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Thread: Carry gun for the wife?

  1. #1
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    Carry gun for the wife?

    Opinions please?

    My wife is discussing what kind of gun she wants to get. This is a big step for her. Until recently she has always talked about getting one "someday" but now she is actually thinking about what kind to get.

    She digs my XD-45 but it is a little bit too large for her hands. Also, after shooting 50 or 60 rounds it starts to hurt her hand and can even leave a bruise!

    She is small, 5 ft 2 and has a hard time finding blue jeans small enough so gun size is a consideration.

    She will not be carrying as often as I do. We will get her a WA state CPL but she will likely OC on occasion too. Primarily this will be for range use and her defense when I am not around... or in the woods when we hike and backpack.

    It also needs to be a simple gun... simple operation and simple cleaning, maintenance, etc.

    So I am thinking revolver? Form and function, easy cleaning, simple operation, small frame with the ability to hurl lead like the bigger players.

    I also want her to have some knock down power but not so much that she cannot control it... so I am thinking .357

    Here is where the fun begins...

    6-inch is too much barrel for her but I think 2-inch is too little?

    Light weight frames are nice, but they kick like a mule so the felt recoil is going to be right up there with my .45 - well not exactly but still not fun to shoot 100 times in an afternoon, right?

    Ruger? S&W? Taurus?

    Hammerless?

    I know she needs to get her hands on some, and we will. Probably head to Champion or Wades and break out the .357 selection, let her play to her hearts content. But since I know a few folks who are well versed on the subject... why not posit the question to them?


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    Revolver is a good choice... .357mag might have too much recoil for your wife. Although, you could fire .38 special for less recoil. I think a nice choice would be a hammerless revolver, like a S&W or perhaps Ruger LCR in .38 - shot placement and overall controll would likely be better.

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    This is what I am thinking...

    She can use .38SPL for plinking, range time and fun. Put a couple dozen .357 through it to "stay in shape"

    The LCR's look really small and light... I'm worried about recoil there. Personally I like the beefier looking revolvers with heavy steel cylinders and bullish barrels... but her opinions will matter too, I guess.

    The hard part I think will come with barrel size. Big enough to absorb recoil, small enough to not weigh like an anchor...

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    The LCR is not for the recoil sensitive shooter. Consider a 3 inch Ruger (SP 101?) as an option. Heavier is better for shooting, lighter is better for carrying. Still gives the option of .38 or .357. You are passing up lots of good autoloaders....... Get her to the gun shop and let her feel for her choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wolfhound View Post
    You are passing up lots of good autoloaders.......
    I agree... and personally I prefer carrying semi auto vs. revolver. But in her case I think simplicity is the order of the day. She can shoot anything, but her personal gun needs to be simple to operate and maintain... just breaking down for cleaning a semi auto will turn her off. She thinks I'm a bit of a nut the way I clean my XD.

    I like the 101 option, I was looking at those and a 3" is a great compromise between big and small.

    Like you said though, she needs to get her hands on several and decide for herself.

    In the end we will likely buy a used revolver so it may depend on availability there as well...

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    Have her look at/shoot the 9mm offerings from Kahr. The steel framed K9 is just about the perfect size for small hands, and still feels like a 'real gun.' They shoot wonderfully and have great reliability and simple operation. My wife likes the K9 or one of my G19's. No levers or do-hickeys to deal with, just a mag release, slide stop and trigger (all of which have one single purpose each, fairly easy to master).

    For wheelguns, I agree, a Ruger SP101 in 3" .357 or a reasonable facimile (S&W 60 3", etc...) would be a good option. Lighting off .357's in those is not a comfortable experience, so pushing her in that direction too soon will be to your disadvantage. But .38spl range ammo and even 38+P defense ammo is a great combination with the smaller .357's. You can always suggest the .357 loads once she gets comfortable and asks for them.

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    Good points...

    THIS JUST IN:

    "I like the gun Ziva carries on NCIS. What kind is that?"

    So she favors the look of the .40SW Sig... or at least the look of it in the hands of a good looking, Latino actress.

    The last time I had to clean a Sig it was a bit of a chore. Though at the time I still shot a 1911, which aren't exactly simple to break down. Am I mis-remembering that the Sig requires a tool to disassemble?

    Where my Sig folks at?

    Obviously we're talking more complex than a wheel gun. Though with the Sig she may be more apt to carry it more often..?

    Is liking a TV show a good reason to choose a firearm? (Not that you can ever go wrong with Sig Sauer)

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    The Sig's do not require a tool to be disassembled. Just a flip of the takedown lever when at slide-lock.

    The gun she's talking about on NCIS is a P229 (which tend to have a fairly wide grip, as they are double-stack.) You might have her look at the P239, which is similar to the wider gun, but has a single stack (thin) grip. I've had a P239 in the past, and it was a great shooter and easy to operate with my small hands. The 239 is available in 9mm (8+1 capacity), .357 Sig, or .40S&W (7+1 cap.).

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    Sweet!

    Not sure why I remember needing a tool to break it down... but many, many moons have passed. I wonder which gun that was..?

    Good advice on the 229 / 239

    I'm not sure the double stack will be an issue, but we'll know after she puts one in her hands. She likes the feel of my XD... just not the bruised hand that comes from long afternoons of shooting it.

    I thought originally about having her play with my buddy's .45 Sig... see if the gun makes much difference. It would be handy to keep the family in a single caliber.

    I will have to at least let her break his down for cleaning so she knows what she is in for.

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    If she likes the feel of the xd, what about a compact xd in 9mm 0r 40sw? They're simple to operate, take down and clean. plus you get more firepower than a 38 special and more capacity than a wheel gun. Lots of great simple semi-auto pistols out there. In the end it all comes down to what she likes. The sig p239 was a good suggestion.

    Polymer guns seem to do a little better at absorbing felt recoil, but that is subjective. I think revolvers are often viewed as reliable and simple, but many people detest the grips/grip angle and their ergonomics are not exactly amazing. I know I was in the market for a S&W J frame about 2 years ago and eventually bought an XD sub compact in 40S&W for increased capacity, firepower, sights, comfort and ergonomics.

    Lots of things to think about when buying a new gun. there are so many great pistols out there right now it can be overwhelming to make a choice.

  11. #11
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    Yep, we keep discussing it but it will come down to what feels good...

    Thanks!

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    Tried the Ruger LCR...

    ...for my wife. Even standard range ammo made it more than she wanted to handle. The recoil hurt her hand. She always did fine with my XDm 3.8 9mm, so she ended up with a 9mm XD Subcompact and loves it. Recoil is pretty much nonexistent. The woman next door and the woman across the road both tried it out both have since bought their own. (I have considered picking one up for me, as it fits my XDm holsters and is much more concealable.)

    We went the revolver route originally, because the wife felt she couldn't rack the slide on a semi-auto. Once I showed her how to hold the slide and punch forward with the grip and she realized the slide wouldn't "bite" her (or break a nail), she became an old hand at running a semi-auto.

    The LCR didn't go to waste. I carry it regularly and have gotten pretty accurate at gunfighting distances. Have been testing out various +P loads recently and have found that, though they make the gun even livlier, the accuracy has improved over standard loads. Or, maybe my more serious grip is resulting in better shooting. Love the DAO trigger on the LCR.

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    Good info!

    Yeah I would prefer her to have a semi auto and eventually I think she will go that route... Maybe in the mean time I will end up with several new back-ups?

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    Our compromise

    S&W 3" model 60. Small and light enough to carry; large and heavy enough to shoot . Practice with mostly .38 standard pressure ammo; finish with a few .38 +P carry rounds.
    Last edited by 6-shooter; 08-27-2010 at 03:25 PM. Reason: ammo clarification

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    My wife likes my 1911 and she is about the same size. We will be getting her one in the future.

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    I thought about a 1911... but she did not like the Kimber she shot.

    I didn't care for it much either... really shaky rental gun... maybe she needs another go?

  17. #17
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    The Sig 229 (or ANY Sig for that matter) is an excellent gun--reliable, well-built, and accurate. They are also rather pricey...

    BTW, the "Ziva David" character on NCIS is NOT a "latina". (although the actress is). Ziva's character is Israeli--she is a Mossad operative who was originally working in the US as a liason to NCIS (which violates so many laws and treaties that even Dick Cheney's twisted logic can't explain that one). She eventually (in season 7) became a US citizen and began working directly for NCIS, but I think we all know that is it operationally and philosophically impossible for a Mossad agent to ever NOT be working for Mossad--regardless of their "paper nationality"... Once Mossad, always Mossad...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    I don't have a wife, but my Momma has a .357 magnum Ruger SP101 and loves it. It's extremely easy to use and built like a tank.

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    Glock!!!!!!

    GLOCK or XD!!!!! compact or even a sub compact... simple to clean and operate... both guns you can draw and hit that bang switch and it goes off...no saftey to fumble with when you get that combat coctail going... i carry a glock 23 (.40 S&W) and i love it.
    i will most likley get my girlfrind the same when she gets comfortable enough to carry. just my 2 cents

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by daddy4count View Post
    Opinions please?

    My wife is discussing what kind of gun she wants to get. This is a big step for her. Until recently she has always talked about getting one "someday" but now she is actually thinking about what kind to get.

    She digs my XD-45 but it is a little bit too large for her hands. Also, after shooting 50 or 60 rounds it starts to hurt her hand and can even leave a bruise!

    She is small, 5 ft 2 and has a hard time finding blue jeans small enough so gun size is a consideration.

    She will not be carrying as often as I do. We will get her a WA state CPL but she will likely OC on occasion too. Primarily this will be for range use and her defense when I am not around... or in the woods when we hike and backpack.

    It also needs to be a simple gun... simple operation and simple cleaning, maintenance, etc.

    So I am thinking revolver? Form and function, easy cleaning, simple operation, small frame with the ability to hurl lead like the bigger players.

    I also want her to have some knock down power but not so much that she cannot control it... so I am thinking .357

    Here is where the fun begins...

    6-inch is too much barrel for her but I think 2-inch is too little?

    Light weight frames are nice, but they kick like a mule so the felt recoil is going to be right up there with my .45 - well not exactly but still not fun to shoot 100 times in an afternoon, right?

    Ruger? S&W? Taurus?

    Hammerless?

    I know she needs to get her hands on some, and we will. Probably head to Champion or Wades and break out the .357 selection, let her play to her hearts content. But since I know a few folks who are well versed on the subject... why not posit the question to them?

    what about the springfeild xd subcompact 9mm? i have one, love it. thats my cwc firearm. nice shooting firearm. hopes this helps

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    Quote Originally Posted by daddy4count View Post
    Opinions please?

    My wife is discussing what kind of gun she wants to get. This is a big step for her. Until recently she has always talked about getting one "someday" but now she is actually thinking about what kind to get.

    She digs my XD-45 but it is a little bit too large for her hands. Also, after shooting 50 or 60 rounds it starts to hurt her hand and can even leave a bruise!

    She is small, 5 ft 2 and has a hard time finding blue jeans small enough so gun size is a consideration.

    She will not be carrying as often as I do. We will get her a WA state CPL but she will likely OC on occasion too. Primarily this will be for range use and her defense when I am not around... or in the woods when we hike and backpack.

    It also needs to be a simple gun... simple operation and simple cleaning, maintenance, etc.

    So I am thinking revolver? Form and function, easy cleaning, simple operation, small frame with the ability to hurl lead like the bigger players.

    I also want her to have some knock down power but not so much that she cannot control it... so I am thinking .357

    Here is where the fun begins...

    6-inch is too much barrel for her but I think 2-inch is too little?

    Light weight frames are nice, but they kick like a mule so the felt recoil is going to be right up there with my .45 - well not exactly but still not fun to shoot 100 times in an afternoon, right?

    Ruger? S&W? Taurus?

    Hammerless?

    I know she needs to get her hands on some, and we will. Probably head to Champion or Wades and break out the .357 selection, let her play to her hearts content. But since I know a few folks who are well versed on the subject... why not posit the question to them?


    Sounds like you're on the right first-step: Let her pick it out.

    You're forgetting something major about the .357's. You can shoot .38spl through them. That means that the 2-4 inch barrel choices are quite manageable. If you're in doubt go with a ported barrel.

    Look at the snubby .357's, especially in the Lady Smith versions. But if she likes the .45ACP don't be afraid to consider the Kahr .45's. Single stack Kahr will give you a slimmer profile than the revolver will. And to a woman, profile is everything...it has to allow them to continue to look sexy...and it doesn't hurt if the pistol is sexy as well.

    So let me run down some options I considered for my wife and what the result was.
    Baby Eagle .45ACP - loved to shoot it, but it was too large and too heavy to carry, so I got to keep it for myself thankfully.

    Walther P22 3 inch - profile was right, length was right, hid well, trigger great, but it just didn't pack enough punch for me to feel safe with her carrying it, plus they are prone to jams. Sold it.

    XD9SC - length was right, width wasn't right, weight wasn't right. Sold it.

    Ruger LCP - snappy recoil and a light pistol. Fit her hands well, profile is right, crimson trace is available for it, trigger was heavy...but she kept this anyway. She has a Crossbreed Minituck that accepts the LCP w/ Crimson Trace mounted as well as a pocket holster option if she wants it.

    .357 Mag revolver - none of the .357 mags gave her the profile she wanted, but she did note that it would be a great winter jacket pistol or in a concealed carry purse. Keeping this for IDPA stock service revolver division.
    Last edited by heresyourdipstickjimmy; 08-29-2010 at 06:50 PM.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Mr H's Avatar
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    Haven't read all the posts yet, so I apologize in advance for any repetition.

    When my wife was looking, with her hand strength concerns, a wheelgun was the best choice for her, and I agree.

    It came down to 2... S&W Mod60, and Ruger SP101, b oth in the 3" (3.25?) barrel.

    It was a tough call, but she dedcided to go with the 60. She decided that she WANTED the slightly tighter pull of tghe S&W over the Ruger, even though overall she seemed to like the SP better.

    Why?

    Less of a chance for a premature or erroneous shot, to her mind. And, if that was a comfort point for her, who am I to argue??!!

    As for loads, we go with 39spl for her to practice, and it gets put to bed with +p

    Of course, YMMV...
    Last edited by Mr H; 08-30-2010 at 07:38 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by G20-IWB24/7 View Post
    The Sig's do not require a tool to be disassembled. Just a flip of the takedown lever when at slide-lock.

    The gun she's talking about on NCIS is a P229 (which tend to have a fairly wide grip, as they are double-stack.) You might have her look at the P239, which is similar to the wider gun, but has a single stack (thin) grip. I've had a P239 in the past, and it was a great shooter and easy to operate with my small hands. The 239 is available in 9mm (8+1 capacity), .357 Sig, or .40S&W (7+1 cap.).
    If I had it to do again, I would go with the P229 over the 239, simply because of my meathooks.

    But, even so, no complaints!!! Also, there is a 10-round mag available for the P239... ugly as sin, but it's not ALL about the looks!!

    Just picked up a P238 tonight... will try to go shoot it this weekend, and report.
    Last edited by Mr H; 08-30-2010 at 07:41 PM.

  24. #24
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    In .380: Sig 238
    In .38Spl: Airweight
    In 9mm/.40S&W: Walther PPS, baby GLOCK, XD SC, M&P C
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by daddy4count View Post
    Good points...

    THIS JUST IN:

    "I like the gun Ziva carries on NCIS. What kind is that?"

    So she favors the look of the .40SW Sig... or at least the look of it in the hands of a good looking, Latino actress.

    The last time I had to clean a Sig it was a bit of a chore. Though at the time I still shot a 1911, which aren't exactly simple to break down. Am I mis-remembering that the Sig requires a tool to disassemble?

    Where my Sig folks at?
    Small hands + a Sig, +1 more vote to have her look at the P239. My roommate has small hands and she likes how my P239 feels when she holds it. Sam's up here in Everett has a pair of P239s (.40 and 9mm) she could try out if you're willing to make the drive. Whenever there is the next local shoot and your wife hasn't had a chance to shoot one, I can bring mine (.40 S&W) to give it a try should the circumstances allow for it.

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