July 14th, 2008 12:21 AM
Handgun for Mom
I recently took (dragged) my VERY ANTI-GUN Mother to the range. I gave her a basic lesson in safety and function. Then had her shoot my Walther P22 to get her started. She LOVED it. Turns out she just never liked guns due to lack of knowledge of how they work and media portrayal of them being eeevvviiillll. I am very happy with her new found enjoyment. She is very interested in furthering her firearm education and possibly getting her CCW.
Quick question however. What is a good .380 or 9mm pistol for a very small frame older woman. I'm looking for something that has very little recoil. I let her shoot my Glock 23 and she did not like it at all, so .40s out.
Unfortunately none of the ranges around me rent .380s or small 9mms.
I'm gonna take her to the Gun Show next month and have her handle some. Maybe one will come home with her.
So any information would be great.
Thanks in Advance!
July 14th, 2008 12:27 AM
Well, I'm of the mind that people should buy firearms themselves, they need to find one that fits them.
Most of the smaller .380's and 9mm's are kind of snappy on recoil, generally the smaller and lighter a gun is the worse it is. Revolvers are popular as well, generally easier to maintain and use, but the heavy ones with long barrels are the ones with less recoil, while j-frames can be a handful.
All that being said, possible ccw's in my book would be a j-frame, bersa thunder, or a compact M&P, XD, or glock in 9mm, although with any of those recoil could be an issues.
I'd start her off with her own .22 so that she could get comfortable with firearms, and then if months down the road, she wants to carry, get her a carry gun. A full sized pistol would be a good option for a hd gun though.
Fortes Fortuna Juvat
Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor
July 14th, 2008 12:29 AM
While I have not used one the Bersa .380 has been recommended by quite a few people here. Also if the range you use rents firearms have her try several to find one that suits her and she is comfortable with.
BersaPistols.com: Bersa Thunder 380
July 14th, 2008 01:09 AM
LCPL gave you sound advice. What part of Ohio are you in? I can possibly point you to some good people to help you out.
July 14th, 2008 06:43 AM
Dsee, congrats on converting your mom. It's sad, but I'm sure that there are many people out there that are anti-gun merely because they have never handled or fired one. They are going on media hype and liberal jargin.
As for a carry, maybe she might like a Glock 19 with standard pressure loads. It is a good size and weight to carry concealed yet a pleasure to shoot. Who knows? Maybe she can handle +p loads.
Police Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Carbine Rifle and Taser Instructor
NRA Life Member
It is better to have your gun and not need it, than to need it and not have it!
You cannot choose the conditions for a gunfight, so train in all conditions!
July 14th, 2008 07:35 AM
One of the softest recoiling pistols I own is the CZ83 in .32acp. The CZ is a mid sized, full grip, all steel pistol. Because of the weight, about 28 ounces, and the full grip, recoil is more .22lr like. The magazine holds 15 rounds. It can be had at a modest price too.
Perhaps the softest 9mm I have is the Kahr T9, for many of the same reasons above. With standard ammo the recoil is as soft as any 9mm I've used. The T9 has a nice DAO trigger with nothing for a new shooter to learn other than trigger finger discipline.
My .380s are all pretty close in size and recoil, I'm not sure one stands out over another. When I need a smaller CCW I opt for a Sig P232. With Hogue rubber grips the recoil is mitigated somewhat. This pistol is slim, light and simple to operate. While IMO the Beretta .380s are superior, the light weight of the Sig wins the day as my personal CCW of choice. The larger, heavier Beretta may be just the ticket for you. The heavier stainless steel Sig P232 may also be an option.
July 14th, 2008 07:44 AM
This would be my recommendation.
Originally Posted by msgt/ret
I have had a number of new shooters try my pistols and all liked the Thunder 380. Smaller guns and light guns are much harder for new shooters. The Thunder is nice that is small but heavy enough to make shooting it easy.
"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.
July 14th, 2008 12:12 PM
In 9mm, the Kahr P9 is hard to beat for size, reliability, and comfort in shooting. While I would prefer she carry something larger, my wife carries a Beretta Tomcat .32. Size, weight, and easy shooting really suit her.
July 14th, 2008 12:21 PM
I carry a Bersa Thunder .380 and LOVE it. My only complaint is that I have big ole meathooks for hands so its a tad small. I took a very small female friend...maybe 100lbs soaking wet..she got to try it and will be purchasing one this week if that tells you how much she liked it. It's solidly made, hardly kicks at all and is all around a pleasure to shoot.
July 14th, 2008 12:36 PM
I think the LCP might be a little too "snappy" for her. I love the feel of my CZ-75PCR 9mm. The recoil is negligible, and it feels so good in handling it. It's probably one of the most underating guns around, but you should consider it!
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
-- Benjamin Franklin
July 14th, 2008 12:38 PM
Consider an FN-P9, which is quite comfortable to shoot, and can be configured for smaller hands. The slide is not too difficult to rack, either -- be sure to check that on any pistol you're considering.
"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters
July 14th, 2008 01:47 PM
Stay away from the LCP/P3AT sized guns. They are not comfortable to shoot and since your Mom is just starting out, the one thing she will want is a gun that she can practice with a lot. If you get her a semi-auto, make sure she can rack the slide. I know others will say that with proper technique she can be taught to rack any slide, but that's not always correct. If she's older and has any arthritis in her hands, the small slide size of some of the 380s don't leave much to get hold of and they can be difficult if not impossible for some people to operate. If she absolutely wants to stay with 380, you might try and locate a Beretta 86 for her (tip-up barrel). I found one of these NIB for my wife and she loves it.
If a 9mm is a possibility, you may want to look at the Walther PPS. This is the only smaller gun that my wife found she could easily work the slide on as the slide is taller than some other small guns and gives more to grab onto. It is a lighter weight gun and somewhat snappy, so she may find it somewhat uncomfortable to shoot. A lot will depend on her recoil tolerance.
One final suggestion would be to look at the SA-XD lineup. If her hands are big enough to hold them properly, the double stack magazine makes for a wider grip area which spreads recoil out over a larger portion of her hand and generally makes them more comfortable to shoot. And, since they are actually a single action gun, the trigger pull is not quite as long and heavy as some DAO or DA/SA triggers.
Good luck and have fun.
Sig 239 SAS 40 S&W / Sig 239 9mm / Kahr PM-9 / Walther PPS .40 / Sig P-245 / Ruger LCP
Beretta Tomcat / Walther PPK / BDA 380 / Taurus 85 / Kel-Tec PF-9 / Am. Derringer 357
NRA Life Member
My Web Site
July 14th, 2008 02:18 PM
"IF" she can rack the slide, a Kahr MK9 is VERY low recoil; especially if you load it with mild 9's. The extra weight makes is pleasnt to shoot alot as does the cost of 9mm. It's smaller than the average J frame and has a nice grip size for medium to smaller hands.
I would NOT recommend the Bersa! I have one and love it BUT the safety on mine is very stiff. I believe that could be a problem. If you got the concealed carry version of the Bersa and could get that safety lightened up then you'd be on to something but look at the controls on it for yourself. I will say mine is pretty mild recoil and VERY very accurate.
Another thought is a stock Ruger SP101 w/2" barrel. Shooting regular .38's you almost smile the recoil is so nominal. It's less than what the Bersa is like. If you get a bobbed hammer model then spend $8 on the next and buy a reduced power hammer spring and it'll lighten the trigger. Now this gun is a bit heavy but it's unlikely she'll use this for pocket carry so for purse or home it's ideal and it's ultra simple and reliable. I think if she practices with very mild .38 wad cutters she might be able to get some decent .38's for carry. Even with +P's, mine is mild enough. Add pachmyr grips (depends alot on the size of her hands) and it gets even better but the stock grips are great on these.
J frame; I'd go with a S&W model 60 or other hammerless all metal variant and stoke it the same as the Ruger. The weight will help with recoil but it'll be a good bit snappier than the Ruger.
The LCP can be a bit snappy but I wouldn't rule it out. it's not as bad to shoot as some loads in my jframe.
July 14th, 2008 02:46 PM
the kel-tec p3at .380 is the lightest one made, has some recoil but it's the smallest caliber I would you as a defensive weapon.
July 17th, 2008 08:40 AM
If 380 is the minimum, I would suggest looking at Bersa. If you think she might have an issue with racking the slide, I would look at the Beretta Tomcat (.32 ACP) with the tilt up barrel.
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