Small pistol for fiance


August 2, 2007, 03:09 PM
Hey, so first the good news. My fiance wants to take the concealed carry class with me. I'm just wondering what kind of gun I should get her. Here's some info that will hopefully give you all some ideas.

The only guns she has shot were my Walther P99 (fullsize, 9mm) Kahr CW9 (9mm compact) and a SW 4506 (fullsize ,45)

She said the one she liked shooting the most was the P99, and she didn't really enjoy the others at all. She still felt like the Walther was too "big" though. She has held a Walther P22 before and liked the feel of it size wise, but I don't want to get her one of those just because I've heard so many poor things about reliability (not to mention the caliber isn't good for anything but target shooting.)

Given the fact she likes the size of the P22, and enjoyed shooting the P99, what would be a good choice? Mainly I want to get something she will have FUN shooting, and maybe be able to carry further down the road (I don't think she'll want to carry just yet.) Not too much recoil, easy to shoot.

She is still really new to shooting, so I don't want to get anything that will scare her away! Any suggestions are welcome!

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August 2, 2007, 03:30 PM
Take her to the gun store of your choice and let "HER" pick out the gun she wants to buy. That way she'll practice with it and not be mad at you for buying her the wrong gun. Been there, done that.

August 2, 2007, 03:36 PM
don't they make a walther p99 compact?

+1 to slow944-
let her pick her own gun.

August 2, 2007, 03:37 PM
^^ What he said.

Also, encourage her to get something that she will carry.

August 2, 2007, 03:47 PM
Don't rule out any of the smaller .38 revolvers either.

August 2, 2007, 03:52 PM
Why not let her get the P-22?
My wife has one and she shoots it a lot and never has any trouble.
It is reliable and accurate enough out to 25 yards to have fun with.
She should get a gun she will enjoy shooting so she will practice a lot.
As for 22lr for self-defense its a lot better than what she carrys now (nothing) and you can teach her to empty the magazine at the target. Once she becomes more comfortable with pistols she can get something more powerful.

BTW. my wife's carry gun is a Browning Hi-Power loaded with Federal 115gr JHP (9BP).

August 2, 2007, 04:20 PM
I understand the idea of letting her pick out her own. I just want to be able to help point her in the right direction.

As for the P99 compact, I think she would dislike that for the same reason as my fullsize - too wide. I would look at the new PPS, but I'd prefer getting something that isn't so new, has a track record. Plus, I think the PPS would likely be as snappy as the Kahr I had her try, just because of the similar size and identical caliber.

I have given some consideration to a .38 like the 642, which is obviously quite popular, but perhaps in all steel to suck up more recoil.

Any more thoughts would be appreciated.

August 2, 2007, 04:28 PM
Shoot NON +P ammo in the 642. She'd be more likely to carry the lighter gun. I know I would (am). I've got a 637 on the way.

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 2, 2007, 04:35 PM
Did you try the P99 with one of the smaller backstraps installed? I don't know if it would make enough difference since it is still pretty thick, but might help.

I would get her to try some other guns. Either find a range that will let you rent different models or borrow some from your buddies and let her experience a few models.

By the way, you would be her fiance; she would be your fiancee. Unless you are marrying a man, then I suppose you would be the fiance to each other. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

August 2, 2007, 04:39 PM
Ha ha ha, wow, I feel kind of silly. Good to know. Fiancee is correct then, ha ha ha.

August 2, 2007, 04:46 PM
My wife shoots .45 ACP as well as .357 and .44mag.
I shoot 9mm and .38. (She tends to outshoot me)

Let her shoot what she wants :)

August 2, 2007, 05:18 PM
Both of youu check out . All your issues will be addressed by an expert there.

August 2, 2007, 05:43 PM
I own a blue Sig 232 in .380. The pistol is both a SA/DA and incorporates a decocking mechanism. It is a single stack holding 7 rounds. The pistol fits in the palm of my hand, but is large enough to enable a full grip. I have a Bianchi IWB holster for it and i don' know I'm carrying it most of the time. Very easy to control while shooting. It has fixed sights with a 3 white dot configuration. Sig quality is top notch in my opinion. They make the 232 in both blue and stainless. I have owned mine for 5 years and shows no wear on the bluing. I did purchase the hogue rubber grips. The grips originally were the plastic Sig grips that I'm not a huge fan of, but they were usable. The magazine is removed by pushing on a lever aft of the magazine well, same release as on a Ruger MKII pistol.


August 2, 2007, 05:52 PM
CZ is popular with the ladies. PO1 or the 2075 RAMI.

August 2, 2007, 05:54 PM
Let her pick her own gun...go rent a bunch & shoot them all and get the one that fits & works best in her hands ;)

PS -- enjoy class!

August 2, 2007, 05:58 PM
Yeah, unfortunately there isn't a rental range around here, because that was my first thought.

August 2, 2007, 07:54 PM
The J frame .38's are difficult to shoot well, especially for novices. Their DA triggers are not user-friendly, and many shooters find their recoil unpleasant. They're the last guns I'd put into the hands of novices, particularly women. If she tries a revolver, a K frame makes the most sense.

How about an S&W M&P Compact 9? They offer a choice of backstraps, and they're a lot easier to shoot well than a CW9.

August 2, 2007, 11:34 PM
I understand the idea of letting her pick out her own. I just want to be able to help point her in the right direction.

To steer her in the right direction let her decide. Let her hold handle and shoot if possible other guns. My wife likes her 4" K frame and doesn't care what anyone remarks about "the little lady with the big gun". She is tiny.

August 3, 2007, 03:56 AM
I tried to start my wife off with a 38 snubbie. She hated it.

I'm slow, but I'm not as stupid as some people think. Next I let her pick what she wanted. She piced a Bersa Firestorm 22. Ok, not the best, but better than nothing. Gun was fine, she learned to shoot with it, carried it for a couple of years, them decided she was ready for something else. No, I'm not recomending a 22 necessarly, I just wouldn't rule it out.

Now she carries a Glock 19. (Good choice I think.)

August 3, 2007, 05:28 AM
Well my mother can handle a taurus .38 special and that was her first gun even has a nifty laser grip. However if she is not mechanicaly inclined get her a .22 revolver with a longer barrel since revolvers are great beginer guns you always know exactly whats going on.

August 3, 2007, 07:46 AM
Already mentioned; P99c. Maybe a Sig P232, a good choice for small hands.

August 3, 2007, 07:56 AM
Check out the Ruger SP-101. Small enough to carry. Big enough to soak up recoil of .38 Special +P, and even .357 magnum later as she progresses. A revolver is easier for many to operate than an automatic and thus inspires more confidence. The 101 comes in several barrel lengths, but if she contemplates concealed carry at some point the 2 1/4 or 3 1/16 would be the better choices.


1911 guy
August 3, 2007, 08:03 AM
First of all, show her how to check if a handgun fits her hand properly. If you don't know yourself, learn then teach her. Then set parameters based on her preferences and requirements. Revolver or autoloader, pocketgun (not recommended for beginners) or something a bit bigger, double action or single action (primarilt for autos) and minimum caliber (usually .380 or .32 if it's a wheelgun).

In short, inform her to the extent that is useful for her right now. She'll learn more later, don't overwhelm her with stuff she doesn't need yet. Let her use that to make her choice.

August 3, 2007, 09:52 PM
why not a pp or ppk?

August 4, 2007, 02:08 AM
why not a pp or ppk?
I was about to say the same thing. Why not a Walther PPK. A pistol which is chambered in .380 Auto is much better protection than a .22 and doesn't have that heavy "snap" the 9mm has.

August 4, 2007, 09:18 AM
A J-frame might just be a good beginner's gun, if her hands are small enough. I HAVE seen this myself, though it was notably with all-stainless-steel J-frames, not light alloy-framed guns. PPK? Well, one caution: Those little monsters KICK. The combination of fixed barrel and small size causes quite a kick, in comparison to a locked-breech design, in which the barrel will unlock as the slide is already in motion to the rear. I have taught small-handed beginners with my Colt Mustang, which really does have soft recoil; a PPK is a little monster in comparison. A Kahr K9 is another soft-recoiling weapon, compared to a PPK. I am not saying the PPK hurts me, or anyone else, but the sudden snap of the recoil is distracting. My wife has a .380 PP, and I did have a .380 PPK, so I could compare them side-by-side. The lightly longer grip of the PP, plus the greater weight of the steel due to the longer grip and barrel/frame, make the PP much less of a kicker in recoil. Another hearty recommendation for the SP101; I carry one or more with me 24/7. I also agree with those who have said it is important to let HER choose, but she might need some guidance, in case she has some preconceived mistaken notions in her head, such as the idea that lighter guns lick less, or that smaller guns kick less. Those are VERY common ideas among non-shooters.

August 4, 2007, 02:18 PM
Lots of questions arise - Is she going to be intimidated by it, or practice so it will become like an extension of her arm? Will it be concealable or take up half of her purse? Will the barrel be so short that she can hardly hit the side of a barn due to a short sight radius...

One of the lightweight 3-4 inch barrel revolvers or a smaller Glock might work unless she's going to keep a larger pistol or revolver in the drawer or under the seat of a truck-then it can be a BIG ONE!

Practice often and go for the bullseye!

August 4, 2007, 04:51 PM
S & W 317 3 inch bbl. it's 8 shot and only 11 or so oz
it's easier for a newbie to get the basics down than
also fiddling with magazines. A MOdel 60 is all
stainless steel and with the 3 inch bbl she could
graduate up from .38 spcl to lighter wt .357 mag

Just a thought

August 4, 2007, 08:39 PM
My wife picked the Glock G26, after holding and shooting, several different makes and models of pistols and revolvers.
The pistols, I thought she would like, she did not care for.
Lesson learned.
Let her choose.

August 5, 2007, 04:18 AM
Does your P99 have the 3 different grips? I prefer the largest size, but my fiance can't wrap her hand around it. Have you tried with the smallest size?

August 5, 2007, 06:12 PM
Show here a stainless slide Kel-Tec P3AT .380 at a gun shop, then offer to send it out and have it DuraCoated in the color of her favorite purse or car.

A new frame is less than $30

August 6, 2007, 02:52 PM
tosterlocker: congratulations with fiance and yourself doing the CC thing.
My initial thought:
has she shot before?
Has she ever talked about any gun?
Has she ever gone to a gun shop with you or alone?

Many if not most are intimidated initially with the prospect; out of there every day life.
Should she already have a preference then by all means the her answer is already yours.
Television gives most new-be's a distorted view
Take her to a shooting range;
inform the owner of you intentions
Start with a .22 for acquaintance
Grow from there.
The only way to keep new-be's involved; isn't by trying to impress

Good Luck to Both of YOU: and Congrats to the soon to bee's CCW's

August 6, 2007, 06:50 PM
Beretta Tomcat is one I would recommend. .32cal isn't that bad and it certainly doesn't have much recoil. The Tomcat is very small which makes it easy to conceal and appealing to women.
For a target gun, I recommend the Ruger Mark II... that's what my wife shoots and she loves it. It's accurate and has little to no recoil. With a speed loader, it's simply and fun for the range.

August 6, 2007, 07:51 PM
Okay, we can let this thread die already. I can tell a bunch of the people that posted didn't even read my first post. For those of you who did, thank you for the tips.

I'm going to go somewhere where she can try a bunch of guns, even if it means driving over 3 hours to Phoenix. So unless you can suggest a good rental range in Arizona, I don't need any more help for now. Thanks!

August 6, 2007, 08:50 PM
Let her choose. That is the best advice in the end.

August 6, 2007, 09:11 PM
Try High Noon in Prescott Valley. They've got a dozen or so different rentals. Friendly people, and everything you need is available (hearing protection, etc.) I'll even meet you there and let her try out my pistols (1911 .45, Walther-clone 9x18, Bersa .380) if you like.

Poking around in J&G in Prescott, just to handle and talk about a lot of different guns with the expert staff, would be a side benefit of the trip. :-)

It's a pretty drive if you go through Wickenburg and Congress and Yarnell, too, be a nice outing this time of year.


August 13, 2007, 04:59 PM
If you go to Phoenix, you can try Shooter's World. I was there a few weeks ago and tried a 642. It had a pretty smooth (but, heavy) trigger and about what I'd expect for a double action. My hand was a little sore after 20 rounds, but it still has my interest. I'm far from a novice though, and I can understand what is being said about women being put off with this gun. Others are more comfortable. You will have to buy their ammo for use with their rentals. They are here:

August 13, 2007, 05:49 PM
I wanted to say also that is a great website for her.

I am new to guns and went out and tried as many as I could before I bought. I have very small hands so finding a gun was not easy. The "J" frame revolvers looked great but I hated shooting them for example.

I bought a Glock 19 because I could shoot it well and liked the size and so forth. But, when I started to think about carrying, I ran into the problem of the gun being just a tiny bit too big for me. I could not consistantly reach the trigger from a draw.

When I picked it up from a table, I naturally adjusted it and was fine, but when trying to get it into my hand quickly, I had trouble. I ended up trading it in.

I really like my S&W MP9 c. I have put over a thousand bullets through it in the last several weeks in fact. There is a special going on where if you buy certain S&W products you can get free magazines for it and a free range bag. That is some nice icing on the cake.

Women have no trouble dealing with magazines. I use a magazine loader and I am good to go. I do agree that loading magazines without an aid is a pain in the neck. But other then loading them, they are very easy to deal with.

I am not against revolvers btw. I only had the chance to try to shoot a J frame and a lady (something) revolver. I didn't like the way they fit (or didn't fit) my hand.

August 13, 2007, 06:42 PM
My girlfriend touched everything under the sun. She picked the sig 232. It fit the best. The gun show is a nice place. We walked and talked and she touched things over and over til she decided what she liked. That is the best and really the only smart way to do it. Patrick

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