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Old April 4, 2013, 03:26 PM   #1
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Best Handgun for Wife

I have a Glock 23C and love it, but my wife (who loves to shoot) has trouble with pulling back the slide. (To much spring tension). Can you guys recommend a .380 or 9mm that might be a little easier to pull back? We are relatively new to the semi automatic handgun world, so we are looking for a little expert input. Thanks in advance.
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Old April 4, 2013, 03:46 PM   #2
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A couple that I own that I feel fall into that category, is the Smith & Wesson M&P compact and the Beretta PX4 compact. If your wife has smaller hands, a compact version might fit and feel better than a full sized gun.
Again, slides always seem light and easy to pullback to me on these two.
Finding guns or anything related these days (at decent prices) is a chore.
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Old April 4, 2013, 03:59 PM   #3
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The best I can think of is the Beretta Model 86 if you can find one. This is with regards to a 380. With it, she will not have a slide problem since it has a tip open barrel.

You need to let her be the judge.
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Old April 4, 2013, 04:03 PM   #4
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Welcome to TFL, bignic83!

Head off to The Cornered Cat, where Kathy Jackson even has an article on how to Rack the Slide. It sounds like there might be some useful information there for ya.
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
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Old April 4, 2013, 04:27 PM   #5
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My wife recently got a Beretta 84 and had trouble with the blowback design with respect to racking the slide. She could do it, but not with the authority needed to be confident when it counted.

So. . . .looks like I have a new Beretta 84 in MY stable of handguns

She wound up getting a new Sig Sauer P238 HDW (Stainless Frame and slide). Just got it in so she hasn't shot it yet, but it's a sweet looking little pistol. . . I mean REALLY little.

I'll post after we've tried it out.
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Old April 4, 2013, 04:46 PM   #6
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My wife had the same issue. The Sig P238 works well for her.
"If you’d like, after the game I’ll take you outside and teach you how to shoot close enough to a raccoon that it craps itself." ( Dr. Sheldon Cooper - The Big Bang Theory)
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Old April 4, 2013, 04:48 PM   #7
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Let her pick whatever it is. She is more likely to want to shoot it more that way. Let her pick "Her Gun" both of you will happier that way.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old April 4, 2013, 04:55 PM   #8
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I suggest a DA only revolver...

This topic comes up often.
I'd get her a new or NIB Ruger LCR or a J frame S&W .38spl +P revolver.

Stress, chaos, injury, etc may be in a dynamic critical incident.
She needs to draw & fire quickly then operate the weapon(s) smoothly.

A decent robust LCR or J frame(638, 649, 442, etc) with a laser/night sight would be much better than a semi auto she can't operate w/o problems.

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Old April 4, 2013, 05:01 PM   #9
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I'd get her a new or NIB Ruger LCR or a J frame S&W .38spl +P revolver.
I agree about the j-frame. One of my favorites. But my wife cried foul after one cylinder full of Speer 135gr. GDHP. Way too snappy for her blood. Should've started her off with some cowboy loads
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Old April 4, 2013, 05:39 PM   #10
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best gun for the wife IS the one she chooses. go to the range together, rent a few different revolvers and can will know which one is for her. start off with some S&W "K" frames..........model 64,65,66,67, in .38 special
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Old April 5, 2013, 02:53 PM   #11
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My wife chose the Bersa Thunder 380 she can work the slide and doesn't ever limp wrist with it.
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Old April 5, 2013, 04:26 PM   #12
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My wife has the same issue. The P238 racks super easy and 380 is the smallest caliber I'd like my wife to carry. It's what she owns.
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Old April 5, 2013, 04:44 PM   #13
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I have a S&W 640 357 magnum because you can always shoot 38 specials out of it. That can cure a problem. Maybe go to a gun shop and try racking the slide on a bunch of 9mm and 380 pistols o see what she can fondle.
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Old April 5, 2013, 04:48 PM   #14
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Here's the way to rack the slide with weak hands:
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
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Old April 6, 2013, 12:01 PM   #15
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+1 on the Sig P238. My wife has one for carry and loves it and frankly I also enjoy shooting it. It's set up like a small 1911, has a good trigger, and excellent Sig night sights (unusual because many sub compact/pocket guns have terrible sights). It's also quite accurate. More importantly for my wife is it is very easy to rack. The size is small enough to be a great gun for her carry purse, but not so small that it's difficult to shoot and the recoil is surprisingly mild, for a small .380. Some of them can be quite sharp.

My wife also has an STI Escort in 9mm which is another excellent option if you want something slightly larger. 3" barrel on an aluminum alloy frame so it's light. Great 1911 trigger and very accurate.
STI-Eagle(2)/Trojan(2)/Edge/Guardian/VIP/Rogue/Ranger III/Sentinel/Tactical 4.0/Escort; Remington Rand-1911A1; Ruger Redhawk/Blackhawk; Sig P238
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Old April 6, 2013, 01:45 PM   #16
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Going to a range that has rentals would be more ideal than just going to a gun shop and racking slides on new guns. All new guns will be pretty stiff but after a few hundred rounds she might be more capable when the gun is broken in which rental guns usually are. My sr9c was pretty stiff out of the box but now its silky smooth.
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Old April 8, 2013, 09:19 AM   #17
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Yes, let her pick. My wife prefers my HK P7 out of all my centerfire pistols. I think it is because how the pistol translates felt recoil straight back, and the safety the squeeze cocker provides.
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Old April 8, 2013, 09:40 AM   #18
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Re: Best Handgun for Wife

Most women fail to rack the slide because they are not comfortable in ripping it back. It should be a violent motion, she won't break the gun.

I had to teach my wife how to do it. My wife manipulates a Glock with no issues and has a Glock 26
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Old April 8, 2013, 10:42 AM   #19
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60-4, J frame S/W, DAO. Out of all the guns I have purchased for my wife this one wins my vote.
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Old April 8, 2013, 12:15 PM   #20
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Best slides I have encountered as far as ease (my female POV) my Sig p238 .380, and my Sig p938, 9mm. I was handling a M&P Shield Saturday at my LGS and the slide, while not as easy as my Sigs, was still easy to pull back.

My Glocks (19 & 26) as well as my xdm 9 take a bit more force when I rack them. I also had a DB .380 (horrible slide) 9mm (better than the .380 but still not any fun) that I got rid of.

I definitely recommend checking out all the information over on the
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Old April 8, 2013, 03:48 PM   #21
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My wife recently picked out a P238 for herself. The slide was not much of an issue for her, but it is easy, and it is a fine little pistol, easy to conceal and accurate, with a very nice moderately light trigger. As someone else mentioned, it manages recoil better than a lot of the small .380s, probably at least in part because it weighs about half again as much as an LCP (for example). My wife is quite pleased with hers. It is worth looking at for anyone interested in a small .380, and it might fit the bill for OP's wife.
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