Recoil of 380 vs 9mm


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redterror
November 29, 2008, 04:49 PM
I'm trying to pick out a low recoil gun for the wife. most 9mm guns are locked breech while most 380s are blowback. because the 380s are blowback, do you think they are equal or perhaps even stronger (recoil wise) than a 9mm? I have never shot a 380, but have a 9mm. the wife does not like the recoil of the 9mm. she can't hit anything past 10 feet.

or would a compensated 9mm (glock 17c) be good for her? would a compensated 9mm be better than a 380? or should I drop to a 32 auto?

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cdiaz6000
November 29, 2008, 04:52 PM
wow,

sounds like my GF. LOL

.380's are NOT my cup of tea after a problematic Walther PPK/S.

I'd stick to a metal frame 9mm like a 1911 (Para O, Kimber, Ladyhawk), Sig or a Beretta M9... they don't recoil as much as the plastic counterparts.

Or you can start her on a .38 wheel gun... the 4" barrel .357's come to mind so you can shoot .38 for practice with her but have the option of .357 magnum too.

MikePGS
November 29, 2008, 04:55 PM
Maybe try a bigger heavier gun? To me a S&W M&P 9mm full-size has little to no recoil, and you can adjust the backstrap so it fits someones hand better. That and the low bore axis makes it a pretty pleasant shooter. What exactly has she tried shooting so far?

rcmodel
November 29, 2008, 05:04 PM
Yes, I think blow-back .380's kick worse then lock-breach 9mm's.

My Walther PPK/S downright spanks your hand with hot loads.

Not so with any 9mm load I know of in an only slightly heavier gun.

IMO: My locked-breach Kel-Tec .380 is more comfortable on the hand then the twice as heavy PPK/S. Course it's not for the faint-of-heart either, but it only weighs 11 oz..

rcmodel

tpaw
November 29, 2008, 05:09 PM
Before recommending anything I would first ask you what she wants it for? Just target, home security, concealed carry?

redterror
November 29, 2008, 05:41 PM
she wants it for CC. my 9mm is a single column, compact, all metal Astra A75. we have not tried any other 9s. we are tempted to try a glock 17c/19c though to see how much difference there is. I really do not want to drop to the smaller, more expensive to shoot calibers, but may be forced to. she does not like thick/heavy guns like the beretta m9. it doesn't fit her hands.

I want her to have a gun she will be confident & proficient in shooting. rule #1 is finding a gun/caliber she will be able to hit the target with.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 29, 2008, 05:45 PM
Are you sure you want a .380?

That might not even penetrate winter clothing (heavy coat, sweater, long johns, shirt, etc.).:eek:

redterror
November 29, 2008, 05:50 PM
lol, u kiddin right? I dare to say even a 22lr will penetrate the listed? I know when we slaughtered COWS we used a single 22lr to the head.

Are you sure you want a .380?

That might not even penetrate winter clothing (heavy coat, sweater, long johns, shirt, etc.).

gitnsige
November 29, 2008, 05:56 PM
I think my sig p232 380acp kicks a bit more than my cz75pcr 9mm. I feel sufficiently armed with either. I wouldnt worry about penetration with a 380. Its a decent round but not the power of a 9mm. IMHO, If you go down to a .32, a baretta would top my list but there aren't too many options without going small then you are back to a tiny gun that has little weight to counter recoil.

moooose102
November 29, 2008, 06:24 PM
well, i have not shot a 9mm, but both of my light/small 380 pocket pistols kick pretty good for what they are. it is not like a 44 mag, that will lift you whole arm, but that quick little jab after a little while kind of gets annoying. if you got a heavier/larger pistol, they would be very low recoil guns that almost anyone could handle. just depends on what you want in a gun. you can not have it all. if you want it to be light, and concealable, it is going to kick. if you want no recoil, it will need to be a large heavy gun. that will not be asy to carry, but it will shoot well. probably one of the best shooting pistols is a 1911. large frame, rather heavy, shooting a relatively mild, but powerful round. it is no wonder that there is such a market for them.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 29, 2008, 06:24 PM
lol, u kiddin right? I dare to say even a 22lr will penetrate the listed? I know when we slaughtered COWS we used a single 22lr to the head.


Quote:
Are you sure you want a .380?

That might not even penetrate winter clothing (heavy coat, sweater, long johns, shirt, etc.).

Yes, I guess I was kidding, because I didn't know any better. I never shot one. That is only something I heard (apparently from an untrustworthy source).

KegCommando
November 29, 2008, 07:37 PM
Here is something for you to test out in your 9mm and maybe the results will be satisfactory enough for your wife to checkout.

For years I've shot 115gr in 9mm because that was the "standard" round for it. Most of the shops local to me don't even carry anything else.

But based on some responses I got from helpful people here, I recently discovered that I really really like a 147gr bullet. For me, I find the recoil a lot lot less.

Before you go shell out a lot for a new handgun, maybe $20-$40 in new ammo is all she needs.

The Lone Haranguer
November 29, 2008, 07:59 PM
Anything gained by the less powerful cartridge would be lost or offset by the typically smaller size and mostly blowback operation of the .380s. An exception to this rule is the Beretta "Cheetah" series (Models 84, 85 and 86).

thirdeagle
November 29, 2008, 08:18 PM
Of the 9s and .380s I've owned the felt recoil was as follows:

CZP01>>Glock 26>CZRAMI>Bersa Firestorm .380

The Bersa was wonderful to shoot although a little more expensive feed and she spit burnt powder everywhere.

Javelin
November 29, 2008, 08:21 PM
I did not know that the 9mm or .380 had recoil..... My 9mm's don't even make much noise let alone much muzzle flip.

http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/7406/swr1lj3.jpg

Seriously though I do not think that a little muzzle flip should be considered recoil.

:D

tpaw
November 29, 2008, 08:24 PM
Try looking at the Glock 26 for starters. She may like it.

http://www.teamglock.com/Glock-Buyers-Guide/Glock-26.htm

presspuller
November 29, 2008, 08:54 PM
My Kel Tec .380 is a lock breech and I can tell the recoil is less than in my 9mm kel tec. While the gun is small and light you do feel it snap in the hand but its not painful or unruly.
About the only way you can reduce the recoil is go to a heavier gun.
Good luck.

Izaak Walton
November 29, 2008, 09:07 PM
CZ-83

hemiram
November 30, 2008, 03:06 AM
The Beretta 84 and it's near twin, the Browning BDA 380 are great, and very easy to shoot. I really regret selling them.

CDH
November 30, 2008, 06:25 AM
To a woman who may have small hands, going to a .380 from a 9mm would be noticeably less, but probably still objectionable to her.

There's nothing wrong with ANY caliber that a woman chooses to carry as long as it throws a bullet real fast. Even a .22 long rifle at COM will stop an attack and allow her to get away.

My .02 is to let her shoot a .32 and see how she feels. If she likes it, consider the Seecamp, a reliable pistol that can be had in .32 for about $500.
Plus, she'll probably be able to handle it better than the husband because it will fit her smaller hands better.
The wife isn't going out to get into a battle at a mall parking lot. She only wants and needs good protection from a very small number of bad guys (typically just one), so the .32 would be just fine.

glockman19
November 30, 2008, 12:46 PM
I had the same situation lately. Bought my wife a Bersa Thunder, Walther PPK Clone), in .380. $269, Half the price of the Walther PPK.

I will not carry it but she will.

redterror
November 30, 2008, 01:02 PM
wouldn't a glock 17c have even less recoil/muzzle rise?Maybe try a bigger heavier gun? To me a S&W M&P 9mm full-size has little to no recoil

redterror
November 30, 2008, 01:21 PM
the beretta guns are still straight blowback, but they are much bigger than other 380s. however they are $$$ and hard to find.

Anything gained by the less powerful cartridge would be lost or offset by the typically smaller size and mostly blowback operation of the .380s. An exception to this rule is the Beretta "Cheetah" series (Models 84, 85 and 86).

redterror
November 30, 2008, 01:23 PM
so the 380 was the least recoil/muzzle rise? if so, good to know

Of the 9s and .380s I've owned the felt recoil was as follows:

CZP01>>Glock 26>CZRAMI>Bersa Firestorm .380

gilfo
November 30, 2008, 01:34 PM
Don't think a compensated gun is a good idea for cc. Just my opinion. Agree on the ammo issue. Try some different ones she if it helps.

michiganfan
November 30, 2008, 01:53 PM
depends on the weight of the gun. MyP3AT kicks harder than my Glock 19.

moi_self26
November 30, 2008, 01:55 PM
Is she really short and skinny? I didn't think the recoil on my SR9 9mm was bad at all, it was more than I expected, but not problematic in the least.

James T Thomas
November 30, 2008, 05:01 PM
The recoil of my Mauser HSc; blowback at 24 ounce weight is more abrupt and forcefull than any of my 9 mm locked breach and heavier weight pistols.

Enough so that my guess is that most women would prefer the 9mm's.

Have you tried finding any of the former Colt Mustang pistols? Locked breach, medium sizes and weights. And tried and true condition one; single action.

redbullitt
December 1, 2008, 01:08 AM
I have my lady on a revolver/shotgun for home defense. Gp100 4 inch.

She is not carrying, but she always liked my small ruger revolver with the 38 + p. She is a recoil light weight and managed to shoot it quite well. 357 gun gives you plenty of cash in your wallet when shooting the 38s compared to other shells.
You might want to check out a ruger sp101-- easy to conceal, hogue grips made it a dream to shoot, and more than enough if you can do your part behind the hammer.
Consider ctc laser grips as a SUPPLEMENT once she becomes proficient enough with its open sights. They can be useful with speed and firing from awkward positions where aiming is not really an option.

mavracer
December 1, 2008, 09:15 AM
You might want to check out a ruger sp101-- easy to conceal, hogue grips made it a dream to shoot, and more than enough if you can do your part behind the hammer.
Big plus 1 here, Sp101 or model 60 Smith with +p 38s either Speer SBGDs or 158 LSWCHP.

Zerstoerer
December 1, 2008, 02:43 PM
Anyone shot both the PPK/S and the Kel Tec PF9?
Looks like the PF9 weighs only 18 oz. loaded!

YZR
December 1, 2008, 03:14 PM
Rent some...

huntsman
December 1, 2008, 03:50 PM
I did not know that the 9mm or .380 had recoil..... My 9mm's don't even make much noise let alone much muzzle flip.


+1 the R word shouldn't be used on anything less than.357mag.

Both my women shoot my .380's and like it.

For a carry gun go with the SIG-232 you can get cheaper but none better.

jad0110
December 1, 2008, 05:22 PM
If she finds 9mm to be painful, she probably won't like 380 either. Or 38 Special for that matter. My mother is extremely recoil sensitive, so her house gun is a 22LR Hi Standard Citation. Better to hit your target with a 22 than miss with a 380 or 9mm. An all steel NAA or Secamp in 32 ACP may be an option, but ammo is not cheap.

redterror
December 1, 2008, 07:27 PM
she used to be, now she is short & fat ;-) but i have also balded too sooooooooooo............
Is she really short and skinny?

BCRider
December 1, 2008, 07:55 PM
If her aim is all over the place due to the kick of the 9mm then I'd suggest she needs more trigger time. Has she shot much 22? Maybe get her some range time and when she's getting nice groups with a .22 step up to a 38 Special revolver. The .38's I've shot have a softer sort of kick than the really short and sharp crack of the 9mm. If she's happy with 38 Spl then maybe that's where she could stop and find one of those. Lots of nice smaller options there. And the grip on most of the 38 special revolvers is quite small to the point that if I had one I'd be looking for the big Hogue grips. But for your wife I suspect that it would be just right given what I'm reading here so far.

If she adapts to the 38 Spl in a short time then try her on the 9mm again.

The key seems to be comfy enough with both the grip size AND the noise and kick it is going to make so that her aim isn't dependent on how much she flinches, pulls or otherwise reacts to the coming "BANG".

Furncliff
December 1, 2008, 08:03 PM
Your wife might benefit from a visit to this site.

http://www.corneredcat.com/

Recoil can be handled with a properly fit gun, training and practice. At least that's what my wife and daughters say.

workingstiff
December 1, 2008, 08:18 PM
Way to go Furncliff. I was going to suggest that site. If I'd gone there first with my (then) non-shooting wife, it would have saved me some money, and considerbly more grief. (Payback is a bi****lateral problem)

Cat has it covered.

BCRider
December 1, 2008, 10:44 PM
... corneredcat...

That's an excellent site. Thanks for the link.

mr.trooper
December 1, 2008, 11:00 PM
The Sig 232 i used to have kicked worse than my Glock.

drd
January 5, 2009, 07:13 PM
My wife shot the Sig 232 (17oz), CZ 83, Beretta 84 380's -a11 barrels less than 4", she thought they all were snappy, and flippy, and sharp!

She thought the XDM 9mm, 32 oz, 4.5" barrel, balanced frame. heavy slide seemed to recoil slower and softer.

But I agree with catcorner, recoil feels different to everyone, shoot 'em and pick.

tblt
January 5, 2009, 07:31 PM
Get her a heavy 9 mm but if you must have a 380 look at the CZ 83 its a very nice gun

jc650
January 5, 2009, 09:12 PM
I can tell you my Glock 26 recoils less than my friends Ruger LCP that I shot. I think aside from a .22, 9mm has to be one of the easiest calibers to shoot.

MKEITH
January 5, 2009, 09:22 PM
Depends a lot on the pistol,I think. My wife can handle her Bersa fine. She can also handle my buddy's 9mm 1911 fine, but can barely even hold on to my beretta 92.

Starcheck55
January 5, 2009, 09:23 PM
how has no one suggested an HK p7?

very little recoil, fits smaller hands well, safe to carry, very accurate, 9mm. what more can you want (other than night sights)?

IMTHDUKE
January 5, 2009, 09:30 PM
If you really loved her, you'd get her a Mustang to ride....My wife carries this little pony...
http://photos.gafana.com/photos/1206252900996536166227.share.jpg

toivo
January 5, 2009, 09:49 PM
I can tell you my Glock 26 recoils less than my friends Ruger LCP that I shot

Not surprising--it weighs almost three times as much.

usp9
January 6, 2009, 08:49 AM
I shoot a lot of .380 and 9mm. IMO they are close enough in recoil to not count. Many .380s are pretty small and light and these feel the same to me compared to 9mms of similar size and weight.

When you have a full grip and get up to about 24 ounces or more, recoil begins to lessen and the comfort zone is approached.

The most comfortable .380 I have are the Beretta 84 and 85, followed by a Stainless Sig P232.

The most comfortable smaller 9mm pistols I have are a HK USPc, HK P2000SK and Kahr T9. Although small, these are a joy to shoot for extended range sessions.

kludge
January 6, 2009, 10:53 AM
The percieved recoil of my Bersa .380 is much less than my Kel-Tec P-11 9mm.

Byron
January 6, 2009, 11:06 AM
My carry gun is a Beretta 85FS.It's recoil is less than a 9MM. I carry FMJ,preferably the Winchester flat point in their USA brand. The debate over better cartridges for personel defense is legitimate. I just feel the Beretta 85 is a good balance. Byron

okespe04
January 6, 2009, 12:14 PM
Most cc guns kick like hell. Even the little 32s. The only little gun I could think that may not kick too much would be a .22. If she is going to cc the gun hitting the target at 10 feet is sufficient. My petite girlfriend can shoot my lcp well enough to do the job and that thing kicks a lot. Its not her favorite thing to do but its not like she has to pull it out and blast away every 10 mins either. I would get her a good cc pistol and with a little practice she will be able to place a shot well enough despite the kick. The she can cc it knowing it will do the job and hopefully she will never have to experience that kick except for a little practice shooting now and again.

My 2 cents

HexHead
January 6, 2009, 01:33 PM
Is she planning on carrying it? The problem with most .380s these days is that they are basically pocket pistols and are both small and lightweight. So they will have more perceived recoil than a larger and heavier 9mm.
I used to have a Browning BDA-380 and it was very docile to shoot, thanks to it's size and weight.

My wife hates recoil and refuses to shoot the S&W 442 I bought with her in mind. She loves shooting my, err her Browning HiPower, again it's size and weight make it very docile to shoot. I just got her a Para PDA in 9mm for when she wants to carry. Since it's based on a 1911, it's ergos make it a pleasure to shoot and it's not as light as some of the smaller .380s. To me, shooting it doesn't feel much different than the BHP.

David E
January 6, 2009, 11:32 PM
My carry gun is a Beretta 85FS.It's recoil is less than a 9MM. I carry FMJ,preferably the Winchester flat point in their USA brand. The debate over better cartridges for personel defense is legitimate. I just feel the Beretta 85 is a good balance. Byron

I gotta ask..........a "good balance" of what, exactly ?

.

chriske
January 7, 2009, 03:26 AM
IMHO, perceived recoil depends at least as much on gun shape, weight & size & even choice of ammo as on caliber.

I'm sure my Ruger Blackhawk .45 Colt with 1000 fps 200 Gr has more "backward thrust" than my S&W 640 with .38 Sp +P 125 Gr, but is far more manageable. My Browning HP kicks less with 147 Gr subsonic ammo than my Walther PPK with regular FMJ factory stuff.

Why not let her try as many different gun/caliber/ammo combinations as possible ?
Besides giving her more to choose from, she might get used to a bit more kick in the process.

Byron
January 7, 2009, 09:15 AM
David E, I should have clarified better. By "balance" I was referring to recoil vs.9MM,adequate defensive caliber and not too heavy. Byron

David E
January 7, 2009, 09:38 AM
For the same size and weight, a better 'balance' can be found in a Glock 19 or M&P-C.

Then again, I never thought the .380 was adequate for defense.

.

Byron
January 7, 2009, 09:53 AM
David E, The G19 or the G26 are great guns.My wife use to keep a soft drink can rolling at 25 yards with her 26. The boxed off edge imprints in my pocket whereas the 85FS doesn't.Wish Glock would redesign the slide. Byron

David E
January 7, 2009, 02:26 PM
Byron, that sounds like a pocket or holster issue.

How does the 26 ride or print? How about a Kahr ?

Fumbler
January 7, 2009, 03:02 PM
I'll add my 2 cents.

I have a Bersa Thunder 380 and a Sig 228 (compact 9mm).
I got the Bersa so my fiance could keep a pistol around.

Both my fiance and I agree the while the 9mm has more recoil, it is much softer shooting.
The 9mm is like a firm but gentle push while the 380 is lighter faster smack.
This is due to a few reasons.
-The Sig is locked breech and the Bersa is a simple blowback.
-The Sig is heavier.
-The rear of the Sig is much wider than the Bersa. All the recoil of the bersa is centered on a narrow frame.

If your 9mm recoils too much then a 380 might work.
A Glock probably won't help and some people have had problems with limp wristing; that could be a concern for inexperienced or weaker shooters.

Has she tried a revolver in 38 special?

toivo
January 7, 2009, 03:50 PM
Both my fiance and I agree the while the 9mm has more recoil, it is much softer shooting.
The 9mm is like a firm but gentle push while the 380 is lighter faster smack.
This is due to a few reasons.
-The Sig is locked breech and the Bersa is a simple blowback.
-The Sig is heavier.
-The rear of the Sig is much wider than the Bersa. All the recoil of the bersa is centered on a narrow frame.

Fumbler, I would agree with everything you say except for the width of the frame. I'm not an expert, but logic tells me that the only pertinent specs there would be the total weight of the pistol and the width/contour of the grip. The weight determines the pistols inertial resistance to recoil and the grip dimension determines the shooter's perception of the force. If by "frame" you meant the grip area of the frame, then you are 100% correct. I think...

Fumbler
January 7, 2009, 04:31 PM
Yes, the grip area.
The Bersa's frame is narrow and has a tang that sticks rearward. The grips do not make that part of the frame any wider and that part of the frame pushes back into the web of your hand on recoil.
The rear of the Sig's frame is wider by design to accomodate a double stacked mag and decocker mechanism. There is much more surface area to spread out the recoil.

The weight and operating system have more of an affect on recoil, but the contact area between the frame and your hand plays a part in comfort too.

Byron
January 7, 2009, 04:44 PM
David E. part of the problem is old injuries I picked up in the late 60's when I was in the Army. Aging has affected a lot with the old injuries(it seems the Golden years are more like the rust years). The smaller 9MM's kick me so hard,that I have pain for some days.I no longer shoot 357's in a pistol and stay with 223's for mostrifle shooting. Those injuries have come back to haunt me.I live in Middle TN and the weather changes quickly. The edge of the Glock has too much of a 90 degree angle to be in my pocket even the I usually wear cargo type pants.I do have a close fitting Bianchi holster but it is served best with a jacket. We went from 19 to 60 in a few days.The rounded edge of the 85 reduces the outline. I reload and practice a lot with my 85. Byron

speedsix
January 7, 2009, 06:40 PM
Most of the .380s I have owned have kicked sharper than most of my 9mms.

The softest shooting 9mms I have owned were my Ruger P-95, Star B, Beretta 92fs and Glock 17.

I would think one of the above full sized 9mm or similar loaded with mild 9mms would not be too much for her.

Make sure she has good ear protection as a lot of flinch is in the noise.

My wife picks her own guns because everytime I get her the "perfect" gun, it is all wrong. She likes her SIG 225.

David E
January 7, 2009, 07:22 PM
Byron, I understand about injuries and wonder what accommodations I may have to make in the future.

You actually prove my dictum: Carry the biggest caliber you can control. If any larger caliber causes pain, then you have chosen wisely, both in caliber and in gun. If my primary HAD to be a .380, I'd want a LOT of bullets in it!!

BTW, what is your chosen carry load?

.

oneounceload
January 7, 2009, 07:57 PM
to the OP - have you taken her to a range where you can rent various guns?

If not, do so....and try semis and revolvers - either way, shooting light loads and then go from there

ERDOC
January 10, 2009, 11:47 PM
Get her a 9mm,and get a low recoil load.She will fair much better with practice
than the .380 .
There are some 95,and 100 grain standard pressure 9mm loads out there that
she should be able to handle just fine.
Also,though sometimes difficult to find,Federal has a standard pressure 124 grain Nyclad HP load that is mild,but, a very terminal load with proper shot placement.

Doc

Byron
January 11, 2009, 08:38 AM
David E, I use the Winchester 95 grain fmj flat point.I decided penetration would be more effective and possible with the FP,may break a bone instead of glancing off. My Beretta shoots these quite well. As indicated earlier,I reload and therefore can practice a lot. There is a very nice indoor range in Murfreesboro,TN. Byron

zammyman
January 11, 2009, 08:58 AM
I'd say go for the 9MM- larger frame such as the Glock 19.

svxapeal
January 11, 2009, 09:31 AM
My .02 is to let her shoot a .32 and see how she feels. If she likes it, consider the Seecamp, a reliable pistol that can be had in .32 for about $500.
Plus, she'll probably be able to handle it better than the husband because it will fit her smaller hands better.
The wife isn't going out to get into a battle at a mall parking lot. She only wants and needs good protection from a very small number of bad guys (typically just one), so the .32 would be just fine.
Yes this is a great idea:banghead: women are MUCH less likely to be attacked and have no need for more stopping power,because so often you hear of men being accosted at the mall and gang raped and killed. Yanno...not once have my husband and I been walking into a mall..or store for that matter and have been asked by a man to "stand there and protect him" while he puts his kids in the car...yet we have been asked by a few women. You are right...women are much less likely to run into trouble/chance for an altercation at the mall.
But back on topic...I suggest taking her to a rental range and letting her try different models in different calibers. She may surprise her self with what fits her...and what she can handle. When I first started looking I looked at a Bersa Thunder in .380 because it seemed to be the only thing that "fit" right. I kept searching and finally found MY perfect gun.A lot of times it isn't the caliber...but finding the right gun that houses it. I now shoot (500-600 rounds and counting)and carry a High Standard compact 1911 in .45acp. I find the recoil very manageable. Good luck in y'alls search.

Caryn

greenr18
January 11, 2009, 10:12 AM
just get one of those compact hi point pistols, they come in .380 or 9mm i suggest 9mm as its cheaper and more common

walker944
January 11, 2009, 10:16 AM
"I kept searching and finally found MY perfect gun.A lot of times it isn't the caliber...but finding the right gun that houses it."

Well stated Caryn!!! We all seem to have an opion on this issue, and mine is she needs to touch and feel a LOT of guns to find what she's comfortable with. She needs to think realistically about HOW she is going to carry (purse, on person, etc) and find a gun that meets that need. The long and the short of it is: All guns are loud, and have recoil. That the nature of their business. That must be came to grips with. They can be heavy & bulky and sometimes down-right uncomfortable to have on your person or purse day-in and day-out. She's making the right decision to have protection, now she just simply needs to "cowgirl-up" and deal with the outcome of having a gun and shooting it. To me, my wife and our 15 yr old 110 lb daughter, recoil is a by-product of shooting...whether it be a .22, .380, 9mm, .357 mag, .45 or anything else.

jjohnson
January 11, 2009, 10:19 AM
Well, if this is for CCW, I'm going to assume this goes into the purse, not in her pocket.

I'd go with a Markarov. Original 9x19 is just fine - and the .380 conversions as well. Mine is utterly reliable, and not too big to stash in a purse. Recoil isn't a big deal since it's steel framed. Mine shoots well, too - better than my Glock 17!

You can get one of these for fairly cheap.... it's DA.... and actually a fun shooter, which is great. Your wife might actually enjoy shooting it now and then, which is a good thing, getting used to your CCW sidearm.

oneounceload
January 11, 2009, 10:19 AM
how about a nice 38 revolver? At least try them out at a range to see how they fit. SHE needs to make the choice

jimk66
January 11, 2009, 06:20 PM
Man, I feel your pain.....our wives, GF's, etc. can drive us crazy trying to find them a handgun they like. lol And God love them..if we're not careful they'll end up accepting anything just to please us. The problem with making that mistake whether it be for ourselves or them is that the gun will go forgotten and unfired in some drawer because of perceived (imagined or otherwise) dislike for the gun (ugly, etc), fear, discomfort or heaven forbid...they just have no interest in guns regardless of the many valid reasons they should.:neener:
If the gun kicks too hard we'll try a heavier one or smaller caliber and then we're informed "it's way too heavy or it still kicks too hard". Ever hear of the "between a rock and hard place"...:(
We finally ended up with a little Walther P22 22lr that is small, fits her hand, has little or no recoil, is reliable and she can shoot with some accuracy and most importantly is not afraid of the gun or shooting it.
She keeps the little P22 in her night stand drawer and knows my S&W model 640 357 is always on the night stand next to my bed every night along with the little short barreled 12ga pump under my side of the bed loaded with .00's. She also knows either the Sig 220c 45cal or the H&K45c is always n the family room desk drawer loaded, chambered and ready to fire. However, please note the home defense handguns are either DA or DA/SA and in my experience will provide the shooter with a fraction of a second additional time to make sure of whether to shoot or not shoot. It also reduces my wide's fear of touching the guns and inadvertantly pulling/touching the trigger of a single action weapon.
Just my opinion.
JimK

svxapeal
January 11, 2009, 07:53 PM
Man, I feel your pain.....our wives, GF's, etc. can drive us crazy trying to find them a handgun they like. lol And God love them..if we're not careful they'll end up accepting anything just to please us.
Again this can be avoided by taking them to try out a bunch of guns at a rental range. Let THEM chose...don't chose for them. Don't push them to make a quick choice. They WILL know when they find "My/Their" gun... maybe I am quirky...but I am glad my husband doesn't come home with guns for me, but lets me take all the time I need to find the right one.

Caryn

thenaaks
January 11, 2009, 08:49 PM
I have browsed this post and noticed that no one has mentioned reduced recoil ammunition, such as Federal Hydra-Shok. It's available in both .380 and 9mm. Hope this helps some.

alaskagunner
January 12, 2009, 12:39 PM
Training!!

Get her some training. My wife went to an all women's class put on by the NRA and loved it. She got to try out a lot of guns from 22-45 acp. THEY, not me, taught her proper grip, trigger control, sight alignment, etc. The information coming from another really helped her learn the basics.She also had a nice time learning with a bunch of her peers. Currently her favorite gun to shoot is our Wilson 1911 in 45 acp.

My guess is that your gf is flinching because of the recoil. Dry firing will help a lot, IMO.

kitsapcharly
January 20, 2009, 01:56 AM
Go to a range where they rent guns and try her on different options. The best first gun for anybody has to be a 22 revolver holding about 9 shots. Shoot it a LOT and learn to shoot with it. Even for SD a 22 she can shoot would be better than anything she can't shoot.

expvideo
January 20, 2009, 02:55 AM
.380's are NOT my cup of tea after a problematic Walther PPK/S.
There's your problem. There are a lot of really good .380s. The Bersa Thunder is a very good, very reliable .380. You are taking a gun that is known to be problematic and judging an entire class of guns by it. Try something else before you right off the .380 all together.

And yes, .380 has more felt recoil. It isn't the round itself, it is the fact that nearly all .380 pistols are blowback operated. I can shoot my 9mm all day, but after 50 rounds through my girlfriend's .380, my wrist starts to get sore.

Pilot
January 20, 2009, 03:39 AM
If my primary HAD to be a .380, I'd want a LOT of bullets in it!!



You sound like a mall commando. .380 is adaquete for SD. The deterrent factor alone is considerable. I also carry a Beretta M85FS and am well armed. That doesn't mean I don't often carry .45 ACP or 9MM, bu I don't feel "exposed" with a .380.

jimk66
January 20, 2009, 08:14 AM
If you can find one let her try a Beretta Cheetah in 380. They're a larger pistol (less noticable recoil) and very reliable.
Jimk

expvideo
January 20, 2009, 08:25 AM
If you can find one let her try a Beretta Cheetah in 380. They're a larger pistol (less noticable recoil) and very reliable.
Jimk
+1 to that! Also, a very similar gun to look at is the Browning BDA 380. I used to have that gun, and it was probably my favorite of all time.

Hostile Amish
January 20, 2009, 08:40 AM
You can start her off with .38 Special in a .357 and move to heavier loads gradually, or get a low-recoil 9mm (Smith and Wesson Sigma or M&P)

JohnBT
January 20, 2009, 10:26 AM
My cousin, who has had surgery on her hands, prefers shooting her new Rohrbaugh to shooting her P3AT.

Go figure.

I've never shot a P3AT, but I think my R9 is a handful. I'll never shoot 101 rounds in a session again.

John

Davionmaximus
January 20, 2009, 10:33 AM
I bought my wife a Bersa .380 Light weight worked for ease of carry but had a bit to much 'snap" for her. I stepped up to the heavier Glock 19 and she had less noticable recoil from the more powerful 9mm.
The trick was really SHE picked out the 9mm. Went to the gun show and she picked up every gun we could lay our hands on. The Glock fits her like a glove.
She shoots much more accurate and comfortably w/ the 9mm over the .380. That equates to more practice. I better not make her mad....

avgeekjlb
January 21, 2009, 08:08 AM
I too just had the same question. My mom is/was looking for a carry gun. She couldn't decide between .380 and .9mm. So, we went to our local range. They allowed us to rent a Sig P232 and a P239. We both fired each first a mag of .9mm and then .380 then repeat. The interesting part is that neither of us could tell a difference in perceived recoil. Now, having said that I am used to a .45 and she is used to .38 special so neither of the above was a problem anyway. She ended up picking the .380 only because the P232 felt better in her little hands.
Oh, for what it's worth the range master who is a retired LEO reminded us that as long as the shots are well placed the difference in the .380 and .9mm really isn't going to make that much difference in the final outcome at the short ranges that would be used for defensive purposes...

Just my two cents...:)

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