Daughter Shooting Club Match


The Rabbi
May 24, 2005, 11:20 PM
My IDPA club is having a "Ladies Match" and my 12 yr old daughter wants to shoot. I took her out today (not the first time she has shot by any means) to test her out.
Her gun handling was pretty good but could use some improvement (couldnt we all?).
She tried a 3" Model 65, A SIG 230, and a SIG 239 9mm.

The Model 65 (which I bought for her. Honest!) had too tough a trigger pull and she could not manage it. She shot it OK though when she used both fingers.
The SIG 230 had a sharp recoil, which she didnt like too much.
The SIG 239 was interesting. First I loaded 143gr sub-sonics in it. That produced fairly low recoil and she did fine with it. When I switched to standard Blazer 115gr the recoil was too sharp for her.
Other problems: she could not rack the slide on the gun. Hands too weak. Even using different techniques she could not manage it.
Had trouble with the decocker.
Double action trigger pull was difficult and she could not pull it quickly. The single action was fine. She had lots of trouble pulling the trigger strong hand only, altho once she did she scored a bullseye.
Her aim is excellent.
Any suggestions on what to do with the slide and trigger problems?

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May 24, 2005, 11:26 PM
Hard to see any real easy way thru this.

I guess a slicked 1911 or compact S/A could be the trick for trigger but that still leaves slide - always a prob. Even my dear wife finds semi's less than easy to operate because of that. She does tho manage OK with M85 snub.

If club allowed it - as a means for her to familiarize - then a .22 like a MkII could be useful - something she could feel comfortable with but still familiarize with technique and get a score.

Not sure what to do re leather tho - or could she be allowed to start from low ready? Be nice to be able to work her in gently. Perhaps then she could graduate to a Bersa perhaps - and on and up over time.

This is not easy for kids where grip strength etc are issues until older.

May 24, 2005, 11:37 PM
Not to say you need to buy another gun (nothing wrong with that however). Go out to your local gunshop/range and try an XD-9 or a Glock 17. In our IDPA Club, we had a young girl shooting an XD-9. Recoil was very mild and farly easy to rack. I shoot an G17. Your daugther may find either a bit more managable. I have not shot or own a Sig, so I can not note the differences. Keep in mind that the XD-9 and G17 are composites, I can not say what your Sigs are...

The S&W model 65 could be a handful (literally) for your daughter. I hoped that you were having her shoot .38 loads and not .357's. The right spring kit and action job can reduce the double action pull for your girl. Revolver is very easy to understand and use, just hard to master.

To help her build her grip strength, get a used racket ball for her to squeeze in her gun hand. It is a bit smaller than a tennis ball and has a bit more cush.

May 25, 2005, 12:27 AM
If buying another gun is an option, I'd agree with a SA or striker fired gun. I've heard good things about the XD9 and P99 and they're both pretty cheap.

Gary G23
May 25, 2005, 07:44 AM
Get a XD-9.

May 25, 2005, 07:48 AM
A 1911 in .38 Super, a Glock 17/19

Or better yet...one of those 3" inch/full lug S&W Model 60's with the adjustable sights...

melissa ann
May 25, 2005, 01:04 PM
Or better yet...one of those 3" inch/full lug S&W Model 60's with the adjustable sights...
She's 12 years old. That would hurt her!

If you can buy a new gun, have her try out a CZ75SA, not nearly as expensive as a new 1911, nice, relatively small for smallish hands. 9mm. I don't have one, but may get one as a backup to my 1911. The single action would alleviate the DA/SA trigger problem.

If you can't get a new gun before the event, show her to thumbcock the gun for the first pull. I don't advocate that practice in most cases, but it'll help her out until she can get a more suitable gun.

Racking the slide. That's tough. I know it seems elementary to folks who've been shooting for a long time. But take her through it step by step. This is what I found works best for some of the gals who come to our range.

*At home, have her try it unloaded, a lot. Remove all ammo from the room she's working in.
*If she's right handed, have her grasp the gun firmly in her right hand.
*Then with her left hand, grab the slide firmly.
*Have her aggressively push the frame of the gun forward with her right hand, while either holding the slide still or if possible, pushing it back towards her a bit.
*When her right hand fully extends, her left hand should release the slide, and the force from that action should cause her to slap herself in the right shoulder or upper arm.
*Dry fire, repeat.

Hope that helps and GOOD LUCK to the little lady at the match!
Melissa :)

Jim Watson
May 25, 2005, 01:40 PM
I have seen two women, one young girl, one small-statured adult, started out with gimmick guns because their men thought they were too stupid to operate a thumb safety. Their shooting improved markedly when they moved up to 1911s.

The girl's Dad started her at age 12 with the 3913 DA/SA he sometimes wears at work. The light weight and crunch-tick were troublesome for her. Before she turned 13, she had transitioned to a 9mm 1911A1 Springfield... when Dad is too busy to load .45s for her.

The adult's boyfriend started her with an XD. She was burdened by trigger jerk and trigger freeze on the striker fired design. The change to a 9mm SA helped her immensely.

Neither of them has any trouble remembering to engage and disengage the safety.

Racking the slide takes a little effort but they manage by using the push-pull grip instead of the slingshot. If more help is needed, a 9mm will run with as light as a 10 lb recoil spring, and cocking the hammer before racking the slide reduces the load a good deal.

May 25, 2005, 09:10 PM
A j-frame with a 3" full lug barrel loaded with 148gr. wadcutter ammo is not punishing in terms of felt recoil.

The Rabbi
May 25, 2005, 10:04 PM
We used a 3" Model 65 with aftermarket grips loaded with 158gr LRN .38 Spc. commercial reloads that produce very light recoil. The recoil wasnt the problem, the trigger pull was. I later shot the same gun with .357 Magnum Remington 125gr softpoints. It produced a muzzle flash that lit up the day.

Andrew Wyatt
May 29, 2005, 10:08 PM
a hipower in 9 might be okay, or a 1911 in 9. double stack guns are inappropriate for the small handed in general, though a BHP may be small enough with navidrex grips.

The Rabbi
May 29, 2005, 11:34 PM
We're trying out the Walther P99. She shot it today and seemed to do OK.

May 30, 2005, 09:24 PM
Rabbi, you'll have to trust me on this one

Send the 65 up to S&W performance center and have them do a trigger job for $100. After thats done that trigger will break DA at a smooth 7-8 pounds. If she was having problems with the stiff as a board stock trigger this will take care of the problem without having to buy a new gun.

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