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Thread: Carry gun ideas for a small stature wife

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    Regular Member BlueSquid's Avatar
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    Carry gun ideas for a small stature wife

    Hey all, considering putting off my next personal purchase so my wife can get a handgun since she's begun to show a good deal more interest in having one of her own. She's a small woman, 4'9" and 85-90lbs. She's not weak, but I'm worried she'll have trouble racking a new semi-auto during it's break in period and will get turned off to wanting to practice with it and use it if the need were to arise. She's also taken some safety classes and preferred wheel guns over semi-auto's anyhow, so that's what I'd like to get for her. I want to avoid the small gun trap that it seems a lot of guys fall into when buying for a smaller stature person, since recoil on the smaller framed guns (lcr's and the like) is rather uncomfortable. I'm a bit of a ruger fan boy so I'm leaning towards an SP101 in the mid or short barreled version. It seems to have some reasonable heft to help control it while not being overly large for her hands. Only experience I have with that gun, though, is getting some hands on time with my dad's .38 spl +p, but didn't get to put any rounds down range. I've yet to shoot that or .357 mag, so I'd like opinions on what you folks would choose and why in my situation. Suggestions on other guns are more than welcome as well. Obviously we're going to make a few trips to the range and rent a few to see what she's most comfortable with, but just trying to get a starting point based off your collective experiences. She would be open carrying or concealing in a purse if she decides to get her CHP, but would also be her bedside gun. Thanks fellas!

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    Encourage her to legally carry openly, concealed or combination of whatever size, style, type, color or caliber she wants too. It is her choice and her's alone!

    Too many of us push those close to us to carry that which WE like, not what they like!
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    Regular Member BlueSquid's Avatar
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    True enough! I'm trying my best not to influence her decision, but as I said, I love ruger.

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    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    Great topic. Me and mine are going through an identical situation. She is a little bigger framed than your wife at 5'3" 115but obviously still very small and skinny. She hated the subcompact semi auto 9mm, loved the medium framed revolver .38 Special. She really wants a 2" barrel blue .357 Magnum (per my suggestion so that she can practice with .38 sp and carry .357 Mag). She likes the S&W Model 686 and Model 36 which is .38sp +p, but I don't like the 36 because it only holds 5 and can't shoot .357 mag.
    Last edited by The Truth; 10-07-2014 at 03:36 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I'm a good size guy and don't enjoy shooting a compact. 357 rev. I do enjoy the S&W airweight 642. 38+p which I chose instead.

    Surprising to me, almost all the women we have taken out shooting, regardless of their size, seem to end up preferring my wife's Kimber Ultra Carry II 45 acp for just shooting enjoyment. Obviously YMMV
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Take her down to the closest range that rents guns. Let her try everything that strikes her fancy. Get her to try revolvers if she does not pick some out on her own. Ask folks you know that have different brands/models/calibers to let her try them out.

    A tiny .380 is "quite snappy" - mostly due to the small amount of mass working against the recoil. A government-size 1911 is often described as a "soft shooter" by small-stature folks because of the mass behind the recoil and in relation to their own body.

    About the only thing worse than getting a .38spcl J-frame wrapped up and handed to her would be to get one in pink or some other "pretty" color that she did not specifically request.

    Even getting her to pick out a custom holster with all the carving, insets, exotic hides and the rest (with matching belt, of course) will not make up for forcing her into a J-frame because it's what every LGS Commando says women should have.

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    Do not overlook used guns. There was a time not so long ago when a cop was expected to WALK around all day luggung around his wheelgun. Size and weight mattered, and average people size was a bit smaller.

    The Colt Police Positive Special, Detective special, S&W Regulation Police. All were considered good enough by men who had to carry every day and use them seldom or never. Which is what your average person whether cc or oc is today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deepdiver View Post
    I'm a good size guy and don't enjoy shooting a compact. 357 rev. I do enjoy the S&W airweight 642. 38+p which I chose instead.

    Surprising to me, almost all the women we have taken out shooting, regardless of their size, seem to end up preferring my wife's Kimber Ultra Carry II 45 acp for just shooting enjoyment. Obviously YMMV
    I have the same gun, but chambered in 9mm. I think it's the size and the recoil spring that make it so damn enjoyable. Smooth as butter, good weight/balance, and not too snappy.

    As far as racking a semi auto, I think it's a combination of spring stiffness and operator technique. Learning to push the frame instead of pulling the slide made a world of difference for me, as well as adjusting my grip.

    My experience has taught me to avoid mouse guns; smaller doesn't always equal easier. The Sig P239 is pushing the edge of comfort for me to shoot. My husband's keltec PF9 and P3AT were hellish. Give me a 226, or midsize 1911, and I've got something to hold on to, and help absorb some of the recoil.

    Plus, I like big guns and cannot lie

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PistolPackingMomma View Post
    I have the same gun, but chambered in 9mm. I think it's the size and the recoil spring that make it so damn enjoyable. Smooth as butter, good weight/balance, and not too snappy.

    As far as racking a semi auto, I think it's a combination of spring stiffness and operator technique. Learning to push the frame instead of pulling the slide made a world of difference for me, as well as adjusting my grip.

    My experience has taught me to avoid mouse guns; smaller doesn't always equal easier. The Sig P239 is pushing the edge of comfort for me to shoot. My husband's keltec PF9 and P3AT were hellish. Give me a 226, or midsize 1911, and I've got something to hold on to, and help absorb some of the recoil.

    Plus, I like big guns and cannot lie
    The other mothers can not deny!

    My other half likes her Smith&Wesson Compact 9.

    I'd take Skid's suggestion see if she is interested in trying lots of pistols, and then get her what she is comfortable with.
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    Regular Member BlueSquid's Avatar
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    Yeah I believe that's what we'll do. I unintentionally lied to you earlier. I was looking at chiappa rhinos online for my own interests today and remembered that I did put a small amount (5-10 rounds) of .357 down range about 2 years ago when my buddy rented one. I wouldn't mind picking one of those up, hell, maybe that'll even be what she picks out.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    My advice is always the same~~Take her to the LGS and let her feel up the inventory. Just make sure she racks the slides of the models she likes, then rent them and turn her loose.

    My wife has three guns of her own, a JA 380 she conceals at work, a CF380 she used to OC until I bought her a Glock 22 like mine. She is now on a ice cream run with the Glock. Years ago she picked out a Rossi 352, we still have it but sits in the safe most of the time. Little guns are mostly for concealed, and except for work she does not conceal.

    If she is going to conceal and concerned about recoil a Ruger SR22 has no recoil and slide is easy to rack. The Glock 42 and the Walther Pk380 both are low recoil 380's but not very much pocket guns. The Keltec P32 32ACP has much less bite than the Keltec P3AT.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 10-07-2014 at 08:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    My advice is always the same~~Take her to the LGS and let her feel up the inventory. Just make sure she racks the slides of the models she likes, then rent them and turn her loose.

    My wife has three guns of her own, a JA 380 she conceals at work, a CF380 she used to OC until I bought her a Glock 22 like mine. She is now on a ice cream run with the Glock. Years ago she picked out a Rossi 352, we still have it but sits in the safe most of the time. Little guns are mostly for concealed, and except for work she does not conceal.

    If she is going to conceal and concerned about recoil a Ruger SR22 has no recoil and slide is easy to rack. The Glock 42 and the Walther Pk380 both are low recoil 380's but not very much pocket guns. The Keltec P32 32ACP has much less bite than the Keltec P3AT.
    My wife cannot rack the slide on her(now mine) P32 the damn spring is so stiff - I (with my GI-JOE kung fu grip) can barely rack it! Went to the LGS as advised by many and she liked the PT 732 {USA made - low recoil - easy carry} (Now discontinued of course). It is easy for her to rack & carry concealed. When she OC it's a Walther P99AS.
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    Regular Member decklin's Avatar
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    My wife is 4'11" and 96lbs. She carries a Taurus 24/7 Pro in .40
    Her only complaint is the weight and lack of holster selection. She has a paddle holster she doesn't like. We also made a holster for her purse.

    Lately we've been looking at getting her a s&w shield in 9mm. The problem with that is she can't rack the slide. I suppose I could try to break it in for her.
    She does tend to like revolvers but I'm not to keen on her only having 5 rounds available.
    Best thing for her is to just try a bunch of guns and see what she likes.
    Also, there are a lot of women's shooting groups that will let her attend a meet so she can try a bunch of stuff. All you need to do in most cases is pay for ammo. Cheaper than the LGS.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeInAZ View Post
    My wife cannot rack the slide on her(now mine) P32 the damn spring is so stiff - I (with my GI-JOE kung fu grip) can barely rack it! Went to the LGS as advised by many and she liked the PT 732 {USA made - low recoil - easy carry} (Now discontinued of course). It is easy for her to rack & carry concealed. When she OC it's a Walther P99AS.
    The M&P Bodyguard is easier to rack than the Keltec, but has a long trigger pull, which is not a bad thing. I had a lady ask me for help in a LGS about a conceal 380, the 42 was not out and they did not have a PK 380. For her the Smith was the easiest to rack, but then I also had to show her how to rack using a overhand instead of using a thumb and finger.
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    All I can say is don't rush the decision I have spent hours with clients trying many different firearms.

    A couple of trips to the store and range might very well be needed before she picks out one.

    Even then as she gains more experience her choice might change.

    One might even consider buying her some instruction time as I find that husbands are not always the best at choosing a firearm for their wife's.
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    Regular Member BlueSquid's Avatar
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    Yeah, the classes she's taken were all female, including instructors, at ATP gunshop in South Carolina. She really enjoyed them, and I have no doubt they got her more interested in firearms, both for self defense and as a sport/hobby, than anything I've ever done. I'll probably look for something like that around here, in addition to bringing her with me to the range.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decklin View Post
    ....
    She does tend to like revolvers but I'm not to keen on her only having 5 rounds available.
    ....
    Will she be carrying for the zombie apocalypse/Mongol hordes riding their ponies across the Bering Strait/a shootout with bank robbers holed up with hostages or for self defense against the sorts of threats that are reported in your local press?

    According to the FBI crime reports about how many shots are fired before a gunfight is ended blah, blah, blah. You and I both know the words to that song but most folks seem to want to go with a full combat load just to pick up the newspaper on the front lawn.

    She likes bottom-feeders better than wheelguns? OK, everybody is entitled to their wrongheaded opinions in spite of their being wrongheaded. I carry two moonclips on the opposite side to balance the load and avoid tipping over. (Folks I know carry spare magazines for the same reason.) But I'm expecting that if I ever get into a shooting I'll have rounds left in the cylinder when it's all over.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member OC Freedom's Avatar
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    Glock 42. Very soft shooter, 15oz fully loaded, with the pearce magazine finger extension it fills the hand completely. My wife has fallen for this gun, over all others, and she has shot a lot of guns over her lifetime.

    The Glock 42 is now what I carry openly daily in a blackhawk serpa and I too put this pistol in my top five favorites.

    check out this test with women shooters trying different .380s.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7nWBMIeIXI
    Last edited by OC Freedom; 10-08-2014 at 09:49 AM.

  19. #19
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Will she be carrying for the zombie apocalypse/Mongol hordes riding their ponies across the Bering Strait/a shootout with bank robbers holed up with hostages or for self defense against the sorts of threats that are reported in your local press?

    According to the FBI crime reports about how many shots are fired before a gunfight is ended blah, blah, blah. You and I both know the words to that song but most folks seem to want to go with a full combat load just to pick up the newspaper on the front lawn.

    She likes bottom-feeders better than wheelguns? OK, everybody is entitled to their wrongheaded opinions in spite of their being wrongheaded. I carry two moonclips on the opposite side to balance the load and avoid tipping over. (Folks I know carry spare magazines for the same reason.) But I'm expecting that if I ever get into a shooting I'll have rounds left in the cylinder when it's all over.

    stay safe.
    I also would figure when I run out of ammo it is time to hightail and run, the other direction. At least until I can find cover to reload. If she wants a revolver buy her a speed loader or two. But nobody should reload in a firefight until they have sought cover. No matter how fast you can reload, it is not fast enough while the bad guy still has more cartridges in their gun.

    Quote Originally Posted by OC Freedom View Post
    Glock 42. Very soft shooter, 15oz fully loaded, with the pearce magazine finger extension it fills the hand completely. My wife has fallen for this gun, over all others, and she has shot a lot of guns over her lifetime.

    The Glock 42 is now what I carry openly daily in a blackhawk serpa and I too put this pistol in my top five favorites.

    check out this test with women shooters trying different .380s.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7nWBMIeIXI
    I don't trust that video for a second, it is a rah rah video for the Glock 42, and a slam piece for the bodyguard. The bodyguard is fine gun, as shown by Hicock45 in his review. The women completely exaggerated the pull on the smith and the recoil on the LCP. The only reason the colt got good ratings was because the author would have to be a idiot to try to slam the Colt. Then people would have known it was a puff piece of journalism.

    Antics like that is one reason that I don't like Glocks even though I own three. It is because many people pass by good guns, and pay overpriced Glocks purely on Glock fanboi hype. I am not saying you are one, but they are out there and the video was crock.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 10-08-2014 at 10:02 AM.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Ruger LCP by a respected firearm journalist

    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Take her down to the closest range that rents guns. Let her try everything that strikes her fancy. Get her to try revolvers if she does not pick some out on her own. Ask folks you know that have different brands/models/calibers to let her try them out.
    This is TRUTH! The fit of the weapon in the hand is all that matters. The stuff on top (calibre, semi/revolver, etc...) can be changed. It is the grip that cements the weapon to your hand. Try as many as you can, until you find "theOne".

    Quote Originally Posted by hovercat View Post
    Do not overlook used guns. There was a time not so long ago when a cop was expected to WALK around all day luggung around his wheelgun. Size and weight mattered, and average people size was a bit smaller.

    The Colt Police Positive Special, Detective special, S&W Regulation Police. All were considered good enough by men who had to carry every day
    We go to pawn shops for weapons. My Sweet Baboo found her "One" in a pawn shop for very little money. Herself now carries a Glock 26. Ten rounds to conceal and an adapter for fifteen for OC.

    On used weapons, I just bought a .38 official police from a pawnshop for US$220 out the door. A great weapon (for me).
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

  22. #22
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie View Post
    This is TRUTH! The fit of the weapon in the hand is all that matters. The stuff on top (calibre, semi/revolver, etc...) can be changed. It is the grip that cements the weapon to your hand. Try as many as you can, until you find "theOne".



    We go to pawn shops for weapons. My Sweet Baboo found her "One" in a pawn shop for very little money. Herself now carries a Glock 26. Ten rounds to conceal and an adapter for fifteen for OC.

    On used weapons, I just bought a .38 official police from a pawnshop for US$220 out the door. A great weapon (for me).
    That is a great price for a Colt OP, was the pawn shop owner brain dead?

    I bought last year a rough looking Colt PP 32/20 for $200 out the door with a box of ammo. A box of 32/20 goes for close to 50 dollars. After considerable cleaning the gun has turned into shooter and one of my yard guns.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
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  23. #23
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Glock 42

    I thought I would add the videos for the Glock 42 and the Walther PK380 to be fair.

    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

  24. #24
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Walther PK380

    My choice for a medium 380 would be the Walther.

    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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