Question: My daughter is leaving for college in the Midwest and wants a gun for personal protection. She will be living off-campus, is not interested in a shotgun or semi-automatic rifle, but she has fired a couple of handguns before. I will be alone after she is gone and am also thinking about getting a gun. Do you have any suggestions?
—Marie S., Morgantown, West Virginia
Dave Workman Answers: Two things. First, find out about the laws in the state where your daughter will be attending school. Is she age 21? Second, if she can legally possess a handgun, a good firearms training course (it’s education, after all!) is an absolute must.
As for choosing a handgun, a good beginner’s gun for personal protection is a .38 Special revolver, either a five- or six-shot model. They are simple, reliable and there is a broad choice to select from. If she and/or you want semi-automatics, I would suggest perhaps a Ruger LCP or LC9, the Kimber SOLO Carry, a compact Glock model or the S&W Bodyguard or M&P Shield. Shopping around is key to this exercise because you will find something that meets your specific needs and capabilities, and fits both your hand and budget.
There is no “perfect” one-size-fits-all solution to your daughter’s needs, or your own. If you were to ask this question on one of the popular Internet gun forums, you’d get dozens of different answers, all in the same realm, on the .380 ACP or 9mm arena.
One last suggestion: Give some thought to the Ruger LCR revolver in .22 magnum. I reviewed it for the August issue of this magazine, and it’s a serious handgun that could be well used for personal protection.
Dave Workman is an award-winning outdoors journalist and author, an accomplished outdoorsman, and Gun World’s Concealed Carry columnist.