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Thread: Sidearm options for women

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    Regular Member OneForAll's Avatar
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    Sidearm options for women

    I am suppose to help my wife with her CPL. I need help finding her a caliber she is comfortable with, she has really bad carpal-tunnel and shooting my 40 s&w hurts her wrist. It also does not help she has not gone shooting with me and my boy in 6 months because she is pregnant. Does any one here have suggestions? I was thinking a Beretta 9mm, or a Bersa 380.

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    Michigan Moderator Shadow Bear's Avatar
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    Sidearm options for women

    Quote Originally Posted by OneForAll View Post
    I am suppose to help my wife with her CPL. I need help finding her a caliber she is comfortable with, she has really bad carpal-tunnel and shooting my 40 s&w hurts her wrist. It also does not help she has not gone shooting with me and my boy in 6 months because she is pregnant. Does any one here have suggestions? I was thinking a Beretta 9mm, or a Bersa 380.
    Yeah, the 40 can be a little snappy, but, depending on the model, a 9 or 380 can be obnoxious, as well.

    Remember, weight soaks up a lot of recoil. A little Thunder 380 is pretty light, and if you're thinking like an M9, the grip can be pretty big for feminine hands. The Bersa is good for EDC; you might want to consider the Thunder 9. At 28 ounces, it should be a little more comfortable, recoil wise, than the Thunder 380 at 20 oz.

    If you reload, you can load softer for target practice, but reloading 380 can be challenging because of the small charges used. 9mm is a bit better.
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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    My better half really likes her Taurus TCP 732 in 32 acp light recoil (about 25% less than the 380) & light weight 10oz. Slide is easy to operate for her where the springs in my kel-tec p32 are too hard for her to rack the slide. She is scary accurate with this pocket gun. Bonus it comes with a bulldog holster that is functional and looks more like a large clip on PDA case. USA made with lifetime warranty - although now discontinued. CDNN had them for $199 in black frame with stainless slide (w/loaded indicator) a few weeks ago. She liked it so much I bought here another (2) one for a car gun one for carry. 6+1 mags are fairly inexpensive $20 ammo can be found (usually). It's all about what she likes & fits her hands well. She also has a Walther P99AS that she carries too at times.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOCVqTTYG-0 review

    http://www.taurususa.com/gun-selecto...cfm?series=738

    http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/tests.htm

    http://www.cdnninvestments.com/specials.html (CDNN is fair on prices & does not rip you off for shipping to FFL $20 flat rate).
    Last edited by FreeInAZ; 03-04-2013 at 09:44 PM.
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    M&P 9 of preferred size. If the recoil is still too much, take it to ATEi and have it compensated. A tweaked M&P 9 is the nicest and best shooting handgun I know of, and I would honestly be astounded if she didn't like shooting them if she is the sort who likes shooting.

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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    M&P 9 of preferred size. If the recoil is still too much, take it to ATEi and have it compensated. A tweaked M&P 9 is the nicest and best shooting handgun I know of, and I would honestly be astounded if she didn't like shooting them if she is the sort who likes shooting.
    It sounds like she needs something with lighter recoil? Maybe I misread the OP? Also the gun you are talking about with mods could easily be approaching the $800 - $1000 mark. Not sure what the budget is for the OP .
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    Regular Member OneForAll's Avatar
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    I really would like to find somewhere in the southeaster parts of Michigan to take her to, so she can rent, and try a few different makes and models so she does not have any regrets. She likes shooting, and I would like her to feel comfortable and confident in her purchase. All these suggestions are appreciated, thank you.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Any light gun 9mm and above is going to have enough recoil to aggravate corporal tunnel. But a heavy gun is going to be hard to grip if it is heavy. She may be better off with .32 caliber firearms, or even a quality .22 LR. I call some guns face guns for women, small caliber easy to handle, close range guns aimed for the face of the attacker. I also gave my wife a good folder that I tuned, for face work on any attacker that got that close to her.
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    Regular Member OneForAll's Avatar
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    She loves shooting my Colt 1911 .22 I bought. She is wanting a higher powered one for her self to shoot regularly.

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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Any light gun 9mm and above is going to have enough recoil to aggravate corporal tunnel. But a heavy gun is going to be hard to grip if it is heavy. She may be better off with .32 caliber firearms, or even a quality .22 LR. I call some guns face guns for women, small caliber easy to handle, close range guns aimed for the face of the attacker. I also gave my wife a good folder that I tuned, for face work on any attacker that got that close to her.
    Yep. With smaller caliber guns ammo selection is crucial. A 32 acp actually has more penetrating power than a 380acp when using ball ammo 15 inches in gel. - In lower velocity/lighter rounds expansion (hollow points) can be less effective. I use hot 73 grain FMJ's moving at approx. 950-975 fps. in my 32 acp. My p32 gives me 10+1 of last chance nastiness if the need should arise & my primary sidearms are unavailable for whatever reason (empty / shot-broke /jammed etc..).
    Last edited by FreeInAZ; 03-04-2013 at 11:49 PM.
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    Regular Member griffin's Avatar
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    The Five-seveN would be perfect for her. It has 30% less recoil than the 9mm. It is a soft-shooting gun. However, they are pricey and right now both practice and SD ammo is hard to get.
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I actually struggle with carpal tunnel problems on account of running impact guns and having hypothyroid problems, and with that said, a larger comped 9mm is a kitten in terms of recoil, in particular if you shoot only standard pressure ammo.

    Another note on ATEi, in terms of carpal tunnel issues, is that I personally have bouts of my left hand not being able to cycle a slide when it gets cold at the range in the winter due to my screwed up wrist. The slide serrations for the purpose of cycling a gun one handed against your pants are really nice to have for this issue, as well as of course if your hand ever gets injured.

    FreeinAZ, a cheaper budget option would be a 9mm Glock C model, which will work decently enough right out of the box. They just aren't as reliably good fitting as a M&P.

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Any light gun 9mm and above is going to have enough recoil to aggravate corporal tunnel. But a heavy gun is going to be hard to grip if it is heavy. She may be better off with .32 caliber firearms, or even a quality .22 LR. I call some guns face guns for women, small caliber easy to handle, close range guns aimed for the face of the attacker. I also gave my wife a good folder that I tuned, for face work on any attacker that got that close to her.
    If she goes the mouse gun route, the critical thing is to have a good and long barrel, and the hottest ammo available. The 32 is a bit better, but the shorter barreled 22 and 25 models are low enough in penetrating capability that they should be thought of as direct contact weapons best suited for soft tissue paths to the brain, such as through the eye sockets, nose, mouth, maybe below the chin. The neck would be a "good" option too. Shorter barreled 25 and 22 pistols have this nasty habit of causing the skin to break before bouncing off someones skull. Performance wise, if it comes to actually having to stop a bad guy, we're probably talking about an awful lot of hand to hand stuff before the bad guy actually gets stopped, because not a whole lot of bad guys are going to stand still while a defender puts a baby browning in their eye socket.

    A 6" barreled 22 with the hottest and heaviest ball ammo, a 32 with Buffalo Bore ammo, these things will penetrate better, but will still sorely lack stopping power. And all that is why I would strongly suggest a nice and soft shooting 9mm.
    Last edited by Michigander; 03-05-2013 at 12:34 AM.

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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by griffin View Post
    The Five-seveN would be perfect for her. It has 30% less recoil than the 9mm. It is a soft-shooting gun. However, they are pricey and right now both practice and SD ammo is hard to get.
    +1 5.7 is a outstanding round! However my understanding is the OP maybe be limited in his discretionary funds. When the "gun mania" dies down I would love to get one or two & a P90.
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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    I actually struggle with carpal tunnel problems on account of running impact guns and having hypothyroid problems, and with that said, a larger comped 9mm is a kitten in terms of recoil, in particular if you shoot only standard pressure ammo.

    Another note on ATEi, in terms of carpal tunnel issues, is that I personally have bouts of my left hand not being able to cycle a slide when it gets cold at the range in the winter due to my screwed up wrist. The slide serrations for the purpose of cycling a gun one handed against your pants are really nice to have for this issue, as well as of course if your hand ever gets injured.

    FreeinAZ, a cheaper budget option would be a 9mm Glock C model, which will work decently enough right out of the box. They just aren't as reliably good fitting as a M&P.



    If she goes the mouse gun route, the critical thing is to have a good and long barrel, and the hottest ammo available. The 32 is a bit better, but the smaller 22 and 25 models are low enough in penetrating capability that they should be thought of as direct contact weapons best suited for soft tissue paths to the brain, such as through the eye sockets, nose, mouth, maybe below the chin. The neck would be a "good" option too. Shorter barreled 25 and 22 pistols have this nasty habit of causing the skin to break before bouncing off someones skull. Performance wise, if it comes to actually having to stop a bad guy, we're probably talking about an awful lot of hand to hand stuff before the bad guy actually gets stopped, because not a whole lot of bad guys are going to stand still while a defender puts a baby browning in their eye socket.

    A 6" barreled 22 with the hottest and heaviest ball ammo, a 32 with Buffalo Bore ammo, these things will penetrate better, but will still sorely lack stopping power. And all that is why I would strongly suggest a nice and soft shooting 9mm.
    Michigander not arguing at all. But given her limitations she may end up in a smaller caliber. Look at the ballistics from gel shots I linked above. If a hot 32 round shot out of a 2.7" barrel can drive in 15 inches, in the real world depending on placement it will bounce & tumble internally, shatter bones, causing heavy damage. If it is all she can comfortably handle then it is better than a sharp poke in the eye. The key things I think we are worrying about for her are light recoil & light weight of the pistol. even a Glock 26 weighs twice what the mouse guns (TCP 32 & P32) weigh empty. http://us.glock.com/products/model/g26gen4
    Last edited by FreeInAZ; 03-05-2013 at 12:22 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    While the 5.7mm is an outstanding round, its sidearm, the Five-seveN, is not the most concealable, especially on smaller frames. You mentioned a CPL, but maybe that is required for open carry in your state, I don't know.

    Controlling the sidearm is everything. I've no problem with people carrying a .22 if they shoot it well. 99.99% (you get the point) of civilian gunfights won't rely on the stopping power of the cartridge, but merely having the gun and the will to use it, combined with a little skill at arms.

    I also have a Czechoslovakian VZ-70, which looks like a little like a Walther PPK but with thicker grips and a higher bore axis (safer on the hands), in .32 ACP. These aren't much more than $200 on the surplus market. It is steel, not aluminum or plastic, and fits the hand nicely. It is extremely soft-shooting and easy to hit the ten-ring almost as fast as you can pull the trigger.

    Everything you gain in carrying by going smaller and lighter, you lose in shooting ability. You are far better off in compromising "stopping power" before these other factors.
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    Regular Member griffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    While the 5.7mm is an outstanding round, its sidearm, the Five-seveN, is not the most concealable, especially on smaller frames. You mentioned a CPL, but maybe that is required for open carry in your state, I don't know.
    I am assuming open carry since this is an open carry forum. Anyone with wrist/hand problems is going to want a full-sized gun anyway to reduce muzzle flip. All that being said, to effectively open carry in Michigan you need a concealed pistol license because that allows you to open carry in your car or places that are licensed to sell alcohol, like grocery stores and restaurants. No CPL is required for OC, but there are many places off-limits without one.
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    Regular Member Ezerharden's Avatar
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    My wife seems to be quite comfortable carrying an XDM 40 and has never had issues with shooting a .40 cal handgun.
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    Regular Member Raggs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by griffin View Post
    The Five-seveN would be perfect for her. It has 30% less recoil than the 9mm. It is a soft-shooting gun. However, they are pricey and right now both practice and SD ammo is hard to get.
    I would also suggest a Rock Island Armory 22TCM. My wife has extremely small hands and can handle this pistol. From what I have read about it the 22TCM round goes about 2000fps with very light recoil and sell for around $600. If you by one that also comes with a 9mm barrel the recoil is not that bad as well.
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    6. Because it's perfectly legal
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    If you decide for her and she ends up hating it, it will be your fault, but if she picks it out.... My best advice is to take her to a shop with a range, and range guns. Let her decide what she wants, is comfortable with, and fits her and is easy for her to shoot. NOT YOU...

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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Re: Sidearm options for women

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon View Post
    If you decide for her and she ends up hating it, it will be your fault, but if she picks it out.... My best advice is to take her to a shop with a range, and range guns. Let her decide what she wants, is comfortable with, and fits her and is easy for her to shoot. NOT YOU...
    ^^^ THIS my wife has a nice G26 with the cool guide rod laser & Walther P99AS in addition to the little 32's I mentioned above. I "helped" her pick the 9mm's out. She shoots both well but rarely carrys them citing bulk, weight etc. I took her to a gun show and let her handle the pistols and just hung back and kept quiet. Turns out she liked the little taurus ( I know). It is her daily carry now vs $1,500 of gear I helped her pick out

    I chalk this up to one very expensive lesson learned...a cheap pistol carried is worth two really nice ones that stay in the safe most the time.
    Last edited by FreeInAZ; 03-05-2013 at 05:08 PM.
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    Regular Member OneForAll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon View Post
    If you decide for her and she ends up hating it, it will be your fault, but if she picks it out.... My best advice is to take her to a shop with a range, and range guns. Let her decide what she wants, is comfortable with, and fits her and is easy for her to shoot. NOT YOU...
    Post 6

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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Re: Sidearm options for women

    Quote Originally Posted by OneForAll View Post
    I really would like to find somewhere in the southeaster parts of Michigan to take her to, so she can rent, and try a few different makes and models so she does not have any regrets. She likes shooting, and I would like her to feel comfortable and confident in her purchase. All these suggestions are appreciated, thank you.
    Helped you & the readers out OFA -
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    Regular Member OneForAll's Avatar
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    Sorry, still kind of new here, what is OFA?

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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Re: Sidearm options for women

    Does anyone know of a range that rents pistols in his area?
    Last edited by FreeInAZ; 03-05-2013 at 05:11 PM.
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    “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” by Mahatma Gandhi

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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Re: Sidearm options for women

    Quote Originally Posted by OneForAll View Post
    Sorry, still kind of new here, what is OFA?
    I was being lazy OneForAll your screen name Rick.
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    Regular Member OneForAll's Avatar
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    Oh, thank you lol.
    Last edited by OneForAll; 03-05-2013 at 05:17 PM. Reason: Wanted to say thank you.

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