For my wife:


October 17, 2012, 04:40 PM
The wife loves the S&W M&P .22LR I got her, and now wants to know what gun is next. I suggested either a 20 gauge or a pistol. She wants a pistol. I suggested .22LR and she said okay. So, what training .22LR handgun do you propose? An autoloader? A revolver?

She is also getting more and more comfortable with the XD 9, but even that can get a bit expensive when two are shooting 100's of rounds a weekend.

Anyone have experience teaching a smaller framed lady? She is 4'11 and all of a buck 10 sopping wet. She can rack the 9 just fine using the "punch" method, but did get bit once or twice during her first session, so she is awfully mindful about that slide now.

Just enjoying the fact that my wife is getting serious about shooting as a hobby and self-preservation. Really helps when this happens ( in our neighborhood.

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October 17, 2012, 04:41 PM
Well, as far as .22s go, my recommendation is for a Ruger Mk III

October 17, 2012, 04:50 PM
Allaroundhunter - It does not have to be a .22. If she is comfortable shooting it, then it is fine with me. I just wanted to get an idea of what to start looking for. I, admittedly, have not been shooting near as much as I should the last decade or so, so I feel like I am learning it all over again as well...

October 17, 2012, 04:50 PM
She should find out what points naturally for her so she has the most enjoyment right away in shooting it due to natural recoil management and natural pointability of the firearm. That way she has complete "ownership" of it as her gun that fits her needs, not just possession of it.

If she wants a .22 pistol then the answer is for her to find out whether she points a 1911 or a CZ or a Glock or whatever. Those can be had in .22 so shooting can be kept economical, but she may decide it feels good enough due to it fitting her that she likes shooting 9mm. She'll have to go where she can handle a wide variety of handguns to find out, though. If she points a 1911 the Ruger III 22/45 could be a good choice or the Chiappa .22 1911. If the CZ fits, a Kadet would be great. If the Glock, an ISSC. Or whatever works for her. That way when she wants to use a defensive caliber she's already experienced with the very type of handgun she'll get.

October 17, 2012, 04:50 PM
Buck Mark!

I think you will find a lot of ruger vs buck mark responses shortly.

If not a .22, why not an M&P 9 to go along with her other M&P (assuming you mean the AR M&P) or the S&W M&P .22 pistol.

October 17, 2012, 04:51 PM
If you can, find a used Ruger MK II. Built like a tank, accurate, and reliable. There are also tons of aftermarket goodies if she wants to customize it. Browning Buckmark is a good choice also.

October 17, 2012, 04:57 PM
I should be more specific. I got her the Smith and Wesson AR-15 in .22LR aka the M&P .22. my apologies on the ambiguity of my wording.

October 17, 2012, 04:58 PM
Allaroundhunter - It does not have to be a .22. If she is comfortable shooting it, then it is fine with me. I just wanted to get an idea of what to start looking for. I, admittedly, have not been shooting near as much as I should the last decade or so, so I feel like I am learning it all over again as well...

Understood, I will stick with recommending a .22 for now though. For her to get going with pistols, it is hard to find something better. Once she is comfortable with that, maybe y'all can look into a 9mm or something like that.

October 17, 2012, 05:27 PM
Thanks guys. Are there any other models to compare? I at least have a place to start. Any other tips? She's consistently putting 25 rounds in the head of a standard silouhet(sp) at 50 yards with a 40 dollar red dot on her AR. I couldn't be more proud!

October 17, 2012, 07:32 PM
It's great your wife is so enthusiastic!

First, it's time to get to a gun shop so she can handle a variety of handguns. My wife is about the same size as yours. Her favorites are a CZ 75b 9mm (and the Kadet 22lr conversion) and a Ruger MkII with the 6" bull barrel. I thought the Ruger would be muzzle heavy for her but I was wrong. The Ruger is especially easy for her to rack. But only she will know what is comfortable.

Having said that ....

I taught the college age daughter of a friend to use a handgun. She's another tiny woman. (The two of us look like King Kong and Fay Wray.) She knew rifles and hunted with her dad but neither knew handguns. After a day of shooting she ended up choosing a Ruger GP100 357 mag with 4" barrel. Everyone was surprised but that was what she liked. Her second choice was an old S&W Model 10.

Hope you both enjoy the process.


F-111 John
October 17, 2012, 07:45 PM
I would recommend the Ruger 22/45 Target.

chris in va
October 17, 2012, 09:27 PM
I suggest the Ruger SR22. I tried the Walther P22, and if the Ruger is anything like that, should be a lot of fun. I didn't care for the two 22/45's I had.

October 17, 2012, 09:37 PM
Congrats on the wife! Almost the exact same history with mine.

No doubt that the Buckmark and Ruger are much nicer pistols but I'll throw out what worked with my wife.

She was a little concerned with pistols. I decided to not spend much on a .22 in case she didn't enjoy it. I went into the LGS one day and they had a sale on the S&W 22A for $199 including 2 mags. When I arrived home with it she wasn't overjoyed but within the 2nd mag she fell in love with it. I cannot tell you why. She does shoot my XD9 and .45 but for some reason the overall feel of that S&W just hits her right. She's 5'5" but small framed.

Pro: Cheap to shoot. I buy her the 550 round at Walmart and she just blasts away. She's gotten really proficient with it and really got interested in the cleaning aspect, include occasional replacement of the buffer pad.

Con: I'd be more comfortable if she would lean toward more stopping power for HD.

Just thought I would throw that out. It's certainly been easy on the wallet.

Edit: I'll mover her up in caliber but at her own pace. We husbands have to take what we can get.

el Godfather
October 17, 2012, 11:58 PM

October 18, 2012, 12:14 AM
If you have a range in your area that rents handguns, it's money well spent. Holding isn't the same as shooting.

I had a gf about your wife's size in college. Her favorite handgun? A S&W Highway Patrolman N framed .357, 6" bbl. She'd sit and shoot it off sandbags all day - and the hotter the load, the more she liked it.

My wife likes the M&P 9c, a 1911 with a Kimber .22lr conversion, and a 686+Pro with mild .38 wadcutters. She shot every 9mm rental they had, after we bought her a Ruger LC9 that she loved to hold. Hate arrived by the third shot...

October 18, 2012, 12:36 AM
My wife shot her cousins bodyguard and HATES the "compact" style weapon. To her, there is far more kick in a smaller lighter weapon in a smaller caliber. She chose to shoot an EMP XD .40 over the bodyguard and the XDs 9 over the tricked .40. I don't blame her. I think a modern styled .22 would be perfect. So far she likes the Kimber in .22, the Walther p22, the ISSC, and the Ruger MK iii. We will see when she gets to fire them. Hopefully she picks anything other than the 1911 styled Kimber! Pure $$$ says sub $400 for a reliable trainer is the best for both my pocket book and her reality. Nothing against 1911's, but it's not something she should train on IMHO. Keep the responses coming. I'll be showing her the thread in the AM.
~ Nick

October 18, 2012, 03:42 PM
my wife likes our Ruger revolver (LCR 22). It has helped her with her S&W 642 .38. 8 reliable shots, great trigger, great sights. I can suggest the S&W M&P .22 pistol also. Perfect trainer for a 9 mm. Good luck

October 18, 2012, 05:13 PM
I'd like to add to hso's post and say that if a 1911 or Glock fit her hands well, she could just buy one of those and get a .22lr conversion kit.

October 18, 2012, 08:57 PM
My wife is 5'2" and loves shooting my ( hers now i guess) Walther p22. Works for me, the darn thing ejects brass right in my face, but goes over her head:)

Might try the Ruger SR22 pistol or a beretta neos along with the others mentioned here, they are all pretty darn good shooters and you can't go wrong with .22 lr.

October 18, 2012, 10:35 PM
Recently I purchased a GSG 1911-22 used ($200). It's been reliable and accurate using Blazer ammo. It has functioned well with all the different types and speed of .22 ammo I have tried. It has decent sights, the magazines are easy to load and it has a light recoil spring. It seems to be a pretty good copy of the 1911 as far as size goes, but I think it's too light. I mentioned this to my daughter after she shot it, she said she liked that it was lighter. I wasn't expecting much from this pistol, but I've been a little surprised at how well it performs. I still prefer my High Standards.

If you would consider used.... try to find a High Standard Field King or Sport King. They run $300-450 and are in a class by themselves. All steel, accurate, great trigger. Use only standard velocity ammo in these.

October 18, 2012, 11:02 PM
Let her shoot a variety of handguns until she finds one she likes. One woman I taught liked a 6 inch S&W 686 with 38s. Another bought an S&W .22 revolver with oversized target grips because she fell in love with shooting it. Another liked the Colt Commander in 45 ACP. Women are as individual as men and their pistol choices often surprising

October 19, 2012, 01:48 AM
My wife used to shoot a Glock 23 but due to wrist and hand strength issues couldn't use it anymore. She needed something she could easily rack the slide on. She ended up getting a Walther PK380. It has the easiest slide to manipulate that I have ever seen and that, combined with the combination of it being a larger gun with a smaller round, it turned out to be the perfect gun for her. She then proceeded to teach smallish 18 year old daughter in law how to shoot and she had never shot before but really liked it. Just a thought.

Also, I highly recommend the Ruger SR-22p. Amazing little pistol. I love it. Very comfortable, you can change the grip, it is easy to use, inexpensive, very reliable and cheap to feed!

October 19, 2012, 03:22 AM
if youre shooting hundreds of rounds a weekend get her the 9mm she wants and practice with that. you can go down to 100 rounds a week and its more than most shooters practice with. if that 100 rounds a week isnt doing her any good after shes been shooting already then theres not much more you can do with volumn of ammo because there is a training issue.

Just One Shot
October 19, 2012, 10:20 AM
If the wife already has a .22 & she likes the M&P platform why not move her up to an M&P 9mm? The compact and full size both have adjustable back straps so getting it to feel comfortable in her hands shouldn't be an issue. Besides, if it were my wife I would feel better knowing she has a gun she is comfortable & proficient with to defend herself should the need ever arise.

October 19, 2012, 02:33 PM
@Just One Shot - This is the thought process that I have as well. With that said, I think we need to ease her in to shooting defensively and IMHO that starts with learning the fundamentals and having fun plinking around at some steel or paper on our families land. The reasoning behind the smaller caliber first is to get her thirsting for the larger, better suited HD weapons in a frame she is going to already KNOW she likes.

So far, I have:

Walther p22
BuckMark Camper
Ruger SR22

2 out of 4 are DA/SA platforms. This is an issue for me. I have to admit, that I am not proficient in that type of action, so it scares the mess out of me. For that reason alone, I would rather get some training/hands on experience before even trying to get her comfortable with one. Now, if she is adamant about that type of action/weapon, and can run it proficiently, then obviously there is no stopping her unless its flat out dangerous for her (which would never be the case).

October 19, 2012, 02:49 PM
EDIT: I just realized that some may believe my wife owns a .22 pistol. The S&W M&P .22 referenced in my first post, is in fact the AR-15 in .22 by S&W. She has fired a pistol a total of three sessions. First an XD 9, a XD .40 and an EMP XD .9, then a Ruger MK2 I believe. She likes the XD 9 the most, but liked the size and heft of the EMP. Also, I do not yet own a pistol of my own. I am hunting down a used XDm in 9 or .40 :evil:

October 22, 2012, 12:48 PM
Against all better judgement, I picked up a Sig Mosquito. FTE and FTL on everyone round of Federal Bulk (shot CCI Standards just fine. 100 rounds with 1 FTE). Guess I now know that the Mosquito dislikes the Federal. Also after doing more research, have come to the conclusion that I committed sacrilege by not taking the weapon home and lubing it up before I shot it. I now know better. I will try a box of CCI Mini-Mags and a box of Rem Goldens through it before I pass judgement though.

Anyone have any tips on polishing the feed ramp? Needed? Can a joe do it? Or should I just lube it up nice and continue breaking it in?

Just One Shot
October 22, 2012, 02:33 PM
Anyone have any tips on polishing the feed ramp? Needed? Can a joe do it? Or should I just lube it up nice and continue breaking it in? I generally take some Mother's Mag Polish, an old rag and using thumb pressure I rub the feed ramp until it's nice and shiney. You're not likely to cause any problems by changing the angle and what not by hand polishing it as opposed to using a mechanical apperatus.

October 22, 2012, 03:16 PM
Thanks for the advice! There are plenty of videos on the tubeyou that show dremmels going to town on that ramp... Not something I really wanted to do.

Anyone else own one and been through this already? What lube/oil are you using for the slide and contact points? The TB25 or whatever it is Sig suggests?

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