My blog has been receiving a lot of hits from people Googling for information about which concealed carry gun to buy their girl for Christmas. The correct answer is: DO NOT BUY YOUR GIRL A CONCEALED CARRY GUN FOR CHRISTMAS!!!! Don’t buy her any guns for Christmas. No plinkster .22 handguns, no rifles, no shotguns, nada.
Now, before everyone jumps out of his tree, just hear me out on this. A gun you like, that has the stopping power you want and feels good in your hand probably won’t be the gun she likes, she can easily carry and feels good in her hands.
For example, GB carries a Springfield XD and I can’t even reach the trigger on that gun when its backstrap is properly seated in the web of my hand. Should he haul off and buy me one because it’s such a great gun and it would be a good Christmas present for me, I won’t like it. Shooting it will hurt because I won’t be able to hold it right and in an emergency, I’ll be throwing shots away because I can’t aim while wiggling my hand around the side of the handle of the gun trying to reach the trigger.
Another example is that GB carried a Bersa Thunder .380 before he got the XD. Me? I’m not carrying that thing! It pokes the crap out of me with the little nubby prominence near the hammer and the handle. If he had bought me this gun thinking it is small, easy to hold and hide, with decent stopping power in light of it’s weight, he would’ve bought me a paperweight. A gun I leave at home isn’t a good Christmas present.
One more thing to think about… You might think she needs a carry gun. What if she’s not into concealed carry and instead wants something she can hunt with? Shoot clay? Defend the house with? Plink? Attend an Appleseed shoot with? Before you think about picking up a gun for her, worry about not only if it’s the right gun for her, but also ask yourself: “is it the gun she wants?”
Do I have you talked out of buying your girl a surprise gun for Christmas yet? Good. Instead, buy her a gift certificate to her favorite gun shop and let her pick out her new present. Or, if you don’t need the “surprise” factor in your Christmas experience, sit her down, tell her your plans and invite her shopping with you to pick out her gun.
When she goes to redeem her gift card or if you take her on a non-surprise shopping spree, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- If she doesn’t (yet) shoot, go over with her some gun-store etiquette before you leave the house. Let her know the counter-person should check the gun to make sure it’s empty before handing it to her. Tell her that although it’s just been checked, she should check it too. Teach her how to check it and be prepared to be right at her side, patiently walking her through it at the store if she forgets or is unsure of herself. Train her not to sweep anyone in the shop, especially herself, you and the salesman. Demonstrate that looking down the sights is a good thing, but that it should be done when the gun is trained on an empty wall or the floor and not on any other shoppers.
- If she isn’t too green, but you still shoot more than she does, she might try to rely on your opinion because she knows your expertise is greater than hers. Do not let her do that! Because, again, a gun you like might not be the gun for her. Try phrases like, “I think it’s a good gun, but you’re the one that is going to shoot/carry it around every day. Does it fit you?” And, “What do you think, honey?”
- No matter her experience level, be sure she tries every gun on in her hands and that she can easily manipulate all of its buttons. Be sure she can reach the trigger properly, even on that first double-action shot. Please take her to a gun shop with an on-site range and pay for her to shoot her top three chosen on looks/feel/button pushing to make sure she’s going to like her present for a long time to come.
- Make sure the man behind the counter knows your honey is the boss of this shopping expedition and that he must impress her to get a gun sold to you two today. If he tries to hand you a gun out of the case, don’t take it from him. Tell him, “it’s her gun, not mine.” Force him to hand it to her. He wants to tell you about some awesome features? Bring your girl into it. “Honey, it sounds good to me, but you’re the one that’s going to be using it. What do you think?” The focus should be on her, not on you guys.
Buying your girl a gun for Christmas is one of the sweetest presents you can give her because it gives her confidence, skill, determination, protection, freedom, fun and more. But the gun is only able to give these things to her if it is the gun for her. Shopping without her there might end in you making an expensive, bad gift selection and therefore a bad purchase. To avoid such a disaster, go shopping with her and take your time in the store. Try everything on and put each selection through the paces, including shooting it. Doing this will show her you value her comfort, safety and opinion. It will make her a more confident gun-shopper and will increase the amount of brownie points you reap from Christmas gifts.
Merry Christmas! Happy Shopping!