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I'm in the market for a 9mm pistol for my wife. She has a carry license. She has shot a S&W revolver .38 spl and a Beretta 92 in 9mm. She prefers the Beretta and objects to the recoil of the revolver (smaller handle I think).

Should I get her a pistol with an exposed hammer or concealed hammer? What other factors should I consider? She will primarily keep it in her car or purse when she travels.

I was trained on the 92 Beretta in the military and I like to pull the slide to load the chamber, then have a single action trigger pull. That is second nature to me and I can do this in the dark. She has no training other than a little range time at the CC class.
 

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No one can say what pistol is best for your wife. With her limited experience, I'd encourage her to stay away from the striker fired pistols and single actions. (Especially for purse carry) That leaves DA pistols like the Beretta or revolvers. It only makes sense to carry weapon in a ready condition. Should she ever need it, it should not require manipulation to make it ready. IMO the safest way for her to go would be with a DA pistol like the Beretta, only smaller and lighter. Chamber loaded and decocked. One of the compact Sigs might be the ticket. It would also be extremely wise to seek some training as well. The CCW class is very little training at best, and the military weapons training is of limited value for civilian personal defense. Good luck, and I hope she practices with her weapon of choice.
Savage
 

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I would take her to the gun store and see what she likes, and feels good in her hands and then see if you can find a range that will allow you to shoot the different size and types.
One thing you may want to do is have point the gun eyes closed at something ad open her eyes. Watch her and see if when she is opening her eyes she moves the gun to the target or rotates the gun to look down the sights. If she has to rotate the gun to look down the sights the gun does not fit her.
 

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With just basic training, a pistol with a DA trigger pull and an exposed hammer is the safest. Single action pulls, and to an extent, some like the Glock are easy to accidently pull under stress, causing a discharge. The exposed hammer is good immediate visual conformation of the status of the weapon. What ever she chooses, it is very important she spend enough time firing and dry firing her weapon so its feel, function, and general use come as second nature. If you have to think about how your gun works in an emergency, or hesitate because of fear or lack of confidence, you are already in serious trouble. I always harp on the training / mind set aspect when people ask about a carry gun, because it's that important. Anyone not willing to make the commitment would be better of with a can of pepper spray. The stuff works, and there is no kick or loud bang to worry about.....:)

Larry
 

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For an inexperienced shooter simpler is always better.

To most of us who are avid shooters a single action or double action auto may seem simple and straight forward to operate, but for someone with very little experience or training the manipulation of controls to achieve various modes of condition will seem very complicated. Add an element of stress and conditions are ripe for an AD - or a no fire (let's see do I flick the safety down to fire....push it forward/up to fire....push down to safe.....up to safe??????).

Therefore my opinion is a double action only (either revolver or auto) is the best way to go for someone who is not experienced/trained. NOT a Glock or similar style of trigger, but a true, long double action pull.

Something like a Kahr, some S&W models, Kel-tec, etc. With this type of weapon basically all they have to learn in regards to safety is finger off the trigger (safe), finger on the trigger (not safe). In a moment of stress just pull trigger, gun goes bang. No safeties to hit (or miss) and nothing to remember on how to make it safe after shooting other than take finger out of trigger guard.
 

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+1 for what Spruce said. K.I.S.S. definitely applies here. DAO is the way to go for someone with little experience and little time or desire to spend a lot of time training and practicing with a weapon.

Few or no manual safeties to have to remember to operate in a stress situation. That and a longer heavier trigger pull pretty much insures that the trigger has to be intentionally pulled in order for the gun to fire. The more complicated the operation of any device is the more chance there is of someone screwing up.

Don't know this for fact but I would guess that there were a lot fewer ADs back in the day when all LEOs carried revolvers than there are today with all the super duper semi auto pistols they carry today. Maybe some of the older LEOs on the forum could shed some insight in this regard.
 

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For me I like an exposed hammer. The primary reason being that when reholstering it is a tactile way to know if the trigger is hung up on something and getting ready to discharge the weapon. As I reholster my thumb pushes the weapon down into the holster on top of the hammer along with the rest of my hand on frame and grip.

However, your wife may well not be using a belt holster all that often. A hammer has more stuff to snag on around a womans wardrobe. Pulling a string on her nice sweater ain't going to get it I'm betting. Not to mention the plain ol' everyday gouging in the ribs , womens are much shorter waist to armpit than men. My wife really likes the XD sc in 9mm. Much like a GLOCK it adds some things she thought were nice. #1 to her was the loaded chamber indicator she could feel, #2 was the grip safety, she felt like it may keep it from going bang if it were to hang up around purse straps or other stuff inside a purse as well. It also has a pin that shows whether or not it has been cocked, which to me seems irrelavent if the chamber is empty.

She really liked the S&W with a lock. She thought it would be nice to lock the thing and put it in her purse when visiting friends with children. She envisions purse carry primarily, when encountering undesireable situations it would move to a pocket, or her hand into her purse.

I love my SIGs and the wife carries one now, but she feels the XD is a better mousetrap for her. She learned on semi autos and doesn't like the feel of a roller. Best advice is let her pick it out, hopefully you can find a teacher of a sales person not a commando. Let them explain the features honestly and let her decide.
 

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In my opinion, for a woman who will probably not practice a lot, as others have stated, simpler is better and to me, that means a revolver. I know semiautos are pretty dependable but if they do jam, it will take some time for the unpracticed shooter to clear the jam. Also, don't get stuck on what cartridge you think she should use. A 9mm is nice but if something like a 22 LR or 22 WMR is all she can shoot comfortably, it would better for her to shoot that than something she can't shoot well and/or is scared of.
 

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charles: this is the best run of advice I have seen in a long time. I can easily agree with some points from every responder.

I agree with William about staying away from striker fired revolvers, and especially with mcwoodduck about taking her to the store to get her a 'grip' on things.

I would recommend the most simple gun out there, keeping it simple is best: point, pull trigger, call for the police.....

The issue of recoil with a lightweight revolver can be dealt with easily with different grips - lots of folk go and purchase a gun for $300-500 without thinking about getting a pair of grips that fit their hands better, then kick over the gun for something else and blame the recoil or lack of comfort for not getting a decent set of grips with it.

Another issue is ammo - given that recoil with a 9mm and a 38 are near the same from the same gun, the revolver has no reciprocating action to dampen recoil and directs everything straight back to the hand/wrist. Lots of folk make the serious mistake of thinking or believing that the heaviest or fastest loads are the best regardless of how much it kicks or barks, when it is a known fact that even a 148 gn wadcutter at target velocities will stop ya.

Take your wife shopping at the gun store. Look at the new Ruger LCR (14oz), and the Smith and Wesson line of j-frame 38s, the M36, 37 and 38 (13 oz). I prefer the concealed hammer M38 as it allows for both single and double action use. Find a shop with a good S&W gunsmith who can smooth the action and trigger pull to make it more conductive for a smaller handed person to use and get her whichever one she wants. HTH.
 

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charles said:
I'm in the market for a 9mm pistol for my wife. She has a carry license. She has shot a S&W revolver .38 spl and a Beretta 92 in 9mm. She prefers the Beretta and objects to the recoil of the revolver (smaller handle I think).

Should I get her a pistol with an exposed hammer or concealed hammer? What other factors should I consider? She will primarily keep it in her car or purse when she travels.

I was trained on the 92 Beretta in the military and I like to pull the slide to load the chamber, then have a single action trigger pull. That is second nature to me and I can do this in the dark. She has no training other than a little range time at the CC class.
there has been a shooting sports fair at Raahauges Shooting Facility in Corona, CA where one can try before buying rifles,handguns,shotguns,archery but lack of available ammo caused a cancellation for 2009.Maybe next year they'll have it?
 

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Although I own DAs, DAOs, SAs, and striker fired platforms, I consider the 1911 platform to be safest carry guns of the lot. Assuming good common sense and a familiarity with the manual of arms. For an inexperienced individual, I think the DA or the DAO are the best choice. That said, I mostly carry and compete with striker fired pistols. Truth is, any platform is as safe as the operator.
Savage
 

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Charles P,......My wife went through this stage and I got her a Smith & Wesson .38spl revolver, in the "Air-Weight". It is light to handle and will shoot .38+ P ammo ! It is a 5 shot revolver but with no exposed hammer nor rear sight to catch on clothing etc. My wife carried it for awhile with 4 shots in the cylinder and NO shell under the striker etc, for safety reasons. This is a great little pistol and you don't need sights under 15 ft to hit vitals that are 12 inches on a human torso! You just point that barrel and the bullet will hit the mark. Most confrontations on the street are under 10 feet away or closer. Point and "double-tap" the target simply put.

Several women I have seen at the range, could NOT work the slide on a Sig-Sauer, Glock or even the Kahr pistol. I have never seen anyone "limp-wrist" a revolver fact, pull trigger they go BANG 99.8% of the time. Many semi-auto pistols, especially the cheap ones and even a $600 dollar Kahr can be "limp-wristed" my own wife has done so and the guns JAMMED. She has never been able to Limp-Wrist a Glock........they always go BANG BANG BANG when you pull the trigger.

Next she tried several smaller semi-auto's but that was bad news, as she "limp-wristed" some of those and several of those cheap small pocket pistols JAMMED & RE-JAMMED on her and myself.
My personal feeling is that it is hard to beat a GLOCK in a sub-compact 9mm Luger for CCW for a women. My wife's carried a model 26 Glock, for a little while but went to a full size grip in the model 22 and liked it better....lots of ammo in the magazine! She later went back to the model 23 (shorter 4inch barrel) but still full size grip.

She tried the Sig Sauers (exposed hammer, not good for a purse) but had a problem with the 10-lb trigger pull on the first shot.......easy fix if you have a spring kit put in the pistol, cost being under $20 dollars for the kit. Trying to pull back the hammer in the heat of a possible mugging is a lot of stress for a woemen to deal with period, and those Sig smallhammers are not made for such a task on the first shot.

My wife now has a Glock model 23 has her CCW tool, it's a .40 cal Smith & Wesson but she has shot over 5,000 rounds since June of this year. It takes a lot of practice to become confident and obtain good marksmanship. Those Glocks go BANG when you need them too! Good Luck ;D
 

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Tonk your experiences are very similar. GLOCK and XD are about the same, the wife thought the grip safety and loaded chamber indicator were nice on the XD.

I will add this, pistols need to be in a holster. A purse is not a holster. Nothing short of empty chamber and dropped mag is suitable if you are not going to holster a weapon. Argue all you want about safeties, but a protected trigger is an absolute must.
 

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Williamlayton, have you looked in a purse lately? If you are pulling a pistol on some no goodnik it ain't the time to use lots of motor skills extricating your pistol from under 8 square yards of kleenex, a pocketbook, a pair of sunglasses and a set of keys with 14 fobs attached. More over, anyone carrying withuot the aid of a holster, needs to talk with Plaxico the poster boy Burris. No doubt the evening he shot himself in the disco he said to himself something along the lines of," You gotta be careful about what you are careful of ", I'm PLAXICO I don't need no pansy a-$ holster this is the way we do it down home.

I've been pretty well trained that a safety is not safe and to keep your bugger hook off the bang switch. A holster addresses one of those issues your brain must address the other. I'm not here to argue with you, I'm sure you put on your big boy pants every morning and take care of your own safety just fine. The majority of folks are not willing to put in the time and energy needed to make a weapon system a part of there muscle memory. It is something you are not be born with, it must be learned and practiced. Using every tool at your disposal too aid the process is just good sense.

My opinion, not necessarily facts.
 

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The first thought was based on a belief that no woman would put a weapon in the main body of a purse--a sidepocket/zippered pocket or somewhere else.
Now IF you are talking about the main body of a purse--well, there is no help avalable to remedy a snafu from this locatin even a scabbard.
Blessings
 
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