Ladies Step up to the Firearm Market

Women are coming in at a sizable slice of the shooting culture. Guns don’t discriminate, and shooting is a great equalizer in the playing field. I had always searched for smaller frames on guns to accommodate a lack of choice for women over the years.

I have favored Smith and Wesson .38 specials. I would choose the smaller J-Frame over the larger K-Frame or L-Frames, leaving the same grips, one of 3 types of hammer designs, and not limiting load size. The Smith & Wesson J-Frame will shoot .22 LR, .38 S&W Special, .22 or the punishing .357 Magnum loads.  This seemed to work well for me.

Finally, gun companies are starting to acknowledge the female shooter and her different needs in size and form of a quality firearm. A smaller stature in build, strength and hand size is being noted in new designs without resorting to lower powered pistols or souped up youth models.

Her needs are the same as a male firearm owner: recreational, sport, hunting or for home and self-defense. While many companies now have brightly colored firearms, or those with highly fashionable finishes adequate fire power is still number one above flair.

A huntress still needs the ability to effectively kill her prey and in a self-defense position, power is still needed over comfort or fashion.

woman with a gun

Manufacturers have stepped up to this design need in the current market and are starting to respond with some nicely full powered firearms by  smaller grip sizes and thickly padded stocks for absorption of recoil.

While some address a real need for female-friendly models in the firearm market, some are angling to the younger generation by appealing to family friendly outings by including daughters as well as sons in what used to be a father-son only activity.

The Remington 870 Express Jr. Pink Laminate 20-Gauge Pump Shotgun actually has a laser engraved “Shoot like a girl… if you can!” in its cute pink laminate stock.

The 2006 survey taken by U.S. Fish & Wildlife reported 46% of birders were women and a 9% overall number of hunters were women with the 2011 results showing the same numbers.  2011 was the last year they did it.

So ladies are keeping their foothold in the firearm market.

What is the best grip for a lady shooter?

My husband went to the range with his friend last week and noticed him using a rather odd grip on his pistol. My husband asked him “What’s with the weird grip and why don’t you hold your firearm properly?”

To which he responded that “So and so says it’s the right way and blah, blah, blah….”

grip 1

I should add at this time that the friend is a novice with firearms, my husband having just gotten him interested in them in the last couple of years; but he is merely adequate.  This fact I attribute to his utter refusal to listen to advice from someone with 37 years of experience in handling weapons.

grip 2

GET A GRIP: THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN?

After several failures to feed, and failures to eject caused by his protruding thumb impeding the slide, he went back to the way he was shown, which is a proper two-handed grip. Turns out he saw this odd grip on the TV show “Top shot” and figured that since those guys were on TV they knew more than my husband did about shooting. That didn’t seem to work out too well for him.

grip 3

I saw this grip on the show myself afterwards and, for the life of me; I fail to see a benefit to this grip style. As a matter of fact, if you become accustomed to this grip style and then get your hands on a big bore revolver like a .500 magnum, you could very well lose a thumb. I’m not a competition shooter so maybe I fail to grasp the concept, but that’s doubtful.

At my gun club, my husband consistently outshoots guys that are competition shooters (with multi-thousand dollar custom rigs and custom hand loads) with his $500 off-the-shelf PT92 AFS and off-the-shelf ammo, on occasions when they happen to bump into each other. They always try to get him try shooting competitively, but he’s just not the competitive type. But I do know that by holding the weapon in that odd manner you do not have a firm hold of the weapon, and your thumb could impede the slide. If shooting self defensively, the last thing you want to do is cause a weapon malfunction. That could cost you your life.

My husband’s grip preference is the one in the center photo above, and it works very well for me. This is how he teaches people to hold their weapons when he is instructing, but I suppose you should go for whatever works well for you. It’s not like I’m on TV or anything, but I like having 2 thumbs. Here’s a good piece on Zeroing your scopes with some nice tips.

To oil or not to oil

Want to keep your firearm running like a well-oiled machine? Well oil it- or don’t- it depends on the environment. If you live where you get a lot of rain and you spend time out in the woods a lot, and the temperatures are moderate. Then yes, you need to oil you gun to prevent rust from ruining the finish and damaging the internal springs.

But if you live in an area that is hot, dry, dusty or sandy, like a desert, then you really don’t want to get too carried away with the oil or don’t use any at all. Using oil in this environment may cause a damaging buildup of dust and sand in your firearm and guns like an AR15 tend to not like getting gummed up with gunk and grit and may fail you when you need it most.

Another place that you don’t want to oil your gun is very cold temperatures. Freezing temperatures can cause the oil to coagulate or even freeze to the point that it will not function properly. Myself personally, I clean my guns with Remoil and then rarely use additional oil. I do use an ever so slight dab of gun oil on a few key friction locations like the roller cams on my CZ52s, the track in the bolt carrier in my AK 47s, and on a few contact pints on the bolt in my AR15’s, but very sparingly.

For long term storage of firearms, not only would I oil them liberally, but also use the moisture absorbing dry packs in the safe or case, or even a dehumidifier in the safe to control moisture content.

Great video on the how-to of oiling your guns.

Have a blast with Tannerite targets!

Want to have a real blast next time you go to the gun range? Try these sure shot exploding targets, Star exploding targets, or some Tannerite exploding targets. These targets utilize a binary explosive to produce a thrilling BOOM when struck by a high velocity projectile. And now the sure shot targets have even come out with a new, .22 rimfire sensitive exploding target. These targets are a blast in every sense of the word. They are also excellent for those long range shots when it is hard to tell if you hit the target or not. Well if you hit these you will know!

These fun to shoot targets are perfectly legal (although I wouldn’t try to take them on a plane) and safe. They consist of two inert powders that when mixed together become explosive. They come in small ½ pound sizes up to ten pound buckets.

Don’t let the fact that these are “fun targets” fool you. These things will go boom! A friend of mine shout a 5 pound canister of it that was sitting about 12 or 18 inches away from a wooden backstop and it blew the backstop to pieces! The product is safe to use as long as you follow the instructions and are the correct distance from the targets when they are set off.

But be aware that if mishandled or set off to close they can be dangerous or even lethal! So go ahead, have a blast, but do it safely.

Here is a fun video showing Tannerite being shot:

Note: This is a legal product in all 50 states and is legal to ship under U.S. Postal Service Publication 52. This product will ship USPS surface only, ORMD. 100% safe cannot be exploded by flame or any other means other than a high velocity rifle round. I think we will have an article soon about making your own Tannerite, so stay tuned!

Final Thoughts

I just wanted to give a view from a lady that loves to shoot for fun and while not in competitions, still wanting to be able to have my guns perform and my my guns be as clean and in top shape as any professionals. Respect for fellow shooters and courtesy when you are handling firearms, on or off the range, is a great habit to practice.

Happy shooting!

About Dyann Joyce

Dyann Joyce
Growing up in the Bluegrass State, it was a point of familial pride to be able to shoot, trap, identify plants and track animals. Summer camps helped us be well versed in camping, weapons, and survival skills from a young age. We were surrounded by such a lush environment and we used the resources we had. I met my soulmate in my happiest place to be- a seemingly enchanted winding trail next to a beautiful wooded glen- where I spent as much time exploring as I could during daylight hours with my trusty four-legged friends. I thought I would be a natural scientist like Audubon and travel the world NatGeo style painting and recording the fantastical. I love to create and paint in many mediums. After 3 years following the nursing track, I switched to natural and holistic medicine as that is where my passion lies. I am hoping to finish my doctorate in homeopathic and botanical medicine to achieve my nMD in Naturopathic Medicine by late 2018 (hopefully). The bucket list includes living the days painting and writing on a fully self-sufficient homestead, off-grid with our animals and family and plenty of land for the significant other (who I think is a true artist at weapons and living that way) to shoot to his heart’s content. Naturally organic living for us and the animals is a goal.

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