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My old roommate just came back from 3 months in Italy. After living with me for a year and being introduced to guns and shooting in the process she is set on getting her CHL. I carry a xd45c and she has problems on some days racking the slide due to a medical condition called Fibromyalgia. It is a disorder classified by the presence of chronic widespread pain. Every kind of pain from joint to muscle and even bone pain. This does not directly effect her mobility or ability to function it is just precieved pain.
Some days she is great with little problems and will out shoot you with anything you put in front of her. (painfully admitted she is flat out a better shot than me) Other days its tough for her to pull back the bolt on my Marlin 22.
I suggest getting a good double action wheel gun but she will not have any part of it. I quote "I hate those things..." She loves the XD especially my XD45tac but at 5'3" there is no way for her to conceal it. (would be funny to see her try) So here is the question... what is the difference in pull weight of a stock XD9sc and XD45c? If SHTF and a little adreniline pumps will she be ok with a tap rack bang?
 

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Wheel guns do still have a place in society today. My mom could not even begin to rack my XD9, but load a wheel, no problem.
 

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NOt sure of the exact weights, but I don't feel a difference. Granted, it's really easy for me to do, so I may not be the best judge...

You can always get a lighter recoil spring, too. Just watch how low you go, you don't want to effect reliability.
+1 on the lighter recoil spring. But you might want to have her test it out on her chosen carry load. I've been told that lighter springs may have some feed issues with some loads.
 

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Assuming she is right handed, have her practice PUSHING the frame with the right arm/shoulder/hand while the left palm grips the top of the slide.

It is much easier to push the frame with the strong side than pull the slide with the weak side.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Assuming she is right handed, have her practice PUSHING the frame with the right arm/shoulder/hand while the left palm grips the top of the slide.

It is much easier to push the frame with the strong side than pull the slide with the weak side.
You hit the nail on the head. I have been teaching her this since it is easier to keep the muzzle pointed in a save direction. She has problems getting the fingers to grip the slide serrations. I think its just a finger strength issue. I take my size and strength for granted. She will take the recoil of a 30-06 like a champ but getting those little girl fingers working has been a problem.
I don't own 9mm but i would imagine the springs would be lighter in a 9 as well as the slide weight. Does SA publish spring tensions and such? Who would know that?
 

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I had the same problem with a .45XD, had to grasp the front end of the slide to rack it. Don't think that would have worked very well with sweaty or cold hands. I then got some "Insta Grip" from Brownells. It's black abrasive stick-on stuff that you cut with scissors to fit any surface. I got the medium grit and two small pieces on each side of the slide at the front are hardly noticable and work great.;)
 

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You hit the nail on the head. I have been teaching her this since it is easier to keep the muzzle pointed in a save direction. She has problems getting the fingers to grip the slide serrations. I think its just a finger strength issue. I take my size and strength for granted. She will take the recoil of a 30-06 like a champ but getting those little girl fingers working has been a problem.
I don't own 9mm but i would imagine the springs would be lighter in a 9 as well as the slide weight. Does SA publish spring tensions and such? Who would know that?

Don't have her just grip the serrations with her fingers...get her whole hand on the slide. Usually when I rack the slide I get me palm touching the top, it gives you more control and is easier to cycle that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had the same problem with a .45XD, had to grasp the front end of the slide to rack it. Don't think that would have worked very well with sweaty or cold hands. I then got some "Insta Grip" from Brownells. It's black abrasive stick-on stuff that you cut with scissors to fit any surface. I got the medium grit and two small pieces on each side of the slide at the front are hardly noticable and work great.;)
Nice! Very simple and barely seen. This would help spread the load on more fingers to have to illusion of a lighter feel. Would this work against you on presentation or holstering? I don't know where girls hide their guns. So considering if the gun came from a purse shoulder bag or IWB ...
 

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My gorlfriend has a hell of a time trying to rack the slide on XD45C. Unfortunately she has absolutely no interest in it or any other gun :oops:.
 

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Re interfering with holsters or purses etc, I'm no pistolero but I doubt the very thin surface of Insta Grip would be an issue. Although a Q-Tip or cotton ball might come up out of a purse in addition to the pistol!

BTW, Clarence Thomas is one of my most admired people.
 

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Fibromyalgia is bad stuff. I know a couple of people that have it and when it's acting up it can be disabling. I think a revolver is the best bet, but for racking the slide, I think the palm over the top using the whole hand is easier for those with weak hands rather than the slingshot method.
 

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Recognizing that a medical condition inhibits her ability to rack the slide, and that the XD is known to be among the "stiffest" of the semi-autos in that regard, there could still be some room for improvement with exercises...my wife had considerable difficulty initially racking the slide on her XD9sc, and we found a product available at Dick's Sporting Goods (and elsewhere) called the "Gripmaster" by prohands.net. Not only does it strengthen the grip, but individual fingers are also able to be exercised. The light tension model worked effectively for her, as well as plenty of range time getting the gun well broken in.
 

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Gripmasters are great. Another little tool that can usually had for next to nothing (lots of places give them away) is a "stress ball". The best thing I've ever used, which was when I was having to do some rehab after breaking my wrist (I had no strength in my hand afterward) is some stuff that they uses that's almost like Play-Doh, but it comes in different consistencies. If theres a physical therapist around, you might stop in and see if they'd sell you some. It worked better than anything I've ever tried as it worked my whole hand.
 

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I had a really hard time with this for a long time. I finally took a first time shooters class specifically for women (taught by a woman) and something in the class clicked.

I also started wearing a thin pair of leather gloves (deer hide, I think) when I was having a hard time, when my hands were tired, it was cold out, or just because my hands were getting sore from shooting. It really made a big difference in learning how to rack the slide, I think because I wasn't worrying about getting my wimpy skin pinched somewhere or scraping all the skin off my palms. Now I don't even think about it, it's no problem. I also have bicycle innertube on all of my handguns.

My mother in law has fibromyalgia, but has been shooting all her life so she doesn't have a problem.
 

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We just got my wife xd9. She suffers from same symptoms. well new they are rather tight to rack. After working with her for a while, I believe we are going to be shopping for a .357 revolver and I will have a xd9 to go with my xd45.(what a shame :p). For now until we can find th 4" .357 revolver she will be sticking with her snub .38 special.
 

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Wheel guns typically have a pretty heavy trigger. Alot of times if someone isnt strong enough to rack the slide on a semi they wont have the strength to pull the trigger of a revolver and keep it on target. I tend to think racking the slide is easier, women just have to learn to be forceful with guns.
 

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IMO the 9mm slide is easier to rack than the .45. I have both.
 

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Captains of Crush Hand Grippers by Iron Mind - for All Strength Athletes
One of my fellow Sgts ordered a few trainers, 1s, 1.5s and 2s at the end of last quarter. I can say that these really do help with your hand strength. A week or two of training with the 1 level grip will make a tremendous difference in how you hold the pistol and how easy it is to rack the slide, if you're finding it hard.
 

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My first inclination is to go with the revolver suggestion. However...

I have an XD40 and a Glock (gotta love the 10mm!) The XD was my first, and is still my favorite. But, the slide is hard as hell to rack. I believe stock, it's a 22 lb spring. The first time I racked the slide of the Glock I damn near ripped it off, it was that much easier to pull than what I was used to with the XD. Turns out the stock spring on the largest Glock they make is 17 lbs. I can rack the slide with my index finger and thumb. Takes my whole hand on the XD, even still after about 3k rounds through it (though it has loosened up quite a bit since new).

The odd thing is I purchased an aftermarket 22lb spring to shoot hot loads in the Glock. It is still way easier to rack than the XD.

Long story short, if you/she is bent on a semi-auto, take a look at a different make/model.

~ Centerfire
 
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