Hey guys was looking to pick your brain a little bit. looking into getting my wife her first gun, i have a bersa thunder 380 plus, and was looking into something a little smaller for her.shes 5 foot tall 100lbs. im kinda of the opposite at 6'4" and 250 lbs. i can conceal the plus with no problem and i was trying to find her something she would be able to conceal just as easy. whatcha think? thanks
The new pico would be a good first gun and so would the beretta nano. In my opinion the bersa 380 might be just a little much for hee first gun. It just kicks so hard even in my hands and i am 6'2 215lbs. But you never know, if she likes shooting your bersa 380 then go for it.
If it's her first pistol, don't go the "get a little gun for the little lady" route.
It leads to disaster.
Little guns are very hard to shoot, and they are very uncomfortable to shoot as well.
Beginners should learn to shoot with a full-size, full-weight, soft-recoiling pistol.
(I have always successfully used the M1911, in .45 ACP., to start beginners off—small women included. My wife is the same size as yours.)
When your wife has achieved some proficiency with a regular-size pistol, then you can begin her switch to a smaller carry gun.
Way back when, we taught S&W M 10 3-4" barrel, get them used to shooting and as they progressed, their ideas might change. I don't know if I'd go .45 ACP although it would be worth a try. also a full size 9mm or at least a Commander size 9mm.
Bersa pistols are easy to shoot because the shooter can get a good contact and hold of the grip. This makes recoil management easier. I do know the Bersa Thunder 380 is very popular with women, at least the women I have talked to about the guns they shoot.
I had the Bersa CC for about a year and a half, put many rounds through it, and only had issues with WWB FMJ. It did not like the flat point profile of that bullet. Sights are on the smallish size though, but with practice, can be mastered. Good luck on your quest.
Yes, Bersa CC an underrated yet an excellent gun. Though there are a couple of safeties that she needs to manipulate, but overall it's a good gun for people with smaller hands.
boy, that is so true. My first semi was a Ruger P95. I love that gun at the range, it's so comfortable and easy to deal with. Virtually no recoil and I could shoot it all day. On the other hand, I do have a couple B380CC's and while they are fun to shoot, the smaller size does make them that much more work to deal with. After you run 100 rounds through one of them, your hand and wrist knows it. With the Ruger, you could shoot 500 rounds and never be sore the next day. (but your wallet might be sore). I'd let her learn on a larger model first also, then let her decide if she wants something smaller to carry. If the Ruger were smaller, it would be my edc but I go with the Bersa because it fits I my pocket easily. Still rather shoot the Ruger though.
I agree with probably 99% of everything Steve M1911A1 says about guns, and most other things as well. I agree with his post here, as well, but I have to admit that I have personally witnessed ladies shooting rented Bersa .380s for the first time ever (with a handgun), and doing well enough with it to pass the Texas CHL licensing test. Of course, it is worth mentioning that you can miss nearly every shot past a distance of 7 yards and still probably pass the test.
So, it's all about what level of proficiency you want your wife to have. Personally, I would go the route suggested by Steve, and help her learn some basics that will stay in her mind for as long as she is likely to ever need a weapon. It would give her some versatility with firearms in general, and make it much more likely that she would be able to cope with a few more of the dozens of possible self defense scenarios.
I'm not a fan of Bersas, nor of .380s, for self defense, but Bersas do seem to work pretty well for guns in that price range, and .380s will work in many self defense scenarios. It's all about what range of possibilities you want to try to cover. Just don't assume that a cheap gun in a weak chambering is going to be good insurance against your wife being overwhelmed by bad guys - it's tricky enough for experts, and it gets worse as you slide down the scale.
I started my wife out on my Glock 17, Glock 26 and a S&W Shield. She loved the 17, hated the 26, and chose the Shield to carry. She shoots it well, but still loves that full size Glock 17. She also liked the Glock 21 & 41. She's a petite 5'3" 120lbs.
My mother, on the other hand, did not like the S&W M&P 45 I had at the time, but liked the Colt Det. Special .38 she owns. She doesn't like autos bc she can't rack the slide, and she is just used to revolvers. Personally, I thought she would not like the .38 snubby, but she did. But like Steve said, I would start with a full size pistol or revolver. They are usually easier to shoot. I think the 1911 is one of the easiest shooting pistols ever made.
I find it difficult to believe anyone would find the recoil of a Bersa 380 to be excessive.
I am a fanboy of any and all 380 pistols,,,
Despite the detractors I believe in the effectiveness of the cartridge.
I do believe I've fired all of the commonly available models,,,
Kahr, Kel-Tec, Beretta, Ruger LCP, and Ruger LC380 all have worse recoil.
The only 380 I've ever fired that had less recoil is the Beretta 84-85-86 Cheetah series,,,
And while they are wonderful guns and true works of fieryarm art,,,
They are expensive and have the largest frames.
The Bersa 380's have proven themselves to be reliable shooters,,,
My personal preference is the standard Thunder 380,,,
I like the full size sights for range play.
But I shoot with people who own the CC model,,,
It performs just as well with a more carry friendly profile.
The sights on the CC model are very minimal,,,
But the gun is such a natural pointer,,,
That may not be a huge concern.
Remember that a major factor in felt recoil is weight,,,
If there is no mass to counter the energy,,,
All of the energy gets sent to your hand.
There are many 380's to choose from,,,
But my advice is to go to H&H in OK City,,,
And handle as many as you can to evaluate them.
Happy Gun Hunting.
P.S. Don't make the mistake of assuming,,,
That because your wife is diminutive,,,
She can't handle a bigger gun.
Do yourself and her a favor. Rather than try to pick a gun FOR her, take her to a gun store and have her hold as many different models as possible. Once she's found a few that she likes holding, rent them and let her shoot them to decide which she wants. Firearms are personal choices and the worst thing you can do is decide for her.
Before your gal decides, or you decide for her, on her first gun.... she should shoot A LOT! I'd recommend a 22LR such as a Ruger Mark.III, Buckmark or even an M&P22. Get her used to shooting, shooting, shooting. And then let her try a bunch of different guns and pick one for herself. By that time she may even decide not to, or she may surprise you and want something bigger than what you think she needs.
I could not disagree more with starting a full grown woman out on a 22LR. You're not getting anyone used to shooting larger calibers by shooting a .22 or some other smaller caliber. I would not start any adult out on anything smaller than a 9mm in a full size frame like a Glock 17 or a Sig 226. I would start out with a .45 in a 1911 before I would a 22LR.
The firt guin my wife ever shot, ever, was a 20-gauge, and she now refuses to pick up a gun. Too much, no matter how much the boys and I warned it i would kick - she just have a concept of "kick".
I always start complete newbies with a .22, because nearly all of them are expecting a fearful recoil. Let them shoot the .22 until they are completely bored with hitting the target. Then, they believe you when you tell them that the 9mm or .38 Special will be pretty mild, and get over their flinch quickly.
All that said, to each their own. I have no problem with you or anyone else starting anyone off with a .22LR pistol. I mean hey, at least they are shooting!
I'm somewhere in the middle as far as this argument goes,,,
I start new shooters on a .22 and graduate them up to a centerfire.
For example just this past Tuesday I took a new shooter to the range,,,
The pistol I put in her hand was a Bersa Thunder 22,,,
At first she wasn't hitting a 1' square target,,,
But after about 60-70 rounds of .22,,,
She was putting them all on target.
So we took a break to let her rest her hand and chat,,,
Then I put the Bersa Thunder 380 in her hand,,,
Her first shot was literally center bullseye,,,
The next seven were all over the place,,,
The recoil was throwing her off.
So we stopped and I loaded up two more mags,,,
I told her to just burn them off quickly,,,
Have fun with two mag dumps,,,
So she did just that.
I don't believe in having someone do something,,,
And not telling them exactly why you are having them do it.
A degree in Occupational Education does that to you.
So I asked her why she thought we did those mag dumps,,,
She said, "So I won't be afraid if the recoil?",,,
Go to the head of the class girlfriend.
So I loaded up two mags of .22 again,,,
She nailed all 20 in a 6" target.
We stopped and talked a bit,,,
I told her to think about the .380 recoil.
I asked her if it was it really that much more than the .22?
Was it painful?,,,
Did it actually hurt your hand?,,,
She replied no to both of my questions.
So I said to her,,,
Knowing that, you can overcome the ~flinch~.
Man, I felt like Mr. Miyagi and Yoda all rolled up into one.
She loaded the .380 and put both mags in the 6" target.
I believe the reason she did so well,,,
Was because I started her on the low recoil Thunder 22.
She gained some competence shooting a pistol,,,
Without having a heavier recoil get in the way of that.
I do have an advantage in that I have several rimfire/centerfire pairs,,,
So no matter what type of handguns I want to use,,,
I have a good selection in revolver and semi.
I started Courtney on my Bersa pistols because she has very small hands,,,
When I started teaching Mike I used my CZ75B Kadet in .22,,,
Then moved him up to my CZ-75B in 9mm,,,
Again, that was in the same session
It had nothing to do with male or female,,,
It's simply the size of their hands.
As slender as the grip of a 1911 is,,,
Courtney would never have been able to hold it,,,
So my double-stack 9mm pistols were out of the question.
The trick for me is to start with low recoil,,,
Then introduce them to higher recoil in the same shooting session,,,
But again I say that the reason this works so well for me is having identical guns.
The consistency of the grip staying the same is essential.
If you start newbies on centerfire,,,
And it works well for you,,,
Go for it.
If you start newbies on rimfire,,,
Stay with that method,,,
If it works for you.
But me, I've had good results with my method,,,
So I can vouch for it's effectiveness.