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My mom wants a hand gun for personal defense, she is 4'10 100 lbs, and is not capable of handling anything with bad recoil. She has small hands, and needs something fairly simple, something she could comfortably put at least 50 rds through in one session of practicing.

Would appreciate suggestions.
 

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Take a look at a .327 Magnum revolver. For practice and learning how to shoot the thing........... it will also shoot: .32S&W, .32S&W Long, .32H&R Magnum.
The .327 M. has good penetration and power without so much recoil. Ammunition may be hard to find though, in the .32H&R and .327 Rugar Magnums. But not so much will be needed for practice; and if there is a real shooting situation, the recoil will not be noticed.
Dan
 

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I'd say forget the gun and get her a good pepper spray. She'll know where she's aiming and it will give her time to get away or some help. If she is **** bent on a gun I'd say get her some sort of a small revolver. I would not go below a 32.cal though. JMHO
 

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small revolver may not be the best solution. my wife can't hold a sight picture while pulling the trigger of her 642 j-frame.

I got her a ruger lcp and she has a little trouble cycling the slide, but the trigger pull is much easier. she hasn't shot it yet, but I like it a lot, it's a fun gun to shoot and the recoil and flip is less than the revolver....

plus the lcp has 7 rounds before it runs dry, the smith has 5... seems like a plus to me

Grizz

ps: I'd never recommend giving someone you love pepper spray instead of a gun.
 

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I like the Ruger SP101's weight for reducing felt recoil, even in .357 Mag loads.

The .32 H&R mag out of a Ruger SP101 .327 Mag won't be to bad in the recoil department. The .327 does have quite a bark though... If you reload you can work it up in stages for her.

That said I would also have her look at a .380 with a metal frame like a Bersa or Sig Sauer. The Walther PK380 also comes to mind, since it's not blowback it would also be a nice shooter, and it fits small hands very well.
 

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4'-10" and 100 lbs with small hands and doesnt like recoil... hmmm. My personal suggestion is to get her a .357 magnum and have her practice with mild .38special rounds. Then after she gets used to shooting the mild .38 special rounds, move up to .38special+p. Then after she gets used to shooting the +p rounds move up to .357mag rounds. Either that, or just have her practice with the mild .38special rounds and carry the .357 mag rounds for personal protection. In the heat of the moment I guarantee she wont be able to tell the difference in recoil if (God forbid) she had to use it. But, I would recommend just getting her used to the recoil by working up through the different ammo I listed above.
 

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You'd best let her try a few things and see what is feasible, first. My advice.
 

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I'd suggest something double-action only capable BarkBuster20. Makes things simpler for folks that are "less familiar" with firearms.

Your mom needs to be comfortable with how it fits her hand and shoots above all else for defence of self.

My Mom was very good with a rifle or scattergun. I never found a handgun she could shoot well though (even 22 rimfire). She found some comfort in a 16 gauge double in the closet.

Cheezywan
 

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Following along with somewhat with Mike's train of thought. First I wound not assume she could not handle a very serious handgun. My wife can't handle most of the guns mentioned here (strenght limitations) but she is a wiz with a Glock 19. I started her with an SP-101 and light 38's but the trigger just was a major strain. She tried others but when a friend stopped by with a Glock 19 it was all over. She shoots a 124gr +P out of it and shoots up a storm. So rather than assume, I suggest you try more than the minimal guns. Many a woman will take to guns like a duck to water if you give them half a chance. 357's shooting 38's are always a decent idea too. Heck, I carry 38+P's in my SP-101 so it's not just a girl thing. Have fun with it too.
 

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Just because she is 100 lbs doesn't mean she is a weakling. My mom is just a shade bigger than you mother and has no problem shooting anything but the harder recoiling handguns. I think the idea of a Glock or something with a similar trigger pull is a good call. Many people with small hands have trouble with the long stiff pull of double action revolvers. I would try and find someone with a 9mm Glock or similar weapon and she if they will let her shoot it. She might just surprise you. Also, you need to give her some instruction on the basics of marksmanship or find someone that can. See needs to know the proper grip, stance, sight alignment, trigger squeeze and follow through be you stick her out there and she develops some bad habits on her own. Make sure she wears some good hearing and eye protection. Nothing promotes flinch and perceived recoil like no or improper hearing protection. Good luck to her.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The main reason she wants a hand gun is because my dad works graveyard a lot, and she is home alone. I was thinking either 9mm or a .357 mag. Thanks for all of the advice, she will definitly try several options before a purchase is made, looking forward to any more advice you guys have, thank you.

Its not so much that she is afraid of recoil, but she does have small hands and has arthritis.
 

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I would recommend a double action .357 revolver. It's simple. All she has to do is aim the gun,oull the trigger and it will go BANG!!! She can shoot the mild .38 specials loads all the way up to heavy duty .357 mag loads. There should be something in that range she could comfortably shoot. Take her to a shooting range that rents guns so she can try several to find a gun she likes. I do know that S&W makes revolvers for women in mind. Check the S&W website for those.

She might even be able to shoot a .44 special. I personally use a S&W 696 5-shot .44 special for concealed carry sometimes. Recoil is not bad. Hornady has come up with a .44 sp round using the leverevolution technology for self defence.
 

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I agree with the above post...

My wife does not like recoil in any disguise. She also hates to go to a gunshop because she hates to look as if she doesn't know what she's doing. When she decided she wanted a small gun to carry and keep close at home I --- and it was HARD to do---just started looking for something I thought she'd like. I tried a Beretta Tomcat in .32 but she didn't like the tip barrel. One more in the safe. I got her a Smith 442 and got some decent .38spl loads and she hated the recoil and the trigger pull. I struck gold on the next one. I got her a Ruger SP-101 with the factory bobbed hammer and Pachmayr (sp) grips and used the same special loads I tried her on earlier. She does very well with it because the fairly heavy frame of the Ruger soaks up a lot of recoil. And she can go to mild .357 loads whenever she wants to. She likes it well enough that she will remind me she wants to go to the range. I told her that if she ever stops liking it I will be HAPPY to go shopping for her again. I picked up a couple of nice guns the first time.
 

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If its not for carrying, then a K frame sized 3 or 4 inch 38/357 revolver. You can fit the stocks to her hand. Factory wadcutters for practice. Glasers or Mag safe for HD. I use a 3 inch M64 for my HD gun as my wife can shoot it well. Just my .02.
 

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If this is for home use, get her a pump action 20 gauge. Racking it should be just as effective as any pepper spray...and if they keep coming, much more so!
 

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Although I do not believe a gun is the best choice for all people. I agree. A 20 gauge Mossberg cruiser is a good idea if it's for HD. My pistol sits in the dresser draw and is used only to get me to the 20 gauge Mossy standing in the closet.
000 buckshot can cause a bit of carnage without beating the person squeezing the trigger to death.
 

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If it's not for CC don't get hung up on small. Service size handguns are great.
Somebody earlier mentioned K-frame S&W's, they are sweet guns at a really good price. They are a good balance of size and caliber. If you can find a round butt instead of a square butt, even better.
My wife is 4'-11" and loved my model 19.

I would get a .357 even if it will only see .38's. Just for more versatility.

Semi-autos should not be discounted, but I like revolvers for less experienced/capable shooters. Simply for their ease of use.

I don't trust anything under 9mm or .38sp. Just about any caliber can kill somebody (eventually). But you want to stop somebody, now.

Long guns are a good option as well. A youth size 20ga, or carbine maybe?

No matter what, she needs to handle, operate, and preferably shoot it herself for the best fit.
 
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