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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my wife has always liked guns and hunting but now she's decided to start "target shooting" as she says. so now i"ve got to find or build her a handgun.
she can't take much recoil but dosen't like heavy guns. [her only handgun is a Colt Detective Sp. 3" 38spl. she loads with Winchester 110gr jhp. which she has no problem shooting.]
her hands fit a Govt. frame just fine as long as it has a short trigger but the weight and recoil bother her.
so i'm thinking along the lines of a Commander LW in 45acp loaded with 165gr-185gr bullets at 800fps or so with a shock buff and a variable power recoil spring.
or maybe 40S&W, 38 Super, 9mm?

any ideas or input?
 

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Hmmmmm.....

If she is recoil-sensitive I would not recommend the LW frame. It will not offer the longevity of steel, either. I would also not recommend the .40 S&W cartridge. That will dramatically limit your options in a 1911 format, and I have found the recoil to be more of a sharp "slap" than the "push" of a .45 acp. 9mm offers less recoil than either in a similar pistol; I can't comment on a .38 super. You will find from other posts that the trigger of a quality 1911 is unsurpassed for target work. So I would definitely recommend some flavor of 1911 with target sights. Of the cartridges you mention, assuming she is most interested in target shooting, the .45 should offer superior performance. The 9 has never been noted for accuracy. The .38 super is popular in some shooting competitions, primarily because it can come in just over the minimum power requirements in a specially-tuned pistol, and deliver minimum recoil. But the accuracy demanded of it is in the "pie plate" category, not bullseye target shooting.

Consider also, that a full-sized .45 in 1911 format makes a good platform for a .22 conversion kit which would allow your bride to target shoot all day with virtually no recoil. I have one from Ciener, bought on this forum, which delivers very good accuracy and has target sights. It's great for training ladies and kids on the basics of trigger control and sight picture, and makes a good foundation for the transition to lighter loads in a full-bore pistol.

Whatever you decide to buy, I hope you and your wife have many happy hours of shooting together. All the best for a great holiday season!
 

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I suggest a Kimber Rimfire.

It's very light (23oz. unloaded), accurate, and very inexpensive to shoot.....even Stingers are a heckuva lot cheaper than .45's, or 9mm etc........and not to mention that it's an absolute blast to shoot!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
 

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Trojan

I just got my wife a STI Trojan in 9mm and with the lite recoil reduction system. The recoil is next to nothing, the accuracy is better than most of my other 1911 platform guns, Springfield, brown, Rockriver all in 45 acp. I have only shot about 150 rounds all reloads, so far but I think I need one now. At first I had a little feeding problem but that seems to be going away now.
 

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Perhaps a Commander sized pistol from either Colt, SA or Kimber, with all steel frame and use your own reloaded .45ACP. That way you can have those nice big holes in the paper and with reduced charges, the recoil will be mild. Works for me anyway. Sounds like you have a nice lady there!:cool:
 

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I suggest taking her to a range that has a lot of rental guns in different calibers. Give her $50-100 to do soime hands on research.

I have found that women are different. What may seem to be the perfect pistol for them in a man's mind may present a whole new set of problems. Questions of whether she can chamber a round, operate the dec0cker etc.....can only be determined by shooting the pistol. I would not even say revolver or auto, I'd just let her decide for herself. Nothing can kill a new shooter's enthusiasm quicker than equipment that is not suitable.

In the long run, your money spent on rentals will be well invested. You will also end up with a partner who loves to shoot and is the best that she can become.
 

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I have a Beretta M96 Vertec which is 40 SW. You can also get a M92 Vertec which is 9 mm. The reason why I mention this model is that it was specifically a rework of the M92 for the military after years of input. One of the changes in particular was to make modifications in the grip to trigger distance, trigger pull, etc. to respond to input from the women troops.

I love to shoot it, and it's extremely accurate and the recoil is more than managable.

Good luck. ;)
 
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As is usually the case, we men's think along the lines of what we would like when considering handguns for the lady folk..9mm, 40, 45, .454 .....etc..

Instead, get her something that will be fun to shoot, that is inexpensive.

The Walther is less then $250. It'll fit her, won't cost an arm and a leg to shoot and most important she'll want to shoot it more and more!

http://www.waltheramerica.com/images/p22a.jpg
 

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I'm not clear on what kind of "target" shooting she wants to take up, but if it's the traditional bullseye shooting with one hand, then she might be better off with a slightly heavier gun with a very good trigger job and good target sights. I've found that the "extra" weight (if the piece is well balanced) tends to settle the sights a bit more quickly.

With a heavier gun, light loads and a good trigger job it might prove out that she makes better scores than with a light gun, light loads and a good trigger job.

As Mark suggests, let her try a number of different guns and settle on the one that best suits her for the style of shooting she wants to persue. After she gains some experience and her skill level climbs she may well want to change out the configuration and/or go for another type gun anyway.

Mostly you should enjoy having a good shooting partner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
as always she decided for herself. she's decided on a Combat Commander 45acp with Heinie sights and thin grips i've had tucked away for a few years.
this wasn't near as hard as i thought it would be.
now to work up a load that suits her.:cool:
 

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Gunsite Raven, so apparently your wife can handle recoil after all? As noted by Mark1174, the LW Commander is not the way to go for a person who can't handle recoil...if in fact they actually can't handle recoil.

Most of the time when I read people say, or hear people say that they or someone they know cannot take the recoil of a gun like a 1911 in .45 acp, it isn't because the person is physically incapable of doing so as would be implied by the statement. Generally, it is because they have not become familiar enough with the platform and handling characteristics of the kinds, speed, and amount of recoil to be experienced. Being female or small would seem to be a disadvantage, and yet I see quite a few going with 'big boy' guns and handling them well. The issue seems to center on the wrists most of the time, but usually after a few trips to the range, proper instruction, and practice, what was once previously thought of as a potentially painful platform no longer is and is just seen as a fine shooting gun.

If you don't have time to come up with that special load for her, a quick solution is some Winchester 185 flat-nosed ball, Target loads. They have a softer, sort of pushy recoil and should cycle the gun just fine without changing out the springs as some people do in order to accommodate lighter loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the weight of the steel commander will help for sure but i've found over the years that bullet weight and powder burn curve have as much to do with "precived" recoil as gun weight.
she hunts with a 7lb 260rem or 308win most of the time. with 120gr bullets in the 260 it's about as soft shooting as a "deer rifle" gets. the 308 with 150gr bullets is also easy on her.
she can shoot a full size 1911 target loads ok but it's heavier than she likes. the Combat Commander weight is better and with a light load of Clays and a 185gr cast bullet at around 800fps she gets big holes and easy shootling.
i'm gona get her a LW Commander down the road after she gets used to the recoil cycle of the 45acp.
 
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