1911Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife has been shooting her H&K USP 9mm Compact rather well lately. Yesterday, after shooting clay birds, we went to the pistol range. She shot 6" to 8” groups at 25 yards, followed by 3" to 5” groups at 10 yards shooting each 10-round magazine without rest between shots; not necessarily fast shooting, but just enough time to get a good sight picture and shoot.

I had been shooting my Kimber Stainless Target-II, and when we were about to call it a day, I asked her if she wanted to try the Kimber. At first she was reluctant, but then decided to try it, and aimed at the 10-yard target that had a new Ø3” Shoot-N-C pasty.

Her first shot with the Kimber at 10 yards was about 1/2" off dead center. “Wow!” she exclaimed, “it went off before I expected it; that’s one crisp trigger.” :)

She shot again, and hit right smack dead center, and she giggled. “Oh, this is funny!” She continued to shoot, and every shot was going in the black and making it yellow. The last shot missed the black by a hair. She was shooting quite a bit faster than with her USP, had a big smile on her face, and giggled after each shot splattered the once black pasty, but now yellow.

“This is fun!” she said. “This gun is a lot easier to hold steady, and I really like how it feels in my hand.” I asked her about the recoil, as we were shooting S&B 230-gr loads that are rather hot. She said that it was no problem; that she had not even noticed it.

She loaded another magazine, moved to the 7-yard line where I had two, 2” Shoot-N-C’s, on a single target, and she proceeded to turn those yellow as well. While shooting the third magazine, she ‘finally’ just missed the black twice, and said, “Oh, it missed!” “No,” I told her, “it didn’t miss; you did. Do you think the pistol is in automatic pilot and shoots itself?” To which she replied, “well, that’s just how it feels.” :rock:

She then said that ‘the Kimber’ is what she wants to have handy for home defense. ;) :)

Here is the problem. She lacks the strength to rack the slide unless she first pulls the hammer back, and even then it is not easy for her. Also, her thumb doesn’t reach the slide release lever at all, so she either has to turn the gun slightly to release it, or she releases it with her left thumb. Either way, it is somewhat difficult for her to release the slide. Granted, maybe with practice it will get easier. BTW, we have been doing ‘weights’ and sports for several decades, so she is in excellent shape. Still, she is only 5’3” and at 61 years old, developing ‘new strength’ is not that easy.

I really would like to get her her very own Kimber, or any other 1911 for that matter (would she settle for anything but a Kimber now?) and I wonder if there were a models that would be easier for her to operate, but that would still shoot and handle like the ST2.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
Slide release...

My hands are larger than most anyone I run across and I don't use the strong hand for the slide release. Use the left thumb. OR slingshot it. Stay away from the extended versions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,681 Posts
The last time my wife eyed a gun she liked it got very expensive, aint it wonderfull! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
A 1911 variant in 9mm with thin grips. Lighter springs, easier to rack and easier to get a grip with small hands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
My fiance has always been a glock fan. I used to drone on about Glocks until I got a 1911... and since I bought my first 1911 my old Glock22 has sat in the safe aside from regular inspection and care (the Glock was my first gun, coincidentally, bought it used from a police officer - can't bring myself to sell it I guess).

So - when she finally shot my SA full size 1911, she loves 1911s and wants one. She still hasn't bought one, so I'm thinking of buying one as a wedding present (er, its us getting married but... I can call it a wedding present :biglaugh: )

She has small hands but still likes the full size. I figure she would be more comfortable with slightly thinner grips, I will probably buy an attractive thin grip set and put it on the 1911 I buy her. The recoil doesn't bug her at all, so that isn't a problem.

We're lucky guys, aren't we? :D

My hands are larger than most anyone I run across and I don't use the strong hand for the slide release. Use the left thumb. OR slingshot it. Stay away from the extended versions.
I have long fingers... I am also not in the habit of using my right hand for slide release. I typically slingshot or release the slide with my left thumb as my left hand comes up to grip the gun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Had the same deal with my wife. I put in a 19 lb ISMI mainspring, a 14 lb ISMI recoil spring and fitted an EGW firing pin stop and rounded the back of the stop where it contacts the hammer. I also gave her instruction on how to grasp the slide. It's much easier for weak hands to grasp the slide from the side with 4 fingers and the palm of the hand. With these modifications, the gun is easy to rack. I have also fired 40K rounds through another gun with the same setup and no frame damage so don't worry about the lighter springs. After a year of shooting this gun, she is now able to rack the slide just fine on an Ultra CDP with no modifications, she just needed something to learn on. Teach her to rack the slide with the same grip as above to chamber a round rather than use the slide release, it's more reliable and good training if she will ever use the gun for defense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
I have always been scared to rack the slide with any part of my hand close to or over the ejection port (I have large enough hands that I can't do a 4-fingers and palm grip on the slide without some of the meat of my hand being over the ejection port).

Why? I read (I think it was even on this forum) about a guy who had his hand over the ejection port when he was trying to clear a round. I don't recall exactly what happened, but the round went off when he racked the slide and blew a bunch of meat off his hand. Since I heard about that, I rack the slide with thumb and forefinger and chamber rounds only by "slingshotting" or hitting the slide release with my left (weak) thumb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Xori Ruscuv said:
I have always been scared to rack the slide with any part of my hand close to or over the ejection port (I have large enough hands that I can't do a 4-fingers and palm grip on the slide without some of the meat of my hand being over the ejection port).

Why? I read (I think it was even on this forum) about a guy who had his hand over the ejection port when he was trying to clear a round. I don't recall exactly what happened, but the round went off when he racked the slide and blew a bunch of meat off his hand. Since I heard about that, I rack the slide with thumb and forefinger and chamber rounds only by "slingshotting" or hitting the slide release with my left (weak) thumb.
I'm not suggesting that you have any part of your hand over the ejection port. I have small hands as does my wife and can easily put four finger tips behind the ejection port and rip the slide to the rear. Some schools teach their students to cup their hand over the ejection port to catch live rounds, I think they are fools to teach such ignorance. I have told them that the round ejected is worth about 10 cents and it can just hit the ground as my hand is worth much more to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Gold Cup

First of all - that gal is a keeper !

If racking back is an issue - consider a Gold Cup (light spring) and shoot target loads.

My wife (55 years young) can no longer rack a .45. She favors wheelguns now.

Seniors with guns - I love it !

Good on ya,
FL Panhandle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,477 Posts
Why? I read (I think it was even on this forum) about a guy who had his hand over the ejection port when he was trying to clear a round. I don't recall exactly what happened, but the round went off when he racked the slide and blew a bunch of meat off his hand. Since I heard about that, I rack the slide with thumb and forefinger and chamber rounds only by "slingshotting" or hitting the slide release with my left (weak) thumb.[/QUOTE]

Good memory. I was the one who made that post and it must've been a couple of years ago. Thanks to a very competent plastic surgeon, most of that hand is intact and it's all functional. Still don't know how that pistol came to fire, and probably never will. But I'll sure never have my hand over the piece when there's a loaded mag in there.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Bob Brown said:
Nope. I was charging it, not racking the slide.

Bob
What type of gun? Stuck firing pin, high primer? It's pretty rare to hear of a discharge while chambering. Glad you are ok. I wish you could figure it out so as to be able to pass on the lesson, I'd like to avoid this one. The lesson about ejectors firing a round are pretty well documented but your incident is different from those for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,477 Posts
It was a Caspian 1911 in .45 ACP that I had built for myself a few years before the incident. It had been used only as a house gun. I had just cleaned, oiled, and was loading it for return to its place in the house when it happened. When I was again able, I disassembled it and spent a lot of time trying to figure out what had happened but could find absolutely nothing amiss with the gun. This gun has since been used in lots of matches (successfully) and has never missed a beat.
I had to assume that I was the cause of it but couldn't figure out how I could have been...still can't. You'd think that a guy who had been shooting competitively and doing Bullseye gun building for 50+ years would know how to load a 1911. Just goes to show ya...sometimes even the monkey falls outta the tree!!

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Sheldonj said:
The last time my wife eyed a gun she liked it got very expensive, aint it wonderfull! :)
What got expensive, the wife or the gun?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,220 Posts
Teach her to rack the slide by grasping the slide with an overhand grip and pushing forward on the frame rather than pulling back on the slide. Hold the slide with the weak hand and push with the strong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
"First of all - that gal is a keeper!"
You bet - we just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. I got her a Browning Gold Ladies Sporting Clays 12-ga, and she got me a Win-Select Energy Trap O/U. She really likes her new shotgun (replaced as old Mossberg pump 20-ga.)

"a Gold Cup"
Oh yes, I had one, a Series 70, that I used to shoot the NRA three-gun courses together with my Python and a HS-Victor. Sold it about 20 years ago.

Anyway, I believe that with practice she will be able to rack a 1911 using the methods described above. As far as for release - the left thumb will probably work fine, but she also successfully tried just pulling back on the slide and letting it fly home (slingshot). However, weaker springs also sound like they would help overall.

Now what I (we) have to do is to select a new 1911. I guess we'll be going to the gun shop and having her try several. This part is always fun...

Thanks

Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
ingeniero1...

I suggest your wife (or anyone new to the M1911) try this to load the first round when the slide's closed:
Grip the gun with the shooting hand with the related elbow moderately bent. Then grasp the slide with the offhand near the middle of the slide, but don't cover the ejection port. Pull the slide back while simultaneously pushing the frame forward.

An extended slide stop might be helpful. After about 4000 rounds, I swapped the original one with a Wilson extended slide stop. I had no difficulty putting it in my Custom II and about 200 rounds later, it's still working fine.

If the M1911's slide is still too difficult to pull, try the full size USP45 (regular, Tactical, EXpert or Elite). The slide is considerably easier to pull.

I plan on buying three more Kimbers. :) The hard part will be ensuring that all of them have the internal extractor. :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
Kimber

Try this, get her a Kimber 2, in .38 Super, it's a great gun and cartridge.

It's basically a 9mm long so working the slide shouldn't be to bad.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top