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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, my fiance has finally shot a pistol a little, and I've been instructing her in all the legal stuff she needs to know about self-defense such as when she can and cannot shoot, etc.

She's decided to get a CCW and PDW for herself, but to be honest, she's a little recoil sensitive, and not the kind to dress around a gun.

Much as I hate it, that means off-body carry.

I'm thinking that given her combination of recoil sensitivity, small hands, and need for a gun that will fit a purse, some kind of .380 might be just the thing. She shoots autos better than revolvers, so no J-frame, either.

So it's a mousegun in a purse. I hate it, but that's the best I can do for her. I'll probably get her some kind of good IWB holster, and encourage her to use it, where possible, but most of the time, I seriously imagine this one's going to live in the handbag.

I'll probably also get her a hard-chrome Kel-Tec P32, with a clip on it, at some point, so that failing all else, she can stick that little bugger in her bra.

Any other suggestions?
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi CP:
I'm not sure what you mean about recoil sensitive. Does it cause her pain when she fires or is she just flinching? If it's the latter, then she can be trained out of that with your help and a lot of range time.
There are many handbags and purses on the market that are made to accommodate a concealed pistol but I never saw a bra with that in mind.
My wife has a Sig 232 .380. I tried to talk her into one of the Kahr's 9mm but she liked the Sig and is very accurate with it. She had flinching problems when she first started shooting but has over come that with training. What I did was to randomly load my S&W 686+ with 3 .38 special fmj 158 gr. rounds and have her fire it without her knowing when there was a loaded round in the chamber. We did this until she would not flinch on an empty chamber. This training seemed to transform over to the Sig. Right now, as I type this , I'm looking at a target she fired in Jan. which I hung up by the computer. The target is an NRA 50 ft rapid fire pistol target fired at 7 yards. Out of 50 rounds she got 2 in the 7 ring, 4 in the 8 ring and the rest in the 9 and 10 rings. I did not detect any flinches while she fired rapid fire.
I'm not a big fan of the .32 or .380 but with proper placement and attitude , they can save your butt.
Good luck
 

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If you're recoil sensitive, a Kel Tec isn't the way to go. The little buggers jump around an awful lot.

Why not some more very focused training to see if she can become more comfortable with the recoil? Sensitivity might lessen with more familiarity.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She bruises easily. She had tiny bruises on her shoulder from shooting a .22 rifle, and I'm afraid that shooting very much of a handgun will tear up her palms.

Also, she's got extra-stubby fingers.

She could NOT reach the trigger of my Ruger MkII with her hands positioned properly! She had to cheat around to the side a little! That's a single-action .22 with a short trigger reach. Imagine her on a DA service pistol, and you see where my concern comes in. I'd rather she be equipped with a single-stack .380 or .32 that she can actually shoot effectively, than a big, honkin' double-stack 9mm or .45 that she can't.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like if she is bruising, she is flinching so you have a double whammy. She is not going to be able to get any kind of effective shot placement with those problems. The kel -Tec does have a snap to it as does the Sig .380.
I'm going to take the chance and incur the wrath of my fellow board members by suggesting a Walther P22 with a 3.4" barrel. It holds 10 rounds, with very light recoil and has a very short trigger reach in the SA mode. It has interchangeable back straps to adjust for hand size. Weighs in at about 15 oz. loaded. Of course rimfire ammo is known for it's misfires so don't go cheap on ammo for carry if you try this. Last month I put 200 rounds of CCI Velocitor 40 gr. JHP through my P22 with no malfunctions. This ammo is rated at over 1400fps but you should get about 1100 fps from the Walther. On the other hand I fired 300 rounds of Rem . high velocity value pack ammo and got about 5% duds. So test your choice of ammo before you make this choice.
Some of those hand bags have separate compartments in the back to place your weapon. This will give your girl a gun in hand advantage when doing high risks tasks such as going to and from her car in low light when most attacks seem to occur. With proper training she can lay down ten well placed shots in less than 10 seconds; that should deter most attackers.
Good luck
 

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Chubby,

I don't really have the magic fix for you either. But just a reminder, I can relate a bit to your situation with her, based on my ex-wife finding her dad after he committed suicide with a 1911. I started her out with a 3" model 36, then a Walther PPK/S that felt good to her. Eventually we upgraded her to a 3913.

But my point is, don't push too hard right now sir. Let her set her pace, and as much as possible, let her choose her weapon now too. She is riding a very new bicycle right now. Just like my ex did. Let her decide when she wants to ride faster or move up to a bigger, faster bike.

Like most have suggested, I too think it is largely a training/"get accustomed" to shooting any pistol. But something that will be painful or bruise her more right now, I think will simply turn her off to shooting more than anything else.

Just some suggestions/thoughts to keep in mind. Again, let her move at her pace and have a lot of say in what she wants to carry right now. That will change/improve over time I think.

twoguns
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't think she's flinching; I watched her.

I've seen where she had bruised from leaning her weight against the protruding head of a nail, before! It's not like she ran into it hard, or anything, either. She just bruises easily. She comes up with bruises all the time, and has no idea what caused them. I think a heavily-recoiling handgun will just leave her with swollen, blackened palms, and really turn her off. That's why I'm hunting for something easy-recoiling, with a small grip, for her to try.
 

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talking about "pain", she will sure get that with a KelTec, the trigger pull is very long and recoil hurts the finger.

take a look at the new Bersa 380 "concealed carry" model. The one I have has the best trigger of any 380 I've tried. recoil is low. 3.5"barrel gets the velocity close to 900fps.

may seem large for her purse but you'll never know unless you try it. (not the old Bersa, it's bigger.)

and if you just have to have a .32 (which I don't recommend anyway) then check out the Beretta Tomcat. she can load the flip up barrel without having to mess with racking the slide. since it is all metal, the recoil will be lower than the plastic KelTec. and the trigger will be better too.

FWIW,
og.......everybody has opinions and we all like our own the best! :)
 

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Considering that most defensive firearms uses do not involve firing a shot, it is best that she have a gun that she is comfortable with and believes in her ability to use. That confidence would communicate itself in a confrontation. This is likely to be much better than the lack of confidence which would be communicated by presenting a gun she did not believe in. If with more experience she becomes accustomed to 9mm, then she will be happy to move up. If later on she gets used to .40 S&W, then she will be happy to move up.

We can overthink these things.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, we're going to go and look at tuxedos, tomorrow, so I guess it won't hurt to see if I can get her to drop by the Army-Navy Store, and have a look around, while we're out, together, and in a shopping mood.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
She's decided to get a CCW and PDW for herself, but to be honest, she's a little recoil sensitive, and not the kind to dress around a gun.

Much as I hate it, that means off-body carry.
Almost all women carry purses, and almost all that carrry concealed carry in their purses. If men carried purses, probably most would do the same thing. Dillon Precision markets a "Safepacker, a "Plan B Day Planner" and a "Concealed Carry Tote" specifically for for men to hand-carry a concealed handgun.


. . . . . some kind of .380 might be just the thing. She shoots autos better than revolvers, so no J-frame, either.
Almost anybody can shoot better with a .380 auto than any snub revolver. At the risk of coming across as a sexist pig, most women are "mechanically challenged," and the simpler "manual of arms" of a revolver are safer for them to use. But if you feel confident that she fully understands the more complex manual of arms of an auto, then it probably wouldn't be a problem.


I'll probably get her some kind of good IWB holster.
I don't know how your fiance is shaped, but the curvature at the belt line above most women's hips makes the grip of a handgun carried IWB to be angled strongly inward, which commonly makes it neither comfortable or easily accesible for them. (If she's shaped like a barrel, then it won't be a problem. ;) )

As mentioned by others, you don't want a handgun that hurts here, she doesn't shoot well and isn't happy with. A combination of all-steel handgun in the most powerful caliber that she's comfortable with would be the best compromise. And with the size and weight of most women's purses already, the few extra ounces of an all-steel gun probably won't matter.
 

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I've just had a reminder of how we need to think of the "whole weapons system"; i.e., from brain to carry method to pistol, in planning something like this. A female friend of mine was robbed at knifepoint the other night while stopped at a traffic light. The assailant got hung up trying to get her purse opened (and the strap was still around her arm). She stepped on the gas and got away with the purse, and although she lost money and a camera, she was unhurt. The important thing (other than keep your doors LOCKED while driving), is that purse carry has its drawbacks that need to be thought through. The purse is often the target. Just something to keep in mind. In regards to guns, would a Makarov fit the bill?
 

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fwiw my better half purse-carries because women's clothing typically does not favor IWB or OWB carry. Even professional-type jackets and the like are more, erm, "form-fitting" than the same garments for men.
She greatly prefers shooting semi-autos, but carries a revolver. She has more confidence in a revolver's reliability, since they have always gone bang at the range while every now and then the semi-autos have been stove-piped by a limp-wrist, or a magazine has been inadvertently dropped, or what-have-you. As stated up post, the simple manual of arms of the revolver is hard to beat. She has shown interest in single-stack nines, but is hesitant to get one without trying one out first.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ask anyone who's tried to arm any woman, and he'll tell you that purse carry is the only way to be sure they'll have a gun, all the time. You just get them one of the holster purses with steel cable-reinforced straps that can't be cut, and make sure that they practice good awareness. I intend to tell her to keep a hand on her weapon, in dark areas, like parking lots.

If a purse snatcher does manage to get her gun, I'll admit that it's horrible, since a criminal is now armed, but on the other side, he'll probably just go and sell it to some other crook, for drug money. The crook he sells it to would have been able to have bought the same thing from a dozen different guys, just as stolen, and just as cheap. If he IS dumb enough to keep the gun, and use it in future attempted robberies, then he's just ID'd himself, and insured that if he is finally caught, we get to prosecute for the previous theft.

what I'm really concerned about, here, is the guys who are going to sneak around parking lots, looking for rape victims. I'm going to teach her to have eyes in the back of her head, what suspicious behaviors to look out for, and when to keep a hand on her gun.

Awareness is principle number one, and by far the most important. You can be forgiven for being beaten, but not for being surprised.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, we found a gun that fits her hand, and this might be the funniest thing about this whole ordeal: Tanfoglio! A copy of my beloved CZ, with a dished out area on the back of the frame, that gives her tiny fingers just exactly the reach they need to get to the trigger, cocked and locked!

Better yet, it's heavy enough that the recoil won't be a problem, and though I usually loathe shrunken guns, it's available in smaller models that will fit into a holster purse, very easily.

I love it!
 

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Congrats on the Tanfoglio, it is an underrated gun. It is on my list of guns to buy, as soon as I can find one that I can physically check the trigger before I buy.

You may not want to get a smaller sized one, as that will take away weight that tames the recoil. Most holster purses are so large a full sized 1911 would fit.
 

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Chubby,

Congradulations on your fiance finding "her" first pistol. Hopefully it will be the first of many for her down the road.

Just so you won't beat yourself up too much about breaking two of your rules. I have you by about 3.5 decades or so. I can assure you over time, you will discover that many of your personal rules are changed, modified, or compromised. Just part of life really I guess.

You may look back in 3 decades and grin thinking back on your hard fast rules of today. So if the pistol works for your fiances, to me, that is really THE most important thing anyway.

Once she has the chance to shoot it, please give us her thoughts.

twoguns
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, she did the woman thing, and changed her mind.

She really wants something smaller, and she doesn't want to swap her purse out, for something else.

No big deal. I'm just going to take her to one of the biggest gun stores around here, and have her try some on for size.

I'm going to try and steer her towards at least a 9mm (or at the very least, a .380.) I'll let her shoot my CZ for awhile, and then my model 19, with some hot .38s, then mid-range magnums, to step her up slowly. I think that the bruises she picked up off the .22 were a result of her not burying the gun up tightly enough to her shoulder. With a little bit of work, I'm sure she can manage anything, up to a .45. Heck, I've seen eight-year-old little boys shoot 1911s, before.

The way the gun looks is important to her, (a major failing of the Tanfoglio) so I dug out every website in my head, and every gunrag in my closet, and let her look at some.

The ones that she likes the looks of, and I like the power and reliability of, are as follows:

Baby Glocks: She thinks these are kind of cute, I guess. As the guns we looked at go, as much as I'm not a fan of the Glock, I do respect it, and I'd feel good about her with a G26 or G27.

Kel-Tec P3AT: I know these recoil like nobody's business, but her hand is so perfectly suited to the size of the grip that I honestly think that the gun would have better recoil characteristics for her than it does for most grown men. With lower-grain hardball, I think she could handle it. I'd haver her practice marksmanship with my Ruger MkII, and only run a few rounds through it every practice session, to keep her familiar with it.

Sig P239: Well, well, well! It's a shot to the wallet, no doubt, but if her hand fits it, a 9 or a .40 in this gun would be a gracious plenty for her or anyone else. She likes this one the best, I think, and it's a single-stack, so it will likely fit her hand. If we get it with Sig's short trigger, I'm sure it'll be an easy reach for her. Just right on weight, too. Never heard of anyone having trouble out of one of these, either. I think that in the DAK configuration, where she'd be spared any need to remember anything about different trigger pulls or such, this would be a great gun for her.

Officer's Size 1911s: Who can't reach a short trigger on a 1911, right? Teaching her to swipe off the safety shouldn't be too big of a problem, and if she uses a proper grip (which I intend to drill into her head, anyway) the grip safety shouldn't be an issue. If it is, I'll swap it out with one with a hump. All of the lower-end ones I've found have been in .45, which kind of bothers me. Don't have $1200 for a gun, right now.

S&W 908: Good, solid gun. Maybe not the best in the world, but far from the worst. Reliable. Should fit her hand well. What's not to like?

Taurus Millenium Pro Series: Simple to operate, and inexpensive. There'd be money left over for me to order a set of night sights to drift onto it, for her.

Kahrs: My wallet cheek acheth at the thought. A very good gun, though, provided we get one of the reliable ones, as opposed to one of the mechanical disasters.


As for the issue of how to carry her gun, I've got an interesting idea. I'm going to get her a nylon or soft leather holster for it, and sew a big piece of velcro onto its side. Then, I'm going to have her sew a piece of velcro into the lining of each of her purses, so she can swap it out between them, but still have a consistent draw, with the gun's location being a known quantity.
 

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That SIG P239 looks like a really good choice in your line-up.

My petite wife actually loves to shoot and carry a full-sized 1911 .45. I wonder if you couldn't work her up to handle the Officer's sized 1911. You are correct. The short trigger is manageable by the slight of stature and the safety is simple and positive.

Also you have a good idea there to modify her existing purses. My wife has never found a specialized concealed carry purse that's suited her and has great results in the purses she chooses.
 
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