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Posted: 3/25/2006 11:22:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2006 8:49:54 AM EDT by FortyFiveAutomatic]
I am looking to purchase a smallish handgun for myself and possibly for my female friend. I've been carrying a 1911 for a little while, and she's just getting into shooting. The last visit to the gun range, she was discouraged because she had little control over the big .45, so I want to get her something that she will feel confident shooting and carrying. Here are some current prospectives:

-Colt Detective Special, .38 Sp: I've heard it's a pretty comfortable gun to carry and shoot, and it holds 6 rounds rather than the usual 5 rounds for a revolver this size. Problem is, Colt discontinued it long ago, and I would prefer to buy new. I am pretty revolver-ignorant, so are there any good copies of this model out there?

-Walther PPK, .380 ACP
: I had the great pleasure of shooting my friend's PPK and marveled at how gentle it was. I've heard horror stories about inertia firing, though.

-Kel-Tec P3AT, .380 ACP: I've only heard good things about this gun, but its size concerns me about recoil.


Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated!
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 11:25:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2006 11:26:48 PM EDT by twonami]
Kahr 9mm or .40
I have a all steel K40 and no problems at all
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 11:31:51 PM EDT
How much of a difference in recoil would you say there is between the K9 and k40?
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 11:33:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FortyFiveAutomatic:
How much of a difference in recoil would you say there is between the K9 and k40?


I have no idea since I never fired the 9mm version
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 11:49:53 PM EDT
G26
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 11:51:36 PM EDT
Jennings, Lorcin, or Raven
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 11:51:37 PM EDT
I like the Kel-tec P11. Very small, and recoil is manageable.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 8:50:07 AM EDT
Bump for day crew
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 8:55:17 AM EDT
the Kel-tec in .380 is pretty fucking snappy. It s definitely not a gun you will want to shoot a lot.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:00:43 AM EDT
usp .45
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:02:14 AM EDT
Rohrbaugh Arms R-9, Kahr K-9, Glock 26 in order of concealability.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:03:04 AM EDT
XD 9mm or .40 S&W 3in Sub Compact.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:08:38 AM EDT
What about the Bersa Thunder 380?

While some may say it suffers from the "Jamo-matic" stigma, I can attest that the new ones I have shot have been flawless. And, those with older ones that had issues opted for better mag or ammo, and the issues went away.

Slim, good weight, ~ $200, and plenty accurate for a small pistol. What my wife will be carrying this summer.

Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:12:18 AM EDT
Taurus M85
XD9 Subcompact
Just about anything chambered in .380
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:15:35 AM EDT
A CZ 2075 RAMI.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:29:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By twonami:
Kahr 9mm or .40
I have a all steel K40 and no problems at all



+1 for compact Kahr 9mm
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:32:28 AM EDT
Glock 36, it's .45acp and easier to controll than a .40 taurus/Khar.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 10:01:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CitySlicker:

Originally Posted By twonami:
Kahr 9mm or .40
I have a all steel K40 and no problems at all



+1 for compact Kahr 9mm



+2
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 10:11:26 AM EDT
Walther P99 Compact. Accurate and easy to shoot.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 10:20:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2006 10:25:13 AM EDT by warlord]
FortyFiveAutomatic: I would recommend to your lady friend a 38spl S&W or Taraus revolver. I find the J-frame revovlers just about right. Now it depends on how much money your friend wants to drop.

I personally like the S&W guns because they seem to hold their value better. Most of my S&W revolvers(pre-lock and MIM) that I've bought in the past has increased in value, and I can probably sell them for at least what I originally paid for them and a couple for even more. If your lady friend is on a tight budget, get a Taraus revolver. But I would visit a local gun store just to be sure that she can work the action, ie cock the hammer and pull the trigger on SA, or pull the trigger on DA.

ETA(EditedToADD):99.9% of all 380ACP auto-pistol guns are blow-back design. Blow-black guns seem to have a rather snappy recoil because the only thing holding the breech and slide closed is a spring. The now out of production Colt Mustang is the only 380 gun that I'm aware of that has a locked-breach a la 1911, which makes it a bit softer on the recoil.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 10:29:33 AM EDT
I've owned both the Kahr PM9 and the Kel-Tec P3AT (.380)

I still have the Kel-Tec

Why not a compact 1911 in a caliber other than .45? Doesn't Kimber make a Ultra in 9mm?
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 10:31:19 AM EDT
USP Compact 9MM
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 10:47:32 AM EDT
IMHO, the big question is, which is more important to her, target shooting at the range, or CCW? For CCW, many of us gravitate towards small, light, powerful guns that are often hard to shoot well. Mostly because we want to be able to defend ourselves, but carrying a huge brick around all day is a PITA.

Kel-Tec makes pretty good compact, low-cost guns. I CCW a P11 9mm. I find the recoil noticeably snappy, but I don't mind running a few hundred rounds through it in a row. I've shot the P32 too, and I thought the recoil was pretty light. I haven't shot the P3AT, though. FWIW, all of Kel-Tecs guns, including the P32 and P3AT pocket guns, are locked breech. Kel-Tec also just released a single-stack 9mm, though it hasn't been out long enough for there to be many opinions on it. The P32 may be a pretty good choice if she wants to CCW without making many compromises in clothing.

I haven't been real big on the traditional 380s. Most of them are blowback, which leads to a larger and heavier gun. You can now get more powerful 9mm guns the size of the old 380s - the Kahr, Kel-Tec, and Glock 26, for example.

My wheelgun-fu is lacking, but IMHO, a snubby revolver in 357 would be a pretty good choice too. You can shoot light 38 loads all day for practice, then load with 357mag for CCW. Also harder for a newbie to screw up.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 10:48:26 AM EDT
Star Firestar 9mm
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 10:54:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FortyFiveAutomatic:

-Kel-Tec P3AT, .380 ACP: I've only heard good things about this gun, but its size concerns me about recoil.




I can't speak on your other two, but i own a P3AT and can give you some insight on that guy.

when i first got mine it was pretty un-reliable. it wouldnt feed anything with a flat nose (including JHP) worth a shit. it would FTF on about 2/3 of the rounds. After I did a fluff and buff as detailed on the KTOG site the reliability went up to about 98%. Still not perfect, but for a mouse gun, not bad. The size to punch ratio from the P3AT is tough to beat. You have a gun that is the same dimension as your wallet that is able to deliver 7 9mm(short) hollow point rounds on demand is pretty remarkable.

firing the pistol is not the most pleasant experience. this gun is not meant to be an afternoon plinker. it has no sights to speak of. what passes for sights is a small wart on the front of the slide and a notch on the back of the slide. this gun is strictly for use inside of 7 yards. inside 7 yards it is actually not too bad accuracy wise. you just point it and pull the HEAVY trigger. recoil on it isn't terrible, but the way the pistol moves isn't fun. it tends to have a good bit of muzzle flip which flips the trigger guard into the bottom of your trigger finger. that can get uncomfortable after half a dozen mags, but again, in a self defense situation that doesnt matter. If you have big hands, the P3AT may be too small for you. it can tend to bite people with beefy hands.

good luck on your search, and i hope i provided you some insight
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 10:56:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:

ETA(EditedToADD):99.9% of all 380ACP auto-pistol guns are blow-back design. Blow-black guns seem to have a rather snappy recoil because the only thing holding the breech and slide closed is a spring. The now out of production Colt Mustang is the only 380 gun that I'm aware of that has a locked-breach a la 1911, which makes it a bit softer on the recoil.



The P3AT has a locked-breach system, which is remarkable for such a small gun.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 3:55:18 PM EDT
Try a Firestar in 9mm

I just picked one up and had a smith tweak it for me.
A really nice semi-auto single action.
Looks like a tiny 1911.
Will handle +P
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 3:59:54 PM EDT
Id take a serious look at teh XD-9 subcompact
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 4:15:56 PM EDT
While the .38 and .380 beat the hell out of using nothing more than foul language on a bad guy, I strongly suggest something a bit more dangerous. The Sig 239 is a handy little gun with 9mm or .40 power, though I'm sure staying with 9mm is the best bet for her. I have a Kahr P40, which is effective and all, but it's quite vicious when compared to a full size .45. The K9 or MK9, would probably be much more appropriate for her, and offer much more on the other end. More capacity than a snub, and a great deal more effective than the .38. Stepping to a little larger (thicker) gun than the Kahrs brings us to the Glock, and a G26 would be an admirable weapon for her to use, and I don't think recoil would be a bother.

The best bet is to try to use each of them and see which fits best, but I know that is easier said than done.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 4:28:20 PM EDT
My vote goes to the Kahr PM9, no bigger than my hand, very easy to conceal, control and shoot accurate with. try one if you can.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 4:34:16 PM EDT
SIG P239 9mm

Link Posted: 3/26/2006 6:37:18 PM EDT
Sig P-239 in 9mm or 40
Sig P-245 in 45

You will not find a better compact gun. They are very reliable, ergonomic, accurate, and easy to control
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 6:42:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ump45:
SIG P239 9mm

www.sigarms.com/images/catalog/product/239DAKleft.jpg



I can attest to the excellence of the P-239. One of the top 3 handguns I have ever owned, bar none. You also don't have to worry about the Glock limp-wristing issue.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 6:47:36 PM EDT
Had a Kahr MK9. Good pistol, no malfunctions, controlable.
Only sold it because I stopped shooting it (prefer .45's).
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 6:50:41 PM EDT
P-239 in .357 SIG....its the schizzle...
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 6:52:34 PM EDT
Glock G26
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 6:54:00 PM EDT
seecamp,

or a cheif's special (60 or 36)

Link Posted: 3/26/2006 7:03:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2006 7:05:37 PM EDT by tommytrauma]
Frtyfive. you might want to consider waiting a few months. Kel-Tec is coming out with a new 9mm that might fit such needs well.

kel-tec.com/pf9.html




The PF-9 is a semi-automatic, locked breech pistol, chambered for the 9 mm Luger cartridge. It has been developed from our highly successful P-11 and P-3AT pistols with maximum concealability in mind. The PF-9 has a single stack magazine holding 7 rounds. It is the lightest and flattest 9 mm ever made. Firing mechanism is Double-Action Only with an automatic hammer block safety. The PF-9 will be available in blued, parkerized, and hard chrome finishes. Grips will be in black, grey, and olive drab.

The PF-9 accessory rail will accept the latest compact weapon lights and lasers.

Link Posted: 3/26/2006 7:04:38 PM EDT
GLOCK!
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