The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 15, 2012, 06:33 PM   #51
jfrey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Coastal South Texas
Posts: 551
The S&W Shield sounds like a good match for you. I had a Kahr but like the Shield better.
jfrey is offline  
Old September 15, 2012, 06:57 PM   #52
qqq1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 7, 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 125
I'll throw in a vote for the LCR. It's my daily pocket carry. I just tested it in my hand and my trigger finger reaches out past the the front of the trigger guard, or far into the trigger area if I actually put my finger on the trigger. My mom is fairly small and she enjoys her LCR. It can have a sting with hot 38+P rounds but practicing with regular 38's isn't bad. You won't notice that when you need to use it anyway. Like people are saying, go into a shop and put your hands on one. It might be better for you because you could get a full grip on the little handle.

If you are looking into 22 there's also the LCR 22. 8 shots and unlike a semi auto if you get a bad round you just pull the trigger again to get to the next round. With a semi auto you'll need to rack the slide and possible clear a jam. 22 is not ideal for defense but it is better then a police whistle.
__________________
I bought one Taurus firearm. I'll never make that mistake again.

Last edited by qqq1; September 15, 2012 at 07:08 PM.
qqq1 is offline  
Old September 15, 2012, 07:59 PM   #53
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,326
Quote:
How about a Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm??
Try to shoot one, if possible. If it fits your hand and feels good, and if you can reach and operate the controls comfortably, then it could be a good gun for you. I don't hear much negative about that model--friend of mine uses one as his carry gun and shoots it often. He is very happy with it.

It is a single-action 1911 style pistol which means you'll have to think carefully about what mode you would want the pistol to be in while it's "on duty". Typical "ready" mode would be hammer back with the safety on--some folks aren't comfortable leaving a gun in that mode.

I wouldn't rule out the .22LR pistols entirely, but it's probably better to start considering them only if you've tried the other options (Kahr K9, Springfield EMP 9, etc) and determine that you can't find something in 9mm that won't work for you or that is in your price range. .22LR has saved defenders' lives, no question about it; but it should be selected as a defensive caliber as a last resort, in my opinion.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old September 15, 2012, 08:05 PM   #54
Smit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2012
Posts: 335
Shoot a .500 S&W or a Glock 20. After handling these, everything else will seem manageable.
__________________
"Vegetarian, an old Indian word for bad hunter."
Smit is offline  
Old September 15, 2012, 11:28 PM   #55
lilcris
Member
 
Join Date: September 14, 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 15
First I have to say thanks so much to everyone who took the time to help me. So much good advice. Maybe too much. I've never visited an online community that offered so much advice so quickly.

I ended up with the Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm.

My reasoning:
I tried some of the other guns recommended. The J-Frame was an acceptable fit, but the gun is too light for it to be comfortable to shoot. The Kahrs (lower end 9mms)fit very well, but again I wanted a heavier gun and apparently the K9 and T9 are hard to find. I would have to order them online, sight unseen, and possibly pay some kind of transfer fee. I tried a few small Rugers - they were either too big or too light. I mentioned the possibility of starting with a .22, but the salesperson frowned at me, so I moved on. He seemed to think a 1911, a LadySmith, or a K9 would be my best bets, but he had none in stock.

So I went another large dealer in the area. I tried more Kahrs and Rugers. There were no K9s or LadySmiths to try, but there was a very, very pretty and very, very expensive Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm (the smallest 1911 and the only one with a shortened distance between grip and trigger). It fit nicely in my hand, with my finger easily on the trigger (still not quite perfect, but still comfy). The weight doesn't feel too heavy, but it's enough to feel substantial, which I hope will help with recoil. I racked the slide and I was stunned by how much more natural it felt, since I had been struggling to do that on my XD. I could operate the slide release (couldn't budge the release on my XD), the mag release, and the thumb safety fairly easily.

The 1911 felt so good that we pulled the trigger on it (hardy har har) and got a "decent" trade in amount for the XD (still=lost money though. *tears*). The only other option was to try my luck at smaller retailers or order something online, sight unseen.

So I practiced basic operation without ammunition tonight and feel ready to try it out tomorrow at the range. I'll be taking a few classes in the next few months as well. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks again!
lilcris is offline  
Old September 15, 2012, 11:39 PM   #56
nazshooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 7, 2008
Posts: 151
That's great to hear. It sounds like you've found a gun you're really going to enjoy.

Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 2
nazshooter is offline  
Old September 16, 2012, 12:17 AM   #57
CWKahrFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 2010
Posts: 1,795
Nice Choice... Kudos to you for making a sizable $ commitment for a gun you can be happy with... and kudos for making the switch so soon and following your intuition. As my byline says...

"If the gun fits, shoot it!"
__________________
What did Mrs. Bullet say to Mr. Bullet? ... "We're having a BeeBee!"...

IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT!... IF THE GUN FITS, SHOOT IT!
CWKahrFan is offline  
Old September 16, 2012, 01:17 AM   #58
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,362
I think you made an excellent decision.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old September 16, 2012, 05:09 AM   #59
mrt949
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 16, 2008
Posts: 1,465
Good choice .
mrt949 is offline  
Old September 16, 2012, 06:26 AM   #60
thedudeabides
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 22, 2012
Posts: 990
Wow, you pretty much got schooled in all of the elements of gun ownership in a record short time, from testing a gun before you buy it, to unscrupulous gun store clerks, to the many different choices for you out there, to the fact that polymer guns are worthless when you try to sell them--even in great condition.

Good luck with the EMP, it's a nice gun.

It'd be nice if you could have shot these guns before you made the decision, but I think you'll be happy.
thedudeabides is offline  
Old September 16, 2012, 08:48 AM   #61
BillM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2009
Location: Amity Oregon
Posts: 342
Congrats on your EMP.


My wife has the smallest hands I've ever seen on an adult. We shoot
USPSA and steel, and here is what works for her:

Colt 5" government model 9mm
Thin grips
Flat mainspring housing
Short trigger
Mitchell right side magazine release, she drops
the mag with her trigger finger.
Low pad safety from Brownells

She also has a 22/45 Ruger and Beretta Neos 22's, and a Kel-tec
P32 with a Crimson trace laser on it.

You are in Portland? We are just South of McMinnville. If you
would like some hands on range time with any of her guns, PM
me and we will figure it out.
BillM is offline  
Old September 16, 2012, 11:04 AM   #62
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
If the OP is in Portland, she is not far from Firearms Academy of Seattle (near Chehalis, WA). Pax, author of The Cornered Cat, instructs there. So does Marty Hayes (another TFL member). The OP might want to schedule a class up that way.
MLeake is offline  
Old September 16, 2012, 02:35 PM   #63
JN01
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2005
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 497
If the EMP doesn't work out, you might want to look at a Sig 238 (.380) or 938 (9mm).
JN01 is offline  
Old September 16, 2012, 08:12 PM   #64
marine6680
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2012
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 1,301
The EMP sounds like a good option. It should work well. (You mentioned the easier to use slide release. Remember, that operating the slide release with an empty magazine in place is harder than operating it with a loaded magazine. Something to keep in mind)

Also, keep in mind, if this is a firearm to be used for defensive reasons... you need some quality hollow point ammo.

Walmart sells the old Federal Hydra-shok... but that ammo is outdated and newer rounds work better. Winchester PDX1, Federal HTS, Speer Gold Dot, are all good choices, and usually easy to find. Find one available locally and at a good price and test it in the pistol for reliability. Several boxes is best. If you have problems... say a couple jams or more... then switch to a different brand hollow point and try again.

One problem is that hollow point ammo tends to be more than double the price of practice FMJ ammo. $35+ per 50 in 9mm is common, but deals can be found. Firing at least 2-3 boxes is a good idea if you can afford it. If not... at least a whole box (of 50) is the bare minimum I would recommend... and I would prefer more. (some say 300+ rounds are needed... ouch $$$)

Also, you want +P for defense. In 9mm, 124gr +P or 147gr +P is considered the best choices. I prefer the 124gr +P, others the 147gr +P, either will work well. They kick more than normal rounds, but you do not shoot them often, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Keep in mind also, that if you chamber and un-chamber the same round into the pistol without firing it. (this is common for pistols used for defense, you unload them often to inspect, clean, and fire practice rounds) Doing this repeatedly with the same round can cause the bullet to push into the case a little farther every time. This is very bad... but avoidable. Google "bullet setback" for more info.



If you, like most of the rest of us, feel the sting of rising ammo prices for regular practice... a 22 pistol is not a bad second purchase. Especially if you find you enjoy shooting.

The Ruger Mark III is a good option, as well as the SR22 pistol. The SR22 has large and small grips to fit many hands, and it is small overall. A basic Mark III can be found new for $275 just about anywhere, the SR22 is about $300-325. The Mark III has a learning curve to disassembly, but a little practice helps. The SR22 is easy to dissemble.

Sometimes a 22 auto-loader can be picky when using some brand/types of ammo, but outright poor functioning across the board with all ammo is rare. Sometimes, a 22 just needs a couple hundred rounds of quality stuff fired through it before it will feed the cheaper stuff.

Bulk pack ammo like Federal, Winchester, Blazer, and others can be had for less than $20 for a 500rd box. I find the Blazer to be the most reliable feeding and performing with very few rounds that need two tries to fire. The Federal and Winchester bulk had many many rounds that needed a second try to fire for me. They also had feeding issues in my rifle.

My SR22 has ran flawlessly with all the ammo I have tried, but the Blazer did leave too much lead fouling in the barrel. Switched to the Winchester M-22, because I found the copper plated stuff did not leave fouling. It has so far proved to be just as reliable as the Blazer, and it only cost a couple dollars more per 500rd box.

Enjoy your new EMP and hopefully to enjoy the hobby as a whole.
marine6680 is offline  
Old September 16, 2012, 11:33 PM   #65
9mm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2011
Location: Land of the Free
Posts: 2,711
Walther P-22?

Single stack 1911s are just about as thick as double stacks............... I put my 1911 against my Glock...
__________________
See user title
9mm is offline  
Old September 30, 2012, 05:47 PM   #66
lilcris
Member
 
Join Date: September 14, 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 15
UPDATE

So I took my EMP to the indoor range for the first time two weeks ago. Shared a lane with my husband, who shot first. When he was finished, he turned around to me crying hysterically. I couldn't quite work up the nerve to shoot that day - everything just seemed so intimidating.

So I went back today and fired about 50 rounds (no tears this time!). The EMP was easy to use and felt nice in my hands, although I have nothing to compare it to. I shot very low the whole time, only managing to hit the center of the target 3-4 times. I'm not sure why.

I'll be heading to the range every few weeks for a while, until I feel more comfortable with my gun, then I plan on taking a few classes. A big thank you to those who recommended pax's classes in Washington State - they look like a great option!

Thanks again!
lilcris is offline  
Old September 30, 2012, 05:52 PM   #67
Sparks1957
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 4, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,470
Quote:
When he was finished, he turned around to me crying hysterically
My goodness, I'm sorry to hear that. What happened that affected him so?

I'm glad to hear you went back to the range. It will take time and practice to get good at this, and some training will help you.
Sparks1957 is offline  
Old September 30, 2012, 05:58 PM   #68
lilcris
Member
 
Join Date: September 14, 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 15
Oh, sorry! I didn't explain that very well. When my husband turned around, he saw me crying hysterically. The sound and the noise percussion just overwhelmed me.
lilcris is offline  
Old September 30, 2012, 05:59 PM   #69
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,184
You explained it fine, he was making a joke.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is online now  
Old September 30, 2012, 06:01 PM   #70
lilcris
Member
 
Join Date: September 14, 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 15
*facepalm* Thanks.
lilcris is offline  
Old September 30, 2012, 06:11 PM   #71
CWKahrFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 2010
Posts: 1,795
Quote:
I shot very low the whole time, only managing to hit the center of the target 3-4 times. I'm not sure why.
Maybe you're still a little shocked by the recoil... so as you squeeze the trigger, you're probably anticipating the discharge and jerking the trigger just before the point in the pull where your brain knows the BANG is going to come. You might be closing your eyes briefly just at that point too, otherwise you'd probably be able to see the muzzle as it dips down a bit.

The trick is to pretend you don't know when the BANG is coming, and to just hold the sight picture as steady as you can.

Some people do a lot of "dry firing" with an unloaded gun to overcome this... Like even while you're watching TV, for example.

Just be sure to read what your manual says about dry firing. With some guns, it's fine... with others, it depends.
__________________
What did Mrs. Bullet say to Mr. Bullet? ... "We're having a BeeBee!"...

IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT!... IF THE GUN FITS, SHOOT IT!
CWKahrFan is offline  
Old September 30, 2012, 06:14 PM   #72
Sparks1957
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 4, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,470
Quote:
You explained it fine, he was making a joke
Actually, I wasn't. The way I read it, HE was crying. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

My wife reacted similarly a couple times when we went shooting together early in our time together. Now she is fairly confident (though she still has moments of self-doubt), and has become a pretty good shooter.

Handling a firearm is scary for some people, and it takes perseverance along with a patient teacher to help them become used to shooting.

That has to happen first, then you can work on the details like hitting your target.
Sparks1957 is offline  
Old September 30, 2012, 07:57 PM   #73
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,326
Quote:
I shot very low the whole time, only managing to hit the center of the target 3-4 times. I'm not sure why.
This is extremely common for new shooters.

The human reflex system is designed to protect the face and head, especially the eyes. Something jumping around in front of the face, making very loud noises and bright flashes, throwing empty cases around, activates that reflexive protection system and results in the shooter anticipating recoil. The most common example of recoil anticipation is a trigger yank which pulls the shot low.

Some folks recommend dryfiring to help get your reflex system used to the idea of pulling a trigger without the muzzle blast/flash and recoil. It can help you train yourself to focus on the basics and to help ignore the distractions. Just be careful about dryfiring. Here's an excellent resource on safe dryfire practice.
http://www.corneredcat.com/Dry_Fire_Safety/

You should make sure that you have good quality hearing protection that fits you properly. Your comments about being overwhelmed by the noise suggests that you might want to double-up on hearing protection by using foam earplugs along with muffs. Also be sure that your muffs fit properly. When they are on properly and fit well, pushing on the muffs should produce a distinct sensation of pressure on your eardrums. Since your reflex system reacts to loud noises, cutting down on how much noise you have to deal with will probably help.

Some people find that concentrating on watching the front sight during recoil, or watching it as it comes back down from recoil onto the target, or watching for the muzzle flash can help with recoil anticipation. Basically it turns recoil into something you want to observe rather than something that is alarming.

For the rest, just concentrate on the basics. You'll want to take a good stance, control your breathing, take a proper grip on the pistol, align the sights correctly, squeeze the trigger straight back instead of yanking and then follow through after the shot. None of that is complicated or difficult, and part of it is building a routine that helps you be consistent.

Here's a good video showing how to properly grip a pistol.
http://youtu.be/XQy5yKN-2vw

There are many resources on learning to shoot on the internet, but it sounds like you could benefit from some professional training to get you started properly. I'm not talking about a multi-day tactical class--just an instructor who could spend an hour or so with you to get the basics ironed out. It will help you avoid creating bad habits and will get you started on the right track.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old September 30, 2012, 08:18 PM   #74
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
Noise and percussion... my wife hates those, too.

She's shot several of my handguns, to include a .44 Magnum; she's shot my M-1 Garand, my AR, and my Remington 870 12ga.

She's physically tough, but - she hates shooting indoors.

Outdoor ranges are much less painful, noise wise, as the noise can travel in all directions, instead of getting funneled and trapped between floor, ceiling, and walls.

So, if the noise continues to be a problem, try to find a good outdoor range within a reasonable distance, and that will help.

If the indoor range is your only viable option, double up on the hearing protection. Plugs in the ears, and cups over them. (I recommend this for outdoor rifle shooting, too, since it is not unknown for a rifle or shotgun stock to displace a cup; having the plug in can make a huge difference if that happens.)
MLeake is offline  
Old September 30, 2012, 09:14 PM   #75
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,362
There's a good diagnostic "target" that helps explain to new shooters why they're doing a particular thing. It can be Googled and found all over the Internet, but it has been posted before right here on The Firing Line:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=313762



That said, it has been my experience that Springfield Armory pistols tend to come from the factory with the sights set to shoot low. This is not just me -- I have a good friend and fellow NRA pistol instructor who has observed the same thing. So, this MAY not be a software (shooter) problem, it MAY be a hardware (pistol) problem. If additional practice shows that you're getting good groups but always low, have a couple or three other (good) shooters try the pistol and see how it works for them.

I see M1911.org reviewed the EMP when it first came out, and it doesn't appear to have shot low for them. But that was several years ago, and Springfield might have tinkered with the sights since then. But ... start with the diagnostic target.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13710 seconds with 7 queries