Revolver for my wife

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Junglebob

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
Messages
16
My wife took a CC class with me. She got to hold a S&W Shield in the classroom portion and liked how it fit her hand. I arranged for her to try shooting one at a range with the instructor. She wasn't able to rack the slide and chamber a round. She used a .22 semi-auto for the course and liked the lack of recoil. He recommended she consider a revolver maybe .22 magnum for carry.

I had her try a friends S&W .38 snubby at the range. At 7 yards she did horrid. She didn't like the recoil either. Any suggestions? We have no ranges around here that rent handguns so we can't just try a bunch and have her decide. I'd like her to try shooting any handgun before buying of course.
 

frank n texas

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
447
Location
Texas
Suggest she get into a few months of finger, hand, wrist and arm exercises and try again with a .38 auto or a.38 revolver...Went thru this with my daughter three years ago....
 

Sacramento Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
554
Location
Nevada
Hi,
Yes, agree with hand and arm exercises first. Women normally have only 1/3 the upper body strength of men and it just gets worse as we age. This makes it difficult for us to manipulate numerous firearms (which were designed with men in mind, no doubt). Get her strength up and she will shine! Then find a nice steel frame revolver like a Ruger sp101 (most S&W CCW revolvers are very small and light; great to carry, terrible tfor practise shooting, atleast for women, with factory self defense rounds) or better GP 100 to help with recoil, and hand load a bunch of very light recoiling 38 specials for her to shoot (think light cowboy loads). Once she is comfortable shooting in general, then introduce her to standard loads, then self defense factory loads in same caliber. Find an NRA female instructor for her, if you can.

SJ, a Lady shooter who's been there...

PS: as for 22 mag, have you ever seen, heard, felt a 22 mag out of a Ruger single six single action (which is a good sized revolver, not a tiny CCW one)? Forget it!
 

GMan351

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
141
Location
Louisville, Ky
Where are you located? Someone on the forum may be close to you and help with shooting different guns.

Revolvers can be tweaked a little to help with trigger control, but there has to be enough strength to start with. Semi-autos can be better for shooters that don't have the strength for a revolver. Going through recruit school, we had old revolvers to exercise our grip and trigger fingers with. Just sit someplace and pull the trigger until you couldn't anymore.
 

Sacramento Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
554
Location
Nevada
I disagree, semi-autos are a poor choice for a person who isn't very strong in the hands/arms; racking the slide can be very difficult. I know atleast 2 women who dumped their glocks for revolvers due to this very probelm, as age and arthritis set in.
 

ADP3

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
Messages
481
Location
SC
The Beretta Tomcat in .32ACP has a tip-up barrel for loading the first round so retracting the slide is not an issue. You get centerfire ignition reliability in a round more effective than any rimfire. Recoil is very manageable in a .32. They made a version called the Alley Cat that had very easy to see sights, a Big Dot Tritium Front Night Sight and a Shallow " V " Rear Sight. You might find one of them on the Used market.

Best Regards,
ADP3
 

k22fan

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
713
Just a few random thoughts.

Doesn’t Beretta still catalog their tip up barrel .380 ACP? They did the last time I looked. Due to its larger size and heft it would kick a lot less and easier to shoot accurately than an LCP.

Often people how can’t rack a slide pinching it between thumb and forefinger can manage by gripping the slide with an overhand grip and working one arm against the other.

As much as I like revolvers shooting even service size ones accurately DA is a challenge for beginners. For that reason small snub noses work a lot better for experts.

We need to know what size and weight limitations your wife puts on her new pistol before we can suggest options.
 

GunnyGene

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 23, 2013
Messages
7,296
Location
Monroe County, MS
Felt recoil can be reduced by quite a bit on either a revolver or a SA just by swapping out the grips with some better after market ones. Case in point is the .41 mag NMBH. I put some Hogue grips on my .41 and the felt recoil was considerably reduced.
 

BlkHawk73

Hunter
Joined
Dec 30, 1999
Messages
4,436
Location
Maine
• Have her start with the least recoiling option possible for her. ZERO good will come from pushing her to something she cannot be comfortable with or intimidated by.
• Let the decision of what to buy be HER'S and HER'S alone. All too often the male seems to want to play the dominant role in such a case pushing to what he would want, but until you choose her shoes and purses, she still chooses her own firearms. Better still...remain on the sidelines as much as possible.

Without any rental facilities nearby the only other real option would be friends and other members of the local club. (gotta believe there's some sort of local rod/gun club nearby) Often there's woman only classes as well. Never a bad thing to have more instruction.
 

etdbob

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
41
There's a trouble with them tiny guns.
The smaller they are the more they recoil. I mean DUH!

I have a friend that got his wife a S&W airweight .38 and loaded that dang thing with +P ammo.

She has shot it once.
Even I don't like pulling the trigger on that thing, and I like .44 magnums.

Now when I trained my wife to shoot, she started on a 7-1/2 inch Ruger Bisley .44 magnum. Loaded with seven grains of Unique, it was a pussycat.

We went down from there, looking fer a carry gun she liked. For many years she was rather recoil shy and didn't like much of my guns except the big 'ums, and she'd not carry those boat anchors around with her.
She could shoot a regular 1911 just fine, but sure as heck would never carry one.

After much hunting she settled on a Colt 1903 in .32 ACP.
Nice, easy shooting gun, also easy to carry. For many years this was her carry gun and it worked out fine.
Think about it - Light single action trigger pull, heavy by modern standards for a .32 auto, easy to rack the slide, bigger than most .32s today so it is easy to manipulate and grip yet very thin so it is easy to carry.
Overall a very simple and easy gun to carry and use.

Only problem is they ain't been made fer quite some time...
Another gun my wife likes and bought fer herself is the old Sauer 38H.

But it sure is hard to find anything similar on today's gun market!

My wife is less recoil shy now and carries a Keltec P32 in her purse and a Glock 17 out in the woods. The Glock 9mms are actually pretty durn sweet shooters if you can get the lady to try one, plus it is a heck of allot better for protection should she actually need to nail a bandit with one!

So JB, ya got a real conundrum here. Instead of finding the tiniest gun out there fer her, you need to find the biggest and heaviest she will actually carry. That gun chambered in a moderate caliber without magnum loads will serve her well, and maybe down the road she will develop skill, strength and interest to move onto something better.

Specific recommendations are difficult, because modern pocket guns are so durn small and light they ain't easy fer new shooters to use.

I can't recommended the Beretta Tomcat .32 at all, it has no extractor but rather relies upon residual pressure to eject the case instead, and I find the design ain't in any way reliable enough fer me or my wife. I giver her a gun I know it will ride in her purse fer months getting all dusty and it only gets cleaned by me now and then.

Ain't a problem, many guns can go most of their lives without cleaning and work just fine and dandy, like a Ruger revolver or a Glock.

I dunno, I once got an old S&W 4" M10 for a gal and she sure liked that.
It was a wedding present.

Another gal I got a Ruger MKII, not what we ordinarily consider a defensive gun but they sure do work and it turner her into a real shooter!

Not a bad idea at that, How 'bout this?-

3906.jpg


Would she carry that?
22 ounces or so, easy as pie to rack that bolt, great light trigger pull, plenty easy to shoot and accurate, easy reloads with a spare magazine.
Even kinda sexy. :D
Certainly she would be better armed with this and learn to be a better shooter without developing bad habits than with a .38 snubbie she don't like to shoot or a tiny .22 revolver with a heavy trigger pull.
 

Varminterror

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
513
Which S&W 38 did she shoot? Was it an airweight? Poly? Was she firing 38spcl+P or standard?

If it was a lightweight or poly, then you might look into an all steel model like the S&W 60 or Ruger SP101.

Good option is a Ruger LCR .22mag. Light, small, and no recoil.

Also, take a look at the SigSauer P238 in .380auto. Very manageable recoil, night sights standard, great trigger pull, and small enough even a petite woman in tight fitting clothes can hide it.
 

etdbob

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
41
I dunno, I heard the LCR .22 has a heck of a heavy trigger pull. Can anyone confirm that?
 

etdbob

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
41
I know we're supposed to be talkin' revolvers but...
How is the Ruger SR22?

3607.jpg


I know zip about it but it might have a decent trigger pull and be easy to rack.
 

etdbob

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
41
Since I'm supposed to be talkin' about revolvers, this is a Ruger forum and my favorite guns is thumbusters, and .22s have been mentioned, how 'bout the Shopkeeper?

SAM_2453.jpg


I sure like mine.
Of course, if she will carry one of the bigger ones that's even better.... 8)
 

Junglebob

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
Messages
16
Sacramento Johnson said:
Hi,
Yes, agree with hand and arm exercises first. Women normally have only 1/3 the upper body strength of men and it just gets worse as we age. This makes it difficult for us to manipulate numerous firearms (which were designed with men in mind, no doubt). Get her strength up and she will shine! Then find a nice steel frame revolver like a Ruger sp101 (most S&W CCW revolvers are very small and light; great to carry, terrible tfor practise shooting, atleast for women, with factory self defense rounds) or better GP 100 to help with recoil, and hand load a bunch of very light recoiling 38 specials for her to shoot (think light cowboy loads). Once she is comfortable shooting in general, then introduce her to standard loads, then self defense factory loads in same caliber. Find an NRA female instructor for her, if you can.

SJ, a Lady shooter who's been there...

PS: as for 22 mag, have you ever seen, heard, felt a 22 mag out of a Ruger single six single action (which is a good sized revolver, not a tiny CCW one)? Forget it!

You mention GP100 to help with recoil. What is GP100? Don't know of any female NRA instructors in my area. Light recoiling .38 special loads might be a good idea to start with. No I haven't seen, heard, or felt a 22 mag out of a Ruger.
 

Junglebob

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
Messages
16
GMan351 said:
Where are you located? Someone on the forum may be close to you and help with shooting different guns.

Revolvers can be tweaked a little to help with trigger control, but there has to be enough strength to start with. Semi-autos can be better for shooters that don't have the strength for a revolver. Going through recruit school, we had old revolvers to exercise our grip and trigger fingers with. Just sit someplace and pull the trigger until you couldn't anymore.

I'm located near Carbondale Illinois, in Southern Illinois, that's over 300 miles south of Chicago, about 100 miles south of St.Louis Mo.

My wife can work the slide on my semi-auto 9mm though not easily, but she can get a round chambered. It's not a light gun but she doesn't like the recoil.
 

frank n texas

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
447
Location
Texas
Have your wife see if it is easier to rack the slide on your gun if she holds the slide tight against her and pushes the gun away as opposed to holding the gun tight and trying to pull the slide back...
Makes a huge difference in leverage....Try it a dozen or so times to get the feel of the change in style
 

dbarale

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 6, 2005
Messages
162
Location
Asheville, NC. USA
Medium size revolver like a Ruger Security Six or GP100 (or a K or L frame S&W) loaded with .38 wadcutters. I also found out that most women are more sensitive to blast than actually recoil, which makes the .22 mag a challenge as the blast is pretty nasty out of a snubby.
 

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