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So, the wife and I went to the range today. I'm at sort of a low novice level with guns and my wife hasn't held a gun since her dad tried to get her to shoot one a couple of decades ago. We talked it over recently and she decided that she wants to work her way up to a CCW.

For firepower sake I was hoping she would lean towards a compact 9mm or a .380. She held a Walther PPK and sort of liked it, but after picking up a few other guns she decided that the Walther was still a bit heavier than she would like to carry.

She picked up a couple of Kel-Tecs and was not happy with the thinner grip, but found she really liked the way the Beretta Tomcat .32 felt. Its lower in calibre than what I would prefer, but if it is what she feels comfortable with then that is what she is more likely to carry. We will probably check out a couple more and see what happens, but I really think she is going to go with the Tomcat. She almost put it back because it cost more than the Kel-Tecs, but I managed to convice her that money really shouldn't be a sticking point for self defense. If it means that she will carry it with her, I would buy her one for every day of the week and damn the cost.

Anybody have good/bad reviews for us? Any other suggestions that have a grip and feel similar to the Tomcat?


photo added by QKS
 

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Great guns. I owned one and it was a fine shooter. Wouldn't hesitate to buy another and carry it.

Which Keltec did she hold? The P11 is similarlly sized to the Beretta and is a 9mm. If she didn't like thin, I'm thinking you only saw the .380 and .32 cal models.
 

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IMHO the tomcat is not a viable defensive weapon for a novice. It will require fairly precise shot placement which will fairly difficult to come by 'cause it's not all that accurate. The 32 while better than nothing leaves a lot to be desired in the stopping department. Recoil and weight are relative. Training and practice are all that is needed to overcome these problems. You know what I would do? I'd take her to a gun show and handle ALL the 38 revolvers AND 9mm auto's on every table. I promise you, she'll find THE ONE. As sure as the boy King knew Excalibur. Doesn't matter what size it is, it'll just "feel" right. There are plenty of ways to carry almost any size piece and I'm sure you can find one comfortable and stable and smooth.
 

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Beretta Firearms

I've shot a lot of assorted Beretta firearms - way back when.
Most of them did not not belong to me.
They all had one thing in common.
They Worked.
I don't think I have ever shot a bad Beretta handgun or any Beretta with any sort of function related problems.

Here Is A Link To BerretaUSA Click Here
 

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I am zero familiar with these guns. If looking for that size I might be inclined to consider an NAA Guardian. Upmarket I know but there's the Seecamp too.

However, as a matter of interest, It'd be useful to know from rfurtkamp and Class3 how they sell and what sorta price they fetch.
 

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The Tomcat Advantage

No need to EVER Rack The Slide to load or unload.
GREAT for people with limited hand strength.
The Tomcat has the Tip Up Barrel.
Tip the barrel up & pop one round into the chamber...EASY!
It is a system that works VERY WELL. Locks back up extremely solid.

Quality pocket pistols.
The same dedication to advanced design, uncompromising quality and strict quality control that make the 92F, Cougar and Cheetah such international standouts is found in all Beretta small caliber, pocket-size pistols. Simplicity, safety and practical use are their best qualities.

Practical and Simple .
User-friendly design is common to all Beretta small frames. The exclusive tip-up barrel allows the user to easily load a round directly into the chamber. It also assists in the safe clearing of the pistol by allowing a live round to be easily removed from the chamber and the bore quickly checked. Jamming and stovepiping problems are virtually eliminated by the open slide design shared by all small frame Berettas.

Advanced Materials .
Keeping an eye on quality helps keep Beretta small caliber semi-automatics out front.
Beretta pistols in the 3000 Series utilize the toughest of forgings for their barrels, while slides are fashioned from solid steel bar stock. Frames are machined from solid aluminum forgings.
The new Inox versions and the exclusive 3032 Tomcat Titanium utilize the finest materials, difficult to machine but exceptionally corrosion resistant and durable.
 

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ExSoldier762 said:
IMHO the tomcat is not a viable defensive weapon for a novice. It will require fairly precise shot placement which will fairly difficult to come by 'cause it's not all that accurate. The 32 while better than nothing leaves a lot to be desired in the stopping department. Recoil and weight are relative. Training and practice are all that is needed to overcome these problems. You know what I would do? I'd take her to a gun show and handle ALL the 38 revolvers AND 9mm auto's on every table. I promise you, she'll find THE ONE. As sure as the boy King knew Excalibur. Doesn't matter what size it is, it'll just "feel" right. There are plenty of ways to carry almost any size piece and I'm sure you can find one comfortable and stable and smooth.
I have to second that idea before you commit to the Tomcat. There are an awful lot of good pistols out there to choose from.
 

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QKShooter said:
I've shot a lot of assorted Beretta firearms - way back when.
Most of them did not not belong to me.
They all had one thing in common.
They Worked.
I don't think I have ever shot a bad Beretta handgun or any Beretta with any sort of function related problems.

Here Is A Link To BerretaUSA Click Here
I never said the Beretta was a bad gun. I like the tipup feature on the Tomcat, but for a young healthy person, there are better options IMHO. I also think the 32 is a substandard caliber when there are others available. This individual might be far better served by perhaps a Kahr 9mm or a Glock M27 40.
 

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PLEASE THINK AND LISTEN; I don't have one of these but it would be a shame for you to buy something and then somewhere down the road realize it is awfully light for what you want it for. A J frame revolver shooting a .38 would be better, a Kahr PM9 or even P9. I'd even go with a Bersa .380 before I'd go with the .32.

Now if you don't mind buying another weapon after she explores this and is ready to move up, then fine, but although they're great guns, they're not really a great gun/caliber for concealed carry and self defense. It's real tempting to select on size and comfort/ease of carry but you ought to set a minimum caliber standard if you want it to do anything other than create a false sense of security.

Some will argue the .32 is viable for self defense and I'm not saying it isn't, but it's so nominal that I can't see a valid reason for going that route unless you have to. Very few will have to and even then there are usually better choices.

I really think a lot of folks choose the small pocket pistols becasue they're just so convenient. I'd consider ExSoldier's advise...

God Bless
Gideon
 

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Gideon said:
I'd even go with a Bersa .380 before I'd go with the .32.
You say "Bersa" like it's a bad thing. JK. Seriously, let her hold a Bersa. It's one of the most accurate guns available and absolutely the best value for the money. Over 95% come absolutely perfect out of the box. Never a break in period, never a fluff and buff. She'll like the feel, she'll love the shot. No one who has ever shot one, that I've met, will tell you negative things about them. Check out this forum quickly... www.bersatalk.com
 

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She needs more experience and shoot as many different gun's as possible before making a decision to carry one, just looking them over at the store and holding them in your hand is not enough. I also believe that she needs to carry the largest caliber CCW she can handle.

Look for basic defense training courses that have and will let you shoot many different gun's before committing on an everyday CCW. I will guarantee that one of the first thing's said in the class will be to carry the largest caliber you can handle effectively.

Good luck with it.

Ti.
 

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P95Carry said:
I am zero familiar with these guns. If looking for that size I might be inclined to consider an NAA Guardian. Upmarket I know but there's the Seecamp too.

However, as a matter of interest, It'd be useful to know from rfurtkamp and Class3 how they sell and what sorta price they fetch.
Hi Chris
Thanks for helping to show your confidence in me. It means a great deal to me, knowing fellow Forumites trust in my insight and opinions
I see the Berettas come in as used, primarily due to trade-ups to a larger weapon. I have a 3032 Matt finish Tomcat, and it shoots great. One thing lacking is the ability to eat any type of ammo.. Mine sems to function on Federal Hydra shoks..........nothing else will work in a reliable mode, not even FMJ..
NOW......the store has had, up to 7 Tomcats at one point in time...........strange to say the least..They move VERY SLOW in sales (new or used) This tells me the Customer is more interested in a larger Caliber, or more reliable weapon. Thus, the Seecamp in 32 (sells for around 425.00-450.00 used)
The NAA Gardian in 380 ACP.....GREAT pocket peice stainles and DAO......VERY safe..........sells in the store for 325.00 used and 450.00 new :image035:
Kel-tecs in 32 or 380 fly out of the store........new or used..
reason why..........cheapo reliable guns.. 269.00 to 289.00 new........185.00 used......:yup:
don't rule out the Polish Radom P64 (Walther PPK type) in 9x18 makarov.. These can be had, with extra mag........for about 185.00 to 200.00 and they WORK..:hand10:
FEG P61 or 63 in either 380 or 9x18 makl are ok........BUT the Bersa Thunders in 380 we have always sell out...........(one flew out the door today for 195.00) .........:image035:
Hope this helps..
Bob :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, lots more research material now.

I still fully intend to have her try out as many more guns as we can get her hands on. I know there is a gun show at the Trade Center every month or so, we will have to try and hit that.

Someone mentioned trading up later on. That is also something I am sort of expecting to do. I know that as her confidence in her own abilities increases she will probably feel more comfortable carrying a larger calibre/larger frame. So far she is still just getting to know what things like .32 and .380 and 9mm even mean, so she was choosing solely based on size and feel. She is relying on me to find out what is or is not a decent reliable gun.

My next move I think is to get her over to the range. Start with a .22 chambered plinker just to start geting used to the bang at the end of a trigger pull. I'm still leaning towards a compact 9mm for her but we will see what happens. I don't want to force her into a gun that she is not comfortable with. I know my wife, if the slightest thing wierds her out about it, she will put the gun in a drawer and not even look at if for months. I want to get her so used to carrying, even if its a .32, that in time she will want to upgrade to a larger calibre on her own.
 

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Chance- That's pretty much how I read the situation. My wife is exactly the same way, but the furthest I've got with her so far is shooting my airsoft P99 in the hallway. She's a darn good shot too.

The Berretta's are reliable out of the box, and the recoil is really soft in the .22 caliber. Should be a great introductory gun for her. I would stay away from the Keltec's. My P11 is a recoil beast, and takes proper technique to handle it. Light guns in big calibers are definitely not for the novice who might be spooked.

Your best bet, might be to buy her a Bersa .380, but get her to the range a few times shooting a Ruger .22 before she ever shoots the Bersa. i don't know a range that doesn't have a Ruger in their rental fleet.
 

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perhaps a larger caliber with lighter loads would be a better way to go. She needs to understand though, the lighter the gun the more felt recoil. Also something like a HK with the dual recoil spring set up should help with recoil. Hopefully , she can fine something that works well for her.
 

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I had a Beretta Tomcat and it was a neat little gun. I ended up giving it to my son. A small gun is better than no gun I always say!!! It always shot well for me and always went bang when I pulled the trigger. That being said......there are lots of larger caliber guns the same size. I just bought a Kahr PM9, a 9MM that is not much bigger,

( Check out my new avatar!!!!! )
 

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great guns

I ccw with a Beretta 84fs. It took some time to get accurate with it.
My wife ccw with Bersa Thunder .380 more accurate than my Beretta.
To make a choice today I would go with the Khar MK9 the most smoothest trigger pull of any and the slide is easy to rack.:yup:
 

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We have 3 Seecamp 32s in stock right now.. 2 as new in box.. a NAA Guardian 32........... Manurin Walther PPKs...380...Polish Radom P64s ( kinda look like a PPKs ).. in 9x18 mak....which ar eall good guns...........Money's getting tight, so that's why we're seeing the Seecamps.........
Start lookin at all of em out there........Bersas are great guns.. work well.....Stay away from the Hi Points, davis, Jennings, and other cheapo types...........Pot metal guns as we call em at the store and we don't take em in trade cuz of too many problems with em.
Buy a good quality weapon, just in case you do need to trade up. You'll fair better
 

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i am with Ex, definitely try to find her a .380 or better. has she looked at the beretta 9000? i personally have not shot one, but they feel good for a small firearm.

also i think it is just matter of practice and correct guidance, not a matter of strength. this weekend i took my SA milspec .45 home and shot a few rounds with my brother, he is 13 y-o and by no means that strong, he had no problem hitting a soda can at 15 yards with it once i gave him a quick run thru of the sights and got him to hold it with "thumbs high"( and it was the only pistol other than a .22 ruger mark II he had ever shot). if you could get her to the range often and just get her on target with a plinker then i believe she will do just fine with just about anything. Hell if you can get her to keep the .22s in a 4 or 5 inch radius then she is good enough to use the .32(though im still against it) effectively. While at the range if she is having trouble with her groups then you could explain to her how accurate she will have to be with a .32 and that alone may change her mind.

anyways thats my $.02, good luck with your decision.
 

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I call the NAA Guardian the pocket brick - it's small but really, really freakin' heavy for what it is.

I own a Tomcat in .32. It's by far the single most accurate tiny gun I've ever shot, frighteningly so. Badly frighteningly so. The DA trigger *sucks*. It's still frighteningly accurate. If I need a small, lightweight piece, I don't feel unarmed with it - but the old lady has borrowed it for an extended period for absolutely covert carry.

It's not so much about size with the Tomcat as the weight and concealability, especially for women. They generally seem to work, but like Class3, they don't sell for squat. We had one for three years once.
 
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