Wife gun suggestions?

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Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Weetabix » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:21 pm

My wife is little and doesn't have strong hands. And, she's not much interested in shooting. But I'd like her to have a gun.

Right now, I have one gun she can rack the slide on: Remington RM380. She shot it this weekend, and hated the trigger. It was OK dry firing, but it appears to have gotten heavier with a loaded magazine in it.

I'd bought a sack of pistols for her and the kids to feel before they chose. Here's what she's manipulated and found she can't handle the slide on: Keltec PF9, Taurus PT738, Kahr CM9 & PM9, Kahr P380, CZ 75 B PCR (kinda too big anyway). I didn't try her on the bigger stuff.

So, I've been thinking about a Sig P238, but I don't like the SAO on it - I'd prefer point and click functionality.

I have a little 38 revolver I could have her try.

Any other suggestions? Fire away!
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby randy » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:31 pm

Find a range that rents a variety of guns and have her try several. That's how Darlin' Daughter settled on a Glock 26 as her to be acquired carry piece. maybe a Glock 42 (.380)?

Normally I'd recommend trying a Browning Hi Power or clone (Darlin' Daughter loves mine (MINE DAMMIT!)) based on the opinions of many (such as Kim) that it works well for many women. But their prices are way up there these days, and It sounds like she isn't interested in a full size piece (not to mention the slide issues).

Is there any possibility that some trigger work on the RM380 would help?

A Beretta or other type of tip up pistol in .380 to avoid slide racking issues?

Father In Law ended up with a J frame and +Ps because of slide manipulation issues.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby First Shirt » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:43 pm

When The Boss and I first got married, she had never fired a gun in her life. One night we heard coyotes howling up on the hill above the house, and she inquired as to what her options were if they got closer. (We lived about three miles past the police jurisdiction sign.) I said "Well, if they get into the yard, shoot them." Interesting conversation followed.

One day, getting ready for a gun show, she asked what I was going to do with the Colt Trooper Mk III that I was packing up, to sell/trade. When I told her, she said "No, don't get rid of it, I like it, it's pretty! " Said that if she'd learn to shoot it, she could have it. She worked up to .357 Mag, 125 gr. JHP loads (at 25 yards, she could shoot the buttons off your shirt). And all was well, until she got her CCW, and discovered that it wouldn't fit in the glove box or center console of her car. (It had a 6-inch bbl, and she was driving a '92 El Dorado.) Went through a BUNCH of 9mm autos, and she couldn't hit the ground with one unless she dropped it, and she'd probably have had to drop it twice.

Went full circle, and now she's back to the .357 Mag revolvers. A Ruger GP-100, two Security Sixes, and a couple of smallish 5-shot .357 snubbies.

Find what she (a) likes, (b) can handle under recoil, and (c) can shoot well. Don't get too hung up on caliber (especially 9mm auto vs. .38/357 revolver.) Doesn't matter what YOU like, its what SHE likes, and what she can shoot well, comfortably. A .22 LR, in hand, is better than a .44 Mag. at home on the nightstand.

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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Steamforger » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:46 pm

I saw some Mk II and Mk III Refinished Belgian Hi Powers at Aim Surplus. $599 IIRC, or thereabouts.

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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Weetabix » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:05 pm

First Shirt wrote:Went full circle, and now she's back to the .357 Mag revolvers. A Ruger GP-100, two Security Sixes, and a couple of smallish 5-shot .357 snubbies.

I had her shoot a S&W 686, single action, with 38 spl in it. Much screaming and flinching. :D I think I can get her over that, though. About 6 years ago, she fired an SP101 with 38 in it, and didn't mind it.

Find what she (a) likes, (b) can handle under recoil, and (c) can shoot well. Don't get too hung up on caliber (especially 9mm auto vs. .38/357 revolver.) Doesn't matter what YOU like, its what SHE likes, and what she can shoot well, comfortably. A .22 LR, in hand, is better than a .44 Mag. at home on the nightstand.

I understand all that. I'm actually pretty good about setting my preferences aside. I was trying to let her try everything I could think of that she might be OK with. The slide racking is the problem. One preference I'll have trouble setting aside: I don't feel comfortable with a .22 semi auto, because if it jams up, I'm not sure she'd do well clearing under stress.

"Honey... unfortunately, I need to buy a bunch more revolvers so we can find something you'll be comfortable with." :geek:

The Beretta Tomcat looks interesting - tip up barrel, so no racking. .32acp. The Cheetahs seem to run north of $800, if you can find them.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Durham68 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:51 pm

The Sig P238 is hard to ignore if racking the slide is an issue. Lady at the shop racked the slide with one finger using the rear site. Outside of that, it sounds like a .22 revolver with a decent trigger is the order of the day.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Weetabix » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:02 pm

A lady at work has the Sig, so I can borrow it sometime.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby scipioafricanus » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:20 pm

Is the technique for racking a slide the problem? She isn't just using one hand to rack the slide, but pushing the holding hand/arm forward while pulling with the other hand/arm? A lot of people just use their hands/wrists without using the power of their arms too.

Plus, if you can, find an experience female shooter since they have experiences' that you and I will never know about. Stick them together and discuss options.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Greg » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:38 pm

Weetabix wrote:
First Shirt wrote:Went full circle, and now she's back to the .357 Mag revolvers. A Ruger GP-100, two Security Sixes, and a couple of smallish 5-shot .357 snubbies.

I had her shoot a S&W 686, single action, with 38 spl in it. Much screaming and flinching. :D I think I can get her over that, though. About 6 years ago, she fired an SP101 with 38 in it, and didn't mind it.

Find what she (a) likes, (b) can handle under recoil, and (c) can shoot well. Don't get too hung up on caliber (especially 9mm auto vs. .38/357 revolver.) Doesn't matter what YOU like, its what SHE likes, and what she can shoot well, comfortably. A .22 LR, in hand, is better than a .44 Mag. at home on the nightstand.

I understand all that. I'm actually pretty good about setting my preferences aside. I was trying to let her try everything I could think of that she might be OK with. The slide racking is the problem. One preference I'll have trouble setting aside: I don't feel comfortable with a .22 semi auto, because if it jams up, I'm not sure she'd do well clearing under stress.

"Honey... unfortunately, I need to buy a bunch more revolvers so we can find something you'll be comfortable with." :geek:

The Beretta Tomcat looks interesting - tip up barrel, so no racking. .32acp. The Cheetahs seem to run north of $800, if you can find them.


Surprised about the 686.... it's heavy enough that .38 is really gentle.

I think you might be going about things a little backwards. Smaller semis need much stiffer recoil springs (goes double for blowback), plus have less slide surface to grip. Recipe for frustration. Go a little bigger maybe, and (in case you aren't already) stick with 9mm instead of .40, for recoil and recoil spring purposes. A medium sized polymer 9 might work......

That and as SA suggested, racking technique can make up for a lot.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Jered » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:47 am

9mm Ruger LCR?

My mom got one of those and she likes it.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Darrell » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:54 am

If racking the slide is an issue, find and try a Grand Power. They cycle easily, due to the rotary action.

The latest issue of Guns & Ammo has a neat little revolver from NAA--it's a .22 wmr called the Earl, bigger than their little derringer style guns. Here it is with its cousins the Sheriff and Hogleg:

https://northamericanarms.com/product-c ... rl-hogleg/

G&A said it runs $300 or so, you can also get it with a .22 lr swappable cylinder.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby FelixEstrella » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:51 am

How about a Makarov? Reasonable power and good for small hands.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Netpackrat » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:08 am

If racking the slide is an issue, I am not sure that a straight blowback design and its accompanying heavy recoil spring is the answer.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby slowpoke » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:21 am

Also try the sig p250/320. Theyre some of the easier racking slides out there. Personally I think the Sig 250'is one of the best new user 9mm semi's out there. Has a nice revolver like double action. Long but not heavy, very smoothe. Fairly easy slide, light recoil and accurate. Just sig fans hate the revolver like trigger; its not good for competitions.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Rumpshot » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:04 pm

I have a neice who is a petite little thing, who had not shot until she got married. Her husband got her a Kimber Ultra Carry II in .45. She loves it, is deadly with it and learned to rack the slide using both hand/arms. Basically hold the slide with one hand and push the gun through with the strong arm.

Since I have convinced another lady to try the same Kimber in 9mm and she really likes it as well.

The hold the slide and push the gun seems to work well for a lot of ladies.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Durham68 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:59 pm

Glock 42
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Weetabix » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:26 pm

Greg wrote:Surprised about the 686.... it's heavy enough that .38 is really gentle.

I was, too. Given that she'd shot an SP101 years before with no trouble, I'm thinking it was the surprise of the trigger and the fact that she had not shot for so long.

I think you might be going about things a little backwards. Smaller semis need much stiffer recoil springs (goes double for blowback), plus have less slide surface to grip. Recipe for frustration. Go a little bigger maybe, and (in case you aren't already) stick with 9mm instead of .40, for recoil and recoil spring purposes. A medium sized polymer 9 might work......

That and as SA suggested, racking technique can make up for a lot.

I'll try a little bigger. She was shooting .380. I don't own .40. Thinking back, I can't remember if she actually tried the CZ 75 PCR. That might be the ticket for grip and weight, though the slide is small.

Several people have mentioned the racking technique. I hadn't thought of that, so hadn't tried it.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Weetabix » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:28 pm

FelixEstrella wrote:How about a Makarov? Reasonable power and good for small hands.

My oldest daughter absolutely loves my EG Mak. I may not get it back. I'll give that a try with the other one.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby skb12172 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:22 pm

Why not a .327 Magnum revolver? I carry a .38 snubbie or a SCCY (copy of Glock 26), depending on dress and mood. Of course, I'm a big guy and don't have slide issues. I have the .38 just because I prefer the ergonomics of a revolver, but a wheel gun might be your answer.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Vonz90 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:13 pm

Start her with a Desert Eagle in 50AE, then when she switches to anything else it will seem light and easy.

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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Gunnuts » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:17 pm

Vonz90 wrote:Start her with a Desert Eagle in 50AE, then when she switches to anything else it will seem light and easy.

And that's the truth. :P LOL

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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Weetabix » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:42 pm

Maybe I'll cut down a Mosin and replace the stock with a pistol grip. :geek:
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Greg » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:14 pm

Weetabix wrote:
Greg wrote:Surprised about the 686.... it's heavy enough that .38 is really gentle.

I was, too. Given that she'd shot an SP101 years before with no trouble, I'm thinking it was the surprise of the trigger and the fact that she had not shot for so long.


Ah then keep at that one, help her get comfortable. Maybe get some snap caps and let her dry fire for a while, just to build familiarity and put her at ease.

Because something like a 3" K frame (38 or 357) seems just about perfect. Not too big, so she can always have it with her, not a punitive airweight but not a boat anchor either. I imagine recoil *will* be an issue, so maybe some of the new defense rounds they've developed for short-barreled revolvers might be just the ticket. They should be lower recoil than 'standard' ammo.

I think you might be going about things a little backwards. Smaller semis need much stiffer recoil springs (goes double for blowback), plus have less slide surface to grip. Recipe for frustration. Go a little bigger maybe, and (in case you aren't already) stick with 9mm instead of .40, for recoil and recoil spring purposes. A medium sized polymer 9 might work......

That and as SA suggested, racking technique can make up for a lot.

I'll try a little bigger. She was shooting .380. I don't own .40. Thinking back, I can't remember if she actually tried the CZ 75 PCR. That might be the ticket for grip and weight, though the slide is small.

Several people have mentioned the racking technique. I hadn't thought of that, so hadn't tried it.


I think my mental picture of what you have is confused somehow, sorry.

I'd be sorely tempted to look at the Sig 320 or 250 if you like DA revolver-like triggers. Not too heavy but not light enough to have recoil be a problem, available in several configurations (full size/carry/compact/subcompact) and in each of those configurations in IIRC 3 different grip widths/circumferences. Should be something for everyone, and people seem to like it well enough. In 9mm it should he fairly easy to work the slide (not blowback, or the more heavily sprung 40/357 SIG).
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Cobar » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:35 pm

Not sure how to deal with the fear of the blast and recoil, but you might want to consider failures due to limp-wristing an automatic.

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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Weetabix » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:02 pm

Cobar wrote:Not sure how to deal with the fear of the blast and recoil, but you might want to consider failures due to limp-wristing an automatic.

I think that's just from not having shot for so long. I probably need to start her back on .22 and work up.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Weetabix » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:03 pm

Greg wrote:I think my mental picture of what you have is confused somehow, sorry.

Drop by sometime. I'll drag it all out, and we'll go shooting. ;)
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby slowpoke » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:01 am

also get her to check out the armed and feminine channel on youtube. She did some on picking a gun for women as well as ccw options. Good channel.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby BDK » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:57 am

If it's in budget, a FN 57 is very low recoil, and easy to rack. A PMR 30 might also be an OK choice.

I've had several women want to load pistols backwards - admittedly I think they were more creative types. Revolvers made more sense to them.

An SP101 in 327 is a great choice. If you find one and don't want it, tell me and I'll buy it. (I really like the cartridge)

If there was a center fire twin to a 22 mag, loaded with powder for pistols, I think it would make a great elderly/petite lady caliber.

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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby blackeagle603 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:58 pm

SKB beat me to it. A lot of .32 options out there to consider. Was it PawPaw who's wife took a hankering to an old I-frame 32 for her personal carry? Or was it an old Colt 32?
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Greg » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:36 am

Weetabix wrote:
Greg wrote:I think my mental picture of what you have is confused somehow, sorry.

Drop by sometime. I'll drag it all out, and we'll go shooting. ;)


I like that idea, but you're decently far away. :)
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby slowpoke » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:43 pm

BDK wrote:If it's in budget, a FN 57 is very low recoil, and easy to rack. A PMR 30 might also be an OK choice.

I've had several women want to load pistols backwards - admittedly I think they were more creative types. Revolvers made more sense to them.

An SP101 in 327 is a great choice. If you find one and don't want it, tell me and I'll buy it. (I really like the cartridge)

If there was a center fire twin to a 22 mag, loaded with powder for pistols, I think it would make a great elderly/petite lady caliber.

Isnt that 22tcm?
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby HTRN » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:35 am

Gunnuts wrote:
Vonz90 wrote:Start her with a Desert Eagle in 50AE, then when she switches to anything else it will seem light and easy.

And that's the truth. :P LOL
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Precision » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:57 am

have her try a Walther CCP they have a recoil reducing gas system and a fairly easy slide.

You are having her do the punch / push method in front of her chest, not the slingshot method most guys use, right?
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby slowpoke » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:11 am

Precision wrote:have her try a Walther CCP they have a recoil reducing gas system and a fairly easy slide.

You are having her do the punch / push method in front of her chest, not the slingshot method most guys use, right?

I havent seen any new ones since the recall.
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Re: Wife gun suggestions?

Postby Termite » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:18 am

Weetabix wrote:My wife is little and doesn't have strong hands. And, she's not much interested in shooting. But I'd like her to have a gun.

Right now, I have one gun she can rack the slide on: Remington RM380.

You have perfectly described why many women do poorly with semi-autos. I have long recommended a medium or small frame .38 revolver for the majority of women, but that isn't always the best choice.

Unlike us guys, a woman's handgun is a very personal thing....... much like a bra or purse. Most women are going to have to handle a multitude of handguns before they find one that they are really comfortable with. If it's going to ride in her purse, then weight is a HUGE factor. If a house gun, not so much.

So my point is this: Stop trying to buy her what YOU think she should have, and let her handle a multitude of handguns and decide what she likes. That might wind up being a .40 cal. Glock, or a .22LR revolver.
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