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Need Recommendation for New Carry Gun for Wife to use

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Sharpie1, Nov 4, 2007.

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  1. Sharpie1

    Sharpie1 Member

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    Today, my wife and I went shooting -- primarily to practice with our carry and home defense handguns. She had not been shooting for quite some time, so we made sure we took our time - spending about 2 1/2 hours at the range so she could really get proficient again with the various guns that we have available for personal defense. She has carried a Kel-Tec .380 Auto in her purse for awhile - but after today, it is apparent that it is time for a change.

    I was rather disappointed with the performance of the Kel-Tec. There were several failures to feed with a couple different types of ammo. I used Winchester white box JHP (I think it was Winchester white box) --- and we also tried Remington Golden Sabers. There was a 20% or so failure to feed rate with each of these cartridge selections. With FMJ however, there were no problems. Even though she has no problems with the slide of a 1911 or a Glock, she seemed to find it difficult to manipulate the slide of the Kel-Tec -- and the magazine doesn't seem to want to stay snapped in place. Because of all of this, it is time for a replacement. The primary reason she is carrying this particular model anyway is because of its diminuitive size and weight. We also keep a .38spl Ultralight revolver in her car that she sometimes takes into her office to keep in her desk drawer during the day (which is not considered taboo at this particular law firm).

    ANYWHO - We tried to see if the .38spl would be an acceptable replacement as a purse gun, but she found it too bulky - and also, the 5 round limit is unattractive. We tried a Makarov in the purse - and as far as size goes, that was also ok -- but it is a bit difficult to find ammo for this gun in our area and I would prefer that she have a little nicer carry gun than this one, as the Makarov is beginning to show its age with wear, etc.

    So -- that said, let's hear some suggestions. Any type of helpful suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    For the wife.. one works, the other didn't

    ...

    Tried to get the wife comfy with the Sig P232 SL 380, but having the blow-back action requires a much stronger return spring. So having found that between the fact that the 380 gets dirty quick, with powder residue and, it too, had feed jams with any JHP's and, if it did jam, she had a hard time cycling the slide to clear them, I made a change, both to using only FMJ out of that gun, but also to get her something easier to shoot, with more power, and more rounds, that was far easier to handle, all the way around.

    I got her the new Springfield EMP 1911 9mm that has a load of 9+1. And, between the much softer return spring, which she has no problems cycling the first round in, but now she doesn't have to deal with the long, hard, DA pull, as the EMP is SAO, with the thumb slide-safety, along with the grip-palm safety, and has the same, consistent, trigger pull every time. Along with, loading the 9 round mags are easy, as opposed to the much harder 380 mags that only held 7 rounds, including a time-comsuming thumb release to get the mags out, which you had to pull them out, as opposed to the EMP's side mag release button that, literally, pops the mags out, effortlessly.

    If you can afford one, do take a warm look at one, as our EMP has gone 575 rounds without any problems.. along with using 124gr JHP's.


    Ls

    Here's a comparison shot of both the 9mm EMP and the Sig P232 SL (stainless steel) 380


    [​IMG]
     
  3. Sharpie1

    Sharpie1 Member

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    Is it heavy? I fear that a 1911 will be too heavy.
     
  4. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    No

    ...

    No, not in her, or our, opinion.. it's very balanced

    26 oz.. empty

    Take a look here:

    http://www.springfield-armory.com/armory.php?version=110

    And watch here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PZMyKvYdWM

    And, reading your signature, I can assure you that you will find it a tack-driver, up close, or out to 63ft, and with her being trained correctly, (and enjoying the ease of loading the mags, no jams, etc.) with 115gr FMJ range ammo, and we use 124gr JHP, as the gun shoots the same, being that the weights are very close, as opposed to going 135gr or 147gr JHP.. big difference.


    Ls
     
  5. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    One other thing.. lol

    ...

    My wife always thought that the grip of the Sig P232 was a bit too wide :what:, that was my reaction.. lol But she also got bit with slide bite by the gun as well, even though it wasn't the fault of the gun, it was her going against the proper 2-hand grip and crossing your support thumb over the back of her shooting hand, which I only figured out when she went to shoot it again and I saw her grip it again, like that.. :eek: That ended, but the mental damage had occurred.

    She has no problems with the much slimmer grip of the EMP 1911, along with no fears of slide bite, as the beaver-tail really supports a proper grip, along with keeping her grip right where it should be.

    With the Sig 380, she would burn out with it easily at 50 rounds, where as, with her first time with the EMP 9mm, she went thru a box of 100 of the Winchester 115gr FMJ with no problems..

    And now she ask, when are we going shooting again?, with this face.. :) She never had that face with the 380 acp, nor asked the question.


    Ls
     
  6. jlpskydive

    jlpskydive Member

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    A very affordable option would be the Bersa Thunder 380. My wife loves hers it's light, compact, very accurate (for what it is), and very reliable for about 250 new out the door.
     
  7. strickj

    strickj member

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    the xd sub compact would be my 1'st suggestion.if that's to big or heavy I would suggest a range that rents guns/try before you buy.its a good way to find exactly what fits her well.I don't know where you live but I have found that city dealers don't have as many choices as the boonies and can often get a better deal,and more helpful when shopping.I like the kel-tec 380 and haven't had much disappointment with them,maybe its just the one she has I would try another one
     
  8. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    How 'bout a Kahr CW-9, 9m/m single-stack sem-auto? Its a striker fired DAO
    firearm about the size of a Walther PPK .380; but with a lot less weight. It
    is economically priced to sell at right about $400, and comes with only one
    magazine. I have one myself, that has 'bout 200 rounds thru it and thus far
    its been flawless~! :scrutiny: ;) :cool: :D

    From Kahr's Website: Actual weight (unloaded = 15.8 ozs; with an unloaded
    magazine weighing 1.9 ozs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2007
  9. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Member

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    i'd look at the Bersa .380 if she was ok w/ the makarov. i love mine (as does my wife) and it's been flawless for ~700 rds. i've heard some less than stellar reviews of the sig 232. bersa's 1/2 the price, too (and twice the reliability)
     
  10. Steve H

    Steve H Member

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    Another one to think about................if the 45ACP is managable to her. The Kmiber Ultra CDP II. 26 oz. empty, same empty weight as the EMP but a bigger hole.
     
  11. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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  12. Sharpie1

    Sharpie1 Member

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    Thanks very much to everyone for all the great recommendations...

    After reading your recommendations and reading reviews of various "candidates", I will likely trade the Kel-Tec in for a Bersa Thunder 380.

    Thanks again...
     
  13. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    Ya got my vote on that..

    Quote: After reading your recommendations and reading reviews of various "candidates", I will likely trade the Kel-Tec in for a Bersa Thunder 380.
    -----------
    ...

    Yep, as from all the reading I have done on 380's, the Bersa Thunder is the best bang (very reliable) for the buck, bar none.. :)

    And further reading from the past also leaned heavily towards using only 95gr FMJ ammo for SD/HD in regards to the most reliable pentetration value.. as well IMHO, which lends itself to far less feeding issues, if any, as long as you keep her clean from powder residue (quick build-up) in the interior walls of the magazines, feed ramp, etc.


    Ls
     
  14. FLORIDA KEVIN

    FLORIDA KEVIN Member

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    You might want to check out the Bersa Thunder concealed carry model ! also you might want to call keltec and see what they say about it ! maybe there is a factory fix ! i wonder if the 380 has enoough punch to open up a hollowpoint ? maybe in 380 fmj coould be the hot ticket ?
     
  15. jaydubya

    jaydubya Member

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    +1 on the Bursa .380. Better yet, find a 1908 Colt Pocket Model .380. It is simple (safety off, pull trigger) and stout, even with +p loads. I got one for my wife during my Vietnam cruises, and she terrified two would-be burglars with it.

    But then, I cannot recommend the Pocket Model for -- um -- pocket carry, for the same reason I would not carry a Glock in my pocket. So I guess the Bursa makes better sense: first shot double action, the rest single action.
    Cordially, Jack
     
  16. Papaster

    Papaster Member

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    I have pretty much the same conundrum. My wife is just entering the carry scene, and I need something manageable with regards to recoil, and something small, that she can conceal, but mostly that she can work the controls, and reach around the grip with some ease. She didn't like the feel of the EMP, and many other 9mm autos we tried, but the Kel-Tec PF-9 did appear to be a winner. I really didn't want anything smaller than 9mm, but I guess 9x18 might be worth a look. Are the Bersa's really reliable? I hadn't heard much about them, but at a gun counter, the salesman tells me he sells them like crazy, and never hears a bad word about them. My wife has small hands. She has a small .38, and really likes it. I just have this feeling that a semi auto with higher capacity might be a better option.
     
  17. DAdams

    DAdams Member

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    For the Wife

    The Bersa Thunder .380 shoots very nice. Reliable and priced right. Put some Golden Saber 102 gr in it. Maybe the cc model which is slightly smaller.

    Might want to look at the NA .32 or Seecamp .32.

    I was commenting yesterday on the ubibiquitous J Frame Airweight Centennial format. 22 mag, 7 rounds. 10 ounces. Nice to have no matter what. 40-60 gr 1500 fps. 15 cents a round or less.

    There is always the 442 0r 642 with Buffalo Bore Standard Pressure 158 gr. Low flash. (not Plus P although they do have it).
     
  18. pax

    pax Member

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    Not so fast!

    Go look at Kahrs first.

    More reliable, better triggers.

    pax
     
  19. Seven For Sure

    Seven For Sure Member

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    Another vote for Kahr.
     
  20. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Member

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    kahrs are nice guns:

    for the same amt of $, you can buy 1 kahr or 3 bersas. :neener:
     
  21. pax

    pax Member

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    Yeah, a Kahr costs more than the Bersa.

    It also functions more reliably than the Bersa, and is significantly easier to shoot because the long trigger is not nearly so heavy and gritty as the Bersa's. Its 9mm ammunition costs less and is more widely available than .380 ammnition, its sights are better out of the box and are replaceable, quality accessories for it are easier to find. The slide is easier to rack, recoil tends to be a bit more pleasant.

    Cannot tell you how many times I've stood behind the line watching a woman struggle with the Bersa's heavy trigger. Hand the same woman something with a decent trigger and you'll be amazed how much better the target looks.

    pax
     
  22. Shooters Plus

    Shooters Plus Member

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    I agree with Pax and others. Check out the line of Kahr handguns or better yet, let your wife check them out. My wife loves hers plus you get to move to a 9mm caliber or bigger compared to the .380 of the Bersa.

    Good luck :)
     
  23. Seven For Sure

    Seven For Sure Member

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    Holy cow! It's nice to have a bunch of shooter's with good thing's to say about Kahr. I've had four, still have two. They are great gun's. Go on GT and you'd think they were Kel Tec's or something. I have yet to get an all steel Kahr but my next will be a K or T series.
     
  24. skipjack_1st

    skipjack_1st Member

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    Careful on the Bersa's... I had two. Both had problems with FTF's. Never could count on them so we also switched to Kahr's...
     
  25. Glockman30

    Glockman30 Member

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