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Ladies Forum A place for our female Calgunners to discuss, share and interact without the 'excess attention' sometimes found in online forums.

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  #1  
Old 12-13-2009, 6:01 PM
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Default LADIES: HELP ME FIND A HANDGUN FOR MY WIFE

I am thinking either a small frame revolver in .38 or medium auto in .380 or 9mm.

Any suggestions and/or experiences on what you have tried or owned and like would be greatly appreciated.

She wants to shoot, but is afraid of large guns and the recoil of larger calibers.

Thanks, your input is much appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2009, 6:07 PM
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I have the Glock G19 and LOVE it! I'm fairly wimpy, but have found the G19 is just perfect.
And like your wife, I don't dig the bigger calibers, which is why I like the 9mm.

btw-so far as recoil goes, I had a problem with recoil and my wrists sort of flipping back a little after each shot. HOWEVER, once I took a lesson and learned how to properly hold my pistol, it was no longer a problem. So in addition to the right gun, get her some good instruction! And overall, what I've found, it takes time to get comfortable with shooting.
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Old 12-13-2009, 6:11 PM
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Ruger LCR
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Old 12-13-2009, 6:21 PM
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Thanks NorCalMama! Good advice on the instruction! My only concern with the Glocks is grip size. She wears a womens small glove and, correct me if I am wrong, but I think the G19 grip is the same size (around) as my G22 which is too big for her to comfortably hold.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quick draw mcgraw View Post
Thanks NorCalMama! Good advice on the instruction! My only concern with the Glocks is grip size. She wears a womens small glove and, correct me if I am wrong, but I think the G19 grip is the same size (around) as my G22 which is too big for her to comfortably hold.
I haven't handled the G22, but I do know that the grip seems a bit hefty, but now knowing how to hold it, the size isn't an issue. But ultimately, like somebody else mentioned, definitely have her handle various handguns and see what she "clicks" with. For me, gun shopping was like clothes shopping. I found what I felt that connection with and ended up buying it. Couldn't be happier! It's a very personal item to purchase, so she really needs to find just the right one for her. Congrats in advance to your wife!

I don't know if you live close by, but if you are near Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Citrus Heights, etc maybe have your wife get in touch with the user on here, 9mmepiphany. He is who I took my lesson with and he was AMAZING!
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:45 AM
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As in past posts, it was suggested that when trying to decide, it might be more practical to visit a range where they rent a variety of handguns. That way, you won't find yourself locked into a purchase that she may not be entirely happy with.

Myself, I thought learning the basics with a revolver was productive in helping me understand sight alignment and get over the anxiety of recoil. When I got into competitive shooting, air pistol and centerfire gave me a well-rounded overview of what types of grips were suited for me.

Good luck!
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2009, 9:27 PM
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it might not be in your price comfort range, but an excellent gun for small hands is the Springfield EMP.

most .380s will kick/muzzle flip pretty sharply because they are a blowback, rather than locked action

small framed revolvers usually aren't a good idea either as they take quite a bit of skill to handle the small frame and medium caliber.

you might want to take a look at a steel framed Kahr
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2009, 10:18 PM
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Why not try a .22? I love the Browning Buck Mark. easy, not intimidating and fun to shoot! Great triggers too, IMO!
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2009, 10:22 PM
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The wifey loves my P239 9mm and shoots well with it....
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2009, 10:38 PM
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Just before this past Thanksgiving, I got to dryfire a really nifty S&W 686 (with maybe a 5" or longer barrel). What impressed me about it was the short, easy and incredibly smooth trigger pull -- single-action than the usual double-action found on revolvers. I think it's a Performance Center model. Nifty gun. Much funner to dryfire than my non-lock S&W 642.

Still if she's like most women, she'll want to be accurate. If she's small, it might be best to get her to learn with a handgun she can control and gain confidence with in a short time. A .22LR pistol would be a good starter pistol. Whichever model fits her hand and that she likes should be the one she gets. Since .22s don't have much recoil, a .22LR that she picked out and trained on may well inspire her to try a bigger caliber pistol. Honestly between a 9mm and a .40, for a second pistol I think she'd be happier with a .40 in terms of learning to tame her fear of firing a higher caliber pistol. Or she could do what I did -- go to a 1911 in .45.

And I loved shooting the Sig P239 .40. Great pistol.
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  #11  
Old 12-13-2009, 11:44 PM
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Default Go for fit first.

Find a gun that fits her hand first.

Problem with many autos is that they are double stacked magazines which makes them fat. Find one with a single stack.

Consider starting her with a 22 cal first. This way she can go thru 3 to 5 thousand rounds to develop good shooting habits.

It is easy to shoot 2 to 300 rounds without breaking the wallet with a 22 cal.

Once she is comfortable with a 22, then you can get her a defense gun. Personally I wouldn't go with anything smaller than a 9mm.

There are pros and cons between the 40 and the 45, my personal preference is a 45, but that is me.

Revolvers are simple, just grab and go. The problem I see with revolvers is double action trigger pulls are extremely heavy and in panic situations, they lead to extreme jerking of guns which means missing targets at close range.

I can put 8 rounds into a target in under 3 seconds accurately with my 45.

For home defense I keep 10 round mags, don't care if they stick out of bottomof gun, so I have 11 rounds versus 6.

I would be lucky to get 6 rounds fired with a double action revolver in 3 seconds accurately.

Granted, some revolver shooters are really fast, especially the Cowboy action shooters, but that is not most people.

Hope this helps

Nicki
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:51 AM
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Nicki has covered the single most important consideration........start with a 22, and practice, practice, practice.

A double-action revolver is the most practical handgun, in that its the easiest to use and simplest in operation.

A best quality one, S & W or Colt, is not cheap, but 'theres no free lunch'.

Have her try the feel of the various small frame versions, different barrel lengths, for 'balance', and look at the varieties of optional grips available......the most important thing in that context is to find the combination of handgun and grips which will 'feel right' to her.....it may feel 'all wrong' to you.

The double-action pull of many revolvers is 'too heavy' cos its not set up correctly. Having a revolver 'tuned' by a good specialist gunsmith will make the DA pull easy and smooth.....the techniques for doing this have been well refined, over the years and its relatively inexpensive to have done.

Nicki is technically correct in preferring a 45 as a self-defence handgun......but.....a 22, with maximum load hollow-point rounds, is a serious weapon, and will be a realistic choice for self-defence in many, if not all, potential scenarios.

A human assailant, struck in the neck or face, or even in a shoulder, by a 22HP, is exceedingly unlikely to continue an assault. A mountain lion, wild pig, or a vicious large dog of the shepherd/pit bull class, would be a very different story. A 357 or 45 is 'just barely adequate' against a dangerous animal.

The point, of course, is that if she is sufficiently interested to be willing to practice, she will develop the skill to be able to 'point shoot' quickly and accurately. Hitting with the 22 is far preferable to flinching and missing with a 9MM or 45.

This is where the humble 22, and a few thousand rounds of dedicated 'muscle memory' practice, will make 'all the difference', as compared to a heavy handgun which is too fatiguing, in terms of noise and recoil, to allow for comfortable practice.

So-called 'muscle memory' is the 'key' to effective use of a handgun. As an example of muscle memory, as any reasonably good guitar player to do a chord....and then a key of chords......and then the 'inversion' of those chords, up the neck......the guitar player doesn't have to think about where to place his/her fingers on which strings, at which frets.....he/she just thinks, for example 'Em7 chord at the 9th fret', and the 'muscle memory' response is 'automatic'. It took that player quite a few hours of practice to develop that 'automatic response', didn't it?

cheers

Carla
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  #13  
Old 12-24-2009, 8:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masameet View Post
S&W 686 (with maybe a 5" or longer barrel).
Yep, great gun.

I own a 6" version..... .38 rounds pop out very softly to the shooter. And even .357 magnum rounds are nice to shoot out of that big ole block of glorious stainless steel ;-)

With a 6" barrel, I am (by far) more accurate with that gun that anything else I have.

But at around 2.5 pounds (38-43 ounces) and 9"-12" stem to stern (depending upon barrel length), it is a big rascal.


I would suggest a S&W J-Frame (such as the model 60LS mentioned above) in .38 or a Ruger LCR.

Both are great revolvers. Very respectable defense rounds, very reliable and very easy to operate and to maintain. And if she goes CCW both are very concealable.


.


.

Last edited by Cougar; 12-24-2009 at 8:36 AM..
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2009, 9:02 AM
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Thanks for the input everyone!!

Have any of you ladies tried/own a Kahr K9? I have a Kahr P40 that fits my wife's hand really well, but it kicks like a mule. I think the steel frame and 9mm of the K9 would be alot easier on recoil while the fit would be similar and familiar to her.
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Old 12-22-2009, 1:42 PM
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My son bought a K9 for my daughter in law. The trigger was awful and accuracy was unacceptable times three! Several very good to expert pistol shooters agreed that the thing was a POS. They gave the thing away and my daughter opted to stick with her LadySmith.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quick draw mcgraw View Post
Thanks for the input everyone!!

Have any of you ladies tried/own a Kahr K9? I have a Kahr P40 that fits my wife's hand really well, but it kicks like a mule. I think the steel frame and 9mm of the K9 would be alot easier on recoil while the fit would be similar and familiar to her.
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Old 12-22-2009, 1:57 PM
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You might have her try the M&P series of pistols. They have interchangeable hand grips, and with the small size installed they fit my wife's small hands pretty well.
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Old 01-15-2010, 9:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meplat View Post
My son bought a K9 for my daughter in law. The trigger was awful and accuracy was unacceptable times three! Several very good to expert pistol shooters agreed that the thing was a POS. They gave the thing away and my daughter opted to stick with her LadySmith.
Hi Quick Draw McGraw and Melplat. I am currently shooting a PM9 that someone in my college class loaned to me. I totally love it. I'm a girl (5' 4") and I've got pretty small hands. I've taken it to the range 3 times now and I am waaay more accurate with it than the previous guns I shot which include a Springfield 9mm subcompact and a bursa 380.

This last time I went to the range, my bullet holes were in a 3" grouping at 7 yards away. For me, that is really good! So I as a girl would definitely vote for the PM9, especially with a grip extender. I'm pretty sure I will buy this one from the guy in my class. Just my 2 cents
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quick draw mcgraw View Post
Have any of you ladies tried/own a Kahr K9? I have a Kahr P40 that fits my wife's hand really well, but it kicks like a mule. I think the steel frame and 9mm of the K9 would be alot easier on recoil while the fit would be similar and familiar to her.
I shot LG1980's Kahr a few months ago. I think it was the K9. Thought the recoil was rather tame. It did have a tendency to shoot to the left, I think. Which was easily correctable.

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What about pulling the slides on semi auto handguns? Any advise on ez pull slides vs harder slides on some handguns?
Two things I've learned in handling semi-automatics:

* Make sure to apply grease to the frame and under the slide after cleaning -- makes racking the pistol much easier; and

* Instead of pulling the slide back, hold the slide with the weak hand and push the pistol grip forward with the strong hand (after releasing the safety). Ensure that the flesh of the hand between the thumb and forefinger is up and against the grip, just below the hammer, to engage the grip safety.
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Old 12-24-2009, 7:27 AM
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Default Ladysmith Revolver

I picked up a S&W Ladysmith revolver (.38 Special) with the Rosewood grips for my wife last year. She loves it.
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Old 12-24-2009, 8:48 AM
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I don't fit your criteria of a woman answering your question, but I can tell you what works for my wife. She picked out her Christmas present this year from under the glass. The gun she picked out is a S&W 6904. She had been wanting a 9mm and 92fs's were a bit big for her, but the 6904 fits her just right. She shoots it pretty well also.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:52 AM
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What about pulling the slides on semi auto handguns? Any advise on ez pull slides vs harder slides on some handguns?
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Old 01-21-2010, 3:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka7_s13 View Post
What about pulling the slides on semi auto handguns? Any advise on ez pull slides vs harder slides on some handguns?
My .02: being old school, I choose one semi to work with and that's what I do, work with it until I have enough confidence to load it and clear it.

I'm not sure if your question covered a gun straight out of the box, but for me, breaking in a gun is like most things and that includes working the slide until you can rack it pretty easily.

I'm not as well-versed as 9MM (because he's in the celebrity class,), but I agree with him on that gun. However, I favor the 1911s for my hand and seem to do ok with the slide work.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:37 PM
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Hi
I'm new to the forums and also new to guns overall. Just a couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted to own a handgun and start learning about the overall hobby/sport. I love how informative this forum is. I watch these type of threads so that I can try and gauge what people say are good for beginners and for women. So just wanted to say I'm loving all the suggestions and it sure helps in the learning process.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catheaven View Post
Hi
I'm new to the forums and also new to guns overall. Just a couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted to own a handgun and start learning about the overall hobby/sport. I love how informative this forum is. I watch these type of threads so that I can try and gauge what people say are good for beginners and for women. So just wanted to say I'm loving all the suggestions and it sure helps in the learning process.
Welcome aboard, Catheaven!

Hope your learning turns out to be lots of fun.
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Old 01-21-2010, 1:28 PM
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Quote:
Any advise on ez pull slides vs harder slides on some handguns?
the easiest slides to retract on a locked action are the Beretta models, unfortunately the 92/96 is a bit wide for a lot of folks...fits my hand pretty well

they used to make a single stack 9mm Beretta than had a "flip-up" barrel for chambering the first round, but i can't think of the model number off the top of my head...i always thought it was idea for folks who had trouble pulling the slide back, plus the Beretta action is smoother in recoil than many tilt-barrel systems
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Old 01-21-2010, 6:14 PM
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Steyrlp10 is being too generous

the 1911 is actually an excellent platform for a woman as it is highly adaptable to smaller hands and the .45ACP's recoil is less violent many popular claibres.

my sometimes reluctance in mentioning the 1911 has to do with folks not understanding what it takes to make one run reliably and being put off by the price to get a reliable one to start with.

it's a bit of a jealous mistress
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Old 01-28-2010, 3:39 PM
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Just wanted to take a minute to say thanks and follow up with those of you who gave some great advice.

After talking with many people (including my wife) we decided that she should take an introductory firearms class before we go gun shopping. As such, we signed her up for a 'Firearms Primer' class at Valley Defense Consulting where she will have the opportunity to shoot a variety of different models under professional supervision (although I have taken many classes with them it was agreed on by all parties that I not be there to make her nervous.....or put in my 2 cents). LOL

Anyway, she is very excited now and telling all her friends that she is gonna go shoot the "45"! LOL

Hopefully all goes well and she will want to sign up for a full blown defensive handgun course this year!

Thanks again for everyones help!!!
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  #28  
Old 01-29-2010, 11:42 AM
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Quick Draw, you're a great guy -- hope she has a really good time and invites you to go gun shopping with her
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