Good pistol for "small" hands


September 14, 2004, 08:31 PM
Planning on picking up a carry pistol soon and was needing a rough starting point.

I have only handled a few pistols and am not real sure which way to go. The 9mm (not sure on the brand was a range rental but not a major company) that I shot I was unable to work the slide release without pulling the gun down and hitting it with my weak hand.

I also could not hit the "slide release" on a 92F Airsoft pistol not sure on how exact dimensions were but they are usually close to the actuall gun.

I am very familiar with the handle it before you buy and buy what feels good but was hoping to get a good idea of who to look at.

My hands are a square with my palms being 3"x3" with about a 2" thumb.

Sorry for the rambling hopefully it made sense.

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Jim Watson
September 14, 2004, 08:34 PM
Well, the way I learned to shoot, you are SUPPOSED to depress the slide stop with your left thumb.

But Beretta 92s are BIG.
Look at Glock, Sig Sauer P225, P239, P228, SA XD.
Or a 1911 derivative, IF you can get a good one.

But Kahr is about the smallest butt name brand gun I know of.

The Kidd
September 14, 2004, 08:39 PM
Well, JW beat me, hit the realease with your left hend or better yet, insert a loaded mag and 'slingshot' the slide. Pull it back and realse it to load the pistol. Look around and see if you can find a Star BM. Despite the name these are great little hand guns. 9mm single stacks, similar in size to a Colt Commander

September 14, 2004, 08:50 PM
Look at the 380 Bersa My 10 daughter has no problem with it.

September 14, 2004, 08:51 PM
Sig P225
Sig P239
HK p7

September 14, 2004, 08:58 PM
Thanks guys.

Showing off my great handgun knowledge with the slide release. I always thought you hit it with your right hand thumb. But like I said I have very little knowledge.

Are the single stack 1911s any better?

September 14, 2004, 09:03 PM
The Kahr K9 or P9 fits nearly everyone well, it's an 8 shot ( or 9-shot with the new T9) 9mm, has a super smooth trigger, and is less than an inch wide. The pistol fits small hands VERY well, it's a favorite of many women.

The slingshot method of slide release is more tactically sound and easier for most people.

Try the Sig P239 as well, or the M1911A1 Commander-size.

September 14, 2004, 09:44 PM
Another vote for a Khar P9.

Route 66
September 14, 2004, 09:45 PM
This past weekend I took a defensive pistol course (16 total hours) from a very knowledgable instructor (who also conducts courses at Gunsite). During the session he made the point to say that it is called a slide stop and not a slide release. Meaning that in a defensive pistol scenario you should use your off hand to grasp both sides of the slide with the thumb and fingers (over the top of the slide) while pulling back towards yourself while at the same time with your pistol grip hand you push forward. Both actions are working opposite each other but that makes it easier to work the slide.

We tried several drills where we were clearing a jam that needed a fresh mag or doing a tactical reload with a mag. Once your did it several times it worked well and more efficient than using your offhand thumb or finger to release the slide.

As for what would be best for you I would look at the Glocks and Springfield XDs.

September 14, 2004, 09:51 PM
CZ-75 compact

September 14, 2004, 10:09 PM
I disagree about Glocks. I think they're way less than ideal for the small-handed among us.

Same for the CZ Compact unless you avoid the long DA trigger by going Condition 1. In which case you might as well go with the winner...

A 1911 with a flat MSH and short trigger is absolutely perfect. Try it. You'll like it.

September 14, 2004, 10:17 PM
XD9 Subcompact with grip extension

September 14, 2004, 10:25 PM
P225. XD's are good for small hands as well. I have and XD9 tac and it fits my hands really well.

September 14, 2004, 10:38 PM
Browning High Power!

September 14, 2004, 11:23 PM
I also have small hands, sounds like about the same size as yours. I recently acquired an S&W 908S. It is a single stack 8+1 and it is real comfortable in my size hands. All "controls" are easy to manipulate, etc. Galyans has 'em and several other sporting goods places as well.


September 15, 2004, 12:40 AM
I disagree about Glocks. I think they're way less than ideal for the small-handed among us.

I'll disagree with this, Schmaky.

I did a quick measurement on my hands and I'm about 3"x3" in the palm area. The Glock 23 (which is the same size as the Glock 19) fits me VERY well. We mesh like butter.

A 20 or 21 though (and I own a 21) -- bleh! Horrid! Not for my hands at all, but I can hit with it when I practice enough.

A BHP works well too for me I think. Been a while since I touched one though -- but boy, that felt nice and comfortable.

It's all relative though. Even my little Japanese-school-girl size hands can wrangle a Glock 21 for a range trip and be okay with it. CCW? Eh -- no. Bit big. I can shoot it though without discomfort or feeling like an 8 year old driving a pickup truck.

To each their own.

September 15, 2004, 01:22 AM
Check out the CZ83. It's a 380 I can get into action DA though I prefer to use cocked and locked, and has a 13+1 capacity. Each shot has the energy of a standard pressure 38 spl from a snubby - around 200 ft/lbs. Cost with one spare ten round magazine is about the $350 mark. Full capacity mags on the way now that AWB has expired.

Big Mike
September 15, 2004, 03:13 AM
S&W 6906, 6946

September 15, 2004, 01:18 PM
Any single stack pistol should fit just fine. For double stacks look at the Browning High Power first.

September 15, 2004, 03:07 PM
My wife has very small hands and for her the Sig 239 worked best. The sig is also a surprisingly soft shooting gun for a small auto shooting a 9mm and up.


September 15, 2004, 03:15 PM
Ditto on the Browning Hipower. It is double stack, but not too double stack. :) Glocks and berettas are bad choices. Sigs are supposed to be a little better. Most single stack guns should be fine.

September 15, 2004, 03:18 PM

September 15, 2004, 03:22 PM
I think a lot of the 'small hands' issue has to do with developing hand strenght and becoming comfortable with whatever gun is available. Not suggesting that a 6 year old girl will ever become comfortable shooting a Glock 20 at speed, but even someone with small hands that can easily manipulate those springy hand exerciser things should be able to learn to shoot most guns comfortably.

To answer in a more traditional manner, The Kahrs would get my attention if you don't feel the need for uber-capacity gun... They are reliable, ergonomic and have very decent triggers. Many SIGs can be fitted with a trigger that makes the pull even shorter so that migth be a consideration though SIGs don't really float my boat.

I don't have what I consider to be very large hands. I'm only 5'6" (maybe 5'7" when I'm feeling particularly proud :p ) and I feel comfortable with most guns with smaller grips than the G20/G21. I can shoot a Taurus PT99 (Beretta clone) just fine though it would never be my first recommendation to someone with small hands. I'd again suggest the larger Kahrs, 1911s, BHPs, CZs (esp the single action CZ75B SA) and the SIGs with perhaps the short trigger.

September 15, 2004, 05:04 PM
Here's another vote for the CZ83. It fits my small hands well, holds 13 rounds, and very flexible with the double action or single action options.

September 15, 2004, 05:31 PM
I'm also a fairly small-handed shooter (one of my female friends has hands exactly identical to mine) and I've been very comfortable shooting just about any single stack handgun. I have a SIG P220 .45, which is about as big as I can handle comfortably and a SIG P239 that fits my hand like it was made for it. My wife's double-stack Bersa .380 is also very comfortable for me to shoot.

September 15, 2004, 05:44 PM
I too have small hands. After buying, selling, trading many pistols to find those that are accurate, reliable, and fit my hands well I've found that these work best for me:

SIG P225 (perfect as is)

SIG P239 (as above)

Colt 1903 (.32acp) or Colt 1908 (.380) Hammerless (Pocket Pistol Perfection IMHO)

1911 with flat MSH, short trigger, ultra-thin grips (1911's can be a little hit and miss in the reliability area)

Beretta Vertec 92FS (will require a trigger job for a less than stellar out of the box trigger)

Browning Hi-Power (will require a trigger job or removing magazine disconnect to improve the out of box trigger)

Steyr M9 (Glock improved IMHO)

I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones that I've had personal experience with.


September 15, 2004, 06:35 PM
How about a Raven?

:uhoh:[Ducks to avoid getting shot] :rolleyes:

In all seriousness, I would recommend the XD series from Springfield.

Also, try holding onto a Beretta 9000 and/or a Kel-Tec P11. I don't own either of the last 2, but I'm just throwing out suggestions.

September 15, 2004, 11:13 PM
The Beretta .380 cal double stack (Cheeta?) is a good choice too.

September 15, 2004, 11:55 PM
it is small and in size only if you shoot the 357 SIG round.

September 16, 2004, 03:54 AM
I think you would be hard pressed to beat a HiPower

September 16, 2004, 06:50 AM
Forget the Beretta 92. The Beretta Cougar ,available in 9mm&40 is designed from the start for small hands . Or get a Kahr.

September 17, 2004, 04:35 PM
Here's a tip given to me by a famous pistolsmith who was a state champ shooter . Kim Ahrends fingergroove grips for the Browning Hi Power make the gun feel MUCH slimmer . In fact , you would never believe at all that it was a double stack ! I have them on my Ted Yost Custom Hi Power and when I compare it to my stock Belgian Hi Power I throw stones at the stock one .

Now don't ask me where to get these grips :p . I want another pair myself ! If anyone else knows I would appreciate knowing ...Tom

September 17, 2004, 08:29 PM
CZ-75 compact

The trigger reach is to long!!

Oddly enough, the best fit, other than the BHP is the...are you ready... I'm serious...


Specifically, the SW40F, although, the VE models would do the Job!! :evil:

September 17, 2004, 10:29 PM
Recently went to a large gun show, my girlfriend who is 5' 100lb tried a wide variety of guns and some of the ones that fit her the best were: Sig 225 (not 239), XD subcompact (liked the green one.... ), thin griped 1911 (officers/commander), and finally the S&W J-frame centenial with crimson trace grips.

September 17, 2004, 11:05 PM
I have small hands.

Any of the Kahr models will fit the bill. I have a MK9. Kahr's are very slim and easy to use for a small hand in an effective self defense cartridge - 9mm or .40S&W. Actually I think the Kahr K9 or K40 is the perfect small frame self defense gun.

Any of the Glock 9mm-.40S&W-.357Sig 3rd generation models, although not as slim as a Kahr will also work. I have a G19 and G17.

On the revolver stage, the Ruger SP101 in either .38+P or .357 is an outstanding handgun for small hand operators.

September 19, 2004, 05:09 PM
BHP, the best hicap grip.
Sig P225, great grip singlestack.
Sig P239, ditto
Star BM, ditto and flat for CCW.
1911, some surprisingly are better than others.

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