Wife needs a carry gun

This is a discussion on Wife needs a carry gun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The better half is getting her CPL. We started looking at carry guns for her. She wants a small semi-auto. She pointed at a Bersa ...

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Thread: Wife needs a carry gun

  1. #1
    Member Array Brian45's Avatar
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    Wife needs a carry gun

    The better half is getting her CPL. We started looking at carry guns for her. She wants a small semi-auto. She pointed at a Bersa Thunder .380 and said "I want one like that size".
    So bottom line is she will pick her own gun. I want to make sure she picks something safe and reliable. I perfer something larger than a .380, but if that is what she will carry, it will be better than a 12ga left at home.
    I have not payed a lot of attention to these size pistols in the past because I am happy with a J-frame myself for a BUG. She hates my "little J-frame". But now I need to educate myself on this class of guns.
    She shoots my full size 1911 .45 and my Python very well so that kind of recoil is not a problem, but she does not want a pocket cannon either.
    I have done some searches and got a general idea on some of these pistols. But I would like more info and opinions from anyone that can help.
    To throw in another challange I have been looking at holsters for her, we have talked and she will appendix carry in a muzzle forward "womens holster" that a couple holster makers market. The only holsters like this I have found do not seem to be avialable for many compact pistols except for Walther PPKs.
    Please help me, to help her, pick a gun with the above criteria.
    Thanks
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  3. #2
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    Brian - can't comment much on the holster aspect but re the gun - I have a Bersa Thunder and like it - my wife could carry that if only she was happier with semi's. Your wife obviously is well into semi's and so I reckon that gun could suit well as an option.

    I have pinkie extensions on most of the mag's for mine and these make for a nice grip feel. I carry FMJ's in mine on odd occasion it goes out with me, as I don't think the round really has quite the power sufficient to fully exploit HP's. That is an aside tho.

    Some may consider this gun is a bit lacking in strength or durablity - well, it is quite light for size and that is a plus - also I'd not be using this gun for 1,000's of rounds of plinking. It just needs broke in, useful practice and reliability testing and then - just have available, with occasional practice sessions.

    As we often say - if she could try that and some other options, this could be the way to hone down the selection process.

    Chris - P95
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    Member Array DirksterG30's Avatar
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    How about a Kahr?
    http://www.kahr.com/front.html

    I don't know their size in relation to a Bersa, but they are fairly small for a 9mm (can be had in .40 too, and a .45 is supposed to come out this fall.) You can pick all steel, or steel with a polymer frame. I've read on a number of forums that the polymer frames are not as reliable as steel.

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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    IMHO a 9mm is the minimum size caliber for self defense. Although shot placement would make a 22LR a viable choice, recent refinements in bullet technology make up for slight variations in accuracy. The .380 just isn't a viable SD round. Sure as you said, it's better than the 12 ga left at home, but when we discussing fairly dimunitive rounds and small frame guns like the Bersa, why not just go for a Glock M26?
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    I second the Glock 26.

    If she is stuck on the size of the Bersa and the 380, another option is the SIG P232. More $, but a very well made gun (not that the Bersa isn't - I don't have an informed opinion on it).
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

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    Member Array joe/OH's Avatar
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    I wouldn't feel under gunned with a .380. Beats a knife. It's also much more controllable for a smaller framed person or someone who isn't used to the larger calibers.

    Whatever she buys just make sure she can cycle the slide. My wife had some problems pulling the slide back on the makarov, and most of the small blow-back guns have a pretty stiff spring.

    Speaking of .380's - the Kel-Tec P3AT is a nice little pocket gun and not extremely expensive.

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    Also look at the Rohrbaugh R9, the kel tec pistols or perhaps a PT 1?? series Taurus. It will all depend on what works best for her as far as feel and controls placement.

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    I nearly mentioned the R9 - at least then 9mm, but cost would probably be a factor against, plus it ain't the most comfortable to shoot - which is no criticism - just goes with the territory
    Chris - P95
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    Second the notion of looking at Kahrs. They are great little guns. They are a little more expensive than the Bersa, but the ones I have are totally reliable, I have the MK series which are all steel. They are a little heavier, but this helps dampen recoil. The polymer series are lighter, but I also have read where they are not as reliable.

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    Forgot to mention, check out the Makarov imports too. 9X18 or .380 caliber and a decent low cost gun. Personally, I would take 1 over the Bersa. No offense P95carry.

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    rocky - no offense taken! I have a Mak and nearly mentioned that, as of course 9x18 has an edge on 9x17!! But reason I didn't was weight - as significantly heavier than the Bersa.

    Still well worthy of consideration I agree, as are other suggestions. This is melting pot thread
    Chris - P95
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    9x17?

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    .380 is 9x17 - ain't it!

    Mak is 9x18 and Luger/Parabellum is the 9x19.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Cool 9mm: variations on a theme?

    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    .380 is 9x17 - ain't it!

    Mak is 9x18 and Luger/Parabellum is the 9x19.
    So what is the 9mm Largo and the 9x21?

    The .380 is a 9mm KURZ (short) it is inadequate especially in weather given to wear of heavy clothing.

    9mm Parabellum (Prepared for War) is by far the best choice of this family for effectiveness, variety of loads available and commonality. IOW it can be purchased in West Overshoe Wyoming if need be.

    If you want to bump up a notch, consider the .38 Super. But I'm not sure there are small frame guns available for that round. I still advocate a Glock M26 9mm (9x19)
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Correct on the calibers.

    I had this problem with my aunt too. She had a very particular set of size requirements, very very particular and a very small budget. I talked her up to .380 ACP and into the Bersa, which I was caretaker of for some time and it performed well enough for me.

    I think if you're a gun person, the Makarov is probably more appealing, but where I'm at, a Makarov costs $200 and so does a Bersa Thunder so the Mak loses a lot of its appeal. The Bersa has a pretty sweet trigger for a $200 gun too. Feeds hollowpoints too.

    The Bersa is a simple thing done decently well. I wasn't wowed but I was impressed.

    I do think that if budget is not a problem or you're not married to .380 ACP, a small 9x19 chambered pistol like the Kahr would be much better for several reasons.

    I won't knock a .380 if it'll get someone to carry and shoot. How many situations are there where any gun at all would have saved someone's life? I recall an incident an instructor told me about a woman who had been kidnapped and stuffed in a trunk managed to dig her carry gun, a .22 revolver, out of deep concealment. When her kidnapper opened the trunk, she shot him in the face and killed him.

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