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As I stated in the general forum, there is a blue light rapist running amuck in Conway, Arkansas. I'd like to hear some recommendations on semi-autos and/or revolvers that are easy to put on target for women with small hands and more or less a first timer to boot. Affordability is a concern at the moment. I hate to put a value on self defense but cash is tight b/c we're building our first house.

I've convinced my wife to go to the range with me. The only handgun I have is 4" XD9 with Trijicons. We can rent a samll variety of Glocks, XDs, Sigs, etc at the range. Anyone have input on instructing their spouses with firearms and proficiency in the least amount of time?

-Richie
 

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My girlfriend just recently started shooting and here is what she had to say:

The first suggestion I offer you is to start your wife off with a small caliber gun. I don't know how your wife feels about guns but if she is not too fond of them then starting her off with a large caliber gun may scare the hell out of her. The greater the kick, the greater the likelihood that it will scare her. If you can ease her into a small caliber gun, she can become use to the kick of the gun and the feel of it in her hand. This is also a means to help her learn the mechanics of sight picture, and trigger control without her being afraid of the kick of the gun. I too have small hands and this has been an issue for me. Going no larger than a 9mm will probably be best for her. I recommend staying with a semi-auto. For us shooters that haven't quite yet mastered shooting a picture dead center, the more rounds we have in the gun to shoot, the more chances we have to actually shoot an intruder (if needed). Putting targets up close for her to shoot allows for her to build confidence in her shooting as well. After she does well on those, you can move targets out. One last thing, getting slim grips on the gun may also help her holding the gun if her hands are small. Good luck - Connie
 

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A smith J frame 637, this is what my GF carries. The airweight will make it easier for her to carry say in a purse and not be so much of a burden. The hammer version will also allow her to practice single action since the double action tires my GFs trigger finger. She likes the option. The rubber grips will help with grip and as far as small hands its made for it. One upgrade would be with some trimsion trace laser grips this would make her have another option incase she forgets how to aim when she is under stress. Since she is a new shooter this would give her an edge without having to practice as much as she could. The simple action is just that simple with less to go wrong.
 

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For small hand my first recomendation would be a kahr. They aren't cheap but they work. From what I've seen and read the polymer frames have a better trigger than the steel frames. My gf has small hands and kahrs are the only thing that would fit.

Other thoughts on small hands guns: Bersa 380, Kel-tec, makarov (but ammo could be an issue), j-frame revolver either S&W or taurus. Any of these I'd trust.

Be cautious of the exposed hammer spurs on small revolvers, they will hang up when you are in a hurry. I removed mine after practicing and still getting caught. A bodyguard style (S&W 649, I think) would allow thumb cocking and still cover the hammer spur for carry.

I have a taurus 85 that was $250 new for stainless. Can't go wrong for that price. Just look around and see. Some may knock taurus guns but why do you suppose S&W had to go to the lifetime warrenty? Yes, I own a S&W's as well.

Steelheart
 

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For a ladies first pistol I recomend a .38 stainless revolver, Taurus has a bunch of them, low recoil not many moving parts simple and effective. concentrate on shooting at 5yds untill she has the trigger pull and sights figured out double action . Dont move her back untill she can put them all in the A zone of a standard siloette target. Practice is everything. Start out with target wadcutters and slowly introduce defensive rounds.
 

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excellent post by NMshooter.

I'd like to add that whatever she gets, she has to choose it. Let her try different guns, and have her decide it.
 

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9mmPara said:
excellent post by NMshooter.

I'd like to add that whatever she gets, she has to choose it. Let her try different guns, and have her decide it.

+1. Whatever gun you settle on, it's best if it's not one you pick out for her. If you get something she's not comfortable shooting you'd be better off with some quality pepper spray.

I'd second the above recommendations that she look at a snubbie revolver (but NOT an airweight; I cannot emphasize strongly enough that an airweight revolver is a very poor choice for most novice shooters), and also the Sig P230/232. Only a .380, not cheap, but it's light, trim, and a sweet shooter. (We lucked out on my wife's 230; we got a good price on one so lightly used that the second magazine had never even been taken out of the foam rubber.)

(Note to self: Don't post after third Maker's Mark. The wrong words sometimes slip in between fingers and keyboard.)
 

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My girlfriend likes my Steyr M9 best, due to the grip size, and that it shoots 9mm. The Steyr M9 and M40, like the XD just "feel right", especially for people with medium or small hands.
 

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Ok, here is my $0.02 worth. This is based on my observations and those of my wife. Many people say buy a J frame snubby revolver in .38 SPl or .357 mag. I say let the woman choose, guns are very personal as to fit and feel, not to mention trigger action. I have seen way too many women out there (and so has my wife, I am only chiming in because of a story told by her about her women's shooting group today) who can not work a double action revolver well (or their Glocks, Sigs, Mausers, etc.). The pull is too much for them. When they have trouble pulling the trigger they tend not to practice as much and it just ends up as a lint collector in their purse. I have blown a wad of cash on a HK P2000 9mm for the wife only to have her discover she had trouble with the LEM trigger at the range (She loved the gun in the store and even after, just could not pul the trigger and hit well). Let her choose...

I would suggest a nice light semi-auto. My wife has chosen the CZ-83 in 9mm Mak, I got one in .380 ACP for days when a XD service is just too much. It is well made, holds 12 rounds with hi-cap mags 10 rounds otherwise. The recoil is negligible and accuracy outstanding. Other nice features are an ambidextrous safety, ambidextrous magazinen release and a DA/SA capability. With a good +P round it is a good defense gun. Total size is no bigger then a PPK or a Makarov pistol. The gun runs at just under $380 last I looked. Best place to look for the 9mm Mak version is on Gunbroker.com, a guy names ton80 in Atlanta seems to stock them fairly regularly, otherwise they are hard to find (CZ-USA requires an order of 20 units by a dealer in the 9mm Mak and 7.65 Browning calibers).

For those who worry about her remebering the safety, I suggest proper training and a suitable amount of range time. IF you train properly you will do things automatically in a stress situation. Malfunction clearing and reloads are the same. Train, train, train. If your wife/gf refuses go to the range regularly she may as well not have a gun for all the good it wil do her. I am not sure a revolver will not fail her if she refuses to train with it also. If we wish them to be safe and effective with their personal protection firearms we need to make sure they train properly and regularly. ,
 

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Take her to the range and let her test out several. Have her try a Glock 19 as it's relatively small, light, and the trigger is quite smoothe. Let her try an XD9SC. Also the Khar 9 isn't a bad choice. I might shy away from the airweight revolvers as the recoil is quite heavy. A normal J-Frame revolver though isn't a bad choice either, but as stated above the double action pull can be daunting.

As stated above though, make sure she likes it.
 

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I would say stay with the XD family and get her an XD9SC, she already has some familarity with your service XD. The slightly smaller dimensions might fit her better and the heavy slide (compared to a kahr) might help control some of the recoil. Is this something that she going to carry with her (does she have a CCW) or for home defense? I thought I wouldn't like revovers, but i tried a friends (a girl) Taurus 38 special and it was better than I expected. She had some trouble though staying on target when firing it double action as it had a very heavy and long trigger. Single action she was fine, but i'm concerned during a stressful situation its one more thing to think about.
 

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My wife is on the small side (5 foot 2, eyes of blue). I got her out to the range a couple of times to try a few guns. She shot a .38 revolver, my XD-9 subcompact, and a Bersa Thunder .380. We had the targets up at 7 yards. She did fairly well with all three. She performed best with the Bersa .380 and that was her favorite of the three. It fit her hands well and she seemed more confident with it. I think I have seen them listed NIB for $279.
 

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I'll go with the snub-nose revolver votes here. You have to plan for the eventuality that the gun may be used during a struggle, and as long as the cylinder isnt tied up, a snub is going to shoot five times as long as the trigger gets yanked. A lot of girls have a little trouble clearing autos and the XD is actually worse than most in this regard, because you have to grip it just right or you ain't moving that slide anywhere.

The Ruger Sp-101 is the most comfortable snub I, or my wife, have ever fired. Suggest you see if you can find your Missus one of these to try out.
 

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+1 on letting her pick her own gun, but keep in mind that some people think that the smaller the frame, the less kick it will have. NOT TRUE. she will probably be able to control a medium sized hangun better than a small.
 

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LOL! Saw the thread title and thought someone was asking for opinions on women.

This has got to be one of the most enjoyable forums I visit.
 

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orc4hire said:
I'd second the above recommendations that she look at a snubbie revolver (but NOT an airweight; I cannot emphasize strongly enough that an airweight revolver is a very poor choice for most novice shooters), and also the Sig P230/232. Only a .380, not cheap, but it's light, trim, and a sweet shooter. (We lucked out on my wife's 230; we got a good price on one so lightly used that the second magazine had never even been taken out of the styrofoam case.)
When I took my CPL class my buddy and his fiance attended with me. She took a liking to the Sig P232 that one of the instructors had available. By the end of the day, she was out-shooting most of us in the class! Not fair, I tell ya... :wink:
 

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My wife has a Sig P232 and LOVES it--it's her first gun. A .380 would be a great caliber--small enough for most women to handle comfortably, and will get the job done in a pinch with the right load. The P232 is a wonderfully reliable (and fun) gun--highest recommendation here. The DA trigger is long and heavy, but in SA it's short & crisp. It has a decocker, and is drop safe.

I have no experience with the Glock 28, but it's a subcompact chambered in .380. I'd be interested to shoot one of those if I ever got the chance.
 

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sjp2452 said:
I have no experience with the Glock 28, but it's a subcompact chambered in .380. I'd be interested to shoot one of those if I ever got the chance.
That's because they don't import it to America. You'd have a really tough time getting your hands on one...
 

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if she is completely new, I suggest the first time out, rent an semi-auto .22. It is easier to learn on because there is less noise and recoil, but you get the general idea of how guns operate. Since you are on a "fast tract", next trip move up to a better defencive caliber.

She may also want to where gloves. My wife weres a thin pair of Isotoner (sp.) gloves and it helps her hand from hurting as much.
 

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Without trying to start any caliber wars...in the revolver end, i'll think out of the box and say a 9mm snubnose like the Taurus 905 series. Recoil will be similar (maybe even lighter) than 38 special and ballistics should be comparable. You'll then be able to use the same ammo stock as your XD and ammo will be cheaper.

If I had to choose a small 380 and I had the funds I'd get the Kahr PM9. My guess is this gun is putting a dent in the pocket pistol 380 market. Not much bigger than a 380, you could use milder defensive ammo like WWB- HPs which would still be better than any 380 loading and still have the ability to put a more potent +P loading in it when she gets used to it. For practice, if you don't reload yourself, some reloading places even sell downloaded 9mms for speed races, you just have to be sure it functions in your gun. The couple 380s I shot made hell of a bang and recoil felt almost like a 9mm.
 
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