Semiauto for women

Semiauto for women

This is a discussion on Semiauto for women within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My wife is just getting interested in carrying. We're looking at taking some tactical courses and I really think she would be better off with ...

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Thread: Semiauto for women

  1. #1
    Member Array rcj5's Avatar
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    Semiauto for women

    My wife is just getting interested in carrying. We're looking at taking some tactical courses and I really think she would be better off with a semiauto but she has trouble working/locking the slide. She's pretty fit but petite and just doesn't have the arm/hand strength to feel comfortable. Does anyone know of a SA with a slide spring that's less stiff? She's been trying a SW 3913.
    Or just stick with the revolver?


  2. #2
    Member Array MadDog's Avatar
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    I would take her to a gun store and see what she likes and can work. The last thing you want is your wife to have a problem with the weapon, and need rack the slide during an emergency when she needs it. Maybe a revolver would work best.
    I believe in gun control...... Thats why I use TWO hands.

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Beretta 86 with tilt barrel

    One gun that gets around the problem of racking the slide to load the first round is the Beretta model 86, a .380 semiauto with a unique tilting barrel design. The first round can be loaded directly into the chamber by hand. Subsequent rounds are automatically loaded from the magazine by the reciprocating slide, in the standard fashion.

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    But in the setting of a malfunction, the tilt-barrel is no better than the conventional slide.

    Perhaps worse, since the practice of manually cycling the slide is not there.

    Matt
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    Senior Member Array cmidkiff's Avatar
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    It's been my experience that most women are strong enough to cycle just about any bottom feeder, provided they use the right technique, and have the right frame of mind about it. My 12 year old daughter can cycle my 1911, it just took some practice.

    Use an overhand grip to hold the slide, close to the body, angling down. Use the strong hand to push the frame forward, rather than using the weak hand to pull the slide backwards.

    Locking breech pistols are typically easier to cycle than blowback actions, given the same caliber.

    As always, I highly recommend Pax's site for female shooters (Cornered Cat)
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    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Had the same problem with my wife. Finally found her a NIB 86 Beretta and that is what she has been carrying. I just recently acquired a Walther PPS in 9mm and once she found that she could work the slide on it, I lost a gun. As soon as I get it broken in for her, she'll at least have a 9mm to carry as opposed to the 380 which, I guess, is worth losing my new pistol.

    Hoss
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    As cmidkiff said, it isnt about strength. Buy a pistol she is comfortable with and both of you get some decent training together.
    Dont buy her a "lesser" gun because she's a girl... stick with the well known names in combat pistols and you will be fine.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array bluedaisy's Avatar
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    What everyone here recommend to me when I was looking, was to try out as many as I could. So, I rented as many as I could in my search, and found that it was IMMENSELY helpful. Some I'd like the feel of, but didn't like to shoot it. I too had difficulties with racking the slide, so I felt like that would limit me. However, after handling so many guns, I got pretty good at it. Don't get me wrong, mine is still pretty tight, and I have to work at it.

    At the end of my search, it was between the xd9sc, and a SW revolver (638 or 642...can't remember which) After shooting the revolver, I chose the xd9sc. The xd was a more natural fit for me. Knowing it would be for self defense, I wanted it to be more natural for good shot placement. I think the revolver is probably the easiest route to go, but I wasn't sure I would be able to adequately hit with it. It's also fun to shoot, and I like the chamber indicator, and the 'safety' on the grip of the gun. I also like that it's DA.

    So, all the being said, as a woman who just completed her search, I would recommend that you let her try out as many guns as possible so that she can make the right decision for herself. Handling it is one thing, shooting it is another. It took me a few months, but I'm glad I did my homework.
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  9. #9
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    My wife like revolvers because she doesn't have to worry about clearing a jam if she needs it in a hurry.

    At the range she doesn't have any problems with my autos except for my Makarov.

    She just realizes that a revolver is better for her in a high stress situation.
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

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    Senior Member Array cwblanco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcj5 View Post
    My wife is just getting interested in carrying. We're looking at taking some tactical courses and I really think she would be better off with a semiauto but she has trouble working/locking the slide. She's pretty fit but petite and just doesn't have the arm/hand strength to feel comfortable. Does anyone know of a SA with a slide spring that's less stiff? She's been trying a SW 3913.
    Or just stick with the revolver?
    My daughter and my sister-in-law both have Smith & Wesson 357 revolvers which shoots 357 and .38's [They prefer the .38's]. It is a great revolver that they dearly love. However, they are a little pricy when compared to most pistols on the market.

  11. #11
    Member Array Bline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcj5 View Post
    My wife is just getting interested in carrying. We're looking at taking some tactical courses and I really think she would be better off with a semiauto but she has trouble working/locking the slide. She's pretty fit but petite and just doesn't have the arm/hand strength to feel comfortable. Does anyone know of a SA with a slide spring that's less stiff? She's been trying a SW 3913.
    Or just stick with the revolver?
    I am in a similar situation so I am interested in seeing what the input is. My wife is going to be taking her pistol safety course in a few weeks. She's not new to firearms but has little time behind a pistol. We have 4 children aged 4 and under(one's adopted and yes I know what causes it!!) so we don't exactly have time to get to the range together. I'm considering an XD 9 subcomp or an H&K P200SK in 9mm because she's a lefty. Are there any other small 9mm autos out there that are southpaw friendly?(i.e. amby mag release)
    In God we trust, everyone else keep your hands where I can see them.

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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    being a female, and knowing a lot of female shooters, i would say this:
    she is strong enough to rack the slide, she just doesnt know it.
    it takes practice and technique, but she can learn how.
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    One thing that may help someone with racking a slide is to have that person push the frame forward while trying to pull the slide back at the same time, basically doing a shearing action with the two hands. I'm willing to bet that eventually, they can build up to just pulling on the slide with the off-hand.

    -JT

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array lance22's Avatar
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    Along the lines of try before you buy ...

    My wife can't shoot my glocks - they keep jamming on her, probably because the particulars of the Glock spring system makes it prone to "limp wristing". I would never believe that a Glock could be unreliable unless I had watched my wife shoot mine.

    Moral of the story - a "totally reliable" gun might be anything but, depending upon who's hands it's in.

    Try before you buy.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    My G/F has extensive damage to her left hand. We tried every semi, couldn't work. I considered the tip-up barrels, but wanted a little more punch than they offered. At the SHOT Show, she got to play with every revolver made, and settled on the S&W 642. It's very light, so I was concerned about recoil. Turned out that she can handle it just fine, even with a few +p's (that are extreme even to me). Finally found a great defensive round...Federal's Personal Defense Low Recoil Hydra-Shoks.
    Tracy
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