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Old 01-04-2012, 09:11 PM   #11
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I get just this question asked from time to time.

I'd also ditch the Sterling as pioneer stated along with what else he stated. I ended up getting my wife a Bersa Thunder .380. That seems to be the one she likes the most and the recoil is manageable. It's a bit larger and weighty compared to most small .380s, but a good gun in it's own right.

I sold a friend a Charter Arms .38 J frame lightweight a while back for his wife, but she was hinky on the recoil from the '38. This is a good choice for someone inexperienced and for general protection.

One woman recently bought a Bond Arms Snake Slayer from me to replace her .38. These 2 shot marvels are gaining popularity for concealed carry. I even know one cop that carries one off duty.

I do agree with your plan to let her try several different guns. Unfortunately, everyone doesn't have that opportunity due to not having a rental facility in their area. I generally advise people to try to find a comfort zone with feel, weight, and what makes them comfortable in regard to complexity of the weapon (revolver vs. semi). At least to go to a gun shop and handle various weapons for general feel and try to shoot at least a few guns that friends own to see what level of recoil makes them uncomfortable. Yes, any caliber gun is better than nothing, but I've seen first hand .22s and similar not penetrate. I had one street call once where a heavier set woman was shot twice in the chest with a .22 and they didn't penetrate the chest wall. I saw the x-rays at the ER and they were impressive. My first clue was when she walked up to me when we arrived at the scene like nothing happened and I asked her who was shot.

The smallest calibers I'd go with are .32, .380. or 9mm. These stand a reasonable chance of doing the job.

Good luck in your quest.

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Old 01-05-2012, 12:07 AM   #12
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My wife carried a. Kel tec .380 ( Took a lot of different ammo until we found one the fed properly and consistently, eventually I considered it reliable cc ) she hated it! It was ugly, was hard to get a good grip, made her hand hurt (sharp edges) after 25-30 rounds, but she still carried it. Then she started to carry my S&W airweight .38, nicer gun but too bulky for her purse, it spent a lot of time in her glove box... Not good!
Now, we both carry the S&W bodyguard .380, she loves it, it's a better firearm than the kel tec and can be carried safely with a round chambered. The best part is... She always has it with her and that's the important thing

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Old 01-05-2012, 12:57 AM   #13
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Kahr CW9---my wife likes hers---low recoil.

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Old 01-05-2012, 02:10 AM   #14
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Jammer,

My wife has been carrying a Walther PK380 and loves it. The Walther may just be the ticket you're looking for. Great reliability, ergonomics, and with the advancements in ammunition, the 380 cartridges are pretty stout. Having a nice SA/DA trigger with a nice safety all add up to a great EDC.
Just an option worth looking at.

Be well and be safe.

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Old 01-07-2012, 11:59 PM   #15
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I'm gonna agree with Sharpshot on the Walther PK380. My wife loves hers, softer recoil, easy for her to handle and very reliable.



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Old 01-15-2012, 12:25 PM   #16
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As the above poster said the Walther pk380 is a great choice. My wife now has this

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Its a SigSauer 40 cal SP2022

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Old 01-15-2012, 02:10 PM   #17
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Even letting my wife totally pick out her weapon of choice... she's on her 3rd firearm as her primary carry. First one (XDM9-c) was too big for her to comfortably carry, 2nd one (P22) had enough reliability issues I wouldn't let her carry it, 3rd time is a charm (Bersa .380).

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Old 01-15-2012, 02:17 PM   #18
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After umpteen guns my wife settled on the Ruger SR9C
Kind of a size comparision pic -
Guess which one has a round in the tube

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Old 01-20-2012, 04:44 PM   #19
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Thanks everyone!
We went to the range and she tried my Browning 9mm HiPower and was pretty darned accurate. She has a really hard time operating the slide with this gun though. We rented a Walther PK380 and she liked it somewhat but by this time she was getting tired.(the slide is much, much easier to use). She didn't seem to be as accurate with this gun. I think we're going back and try it again along with the Bersa Thunder 380.
Will let you know what she decides
John

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Old 01-20-2012, 05:25 PM   #20
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I would stay away from a 22 for sd. With the rimfire design that round is not reliable for SD. It may not go bang. I never had a centerfire not go bang. I had FTF and stovepipes but the frist round when loaded correct will 99% of the time will go bang. That being said my wife carries a SW 642CT 38 spl+p. The recoil is a little more snappy but you can load standard 38spl for practice and the +p for carry. With a auto you need to teach tap & rack with a revolver she only has to pull the trigger no safety to work. If the first round don't go bang just pull the trigger again. This not a target gun. It was designed to save her life. The 642CT has the Crimson Trace laser on it. Nice thing about that laser is if your holding the gun right it will come on no thinking involved. When SHTF she will not notice the recoil. If you do go with a auto for her a 9mm will have less felt recoil then a 380. Most 380's are a blowback design as oppose to 9mm recoil design. The recoil is felt more in the blowback than recoil design. Heaver gun will have less felt recoil then light ones. My wife likes to shoot the 1911 better than my PPK/S in 380. (less felt recoil) Have her go to Cornered Cat and read up on CC for women.

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