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Thread: Best small gun for large hands?

  1. #1
    Regular Member PikesPeakMtnMan's Avatar
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    Best small gun for large hands?

    I'm in need of a new BUG (actually, just a BUG, period). I have large hands and long fingers but I'm looking for a small(ish) gun.

    I'm just looking for ideas on which guns to check out, not necessarily in-depth reviews.

    I know all about caliber vs capacity, try before you buy, etc etc etc...

    I'd like it to be able to be very easily concealed, preferably in a pocket of my jeans.

    Currently I carry a Bersa .45 Ultra-Compact and it fits me well for a mid-sized gun.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Mr H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PikesPeakMtnMan View Post
    I'm in need of a new BUG (actually, just a BUG, period). I have large hands and long fingers but I'm looking for a small(ish) gun.

    I'm just looking for ideas on which guns to check out, not necessarily in-depth reviews.

    I know all about caliber vs capacity, try before you buy, etc etc etc...

    I'd like it to be able to be very easily concealed, preferably in a pocket of my jeans.

    Currently I carry a Bersa .45 Ultra-Compact and it fits me well for a mid-sized gun.
    Reference information:
    I have largish palms, but shortish-thickish fingers.
    I find the "medium" backstrap on the M&P .40 to fit me best.
    I have above average hand strength.

    All that said...

    If you're looking for a BUG for no other purpose than being a BUG, then you would be well served to look into the Sig P238.

    It's a little heavier than some other candidates (LCR, Bersa, Bodyguard), but I find that weight to be no big deal, and helps with the recoil.

    As always, YMMV...

  3. #3
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    I'm a large guy, 6'3" personally I love my Glock30(.45ACP). Its small enough I can wear is small of the back but large enough that I don't feel like I'm going to drop it or making it uncomfortable to shoot.
    Everything posted by me should be viewed is hypothetical ONLY. And should not be viewed or understood as my opinion, a suggestion, or recommendation to or not to preform or take any action.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    I use my Taurus PT145 Millenium Pro as my BUG/CC gun. It all around a great gun for size, capacity 10+1, caliber, accuracy (decent for SD), cost, etc.

    Now with that said if you want something smaller Kahr makes some good models. I have the MK40 but carry it rarely. While it is small and fits in my pockets with a pocket holster it is heavy and has limited capacity 5 or 6+1 with mag extension. I prefer the Taurus which has higher capacity and caliber the same as my primary gun. One other thing about the MK40 is the grip is so short that I wish I got the K40 which is a bit bigger but would still fit in my pocket. The K40 has higher capacity.

    I recently picked up a Kahr P380 which I really like but don't carry it personally. It is small and will fit in front pockets easily but the caliber and capacity is small 6+1. I got it to allow my daughters to train on something larger than a .22lr. I would recommend the PM9 for self defense. It is larger than the P380 but still small and thin.

    So depending on what caliber you want and size, there are lots of choices. The Taurus is also available in 9mm and 40s&w and Taurus has a slim line PT709 with smaller capacity.

    I like having my BUG the same caliber as my primary but that is just personal choice. You could also check out keltec and ruger but I have no experience with those models.


    Edited to add: the Kahr shoot best with your second hand saucering (supporting think cup & saucer) your trigger hand. If you try a normal two handed grip my trigger finger gets interfered with usually.
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 10-06-2010 at 12:11 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    I'll put my AMT Backup in .45acp into the mix. HighStandard has been manufacturing them for a while http://www.highstandard.com/ so you have your choice of used made by AMT in any of their three locations (marked on the side) or NIB.

    stay safe.

  6. #6
    Regular Member HvyMtl's Avatar
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    What caliber?

    If the Bersa fits nicely, the Beretta PX4 Storm subcompact should do fine as well. The thickness of the Beretta will be a boon for your grip.

    The Colt New Agent is great too. - Same size as a Colt Defender, with no external sights to catch on anything.

    The Bersa Thunder 380 should fit your hand fine.

    Kahr may have something, too, but I have little experience with them.
    Last edited by HvyMtl; 10-06-2010 at 05:19 PM. Reason: spellin
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    Quote Originally Posted by PikesPeakMtnMan View Post
    I'm in need of a new BUG (actually, just a BUG, period). I have large hands and long fingers but I'm looking for a small(ish) gun.

    I'm just looking for ideas on which guns to check out, not necessarily in-depth reviews.

    I know all about caliber vs capacity, try before you buy, etc etc etc...

    I'd like it to be able to be very easily concealed, preferably in a pocket of my jeans.

    Currently I carry a Bersa .45 Ultra-Compact and it fits me well for a mid-sized gun.
    I would say take a look at the XDm platform.

    The XD(M is the largest capacity production polymer pistol in both the .40 caliber and 9MM, respectively, accommodating 16+1 and 19+1 rounds.

    With their interchangeable backstraps, they have added another level of comfort. Personalize your grip by choosing one of three backstraps for a more custom fit.

    Traditional black oxide finishes are a few millionths of an inch thick and offer no corrosion resistance.
    The rugged Melonite finish on the XD(M) is a salt bath nitriding process that leaves a thick, corrosion-resistant, hard surface

    The new XD(M) trigger has the shortest travel than any currently available polymer pistol along with a similarly short reset which keeps you on target with greater ease for faster, more accurate follow-up shots

    The XD(M) match-grade barrel takes precision manufacturing to a whole new level never available within the firearms industry.



    Saftys
    ---Loaded Chamber Indicator
    ---Striker Status Indicator
    ---Grip Safety
    ---USA Trigger System

    Calibers.
    ---9mm
    ---40S&W
    ---45ACP

    Sizes
    3.8 inch
    4.5 inch
    5 inch tactical service pistol

    Springfield XDM: Review and Update by Nutnfancy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj0Kal84UNE the most independent review i have ever seen on the XDM


    Mine 5 inch tactical service pistol.





    Last edited by zack991; 10-06-2010 at 04:54 PM.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I recently studied up on good BUG's that are more shootable that teensy chaotic pocket rockets like P3AT's. I found that the .32's are considered by many to be the best little guns which are teensy but controllable because of light recoil, but still offer okay power for the size. However, some have told me that the wallet holsters will give you more control with .380's, and at the same time make them very easy to conceal and draw.

    In .380 PPK clones are generally regarded as pretty good, some being more reliable than others. Polish P64's are a 9x18 PPK, just small enough for pocket carry, often available for under 200 dollars. Bersa CC's are pretty good examples of this category as well. These are about as small as you can go with DA/SA unless you want to go for a .32 Beretta, and they are known for cracking at the frame after less than 100 rounds of standard ammo.

    I've found a lot of people are really fond of Kahr's guns, being as they are long but smooth trigger pull mini Glocks. In terms of 380 DAO pocket guns, the P380 seems to be the king of the hill, but it's expensive. For a modest bit more size, the Kahr PM9 offers 9mm, which has about twice the knock down power.

    The SAO Sig P238 and the Colt Mustang it was derived from are teensy and easy to shoot, but have to be carried unchambered or cocked and locked, which bothers some people when it comes to deep concealment guns. For rapid fire accuracy reasons I personally won't carry a gun in DAO unless it's a hammerless revolver (offers the ability to shoot through a pocket), so I consider these or a PPK sized gun the smallest choice in semi automatic handguns, but that's just me.

    If trigger pull quality isn't an issue, Kel Tec's P11 and PF9 offer extremely compact and cheap 9mm firepower and even some with .40 conversions, at impossible to beat prices. Good guns, but they aren't good at target shooting, which in my opinion makes them far worse for protective use, but some people like them.

    Taurus has a new teensy pocket .380 model which is available even more cheaply than the Ruger LCP, and supposedly has a nicer trigger. It comes with a carry case that makes it look like it's a phone or something. Even though it's made in the US because of the 68 GCA, they have been having a LOT of reliability issues, but some work. They are a solid option if you have a shop that will make sure you get a good one. Taurus also makes a scaled up model in 9mm, which has a DA/SA trigger instead of the .380's DAO.

    The only way to go smaller than these things is to get a derringer, or go to 25 auto or .22lr with Baby Browning's or something similar, or perhaps one of the tiny revolvers like the NAA's. European's made a lot of .25's, and they have made some of the hottest ammo available, so I have read that in that caliber, you want euro ammo, otherwise with American ammo you wind up with low pressure ammo built for junk guns made of zinc. The mouse calibers will work if you do your part, and they have minimal recoil.

    There are other .380 DAO's out there, but they don't seem to me to be very relevant, offering little if any advantage over the less expensive competition. Some other models in other calibers I didn't mention because others already did.

    Rant mode off, I hope that helps.
    Last edited by Michigander; 10-06-2010 at 07:55 PM.
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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Naa

    I have a NAA 32acp Guardian. I didn't include it in my list because I thought the OP wanted something for larger hands.

    Basically any gun can be used if you have larger hands as long as you train or know how to use it.

    The NAA I have has the nick name "Angry Crickett" because it is a purely self defense gun and is NOT fun to shoot after 6-10 rounds. It is great for a deep CC gun but again the caliber is questionable. Better than nothing but I would rather have a larger caliber if possible. I had some initial problems with it in that the trigger spring broke and the mag release was releasing the mag during recoil (there was arecall on the latter). I sent it back and it has worked fine ever since. I can't say that I recommend it other than if you need something that small and can't bring anything larger. I only CC it occassionally when my attire won't accomodate a larger gun. It does fit in the back pocket better than the Karh P380 though. :-)

    Since the recoil is so sharp I don't let my daughters shoot it. The P380's recoil is light and manageable by my 11 year old.

    Edited to add: zack991, I would only consider the XDm a backup gun if my primary was a desert eagle. :-) It is large enough to be a primary gun not a BUG.
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 10-06-2010 at 07:52 PM.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    Edited to add: zack991, I would only consider the XDm a backup gun if my primary was a desert eagle. :-) It is large enough to be a primary gun not a BUG.
    Evil Creamsicle of this forum carries 2 XD 45's at times, and has no trouble concealing one or both.

    I think there is something to be said for having a BUG that shares mags with your primary, and isn't a giant step back in shootability and power.

    The problem of course ends up being when you can't choose your attire and you can't let one or more people know you are carrying the smaller gun in question. This is the one and only reason I can think of for a smaller gun. But again, I will give credit to hammerless revolvers for being able to be shot through a pocket in the winter time.
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    Kel-Tec PF9 is your best bet.

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    Looked at the Xd subcompact? 3" barrel mine came with 9& 10 rd mags(.40 cal)

  13. #13
    Regular Member Remmy's Avatar
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    how about the para warthog its rather small and the double stack model the grip is thicker. PPK and the bersa are also nice, Walter PPS i believe is the big daddy of the .22 comes in a compact. I have a M&P 40C which is small enough to conceal well but large enough grip for my hand to feel comfortable.

  14. #14
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    The pint-sized BUG in current vogue make excellent deep concealment guns and serve the BUG purpose quite well. The Kel-Tec P3AT, the Ruger LCP, the Taurus TCP 738, the Diamondback DC380, and the Kahr P380 are great examples of these mini BUG's. They work great for small to medium size hands but for those with large hands, they do present a few problems. Check out any or all of these first to see how they fit and feel in your hand before taking your decision.

    One up from these takes you to the subcompact class. The Kahr PM9 and PM40 are among the best of the lot but there are a host of guns from which to choose in this size class. Moving up in size from here pretty much takes you out of the BUG class and moves you into the compact, primary carry guns with sizes like the Glock 19 and 23, and the XD9 and XD40 Springfield Armory guns. None of these are that useful as BUG, but as primary carry pieces, they are superb.

    I have a P3AT Kel-Tec and a brand new (unfired) Ruger LCP for BUG use. They do become my primary carry when there is a situation where I just cannot carry my primary gun open or concealed. I also have a Kahr PM9 which is an excellent jacket pocket or loose pant pocket carry gun. It also has served me in the past as a primary carry piece in its holster or a pocket and frankly for my purposes, I have never carried this gun as a BUG since it does make use of a more serious caliber.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 10-07-2010 at 07:43 AM.
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  15. #15
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    They work great for small to medium size hands but for those with large hands, they do present a few problems. Check out any or all of these first to see how they fit and feel in your hand before taking your decision..
    I know at least 2 men with medium sized hands who are fairly strong, but cannot maintain any accuracy with them beyond a realistic hip firing distance, at least when firing realistically fast. People with big hands encounter the same problems, because they have an even harder time getting a grip on them. No matter who you are, a pint sized blowback .380 is going to be pushing the limits of what you can handle. Combined with the industry's worst trigger pulls which make accurate shooting take forever, the P3AT's and knock offs in my opinion offer little more than you can get from a knife and eye irritant spray, if not actually less combat effectiveness.

    In terms of a cheap and extremely easy to hide hip firing gun with little power, and even less capacity and accuracy, I think they are a splendid choice. But that's it.

    Just my 2 cents, certainly not trying to argue with anyone elses thoughts, just trying to make mine clear. I certainly suggest trying such guns out to about 5 yards before deciding they are worth carrying. I did, and decided firmly against it.
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  16. #16
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    <snip> I certainly suggest trying such guns out to about 5 yards before deciding they are worth carrying. I did, and decided firmly against it.
    The first time I shot my 2.5" barreled Kahr P380 at 7 yards I was getting 4-5" groupings. I shot both hands and then two handed. Not bad for a 2.5" barrel!

    In some points I agree, go with the biggest (caliber, barrel length, capacity, comfortable grip) that you can for each situation. Like I said, for me that is a Taurus PT145 98% of the time. For the other 2% I have a few other guns to choose from. Remember you don't have to own just 1 or 2 guns, you can buy them all!!!

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    How much of an issue is being able to conceal the pistol in your jeans pocket? I know I looked at J frame S&W revolvers when I wanted a gun that I could have in the cargo pocket of my shorts or in a hooded sweatshirt front pocket for quick trips. I have large hands as well, and I just couldn't justify the small grips and poor sights along with 5 shots, when I could get 9+ rounds of 40S&W from a sub-compact XD or glock. Not to mention the better sights and grips.

    That said, I wouldn't consider the xd or glock all that great for jeans pocket carry. Maybe a Kahr or the keltec 380 would do better as a pocket gun. I have a cz-82 in 9x18, and it's a bit big for jean pockets. I don't know much about Seecamp, but I've seen that a lot of people like them for BUG.

    I have to give a nod to the Kahr pistols if your primary carry is in 9mm, 40, or 45, as Kahr makes very small guns in all those calibers. At least you could use the same caliber of ammo if that is of any concern. Given the recent price of .380 ammo I could see where it could be a concern

  18. #18
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    The first time I shot my 2.5" barreled Kahr P380 at 7 yards I was getting 4-5" groupings. I shot both hands and then two handed. Not bad for a 2.5" barrel!
    I think the reasons for that as opposed to other pocket guns are simple.

    Recoil operated instead of blow back, MUCH less recoil than most competing guns.

    Smooth and not too heavy trigger, easy to use fast with the lighter recoil, even though the pull is longer than I'd like.

    Pretty much a scaled down Glock other than the long trigger reset, so it's built with solid, time tested good ideas.

    If Kahr would build these with about an 8-12 pound trigger with a Glock like short reset about the length of a 1911 pull, I believe the pocket gun debate would be over, at least until someone started manufacturing a similar gun to compete.
    Last edited by Michigander; 10-07-2010 at 05:35 PM.
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  19. #19
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    I think the reasons for that as opposed to other pocket guns are simple.

    Recoil operated instead of blow back, MUCH less recoil than most competing guns.

    Smooth and not too heavy trigger, easy to use fast with the lighter recoil, even though the pull is longer than I'd like.

    Pretty much a scaled down Glock other than the long trigger reset, so it's built with solid, time tested good ideas.

    If Kahr would build these with about an 8-12 pound trigger with a Glock like short reset about the length of a 1911 pull, I believe the pocket gun debate would be over, at least until someone started manufacturing a similar gun to compete.
    Kahr's have a shorter trigger travel than do Glocks and I suspect they kept this feature with their new P380. The Ruger LCP and Kel-Tec P3AT are both tilting barrel locking breech actions, not blow back designs. I'm pretty certain the Taurus has the same design as the LCP and P3AT.

    I have never experienced any undue problems or concerns firing my P3AT with ball or CorBon 90gr JHP ammo in terms of discomfort or inability to maintain a grip on the gun. These little BUG's are meant for very close quarter defensive work and while certainly not as good as a more serious defensive sidearm, they are better than a hammer when the chips are down and you need something like right now, up close and personal.

    From my perspective, I view them as true backup guns, or when those times may arise where you just cannot carry your preferred SD sidearm, they can step in and help with things.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 10-07-2010 at 09:46 PM.
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  20. #20
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    All that other stuff aside, the trigger pull itself may be longer on the Glocks than the Kahr's, but the reset is not. The short reset allows for a very fast, very easy, very accurate gun to shoot for defensive purposes. Not that the Kahr's is so much worse, but for my preferences, Glock's trigger is better.
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  21. #21
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    All that other stuff aside, the trigger pull itself may be longer on the Glocks than the Kahr's, but the reset is not. The short reset allows for a very fast, very easy, very accurate gun to shoot for defensive purposes. Not that the Kahr's is so much worse, but for my preferences, Glock's trigger is better.
    Yep, this is true about the Glock reset. It does take training to become accustomed to the sound and feel of the reset, but that is not a serious issue. The Kahr trigger is a classic striker fired DAO design. The Glock triggers are wide open to all manner of alterations with both factory and after market parts. The beauty of this design is its simplicity and ease of repair and parts exchangeability.
    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.

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