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Old May 26, 2013, 06:05 PM   #26
taltyman
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My wife sounds similar to the OP's wife. When we first got our CHLs and started shopping we listened to the 'experts' at our LGS who steered her to a S&W airweight 38SPL, I suppose because they believed the simpler the better. She hated shooting that gun, Lost's of recoil, flash and she just could not get accurate since she didn't want to practice. When we first started looking at semi autos for her it became apparent that she struggled charging, racking the slide. So we worked on technique and also noticed that the hammer fired ones seemed to rack easier than striker fire. That's just a personal observation and may not be fact. So fast forward to her picking up and racking probably 100 guns and she choose an HK P30 V3 in 9mm. She loves shooting it. The nice thing about that one is it has interchangeable back straps and side grips. That is her truck/house gun. For CC she choose a Sig P238. When she went back a few months back to get her CHL renewed some of the good old boys were trying to impress her with their knowledge, etc until it came time to qualify. When it was over they were calling her Annie Oakley. What I am proudest of her is that when she gets a gun she learns how to break it down and clean it. She doesn't want to depend on me. Her latest acquisition is an AR 15.
So put lots in her hands for her to try. Take what is said in the LGS with a grain of salt. Technique in racking is a must if they are weak so lots of practice needed there. Then practice, practice practice.

Last edited by taltyman; May 27, 2013 at 05:59 PM.
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Old May 26, 2013, 06:25 PM   #27
Bluestarlizzard
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taltyman,

That whole .38 special airweight BS happens to a LOT of woman. For some reason, gun shop commamdos love pushing those things on the "little woman". I don't know why, but those little bastards are considered by mouth breathing morons to be a womans gun.

As far as I'm concerned any snubbie PERIOD is not a beginners handgun, regardless of gender and the jerks who push them can ....


I will cease and desist my rant right there. Sufice to say, I'm glad your wife ended up with a pistol she enjoyed shooting.
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Old May 26, 2013, 07:22 PM   #28
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Ok, please don't take this the wrong way. You have no business picking your wife's gun. You are different from her, what works for you does not work for her.

You need to sign her up for a shooting class taught by and for ladies. Someone like our very own PAX. That needs to happen before all other things. After her class, then give her the budgeted money allowed for the gun and leave her alone. She needs to pick her own gun that actually fits her, not what you like and think she should have.

Secondly for the love of god don't saddle her with a snubby for her first gun. Those are not suitable for beginners, horrid sights and harsh recoil is not conducive to training.

She needs training specific to her needs, and another qualified female who has lots of training and experience to help her pick what fits her..

It annoys me to no end when husbands try to purchase guns for there first time shooter wife. They always end up buying what the husband wants not what the wife needs for her first gun.

Edit to add, IF she has the magazine in the gun, why is she trying to sling shot the gun? Why not do the simple maneuver that is guaranteed to work and use the slide release? Unless your trying to saddle her with a micro gun that lacks one.
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Old May 26, 2013, 07:45 PM   #29
fragtagninja
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I don't follow Mordis. She tried several different positions. Slingshot was one yes , but several other things as well.

I had her pulling back on the slide while pressing the lock release down. She was unable to release enough pressure from the lock for the release to move down and return the gun to battery. In other words it was stuck in slide lock because she could not budge the slide back past where the slide locks. Possible mental block? I don't notice a difference in pressure between battery and slide lock. She can move it from batttery, but not from slide lock. Granted the spring is more compressed in lock, but I don't notice a difference in pressure. Could it be the slight difference I don't notice is just that much more that she is unable to move it?

Last edited by fragtagninja; May 26, 2013 at 07:58 PM.
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Old May 26, 2013, 07:49 PM   #30
Bluestarlizzard
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Quote:
Edit to add, IF she has the magazine in the gun, why is she trying to sling shot the gun? Why not do the simple maneuver that is guaranteed to work and use the slide release? Unless your trying to saddle her with a micro gun that lacks one.
Well, I don't know about this guys wife, but I rarely use the slide release lever. I have small hands and stubby fingers. I simply can't reach the darn things on most semi auto's.
Secondly, there are some SD schools that advocate releasing the slide manually over using the lever, for a few reasons.

Too be honest, I'm still having trouble with the concept that this is something that could be an issue. I can understand having trouble racking a slide completly (I've run into a few heavy springs that gave me a work out) but from a locked back position? That's always been the easy one.
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Old May 26, 2013, 08:16 PM   #31
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Mordis wants to know why she couldn't just hit the lever to release the slide.

In otherwords, there is a small button on the frame, that should be right up against the slide, this is the slide release. Sigs have them. Push it and voila, slide goes into battery.
I usually have to fiddle to reach them, but it can be done. There is no pulling back on the slide involved.
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Old May 27, 2013, 06:33 AM   #32
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She tried. She did not have the strength to depress it. I watched her thumbs turn white pushing on it with both thumbs and she still could not depress it. She tried pushing and pulling the slide and gun at the same time everything you can think of. Nothing worked. I read cornered cat's article racking the slide and showed it to her we tried all of it. There was like 1 thing we had not tried and that has not worked either. Every time the slide locks it's the same. She is unable to return the gun to battery. It does not matter if she pulls the slide back and presses the release like you would a 1911, or uses the slide lock release on its own. She cannot get the gun back in battery. She can even shoot the .40 just fine though she does not care for the recoil. I have no clue how this works out. I notice no difference in pressure from the recoil spring in battery or slide lock. However with the spring being compressed there has to be a difference even if I don't notice it. The release on this gun is also quite large (which should give more leverage) compared to say the glocks I have handled. We tried just using the slide release at first and when that did not work we started trying ways to take the pressure off of the slide lock to make it easier to push the release lever down. Nothing works. I don't get it. Mental block maybe?
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Old May 27, 2013, 04:44 PM   #33
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Well if it is a slide release issue then a Smith & Wesson M&P does not have a lever. It is more like a button. The one on mine is like a hair trigger. My 10 year old niece can work one, as well as several older ladies with arthritic hands can work the one on my well broken in M&P. I know she may not be big on going to gun stores. If so then do not push it. Though I would ask her why she is not big on doing so? When she awnsers do not, and I repeat do not give a quick awnser back to her. You do not in anyway want to look like you are making a sale to her in order to get her to a gun store in any way at the time.

If it is a deal that she is interested becase she is appeasing you then just buy what you want, and like. If she does not like it then you can shoot it. I speak as a married man with a highly opinionated wife. If I try to sell her on something she has said no on, it pushes her farther to her unyielding point of view. Sometimes she warms up to an idea later if she does not feel pushed. It has to be her idea.

Now if she is intersted, then let her know that if you both go to a gun store you do not have to buy anything, and it is acceptaple to ask to see one you are not going to buy. It is also perfectly fine to handle mulitipe guns, and not buy a single thing.

If there is a range with rental guns anywhere near you it may help if she is willing to try a few to let her. If not then do not push it.

The thing is never, ever, ever do you want to push it with your wife. If she say no. Take it for an awnser. You will both be way happer that way.
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Old May 27, 2013, 04:46 PM   #34
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Does she take the empty magazine out and put a fresh one in? Or is she trying to lower the slide with an empty magazine in place? If the latter, that's the root of the problem.

She needs to work with an empty gun to begin with, to get the physical motions down. That means no magazine in the gun at all.

Make sure she starts with her arms bent and the gun inside her "pickle jar zone." (That's the spot between your pecs where you hold a jar of pickles to open a stubborn lid, with both your elbows bent and the stubborn jar right up against your chest.) A lot of people don't instinctively understand that their best arm strength happens inside the pickle jar zone.

From that position, starting with both arms bent, she should simply punch the gun straight forward. Have her practice that motion without touching the slide a few times. If she has the physical action down, she will finish with her right arm (the gun arm) completely straight and her left hand (still in an almost-fist) touching her shoulder. It is a complete punch with her right arm, all the way to full extension.

After she has that punching action down, have her grab the slide with her left hand while she punches with her right. Don't have her touch any of the gun's other controls, just the slide. Tell her to hold the slide to the rear while she punches the gun forward.

Make sure she understands that she will need to let the slide slip through her left hand's fingers when it has reached its rearward limit. (Sometimes, people just don't realize that they'll eventually need to let go!) Also, make sure she knows that the slide will only move 1/8th of an inch or so, and that she may not feel it moving at all, but she will still need to let go of it. If both hands travel forward with the gun, the slide won't move. She has to let the slide go through her fingers to get it back into battery.

Also a personal note: I have always had a tough time dropping a slide using the mag release. I can do it, but it's very much easier to shove the gun forward and let go of the slide than it is to summon the finger strength to move that obnoxious little lever when it's under tension.

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Old May 27, 2013, 06:05 PM   #35
taltyman
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I forgot to add that since you mentioned the Shield. That is my current CC and it is harder to rack than either the Sig P238 or the HK P30 for my wife. Again the Shield is striker type rather than an exposed hammer. For what its worth the HK P30 has a decocker and is DA with it de-cocked and chambered and SA when its racked or you pull the hammer back. It is a double stack so it's 15 + 1 but may be too wide. The P238 is .380 and a single stack so fit may be better and recoil is fairly easy.
As we keep saying though put them in her hands and let her try them out.
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Old May 27, 2013, 06:41 PM   #36
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To reiterate something Pax said (because I have a feeling this is the root of the issue)

If she is manually racking the slide from locked back into battery, she should not be fiddling with the release lever.
It's one or the other, not both, and I bet it's the attempt to do two things at once that's messing her up.

Secondly, I do have a hazy memory of Sigs having particularly hard slides too move. That said, I could do it. It just takes some umph.

and again, if she doesn't want to shop around for her gun, then she doesn't need you to go buy her one. She's a grown woman, she's perfectly capable of putting in the effort if she wants too, if she's not intrested in putting in the effort, well then, I'd think twice about how intrested she really is. Don't push it.
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Old May 27, 2013, 09:00 PM   #37
fragtagninja
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Okay so you guys are saying that pulling back on the slide alone should disengage the slide lock mechanism even when the mag is empty? Because on my gun it does not. When the mag is empty and seated you must push the release down after pulling the slide back like in a slingshot move (for instance).
If you do not push the release lever down it will simply return to slide lock while an empty mag is seated. This has seemed normal to me. My dad's 9mm was the same. as were most of the auto loading handguns I have handled.

When the mag is seated and full you can simply pull the slide back and let it go. With the full seated mag it slips right into battery.

This is of course also true if no mag is seated. The slide will do just that. Slide back and forth all day long never locking unless you push the release lever up while racking the slide. In this case it will go into lock because you are manually engaging it.

She had her hands in the center of her abdomen just above the belly button where the four abdominal quadrants meet (also called the umbilical region if you are using the nine abdominal regions). <----For visual reference. What you call the pickle jar zone which is an excellent name for it. She tried several holds in this area as well as in other areas, but could not move it. The gun makes a very distinct sound when the pressure is released from the lock. It is a little click type noise that is clearly metal touching metal. Either she moved the slide to gently for it to make this sound, or she did not move it at all because I never heard it and I was listening very intently for it.

Does what I am saying add up or am I missing something? I have talked to her about it and she is willing to go shopping for a pistol now which is a change from before when she would not set foot in a shop.
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Old May 27, 2013, 10:03 PM   #38
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Take the empty magazine out of the gun.

Then lower the slide.

Put the magazine back in if you wish to leave the empty in the gun for storage.

If you want to load the firearm, remove the empty magazine and replace it with a full one.

Then lower the slide.

There's really no reason to fight with the gun over this one.

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Old May 27, 2013, 11:09 PM   #39
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There have been a lot of good points so far and you'll find some of them echoed in my advice:

She is going to need range time to get comfortable with shooting in general. This poses a challenge in that what makes a gun fun at the range and good for carry are not always the same attributes. You could ease her in with a good target .22 but most people consider that too light for reliable defense. That's why I'll suggest you explore the .32 family of firepower.

People might knock .32acp for its low power but it is a considerable boost from .22 without adding a ton of recoil. This caliber was popular with police, light security personnel, and as a civilian CCW up until recently. It was even the standard of James Bond. That being said, check out some used Walther PPs if you get a chance. CZ made some nice copies. I carried a CZ 70 for years and whenever I let a lady shoot it, they had no problem.

The CZ 70 is small enough for mild concealment but large enough for comfortable use. It is light enough to carry but heavy enough for stable shooting. The slide is fairly easy to rack. Once racked, the hammer can be safely dropped with the decocking safety. With the hammer down, it can be thumb-cocked for the first shot or started off double-action. The trigger pull on mine was neither too heavy to hate nor too light to fear. The default grips with the magazine lip also seem to comfortably fit a variety of hand sizes.

Of course, if you'd prefer the increased reliability of a revolver, snubs are still being made in the more potent .32 H&R Magnum. Charter Arms makes them in girly colors. Models with shrouded hammers are harder to find but do exist. An added benefit here is that if she finds the .32 magnums too snappy, you can also load .32 S&W Long or Short in these revolvers. I consider .32 long the bare minimum for defense but it makes for good practice. I suppose the shorts could be a stepping stone to the longs in terms of practice and comfort-development but I wouldn't trust my life to them.
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Old May 28, 2013, 05:18 AM   #40
fragtagninja
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Okay so you are saying that taking the mag out should make it easier for her to get the gun out of slide lock?

Because she was unable to get it out of slide lock with a full mag seated. As far as I can tell the slide functions the same with a full mag seated or without a mag seated. Are we on the same page now? Or is there still something I am not picking up on? I'm starting to see why my dad prefers revolvers.
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Old May 28, 2013, 01:04 PM   #41
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Removing the empty magazine will make it possible to get the gun out of slide lock, yes.

Have her practice that skill several times (over several sessions so she doesn't experience failure related to wearing her hands out).

After she has the skill down pat, then have her do the same thing with a full magazine.

Never bother trying to lower the slide with an empty mag in place. It's not worth the effort it's taking her.

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Old May 28, 2013, 05:33 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax
Removing the empty magazine will make it possible to get the gun out of slide lock, yes.

Have her practice that skill several times (over several sessions so she doesn't experience failure related to wearing her hands out).

After she has the skill down pat, then have her do the same thing with a full magazine.

Never bother trying to lower the slide with an empty mag in place. It's not worth the effort it's taking her.

pax
Kathy is absolutely correct. I have a couple of Sig's in my mix of guns. (I am also a female) I just sat here and unloaded my carry gun and did exactly what she is suggesting and removing the empty mag does make the gun come out of slide lock without needing to use the release button. Ironically enough, I never thought of that, because I never use the slide release to begin with (except when field stripping). To me it is a waste of time during the precious reloading process. I typically have already got my mag dropped and another one fed before my first one is empty.

She definitely sounds like she needs a different gun. I rarely suggest a particular gun for anyone, but I would try and get a Sig p238 in her hands. I have never been a fan of the 9mm short's (aka .380) but this one is a dream. I've been carrying it since I started wearing lighter weight summer clothing and it's easy to conceal and accuracy, smooth shooting, etc is there. I also have the p938. Little bit more snappy due to size and 9mm, but still ok. Then, I just got rid of a Sig Ultra Compact 1911 3.3". But it was another easy slide to manipulate. It just wore me out after shooting it after a while.

As for gun shops... There aren't enough hours in a day or days in a week for me to get tired of prowling around in a gun shop... Forget shopping malls..
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Old May 28, 2013, 05:58 PM   #43
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Or she could try something that's not a Sig.

It's been awhile, but I have a hazy memory of Sigs with heavy slides. I distinctly remember their insane DA trigger, which, by some unfathomable reason happens to be unreachable for those of us with short fingers.

Recoil isn't just a question of caliber, it's also a question of the gun you're shooting it out of. Weight, internal mechanics and the fit of the weapon in your hands all makes a diffrence.

Example: I'm a .45 girl. I lurve me my 1911A1. I shoot +P ammunition out of that without any issues.
Glock 21 messes me up. Seriously, I get abrasions on my trigger finger from hitting the inside of the trigger gaurd, the base of my palm gets a nice Glock grip tecture pebbled into it and the streach between my thumb and index finger gets horrible bruised. The reason is I have to streatch my hand so much to grip it and reach the trigger, there's nothing to cushion the recoil.

If your wife is streaching out her hand to get a grip and reach the trigger, which she's likely doing even on the SA (it's not the length or grip on Sigs, it's the placement of the trigger) that's probably a bigger part of her recoil sensitivity then that "big" .40 S&W caliber.
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Old May 28, 2013, 10:08 PM   #44
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Bluestarlizard, Im not following what your saying. You are saying that if the slide is locked back she should not use the slide release, or if it is already in battery not to use the release?

If its already in battery then ya, but if its locked back there should be no reason why the slide release should not work. It shouldn't take that much effort to release it. I think there may be a gun problem here. I have never ran into a gun with such a stiff slide release as is being discussed here.

Again bluestar, walk me through your statement. IF the slide is locked back, full magazine inserted, why shouldn't she simply depress the slide release, considering she is having trouble with the other method?

I was going to chime in with some suggestions but Pax is farther ahead then I could hope to be.

Redhologram, not to pick on you, im curious. Why do you not prefere to use the slide release? I cant stand the sling shot method. I wont purchase any firearm that requires such methods. Do you really find that using the release actually added time to your reloading sequence?

I Don't like the slingshot method because it makes me feel like im shooting poorly made crud. Like they were to lazy to put in a proper way to rtb.
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Old May 28, 2013, 10:55 PM   #45
fragtagninja
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Thank you very much pax! I will have her do just that the next time we go out.

After discussing her issue further I think her problem with the slide release is she has trouble reaching that as well.

And yes sigs the 229 in particular have very heavy slides. I read an article a bit ago that said where the 229 came from.I will post the name of it if I can find the magazine. It stated that when Smith and Wesson released the .40 caliber they tried to put it in the 228 better know as the M11A1 Since people wanted a .40 S&W compact. The release was delayed due to the high pressures exerted by the .40 cal round. According the the article the 228 designed around the 9mm luger had problems with the .40 cracking the slides. Hence the 229 was born. The only real difference is the 229 has a mega thick slide on it. I would go so far to say that a good 80%-90% of the gun's weight is the slide. Which is pretty different than say my friends 1911 that has a decent amount of weight in the frame. If I am not mistaken the recoil spring has to compensate for the pressure of the rounds used and the weight of slide? Which would mean that the spring in the 229 would have to be quite heavy correct?


As for shopping in general.... Well she is not much of a shopper. Which is just fine with me. My mom once stranded me in a dept store for 5 hours. That was not fun. lol





Thank you all very much for the suggestions and the continued support. This got far more involved and lengthy than I had anticipated, and I am very grateful for all of it.

Pax I would like to thank you in particular for continually aiding me in this matter.

Last question. I know on some of the older designs dropping the slide without a round can damage the gun. Will doing so with a modern pistol like the 229 damage the gun? Sorry I have learned a lot about semi auto pistols, but I am still learning. I just recently returned to shooting after years away and the bulk of my experience was on bolt action rifles and pump action shotguns.
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Old May 28, 2013, 11:28 PM   #46
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Mordis,
You would do well not to pick on me indeed, passively or not.
You are welcome to like and dislike any method you want, purchase any handgun you want just as much as I am allowed to train in any self defense, speed and tactical techniques that work best, for me, to keep me alive and my gun in the fight in the most efficient amount of time possible.
I don't merely spend time on the range plinking. I train. With a more than qualified professional instructor. With very specific set standards.
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Old May 29, 2013, 06:29 AM   #47
Bluestarlizzard
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Mordis,

To paraphrase Rob Pincus, in a critical situation, the adrinline rush can cause limited fine motor skills, resulting in fumbling. He advocates a manual release of a locked back slide as it requires less fine motor skills. Secondly, I generally cannot reach the slide release button on most pistols without altering my shooting grip on the pistol. So I don't use it.

No offense, but I've been training on combat handguns since I was 8 years old. Personally, I don't think it's all that difficult a consept, but I understand if you might have issues with it due to lack of familuarity with shooting.
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Old May 29, 2013, 09:52 PM   #48
mordis
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Redhologram your defensiveness was unwarranted. Please tell me why I would be unwise to pick on you? Is that a threat?

I was not attacking you in any way. I merely phrased it that way to attempt to prevent exactly how you responded. So It looks like I failed in that regards.



I was merely asking why you preferred that method. Not questioning your training. You are not the only one here with training or a qualified instructor. I happen to have training and a qualified instructor.

Bluestarlizzard, I started my shooting lessons 10 years ago, on revolvers. In fact since then I have owned a few different types of autoloaders. I also have shot many more different types at the range rental and at friends houses.

I can see not being able to reach the slide release, I have that exact same problem with 1911 style pistols. I have to shift the gun to reach it. Being uncomfortable with that, and the numerous problems the gun was having I sold it for a loss. It was the only style of autoloader In my experience to this date that I had any trouble with the slide release due to not being able to reach it.

I didn't consider this as a issue with the OP because he did not mention it till his last post.. That would make sense. I still think that maybe it is still a gun issue tho. Slides shouldn't be that hard to retract.
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Old May 30, 2013, 12:18 PM   #49
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There is a lot of great advice in the previous posts. But to give you a female perspective, I have the same problem with the slide lock on most guns honestly. I lack the strength and my hands are too small to operate most slide locks. I have had a lot of luck with my LC9 and my m&p. I've shot quite a few different semi autos until I found the "one" for me. My fiance carries a Glock 19 and it is really nice, but I found I was more accurate and just felt more comfortable with my m&p. My fiance hates my LC9 because it is so small but it works great for me because it is so much smaller. Although it does have substantially more recoil than the m&p because it is soooo small, its nothing I can't handle or put multiple magazines through it at a day at the range. I am by no means an expert on firearms, but I am just letting you know what has worked well for me. Good luck on finding her a great gun for her.
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Old May 31, 2013, 05:07 AM   #50
fragtagninja
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Thank you much Talybama. I appreciate the input.

I appreciate the input mordis, but if the spring tension were too high I think I would be having FTE's left and right. I have nearly 500 rounds through the gun at this point without any problems. It has literally functioned flawlessly and my wife is the only one who has had any issues with it. My dad, (who is 67 and not as strong as he used to be) myself, and A friend have all used it without issue.

Last edited by fragtagninja; May 31, 2013 at 05:24 AM.
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