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Thoughts on a Tip-up Barrel Pistol

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 2BlessU, Mar 2, 2013.

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  1. 2BlessU

    2BlessU Member

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    First off, I am a female newbie, looking for trusted information. I purchased a new Diamond Back 380 which I had issues with and returned. The slide was difficult for me to operate, and after firing 4 rounds it would not eject the used cartridge.

    Since then, I learned I should try to hold the slide still with my non dominate hand and use my dominate hand to push the bottom forward.

    I have seen some of the tip-up barrel pistols in which one can auto load the first bullet, such as the Beretta Cheetah .380. I am looking for something I will be able to operate yet use for concealed carry. I want to know, if I need to protect myself or anyone else, I can operate it and it will take care of business.

    Are there other pistols that have the tip-up barrel?

    Thanks in advanced for your suggestions. :)
     
  2. montgomery381

    montgomery381 Member

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    There is also the Beretta Tomcat in .32 acp. But I think .32 is a little light. However, something is better than nothing. Did you try any 9mm's?
     
  3. steveno

    steveno Member

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    I think Taurus makes some pistols with tip up barrels but I would stick with Beretta. they have been making them for a long time and they work
     
  4. Fleetman

    Fleetman Member

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    my wife has troubles operating any slides and finally settled on a Beretta Tomcat....although a .32acp and considered too light, it still beats a rock or harsh language. What works best for her though is her S&W 360 revolver loaded with .38 Special +P's.

    Good for you for acknowledging difficulties with working a slide....if you can't work it reliably EVERY time, then it's not right for you. A revolver ended up being ideal for my wife and it's as concealable as any small auto on the market. Hope this helps!
     
  5. Rom828

    Rom828 Member

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    I hope that I'm not too far off the subject, but this is why I recommend revolvers for ladies when they first start out. No safeties to worry about, will never jam, always a round ready to fire, can be fired single or double action, etc.
     
  6. Rob G

    Rob G Member

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    Welcome to the High Road! I don't know a lot about tip up barrels but I did have a bit of an off topic suggestion for you. You might want to spend some time on this website:

    http://www.corneredcat.com/

    It's a website for women, written by a woman, that addresses all kinds of issues women face with gun ownership in general and especially concealed carry. Best of luck to you in your quest to find a great gun.
     
  7. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Beretta's Tomcat .32 would be an excellent choice for a pistol matching your preferences.

    Now, I have to ask, why no revolver? I understand that even a J-frame is somewhat large compared to the guns you have listed, but you would not have to worry about a slide to manipulate. With an auto, any sort of malfunction drill requires slide manipulation. Not so, with a revolver.
     
  8. 2BlessU

    2BlessU Member

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    I have little to no experience with guns, other than in CCW class. I have not tried any 9mm's. The suggested website was very helpful. As for a revolver, I do not have any real issues. I never tried one. In looking for something a little easier for me, I discovered the Beretta Cheetah. I simply like the look and thought I might be able to handle it. I am looking for a range near me where I might be able to rent a few, if they do that, in order to find a good fit for me.

    Thank you for your suggestions, they all are greatly appreciated.

    2BlessU
     
  9. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    I am going to assume this is a gun to be carried for self protection and not go into larger handguns.

    The DB9 is not a quality gun. They are known for Kabooming - that is gun forum speak for blowing up when fired.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urN_-XOiA-0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhkHML6LZv4
    The issues you had with it may be due to it breaking internally.

    A gun of similar size to the Diamondback, but with a better reputation, is the Ruger LCP. This is in .380 ACP, a step down from 9mm, but I've yet to hear of one blowing up.

    I'm going to be the negative voice against the Tomcat.
    They were prone to breaking slides, Beretta changed the slide. When I had mine they were prone to breaking firing pins with any dry fire - mine did. The double action trigger pull was excessively heavy, the heaviest of any gun I've owned. The single action was also excessively heavy. One of the grip screws kept backing out under recoil. Sights were miniscule.
    All in all, not a gun I would recommend to anyone.

    The Cheetah is a fine firearm, I've shot several with no issues. Like the Tomcat, it is blowback operated, the recoil spring provides the force to hold the slide closed during firing. this basically means you will have a sharper recoil impulse than larger guns that use a locking breach. So definitely try before you buy with the Cheetah, if you have weak wrists then you may find it uncomfortable to shoot. Also the Cheetah is quite large for a Blow back gun and concealing it may be an issue.

    In the revolver market I suggest you check out the Ruger LCR. This is a polymer framed lightweight revolver in .38 special. With a reputation for an easy to pull trigger. The Smith & Wessons in the same size class, such as the Model 642 Centennial or Model 60 Chiefs Special tend to have quite heavy trigger pulls.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Learn to operate a slide.
    Then get strong enough to do so with a squeezer ball or something.
    Or else, buy a revolver.

    A tip-up barrel auto pistol is great for loading the gun at home.

    Not so great at all if you have a mis-fire in a gun fight.
    And have to yank the slide back to eject the dud round and reload and get back in the fight.
    (Tap, Wrack, Bang Drill)

    But you lack the skills or strength to do so.

    It ain't that hard if you set your mind to doing it.
    I know a lot of weak old lady's, and a few pre-teen girls I wouldn't want to get hold of me, if they had their mind set on doing me harm!!

    Think of the pistol slide in the same way!

    You can do it if you have the mind set.
    I know you can if you want too!

    rc
     
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    There is no one answer.
    One lady of my acquaintance went from the .38 revolver her hubby considerately provided to a Ruger LCP for concealed carry... And a 1911 for fun in IDPA.
    Another stands by her Dad's Charter .38 for the purse, but is getting comfortable with a Glock 17 when small size is not important.

    You do not have an inborn instinct to shoot, it is a learned skill.
    Study up.
     
  12. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The main problem women face in legally carrying a gun in permit states is getting the permit. Since, in most cases, it will be male officers who will approve or disapprove the application, a woman applicant is often ridiculed, harassed, or even threatened. A woman in this area heard one officer tell another that he wouldn't approve her application because "I might want to get some of that myself." Her complaints to the police superintendent and the governor elicited replies thanking her for supporting gun control.

    In other cases, women who had to submit to finger printing were inappropriately touched by male police officers. Others were told that they should "relax and enjoy" rape and robbery. The list could go on.

    Jim
     
  13. KenW.

    KenW. Member

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    As a county government employee, I have to say that is just about as silly a statement as I've ever heard. This is the 21st century. I'd like to know where that goes on.

    Mine is a shall issue state and permit applications are approved at the State level . I just cannot imagine that behavior in our day. Governments are terribly litigation aware, and will not permit such bevavior.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  14. ccsniper

    ccsniper member

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    I have not read any of the comments except the op, but let me ask, have you tried a revolver?
     
  15. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    If racking a slide with the whole hand is hard, why does everyone pile on and suggest a revolver? That's a lot of spring tension to fight with one finger.

    2BlessU - the corneredcat advice is good, there's an article there on slide racking technique that everyone should read, not just ladies.
    Locked breech guns will be easier to rack than blowback guns, generally. The design reasons for this are complex, but the general concept is that the spring on a blowback gun has to be stronger, because it is the only thing keeping the breech closed while powder burns, while a locked breech has a delay built in mechanically and just needs enough recoil spring to run back and chamber a fresh round.


    Tip-up barrel guns tend to be blowback guns, tend to have heavy recoil springs to make up for very low slide mass, and tend to not have an extractor claw. (an extractor claw wouldn't allow tip-up operation, it would lock into the chamber area)
    ... so you get snappy recoil, a difficult-to-operate slide, and can't clear a malfunction without picking a round out of the chamber with your fingernail. These are problems with a defensive gun, although they can be overcome to some degree.

    What I think you need is a pile of guns from all your shooting friends, and some time with all of them, wearing a light glove (to minimize the abrasion to your hands) to try out the controls until you find one that works, then some range time with the ones you like best. If you don't have shooting friends, look for the local clubs, and see if there's a basic handgun class or a "women on target" course being run and sign up. Failing those, a rental range isn't a bad idea, you just end up "on the clock" and rushing through whatever selection they have.

    If you post your general location, someone might know a club/class/instructor near you, or just offer to open up their range for you and supply some guns to try out (I wouldn't mind giving a super-basic class to a new shooter, for example)
     
  16. ewlyon

    ewlyon Member

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    small guns have to use stronger springs to compensate for the lower slide mass and shorter travel, especially if they are designed to use the straight blowback system. You can try a somewhat larger gun or one using delayed blowback, preferably one with an easy to grip slide.
     
  17. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Just to follow up on rcmodel's comment, the .32 Tomcat does not have an extractor to pull the round out of the barrel, it depends on gas pressure.
    If it fails to eject you must pop up the barrel then dig the case out with a finger nail.
    A firearm with a mechanical extractor is a must for self defense.
     
  18. toivo

    toivo Member

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    The Taurus offerings are the PT-22 and the PT-25, in the obvious calibers. That's a bit on the light side for a defensive pistol, although having said that, I have to admit to owning and occasionally carrying a .25 Beretta Jetfire. :eek: I also have a PT-22 that I mess around with, but I agree that the Beretta is a better quality firearm.

    Also, as others have said, tip-up barrels can be a problem if you get a misfire or a stuck casing. A dud round might just fly out when you tip up the barrel -- or it might not. A stuck casing is going to give you real trouble.

    Has anybody mentioned the SIG P238? I haven't tried one, but people praise it for being easy to rack and light-recoiling. It is single-action-only, so the user should practice and get comfortable with cocked-and-locked carry, but that shouldn't be a real barrier.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  19. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    the sig p238 isn't a bad idea, actually

    extremely compact carry size
    eats .380acp ammo
    delayed blowback/locked breech
    nice trigger
    good grip
    soft recoil

    if one is available, it would be a good idea to try out, in the pile of guns I mentioned above
     
  20. RJTravel

    RJTravel Member

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    Try a Kel-Tec P-32. I have put it to the test and found one woman only who could cycle my 3AT, but I havn't found any who could not easily operate a P-32. Don't let the critics dissuade you - the .32acp is a very effective SD cartridge. I would (and have) bet my life on it.
     
  21. 420Stainless

    420Stainless Member

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    My wife likes her Tomcat. She has a .38 Special revolver, but saw the Tomcat and wanted it. It fits her hand better and she doesn't have to struggle to rack the slide. As much as I worry that she still can't rack the slide in the event of a malfunction, I've tempered that thought with all of the problems that can occur if the slide is not forcefully and completely cycled - which she struggles to do. The revolver is collecting dust now as a house gun. I'd rather she had something a little bigger than a .32, but I'd rather her have the .32 than nothing at all.
     
  22. tuj

    tuj Member

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    I am sorry to hear of your difficulties racking the slide. My wife had trouble with this as well until she learned the proper technique. You *can* learn to the rack the slide, just like Judy Tant (a woman of slight build who is the NRA bullseye champ) can shoot the .45 one-handed better than 99% of men. It's all about technique. I've seen a 5'2" 110lb woman pick up a Goldwing motorcycle; those suckers are heavy. But with technique, anyone can lift one back up.
     
  23. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    The Beretta 86 has the tip up barrel like you said.

    It's also one of the larger 380 Autos:

    [​IMG]

    I guess it also depends on one's thoughts on concealed carry, what you think you can conceal or not.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  24. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The Beretta 86 is a bit more complicated to run than a Tomcat or 21.
    The barrel latch is on the right side of the frame and it takes more movement to release the barrel to tip up. I guess if you learn the manual of arms from scratch, it is ok but if you are used to other actions, it is a change to get used to.

    Note that it does not have a decocker like current production Berettas in the series.
    Not a problem when you tip up to load and lock back down, you are at a DA start like an 85. But if you fire a shot, you have a cocked gun and no easy way to get the hammer down. You could engage the thumb safety and be fine, but that is another condition of readiness to master. The only guaranteed safe way to get back to a DA start would be to unload and start over. The location and long arc of the barrel latch will require care to clear the gun without sweeping everybody in sight.

    Oh, and it has a magazine disconnector, too; isn't that delightful.
    http://www.berettaweb.com/Beretta 80/Beretta 86.htm
     
  25. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    My wife was in the exact position you're in now. But she can be a determined woman and I know this because I've seen her master a 700 pound motorcycle (Mean Streak), a Clydesdale she leased for a time (didn't know you could do that) and the slides on various semi autos. Doing so took a goodly amount of time and effort, but once she realized she outweighed the gun by quite a lot she "got the hang of it". My advice would be not to give up. Maybe get some training at a local range or gun club. Our club offers new shooter courses fairly often and the ones here are quite good. Hopefully you might find that in your area.
     
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