I'm so proud of my aunt. Some of you may recall we set my aunt up with a Bersa Thunder 380 almost a year ago for her self protection needs.
She's really gotten on the stick with it. She is saving her pennies for her CCW permit and has practiced a lot since then. She has very good eyes and excellent depth perception. The gal can shoot! She's been getting help and practice ammo from my uncle who is competent enough to be an instructor, and she has been shooting the crap out of that Bersa.
She has become so dedicated she has asked me to help her find a better gun! She has been at it long enough now to figure out what she'd like to change.
Her current gun is much to her liking except for a couple things that merit a new gun:
-She does not like having to manipulate an external safety. Her fingers are short and it makes it hard to do that. She wants either a decocker or a DAO gun.
-She doesn't like the blowback type mechanism because she finds it hard to reassemble the gun after takedown. She can rack the slide just fine however.
-She might consider the right revolver, but she prefers a slim semiautomatic. She says it points better.
-She wants to step up to 9x19. She feels like she can handle the recoil. That alone makes me giddy with glee. We'll get her up to a caliber that starts with "4" yet!
-Budget is important here. She will accept my help but not my money and I respect her wishes. She will have $100 and is willing to sell the Bersa. What I plan to do is purchase the Bersa from her for $200. She unfortunately knows how much the Bersa costs, so I can't get away with paying her any more for it. However I know that's more than anyone else will give her for it!
The good news is this still means we have crept up into about the $300 range so we're doing a little bit better. $100 makes a big difference when you're talking about handguns.
-The main thing she really likes about the Bersa is its size and form factor. She says the size/weight is just perfect and with the Hogue Handall Jr. on it, it feels like it's part of her hand. She also likes the light trigger.
Her current gun is 6 5/8" long and weighs 23 ounces. She won't want one significantly larger.
I thought about it and thought about it, and the best I could come up with was the Kel Tec P11. It has no external safety to manipulate, it's actually slightly smaller than her current gun which she will like, and it's chambered in 9x19.
I'm a little dubious about the quality. Now the good news is I can put it through its paces and make sure it's not a piece of junk, but I dunno about Kel Tec. I know that the Bersa isn't exactly the pinnacle of quality either but it does go bang every time you pull the trigger.
I'm wondering if a Taurus might be an option too, like the PT111 PRO perhaps.
The thing is, she really likes the single stack magazines, and the only single stack 9mms I'm familiar with are well outside her price range. The BHP and 1911 are fine platforms but not within reasonable limits here. The Kel Tec seems pretty thin at least.