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Things you should probably not say when you’re a contractor hoping to get lots more work from a woman

So I have some heavy-duty under-the-house work that needs doing. And no Big Bux. Ah, but I do have a 9mm Ruger and a contractor interested in trading for it.

So I’m showing him the gun.

“I like it,” sez he.

“It’s a good gun,” sez I. “I just don’t enjoy shooting 9 mil.”

“Well of course,” sez he, working the action, dropping the mag, and thrusting foot firmly into mouth at the same time. “It’s not a good lady’s gun.”


He’s getting the job anyhow. He’s good and he shows up. And I’m past the point of getting seriously offended over the idea that “ladies” can’t handle greaaaaat big scary powerful 9 mil.


  1. Beth
    Beth July 18, 2013 7:09 pm

    Ooh, ooh…can I show him my .45?

  2. Jim B.
    Jim B. July 18, 2013 7:59 pm

    Hope you told him you have or want something bigger. Like a .45 or a .50. ; )

  3. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember July 18, 2013 10:05 pm

    Ha. Funny story.

    You know. You could take that as a complement?

    I watched the film, ‘Red River’ recently.

    A band of Indians is circling the wagon train.
    A guy is shooting at the Indians from inside the circle.
    A woman next to the guy is talking to him and gets shot in the shoulder and gets pinned to a wagon wheel.
    She goes right on talking as if nothing has happened and the guy does not notice because she doesn’t skip a beat.

    That woman wasn’t exactly what I’d call, ‘a lady’.
    But at the same time, she was.

    Sort that out, if you can.

    Anyway, a lady I know cannot handle the recoil from more than a .22
    Those women who can, they may be ladies,… but at the same time, they are not.

    I’m betting that the contractor guy didn’t see you as an Indian fighter.

    Maybe the word ‘lady’ is interchangeable with the word, ‘dainty’?

    I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud.

  4. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember July 18, 2013 10:21 pm

    As I think about it, I should have written: Maybe the word ‘lady’ is interchangeable with the word, ‘dainty’ and/or ‘attractive’?

    Could this blog entry be the beginning of a romance novel with a war setting in the background?


    …Or am I?

    I’ll tune in next week to find out. Heh.

  5. Karen
    Karen July 19, 2013 3:52 am

    You need the t-shirt

    “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

    ― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  6. Gus S. Calabrese (@99guspuppet) troll
    Gus S. Calabrese (@99guspuppet) troll July 19, 2013 4:32 am

    Claire Why don’t you enjoy shooting 9mm ?

  7. Joel
    Joel July 19, 2013 5:52 am

    and thrusting foot firmly into mouth at the same time. “It’s not a good lady’s gun.”

    Hahahaaa! Oh, you could have shut him down fast by showing him the one you do enjoy shooting!

    Except you wouldn’t do that, because I know you know it’s not a good idea to discuss your weapons with strangers…But it would have been fun to watch the “Oopsie!” look on his face.

  8. Claire
    Claire July 19, 2013 6:11 am

    Gus — It’s because most of the 9mms I’ve shot have had more perceived kick than the .45s I’ve handled. Might have just been the particular firearms, of course (though they were all relatively substantial guns). OTOH I’m certainly no huge, experienced comparer of weaponry.

    But … um, I guess I’d have to say that among the guns I’ve shot, the .45s have impressed me as better “lady’s guns.” 😉

  9. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 19, 2013 6:11 am

    I used to carry the full size XD .45 all the time – and which I loved to shoot when I could afford to feed it. (Only went to the 9mm because I can shoot that one with either hand alone.) Anyway, one day I was talking with a gentleman and he asked if I had a “back up gun.” I just smiled and said yes, a .357M revolver. He looked surprised, and that was the end of it. Smart man.

    Anybody giving me the “women’s gun” BS is going to get the sharp edge of my toungue at the very least. I’m not as nice and gentle as Claire. 🙂

  10. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau July 19, 2013 7:41 am

    I’m reminded of the time Smith & Wesson came out with the “Ladysmith” line of revolvers. Because women on average don’t have quite the hand strength of men, the gun had a much lighter trigger than the usual heavy lawyer-driven triggers of the standard guns. And maybe because women can’t see so well , they also put better sights on it. And a nice engraved “Ladysmith” on the side.

    Funny thing, word got around, and a lot of men bought these guns – for themselves. Turns out men don’t like lawyer triggers and poor sights either, heh.

    I got one for my wife but probably shoot it more than she does. Nice little J-frame.

  11. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau July 19, 2013 7:44 am

    The above was supposed to say, “maybe because women can’t see so well (snicker)” but used angle braces instead of parens, and the blog software took it out! Just pulling your legs, gals. 🙂

  12. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth July 19, 2013 9:21 am

    “…working the action, dropping the mag,…”

    Oi. Hopefully he’s not like Clint’s first story here… 🙂

    I’m with you, Claire, on the perceived recoil thing. A 9mm P35 Browning has noticeably more muzzle flip than a 1911 .45, and many of the “wondernine” models place the bore axis even higher over the hand than the P35, which exaggerates the effect all the more.

    The “ladies’ gun” appellation always makes me giggle, too. People who use it seriously (you know, seriously) sound, to me, just the same as people who concern themselves with “the gay agenda” or “vast right-wing conspiracies”.

  13. Aleks
    Aleks July 19, 2013 11:00 am

    Maybe the dude did not mean “a lady cannot handle a big kick or a big gun, but more referring to the fact that ladies generally have slimmer hands and would be served better by a gun with smaller grip”?

  14. Victor Milán
    Victor Milán July 19, 2013 11:59 am

    He should’ve seen my ex joyously (and adeptly) shooting the .50 AE Desert Eagle she insisted we rent at the range….

    Had she been able to afford it, that would have been *that* lady’s gun. (She did buy herself a .44 Magnum revolver to compensate.)

    Granted, she was a statistical flier: a fitness freak who had the most natural talent as a handgunner of anyone I’ve known.

    So maybe he should’ve seen various tiny women of my acquaintance – and one female friend with, candidly, the worst muscle tone I’ve ever seen on an ambulatory adult – shooting tight groups with a .45. And enjoying every shot.

  15. Claire
    Claire July 19, 2013 12:11 pm

    Aleks — It’s possible. However, that’s just another stereotype. I bought my carry gun from a man whose hands were too small for it; it fits me just fine. One of my girlfriends, OTOH, is shopping for a LadySmith, whose itty-bitty grips make me crazy.

  16. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit July 19, 2013 1:13 pm

    I suppose it would have been counterproductive to reply, “Of course, 9mm is not much of a man’s gun, so I’m a little concerned why it’s acceptable to you.”

    I remain fascinated by how subjective recoil appears to be for people. You’d think that newtons were newtons were newtons, but I’ve seen too many people shoot too many calibers to think that I can just say “PHYSICS!!!!” and have the answer.

  17. Claire
    Claire July 19, 2013 2:38 pm

    Kevin — On the Clint Smith OMG stories … I had already taken care of that problem before letting him handle the gun. But yeah, so many stories like that.

    And I’m glad somebody else feels greater recoil with 9mm than .45. I’ve always sorta wondered if I’m just goofy.

    (Well, I may be goofy. But I suspect not in that way.)

  18. Dick
    Dick July 19, 2013 4:45 pm

    Odd, because of Ms. Fitz of Hardyville I always thought Claire Wolfe preferred a Ruger GP100 357 with 6″ barrel. I guess it wasn’t enough gun for the lady.

  19. LarryA
    LarryA July 19, 2013 10:46 pm

    IMHO 9mm doesn’t have MORE recoil than .45, but because of the higher velocity it feels sharper. More of a jab than a push.

    IndividualAudienceMember, I wish you could meet my wife’s grandmother. (She whom I had to pass muster with before marrying my wife.) She was the only lady, and I mean lady in every sense of the word, who reminded me of John Wayne. Hat and white gloves to her Presbyterian church every Sunday, and once killed a rat with a hammer and without cussing.

    You could meet my wife, though, if you dare. Apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

  20. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember July 19, 2013 11:10 pm

    Dick wrote, “I always thought Claire Wolfe preferred a Ruger GP100 357 with 6″ barrel.”

    Ha! Me too.

    Also, @Karen, RE: “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

    That is such a great line. Love it. It is perfect.

    Mighty, even. … Yet still dainty. Even though the male, as Shakespeare has written, is the weaker of the two.

  21. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember July 19, 2013 11:36 pm

    Larry, I’m very daring, don’t tempt me please. …j/k. …Sorta.

    Cool story.

    “Hat and white gloves to her Presbyterian church every Sunday, and once killed a rat with a hammer and without cussing.”

    I knew several women like that.
    I don’t know of any guys I ever met who would tell those ladies a 9mm was for them. … Even if it was. Right?
    Heck, any caliber wasn’t ‘right’ for them.
    [Maybe my words aren’t conveying the idea here?]

    A hoe was generally their preferred weapon.

  22. winston
    winston July 19, 2013 11:45 pm

    Well Claire it’s much more ladylike to carry some airweight snubbie that kicks like hell than a full sized 9 with next to no recoil…incase you never got that memo!

  23. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember July 21, 2013 10:03 pm

    “This isn’t lady time. This is bitch time.”

    Ha. Nice.

    “Dying of Embarrassment.” That might as well be our national slogan, eh?
    Especially if you consider what they say is the fallout from things such as geoengineering.

    “The People” really have been hypnotized. They pay no attention to anything except what does not matter. …It’s getting hard to pity them.

  24. A.G.
    A.G. July 26, 2013 12:48 am

    Greetings from the furthest known point of cell reception between here and Planet X.
    Possible blog idea: an update on the dog you recently fostered (unless you already did one). What was her name? It was a good one. Grace?

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