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stich
07-19-2009, 12:29 PM
Well, I just bought my very petite wife a new Bersa Firestorm .380 just in time to take her CCW class with it ( and also her Taurus 38 Special). I thought this would be a perfect purse gun for her to carry. WRONG! She can't pull the slide back (very small hands and not a lot of grip strength), and cant reach the trigger for the double action pull. Needless to say she doesn't like it. Although she got great groupings after the firs round and it returns to single action. One of her instuctors loaned her his Kahr 9mm Compact and after the initial shock of a bigger recoil, she actually liked it much better. I now know it was a mistake for me to pick out he gun for her and I guess I'll just have to put this nice little jewel in my own inventory :43:. I mean :(. Good for me, bad for her. I really wanted her to have a semi auto but she's leaning toward using her revolver or is still willing to check out and shoot other semi's.
That being the case, what are some of the others opinions on a good but not too expensive semi that a very small female hand can easily use? She must be able to rack the slide easily. I'm not big on double action as she can't reach that far with her tiny fingers. NOT too much recoil ( she was able to hande the 9mm ok) but my XD 45 scared the s**t out of her. must be purse concealable and somewhat light weight. I know that the lighter the frame, the more recoil.
Let the suggestions begin.......and thanks for all input. I'll still have to locate and let her try out each one so that is also a concern.

PatriotnMore
07-19-2009, 12:35 PM
I had asked this question for my wife, and the popular answer was the Beretta 92, was the easiest for women to rack. That actually was the case for my wife also. Some replied the women had no problem with their Glock, but for mine, it was as difficult as my XD for her.

ivanimal
07-19-2009, 12:38 PM
All the Keltecs that I own are easy to rack the slide on. Older Colt smaller semi auto's are made better and have easier actions in my opinion.

ojisan
07-19-2009, 12:40 PM
Perhaps if she cocks the hammer first she can rack the slide.
Default to revolver as needed.

buffybuster
07-19-2009, 12:42 PM
Very common problem. Very often these small semi-auto pistols (.380ACP) are straight blowback design which necessitates a strong recoil spring. This in addition to a small slide and limited grip strength make it very difficult for women to run the slide. An alternate method to the "slingshot" is to grab the slide between the index finger and thumb (weakhand) and push the gun (grip) with the strong hand. Some of the new design small frame, locked breech guns would also probably be easier to rack the slide (Keltec, Ruger 380, Kahr). However my recommendation is for a small/med frame revolver. Simplified MoA and no grip strength issues.

nn3453
07-19-2009, 12:46 PM
Any reason it has to be a semi auto? Has she tried a smallish revolver? 6 rounds should be more than enough in a self defense situation. A lot of ladies like revolvers and are good with them. Try the s&w mod 60. It is accurate enough and small enough for tiny hands to get around it and through the trigger.

Jonathan Doe
07-19-2009, 12:48 PM
My wife's gun is a S&W model 66 with 1 1/2" barrel. Simple gun and she can shoot it without thinking about any other complicated operation.:cool:

creampuff
07-19-2009, 12:51 PM
I don't have any experience with the Bersa. But my wife did have problems with my compact USP9. As mentioned above, what worked for her:

holding the slide with the forefinger/thumb and instead of racking the slide, she forwards the the lower frame into the slide with the strong hand. She does have to be careful not to pinch her hand into the ejection port. And also, it becomes ergnomically very natural to put the fingers onto the trigger.
Make sure she doesn't do that!

leitung
07-19-2009, 12:53 PM
I find a lot of women have trouble with double action trigger pulls on revolvers.
Just my 2 cents.

andalusi
07-19-2009, 1:29 PM
I had asked this question for my wife, and the popular answer was the Beretta 92, was the easiest for women to rack. That actually was the case for my wife also. Some replied the women had no problem with their Glock, but for mine, it was as difficult as my XD for her.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess. My wife has no problem racking my XD45 (arguably she's better than me as, unlike her clumsy husband, she's never got a bit of skin caught when the slide came back!).

sp_train_77
07-19-2009, 1:33 PM
but she's leaning toward using her revolver or is still willing to check out and shoot other semi's.


I don't know how long you have been married but I would guess that your wife is willing to try other semis just to keep you happy.

Listen to her when she says she likes the revolver. I was an instructor for eight years. Most of my female students had never fired a handgun and left the class out-shooting the males. I used only double-action revolvers and taught them to only fire double-action.

Let her choose what she likes. She will be a better shot with the gun she likes, she will be safer because she will practice more, and you will be much, much happier (trust me, I've been working on this marriage thing for over 35 years...and still don't have it right yet :eek:)

FreshTapCoke
07-19-2009, 3:12 PM
I had asked this question for my wife, and the popular answer was the Beretta 92, was the easiest for women to rack.

This is the reason I like my Beretta, and slide mounted safeties in general.



:(

JeffMG
07-19-2009, 3:14 PM
Perhaps if she cocks the hammer first she can rack the slide.
Default to revolver as needed.

I agree. The revolver is the ultimate purse gun.

CSDGuy
07-19-2009, 3:25 PM
I don't know how long you have been married but I would guess that your wife is willing to try other semis just to keep you happy.

Listen to her when she says she likes the revolver. I was an instructor for eight years. Most of my female students had never fired a handgun and left the class out-shooting the males. I used only double-action revolvers and taught them to only fire double-action.

Let her choose what she likes. She will be a better shot with the gun she likes, she will be safer because she will practice more, and you will be much, much happier (trust me, I've been working on this marriage thing for over 35 years...and still don't have it right yet :eek:)
I'm not a firearms instructor and I know that choosing a firearm is a very personal choice. Let her choose what she likes. I happen to like semi-autos. Wheelguns are great (IMHO) for learning to shoot well as they're often more accurate than the shooter and therefore, can keep the learning going... all while being VERY simple to operate.

stich
07-19-2009, 3:52 PM
I don't know how long you have been married but I would guess that your wife is willing to try other semis just to keep you happy.

Listen to her when she says she likes the revolver. I was an instructor for eight years. Most of my female students had never fired a handgun and left the class out-shooting the males. I used only double-action revolvers and taught them to only fire double-action.

Let her choose what she likes. She will be a better shot with the gun she likes, she will be safer because she will practice more, and you will be much, much happier (trust me, I've been working on this marriage thing for over 35 years...and still don't have it right yet :eek:)


True statement and that's why I admitted it was my mistake to pre-buy her gun for her. BUT, I still would like her to TRY various semis and she has agreed with me on that. I'm not against her deciding on a wheel gun but I want her to have some more experience with all types before we buy.

Thanks

FeuerFrei
07-19-2009, 4:35 PM
All good advise about gun choices.
No mention of method of carry except a purse.
If she ever gets mugged/robbed the purse will be the first thing handed over.
She should to carry it on her person and not in purse.
It's a weapon not a lipstick.
My 2 cents.

El Gato
07-19-2009, 4:42 PM
as a ccw instructor... a 2in revolver is about the worst choice a beginner can make... they are really only for experts... they are simply too hard to shoot well...
Most women will like the Kahr and the Glock 19... racking the slide is often a technique issue...
the easiest gun to rack that shoots a decent caliber is the springfield govt. in 9mm...
My wife is the other ccw instructor on our team and she loves the Glock 19 and carries XD 45acp tacticals or a Kahr PM9.. she's 5-4 and 125...and is fixin' to put the glock back on her permit..
for carry it's a galco or coronado leather purse and a galco belly band... the glock works in the belly band and the "super structure" works to drape the top over the gun so it remains hidden....

xibunkrlilkidsx
07-19-2009, 4:51 PM
lol buying a woman a gun is like buying her lingere. you may think it looks great on her. but their opinion is the only 1 that matters.

mtenenhaus
07-19-2009, 4:59 PM
Our experience was similar to what you've described. The push/pull method really helped early on. Interestingly now after taking a few classes and shooting for a couple of years she has absolutely no problem with just about any pistol.

locosway
07-19-2009, 5:55 PM
If I was to suggest a gun for a woman who wasn't an avid shooter it would probably be a revolver that was hammerless or DAO. If the pull was too much then I'd take it to a smith and have them rework it until it was perfect for her.

RolinThundr
07-19-2009, 6:14 PM
As far as compact semi-autos go I'd suggest the Sig 239, Sig 232, and SA XD Sub-compact. My wife is pretty small and she can handle all three of these just fine.

AngelDecoys
07-19-2009, 6:51 PM
..... just in time to take her CCW class with it ( and also her Taurus 38 Special)......

Just curious. Was this the CCW course being offered in Jackson on Saturday? (by Gold Country Firearms?)

If so, my Dad was in the course.

JBird33
07-19-2009, 6:53 PM
Does it matter that much how hard it is to rack? If she plans on carrying it all day she can just rack it (or have you do it) in the morning then unload or whatever at the end of the day. If you have any way of getting an off-list weapon try a Kahr P380. Very small and light but also not a blowback design so should be easier to rack. I have a PM9 and love it if you need an on-list firearm. Maybe work on her technique with racking it in case the need arises? But if nothing else is an option go the revolver route.

dwtt
07-19-2009, 8:17 PM
Might there be a local range that rents a M&P 9c ?

tonelar
07-19-2009, 9:13 PM
Sell the Bersa and apply the $ to buying her a PM9

stich
07-20-2009, 7:36 AM
Just curious. Was this the CCW course being offered in Jackson on Saturday? (by Gold Country Firearms?)

If so, my Dad was in the course.

Yup, I was there too, helping out in the instruction. Who was your Dad?

stich
07-20-2009, 7:39 AM
Does it matter that much how hard it is to rack? If she plans on carrying it all day she can just rack it (or have you do it) in the morning then unload or whatever at the end of the day. If you have any way of getting an off-list weapon try a Kahr P380. Very small and light but also not a blowback design so should be easier to rack. I have a PM9 and love it if you need an on-list firearm. Maybe work on her technique with racking it in case the need arises? But if nothing else is an option go the revolver route.

No problem getting the off-list firearm. The Bersa is a Firestorm and it's also not on the list. I think she liked the Kahr 9mm and would probably be better than a .380 anyway. Lots to consider at this early stage, soooo........ stay tuned.

stich
07-20-2009, 7:41 AM
Sell the Bersa and apply the $ to buying her a PM9


:eek: SELL A GUN!!!!!! Now THAT's funny stuff right there.


No,no,no, it's mine now, and I'm keeping it.

stich
07-20-2009, 7:45 AM
Might there be a local range that rents a M&P 9c ?

I guess I could take her to range in Sac but thats a bit far for us. I do have lots of friends who have multible guns, mostly LEO and my gunsmith. My wife works for the court and they'd all let her shoot their arsenal.
Great to have the right friends. ;)

SCMA-1
07-20-2009, 8:54 AM
as a ccw instructor... a 2in revolver is about the worst choice a beginner can make... they are really only for experts... they are simply too hard to shoot well...
Most women will like the Kahr and the Glock 19... racking the slide is often a technique issue...
the easiest gun to rack that shoots a decent caliber is the springfield govt. in 9mm...
My wife is the other ccw instructor on our team and she loves the Glock 19 and carries XD 45acp tacticals or a Kahr PM9.. she's 5-4 and 125...and is fixin' to put the glock back on her permit..
for carry it's a galco or coronado leather purse and a galco belly band... the glock works in the belly band and the "super structure" works to drape the top over the gun so it remains hidden....

Agreed. I'm an instructor also and it's much more difficult to shoot double action revolvers effectively than it is most semi-autos for men let alone women with their shorter average reach and lesser strength. As previously mentioned, slide racking is primarily a technique issue. We need to get past the ridiculous "simple gun for the little woman" mentality.:rolleyes:

SCMA-1

AngelDecoys
07-20-2009, 10:33 AM
Yup, I was there too, helping out in the instruction. Who was your Dad?

Older gentleman, 5'10" heavier set, white. He has a CCW in Arizona, but is thinking about obtaining one here since he and my Mom 'part time' it up in Pioneer. I noticed your location and remembered he was going to take the class there on Saturday.

Always looking for places to shoot up that way (but not at the quarry).

BTW - I'd say there's some excellent advice here (I also teach handgun classes); specifically with SCMA-1 and El Gato advice. Try a full size 9mm auto, or a larger revolver first and build up her confidence and skill level before moving to a sub compact, or snubby. She'll be more likely to practice with what she finds comfortable. And don't discount her practicing with a .22. Its a FUN gun, and great for building technique.

I guess I could take her to range in Sac but that's a bit far for us.....

I believe there's also a pistol range out of West Point, and maybe a club in Jackson. I don't know any that have rentals, but it sounds like many of your friends can supply the toys if you have a location. Best of luck.

Cjones38
07-20-2009, 10:41 AM
Have you / her checked out the XD 40 sub-compact. Good semi auto concealed weapon, and the 3" barrel will go nice in that Gucci purse :o

walter
07-20-2009, 10:43 AM
just get her glock

stich
07-20-2009, 12:06 PM
just get her glock


I can't I have an XD and it's against ALL rules: rofl2:

locosway
07-20-2009, 12:12 PM
I might buy an XD next because the Glock's new grip doesn't do it for me.

stich
07-20-2009, 5:03 PM
Side note here. What happened to the smilies? They don't work. My only way of convaying humor and I failed.

00BuckShot
07-20-2009, 5:32 PM
I second the comment on the Sig. I have an older Sig P230 that my wife loves to shoot. I let my buddy borrow it and he took a little while to get it back. My wife threw a fit when she realized it wasn't in the safe. I promptly went to his house and returned it to it's rightful owner. Funny, I don't remember her paying for it! :)

movie zombie
07-20-2009, 6:09 PM
take her to the range, rent some guns, and let her make the choice.

take her to the gun shop/s, let her handle them, and let her make the choice.

if she wants a revolver, she's made the choice so back off and respect that.

if this is a gun for her, then she needs to be deciding which one to get.

i am a woman with small hands and i can say that unless she's the one "trying the guns on" with her very own hands, you're going to spend a lot of $$$$ finding one that suits her.

mz

ps i have the smith model 60 snubbie and i love it. i also have a colt mark iv series 80 officers' .45acp which i love. i did not like the kahr i fired as it had a tendancy to send the spent shell into my face or hair........again, she needs to be hands on in this matter.

El Gato
07-26-2009, 9:41 PM
I can't I have an XD and it's against ALL rules: rofl2:

NO... I checked... it's only against the rules if you don't buy both...or that's the way I heard it..

El Gato
07-26-2009, 9:43 PM
We need to get past the ridiculous "simple gun for the little woman" mentality.:rolleyes:

SCMA-1

Amen on that brother...

dude
07-26-2009, 9:46 PM
I had asked this question for my wife, and the popular answer was the Beretta 92, was the easiest for women to rack. That actually was the case for my wife also. Some replied the women had no problem with their Glock, but for mine, it was as difficult as my XD for her.

My girl had no problems using the Beretta 92FS except having a very difficult time loading the magazines.

But she had no problem loading 1911 mags - yet she couldn't rack the 1911 slide. :banghead:

I still have to find a suitable gun for her.