January 26th, 2011 02:38 PM
Gun for my wife
Sorry this is a little long.
Ok, I know that I am opening myself up for a multitude of responses so I'll try to address some of them before we get started.
I know that my wife will personally have to be comfortable with the gun she is going to carry, but she has tasked me with providig some choices.
I know that caliber is important, but if she will learn to shoot and carry the thing, it is better than having a gun that sits in the safe that she won't even look st.
I know that an autoloader is easier to reload in a fight, but my wife is frail and absolutely cannot rack the slide on any of my 5 pistols. BTW she has tried to learn and is working on her strength but the last time she tried she ended up with a nasty bite. The only auto she is able to operate the slide on is the Walther PK380 but i has some weird features such as the mag release and the breakdown tool needed.
What I am looking for is some input on alternatives to autos, i. e. what makes and models of revolvers etc.
What do you have experience with.
I would appreciate some input from some of the ladies here as you may be able to relate.
Thanks for taking the time to read my babbling.
Train like your life depends on it, because it does.
NRA Life Member
January 26th, 2011 02:46 PM
To start out try to take her to a gun show where there are many different models for her to feel out. I did that with my wife and she quickly gravitated towards the Ruger SP101 3" barrel.
If it's going to be a gun she's going to carry you need to figure out how she'll carry it. Lighter is definitely easier to carry though it's usually harder to shoot.
Racking the slide is more about technique than strength so don't use that as a factor yet. Watch Limatune's video on it on youtube.
Next get your wife some range time so she can see what she's comfortable shooting. Semi's throw brass which some people find disturbing.
Mine: Glock 36............Wife's: Ruger SP101 3"
-------Ruger SR9....................Ruger SR9c
-------S&W SW99 .45.............Charter Arms Undercover
- Personal gun & holster designs/reviews.
January 26th, 2011 03:02 PM
Ruger sp101...heavy enough that the snubbie wont eat her up on recoil, and available in a .357 or .38 if she is recoil sensitive.
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January 26th, 2011 03:28 PM
My wife is in a similar situation. She cannot rack the slide of my Sig 9mm (and doesn't like to fire it). We looked at a number of pistols and it seems the smaller the pistol, the harder it is to rack the slide, even for me. What she settled on was a Taurus PT 22.
Taurus PT-22 2.jpg It is only 22 caliber but that is better than not carrying at all. The nice thing about the Taurus is you don't have to rack the slide. Load a magazine, then push the pin above the trigger and the barrel pops up. Insert a round in the chamber of the barrel and close it down. The pistol is armed and ready to fire and from there acts like any auto loader. The magazine is a little hard to load because of the strong spring and small size of the pin to push down, but I use a small wire (nail) through the pin to give leverage and it loads just fine. Several gun manufacturers have similar pistols. We chose the Taurus because it fit our budget at the time.
Now, after taking a concealed carry class, my wife is interested in the Pink Lady,a snub nose 38, but that is in the future. For right now the Taurus is just fine.
NRA Life member
A muscle not exercised will eventually atrophy.
A right not exercised will eventually be taken away!
January 26th, 2011 03:29 PM
Besides Lima's vids, check out www.corneredcat.com. Kathy has some great info for women (and men) on carrying, including how to rack the slide on a semi-auto. I've seen a bunch of women who had trouble with slides have even more trouble with squeezing a 2x action revolver trigger. Don't assume smaller(est) is better/best on a semi-auto, a medium sized gun can be much easier to manipulate and shoot well while still being concealable.
January 26th, 2011 05:45 PM
You have already done well at accepting the limitations you need to work around. I will add some suggestions.
She needs a gun that fits her hand, in a caliber she can control, on a platform she can operate.
Revolvers allow you to change grips to fit the hand. They require minimal strength to operate. Don't stress out over round count. There is nothing wrong with more, but there are more important factors in the equation.
In addition to the Ruger 3" 101, consider the S&W 3" J-frame available in .22 through .357. While .357 even in steel is obviously way too much for her, the gun will shoot .38 special. For .38 special ammo a light recoiling round is available in 110 grain standard pressure.
If the double action trigger is too heavy they can frequently be lightened with a spring kit without losing reliability. If you try this be sure to test fire it thoroughly.
I do not usually teach or recommend single action fire but if strength is a major issue I would make an exception. Just do your best with what you have.
Same for the .22 LR. Usually not recommended. But while not comparable to larger calibers in stopping power I would not under estimate it either. If that is all she can handle well, then go for it.
If possible, try before you buy. Check with friends, or a range that rents guns. It may save a costly mistake.
Best wishes in your quest. Let us know how it works out.
January 26th, 2011 07:31 PM
Take her to a range that rents guns. Let her shoot whatever she wants. DO NOT try to push her towards a certain gun. If she is going to carry one, she will need to have one she is comfortable with. I (being a male) was sure my wife would want a revolver, not the hassles of having to rack the slide in a semi auto. Boy was I wrong. After shooting 7-8 different guns, she settled on the Glock 19. I also have a Colt Defender, 45ACP, and she loves to shoot it. Guess what, she found out they make a Defender in 9mm and now she has one (just got it yesterday). Off to the range again this weekend.
January 26th, 2011 07:35 PM
I highly recommend the Ruger SP-101 in .357 Magnum with a 2.25" barrel. She can shoot .38 special from it for less recoil and the gun is all steel so the extra weight will help her handle recoil very well. I would not get her a Ruger LCR, S&W 642 or such type of lightweight J frame revolvers because the recoil is a bit nasty. Nonetheless, some women do carry them on a constant basis and they have no problem with recoil. In your case, I say get her a heavier J Frame.
How does she intend to carry it (IWB, OWB, pocket or purse)?
"If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]
January 26th, 2011 07:46 PM
My wife's favorite gun is her ruger GP100 4 inch. That is her range gun. She shoots 38 special, and really likes it. Her carry gun is a 2.25 inch Taurus 357. She shoots 38 special +P. She likes the little Taurus. She is not as accurate (makes since) as the Ruger.
She has several other guns, but those are her favorites.
If I had to settle for one gun recommendation, it would be a small steel 357 revolver loaded with 38 special.
One more thing, the grips on the Taurus are very good for her hand. I think they call them ribber grips. She likes them.
January 26th, 2011 08:51 PM
For someone that frail, I would suggest the 32 H&R Mag round.
You could get her a Charter Arms Pink Lady in that caliber for about $380:
You could also consider guns in the new .327 Federal caliber. The the shorter and less powerful 32 H&R Mag can be fired in guns chambered for .327 Federal. It is just like shooting 38 special ammo in a .357 Magnum pistol. And if she found that she could handle the recoil of the .327 Federal, she could upgrade her ammo to it.
You can get a stainless Ruger SP101 with a 3 inch barrel that is ideal for the .327 for about $470. 32 H&R Mag ammo would be very mild shot out of this gun:
January 27th, 2011 10:14 AM
Just got my girlfirend a Ruger LCR and load it with Buffalo Bore standard pressure 125gr JHP bullets. The recoil is not to bad and the trigger pull is much better than my S&W J frames. So far she loves it since being 5' 105lbs the heavy long trigger pull of the S&W's are to much for her.
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