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kanga123
01-01-2010, 4:43 PM
Hello all.

I originally purchased a S&W Airweight 38 for her to use. Unfortunately, even w/target 38 loads, it was uncomfortable for her to shoot and looked like it kicked like a mule. She is a petite 5'2". Any recommendations for a replacement, caliber, manufacturer? Any help is appreciated.

maddoggie13
01-01-2010, 4:50 PM
My wife loves her S&W 317-2 with 8 rounds of 22lr...or get a Taurus Tracking 357 mag in 4" and load it with 38. The weight of the Taurus makes it easy to shoot for my wife.

kanga123
01-01-2010, 4:53 PM
thanks. I was also thinking going with longer barrel in 38 for weight and balance to control kick.

Oldnoob
01-01-2010, 5:09 PM
When you find one please let me know. My girlfriend is 5 feet nothing and I haven't yet find a semi that she can rack the slide nor a revolver she can shoot comfortable yet.

maddoggie13
01-01-2010, 5:12 PM
In semi-auto, my wife likes a Glock 26, Kahr P380, Kahr PM45 or Bersa 380. All depends on the size of her hands.

rgs1975
01-01-2010, 5:20 PM
S&W 432PD in .32 H&R Magnum. The ballistics put .22LR and .22Mag to shame. The recoil is nearly negligible when compared to .38 Special. Most .38 Special revolvers have 5 rounds, this gun has 6. Weighs under a pound loaded. They make a version with an exposed hammer as well, it's the 431PD.

Here's my 432. I highly recommend it.

http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/2497/asdfsadasdf.jpg

naimad
01-01-2010, 5:37 PM
http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=11101&langId=-1&productId=67981&tabselected=tech&isFirearm=Y&parent_category_rn=15704

gearhead15
01-01-2010, 5:55 PM
Might want to see if you can find a FN Five-seveN for her to try out. It has one of the more mild recoils in a semi-auto and with the right ammo it's sufficient for self defense.

Ross
01-01-2010, 5:56 PM
What about a Ruger Single Six?

If the 22 mag is too much for her, she can practice with the 22 lr until she's ready for the mag. Either way, 6 rounds of 22 placed into center mass will stop most all intruders (except the PCP types which laugh at 9mm shots).

Plus it's a fun gun to shot and cheap too.

berto
01-01-2010, 9:58 PM
I bought a model 10 with a 4 inch barrel for my wife after she decided the 686 weighed to much and was too bulky.

sspen003
01-01-2010, 10:01 PM
sp-101. Get a long barrel and change out the springs for wolf ones.

My GF shoots it double action without a problem

Hunt
01-01-2010, 10:08 PM
stay away from the .22 go for .38 spcl with light recoil loads;) find one w/ a 4 bbl a SW would have better trigger for sure, w/ hammershroud so she can shoot right from her purse or jacket pocket. Next best thing would be .32 Sounds like she couldn't rack the slide on a .380 either even if she could the small light .380 have recoil.

lanche50
01-01-2010, 10:11 PM
Hello all.

I originally purchased a S&W Airweight 38 for her to use. Unfortunately, even w/target 38 loads, it was uncomfortable for her to shoot and looked like it kicked like a mule. She is a petite 5'2". Any recommendations for a replacement, caliber, manufacturer? Any help is appreciated.

Kanga,

We just got my wife her first gun the other day after having her try four different guns at the range, two different Glock 9mm, a 38 Special revolver and a Bersa 380. We ended up choosing the Bersa Thunder 380. She had never shot a gun before and was able to put all her shots in the 10 circle at 15 yards. I figure with Hollow Point shells, a 380 will provide enough stopping power. I did some reading up on the Bersa prior to testing it and read several reviews from Peace Officers that said they used the Bersa 380 as their backup CCW gun.

RedFord150
01-01-2010, 10:14 PM
My wife likes our Ruger GP100 (.357 mag) with .38 loads. this is a 4" heavy barrel.
My wife is barely 5'2".
Light guns are always an issue with recoil.
I would really look at the GP100 or the S&W L-frame (686) with 4" or 6" barrel.
Good luck.

Hunt
01-01-2010, 10:19 PM
low recoil personal defense .38 spcl ammo

http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/handgun.aspx?id=400

brassburnz
01-01-2010, 10:49 PM
My wife is not a shooter, but she wanted something she could shoot. I bought her a Smith and Wesson 686 with a 6" barrel. It's a heavy gun to carry around, but that's not what it's for. It's a very easy gun to shoot.

148 grain wadcutters recoil like a .22 magnum. 158 grain lead hollowpoints +P are very manageable and very accurate out of this gun. 125 grain .357 magnum rounds are a little stout, but fully controllable.

I also have a Model 17 with the full underlug but in 4". The grip and trigger of the 17 mimics the 686 for practice with .22 rimfire ammo. My wife will start out with 50 rounds of rimfire followed by a cylinder or two of wadcutters, then a cylinder of +P .38 Specials. She doesn't usually shoot .357 magnum rounds.

When she first saw the 686, she thought it was going to be too heavy. I told her small revolvers are for experts, not beginners. Besides, the 686 also makes a good club if you need one.

rgs1975
01-01-2010, 10:54 PM
"I figure with Hollow Point shells, a 380 will provide enough stopping power."

That's not always the case. With typical ballistics of the .380 a hollow point bullet could quite possibly do one of two not so good things. It could possibly not expand properly because of lack of energy or it could fully expand but then fail to penetrate very far.

In my opinion a more formidable self defense round for the .380 would be full metal jacket. With FMJ at least you know you'll get the deep penetration needed to effect vital organs, break bones, etc... that is quinticential to rapidly stopping a threat.

Another option is the +P .380 ammunition that Buffalo Bore produces. It's stout ammunition with ballistics comparible to .38 Special. I use the +P Hardcast Lead Flat Nose in my Sig P230. I have read reports of this +P .380 ammo damaging the smaller/weaker guns chambered in this caliber. Personally, I wouldn't shoot it in any gun with an abundance of plastic or less than extremely robust mechanics. For the record, my steel P230 handles it fine.

Argonaut
01-01-2010, 11:00 PM
My wife loves her M60 Smith 357 with adjustable sights and 3" barrel. We shoot lots of light loads but can use 357 for "social" work

twotap
01-01-2010, 11:21 PM
Taurus tracker 627.stainless, 4in ported underlug barrell for weight ,ribber grip for comfort ,minimum recoil 38sp for fun ,357 mag for business .Priced to not break the bank. Smooth shooting fun.

IrishPirate
01-01-2010, 11:23 PM
everything i've read about the gun says GO WITH A BERSA THUNDER!! i plan to.

WINGEDSWORD
01-01-2010, 11:37 PM
I second the choice of the 3 inch model 60 with adjustable sights. My wife is barely 5 feet and that is what she owns.

ejor
01-01-2010, 11:46 PM
the gp-100 works very well, 4"or 6" barrel right amount of weight and the rubber grip design helps some too.

redhemi
01-01-2010, 11:54 PM
SP101 or GP100. I have a GP100 4" and my daughter (19) likes to shoot the 38s and I would almost feel sorry for anybody who came at her when she has it in her hands :61: Best thing find a range or friend with one or both so she can test fire them. Redhemi

k1dude
01-02-2010, 12:35 AM
In semi-auto, my wife likes a Glock 26, Kahr P380, Kahr PM45 or Bersa 380. All depends on the size of her hands.

How did you get the off roster pistols?

Jonathan Doe
01-02-2010, 6:51 AM
My wife has a S&W model 66 w/ 2 1/2 inch barrel. She likes it.

BigDogatPlay
01-02-2010, 9:54 AM
My wife has a S&W model 66 w/ 2 1/2 inch barrel. She likes it.

+1... my wife, all 5'4" with small hands, handles a 2.5 inch 19 quite easily.

I'd recommend just about any K-frame S&W in either .38 or .357 with a 2.5 up to a 4 inch barrel. A Model 10, 12, or 15 can often be found in consignment cases, 13's and 19's / 66's are a bit tougher but they are out there to find. Aftermarket grips are plentiful so finding a good grip combination for smaller hands is a snap. Any of these will weigh ~two pounds unloaded. A spring kit and some dry firing will smooth out the action nicely.

paul0660
01-02-2010, 9:58 AM
Maybe she needs to learn how to hold it:

http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to/video/how-to-shoot-a-revolver-like-pro-jerry-miculek-276392/view/

BlackonBlack
01-02-2010, 11:54 AM
The Cop Inch. 357 Mag 4 Barrel Derringer

http://www.kitsune.addr.com/Firearms/Single-Shot-Pistols/COP_357.jpg

axhoaxho
01-02-2010, 1:47 PM
Maybe she needs to learn how to hold it:

http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to/vi...k-276392/view/

That is a good series of short video instructions taught by Jerry Miculek.

Thanks for sharing.

P.S. Sorry I forgot to mention, try the S&W LadySmith (model: 60LS.) My wife tried the LadySmith, and she liked it a lot.

wickedkewl
01-02-2010, 5:58 PM
My wife likes our Ruger GP100 (.357 mag) with .38 loads. this is a 4" heavy barrel.
My wife is barely 5'2".
Light guns are always an issue with recoil.
I would really look at the GP100 or the S&W K-frame (686) with 4" or 6" barrel.
Good luck.

I would have to agree with the GP100. I'm a 35yo woman, about 5'6", I've always shot my Ruger .357 the most comfortably. I've got the 4" barrel with a nice comfy grip on it and with the .38 specials, there's barely a kick at all. I also am enjoying my Kahr CW9, but that Ruger is really my fav! (It's what I keep at the bedside) :cool:

HowardW56
01-02-2010, 6:06 PM
Hello all.

I originally purchased a S&W Airweight 38 for her to use. Unfortunately, even w/target 38 loads, it was uncomfortable for her to shoot and looked like it kicked like a mule. She is a petite 5'2". Any recommendations for a replacement, caliber, manufacturer? Any help is appreciated.

Get her a model 10, the added weight dampens the recoil...

I have helped several women at the range, who were sold 2" J frames for home protection. The stores that sold them didn't do the cusomer or the shooting sport a favor. Unless it is for concealed carry, get a K frame revolver with a 4" barrel minimum, Ruger's are good too... Put some Hogue grips on it and unless she has tiny hands, she will have better control and will be more comfortable.

axhoaxho
01-03-2010, 4:18 PM
Might want to see if you can find a FN Five-seveN for her to try out. It has one of the more mild recoils in a semi-auto and with the right ammo it's sufficient for self defense.

My wife has a FN Five-seveN. Indeed, the Five-seveN is a very compatiable pistol for the ladies.

The Five-seveN is lightweight, its recoil is mild, its slide is easy to operate with smaller hands, it is accurate, and it is very fun to plink.

With the right ammo, like the EA ProtecTOR, it also can be sufficient for self defense.

On the downside, the Five-seveN is rather pricey, and the top 5.7x28mm ammos can be difficult to get (EA has a 8-10 weeks backorder for most of its ammos.)

And compares to a revolver, the Five-seveN (like pistols in general) is more complicated to clean and operate, and needs more trainings to deal with possible jamming. My wife also shoots my stainless steel S&W 686 for twenty some years, and that revolver is pretty much a shoot-it-and-forget-it gun, which she prefers very much.

Guns are like gloves, we needs to physically try them to find out which ones fit us. I would suggest a visit with your wife to the local friendly gun store would help a lot.

With best regards,

kanga123
01-03-2010, 5:08 PM
Thanks for all the input. Lots to review. I will take her to range and rent a few different models before I make the investment.

Thanks again.

WokMaster1
01-03-2010, 9:59 PM
Thanks for all the input. Lots to review. I will take her to range and rent a few different models before I make the investment.

Thanks again.

If you're in the SF Bay area, take her to Bullseye in San Rafael. PM Dan (Soldier415) He is the sales manager there. Maybe he can work you a deal if you rent their guns & buy from them.

Let your wife pick what she is comfortable with. Add some "ladies" beginner classes & some training. Good luck.

Echidin
01-03-2010, 10:49 PM
Hello all.

I originally purchased a S&W Airweight 38 for her to use. Unfortunately, even w/target 38 loads, it was uncomfortable for her to shoot and looked like it kicked like a mule. She is a petite 5'2". Any recommendations for a replacement, caliber, manufacturer? Any help is appreciated.


I've got a S&W 442 and I agree after it can become uncomfortable to shoot, but have you tried any Federal Hydra-shok 110gr defense rounds?

ElvenSoul
01-04-2010, 12:55 AM
there are various COMBLOC old Ruskie guns that would really fit the bill...and they can be very accurate, take abuse, and C&R status.

bsg
01-04-2010, 2:30 AM
good luck with the hunt....

SIGman Freud
01-04-2010, 6:07 PM
thanks. I was also thinking going with longer barrel in 38 for weight and balance to control kick.

I haven't shot it yet, but I was VERY impressed with the S&W 60 Pro series in .357/.38 special. She can practice with 38 specials for the most part. Check it out. Not too heavy and very ergonomic. Should fit both yours and her hands easily. They also make the "Ladysmith" that might be worth looking into as well.

Good luck!

FeuerFrei
01-04-2010, 6:12 PM
Try changing to rubber grips and use wad cutters to practice with.
Load the HD rounds of your/her choice when ready to be called on for home/personal defense.
S&W Airweight 38 is a good gun. Find a way to keep it around.

MicronuT
01-04-2010, 8:37 PM
i thought the title was some kind of trade option

sp_train_77
01-04-2010, 8:48 PM
Get a Ruger SP-101 in 38 Special or 327 Federal Magnum. Enough weight to absorb recoil, small enough for small hands.

Airweights are for skilled shooters who know what to expect from recoil.

axhoaxho
01-04-2010, 9:37 PM
The Ruger SP101 is a very solid little revolver. It is built like a tank, and I think it will last a life time and more. It also doesn't have the S&W internal lock, which some of us don't mind without.

On the other hand, the SP101 factory trigger could be a little on the heavy side for smaller female fingers. In double-action, my wife found it a little difficult for her index finger to pulling the trigger smoothly without 'dipping the aim' a little.

I think a trigger job or more practice can cure it. Yet, make sure your wife tries the trigger of the SP101 and compares it to something like the S&W 60LS LadySmith.

Happy shopping.

With best regards,

sspen003
01-04-2010, 11:57 PM
The Ruger SP101 is a very solid little revolver. It is built like a tank, and I think it will last a life time and more. It also doesn't have the S&W internal lock, which some of us don't mind without.

On the other hand, the SP101 factory trigger could be a little on the heavy side for smaller female fingers. In double-action, my wife found it a little difficult for her index finger to pulling the trigger smoothly without 'dipping the aim' a little.

I think a trigger job or more practice can cure it. Yet, make sure your wife tries the trigger of the SP101 and compares it to something like the S&W 60LS LadySmith.

Happy shopping.

With best regards,

Get the wolf spring kit. Comes with 3 different springs. Makes shooting double action seem like nothing

BillCA
01-05-2010, 4:38 AM
The S&W 431PD/432PD are good choices. Low recoil, six shots, lightweight and powerful enough for defense. It's not easy to be accurate beyond 10 yards with the black on black sights, but some paint on the front sight helps.
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/BillCA/Hobby/jf/32/SW432PDhand.jpg
S&W 432PD, .32 H&R Magnum.

Downside is that ammo is a bit pricey for it's size. The gun will fire .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Magnum.

Since there isn't a huge demand, if you can find one, you can probably pick it up easily for half the cost of any new revolver. Ruger also made their SP-101 in .32 H&R with a 3" barrel. There may be some of these languishing in a distributor's warehouse or a retailer's safe somewhere.



Another guns to consider, if you can find them in the used gun case, are

Ruger Security-Six®. This was Ruger's answer to the S&W K-Frame. It's a six-shot .357 built on a medium frame slightly smaller and lighter than the GP-100.
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/BillCA/Hobby/stock/Ruger_Sec_6.jpg

Ruger Speed-Six . This is a fixed sight version of the Security-Six. Many were made in .38 Special only and I've also seen them in .357.
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/BillCA/Hobby/stock/ruger_Speed_6.jpg
A good K-frame .38 Special should be easy to find. There are used ones turning up often enough that you should be able to find a "low mileage" specimen. One of my favorites is the S&W Model 15 Combat Masterpiece (Mod 67 in stainless).
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/BillCA/Hobby/kf/M15/M67_1673GL.jpg
These twins are simple .38 Special revolvers with adjustable sights, ribbed barrel and superb balance and handling. I've added the larger "target" grips for my comfort to these two. The Model 15 was used by many police officers, including LAPD, for over 20 years.

The best part is that depending on condition, these can be had anywhere from $250 to $450. The blued model above is a police trade-in and still in excellent shape.

joelberg
01-05-2010, 5:44 AM
Hrm... My girlfriend is 5'4 100 lbs and loves shooting my .44. Too bad ammo's so expensive for it, I love to shoot it too! I think the issue is that the 38 is an airweight and not heavy. Get her a heavier .357 and load it with .38 that has a similar grip style and keep the airweight. She can use the airweight in an emergency but will be good to go with regular shooting with the heavier pistol with the longer barrel. I like the Ruger SP101 also. Ruger makes solid revolvers.

8-Ball
01-05-2010, 6:20 AM
Hello all.

I originally purchased a S&W Airweight 38 for her to use. Unfortunately, even w/target 38 loads, it was uncomfortable for her to shoot and looked like it kicked like a mule. She is a petite 5'2". Any recommendations for a replacement, caliber, manufacturer? Any help is appreciated.

I recently had a smith/friend rework my 638 Airweight to reduce the trigger pull and smooth out the action... what a difference. He replaced both springs and did some deburring.

My wife loves to shoot the XD but puts the revolver down after a couple of rounds.

My friend suggested that the target rounds we are using are too strong and that she may have better luck with the Federal Hydro-shocks and also suggested what his old department used... .38 wad cutters... lighter load, less kick, and punched a big hole...

We haven't fired it since the work but you can sure feel the difference while dry firing...

Will post back up when we get a chance with it at the range...

liketoshoot
01-05-2010, 8:00 AM
Get a Ruger SP-101 in 38 Special or 327 Federal Magnum. Enough weight to absorb recoil, small enough for small hands.

Airweights are for skilled shooters who know what to expect from recoil.

My daughter is 4'11" and 95# loves her Ruger SP101 in 327 mag. she uses 32 long and mag loads for pratice and this will last her for ever.

coop44
01-05-2010, 9:35 AM
Small frame guns (revolvers), Originally were never built for novice shooters. They were built for "Law Enforcement professionals". They are not well suited for small weak hands. They were intended to be used as off duty, undercover and back up weapons. In the hands of an accomplished experienced shooter, it is still, at best, a very short range hard recoiling painful gun.

buy one for your wife if you want her to stay at home and give up trying to join you at the range.

Back in the '70s when S&W saw their sales of the J frame plummet, some marketing genius (idiot) came up with the idea to advertise the J frame to women.

Now every newb thinks that it is the gun his wife/girlfriend "has to have".

Personally I think the venerable old "K" frame S&W is the best choice.

coop44
01-05-2010, 1:21 PM
i thought the title was some kind of trade option

It took a while for that to come up, I was going to go for it, but, I've already been banned once this week

Maplewood
01-05-2010, 1:39 PM
I just got my wife a $100 Raven last week, almost brand new, got from a friend who bought it new and never shot it. It's cute, small and chrome and she loves it, shot it up in Lake Arrowhead over the weekend and it works great and this is just for range fun, not fighting off PSP / Crack Addicted Axe Murderers bent on mayhem, although I told her if she does only have the Raven when that happens to unload all 6 shots and then whip it at the guys head and run like the wind

Renshai
01-05-2010, 1:54 PM
My wife is super tiny too, and she has a 4" bulldog in .44spcl, and with light loads does well...A lot of people have said the .327 and I would definitely agree with that too. Lots of different rounds for it. ALSO it couls be as simple as grip which was also mentioned or just changing the grips out to a Hogue or similar. Bfore you giveup on it, try a couple of different things and see if they work and then go from there :)

abusalim81
01-05-2010, 11:16 PM
I'd recommend the Ruger SP101 Snub-nose over any other revolver out there!
Hands down one of the most built solid, reliable revolvers which is a joy to shoot even for fun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXskQ4pKAlw