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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,

My wife is going to be getting her CCW permit with me in the next month. I have been looking for a gun for her and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. Here are the parameters:

* She is a new shooter and has not shot handguns much. She has plinked around with my 1911 and doesn't have any problem handling the recoil. She does have some natural 'aiming' ability as she is a crack-shot when it comes to trap.

* Hand strength is low. She has problems pulling the slide back on my 1911 because her grip isn't strong enough. This is a problem with her hand and while it may be somewhat corrected with some strenght training, it will always be a problem.

* She likes revolvers - for more reasons than the above statement. (She says they're cute. :frown: )

* She is left handed.

* I know her and unless it is EXTREMELY easy to carry, she won't carry it. Therefore convenience and comfort are an utmost priority.

* She is tall for a woman and fairly strong (except hand strength as mentioned above) (6', 200 pounds). Handles hundreds of 12ga. trap rounds in a session without much problem.

* She will need some encouragement for practice, so the gun needs to be 'fun' to shoot. (i.e. no Scandium .357 snubbies)

I'm taking her to shoot my Dad's .38+P aluminum airweight snub next weekend to make sure she is comfortable with the feel and recoil.

Based on the above, here's what I'm thinking: Either a S&W 642 or a Taurus 850/851. I understand the snubbies are more difficult to learn to shoot well, but I'm fairly certain that she won't carry the darn thing if she can't stick it in a pocket holster or her purse.

Cost is of course a consideration, but not really a limiting factor (we are talking about something that could potentially save her life.)

So, any ideas? Besides the two guns above, does anyone have any other candidates or things to consider?

Joe
 

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Well, I'm not an expert and didn't stay at a Holiday Inn last night, so the only thing I can offer is pretty general: make sure that she picks the gun, not you. If she wants an auto, maybe a 9mm would be easier for her to work the slide on. Just a thought.

SSKC
 

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Joe I feel for ya man.

Well first of all take a little comfort in the fact that the old dedicated .38 wheelgun has been around and kicking butt longer than a certain vaunted plastic pistol and even old Slabsides itself. These are the new kids on the block. :wink:

But seriously, and I hate to repeat what you said, a snubnose .38 is easy to carry and honestly, that's about it. I like my 642 a lot but I don't love it and I will always consider myself a revolver fan. I don't love it and I never will because it's just not very easy to use.

I've been down this road before with my mother who suffers arthritis. She finds the controls on a semiautomatic too small and too hard to operate. Racking a slide is impossible. We have a nice slick revolver loaded with 158 grain semi wadcutters (non +P catridges) that's designated as her gun. Practicing, even with a .22, has been too physically painful for the past 10 years or so. 20 rounds or so and she's done. This is hardly an ideal situation, but without a tool she just wouldn't have a chance at all. Everyone has to be able to defend themselves somehow even if they suffer from limitations.

We considered simply getting a semiautomatic with low felt recoil, and leaving it cocked and ready for her. We quickly threw this idea out. I felt the gun should be something that she should be confident in, meaning it should be something she can handle loading and firing all by herself without having to have someone set it up for her.

Now you have this problem compounded. My mother does not carry, and couldn't pass the 50 round qualification test if she wanted to. So we did not have to consider the form factor of the gun and went with a 4" bbl, which means she should have no trouble aiming the thing, and she will get better performance out of that caliber.

Now the ideal solution would be to get your wife to change her ways and be more dedicated... I can hear you laughing and sighing now however. Like my mother, I would speculate your wife probably just wants you to go find her a gun and take care of it because that's what you're good for. That and killing spiders.

I agree with SSKC, but some people will just not go and pick their own gun out. They want you to do it.

What I would suggest is that you take what she is willing to accept and just splurge on it and make it the best it can possibly be. What you're going to wind up with probably won't be "good enough" for serious self protection in your eyes, but if she'll actually seriously use it then you're way ahead. The first rule of gunfighting is after all have a gun.

I would get a 642 with the Crimson Trace Lasergrips, and have a gunsmith slick it up. This will optimize her ability to place shots effectively. Then get her some of the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel Loads.

To be honest I feel such a gun is extremely likely to handle anything that would ever happen to me or anyone else. We can what if all day but that's not solving the problem is it.

Maybe if you can get her to adapt this, you could then possibly get something like an SP101 or another J Frame with a longer barrel. Baby steps.

Ugh... I am staying single. I can't imagine having to deal with this stuff every single day, day in, day out...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
:laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:

Sorry to give the wrong impression guys. I am not picking her gun out for her, but I do want to give her some informed suggestions. (This is a woman who doesn't mind shooting, gutting, and butchering her own game. So spiders generally aren't something she calls me in for. Now - leaky faucets - different story. :eek: )

I really do like the SP101, but it's probably too big for pocket carry. I suppose another option would be to buy two guns - one for her to primarily plink with (to practice shooting) and the other to primarily carry and only shooting enough to stay familiar with it. This strategy will most likely be deemed an evil ploy to just buy more guns. I guess she probably wouldn't be entirely wrong. :biggrin:

So any good compromises?
 

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I would have her try a Glock in 9mm or 40, maybe the G36 as well.

For hand strength problems I would recomend using a Jpoint sight. I have one on my Glock35:







With this setup you get a nice red dot, a big ghost ring for the closer in stuff and a really easy way to rack the slide, you could just have stump and still rack the thing, it even maked one-handed racks off the belt easy. Battery lasts more than a year and you don't have to turn the thing on.

They make them to fit a bunch of different rearsight notches, but the one I have is melted in so you can still use the iron sights...

Any of the stiker fired semi autos will be easy than the hammer types.

I haven't played with the new HKs, but they be a good bet too. Betty might be able more insight.
 

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I'd say go with a J-Frame or K-Frame S&W in 38 or 357. Stay away from the light weights (TiScan) and recoil shouldn't be an issue.

Just an aside how is she trying to rack the slide. Arms out pulling back with one hand while pushing forward with the other?

-Scott-
 

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The Ruger SP101 is worth a good look. It's a little bit smaller than a K frame but much easier to shoot than a J frame. We'll probably end up getting one fo rmy wife. She enjoyed shooting a rental SP101 a while back. I always thought a 3" K frame with a round butt would work well for her. I bought one this weekend and she was not impressed at all. Just goes to show that you have to let them pick it out.
 

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Joe ... my wife is more purse carry - but finds my old beater M85 snub suits her. She does not manage too well with any semi's - tho if she did she could use my R9 - as a true pocket piece.

Overall I think a revo of approx J frame proportions will work even tho not the most slim of guns. A good pocket holster can work wonders of course.

The old M85 is acceptable to her with std 38 spl for practice and carry. Might be a light load but I am happier she has that on board then zilch!! She could if she wanted have my SP-101 with CT's but - just that bit more weight.

See if Mrs can try out various platforms - in the end this is about best way to go IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It'll probably have to be a wheelgun

Scott said:
Just an aside how is she trying to rack the slide. Arms out pulling back with one hand while pushing forward with the other?

-Scott-
I've had her try it two different ways - as you described above as well as using a higher grip pushing the hands towards each other. It took awhile before realizing that it was actually her grip that was unable to hold onto the slide.

She also doesn't like the looks or feel of the (relatively) complex mechanical operation of an automatic. I could probably convince her to go down the road of a pistol, but in the end she will like the revolver more because it has more 'soul' to her. I understand where she's coming from - although we have different ways of describing it.
 

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Granted, I don't break walnuts between my thumb and forefinger :biggrin: , but see if she'll practice with a squeeze-ball exerciser. Hand-strength is part of retention......(snubbies shine there- not much for someone to grab)
 

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You could go with a Smith snubbie J Frame, or a Colt Detective Special Small frame 6 shooter
My Wife carries a model 60 Smith 357 Mag with +P .38's in it, but also loves carrying the H&K P7 series (EXPENSIVE Bling blng but made for either righies or lefties)
Tha Colt might be a viable option as well.
 

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The bottom line is that she prefers revolvers. So does my wife, who doesn't care for "all that brass flying around." If your wife has grip problems, like mine, she might do better with a slightly heavier revolver, like a 60LS. Less felt recoil and a smooth action, and the barrel is just a tad longer.
 

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My wife has the same problem with hand strength. She has been bothered with arthritus all her life. She has carried a few semi autos in the past, however they were very difficult for her to operate. She finally saw a scandium J frame at the gun store and fell in love with it. She promptly bought it (with no prompting from me) and that is what she carries now. She practices with regular 38 special loads but carries Speer 135 gr +P Gold Dots.
 

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If you can find them....have her look at a couple of the Lady Smiths. They are in both revolver and semi-autos. Great guns that have a feminine touch to them.

Think about it.
 

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tex45acp said:
If you can find them....have her look at a couple of the Lady Smiths. They are in both revolver and semi-autos. Great guns that have a feminine touch to them.

Think about it.
The LadySmith line is specifically geared toward the smaller handed people, Both Male and Female.. The 60 and the 3913 are a very good choice. you can probably start from there, and see what she really likes. Remember though, women are VERY visual about everything LOL you may need to buy BOTH! :biggrin: which in NOT a bad thing, especially if you're looking for a new carry gun :biggrin:
 

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my wife likes my HK USP 45 fullsize version and has no problems handling it.being the fullsize I am suprised,I would think, tho I don't own one the HK compact 45 would be a better choice being the same weapon but shorter.she really likes the walther p99,9mm but cannot rack the slide.if racking is a concern a revolver may be the best option for her.
 

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A few things to consider...

If she is new to handguns...keep it simple.
Revolvers are better for new shooters or even those that shoot very little.
There are no safetys to remember, no magazines to insert backwards and no hand strength required to "racK" the slide.

If she has long fingernails,they may be too long for her to rack the slide of a semi without breaking a few. If she breaks one and hurts herself, she will never pick up the gun again.

Semi automatics are great, if she trains with them. When I say "train" I dont mean twice a year, I mean several times a month until she can safely load or unload in the dark without giving it a second thought. When she can automatically snick off the safety when aquiring the targer without giving it any consious thought ...that is a beggining. When she can consistantly place all of her shots on a defensive target in a few seconds, reload and do it again in the same time frame, she'll be confident enough and competent enough to be able to use it in a self defense sceanario....and NOT BEFORE.

The problem with woman is that many of them take the advice of their well meaning husbands and buy small semi autos that are hard to handle and they have little to no training in their use. Their husbands may load it for them, point them in the right direction and let them shoot it until its empty where they reload it for them again. That is not training, and it sets them up for failure should it ever be nessecary for personal defense.

On the other hand, I have qualified many women for Concealed Weapon Permits that were well versed in the use of semi automatics and they did very well. I cant tell you the amount of time that I've spent on women that attended classes with their husbands Ruger .45 or a Government Model Colt that they had never shot and had no clue as to load or unload the thing.

In the case of your wife, I would recommend a revolver. Have her handle several sizes and brands and if possible let her shoot several. Teach her the basic rules of handgun safety. Let her make the choice...dont try to do it for her. When she does get one, help her, encourage her to train with it.Take her shooting as often as you can. Make she she becomes competent BEFORE she may "need" it, not after.

The time to learn is on the range...not when she has to shoot an attacker off of her...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Very good advice fellas - thanks. HotGuns - I think you hit several nails on the head. We're going out this weekend to shoot a few different revolvers. Unfortunately I don't have access to an SP101, but a buddy of mine does have a GP100, and she'll shoot a few 38+P and some .357 as well. Then it's off to the gun cases to see what she wants. :biggrin:
 

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My wife could not handle a taurus 85 in .38. We sold it and got a smaller revolver in .32H&R mag, then I had her shooting .32 S&W longs to get used to the gun and she is now a better shot with it than I am.

Go with a small revolver and do not discount a .32 if you wife finds a .38 too much. The .22 that hits the target is better than teh .40 that goes off into space.
 

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Yeah, .32 H&R Mag. My wife carries one on her hip while hog hunting(also a .45-70 in her hands) S&W and Taurus both make a snubbie with the very light frame. A good smith could slick up the double and/or single action trigger pull for you. That would be a sweet carry weapon. If you reload you could use the same bullet that my wifes little gun carries in it. The Beartooth 115gr hardcast. It has great penetration and very accurate. Take a look at them .32"s.---------
 
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