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Looking for a small, reliable pistol/sidearm for a lady

Posted on 12/07/2008 6:54:45 PM PST by Mamzelle

Have small, weak hands and I play an instrument and am an artist and don't want to hurt my hands. Menfolk seem to want to encourage me to pistols too large, heavy and complicated. Seems to me if I cannot handle a weapon properly, it won't matter how big the bullets are that it can shoot because I won't manage to shoot at all. I want something small even if the bullets are small, too, because I'll have more confidence in shooting it.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: banglist; guns
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1 posted on 12/07/2008 6:54:45 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle

Gun enthusiasts encouraged to ping.


2 posted on 12/07/2008 6:55:39 PM PST by Mamzelle (Boycott Peggy Swoonin')
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To: Mamzelle

Beretta Tomcat, hands down. You don’t even have to operate the slide with that one; .32 caliber. It was made with women like yourself in mind.


3 posted on 12/07/2008 6:56:46 PM PST by mozarky2 (Ya never stand so tall as when ya stoop to stomp a statist!)
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To: Mamzelle

You might look at North American Arms.


4 posted on 12/07/2008 6:57:34 PM PST by Parmy
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To: Mamzelle

Walthers P5 compact.

Still might be too large for you. Nice gun.


5 posted on 12/07/2008 6:59:22 PM PST by BGHater (Obama is a Neocon.)
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To: Mamzelle

Go to your local dealer/gunsmith. If you have no experience at all, I recommend a revolver. They’re easy to maintain.


6 posted on 12/07/2008 6:59:55 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Mamzelle

a small .22 auto...small, light, easy to use..and deadly


7 posted on 12/07/2008 7:02:10 PM PST by Gone_Postal (We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat)
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To: Mamzelle

Bookmark. I have the same question. My girly hands aren’t tiny but a broken wrist a two years ago has left my right hand a little weak.


8 posted on 12/07/2008 7:02:17 PM PST by fullchroma
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To: mozarky2

Ditto on the tomcat and .32 acp.


9 posted on 12/07/2008 7:02:45 PM PST by omega4179 (Pardon Ramos and Compean !! Hello Jorge...Paging Jorge Arbusta.)
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To: Mamzelle

I suggest a quality .22 revolver. A hit with a .22 is better, it has been said, tham a loud miss with a .45


10 posted on 12/07/2008 7:04:36 PM PST by RandyGH (Democrats--So far left they've left America)
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To: Mamzelle
I would suggest a revolver from Charter Arms would probably be suitable for you. A call to their Customer Service area may help you decide which of their products to consider.
11 posted on 12/07/2008 7:04:39 PM PST by monkeycard (There's no such thing as too much ammo.)
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To: Grizzled Bear

I’d suggest the semi-auto Berreta Tomcat also. You might also want to consider one of the Smith & Wesson Ladysmiths in .38 special.


12 posted on 12/07/2008 7:04:43 PM PST by meatloaf
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To: omega4179

Ruger Bearcat (.22LR) hands down. Compact, light, simple, shoots where you point it.


13 posted on 12/07/2008 7:04:56 PM PST by genefromjersey (So much to flame;so little time !)
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To: meatloaf; Mamzelle

Consider the 357. It can fire both 357 and 38 rounds.


14 posted on 12/07/2008 7:06:24 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Mamzelle
If I might butt in on your thread, I'm also looking for something fairly small , not outrageously expensive. Ammo should be moderately priced, as well.

And, of course, should be able to stop an intruder dead in his tracks. :(

15 posted on 12/07/2008 7:07:56 PM PST by Texas_shutterbug
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To: Mamzelle
Keep it simple.

Smith and Wesson Chief's special.

38 Caliber, five shot revolver.

You can get you confidence up practicing with light loads. Get trained by a qualified instructor or friend.

Best of luck. Stay safe.

16 posted on 12/07/2008 7:08:01 PM PST by Barnacle (God help us.)
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To: Mamzelle

A Baretta. Q said so.


17 posted on 12/07/2008 7:08:02 PM PST by dr_who
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To: Mamzelle

.25 auto

Nothing more than a cap gun!


18 posted on 12/07/2008 7:08:33 PM PST by Randy Larsen ( BTW, If I offend you! Please let me know, I may want to offend you again!)
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To: Mamzelle

Thanks for posting the question. I have that problem too. I have never been able to pull the slide on a gun. I tried a revolver and I could actually shoot it and I liked it, but somebody talked me out of it. I would also like to hear input from other folks here.


19 posted on 12/07/2008 7:09:03 PM PST by livius
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To: Grizzled Bear
re: If you have no experience at all, I recommend a revolver. )))

I have a standard service revolver, I just don't like it. Bulky and I think I shoot better than it lets me. But I intend to get some education shortly.

20 posted on 12/07/2008 7:10:02 PM PST by Mamzelle (Boycott Peggy Swoonin')
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To: Mamzelle

The thing to remember is the smaller the grip, the more the recoil. Make sure that the grip is not shorter than your hand when holding the pistol. My brother has been educating me on the finer aspects of handguns recently; he’s a cop. You can guess the conversation over Thanksgiving dinner, LOL.


21 posted on 12/07/2008 7:10:29 PM PST by Peanut Gallery (A government that can give you everything you want, can also take it all away.)
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To: dr_who

Beretta 32. Tip up barrel. One sits at my night stand. I have others to chose from, but the tomcat should be your choice. Simple. Accurate enough to use across the room. And easy to become confident in its use. Nothing else compares.


22 posted on 12/07/2008 7:11:23 PM PST by petertare (--)
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To: Mamzelle
Check out the Kel-Tec 9mm. Double action, no safeties to worry about, small and light, but 10 shots. Best small pistol I've ever owned.
23 posted on 12/07/2008 7:11:52 PM PST by SENTINEL (SGT USMC COMBAT VET.)
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To: Mamzelle

You might look at a Kahr K9 or CW9 9mm semiautomatic. They are small (too small for my large hands anyway) and yet can handle 9mm Luger ammunition.

Concerning not wanting to hurt your hands, a too-light gun will increase the felt recoil from a given type of ammunition. My wife has rather severe arthritis in both hands, and as a result has to shoot a revolver heavy enough to dampen out the recoil to a manageable level.


24 posted on 12/07/2008 7:12:52 PM PST by Zeko
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To: RandyGH
re: I suggest a quality .22 revolver. A hit with a .22 is better, it has been said, tham a loud miss with a .45)))

I think that might be it. Fellas always try to talk me out of a 22 whenever I look at one. What good are bigger bullets when I can't manage the heavier gun well enough to aim? I could just work on getting more shots off with a lighter gun.

25 posted on 12/07/2008 7:14:04 PM PST by Mamzelle (Boycott Peggy Swoonin')
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To: Mamzelle
maybe to small???you think

26 posted on 12/07/2008 7:14:21 PM PST by Gone_Postal (We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat)
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To: Mamzelle

Smith and wesson 32H&R caliber revolver.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.32_H%26R_Magnum


27 posted on 12/07/2008 7:15:05 PM PST by mamelukesabre (Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum (If you want peace prepare for war))
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To: Zeko
re: Concerning not wanting to hurt your hands, a too-light gun will increase the felt recoil from a given type of ammunition. My wife has rather severe arthritis in both hands, and as a result has to shoot a revolver heavy enough to dampen out the recoil to a manageable level.)))

Well. Complications. So light weight makes for more recoil...? What does your wife like?

28 posted on 12/07/2008 7:15:24 PM PST by Mamzelle (Boycott Peggy Swoonin')
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To: Mamzelle

If you don’t like it, see what a dealer will offer in trade. Newer ladies revolvers are less bulky and easier to handle.


29 posted on 12/07/2008 7:15:30 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Mamzelle

Now this is just my own personal, correct opinion, but I say the S&W Titanium .38...............


30 posted on 12/07/2008 7:15:53 PM PST by ALASKA (I feel more like I do today than I did yesterday.....)
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To: Mamzelle
Sterling .25 Auto
31 posted on 12/07/2008 7:16:48 PM PST by Randy Larsen ( BTW, If I offend you! Please let me know, I may want to offend you again!)
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To: Mamzelle
this is what my wife uses..no recoil..light and easy to use


32 posted on 12/07/2008 7:19:16 PM PST by Gone_Postal (We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat)
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To: Mamzelle
The Kel Tec P32. Semi-auto 32 cal, 7 shot magazine, VERY low recoil, double action with internal hammer. Point and shoot, and 32 cal is effective. Shot placement is king; stopping power is queen.

Best of all, it's TINY. VERY light weight (less than 10 ounces, loaded), very thin, and easy to carry in a purse or pocket. And very affordable, too... Go to the Kel Tec Owner's Group for some good posts and honest feedback about the firearm, its ability, and its reliability.

A small gun carried is infinitely better than a big gun left at home...

33 posted on 12/07/2008 7:20:18 PM PST by PugetSoundSoldier (Indignation over the sting of truth is the defense of the indefensible)
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To: Mamzelle; fullchroma; Texas_shutterbug

Allow me to rain on your parade.

The best way to find out which gun is YOUR gun is to shoot a lot of different guns.

To some extent you get what you pay for. A good reliable pistol is going to cost you.

If it was up to me, everyone would get a Sig p239, and those who want a small gun would get one in 9mm. I love shooting 9 mm out of Sigs.

But a .22 can be deadly. It’s maybe not so often FAST deadly. But a nice .22 revolver is really fun to shoot and cheap too. a .22 sic gun emptied into a bad guy should give him something to think about while you take cover, haul out your speed loader, and reload.

I would imagine a little Glock in 9 mm, maybe with a race frame, would be light and easy shooting, but I have an irrational aversion to Glocks, probably because it freaks me out to have to pull the trigger to disassemble them.

This is not a light choice. Go to the range. make friends, borrow guns. Then decide. Or just buy a Sig p239 in 9mm, a good holster a couple of extra magazines and repeat to yourself,”Two in the chest and one in the head // oughtta leave the bad guy dead.” (or words to that effect)


34 posted on 12/07/2008 7:20:23 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Peanut Gallery
The thing to remember is the smaller the grip, the more the recoil. Make sure that the grip is not shorter than your hand when holding the pistol.

Interesting, thank you. I have a small hand, so it probably wouldn't be a problem, but it's good to have some guidelines.

35 posted on 12/07/2008 7:21:15 PM PST by livius
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To: Mamzelle

You have two design choices. Revolvers also known as wheel guns or a semi-automatic pistol. Revolvers are very foolproof especially for the new gun owner. They have a double action trigger which is a little slower but can be safer in less experienced hands.

A semi-auto means you have to rack the slide with your other hand to put the first bullet in the chamber. The alternative is having a bullet in the chamber and the safety on. Any defensive encounter will be very high stress and racking the slide is one extra step when seconds count.

In a revolver you could go with something smaller like a .32 or .38 caliber. Something like a Ruger SP101 .38 is a reliable and not expensive. Ruger has one in .32 which is less powerful but easier to handle. Even a smaller .22 pointed at a vital spot is deadly.

What you should do is find a reputable gun store and see if they have a CCW class. CCW is concelaed carry which means you could get a license to carry a gun, depending on your state. At least 32 states allow it. A CCW class costs about $50 but you learn all about gun safety and how to use a gun plus the laws on what you can do to defend yourself.

Consider joining the NRA or go to their web site and see what local resoruces they have near your home. The NRA people are awesome. There may be a NRA club for females locally or you may be able to find a woman in your area who can help you. I think a woman gun owner and even instructor can give you her experience better than a man If you can find a range with a gun store they can usually let you try out demo models.

I first learned about Sarah Palin in the NRA magazine about women gun owners during the Clinton admin. I think I remarked - wow she is pretty.

An attorney in my office building was a former prosecutor, gun owner and conservative. I think he carries but he said in most cases he would use Bear Spray.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=bear+spray+defense&aq=f&oq=

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=210581&kwtid=221822

http://www.stun-ningsales.com/SelfDefense/index.htm#Pepper
http://www.stun-ningsales.com/SelfDefense/wildfire.htm

It supposedly has 18% of something - pepper spray or something. He keeps a can in his truck between the size of a hairspray can and a small fire extingquisher. You can get a smaller purse size. I think the ones with more a pistol grip sprayer are better.

Maybe other folks here have better suggestions.


36 posted on 12/07/2008 7:22:38 PM PST by Frantzie
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To: Mamzelle

Find a local indoor shooting range, if not find a female security guard or LEO and ask them.
Reason to go to a shooting range is so you can rent a pistol and see if you are comfortable with it, after that it becomes part of you, legal concealed carry is also required unless you feel you need to skirt that issue.

Foremost is to have something you can handle...REAL FAST

How quick can you draw, aim and shoot? would it be in a purse, on person? simple is always better but better is bigger, you must decide on that because if you draw it you must be prepared to use it and in that respect don’t buy anything if it doesn’t have a 4 starting the caliber.

My suggestion?
Glock 23 in 40S&W


37 posted on 12/07/2008 7:23:17 PM PST by Eye of Unk (Americans should lead America, its the right way.)
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To: Mamzelle

Put me down for suggesting you look at a .32 revolver. If you want concealed carry, you might want to look at hammerless revolvers.

Note, at least in Texas, you have to take your CC test with an auto if you want to carry one. (You can carry a revolver after testing with either kind.)


38 posted on 12/07/2008 7:23:18 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Mamzelle
Not knowing your general location, I would suggest that first, you find a shooting range or good sized gun shop that has a variety of hand guns. Handle the guns for fit/feel. At the range, you should be able to rent an assortment of handguns for a test firing period.

For a beginner, I strongly recommend that you lean toward a revolver. You pull the trigger - it goes boom... No slides to deal with - no barrels to ‘tip up’..

As a sample, Ruger SP101 models have small grips. They come chambered for .357 (shoot .38’s for lower recoil) and come in an assortment of barrel lengths. They have a new chambering for a .327 round.

Are you going to carry? Y/N
How are you going to carry? purse/pocket/belt
Home defense?
Children in home?

A lot of things to consider.......

39 posted on 12/07/2008 7:24:22 PM PST by UPcrawfish
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To: Mamzelle

Read:

http://www.genitron.com/REV-22LR/22LR.html


40 posted on 12/07/2008 7:24:39 PM PST by groanup
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To: livius

Hey, I’ve been checking out the youtubes that these helpful folks provide...and then surfing the options that youtube gives you for other videos. LOL. Lots of guys like to make movies of their guns! Recommended.


41 posted on 12/07/2008 7:25:20 PM PST by Mamzelle (Boycott Peggy Swoonin')
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To: Mamzelle

Yes, very good! Thank you for starting this thread. I’m reading every post!


42 posted on 12/07/2008 7:27:24 PM PST by livius
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To: Mamzelle

Revolvers are not sexy and they are for close in shooting. they have short barrels so they are not target shooting pistols. Really for shooting within 20 feet or less.

They are reliable and mistake proof in a defensive situation when people are very stressed. Someone said a Beratta Tomcat semi-auto does not have to have the slide racked. If true check that out.

Find a lady instructor or sales person at you local gun store or the NRA web site.


43 posted on 12/07/2008 7:27:37 PM PST by Frantzie
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To: Mamzelle

A boyfriend with a Colt 1911 should do the trick.


44 posted on 12/07/2008 7:27:49 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Defeat liberalism, its the right thing to do for America.)
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To: UPcrawfish

Yes, I plan to take a class and get a CCwp, though I don’t know if I’ll actually carry. I guess I’m interested for the same reason that so many people are now purchasing firearms. I never took much interest in it, before. Lately I’ve been taking more.


45 posted on 12/07/2008 7:28:06 PM PST by Mamzelle (Boycott Peggy Swoonin')
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To: Mamzelle

46 posted on 12/07/2008 7:28:54 PM PST by Eye of Unk (Americans should lead America, its the right way.)
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To: PugetSoundSoldier

Kel-Tec is a good suggestion for small and light.


47 posted on 12/07/2008 7:29:22 PM PST by Frantzie
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To: Mamzelle

Try a Smith & Wesson with a shielded hammer. I think it is a model 36 and uses a 38 bullet. It can be kept handy in a purse without the fear of accidentally cocking the hammer if you have a concealed carry permit. It is a great first weapon for a woman. Keep in mind, however, to keep it safely away from any children, as it does not take a lot of strength to shoot this weapon.

Also classes are available many places to give people firearms training. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the use of various weapons, so you can make a choice that is best for you. Check with the closest chapter of the NRA and they should be able to direct you to a place where you could practice with several types and then make a choice for what works best for you.


48 posted on 12/07/2008 7:30:11 PM PST by Flamenco Lady
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To: Mamzelle

I have small hands and after input from other Freepers, I purchased a S&W .38 Airweight and I love it. :)


49 posted on 12/07/2008 7:31:04 PM PST by nodumbblonde (Apologies: Due to the coming economic crisis, I've had to let my tagline go.)
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To: Mamzelle
By all means, a revolver. Avoid the newer Smith and Wessons.

Here's a 25 page thread going talking about the Smith and Wesson internal lock freezing up the gun during firing.

I've owned the Ruger SP101. The grip is tiny, yet the gun has sufficient mass to absorb recoil. Buy one in 357 magnum, but load it with 38 specials for practice. They're cheap and recoil is mild. Then you can load it with 357 for self defense.

A revolver is truly the best for someone who doesn't spend a whole lot of time with guns.

50 posted on 12/07/2008 7:32:33 PM PST by LouAvul
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