As you can imagine, this also included a morning spent on the shooting range, where it quickly became apparent Staci had decided it was time to get serious about a handgun for personal defense.
It so happened that among our assortment of handguns we had a single-action auto, a DA/SA auto and a double-action revolver. I quickly devised a short, simple defensive drill and ran her through it several times with the different handguns. Now it is important to note that Staci is not a gun person. She doesn't hunt, shoot, read gun magazines or watch the TV shows. So she came to the exercise with no preconceived notions about handguns for personal defense.
After shooting all three guns several times, Staci decided she liked the DA revolver best (it happened to be a Smith & Wesson 2.5-inch Model 19, if that matters). What's most important is that preference showed in her ability to shoot the gun well. She understood how it worked and she seemed to feel comfortable with it. She quickly informed my son that they were now in the market for a .38 Spl. revolver.
While none of this is meant to be an endorsement of one type of defensive handgun over another, it did lead me to wonder just how external influences affect our choice of a gun for personal defense. I wonder just how many of us are influenced by what we read and see or by what our favorite defensive shooter/trainer uses. Humans being adaptive animals, we can learn to get along with just about any kind of tool, including handguns. But, how often do we let our desire to be cool override the need to be as efficient as possible?
The defensive handgun is a very personal thing. It must meet your needs, but it must also become a part of you. And we are fortunate that there are so many types of good defensive handguns from which to choose. Going with what works is way better than going with the trend, especially when your life is at stake.
Yep, I really think there is a lesson here, somewhere.