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Opinions - concealed carry for small female

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by ChopChopGirl, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. ChopChopGirl

    ChopChopGirl Member


    I am a new female subscriber who is a shooter and own several guns. I have a female friend who wants a gun to conceal while hiking and running. She is 5ft. 4 inches, and only weighs 106 lbs. Has her heart set on a Beretta Tomcat, and I've advised her of all the cracked frame issues.

    The real challenge for someone that tiny as I see it - not much can be concealed easily and she cannot rack the slides with most small guns. I've taken her to shoot the Ruger LCP, the S&W bodyguard and others, and she doesn't like any of them.

    The real appeal for her is the tip up barrel on the Tomcat, and I suppose an INOX is a better bet, but clearly not a winner from all I've read here and other places.

    Any ideas? I'm about to suggest she get and American Arms .22 MAG -no racking, but no real protection either, or get the Tomcat and pray for success. Thanks, in advance for any advivce on this.
  2. newbuckeye

    newbuckeye Well-Known Member

    What about a revolver? No slide to rack, very simple to operate (especially when the adrenaline is pumping) There are some pretty small ones like the SW model 36 or 37. With 38+p it packs a wallop and the grips are pretty easy to replace to better fit her hand and cut down on felt recoil. It shouldn't be hard to find someone in your area that has something similar so she can try one on.
  3. jon86

    jon86 Well-Known Member

    If she is comfortable with 22 mag, I would suggest that she take a look at a S&W 351C.


    Or if she wants to step up in caliber and weight, to a stainless steel 327 mag, there is the 632 http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/...57767_757751_757751_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y

    If she can handle a bit of recoil, maybe a ruger LCR 357 or S&W 640 or 649, loaded with 38's might be a better choice. Even a 3 inch model 60 with 38's would be a good candidate to consider.
  4. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Snub .38.
  5. Winkman822

    Winkman822 Well-Known Member

    You ought to have her try a Sig P239 and Walter PPS on for size. Both are nice small, slim, lightweight pistols that can be had in 9mm of .40 S&W and they should both be stupid easy to for a smallish person to conceal.

    Heck, I'm 5'8" and 125 lbs and have no issues concealing a full size 1911 fitted with a S&A magwell. I've also concealed a USP Compact with no issues.
  6. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

  7. dogmush

    dogmush Well-Known Member

    First piece of advice:

    The slide racking can very probably be overcome with technique and practice. A healthy female, even a petite one, can generate the force needed to cycle a slide.

    I've found that many of the women that I've taught to shoot, especially the smaller ones, end up hating DA weapons because the longer, heaver trigger takes more practice to master then they're willing to do. In fact my mom is looking to dump her P250 for this very reason. Of course your friend's MMV.

    Many of my female friends like small SA or Pre cocked strikers for a combination of small size, easy concealment and easy to learn 6ish lb triggers. Of the pistols that I have been able to lend out, amongst smaller shooters my P238 is a hands down favorite. Small, easy to cycle and shoot, and light recoil (especially when compared to other .380's) Yes it's SA and needs cocked and locked carry and the practice to facilitate that, but it's a joy to shoot.

    As always your friend should try as many different types of handguns as she can to find what works for her the best.

    And read Kathy's website.
  8. newbuckeye

    newbuckeye Well-Known Member

    Best advice so far!
  9. snakeman

    snakeman Well-Known Member

    snubby 22 mag would be perfect. No slide to rack, no real recoil, and decent stopping power. It will be loud though.
  10. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    I've had the chance to help out a fair number of very small asian women that came out for their first ever gun shooting expierience. Once shown how to hold the slide with an overhand four finger and heel of palm hold and to commit to really racking the slide hard they all did well.

    The biggest problem was that at first they were afraid to really put any power into racking the slide for fear of breaking the gun. Yep, honestly. When I asked a few of them this is the answer I got the most. And the rest just looked nervous due to it being their first time ever to even hold a real gun.

    So get her to read that Cornered Cat website. It really is very good and done from a perspective that is right up her alley. Then get her out and try a bunch of guns at some sort of rental range. And assure her that she's NOT going to break it... :D

    Amusing side note: A pair of these very small and light first timers got all giggly and nervous at the idea of shooting a 12Ga shotgun. Someone at the next station was shooting one while I was working them through a 9mm semi. They were shocked at what looked like a crazy gun and all the noise. I told them that I could show them how and it would not hurt them. The reluctantly agreed. By the end of a shared box of target loads they were happy as could be. Two weeks later they came back... For the shotgun... :D
  11. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member


    If there is no rental range, get a bunch of shooters to bring a big pile-o-guns to an informal outdoor range. Hell, if you're near me, I'll open up my range and bring a selection of guns if I can squeeze it into rotating shifts, and I'm sure someone close to you would be willing to help out in a similar way.
  12. webfox

    webfox Well-Known Member

  13. firesky101

    firesky101 Well-Known Member

    My wife 5'0" and 93lbs loves her LCR. I got her the 357 for the extra weight to soak up recoil, she only shoots .38's through it though. She has the same problem with racking the slide, but it is more of apprehension. Her friend got glock bite the first time she went out so now she thinks slides are going to hurt her just touching one.
  14. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Well-Known Member

    One main issue with tip-up barrels is the lack of an extractor. If the gun has a failure to eject or fire, it would require more than a quick tap-rack-bang to fix.

    I would also not recommend the North American Arms mini revolvers since they are single action and are awkward in a panic situation. Also, they are 22LR or 22 Mag, neither a good caliber for self-defense from an extremely short barrel.

    While a small DA revolver is always a good choice, it is much bulkier than the guns you'd mentioned, especially on a petite person.

    Take a look at the Kel-Tec P32. Less than 10 ounces fully loaded, 7+1 shot, extremely thin, and also in 32 ACP. I have 3 of them and they all have worked well. I load Buffalo Bore +P 32 ACP in the chamber and another 7 Foccohi FMJ in the mag. Much lighter recoil than the Ruger LCP or S&W Bodyguard, too!
  15. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

  16. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    the p32 would be a gun I would bring to such a test-firing event ... but I really think that some trigger time will narrow down the choices, as will talking to women who actually carry on a regular basis.

    First read corneredcat's website, then shoot a bunch of guns, then worry about hardware
  17. jrumsey

    jrumsey Well-Known Member

    My vote, Ruger SP101 chambered in the .327 Federal Magnum. Can shoot 32 S&W and 32 H&R magnum as well. Just have to dress more for concealment there are many options.
  18. ChopChopGirl

    ChopChopGirl Member

    Thanks to all for your thoughtful comments and suggestions. I am continuing to digest them all, and have to say there is not one comment I disagree with –you are all good people.

    •To those of you with firearm suggestions – I will research and devour info on your suggestions.
    •The cornered cat is a great resource – one I never heard of – appreciate.
    •@newbuckeye – I will suggest the revolver route again. lol. Got nowhere the first time.
    •@dogmush – I so understand your comments on many women not liking DA – seen it so many times.
    •@ bigfatdave – if I did live close by you are the kind of friend I’d like to have.

    Thanks again everyone! ChopChopGirl.
  19. Mentokk1

    Mentokk1 Well-Known Member

    I found that the s&w 500 is the perfect conceal gun. Then again I am 10ft tall.
  20. CheapFuneral

    CheapFuneral Member

    Size doesnt matter for her to conceal... She could put a revolver in a purse or any other gun for that matter. There is ankle carry iwb shoulder and on the inside of your upper leg. I find women have it easy because of their purse. There is a YouTube girl that she's ways women can better conceal u should check her out I'll edit this post with her user name. - Faliaphotography is her name shows different ways for different types of dress.

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