A Gun in the Hands of a Woman by Paty Jager

revolverI’ve had to research what type of revolver would be best for a woman to use for my murder mystery series. While Shandra knows how to handle a rifle from growing up on a large ranch, she’s never felt the need for a handgun for protection.

My male protagonist believes Shandra needs a weapon for protection and gives her one of his hand guns and lessons. When the need to arm Shandra came up I went to law enforcement professionals and asked them what would be a good revolver for a woman. These are their answers.

The main thing they all said was she would have to train often with the weapon. It was wholeheartedly stated that if a person doesn’t train with a weapon, especially a handgun, they won’t be ready to use it if necessary. Also by practicing and using the gun often, they can tell by the weight if the weapon is loaded or not and know how to take it off safety without thinking about it. I agree with this. By the end of the summer when I’ve been shooting the sage rats on our property, I can take the .22 off the safety without thinking about it. But each spring when I start shooting, I fumble with the button trying to remember which is safe and which isn’t. I agree with the shoot often to get comfortable with the weapon.

Another common comment was if the person is untrained in loading and shooting there is more chance of accidents happening.

By using the weapon often the shooter also develops habits. These habits will let the person know if they left the revolver loaded or if it’s empty.

By looking at a revolver you can’t tell if it is loaded or not. Because they don’t eject the empty shells automatically. And only an experienced shooter knows to open the cylinder and inspect for dimples on the ends of the shells.

Another thing to think about when putting a revolver in the hands of a woman is how large are her hands. Some weapons have stock grips that can change out for smaller or larger grips to fit the hands better.  Some don’t. It’s not just the size of the grip that needs to be checked. Can her fingers reach the trigger while holding the pistol/revolver correctly. The index finger must be able to bend  and pull the trigger.  It is essential that a person handles several guns and finds the one that is most comfortable for their hands.

These are models that were suggested if the woman has small hands:

Smith & Wesson (S&W) J-Frames (Model-36 Chief’s Special and Model-36 LadySmith, 442, 638, 642, 60LS, 640LS, etc.)

Taurus models 650, 850, 651, 605, 85

Charter Arms Undercover, Undercoverette

Ruger SP-101, LCR

If she has larger hands, she could use something like:

S&W model 10, 64, 66, 67, 686

Taurus model 65, 66, 82

Charter Arms Bulldog, Pug

Ruger GP-100
In the end after doing all my research, I didn’t name what type of revolver Ryan gave Shandra to protect herself.

I’ve only shot a pistol before and rely on that experience when writing scenes involving my character shooting. That and gleaning all the information I can from people who know more about weapons.

The fifth book of the Shandra Higheagle Mystery Series is available in ebook and print.

Killer DescentKiller Descent

Book five in the Shandra Higheagle Mysteries


Once again Shandra Higheagle finds herself a suspect in a murder investigation when an ex-lover is found murdered on a Huckleberry ski run. A past she’d planned to never divulge now must be shared with the first man she’s trusted, Detective Ryan Greer.

Ryan puts his job in jeopardy when he’s booted from the case and uses all resources plus a few extra to prove Shandra is innocent. The information leads them down a road of blackmail and betrayal of the ugliest kind.


paty shadow (1)Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon.All Paty’s work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her Shandra Higheagle Mystery series, set in a fictional ski resort in Idaho, is full of quirky characters, twists, turns, and a bit of mysticism.

You can learn more about Paty at:

blog / websiteFacebook / Paty’s Posse / Goodreads / Twitter


3 thoughts on “A Gun in the Hands of a Woman by Paty Jager

  1. Paty, a Glock is probably the easiest hand gun for a woman; parts of it are made of plastic, which makes it lighter to handle; in addition, it has less of a ‘kick’ back than other hand guns ( of course, there are different models). A Ruger has a stronger kick back, and there is another popular hand gun; it has an Italian name. I forget, but if I recall, I will let you know.


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