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Old March 6, 2013, 02:00 PM   #26
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Get her a glock and buy her the ring loop backplate. Pulling the ring loop makes it really easy to rack, even for older people.
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Old March 6, 2013, 02:21 PM   #27
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I apologize to the original poster here for taking things off track.
No apology needed, sir!

To all, I appreciate your replies. Much info pertinent to my original question. With help from opinions expressed here, I've decided to dispense with my idea of establishing a protocol for my wife which involves storing the gun with slide locked open.

One poster mentioned additional training. She is a bit recoil sensitive but she actually shoots/controls this medium frame pistol really well, and enjoys it. She also understands how it operates, but simply has a difficult time with the physical effort required to rack the slide. It's unfortunate, because she was very excited about the pistol. Hard lesson learned is "try before you buy" (gun was purchased thru online auction). As I mentioned, I'll keep and use the gun, myself, because it's a mint-condition earlier Beretta, purchased at a reasonable price and I'm intrigued by it.

Meanwhile, before she loses interest altogether, she's going to try some different guns that suit her better. She's also interested in CHL so now she's drolling over the P238 380 auto. But we've learned our lesson. I'm going to insist she shoot one first (and others), to know if the increased recoil will bother her. Recoil is tame in the 23oz. Beretta, but maybe not in the 15oz. pocket pistols. I'm interested in some of your opinions about that as well. I'm aware that there are some nice choices in smaller 9mm nowadays, but I will handload her 380 auto practice ammo and use premium SD factory stuff for real life.

Thanks again, for all who chimed in.
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:00 PM   #28
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I'll tell you the best compact .380 semi-auto that was almost made for those with the inability to rack a standard slide and are sensitive to recoil that I've had experience with....the Walther PK380.
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:05 PM   #29
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actually it is much less in the 238 than the 84.

I own an 86 for the same reason. the wife couldn't rack the slide, so tip up barrel seemed the best choice.

the recoil was terrible to me on the 84, and 86. felt worse than my full size 45.
the wife actually shoots the 1911 better, but again tip up was the reason for it.

the mustang wasn't being made at the time, and the few I knew of had reliablitly issues from the way back when so I passed originally.

the new production run of them and sig 238's have had no issues, so I went to take another look.

happened to be at the range one day, and a guy next to me was shooting a p238 and asked me if I wanted to try.

it felt like shooting a 22.

so I picked one up.

it is night and day recoil wise between the 2.
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:21 PM   #30
michael t
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P238 380 auto and steel Colt Mustang are very soft shooting and since lock breach pistol not a Blow back use a much softer recoil spring . So easy to rack the slide. .

I have 2 Mustangs and none of my other 380's can come close in recoil. dept.
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:27 PM   #31
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Encourage her to visit this site...

particularly here...

There is good advice here on women and firearms.

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Old March 6, 2013, 03:31 PM   #32
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Get a set of really sturdy night sights for the gun. Then just show her how to rack the slide with the rear sights on the edge of a table. Problem solved, keep the beretta.
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:33 PM   #33
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Andrewh said:
actually it is much less in the 238 than the 84.
Thanks, that is really encouraging. She's handled the P238 at a local range we frequent but they did not have one available to rent so she didn't get to shoot it. She LOVED how easy it was to rack the slide. She has fired my 1911 and didn't seem to mind the recoil, and actually had no trouble racking the slide. But, alas, the 5" 1911 is no purse gun! On the other hand, she fired one cylinder full of my 38+P GDHP in my S&W 638 and stated that I could "throw that one away"

That range was actually selling that P238 SAS for $615 back in January, right before things really got crazy. Last time I was there, it was long gone. Should've raided the grocery money and snagged it for her.
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:36 PM   #34
Walt Sherrill
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Personally, I would have no issue leaving a magazine loaded, but I would not be comfortable leaving a slide locked back. I can change magazines fairly quickly if one fails, I am not so sure about recoil spring.
I agree that leaving a gun with the slide locked back isn't a good practice, for some of the reasons previously cited, and for spring-life concerns, too. A weak spring isn't going to perform as well as it should, and I seen some springs that seem to go bad relatively quickly. (More likely, they just reach a point where minimal function is no longer possible, and the gun just quits working as it should.)

That BHP of yours came with a 13-round mag, and aftermarket mags for the BHP are available in 15 and 16 rounds, maybe more. (I have all of the above for my BHP -- along with a 30-rounder someone sold me with a bunch of other BHP mags. I've never tried it...) The springs in the factory mags and the larger capacity after-market mags (mostly Mec-Gars, here) don't seem to be much different. That would suggest that the factory 13-round springs aren't as hard-pressed as some of the aftermarket springs. If Wolff suggests downloading a round or two for long-term storage, it may be that the BHP design already does that for you...

With many of the new compact and sub-compact semi-autos, gun designers are asking springs to do more than they've ever asked them to do before. They need to sell small, hi-cap guns and something's got to give; mag and recoil springs are relatively inexpensive easily-renewed resources.

I read somewhere, recently, that with the small Seecamp and Rohrbaugh semi-autos, recoil springs are supposed to be changed out after only a few hundred rounds, not a few thousand as is the case with most larger guns. I think that's the case with some of the very small .45 1911s, too. That would suggest that firing cycles (the number of compressions) alone aren't the key issue, but that the overall nature of the work performed and how its done must be considered, as well.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; March 6, 2013 at 03:46 PM.
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Old March 6, 2013, 04:57 PM   #35
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Not that she shouldn't be able to own a firearm but if someone can't or don't know how to operate a firearm, they shouldn't. Get one that they can. If they can't or don't know how I believe they make their self and others unsafe.
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Old March 7, 2013, 04:55 PM   #36
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I just went in and removed two bullets each from both fully loaded mags, and I could swear I heard them sigh in relief!

Great conversation, lots of good info, thank you, Walt!
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Old March 7, 2013, 07:23 PM   #37
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Dumb idea, takes up more space in the safe and harms spring IMO, not at resting pace. If you can't rack an auto because your hands are week, try a revolver. What if the gun jammed, or you dropped the slide without the magazine in? pointless.
Has Taurus really spent more on shipping customers their firearms back to them than actual sales?
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Old March 7, 2013, 10:17 PM   #38
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The problem is, that if she needs it, she has to drop the slide, and that first round had best chamber cleanly and completely. Several variables may preclude this from happening.

If for some reason it does not, she now has a short, expensive, heavy and ineffective club.

If she has trouble racking a slide in a controlled environment...her trying to clear a jam and get a fresh round chambered in close quarters will be a challenge (at best).
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380auto , beretta 84 , blowback

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