Alma Boykin of Cat Rotator's Quarterly mentioned a few weeks ago that she was looking for a new carry gun. For her and I, this is a process as fraught as trying to find, say, a new pair of women's jeans that fit, allow enough movement, and look good, while having functional pockets. It's not impossible, it's just... rare, and usually involves trying out lots and lots and lots of disappointing variations first.
Actually, it's normally harder than jeans, because at least with jeans you can go to stores and try the fit and function. Where can you do that with a wide range of guns?
Oh, wait. I'm married to a Bayou Renaissance Man, and live just down the road from LawDog and OldNFO. And when it was mentioned that she was looking for a new carry gun that would fit her hand size, build, and needs, the gentlemen carpe'd the diem. This became A Project!
I can tell we're regulars at the gunshop when we walk in, and the owner says the following: "Hey, OldNFO. Morning, LawDog! Morning, ma'am, how can I help... Wing, where's Peter? You leave your husband at home?"
"I'm just here for moral support!"
"Moral or immoral?"
"Whatever Alma wants!"
We checked out the plastic fantastics and the other semi-automatics, and then rapidly migrated over to the revolver side of the store, where the nice young clerk was trying to be very helpful without sounding patronizing or condescending. (Very nice man. But if he'd been dancing any more carefully over his words, it'd have been a full two-step. Eventually rescued by the owner, with a "Son, OldNFO has forgotten more about guns than you'll ever learn.")
Old NFO loves Colts. He has some beautiful, magnificent specimens. He has the most peculiar grimace when he pulls the trigger on something else, like a Labrador that thought it was stealing bacon and got lemon rind instead. "Ugh! Smith trigger!"
To be fair, Colt triggers are things of beauty and joy, and unless given a trigger job, Smith & Wessons are most definitely not. But I have to giggle a little when he makes that face.
After determining that nothing in the shop right then cried "Take me home with you!", we went back to OldNFO's and he opened up the cornucopia of wonders... ahem, the gun safe. And then we went to my house, and Peter started pulling out the "everything I've tried for my wife, so it's in tiny grips size for a lady's hand." (Alma and I have almost the same hand size. Not quite same glove size, but very close. We can grump to each other about the difficult of finding Mechanix gloves that fit.)
And then we went to the range (Well, Peter took a nap, but the rest of us went. This time, LawDog didn't have to shoo the cows off, either! Beautiful blue-sky day, cloudless and almost calm. (Very calm, for North Texas.) There had to be twelve planes flying past just in the times when I was chilling out and not concentrating on shooting. One of 'em was an L-19, still with the old Italian Air Force markings. (I happen to know that plane - and yes, the prior owner carefully masked off the control panel when painting, so it still has all the italian inside, too, as well as the english-required placards.)
I figured this was the perfect time to get some more practice in, as well as try out some of the guns broken out for Alma. The weightlifting has really helped with shoulder stability, to the point that I can now fire something a lot closer to snubbie - but it sure ain't fun! And I got a chance to try one of OldNFO's beautiful colts that was out of my abilities before... only to discover that it's beautiful, lovely in the hand, nice on the recoil, and the checkerboard grips tear the heck out of my soft no-callus palms. (Yes, I've been weightlifting for five months, and the only calluses I have are right where my wedding wing rubs when I grip the bar. I dunno either.)
On the extremely bright any shiny, you know when you've hit that point where you're finally good enough that the coach doesn't say anything on your lift, and you're kinda waiting for the other shoe to drop before you realize it's because you did everything right? I had a cylinder like that, with OldNFO & LawDog standing by and watching! Yay! If I could do cartwheels, well, I wouldn't have done one because of the cow patties on the range, but I felt like doing one!
Alma, meanwhile, went though quite a range of guns, and found that what she really liked was my carry gun - it's a Taurus .357 that I only shoot 38 special out of, because that's what I can take, with a nice squishy Hogue monogrip that takes a whole lot of bite out of its bark.
Clearly, she'll have to come back to try it out, as well as others we didn't get to, some more!