My wife went to the range this weekend with her first handgun (.38 special revolver). She has problems with her hands and was unable to pull back the slide on a pistol and liked the pull on the revolver. After going through a half a box (25 rounds 110 gr +p and a couple rounds of 125 gr +p - unable to find anything non +p) her hands started to bother her. Don't really want to go down in size but might have to if this keeps up. I guess I have two questions. First is it normal to have some pain shooting for what is essentially her first time and second if this keeps up what other handguns might I look at. I would rather have something she"s comfortable with and not anticipating the recoil.
First time you really have no idea what's going on. You're pretty much trying to make sure the ammo goes down range nad not anywhere else. Her grip might not be right and you say it's all +p ammo. I can see where a new shooter can get a little tender handed.
maybe a .22 would be a good idea to get her interested and proficient at shooting, and then look at moving up from there. hope this helps! good luck!
Well, since you don't say what the current handgun is, it's kind of hard to suggest an alternative. Might I suggest you give us some specific info to work with?
Originally Posted by tag
The one thing I can suggest from your post is to not let her shoot +P - especially if it's in a snubbie.
What model of revolver? What type of grips? How old is the wife? Are there any underlying hand problems to begin with?
It takes a lot of repetitions to strengthen a slightly-built woman's hands, to accommodate a firm, sure, double-action pull.
I had my tiny, slightly-built wife dry-fire for about two weeks, at 10 minutes a day, more or less, in preparation for her very first live-fire session. When dry- or live-firing now, she still fatigues after about 30 shots, so that's when we stop. I leave it up to her.
Do not have her practice for any longer than about 10 minutes at a stretch. Past that amount of time, you're learning to be tired, not how to shoot. "Muscle memory" develops best in short spurts, not in long sessions.
Well she sounds very petite to me. Most women - not all- prefer the revolver to a semi auto because of having to pull the slide back - some can't.
We took my son's wife to the range and she loves the .22. She's a great shot too. Got a 2 inch group at 10yds. She embarrassed us When asked if she would like to try the 9mm she fired 5 rounds and asked for the 22 back. She refused to shoot the 40's
Try to ease her into it and work on her form. Sounds like she is interested which is good and with practice she may be ablle to handle the 38. Don't force her to use it, the 22 can be a deadly weapon in the right hands.
Go to the following link. It is information written by and for a woman regarding handguns. There is a lot of good information in here. I recommend it to both male and female shooters, especially new ones. Good luck.
Ease into it.
You shoot for a while between her sessions, let her recover longer.
Quick fix- get the lady a lightly padded shooting (or other type) glove. She can ease into it with more confidence and less pain. I've seen some use Mechanix (from AXO) gloves, moto gloves with a finger or two trimmed off, even cycling gloves .
Get Creative and She can be a sharp-shooter, and, stylin'- all at once!
Some good advice already. Just wanted to answer a couple questions asked. Yes she has problems with her hands and it is a taurus model 85 with 2" barrel. I was surprised that she wanted to go shooting with me after I got my first handgun (.45 1911) about a month ago. She wanted something small enough to conceal and from what most of the online advice was (I'm a "newbie" to handguns) .38 is about the smallest recommended. And yes I know a hit from a .22 is better than a miss from a .44 magnum. So I'm willing to go smaller if we have to but wanted to give this one a chance since she picked it out and still likes it. Picked up some snap caps but they were the plastic ones (didn't have anything else) and they were junk. I just don't want it to get where she doesn't want to go shooting anymore. Grips and gloves are good advice. Still looking for some standard pressure rounds but .38 special ammo in my area is hit or miss. So I picked up what I could (and man at what prices). Appreciate all the feedback (and she does too).
Although it's counter-intuitive, choose a standard-pressure load with the heaviest bullet you can find. In a .38 Spl., I recommend the 158-grain load.
Heavy-bullets at standard pressure go out at relatively low speed. The recoil, therefore, is more of a push than a sharp shove. Beginners handle the "push" effect much more easily, and with more comfort, than they do the "sharp shove."
OK. Taurus 85 2". So we're talking about a small frame snubbie that weighs about 20 oz. Well the truth is, this revolver is a handful for anyone to shoot with +P ammo. Then you add, say a woman, who is a new shooter, and has hand problems? Ouch. Sounds like a good way to keep the old ball and chain from wanting to go shooting with you.
IMO a Taurus 2" 85 with +P ammo is meant to be carried a lot and shot a little. I wouldn't want to shoot it with +P. You're better off getting a full size semi racked and ready and hand it to her to shoot. But if you'll check the corneredcat site, there is good advice and technique there that should enable your wife to rack the slide on a semi-auto herself.
Or use this as an excuse to buy her a new gun. If she wants a revolver, get her a large frame 357 with rubber grips and a minimum barrel length of 4". I can think of no better choice than a new or used S&W 586/686. This gun weighs about twice what the 85 does and will not hurt her hand (especially with low pressure rounds). Or better yet, get her a 22 for range use. I have several medium frame S&W revolvers in 22 with 4 or 6" barrels, and they are a blast to shoot for new and experienced shooters. Go quality though, or the DA trigger pull will be challenging. I would suggest a new or used S&W models 17, 18, or 617.
Nothing wrong with letting her carry the 85 with +P loads for SD, but find some low pressure rounds and let her shoot a few (like maybe 5) at the range so she wont be scared of it.
Last edited by James NM; 05-12-2009 at 07:01 PM.
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