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Discussion Starter #1
Just looking for ya'll to help compile a list of handguns that my wife should "test drive" at the range. We're going to try and go tomorrow to a local shop/range here in DFW area and rent several pistols.

Just to give you an idea as to were we are so far. She is small with small hands and is new to shooting. She shot 20 or so rounds through my XD9sc and liked the gun recoil-wise but she could not reach the trigger & still keep good grip form. Was just to big for her hands. She also has shot a Kahr CW9 which felt great to her as far as grip and trigger reach but had too much snappy recoil.

Here's my short list so far for guns she should try out: Ruger LCP.380, Walther PPS 9mm, Glock 26....and my mind goes blank after that. What should I add to this list? And Im(SHE) is open to revolvers too.

I should add that she'll be getting her TX CHL and be carrying probably in a bag of some sort. ie: purse, CCW bag, etc.

Thanks for .02(or more)!!
 

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All i can think of is maybe a Keltec, or even a Taurus Milenium, both of them regularly small compared to other models, they are not as good as tru name brand, but its a defense gun, not a range toy.

The bad thing about most of the cheaper end guns is that they require an X amount of rounds to break in, and be completely accurate, not like an XD or Glock that you can shoot out the box.

On the good thing, Taurus has a life time guaranteed on their guns, I bought a Millenium for my ex wife, she loves it, its the second Millenium I purchased had a little bit of problems with the first one which was a .380, Taurus took care of it, send it back to me with a new recoil spring, barrel and trigger spring. Once she got used to the .380, I sold it and got her a 9mm, I believe you can purchase them at Academy, for $299.00 in any caliber, 9-40-45, and the 380 needs to be special ordered.

The walther PPS is also very small, but beats the hell out of your hand, I tried one up and loved the size, but hated the recoil on it, it was a 9mm and it kicked more than my XD 40, or at least it felt like it due to the short grip and short barrel.

I believe Ruger is coming out with an ultra slim gun, cant remember the name of it, remember seeing it on the Outdoor Channel, I want to say it was a 9mm, with something like 8 shot mags, and its supposed to be the slimest gun in the market.

Hope I was able to help you.
 

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My wife is petite with small hands also although she can reach the trigger on her XD9sc.

She did not like the pop of the Ruger LCP, the PPS is nice and slim but had a little recoil also. She did not shoot a G26 but did shoot a G19. The G19 had almost no recoil. For her class she used a Ruger P95.

For carry you may want to look at the S&W M&P Compact 9mm. Has adjustable grips for her, shot better then the PPS with a little less recoil. You can also look at the Bersa Thunder 380.
 

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I would also suggest the Bersa Thunder it comes in .380, 9mm, .40s&w and I think it also comes in a .45acp but I am not certain of that. I know in the .380 and 9mm it should be small enough for her to grip well. My wife has small hands and the .380 was a very nice fit for her.
 

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I absolutely love this forum!

I was just about to start a thread on the exact same topic. I'm shopping for my wife's first gun. She also has small skinny hands and she needs something she can handle. My first choice was an XD-9 SC but she can't even pull the slide back on my XD-9SM so I'm thinking a SC won't be much different. She prefers a semi auto as opposed to a revolver and I'm not sure which route I should go.

I went to my local FFL over the weekend and interesting enough he suggested the Bersa Thunder .380. It was small enough for her to handle with not too much kick but she wasn't with me to see it in person. So... I'm still searching.

However, after reading the previous posts, I've got a few more models to look into. :rolleyes:
 

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My wife bought her first gun a few months ago.

We rented a lot of different handguns, and she waffled back and forth on all of them until she tried the XD .45. Neither one of us had ever shot a .45, so I was a little nervous when she loaded it up . . . but BAM, all 13 rounds went through the middle of the target. She turned around, smiled, and said, "That's my gun!".

All I'm saying is . . . don't assume that smaller is better. Let her try them all.

My wife had a lot of trouble with the slide at first, but with some practice she can now rack it without a problem. She can still kick my ass regularly at the range, too -- she sure likes that .45! :)
 

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get r a 50cal. Desert Eagle. No how about a XD-9mm service model....the SUB-COMPACT kicks more than the Service Model.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Is the Bersa a meatal frame gun? Maybe she'll like something small but relativly heavy. I guess Im thinking that a little heavier, small gun would give less felt recoil.

I suggested a .22 for now. Just til she gets the feel for shooting on a regular basis, but she didn't like that idea. She know's .22 is not a good defense caliber.

Thanks for the input so far.

edit: She couldn't reach the trigger well on my XDsc so I don't think she'll be able to reach on any other XD. And If I get her to shoot a .50 cal she'll slap the snot outta me and never shoot again. Niether of which I want to experience.
 

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Hello Sidewayz, Here is my story: My wife was ready to get her CPL, and I was going to surprise her with a new XD-9 SC, as she has already shot well with my 40 service. When I told my local gun dealer what my plans were he honestly smiled and said, Rog you should let her pick out her own!! I thought about this and he was right. The next day I returned with my wife, BTW my local gun shop also has a barber shop, (how cool is that) I introduced them, and told her he was going to explain the pro's and con's of revolver vs pistol. 2/3 of the way thru my hair cut she came in smiling ear to ear with her new S&W 642. Later I asked why she had chosen the revolver? she stated the dealer told her about the rare FTF or stove pipe and with having her trying to remove one of these in the heat of the moment, under pressure, she may have a hard time trying to do so. And with a wheel gun all you do is pull the trigger again upon an FTF. She also liked the fact of the 642 being hammer less and will not snag and will also fire thru her coat pocket, purse, fanny pack with out material stopping the hammer. Being a light gun, she prefers the non + P loads, which still have plenty of stopping power. She now wants and so do I an xd-9 tactical for a women's pistol league she is trying to put together at our local gun club, but prefers to use the 642 as her carry gun. But hey I did take the liberty of installing C.T grips:grin:
 

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I would highly recommend a Kel Tec P32 if her hands are that small. The 380 is the same size but has a lot of felt recoil. The .32 acp will be a better defense caliber than .22 and all the popular jhp's are available. She should also be able to rack it no problem because of the light spring for the .32's.

I was thinking about one suggesting one of those airweight pistols but I would imagine the recoil is pretty severe.
 

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My wife likes her Sig P232 a lot. It does have a good bit of recoil though.
 

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Hello Sidewayz, Here is my story: My wife was ready to get her CPL, and I was going to surprise her with a new XD-9 SC, as she has already shot well with my 40 service. When I told my local gun dealer what my plans were he honestly smiled and said, Rog you should let her pick out her own!! I thought about this and he was right. The next day I returned with my wife, BTW my local gun shop also has a barber shop, (how cool is that) I introduced them, and told her he was going to explain the pro's and con's of revolver vs pistol. 2/3 of the way thru my hair cut she came in smiling ear to ear with her new S&W 642. Later I asked why she had chosen the revolver? she stated the dealer told her about the rare FTF or stove pipe and with having her trying to remove one of these in the heat of the moment, under pressure, she may have a hard time trying to do so. And with a wheel gun all you do is pull the trigger again upon an FTF. She also liked the fact of the 642 being hammer less and will not snag and will also fire thru her coat pocket, purse, fanny pack with out material stopping the hammer. Being a light gun, she prefers the non + P loads, which still have plenty of stopping power. She now wants and so do I an xd-9 tactical for a women's pistol league she is trying to put together at our local gun club, but prefers to use the 642 as her carry gun. But hey I did take the liberty of installing C.T grips:grin:
+100 on this! I made a suggestion on a Bersa Thunder .380 earlier but that was with the assumption that she was going to go with you and put her hands on all of these suggested guns. You can not "Pick out a gun especially a "First" gun for a woman". I mean think about it. You, being a guy, have an emotional attachment to your gun/guns right? It had to have esthetic appeal, feel right in your hand, feel great when you fired it and you had to be able to shoot it at least fairly well when you first fired it, right? Well that being so for you, a male, how much MORE is that going to be true for a Woman! OMG dude, please make sure that she picks out her own first gun. I mean with your help sure, but she has to LOVE that gun if you expect her to want to keep shooting it. And the suggestion of getting a "neutral expert" to explain all of the pro's and con's of the different types, styles and models is another +100. That way she can make an intelligent and well informed decision. Well, forgive me for rambling, just my $0.02 and good luck in your quest.
 

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obviously you have to let her make the decision for herself, but you're looking for suggestions and here's mine.
Stay away from the LCP/KelTec p3at. It's snappy and has more recoil than my j-frame .357. I put less than 1 mag through my buddies and handed it back. If you're only going to get 6-7 rounds, make sure they're the kind that will do it's job. I personally carry a S&W 649-5 with .357.
My wife's gun is a S&W model 60 (no dash) with .38 spl. Airweight's aren't that bad in .38 spl or even +p.
The Kahr's are nice if you don't mind the break in of at least 200 rounds. Glock and XD's sound like the trigger is too far for her.
But if you want a semi auto pistol, my ultimate recommendation would be a SIG 239. All steel, so recoil is reasonable. 8 rounds of .40 (not sure what the capacity in 9mm is ). and they're one of the best feeling guns I've ever held. Grip is a little thick, but that can be cured with slimmer grips. And can be had for around $500-550 used. and will last forever
 

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I keep showing my wife guns, trying to find something that will peak her interest. She has shot my XD9 but it was just too much for her. It just didn't fit her hand and the slide was just too difficult for her to manage. I keep inviting her to come with me to the range and showing her pics of guns that she might find easier to use but she just hasn't shown that much interest. This weekend I showed her a pic of a Walther P22 thinking maybe a small .22lr would at least be a place to start. Sigh. I may have to take up trap shooting since she has said she would like that, just to get her out to the club.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Man you guys are a big help! I do have every intention of letting her make the choice. We are past the "peeking her interest" stage, which was the hard part for me. She actually wants to shoot now and get a CHL. I think she realizes the need for it now after finding out how serious I am about carrying all the time.

I'll definatly find a S&W 642 for her to shoot. I also thought of a Ruger SP101 in .327 Federal might be good.
 

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I would compare shoe shopping for gun shopping. If she likes the looks, let her try the fit (ie what feels good in her hand). If she likes the looks and the feel, then let her try it out... process of elimination.
 

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My wife has a small frame Taurus revolver in .32 H&R Magnum. It's all titanium with a 3" ported barrel and 6-shot cylinder. It handles like a pussycat, and she shoots it very well.

Unfortunately, a recent stop in the gun shop with wife in tow led to her taking a liking to a Springfield EMP. So, guess what she's getting for Christmas! ;)
 

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We had problems finding something for my wife as well. We started with a Bertetta PX4 in 40S&W, but it was really too much recoil for her and the "controls" such as the slide release, mag release and so on. She tried my XD SC, but once again 40S&W, and the recoil was too much again. Then we went on to my S&W 909, an old model single stack 9mm, recoil issue was solved but controls still too far out for her short fingers.

After several trips to the gun shop, we bought her a Sig Pro 2022, 9mm. She loves it! The slide release, decock are both plenty close enough for her short fingers, grip was small enough she felt comfortable handling it and she likes the feel of the trigger. She shoots it better than anything else we have to boot. It works for her, but only your wife can make the final descision.
 

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Most avenues have been covered, but I suppose I will throw this in here.

I am an adamant believer that the best firearm for a woman for SD is a revolver. Here's why.

Women are, in general, less knowledgeable about guns (much like men are less knowledgeable about sewing). When you give a woman a semi auto such as an XD or a PX4 (I'm not sure why ardriver started his wife with this) there are many things that can happen mechanically. Stove piping from limp wrist, double feed jams, FTF's, etc.

The mechanical issues with a revolver are very few and operation is as simple as it gets. She pulls the trigger, it goes bang. If it does not go bang (FTF), she pulls the trigger again and it should go bang.

Racking the slide on many auto's can be very difficult for a woman's hands as well.

If my wife truly does need to defend herself, thats all I want her to have to do.

My suggestion, S&W 638 airweight.

It's hammerless, light, small, and can shoot .38 +p (which, arguably, hits about as hard as 9mm).

If she becomes proficient with the .38, I would consider moving her to something larger. I am not going to arm my wife with something she is scared/to weak to shoot.
 
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