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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My fiance and I are in the process of getting our CCWs and arming ourselves. I bought a Charter Arms 357, it has a full external hammer but is a DA/SA firearm. We went to shoot a few rounds through it, using lighter .38s, and she was unable to pull the trigger in DA. I have little experience with handguns, and I know this gun is a little large for her hands (feels good in mine), but is this common? I don't have much experience to gauge the trigger on, but I don't think its excessively heavy. We're definitely going to a range to shoot some candidate firearms before she buys any, so we'll know if she can shoot it or not. I've done a lot of reading, and feel a revolver would be better than a semi auto (she agrees). So should we look hard for a lighter trigger (as long as its factory) in a revolver, get something with a hammer that she can cock, go semi auto, or try to get her stronger.

I'm not really looking for advice as to why my charter is inferior to Smith, Colt, Ruger, Taurus, etc. I have my reasons for buying it and am happy with the purchase. Also this girl is tougher and stronger than most, a good Kentucky farm girl who has thrown her share of hay and can keep up with me doing pretty much anything. This is why we both want her to have a CCW, she is simply weaker than most criminals out there.
 

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If she is truly to weak to pull the trigger, I'd work on her hand strength before even worrying about shooting let alone buying another gun. If she is that weak in the hands, she is not going to do well with another gun, no matter how light the trigger.
Hand strength is the single most important variable in self defense; firearm or not.

With all that said, once her hand strength has improved, get her a gun that suits her, not you. You might also be able to change grips to something a bit thinner if its truly a size issue.
 

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If she is unable to pull the trigger in DA, the gun is unsuitable for her. Change the gun, don't try to change her to fit the gun.

It is hard to believe that a properly functioning DA revolver would have a trigger pull so hard that a fit woman can't use it. Check out the condition of the gun, is one thought going through my mind. There may be a reason for the excessive force needed to pull the trigger.

This statement is curious "Also this girl is tougher and stronger than most, a good Kentucky farm girl who has thrown her share of hay and can keep up with me doing pretty much anything"

---it is odd that someone tougher and stronger than most is having difficulty with it. That tells you something is not right.
 

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If nothing is wrong with the gun and she doesn't have the hand strength to pull the trigger, she is not going to have the hand strength to handle the recoil. As others have said, work on her hand strength, and once she's comfortable with that, she needs to select the gun that she will be using.
 

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What is the trigger pull (in lbs) in DA on your weapon?

In my opinion she has serious hand and finger strength issues. I can't imagine a situation outside of a disability that would lead to the inability to pull a DA trigger if it's a "normal" trigger pull weight. Regardless of what you do for her with a firearm, she needs to work to strengthen her hands and fingers just to be healthier.
 

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Yeah, something is wrong if she can not pull the DA trigger.
Would she have the hand wrist strength to rack the slide on an automatic?
My Dw has trouble with the slide on an automatic but does ok with the DA on her 442.
oldogy
 

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Yes, that is a little odd. When I was going to the police academy we still used Revolvers at that time...they actually made you take a trigger pull test. they had a revolver that was non firing but had the same trigger pull as a typical DA revolver they made you basically pull the trigger till you just could not pull it anymore and recorded the #..they actually had a set number you HAD to be able to pull it to be able to "pass"(this was done the first day of the academy). I dont remember the exact # of pulls you HAD to be able to do but it was somewhere between 15-20 MINIMUM in a row.....we only had 2 people that could not do it and they were given a hand/trigger strengthening device(looked like the grip of a revolver and trigger but that was it) and told to use it and they would be retested in 2 weeks...they both passed the second time..both were females and they both did over 10 pulls one did 12 the other 14....these were VERY small females..the one dislocated her shoulder firing a box of slugs through a shotgun thats how small she was..and even she could do 12 pulls..so not to be able to do even 1.....eeek try another gun maybe because not trying to slam anyone but thats EXCEEDINGLY weak. Id honestly think possibly even an honest to goodness medical condition so get it checked out cause tis NOT normal.

not to that I have a Taurus CH85 and its DAO being that it does not have a hammer(shaved off) and its honestly a pretty hard DA trigger one of the harder ones ive EVER met(i can feel it in my trigger pull finger after a box of 50)...

what id honestly look at is a well USED Smith or Colt with a broken in trigger ive seen some well used older colts or Smiths with broken in triggers that are just awesome....ive heard that the Ruger LCR has a nice trigger(read that on boards like this one never felt one myself..but one guy described it as the best out of the box DA trigger he had ever pulled) I have also heard that with a auto(and I ONLY recommend a auto for people who train a LOT) the LEM and DAK HK and SIG triggers are also nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How would one go about roughly measuring the trigger pull of a gun, without one of those fancy testers?

When I was looking at guns, none of the other triggers I pulled felt significantly different than this one to my untrained hand at least.

I agree, something is not right here...
 

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How would one go about roughly measuring the trigger pull of a gun, without one of those fancy testers?

When I was looking at guns, none of the other triggers I pulled felt significantly different than this one to my untrained hand at least.

I agree, something is not right here...
Take it to a good smith. He will have the tools check the trigger pull. Mine has a special at times where he advertises to clean and lub the sidearm for $20.
oldogy
 

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How would one go about roughly measuring the trigger pull of a gun, without one of those fancy testers?

When I was looking at guns, none of the other triggers I pulled felt significantly different than this one to my untrained hand at least.

I agree, something is not right here...

yeah a cheap trigger pull/weight gauge thats the best way to really "tell" for example here is one its inexpensive..ive always wanted one just to have...

http://www.gamaliel.com/cart/product.php?productid=4949
 

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Yes, that is a little odd. When I was going to the police academy we still used Revolvers at that time...they actually made you take a trigger pull test. they had a revolver that was non firing but had the same trigger pull as a typical DA revolver they made you basically pull the trigger till you just could not pull it anymore and recorded the #..they actually had a set number you HAD to be able to pull it to be able to "pass"(this was done the first day of the academy). I dont remember the exact # of pulls you HAD to be able to do but it was somewhere between 15-20 MINIMUM in a row.....
Ohio State Highway Patrol makes you dry fire the P226 in this sequence:

12 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
9 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
9 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
9 Weak Hand
Rack Slide x2
9 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
12 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
6 Strong Hand
Rack Slide x2
6 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
8 Strong Hand
Lock Slide Back

And you have 5 minutes
 

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If she is unable to pull the trigger in DA, the gun is unsuitable for her. Change the gun, don't try to change her to fit the gun...

---it is odd that someone tougher and stronger than most is having difficulty with it. That tells you something is not right.
This right here is good sensible sense. ^^

I'd have referred to it as 'common sense' but everybody including Voltare has long known there ain't no such thing.

Clearly the problem is the gun (though not necessarily mechanical) not the shooter.

Yet another example of why I and many others very often advise to men to leave women alone and let them choose their own handgun...And to women to not ask men including brothers, husbands and BFs to pick a gun for them.
You would no more ask a male to select a bra for a female nor a male ask a woman to buy work shoes/boots for their husband without either person being there to try it on and check for specific fit.

One size does NOT fit all with guns and operation.

Trigger pull weights vary widely as does grip width and distance to the trigger which very much can affect trigger pull ability due to difference in hand size never mind strength.

Go to a rental range and have her try a wide variety of other firearms DAO, DA/SA, and SA too.
Let her pick and choose what works best for her and go from there.
You keep your Charter Arms as for use by you.

- Janq
 

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yeah a cheap trigger pull/weight gauge thats the best way to really "tell" for example here is one its inexpensive..ive always wanted one just to have...

RCBS Trigger Pull Gauge - RCBS Accessories - RCBS - Reloading Accessories - Gamaliel Shooting Supply
Be advised that gauge only goes to 72 ounces - 4.5 pounds. Most DA trigger pulls, both pistol and revolver, are higher than that unless they've had some serious trigger work done on them.

If you're going to spend the money on a trigger pull gauge, do it right the first time and get the Lyman Digital. The mechanical gauges are seldom accurate to anything better than a half-pound, no matter what the advertising says.
 

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Some great advice here, I just want to mention that you really need to find a firearm that fits her. Go to a range where they rent guns and let her try out a few. Different firearms have different grip angles, trigger pulls, balance, etc. If you dont get her something she likes and fells comfortable shooting, she wont carry it and that defeats the purpose of having a gun.
 

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Ohio State Highway Patrol makes you dry fire the P226 in this sequence:

12 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
9 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
9 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
9 Weak Hand
Rack Slide x2
9 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
12 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
6 Strong Hand
Rack Slide x2
6 Strong Hand
Rack Slide
8 Strong Hand
Lock Slide Back

And you have 5 minutes

I think back then it was over either 30 seconds or a minute. Cant remember it was back in 1990 lol.
 

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Be advised that gauge only goes to 72 ounces - 4.5 pounds. Most DA trigger pulls, both pistol and revolver, are higher than that unless they've had some serious trigger work done on them.

If you're going to spend the money on a trigger pull gauge, do it right the first time and get the Lyman Digital. The mechanical gauges are seldom accurate to anything better than a half-pound, no matter what the advertising says.
didnt even look, just googled for cheap trigger pull scale lol. that one was a good price the others were $50 and over which is IMO outrageous and the reason I dont have one :) . $50 or more is not(to me) worth even a 1X purchase..I mean I know if a trigger is either good or sucks..I dont need to know how many pounds it is to know it sucks :) it just sucks :) . and i know for me anything resembling a good pull is normally 5-7 pounds or LESS.
 

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Can I ask why you want to get her a revolver in the first place?

There's this common idea that revolvers are better for women since they are less complex and that somehow makes them better for women. If your women has the IQ of a brick, maybe, but other than that, there are no benefits:

1) Most revolvers have relatively heavy DA-only trigger pulls. While some think this is great for a self-defense gun because it reduces the chances of an accidental discharge, what it does for women is force them to use a good portion of their finger strength and sends accuracy into the gutter. When we all know that trigger control is one of the most important aspects of accuracy - why do we think that giving a woman the worst triggers possible is a good idea?

2) Revolvers have significantly more felt-recoil than semi-autos. Not much to say about this, but given a semi-auto and a revolver of the same weight firing the same cartridge, the semi-auto will kick a lot less. This will help keep your woman's technique in check (less flinching) and allow her to run a more powerful cartridge than she'd be able to run in a revolver.

3) Capacity - this doesn't need much explaining.

4) Weight - the point is that for the gun to be effective she needs to carry it. A 5 pound J-frame isn't going to be in the purse all that often, a Kahr or mini-Glock would be. If you're thinking about those titanium air-weight revolvers in .38 and .357mag - the .38 kicks harder than a hot .40 in a small Glock, and the .357 kicks like a .460 in a 1911 ... neither are girl-friendly.

5) Revolvers aren't very purse-friendly. Chances are, if you can get your girl to carry at all, she's going to carry in her purse. She's not going to want to stick a holster on the gun while its in the purse because of the precious cargo-room it eats up. With an auto she at least has the ability to leave the gun in there without a round in the chamber, with a revolver she needs to run a holster - she has no choice in that matter.

My recommendation is that you look at an officer's-sized 1911 chambered in 9mm - and possibly with an aluminum frame for the weight savings. The recoil springs on 9mm 1911s are light enough that she should be able to rack the slide easily, and the short 4lb pull should be easy for her to handle - and handle accurately. The round is powerful enough to be effective but not enough to scare her away from pulling the trigger.

That's my $0.02.
 

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I think before the op does anything further, he needs to ascertain what is going wrong. Either something is wrong with the gun; something is not right with the lady's ability to pull the trigger--perhaps a health issue; or the statement that she is tougher and stronger than most is inaccurate.

You can't solve a problem until you know what is actually wrong.

Taking the tougher and stronger than most statement at face value I would have the gun evaluated. I would also look at how it fits her hand to make sure it is neither too large nor too small for her grip. Then, per Janq, go to a rental range and a variety of gun stores and let her pick what works for her-- maybe let her get some professional firearms training before she picks something out.
 

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Some revolvers just have a trigger pull that is obnoxiously heavy from the factory.
Usually the factory supplied springs are heavier than they need to be to insure reliable ignition.

Start her out with one of these.
Search Ebay for Gripmaster Light
They are just great.

Also Go Here - Wolf Gunsprings Reduced Power for Charter Arms
http://www.gunsprings.com/index.cfm?page=items&cID=3&mID=72

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions, I think Hopyard is spot on. I need to make sure the gun is ok, and she needs to find out whats up with her finger strength. Maybe the gun is just far too large for her hands, so its harder to pull the trigger.

I don't mean to brag or be macho, but I do have fairly high forearm and grip strength. When I work out with buddies I can pretty much always do more reps with higher weight than any of them can, and most work out a lot more than I do. I think this trigger is pretty nice.
 
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