"Trigger reach" especially important for women

This is a discussion on "Trigger reach" especially important for women within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have noticed a lot of queries on the forums relating to women and handguns lately. A common question is - which gun(s) may fit ...

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Thread: "Trigger reach" especially important for women

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Bob O's Avatar
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    "Trigger reach" especially important for women

    I have noticed a lot of queries on the forums relating to women and handguns lately.
    A common question is - which gun(s) may fit small and delicate hands well?

    I believe there are a few specifications that help determine the fit for women's hands:
    1. Overall perimeter of the grip
    2. Grip width
    3. Grip depth
    4. Often ignored, but very important - "reach" or trigger to backstrap distance.

    The latter may be the MOST important for short fingered women, because even if the grip feels good, if the reach is too long (or too short) trigger control will suffer, and as result so will accuracy and comfort.

    A good example of this…
    All "pocket carry" guns fall into "small" category for (1.) through (3.) above, but (4.) is often not considered at all, and even when it is the answer is often very surprising.

    For instance:
    The Beretta Tomcat and the AMT Backup have a very long reach, yet the Jiminez and Cobras are very short.
    In fact, at first thought the Tomcat would seem to be a great sized gun for a woman. It is small in size and caliber (and cute), but - big surprise, it has a very long reach, in fact one of longest! [Don't get me wrong here I know many of the ladies can handle and even prefer larger caliber guns, and can outshoot the guys! Just saying overall size and grip size isn't the whole story.]
    And the biggest surprise for me is - the Kahr series (even the .45) is among the shortest!

    This is the latest version of my "Pocket Gun" chart in which I have added a blue line that indicates a 2.25" reach. Hopefully this will help to graphically portray a good comparison between the guns on the chart.

    http://www.mouseguns.com/PocketAutoComparison.pdf
    http://www.mouseguns.com/PocketAutoComparison.jpg

    And beyond pocket guns, surprisingly, some of the larger “standard size” guns have a shorter reach than some of the “mouse” and “rat” size guns. The S&W M&P9 Compact with the small grip insert is a good example.

    Just something to consider when gun shopping - especially for women.

    As always... just my opinion.
    Bobo
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    Trigger reach is important - that's for sure.

    My wife has average sized hands for a woman, and has no problem reaching the DA pull on her N frame revolver - but my DAK Sig is too far for her to reach comfortably.

    Austin

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    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Thx once more Bob for that amazing effort on the PocketAutoComparison ... it must have been enjoyed by a huge audience.

    A lady I was teaching on a protection course had bought, and brought - a new Ladysmith. Not you'd think a large gun at all. But with some hand athritis and small fingers, this was a problem for her - the kept rotating hand to right on grips to get trigger use - result? Shooting left - badly.

    Surprisingly, she did much better with a G17 but then half the problem with the Ladysmith on DA was the poundage needed. Reach is certainly a major issue (of many) for ladies when hand might be real small.
    Chris - P95
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    New Member Array farmer230's Avatar
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    Thanks Bobo
    The info about trigger reach is just what I have looking for, my wife has small hands and some arth. in her trigger finger have been looking for a pistol that is friendly for reach and not a lot of trigger pull. Your research has helped a lot, I was wondering if you have done any thing with the Walther PK 380 the reach seems to be shorter and the trigger pull is lighter than most, with the block safety could be kept cocked in a home defense use, with the safety on and ready
    farmer230

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    VIP Member Array Kennydale's Avatar
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    My wife has a Ruger LCR and she can't hit a target at 7 yards. Her G26 she does much better with. It's not that she can or can't reach the trigger. But , with the LCR the pull is too heavy for her and every shot is a flyer.
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    VIP Member Array CDW4ME's Avatar
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    Resurrected 8 year old thread.
    Ianthin and Eric357 like this.
    9mm +P minimum. 40, 10mm or 45 preferred.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDW4ME View Post
    Resurrected 8 year old thread.
    So whaaaat?

    IMHO, ideally, (qualified) women firearm instructors should train women concealed pistol carriers. And those instructors should (ideally) discuss/advise common female handgun shooters' fit/strength issues. And those (now-informed) female shooters should never, EVER listen to a know-nothing, chauvinist, beer-bellied gunshop clerk spewing advise on the "right" pistol for a "little lady like you". Husbands/boyfriends/dads sould simply stay quiet, let HER PICK, and...pay the tab.
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array CDW4ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    So whaaaat?
    Just pointing it out, noteworthy IMO.
    9mm +P minimum. 40, 10mm or 45 preferred.

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    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDW4ME View Post
    Resurrected 8 year old thread.
    Poll: Do people take more heat for resurrecting an old thread, or failing to use the search function and starting a new thread.....

    Reach is very important. I have normal guy hands but I still prefer the short reach trigger on my sigs. Feel is subjective

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb2wji View Post
    Poll: Do people take more heat for resurrecting an old thread, or failing to use the search function and starting a new thread.....

    Reach is very important. I have normal guy hands but I still prefer the short reach trigger on my sigs. Feel is subjective
    On internet message boards, its par for the course. First, the search functions at the current level of technology can only do so much. You either get too much irrelevant information or too little of anything. Second, message boards of all kinds tend to rehash the same discussions over and over anyway. It's the nature of the beast. What difference is it if the thread is a new rehash, or an old one? It's not much different than real life. Have your ever kept having the same conversation over and over with your significant other, kids, friends or family? Another advantage of his rehashing is that someone like me, who has only been a member for a couple of years, gets to see this chart. I would not have even known to look for it otherwise.

    Back to the topic, I think so much has to with trigger pull weight in conjunction with distance. Fro instance, my wife has small hands. My P290 has a really short trigger length, but she has a hard time with the pull weight. My 1911 has a fairly long pull, but she has not problem with that trigger. A light, crisp trigger can be pulled with the pad of the tip of the finger. A hard double action pull may require pulling with the first knuckle joint. Those are two different distances.
    Attack Squadron 65 "Tigers", USS Eisenhower '80 - '83, peackeeping w/Iran, Libya, Lebanon and E. Europe

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    Cornered Cat has a good article called "Trying on a Handgun" which talks about how to tell if it is too big or small including reach.

    Trying On a Handgun | Cornered Cat
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDW4ME View Post
    Just pointing it out, noteworthy IMO.
    Yeah, I just couldn't figure-out why you LOUDLY YELLED IT and then made no further contribution. And I've YET to figure-out why pointing it out is so...noteworthy? Please enlighten me. Thanks!
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

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