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Old May 24, 2013, 07:46 PM   #1
fragtagninja
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A gun for the wife

Okay so I am probably abusing the privilege by asking do many questions on this forum, but to be fair you guys have not steered me in the wrong direction yet, and I find the best way to learn something is to ask someone who knows more about it than you. So that said.

My wife and I went out shooting today. It was her first time and I think she did really well. She kept all rounds fired inside the target and even got within and inch of the center. I got her out as far as 10 yrds and she can definitively hit a torso sized target at that distance. That said we had a couple of issue I did not expect and I am unsure what would be the best route for her now.

My gun is a Sig Sauer P229 in .40 S&W. I really love the thing, and it has functioned flawlessly thus far with about 400 rounds down range. However I bought it partially because of the firearms I was looking at it was just about the only one she could get her hand around. That said she cannot pull the trigger when in DA mode. She can barely reach it and she does not have the finger strength to pull the 10lb DA trigger. Once the gun is cocked however she is able to reach and pull the SA trigger with ease.

Which brings me to another issue. Cocking the gun, or putting it in battery. She can barely pull the slide back all the way to load the chamber. She is only able to do this with rounds in the mag. Once the gun goes into slide lock she does not have the strength to pull enough pressure off of the lock to release it. So as far as loading the gun if someone were to break in the house while I'm gone we are good. When it comes to reloading we have a problem. She also complained about the recoil. She says she feels like she is having a hard time keeping a hold of the gun after a few shots. Now this thing is pretty jumpy, but I want her to be comfortable shooting if she needs to. That said there is no way she is able to work this gun properly. She has a maximum of 12 rounds she can fire and after that nothing. Now I consider 12 to be a lot, but the point is you never know. So....... How do I correct this? Obviously another pistol is warranted. One that she can operate well. The best way to reduce recoil would obviously be to go with a Beretta 92FS. It's big, heavy and shoots a pretty small round, but the dang things is just to for her to get her hand around. Forget pulling the trigger. I would assume that you all will have guessed my wife has small hands by this point. Small hands that when gripping any full size pistol may have trouble reaching the trigger. Honestly something in the way of a subcompact would likely fit her hand the best, but the lack of weight is not going to help with recoil which she wants less of.

So where I have arrived is this. She either needs a gun with a very short trigger pull, or with a very small grip. Perhaps both would be best. Anyway she also needs a slide that is much easier to rack than my .40 cal, or she needs a revolver. Not sure where to start looking, but I need to do something because there is just no way this is gonna work. Glock is out their grips are to huge for her hands. Maybe a single stack 9mm like the shield or LC9? How much recoil would this have compared to my sig? Maybe a .380? I'm just not sure. Anyone know of DA or DA/SA revolvers with a DA trigger pull around 6lbs? I don't know what to do because I don't want her to be discouraged.

Any advice you guys can give for a possible starting point would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to help in this matter in advance. You are all always very helpful.

PS sorry about this being so long.
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Old May 24, 2013, 08:07 PM   #2
Airman Basic
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My wife has been very happy with the Ruger LCR in 38. The trigger pull is reasonable and it's light and easily carried.
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Old May 24, 2013, 08:12 PM   #3
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The answer to this one is the simplest one you could think of. Take her a good gun store and let her try them out. Find out what fits her hand, what feels good to her, and what she likes. Try a few shops until she settles one one, and then work on her purchasing it. That will be hers, her gun.

FWIW, after going 'shopping' with my wife, she chose, bought and loves her 9mm Shield.
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Old May 24, 2013, 08:21 PM   #4
fragtagninja
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I wish it were that simple, but she really hates gun stores. I need to have some idea before we in the store of what we are looking for. Otherwise I will never get her in there in the first place.
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Old May 24, 2013, 08:33 PM   #5
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Why not get her something like a M&P 22 or S&W K frame 22 revolver to work on those skills while learning to shoot. There is not reason to go from never shot to daily CCW in 2 weeks.

Too many people jump too quick to CCW or having something for HD.

Personally, I like the idea of developing and ingraining some serious handling and shooting skills before carrying daily.

So, yea, I think starting with a 22 of choice is best. I think she can learn the finese ways to work a guns trigger or action to get over your strength concerns. PM me if you are stumped on these and I can help.

Also, since we are talking guns, women generally prefer smaller guns. IMO, a Kahr 9mm, Glock 19 or S&W 3" K frame 38 spcl would be great choices.
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Old May 24, 2013, 08:37 PM   #6
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www.corneredcat.com by our Pax is the standard read. Read that before other suggestions.
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Old May 24, 2013, 09:51 PM   #7
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Frag, what doesn't she like about gun stores? Would a bigger shop like Academy Sports or Gander Mountain or Bass Pro Shops be better?
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Old May 24, 2013, 09:54 PM   #8
fragtagninja
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All excellent reads sir. I will have to book mark cornered cat. I have read over a large portion of the relevant material on the subject list. She is a very amusing writer. However racking the slide is not impossible for my wife. Getting it out of slide lock is. I don't know what the difference is as I use the same amount of force either way. She had her arms close to her body near her core, and tried several different grips as well as a few different motions in an attempt to generate some leverage. The problem is the same. She can rack the slide, but once it goes into slide lock after the mag is emptied no matter what she tries she simply cannot move it. She tried many of the techniques listed on that site and still nothing. It simply will not budge. I don't know what the issue is because she is able to draw the slide back far enough for it to load properly, but she is again not able to return the gun to battery once the slide locks on the mag.


Brains I don't really know what her big beef is. She says they are boring. She liked shooting, but does not like to go to gun shops. I have only been able to get her inside two. EVER! It will be much easier to get her inside if I have some specific things we are looking for. Suggestions on how I might motivate her? Anyone? Cause I have tried and tried.
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Old May 25, 2013, 01:44 AM   #9
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Re.: problem w/ locked up slide. There may be something wrong with the slide on your pistol. I had same problem with my brand new S&W 22A target pistol. I sent it in for warranty repair at S&W and am waiting on its return. .
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Old May 25, 2013, 03:45 AM   #10
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I gotta agree with Nathan on this. Have you considered getting her a autoloader .22lr to get her started? Is the .22 a great HD round? No. But I wouldn't want to be shot with it. Or do you have any friends/family that live nearby that also shoot? They might have something that she could try out and she would like it. I was worried about recoil for my wife since she was outta the shooting scene for almost 10 years and I got her a S&W 36 in .38special. Granted it is nickel and I had to put some custom grips on it for her to be comfortable with it. But she loves it now. I went with the revolver just because its really difficult to jam a revolver and she had a hard time racking any of my autos.
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Old May 25, 2013, 06:31 AM   #11
Chris Van
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Definately start her out with a small caliber such as a 22. My wife has several guns, she uses an LCR 38 for carry but it's a little too "snappy" to shoot all the time for her. She has a Walther P22 that she uses to practice, plink, target shoot or whatever you want to call it that is a sweet shooting gun.
She also has a Taurus PT22 that she likes because you do not have to worry about racking the slide on it. The barrell flips up to load the first round and then it feeds from the magazine after that.
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Old May 25, 2013, 06:32 AM   #12
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READ The Cornered Cat mentioned above - that means BOTH of you. Second, while YOU picked out a gun that works for you, SHE needs to pick out her own gun, regardless of what you think about the trigger, cartridge, revolver vs semi, etc. If it is for her to rely on, she needs to be absolutely comfortable and confident with it
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Old May 25, 2013, 07:09 AM   #13
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My wife did very well with an M&P 9, it rides in her car every day. Now that she finally put in her CCW paperwork I got her a Glock 26 and she loves it too.
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Old May 25, 2013, 07:28 AM   #14
hodaka
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I have a bunch of pistols and when giving my wife a chance to shoot each of them she settled on my P7. Go figure. I guess I need to find another.
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Old May 25, 2013, 07:43 AM   #15
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My wife also has a hard time with the slides, so I have loaded her Walther PPK/S and LCP and she keeps the Walther in her car and LCP in her purse.
I doubt if she ever has to use one, she will need to reload,but If she does,she also has a Smith and Wesson model 637 that she carrys the majority of the time in her purse with the LCP.
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Old May 25, 2013, 08:25 AM   #16
skoro
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It's MOST important that your wife choose her weapon. Otherwise, she simply won't carry it.

That said, I've introduced several women (wife, wife's friends, sisters in law) to handguns and let them all try a variety of semiautos and revolvers. Their unanimous preference: S&W k-frame 38 revolvers. No slide racking, no magazines to inadvertently drop by accidentally touching the release button.

That's my experience. As always, YMMV.
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Old May 25, 2013, 11:46 AM   #17
pax
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fragtagninja,

Tell her to drop the magazine before returning the gun to battery.

Kathy


Quote:
However racking the slide is not impossible for my wife. Getting it out of slide lock is. I don't know what the difference is as I use the same amount of force either way. She had her arms close to her body near her core, and tried several different grips as well as a few different motions in an attempt to generate some leverage. The problem is the same. She can rack the slide, but once it goes into slide lock after the mag is emptied no matter what she tries she simply cannot move it. She tried many of the techniques listed on that site and still nothing. It simply will not budge. I don't know what the issue is because she is able to draw the slide back far enough for it to load properly, but she is again not able to return the gun to battery once the slide locks on the mag.
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Last edited by pax; May 26, 2013 at 03:25 PM. Reason: fixed formatting
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Old May 25, 2013, 07:31 PM   #18
BigD_in_FL
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Quote:
I have a bunch of pistols and when giving my wife a chance to shoot each of them she settled on my P7. Go figure. I guess I need to find another.
So did mine! After she gave it to me for my birthday.....she also likes my G26
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Old May 26, 2013, 08:35 AM   #19
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I'm somewhat pressed for time this morning, so I haven't read the thread in depth. However, when the topic is "a gun for the wife," I consistently suggest two things: (1) a visit to the website "Cornered Cat;" and (2) if the gun's for her, let her pick it out.
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Old May 26, 2013, 09:16 AM   #20
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best video on racking the slide with weak hands:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbayNc6D9HY

And your wife needs a better instructor.
With a professional shooting teacher, most, if not all, of these problems will vanish.
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Old May 26, 2013, 09:20 AM   #21
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I agree with Spats. My wife has wanted her own handgun for a while. I took her out and showed her all kinds of different small guns. Kimber Solo, Ruger LCP, Barretta .380, etc. What did she do? She went out and found her own gun, a 9mm Glock 17! Here I am trying to push all these compacts and sub compacts on her and she went full size.
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Old May 26, 2013, 09:39 AM   #22
g.willikers
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It's kind of discouraging that not a single person replied with the obvious.
A gun for the wife sounds like a good trade.
Had to get that in.
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Old May 26, 2013, 09:41 AM   #23
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What Spats suggested. Let her pick it out. Her gun, her decision.
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Old May 26, 2013, 04:21 PM   #24
Bluestarlizzard
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Let her pick. If she doesn't like gun shops and thinks it's boring to shop around for HER gun, then maybe you should reconsider buying HER a gun.

Now, if you want recomendations for a new gun that she might enjoy shooting, that's another story.

Also, what's with the semi auto only recomendations, here?

Nothing wrong with a wheel gun and it would eliminate the slide issues all together.
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Old May 26, 2013, 04:48 PM   #25
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My wife is a "little old gray haired lady", just over 68 years old. Like me, she has arthritis and little hand strtength.

However, her "purse gun" is a SIG-Sauer P226 in 9MM. She handles it and shoots it quite well.

If your wife has trouble pulling a 10 lb trigger, in my opinion, your first course of action should be to consult a physical trainer and have her start a hand exercise program.

The problems you described negate the great majority of defensive type handgun.

Fivre to ten minuters, three or four times per day with an appropriate hand exerciser, and in a month or two., all of your currentr poistols will be useable by her.
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