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· Retired
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· Registered
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I don't believe the OP is "making a decision", rather she posted that she was looking for suggestions

that said, my Wife has these Browning Black Labels (both the 4 and the 4.25" barrels, but without the Laser), they're 1911s but at 85% size, around 17-18ozs, an ok capacity and in .380 caliber

we took our 15 y/o Grand Niece shooting for her 1st time and she love shooting these because of their "smallness" and lack of felt harsh recoil

might be worth a look-see


· Premium Member
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my Wife has these Browning Black Labels (both the 4 and the 4.25" barrels, but without the Laser), they're 1911s but at 85% size, ...
Along those lines, Springfield Armory has their EMP and Ronin line of 9mm pistols. 1911 format, but in 9mm. Available in 3" barrel (24oz), 4" barrel (27oz), 4.25" barrel (31oz), and 5" barrel (41oz).


· Registered
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One other thought. Small hands mean small reach to the trigger and proper finger placement is the most important criteria for accuracy, especially under stress. You buy shoes because they make your feet feel good, you never buy a handgun because it feels good, you buy the defensive handgun by how functional it is, not at rest, but when being fired. Jeff Cooper and others have said that when shooting for real, you should grasp the gun so hard that just a little more pressure would make your fingers bleed. So, when selecting a gun for fit, keep in mind it only matters how that gun fits at the moment of firing, and during recoil, not how it looks on the coffee table or while admiring it in hand.

One method of comparison is the only Gun Hero website. For example, in the military you fired the M9 Berretta, a large but quality handgun. During my 23 year 9 months military, I was issued 4 different handgun models by 2 different branches of service. I qualified expert with all 4 but the Beretta was by far the hardest because of the trigger reach. Fortunately the military let us fire with two hands, you can never assume you will have both hands free in a home invasion or any fight. You will always have a phone, light or something in your hand when bad things happen. So, whatever gun you choose must be capable of one hand firing. If you cannot do that, change guns, or get a shotgun. or just realize, your accuracy during stress is not very good.

If you like the Beretta design the small Cheetah or Fatih clone is a small and wonderful design. Here is a comparison from Gun Hero.

This first shot compares the big M9 with the smaller Cheetah. the smaller gun is thinner so the actual reach will be less.

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Recreation

Then compare with something like the much smaller Glock 42.

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Metal

With the ruler you can see that the flat line difference is about a half inch, but it is actually more, because the thinner gun at the grip has more finger left when reaching for the trigger. The importance of that is you need the pad of the trigger finger to rest flat across the trigger and not in the finger joint as people with short finger are required to do.

Since you are familiar with the M9, it is a useful gun to compare with possible guns in your search. Example, revolvers are always the simpler tool and being less complicated at 3:15 am when a bear attempts to come into your tent...been there done that......simple is good.
Grey Trigger Revolver Air gun Gun barrel

The Gun Hero comparison site lets you see the vast difference and helps you narrow the long list of handguns that might work. Spend time on the net rather than burning gas.

Trigger Air gun Line Gun barrel Gun accessory

And the excellent Smith and Wesson EZ Shield 380.
Air gun Trigger Grey Gun barrel Line

The Gun Hero comparison program lets you answer a lot of questions the guy at the gun store does not know the answer to. You can do everything but feel it in your hand. Here is the excellent SW 637 and the excellent little Glock 42.

Gun accessory Gun barrel Font Air gun Wood

The trigger reach/fit is the single most important criteria for a gun to be fired accurately, especially in a hurry. Here is an excellent article on the issue. How To Properly Fit A Handgun | Ensuring The Perfect Piece ( It should fit like this, regardless of what might feel pleasant in your hand while not firing, it only matters how it feels when firing. It should look like this. Cannot stress this enough, gun stores and well meaning husbands, boy friends and the cop or vet in the family, screw up buying choices a thousand times a day. If there is no gap on the right side of the gun when the trigger is centered on the pad, the shooter is never going to be as good as they could be. As a general rule, I have people place a pencil vertical in that gap to insure they can get the pad of the finger properly on the gun. If the pencil will not fit and the pad centered on the trigger, then the reach is too long. You buy a defensive handgun for that once or twice event in a lifetime when the few shots fired need to be accurate, it is better to get it right. You can actually place that pencil in the hand when training, it will usually flop off to the side, but it ensures a proper trigger press.
Gesture Finger Bumper Automotive exterior Gas

It really does not matter what guns I suggest or anyone else based on how a gun works for us. I have a couple dozen carry guns and like them all and shoot them all pretty well. And some small people, women and men shoot very large handguns very well, that does not matter either, it is only what works for you at the moment of firing. Only your opinion matters when pulling the trigger.

Let us know what you buy and how it works. And welcome from another vet, 23 years 9 months. Army and Air Force.
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