WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Why the Gun He Got You Sucks!

Ladies! It’s time to talk about a touchy subject. We’ve all had this problem, but nobody likes to talk about it. Sometimes our significant other is well-meaning; sometimes he’s just clueless. And while it’s really the thought that counts, now and then you just have to wonder: What was he thinking? Don’t get me wrong—I’d never look a gift horse in the mouth. But sometimes that new gun he just gave you, well…sucks!

Maybe he got you that gun because he just didn’t know what you wanted. Maybe it’s because he got you what he wanted. Maybe he went into the gun shop knowing what you wanted, but the salesman, for whatever reason, talked him out of it! It happens. Sometimes the firearm itself is fine, but he was sure you wanted it in pink camo (and you hate pink camo!).


Armed and In Charge, with Annette Doerr and Stacy Bright, is sponsored by Lasermax, Inc.

I reached out on an online firearms forum for women and I asked the ladies to tell me their tales of woe when it comes to firearms gifts they’ve received. Here’s a sampling of their responses. One thing is certain: From the number of replies, this is a common “problem.”

AB: Because they bought what they like. They bought what they felt was feminine. A gun has to fit you, not what people think of you.

AB brings up a great point! Sometimes guys buy you what they want, despite the fact that it may be a totally inappropriate choice for you. If this is the case, there’s a slight chance he already knows you won’t like it. But this way, he’ll get it all to himself!


Our author finds this gun somewhat difficult to conceal.

RC: Having worked for a gun dealer for a few years, I can’t tell you how may well-intentioned purchases I saw. Men assume their women can’t handle much if they haven’t shot before, so they go for these tiny guns that are so uncomfortable and not a good choice. I’d always show them my full-size .45 or 9mm and try to point out that it’s not about the size, but the comfort!

Great point! I’m glad RC works at a shop where she can help guide these guys to purchase something more appropriate for their ladies.

YC: Hubs bought me a new one; he thought I wanted a lighter carry. It’s the same weight, but it’s a single stack…so I’ll be trading it in.

I’m glad YC was able to trade it in for something that she’ll be more comfortable carrying. Fit is so important, and it’s almost impossible to get right when you’re trying to surprise someone with a gift.

NS: He bought me a Beretta Nano strictly because it was a Beretta. Nice gun, don’t get me wrong, but not for me. It had an extremely long trigger pull, and since it was my first gun…. I also found it to be a bit blocky for concealment. I cleaned her up, sold her and got a Glock 42— which I love so much that I got the sister, the G43, as well!

NS points out another example of someone buying a gift strictly on its small size and brand. Beretta Nanos are fantastic little firearms, but this one didn’t suit what NS wanted. I’m glad she was able to sell it to someone else and find a firearm to better fit the bill.


Sometimes its difficult to hide the disappointment.

ED: Early in my shooting life, hubby brought home a .38 revolver and announced it was for us to use as home protection. I couldn’t reach the trigger unless the hammer was cocked (SA)! His other “gift to us” was an S&W Sigma with a 14-pound trigger pull. He could not figure out why I had issues.

Well, yes—actually being able to reach the trigger would be helpful in a home defense situation! As for the 14-pound trigger pull, yikes! Another case of a firearm built for a man’s hand! Now I’m not saying ladies can’t shoot an S&W Sigma—because we can!—but the fact that ED wasn’t comfortable with it means it wasn’t right for her.

LH: First gun hubby bought me was a Walther .380. It jammed and was awful, so then we traded it in for a .40-cal Glock that hurt my hand because the grip was the wrong width for my small palm. So I told him what I really wanted. Now I own and shoot a Kimber .45 compact, an S&W M&P, and also a Colt .375 Mag. snub-nose revolver. I also shoot his Kimber .45 with a steel frame. I love me a 1911!

The fact that its grip wasn’t the proper size for LH’s hand, making it uncomfortable to shoot, proves that the Walther pistol wasn’t right for her. Her hand size also could have contributed to the .380’s jamming (think limp-wristing), but regardless, it just didn’t work for her. I’m glad she spoke up and was able to get what she really wanted!

RB: Heck, I’ve bought myself some guns I didn’t like!

Haven’t we all? But in all seriousness, most of the mistakes we make when we buy ourselves a firearm stem from the fact that we either relied on someone else’s opinion, or we didn’t get to actually handle and shoot the model we were considering before purchasing.

So what’s a girl to do? First off, congratulations! You have a significant other who loves you enough to buy you a firearm. It’s the thought that counts, right? But in an effort to minimize the suckiness of something he may buy you in the future, my biggest piece of advice is to communicate. If he doesn’t know what you want, you really can’t fault him for not knowing, either.

Often men don’t realize the challenges women face when it comes to handguns. Our bodies are sized differently than a man’s; our hands are generally smaller and weaker. A compact firearm might be easier for us to conceal, but sometimes they kick like a mule—and if you’re an inexperienced shooter, that’s the last thing you want. Any new gun takes time to break in and a lot of practice to get used to, and if it kicks too much, you might be reluctant to pull the trigger should you need to.

Without handling and shooting a firearm you considering buying, you really can’t get a good feel for it to see if it’s the right choice for you—and if someone is buying it for you as a gift, odds are it may not be a match made in heaven. Sometimes we can adapt, overcome and get used to shooting it. But sometimes it needs to be returned—especially if it’s a safety issue like not being able to reach the trigger!

Regardless of whether he bought you the perfect firearm or not, be appreciative! If you make it clear about what does and doesn’t work for you, the next time he heads to the gun store he’ll have a better shot of getting it right.

  • About Annette Doerr

    Annette Doerr is a freelance outdoor writer and business services consultant living in suburban New York. This married mother of two is an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and Range Safety Officer. Annette is not only passionate about the sport of shooting, she also loves helping new shooters get involved, especially women and teens. An active equestrian, she enjoys riding her American Quarter horse, Cody. She volunteers in greyhound rescue and adoption, and shares her home with Casper, a rescued racing greyhound, along with her her cat, Tony, and her husband, Bob. Visit Annette at WeShoot2.com, her personal blog.