Archive for the ‘Ladies’ Issues’ Category

posted by Charles L. Cotton on Feb 28

Although I am a practicing attorney, I also spend a lot of time giving seminars on Texas Self-Defense Law and teaching NRA firearms courses, as well as the Texas Concealed Handgun Course. In almost every class or seminar, I am asked “what gun should I get for self-defense.” That’s much like asking “what kind of a car should I buy?” I go through the questions most instructors ask, then I explain the advantages and disadvantages of several different revolvers and semi-autos. I strongly recommend that people try to shoot several different handguns before deciding what they want to buy for self-defense.

The best way for me to help accomplish this is to bring a wide variety of guns to the range and let students shoot them all. I’ve noticed that one of my 1911s in .38 Super is frequently a crowd favorite, especially with the ladies. The more I watched the ladies take to the .38 Super like proverbial “ducks to water,” the more I became convinced that a Commander length 1911 in 38 Super may be a perfect defensive handgun for many of the ladies. The 1911 trigger is hands down the best trigger on any handgun, and it makes it easier to shoot accurately, all other factors being equal. It’s also slimmer than other semi-autos, making it easier to conceal.

I always carry a 1911 in .45 ACP, as do my wife and both sons. However, a .38 Super is no slouch in terms of a self-defense pistol round. Check any reloading manual and you will see that the .38 Super is ballistically equal to or superior to the much-vaunted .357 Sig, and it doesn’t have a bottle-neck case. This is important for reloading purposes, but I’ll get to that later. If you reload, and you’d better if you’re going to shoot a .38 Super, then you can load ammo even hotter, without exceeding SAMII specifications. If you want to add a ramped barrel, then you can join the ranks of the IPSC shooters who load their .38 Super competition guns to rather “remarkable” velocities.

So why all of this talk about reloading? Well, that’s the only downside to selecting a .38 Super; there is very little factory ammo available for them and when you find it, the price tag will give you sticker shock. And I’m talking about the “cheaper” practice ammo, not premium self-defense loads. But you do have an option to reload. The pistol can be fit with a 9mm Luger barrel allowing the use of much cheaper ammo for practice. A barrel change in a 1911 is very simple and no other components need to be changed when switching between calibers.

Some people have reported either extraction problems or feeding problems when trying to use the same extractor for both 9mm Luger and .38 Super in the same gun. External extractors seem to cure the problem, but I do not believe this is a widespread problem. Plus, “standard” internal extractors are cheap and easily installed when changing the barrel, so this is hardly a deal-breaker.

So whether you want to reload .38 Super for a fraction of the cost of factory ammo, or have a 9mm barrel fit to the gun, the .38 Super provides an economical way to get the practice we all should have to maintain proficiency. And with quality factory hollow-point ammo for self-defense use, the .38 Super is more than equal to the task. All of these benefits combined with a milder recoil, less muzzle flip and a thinner profile for concealed carry make the 1911 in .38 Super an excellent choice for the ladies. Don’t just take my word for it, come to the range with me and watch people try a variety of guns and keep coming back to the Super.


posted by Charles L. Cotton on Feb 9

Texas passed its Concealed Handgun License statute in 1995 and the program has been a tremendous success. Texas Concealed Handgun License holders (“CHLs”) have a twelve year history of being the most law-abiding segment of Texans, as reported by the Texas Department of Public Safety (“DPS”).

According to the DPS’ data for 2007, women comprise 18.31% of current CHLs. This percentage is up slightly from 2006 (approximately 0.6%), but far below the level that most men would expect. So why do a relatively small percentage of women choose to obtain a CHL and with it the ability to defend themselves against a violent attack? The answer seems to be a combination of a lack of knowledge, an erroneous belief that armed self-defense is beyond their physical and/or emotion capability, and a misunderstanding of Texas laws on self-defense.  To address these concerns, a self-defense information seminar with a special emphasis on issues facing women was presented at PSC Shooting Club in Friendswood, Texas on Friday, February 8, 2008. It was scheduled from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm, but the audience was really participating in the discussion and we did not leave until after 10:30 pm!

The purpose of this seminar was to provide an overview of issues related to self-defense including Texas law, training opportunities, selecting a firearm and method of carrying it, secure storage and carry methods when children are present, and a multitude of other questions ladies typically have when it comes to making such an important decision. As noted, this was an overview of these subjects, not an in-depth study. In short, the seminar was designed to show people what they need to learn and how to do it.

We had about twenty-two women and six men present and we had a great time. I love speaking to groups about these subjects, which is not really surprising since I am a trial lawyer. But this was a special group of ladies who really were interested in the subject matter and I suspect most of them will make the decision to get training and to get their Concealed Handgun License (CHL). In addition to covering the material, we also had a lot of laughs and just had a great time overall.

If you have a group of ladies you think could benefit from such a seminar, send me an email and I would be happy to try to schedule it.


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