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  1. #1
    No Freight is offline Junior Member
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    Female friendly?

    I am looking for a small handgun for my wife. I am new to handguns for the most part and need some help. I have a Raven .25 auto that was handed down to me when my grandfather died in 1989. Well about 2 weeks ago I pulled it out of storage and the wife wanted it. Well this gun means alot to me so I didnt want this to be a daily carry for her. I went to a gun show last weekend and ended up leaving with a Kel-Tec P3AT. We have not shot the gun yet so we are unsure how we feel about that aspect of the gun. She loves the size and weight of the gun but has a few complaints with it. One it has no safety. Ok simple just dont chamber one...well second problem is she cant pull the slide back all the way. Looks like this one is mine then...haha, I like it. My question is what out there is comparable to size and weight but would be easier for her to handle?

    Sorry this post is so long...

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  3. #2
    tony pasley's Avatar
    tony pasley is offline Senior Member
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    You need to take her to a range that rents handguns and have her try out several different guns. She will find the one that is right for her. Reading your post I would suggest a snub nose .38 spl. but that is me she needs to find what is best for her.

  4. #3
    Snowman's Avatar
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    I second the .38 special, but you might as well get a .357 magnum - it will accept both, but a gun made for .38 special will not accept .357 ammo.

  5. #4
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    My wife ended up with a Bersa 380. She didn't like the kick of the snub nose or the Kel-Tec. We have a J-Frame S&W in steel with a three inch barrel that she loves to shoot. But it is a bit bulkier than the Bersa.

    As mentioned above, you need to get her to the range to test fire different guns.

    Keep in mind that slides loosen up with use. My wife used to not be able to pull back the slide of my Ruger P89 when I first got it. Now she is able to operate the slide without too much difficulty.

    She currently has her eyes set on a Springfield XD 9 subcompact. I'm trying to get her somewhere to try out a Walther P99 subcompact before she buys.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  6. #5
    SuckLead's Avatar
    SuckLead is offline Senior Member
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    If she wants a small, lightweight gun in a smaller caliber why not go for something like the Beretta Tomcat? It's a 32 ACP and the barrel pops up so she won't have to worry about working the slide.

  7. #6
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Size -- yes. Weight -- yes. Size and weight -- no.

    Although a hammerless .38 snubbie would be a great choice for someone not used to working a slide, I have a feeling that ya'll want an auto. I would second the Beretta .32 suggestion as well. The tip-up barrel means you will never have to work a slide. Just hit the switch and the breech end of the barrel pops up. Insert a round, and then just bring the end of the barrel back down and latch it in place. My wife has the .22lr version, and she loves shooting it.

    When my wife first started shooting, she had trouble working the slides. She now has no problem with any of our autos. It's a matter of technique and not of strength. Besides, if she is going to carry the Kel-tec, why not just jack in a round for her?

    As for a safety on an auto -- you don't need one, unless it is the type that is carried cocked and locked. A modern double-action or double-action-only does not need a safety, as they will not go off if dropped. Just don't put your finger on the trigger, unless you actually want it to fire.

    PhilR.

  8. #7
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    another suggestion for the bersa 380. easy to cycle. low recoil (for the size and caliber). she should get out and handle if not test fire a few different types prior to making a purchase though. the most important factor is that she is happy and comfortable with it.

  9. #8
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    I was initially thinking about the popgun approach when my own wife decided she wanted a pistol. However, once we went to the gunshop and she started handling various guns, she ended up settling on a full-sized CZ75B 9mm. She now carries a Glock 26, and has no use for little guns beyond carrying a KelTec P32 when exercising.

    The Bersas recommended are decent guns, and a steel-framed .38/.357 is a great choice. But the best idea is to get her some training and let her choose.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  10. #9
    VegasEgo's Avatar
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    2 cents

    I recommend the Bersa Thunder .380. My CCW instructor said, that he has put 50,000 rounds through the gun and has not had one hiccup

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    Beretta still lists the Cheetah 84 & 85. ($675 msrp) And SIG has the P-232. ($573 msrp)

  12. #11
    Old Padawan's Avatar
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    I am reminded of a story told at a training class.
    A large man noticed that one of the students had brought a .25 raven. He told the student "If you shoot me with that, and I FIND OUT ABOUT IT..."

    Seriously. Get her to shoot a few things and let her choose. The Bersa is a good low cost .380, Charter arms makes a decent low cost .38.
    "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain

  13. #12
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Padawan View Post
    Charter arms makes a decent low cost .38.
    Until it falls apart after 500 rounds and you have to buy a new one.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  14. #13
    spacedoggy's Avatar
    spacedoggy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Until it falls apart after 500 rounds and you have to buy a new one.
    Wrong on that one Mike, I had a charter arms last me 550 rounds.

    Guess I was lucky with my wife. She took the basic course because when training the wife doesn't work most of the time. They will think your yelling at them. I can now spend time with her at the range without a problem. She trained with the Sig p239 and that's all she wanted. Took her to a great gunshop that had a lot to choose from and made her hold around 10 different guns and pull back the slide. She still went with the sig and I lucked out. The guy said they got a use one in that day. Still in the case never fired and half the price. Picked her up a Walther p22 also. For some reason women are easier to train than guys. 90% of the time I have an outdoor pistol range to myself in the am hours. That's when I train her in life like situations. So don't be cheap about what you buy her and get her trained. If she is not, the chances are that she will lose her gun. It's a state of mind more than shooting a bullseye on paper.

  15. #14
    No Freight is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all of the replies...I am going to do my research on everything suggested. Getting her to the range where she can shoot various guns is a great idea too...why didnt I thing of that?

  16. #15
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacedoggy View Post
    Wrong on that one Mike, I had a charter arms last me 550 rounds.
    Haaaaaaaaaaaa!

    For some reason women are easier to train than guys.
    Women's egos aren't typically tied in with shooting, so they take instruction better. Most guys, on the other hand, think they are born knowing how to drive like Mario Andretti, shoot like Rob Leatham, and screw like John Holmes.
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  17. #16
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    i was quite impressed with all three of the women that attended the ccw class that same time as me. even the women that had never shot a gun at all had no problem absorbing the training and passing the class. our instructor wasn't easy either, she was both competent and comfortable with multiple handguns buy the time our 2 day class was done. that is better than some of the marines i went through training with. i'm sure there isn't any ego issues with us devildogs either though
    Last edited by big dutchman; 07-17-2007 at 11:13 PM.

  18. #17
    SuckLead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big dutchman View Post
    i was quite impressed with all three of the women that attended the ccw class that same time as me. even the women that had never shot a gun at all had no problem absorbing the training and passing the class. our instructor wasn't easy either, she was both competent and comfortable with multiple handguns buy the time our 2 day class was done. that is better than some of the marines i went through training with. i'm sure there isn't any ego issues with us devildogs either though
    People with no training in a subject are always the easiest to teach and learn the best. They come in with no bad habits or misconceptions.

  19. #18
    glennc's Avatar
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    You should get her at least a 9mm semi-auto that she an handle.
    I got my wife a Springfield XD9 subcompact for her first gun and she loved it and shot it very well, now she's got her eye on my XD9 full-size and my S & W M&P. They both carry several more rounds in their mags than the XD sub-compact. The XD's and the M&P have similiar triggers as the Glock...light double-action which we both like. The Glock 26 is another consideration.
    If you decide on a sub-compact you can always install the mag extension for a better fit...pinkey finger won't hang off.

  20. #19
    JimmySays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Haaaaaaaaaaaa!



    Most guys, on the other hand, think they are born knowing how to drive like Mario Andretti, shoot like Rob Leatham, and screw like John Holmes.
    I'm not that good a driver.

  21. #20
    JimmySays's Avatar
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    Really though, you also need to consider trigger pull as a factor. It can be quite stout for a woman or any person with arthritis. My Beretta Tomcat has a pretty heavy DA trigger.
    I agree with everyone to either rent or borrow a weapon until you find one that she can operate safely. Which means being able to work the slide, fire a DA round and load/unload/reload.
    Oh yeah, if you are going to carry it, get one you would bet your life on. Because if you ever pull it out, that is what you will be doing.

  22. #21
    teknoid's Avatar
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    Have you considered a Makarov or a FEG? 9mm Makarov is a decent round, and both are dependable. Easy to shoot, too. Neither weighs a ton, either.

  23. #22
    No Freight is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by teknoid View Post
    Have you considered a Makarov or a FEG? 9mm Makarov is a decent round, and both are dependable. Easy to shoot, too. Neither weighs a ton, either.
    Havent heard to much about Makarovs...

  24. #23
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Freight View Post
    Havent heard to much about Makarovs...
    Well, to each his own, but all the Maks that have passed through my hands have had very mediocre sights and absolutely awful triggers. Also, good JHP defensive ammo is not exactly common in the oddball Makarov round.

    Maks are always popular with the same guys who think Mosin-Nagants are the apotheosis of rifle design.
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  25. #24
    Buckeye's Avatar
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    After a lot of research, the one I bought and tested for my wife...

    Bersa Thunder .380...a review: http://www.gunblast.com/Bersa_Thunder380.htm

  26. #25
    milquetoast is offline Member
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    Your Raven .25 has a fair market value of about $10. Seriously.
    HOWEVER, here's a tip: Be on the lookout for one of those foolish "gun buyback" deals, where the city council gives you $100 worth of taxpayer money (sometimes coupons for merchandise) to get your gun "off the street." It's a way to get rid of a useless piece of trash pistol and replace it with a nice toaster oven or DVD player. However, if you get cash, you must promise to use it to buy practice ammo for the Bersa .380.

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