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SGranny, I think your observations are so accurate & valid that I'll take it one step further. One will have a MUCH quicker trip to the effective handling/firing of ANY handgun if the (personal) ergonomics are the 1st consideration. Let's take, for instance, my personal favorite. The venerable BHP. If we go to the range with inexperienced handgunners & take; a G19, a G34, a S&W 642, a S&W Model 10 4", a 1911 full-size variant and a BHP, I'll bet dollars against Navy beans that the practice-driven improvement will be subjectively & objectively faster with the BHP. I'm not saying that it's THE BEST. What I AM saying is that it is generally better, across a wider-range of shooters, than a vast number of (admittedly less-expensive) alternatives. Pick what fits you best...FIRST! :yup:
 

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SG, Thanks for the posting, have always always enjoy your input. Due in part to the size of my hands, but mainly due to arthritis, and a fair amount of carpal tunnel damage, my ability to grip a handgun has been compromised, especially in my strong side hand. I returned to carrying my Bersa Thunder 380 with the 9rd DLX mags after carrying the Bersa 9UC for 3 years. Love the 9mm, especially with the 147gr +P JHP rounds. I'm fortunate in that recoil is a zero problem but due to the weakened grip and lack of control of the grip, I'm prone to the "limp wrist syndrome" and too often I'm all over the target and/or have FTE problems. Most ultra or sub compacts leave my small finger with not enough area on the grip to hold it properly. The extended grip provided by the 9rd DLX mags on the 380 made a tremendous difference in my ability to be comfortable and to improve my shooting. I just re-proved this as I got as a gift from a forum member on a different forum of a full size Bersa 9HC. After my first range trip with 100 rounds down the tube, I looked at the target, and ask myself, "who's helping me with my grouping" on this target. If I can find a decent cross draw, I think this may be my future EDC.
 
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This is so well written, and so instructive, I thought it merited "Sticking".

I am sorry the past 20 years were so damaging.
 

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Frist introduced to the 1911A1 at Parris Island 1964. Along the way Berretta, BHP, Glock, Ruger, SIG, S&W & Walther thousands upon thousands of rounds fired down range. Mostly 9X19mm and 45ACP. Revolvers Colt, Ruger and S&W 38Spl, 357Mag, 41Mag, 44Spl, 44Mag, 45Colt, 45ACP and 45AR. Very rarely suffered discomfort and never long term. This is only to say how different each of us is from the other. Each of us individually has differing thresholds of physical endurance and injury thus pain. Unless you suffer the consequences you may not understand the problem.
 

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My wife is a very petite woman with small hands. When we do a hand-to-hand size comparison, the tip of her trigger finger is between the first second joints of my trigger finger.

She has tried to pursue handgun shooting for the past few years, but has experienced continual difficulties in racking slides. We worked our way to the 9mm Shield, and while she is able to rack it, she begins experiencing hand pain after running a couple of mags. We have attributed it to osteoporosis, and written off her ability to shoot for extended periods.

I read ShooterGranny's OP, and the difficulty she has experienced. I checked the measurement of my wife's hand, and sure enough, in order to get her finger on the trigger surface, she has to rotate the gun slightly out of the web between her thumb and forefinger and onto the base of the metacarpal bone of her thumb. Small wonder that it becomes painful whenever she shoots.

I went through the inventory checking for one which would fit her properly, but with a slide she can easily rack. It looks like the M&P Bodyguard is going to be the one she shoots from here on out. She can easily rack the slide, and reach and pull the trigger without having to rotate the gun into the base of the thumb bone.

Thanks, ShooterGranny for providing the solution to a long-time problem.
 

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Mike,
You might have her look at a SIG P238 also. It is the one gun I have where I can still rack the slide without using a HandiRacker gizzy. And the recoil is softer than that of a G42, which is saying a lot. Shooting gloves help tremendously with perceived recoil once you find the gun that fits the hand. Google "shooting gloves for kids." Or she might be able to wear a women's small. Sizes vary all over the place in different brands.
 

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Thanks for your vote, bill335738...:image035:...my traveling days are long since over. I DO hope that anyone who works in a gun store will pay heed and refuse to sell a gun that does not fit.
 

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Mike,
You might have her look at a SIG P238 also. It is the one gun I have where I can still rack the slide without using a HandiRacker gizzy. And the recoil is softer than that of a G42, which is saying a lot. Shooting gloves help tremendously with perceived recoil once you find the gun that fits the hand. Google "shooting gloves for kids." Or she might be able to wear a women's small. Sizes vary all over the place in different brands.
Thanks again. We'll be giving the 238 a look-see very soon. She fired several mags through the M&P Bodyguard, all pain-free. I'm thinking a SA trigger will be even better for her.
 

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Thanks for the post SG. We sometimes forget about fit in all our discussions about best this and best that.
I was trying to really analyze why I went with the Glock 43 over the other quality and often less expensive single stacks I test fired. I shot it the best because it gave me the least felt recoil of the others and it is because of fit. The palm swell hits the perfect place in my palm and the gun is snug along the entire backstrap and all the controls are within easy reach without any grip change. My hand finds the shooting grip very quickly. Almost as fast as my favorite revolvers.
I had to get over my general and unfounded dislike of Glocks and really remain objective in my search and it paid off even though I spent much more than a Shield or LC9 would have cost.
If people would really take the time and spend a little rental cash while remaining objective they might be surprised what they pick for a carry gun.

I once went to a golf shop to pick out some new woods. The salesman saw me looking and asked what wood I hit the best and I told him a 3 wood. So, he asked me to just step over to the practice tee and he would bring me a bunch of 3 woods to try and said do not look at prices or brands. After a long practice session with about 9 different clubs he came over and asked me which felt the best and I hit the best. I narrowed it down to 2 which felt great and that I hit very well. He told me I picked one of his most expensive clubs and one of his less expensive. Well, I did have a budget and since they both felt great I went with the lower price but, if I had only picked expensive clubs I would have just saved more money to get something that fit that well. Lesson learned to try and pick what actually works for you.
 

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Thank you, ShooterGranny.

As several others have already said, your post is insightful, intelligent, well-written and helpful. :congrats:

For those who will read and heed, your personal experience could save them a lot of needless pain and expense.

Good job ! :smile:
 

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Thanks for the advice! I have lost money buying guns that didn't work for me. Recently, since I began my journey into Sig Sauer, I had to sell a P239 at a loss primarily because the grip was too small. It's really about the same size grip as my Shield 45, but somehow it didn't fit my hand. The relation of grip to trigger guard and where the hand fits at the rear of the pistol is a consideration as well.

I took the money from the sale of that gun and bought a Sig P225-A1 and it's light years better to shoot.

A question...This thread might be a promotion for the Sig P320. The modular aspect of this pistol allows to interchange grip sizes. Even if this isn't what Granny meant, I am using it as a rationalization to buy a P320 anyhow. :yup:
 

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Thanks for the advice! I have lost money buying guns that didn't work for me.
A question...This thread might be a promotion for the Sig P320. The modular aspect of this pistol allows to interchange grip sizes. Even if this isn't what Granny meant, I am using it as a rationalization to buy a P320 anyhow. :yup:
Gramps has two P320's: One 40 and one 45. I hate them both. Even if they were 9mm the frame itself is "Too Much Gun" in many ways for my hands. I live with constant pain now from not having had any idea that those Glocks I shot so very well were all wrong for me and having to hold them at an angle was destroying my hand. Now I know and the least I can do is share what I've learned the hardest and worst way with others.
 

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Shooter Granny- thank you so much for sharing your experience and insights. My Wife recently became interested in learning to shoot and we started the way so many others have- by trying to get her hand to adapt to our existing guns. We put a stop to that immediately after reading this thread. She is very petite and has suffered with R.A. for 37 years. She has significant deviation in her fingers, so stopping for now is our decision. She will continue looking at different models in hopes of finding something. When she was at Sportsman's Warehouse, she found a lightweight 10/22 auto loading rifle that she could easily hold up and no problem racking the bolt to charge the chamber. She's very excited about this because what she mostly wants is to participate when I go target shooting. I wasn't with her and she doesn't remember the make and model but we're going to borrow one that should be similar. Having her join in would be a blessing so wish us luck and thanks again!!


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I'm sorry to hear of your misfortune, ShooterGranny. Still, I would like to learn from it. I have always shot, written, fished, you name it, left handed. The only thing I do right handed is play guitar. I cannot imagine how you could "switch up" like that and literally start all over. How did you do it?? I ask because I would like to become proficient with either hand, and who knows, life might become a bit easier shooting right handed.
 

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So PLEASE fellow forum members, Please, Please stop telling people they should learn to shoot whatever gun. With the enormous variety of calibers, gun sizes, grip sizes and shapes, length from web to hand to trigger, it IS possible to find the right gun for each person.
:schild42:
 

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I'm sorry to hear of your misfortune, ShooterGranny. Still, I would like to learn from it. I have always shot, written, fished, you name it, left handed. The only thing I do right handed is play guitar. I cannot imagine how you could "switch up" like that and literally start all over. How did you do it?? I ask because I would like to become proficient with either hand, and who knows, life might become a bit easier shooting right handed.
For me it was a matter of doing what had to be done. I will NOT give up shooting. It was a long process, but I've been shooting for over 20 years so I know "how to do it" - just had to train the hands and body to reverse things. One step at a time, like any kind of learning. I still can't do true double taps and may never get that ability again, but I can do close to a second apart on accurate repeat shots so progress continues. And I know I'll not ever be able to do IDPA type competitions again either, but that's OK.

My best friend is left handed but she learned to shoot right handed because it made a lot more sense for her to do that, with the way most guns are configured - safety, slide release, etc.

So when we shoot together we are both shooting with our non-dominant hand. And doing it rather well.
 

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Thanks, ShooterGranny, I am inspired by your story to just start spending some of my gun training time doing it with the right hand. It has just felt so foreign that I have not forced myself to do it, but I think now I will be more determined to make the effort and at least get comfortable shooting right handed. Best of luck to you, ShooterGranny, and thank you again.
 
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