Concealed Carry & Home Defense

15 Good Things About Three Models of Guns

Barbara Baird Contributor
Font Size:

By Barbara Baird, Women’s Outdoor News

If you’re looking for a handgun for personal protection, you’ve got your work cut out for you. A recent search of the exhibits at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting in St. Louis gave me the opportunity to talk to the company representatives about the guns and also, to handle them. If only … there were an accompanying range nearby, so that I could shoot them. Because only when you shoot a gun can you tell if it truly is for you. Just like when you try on shoes. You must walk in them first.

Tammy Ballew and Britney Starr also checked out the guns and as you can tell, we had a good time together.

Let’s get started. These are some of the reasons I like these guns.

She likes! Tammy Ballew likes the look and feel of the new Shield. Photo by Barbara Baird

The buzz at the show centered around Smith & Wesson’s Shield, available in 9 mm and .40 cal options. Here are five things I like about this gun: 1) a skinny Minnie at only .98 inch at its widest, 2) comes with two, single stack magazines (the second one is a little longer and can hold one more, plus it extends the stock a bit so you can get a three-fingered grip), 3) patented Palmswell grips (think of filling in all the parts of your hand), 4) stainless-steel chassis (think sweat and summer) and 5) it looks like its counterparts in the M&P line. MSRP: $449.

Safari outfitter Britney Starr, of Starr and Bodill, thought the Mustang was a little thoroughbred. Photo by Barbara Baird

Colt’s little pony, introduced earlier this year and believe me, it created a buzz at SHOT Show, the .380 Mustang Pocketlite, continues to find its way into pocket holsters and purses across the land. I shot it last January and frankly, was shocked at its accuracy. Five things I like about the Mustang: 1) short, single-action trigger, 2) sleek, shiny, scaled-down beautiful 1911 look, 3) lightweight in an aluminum-alloy lower receiver, 4) major components were cast, so that means tight tolerances and 5) commander style hammer. Colt also makes nice 9s, like the Defender. MSRP: Under $600.

The ladies, Tammy Ballew and Britney Starr, really thought the P238s felt "balanced." Photo by Barbara Baird

We couldn’t leave Sig out of the loop, so we stopped there, too. A rep told us that the P238 continues to be a favorite little carry gun with the ladies. Five reasons why? 1) It weighs under a pound 2) anodized alloy beavertail style frame with wood grips that are so secure and so … beautiful, 3) stainless steel slide with slide serrations (I am a stainless snob), 4) sweet sights (SIGLITE rear Night Sight and Tru-Glo Tritium Fiber Optic Front Sight and 5) perfect trigger. I shot this one recently. I like it. MSRP: Somewhere in the middle of $500. Also, note all the configurations and attractive colors of this gun at the website.

So many guns. So little opportunity to really try them. Unless you live in a big city with a big indoor gun range with a big variety of rental guns, you often have to 1) take your chances and hope that the guns shoots to your liking, 2) beg or borrow a gun, 3) keep putting it off until someday, 4) shoot thousands of bullets through several that don’t fit (How many shoes have you taken to the charity shops?) and 5) go to that big city and rent that gun for downrange time.

Do you have a little favorite you’d like to tell us about … and maybe even five reasons why?

Thanks to Barbara Baird of Women’s Outdoor News for this article. Please visit ~ Mike P. Guns & Gear Editor