Dear Michael:

Is the snub the wrong weapon for women shooters who have never shot before?
Steve in Tennessee

Dear Steve:

Thank you for the great question.
They teach men and women in the military (many with no prior shooting experience) to shoot everything from 9mm pistols to 50 cal M2’s. A *skilled* instructor can teach a person of normal intelligence and moderate interest how to do almost anything.
Re snub specifically – I would say the snub is a good gun for a shooter with limited experience and has limited desire to advance but need a working solution to a realistic threat.
Converted to double action only, using light to moderate kicking ammo (their idea of moderate – not the gun guy’s idea) and working against realistic distances (0 – 3 – 6 – 9 and 12 feet) it would work well.
I know all the “buts” but would YOU give your grandmother a 1911 or .38 snub if you had to leave her a gun in an ugly situation?
The willingness of the shooter to use a gun they know ENOUGH about so that they can (and will) work it reliability has stopped more attracters than actual gunfire ever did.
So here is my short answer – IF you plan to shoot a lot and IF you will train regularly and IF you don’t mind the size issues with larger gun – then get a 9mm or .40 Glock and find a trainer that will make to the next Bill Hickok/Annie Oakley – Your training and your gun will serve you very well.
If you need a deep concealment (small) gun but have very limited training opportunities consider a DAO snub, shoot at practical distances (50% at 3-6 feet – 30% at 6-9 20% at 9-12 feet) with moderate rounds – Used your free time to get very familiar with the gun and its characteristics via dummy rounds, dry firing and a safe backstop (SafeAim is a great choice)
For everything in between let the shooter shoot both guns and decided which serves them best and will answer the specific issues they are addressing.
I hope that heaps a little.
Thank you for the great question.
Michael de Bethencourt