This is a discussion on Need Help Selecting 9mm Compact Semi Auto for Wife's 2nd Pistol within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I think the arthitis in the hands means more than her being 5'5. My wife's 5'0, 93 pounds and she can shoot our full sized ...
I think the arthitis in the hands means more than her being 5'5. My wife's 5'0, 93 pounds and she can shoot our full sized XDm 45ACP, move to the BG380 onto the M&P 40c, to different Glocks and w/o even swapping out backstraps on any, shoot quite well. Yea, some people say 'size matters', but then again, I'm 6' tall and 220 pounds and we do fine. I must say--she hasn't shot a Desert Eagle 50--and I do think that'd be too much for her.
I would not recommend a 357mag revolver for a women to carry. For purse carry you really can't go wrong with one of the Smith and Wesson light weight revolvers (i.e.,442, 642, etc.) at about 15 oz., but I would go with 38 special. You can shoot +p's through these revolvers, but the recoil can be quite stout even for the 38. Shooting 357 mags out of a small 15 oz revolver can be quite painful and follow-up shots will be difficult due to the recoil and flash. A good 38 round would be the 135gr Speer Gold Dot. It is my understanding that this round was developed specifically for law enforcement and is carried by many officers. One other revolver suggestion would be a Ruger LCR, again in 38+p special. Felt recoil on the Ruger is probably 25% less than the SW's. This is due to the Hogue "tamer" grips that come on the Ruger, plus the Ruger is part polymer that helps to absorb recoil. I've shot my Ruger at 25 yards and put 10 rounds on a dinner plate size target. Very accurate pistol with probably the best trigger out there.
^ Either the 135 gr. or the 125 gr. .38-Special +P Speer GDHPs shoot really nicely, out of a "pocket snubbie," *in my hands* - of these two, the 135 gr. is typically seen as the better terminal performer, but availability is sometimes a concern, so I tend to default to the 125, when I can't find the heavier. The venerable 158 gr. .38-Special +P LSWCHP is also a "proven" round.
Nevertheless, like what MLittle wrote above, the smaller and lighter you get with the revolver - things that make it easier to conceal and a breeze to carry - the harder it will be to mitigate recoil, and what's more, the harsher the felt recoil will be: even to the most recoil-insensitive/jaded of folks, a full-house defensive .357-Magnum load, shot out of one of those "unobtanium"-expensive ultraflyweight S&W snubbies, it's something that will give them pause. But in so much of any gun's "recoil feel" is highly subjective, this again means time-behind the gun, for your wife, so that she can define what she likes.
Since you said that the trigger pull is a concern, for your wife, GoldenEagle, you'll definitely want her to have some first-hand range time for this reason, too. While those with an external hammer can be thumb-cocked to make square-range marksmanship a breeze, remember that under-stress, she's going to be pulling the gun out of her holster/purse and will more than likely be squeezing off shots in DA format (there was a recommendation for the CZ PCR, above, and while I do think it merits being added to "the short list," your wife will need to be trained to the DA/SA trigger), you and her should make note of any issues she may have, and whether or not she has the physical ability to train through those issues and become proficient.
.32 H&R Magnum
.327 Federal Magnum caliber
.460 S&W caliber
.500 S&W caliber
In no way am I suggesting any of these calibers just stating that there is a wide range of revolvers in these calibers maybe limited on makers but they are made
So she isnt just limited to a .38 she should get out your local shop and test some out and see what works for her.
Every small-framed arthritic lady who has ever fired my Glock 19 absolutely loved it.
"Denial has no survival value." David Grossman
Your wife's situation is perfect for the Sig P239 in 9mm. She already has the Sig P232 in .380, so she knows the operation and trigger of Sigs. The P239 is only slightly larger than the P232, and weighs about 27.5 ounces empty. It handles 9mm recoil with ease and has a small grip that accomodates female hands. It is also a good looking gun, which you mentioned as a consideration. Mine shown below has aftermarket nickel finish.
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington
The first rec that comes to my mind is a single stack 9, as opposed to a double stack 9, as long as she has the hand strength to manipulate the slide. I have average sized hands for a man and found the Glock didn't fit my hand at all, although the XD felt fine. I'd think a single stack would probably fit her hands better than a double stack. On the other hand, she needs to handle a number of different guns to know what fits her; maybe a double stack will fit her hands well. If looking at a double stack, be sure the extra weight in her purse of the double stack is ok w/ her, as well. As far as single stack 9's, the ones that come to mind include: Kel-Tec PF9, Beretta Nano, Kimber Solo, Taurus Slim, Ruger LC9, Walther PPS, Kahr CW9/PM9/CM9 and Diamond Back DB9. She'll need to try samples of each to know if the trigger suits her, also. Personally, the Kahr CW9 sounds like it would best meet your criteria to me.small arthritic hands.
For purse carry, I don't like the idea of an exposed hammer to snag on the draw. The Sig 938, and possibly other guns already mentioned, as well, have exposed hammers.Home defense & purse carry
I have a s&w m&p9c and as almost everyone in this forum knows I love it. We have a great relationship and to top it off she's all American baby!
I'm also a fan of ruger so a sr9c isn't out the door
My wife is 5' and wears an xs glove, has arthritis in her hands and has had carpal tunnel release surgery to both wrists . Very few compact autos allowed her to obtain a proper grip, those that did were the XD, M&P, Kahr and PPS. She chose the M&P 9c
The niece liked it so much she got her one as well.
"There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)
Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition
I have a ruger Sr9c and my girlfriend loves it. She is tiny, 5'1" and very petite and not strong by any means and she can shoot my gun with no problems.
based on #1, I would not recommend any Kahr 9mm+ - they are too hard to rack. Based on #2, the M&P shield in 9mm is a good choice because it has a thumb safety (a must IMO for purse carry) +outstanding recoil management, compact and fun and easy to shoot. A G19 is probably too big and heavy (although my favorite) based on some of the criteria but give it a test drive. My 2 cents based on things we own.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
Get her the one that says 40 cal on it. G27
We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. -
Kimber Solo 9mm, Walther PPS 9mm
Kel Tec PF9 9mm, Ruger LCR .38
Maverick 88 Tactical 12 ga shotgun at bedside
Lifetime NRA member