Need Help: Gun for Wife


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David4516
July 15, 2013, 12:54 AM
My wife has been shopping for a pistol and is having difficulty finding one that she likes that is comfortable and fits her well. It would be mainly used for defense, both at home and possibly as a concealed carry gun.

She has two things that are not helping matters. First, she has small hands, with shorter fingers. On many handguns, she can't reach the trigger without twisting the gun in her hands. The second issue is that she has fibromyalgia, with makes her more sensitive to recoil, and she also has a tough time racking the slide on many semi-autos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibromyalgia

Currently she has 3 handguns, a Beretta 950 Jetfire and Colt 1908 Vest Pocket, both in .25 ACP, and she's got a Taurus 85 revolver in .38 Special. She likes them all but has the most difficulty with the Taurus, mainly because of the long double-action trigger pull. Probably the one that fits her best is the Colt, but I'm not even sure how safe they are to carry with a round in the chamber?

We've found that larger semi-autos, especially blow back types (vs locked breech), have very stiff recoil springs. She shoots them well but needs help to chamber the first round. On larger frame double action revolvers, she can't reach the trigger at all.

So we might be looking for something that doesn't exist. Does anyone know of a pistol that has an easy-to-reach trigger, that is light (preferably single action), and if it's a semi-auto, has a soft recoil spring that is easy to manipulate?

So far the closest thing we've found was the Kahr PM9, it fit her had almost perfectly, but she still couldn't work the slide.

Another possibility might be to somehow modify her current .38 revolver to make the trigger easier to reach. Not sure how one might do that? Different grips?

Worse case scenario, she sticks with a .25 ACP that she is comfortable with, but we'd like to go with something that shoots are larger caliber bullet if we can find one. Even a .32 would be a step up, .380 ACP or 9mm Luger would be great, as would .38 special or even .32 H&R

Any info and / or advice you guys could provide would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Cryogaijin
July 15, 2013, 01:07 AM
Take a look at the Walther pp 380. It has a narrow, single stack grip, and the rear sight can be used to assist racking the slide.

I do not own one, personally, but I've handled one a couple times, and from my limited expirience it sounds like it would be decent for her needs.

GLI45
July 15, 2013, 01:07 AM
Had similar issues trying to find a carry gun for my wife. We went through about half a dozen .380s and small 9mm pistols. (Kahr, CZ, Taurus,etc.) The two biggest issues were finding a slide she could comfortably rack and finding something that had recoil she could manage. Then we tried a Sig P238 and she loved it. Easy to rack, soft recoil for a small .380 (some can be very sharp), excellent Sig sights (uncommon on pocket size guns), light weight, and a very good trigger. The pistol is set up like a sub compact 1911 (but it's not a 1911) in that it's functionality, controls, and ergonomics are very similar. Really terrific small pistol. They can be tough to find, but worth the effort.

Cryogaijin
July 15, 2013, 01:08 AM
As a note, a decent gunsmith could also put a hook on the back of the slide that helps with racking the slide.

David4516
July 15, 2013, 01:57 AM
Did some searching on google and turned up a similar topic on another site:

http://www.handgunforum.net/general-semi-auto/28044-semi-easiest-slide.html

This statement is an exact description of our problems with the revolver:

Revolvers, especially double-action revolvers, have their very own hand-strength issues.
This is particularly true of the shooter's hands are small, or have a short finger-reach, or both. In such cases, a single-action semi-auto might be a better choice, notwithstanding the slide-racking issue.
My wife's hands are small. She cannot properly line a revolver up with her forearm's bones, and still press its trigger. Thus, the DA revolver is offset in her hands, and is thereby guaranteed to twist in her grip when she fires a shot. She shoots DA revolvers quite well, but finds doing it very uncomfortable.

So not sure if this helps but I think it articulates the issue better than I did in my original post.

GLI45, the SIG looks like a possibility, thanks for the suggestion...

jbj
July 15, 2013, 02:46 AM
The Kel-teks in their various forms might work. The little 32 seemed to do well. And the new Kahr 380. I held one the other day and don't remember the slide being much to operate.

You might try a different technique for racking the slide also. Instead of slingshotting it, have her hold the gun steady and push the grip forward. I've had some success helping people with small hands/low hand strength.

Cryogaijin
July 15, 2013, 02:49 AM
http://brassstacker.com/slide-pulls/

smalls
July 15, 2013, 03:36 AM
The recoil may be a bit stout due to the size, but a Sig 938 might be an option. SAO, so the trigger is short and light.

Edit, GLI beat me to it, sorta.

Tomac
July 15, 2013, 06:27 AM
SIG P238 in .380. My wife had similar problems after her kidney cancer. The SIG is SA, slide is very easy to rack, recoil is minimal (especially after adding Hogue rubber grips) and w/FMJ you get sufficient penetration. If you feel the thumb safety is a bit small, you can have a good 'smith extend it a bit like we did.
HTH...
Tomac

HexHead
July 15, 2013, 07:36 AM
My wife had a tough time racking the slide on the Browning HiPower she learned on until she got a tip, put the weak hand on top of the slide and while pushing the grip, just shrug her shoulders. Made it really easy for her.

She's petite and has small hands with short fingers, so finding a handgun that fit her comfortably was a challenge. One thing that's worked well for her is a Gen4 Glock. Since it's her range/HD gun, she opted for the 17. Those 6mm or so difference between the Gen3 and Gen4 makes all the difference for her. I'll probably end up getting her a Gen4 26 at some point. She also has a S&W Model 36 with Pachmeyer grips on it and can take my Colt Mustang if she wants to carry.

A friend of mine's wife struggles with racking a slide, and that Walther PP380 mentioned above works for her.

Jsg81
July 15, 2013, 08:05 AM
How about the Berreta .32? Bigger than the .25, has the tip up barrel for loading, and can be carried cocked and locked.

It wouldn't be my first choice but my wife hates the recoil of anything larger than a .22.

tuj
July 15, 2013, 10:40 AM
racking the slide is more about technique than pure strength. Have hear try the 'over-the-top' method with your hands are opposed to each other and you can push your arms together to rack the slide.

tarosean
July 15, 2013, 10:43 AM
My 5'1" petite wife also chose a Glock for her gun.(19) After renting about every small gun out there, she finally came to the conclusion that mouse guns suck. She chose the 19 for the ease of use, lack of perceived recoil and rackability (is that a word?)

David4516
July 15, 2013, 11:55 AM
Another one that looks interesting to me is the Walter PK380. I always thought it was as straight blowback design, but according to Wikipedia is it not?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walther_PK380

It says that the safety does not de-cock the hammer, but they say it's a double action / single action pistol? How would one fire it in double-action mode if you can't de-cock it? Weird...

One other thing I should mention about my wife, we do have one other pistol that she shoots well. It's a Star "Model A" 9mm Largo. It seems to fit her OK because it's smaller/thinner than other 1911 style pistols and she likes the single action trigger. It has a very well worn in recoil spring that is easy for her to rack the slide. The recoil is prertty mild too as it's a full size, all steel gun, and also because we only shoot my handloads with this gun. I have them loaded to .38 ACP (not .380 ACP, .38 ACP) levels (largely because I don't want to beat up my old gun). I have heard of people loading these like .38 Super but I don't know that I feel comfortable doing that.

I am not sure how safe the Star is (no grip safety like other 1911s, and I don't think it's drop safe either). So I am wondering if another scaled down 1911 might be good? Something like an Springfeild Armory EMP?

ddbambam, I like your idea about the pop-up barreled .380, I think it was called the "Cheetah". She already likes the pop-up .25 pistols (and so do I, love the model 950), so a scaled up one might not be a bad idea. Only problem I see with this is finding one, I think Beretta stopped making the Cheetah a long time ago, I haven't seen one in a while now. Also, I think all the Beretta pop-ups (aside form the 25s) are double action? Single action might be better...

antiquus
July 15, 2013, 12:19 PM
My arthritic wife ended up with my LCR loaded with standard .38 spl rounds. The LCR's trigger is average length of pull for DA revolver, but hugely different in effort and breaks nicely.

All my daughters who carry and my wife use revolvers, by their choice.

Sav .250
July 15, 2013, 12:20 PM
There are weapons available for folks with small hands . Male and female.
I`d give google a try . Ask your question. Hand guns for women. see what you come up with. That is if you haven`t already.

Apple a Day
July 15, 2013, 08:31 PM
Beretta Tomcat is the .32 with the tip up barrel.
You might also look into putting a different grip on that Taurus M85, something smaller which might make it more comfortable and give her a little more leverage with the pull. She can always train to cock the hammer and fire single action; not perfect but it's a solution.

Then again, if it's just for home defense I'm a fan of the .410 shotgun, youth-sized. It will have more punch than anything else you've mentioned, easy to point, easy to manipulate. Whatever you choose good luck to the both of you.

jasonsch
July 15, 2013, 08:58 PM
I fear answering this question... But this is The High Road, so you guys have to be nice!! My wife is 4ft 10in and weighs 120 lbs. She has very small hands. This is where it gets scary... For her birthday I recently bought her a (gulp!!) Jimenez JA-22. I also got her a Hogue grip (yes, it's pink!!) to go with it.
This was her first pistol and it seems to work very well for her! She has no problem racking it and the Hogue grip helps her to keep a hold of it. It fits her small hands very well and she has no problem shooting it. In fact, I'm quite surprised at what a good shot she is! She really likes it and so far, as long as we use good high-velocity ammo, it functions fine.
Jimenez makes a .25 that's the same size as the .22. They also have the .32 and .380 that are a little bigger, but I haven't had any experience with them.
Just thought I'd tell you what works for my wife. :)

antiquus
July 15, 2013, 11:36 PM
The .22 is the one case where no auto makes sense, as it's not a matter of if but rather when you will run into a misfire. Hopefully not when she needs it. I really suggest a revolver for .22 SD carry. It's easy to find a 7 or 8 shot model.

dprice3844444
July 15, 2013, 11:41 PM
gun for wife=great trade

Shadow 7D
July 16, 2013, 12:09 AM
If you look at the forum sticky....

David4516
July 16, 2013, 02:39 AM
Good news: after some experimenting I think we've come up with a slide racking technique that works well for my wife. Got the idea from watching this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m8ioBKQkxk

Basically instead of pointing the pistol in front of her and pulling the slide toward her body, she points the pistol to her left and pulls the slide to her right. This uses a different set of muscles and using this method she was even able to work the slide on a Makarov (which seems to have a stronger spring than alot of other semi-autos). After a few times with the Mak she said that it was starting to get uncomfortable, but I would think that with a non blow-back pistol it would be much easier. This is very encouraging.

We've tried other methods in the past, including the "punching" technique, but with no success.

I am wondering if she'd be able to rack the slide on that Kahr PM9 now, since that seemed to fit her hands very well. Might have to visit the LGS soon and find out...

if it's just for home defense I'm a fan of the .410 shotgun, youth-sized

We thought the same thing, bought her a Mossberg 505 in .410 a while ago back, but have had nothing but trouble with it. It likes to "drop" shells from the tube when you pump the action. I wish Remington made the 870 express youth model in a .410, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

jasonsch
July 16, 2013, 02:00 PM
gun for wife=great trade

I gotta say I am Impressed!! Mention Jimenez anywhere else and a guy almost gets run off the information super-highway!! Above was the worst thing anyone had to say! I appreciate your civility - Great forum!
David4516 - I hope you find a gun that works for your wife - Good Luck!!

smalls
July 16, 2013, 02:46 PM
If you look at the forum sticky....

Normally, I'd agree. But I think he's just looking for suggestions to have his wife check out that meet a certain criteria. It never hurts to ask "hey, my wife has this problem, and can't do this, is their a handgun that might be a little easier to rack, shoot, etc. that she should check out".

And then take that new information with her while gun shopping.

BullRunBear
July 16, 2013, 03:37 PM
My wife is small and has arthritis symptoms off and on. In an emergency, she can handle any gun in the house but for comfortable shooting she has had good luck with the M&P 9mm, both the compact version and the Shield. They take the sting out of recoil, the grips fit her well and she can work the slide easily. Even when she is hurting she can put three magazines through them. And she is damnably accurate with them.

For plinking and targets she prefers a Ruger Mk II or a CZ 75b Kadet, although the CZ can be a little hard to cycle the slide.

Jeff

David4516
July 16, 2013, 04:00 PM
smalls, you are correct. I am not picking the gun for her, I did not mean to leave that impression. She and I have been looking at some different pistols at the LGS's together, with her having final say in what we get. It would be silly for me to choose one for her. I did read the sticky and basically all it says is "let her pick her own gun", which I already knew (seems like a no-brainer really).

I am just looking for ideas of specific makes/models that we can look for at our LGS for her to try out and see if they fit her hands (being able to reach the trigger seems to be the biggest problem), and if she can rack the slide on them.

I really do appricate all the ideas that you guys have shared with me so far. Please keep them coming. Thanks!

W.E.G.
July 16, 2013, 04:08 PM
If the shooter cannot manage a Smith and Wesson model 10 with standard-velocity SWC bullets, it just might be that the shooter should consider being something other than a shooter.

If the struggling shooter wishes to persist, she should consider strengthening exercises or physical therapy.

A handgun is supposed to be comfort-ING, not necessarily comfort-ABLE.

Maybe not what the OP wanted to hear, but that usually ends up being about the sum of it.
We've gone over this a few times before.

David4516
July 16, 2013, 05:55 PM
If the shooter cannot manage a Smith and Wesson model 10 with standard-velocity SWC bullets, it just might be that the shooter should consider being something other than a shooter.

Not very constructive or helpful. I find your "one size fits all" solution to be laughable, no matter what gender the shooter is. People come in different shapes and sizes, and have different needs/requirments from their firearms. Saying that "if you don't like gun X then you shouldn't bother with shooting anything" simply makes no sense.

A handgun is supposed to be comfort-ING, not necessarily comfort-ABLE.

I don't think that it's unrealistic to ask for both. I suspect that most on this board will agree with me on that.

Lethal Threat
July 16, 2013, 07:14 PM
I would want to see pictures of your wife before I made an offer please.

btg3
July 16, 2013, 10:01 PM
Bersa Thunder .380

Perhaps your wife could handle one of these at the gun store and see how it feels.

For SD and CC, you'd already have a round chambered, so racking the slide should be a non-issue.

Check the DA trigger, which is not heavy. DA would be the first shot, then the SA trigger is easy, of course.

If good so far, hopefully you can rent one, or otherwise shoot for comparison to other options.

Small enough for CC, but large enough to be a soft shooter with .380ACP ammo. Add a Hogue grip sleeve for extra comfort/grip.

I love shooting this gun and think it's great for anyone sensitive to recoil for any reason.

Mat, not doormat
July 17, 2013, 12:35 AM
Another vote for the Sig P238. Single action, so no long reach to a hard trigger, and the hammer can be cocked manually to ease the force needed to rack the slide. Good sights, and reasonable recoil. Next choices would be for one of the Berettas with a tip up barrel.

Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2

David4516
July 18, 2013, 03:57 PM
I think the fist thing I'll do is try a different grip for her .38, found this on amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Hogue-Rubber-Grip-Taurus-Small-Frame/dp/B001MJB3R2/ref=pd_sbs_sg_1

I could be mistaken but it looks a little smaller than the standard taurus grip.

If the new grip doesn't work out, we'll be in the market for a new gun. I really like the look of the Walther PK380, at least on paper. I did some searching and it sounds like it has some quality control problems, so I am not sure I would actually buy one. Another good option might be the Sig P238. A steel framed Kahr 9mm might also be good, if she can pull the DAO trigger and rack the slide...

Anyway, I will order the grips and report back here letting everyone now if they work or not...

303tom
July 19, 2013, 10:48 AM
Here is what my wife carries & she love`s it.................

jad0110
July 21, 2013, 02:33 PM
Your wife sounds to have the same issues as mine. She is 5', has FM, as well as a neck injury from a car accident 10 years ago. Her hands are even smaller than normal for someone even her height. My 6 year old son's hands are nearly as big as hers. She cannot reach the trigger of a S&W K frame, even with the thin walnut service stocks installed. She can just barely reach a 1911 trigger if she rotates the gun to one side. The Sig P238 was out of the question for her, because the trigger reach is actually slightly longer than the 1911. And in all our searching, I was surprised to find the Walther PPK had 2nd to the longest trigger reach of any gun we measured, behind the S&W N Frame (which was actually only a tad longer reach). Of course, double stack autos are completely unworkable for her, as there is no way for her to even reach the back of the trigger, much less curl the tip of her finger around the trigger face.

She has a Colt 1908 .25 ACP and a 1908 .32 ACP. Both have a short reach to the trigger, though she can just barely tolerate the recoil of the .32 ACP cartridge. And neither vintage is safe to carry with a round chambered. Her favorite gun is her Ruger SR-22. The trigger reach is perfect for her, the slide is easy to rack, and the recoil isn't an issue for her. If nothing else, it might be a good range/training gun for your wife one day.

We thought the same thing, bought her a Mossberg 505 in .410 a while ago back, but have had nothing but trouble with it. It likes to "drop" shells from the tube when you pump the action. I wish Remington made the 870 express youth model in a .410, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Once you get down to the .410 cartridge, I personally prefer a carbine in a light kicking cartridge. Something along the lines of an AR-15 or Ruger Mini 14 in 5.56, an AK in 5.45 or even 7.62x39, or an M-1 Carbine in .30 carbine. The M-1 Carbine in particular seems to lend itself very nicely to smaller framed individuals. It even feels great to taller guys like me.

David4516
July 22, 2013, 05:09 PM
I've ordered the new grip for the .38, just waiting for it to arrive now and try it out.

My wife and I went shooting on friday night with some friends and I had her try the Makarov. With a little effort and her new method, she was able to rack the slide and chamber a round. The trigger on the Mak was easier for her to reach than on the revolver, especially in SA mode. She shot it well (better than me), even when firing fairly quickly. She then informed me that she was keeping the gun.

That actually works out well, as I have 2 Makarovs, one Bulgie and one East-German. I'm keeping the Bulgie, she gets EG. This was a solution that cost us $0 so that's great too. However I still see some issues and would like to know what my fellow THR members have to say about these:

#1: Gun is heavy, I don't picture her actually carry it. Maybe if she were to open carry on a really good belt holster? She tried out one of my IWB holsters but the gun stuck down too far inside her pants, to the point that she shouldn't sit down.

For these reasons she'll probably just keep the Mak as a house gun and use the little Beretta .25 for carry. This is ok but at some future point I'm sure we'll be in the market for something larger than the .25 that she can actually carry. So the original problem we had when I started the thread still remains valid.

#2: Recoil Spring is very strong on the Makarov. She is able to rack the slide but it would be nice if it were easier. As it is it takes just about all her stregnth to do it. I see that Wolf makes a reduced power spring:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/177569/wolff-recoil-spring-makarov-15-lb-reduced-power

I am wondering if this would work? I assume that she would need to use reduced power loads with the weaker spring? This might not be bad either, as I assume it would also reduce recoil. She can handle the 9x18 recoil but it is about her limit. If we could lighten recoil a little she'd be more willing/able to practice more I think.

jad0110, I like your carbine idea. While we were out shooting on Friday some other people who were also out there had a brand new Olympic Arms AR-15, and they asked if we wanted to try it. My wife shot about 15 or 20 rounds with it and now she wants one. Olympic Arms is a local company too, just a few miles from my house, and we like the idea of buying local. Of course this is way out of our price range right now. Might have to wait for next year's tax return.

We do have an M1 Carbine, might have to have her try it out and see what happens. I would think that with JHPs it would be an awesome gun for her...

Edited to add:

I think the "recoil" she's feeling with the Mak is more the blowback action, with the slide "snapping" back and forth, more than it is the actual kick from the cartridge itself. I'm not sure though.

BLB68
July 22, 2013, 05:59 PM
See if you can find her a Ruger LCR in .38 to try. As others noted, the trigger is excellent. The recoil with mild loads (and a lot of people still carry standard pressure wadcutters for SD) might be tolerable.

Sheepdog1968
July 22, 2013, 06:30 PM
A slightly heavier gun will tame recoil a bit. A single stack should help with her ability to reach the trigger. A single action should help with pulling the trigger. How about some sort of 1911 style 9 mm? I think Kimber or some others may have one in a commander size.

My wife really liked the Ruger SRc in 9 mm. Fit her hand very well. It's another idea. Good luch and be patient.

Places such as Robar can take a 9 mm Glock and do a grip reduction if she likes some aspects of that pistol.

History.Doc
July 22, 2013, 07:27 PM
The LC380 has a long-ish trigger pull but seems like it would otherwise fit your bill: Easy to buy, own, load, clean, rack, and shoot.

XD40scinNC
July 22, 2013, 07:31 PM
Does your local LGS/range have rental guns? Look at something in 9mm, XD9 sub-compact, or XDs9.

btg3
July 23, 2013, 08:44 PM
^^^^
not sure that a subcompact should be recommended where recoil sensitivity is an issue...

but if it's XD-something-or-other, then no worries :banghead:

Queen_of_Thunder
July 24, 2013, 12:15 AM
A nice J frame revolver should fit the bill and there is no slide to work.

ArchAngelCD
July 24, 2013, 04:08 AM
My friend who has problems with his hands and can't easily pull triggers or rack a slide found a gun he can shoot well. He's carrying a SIG P238 (https://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductList/pistols-p238.aspx), his is the P238 Rosewood.

The reasons it works for him are, for some reason the slide is very easy to rack, the single action trigger is easy to pull and it's heavier than most small compact pistols because it's not polymer so it soaks up a lot of the felt recoil. Since it's chambered in 380 Auto it is also a better choice for SD than a 25 Auto. I highly recommend your wife take a look at one and if possible shoot one. I'm fairly sure it will be to her liking.

HexHead
July 24, 2013, 07:53 AM
My friend who has problems with his hands and can't easily pull triggers or rack a slide found a gun he can shoot well. He's carrying a SIG P238 (https://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductList/pistols-p238.aspx), his is the P238 Rosewood.

The reasons it works for him are, for some reason the slide is very easy to rack, the single action trigger is easy to pull and it's heavier than most small compact pistols because it's not polymer so it soaks up a lot of the felt recoil. Since it's chambered in 380 Auto it is also a better choice for SD than a 25 Auto. I highly recommend your wife take a look at one and if possible shoot one. I'm fairly sure it will be to her liking.
I'm going to go one further and recommend finding an original steel frame Colt Mustang the 238 is based on. As stated above, they are very easy to rack and have a short pull lightweight trigger, being single action. The steel frame really soaks up the .380 recoil, making it a very comfortable pistol to shoot.
No, they're not cheap when you find one, but the classics never are.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/scat999999/misc/DSC_0007.jpg

Kuyong_Chuin
July 24, 2013, 09:43 AM
You might want to try a Ruger LCP I saw it reviewed on TV not too long ago and here is a review I found online. http://gunblast.com/Ruger-LCP.htm htm Put a Hogue grip or something similar and she should be good to go. The whole gun is only about 5 inch long and about 2 1/2 from the backstrap to the trigger. Good luck in your search.

P.S. Any good gunsmith can adjust the trigger pull on most guns. Some even have a device to test your strength of pull. Also Saiga makes a 410 semi auto shotgun.

History.Doc
July 28, 2013, 10:47 AM
Unless your wife is pretty familiar and comfortable with firearms and recoil I wouldn't recommend the lcp. Lc380 yes. Lcp no.

Mastrogiacomo
July 28, 2013, 11:35 AM
I haven't read the thread all the way through but just to add, if she's having problems with the hand and it's for home defense, I'd recommend a S&W 686 or 686+. I have the 4" plus and it's very easy to shoot this accurately because of the fantastic site on the gun. And shooting .38s, the recoil is very mild as the weight absorbs it well. It's one of my favorite guns. I bought my used; this is a really good choice for people with pain issues and it's a blast at the range too. I know I always have fun....:)

Laura

BLB68
July 28, 2013, 02:29 PM
Unless your wife is pretty familiar and comfortable with firearms and recoil I wouldn't recommend the lcp. Lc380 yes. Lcp no.
Along the same lines, the Walther PK380 is another larger (well, non-pocket) .380 that a lot of people consider a soft shooter.

History.Doc
July 28, 2013, 03:51 PM
Along the same lines, the Walther PK380 is another larger (well, non-pocket) .380 that a lot of people consider a soft shooter.

Cz 83 is similar; both blowback .380s but pretty big and heavy. Lc380 isn't a blowback so even though the gun is lighter the recoil is pretty mild.

Deer_Freak
July 28, 2013, 06:25 PM
I tried to shop with my wife. I never could find anything she liked. Finally I just backed out of the picture and let her select her own gun. After a couple months she came home with a Ruger SP101 in 357 mag. About a year after she got the SP101 she figured out how to pull the slide back on a semi auto. Now she carries a Kel Tec P11. The SP101 has become a safe queen. I prefer my old Charter mag pug.

If I didn't have the Charter or it needed service I would carry the SP101. I hunt with a 357 mag so there is always plenty of 357 ammo here.

BLB68
July 28, 2013, 08:15 PM
Cz 83 is similar; both blowback .380s but pretty big and heavy. Lc380 isn't a blowback so even though the gun is lighter the recoil is pretty mild.
The PK380 isn't a direct blowback. Here's a quote from the Gunblast review (http://www.gunblast.com/Walther-PK380.htm):

However, instead of using a blowback action, the Walther uses a locked breech short-recoil design. One of the primary advantages to this is that the PK380 does not have to use an excessively stiff recoil spring. While that might not be important to many, it is very important to those who might not have sufficient hand strength to pull back the slide in order to load most semi-auto pistols.

I was thinking that last bit might be useful to the OP.

doc2rn
July 28, 2013, 08:25 PM
I would look for a WW2 C&R in .32 ACP. I might even look for an old Bersa in .32. I shoot the .32 H&R Mag out of a 6 shot Ruger sp 101 and it is truely one of my favorites. I have a wrist injury and I am recoil sensitive, but these cartidges where used by police for a very long time, and they dont hurt me when shot out of a full sized platform. You might even try to find an old S&W revolver in .32 s&w if your a reloader.

David4516
July 29, 2013, 04:52 PM
Walther PK380 sounds good, at least on paper. It's a locked action instead of a blow-back, it's large enough that the recoil should be more manageable, and its single action so easy trigger pull.

But I've done some research and the gun gets awful reviews. Apparently it's not actually made by Walther, but some other company and Walther / S&W just imports them? :banghead:

If it were a more solid/reliable gun I'd consider it for sure, assuming of course that the wife likes it.

Does anybody else make a DA/SA or SAO (no DAOs please) .380 or .32 that is NOT blow back? Beretta Tomcat or Sig P238 might be the only other options?

In other news, the new grip for the Taurus 85 is here, I am going to pick it up later this afternoon at the post office. Will try it out and report back here. I am hoping that it will fit my wife’s hands better than the stock grips...

David4516
July 30, 2013, 11:09 AM
Ok installed the new grips last night. They are a little thinner, and they do make it easier for her to reach the trigger. Won't know for sure how well they'll work for her until we can go shoot the thing. We are planning to do so sometime later this week (possibly as soon as tomorrow), and I will report our findings when we do.

Apple a Day
July 30, 2013, 07:41 PM
Good luck!

jringo
July 31, 2013, 10:22 AM
99% of women and 98% of men will be better served with a double action revolver.

David4516
August 2, 2013, 11:27 AM
Well the new grips were mostly successful, we went shooting yesterday and tested them. They were small enough to enable my wife to reach the trigger while maintaining a proper grip on the gun. The only downside is that felt recoil is a little higher than it was with the old grips. She's still comfortable shooting it though, so I'll say mission accomplished.

The Taurus did have a couple of failures to fire, out of about 50 rounds total. First one went "bang" on the second strike, but we did have one round that refused to go "bang" no matter how many times the hammer hit it. I can't tell if we have a bad batch of primers (these were reloads with primers of unknown origin, my dad gave them too me but I don't know where he got them), or if the spring is weakening on the gun? If you pull the trigger slowly on a DA revolver, will it cause it to have a lighter strike?

Ziggidy
August 2, 2013, 10:13 PM
Great information here.

I too am trying to find my wife something. She has rheumatoid arthritis in her small hands and is also very petite. She is very new (range once) with her MarkIII - she loves it but racking it is very hard, to hard for my eyes. She did very well, but.....

I have been looking around and was thinking something in a revolver that uses 32 mag. It seems as though they were being made, but I cannot find anything around. No one has one to look at and forget about trying to rent one.

I have read the recoil is light and the fact it is a revolver and does nto require a slide - sounds perfect to me but cannot find any.

Any thoughts on a 32 H&R mag pistol (Taurus, Charter?) The others are out of my price range at this time.

David4516
August 3, 2013, 10:38 AM
Ziggidy,

Watch out, there are 2 different ".32 Mag"s out there. You've got the original .32 mag, aka .32 H&R mag, and then there is the newer .327 mag.

If you're looking for lower recoil, I think you want to stick with .32 H&R mag. It looks like an interesting round to me, I am surprised that they aren't more popular. I've thought about getting one of these:

http://www.heritagemfg.com/site/department.cfm?id=201

I already have one of their .22LR pistols and really like it. This probably won't help you though, as I assume that you're looking for a double action, and not a single action?

If you needed to, you might be able to get a .38 and just buy "lite" ammo for it, check this out:

http://www.hornady.com/store/38-Special-90-gr-FTX-Critical-Defense-lite/

I would like to get some of these for my wife, but it's hard to find ammo right now. Hope prices and availability improve soon. In the mean time, we've just been shooting reloads with lead bullets.

In the worst case scenario, you could try .25 ACP. Yeah it's on the weak side, but it's a step up from .22LR (despite what some would tell you), and you can find some very nice pistols in this cartridge (again, despite rumors that they're all "junk"). If you get a Beretta .25 with a "tip up" barrel, there is no slide racking to worry about. It's a very cool feature.

I am tempted to have my wife check out the .32 Beretta "Tomcat", I think that she'd like it based on our positive experiences with the .25s...

Apple a Day
August 3, 2013, 05:56 PM
Double check me but I believe the .327 magnum can fire H&R magnums and S&W Longs.
Ruger used to make an SP-101 in .327 magnum.

Potatohead
August 3, 2013, 06:05 PM
Then we tried a Sig P238 and she loved it. Easy to rack, soft recoil for a small .380 (some can be very sharp), excellent Sig sights (uncommon on pocket size guns), light weight, and a very good trigger. The pistol is set up like a sub compact 1911 (but it's not a 1911) in that it's functionality, controls, and ergonomics are very similar. Really terrific small pistol. They can be tough to find, but worth the effort

This...

They are expensive though

orionengnr
August 3, 2013, 08:32 PM
You have received a broad spectrum of replies. Some are reasonable, some are ludicrous. You have not stated your wife's age. Others are saying that their 4'9" 90 lb wife can handle so-and-so...but she may be 20 years old. That is all well and good for her (and for him) but of no value to you.

Likewise, concealing a 686 is not in the cards for many full-grown men, much less an older, petite and possibly somewhat frail woman.

I am surprised that no one has mentioned the cornered cat website (www.corneredcat.com). Kathy is a knowledgeable and valued resource, and her website specifically caters to women who chose to carry, and the men who love them. Start there.

If I read your posts correctly, and your wife is comfortable with a small (j-frame sized) revolver, I would encourage you to try the addition of a Crimson Trace laser grip. Some of them have add very little to the grip circumference (or trade length for width) while adding some air space as a cushion against recoil. Not sure what they make for Taurus, but they offer an extensive line of quality laser grips. (The laser helps as a training aid for point shooting, too.)

Finally, I am not going off on a Taurus bash here...but if this gun is not 110% reliable, get one that is. There are many different but similarly sized S&W j-frame revolvers in different calibers that all use the same grip (and the same size of crimson trace). External hammer, shrouded hammer, internal hammer...stainless, blued steel, aluminum alloy in black anodized or silver...Scandium ultralights...the world is your oyster.

Enjoy, and happy hunting.

Best, Rich

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