No more Damsels in distress. Now the ladies are arming themselves with the weapons and knowledge to use them.
Glock, the leading manufacturer of dependable, proven hand guns, is the weapon of choice.
Women shooters stepping up to protect themselves
Shooting a pistol or something with more firepower, women are at home in the range
Devon Chester, a petite 24-year-old in a pink sweater and designer jeans, plants her white Puma sneakers a little more than shoulder-width apart, squares her body, leans back slightly, aims her targeting laser, and empties the magazine of her Glock 9 mm pistol — bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang! — into the paper target 10 yards away.
Chester sets the pistol down and examines her work. Several dime-size holes peppers the target’s man-shaped silhouette. If this were a back-alley thug, he would be wounded but probably still on his feet. Chester, who lives in Lowell, turns to her boyfriend, 22-year-old Josh Armstrong-Levanthal from West Newton, shaking her head and smiling sheepishly.
It’s Sunday evening — Ladies Night at the Manchester Firing Line — and Chester and Armstrong-Levanthal are here to take advantage of free range time from 5 to 8 p.m. The Firing Line, a bunker like a facility across from a little league field on a quiet residential street, started Ladies Night in 1999 to attract women who may never have visited a gun range or pulled a trigger before.
“I wanted to see what it felt like,” Chester says after she finishes shooting. “I had only shot a BB gun before.”
Thanks largely to the popular Ladies Night promotion, women now represent about a quarter of the Firing Line’s business, says owner Jim McLoud — a veritable coup for the testosterone-driven gun range, where the only woman on a staff of six full-time and five part-time employees is a back-office accountant.
“Very few women were coming in before,” McLoud says. “Now, a lot of the women are police officers and security guards. More women are going into that market. A lot of women bring in their children because they want them to learn [how to shoot] right; they don’t want them to learn from their friends at school.”
Ladies Night is so popular that on many Sunday nights women fill up the firing lanes and men have to be turned away. McLoud says that beginning this fall, he plans to begin offering free range time to women all day Sunday.
The Firing Line rents everything from a .22-caliber rifle, which is slightly more deadly than a slingshot, to the .45 -caliber pistol favored by SWAT teams and Hong Kong action director John Woo, to the AK-47 assault rifle used by United States special forces units in Iraq.
The biggest, worst, most expensive gun on offer is the M-60, which saw major use in the Vietnam War and is still used on US Army helicopters. If you want to pay $100 plus the cost of ammunition to shoot the M-60, you have to call ahead so that employees can link together by hand the M-60’s bullets into endless cartridge belts. A belt of 100 rounds will set you back $63 and last about 15 ear-splitting seconds. For safety, two employees must accompany you onto the range, and after you’ve finished, the gun will be disassembled for cleaning.
Around 6 o’clock, a young Somerville couple enters the field, looking for something slightly less macho than the M-60. Neither has fired a gun before. Night manager Jay Roberts, a 30-year-old Navy veteran who is training for his police exams, takes three revolvers from the display case and places them on the counter.
“Oh, this one is heavy,” the woman says, hefting a big silver Smith & Wesson. The couple (who didn’t want their names published) choose the medium-weight revolver.
Roberts patiently explains how to load the chamber and delivers a quick primer on gun safety. He hands the couple paper targets, two pairs of earphones and eyeglasses, and directs them through a heavy, soundproof door to the indoor range.
“A lot of girls come in skeptical,” Roberts says. “But when they leave, they’re like, ` That was so much fun.’ And they come back.”
Jeni Benos of Chelmsford, who arrives later that evening with her father and her Walther P22, a model similar to the Walther PPK made famous in the James Bond films, is not one of the skeptics. Since purchasing a membership at the Firing Line in May, she’s been coming to the range about three times a week. “I needed a new hobby,” Benos says.
With her bright blue jeans that flare out at the ankles into rainbow-colored bell-bottoms, Benos, a jewelry designer, hardly seems the National Rifle Association type. She could be heading to a Grateful Dead concert.
But diversity is what Ladies Night is all about. The promotion is part of an industry wide push, spearheaded by the NRA, to bring new members into the gun-toting flock. The NRA — which estimates that 2 million American women hunt and an additional 4 million do target practice — sponsors women’s shooting classes and women- and couple s -only hunts across the United States. According to the organization, annual attendance at its women-only hunts grew from about 500 people in 2000, the first year of the program, to 6,000 last year. Even the NRA president is a woman, only the second in the organization’s 135-year history.
Zach Ragbourn, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the country’s major gun control organization, calls outreach efforts like the Firing Line’s Ladies Night cynical attempts to expand the market.
“We don’t think it’s a gun issue and we don’t think it’s a gender issue,” Ragbourn says. “[The gun industry] is selling a commodity, and they’ll do whatever it takes. My boss likes to say that next year they’ll target left-handed midgets and have Left-Handed Midgets Night at the gun range.”
More women may be turning to firearms
American women are buying guns and taking aim on firing ranges in growing numbers, according to a recent study and interviews with gun-shop owners.
A 2009 study found 70 percent of shop owners reported more female buyers.
The study, conducted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Southwick Associates, also found 80 percent of the female gun-buyers who responded said they purchased a gun for self-defense, followed by 35 percent for target practice and 24 percent for hunting.
Women and shop owners interviewed by The Washington Times offered similar, narrow-ranging explanations for the increases – largely self-defense and concerns about the possibility President Obama would further restrict gun ownership.
Erika Gonzalez, of suburban Washington, was raised as a Quaker and grew up thinking guns were unsafe – until a series of life-changing events.
Her grandmother murdered about 15 years ago in a small town, then her marriage fell apart, and she was on her own.
“I was very anti-gun for a long time %u2026, and I guess my thinking evolved on that,” said Ms. Gonzalez, who owns a Glock 9mm and started a shooting club to practice and share similar interests. “I was probably motivated to buy the gun because I separated from my husband and was living alone.”
Hilary Gotzh, a single 26-year-old, wants to buy a gun this year for protection and recreational uses, but, like Ms. Gonzalez, thinks ownership is a private and personal decision.
“It’s not a common thing that women sit around tea and talk about their firearms,” Ms. Gotzh said.
Jack Donald, a Washington-area gun dealer, said he’d noticed a recent increase in female gun sales, with most women looking for protection. He also said he witnessed a surge in overall sales after President Obama was elected in 2009.
“Our gun sales volume increased dramatically after the election,” he said.
Despite such observations, a recent National Opinion Research Center study shows the demographics of U.S. gun ownership have changed little during the past 29 years. Women owned roughly 10.5 percent of this country’s guns in 1980, compared to 10.8 percent of the more than 200 million guns in the U.S. in 2008.
The best models for women’s self-defense
The best handguns for women are models that are light in weight, yet extremely powerful. These handguns provide an accurate weapon that is easy to shoot. They are small enough for anyone to handle and are incredibly precise. Women are sure to benefit when they try some of the following guns for their use.
Glock 43 a Great Choice For A Woman
The G43 is our new single stack, 9mm pistol.The Glock 43’s slimness, size & light weight make it remarkably well suited for concealed carry on a female’s body. The skinny 1.02” diameter of this gun is a real benefit as women are not easily ready to add much bulk to their waistline. With the many clothing styles & differing fabrics, women have to work with, a gun this thin and this little overall allows for numerous concealed carry options. At M34tactical , we encourage all women to find an ‘on the body’ give solution first and for it to be the foundational mode of carrying and to lean on other off body options for those occasions when they’re on the body option simply won’t work. A gun similar this one makes it simpler for women to accomplish this goal.
Best Buy :
|Glock 43 9MM Pistol||$449.00|
|NEW Glock 43 NIB||$550.00|
|Glock 43 9MM NIB||$409.00|
|GLOCK 43 TALO 9mm U14350501||$519.99|
Buy the Subcompact Semi-Auto Pistol Glock 43 Now!
In conclusion, the best handguns for women’s self-defense are the revolvers and the semi-automatic pistols specifically Glock 43 but different stores have various models on offer. Therefore, women have countless options on the handgun which will surely secure their safety. No matter the arm selected, it is important to get proper training and practice on proper handling of the firearm and proper handling and maintenance.