Skip to comments.Favorite Handgun Question (Vanity)
Posted on 03/21/2006 5:28:13 AM PST by tcostell
I'm in the market for a pistol for my wife and I was hoping I could solicit opinions and suggestions.
She doesn't have any handgun experience, but she's an excellent rifle shot (better than me in fact) and has no trouble handling the recoil of my 12 gauge Benelli when shooting clay. The weight of it does bother her a little however because she's very small. She's 5'1'' and some change, and weighs about 105 lbs soaking wet.
The firearm will be used for personal self defense, but I'm not really expecting a home invasion, and she won't be using it when concealment would be an issue. I just want her to have something portable that she can slip under her car seat and carry with her if it becomes necessary for her to take our daughter and beat feet from the greater NY area.
I think she can handle a cartridge with some stopping power but a .50 cal would probably be out of the question. A light recoil 9mm or .40 cal would probably be OK, but I specifically need something with a gentle slide spring and a relatively small grip because of her size.
I had the Springfield XD-9 recommended to me, so I picked one up at Cabelas this weekend but it still felt a little large for her hands.
I was wondering if any of the ladies (or knowledgeable gents) could make specific recommendation I could have her take a look at?
Ruger .357 Magnum
Get her a 9mm...maybe a Baretta or a Walther PPK..or my favorite: an Astra Parabellum
Kimber Custom Classic 45 acp
Ruger Blackhawk 4 5/8" barrel 45 colt.
Take her to the range & let her try several. My wife has very small hands & what I thought was good for her, wasn't even close. Also, shot placement is more important than caliber....she needs to be comfortable with what she chooses.
Glock 45. End of story.
I think Bonnie Parker was about that size. She preferred an M1918A1 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). But that's not for everyone.
Sig's P232 is my ante...
If she does not have handgun experience, I would recommend a revolver rather than a semi-auto. If conceal-carry is not an issue, a 4-in barrel .357 magnum revolver such as a Ruger GP100 or S&W 686 would be an excellent choice.
Like I said, she's already a better rifle shot than me... I already try to avoid angering her.
What's she look like - Does she have all her teeth? Can she cook? What kind of a pistol do you want for her? :-)
Wow...gun porn and it's not even Friday!
For an under-the-seat gun for someone who won't be serious about carrying and practicing?
But something utterly reliable and simple in a pinch?
Get a Ruger (or other) .357 4" revolver that can also take .38 special.
LOL..I tried to get a pistol for my first wife...but the dude wanted an extra $1000 to take her off my hands!
Walther P-99 - light and small gripped, reliable.
I am seriously considering buying a handgun in the next few months.
I have just about decided on a Walther PPK.
Is that a good choice?
Me, myself, personally, I really like a Sig P239 and the 9mm is pleasant to shoot, though I carry 357 or .40. Tupperware guns sure are light. My duty gun is a Glock 22 and, well, it's okay.
I am female and not much larger than your wife. I trained with a Glock and loved it, but since I wanted one for conceal carry I bought a small Baretta. But I suggest she try several on a range and see what feels best and most comfortable for her before purchasing.
I was at the indoor range last Saturday shooting my .380 Colt Mustang and my 1911 .45 acp Remington Rand. My friend who was working the range showed my a little Kel-Tec P3AT it is dubbed- The Worlds Lightest .380 Auto Pistol. He fired my .380 mustang (no longer made) and commented on how nice the trigger was. He did not have a rental Kel-tec for me to play with....or I would have tried it. He said the Kel-Tec is NOT a range gun. It just wont hold up to constant shooting...but there is no gun lighter and easyier to conceal and carry than this gun. I am thinking of getting one just for that reason.
For those who hate to carry because of the bulk or weight, it looks like a good choice, just dont expect to play with it a lot.
Walther PPK/S in .380 is a nice little weapon for a lady. There's also small j-frame revolvers from Smith&Wesson. If I had my druthers, I'd buy my lady one of the new Springfield XD line sub-compacts in 9mm.
My wife's friend who is about your wife's size tried a Kahr but had real trouble racking the slide. My wife also had difficulty with the slide and it really has to do with hand strength, rather than other variables. We finally settled on a revolver...the Taurus 627(?) tracker .357 with a 4" vented barrel that cuts back on the recoil considerably. It holds 7 shots and a double tap with two hollow points would be sufficient to cause a bear to think twice. The only thing we had to change was the grip. My wife's friend also went with a revolver, a Colt, that she is able to handle easily. I'd suggest you and your wife visit your local gun shop and try a variety on for size.
Any of the S&W .38s. Might have a look at the Scandium models, which weigh next to nothing, and/or the Ladysmith models.
Some folks will poo-poo the round, but hey- .38 Golden Sabers or Hydrashoks ought to get you out of trouble.
Don't get her a semi-auto unless she plans to get training and a lot of it. In a panic situation as when under attack, working the gun mechanics, clearing a jam or just chambering a round needs to be done without hesitation and without thinking. A revolver is much more forgiving for an amateur or infrequent gun user.
A Ruger SP-101 or similar smaller .357 is a good self defense gun, IMHO. It can be loaded with .38s or .357s.
Personally, my favorite handgun is my name: Smith & Wesson model 6906: compact, 9mm semi-auto with a bobbed hammer. Great concealed carry gun but with rounds like the Hydra-Shock, it packs enough punch to qualify as a decent self-defense weapon.
Don't bother with a .380, it's too puny a round. All it'll do is piss off the crack-head attacking you, not stop him.
Get her a LadySmith .38 revolver.
(Simple, easy, reliable)
Don't stick the lady with any of the "guys" favorite semi!
All of the comments you'll hear about stopping power, are not worth the trade in time to get back on target for the 2nd shot.
If you insist on a semi-auto, Smith & Wesson makes (or at least used to make) a line of 9mm semi-autos in smaller sizes called the LadySmiths. My SW6906 has a fat grip to handle the double column magazine, so it likely would be too big for her. The LadySmiths and others like them had single column magazines. Less rounds, but easier for those with small hands to handle.
Actually, that looks interesting. Is that 6906 a single stack?
You echo my thoughts about the 380. And I know she can handle more gun than that if she could just fit her hands around it.
S&W Models 36 & 60 are both excellent revolvers. I have carried a S&W Model 36 for going on 40 years. I have never been convinced that any particular auto is the one to have.
Practice until you can put 5 rounds in a shot glass at 10 feet and you'll never be shy on confidence about head shots.
Add a pair of Crimson Trace LaserGrips to either model and night shots are a wiz.
I have carried a PPK for 20 years. It is reliable, safe and easy to shoot.
The .380 is not the best defensive round, but it will suffice at close range when filled with something like Speer Gold Dot 90gr hollowpoints.
AH I think I misunderstood your post. Get her a Taurus titanium .357 in 2 or 4 inch barrel. 7 shots - very reliable shoots when you pull the trigger doesn't when you don't - don't get her an autoloader unless you and she are willing to go to the range weekly for several years to become reflexively familiar with it.
Close range defense is all I'm really interested in.
I have no intention of getting into any gun battles. :0)
I have a recommendation.
Go to a local range that has rental firearms for use on the range. Try several, and pick what is most comfortable the larger the caliber (within reason) the better. Remember that if it is to be carried concealed it should be concealable.
I like the SIG SAUER P299 .40 Caliber, the 45 is nice also.
I think James Bond liked it.
"And I'm a little cynical about a .38 because of bullet size ...but suggestion noted....thanks."
I have a lady friend who can unload her Model 36 .22 caliber in half the time I can get my .38 done. Other than perhaps for the the first shot, NO SIR I would NOT go up against her!
One can practice fairly cheaply with .38's, especially since they're easy to reload.
The mere sight of a gun will almost always stop someone with criminal intent. Besides, well placed shots with a .38 will do more than poorly placed shots with a larger or more 'powerful' round.
Besides, if she carries .357 she'll lose nothing in stopping power.
Sorry for the bad image link, click this instead.
2- Is it known to be reliable? Is it in an effective caliber? If not, put it down and repeat step 1.
3- Practice, practice, practice.
Don't ever think a home invasion is unlikely. If you've seen the armed citizen stories here on FR, you know it can happen anywhere. You're the "somebody else" when you say "I always thought this kind of thing happened to somebody else.
Is she looking for revolver or semi-auto? What's wrong with just your everyday small revolver, .38/.357?
Try either a S&W Ladysmith with a two inch barrel in .38 special or .357, or a Ruger SP 101 with a three inch barrel in .357. I'd stick with a revolver. Less things to go wrong. Easier to operate.
The p232 looks like similar design to Walther...
I ended up getting my wife a S&W Model 637 Airweight (.38). It's a great gun and one that I prefer to carry concealed most of the time. Small & light, but when loaded with 157 grain HP's it'll stop most anything we may have to deal with. I was concerned about hand strength (working the slide and breaking nails loading a magazine) and complexity (my wife is a converted liberal who had no dealing with guns before I came along). A revolver was the best solution for all the females in my life. Of course, everyone is different...
Reread your post. "The firearm will be used for personal self defense, but I'm not really expecting a home invasion, and she won't be using it when concealment would be an issue. I just want her to have something portable that she can slip under her car seat and carry with her if it becomes necessary for her to take our daughter and beat feet from the greater NY area."
This isn't making sense to me. Is she expecting a five minute warning that she is about to be attacked or molested? Trying to locate something under your car seat is damn near impossible unless you get out of the car, bend over and feel around for it.
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