Market Trends: Smaller Revolvers for Women Thinking Self Defense

Smith & Wesson Model 642 Defensive RevolverDeb CheekPlainfield Shooting Supplies, Plainfield, Ind.

Women seeking self-defense handguns are a growing segment of the customer base at Plainfield Shooting Sports, in turn some more of the retailer’s diminutive handguns have been popular.

Many ladies have tended to buy small J-frames revolvers, like the Smith & Wesson 642 at $389. There have been some functional reason behind women favoring wheelguns.

While semi-automatics get some interest, revolvers are easier for women to operate, Deb Cheek, co-owner of Plainfield Shooting Supplies said. Plus, a hammerless 642 slides in and out of a purse easily.

“You put a laser on one of these small revolvers, and the ladies snap them right up,” Cheek said. “They love that red dot.”

The tactical surge may have died down elsewhere, but it’s still going strong here, especially for AR-style rifles and shotguns with rails and extended magazines.

Part of the demand has been generated by 3 Gun shooters searching for a competitive edge. Hunters have also made up a significant segment of the market, as they continue to make the switch from bolt-guns to the handy AR’s.

Editor’s note, this brief originally appeared in the December 30, 2013 Gun Digest the Magazine.


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