My wife is 5'6" @ 124 pounds. Her favorite pistol to target shoot with is either the 5" Kimber 45 or the '73s in 45 Colt. She didn't start out that way, we just worked up from a .17hmr till we got there.
But on topic my buddy shot some .38 special WCs he backwards loaded out of a 6" python....lord did they make a mess of anything they hit, and only felt like shooting a .22 mag or .25 auto. Seems I remember the great Mr taffin doing a test the same way with backwards loaded HBWCs either in .44 special or .45 Colt.
Shot of the little lady getting some range time with her CCW of choice Glock 26, in mid cycle feeding 110gr Corbon +p. Note the 4 3/4" SAA in .45 colt on the shooting table. She's quite dangerous with both out to and a little past 20yards too