Tiny hands, tiny budget, recoil sensitive...she needs a gun


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Steve Smith
September 26, 2003, 01:10 PM
Little woman, not very strong, probably wouldn't appreciate recoil none-too-much. She wants some protection. I was thinking of the Bersa .380, but I'm sure the recoil is snappy. This girl might not have the strength to pull a revolver's trigger much. Any suggestions? Price is paramount.


Could it get harder?

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cslinger
September 26, 2003, 01:13 PM
Single Action .32 magnum. Decent round, not much recoil, very very safe hammer down, extremely light trigger when cocked, not much effort to cock.

My 2 cents.

Chris

cslinger
September 26, 2003, 01:20 PM
Actually this should do very nicely.

http://www.ruger-firearms.com/Firearms/FAProdView?model=6513&return=Y

Birdshead grip for the small hands.
Decent size to be relatively concealable.
Very safe with transfer bar can carry hammer down on a live round.
Decent weight and barrel length combined with small caliber = little recoil.
Single action trigger extremely light.
Cocking action not very difficult expecially if shooting two handed.
Stainless steel is corrosion resistent.
.32 magnum is not a bad little round.
Looks cool.
Will be about as reliable as your average refrigerator, Ie it will work.
When hammer is down ain't no way the gun is going off so would make a decent purse gun.
Ruger firearms are usually priced very realistically for a quality piece. Don't pay any attention to the MSRP it is always much much higher then actual retail on most Rugers.
Really I think this could work.

Sure it has cons but based on your specific needs I think this could work very nicely.

Brian Williams
September 26, 2003, 01:33 PM
How about a J frame in 32, get some wolf springs and reduce the trigger return spring.


Or

S&W Ladysmith mod 60, older versions have superb triggers and nice actions. Get some 148 gr full wadcutters which make for some nice big holes.

I also have a 940 Centennial that is great, only moonclips are hard to refill but make for quick reloads.

cslinger
September 26, 2003, 01:34 PM
Sorry I am bored so stop me if you have to. :D

Beretta Bob/Tomcats.

Flip up barrel.
Small caliber
can be cocked and locked.
Prices are not too bad.
Quality is excellent.

Recoil is a little snappy though and accuracy isn't the main design element. They are kind of empty into their face kind of gun.

http://www.beretta.com/home_2002.asp

cslinger
September 26, 2003, 01:35 PM
If you think she can handle the recoil and trigger pull I agree with Perfessr. I nice .38 revolver would be very nice.

Chris

ARperson
September 26, 2003, 03:07 PM
If you think she can handle the recoil and trigger pull I agree with Perfessr. I nice .38 revolver would be very nice.

Only partially true. A snubby on a light frame, which is the ideal for concealmeant in a gal's purse, has a LOT of recoil and muzzle flip. Probably wouldn't appeal to her.

But, if it's not for concealed carry in a purse, then size and weight become less important and one can move to the longer, stronger-framed models. In which case, yes, a .38 revolver would be very nice. :D

Ooh, forgot to add I'm a fan of the Taurus revolvers. Great quality without paying for a couple of letters (namely, an S and a W).

Vic303
September 26, 2003, 03:17 PM
Ruger .357 SP101, loaded with plain Jane .38spl should be sweet!

spacemanspiff
September 26, 2003, 03:25 PM
introduce her to runt_of_the_litter.

Sean Smith
September 26, 2003, 03:41 PM
I can't think of an autoloader that meets your critera that wouldn't be too expensive. Maybe a used CZ-75 PCR or Compact?

For revolvers I'd suggest 3-4" of barrel and a STEEL frame in .38 Special. Otherwise there is too little sight radius and too much recoil for most new shooters to start with. Just make sure that she can handle the DA trigger pull.

Lightweight snubby = bad idea for ANY new shooter... evil recoil and no sight radius.

Steve Smith
September 26, 2003, 03:52 PM
Hmm, I can get her a Beretta 3032 Tomcat for $262. Migh thave to go and look at them with her.

Guys, this woman has CHILD'S hands. I carry a PCR myself...this girl could barely hang onto it.

4v50 Gary
September 26, 2003, 04:02 PM
The Beretta 22 Tomcat would be better. Unless Beretta has solved the problems with the Bobcat (32), I'd steer clear of it. Among other things, I understand that the firing pin could pop out during firing. If she goes 22 though, be sure she is capable of head shots.

semf
September 26, 2003, 04:46 PM
My ex was 4'11" 95lbs and could shoot a .38, 9mm or even a Govt .45 with the best of them are you sure you're not selling her short.

Felonious Monk
September 26, 2003, 04:57 PM
Um...fellas?

She's tiny. She's NOT a shooter like Runt. We can't change that.

Take her to a range and rent her a bunch of what's been suggested and let her SHOOT them.

Include in that mix a Kel-Tec P32 and my pick for this situation: Kel-Tec P3AT.
Negligible difference in kick between the two. VERY controllable. Light, reliable. An "always" gun.

There you go.

Steve Smith
September 26, 2003, 05:31 PM
Felonious read my mind. Runt is a shooter. This girl isn't...at all. A woman inclined to have fun with guns has the mindset to "play" with big guns. This girl will NOT appreciate the experience.

I just remembered I have a P32 I could sell to this girl for a good price...hmm..

Tropical Z
September 26, 2003, 05:40 PM
Definitely the Kel-Tec P32.The women i know who've experienced the P32 love it for its size and functioning.

roscoe
September 26, 2003, 06:03 PM
taurus ultralight 8-shot .22 magnum snubby? low recoil, but a bit loud.

Ford
September 26, 2003, 07:03 PM
I went through this with my wife. We rented a 9mm ( ported med. size glock) and she complained it was too much for her. I told her that she just had to get used to it. 50 rounds later her hand was BEAT RED. I felt like a jerk. I ended up buying her a .32. It was tolerable but she did not care to shoot it alot. She still likes my .22 best. I had to back off of wanting her to shoot a "more powerful" round because I just about ruined her going to the range with me. After all this has been said I suggest starting with a quality .22 with a single action trigger. Atleast this is what my wife preffers to shoot. This way she is more apt to practice with it and get better at shooting. After she is comfortable with it then maybe you could gradually climb that caliber latter. I have found in my wifes case that it is better for her to be accurate with a .22 and enjoy shooting it than to have a 9mm or something and never want to shoot it.

By the way a .380's recoil is not that much less than a 9mm. Not when you are talking about someone that is this recoil sensetive.

Sean Smith
September 26, 2003, 07:04 PM
I was afraid the PCR would be to fat in the grip. :(

If you find a S&W .38 revolver for cheap, you could maybe afford to get an action job & replace the grips to make it more usable for itty bitty hands.

:confused:

P32 is probably a good idea, except mine never worked and the trigger sucked.

Al Thompson
September 26, 2003, 07:30 PM
One of the smaller S&W .22 autos or a Browning Buckmark (Micro?) gets the first ruule out of the way - have a gun. I'd load it with high dollar match ammo for the reliability issue, though Mike Irvin has had super luck with his Taurus PT-22 and inexpensive ammo.

mnrivrat
September 26, 2003, 10:46 PM
Just went through this with my aunt. She is 77 and felt it was time to have a handgun in her house . No way she could pull a slide back on and auto so I figured the tip up barrel of the Jet Fire or Tomcat would be her only choices in an auto. She was also very concerned about recoil and therefore we steered away from light guns or anything heavier than a 32 mag for caliber in our discussions. After discussing her options and showing her some pictures of various guns we started looking at those guns in various shops so that she could handle them and get a feel for what she thought she would want. It was hard to not steer her into something that I thought would be the best for her but I made up my mind it would be her choice because she was the one that had to be comfortable with the gun.
After looking at several handguns she decided she would go with a revolver and likely just stick with a 22 LR. She had in mind a small framed revolver that I had shown her pictures of but we had not found one at a shop yet. On our second outing we ran across that Taurus Model she was thinking of - it was a 941 in 22mag rather than the 94 in 22 LR , with a 4 inch barrel she fell in love with it after handling it and now is the new owner.
While a 22 mag might not measure up in many respects to a self defense caliber it is something that she can handle without a probem as I witnessed a couple days ago when I gave her her first shooting lesson. She is very happy with the experience and the gun - and I am happy I didn't talk her into something that might have been too much for her. She has some trouble firing double action because of her weak hands, but got used to single action rather quickly. The rest will come ! My hat is off to my aunt Betty who at 77 years can still find enjoyment and comfort with a new handgun purchase and with learning to use it . :D :D

Felonious Monk
September 27, 2003, 12:13 AM
Just some thoughts:

Ford is dead-on when he said I have found in my wifes case that it is better for her to be accurate with a .22 and enjoy shooting it than to have a 9mm or something and never want to shoot it.I have had to really repress my urge to want to push my wife into a more potent caliber; when we started "trying guns on for size", she astounded me by her immediate, inherent sense of what was "just right" for her.

We started with a .22 semi auto, and she didn't even finish out the mag.
"Next? This is wimpy." :p

So, I give her her new P32, and she's shooting these UNBELIEVABLE groups for a new shooter with an unfamiliar gun...liking it, and we went through about 3 mags before I hand her my Rossi .38.
3 shots, she hands it back.

Ditto the Ruger SP101. 3 shots.
"I don't like either of these. I don't feel in control. Give me back the purple one." :rolleyes:

She proceeds to peg head shots and make ragged little holes with the .32.
And she's done so ever since.

She stokes a couple of hot Cor-Bons in the pipe and the first one in the mag, followed by Fiocchi or S&B fmj the rest of the way. (.32's are semi-rimmed and thus prone to rimlock). As with any mousegun, the plan is for her to empty the mag into whatever Orc, Troll or Goblin attempts to accost her, and bug out forthwith.

Also...
I know we're not talking a one shot man-stopper for a 280lb crackhead, but the Titanium Taurus wheelguns in 8 rounds of .22 magnum, or NINE rounds of .22lr are VERY interesting option, IMHO.

Oh, and a good, fitted trigger shoe on whatever gun she gets will do WONDERS for her control.

'nuff rambling.

Chugach
September 27, 2003, 03:00 AM
.22LR revolver and a box of bulk pack.

Low noise, low recoil, simple operation, and she'll be much more likely to practice with it because she can afford ammo.

Zundfolge
September 27, 2003, 03:09 AM
Revolvers are a nice choice but a heavy DA trigger might not work for her. For auto an I'd say a Kahr K9 if thats not too expensive. Might also look at a RAP401 (if you can find one). Also a Steyr M9 can be had inexpensivly, and the grip on it is thinner then many single stack guns even though its a doublestack.


What kind of price range are you looking at?


Hell, just take her down to specialty sports and let her fondle all the toys they have :)

on a side note Steve, I happened to drive by there today (Friday) at about 4:45 and I saw a truck that looked a lot like yours ... if I wasn't in a hurry I'd have stopped to find out.

Chugach
September 27, 2003, 03:26 AM
Yeah, DA may be too much. I would weigh that against having her cock the hammer with her support hand...but then the trigger pull may be too light for her if she hasn't practiced.

Not sure we have any easy answers here.

It's been said before: let her shoot a bunch of different handguns, and natural selection will occur.

Morgan
September 27, 2003, 07:12 AM
Steve - I've got a Mustang Pocketlite you could borrow for her to try. Very easy to rack the slide, single action, etc. Unfortunately it isn't for sale, so another would have to be found if she likes it.

Also a Kahr MK40 - probably too much recoil, and the Kahrs are not easy for one with poor hand strength to rack the slide.

valnar
September 27, 2003, 12:38 PM
What's more important, light recoil or light gun?

If she can handle a heavier gun, a used S&W model 64,65,66,67 with a 2.5" or 3" barrel would be nice. Load with .38. Just cock and fire single action. 'little recoil and a good caliber.

If a light gun is also important, a steel J-frame S&W or a Kahr K9 in 9mm (but pricey) may fit.

One of those Glocks may fit the bill too, but I don't know my tupperware to give a recommendation. But if she can't load the magazine or pull the slide, stick with a revolver.

-Robert

Black Majik
September 27, 2003, 04:18 PM
Sig P232 or Walther PPK in .380.

If you like the style of gun, but the price is up there, I've read good things about the Bersa Thunders in .380. Its styled like the PPK.

Good luck

only1asterisk
September 27, 2003, 05:30 PM
I'm suprised you haven't been bombarded by Makarov users yet! CZ 50/70 .32 ACP are great for your purpose, and can be found for around $100. Walther PP's are a little bigger, and handle more like a full size gun. You should be able to score a surplus walther .32 for less than $300. If I was in your situ, I would think had about a Ruger SP101 in .32 Mag or 38 Special with a 3" barrel, or a 3" J frame smith in .38 or .32. An east coast PD just dumped a hundred 4" square butt J frames. I know you have concerns about a DA trigger pull, but if she can hold a revolver, she can use both thumbs to cock the hammer (at least at first). New revolvers I mentioned will cost $375-475. Lots of other good suggestions here!

Edited to add Mauser HSc and CZ 83 (larger, heavy for 32/380) Zero recoil, both are DA/SA with safety.

David

WonderNine
September 27, 2003, 06:45 PM
I've researched this a bit in the past and I've decided that the S&W Airweight 642 .38 special +P is about the perfect gun for smaller females. I would own one myself if they made it in .357. I don't like the scandiums.

http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=12263823

Light weight, potent yet low recoiling low concussion cartridge, nice small grips/easy to reach the trigger, simple to operate and most importantly a nice light smooth trigger. It's hard for a girl to use a gun in self defense when she can't pull the trigger.

jar
September 27, 2003, 06:53 PM
There is a great option, one that may take some looking and is often overlooked. It's the Colt Police Positive.

The PP is a small framed gun, has a very smooth and light trigger, is a natural pointer and super reliable. It is often found in either 38 Special or the older Colt 38 New Police. The new police was, IIRC a 200 grain 38 S&W. This is a very low recoil round, very easy to shoot and also very accurate.

The PP is small enought to dissappear into a pocket or purse, has a large enough grip to be easily controlled, perfect for small hands and a joy to shoot.

Another possible choice is the Colt Detective Special. Again, you have a small handgun with a great trigger and a grip that is a good compromise, smalll enough for little hands and yet large enough for control.

Trebor
September 28, 2003, 02:49 AM
I can empathize, my wife and I have been going through trying to find a gun that "fits" her for a couple years now. For what it's worth, here are my suggestions based on our experiences.

K-Frame S&W revolver: My wife had lots of problems with J-frames, because the particular geometry of the internals made the DA pull too much for her. We found though that the K-Frames fit her hand very well and she didn't have any problems with the DA trigger. The ideal gun would be a Model 65 Ladysmith, but they are hard to find and kind of pricey, so you might need to improvise. If concealment is not important, look for a good used 4" Model 10/15 for under $200. If she needs to conceal it, look for a K-frame with a shorter barrel or buy a cheap gun and have the barrel shortened.

Colt D-Frame revolver: Dectective Special, Agent, Cobra. We still haven't been able to get our hands on one to try, but we hear they work well for women. See if you can find one to try.

Makarov in 9X18 or .380 ACP. The Mak conceals well and is one of the few autopistols that my wife can work the slide on with ease. They are reliable and inexpensive. For a non-shooter, I'd go with .380 ACP since recoil will be (very) slightly less and ammo is more common through normal distribution routes. (9X18 is actually cheaper through mail order in bulk though) If she can handle the Mak, it's an excellent choice.

P32/P3AT. These are worth a look, but don't be surprised if they don't work out for her. My wife had lots of problems overcoming the recoil spring to rack the slide and getting a good grip on the slide. She didn't like the feel of the gun either and never actually shot one. Still, your person may be different and I'd take a look.

Colt .380 autos. I've heard good things about these for female shooters, but also still haven't been able to get my hands on one. Worth a look if you can find one, but likely to be out of her price range.

Going over it again, my top two choices based on price/value would be the Makarov and K-Frame Smith.

Marko Kloos
September 28, 2003, 11:04 AM
My wife owns both a Beretta Tomcat and a Taurus 731UL.

The Taurus in particular is pretty good for recoil-sensitive shooters with small hands. The caliber is respectable for self-defense (.32 H&R Magnum), the gun holds six rounds, and the barrel is ported and reduces the already low recoil of the .32 Magnum even more. The trigger reach is short, and the DA trigger is light enough out of the box to be acceptable to most weak-handed users.

Replace the rubber factory grips with slim silverwood boot grips, and you have a pretty potent little carry package for folks who can't operate a bigger gun or don't like the recoil of the bigger calibers.

The Taurus is pretty affordable as well. They run right around $300-ish brand new.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=511175

Mastrogiacomo
September 28, 2003, 05:12 PM
Female shooter, piano hands, hates recoil -- sold my S&W 442...nuff said guys? Is she carrying or what? I have a big S&W 686 4" and shoot only .38's through it. Very gentle if you can believe it. Bought it used. Lady Smith 65 in a 3" shooting .38's is another nice choice, as is the S&W model 60 in a 3" or the 66 F comp. Look to used if you can it'd be cheaper. I also have two compact type M Berettas -- slender easy to shoot and a full size 92, easy to hold and shoot -- I'm very small folks, my hands are tiny but I can shoot this with no problem. Try a Glock 26 or a Glock 19....easy trigger, small package. Have her take in a few lessons with an NRA teacher to help her ease into this, it'll help.

Black Snowman
September 28, 2003, 05:27 PM
Formal instruction and trying rental guns are the best non-specific advice I've seen and you can count this as a vote in there favor :)

Lots of good gun choices out there and many have them have been suggested. My Dad has tried getting my Mom a defense gun on several occasions without success.

Now with CCW coming to MO there's a good chance she's going to be shopping and rental is going be my 1st piece of advice so my Dad doesn't have a 3rd pistol no one wants to shoot to trade in ;)

CaesarI
September 28, 2003, 08:32 PM
I'm still of the "recoil is subjective" school here.

My sister has two friends, one 5'3 100lbs and 5'7 120lbs.
The former's hands didn't even reach the bottom of the grip her hands were so tiny.

Both managed 15/16 of their first shots in the black from an H&K P7.

My sister has remarked that a USP Compact .40 has lighter recoil than the P7.

I managed this success because we did lots, and lots, and lots of dry fire, lots of discussion, etc. between shots, and lots and lots of focus on the front sight.

My mother was more difficult, as she has something of an irrational fear. I could get Miss 5'3 to stop jumping after a few minutes of rational discussion. With mom I had to resort to a .22

We do women an incredible disservice recommending cartridges below .38 Spcl, or 9mm when we accept their belief that they can't handle the recoil.

Teaching women to ignore recoil is something that can, and should be done in the interests of their safety.

-Morgan

jsalcedo
September 28, 2003, 09:31 PM
I'll second the CZ 70 or Makarov.

SodaPop
September 28, 2003, 11:13 PM
A Ruger Single Six.

My 10yr old nephew shoots it.



Anyone that shoots a 380 or 32 should be able to handle a 9mm. I've shot a bunch of 380 and 32 pistols that I considered too harsh compared to my Sig 239.

JohnKSa
September 29, 2003, 12:03 AM
CaeserI,
Teaching women to ignore recoil is something that can, and should be done in the interests of their safety.
My wife can tough it out (from a pain standpoint), but since she has to have the use of her hands for everyday life, it's counterproductive for her to cripple herself by shooting a gun that punishes her.

(I'm trying to say very gently that you don't know what you're talking about. It's not possible for everyone to learn to ignore recoil just because some people can.)

Like Ford, I went through the "you just have to get used to it" with my sister. Until she showed me the large swelling where the recoil from my pistol (just a 9mm but it didn't fit her hand right) had broken a blood vessel in her thumb joint. I don't think learning to ignore recoil will toughen up your blood vessels.

My wife's hands get bright red after just a few rounds through some of my pistols. If she pushes past that, she will have lasting trouble--stiffness and pain for the next few days. That's pretty hard on someone who types (programmer) all day at work and is a musician in her spare time. On the other hand, we have found a few pistols that she can use easily (not all tiny calibers either) and she can shoot a couple of boxes per range trip through them without causing herself any lasting discomfort.

Steve,

The Colt .380 autopistols are very easy to operate for those with low hand strength. Recoil is quite low. They aren't cheap and they are getting hard to find.

Small revolvers are generally a bad idea. The DA triggers are usually too hard, and can be a stretch for small hands. Also the recoil (in any useful caliber) is often too much.

Makarovs aren't a good idea--most of the straight blowback designs aren't. The recoil springs are too stiff to operate and recoil is pretty snappy. If I do the loading, Lisa can shoot a Mak, but she can't work the slide and can only shoot a few rounds as the recoil starts to mess up her hands after that.

The smaller tipup guns are ok, but the tipup latches are often so stiff that they are difficult to operate.

The M86 Beretta tipup barrel is pretty easy operate and reasonably light on recoil. If it fits her hand (it might actually be too big) then it would probably be a good choice. They aren't cheap. This is my wife's favorite gun.

Full size 9mms don't work well because the grip doesn't fit small hands. The recoil isn't bad, but because the grip is a bad fit to the hand, it can seem excessive.

The smaller 9mms can get too snappy in the recoil department. Still, it's worth trying some of the more compact 9mms. If you can find one that fits her hand, she may be able to shoot it well. Recoil spring stiffness becomes a problem as the guns get smaller though...

The P32 works well for my wife. She can operate all the controls easily and has no trouble with recoil.

Andrew Wyatt
September 29, 2003, 12:39 AM
is this a CCW piece? if so, what about a colt pony? if not, a ruger mark 2 might be something she can use, as they're very user friendly and easy to hit with, and fits even a child's hands.


it's too bad about the budget, though. I think a kahr t9 would be almost perfect.

Covey Rise
September 29, 2003, 03:10 AM
Makarov, heavy enough that it does not recoil much.

Jaco
September 29, 2003, 04:50 AM
Steve,

Had the same problems with my wife, and ended up with three caliber choices - .22LR, .22 Magnum and .25.

With all larger calibers the recoil was too much, including .32.

With .22 Magnum scarce here, and .25 just as good as .22 LR anyway, settled on a 9 shot .22 snubby. I dont like SA revolvers for self defense, unless it is at least .357 or .454 caliber, so the NAA mini's were out. I really wanted a revolver with at least a 3" barrel, but couldnt find one. And I didnt want to go to a .22 pistol for a non-regular shooter.

After about 200 rounds, her hands are tired, but thats the least of problems. DA trigger pull isn't a problem, I trained her in a Fairbairn type convulsive grip. I kept the small factory wood grips, so it fits her hands excellent.

Not to go in a caliber war, but at least I know no one will rape her with a few 45gr HV and 38 gr HV HP pellets in his body.

BluesBear
September 29, 2003, 05:12 AM
As a former range instructor I have had the best luck, for women with small hands and sensitive disposition, with J frame S&W and D frame Colt revolvers with STEEL frames and good rubber grips that cover the backstrap. The small additional weight seems to help with the recoil more than anything. ALWAYS start with the lightrest loads you can find.

I try to show them the really lightweight guns first then let them handle the steel ones. I tell added weight of the steel frames really, really, really tame the recoil. (The mind is a powerful tool.) I just say "when you shoot it, this one will go BOOM, really loud, and it's going to "bounce" in your hand a little. If you can catch a fast softball you can shoot this nooooo problem." it usually works out just fine. If a person thinks it's going to kick hard it will.
Which is why so many "think" the .45 auto is tough. They were told, before they ever shot one, that it would "kick like a mule".


I have known women who carried 148 gr wadcutters for several months because they were not intimidated by them.
Not a manstopper you say? Maybe, maybe not. But I tell you what... I don't want to be shot with 5 of them! Nor 4, nor 3... you get the picture. They cut a clean hole in paper and they'll do the same with flesh. Personally, I do not like to bleed, even a little.

If you handload or know anyone who does, load some swaged hollow base wadcutters backwards over 3 grains of Bullseye. Now it might not be real good against heavy clothing (I have heard that filling the cavity with parafin helps) but if it hits meat it WILL do some damage. After all that's where the original HyrdaShok got started.


Just my tuppence.

Tropical Z
September 29, 2003, 06:08 PM
All the people who are recommending everything else havent REALLY held or REALLY shot a P32.Its unique in the marketplace as far as im concerned and still your best choice of all the guns and calibers mentioned so far.;)

Dr.Rob
September 29, 2003, 07:27 PM
Well if Cost wasn't an option a Colt 380 Gov't model might be idela. Small grip, easy to rack, 7 shots, small package but with a complex manual of arms compared to a revolver.

Din't Star make a 1911-looking 380?

Oh and on the revolver, teach her to thumb cock it first, then teach her to shoot it DA. A j-frame SW is no pussycat shooting wadcutters, but wadcutters in a 4 inch Colt don't really kick much at all.

Small hands = custom grips. Shave 'em down skeletonize them , make em functional.

Lochaber
October 2, 2003, 05:04 PM
It isnt clear to me what "cheap" means to you. I have gone through the same for my wife. She also has child hands and could not get anywhere near a good grip on my CZ75B, which I suspect feels about as big around as the PCR. What we found that works for her is the Sig-239 in 9mm. I dont know if the 9mm would be to much for your lady, but I was surprised to find that the Sig239 seems to have a bit LESS recoil then the full size CZ. It is single stack and has a tiny grip which you will have a hard time getting used to. It also has a very generous slide which will make it easier to rack then the tiny CZ slide serrations. My wife has tiny hands, likes the recoil of .22s and has no upper body strength, but she just LOVES her 239. She is also not a shooter, and only makes it to the range a couple of times a year to make sure that she still can hit what she aims at.

If you look around a new 239 should be around $550 which may be more then you want to spend, but after spending months looking for a gun that fits her and she likes, a couldnt write the check fast enough.

Have her try one.

Loch

Walk Softly
October 4, 2003, 11:11 PM
Went throught the same thing a few years back with my wife. Went to many gunshows so she could handle a variety of handguns, she ultimately picked a Firestar Model 43 in 9mm. Ordered one in with the starvel(brushed nickel) finish, and headed off to the range; end result is she loves to shoot it, but can't operate the slide. It was a total waste and I've got another pistol that stays in the safe as I consider it too heavy for it's capacity, though it does shoot nice. I'd much rather shoot it than my millinieum!

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