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Thread: 9MM vs 380 ACP

  1. #1
    Maltsy is offline Junior Member
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    9MM vs 380 ACP

    My wife is an expierence hunter but has rhumetoid arthritis and her wrists are fused and she has a hard time with handgun recoil. She really wants to have a handgun for CC but i'm not sure what calibur would be best. I know that the 9mm is more powerful but what about recoil? I've never shot a 380. She had a bad expierence with a .357. i know i know a .357 is a huge gun it wasn't me that gave it to her. She is worried about recoil and i'm not sure what to suggest. Is a semi auto better than a pistol or vice versa? Any suggestions would be great. I want to get her a gun she enjoys shooting so she can get comfortable enough to carry.

    Thanks.

    Luke

  2. #2
    Tuefelhunden is offline Member
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    My recommendation would be 9mm given both it's wide range of power choices, depending on loading, as well as manageable platforms from which to launch it. 380 isn't bad by my standards but it can be a bit snappy given the blow back design most 380 pistols are build on and the typical light weight and small size of those weapons. That smaller size may also make manipulating controls and slide racking more difficult for someone with hand strength and flexibility issues. A good example of a manageable 380 would be the Beretta Cheetah given it has a little more weight and heft to it.

    The 9mm offers a lot of flexibility in countless platforms and I would think a decent none +p hollow point out of a handgun size and type she can hold comfortably would be about ideal. If still too much then powder puff 115 gr FMJ's could be used. Not ideal but in bunches placed in the right spot on the target will still get the job done. As a second choice out of a wheel gun a none +p 38 special in a large to medium frame gun could work as well. Again staying away from the ultra light weight and smaller examples would be best. Good luck and hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    cougartex is offline Senior Member
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    I agree.

  4. #4
    gschnarr is offline Junior Member
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    If possible, I would take her to a gun range that rents different guns. My wife loves her Bersa 380 which does not have that much of recoil. With your wife's arthritis, have her try a number out including 38 revolvers to see which is best for her. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Stick Man's Avatar
    Stick Man is offline Junior Member
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    Like ^ said, take her to a range that rents guns and let her try out a few. If its for concealed carry, she's not going to want some big full size heavy gun. I myself am going through this exact same thing.
    I took the g/f to the range and rented a Glock 26 sub compact 9, about the size she wants for CC. After a few rounds, it was beating her hands up a bit. I went back in, grabbed a Bersa Thunder 380, and she was banging down very tight groups and the recoil didnt bother her at all. Now, yes, the Bersa is all steel and has a little weight, but nothing she felt would be too much. So, thats what Im buying this weekend for her at the gun show. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Bisley is online now Senior Member
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    A Ruger SP-101 revolver would give her several options. It has enough weight to it that shooting .38 rounds produces very little recoil. It might even be that with practice, she could work herself back up to light .357 loads. A good set of soft rubber grips would make a big difference with this gun, too.

    A .380 in a larger, heavier platform would have light recoil, but is a poor self defense performer. The small ones are pretty snappy.

    This might be the one rare case where a .22 is the best available option. It is a very poor gamble for a self protection gun, but better than no gun at all. A Walther P-22 comes to mind.

  7. #7
    Maltsy is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I really appreciate it. We are going to go to a few shops and let her handle a bunch of different guns to find out which frame and type feels good in her hands then we will go to a range that rents guns and let her try some out. Thanks again for the advice. I'm hoping to keep her from having to carry a .22 but if that is the only option so be it. like one said it is better than nothing. Thanks again.

    v/r

    Luke

  8. #8
    adjohns3 is offline Junior Member
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Maltsy View Post
    My wife is an expierence hunter but has rhumetoid arthritis and her wrists are fused and she has a hard time with handgun recoil. She really wants to have a handgun for CC but i'm not sure what calibur would be best. I know that the 9mm is more powerful but what about recoil? I've never shot a 380. She had a bad expierence with a .357. i know i know a .357 is a huge gun it wasn't me that gave it to her. She is worried about recoil and i'm not sure what to suggest. Is a semi auto better than a pistol or vice versa? Any suggestions would be great. I want to get her a gun she enjoys shooting so she can get comfortable enough to carry.

    Thanks.

    Luke
    Glad you and your bride can enjoy such a hobby together.
    As others suggest, go to range and rent a few guns....380, and 9's.

    I would think a revolver is better for her hurting hands than semi-automatic...racking the slide is tough on some guns, especially smaller ones.

    I agree with suggestions to try some Bersa. I have several and they are great guns for the price and I have never had a problem with any of mine. My wife has a Bersa THunder .380 with Crimson Trace. It shoots great, little if any recoil issues and the CT's are great aid. The only problem is the PRICE of .380 ammo...still scarce and pricey!
    If smaller is a deal to her, look at the Bersa Thunder CC...8 shot little beauty for under $300, but back to racking issues and price of ammo.
    I also recently picked up a RUGER LCR with CT's. It is .38 special, very little recoil but only 5 shots. Your wife might like the hammerless models like that and the CT's again are a real deal. Those run around $600 with the CT.
    Enjoy the search, rent and TEST all the guns you can find...no hurry...
    Shoot safely.

  9. #9
    cluznar is offline Junior Member
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    I find the recoil from my Bersa Thunder .380 to be very mild with Hornady Critical Defense ammo.


  10. #10
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    LePetomane is offline Junior Member
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    I'd try .38 specials through the .357 magnum first. Most of what I shoot is .38 special through a S&W 686. It is a big gun (too big for CC) but the recoil is manageable. Then try a 9 mm.

  11. #11
    jakeleinen1 is offline Member
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    It really wont matter so long as she gets out and practices with whatever caliber you choose to purchase.

    My brother's gf was better with a 9mm versus my .380. People are pretty bad with smaller platform weapons, and the 9 in this case was a full size. If you get her a small gun in .380 make sure she practices with it.

    Can't go wrong with either though

  12. #12
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    usmcj is offline Member
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    The age-old "trade-off" in handguns is especially applicable to the ladies..... short barrel, light weight, only 5 or 6 rounds equals much more perceived recoil.... longer barrel, more weight equals less recoil, REGARDLESS OF GENDER, or handgun platform. That being said, ... a good instructor will have a variety of guns for you to try out, whether you take a class or not. I get many requests to "try out" different platforms. It's the only sure way to "know" what you're getting, and make an educated choice, that suits you.

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