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Old February 3, 2013, 12:31 PM   #1
HamsterHamster
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Another what gun for women thread.

I have a lady friend in her early 20s who finds .380 out of a PPK to be too harsh. For her carry piece, something a little more gentle is needed.

What are the typical pistols that ladies can carry on their person? (i.e. Not in hand bags)?

In this particular case, she'll need something with a little class as she is usually very well dress in the european tradition, and most likely will carry in a thigh holster.

Beretta .25 and .22 seem the traditional choice, what else are in the market that we should look at?
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Old February 3, 2013, 12:55 PM   #2
Doc Intrepid
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Here is a video regarding another option that your lady friend may find suits her needs.

http://www.ksccw.com/showthread.php?t=42842

NOTHING says 'a little class (while) well-dressed in the European tradition" like a new Walther PPK/s!


I've also noticed that many who deride the .22 LR as a self-defense option remain stubbornly reluctant to stand up and take 7 or 8 shots of .22 LR to the chest. IMHO, a pistol that a woman has with her and feels comfortable shooting, particularly one she will practice with routinely, offers an advantage over a pistol she won't work with, or the option of no pistol at all.

Just MHO. YMMV.
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Old February 3, 2013, 01:15 PM   #3
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Why not a PPK in .32acp if she finds the .380 too much for her? Or the Sig 232 in .380 which is slightly larger than the PPK which manages recoil much better IMO, especially with the Hogue rubber grip.

The PPK though is a blowback design, along with the Sig 232. Because of it being a blowback vs a locked breech design it generally has more felt recoil.

You could have her check out Ruger's new LC380, not to be confused with the LCP. It is an LC9 chambered in .380.

http://ruger.com/products/lc380/models.html
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Old February 3, 2013, 03:17 PM   #4
Bill DeShivs
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The Keltec P32 is what my wife, daughter, and I carry. Nothing is lighter, thinner. Easy to shoot-recoil is very low because the gun is locked breech.
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Old February 3, 2013, 04:12 PM   #5
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I agree that the .32acp is a great option. The PPS chambered in 32 is something to look for if she likes the gun. I might also suggest looking for a Beretta Tomcat.

The Tomcat is chambered in .32 and is an all steel gun so it helps to eat up some recoil.
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Old February 3, 2013, 04:40 PM   #6
Dragline45
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Quote:
The Tomcat is chambered in .32 and is an all steel gun so it helps to eat up some recoil.
I could be wrong but I believe the Tomcat has an aluminum frame.
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Old February 3, 2013, 05:29 PM   #7
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IIRC, the PPK is blowback operated, and is why recoil is a bit much. Have her try something in 9mm with a locked breech mechanism.

Kahr makes very good, controllable pistols with a great trigger and low bore axis.
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Old February 3, 2013, 07:54 PM   #8
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1. Read www.corneredcat.com. Buy Pax's book.

2. One reason women may not get into guns, is that men are crude. Read some of the feminist gun books to get their views.
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Old February 3, 2013, 07:56 PM   #9
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ +1

You bet to the punch Glenn


Again.
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Old February 3, 2013, 08:10 PM   #10
testuser
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I took two women shooting, recently...

The ladies couldn't reliability pull the trigger of the double action revolvers. A compact, polymer 9mm proved to be too harsh, all steel 9mm was better, but nothing either wanted to shoot much.

The best solution for the two I took to the range was a heavy .380 like Bersa Thunder .380, which is the ladies liked, or the Sig P232, which they also shot well. One had previous shot a .380 PPK and liked the Bersa and Sig much better.

I have no idea why the PPK has such a harsh recoil for it's caliber. I owned one for a while and had the same opinion. (Maybe not the greatest design?) One thing about the PPK, the recoil spring seems a lot heavier than some other blowbacks, that much weight moving forward has to upset your aim.

Last edited by testuser; February 3, 2013 at 08:49 PM.
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Old February 3, 2013, 08:44 PM   #11
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Smaller caliber is not always the answer. Maybe a larger gun would be more helpful. I would not suggest a 380 or smaller to anyone.
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Old February 3, 2013, 09:10 PM   #12
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Glenn nailed it. We need to get away from the idea that what gender a person is has anything to do with their ability to shoot and we should look at their needs and abilities on an individual basis. I've seen 8yo kids shoot 1911's and I've watched a 5'4" woman shoot my .44 magnum better than her 6'2" 220lb husband so with training most any adult should be able to handle a gun in a standard SD caliber.

I'm guessing if she can't handle a .380 she probably doesn't have much trigger time anyway so maybe first start with some more practice. After she has more knowledge and experience she can better decided what gun she would like.
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Old February 4, 2013, 01:46 AM   #13
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I agree 1000+% with getting her "The Cornered Cat" book. It's been almost like my Bible.
I agree that gender shouldn't be an issue. Education and time with the weapon in hand and on the range is priceless.
I thought I would prefer a .380 as my carry piece until I actually had one and kept it for roughly a month. It was too small for my hand and I didn't care for the long trigger pull.
I now have my DB 9mm that absolutely fits me much better than the smaller .380.
Regarding recoil, shooting the CAR method removes any recoil issue for me.
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Old February 4, 2013, 04:34 AM   #14
michael t
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In my family wife and daughters have the P-32 I carry the 380
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Old February 4, 2013, 11:16 AM   #15
lee n. field
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Quote:
I have a lady friend in her early 20s who finds .380 out of a PPK to be too harsh. For her carry piece, something a little more gentle is needed.

What are the typical pistols that ladies can carry on their person? (i.e. Not in hand bags)?
Typical? I should let the wimmens speak for themselves. Whatever they can handle.

There is such a thing as human sexual dimorphism (duh). There's a lot of overlap, but the female of the species does tend to smaller, lighter, weaker and differently shaped.

Problems with the PPK -- A small blowback .380 -- I'm thinking maybe she should look at a slightly larger .380, or one that's locked breech, not blowback.

Maybe, Ruger's new LC380. This is a compact locked breech .380, with the same frame size as Ruger's compact 9mm LC9. This model was just announced, no telling what actual availability is.

Or just go with something big enough to absorb the recoil. Small guns are specialized, and comfort takes a back seat.
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corneredcat.com
Someone else that might be worth reading (though I haven't seen much buzz about her in recent years) is Paxton Quigley. http://www.paxtonquigley.com/
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Old February 4, 2013, 07:12 PM   #16
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The Kel Tec P-32 is a great little pistol!

My wife is both recoil shy and does not have alot of strength - meaning that she has alot of troubles racking some SA slides. She found the Bersa Thunder 380 to be a nice pistol that she can both control and operate.
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Old February 5, 2013, 12:51 AM   #17
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Hampster, I probably should let my wife be writing this ,but she's busy elsewhere. She carry's/uses both a Ruger LC9 and Khar CM9 and has no issues with recoil. She isn't real fond of the trigger pull on the LC9 as it is quite long and a little heavy. However, from a comfort standpoint, it has a good feel. My input here is to quote a gun writer on the LC9, it feels like a well used bar of soap! In other words, it has no sharp edges, everything is smooth and rounded. The Khar on the other hand has a better trigger pull, more like double action pull on a J frame Smith. The Khar comes from the factory very tight and will require a couple hundred rounds through it before the slide and recoil spring break in making it a bit difficult for a woman to manipulate the slide at first. However, anyone could probably use 100 rounds of practice anyway.
The Ruger and Khar are being used for conceal carry. A large frame might be more comfortable to use though. The larger pistol would be heavier as well as a little more grip for her to hold on to. These two things combined make felt recoil appear less. My wife went through school for her concealed carry permit using a Walther 99 40 cal. but during the class, she got to shoot several other pistols and ended up getting the Springfield XD 40 cal. She takes it with her at times in a purse/fanny pack and has it here at the house for self defense. (I inherited the Walther).
If there is a gun store in your area that offers shooting on site, you may be able to handle and shoot several different pistols that would aid in her decision.

Last edited by memtb; February 5, 2013 at 12:58 AM.
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Old February 5, 2013, 11:54 AM   #18
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In case this is really limited to genuine light recoil check out this video review and watch the firing demonstration at 7 (?) yards. Fast and precise. Looks lethal enough to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsDwOAeQqGw
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Old February 5, 2013, 02:10 PM   #19
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Seecamp .32acp.
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Old February 5, 2013, 02:13 PM   #20
Dragline45
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Quote:
Seecamp .32acp.
Hellll no. If she cant handle a PPK in .380 the Seecamp will be much more difficult. I have put a good amount of rounds through the Seecamp and it is no soft shooter. I stand by my original statement and think she should try a PPK or PPK/S in .32acp.
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Old February 5, 2013, 02:39 PM   #21
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I can't speak for the Seecamp .32, but the Kel Tec .32 is a soft shooter. If the wife liked carrying small, pocket pistols that would be the one she would carry she says. She liked shooting mine every time at the range.
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Old February 5, 2013, 03:55 PM   #22
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www.corneredcat.com

&


jason_iowa
Quote:
Smaller caliber is not always the answer. Maybe a larger gun would be more helpful. I would not suggest a 380 or smaller to anyone.
Let her pick. Whatever she shoots best. Everyone is different. No one can answer that, but her.

She needs technique first and a mindset.

The book along with Jason's advice. She can look for her own (with you) and draw her own conclusions.
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Old February 5, 2013, 06:09 PM   #23
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Always enjoy working with people choosing their first guns. One recent favorite was the woman who came to the class very nervous -- having only fired a .22 before -- and who wanted something small so it would be "easy to shoot."

When turned loose to shoot, she immediately made a beeline for the lightweight snubby. Two shots later, she was holding her hand and saying, "That's awful! Is there anything smaller...?"

I told her smaller wasn't really what she wanted, but her next stop was the Kel Tec P3AT. Three shots later, she laid the gun down on the bench and said, "I don't think I will be able to shoot. Even these small guns are too much for me!"

After explaining that small guns are actually harder and less pleasant to shoot than their larger cousins, and that weight absorbs recoil, I took her down to the other end of the bench where a full-size, all steel 1911 sat in all its glory. She was nervous, so of course I told her she didn't have to shoot it if she didn't want to, but there was something she needed to feel in order to understand, so if she could just fire one shot...? She agreed, and tentatively loaded that one round. Gripping the gun firmly, she fired one shot and started laughing. "Now that is a gun!" she said. She didn't like the blast and noise, but when I asked how her hand was feeling, she got a big grin on her face and said, "I didn't even notice it. It doesn't hurt at all!"

Yup.

From that point on, it was much easier for her to sample the other guns on the line, because she was no longer afraid of the heavier guns. She'd just learned something by experience that she could learn in no other way.

And that's why it drives me so crazy when people online recommend tiny little lightweight guns for new shooters. Those new shooters believe misinformed "experts" when they say tiny guns are good for new shooters, and after the new shooters find out how painful it is to shoot a small gun, they are often too afraid to try easier, more pleasant-to-shoot large guns.

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Old February 5, 2013, 06:49 PM   #24
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My wife prefers a Bersa Thunder 9mm SC. Though she is not recoil shy with a handgun. Her true favorite to shoot is my Ruger Blackhawk in .41 Mag. The thing is she shot a lot of my guns. Took the CHL, and used the range gun for qualifying. When her CHL came in she picked the gun she would carry.

I warn you now. If she is interested she will pick it. If she wants to shop for a gun then go with her. Let her pick the one she wants. If you offer to take her shooting, and she wants to try some guns then go for it. Do not try to talk her into trying guns if she is not receptive of it. You will turn her away from them. I have seen countless arguments between husbands/boy friends, and their wives/girl friends start that way.

If she picks one, and you do not like it. Shut up let her pick it. She is the one that will carry it/shoot it. Be happy that she picked one regardless of if it is the company you think makes nothing but trash.
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Old February 5, 2013, 07:05 PM   #25
bonefamily
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I was just sharing the experiences that my wife went through when choosing her pistol and shooting other handguns, pax. I was not recommending anything and was not claiming to be an expert - sorry if it came across that way.
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