Skip to comments.Looking for Handgun Suggestions
Posted on 03/23/2011 12:14:47 AM PDT by krogers58
Looking for some advice for a concealed carry weapon for the wife. We were thinking a semi-auto, clip fed weapon. She seems intimidated by the recoil on my 9mm (Glock), and was wondering if there was a decent handgun that would give her more confidence with aiming and firing. I was thinking of something like a .380, but I've never shot them to compare them to a 9mm. Obviously they shoot a smaller cartridge, but the gun seems much lighter and would seem to be more susceptible to kick-back. Maybe I'm wrong. I think a .25 auto might be too light. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I’d get her a short barreled .357 or .38 revolver. Get one without a hammer. No slide or mag for her to bother with. Just grab it and shoot, really simple like. The .357 has uber stopping power too. FAR more than the .380(or even a 9mm).
.380 aren’t all that bad. They’ve got pretty much the same caliber as a 9mm, just not as much powder behind it. Range vs shot placement are the two biggest factors there. Chances are if a woman needs it, it’s going to be at point blank range to very short range.
About the Glock though look into a 9mm Springfield XD or some other brand. Your wife’s problem with the Glock recoil may actually be due to the larger grips on a Glock and not really the recoil of the round.
Stay away from the .25, quite possibly the worst round ever made. You’re better off with a pistol that shoots .22lr.
try a compact Smith&Wesson MP9...has the ability to change the grip size which might help with some of the recoil issues
I am sure you will get a lot of good advice here on FR, but what is comfortable to shoot for practice or self defense classes is so important. Get some range time BEFORE you buy.
I have only had one incidence of flinching, it was a nightmare. I found it is nearly impossible to hit what I was shooting at with my eyes closed.
I agree there, go with a hammerless revolver.
Only thing lacking really is capacity. Best case scenario shots never get fired even if the gun does get pulled, so capacity doesn’t matter.
Worst case... after that first round the bad guy’s day is pretty much ruined so the followups are just to make sure he doesn’t get back up. Anymore than 3 rounds here and haven’t been training enough.
“I have only had one incidence of flinching, it was a nightmare. I found it is nearly impossible to hit what I was shooting at with my eyes closed.”
I find if I shoot with my eyes open I don’t flinch so much! ;)
It will also never ‘jam’ or malfunction.
One-stop-shots are the best, but they come with recoil. So to balance it, why not have a gun that can unload thirty rounds? No aggressor will take that lightly - if at all.
Anyway, it's an option for those who really just can't stand recoil.
Now you give me advice. It is 52 years too late, but thanks for the effort.
How about a .45 with sub-sonic loads. Very comfortable to shoot, makes big holes.
3” barrel .38 revolver.
Lew Horton used to order them up from S&W.
Not always easy to find, but the best compromise between a snub-nose and a too large pistol.
Slightly longer barrel dampens recoil, revolver is SIMPLE to operate and check that it is, or is not, loaded.
Not true. I have had revolvers malfunction and break for me while at the range. It was rare and amongst many thousands of rounds fired, but it can happen. One instance is why my blued Ruger Security-Six now has a stainless ejection rod.
Perhaps the “seems intimidated by the recoil” needs a bit more thought. I’d be reluctant to unnecessarily compromise the primary purpose of self-protection. To me, the .45 ACP is the very best defensive round.
For a lightweight carry weapon, consider the Glock 36. It’s one of the lightest (unloaded) firearms on the market. Gotta love the Glock’s point-and-shoot simplicity, reliability, and durability.
For those with small hands, it uses a single-stack magazine. I recommend adding the magazine extender, which gives you a better grip; otherwise, your pinky finger hangs loose. You only get 8 rounds (6+1+1) to carry, BUT you get a very lightweight carry weapon; and, after all, how many rounds are you realistically/probably/likely going to need?
It’s really about trade-offs. Getting used to the recoil may be your best overall choice.
Don’t get a .25, a .22 long rifle has more power than a .25. .380s have enough for defensive use and you can get some good ones. However, the recoil on them is more than one would think but not as severe as a 9MM.
The question will be whether she can operate the slide or not. Some women don't have the grip strength for small frame automatics. I have seen some women that can't pull the trigger on DA/SA autos in the double action mode.
If she learns to handle the 9mm, I recommend a Glock 26 with a proper holster. Small, simple, high capacity. With the right ammo you can do a lot of damage.
If we are talking concealed then I want a nice silver plated snub nose .38 that I can jab into someones ribs because I don’t like to miss.
If you watch the movie Police Academy, the character Tackleberry might have a couple of suggestions for you.
You’ll get endless suggestions on this topic here at FR, as the topic always does. I suggest one thing only: the gun you have with you is better than the gun that’s left at home.
Basically, that means that the gun you’re comfortable carrying, though of smaller caliber, is better than the stopper you’ve left at home because it’s too heavy, too bulky, too unwieldy, or kicks like a mule.
Personally, I like the Walther PPK for its time-tested reliability and security (safety blocks the firing pin); however, the SIG-Sauer is probably just as good, if a bit more expensive, and the Beretta is othing to sneer at.
Then, again, most people will tell you that if you don’t practice regularly, a revolver is best; the Smith and Wesson Chief’s Special is just fine in that regard, and, yes, it is used by a good many Chiefs of Police.
I agree, take her to a range. She should go with the largest caliber that she can comfortably shoot with accuracy.
Take her to a range where they rent different guns to try. Pick a couple S&W small J frame revolvers (Model 60LS), single action and double action, but the hammerless double action only trigger pull may be too stiff for her.
Look at the Bersa Thunder 380 conceal carry while you’re trying out suggestions.
S&W Model 60LS can shoot both 38 and 357. She can start out with the lighter 38 loads and work up from there at her own level.
I’ve found that the key to being able to handle recoil is the grip. Get something that your wife can hold securely and comfortably and most of the recoil issues will go away. I would also recommend a hammerless revolver, .38 cal, 2” barrel. A couple of manufacturers now are offering ported barrels and that helps a lot, too, especially if you move up to .357. And I agree with everyone who says stay away from a .25 auto.
Husbands buying guns with/for wives can be (I said can be, not will be, or are) difficult. Hubby's 'suggestions' are sometimes colored by what he would carry, wife's preferences are sometimes shaped by wanting hubby to be happy with her choice of the 'right' gun.
If your wife is having problems with the recoil of a Glock 9mm, then it's entirely the wrong time to buy a pistol for her to carry, unless there's a reason to make it happen now.
In that case, I'd go with the revolver suggestion -- basic, easy to operate in ALL functions (sometimes people who do not have strong hands have difficulty cycling the slide of an automatic).
Anyone who carries is far better off with a weapon with which they are completely independent -- not relying on assistance to load, or to make ready, or to holster, or to unload, or to chamber check, etc.
Likewise, it needs to be a weapon which does not induce that moment's hesitation before pulling the trigger, as the shooter anticipates recoil.
I'd rather have my wife carry a .22 revolver she was comfortable and proficient with, than a .45 she was hesitant to pick up.
In the event of actually having to draw it, a calm person with a pistol is a lot more likely to regain control of the situation than someone shaking and waving a gun all over the place.
What KoRn says is true.
Look for a .38 snub nose with an internal hammer.
Just less for her to screw up.
Make sure it’s actually the recoil that she doesn’t like. My wife doesn’t much care for the slide movement when a semi-auto is fired, but she’s fine shooting revolvers that have more recoil than my 9mm semi-auto. Over the years, she’s gotten used to that aspect of semi-autos and will shoot them, but when she was starting out, she disliked it enough that she went with a revolver for home defense.
Don’t know how much shooting experience your wife has, but if she doesn’t have much, she might consider getting a .22 pistol and putting a few thousand rounds downrange before ruling out a 9mm pistol. May be that she just needs the comfort of familiarity with shooting in general in order to get comfortable with shooting a 9mm.
skip the clip fed handgun. get her a can of wasp spray.
I’d go with the first poster’s suggestion and add that there are lots of feather weight model revolvers out there. I don’t care for them but your wife may.
My only addition has been Crimson Trace lasergrips. They improved my targets and confidence 1000%. I practice with .38s also.
Nice. I could see this fitting my wife better than the XD-9.
Kimber Pro CDP II. Not too big. Not too small. Just right. If I’m dressed, it’s in my pocket.
Ruger SP101 .327 Federal Magnum
One shot stopping POWER!
Too many problems to list; i.e. limp wristing, slide spring too heavy, ammo problems, etc.
Forget the ‘concealed hammer’—it makes the trigger pull hard, and accuracy for the unskilled is non-existant.
You need ‘cock and shoot’ for starters.
Revolvers of the proper size are the way to go. Get one with all the power you can handle, then PRACTICE!
The Bersa is the one I was going to recommend. Got one for my wife, she loves it and she cannot stand recoil well. Load it up with the 90gr Corbons and you have a platform that is superior to 38s with a 2 inch barrel. She likes it over the Glock because of the external safety.
The low profile sights on the gun are great too as I have taught her to point shoot at the very close range this gun is designed for...self defense...nothing more. “if you are shooting at something beyond 25 feet, you have no reason to be using a self defense gun”.
>>it makes the trigger pull hard, and accuracy for the unskilled is non-existant.<<
I respectfully disagree. CTLasergrips! ;D
This might help (note that it needs to be a pink 0.38): http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/22/armed-beauty-queen-fatally-shoots-intruder-florida-home-invasion/#
“Silver plated”? Right, Kemosabe.
Id get her a short barreled .357...
Because defense .357 Magnum rounds out of a lightweight revolver has far less recoil than 9mm out of a semi-auto.
Did you read that part about "intimidated by recoil"
I have one and like it. Light easy to shoot, accurate, and small. Get the larger magazine. It gives you a longer grip.
I agree with the recommendation about the Springfield XDm 9mm. I am a woman with a small hand and have no problems with my Springfield. The XDm comes with small, medium and large backstraps, and are fairly easy to switch out. I installed the small backstrap and it fits perfectly in my hand. No problems with recoil. I could shoot that gun all day without a lot of fatigue, and that’s saying something because I have had arthritis surgery on both hands over the past two years.
I worked with a guy in the 70’s that was shot by his wife at point blank range 6 times with a 25 Auto. That was Friday night. He came to work on Monday.
Get her a wheel gun in 38.
Remember it is very embarrassing not to mention often fatal to get shot woth your own gun.
If she has no problem working the slide in a semi-auto, the Bersa .380 that IOWAfan mentioned in 24 is a good carry choice. Not as compact as the tiny ones like Keltec P3AT, but recoil is not nearly as noticeable.
Finally, as many have mentioned, go to a gun range and let her try a few different guns, and see if she finds one, about which she says "I can carry and fire this one all day long".
You might want to consider a Makarov or the Polish variant. Not much recoil and works every time. The 9x18 is between a .380 and a 9mm. The Polish ones are @ 200.