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  #41  
Old 09-06-2019, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eternoplacer View Post
CZ PCR 9mm, stay away from 380 blowbacks as it was mentioned above they kick like a mule.
I have the Sig P239 but prefer the CZ PCR as does my Daughter.
I bought my Daughter a Beretta 84 cause it was pretty, She did not like it, kicks a bit much, as does my Sig P232, and CZ 83 of course these are 380 blowbacks and the beretta is no longer on the California roster.

So my recomendation is the CZ PCR, it is lighter than the regular CZ 75 and other variants because they use an alloy frame.



Many choices out there , good luck on your quest.
Agree here.
I would also add the CZ P01 or the CZ SP-01 if you want a full size.

All steel guns will absorb more recoil and will be "easier" to shoot.
Also a 1911 in 9mm is very nice to shoot, but not really practical for carry unless you're a big dude or going open carry.
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  #42  
Old 09-06-2019, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by teflondog View Post
The Glock 19 was too big for my wife's hands so she got the XD 9 subcompact. She's quite small but the recoil of the XD doesn't bother her.
With 9mm or even 357 shooting 38, its a mental thing. You need to just cross over the fears. Lots of Youtube videos of young 9-12 year olds shooting 9mm in competition, and they are really good at it. Overcome the fear and you will do well.
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  #43  
Old 09-06-2019, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bajajoaquin View Post
You know, that sounds obvious, but it's really good advice. Thank you.
You'd be surprised at the amount of "obvious" things we've all learned from various forums and shooters. There is a lot hiding in the plain sight...
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  #44  
Old 09-06-2019, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by IVC View Post
A quick observation from teaching a lot of women in basic NRA pistol classes.

Women are not only generally smaller, but their hand size can be so small that they cannot shoot a gun properly, so they either pull trigger to the right because they can only reach it with the outstretched tip, or they move the strong hand forward on the grip, getting all sorts of problems with recoil.

There was a woman who had hard time reaching trigger on a K-frame in single action.

Your wife absolutely has to be part of the decision if you want her to join you. She might not know which gun she likes without shooting it, but you can see which guns don't fit just by having her hold them. That will eliminate a lot of options that are suggested above.

Awesome advice. Your wife should definitely choose rather than a LGS monkey or strangers on the internet.

I'm still going to list some stuff for my entertainment of course.

Yeah, the SP-01 and 9mm full-sized 1911 are soft-shooting. So are big .357 mags with poofy .38 loads. I have a 4" S&W Model 28 that I imagine makes a "poooof" sound when I shoot it with .38's just super soft, boring. Still pretty soft with .357 mag. A steel revolver is softer than the steel frame 9mm's with .38's IMHO.

You can try some things and figure it out too. There are some unique ones. I think a tiny little Kahr P380 is soft shooter too, and fun. When I got mine, I was pretty surprised it is so much fun to shoot.

As far as polymer stuff... even a G26 is easy to shoot IMHO - nicer than shooting a Shield IMHO. So larger G17's or 34's are nice. People seem to like the gen3 17 RTF's when they try them.

Other than that steel .22's are soft like a Ruger MK, Browning Buckmark, Ruger SP-101 8-shot, even a Glock 17/22 .22 conversion, GSG 1911's, etc...

Last edited by crufflers; 09-06-2019 at 11:44 AM..
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  #45  
Old 09-06-2019, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by eternoplacer View Post
……...So my recomendation is the CZ PCR, it is lighter than the regular CZ 75 and other variants because they use an alloy frame.
Many choices out there , good luck on your quest.
+1 .
As long as she can rack the low profile slide, the CZ 75 PCR complies all of your requirements.
(I owned Bersa, CZ 83, Berretta 84 Cheetah, CZ PCR ... and recommend CZ 75 PCR).

Last edited by newbie1234; 09-06-2019 at 12:01 PM..
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  #46  
Old 09-06-2019, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by newbie1234 View Post
+1 .
As long as she can rack the low profile slide, the CZ 75 PCR complies all of your requirements.
(I owned Bersa, CZ 83, Berretta 84 Cheetah, CZ PCR ... and recommend CZ 75 PCR).
I like my PCR a lot more than the SP-01 mostly because the trigger is nicer... yup, alloy frame just like the 40B, but the heavier ones definitely feel softer IMHO. The PCR is my favorite CZ, but mine are all stock so far.
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  #47  
Old 09-06-2019, 9:51 PM
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S&W 66 Combat Magnum, nice shooting and very easy to handle especially with .38spl loads.
Like the one in my avatar.
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  #48  
Old 09-07-2019, 7:45 AM
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Beretta Px4 full size / or PX4 Compact if you can find one, loaded with 147gr HST subsonic. It has adjustable grip size for smaller hands. Select a size then wrap it with Talon Grips.
That is about as minimal recoiling as any Defense worthy caliber handgun will EVER be.

For the Ultimate soft kicker, add a DPM Recoil Reduction guide rod, but make sure to test thoroughly to make sure it functions reliably.

That will kick so softly and the subsonic round won't have as much percussion, which aids in new shooters comfort level, which ultimately aids in confidence which leads to better accuracy.

Last edited by hardcore4sure; 09-07-2019 at 7:48 AM..
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  #49  
Old 09-07-2019, 9:36 AM
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The Sig P239 as mentioned above is a great option. It's discontinued but they are around on the used market.

Rent different options and see what you like most...for now. The more you train, learn how to build a proper grip, etc., your opinion will like evolve.
It won't necessarily diminish the one(s) you liked at first, it just changes as you see what feels best in your hand, feels most balanced, is comfortable when moving, has a trigger you like....

As for your wife, taking a class--they have classes for women as well, if she's interested--will be helpful. My wife has small hands, yet she likes shooting .45 ACP even more than 9mm, especially in a Walther PPQ and full steel 1911.
She has had a Glock 42, a Sig P238, a couple of CZs and others along the way. What she wanted at first later changed with experience.

Hope that helps.
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  #50  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
When people inquire about 'soft' shooting pistols, concerns about operating the slide on an semi auto always always always is soon to follow.

Smith & Weasal 4 inch K frame & .38 Special Wadcutters.
This is a major concern for a lot of people.
The S&W 380 EZ is a great pistol if you can buy it off roster.
My wife's favorite pistol is a Walther PP .32acp. Can be had on the used market even here in Kalifornia. Heavy with light recoil, but expensive ammo.
#2 is a Colt Detective Special. 38spl, all steel (heavy). Her ccw.
Full wadcutters seem to be the lightest factory loads. Hand loads could be whatever you wish.
Generally, as you drop down in power, the pistols get smaller, so they aren't really easier to shoot. 9mm is a hot round--no matter what the macho men will tell you--and kick quite a bit in a light/small gun. Low powered 9mm ammo is not made by the major manufactures, and if you do get some, it likely won't cycle without changing the recoil spring.
Overall, here in Kalifornia, I think your best choice would be a 3"-4" all steel, 38spl revolver, with a hammer (not dao).
A Sig P238. As mentioned above, is a xlnt pistol.

Last edited by Pofoo; 09-07-2019 at 10:48 AM..
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  #51  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:28 AM
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It's hard to answer not knowing how small she needs it to be.

I'd say 686 all day long if she can carry comfortably. Nice and heavy, but not too heavy unless she's extremely petite. You've got a wide range of .38 special to pick from. You can find the round that works for her and you never have to worry about it being stout enough to run the slide.

Best of all, there are a LOT of different grips out there to get her an ideal fit.

At the end of the day though, she has to like it.
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  #52  
Old 09-17-2019, 5:19 PM
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Thanks for the responses. I think the compactness ended up getting more emphasis than i had meant, but thatís the nature of Internet forums.

If I were to ask over again, Iíd probably start from the other end. Whatís the biggest locked-breech 380 out there? There arenít any full-size 380s, so the biggest are still fairly compact.

Having taken the information and looking around I found the Browning 1911-380, which is of course off roster. I used that handgun database search and filtered on 3.5Ē and longer barrels. That led me to the Star S. (Which, unfortunately for my bank account, also led me to the Star B.)

I like the grip that will take all three fingers solidly on it. Itís all steel, locked breech and seems to be regarded well. If my wife takes to it, it could conceivably be used for personal protection, although I canít see her ever carrying it (or any gun). Itís smaller than my Glock 17 and bigger than my Tomcat.

Anyway, I donít think itís perfect, but with the roster restrictions and my admittedly odd set of criteria, it seems to be the closest fit. The search is on!
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  #53  
Old 09-17-2019, 5:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pofoo View Post
This is a major concern for a lot of people.
The S&W 380 EZ is a great pistol if you can buy it off roster.
My wife's favorite pistol is a Walther PP .32acp. Can be had on the used market even here in Kalifornia. Heavy with light recoil, but expensive ammo.
#2 is a Colt Detective Special. 38spl, all steel (heavy). Her ccw.
Full wadcutters seem to be the lightest factory loads. Hand loads could be whatever you wish.
Generally, as you drop down in power, the pistols get smaller, so they aren't really easier to shoot. 9mm is a hot round--no matter what the macho men will tell you--and kick quite a bit in a light/small gun. Low powered 9mm ammo is not made by the major manufactures, and if you do get some, it likely won't cycle without changing the recoil spring.
Overall, here in Kalifornia, I think your best choice would be a 3"-4" all steel, 38spl revolver, with a hammer (not dao).
A Sig P238. As mentioned above, is a xlnt pistol.
You are describing exactly the issue I was facing.
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  #54  
Old 09-17-2019, 5:40 PM
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I love the old S&W model 52...it's a 38 special, powder puff...and very accurate.
Not the most tactical or CCW type of pistol but it's really easy to shoot. I just love it.
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  #55  
Old 09-18-2019, 9:07 AM
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Default Donít buy a gun for someone who wonít shoot it

Get her shooting, see if she adopts to or likes it before any discussion of getting her a gun.

You start with an easy to shoot gun, so no DA/SA etc, and likely 22LR to remove recoil from the learning curve. Spend time at home on stance and grip, safety, and reloading etc before going to the range where noise and unfamiliarity hinder learning. When she can hold a 4Ē group at 7 yards, and if she enjoys/likes it, then think buying...
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  #56  
Old 09-18-2019, 1:46 PM
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My vote is a Bersa .380, but a Walther PP or PPK in .32 ACP has very mild recall and is super accurate. Good defense round with prop HO ammo.
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  #57  
Old 09-18-2019, 2:27 PM
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I’m not getting her a gun yet. I’m getting me a gun with an eye on what might be easy for her to shoot. That’s part of the reason I haven’t been enthusiastic about revolvers. I’m just not a revolver guy. If she warms to this, and likes revolvers, I don’t have any problems with them, but it’s just not what I ever put in the search box on gunbroker, know what I mean?

I nearly went with a Bersa, but I heard repeatedly that the blowbacks have more recoil than locked breech pistols, even accounting for weight. I have a .22 so that’s taken care of. It’s a S&W 41, so perhaps not ideal as the grip may be a bit big, but that’s nothing a Buckmark can’t solve

But I see comments like the one above about the S&W 52, and maybe I’ll start searching for something like that, as well.

Everyone needs a wheelgun, right?

Edited to add:
Woah! I had no idea a 52 was an autoloader. Interesting!

Last edited by bajajoaquin; 09-18-2019 at 2:30 PM..
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  #58  
Old 09-18-2019, 2:31 PM
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Sig P238 HD is a soft shooter and I have yet to find a woman that doesn't like them.
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  #59  
Old 09-18-2019, 2:34 PM
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I'm teaching my wife to shoot with a 3" .357 LCRx and the ubiquitous .38 Special wadcutters. Super soft shooting combination in a smaller gun that's not super heavy, but bigger than a snubbie.
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  #60  
Old 09-18-2019, 2:38 PM
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Any full sized 9mm should work fine. Better still any all metal full size 9mm.

The longer the barrel and the heavier the gun the less felt recoil. Once they are comfortable they will be able to move into smaller guns.
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  #61  
Old 09-18-2019, 8:01 PM
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I just won an auction for a Star S Super 380.

Looking at that led me to the Star Model B which is a full size steel 9mm. Of course, now I have to wait 30 days to buy something else...

I wish a range in San Diego had a blowback 380 to rent. I’d love to feel the difference between the S, my G17, and a Bersa or PPK or similar.

I’m for sure going to rent a .357 and put 38s through it to see the difference bsck to back.

I’ll report findings here!
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  #62  
Old 09-18-2019, 8:03 PM
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For 9mm, nothing beats the 92/M9 series.
My M9A1 is butter smooth and shoots flat and is balanced very well.
Had a 9mm RIA 1911 Tactical along time ago and it shot very well too.
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  #63  
Old 09-18-2019, 9:13 PM
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You should take your wife to an indoor range and have her try a few candidate handguns, and witness what she prefers rather than guessing about it. (I suspect she would love the Bersa .380 Firestorm.)

Recoil isn't the only factor to consider.

It is too easy to overlook how much less hand strength women have compared to men. Double action triggers are extra difficult for them, magazine loading and slide racking might be troublesome too. You can explore those factors in the comfort of your own home, by getting some snap caps and having her experiment with loading and dry firing the handguns you already have.

If you are looking for just the 'next step up' from a .22lr rimfire, then you might want to consider the .22 WMR and maybe even a single action revolver. It certainly helps that .22 magnum is cheaper than .38 Special and .380 ACP.

A revolver is only going to be fired single action by your wife (in all likelihood) and the longer hammer of a single action revolver means easier cocking compared to ordinary double action revolvers.

If you do go with a conventional DA .38 special revolver, I suggest looking at the cheap Rock Island Armory M206 six shot snubbie revolver. It is all steel, and has an unusually long hammer compared to other DA revolvers. If you go with a S&W J frame, experiment with different grips, you might find the original 20th Century tiny factory grip will fit her needs best.

But if this is really a handgun for you and maybe later for her, get the Bersa .380, I doubt you (or her) will regret it. And if the Bersa turns out an error, it would be an inexpensive error.
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Last edited by gunsandrockets; 09-18-2019 at 9:27 PM..
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  #64  
Old 09-19-2019, 8:08 AM
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At this rate, I might have to get a C&R license so I can buy more than one handgun every 30 days!

Gunsandrockets comments about the big picture are well taken. I think a Beretta 92 would be a little large in physical presence. I do want a full-sized, all-steel 9mm, but that's because I want one, not because it fits part of this discussion. (I just added .380 to my list of calibers I need to support, but I am really trying not to add any more. I've always liked 1911s, but I don't want to start hoarding .45 as well. I prefer blue over stainless, so the only on-roster 9mm 1911 is out. If I like this Star S, I may go with a B, even though it's not really a 1911, because ... roster.)

I think I'm still a ways away from getting my wife to shoot, so this is still more about what I want with an eye to being a good introduction.

(And if the Bersa 380 is still for sale used at my local gun shop for $200 after I stop impulse purchasing C&R pistols from Gunbroker, I'll probably buy it as well.)
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  #65  
Old 09-19-2019, 8:24 AM
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Here is some data which may help:

https://www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_recoil_table.htm

Take her to a range and rent some handguns for her to shoot. Maybe do so more than once to ensure that she is into it. And,

Professional training is important.
Smaller handguns are not necessarily better.
Revolver grips are easy to change.
Get a handgun with good sights
Ammo selection matters for both practice and HD.


Good luck!
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  #66  
Old 09-24-2019, 9:14 PM
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First, get her good and comfortable ear protection. This will decrease the her from the initial shock of gunshots, allows her to be more calm, and increase her comfort/enjoyment at the range,

I will propose 2 guns that are not that mainstream or found in CA often.
First is the SW M&P 380 EZ Shield. It is designed to be easy to rack, is medium size, and has features similar to other full size handguns that will allow your wife to transition to other frames and models, if she so chooses. Heck, even the magazine is designed to be easy to reload. The ergonomics and recoil makes this a easy shooter, as I found out when I was in NC.

I have not shot one, but the Walter CCP M2 is a delayed blowback 9mm that is supposed to have a low recoil pulse and very good ergonomics. Due to this design, the recoil spring doesn’t have to be as strong, so it is easy to rack.

The only other way to lower the recoil is to find a heavier pistol with good ergonomics; fits in her hands well and she can manipulate the controls without shift her hand as much, which could lead to confusion or fustraction

Last edited by Pharmboy; 09-24-2019 at 9:16 PM..
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  #67  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:20 AM
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A Bersa for $200 is a good deal, so put it on layaway or something! I had the Firestorm and Thunder, ended up picking up a 380CC. All good shooters, at least for me, where the Ruger LC380 just wasn't, again for me... bang/buck ratio is hard to beat @200 for a Bersa.

In the end, you've got to find something your wife takes a liking to. I had my wife try the Sig P238 for fit and racking, and she immediately liked it over the Bersa... got one, added the Hogue grip, and aside from the wallet lightness, I'd buy it again, and got one for myself... for eventual CC use.

You also want something that (she) shoots accurately, the satisfaction of shooting a decent group helps build confidence. I've had a few things I just don't shoot well, its' discouraging - for a novice/beginner that will be even worse.

If you're going to get her interested, or at least willing to tag along to the range... find what SHE likes, NOT what YOU like. That means a gun for her has to:
1. Fit comfortably in HER hand. There are usually aftermarket grip/wrap options that may help with this, look online.
2. Be easy to load/reload (buy a speedloader!).
3. Be easy to rack. This one can be tough, but makes for a better overall experience.
4. Have manageable recoil. For the most part, this is just physics - bigger heavier guns react less when the round goes bang, and tend to transmit less to the hand/wrist/elbow. The ballistics of the ammo you use (how hot they are loaded, bullet weight, etc.) are also just physics. Conversely, a bigger, heavier gun may be more taxing/less fun to shoot...
5. Be accurate. As long as she knows the basics, she should be able to hit the target reliably... (sometimes it IS the gun).
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  #68  
Old 09-25-2019, 8:08 PM
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Not sure why you're entertaining a 380...I would go with a 9mm. If for concealed carry, then a compact, if for home defense, then a full size.

CZ Sp-01 is a real soft shooter.
SW M&P 5 inch is great because of interchangeable backstraps.
I don't own an XD, but rented it. Felt really nice and it's low cost.
I wouldn't recommend a Glock for her because she'll limp wrist it and cause a malfunction.
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  #69  
Old 09-25-2019, 8:43 PM
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a steel cz75 or eaa witness or jericho/baby eagle

on roster kimber stainless target 9mm


ooh yea slides are often difficult to operate also another crazy thing some have trouble loading magazines especially double stack ones even more the ones that have the hard limit of 10 rounds

so yea a revolver in 357 using 38 special would be the best see if you can find a 7 or 8 shooter

Last edited by bohoki; 09-25-2019 at 9:15 PM..
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  #70  
Old 09-25-2019, 8:51 PM
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My .38 j frame has 3x the recoil of my Glock 43. A Glock 43 shoots like a laser.
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  #71  
Old 09-25-2019, 8:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bajajoaquin View Post
All guns. I already have .22 options, so I was looking for the next step up.
32 ACP Seacamp or Berretta Tomcat
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Old 09-26-2019, 7:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crufflers View Post
Awesome advice. Your wife should definitely choose rather than a LGS monkey or strangers on the internet.

I'm still going to list some stuff for my entertainment of course.

Yeah, the SP-01 and 9mm full-sized 1911 are soft-shooting. So are big .357 mags with poofy .38 loads. I have a 4" S&W Model 28 that I imagine makes a "poooof" sound when I shoot it with .38's just super soft, boring. Still pretty soft with .357 mag. A steel revolver is softer than the steel frame 9mm's with .38's IMHO.

You can try some things and figure it out too. There are some unique ones. I think a tiny little Kahr P380 is soft shooter too, and fun. When I got mine, I was pretty surprised it is so much fun to shoot.

As far as polymer stuff... even a G26 is easy to shoot IMHO - nicer than shooting a Shield IMHO. So larger G17's or 34's are nice. People seem to like the gen3 17 RTF's when they try them.

Other than that steel .22's are soft like a Ruger MK, Browning Buckmark, Ruger SP-101 8-shot, even a Glock 17/22 .22 conversion, GSG 1911's, etc...


Some good advice here. Itíll just say Glock 17 or a Glock 19 if you have any intention of carrying it. Iím always surprised at how little recoil the G17 has. Get both actually. The G17 for the range to get really good with a pistol and just carry the G19. The transition from one to the other is seamless. The G19 feels about 20% snappier than the G17 (completely subjective number).


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Old 09-26-2019, 7:11 AM
Jwalt Jwalt is offline
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My personal experience is that people who are not mechanically inclined or have little experience with firearms often ease into revolvers more quickly.

They're intuitive, easy to understand, and very easy to make safe. There's a comfort for someone who "isn't into guns" in being able to open up the cylinder and knock out the cartridges and "know the gun is safe".

But you know your own wife better than any random guys on the forum do, so I want to be clear that I'm just offering and observation.

My wife finally got into shooting when I got her a revolver she thought was pretty. Now she's gradually getting comfortable with modern pistols and the idea of self defense.
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Old 09-30-2019, 5:39 AM
jstert jstert is offline
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what iíve tried or had/have in centerfire defense handguns, unrelated to california roster.

bersa thunder 380. beats up my hand. slide bite. safety lever sheared off (known problem per internet). steel. easy to take down.

s&w shield ez 380. absolutely easiest shooting pistol out there. home run.

any taurus or s&w 5-6 shot, steel, 38 snubbie. simple. reliable. very soft shooting with wadcutters.


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Old 10-01-2019, 8:22 AM
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heyjerr heyjerr is offline
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IMO the hardest part to reconcile is finding something small with low recoil. My wife definitely doesn't like anything with a kick, so I'm in a similar situation. I haven't had a chance to take her out recently, but I picked up a 380 Hi-Point (yeah yeah, I know) because I'm hoping that big ol' slide up top will translate into lower perceived recoil.

My initial impression shooting it myself is that it may succeed in that particular regard. It is definitely "clunky/chunky" and almost no one's first pick, especially if there is a concealment requirement, but it definitely feels less snappy than my Bersa. That said, I don't think of the Bersa as snappy to begin with....so only a trip with the wife will say for sure. At least it wasn't an expensive gamble.
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:44 AM
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Another unconventional option is the Ruger LCR in .327. My 17 year old daughter shot it with .32 long and loved it. You can even start with .32 shorts, which feel like a cap gun. Work to .32 long, then .32 H&R magnum and if sheís comfortable, give .327 mag a try. (The mag rounds let you know you how powerful they are in a compact snubbie.)
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:20 PM
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The softest shooting pistols are usually full sized and heavy. A compact pistol is usually snappier and harder to shoot as compared to a full sized version.
1911 in 9mm
CZ 75 SP-01 9mm
Sig Sauer P226 9mm
Glock 34 9mm
XD 9 tactical 5Ē 9mm
There are lots of others but these are all tried and true. Canít go wrong with any of these.
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:23 PM
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Smith @ Wesson M@P Shield .
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Old 10-01-2019, 1:11 PM
bajajoaquin bajajoaquin is offline
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I've got a G17, and I'm hoping to find something softer shooting than that. The Star Super S gets out of jail next week, so I'll take it and the G17 to see if I'm on the right track with recoil impulse there.

There were a couple comments about the Sheild EZ. I saw a review of those a while back and the locked-breech design is what got me started down this path. D--- roster!

The Bersa sold, so I'll keep my eyes open for another deal. To be honest, I didn't even think about layaway. I always think of it in terms of buying things that you don't have money for right now, not in terms of holding it for the 30-day wait. Arrrgh!

I'll see what options are available at the range where I go next week.
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Old 10-01-2019, 3:09 PM
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I would concur with S&W 52 and SA loaded in 9mm being soft shooters, as I own both.
Also I would add a suggestion from left field: why not revolver in .327 federal magnum. Shoot .32 S&W long or .32 ACP for practice and .327 for defense. .327 magnum has ballistic comparable to 9mm.
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