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SD pistol for small hands....

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by BigBore44, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Well-Known Member

    Hey guys,
    A girlfriend of mine has had a few recent events that she FINALLY believes she needs a SD pistol. As you can tell by my handle I'm not real big on smaller caliber pistols. I'm going to be helping her purchase a new pistol but I'm a little ignorant of the subcompact 9mm's. I've been tossing around an XD Sub (I carry an XD45 and love mine) but her hands are TINY. I don't have any experience with keltec's or Taurus or the LCP's. I don't care about cool looking. I care about function. If she pulls the trigger I want it to go bang. What would you all recommend?

    Now someone is going to ask about her price range. I would say around 500 or under.
  2. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Well-Known Member

    Have the released the XDS in 9mm yet? that might be up your alley.
  3. mnhntr

    mnhntr Well-Known Member

    Look at the Kahr line up. Much better than the Keltec and LCP IMO.
  4. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    So up to this point your lady has how much handgun experience??

    Don't pick her handgun for her. Let her handle some models. have her at the bersa thunder 380 line and maybe a , maybe a cw9 kahr but avoid the light weight pistols in 40 and 45 right now. maybe even a snubby would be a good choice do to the fact she will have a wide range of ammo and grip sizes with a old school snubby. If the ruger lcr fit HER well that maybe a good choice to start with.

    I have a very tinny daughter that can shot my small kahrs but because of recoil she not yet ready to invest the time to get comfy with it PLUS racking the slide on some small pistol is a work out for some females.

    If you have a range near you many today have female instructors to help along with the choice. As it turns out my youngest 100lb girl carries ether a TCP and a bersa 380CC and can manage both. My oldest girl favores a 13oz snubby with 125gr +P ammo for carry.
  5. KenW.

    KenW. Well-Known Member

    My wife found the grip on a J-frame too small for her liking. Then I installed a Tyler T-Grip and we are fighting over who gets to use that little .38.
  6. fatcpa

    fatcpa Well-Known Member

    I've been through most of the pocket 380's and 9mm's the last couple of years. The Kahr PM9 or CM9 would both fit the bill for a 9mm. They handle recoil as well as any that I've seen. They both have a pretty stout recoil spring, so it takes a fair amount of effort to work the slide. Kahr now makes the CM380, but it's pretty much the same size as the 9mm, so why bother? The softest shooting 380 that I've owned is the Sig P238. It has great sights and shoots like a bigger gun. A possible drawback, depending on the person, is the fact that being patterned after a 1911, it would need to be carried "cocked and locked" to be effective. Not sure how that might work as a purse gun. When I carry a 380 these days, it is a S&W Bodyguard 380. I resisted trying one for a long time but now that I own one, it is my favorite carry 380. Small gun that feels good in the hands. The laser works pretty well, but activation is a little hokey. Small hands might have a hard time reaching the activation button. Another smaller gun that I haven't tried is the Walther 380. I know a few people that rave about theirs. I have never even held one, so I can't really comment. Had a Walther P22 once and it was a jamamatic. My go to carry gun is still the S&W J-frame. Simple, light and effective (for a small bore).
  7. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    That's not enough. She should have one that will go "bang", hit near or on target with relative ease, and not make her feel like she'd never want to fire it again.

    Remember that they are her hands. Like you admit, you'll probably have to back off the "big bore machismo" quite a bit. The Kel-Tec PF9 is quite a handful for thin-wristed people, particularly those with small hands. The gun is just too light. You'll likely find that to be true with a lot of the "sub-compact" nines. She's gonna have to try a couple of them out. The Ruger LC9 might be a little (little) more comfortable. Ruger also offers the same gun in .380 now, though I'm not sure how readily available it is, having just come out.

    The "keychain" .380 pistols can also be quite a handful for many petite shooters, both male and female, and are hard to hang on to for some bigger-handed shooters. Any in blowback configuration will be likely even worse.

    If it's for carry (concealed), the Kel-Tec P32 (or P3-AT if she can handle the caliber) is far from an unwise choice.

    Bigger options that are easy to grip and shoot, but can still be concealed in many ways, are available from Bersa, CZ, and Taurus, in .32, .380, and 9mm.

    Don't rule out revolvers. With the right grips, she might well surprise you by handling a .38 snub (or even a .44 Special!) quite well.

    None of these is a suggestion for something for you to run out and buy her. They are simply suggestions of guns she can check out and possibly try out.

    How about you two browse www.corneredcat.com together some?

    At the end of the day, it will be her choice. If she tries out a lot of things and settles on a .22 revolver (Ruger LCR in .22LR or WMR), don't belittle her for it. Let her learn to rock it, and support her. Many a bad guy has been driven off, captured, or neutralized (even killed) by "some girl and her little .22".

    By the way, my wife's hands are tiny as well. She used to get teased about it when we first got together and she was waiting tables ("how can you hold all that stuff with those little hands!?")
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  8. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Well-Known Member

    SHE decides !

    Since its her hands and her ergonomics that will matter,she will have to decide.

    I would suggest she get to handle and SHOOT all the above suggestions before she decides.

    A small framed 9 MM might feel perfect --- till she pulls the trigger 50 times.

    then its a PITA to shoot AND load [ need hand strength to pull slide back ].

    My friends wife LOVED the Ruger LCP - just has a heck of a learning curve to pull the slide back to chamber a round.

    Yes she carrys one,but she needed to learn to handle it,with a laser she does very well.
  9. btg3

    btg3 Well-Known Member

    All size 9 shoes do not fit all size 9 feet. Gotta try 'em on. Same for guns.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  10. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Well-Known Member

    XDs maybe?
  11. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Well-Known Member

    I agree with those that recommend letting her decide.

    While I am not a big fan, the Sig P238 and XDsc seem to be popular with the ladies around here. The M&P9c is also popular and would be my first choice.

    My wife likes our Kahr K9 and 9mm 1911. The 1911 has an easy trigger to manipulate and hers is a compact version. If your budget allows, you should have her try the Springfield EMP or Dan Wesson CCO in 9mm.
  12. smalls

    smalls Well-Known Member

    I never really need an excuse to head to the fun shop and fondle the toys. This seems like a pretty good excuse for you two to go! Go check em all out, see what she likes.
  13. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    Obviously, it should be her decision. But she should want a soft-shooting gun that fits her.

    In that category, the Sig P238 and S&W Shield 9mm are good choices. Put some guns in her hands, let her shoot some, and then let her pick what she likes.

    The above two are guns that my mother gravitated to. She is barely 5' tall and probably is not 100 lbs soaking wet (so her hands are also quite small). She ended up with the P238 because she wanted a manual safety.
  14. PabloJ

    PabloJ Well-Known Member

    I would go with heavier trigger pull DA weapon. My top pick would be S&W CS9 (was also made in .40S&W and .45ACP). Sadly it con only be bought on second-hand market now.
  15. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    YOU must go fondle the goods
    sorry BUT, your hands are your hands, what you will accept is up to you
    BTW, if you look in Handguns, you'll see the sticky

    "So you want to buy a guy for your mother/wife/girlfriend"
    you should read it....
  16. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Well-Known Member

    My wife has tiny hands and is a bit recoil sensitive. The center fire handguns she is most comfortable with are a CZ 75b 9mm and a S&W M&P Shield 9mm. The CZ is heavy enough to soak up recoil and the grip fits her hands. The Shield, for all its smaller size and weight, is easy to rack the slide and recoil is very manageable. Don't know how S&W did it so well. She doesn't like small revolvers.

    But don't assume anything. I helped a friend's daughter choose a SD gun and she is VERY petite. After testing a dozen or more, she ended up choosing a Ruger GP100 357 mag (loaded with standard 38 specials) with 4" barrel. She shoots it very well.

    If the young woman ends up with a pistol, make sure she can easily load the magazine. If not, an Uplula (sp?) loader is a huge help.

    Have fun with the process.

  17. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Well-Known Member

    Hey guys,
    Just wanted to say I truely appreciate the advice. I may shoot big bore guns but I never belittle those that don't. And I know that ultimately it's her decision. And the only advice I'm giving her is to find what feels comfortable to her. She's a small woman 5'2" and 125 lbs but she's actually quite strong. She doesn't have experience with handguns, but she's not afraid of them. Respect? Yes. Fear? No. She just didn't grow up in a "gun family" like I did.

    I'm not really opposed to any brand of firearm for her. And after I make this reply I'm going to compose a list of all the pistols mentioned for when I'm FORCED to go Academy, Bass Pro, and my LGS. How depressing. Lol.

    I would like to know more about what you think of the Shield. How easy is it to disassemble? What's the trigger pull like? Those were just 2 of the reasons I chose my XD.

    If anyone else has any opinions, I'm all...eyes I guess. Again, I truely appreciate the input.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  18. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

  19. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Well-Known Member


    I found the Shield was easy to take down for cleaning. It's a simple mechanism but it takes a bit of strength the hold the slide back while pushing out the retaining pin. The trigger is not light and smooth but not bad either. I describe it as 'deliberate'. Certainly nothing uncomfortable. (Admittedly, I am spoiled by the triggers on my K frame revolvers.) The slide was easy to operate. Even my wife, with a bit of arthritis, had no problem racking it. And at 15 yards, rapid fire, I had no trouble keeping 2 to 3 inch groups. After about 300 rounds there have been no jams or FTF.

    Hope this helps. I'm sure there are a gazzilion reviews of the Shield out there.

  20. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Well-Known Member

    Thanks bullrun,
    I'm going to put it on the list to check out for sure. I found a great deal on XD subcom 9's. $439 new and in stock. But then again it doesn't matter the price if it doesn't fit her hand.

    Thanks everyone, I really do appreciate it.

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