Defensive Carry banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The better half is getting her CPL. We started looking at carry guns for her. She wants a small semi-auto. She pointed at a Bersa Thunder .380 and said "I want one like that size".
So bottom line is she will pick her own gun. I want to make sure she picks something safe and reliable. I perfer something larger than a .380, but if that is what she will carry, it will be better than a 12ga left at home.
I have not payed a lot of attention to these size pistols in the past because I am happy with a J-frame myself for a BUG. She hates my "little J-frame". But now I need to educate myself on this class of guns.
She shoots my full size 1911 .45 and my Python very well so that kind of recoil is not a problem, but she does not want a pocket cannon either.
I have done some searches and got a general idea on some of these pistols. But I would like more info and opinions from anyone that can help.
To throw in another challange I have been looking at holsters for her, we have talked and she will appendix carry in a muzzle forward "womens holster" that a couple holster makers market. The only holsters like this I have found do not seem to be avialable for many compact pistols except for Walther PPKs.
Please help me, to help her, pick a gun with the above criteria.
Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,483 Posts
Brian - can't comment much on the holster aspect but re the gun - I have a Bersa Thunder and like it - my wife could carry that if only she was happier with semi's. Your wife obviously is well into semi's and so I reckon that gun could suit well as an option.

I have pinkie extensions on most of the mag's for mine and these make for a nice grip feel. I carry FMJ's in mine on odd occasion it goes out with me, as I don't think the round really has quite the power sufficient to fully exploit HP's. That is an aside tho.

Some may consider this gun is a bit lacking in strength or durablity - well, it is quite light for size and that is a plus - also I'd not be using this gun for 1,000's of rounds of plinking. It just needs broke in, useful practice and reliability testing and then - just have available, with occasional practice sessions.

As we often say - if she could try that and some other options, this could be the way to hone down the selection process.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
How about a Kahr?
http://www.kahr.com/front.html

I don't know their size in relation to a Bersa, but they are fairly small for a 9mm (can be had in .40 too, and a .45 is supposed to come out this fall.) You can pick all steel, or steel with a polymer frame. I've read on a number of forums that the polymer frames are not as reliable as steel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,011 Posts
IMHO a 9mm is the minimum size caliber for self defense. Although shot placement would make a 22LR a viable choice, recent refinements in bullet technology make up for slight variations in accuracy. The .380 just isn't a viable SD round. Sure as you said, it's better than the 12 ga left at home, but when we discussing fairly dimunitive rounds and small frame guns like the Bersa, why not just go for a Glock M26?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,425 Posts
I second the Glock 26.

If she is stuck on the size of the Bersa and the 380, another option is the SIG P232. More $, but a very well made gun (not that the Bersa isn't - I don't have an informed opinion on it).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
I wouldn't feel under gunned with a .380. Beats a knife. It's also much more controllable for a smaller framed person or someone who isn't used to the larger calibers.

Whatever she buys just make sure she can cycle the slide. My wife had some problems pulling the slide back on the makarov, and most of the small blow-back guns have a pretty stiff spring.

Speaking of .380's - the Kel-Tec P3AT is a nice little pocket gun and not extremely expensive.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,008 Posts
Also look at the Rohrbaugh R9, the kel tec pistols or perhaps a PT 1?? series Taurus. It will all depend on what works best for her as far as feel and controls placement.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,483 Posts
I nearly mentioned the R9 - at least then 9mm, but cost would probably be a factor against, plus it ain't the most comfortable to shoot - which is no criticism - just goes with the territory :smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Second the notion of looking at Kahrs. They are great little guns. They are a little more expensive than the Bersa, but the ones I have are totally reliable, I have the MK series which are all steel. They are a little heavier, but this helps dampen recoil. The polymer series are lighter, but I also have read where they are not as reliable.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,008 Posts
Forgot to mention, check out the Makarov imports too. 9X18 or .380 caliber and a decent low cost gun. Personally, I would take 1 over the Bersa. No offense P95carry.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,483 Posts
rocky - no offense taken! I have a Mak and nearly mentioned that, as of course 9x18 has an edge on 9x17!! But reason I didn't was weight - as significantly heavier than the Bersa.

Still well worthy of consideration I agree, as are other suggestions. This is melting pot thread :smile:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,008 Posts
9x17?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,483 Posts
.380 is 9x17 - ain't it!

Mak is 9x18 and Luger/Parabellum is the 9x19.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,011 Posts
9mm: variations on a theme?

P95Carry said:
.380 is 9x17 - ain't it!

Mak is 9x18 and Luger/Parabellum is the 9x19.
So what is the 9mm Largo and the 9x21?

The .380 is a 9mm KURZ (short) it is inadequate especially in weather given to wear of heavy clothing.

9mm Parabellum (Prepared for War) is by far the best choice of this family for effectiveness, variety of loads available and commonality. IOW it can be purchased in West Overshoe Wyoming if need be.

If you want to bump up a notch, consider the .38 Super. But I'm not sure there are small frame guns available for that round. I still advocate a Glock M26 9mm (9x19)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,213 Posts
Correct on the calibers.

I had this problem with my aunt too. She had a very particular set of size requirements, very very particular and a very small budget. I talked her up to .380 ACP and into the Bersa, which I was caretaker of for some time and it performed well enough for me.

I think if you're a gun person, the Makarov is probably more appealing, but where I'm at, a Makarov costs $200 and so does a Bersa Thunder so the Mak loses a lot of its appeal. The Bersa has a pretty sweet trigger for a $200 gun too. Feeds hollowpoints too.

The Bersa is a simple thing done decently well. I wasn't wowed but I was impressed.

I do think that if budget is not a problem or you're not married to .380 ACP, a small 9x19 chambered pistol like the Kahr would be much better for several reasons.

I won't knock a .380 if it'll get someone to carry and shoot. How many situations are there where any gun at all would have saved someone's life? I recall an incident an instructor told me about a woman who had been kidnapped and stuffed in a trunk managed to dig her carry gun, a .22 revolver, out of deep concealment. When her kidnapper opened the trunk, she shot him in the face and killed him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,011 Posts
Never Bring a Cell Phone to a Gunfight!

Euclidean said:
I won't knock a .380 if it'll get someone to carry and shoot. How many situations are there where any gun at all would have saved someone's life? I recall an incident an instructor told me about a woman who had been kidnapped and stuffed in a trunk managed to dig her carry gun, a .22 revolver, out of deep concealment. When her kidnapper opened the trunk, she shot him in the face and killed him.
Had a similar event in this area a few years ago: Lady was kidnapped from a mall parking lot and shoved into the spacious trunk of an older Lincoln Continental. Her attacker took great delight in telling her thru the seat cushions what he was going to do to her. In the trunk area, the lady in question shifts her position so that she is firmly braced against the huge standard sized spare tire. Her attacker suddenly gets a panicked idea that she may have a cell phone and be using it to call the police. He swerves off the road and drives into a large empty field. He jumps from the car, dashes to the trunk and opens it fully. The "victim" then pumps all five rounds into his chest from a range of five feet using a S&W Model 60 loaded with 38sp +P JHP. He dies on the spot. Had she been using a 22LR, those five shots might have indeed killed him and maybe quickly or maybe not. But either 22 or 38 it still beats the cell phone option the cops and media would have us swallow.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,008 Posts
P95Carry said:
.380 is 9x17 - ain't it!

Mak is 9x18 and Luger/Parabellum is the 9x19.
never thought about it. Could be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,213 Posts
I'll add this. As much as I like the Bersa, being its caretaker for a while told me that as long as I can get by on my .38 wheelguns, I won't be buying a .380. The felt recoil wasn't appreciably less than a 9mm. Might as well get the cheaper, more powerful ammunition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,790 Posts
Well I need to jump in on this as I have a Kahr P9, a Bersa .380, a J frame S&W .38, a Kel-Tec .380 and small hands for a guy. The Bersa is the most accurate pistol I have bar none but the grip is fat compared to the kahr and it's a LOT heavier. I think if someone handled and fired those two weapons they'd pick the kahr every time. The only, and I mean ONLY reason why I think someone would pick the bersa over the kahr would would be price. But a plain jane Kahr P9 can be had for right at $500.00. It shoots as well/better, it had a better grip for most folks with small hands. I like glocks but find them and most higher capcity weapons to be too fat. That makes it harder to conceal and it makes it harder to get a good grip on the trigger. With the Bersa, the SA trigger is tops but the reach for the trigger in DA is a stretch. The Kahr P9 is single stack and designed to be flatter at "under" 1" in thickness. The kahr is lighter, simpler, flatter, and shoots a much better round with reliability that rivals a glock. It just doesn't seem to make any sense to carry a Bersa .380 when someone can carry a Kahr P9 unless they're only going on price and looks.

I like the j frame but you mentioned she doesn't and it is a lot harder to be accurate with. My kel-tec is only a fair bug/pocket pistod due to reliablity issues.

I got my Bersa to qualify for my CC before I'd done a lot of research. I like it but it can't compare to the Kahr. The P9 version of the kahr gives me exactly a full grip and the recoil is not bad at all.

I don't know the size of you wife, but I'd encourage her to at least feel a Kahr p9.

I think it's great that you have a wife with similar interests!

God Bless
Gideon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thank for all the great replys.

I would perfer a 9mm over a .380 and I have and will encourage her to consider a 9mm. But the size and weight of the gun is the primary consideration. I have a Kahr K9 and like it a lot. She has shot it with no problems. She has made reference to the K9 and wanted something "A little smaller and lighter". That would leave a Kahr PM9 as a option. Some concerns with the PM9 are recoil although only for occational practice. Were not looking at a high volume shooter. I have heard mixed reviews on the reliablity of the polymer Kahrs. Any comment on this would be very helpful.

I have never handled a Kahr PM9 but have handled the Bersa, Walther PPK and Sig 232. Of the last 3 the Sig had the fattest grip.

How does the the recoil compare between a K9 and a PM9? If I can talk her into a 9mm. Also how does the recoil spring compare between the 2 Kahrs while move the slide?

I will have her look at a Glock 26 but it has a pretty fat grip and slide and I think would be harder to conceal.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top