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Girlfriend can't work slide on semi-auto handgun.

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by jakemccoy, Feb 17, 2010.

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  1. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Member

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    My girlfriend likes shooting the Glock 27 and the Glock 23, but she's having trouble working the slide to chamber a round, clear the chamber, etc. That's obviously not a good thing.

    What make and model of handgun would you recommend she consider? I'd have her walk into the gun store and point at what she likes, but there are just too many handguns. I need a few suggestions for her.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that she has nice, manicured nails that she's not going to cut.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  2. Utah_Jay

    Utah_Jay Member

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    My wife had the same issue with the Glocks, she could not rack them. She carries a Bersa Thunder .380 and has no problem with that slide. She can also rack my Bersa UC 9 without any issues. The Walther P22, Browning Buckmark, and Ruger 22 pistols are all easy as well. The Ruger LCP is very easy for women however it is not much of a range gun.
     
  3. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Those two models are .40 S&W.

    The springs are going to be noticeably stiffer compared to the 9mm variant.

    Glocks can be found available for rent at almost any gun range that rents guns. Have her try the 19 and 26. Same size, but 9mm.
     
  4. Irate Iguana

    Irate Iguana Member

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    Has she tried racking the slide via the techniques taught here?
     
  5. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Definitely have her try the technique that Irate Iguana has posted about. My wife had a hard time racking ths slide of semi autos as well. One of the guys in our favorite gun shop showed her the technique and had her racking any auto in the store in less than a minute.
     
  6. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

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    I would have her practice using her little hands some more.
    Al
     
  7. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Member

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    The Glock 19/23 model recoil spring can be swapped out for a lighter spring. You can get a 15 pound recoil spring (18 is factory) and that should make it a little easier. If you go with a captured stainless steel guide rod it becomes even easier due to less friction. The original guide rod has a metal spring scraping on plastic.

    A word of caution about recoil spring weights. If you lighten the recoil spring do not shoot +P loads out of it. You may also want to go with the lighter bullet weight for less recoil as well.
     
  8. Quadkid

    Quadkid Member

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    my father has a very tough time at his age bringing back the slides on any of my guns. I tell him not to try, but make an intentional strong movement backwards and he can usually lock them back. Your girlfriend may be shy about it too.
     
  9. Cocked & Locked
    • Contributing Member

    Cocked & Locked Member

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    revolver time
     
  10. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    The Daewoo DP51 9mm, or DH40 .40S&W, are pistols I found my wife could handle. A very easy slide to rack, very accurate and a super easy tri-action trigger. They can be found for very reasonable prices too.

    daewooDH40002.jpg
     
  11. Arthur2001

    Arthur2001 Member

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    I experienced the same problem with my wife :) At the end of the day we decided for CZ 92. A pocket gun with 6.35mm. The slide is so easy to rack.

    Our other option was a Walther P22..
     
  12. Vonderek

    Vonderek Member

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    Several makers offer models with tip-up barrels, however you are limited to .32ACP. Better solution for her is a revolver, and a steel-framed one at that.
     
  13. kludge

    kludge Member

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    Has she been taught the proper technique?

    http://corneredcat.com/RunGun/rack.aspx

    The keys:

    1. Get as much surface area of your hand on the slide as possible; the more surface area the lower the pressure required. I recommend the overhand grip, especially when a hand strength issue presents itself.

    2. Keep your elbows tucked in. This allows the large muscles of the chest and back to get involved - less need for shoulder and arm strength (where some women are lacking).

    3. Push the gun forward with the shooting hand while holding the slide.

    4. One motion. Don't try to do it slow. When the slide reaches the end of its travel keep pusing the gun forward and let the non-shooting hand slip off the back of the slide. To teach yourself proper follow through, in the beginning at least, your non-shooting hand should hit your upper arm/shoulder are after it releases the slide. This motion is to teach muscle memory and keeps you from the temptation of "riding the slide".

    5. You will not hurt the gun, strike that; you can not hurt the gun by racking the slide. Show it who's boss; do not show fear.
     
  14. daehawc

    daehawc Member

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    While the best bet is proper training so she can use any gun you available when needed, there are other guns out there that are simply easier. I've had the same issue with my girlfriend who has a hard time with many semi auto slides. The gun she has now is a Sig P238 in .380 auto. It is a copy of the colt mustang (mini .380 1911 style). This gun is extremely simply to operate and very accurate. So far she has put about 4-500 rounds through it using PMC bronze FMJ and has had 0 malfunctions. Also, with her size the small pistol fits her pefectly and makes her much more comfortable.
     
  15. Vonderek

    Vonderek Member

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    I second this. I had a very difficult time when I got back to shooting after rehabbing for a bicep tear repair in my left arm. I used the overhand grip by necessity and it is the way to go if you have limited strength in your weakside arm/hand.
     
  16. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Only one post in support of a revolver? Get her something she can operate under a stressful condition all the time. If your goal is an auto then get her one of those too but don't arm her with something she can't use with confidence.
    From what I have seen it is not unusual to see women or those with arthritis to struggle with an autos slide.
     
  17. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    My wife too has a little trouble working the slide on my G36, and she's pretty strong for a woman. She had no trouble with my SR9, but that doesn't surprise me. The G36 has been the only handgun in my collection that makes me huff and puff a bit to secure the spring back in place when I field strip it, and I'm a fairly fit guy:neener: I actually like the stoutness of working the slide for safety reasons. I keep my glock in my bedside locker with magazine inserted and slide un-racked. I have a little one on the way, and if one day curious fingers should find the gun locker open and unattended (.00001 chance of happening, but still) the stiffness of the spring should buy some time to correct the situation.

    Like the others have said, I would try technique first. If that doesn't do it, think about a different spring or smaller caliber.
     
  18. Riss

    Riss Member

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    Use the link above. Or here again www.corneredcat.com/RunGun/rack.aspx The overhand method is best as it provides more contact area with the hand, it is easier to do even with limited grip strength, and the Glock slide is beefy enough to use it. Always use the best method available. This method would not work with something like a CZ-75. The slide is not tall enough and there is not enough to grasp. But for the Glock it works well.
     
  19. c919

    c919 Member

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    Push more than pull.

    Works with every every woman I've seen have this problem.
     
  20. ultradoc

    ultradoc Member

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    A lady friend of mine had trouble with my P3AT,Mak. and XD-9. So I got her a 38 snubby.
     
  21. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Member

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    I'll have her try a different technique. If that doesn't work too well, then I'll try some gun models here. I will probably own and maintain the gun, whatever it is going to be, and then let her possess it whenever she wants. She's just not going to clean and maintain it.
     
  22. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    the easiest locked action to operate is that on the Beretta 92/96...it's just the non-tilting barrel...but the gun might be a little wide for her. they used to make a single stack version, but i haven't seen it in awhile. they also used to make the M-85 (i think) which was chambered in .380, but had a tilt up barrel which did not require that the slide be retracted to load or unload.

    the next easiest slide to retract is the H&K P-7. it utilizes a lighter recoil spring because it uses propellant gases to keep the slide closed until the bullet has left the barrel
     
  23. gearhead

    gearhead Member

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    I got rid of a FN Hi-Power in .40 because the slide was just too hard to rack. It had the polished finish and I'm getting some arthritis in my fingers so I just couldn't get enough purchase on the slide to comfortably rack it.

    For what it's worth, I gave my wife a revolver for home defense. It's not subject to any issues such as limp-wristing or difficulty in racking the slide. Its only limitation as a home defense weapon is the capacity and it has enough to allow her to get to the shotgun in our bedroom if the .38 Spl. doesn't discourage the Bad Guys.
     
  24. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    The Ruger P-95 is noticeably easier to "rack" than most semi-auto pistols.

    In addition to the relatively light resistance, the protruding decocking lever (on both sides of the pistol) allows extra gripping area.

    DSCN3011.gif
     
  25. Leanwolf

    Leanwolf Member

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    Yep.

    Plenty of good, reliable .38 Spec. revolvers out there and plenty of good, modern expanding .38 Special ammo, too. Couple of HKS speed reloaders and she is Ready-For-Freddy.

    Lots of practice and she'll be ready to repel boarders. :cool:

    L.W.
     
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