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Recommendations for a revolver for petite woman

Teresa

uber Member
#21
A lot of the problems with Glock is the lack of getting a good grip on a stock one, really wish they would improve that. Again, with proper training and some non-permanent mods, I've found very few women who can't. I think it's a male macho thing that women can't rack slides or handle heavy trigger pulls.
 

mbogo

Bwana Mkubwa
Forum Supporter
#22
I think it's a male macho thing that women can't rack slides or handle heavy trigger pulls.
That's bull****. I watched her with my own eyes and she told me how difficult it was to do those tasks.

Could she build up strength? Sure. Will she? I don't know.

Do I have a vested interest in all this? Other than getting another person into shooting and thinking about taking more responsibility for her personal safety, no.

mbogo
 

Felid'Maximus

Beware of Cat
Forum Supporter
#24
You said you would have her try your S&W model 15. If that works, great. Maybe even move up. My mom, who weighs 110 lbs, finds shooting my S&W 620 pleasurable. I think an 8 shot N frame would be even better. I would not try a smaller .38 than the S&W model 15. I'm a guy and personally a J-frame .38 is too much recoil for me. If the pull is too difficult and you still want to try a DA revolver, I recommend trying the Colt Pocket Positive in .32 S&W long.

It has mild recoil and noise compared to a .38, and mild noise compared to a .22 magnum. With Fiocchi FMJ ammo it generates suitable penetration. The Colt has a smaller trigger pull reach than modern S&W revolvers which are apparently designed for men with medium or larger hands. While I can shoot an S&W revolver, I personally feel even an S&W J-frame has too long of a trigger pull reach to be ideal for me. (It is obvious to me they are designed around men with medium to large hands). The pocket positive also, IMO, has an easier trigger pull in DA than a .22 caliber revolver.

Unfortunately, even the Colt has a heavy trigger. That's just the downside of a DA revolver.

But a single action revolver (including a DA/SA gun used only in that mode) is still a lot better than nothing.

( NOTE: The colt pocket positive is DA/SA but should NOT be shot in Single Action IMO. You can get a NASTY cut on your trigger finger if you try to cock the hammer on the old Colt and slip...)



That's bull****. I watched her with my own eyes and she told me how difficult it was to do those tasks.

Could she build up strength? Sure. Will she? I don't know.

Do I have a vested interest in all this? Other than getting another person into shooting and thinking about taking more responsibility for her personal safety, no.

mbogo
Well, in my experience as a firearms instructor for most women the problem is in technique, not in strength.

Common problems:
1. They do not use enough pressure on the slide or grip. They are afraid to break it.
2. They grip the slide with only two or three fingers rather than using a good grip. (Probably because that's how the buff dude trying to tell her how to do it does it.)
3. They do not push forward with the grip hand, but instead try to pull with the slide hand.
4. They do not orient their arms with their body in a position to give them maximum strength.


Also, not all slides are equally stiff. A Walther PK380 has a much easier to rack slide than a S&W shield9 or a PPK. Also for those who hate racking slides, they sell semi-autos with tip-up barrels... such as the Beretta 86, 21A, 3032, 950.

While I have not had a lot of women in my classes, all of them have been able to rack the slide on the semi-auto firearm they brought or one that I had them to rack in order to pass the "I know how to unload a gun" test. And that includes extremely petite ladies and old ladies with hand conditions, arthritis, etc., that make it impossible to pull a trigger that a normal person could easily pull.

With proper slide manipulation instruction, I find it more likely that a person with weak hands can properly operate the semi-auto than the trigger on a double action revolver. For those persons not inclined to receive such instruction a single action revolver may be easier to use. It is better than nothing.

Since you indicate she is unwilling to spend enough time to learn how to use a semi-auto, that's really the only thing I think that stands in her way of using one.

Also, if she is going to use a revolver in single action, the need to manually decock the hammer is a potential problem.
 

Felid'Maximus

Beware of Cat
Forum Supporter
#25
jmano,s
That's what I was thinking.

A DA/SA revolver is damned near idiot proof. The trick will be finding one with a DA trigger pull she can manage. I'll give her snap caps and try to inculcate safe dry-firing practices.

Teresa,
She couldn't pull the slide back on an uncocked Glock 23 or a Springfield XDS. She can rack the slide on a SiG 938, and 1911s only IF the hammer is locked back first. She had a couple of unintentional double-taps with the autoloaders, and I have concerns about her limp-wristing a Tupperware gun

mbogo
My mom can rack the slide on her Kel-Tec P32. The Kel-Tec P32 also has a trigger that is stiff enough to rule out unitentional double taps while being considerably easier than a DA revolver trigger. There are 3 kel-tec P32 handguns in my family and so far I have not seen one malfunction. That said, I personally clean and lube the guns.

If no one is going to be lubing it, that does weigh in favor of the revolver option.
 

Felid'Maximus

Beware of Cat
Forum Supporter
#26
I also wouldn't rule out trying the LCR in .327 loaded with .32 S&W long or the .22 LR or .22 magnum versions. The LCR has a different enough trigger pull that it might work for her whereas others fail.

I'd personally skip the .38 though.

My Chiappa Rhino 200D also has a very different trigger pull which some people have told me is easier for them than others. That said, I'd skip the .40. The .38 might be light enough in recoil, I don't know... mine is a .40 and I load super weak reloads much softer than available commercially to make it tolerable for me. I also think the Chiappa trigger pull reach is worse than the S&W.

That said, I had a lady in one of my CCW classes say she was going to get a Chiappa when she tried mine after finding the S&W trigger too hard for her. She was also okay with the 40 recoil she said but she fired less than 2 cylinders. I *can* shoot the full power loads out of the gun... but I can't *stand* to shoot them.
 

Cirdan

Very Active Member
#28
I'll have to look around for an LCR. I've never handled one myself.

Thanks,
mbogo
I had one, in .38. Hated the thing, couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Sold it and got a Ruger SP101 in .357 magnum. Almost as accurate with it as I am with my semi's.

If recoil's a concern, a semi-auto will absorb more than any revolver will. Some, like the Glocks are (my opinion) every bit as reliable as a revolver and easy to clean.

For those having trouble racking the slide:
https://www.amazon.com/Handi-Racker-Safest-rack-your-pistols/dp/B01BFMD9TU?th=1
https://www.usacarry.com/racking-pistol-slide-devices-supplement-technique/
https://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/handi-racker-help-racking-semi-auto-slides/
 

Cujo

FFI CCI
Forum Supporter
#29
My vote would be a S&W 640 (38 spl) with a trigger job. Don't go with a lightweight frame which will have a bit more recoil. Chamber with a mild load. Custom grips can be found small enough to even fit in Gullwing's hands :) :

 

Gunhand

Firearms Instructor
#30
I she wants to go with a revolver, I would look at a S&W model 10 in .38spl. They are abundant, relatively in expensive, and a good gunsmith could give it a "service" action job, lightning the trigger pull.

If she wants to spend the training time, I would suggest a S&W full size M&P in 9mm. The ergonomics are very good, and the different back straps make "custom" fitting it to her hand size easy. The M&P is a completely reliable platform.
 
#33
My wife's friend has been looking for a handgun for awhile now. her husband keeps telling her what "SHE NEEDS" but is dead wrong for her needs. He is telling her she needs a Beretta but they don't fit her. Her husband has nearly zero experience with firearms and it's apparent. She is a small framed woman with small hands. A Beretta 92 doesn't fit her hands but she's going to listen to him anyway.

I have recommended to her the S&W model 64, S&W model 10, Model 66, and even the Governor. I suggested the Governor after shooting a Judge with the PDX rounds.

I don't recommend snubnose revolvers or ultra compact handguns for that matter to anyone who is a new shooter. They require someone to be proficient more so than a longer barreled handgun.

Truth be told a shotgun would be the best choice for a home defense weapon especially if someone isn't going to do what it take to master a handgun.
 

Quickdraw

"Ho'old on there"
Staff member
Moderator
#34
Men underestimate women greatly. Every guy thinks the small frail woman cannot handle a full size pistol. While there might be a single item or two that needs more attention it is the exception and not the rule. I've taught several very small women basic pistol skills and they have all done very well.

They all have handled a G19 and XDM9 capably in addition to other pistols.
 
#35
Men underestimate women greatly. Every guy thinks the small frail woman cannot handle a full size pistol. While there might be a single item or two that needs more attention it is the exception and not the rule. I've taught several very small women basic pistol skills and they have all done very well.

They all have handled a G19 and XDM9 capably in addition to other pistols.

My wife's friend can't rack the slide on my Glock 23, My CZ 85, or any of my 1911s. Yet her husband is telling her the Beretta 92 is the gun for her. This is where I base my comments on her not getting a Semi auto.

She has another friend who went out and bought herself a Gen 4 Glock 17 and she can handle it just fine. She's 4'10" on a good day and maybe 90lbs. She works out and has the grip strength to operate the slide on anything she has shot. She wanted to trade me her 17 for my 23 because she said it fit her better.
 
#37
Anyone mention the Ruger SP101 in 357 Magnum?

Small framed (5-shot) so will fit a smaller hand, with a smaller grip, but built like a tank.

If softer shooting is desired the weight will soak up 38 Special, even +P, very nicely.

 

LASCHRIS

"Life is hard enough. It's harder when your stupid
#39
I tried everything for my wife. Wheel guns, semi's 380, 9mm. She picked out a pink Taurus Millennium . What a POS! Finally we succeeded. A S&W Lady Smith 357. I had cat pic engraved on the side. Had a smith work the action. Used light 38 wad cutters for practice. For carry, hornady pink premium 38 90g. Everything works great. She will practice with it, and will pull it out in an emergency.
 
#40
Let her try a S&W N frame in Scandium. Big lightweight gun you get a better trigger pull on N frames than on J frames just a matter of leverage. Or a slicked up action on a K frame would be just about as good.