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View Full Version : Looking for a .40 automatic to fit my wife's small hands


Jason_2111
02-15-2010, 10:44 AM
Hello Calgunners!

I've been planning on buying my wife a gun for about the last 6 months, and need some advice.
We've gone shooting several times, and she has fired my guns and various rental guns, and we're getting closer to finding out what she likes/dislikes. I'm just worried that a really great option might not be available at our local gun store/range, and she ends up settling for something that isn't optimal for her.

Initial parameters: Looking for .40 S&W, not 9mm, not 45 ACP. Price is not an issue at all. Lighter is better.

Originally, I'd planned on a his and her set of HK USP pistols, full size .40 for me, and the 9mm USP compact for her. However, she's decided that she wants to go with .40, and the USP grip is a little too big. Thankfully, I had her test fire one at the range before buying it as a surprise for her birthday.

Here's what she's fired, and her feedback so far:

Glock 23: Grip too big, didn't even want to shoot it.
Beretta M9: Grip too big, gun was too heavy. After about 4 magazines, her arm got tired.
HK USP Compact: The grip wasn't too bad, but I'd like smaller.
Springfield Armory XD: The grip felt good at first, but she didn't like the way it shot, and didn't like the grip safety. It's the only one she's given a definite "NO" to.
Smith & Wesson MP: The grip was ok, same as the USP Compact, but the brass kept hitting her in the face, and it jammed a lot.

All in all, she liked the Smith and HK about the same, but wasn't wow'd by either.

She hasn't tried any Sig's yet... but since me and my big hands really like them, I doubt they will fit her small hands.

However, I've never tried any smaller ones.

So if you have small hands and shoot .40, what is your favorite gun?

If the local store doesn't carry it, I'll make sure to get one in her hands to try out the feel. I'm hoping to find the Goldilocks gun for her that feels "just right" so we can shoot often. :)

Thanks in advance for your $.02!

--- Jason

creampuff
02-15-2010, 10:54 AM
Remember HK 2000 series has adjustable backstraps to fit smaller (or larger) size hands.

Welcome to calguns (you might want to drop the "automatic" from your title :)

Is she very set on the 0.40? The 0.40 is a bit too snappy for my wife particularly the compact size handguns.

w55
02-15-2010, 11:08 AM
Glock 27 is pretty small, check one out.

BlackICE
02-15-2010, 11:42 AM
How about Kahrs?

Jason_2111
02-15-2010, 12:48 PM
Yes, she is set on going with .40, and it's not really a matter of a "tiny" gun, like the HK 2000sk, but a matter of grip size.

I hadn't considered swapping out the backstrap, brilliant! (This is why I asked!) An off-board friend has suggested I have her try out a Walther PPS as well.

I'll put the Kahr TP40 and the Glock 27 on the must-try list too.

Thanks! :)

(sorry for the title... doh! It's monday.)

irsasc
02-15-2010, 12:57 PM
I have small hands and i have the S&W M&P 40 compact. I just use the smallest grip for it so it works out perfectly.

-R-
02-15-2010, 1:00 PM
What about a sig sp2022? They have interchangeable grips for small hands.

http://www.sigsauer.de/uploads/pics/07_wechselgriffe_01.jpg

Also the Walther PPS isnt on the california roster. :(

9mmepiphany
02-15-2010, 1:01 PM
it funny but i never thought of the H&K P2000 as a "tiny gun" as they based their new P30C on it

if she didn't like the Glock G23, it's unlikely that she'd like the G27...i'm thinking she's objection the to depth (front to rear) measurement of the grip.

you might take a look at the just rostered Sig 250, you can switch frames and calibers at will because the Fire Control Group is the serial numbered part.

i can also highly recommend the Springfield EMP. it is currently on the roster in 9mm, but there is a .40 on the market waiting to be approved...and it has a steel frame also

Sheepdog1968
02-15-2010, 1:04 PM
I'm going through the same thing with my girlfriend and got her a gift certificate for Christmas. How about a 1911 in 40 cal? Weight might be a factor per OP. At least can try and 45 1911 for finger reach. The Sig P250 was added to CA DOJ list at the end of 2009. Totally adjustable in every aspect for size and caliber one you buy on. Just a thought. I love Sigs as well but too big for my girlfriend. Looking forward to trying the P250 to see if it works for her.

BossHog
02-15-2010, 2:26 PM
Sig P239 in .40 would be perfect. I have one and it fits my wife's hand like a glove.

SDJim
02-15-2010, 2:31 PM
+1 on the Kahr PM40 http://www.kahr.com/PA-1_40sw_pm.html It was my CCW gun when I was up in Washington. My daughter who has small hands was able to keep 10 rounds in a 10" circle her first (and only) time shooting. It is a little muzzle whippy but due to the design it sets itself up well for follow up shots.

Big Jake
02-15-2010, 2:55 PM
I have a Glock 27 and it is great. Very small and lightwieght! Great gun for small hands.

Doheny
02-15-2010, 3:04 PM
Most small .40's kick more than a female might appreciate. Before you buy, make sure you rent the model you're thinking about at your local range. Personally, I'd talk her into a 9mm.

.

Trapper
02-15-2010, 6:21 PM
+1 for the Sig 239

Steyrlp10
02-15-2010, 8:26 PM
If price isn't an issue, you could always commission an expert to make her custom grips out of whatever wood she deems to be "pretty." I shoot offhand, so all my grips are custom except for the 1911s. That's my suggestion if she wants something that is specifically tailored to her and not to a man. (It has assisted me greatly in discouraging my husband from walking off with any of my toys since he can't even get two fingers wrapped around!)

El Gato
02-15-2010, 8:53 PM
The M&P jamming?
That's weirdness....
would suspect ammo, very dirty gun or very poor grip and arm position...
the Smith with the small grip insert is almost a universal go for ladies...
my wife uses hers to teach with so much we are going to have to buy her another one just to carry... the range gun is getting shot too much...:D

The smith is a dandy gun...esp. the full size gun...

suggestion... find a lady instructor and buy her some range time with same... where she can try a variety of guns...don't know what part of the state you are in but I know of a couple in the OC and here in Kern She Who Must Be Obeyed... works full time as a firearms instructor...there has got to be someone near where you live...

Joe
02-15-2010, 10:22 PM
I'd say the kahr k40. Awesome size and good weight to help with recoil.

ace_31
02-15-2010, 10:28 PM
HK 2000 or walther p99, both great pistols, both interchangeable backstraps.

Good luck and let us know what you guys decide on!

Richie Caketown
02-16-2010, 12:38 AM
+1 one on the wierdness of the M&P jamming . Never has mine given me any problems and the only times i have been hit with hot brass is when it bounced of the Lane dividers . If you are in the San diego area or make your way down here let me know and ill show you how a well taken care of M&P works

M47_Dragon
02-17-2010, 12:05 AM
Sig P239 in .40 would be perfect.

I agree... weight might be a little bit of an issue, but she should give it an honest try.

sirgiles
02-18-2010, 6:25 PM
+ 1 on the sig p239
+1 on the hk p2000 or p2000sk

Acorn556
02-18-2010, 8:00 PM
Hello Calgunners!

Smith & Wesson MP: The grip was ok, same as the USP Compact, but the brass kept hitting her in the face, and it jammed a lot.

All in all, she liked the Smith and HK about the same, but wasn't wow'd by either.

--- Jason


Not my experience with my M&P 40 full size. Actually I've seen more brass interference from the XD than my M&P. Could it have been the stance she had or how she was shooting? I've never had mine jam so it might have been that particular one. Range rental?

Treb5
02-18-2010, 8:11 PM
Hello Calgunners!

I've been planning on buying my wife a gun for about the last 6 months, and need some advice.
We've gone shooting several times, and she has fired my guns and various rental guns, and we're getting closer to finding out what she likes/dislikes. I'm just worried that a really great option might not be available at our local gun store/range, and she ends up settling for something that isn't optimal for her.

Initial parameters: Looking for .40 S&W, not 9mm, not 45 ACP. Price is not an issue at all. Lighter is better.

Originally, I'd planned on a his and her set of HK USP pistols, full size .40 for me, and the 9mm USP compact for her. However, she's decided that she wants to go with .40, and the USP grip is a little too big. Thankfully, I had her test fire one at the range before buying it as a surprise for her birthday.

Here's what she's fired, and her feedback so far:

Glock 23: Grip too big, didn't even want to shoot it.
Beretta M9: Grip too big, gun was too heavy. After about 4 magazines, her arm got tired.
HK USP Compact: The grip wasn't too bad, but I'd like smaller.
Springfield Armory XD: The grip felt good at first, but she didn't like the way it shot, and didn't like the grip safety. It's the only one she's given a definite "NO" to.
Smith & Wesson MP: The grip was ok, same as the USP Compact, but the brass kept hitting her in the face, and it jammed a lot.

All in all, she liked the Smith and HK about the same, but wasn't wow'd by either.

She hasn't tried any Sig's yet... but since me and my big hands really like them, I doubt they will fit her small hands.

However, I've never tried any smaller ones.

So if you have small hands and shoot .40, what is your favorite gun?

If the local store doesn't carry it, I'll make sure to get one in her hands to try out the feel. I'm hoping to find the Goldilocks gun for her that feels "just right" so we can shoot often. :)

Thanks in advance for your $.02!

--- Jason

Has she shot the Springfield EMP? My favorite by far. Feels great in the hand. I'm betting she will like it...

Second suggestion would be the Sig 239.

Extreme Z28
02-18-2010, 8:16 PM
+1 for the Sig P239 in .40 my wife loves hers.

Edge
02-20-2010, 8:37 AM
Try the F&N FNP40. My wife has small hands and loves this pistol.

itchy finger
02-20-2010, 7:26 PM
My wife is a very petit 5'01" woman. She has fired all of my pistols in .40 and 9mm. Without a doubt she loves my HK USP compact 40 the best. She has great control over it and for never firing any type of firearm before, she was able to handle it and control it the placement of the rounds very easily. I also have a friend who's daughter is similar in size to my wife and she uses a HK USP compact 40, as well as a Springfield XD 40. She has attended a few Front Site training classes and has done very well.

pontiacpratt
02-20-2010, 7:36 PM
Don't forget the PX4 Storm from Beretta.... The rotating barrel lessens the "snap" of the .40 S&W. Wife never had an issue until a range master suggested the hold where you cup your week hand under the grip and she almost dropped it. Now she is a little shy of it. She never had a problem with the thumbprint to thumbnail grip.

monkezuncle
02-21-2010, 5:27 PM
Look, I know you said she's dead set on a .40. But once upon a time I was dead set on a 10mm. Lesson learned.

.40 is a mite bit temperamental, in my opinion. Great round but for my wife, who is a great shot herself, I got a 9mm.

What we want and what it best are sometimes different. Lot of good reasons to go either .45 or 9mm and not too many to go .40.

Chivas
02-23-2010, 4:58 PM
Have you looked at a CZ 75 or a Baby Eagle. The Baby Eagle is heavier but it mitigates most of the recoil. You can also get a Baby Eagle with a light rail. Both guns have a very small grip. I think she needs to go with a 9MM.

mswanson223
02-23-2010, 7:35 PM
+1 for the Sig 239

M47_Dragon
02-23-2010, 11:07 PM
Wife never had an issue until a range master suggested the hold where you cup your week hand under the grip...

Rangemaster FAIL! :mad:

calgunner1
02-24-2010, 2:53 PM
hey Jason,
I've got a glock 27 40. cal. I'd like to sell.
I bought it about 6 months ago and only fired 10 rounds through it. I realy want a Kahr cw9 so I'm trying to get some money saved. I live in Auburn. If interested let me know. I'd like 450.00

OHOD
02-26-2010, 4:18 PM
I can shoot a Smith and Wesson M&P 40 just fine with the small backstrap insert.
Guaranteed to love it.

40cal.
02-27-2010, 6:35 PM
Check out the new Walther PPS 40. I saw one at Bass Pro a couple of weeks ago. waltheramerica.com

pontiacpratt
02-27-2010, 8:11 PM
Rangemaster FAIL! :mad:
The wife thanks your for your support.:notworthy:

2Cute2Shoot
03-10-2010, 8:28 PM
As someone with small hands, I found that shooting small guns doesn't always make things more comfortable. I think smaller guns are usually lighter, and seem to 'jerk' more when fired. For me anyway, they end up more uncomfortable. I was happy with one I could barely get my hand around (OK, now stop it boys:rolleyes:). The bigger guns of the same caliber just seemed to recoil more manageably for me.

So my bottom line is don't go get her a gun just because it fits in her hands. And even if she likes the fit, have her shoot it along with the same caliber but a bigger frame. She might be surprised at what she likes...

Vectrexer
03-30-2010, 7:20 PM
If you don't mind an older pistol, and a steel one at that the Star Firestar 40 is decent for small hands.

send it
04-11-2010, 6:16 PM
this sounds crazy but try a 1911 in a 40 cal variant

most women prefer the width of a single stack mag..... with guns anyway.....

Dooly
04-17-2010, 7:29 PM
take her to the local gun store and let her try the guns out for herself. Cant go wrong with H&K, Sigs, and glocks.

Jason_2111
10-09-2010, 9:19 PM
Well, I promised to update this thread when we finally settled on a pistol for my wife.

After lots of testing, trying, renting, and review reading... the winner ended up being: Sig P250 with a compact length and "small" size grip.

The Sig P239 in .40 came in close second. The deciding factor was actually the trigger on the 250.

In this whole process... I sort of ended up buying 3 more pistols for myself (oops).

So if anyone else runs through this exercise... don't forget to try out the P250! ;)

kdmmcc
10-18-2010, 10:03 AM
[QUOTE=Jason_2111;3810883]Yes, she is set on going with .40, and it's not really a matter of a "tiny" gun, like the HK 2000sk, but a matter of grip size.

the new Sig P226 has a thinner profile... I've had several female friends shoot sigs and they love them.

DPC
10-22-2010, 7:38 PM
Springfield EMP .40 cal

d4v0s
10-27-2010, 10:24 PM
Its a shame she said no to the XD. because the XDM is the absolute best choice for small hands, just got one for my aunt and it is trick to say the least. and those double stack 16 round mags are ultra sweet!

The trigger is fantastic, and the additional grip inserts make it totally customizable.

campperrykid
11-03-2010, 2:24 PM
This would have gotten my vote :
this sounds crazy but try a 1911 in a 40 cal variant

most women prefer the width of a single stack mag..... with guns anyway.....

A full size 1911 in .40 or 9mm can be a very good house gun for any human being with smallish hands . Moderate recoil , easy to rack the slide , and the 5 inch barrel makes for small but significant improvements in ballistics , muzzle flash , and muzzle blast. The history of the 1911 ( like the M1 Carbine ) gives it the the good guy gun reputation: Band of Brothers , Rosie the Riveter , Arsenal of Democracy , from the gates of Dachau to the streets of Manilla and all that.
The 1911's size cuts through all the cute-little-gun-for-the-cute-little-lady drivel as well...
ETA:
IME , running a Surefire combat light is a lot easier ( and more effective ) with the 1911 than any double stack defensive pistol that I have encountered .

novabrian
11-03-2010, 4:35 PM
+++1 for a 1911. Maybe even let her try a .45.