it came time to discharge a single action pistol. This is a potentially very serious problem because anyone who delays or forgets to lower the slide-mounted thumb safety lever on a 1911 can lose their life in a deadly force situation.

Tricks Of The Trade

Personally, I was hoping that my wife would find it easy to manually operate the slide on either a soft shooting 9mm Glock or a 9mm SIG 229 with a DAK trigger so she would not have to worry about decocking a cocked hammer once she stopped firing a DAO 9mm SIG 228 or SIG 226. Unfortunately, the problem with a DAO or DAK pistol is that you have to override the hammer when you rack the slide to rear on an unloaded pistol. One trick that I showed my wife is to point a DA/SA SIG pistol in a safe direction then cock the hammer before she manually racks the slide back, while keeping her finger out of the trigger guard. I showed my wife this method of operation because I knew she would never be able to rack the slide on a DA/SA pistol without some help.

The bottom line is that after trying every option at my disposal, I have come to the conclusion that my wife is better off using a Smith & Wesson six-shot .38 Special revolver for personal protection and home defense. Even if my wife was physically unable to reload a DA/SA 9mm SIG pistol, in a real emergency, she can accurately empty a 14-shot 9mm SIG 228 into a man-sized target at 10 to 21 feet.

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