Thoughts on a Tip-up Barrel Pistol


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2BlessU
March 2, 2013, 06:34 PM
First off, I am a female newbie, looking for trusted information. I purchased a new Diamond Back 380 which I had issues with and returned. The slide was difficult for me to operate, and after firing 4 rounds it would not eject the used cartridge.

Since then, I learned I should try to hold the slide still with my non dominate hand and use my dominate hand to push the bottom forward.

I have seen some of the tip-up barrel pistols in which one can auto load the first bullet, such as the Beretta Cheetah .380. I am looking for something I will be able to operate yet use for concealed carry. I want to know, if I need to protect myself or anyone else, I can operate it and it will take care of business.

Are there other pistols that have the tip-up barrel?

Thanks in advanced for your suggestions. :)

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montgomery381
March 2, 2013, 06:42 PM
There is also the Beretta Tomcat in .32 acp. But I think .32 is a little light. However, something is better than nothing. Did you try any 9mm's?

steveno
March 2, 2013, 06:45 PM
I think Taurus makes some pistols with tip up barrels but I would stick with Beretta. they have been making them for a long time and they work

Fleetman
March 2, 2013, 06:47 PM
my wife has troubles operating any slides and finally settled on a Beretta Tomcat....although a .32acp and considered too light, it still beats a rock or harsh language. What works best for her though is her S&W 360 revolver loaded with .38 Special +P's.

Good for you for acknowledging difficulties with working a slide....if you can't work it reliably EVERY time, then it's not right for you. A revolver ended up being ideal for my wife and it's as concealable as any small auto on the market. Hope this helps!

Rom828
March 2, 2013, 06:52 PM
I hope that I'm not too far off the subject, but this is why I recommend revolvers for ladies when they first start out. No safeties to worry about, will never jam, always a round ready to fire, can be fired single or double action, etc.

Rob G
March 2, 2013, 07:00 PM
Welcome to the High Road! I don't know a lot about tip up barrels but I did have a bit of an off topic suggestion for you. You might want to spend some time on this website:

http://www.corneredcat.com/

It's a website for women, written by a woman, that addresses all kinds of issues women face with gun ownership in general and especially concealed carry. Best of luck to you in your quest to find a great gun.

Inebriated
March 2, 2013, 07:05 PM
Beretta's Tomcat .32 would be an excellent choice for a pistol matching your preferences.

Now, I have to ask, why no revolver? I understand that even a J-frame is somewhat large compared to the guns you have listed, but you would not have to worry about a slide to manipulate. With an auto, any sort of malfunction drill requires slide manipulation. Not so, with a revolver.

2BlessU
March 2, 2013, 11:01 PM
I have little to no experience with guns, other than in CCW class. I have not tried any 9mm's. The suggested website was very helpful. As for a revolver, I do not have any real issues. I never tried one. In looking for something a little easier for me, I discovered the Beretta Cheetah. I simply like the look and thought I might be able to handle it. I am looking for a range near me where I might be able to rent a few, if they do that, in order to find a good fit for me.

Thank you for your suggestions, they all are greatly appreciated.

2BlessU

Radagast
March 2, 2013, 11:39 PM
I am going to assume this is a gun to be carried for self protection and not go into larger handguns.

The DB9 is not a quality gun. They are known for Kabooming - that is gun forum speak for blowing up when fired.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urN_-XOiA-0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhkHML6LZv4
The issues you had with it may be due to it breaking internally.

A gun of similar size to the Diamondback, but with a better reputation, is the Ruger LCP. This is in .380 ACP, a step down from 9mm, but I've yet to hear of one blowing up.

I'm going to be the negative voice against the Tomcat.
They were prone to breaking slides, Beretta changed the slide. When I had mine they were prone to breaking firing pins with any dry fire - mine did. The double action trigger pull was excessively heavy, the heaviest of any gun I've owned. The single action was also excessively heavy. One of the grip screws kept backing out under recoil. Sights were miniscule.
All in all, not a gun I would recommend to anyone.

The Cheetah is a fine firearm, I've shot several with no issues. Like the Tomcat, it is blowback operated, the recoil spring provides the force to hold the slide closed during firing. this basically means you will have a sharper recoil impulse than larger guns that use a locking breach. So definitely try before you buy with the Cheetah, if you have weak wrists then you may find it uncomfortable to shoot. Also the Cheetah is quite large for a Blow back gun and concealing it may be an issue.

In the revolver market I suggest you check out the Ruger LCR. This is a polymer framed lightweight revolver in .38 special. With a reputation for an easy to pull trigger. The Smith & Wessons in the same size class, such as the Model 642 Centennial or Model 60 Chiefs Special tend to have quite heavy trigger pulls.

rcmodel
March 2, 2013, 11:50 PM
Learn to operate a slide.
Then get strong enough to do so with a squeezer ball or something.
Or else, buy a revolver.

A tip-up barrel auto pistol is great for loading the gun at home.

Not so great at all if you have a mis-fire in a gun fight.
And have to yank the slide back to eject the dud round and reload and get back in the fight.
(Tap, Wrack, Bang Drill)

But you lack the skills or strength to do so.

It ain't that hard if you set your mind to doing it.
I know a lot of weak old lady's, and a few pre-teen girls I wouldn't want to get hold of me, if they had their mind set on doing me harm!!

Think of the pistol slide in the same way!

You can do it if you have the mind set.
I know you can if you want too!

rc

Jim Watson
March 2, 2013, 11:59 PM
There is no one answer.
One lady of my acquaintance went from the .38 revolver her hubby considerately provided to a Ruger LCP for concealed carry... And a 1911 for fun in IDPA.
Another stands by her Dad's Charter .38 for the purse, but is getting comfortable with a Glock 17 when small size is not important.

You do not have an inborn instinct to shoot, it is a learned skill.
Study up.

Jim K
March 3, 2013, 12:23 AM
The main problem women face in legally carrying a gun in permit states is getting the permit. Since, in most cases, it will be male officers who will approve or disapprove the application, a woman applicant is often ridiculed, harassed, or even threatened. A woman in this area heard one officer tell another that he wouldn't approve her application because "I might want to get some of that myself." Her complaints to the police superintendent and the governor elicited replies thanking her for supporting gun control.

In other cases, women who had to submit to finger printing were inappropriately touched by male police officers. Others were told that they should "relax and enjoy" rape and robbery. The list could go on.

Jim

KenW.
March 3, 2013, 12:44 AM
The main problem women face in legally carrying a gun in permit states is getting the permit. Since, in most cases, it will be male officers who will approve or disapprove the application, a woman applicant is often ridiculed, harassed, or even threatened. A woman in this area heard one officer tell another that he wouldn't approve her application because "I might want to get some of that myself." Her complaints to the police superintendent and the governor elicited replies thanking her for supporting gun control.

In other cases, women who had to submit to finger printing were inappropriately touched by male police officers. Others were told that they should "relax and enjoy" rape and robbery. The list could go on.

As a county government employee, I have to say that is just about as silly a statement as I've ever heard. This is the 21st century. I'd like to know where that goes on.

Mine is a shall issue state and permit applications are approved at the State level . I just cannot imagine that behavior in our day. Governments are terribly litigation aware, and will not permit such bevavior.

ccsniper
March 3, 2013, 12:55 AM
I have not read any of the comments except the op, but let me ask, have you tried a revolver?

bigfatdave
March 3, 2013, 01:12 AM
If racking a slide with the whole hand is hard, why does everyone pile on and suggest a revolver? That's a lot of spring tension to fight with one finger.

2BlessU - the corneredcat advice is good, there's an article there on slide racking technique that everyone should read, not just ladies.
Locked breech guns will be easier to rack than blowback guns, generally. The design reasons for this are complex, but the general concept is that the spring on a blowback gun has to be stronger, because it is the only thing keeping the breech closed while powder burns, while a locked breech has a delay built in mechanically and just needs enough recoil spring to run back and chamber a fresh round.


Tip-up barrel guns tend to be blowback guns, tend to have heavy recoil springs to make up for very low slide mass, and tend to not have an extractor claw. (an extractor claw wouldn't allow tip-up operation, it would lock into the chamber area)
... so you get snappy recoil, a difficult-to-operate slide, and can't clear a malfunction without picking a round out of the chamber with your fingernail. These are problems with a defensive gun, although they can be overcome to some degree.

What I think you need is a pile of guns from all your shooting friends, and some time with all of them, wearing a light glove (to minimize the abrasion to your hands) to try out the controls until you find one that works, then some range time with the ones you like best. If you don't have shooting friends, look for the local clubs, and see if there's a basic handgun class or a "women on target" course being run and sign up. Failing those, a rental range isn't a bad idea, you just end up "on the clock" and rushing through whatever selection they have.

If you post your general location, someone might know a club/class/instructor near you, or just offer to open up their range for you and supply some guns to try out (I wouldn't mind giving a super-basic class to a new shooter, for example)

ewlyon
March 3, 2013, 01:15 AM
small guns have to use stronger springs to compensate for the lower slide mass and shorter travel, especially if they are designed to use the straight blowback system. You can try a somewhat larger gun or one using delayed blowback, preferably one with an easy to grip slide.

Radagast
March 3, 2013, 01:44 AM
Just to follow up on rcmodel's comment, the .32 Tomcat does not have an extractor to pull the round out of the barrel, it depends on gas pressure.
If it fails to eject you must pop up the barrel then dig the case out with a finger nail.
A firearm with a mechanical extractor is a must for self defense.

toivo
March 3, 2013, 01:49 AM
I think Taurus makes some pistols with tip up barrels but I would stick with Beretta.
The Taurus offerings are the PT-22 and the PT-25, in the obvious calibers. That's a bit on the light side for a defensive pistol, although having said that, I have to admit to owning and occasionally carrying a .25 Beretta Jetfire. :o I also have a PT-22 that I mess around with, but I agree that the Beretta is a better quality firearm.

Also, as others have said, tip-up barrels can be a problem if you get a misfire or a stuck casing. A dud round might just fly out when you tip up the barrel -- or it might not. A stuck casing is going to give you real trouble.

Has anybody mentioned the SIG P238? I haven't tried one, but people praise it for being easy to rack and light-recoiling. It is single-action-only, so the user should practice and get comfortable with cocked-and-locked carry, but that shouldn't be a real barrier.

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p184/bean293/sig_p238_2.jpg

bigfatdave
March 3, 2013, 01:54 AM
the sig p238 isn't a bad idea, actually

extremely compact carry size
eats .380acp ammo
delayed blowback/locked breech
nice trigger
good grip
soft recoil

if one is available, it would be a good idea to try out, in the pile of guns I mentioned above

RJTravel
March 3, 2013, 02:45 AM
Try a Kel-Tec P-32. I have put it to the test and found one woman only who could cycle my 3AT, but I havn't found any who could not easily operate a P-32. Don't let the critics dissuade you - the .32acp is a very effective SD cartridge. I would (and have) bet my life on it.

420Stainless
March 3, 2013, 08:53 AM
My wife likes her Tomcat. She has a .38 Special revolver, but saw the Tomcat and wanted it. It fits her hand better and she doesn't have to struggle to rack the slide. As much as I worry that she still can't rack the slide in the event of a malfunction, I've tempered that thought with all of the problems that can occur if the slide is not forcefully and completely cycled - which she struggles to do. The revolver is collecting dust now as a house gun. I'd rather she had something a little bigger than a .32, but I'd rather her have the .32 than nothing at all.

tuj
March 3, 2013, 10:06 AM
I am sorry to hear of your difficulties racking the slide. My wife had trouble with this as well until she learned the proper technique. You *can* learn to the rack the slide, just like Judy Tant (a woman of slight build who is the NRA bullseye champ) can shoot the .45 one-handed better than 99% of men. It's all about technique. I've seen a 5'2" 110lb woman pick up a Goldwing motorcycle; those suckers are heavy. But with technique, anyone can lift one back up.

C0untZer0
March 3, 2013, 10:24 AM
The Beretta 86 has the tip up barrel like you said.

It's also one of the larger 380 Autos:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165300&stc=1&d=1338329529

I guess it also depends on one's thoughts on concealed carry, what you think you can conceal or not.

Jim Watson
March 3, 2013, 12:08 PM
The Beretta 86 is a bit more complicated to run than a Tomcat or 21.
The barrel latch is on the right side of the frame and it takes more movement to release the barrel to tip up. I guess if you learn the manual of arms from scratch, it is ok but if you are used to other actions, it is a change to get used to.

Note that it does not have a decocker like current production Berettas in the series.
Not a problem when you tip up to load and lock back down, you are at a DA start like an 85. But if you fire a shot, you have a cocked gun and no easy way to get the hammer down. You could engage the thumb safety and be fine, but that is another condition of readiness to master. The only guaranteed safe way to get back to a DA start would be to unload and start over. The location and long arc of the barrel latch will require care to clear the gun without sweeping everybody in sight.

Oh, and it has a magazine disconnector, too; isn't that delightful.
http://www.berettaweb.com/Beretta%2080/Beretta%2086.htm

ku4hx
March 3, 2013, 12:12 PM
My wife was in the exact position you're in now. But she can be a determined woman and I know this because I've seen her master a 700 pound motorcycle (Mean Streak), a Clydesdale she leased for a time (didn't know you could do that) and the slides on various semi autos. Doing so took a goodly amount of time and effort, but once she realized she outweighed the gun by quite a lot she "got the hang of it". My advice would be not to give up. Maybe get some training at a local range or gun club. Our club offers new shooter courses fairly often and the ones here are quite good. Hopefully you might find that in your area.

230RN
March 3, 2013, 12:59 PM
"my wife has troubles operating any slides and finally settled on a Beretta Tomcat."

With my arthritis, I also have this problem.

However, I will point out that blow-back operated autos have to have pretty strong recoil springs to help absorb the energy of the cartridge. You might look for a locked-breech auto because they do not need such strong springs and are a lot easier to rack.

I have a Llama in .380 which is a locked breech and is in fact an accurate 5/8 scale model of the 1911. This .380 used to be one of my favorite carry guns. I later bough an almost identicial Llama, also in .380, which was pure blowback. I had a lot of difficulty operating the slide on this one because of the blowback's strong spring. I gave that gun away. and kept the locked-breech version.

Terry, 230RN

460Kodiak
March 4, 2013, 02:37 PM
Many have given sound advice already, but I'm going to throw out there the comment that "why no revolver?" is a good point.

If you have trouble operating the slide, a small revolver is a very good option as an alternative. I'd suggest a Ruger LCR or a S&W j frame. You have to get what you like, but revolvers are good carry guns.

Back to semi's, have you looked at a Walther PPK?

230RN
March 4, 2013, 05:08 PM
^

"Back to semi's, have you looked at a Walther PPK?"

Still a bit heavy on the racking (blowback action). Having the safety up there on the slide helps in gripping it, but it's still heavy.

And the gun itself is pretty weighty for a .380.

Stick with either a locked-breech or a tip-up for her if an auto is her primary choice. If she's like most CCW-ers, she'll end up with quite an assortment of guns after a while anyhow.

(And if she's like most women, she'll look through all her guns before going out, complaining "I don't have a single gun to wear!")

There are times when I wish the NRA's reports and testing of guns would include graphs of "rack weight" and DA trigger pull throughout the actuationg strokes. E.g,. I have no trouble with the Beretta 92's first-shot trigger pull through the first half, but it really gets too stiff for me right before the letoff. (Arthritis, again.) With my left hand, I have no problem, but with the right hand, ugh.

That, even though I excercise regularly with the attached device, which allows one to work individual fingers and has a sort of halfassed backstrap-feel to it. (I got this one from my LGS, but I think you can get them at music stores. Stringed instrument players use them to excercise their fretting fingers. They come in heavy and light weights.)

(Pic by me, no copyright restrictions. Pardon the dust. I forgot to blow it off.)

Terry, 230RN

IdahoSkies
March 4, 2013, 07:06 PM
2BlessU In tip up barrels you really have two lines of pistols, Berretta (the bobcat, jetfire and tomcat, and then the .380 Alleycat which is a very big gun), the other is the Taurus line of pistols. All of them are in 22lr, .25 ACP, and .32 ACP. I would suggest you forget about the .25ACP, and have serious reservations about the .22lr models, but the .32 ACP, is available in comfortable pocket sized pistols.

The Berretta Tomcat in .32 ACP as has been mentioned by other posts is probably the most popular tip up barrel pistol. I owned one and loved it. It was a good marriage of size and round and weight. It did have a fairly snappy recoil, but was manageable. It does have a serious manufacturing problem with cracking the frame if hot ammunition is used, this results in serious accuracy problems. Mine cracked and I tried to use ammunition within the range specified by the manufacturer. It was replaced by the factory but I'm carrying something else now. But for the frame crack, I'd be carrying it still. I liked the pistol a lot.

The difficulty with racking a slide is really the combination of three things, 1) technique (please do read up at the cornered cat) 2) grip strength, and 3) the strength of the recoil spring.

Because of #3 blow back operated pistols (like the tip up guns, or many .32 and .380s on the market) have a hard slide. Locked breach guns generally have lighter recoil springs and so are easier to rack.

As was mentioned above the sig p238, though price, is a real easy shooter and has a real nice slide because of the combination of locked breach, the round it shoots, and the weight of the frame (all things which are used to determine how strong a spring is needed in the slide).

If you don't like revolvers (my wife hates the long double action pull) go to the gun shop and ask to try rack a bunch of different guns. If you know that is the problem you are having, find something that works with that issue first, and then address the other things.

Congratulations on making a good choice to take responsibility for your own safety. Good luck. Hope you will continue to hang around the Highroad.

bigfatdave
March 4, 2013, 07:32 PM
That, even though I excercise regularly with the attached device, which allows one to work individual fingers and has a sort of halfassed backstrap-feel to it. (I got this one from my LGS, but I think you can get them at music stores.

Amazon has them, they're even available for Prime if you're into that:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UMHURY/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Just ordered this one and a set of these:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NJHD1W/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Those weights would probably not be correct for someone with trouble racking a slide, at least not at first. Lighter versions are available, of course.

C0untZer0
March 4, 2013, 09:16 PM
About a year ago I noticed that after 15 or 20 minutes of shooting offhand, my arms were tired, and I was getting tremors. So basically after 20 minutes of shooting I was done. Every morning I did pushups, situps, leglifts and curls with 30 lb dumbells. I also ran and did cycling.

I have a routine now that I do to keep muscle mass in my shoulders and forearms, as well as keep my grip strong, and it has made a huge difference in keeping a steady sight picture, and being able to shoot better for extended range sessions:


Hammer curls:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=180811&stc=1&d=1362449839

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Brachioradialis/DBHammerCurl.html


Ulnar dumbell:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=180808&stc=1&d=1362449559

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/WristFlexors/DBUlnarFlexion.html


Wrist curls:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=180809&stc=1&d=1362449654

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/WristFlexors/DBWristCurl.html


Reverse wrist curls:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=180810&stc=1&d=1362449744

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/WristExtensors/DBReverseWristCurl.html



.

C0untZer0
March 4, 2013, 09:26 PM
Wrist roller:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=180812&stc=1&d=1362449991


http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/WristExtensors/CBRollerWristExtention.html



I also exercise the fingers to improve grip. I notice it's improved my ability to hold a steady sight picture for longer range sessions:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=180813&stc=1&d=1362450090


I use Captains of Crush and adjustable grippers to strengthen my grip and to increase muscle mass in my forearms:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=180814&stc=1&d=1362450146
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=180815&stc=1&d=1362450214


I also use meridian balls to work my hands out. The guy in this video makes it look easy, but it's not. And when I do this 200 times with 1 lb steel balls - all the tiny muscles in my hands are sore - which is a sign that they are getting worked out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-bGPcdL4nU&feature=player_embedded#t=0s




.

paradox998
March 4, 2013, 10:48 PM
Careful on Tomcats. I purchased a new one and it cracked in the first 50 rounds. Beretta replaced it and the second one cracked just like the first one. They replaced it with a 9mm. The stainless are supposed to be ok, but watch the blued version.

MICHAEL T
March 4, 2013, 11:11 PM
The women in my family all carry the Kel Tec P-32 Wife has a kahr 9mm but carries the 32 .
I think to much made of caliber 32 been around for many years. Was a common carry caliber in pre WWII years.

If you can't shoot it or won't carry it because of size doesn't matter what caliber it is .

Learn to shoot a 32 and I think you would be well off.

Farnorthdan
March 5, 2013, 02:32 AM
Welcome to THR, I agree with others here that have recommended a revolver, they are so much easier to operate especially under stress. A revolver is what my wife has chosen to carry for protection and its perfect for her. She didnt like the recoil of the .380 as most are blow back design and can be a little harsh for some.

gazpacho
March 5, 2013, 04:18 AM
Another recommendation for a revolver. In a high stress situation, nothing is easier to use than a revolver. If weight is not a problem, then I would recommend a steel Smith and Wesson J-Frame revolver in .38 Special. The steel will tame the recoil to pleasant levels. This is conducive to frequent practice. If you can handle a little more recoil, then an aluminum framed revolver would make an easier handgun to carry. Avoid the scandium or titanium framed revolvers until you gain more experience.

snooperman
March 5, 2013, 07:26 AM
My wife carries the new Walther PK 380, which is a locked breech gun; Low recoil and very easy to rack the slide. I can not think of a better semi auto including the more expensive SIG P238. It is a real joy to shoot amd much, much easier for the ladies to master than the PPK, blowback gun. Just a thought , Snoop

230RN
March 15, 2013, 04:12 PM
^
Just so you know...,. Walther PK 380 recall:

http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/walther-pk380-safety-recall/

Terry, 230RN

HankR
March 15, 2013, 04:32 PM
The main problem women face in legally carrying a gun in permit states is getting the permit

Baloney. I'm in a "permit state" and this is not true. My wife did joke that her weight (required on the form) was none of their business, but I think it was a joke. No other issues with the state. It did take me awhile to convince her to get it, since we live in a free enough state that a loaded gun in the car is OK w/out the permit. I wanted her to have it just in case she decides to carry on short notice or if she's in our car w/ my gun in another state (that honors our permits).

Careful on Tomcats...(slide?) cracked ...stainless are supposed to be ok, but watch the blued version.

Ditto on this, only I was afraid to shoot the new one so it's in a box somewhere. I have the .22 version (bobcat?), it worked fine and dandy, but the .32 didn't work from the start. Beretta kept saying "shoot it more, it's not broken in", then when I finally sent it in "how many rounds did you shoot, this thing is worn out" (after about 300 rounds). Then they lost the gun for awhile and finally (claim to have) found it but replaced it due to a cracked slide. This was actually a good thing (tm), as the wife learned to shoot a 9mm while it was gone, and decided the felt recoil was less w/ the 9mm. I think I fired 2 mags through the new gun, cleaned it and tossed in in the back of the safe.

tarosean
March 15, 2013, 05:01 PM
Back to semi's, have you looked at a Walther PPK?

If she was having trouble with slide racking, a ppk is about the worst thing to mention IMO much less that 500lb DA pull. It pains me to say that as I do like them



In looking for something a little easier for me, I discovered the Beretta Cheetah. I simply like the look and thought I might be able to handle it. I am looking for a range near me where I might be able to rent a few,



Personally I would suggest stop looking at the little small "pocket" pistols. They are not enjoyable to shoot and can be a pain to operate. The only thing they have going for them is they are easily dropped in a pocket or hidden. As a self proclaimed "newbie" you don't want all your experiences to be bad or difficult.

My wife was in those shoes thinking smaller was better and was always intimidated by my full size guns, caliber didn't matter.. That is until I sent her to a marksmanship class and she realized that the bigger guns were easier in ever aspect. (Racking, loading, less recoil, bigger easier to use buttons and levers, etc.)

She settled on a Glock 19 for her CHL.

golden
March 15, 2013, 06:44 PM
2blessu,

My wife has problems with operating a slide as well.

Contrary to what some people have said, the issue is NOT YOU, it is just the way things are. So ignore them.

The BERETTA .380 CHETTAH model 86 was the large tip up pistol. It has been discontinued and is going for a premium price now.

The BERETTA Tomcat is a very compact .32ACP that is VERY RELIABLE and well made. I found it very easy to shoot and it handles well for me.
Then my wife tried it and that was the last I saw of it.

She cannot retract a slide due to age and lack of wrist strength, yet she can operate the BERETTA Tomcat just fine.
It has the tip up barrel, so when you load, pop the barrel, insert a round and close the barrel, then insert a loaded magazine. ONLY DO THIS WITH THE HAMMER IN THE DOWN POSITION. When the barrel is up, you can pull the trigger and lower the hammer without fear of the gun going off.

If you cock the hammer before trying to rack the slide, it will be easier. When I want to check if one of my pistols is loaded, I cock the hammer first, keeping my finger AWAY FROM THE TRIGGER and the retract the slide. This works fine with pistols that have a hammer like the BERETTA and SIG.

Before you go with the BERETTA Tomcat, see if cocking the hammer first helps. On the SIG 232 and BERETTA Chettah series (model 82, 84, 85 and 86), it makes it much easier to retract the slide.
The SIG and NEW BERETTA Chettah models can safely drop the hammer for you after the slide has been retracted.
On the SIG, the lever on the left side of the pistol lowers the hammer. On the BERETTA, the safety lever will do it.

One thing, the BERETTA Tomcat can be ammo sensitive. My first Tomcat would not shoot WINCHESTER fmj ammo because the bullets had a flat tip. My second Tomcat ( I could not live without another one after my wife took the first) will shot anything.
I have found that not all hollow points will feed 100%. I use the CORBON Powerball in my guns because it is shaped like ball ammo and always feeds.

Hope this helps.

Jim

glassman
March 16, 2013, 04:01 PM
I also had the slide crack on my tomcat after very few rounds down range. Beretta replaced it with an Inox version and it has been fine since then. I carry it when the situation dictates but I'd rather have my trusted revolver (642) with me.

bigfatdave
March 16, 2013, 05:43 PM
The OP, 2BlessU hasn't been here for a while
Last Activity: March 2, 2013 11:06 PM

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