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Help me pick a 'better' handgun for my wife

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by ngnrd, Jan 22, 2014.

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  1. ngnrd

    ngnrd Member

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    I know... a lot of this is totally subjective, and I should have her shoot a bunch of different guns and pick what she prefers most. But, I'm looking for some opinions to help narrow the field a bit. And ladies... feel free to jump in!

    Background:
    • My wife has owned a pistol for many years, but is just recently voicing an interest in shooting more than once or twice a year.
    • She really likes her Colt Mustang Plus-II (.380), but she is concerned that shooting it on a more frequent basis will lower its value (I told her that didn't really matter, but...).
    • She says her Bersa Thunder (.380) fits her hand pretty well, but the recoil is sharper than the Colt and she doesn't really enjoy shooting it because of that.
    • My Ruger P90 (.45) is way too big for her, but she says the recoil is much more pleasant, and if it were necessary to fend off an intruder, she says that's the one she would grab before any of the other handguns because it's got 'less' recoil, and is more powerful - even though she knows it's too big for her hands.

    So... she likes her .380's because they're lightweight and compact (I think I heard her use the word 'cute'... but I'm gonna ignore that and substitute the word compact:rolleyes:), but much prefers the less snappy recoil of my larger, heavier .45.

    And this is my conundrum... Which compact handgun, chambered in a cartridge that has more power and less recoil than a .380, would you recommend for a petite person?

    I'm thinking of a compact .45, possibly the Bersa Thunder 45 UC PRO since she seems to like her other Bersa well enough, but I don't know what less weight (6.5 oz less than the P90) would do to the felt recoil of the .45.

    Maybe a compact 9mm would be better? Or maybe even a .40? (How does the recoil with those cartridges compare relative to the .380 and 45?)

    BTW - she's not exactly a fan of 'plastic' guns, so that takes a bunch of otherwise viable choices off the table...
     
  2. RedAlert

    RedAlert Member

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    Perhaps the issue isn't caliber as much as "fit" of the firearm to the shooter. I suggest moving away from Plastic frame pistols and try one with all steel or alloy frame. I have a Sig P230 in all stainless and a P232 in alloy with a stainless slide. Both in .380.

    Even in .380, there is a noticeable difference in felt recoil from one to the other. The alloy frame doesn't absorb the recoil as well as the all stainless P230. I don't have a plastic pistol in a similar size and caliber, but feel it would also have more felt recoil.

    Then again, perhaps the grips are the answer. Hogue grips, which I put on all my EDC pistols do a great job of making recoil less of an issue regardless of caliber. A well fitting grip goes a long ways to making the shooting experience more fun.

    I don't know if this is fact or not, but I believe the main recoil spring in a plastic pistol is heavier than that in an all metal pistol of the same frame size and caliber in order to absorb the recoil of the heavier slide. The heavier spring will make racking the slide that much more difficult.

    Just my opinions.
     
  3. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    She might like to try a S&W 3913LS
     
  4. AFDavis11

    AFDavis11 Member

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    I would consider a 238. I think they are "compact". Recoil lightly. Lots of options though.
     
  5. PJSprog

    PJSprog Member

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    My wife shot her son's (my stepson's) S&W M&P .40 over the summer, and decided she liked it much better than any of our handguns (.22LR, .22WMR, .38/.357mag, .45ACP). I think that caliber is definitely a viable option for "fun-size" women.
     
  6. Sol

    Sol Member

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    Go to a range that rents a variety of handguns in an assortment of calibers...

    Let your wife pick a gun for your wife...

    Smile, grin and pay.

    Problem solved.
     
  7. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    www.corneredcat.com
    Start here. You read it, then she reads it.
    Then she picks something appropriate.

    Done.
     
  8. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    You answered your own question, they do come in 9 mm as well.

    Jim

    One on the left is the 45 Ultra Compact Pro, one on the right is the CZ 75 P-01 in 9 mm.

    SAM_1063.jpg
     
  9. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    I like the Glock 26 myself...very compact and I'm a small person too. Of course there's also nothing wrong with a Sig 239.....or a revolver for that matter.

    Laura
     
  10. B_Li_Ber_Tar_Ian

    B_Li_Ber_Tar_Ian Member

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  11. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    I think a 9MM will be in line recoil wise. As far as the make, I think it should be what fits her hand the best. Of course this will make it necessary for her to hold as many different models as possible. No matter what we suggest, only she can tell which fits her the best.
     
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    My wife likes both my G26 and my HK P7. She finds both easy to shoot, especially compared to her Beretta model 34 in .380, and a J frame 38.
     
  13. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    I second the Sig P239 idea. Available in 9mm, has a steel/alloy frame (heavier) which will reduce perceived recoil and is a single stack so the grip will be smaller than a lot of other semi-auto options.
     
  14. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    SHE picks HER gun, YOU pay.

    SHE gets lessons from HER instructor, YOU pay.

    YOU buy HER ammo, YOU pay.

    YOU BOTH go to the range and have fun together.
     
  15. weblance

    weblance Member

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    She likes you Ruger P90 and trusts it, and the 45acp. I know you said she doesnt want polymer, but that really excludes many excellent pistols. Consider finding a Ruger P345 for her to shoot. It has a much better grip, magazines interchange with your P90, and the recoil is soft.
     
  16. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt Member

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    The Bersa Thunder 380 has more felt recoil due to the blowback design. Check out the new Glock 42 for a slightly smaller 380 with a locked breach design for less recoil, or an S&W M&P Shield 9mm.
     
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Sounds about perfect to me... :neener:
     
  18. Hometeached1

    Hometeached1 Member

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    Look at the SIG P239 or S&W 3913.
     
  19. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    glock came out with just what she is looking for.
     
  20. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    Yup the Glock 42 might be just the thing for her. If she likes it.
     
  21. Rusty Luck

    Rusty Luck Member

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    My girlfriend is petite and has small but not tiny hands and she loves shooting her XDm 5.25 9mm. I mean she will literally burn through all the ammo in the 6 19rd magazines, loads them all up herself (except the last 2 rounds because they are too hard and I do it) and shoots it again until she burns though all the ammo we took with us to the ranch or range. She is quite comfortable with shooting it and consistently shoots the "pears" off the cactus on the ranch. Which is pretty good considering she just started shooting about 1.5 years ago. She uses the smallest grip back the XDm has.
     
  22. cwl1862

    cwl1862 Member

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    Why not take her to your LGS or a Gun show and let her pick it out?? Maybe she'll let you get a new one too.....:D win-win!
     
  23. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Why not wait for the Remington R51 to come out?
     
  24. gazpacho

    gazpacho Member

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    Kahr K9 with optional ported barrel. Recoil is low, trigger is nice and the grip is good for smaller hands.

    Or . . .

    1) Buy a reputable gun and let her shoot it.
    2) If it doesn't suit her, place the gun in your safe, and repeat step 1. :evil:

    Eventually, you will find the right handgun.
     
  25. ngnrd

    ngnrd Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions guys - even if most of them don't exactly fit the criteria.:rolleyes:

    After the gun show this Sunday, we're going to go empty some ammo boxes and ponder our options... She told me to make sure there's plenty of ammo in the range bag for her AR, too.:evil:


    Hmmm.... I wish I knew someone with an EMP that I could borrow...
     
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