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Thread: advice on certain models for the wife

  1. #1
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    My wife is looking to get her first handgun.

    Ok, so we have been searching around and trying to get her hands on as many handguns as possible in all the surrounding stores.

    so far this is the first list that she has come up with. I was hoping that some of you guys could give me your opinions on pros/cons of the various types, perhaps compare them if you happen to own the same models, and inform me of any issues they may have.

    Brand model
    F&N FNP-9
    H&K P230
    Beretta Storm PX4
    Stoeger Cougar
    Sig Sauer P250
    Taurus 24/7
    Taurus Millenium
    Walther P99
    Beretta 92fs
    H&K USP
    Springfield xd-9
    Ruger sr9c
    S&W M&P 9c

    thanks.

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    Regular Member tcmech's Avatar
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    If you can go to a range that rents the guns that would be your best bet. I took my wife to the gun store and let her pick, she wanted the taurus pt709 slim since the grip was small enough for her. I personally don't think any of the guns you have listed here is bad, if I was buying for me and my hand I would probably get the m&p 9c.


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    we did go to 2 ranges, gander mountain and cabelas. neither of the ranges had any guns that we wanted to try, or they were to big for the wifes hands.

    we still have one more range to go check out, otherwise we'll have to make our decision based off of handling them at the counter. most of that selection actually came from cabelas. seems like the other places either had nothing that fit my wife, or the little selection they had was also covered by cabelas.

    that's why i'm trying to get as much personal experience and pros/cons from actual users, and then we'll go back and have to place the lineup on the counter so the wife can handle them some more and see which one she feels most comfortable with.

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    scorpio_vette wrote:
    My wife is looking to get her first handgun.

    Ok, so we have been searching around and trying to get her hands on as many handguns as possible in all the surrounding stores.

    so far this is the first list that she has come up with. I was hoping that some of you guys could give me your opinions on pros/cons of the various types, perhaps compare them if you happen to own the same models, and inform me of any issues they may have.

    Brand model
    F&N FNP-9
    H&K P230
    Beretta Storm PX4
    Stoeger Cougar
    Sig Sauer P250
    Taurus 24/7
    Taurus Millenium
    Walther P99
    Beretta 92fs
    H&K USP
    Springfield xd-9
    Ruger sr9c
    S&W M&P 9c

    thanks.
    They are all pretty good gun firearms.
    I would stay away from the taurus millennium though, they tend to fall apart and age abnormally fast. But the 24/7 is good. and all the others are good.
    IDK about the stoeger though.

    Personally I would go with the walter p99, best gun in that list in my opinion

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    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    I have and carry the H&K USP Compact in .45ACP. It is a great peice and I have zero issues with it. Some people find the grip large and boxy. Make sure she likes the ergonomics on it before you spend that much money. The P-2000 and P-30 models have a bit rounder grips and are somewhat customizable. The H&K recoil reduction system could be a bonus she could benefit from.
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    The Walther P99 has changeable backstraps to fit the gun to a variety of hand sizes. I own the Walther's cousin, the S&W SW99 and I really like it. Mine is a DA/SA and it is a good shooter, although I had some failures to extract and accuracy issues when the gun was new. Both problems were addressed and fixed by S&W.


    The three-dot sights are adjustable for windage and elevation and the gun can be field stripped in about 10 seconds with no tools. It has an ambi mag release but no mag disconnect.
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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    From that list I guess she is looking for a full size gun.

    I don't own any 9mm but like my Sigs, H&K USP, 1911, and even my Taurus Millenium.

    Lots of factors work into the equation like cost, recoil, capacity, size (cc vs oc) and her handsize/finger-length (her size 90lbs vs 150lbs) etc.

    So the best pistol for her is the one she feels comfortable shooting and will practice with. After that narrows down the list, price and manufacturer reputation can be weighed in.

    If the gun is going to be used for home defense or Open Carry then a full size is great. If she will be CC-ing it a compact might be better. I CC my Taurus in my front pocket (jeans, khaki shorts) and OC a fullsize in a SERPA.

    I always tell people that you don't have to ONLY own one gun so if your first gun is a full size your second can be a compact model etc.

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    I bought my wife the Bersa Thunder 380. It has a very comfortable grip and you can get it with a 7,9,or 15 round magazine. They are small enough to carry concealed yet hold enough ammo to get the job done. They are very reliable pistols and start at around 250.00 for the 7 round. I bought a 15 round for 340 with spare magazine. Good luck
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    Everyone is different, but two very important factors for my wife are grip size, and grip texture. She has sensitive skin, and shooting some of the more aggressively textured handguns is an exercise in pain for her. Also, pistols with thick grips make it difficult for her to make proper contact with the trigger, and slide release. The other issue that can come up is with automatics that have very stiff recoil springs (racking).

    She seems to like her XD9 (1st gen) quite a bit. She takes it to every training class we go to. The two original magazines had bad springs, causing the last round to fail to feed every time (great for tap/rack training). I purchased 2 more OEM mags for her, and I don't believe she has had any problems since then.

    It is not on your list, and you didn't mention whether this is going to be a range pistol, carry pistol, or both; but she also loves the ergonomics of her Kahr P9. It is her go to carry pistol. She enjoys shooting it as long as it isn't for more than 50 - 100 rounds or so. It is a bit harder to rack than the XD9.

    Your wife might also want to take a look at the Browning Hi-Power 9mm, if she hasn't already considered it.

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    SlowDog wrote:
    I bought my wife the Bersa Thunder 380. It has a very comfortable grip and you can get it with a 7,9,or 15 round magazine. They are small enough to carry concealed yet hold enough ammo to get the job done. They are very reliable pistols and start at around 250.00 for the 7 round. I bought a 15 round for 340 with spare magazine. Good luck
    The Bersa Thunderer is a fine weapon at a great price. This is the one my wife chose. I wouldn't go with stock grips (on the single-stack model) though- it has quite the snappy recoil and will beat up on your hands if you don't get something a bit fatter for them. We're looking for a nice wrap-around style like from pacmayer.

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    i'll take that under advice and pass it on to her.


    as for use.......isn't any firearm you own a "range" arm to a certain point??? i mean where else would you practice with it???

    but she's looking for home defense (in addition to the shotgun), personal defense, and something she can also conceal carry when she goes to other states (depending on their law) for work.

    i know most of the ones i have listed if not all are fullsize, but so far those are the ones that she's felt most comfortable with. and several of them have "compact" versions, such as the sigsauer 250, xd series, and i think a couple others.

    again.......thanks for any feedback and keep it coming.

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    I noticed one that is not in your list which you might want to have her take a look at is the Kahr series of all steel DAO pistols. In particular, she might want check out the K9 or the K9 Elite series. These are excellent, high quality pistols and are very well suited for women's hands. Somewhat expensive, but then what is the price of your loved one's life?

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    scorpio_vette wrote:
    i'll take that under advice and pass it on to her.


    as for use.......isn't any firearm you own a "range" arm to a certain point??? i mean where else would you practice with it???

    but she's looking for home defense (in addition to the shotgun), personal defense, and something she can also conceal carry when she goes to other states (depending on their law) for work.

    i know most of the ones i have listed if not all are fullsize, but so far those are the ones that she's felt most comfortable with. and several of them have "compact" versions, such as the sigsauer 250, xd series, and i think a couple others.

    again.......thanks for any feedback and keep it coming.
    Hopefully you are right, and every carry gun is taken to the range regularly!

    You answered my question with "home defense" and "range use". I wanted to know if size was a factor.

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    diesel556 wrote:
    Hopefully you are right, and every carry gun is taken to the range regularly!

    You answered my question with "home defense" and "range use". I wanted to know if size was a factor.
    well according to her the bigger the better........oh wait...we're talking about guns right???

    if you mean "size" as far as what she can comfortable hold, then size is a bit of an issue as she has fairly small hands. pretty much anything larger than what's in the list is to big for her.

    now if you mean "size" as far as open carrying or concealed carrying. we would like to find something that she can conceal if she has to, like when she goes out of state for work. which is why i used the sigsauer 250 combo as an example, because you can change the size on it somewhat. or the xd series which has near same size controls but in different size guns.

    most of the pocket guns are to small for her to comfortably use though. as small as her hands are for the big guns, she complains that the small guns are way to cramped and loose in her hand.

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    scorpio_vette wrote:
    diesel556 wrote:
    Hopefully you are right, and every carry gun is taken to the range regularly!

    You answered my question with "home defense" and "range use". I wanted to know if size was a factor.
    well according to her the bigger the better........oh wait...we're talking about guns right???
    :what: :celebrate

    I agree with the above poster about taking a look at the K9. It's the same size as the P9 that fits my wife's hands so well, but it is all steel instead of plastic. The added weight reduces the recoil (my wife likes the recoil of the lighter P9, so the K9 must be great to shoot).

    Plus the front strap and MSH are both smooth instead of having the checkering that hurts my wife's hands.

    http://www.kahr.com/imgs/mdtl_k9093c.jpg

    Best of all it is only 1 inch thick, so concealing it is an absolute breeze. Hopefully it is the right size for your wife!

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    diesel556 wrote:
    scorpio_vette wrote:
    diesel556 wrote:
    Hopefully you are right, and every carry gun is taken to the range regularly!

    You answered my question with "home defense" and "range use". I wanted to know if size was a factor.
    well according to her the bigger the better........oh wait...we're talking about guns right???
    :what: :celebrate

    I agree with the above poster about taking a look at the K9. It's the same size as the P9 that fits my wife's hands so well, but it is all steel instead of plastic. The added weight reduces the recoil (my wife likes the recoil of the lighter P9, so the K9 must be great to shoot).

    Plus the front strap and MSH are both smooth instead of having the checkering that hurts my wife's hands.

    http://www.kahr.com/imgs/mdtl_k9093c.jpg

    Best of all it is only 1 inch thick, so concealing it is an absolute breeze. Hopefully it is the right size for your wife!
    I have a K9 Elite '03 which I bought in November 2006. I have owned eleven Kahrs and currently own five. The all steel versions have a better track record of reliability, though the more recent polymers (since 2005) have shown marked improvement.

    The K9 is a fine choice for a man with small to medium size hands or a woman because, as you pointed out, it is slim and makes a very good concealable gun. Their balance and natural pointability is superb and because their are DAO pistols, they are inherently safe to carry in a woman's purse if that is her preference.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    After renting several guns and visiting several ranges and shops, my wife selected the Sig Sauer P239. She wanted a semiauto 9mm, but she found some of the compacts only offered a shorter grip yet the same size slide and amount of recoil as the full-sized counterpart. The steel absorbs recoil and the small frame fit her hand well.

    Something else she looked for was ease of slide - my M&P was difficult for her to rack back, others were easier.

    The stock sights on this Sig made target acquisition immediate and natural - rear white dot lined up with front dot in an '8' configuration.

    P239 comes stock with a single stack mag - the grip size was comfortabe for her.

    Let us know what she decides!

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    Kahr PM9, my wife has one, and I actually love it. I guess you are looking for an OC gun however.

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    I'll comment only on the pistols I have actually fired.

    Sig Sauer P250 - Nice modular design for caliber swaps from 1 serial number. I like that feature for shooting multiple calibers without having to have extra paperwork on file with WA DOL. It's also nice for a new shooter to learn with something (after starting with a .22 LR) like a 9x19 and then later stepping up to a .45ACP or .357 sig. (I wouldn't carry a 9mm or a .40 S&W but that's just my personal preference.) It fit my hands decently, was fairly accurate and functioned very reliably. The price is a little higher than some of its competitors, but if you're going to take advantage of the multiple caliber option the small extra initial cost saves you money in the long-run on 2 or more calibers from 1 platform. It's a nice system. The only downside is that it is a hammer-pistol but is Double Action Only. There's no option to carry cocked and locked.

    Taurus 24/7 - Reliable, inexpensive, and fairly accurate. Some folks fall in love with the strange cushy grips and other folks can't stand them. I couldn't stand them. The trigger was sloppy and I missed having the ability to carry it cocked and locked. At least it was a DA/SA setup though. Holster availability isn't superb.

    Taurus Millenium - It's the same DA/SA setup as the 24/7. I didn't care for it all that much. Basically the same comments for the 24/7 apply to the Millenium.

    Beretta 92FS (Beretta M9 in my case, slightly different) - I hate this firearm. It's ridiculously heavy for its caliber. It has the worst safety/decock arrangement known to man. It's very easy for the user to decock and accidentally leave on safe. It's also easy to accidentally draw the firearm and have your thumb flick the safety on inadvertently if you carry decocked. I've seen this happen plenty of times at NRA Action Pistol events. I think this pistol accounts for more "squeeze - oops it's on safe" problems than any other pistol out there. I don't consider that design to lend itself well to daily carry at all. It's also relatively expensive. It IS reliable and accurate and there are a huge array of holsters available for it. (Many are oriented towards the military, however.) I could rant for hours about how much I hate this firearm but I won't.

    H&K USP - I own and carry a USP Tactical (full-size) in .45 ACP. It is incredibly accurate. I think it's the most accurate pistol I've ever fired. They're expensive, but they are extremely reliable. I like the fact that you can carry them cocked and locked like a 1911 or you can use the decocker and carry decocked safely as well. The double-action pull is stiff and the single action pull is pleasantly light. Mine has zero overtravel, but that's because it's the Tactical with an adjustable stop. Trigger reset isn't as nice as a 1911 or any other SAO pistol is, but it's decent for a DA/SA setup. The biggest complaint is its size. Since I OC I didn't care, but even in the "compact" there's not much that's compact about a USP. They're blocky and the grips might be too large for a slightly built lady. Really the only downside is the size/grips/price. Holster availability is good, unless you have a Tactical model with the threaded barrel and taller front site, then things get tricky. The standard USP has plenty of holster offerings. Magazines are expensive.

    Springfield XD - These are great little pistols. They're reliable, relatively accurate, inexpensive, and usually come with holsters, spare magazines, and magazine pouches from the factory. That's a nice touch. I'm not a huge fan of the striker fired systems; I'd really like to be able to carry cocked and locked, but these guys (along with Glocks) do the DAO striker fired stuff well. The other nice thing about them is if you get an XDm model, you get the ability to swap out different grips for different sized hands. This is a great option for ladies or men with smaller hands. They're also less blocky and more concealable than a USP.


    I didn't see Glocks on the list. Don't overlook them, they make some great handguns too. Most of them are equivalent to the Springfield XD's but are a few steps up in terms of quality. (and price) Holster availability for a Glock is probably the best of any pistol.

    I also didn't see any revolvers on the list at all. Don't overlook the S&W J-frames in .38 Special, .38 +P, or .357 Magnum. (With the Magnums you can carry spl or +P ammo instead of you desire) They're hyper-reliable and some of the airweight series are amazingly light. (I don't think I'd want to shoot 158gr .357mag loads from an airweight though... ouch)


    EDIT: Also, the 1911 and its variants... If she can handle a H&K USP, then she can handle a 1911. The grip on a USP is slightly larger but the frame itself is nearly identical. (The difference is that the USP has the slide slightly farther back over the hand, rather than ending flush with the backstrap of the grip) All of the other angles and dimensions are nearly identical.

    If the 1911 is uncomfortable for her to hold or shoot, odds are the H&K USP will be equally difficult for her.


    Don't overlook the size/weight issues on the pistols. Concealability may not be an issue to her at the moment, but it's almost certain to become an issue at some point in time.

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    http://www.berettaweb.com/BERETTA_PX...SubCompact.htm




    do you have any idea how stupid and annoying this 48hour hold law is??? so we're on our way home last night after buying the gun, and my wife is just sitting there all slumped in her seat and looking all bummed out. so i ask her what's wrong, and she says:
    "I just bought all this stuff, and I don't have anything to play with here in the car (accessories not the firearm), and when we get home i won't even be able to check out my new gun".

    not to mention that it's a damn 2hour drive (roundtrip) to where the damn gun was because it's the only place that actually had one..

    now we just need to find a holster, and the magazine with the little flip out extender (optional i think).

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Very nice looking gun. Has she shot that model before? I would be curious as to your/her thoughts on it. It seems to be about the same size as my Taurus PT145.

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    No. unfortunately we didn't get to shoot that one. none of the ranges had that model to try (at least the ones i asked), and as i said, only 1 store had it in stock.

    BUT.......she did fire about 10different guns at the range couple days ago, and she decided she was very comfortable with 9mm guns, and while she was also comfortable with 40cal, it made her hand tire to much. as far as the controls/features, she did get to try those through some of the various guns she tried at the range. so between test firing 9mm and trying the controls, that helped understand and narrow it down as to whether or not she like the features. and then we went back to cabelas and she tried holding some of the various guns from her list again and between size and what she experienced at the range she went with that one.


    that was honestly her gun of choice from the start, but at the beginning all she had to go by was "that it looked cool". LOL

    so can she comfortable handle 9mm----check
    does she like and can handle the controls----check
    is it large enough for open carry----check
    is it small enough for conceal carry----check (when/where permitted)
    does it "look cool"----check
    was it "affordable"----check
    ambidextrous controls----check
    holster options----check
    size customizable grip----check
    size customizable mag release----check



    LOL so overall it seems to fit the bill.


    she did complain that where the grip/magazine ended was just between sizes for a comfortable grip. it's to big for her pinky to wrap underneath, but to small for her pinky to fit comfortable on the grip. we did however already find a solution to that.
    here is a video with a little review and field stripping. and at 6:13 into the video it shows how there is a build in "extender" in the magazine that can be flipped down for "extra grip". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0UobhFvrDc

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    Congratulations to her for finding something she liked!

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    scorpio_vette wrote:
    do you have any idea how stupid and annoying this 48hour hold law is??? so we're on our way home last night after buying the gun, and my wife is just sitting there all slumped in her seat and looking all bummed out. so i ask her what's wrong, and she says: "I just bought all this stuff, and I don't have anything to play with here in the car (accessories not the firearm), and when we get home i won't even be able to check out my new gun".
    The waiting period is to give you the time and motivation to compose a gentle note to your elected state representatives explaining how happy you are that you have to wait a couple of days to enjoy your legally-purchased possession.

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    have her look at a 380 kel-tec...........great little gun

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