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Best Choice for Small or Weaker Hands

Discussion in 'Women Shooters' started by Patriot1668, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. Patriot1668

    Patriot1668 SW Washington Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    I have a lady friend who is looking into getting a home defense handgun. She is middle-aged with a few health issues that weaken her hands and arms a little. She also has smallish hands and wears glasses.

    I know a lot about guns and shooting, but I don't know it all. I wanted to bring the question of smart choices to this group.

    She'll be going to a range in the Hillsboro area to try various types and styles, but I have to make a few recommendations. I'm so far leaning toward a lightweight single stack 9mm pistol with a laser sight. Perhaps an LC9 or G43 type. They're small, light, easy to reload, and have low recoil.

    What else do you think should be on the list?

    Thanks!:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  2. NWGlockgal

    NWGlockgal Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I would not limit myself to small guns. I'm past middle age, I can't see up close anymore without help, and I have arthritis in my hands. And I absolutely hate little guns. They are more difficult to grip, less accurate, and have more noticable kick. Have her try them of course, but also have her try something larger. I am partial to Glocks, but perhaps have her try a PPQ, VP9, XDM or a M&P. I find all of those to be easy shooters.
    Most women find guys recommend small guns for them, and most women end up not liking them. I see it over and over with the new women shooters that come into the womens groups I am part of, and almost all of them end up with a full size gun.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
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  3. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    Lightweight=more felt recoil.

    My wife took a class where they brought out a few dozen guns out at the end. They handled them picked out a few to shoot. She picked a 9mm 1911. That would be my suggestion. Let her handle a bunch and shoot some and pick from them.
     
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  4. SHPD_Retired

    SHPD_Retired Saint Helens Well-Known Member

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    If she has weaker hands and finds it hard to rack a slide on a semi-automatic you might look at the Walther CCP. It was designed for this in mind, with a weaker recoil spring but a gas system to reduce recoil. I have not shot one of these but have heard about them. Just something you might want to look into. Good luck.
     
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  5. CHLChris

    CHLChris Portland Metro East Love me some guns! Bronze Supporter

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    With what you describe, I would counsel that you stay away from most single stack 9mm's (LC9, G43, XDS, CM9, Shield, etc.) because the recoil will be stout and the slide will be tough to rack.

    I would suggest the largest 380 you can find. Large means less recoil and 380 means weaker recoil springs and easier to rack. Unfortunately, this is a category that has way too few choices.
     
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  6. NWGlockgal

    NWGlockgal Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I personally hate the CCP. I find it uncomfortable to shoot.
     
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  7. NWGlockgal

    NWGlockgal Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I have a .45 1911 I love but I can't shoot more than a magazine or two before it kills my hands.
    A 9mm 1911 is on my list of future purchases :)
     
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  8. NWGlockgal

    NWGlockgal Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I assume you mean sights? I generally don't change my sights, whatever comes with the gun usually work just fine. I did just put Dawson Precision competition sights on my Glock and I hate them. I like the fiber optic front sight but not the solid black rear sight. Hopefully I'll get used to them soon.
     
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  9. albin25

    albin25 Lewiston Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Beretta 86 Cheetah 380, tip barrel so no need to rack the slide
    hard to find, Little spendy...but...WOW!........
    upload_2016-7-3_23-35-55.png

    If highly recoil sensitive maybe a Bobcat 22lr, (or Tomcat 32)
    upload_2016-7-3_23-42-38.png

    Browning 1911-22 Black Label Compact has a larger beavertail so less prone to slide/hammer bite than the standard. Small (85% the size of Browning's center fire 1911) It's light, super easy to rack, thin. Also available in 380
    upload_2016-7-3_23-51-56.png

    Sig also makes the 938 in 22lr now...haven't shot one myself yet though I have held one
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
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  10. NWGlockgal

    NWGlockgal Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I really want a stainless Cheetah, but the cost is stopping me :(
    I have a Browning Black Label 1911 in .380 and I love it.
     
  11. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt NE Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Walther PK380.
    You can rack the slide with your pinkie finger.
     
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  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    A few tons of ammunition and a membership to a range.
     
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  13. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    I have helped lots of folks with weak hands! Arthritis, old age, it can do bad things to our hands.

    I would stay away from any semi auto. I had a fellow swear he would be able to handle the G43 so I did spring work to it, trigger work. Made it super easy to rack the slide. But then his hands just were not strong enough to handle the recoil and it ended up stove piping. So he sold it and bought another semi and gave it to me to work over. Didn't matter same thing!

    I would highly recommend a revolver, there are lots to choose from. Not one of the hammerless types though.
    Smith & Wesson, Ruger, are great choices. I usually recommend something in 38/357. Double action trigger pull is anywhere from 10-12.5 pounds on average. Spring kits can be installed and actions polished up, and that heavy DA trigger pull can be reduced to 4 pounds or so. And still be 100% reliable. The trigger sear engagement will remain the same, so there are no safety problems!

    The trigger pull is amazingly lighter, and it makes them much more pleasant to practice with.
     
  14. CHLChris

    CHLChris Portland Metro East Love me some guns! Bronze Supporter

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    Playing off @Velzey 's suggestion, the S&W and Ruger have different actions to open the cylinder. The Ruger has a simple push-button type action to open the cylinder, which may actually be a tad easier to manipulate than the S&W's slide-forward type action. If you were to get a 357, you could put 38+p's in it and get a pussycat recoil impulse.

    A big caveat, though, is that you would want a gunsmith like Velzey to massage the trigger. My mom is totally unable to shoot my wife's revolver because of its long, heavy trigger. But a trigger job would remove all of the downsides of a revolver for weak hands and leave only benefits. Well, except the downside of having so few rounds...
     
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  15. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I am strongly with Velzey on this one. Have her look at something like a Charter Arms Undercover in .38 +P with a good 125gr hollow point it would make a great self defense gun/round combo (Hey maybe that is why its one of my EDC guns) Revolvers like this have easy to grip rubberized handles and the curve of the grip can fit smaller hands better.

    At age 5 my son (who was not an overly big kid) was able to shoot my Charter Arms Bull Dog Pug in .44spl with only my hands making sure it couldn't lift up on him. He fired 5 rounds at a time and did it fairly often when we went out to shoot. SO hand strength should not be an issue with a .38spl +P depending on the load.

    AGAIN have her do the choosing.
     
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  16. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    I agree with there is a problem with lower round count. A small semi auto will be a single shot, since it will jam. But it can be used to throw! :eek:


    A very nice thing with a 38/357 is you can practice ALLOT with 38's and they have very low recoil. And then work up to some .357's and let her feel what the recoil is going to be like.
     
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  17. NWGlockgal

    NWGlockgal Oregon Well-Known Member

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    If she absolutely cannot rack a slide or has difficulty, products such as this might be worth looking at. But the best thing is to take her to the range and let her try a variety of guns and see what works best for her. If she is like most women I know, she'll end up with a fullsize 9mm :)
    40c70ee8d6d6c645793b5f733d788730.jpg
     
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  18. NWGlockgal

    NWGlockgal Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I personally don't like laser sights. I don't like relying on something that requires a battery and I am just more comfortable with iron sights.

    If she finds something at the range she likes, it would be great if she could borrow it for a few weeks and give it a good run. Sometimes it's difficult to know what will work from just shooting
    it for a short time.
     
  19. elsie

    elsie Way over there on the left Well-Known Member

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    My wife has tendonitis. I picked up a 380 for her to try and the result was a lot of stovepiping because of her wrists. So we went to one of the expo center gun shows and she handled every revolver at the show. She ended up picking a Ruger LCR (would not have been my choice, but it's not mine). She had shot my .38 so she was OK with the caliber. She runs 125gr rounds through it and doesn't have a problem. Also, her hands are on the small side. One thing she said which she did not like was the unsupported little finger from the small, short grips.


    elsie
     
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  20. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    The thing about a semi-auto, given that it is top-tier and proven, it's still "ammunition reliant". If it wasn't (and I've seen big name factory loads with no flash hole, no powder.. yada yada), and one would not limp wrist it, a semi-auto would be the choice.. have a he-man load up that 18 round mag of high performance 9mm for you and it's a done deal.
    What also is a done deal without ammunition performing within a tight range (if at all) or limp wristage fail.. is the revolver.
     
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