Alaska News

Six things women should consider when buying a gun for self-defense

Brenda Trefren of Soldotna offers women-only gun training through Majority Arms, a company she runs with her husband, Joseph. Here, she shares some advice for women looking to buy a gun for self-defense.

No gun is a "point-and-shoot" gun.

Most women, by nature, are not fighters, and telling someone to just point and shoot is nonsense. For a woman to pull the trigger, when it could end a life, is an emotional and stressful experience. Even the thought of it makes most women shudder. Advice like this leaves her ill equipped and unprepared for what will be required in self-defense.

Consider a semi-automatic instead of a revolver.

I consider a revolver an advanced firearm. With the heavy double-action trigger and a front sight that's difficult to see, it is a challenge to be fast and accurate with a revolver. Also … I have yet to meet a woman I could not teach to work a slide on a semi-automatic gun.

You don't need a little gun for your purse.

Smaller-framed guns are much more difficult to learn on and often frustrate new shooters. I recommend first learning on a larger handgun, then graduating to a smaller one. Besides, it would take me five minutes to find my gun in my purse!


Don't buy a gun because it looks pretty.

I have yet to see a pink gun that I would recommend for self-defense right off the shelf. Buy a quality gun that will work in Alaska's inclement weather. Then get it painted any color you wish.

Buy a gun that fits your hand.

Make sure you can reach the trigger comfortably with the middle of the first pad on your trigger finger. Too much or too little finger on the trigger will make you inaccurate.

Consider professional firearm training.

When I turned 21, I bought a revolver and threw it in my purse. It wasn't until I took my first firearms course that I realized I never could have used it for self-defense. Without a proper mindset, it won't make a difference what firearm you have. You won't be able to use it. Training can provide that mindset.

Brenda Trefren

Trefren runs the Soldotna-based firearms-training company, Majority Arms, with her husband Joseph.