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Thread: selecting a pocket pistol for the Mrs.?

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    selecting a pocket pistol for the Mrs.?

    Trying to get ideas for a pistol for my wife. She likes small frame autos and small calibers. Basically, a pocket pistol as her primary. She has said she will be happy with anything I get her, but yall know how it goes. If I get her something she's not happy with, she's not going to carry it as often. This will be her first pistol, so user-friendly is a must. Shout out some makes and models and why.

    Thanks OCDO

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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Ruger LCP, .380, with Speer Gold Dot ammo.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    How will she be carrying it? How sensitive is she to recoil? How experienced is she with other handguns? Is there a price limit?

    Before good suggestions can be made, a better understanding of her balancing needs between size, power and shootability need to be understood better.

    But, just because I like the subject I'll make a couple suggestions.

    For a big but still pocket sized handgun with no manual safety and good power, the Kahr 9mm's are very nice. A cheaper alternative which isn't as nice but still works is the Kel Tec 9mm. Anything much larger than this and you are outside of pocket gun territory. Anything smaller than 9mm plus P and you are in zombie rules stopping power territory.

    For smaller but still shootable, Seecamps are the king of micro pocket carry. A cheaper alternative is the newer MPA protector series. These represent the smallest you can go and hope for a stop if you shoot a bad guy in the head.

    Going smaller than that you have Baby Brownings and derringers, which I would argue to be a grossly irresponsible thing to carry because of being very hard to shoot, and often lacking any stopping power.

    Lastly, have her look at this chart mouseguns.com/PocketAutoComparison.pdf
    Last edited by Michigander; 06-19-2011 at 08:21 PM.
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    Ruger LCP, .380, with Speer Gold Dot ammo.
    One of my girlfriend's pet peeves is actually women being told to carry plastic .380s. As women go she is not abnormally recoil sensitive, but can't stand the harsh flipping of Kel Tec type guns, other than the .32's. For that matter, neither can I, and I'm a recoil junky.

    I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad option, but it is without a doubt a try it before you buy it kind of thing.
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    Regular Member tcmech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seif5034 View Post
    Trying to get ideas for a pistol for my wife. She likes small frame autos and small calibers. Basically, a pocket pistol as her primary. She has said she will be happy with anything I get her, but yall know how it goes. If I get her something she's not happy with, she's not going to carry it as often. This will be her first pistol, so user-friendly is a must. Shout out some makes and models and why.

    Thanks OCDO
    I think there are two different approaches you can take here.

    The first one is to take her to a range that rents some of the ones she may be interested in and see if she likes anything in particular.

    The second approach is to go buy her something you want as a bug so if she isn't carrying it, you can. I was looking at the two small handguns I am interested in yesterday, the sig p238, and the s&w model 60. They even had the 38 bodyguard with the laser for $409.00, that was the leo/mil price though.
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    Selecting a Pocket Pistol

    My girlfriend likes the Bersa 380 CC http://www.bersa.com/bersa-firearms/...led-carry.html It has enough weight to limit recoil, is reliable, and is not overly expensive. Please remember that pocket pistols should be carried in a holster of sorts.

    RR

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    My girlfriend likes her Taurus PT709 Slim, which is pocket-able in loos fitting clothing. Good price, features adjustable rear sight, very slim and a grip that works well for her smaller hands. The Slims are also available in .40. You may also find some great pocket-able designs made by Kahr, but about double the price or more.
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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I do hope your wife is an integral part of this purchase. Buying a gun for someone else is like buying shoes for someone else--you NEVER make the right choice, and it usually results in a bad fit...

    In other words, she needs to "try it on", both in the store (for hand fit and ergonomics) and on the range (for operation and recoil issues...)

    Good luck!
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    let me clarify some

    My wife has limited experience with handguns so a range trip with rented guns is definately a good idea. When i said "pocket pistol" i meant that she likes the style, the weight, and the smallness. Something similar to the Taurus PT22. Not too sure of her method of carry. I'd imagine IWB she prefers CC in stead of OC for now.

    She has shot a .25 (i wanna say it was an old jennings?) and she likes those and she loves shooting .22lr but i don't want her to carry anything under .380 for personal defense. I'll have to test her recoil handling ability with my 4510 and step her up with small .410 shells and graduate to bigger

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seif5034 View Post
    My wife has limited experience with handguns so a range trip with rented guns is definately a good idea. When i said "pocket pistol" i meant that she likes the style, the weight, and the smallness. Something similar to the Taurus PT22. Not too sure of her method of carry. I'd imagine IWB she prefers CC in stead of OC for now.

    She has shot a .25 (i wanna say it was an old jennings?) and she likes those and she loves shooting .22lr but i don't want her to carry anything under .380 for personal defense. I'll have to test her recoil handling ability with my 4510 and step her up with small .410 shells and graduate to bigger
    PLEASE go read Tam at www.corneredcat.com and heed what she has to say about buying a handgun for your wife. Also, read any of the bazillion or so posts about recommendations of small-caliber and pocket-size handguns for women. Why folks are bound and determined to saddle a novice shooter with the most difficult to shoot handguns, in the least effective calibers out there, is beyond me -- but then I'm saddled with reason, logic and the abiliity to think things through and see why some ideas are never going to be good no matter how many times folks insist on repeating them.

    There are plenty of good ergonomic handguns out there that you wife may feel comfortable with, and that she can shoot well, that are not pocket rockets. Maybe once she gets the basics of marksmanship down, and has a bit of self-defense/practical shooting experience she might want to look at going smaller and lighter. But starting her out there is pretty much a guaranteeded way to prevent her from ever becoming a shooter.

    stay safe.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I TOTALLY agree with Skid, on the "Cornered Cat" website as a resource for women. It is excellent, and I have sent that link to many of my female friends, and got great feedback.

    You mentioned the Taurus PT22. I have a PT25, and although it is made well, and very reliable, it is an odd pistol, has a VERY stiff trigger, and the magazines are obscenely expensive for what it is...

    Magnum Research makes an all-metal .380 auto that is, IMO a much better gun for a little more. It's called the "Baby Eagle":

    http://www.magnumresearch.com/Micro_Eagle.asp

    And someone mentioned the Bersa earlier, and it is a VERY nice gun for the price. It is inexpensive, durable and a little bigger, so it might be easier to handle.

    Keep looking--have her shoot as many loaners and rentals as she can get her hands on. A gun is like a pair of shoes--the right fit is CRITICAL...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 06-23-2011 at 03:10 AM.
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    Does it have to be a semi-auto?

    I have owned only half a dozen different handguns, from 45acp to .22 lr Right now I only have two- a Ruger Blackhawk .357 single action revolver and a Jimenez Arms .22lr. Both these guns are far from ideal for defense. The Blackhawk is a hunting gun and the J.A. is a saturday night special.

    If I wasn't such a cheap-skate and wanted only one gun for defense, I would look for small .38special double action revolver. Maybe a .32HR or .32 Fed. if it had to fit into my pocket.

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    Thanks for the link Skid. Some great reading in there

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Agree with Dreamer and others about having her participate in selection.

    I think a revolver might be the best option, reliable, pull trigger and it goes bang. No need to learn how to rack slide, play with magazines, etc. A heavier frame HG will have less recoil. The Ruger LCR with .38 special ammo is decent, but again, depends on hand strength and size. My 5'4 partner, small hands, can shoot the LCR and likes it, but not with the .357 mag ammo (at the range).

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seif5034 View Post
    and she likes those and she loves shooting .22lr but i don't want her to carry anything under .380 for personal defense.

    I agree, because as I said earlier .25 and .22 in micro barrels are NOT capable of sufficient penetration. They are reliable stoppers typically only when shooting for the neck, an exceptionally bad strategy when so many better options exist.

    But I suggest to you and her that .32 ACP still be left as an option. With the heaviest, non expanding loads such as Buffalo Bore, they are definitely capable of stopping bad guys given proper shot placement. .380 is a similar round with similar performance charactaristics, though some people will argue for or against JHP .380 rounds, whereas most people who do research about it agree that expanding .32 is a mistake. Either way, both suck, and can be defined as zombie rules guns.

    One thing I believe firmly about mouse guns is that they should be fun enough to shoot that someone who carries them actually likes to practice often. With blow back or featherweight plastic mouse guns, I argue that this means .32 ACP rather than .380. For .380 this definitely means to me a nice quality recoil operated gun to keep the kick manageable and fun to shoot. And there aren't a whole lot of them. Theres the Sig P238, the Kahr P380, and as far as I know the Bodyguard .380, but I've never shot one of those. There may be a couple others I'm not thinking of, but for the most part that's really it for nice shooting .380's of a small size. Other options will either kick a lot harder, or be much larger.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    IF you are looking at blowback .380s, do not overlook a Beretta 84, 85, and especially the 86 with the tip-up barrel.

    They are not exactly pocket guns. They have enough mass to be able to make the recoil managable. The tip-up barrel of the 86 eliminates the "I-can't-rack-the-slide" issue.

    stay safe.

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    My wife enjoys shooting my Taurus TCP738 and is is a very reliable pocket type pistol that I have carried as a BUG several times.
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    I understand that sharp recoil is upsetting to women (and men) and makes them less likely to shoot the pistol much. Just remember that if she needs it in a life-or-death situation, she won't notice the recoil at all. A defensive firearm is supposed to be "comforting, not comfortable" as others have said. If she is aware of this, she probably will tolerate the recoil and still practice enough to become familiar with the pistol. Pistols that are really comfortable are great for the range, but they tend to be too large and heavy for women to carry every day.

    In .380 there are the Kel-tec, Ruger LCP and Bersa. In 9mm, again a Kel-tec, Ruger and Kahr.

    I also agree she should read the Cornered Cat!

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    It‘s very hard to choose a gun for someone else. What works for one person will not work for someone else. This is definitely something she is going to have to figure out for herself (maybe with some guidance from you or an instructor). Have her shoot some different pistols at the range to help her make up her mind.

    The one thing I would try to gently steer her clear of is a .380 or below (but if that’s all she will carry, it’s better than nothing). If she goes the .380 route, there are plenty of offerings from Ruger, SIG Sauer, Kahr, Taurus, Kel-tec, etc…
    I would try to point her towards a 9mm at a minimum (Kahr, Ruger, Kel-tec, Rohrbaugh, etc.. all make great pocket pistols). There are also a lot of really good revolvers out there in .38 special that she should take a look at (it takes some decent practice time to be accurate with them – be advised).

    My wife was really set on a .380 semi-automatic due to its size. Once she took a self defense course her mind changed as she realized the limitations of that caliber in terms of ballistics and her accuracy/skill level at 25 yards and beyond. She now carries a Glock 26 in an IWB holster in which she is pretty competent. The G26 is not considered by most to be a pocket pistol but she was willing to make the comfort sacrifice to gain the extra performance. Choosing a carry gun is all about compromise as most will tell you. It’s up to the individual to decide on what works for them.
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    I've held/shot the Ruger SR9c. Liked it very much.

    Just my two cents.

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    My wife carries a springfield armory xd9sc recoil is really lite in that gun for it size and dont let the 3 inch barrel fool ya she can hit steel from 25 yrds with it. another one of her favoties when she's travling "lite" is a S&W j frame revolver

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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    Ruger LCP, .380, with Speer Gold Dot ammo.
    Or the original, Kel Tec P-3AT.

    You might want to have the "Smaller guns focus the recoil more" conversation. I find women are drawn to smaller guns because they are less intimidating, but they also hurt. The 'logic' of the small gun is flawed...

    I hate shooting my P-3AT. It hurts. After getting around the psychological factor of it, I've had no woman disagree. Small gun for concealment, sure. But if you want to shoot it, get something bigger.

    My Mom kidnapped my Glock 31. She tried to take my 1911, but noooo. Not even for Mom! :-p

    The P9 has a fuller grip and is still pretty small. But the P9 you need to know the history of. It's the gun that gave Kel Tec a bad rep... It's straightened out now, but you want to be sure it's a new one. The old ones suck.

    Don't buy anything before she shoots a few. Rent some if you can't borrow them. Get her to try out the 'scary' guns. My son's 8 year old friend, scrawniest 8 year old you ever met, loved my 1911. Hold it like you mean it!
    Last edited by ixtow; 07-03-2011 at 02:18 AM.
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    When we bought the ol lady a gun I asked what she liked. We went to shows and she hand fit alot of guns. She wanted something 'fool proof'. We ended up with a Taurus ultra light .38 sp. She loves it. She shoots 50-100 rounds a month thru it.
    Bersa is a good gun, I got a .380 & a 40. But they are 'to heavy' for her to carry. Looking at getting a small 'pocket' .380 for work. Thx Gov Daniels! The Ruger LCP is nice but dont feel well in my hand. There is a Taurus (cant think of model) that feels alot better. Gonna get it this week.

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