Carry gun ideas for my Wife, caliber decision - Page 2

Carry gun ideas for my Wife, caliber decision

This is a discussion on Carry gun ideas for my Wife, caliber decision within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Some of the gnarliest handguns guns I've ever shot were pocket 380s in terms of recoil -- I've shot several 380s that were worse to ...

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Thread: Carry gun ideas for my Wife, caliber decision

  1. #16
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    Some of the gnarliest handguns guns I've ever shot were pocket 380s in terms of recoil -- I've shot several 380s that were worse to shoot than most 9's. I wouldn't get too hung up on caliber, because frankly, all handgun calibers suck compared to a rifle round. I've yet to see any real evidence that there is enough of a difference between a 380 and a 45 in a self-defense scenario to get as hung up on caliber as some people do. You can produce stories of several-shot-no-kill with 45s and one-shot-kills with 380s all day long and vice versa... I saw one recent story where a guy killed TWO people with a single round from a Bersa Thunder 380, but that is a different topic...

    Anyway, the only very concealable handgun I have that is tiny AND also easy on recoil is a Kahr MK9. The trade off is its heavy as hell and expensive. The best gun for her to carry is one she actually WILL carry. My wife has a very nice Walther PPS 9mm that sits in the safe most of the time. I urged her to buy that at the time. She carries her Taurus TCP 380 more often because its smaller and easier to conceal for her. My best advice is find a range with a variety of rental guns and have her shoot as many as possible, but in the end she has to be comfortable with whatever that ends up being. And any gun is better than no gun, even a 22. I subscribe to the "carry the biggest gun with the most bullets you can" mentality, but that threshold varies for everyone. Another consideration is external safety like that P238 above. Neither my wife or myself are willing to carry any gun that has a "to-do" in order to get it into battery (ie - disengaging a safety). Again, a personal choice...


  2. #17
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    I have a variety of guns in several SD calibers. One of these is a LCP which is by far the most concealable of the lot. It shoots the .380 round and has, with the exception of my S&W 640 .357 snubbie with [B]hunting loads[/B ](not SD loads), the most felt recoil of the lot. More than my 9 mms, my .38s my .40s and my .45s. It all has to do with the weight of the gun vis-a-vis the power of the load.

    I really am not fond of shooting my LCP. I put a couple hundred rounds down range to prove it worked, then put some SD rounds through it for the same reason. I will shoot it on occassion to be sure it still works and the laser is still sighted in, but it is definately not a range gun. That having been said, it is a great BUG and I would rather shoot it than my .357 snubbie with hunting loads.

    I agree with what Lima and others have posted and recommend that you get to a rental range (or find a friend(s) with the guns you want to shoot) and let your wife experiment and see what works for her. If you can't find such a range or freinds, get an hour or two with an instructor that can bring the weapons she may want to try.

    Just a question, but what type of grip (hand position, not hardware) is she using to shoot. That can have a major impact on felt recoil and weapon control.
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  3. #18
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    Having owned a SIG P230, A Colt Mustang, and now own two Bersa 380s, I can say that the Bersa 380 is one of the most accurate and light recoiling pistols I have fired. Given the choice of the PPK and the Bersa, I would have to go with the Bersa.
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  4. #19
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1100us View Post
    So far, my Wife has only shot my G33, G22 and her P22. She likes her P22 but hates the kick and bang of my Glocks.
    Does the .380 sound lke the way to go?
    Have you seen this ?



    Under $400 street price. Category - PK380


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  5. #20
    VIP Member Array Civil_Response's Avatar
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    I'd personally rather have my wife be comfortable with a .22 and shoot it well than carry a gun she doesn't feel confident shooting.

  6. #21
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    My only experience with an inexperienced female shooter only reinforced my already high opinion of the HK P7 PSP. She managed to cause both of my previously flawless Browning Hi Powers to jam by limp wristing them. The P7 never stuttered. (She liked it better than either of my BHPs, as well.) It is a pistol that even the uninitiated can shoot well, and it does not falter even if it is not shot well. It is sometimes criticized for being "heavy for caliber," but this is a good thing as far as (felt) recoil reduction is concerned. With that said, I will cease my foolish yapping and defer to the good judgement of Lima, who obviously has much more experience dealing with women + guns than I do. Best,
    JD
    "In a world of compromise, some men don't." HK ad slogan from the 1980's.

  7. #22
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    Was the first gun you bought for yourself, perfect? I doubt it. So why not expect, that she will go thru a few guns before she finds the right one for her. And the upside is you get the guns she buys and does not like. Well maybe.

    Since .380 ammo is more expensive and often less available than 9mm, if you wanted to try a semi auto I would consider a 9mm with a standard velocity load, such as, the Federal 9BP.

    I would also not discount a revolver. The Ruger SP 101 with 3" barrel with a standard velocity 38 special load comes to mind.

  8. #23
    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    Remember recoil is subjective. Kinda like pain. What doesn't bother one person can totally devastate another.

    I've found that 9mm is a pretty good compromise round as far as power vs recoil goes. And the S&W M&P line of pistols fit my wife's hands very well. I suggest you try something along those lines.

    My wife really likes the feel of my Taurus 380 but until she does a test drive on the range, she won't be using it. It may kick more than she likes!
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  9. #24
    Ex Member Array 5thMarines's Avatar
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    Id say get a model 29 3 " .44 magnum . she'll never regret that!

  10. #25
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    Nah, get the Ruger Alaskan. 2.5" for easier carry...

    FWIW, my oldest daughter prefers a 686 to a J-frame for carry. Why? Because it weighs MORE!

    She doesn't plan on carrying IWB, so weight isn't as big an issue as feeling good about shooting and practicing with it. She also doesn't like recoil, but a 38+P in a 36 oz gun feels OK to her. Same round in a 21.5 oz LadySmith does not.

    I also have switched to carrying a 3" 686+. In exchange for the extra weight, I get 2 extra rounds, and comfort when shooting 357 rounds. It is my favorite gun for plinking, so I feel comfortable that I will hit what I shoot.

    I don't own any semi-automatics, so I cannot make recommendations about them. However, when you double the weight of the gun, you really cut down the felt recoil. Given how my daughter plans to carry, for example, a S&W 38 sp with a 4" barrel might have been a great choice. If I was a BG, and someone pulled a 4" Model 10 on me, I'd be REALLY scared...odds on, they wouldn't miss!

    Of course, if someone pulls this out, I'd take notice too!

    img2446small.jpg
    Last edited by bsms; October 29th, 2011 at 01:09 PM. Reason: picture added for fun
    BigJon10125 likes this.

  11. #26
    Member Array Aaron1100us's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to take her out and have her look around. Forgot to add, budget is $300 or less.
    I wish we had a range where you can rent guns but we don't. Don't know anyone with a .380 or 9mm.

    Good information,thank you all:) I'll let you know how the search goes. I'll give her what information I can from what I've learned but I'll let her make the final decision. I know what I like and trying to find something for someone else that isn't as experienced isn't easy.

    I'm just really proud of her getting her permit (came in the mail yesterday). When I first met her, she didn't even like guns. Now she has a P22 and a 10/22in digital camo with a 16X scope and bi pod that she really loves to shoot and is really good at it.

    Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk

  12. #27
    Senior Member Array bzdog's Avatar
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    With the lower budget, you might want to take a look at the Glock G26. My understanding is that their are deal to be had out there because it is so common.

    -john

  13. #28
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    The lighter the gun the more the felt recoil. Having said that I have switched to a Kel Tec PF9 in 9mm. It may not be right for some people but I like the firepower and the double action only design. As for your wife, she would have to shoot it and make her own decision. It is not a range gun by any means, but for what it is intended for it is hard to beat.

  14. #29
    Member Array Aaron1100us's Avatar
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    Took her out yesterday to look around. She doesn't have small hands and didn't like the feel of the ones with skinny grips. She kept going back to the Bersa Thunder .380. It was heavier than others and had thicker grips which she liked. And it functions the same as her P22.

    Not the gun for me but she really liked it. If she ends up not liking it, we can always get something else. They have an all black one that was used but in great shape, no wear marks for $250. They are holding it for her until I have the $$ in a couple of weeks. Figured it would be a cheap investment to start her out with.

    I'll post what she thinks of it after she shoots it.

    Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk

  15. #30
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    Just a pet peeve of my, and a "short" diversion off topic, but some posts on this subject and others always comparing the "9mm" to ".380"...The .380 IS 9mm... Other names for .380 ACP include 9mm Browning, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Short, and 9x17mm etc..,...I know,I know...no one else cares and everyone knows what one means when they say "9MM"...! But I do wish people would refer to the "9mm" as the 9mm 9x19, or 9mm Parabellum or 9mm Luger...( There are of course other 9mm rounds too...to name a couple, 9mm Makarov which is 9x18 instead of 9x19 and 9mm Largo, or 9x23...some do have a diff in diameter..eg;The 9X18 mak is .365...The 9X19 and .380 ACP are both the same at .355) lol...I don't know why that has become such a pet peeve of mine...old age I guess!

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