which handgun is best for a girl
Springfield XD sub compact 9mm
Springfield XD sub compact 9mm
My wife has begun to think about carrying. She seems drawn to revolvers. She has weak hands and fingers and has been unable to rack anything but a 22 cal.All good info, as Sfe said make sure you can handle racking the slide and loading the magazine on whatever you think is an option. My wife can only rack the slide easily on the Walther PK380 we bought for her, she had trouble with most other. Same with the magazines, the ones with stiffer springs were too hard for her to load. We almost went to a revolver but settled on the Walther. Best to go rent several at the range t find one that fits your hand best, and that you can work easily. Take everything in to account - racking the slide, loading the magazine, the weight and whether you will carry it if it's too heavy, the size and whether it fits with your dress and ability to carry. Better to have a smaller caliber pistol you will carry than a bigger one you will not.
The other micro-.380 with a really easy slide to rack is the SIG P238. It's the only semi auto my wife can confidently do the manual of arms with. She can load, unload, and clear the gun of jams, double feeds, stovepipes, the works. She's 70 years old and has very weak hands.
I've not found anybody that thought the P238 was anything but pleasant to shoot.
First off I agree with a lot of the posts that say you should try different ones and a lot of them. However, if you are a person with small hands and you would rather carry a semi-auto I do have a suggestion. I have freakishly small hands, ring finger size 6, very small but I don't particularly care for revolvers. I carry a 709 slim by Taurus. It is compact, easy to carry and fits my hands. The kickback isn't very bad and I can maneuver the slide and load the clip just fine. You can also buy re-looading helpers to reload more quickly if you want. I carry a weapon on the job and it is in plain sight on my hip and very comfortable, not too heavy.
I am too old to be considered a "girl," but I will answer from a woman's standpoint.
Those that recommend that you TRY, TRY, TRY (meaning handle, shoot, and see if you can manage shooting/caring for/take-down of the firearm) are correct. The best firearm FOR YOU is the one that feels best in YOUR hand and the one that YOU handle the best.
I am a nerdy, research type by nature. I researched my first gun to death, narrowed my choice down to 3, and then headed off to a range that had a lot of rentals. Interestingly enough, I came home with a gun that didn't even make my research list.
I have since purchased 2 more handguns and a shotgun. I have to say that while I still LOVE my first purchase (H&K USP9 compact), I keep that one at home mostly. I carry a Kahr MK9 (metal ... there is also a PM9 model which is polymer) in a custom IWB holster every day, and for range work I prefer my XDM9 compact.
For me, nothing feels better in my hand than the Kahr. It is very thin, and its heft--because it is metal and NOT polymer--makes it shoot very nicely for such a small gun. Simply put, it FITS ME. Add to that the THINNESS of the gun, and it conceals very easily on my 5'6" vaguely-athletic frame.
I shoot all the guns when practicing (regularly! It is, after all, carried for self defense), but the XDM9 is really a joy to shoot. It has a very soft recoil, which means quicker follow-up shots and a more pleasant shooting experience in general. It is very accurate, and it is also easier to clean that the others (I can clean the XDM in about 15 minutes LESS time than the others).
SERIOUSLY, GO HANDLE AND SHOOT AS MANY GUNS AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. You will know when you handle it and shoot it which gun is for YOU.
Oh yeah, don't limit yourself to revolvers. Many women get revolvers because the men in their lives (relatives or salespeople) tell them that it will be easier for them because they won't have to struggle to "rack the slide." Unless you have some kind of limiting factors coming into play, you shouldn't have a problem if you use the SLINGSHOT technique explained here by Massad Ayoob (he has daughters that he taught to shoot at very young ages that use this method) :
Armed and Female by Massad Ayoob Issue #63
For example, most men operate a semiautomatic pistol by holding the frame in their dominant hand, and reaching across their chest with the free hand and grabbing the slide to “rack” it back. This is an upper body strength intensive technique, pitting arm against arm, and a lot of smaller or older women can’t do it well with many pistols. They’ll have better luck with the “slingshot” technique, in which the support hand firmly grabs the slide and pulls back while the gun-hand is pushing forward. This can be combined with a turn of the hips that puts the entire body weight into the movement, making it happen almost effortlessly.
I actually tip my shooting hand so that the top of my wrist is parallel to the ground. Then I grasp the gun with my support hand's thumb almost parallel to my trigger finger (which is along the SIDE of the gun, as shown in the picture), which allows me to grasp MORE of the slide than what this man is grabbing. I use my WHOLE HAND (thumb and all my fingers) to grasp the slide--this man is using only his thumb and pointer finger. Someday I will post a picture....
All slides are a bit stiff to rack at first (especially if you are not used to doing it), but the springs will loosen up over time.
Best of luck,
My wife has begun to think about carrying. She seems drawn to revolvers. She has weak hands and fingers and has been unable to rack anything but a 22 cal.
Today at a gun show we compared a Kel-tec 380 to the Sig P380. Holy cow what a difference. While the Sig costs twice as much, it racks like a 22. I was impressed. I guess you get what you pay for. I should add that we have never shot one.
That being said, I personally was impressed with the Ruger LC9. I'm thinking of trading in my Kel-tec PF-9.