Help me help my neighbor buy a gun


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hirundo82
February 17, 2012, 08:33 AM
So my neighbor wants to buy a handgun for self defense. She's gotten some professional instruction and we've been to the range a couple of times so she can try what I have. She has also passed the Texas CHL course and recieved her license so she'll be carrying whatever she buys, but she's a full-time student and obviously can't carry most of the time, so home defense should be considered the primary purpose.

She really likes the 9mm Glocks (she has shot the G17, G19, and G26); I'm trying to steer her more toward the G19 size as a good compromise between ease of shooting and concealability, but I don't think the G26 would be a bad choice either. She didn't like the revolvers than I brought for her to shoot (Ruger GP100 and S&W 642, both with .38spl), and I'm trying to steer her away from the really little pocket autos for a first gun--obviously it's her decision, but I feel buying a pistol that is hard to shoot as your first gun can instill some bad habits that can be avoided by proper selection in the first place.

Now she has her tax return, so we're going shopping at the gun show next weekend to see if she can find anything she likes. The reason I come to tap the collective wisdom of THR is that I am trying to come up with a list of other guns in the same size range that I should have her look at at the show next weekend.

The list as I have it so far:
Glock 19, 26
Sig P239
SA XD Compact, Subcompact, and XD(M) Compact
S&W M&P9c
Beretta PX4 Compact, Subcompact

Any other suggestions? 9mm preferred, and let's try to keep it under $600 (lightly used would be OK).

Thanks in advance.

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trekgod3
February 17, 2012, 08:36 AM
+1 for the Glock 19. Perfect balance between conceal-ability and shoot-ability.

Nushif
February 17, 2012, 08:57 AM
So my neighbor wants to buy a handgun for self defense. She's gotten some professional instruction and we've been to the range a couple of times so she can try what I have. She has also passed the Texas CHL course and recieved her license so she'll be carrying whatever she buys

So in light of all this ... why does she need her hand held for the simple process of going to a LGS and picking out a gun?

[edit]
No snark intended here, but I am seriously wondering why she needs *you* to "steer her to the right gun" when she is obviously an adult, has some training and even though this is in Texas, she probably is literate being in College and all (I kid.) ...
Again. Why does she need some other person limiting her choices? The fact that not every model ever made is available for purchase does quite enough of "limiting choices."

k-frame
February 17, 2012, 09:04 AM
^^^
They're going to a gun show. :) More fun for everybody.

moxie
February 17, 2012, 09:08 AM
Ditto on the G19, G26 or M&P9c, whichever one she likes best. They are all good. A good alternative to check is the Ruger LCR. Small, light, effective, and very simple.

nushif, The fact that she's been to the range and passed her CHL doesn't mean she couldn't benefit from the advice of a more experienced shooter. Nothing wrong with asking a friend for assistance. And to his credit he's asking others for advice also, not pretending to be supremely knowledgeable.

Nushif
February 17, 2012, 09:12 AM
I guess I'm just confused why people feel this burning need to be told which gun they need to buy.

I went to the store and bought a gun I liked for my first gun. A couple years later I traded it with a friend for another gun I liked.
When I buy guns I look at them and see if they suit my needs and I like them.
If they don't work I have them fixed or sell them off.
I carry a gun I like.

Why this need to buy the "perfect gun" first time every time, as determined by someone else?

allaroundhunter
February 17, 2012, 09:30 AM
This sounds like the perfect use for the Glock 19...or the Glock 29 if she's okay with upping her caliber selection one measly millimeter ;)

Pilot
February 17, 2012, 09:33 AM
CZ-75D PCR
CZ P-01
Browning Hi Power
HK P7 PSP
Walther PPQ/P99
Sig P229/P228
Glock G19
Springfield XD series

I don't think she could go wrong with any of the above.

CrazyO
February 17, 2012, 11:10 AM
I agree with Pilot, the CZ 75D PCR would be a great way to go. One the most accurate handguns I own. And at a shade over 27 oz. it would be a good all around choice.

Coyote3855
February 17, 2012, 05:48 PM
When my wife wanted her first centerfire semi auto, we did the gun show thing. She handled everything available and settled on a Glock 19, which has been a good gun for her. Unfortunately, it's a slippery slope and she has since appropriated my Kahr P9, my Glock 26, a KelTec P11 and one of my Makarovs.

Winkman822
February 17, 2012, 06:24 PM
Sig P228, Sig P229, Commander sized 1911s, Walther P99, HK USP Compact, HK P2000, and HK P30 should are all worth a look also.

The_Armed_Therapist
February 17, 2012, 07:05 PM
Unfortunately, it's a slippery slope and she has since appropriated my Kahr P9, my Glock 26, a KelTec P11 and one of my Makarovs.

Do you sled, snowboard, or ski often? Point is, some slippery slopes are worth it. ;)

joe_security
February 17, 2012, 07:06 PM
The P239 is an excellent choice if not cost prohibitive. Quite possibly the best ergonomics of any. The Glock 26 is a great choice if not too chunky.

hirundo82
February 17, 2012, 07:22 PM
So in light of all this ... why does she need her hand held for the simple process of going to a LGS and picking out a gun?

[edit]
No snark intended here, but I am seriously wondering why she needs *you* to "steer her to the right gun" when she is obviously an adult, has some training and even though this is in Texas, she probably is literate being in College and all (I kid.) ...
Again. Why does she need some other person limiting her choices? The fact that not every model ever made is available for purchase does quite enough of "limiting choices."

I'm just helping out a friend. She doesn't *need* me to help me buy a gun, but she's new to the whole firearm thing and she wants my input on which she might like (she thinks me making this list is a good idea BTW). Plus I'm a big gun nut and love gun shopping (I'm going to be browsing to see if anything catches my interest at the show as well).

I'm certainly not going to tell her what to buy--she's a grown woman and if you'd met her you'd consider the idea of someone forcing her into something she didn't like to be comical--but I want to be organized since things can get hectic at a show. We aren't limiting ourself to this list, but I wanted to make a list of guns we should consider off of what she has liked out of what she has tried so far.

hirundo82
February 17, 2012, 07:42 PM
CZ-75D PCR
CZ P-01
Browning Hi Power
HK P7 PSP
Walther PPQ/P99
Sig P229/P228
Glock G19
Springfield XD series
Sig P228, Sig P229, Commander sized 1911s, Walther P99, HK USP Compact, HK P2000, and HK P30 should are all worth a look also.

Thanks to both of you.

I always forget about CZ--I hear good things but have never tried one myself.

HK may be out of her budget unless we can find a good deal used.

I'll have to discuss with her whether a compact 1911 is an option. She loved my 5" SA Loaded but I think she wants to shoot more than the price of .45ACP may allow at this point. Any suggestions on 9mm 1911's? The only one I know is good is the SA EMP, and I seriously doubt we'll find one of those for the right price.

With the Sigs, we'll have to see what we can find in her budget. I forgot to mention that she didn't like the DA-to-SA transition when I had her try my P220 and P6/P225. Maybe we'll try to find a DAK SIG in her price range.

hirundo82
February 17, 2012, 07:50 PM
A good alternative to check is the Ruger LCR. Small, light, effective, and very simple.

She very much didn't like the recoil of my S&W 642 with standard pressure WWB .38spl--is the LCR much different?

Also, can anyone speak to the Ruger autos? I've heard good things about the SR9c.

Jed Carter
February 17, 2012, 09:03 PM
Primary use HD, get the SIG P239, CCW get the G19 or the SIG P239, I would think the P239 would fit her hand better. I prefer single stack pistols for a CCW, and SAO single stack pistols most of all. Whatever the choice I would get Tritium night sights, although the G19 gen3 does have a rail to mount a weapon light. Very long trigger pull in DA on a CZ 75B or 75D PCR, the PCR was my daily beater for years.

rule303
February 17, 2012, 09:32 PM
Don't overlook the Ruger SR9c. A lot of people find the grip to be more comfortable than the Glock, and the recoil is the softest of any comparable sized 9mm I have ever shot.

Hondo 60
February 17, 2012, 09:46 PM
So far all the suggestions have been semi-autos.
No one even questioned her strength.

There was a woman in a Basic NRA Pistol class that had real issues with racking the slide on her new Bursa Thunder 380.
She just couldn't get it to work without taking a long time.
There was no way she would be able to defend herself if she had to rack it.
So I lent her my S&W M10 (revolver for those who don't know) & she did just fine.

Please take this into consideration.

hirundo82
February 17, 2012, 09:59 PM
So far all the suggestions have been semi-autos.
No one even questioned her strength.

There was a woman in a Basic NRA Pistol class that had real issues with racking the slide on her new Bursa Thunder 380.
She just couldn't get it to work without taking a long time.

That has been no issue with any of the half-dozen semiautos of mine she has tried. We'll make sure it isn't a problem with whatever she decides to buy though.

As I've said earlier, she wasn't a big fan of the revolvers I had her try.

dcarch
February 17, 2012, 10:43 PM
Glock 19 sounds like the right option here.

Shadow 7D
February 17, 2012, 10:45 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=564531
here's alot of advice (think it's up to 5 pages now)

Manny
February 18, 2012, 01:05 AM
I recall reading an article a few years back, I believe by Dave Workman, about fitting weapons to peoples hand for best results and most effective shooting. The author found that for folks with smaller hands, ie: many women, 1911's with short triggers and Glocks were virtually identical in trigger reach and very similar to an S&W K frame in cocked single action mode.

The author found with the shorter trigger reach the gun pointed naturally straight in line with the arm and thus was very easy to keep on target. With a longer reach such as a CZ in double action the tendency would be for the gun to be pulled at an angle out of line with the arm and off target possibly contributing to pulled shots. I think this may at least partially explain why your friend likes the Glocks so much.

Sounds like you've made a good start with the list you assembled. I'm a fan of the Glocks as I have somewhat stubby fingers, but think highly of the S&W M&PC as well. Good luck to your friend and glad to see her deciding to join the family of shooters.

moxie
February 18, 2012, 07:05 PM
The LCR exhibits less felt recoil, to me and friends, due to the Hogue "Tamer" grip and the high grip relative to the bore.

Byrd666
February 18, 2012, 07:21 PM
I really like the Ruger SR9c or the 40c myself. I have a full size SR9 and it's an awesome and reliable pistol. I almost bought the "c" version first but I wanted to put the full size through the ropes first. And the fact you get two mags, one 10 round and one 17 round makes it perfect, my opinion, for carry and home defense.

As far as slide manipulation goes, I only have one hand to use and I have no problem racking the slide using a table ledge, my belt, my boot heal, etc. And she can carry it cocked and locked with the thumb safety as well as a Glock like trigger safety.

Zombiphobia
February 18, 2012, 10:53 PM
electric mini-gun... howitzer?

No? Just kidding.

I suggest a Walther PPK .380 for a woman's starter auto pistol. Stylish, reliable, accurate, stylish and easy to use and it's not extremely expensive around the mid 500$ range. Kinda want one myself.


Don't let her get a Kel-Tel P32. Whatever you do, don't let someone you care about get a Kel-Tec P32, it's purely a back-up 'oh crap my other weapon failed and this is my last option and I hope it works and I can hold onto it and manage to hit anything or I'm gonna die!!' kinda gun.

I didn't read enough to see if it was suggested or not, but don't let her get one either way.

Walther PPK.

marine 97-03
February 19, 2012, 10:45 AM
+1 xdm....may want to look at the CZ 75 p-07 too

Martowski
February 19, 2012, 10:59 AM
Seriously have her check out the Walther PPQ in 9mm. About the same size as the G19 but with an outstanding trigger and, in my opinion, much improved ergonomics.

Here's a link to my write up on this pistol:

http://martowski.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/walther-ppq-fantastic-plastic/

alaskanativeson
February 19, 2012, 05:25 PM
The most important consideration is which one feels best in her hand. All of the choices mentioned are good, but what fits in her hand most comfortably is the most important criteria. My choice would be the G19 or the XDm, but her hands may be different.

Calhoun
February 19, 2012, 05:42 PM
I don't think she could go wrong with any of the 9mm Glock choices. As many have also said, CZ P-01 or PCR are about the same size as the G19. And don't discount the CZ 75 Compact. It can be used C&L, which negates the issue of the long trigger pull. All CZs can also be fired from the half cock notch, which is a little better, if she isn't comfortable with C&L. Thin grips can be found that make them easier to use for those with smaller hands or shorter fingers.

Winkman822
February 19, 2012, 06:39 PM
SA EMPs are fantastic little guns but they all seem to be selling inb the $1,050-$1,150 range in my neck of the woods. Kimber makes a couple of 9mm 1911s, but these are again going to be expensive, and I would be REALLY careful Kimbers. I've had many issues with them.

STI makes some nice 1911s at a reasonable price point.

hifirock57
February 20, 2012, 04:59 AM
"This sounds like the perfect use for the Glock 19...or the Glock 29 if she's okay with upping her caliber selection one measly millimeter"
Haha! One measly millimeter. +1 tell her not to be such a........girl......about it

guyfromohio
February 20, 2012, 05:28 AM
Good list! Of those, I haven't carried an M&P or that Beretta, but the Sig is the easiest to carry and is a softer shooter. Can't go wrong with any of those.

langenc
February 20, 2012, 02:28 PM
Kinda like Redd Foxx shopping at a 'five and dime'. Seems he was trying on eye glasses. The clerk stepped over and asked "may I help you, sir'. He responded "oh, no Im just looking for my neighbor" in he usual way.

Let her pick out her own gun-esp after shooting it and comparing to the next couple choices.

cl4de6
February 20, 2012, 07:33 PM
PX4 Compact.

You get the dimensions of a Glock 19 with power-puff recoil due to the rotating barrel.

7.62 Nato
February 22, 2012, 05:33 PM
I haven't had an actual CZ but I have had the Witness clones. If she likes it light she can get the polymer frame and/or compact. She may also like the Walthers.

orionengnr
February 22, 2012, 11:19 PM
Have her go and read here:
www.corneredcat.com

Written by a very knowledgeable and articulate female shooter and instructor, specifically for female shooters.

Invaluable info for women and those who love them. She also has a very good book...you can find it on her site as well. I bought a copy for my wife two Christmases ago...and read it before she did.

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