YAWCCP (Yet Another Wife CC Post)

This is a discussion on YAWCCP (Yet Another Wife CC Post) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Okay, here's the deal. My wife recently expressed an interest in both learning to shoot and in carrying. Finally! She already has her CCW since ...

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    Member Array dmorris68's Avatar
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    YAWCCP (Yet Another Wife CC Post)

    Okay, here's the deal. My wife recently expressed an interest in both learning to shoot and in carrying. Finally! She already has her CCW since I was there to renew mine anyway and Georgia does not require training. But of course I won't give her something to carry until I'm comfortable that she can handle it. Anyway...

    She doesn't know yet that I bought a Kahr CW9 a month or so ago, and so my plan was to give it to her as a "surprise" gift when we go shooting, which was supposed to happen over the last 3 weekends, but something always came up. I figured the CW9's light weight and great trigger pull will be perfect as a carry pistol for her, and the 9mm is certainly adequate as an EDC caliber loaded up with the 147gr HST that I have. Yes, I'm a .45ACP bigot when it comes to EDC but wouldn't start my wife out with that, for reasons I'll get to.

    Anyway, I'm field stripping and cleaning the CW9 this past weekend, and it dawns on me that the stiff slide is going to be too much for her to operate. She has lupus, which sometimes will flare up into a type of rheumatoid inflammation in the hands and joints. Not always, but enough to be a fairly common annoyance. So I'm afraid she would have neither the hand strength to operate a very stiff slide, nor the endurance to shoot a punishing pistol (like a .45ACP or a micro pistol) during range time. I wouldn't want her to be uncomfortable shooting and then sore for a week after, because I know that will quickly diminish her desire to shoot, and perhaps lead to a flinch reflex.

    I know what you're probably thinking: revolver. Believe me, I've thought of it, and will go there if I have to. I just pretty much gave up on revolvers years ago after I sold my S&W M19 and have been an auto guy ever since, so it's hard to break down and buy another, especially less than a .357. I'm less of a fan of .38sp than I am of 9mm, but it's better than .380 or .32 so I'm willing to go there. I'm also not crazy about only 5 shots and then a "tedious" reload cycle compared to an auto, but then again, most SD scenarios require less than 5 shots, and 5 shots is better than 0 shots from an auto she can't operate.

    Speaking of calibers that start with 3, I know some might suggest one of the small pocket pistols in .380 or .32. First, even these small calibers can be uncomfortable to shoot very much in these small form-factors, and I want her to get a LOT of practice early on. And while I'd rather she have a .32 or .380 than nothing, I consider it a last resort only if we don't find something "better." Meaning, I really want to hold to 38sp or 9mm as the minimum caliber. I know, I know... but let's not start a caliber debate, this is just a strong conviction on my part. And I'm hard headed. But no, I won't rule anything out completely, just know that I would want to exhaust all other possibilities first.

    To that end, I'm looking for advice on what to try next WITHOUT her having to try it on first. Why? Because I know my wife: if I take her into a gun store, she will take one look at the prices and have sticker shock, most likely not giving any serious consideration to anything from that point and possibly even changing her mind about shooting. She just has no clue about gun prices. She knows I spend a chunk of money on my various hobbies, but it's more like a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in our house. I know this isn't the recommended way to go about picking a gun for your wife. I promise, if she gets into shooting and enjoys it, her second one will be her choice from the start. But knowing my wife like I do, I'm going to have to sneak the first one in on her as best I can.

    Unfortunately, I don't have access to friends with the guns I want her to try, so I can't just borrow some. I could take her to a store with rental guns and an indoor range, but again I'd prefer she avoid knowing what they're going to cost beforehand. So, I need to predict as closely as I can, knowing her limitations, what will likely work best for her. I also don't want to drop a ton of money on her first handgun, in case it doesn't go over well, so I'm looking at no more than about $400-$500 for new, if possible. Used would be fine if it were in excellent condition, but I've not had much of those to choose from around here so far.

    Here is what I'm thinking to try next, in order of preference. I've got an e-mail in to my dealer for quotes, and to see what he has in stock so I can go handle them.
    1. Glock 26. On the high side of the price range, but if it works for her it would be well worth it for such a nice pistol. A bit thicker and probably easier for her to hold on to, only slightly bigger than the CW9, good capacity and reliability. I've shot one years ago and remember them being very pleasant for their small size. I don't recall the slide stiffness though -- anybody got one and a CW9 that can give me a comparison until I can get to the store and try one myself?
    2. Springer XD9 Sub Compact. A good bit bulkier but still small and I hear so many good things about the XD. Never fired one myself, don't think I've even tried one on in the store. Can anybody comment on the slide stiffness compared to the CW9 and Glock 26?
    3. S&W 442 Centennial or 642 Airweight. If one of the above autos won't cut it, we're on to the revolvers. Either of these are in the price range. Weight is great as long as it's not too brutal to shoot. Recommended 38sp load that is effective yet comfortable to shoot in these? +P is probably out of the question, at least at first until we see how comfortable she will be and how much she's willing to tolerate.
    4. Taurus 85/850. The CIA 850 Ultra Light (discontinued in favor of the more expensive Titanium model, but Bud's still has some stock) is pretty cheap, and I know a few folks with Taurus snubbies who liked them as well as their S&W's.

    For any revolver, I would want it to be DAO with a bobbed hammer, hence those I indicated. Any suggestions will be appreciated, as usual, especially from those of you who are women, or know women who carry something similar or with similar restrictions.

    Oh, and as far as her size, my wife is small, around 5'1" and 115lbs (God I hope she doesn't catch me telling this on the internet...)
    David

    Kimber Pro CDP II Colt Combat Commander Glock 26 GNS Ruger Mark III 22/45 Kahr CW9 (sold)

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    You've had it now....she was looking over your shoulder when you gave her height and weight!!!

    Seriously though, The choices you listed sounded good, you might also look at the CZ RAMI in 9mm. Accurate, reliable and should fall into the price range your looking at.
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    Member Array SnubMan's Avatar
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    I think you should get her a j-frame revolver. Simple Manual of arms. 38SPL was the accepted cartridge for a lot of Police Officers for a long time. It seemed to work quite well (i.e. people would be stopped by the .38 SPL --work on shot placement). I mean it's easy to go crazy when selecting a gun ("i need more capacity, I need more "stopping power" etc. ---) I think a little j-frame will be easy for her to carry and yet still potent to incapacitate an attacker. Have her start by shooting the lightest loads you can find and stick w/ that for a while. Then when SHE says "oh this easy, I think I could shoot something bigger" just keep swapping in more powerful loads. Eventually get to a +p load (some ppl. the FBI load is the way to go, I think JHP in +p would be better ---- work up to that). --- I think this would be a good way to go considering the rheumatoid inflammation in the hands and joints that she experiences.

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    I know you said you don't want to go smaller than .38/9mm...but have you looked at a SP101 in the new .327 Federal? The option of starting her out shooting .32 S&W (a very light recoiling cartridge) may be helpful. There's not much data out on the cartirdge yet, but it seems to look promising.

    Although, the one definite drawback to a SP101 is that it's on the heavy side for a snubby.
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    My wife is 5'-4", 115lbs. She has no disabilities and she has a hard time racking the slide on her new G26. With that said though, I think once she starts getting used to the gun, she should be ok. Also, once the gun actually sees some action, the recoil spring should get a little easier to rack.

    Now to get her to the range.
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    Member Array dmorris68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    Seriously though, The choices you listed sounded good, you might also look at the CZ RAMI in 9mm. Accurate, reliable and should fall into the price range your looking at.
    Very nice looking pistol! Never owned a CZ but always heard good things about them. I see there is an alloy frame version and a poly version -- which do you have experience with? Next question would be is it easy to operate (slide stiffness, trigger pull)? Especially if you can compare to something I can relate to, like the Kahr or Glock. I don't think my dealer stocks these so it might be hard for me to handle one before buying.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnubMan View Post
    I think you should get her a j-frame revolver. Simple Manual of arms. 38SPL was the accepted cartridge for a lot of Police Officers for a long time. It seemed to work quite well (i.e. people would be stopped by the .38 SPL --work on shot placement). I mean it's easy to go crazy when selecting a gun ("i need more capacity, I need more "stopping power" etc. ---) I think a little j-frame will be easy for her to carry and yet still potent to incapacitate an attacker. Have her start by shooting the lightest loads you can find and stick w/ that for a while. Then when SHE says "oh this easy, I think I could shoot something bigger" just keep swapping in more powerful loads. Eventually get to a +p load (some ppl. the FBI load is the way to go, I think JHP in +p would be better ---- work up to that). --- I think this would be a good way to go considering the rheumatoid inflammation in the hands and joints that she experiences.
    Thanks, this is the direction I've been leaning in over the last day or two. I do realize .38 is effective and that police carried it for years -- but there's also a reason they don't anymore. And that's kinda what I'm getting at. I realize the importance of shot placement and stopping power, but I believe in carrying as much "edge" as you comfortably can. That said, .38sp is an acceptable round, especially if I can work her up to +P loads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    I know you said you don't want to go smaller than .38/9mm...but have you looked at a SP101 in the new .327 Federal? The option of starting her out shooting .32 S&W (a very light recoiling cartridge) may be helpful. There's not much data out on the cartirdge yet, but it seems to look promising.

    Although, the one definite drawback to a SP101 is that it's on the heavy side for a snubby.
    Yeah, the SP101 is a nice revolver, I've shot them years ago too. The .327 seems interesting, especially with the prospect of cheap/easy .32 S&W practice, 6 shots, and near .357 Magnum power in a carry round. However as you said it's mostly an exotic round at this point, its quite heavy compared to the alternatives I had lined up for her, and there isn't a bobbed hammer version in the .327. I'm thinking .38sp would be a more suitable round, with more flexibility in revolver choices, to start her out on.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckE View Post
    My wife is 5'-4", 115lbs. She has no disabilities and she has a hard time racking the slide on her new G26. With that said though, I think once she starts getting used to the gun, she should be ok. Also, once the gun actually sees some action, the recoil spring should get a little easier to rack.
    Yeah I expect they will loosen up, but if your wife is struggling I have no doubt mine will too.

    The J-frame revolver is looking more and more like the best solution to start out with.
    David

    Kimber Pro CDP II Colt Combat Commander Glock 26 GNS Ruger Mark III 22/45 Kahr CW9 (sold)

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    Member Array thebees's Avatar
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    Pistol for Wife

    Probably should consider a G-19. Much easier for weak hands to operate than the smaller G-26. But I would go with a Sig. 230/232. Easy to operate, accurate, light, very reliable and will stay that for many years. Bought my wife one about 10 years ago.
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    Distinguished Member Array clarkston_cz's Avatar
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    Yes, hand strength is an issue that most of guys don't think about.


    The Glock 26 was the easiest for my Mom to cycle by hand.

    Forward about 10 years..

    Nancy is a strong Gulf-War vet that has no problem with
    pistol slides.
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    Both RAMI's in my house are ally framed. Mise is the 40 cal, wifes is 9mm. She has not complained about the slide being hard to work on hers. I also taught her to rack the slide by holding it stationary and pushing the gun forward. Seemed to help her when she was first getting started. My wife is 5'5", ,and we won't go into the other part! lol. I would say her upper body/hand arm strength is average.
    Can't help with a comparison to a glock or kahr. Don't own either and have only shot a glock once, didn't like it, so never messed with them.
    You might ask Clarkston CZ about a comparison. I believe he has experience with both the glock and the RAMI.
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    Member Array dmorris68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebees View Post
    Probably should consider a G-19. Much easier for weak hands to operate than the smaller G-26.
    Yeah, I thought of that already, knowing that the longer slides have weaker springs. But she's small and doesn't carry large handbags nor wear fanny packs, so while she could probably shoot and operate it well, carrying might be problematic for her. She'll need something that can comfortably fit in purse, pocket, or IWB without much weight or bulk.

    Quote Originally Posted by thebees View Post
    But I would go with a Sig. 230/232. Easy to operate, accurate, light, very reliable and will stay that for many years. Bought my wife one about 10 years ago.
    Yep, I looked at those too. SIG makes a fine pistol and I was hoping they had something to fit the bill, but the 232 is .380 only and I'm not yet to the point of stepping down in caliber that far. For autos I'm looking at 9mm as the baseline. I'll probably go to a .38sp J-frame before I'll drop to a lower caliber auto. If that turns out to be too much for her (doubtful), *then* I'll look at dropping down, but that's considered a "better than nothing" last resort.

    Quote Originally Posted by clarkston_cz View Post
    The Glock 26 was the easiest for my Mom to cycle by hand.
    That's interesting to know. Does your mom ever suffer from arthritis or similar joint pain by chance? If she can tolerate it then maybe my wife can too. I'm going to try to get away at lunch and go handle one.
    David

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    You are a fabulous husband! But, you've got to let her pick. If she doesn't like it, she's not going to carry it.

    I think you should take her to every gun shop she wants to visit, and let her handle as many pieces as she can/wants to. Hopefully, your somewhat near an indoor range in a store, and can rent some. Doing both of those suggestions....(which were suggested to me by all of you!) really made me choose a good piece, that I am comfortable with, and love shooting.

    I carry an xd9sc, with the trijicon night sights, and I really like the gun....I don't like how thick it is to carry. It's better in the cooler weather, but summer, it's horrible. I'm short waisted, and the thickness bugs me. I still carried for the most part, but hated every second of it.

    I tried out some others, but loved the xd. (hated the kahr). I'd prefer to try out a ruger lcp for summer carry. I'd rather have something smaller than not carry at all.

    Many congratulations!! Lots of really good date nights start out by going to the range!
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    Member Array dmorris68's Avatar
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    Thanks daisy for the female perspective -- I was hoping for that.

    Believe me, I do want her to pick it out, but we've been married for 20 years and my wife knows less than zero about guns, including what they cost. Knowing her, she would either choose the cheapest, or whatever is "cute" or fashionable, since to her "a gun is a gun." I'll be working with her to change that mentality of course. My hope is that for her first gun, I'll be able reasonably predict what she will be able to handle, without overwhelming her with choices and costs. Then once she has a little experience, take her to the gun shop and let her choose something based on that experience. And she'll have something to sell or trade so as to offset the cost. Not that my wife is a skinflint or cheap or nags about money (well, not TOO much), but she loves to spend that money on the grandkids, traveling, etc., and if she were faced with the decision of spending $500 on a gun or on one of those other things, she'd always put off buying the gun. She's never been much interested in guns, and barely tolerates the fact that I am -- and only recently expressed this new interest in learning to shoot and defend herself. I'm afraid of scaring her off if I take her in to let her pick. In order to keep her interested enough to care about such things, I've got to pick one out to get into her hands. I hope that makes sense, but then again I remind my wife all the time that she doesn't make sense to anyone else.
    David

    Kimber Pro CDP II Colt Combat Commander Glock 26 GNS Ruger Mark III 22/45 Kahr CW9 (sold)

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    Member Array gwlammers's Avatar
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    I know you stated you don't want to go the route of a .32 ACP, but if you can't find something with a slide she can rack, you might consider the Beretta Tomcat. It has a tip up barrel so no slide racking is needed.

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    OK... I'm no femenist by any means but I find the calls for women to carry a revolver as opposed to a semi-auto offensive. Basically you're saying women are too stupid to run a semi. Now I'm a revolver guy. I like em, I use them and I carry them.

    To the OP. What does she like? I skimmed your post to the 4 selections. I would adamantley support the G-26 or XD. The 442 is on my list of must gets and I've owned the 850 in steel and it was a great gun, were it the UL I would have kept it. All great choices IMO. I'm sure it's been said but let her do the handling and find what she likes. Try not to coach too much so that you get her honest opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwlammers View Post
    I know you stated you don't want to go the route of a .32 ACP, but if you can't find something with a slide she can rack, you might consider the Beretta Tomcat. It has a tip up barrel so no slide racking is needed.
    So if it jams you don't have to rack the slide?

    Think again, the tip up portion is only good for loading the first shot, after than any malfunction clearing processes will require slide manipulation.

    Now, back to the OP...

    If I am understanding your post correctly, your wife has not tried the CW9 yet? So you don't KNOW that the slide will be too stiff.

    If you feel that the slide of the CW9 is too stiff, what makes you think that the slide of another compact 9mm will be less stiff?


    Looking at the information that you've all ready provided, you're just digging yourself in a deeper and deeper hole, you are going about this wrong in every possible way.

    You're discounting almost every other option before your wife has even tried any of those options, that's not a feasible method in problem solving, you need to remove items that you KNOW don't work rather than removing items that could work.

    When Lima started shooting, she could only cycle the slide of her 3" 1911 a couple of times, with more practice she doesn't have that issue. Granted her health is 100%, I'm just illustrating that practice will help.

    While I agree that a "pocket auto" is not a valid "answer" to your dilemma, I do think that a metal frame .380 should still be in the running, either the Bersa .380 (also available in a double stack), SIG 232, or Beretta Cheetah (also available in a double stack) would be good possible guns.

    While the above mentioned .380s are generally frowned upon by many as there are several 9mm guns of the same dimensions, what you need (or rather what you think you need) is a lighter recoil spring and more recoil absorbing weight, you will get that out of a steel or alloy framed .380, and if you choose either the Beretta or the Bersa, your wife can have more ammunition on tap than that of the CW9. IIRC the double stack Beretta carries 13+1, 14 rounds of .380 is nothing to sneer at in that small of a package.

    You've all ready stated why you don't want to go the revolver route, that makes sense to me, 5 shots and a complicated re-load, I don't have any physical issues and I have to really work at re-loading with a speed loader or strip to get a smooth reload at the range, I can't imagine doing one under stress, but I;m sure I could if I practiced more.

    Given that your issues regarding revolvers are based on capacity and reloading (valid arguments IMHO) I'm not going to touch on them at all.

    Again, if you feel the CW9 had too stiff of a slide, what makes you thing that another 9mm would be better for your wife, especially if you don't plan on including her input?

    Are you going to keep guessing and buying more guns if she doesn't like your next purchase?

    Take her to the store, but do it smart, call ahead and see what they have, ask the employee to set which ever guns your interested in aside, removing the prices to eliminate the sticker shock that you're worried about and let her look over the guns, discuss the matter before hand so she knows what to look for in each gun, focusing on ease of manipulation, not on how cute it is.

    The guns you mentioned above are great guns, but you really need to bring the wife with so she can try them, especially the hammerless revolvers, the trigger pull on some of the S&W 442s/642 I've felt have been horrible and when Lima was first starting out she could only pull the trigger about 3 times before her hand started hurting, that doesn't make for a good day at the range IMHO.

    Just my .02


    You might also like to read this: "Getting" Your Significant Other to Carry.

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