What Gun Should a Woman Buy? Part 2

Now that we have answered that question in Part 1 (which is any damn gun she wants), we will now move on to some popular options and calibers.

A woman needs to be comfortable with what she carries but there are actually some levels of necessity here as well. It’s generally not a good idea to carry a .22 or other small caliber for self defense. You might get lucky, but chances are you’ll just piss off your attacker and make things worse for yourself. Not that you shouldn’t have one as a backup and ANY gun is better than NO gun, though. That being said, you really should carry at least a .380ACP (or .38 if you prefer a revolver). They are still nice and compact but have an acceptable amount of stopping power that you need to give yourself a good shot (pun intended) should you find yourself in a situation where you must defend your life. Some people will tell you that it’s perfectly fine to carry a .32 as a matter of course, but I disagree. It might be more concealable but when someone is attacking me, I’d rather have something that I know will put them down.

The highest caliber you’d likely want to consider carrying for self defense is a .45ACP. Go any bigger and you’re going to have a really tough time lugging a gun around. Keep the higher calibers beside the bed or in the closet, maybe. You wouldn’t enjoy lugging around a Desert Eagle very much.

Here are some of the many options that are popular among women for self defense concealed carry. This is not an exhaustive list and if you like something that’s not on this list, you should get it. As I’ve said before, guns are a personal choice but there are a few tried and true populars. What follows are only my personal opinions from my experience and your mileage may vary.


If you like a revolver, then you are like many women. The great thing about a revolver is that it is very easy to operate and learn on. And in a highly stressful situation, there’s not much you need to futz with. Personally, I have never been a fan of any revolver I’ve ever shot. I just don’t like the way they feel and they’re just not my thing. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be your thing. If you do go with a revolver, my recommendation is a double-action only. The trigger pull will be long but you won’t need to worry about cocking the hammer in a stressful situation. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the hammer snagging on clothing while drawing.

As far as revolvers go, you can’t go wrong with a S&W Airweight .38. It’s small and weighs just under a pound. This is an ideal gun for any woman who wants self-protection but isn’t necessarily “into” guns. The same can be said for the Ruger LCR. You can add laser grips to either one and you have a gun which is not only convenient and easy to operate but helps ensure your aim in a life-threatening situation.

S&W Airweight .38

S&W Airweight .38

Ruger LCR

Ruger LCR











I’m going to break these down into pocket carry models, sub-compacts/compacts and full size.

Pocket carry models are pretty much exactly what they sound like. You can insert them into a specially designed holster that will fit in your pocket and go about your day. You can also carry them in other ways but we’ll save the holster discussion for another time. They are very small, lightweight pistols that are easy to carry and conceal. The only caliber in the pocket carry I’m focusing on is the .380ACP round. There are pocket models in .32 and .25 and such, but as stated before, they’re not ideal for regular carry. The most popular among this category would be the Colt Mustang, Colt Pony, Taurus TCP, Ruger LCP, S&W Bodyguard and the Sig P238. They all have their pros and cons. The Taurus, Ruger and S&W are all made of a polymer frame, making them very lightweight but not so much fun to shoot. The lighter weight your gun, the more recoil you’ll experience. So, it’s a tradeoff. I personally carry the Colt Mustang when I need something lightweight and small. I have also owned a Colt Pony and we will soon have another as soon as the UPS man delivers it. I sold my old one and have regretted it ever since. And I can’t say enough good things about the Sig P238. I don’t have one. Yet. But I will. It’s a beautiful little mini 1911 and I WANT one. Again, here, the tradeoff is that they will weigh a little more but to me the weight difference isn’t enough to make me want a polymer frame pocket pistol. You’re looking at an average of a 5oz weight difference. I have no problem with polymer but I don’t care for it in such a small gun.

Sig P238 .380 ACP

Sig P238 .380 ACP










Colt Mustang .380 ACP

Ruger LCP .380 ACP

In the sub-compact and compact categories, you have a few in the Glock series, Beretta Nano, Ruger LC9, S&W M&P Shield, Kimber Solo, a sprinkling of Springfield models like the XD-S and XDm and others. What you’ll find here are mostly 9mm, 10mm, .40 and .45 calibers. All of these calibers are very good for self defense – at this point it’s just up to general preference. My personal daily carry weapon is a Springfield XDm Compact .45. I know many may think a .45 is too much for a woman to carry, but I assure you it’s not. In fact, it’s a much easier round to shoot than the .40 caliber. My previous daily carry was a Glock 27, which is a .40 caliber and it was just too snappy of a round for me to enjoy it. I went to the .45 and I’m much happier. A 9mm is perfectly acceptable choice as well and might be one that you want to consider if you plan to carry it on your person at all times. It’s a little easier to conceal. I happen to carry both in my purse and on my person most times, so my .45 works fine for me most days. You’ll find a great deal of polymer frames on the market in this category and I do recommend them in this case. The weight of the slide coupled with the overall weight once the magazine is loaded with ammo, will balance out nicely to absorb recoil.

Springfield XDm Compact

Glock 26 9mm

Glock 26 9mm









S&W M&P Shield

S&W M&P Shield










Among the full size category, you’ll find the many makers of the 1911 frame, full size Glocks, Springfields, Sigs, etc. These are larger and more difficult to conceal usually, although it CAN be done with the right concealment plan and accessories. But overall, most women choose to carry something a bit smaller. The full size is something great to have for home defense, though. Keep it in a drawer beside the bed or wherever works for you.

Les Baer Custom 1911

Les Baer Custom 1911









I hope this has given you some information on options. Remember, there are many more options and new ones coming out all the time. The key is to find what feels good in your hand, fits into your lifestyle and that you enjoy shooting.

Happy Memorial Day! Please remember the men and women who have died to keep your freedom intact and this very post possible.

Nothing Compares 2 U

I’ve been away for a while. First, my 5+ year old iMac crapped out on me. Turned out to be an inexpensive repair but I went ahead and sprung for a new 27″ anyway. It’s huge. I’ve also been out of town, so I’m just now getting a chance to update the blog again. There is much going on in the world of me and firearms and I know I owe you all a follow up on my previous post but for today, you get cupcakes. We all like cupcakes, so I’m sure you won’t mind.

I rarely share my cupcake recipes. I have a small side business, Groove Cakes. Custom-order music-themed cupcakes. So, sharing my recipes wouldn’t behoove me. But, my latest creation is one I’ve been wanting to work on for quite a while and it contains liquor. In keeping with my music theme, I have named this cupcake the Sinead O’Connor. It’s an Irish car bomb cupcake. Guinness chocolate cake, dipped in a whiskey chocolate ganache and topped with Bailey’s buttercream. I tried one recently at Shenanigan’s in Dahlonega at the suggestion of a friend. It was ok. The cake was pretty good but the frosting needed lots of help and it had no whiskey ganache. I’m picky about my cupcakes.

I do not have a liquor license and I’m not big on incurring unnecessary liability so I won’t be selling these through Groove Cakes. I considered developing it with extracts and flavors but it’s just not the same and I am not going to put out a cupcake that tastes like crap. It’s really a shame I can’t offer these because they turned out awesome.  I love it when I get it right the very first time and don’t need to tweak the recipe. I based the cakes on a recipe for a Guinness chocolate cake with Guinness ganache that I have been making for years so I knew it wouldn’t disappoint.

Keep in mind while making this recipe that quality matters. If you use crap ingredients, you get crap cupcakes. No Hershey’s cocoa, ok? Promise?

Also keep in mind that the alcohol in these babies do not cook out, with the possible exception of the Guinness. The whiskey and the irish cream are fully leaded, so it’s an adult cupcake.


Sinead O’Connor Cupcakes (AKA Irish Car Bomb)


1 cup Guinness, not including the foam (you can spoon out the foam)
2 sticks unsalted, room temperature butter
3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder (high quality, please!)
1 tsp espresso powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 cupcake cups. You can actually get 28-29 from this recipe, but if you’re like me, you’ll end up eating that portion in raw batter.

Melt butter with Guinness in medium saucepan over medium heat. Once butter melts, add cocoa in 1/4  cup increments, whisking until combined and smooth. Add espresso powder. Set aside to cool.

Combine sour cream and eggs in stand mixer and combine until smooth and creamy. Combine sugar, flour, baking soda and salt in food processor (you can also sift it normally but I like the ease of the processor) and pulse until combined and no lumps remain.

Add cooled chocolate and Guinness mixture to egg and sour cream mixture. You want to make sure the mixture is cool or you’ll end up cooking your eggs prematurely unless you carefully temper them. Mix on low speed until all wet ingredients are combined. Gradually add in dry mixture on low speed until just combined. Do not overwork the batter or you’ll end up with overdeveloped gluten and your cake will be tough instead of light and airy.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 15-18 minutes. Start checking at 15 minutes. They are done with a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before topping with ganache, below.

Chocolate Whiskey Ganache:

6 oz 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped (you can use chocolate chips but I’d prefer you use a really good quality)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons whiskey (Irish is preferred, such as Jameson’s, but you can get away with Maker’s Mark also. So long as it’s a good quality whiskey. I know, I really like the word “quality.”)

Combine chocolate and heavy cream in a microwavable glass bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. If too thick, add a little more warm cream. Stir in butter until melted. Add whiskey and stir to combine. Hold cupcake upside down and swirl the top in the ganache, covering entire top of cake. Repeat with all cupcakes. Set aside while preparing buttercream.

*Side note – you can core the cakes and pipe the ganache into the cupcakes instead but you’ll need to double the recipe and personally, I think it would be a little overwhelming. I’m as big of a chocolate addict as ever existed, but I recommend just topping with the ganache.

Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting:

2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
7 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

With wire whip attachment, whip butter on medium, then high until fluffy. This will probably take 3-5 minutes. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, making sure to turn mixer to slow or off when adding to avoid a powdered sugar bomb in your face, then work up to high speed to whip each time, ensuring a light and airy frosting. Stop at 4 cups. Add in the Bailey’s and mix in. You can mix in the last cup if you want the icing a little stiffer or sweeter. Frost cakes with piping bag and your favorite tip.

Store in an airtight container. And enjoy responsibly. Or irresponsibly. Whatever works for you.

What Gun Should a Woman Buy? Part 1

What a loaded question. Ask that amongst a sampling of men and the most common answer you’ll get will be a smattering of models that shoot a small caliber. And come in pink.

I remember when I first got into guns. I grew up with a dad who was a firearms dealer and I had an ex-husband who was literally a gun nut – psychotic but knowledgable. Different story, different day. Point is, I had a pretty good deal of knowledge. I worked gun shows, I learned a little about reloading, I shot A LOT, I beat out an entire metro region of state law enforcement at qualifications when I was 21 (wish I could still do that now)…I wasn’t an expert but I also wasn’t a shrinking violet in the world of firearms. Yet, almost every time I walked into a gun store or stepped up to a table at a gun show, some beer-belly bubba inevitably tried to push a “cute, little, pearl-handled .25.” And that was when they thought I might have shot a gun before. Other times, they wanted me to buy a “little revolver that would fit my little hands and would be easy to shoot!”

Sound familiar? It should, because it’s been a pervasive attitude amongst the male-dominated sport forever. It’s changing recently, and that’s good to see, but there’s still a long way to go.

There are many considerations that should go into choosing your firearm. And please, for the love of all that is Holy, do NOT let your husband/boyfriend/uncle/any-man-in-your-life pick one out for you and tell you what you need. I’m sure your guy is well-intentioned but his experience and comfort level and body mechanics are all very different from yours. You wouldn’t want him picking out your bra. He shouldn’t be picking out your gun either. And for that matter, don’t even let your best girlfriend tell you what you need. This is YOUR life, YOUR protection, YOUR decision. Here are a few rules of thumb and questions to ask yourself when making that decision, though.

1 – The most important rule is to get something that you enjoy shooting. A gun will do you no good if you hate shooting it because then you’re not going to practice. And this means trying out many until you find one that fits. Most ranges will have many different models which you can rent and try before you buy. When you’re making an investment of hundreds of dollars, you want to shoot it first.

2 – How will you carry it? It needs to fit into your life and routine. Sure, you will inevitably need to make some adjustments when carrying at all times but consider what will fit the easiest into your life. Will you carry it in your purse, on your person, or are you only comfortable at this point keeping it in your car? Whatever it is, the method of carry will impact your decision.

3 – What is the reliability? Once you’ve settled on something you like, you need to make sure it’s going to work when you need it most. While there are MANY brands that have great reputations and picking one over the other just comes down to a matter personal preference or budget, there are also some that you absolutely want to avoid. If a manufacturer doesn’t have good reliability, then move on. And their warranty, regardless of how good it is, does you no good if the gun is going to likely break when you need it to defend yourself. You want something that works, not something that breaks but has a really great warranty and customer service. Great customer service is important when your dishwasher breaks but it will not save you from being raped.

Ultimately, you have to get what works for you and there is no particular model – there are an array. Some women find that the pink .25 works for them. Others, like myself, prefer a compact .45. The great thing is, there are so many options out there that you’ll find what fits you.

In Part 2, I’ll go over some of the most widely popular options.

Mandarin Chicken

I got a hankering for Chinese food last night and almost picked up the menu to order dinner out. I was tired from staining steps on my front porch and potting plants and other general house stuff that always needs doing. While I normally enjoy cooking, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing and we have a fantastic Chinese place nearby that delivers. But my frugal side got the better of me and I decided to suck it up and make something quick. And I had some chicken already thawed, so why not? I thought about baking it with some lemon and rosemary but that wouldn’t really satisfy my craving. I eyed the big bag of mandarin oranges I recently bought and inspiration struck.

I cubed up the chicken and sauteed it in a Dutch oven with some peanut oil, then I made a delicious mandarin orange citrus glaze (recipe follows) that I was very happy with. Served it with rice and it was dee-licious!

mandarin chicken


Mandarin Orange Citrus Glaze

1 Tablespoon peanut oil

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon corn starch

1 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Juice of 2 mandarin oranges

Combine all above ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved and glaze has thickened to a syrup consistency. Pour over chicken or whatever else you’d like to put it on!