1911Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a kimber classic stainless. Love this pistol! I just got back from the range and want to go back tomorrow! The problem I have is that my wife and I decided that we should each have a handgun so that I can have something on the road with me when I go out of town to race and she can have something at home. So, I got a kimber. I took her to a range that rents guns and she tried my smith 2206 .22 pistol and a rented 38 revolver. She had no problem with the 38 round. All the 9mm they had to rent were glocks and she didn't feel comfortable with the big grips so she didn't shoot any of them.

We then went to the local dealers and had narrowed her choices down to a taurus titanium 38, a smith airlite 38, and a taurus millenium 9mm auto. She said she liked how the auto felt and really liked the sights. So we went with that.

We went to the range tonight with our new pistols for the first time. She aimed her new taurus and carefully squeezed the trigger for the first time, fired it once, and put it down. It scared her. The muzzle flip surprised her a lot, she fired one round and did not want to fire another. She's scared of the gun now, and doesn't want it.

What did I do wrong? Should I have fired it first so she could see what it would do? Does this 9mm have that much more force than a .38 revolver would? Can I fix this with different loads than the 115gr. ball that we used?

I was hoping, and so was she, that this would be something we could do together and now she's upset because she feels like she wasted our money and I'm upset because I think I let her down in helping her pick the wrong gun. I am a complete novice at this, but thought I knew enough to go in the right direction.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Allen
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
72,467 Posts
She needs to be properly coached in shooting. Any gun above a .22 would scare her by the sounds of it. I say she will learn to get used to it with a little practice. Remind her that no matter how hard it recoils it can't hurt her unless she's holding it by the wrong end!

------------------
D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,304 Posts
You said she had no trouble with a rented .38; what was it? (Make model and barrel length?).

What hearing protection was she wearing, and was it an indoor or outdoor range she got spooked with the 9mm?

It could be that she just had an attack of nerves. There isn't much of a difference in recoil between a standard .38 load in a 4" steel revolver and 9mm ball (providing it wasn't NATO-spec or some of Fiocchi's hot stuff) in just about any locked-breech pistol. Except the report - a 9mm can be pretty sharp in a shortish barrel.

First, I would encourage her to try again. If it is an indoor range, this time double up on hearing protection (earplugs plus headphone type). Perhaps encourage her to steel herself up - imagine say "some thug has just cut the ears off the family dog and was heading for one of the kids (or her).." or something like that.

A tougher mindset might help. I would also check out her grip very closely first to see if she is using both hands to full advantage, and maybe coach her on the psychological elements of flinching and the "mechanics" of recoil.

If it is the sharp "crack" of the 9mm that has upset her nerves, and she can not overcome it, I would consider a 4" steel .38 revolver. If you do happen to consider a .380 semi-auto, I would steer clear of the straight blowback types like the Walther, etc - they have surprizingly sharp recoil because of their light weight and strong recoil springs. Better are the locked breech type like the Colt Mustang etc (the "mini" 1911's).

Rather than sell the 9mm - I would keep it for the time she may "grow" into it later - not worry about it, and carry on
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
I feel for you. It took me 4 years to get my wife from anti-gun to one in every room. Lots of practice time too. One word-PATIENCE!
keep the 9mm, get soft shooting standard 115gr(I use Federal 9BP load for my wife). I agree with LAK. You must tell her how important it is. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
I really don't think there was any way to predict the reaction that occured. It is not uncommon.

My wife had a similar experience with a .38 Ruger I bought for her to use. The first time she fired it was in an indoor range. The enclosure made things much worse.

Just give her time. Take her along to watch you shoot. Today my wife (and 9 year old daughter) shoots IPSC with me. The wife has shot a .45 Glock for about the last year, until I moved her up to a 38 Super +P compensated 1911 (talk about LOUD!). The little girl has fired the .45, but is recoil averse and doesn't like "light" triggers. So she shoots her Ruger 22/45 for fun.

If there's one thing I have learned in 40-something years (and there may only be "1" thing) you can't rush the girls into things and get the results you're hoping for. My young bride probably went to the range "just to watch" for over a year before the day came that she had her mind right and wanted to play. When it happened, she shot a match that finished in bad weather complete with howling wind, lightning, rain and hail. There wasn't any stopping her; noise and recoil were no issue.

Be patient. Don't beat yourself or her over the event. Keep going to the range and having fun. It worked for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Allen,

Light, short-barreled guns, even in 9mm, are snappy and generally not pleasant to shoot. Their main purpose is concealability not plinking for fun. I had a 9mm Kahr E9 that was so snappy that a friend's wife (who wasn't a novice) shot it and put in right down. These kinds of guns are generally not a good choice for beginning shooters.

My suggestion is to either trade the Taurus in or buy another gun, this time in a heavier large frame model. One good and cheap soft-shooting semi is the Ruger P95. It's less than $300 new and a whole lot less used. The full size Taurus PT99 (Beretta) is another good choice. The bottom line is that if she's afraid of the gun or doesn't like it, she won't shoot it, no matter what you say or do.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,948 Posts
My wife was literally in tears the first time we went to the range together. She had never shot a gun before. Unfortunately, I let her try my .45 for her first shot. She was crying and trembling a little bit, but squeezed the shot off. Then she set the gun down, turned around and sobbed a little more. I was just about to start packing up, when she said between sniffs that she wanted to try it once more! She then emptied the mag into the A-zone at 7 yds.

My wife was strong enough to confront and defeat her own fears. She simply rationalized (as pointed out above), that the recoil DOES NOT HURT, and it is the muzzle blast that is more uncomfortable than anything.

Make sure your wife has good hearing protection, and start with a .22 if possible.

My wife can shoot .45's all day now, but prefers to shoot the Glock in 9mm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
498 Posts
FWIW, I've found the 9mms to have a much SHARPER recoil compared to a .45. Much more of a snap than a thump if you get my perception. My wife positively hates my Sig 9mm's (228 and 239). Took her out with a gvmt model .45 and light bullseye loads and she fell in love with my Colt (err, I mean HER colt), this was before I worked up some ultra light 9mms but she still has no interest. Now she's happy with full power hardball or even the +P Federal EFMJ's for defense. On to my point. If you (or a VERY trusted friend) reload, cook up some super wimp loads that will just barely cycle the action (for either 9mm or the 45) and let her play with them. I can tell you from experience that a 200 gr 45 with 3.6 gr of Clays and a 16lb spring in a Colt is a VERY pleasant load and an excellent way to introduce a newbe to big bore stuff...If you want to know my load for 9mm, sorry, it's a 122 gr lead FP with a load of Unique that's slightly under minimum book loads. (sorry but I won't post the charge wt, you've just gotta work down for a load in your gun) BTW, it's not too unusual for newbies to like shooting revolvers more than semi's, that slide cycling seems to somehow contribute to more percieved recoil.

Other's have mentioned, proper grip, hearing protection, shooting with 'attitude' and these all help do well. try this before getting rid of a pistol that fits her hands (a critically important feature in my opinion), take her back to the range with good hearing protection, put a bad-guy target up at 3-5yds and tell her to double-tap him COM just like she would if he was attacking her. Bet she'll hammer a pair and ask what happened to the pistols kick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
841 Posts
I agree with the guys saying the 9mm in a short barreled action is a lot snappier and louder than a mildly loaded 45 ACP in a full sized pistol. It just sounds like she needs to acclimate herself to the recoil, muzzle blast, and muzzle flip. It is a very intimidating thing to handle something that you may already have a fear of.....and then to try it and find it scares the hell out of you is a really bad way to proceed.

I don't feel the lightweight shorty pistols are good for entry level pistoleros. I say that from experience as I had shot nothing but a Ruger MK II 22 lr (and was good at it)for about a year before getting my first 9mm pistol (S&W 669). For those that don't know, the 669 is a shorty 12 shot alloyed frame auto. I instantly went from a good shot to a horrible shot (no wussy jokes please). The huge jump in recoil, muzzle flip, and muzzle blast was just too much for me at that time. I developed major flinching.

I went to the range some time later and was lucky enough to be next to a guy shooting a Gold Cup 45. I commented how good his groups were and we started to talk. He let me fire off a couple magazines full of his light target loads and WOW!! I was hooked. The pistol didn't beat me up and the groups I shot actually shocked me with how tight they were. It finally dawned on me that the violent behavior of the smaller lighter 9mm was causing me to flinch in a big way.

I sold the 9mm right away and bought......you guessed it a Colt Gold Cup. I started to load light 200 grain SWC loads and have developed to the point where I can now shoot the sharper recoiling pistols and not be as quickly worn out by their sharper recoil.

So for myself, a heavier pistol and a lighter load made a very big difference in the beginning.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
With proper fundamentals, there is virtually no handgun made that is uncontrollable but there are some that are less pleasant than others. I routinely demonstrate to new shooters that you can shoot a full size gun with only 2 fingers on the grip and maintain accuracy and control. Always start new shooters with a .22 and let them work up to more potent calibers. This reduces the fear factor & helps prevent developing a flinch. Good luck.

David Blinder
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Patience! Patience! Patience!

We started with my Colt Woodsman in 22 LR. Worked on trigger control, sight alignment, etc. Moved to a Colt Combat Target in 45 ACP, with the same drills. The time came were she wanted power in a small package (something to fit in her pocket book). I ordered her a S&W mod 60 SS snubby in 357 mag. Well needless to say the first time out with the Smith, I received the same results! The basic problem was the "bite" in the web of her hand. I got her a shooting glove and more live fire. This helped the problem. Then one day she said to me "It's kinda plain looking"! Living 30 minutes from Smith & Wesson at the time I took it up and had it "laser engraved" (90% barrel, cylinder, etc). They did a great job and she loves the grizzly bear on the frame. It seems in this case that pretty and power go together. She's not only happy with it but it saved her butt one day at work. A malcontent came into her place of business one day, obviously high, and looking to start some trouble (she was alone)! When she couldn't convince the sh*t for brains to leave, and it seemed that he would get physical, out of her desk drawer came the "grizzly". There are still sneaker tracks where this guy left rubber leaving the office!

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
I introduced my wife to pistol shooting with my S&W M41 target pistol. For her, it is big, heavy, accurate, and comfortable to shoot. It was very important to her that she was actually able to hit targets. We started at 10 yards on plates (plates make good beginning targets because they do something when you hit them). As she got better, we moved further and further back. Now when we go shooting, she runs through a brick of .22's at 25 yards and I am kept pretty busy resetting targets for her.

She has tried all of my handguns, but really likes shooting the .22's. She is more accurate with them and that seems to make all the difference.

I wouldn't worry about buying a gun and later discovering that you don't like it. I'm sure all gun owners have done it at one time or another. Guns don't usually depreciate quickly and can always be traded towards another gun later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
To start with, you need to get out of those Chevys...hehehe couldn't resist. Don't want to start a "Car War" here. I've had a 6-71 blown '73 Z-28 and now a '66 GT mustang fastback (note handle: ScottsGT) anyhow, rent her a Desert Eagle .50 load one bullet in it and let her shoot it. She'll be crying for her 9 back! But as others mentioned, patience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,646 Posts
"What did I do wrong and what can I do to fix it?" This has been the eternal question of men since we crawled out of the tide pool. I suggest flowers and candy....don't know why they work so well but they tend to cloud all else in the frontal lobes. Always have jewelery as a back-up (as a gun owner, you know the importance of a back-up)but only use it if she doesn't throw her arms around you after the other two gifts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
Hey Chevy,
The guys here have just about said it all but I would like to add that she ought to feel a Sig p232. It is perhaps the best ergonomically built handgun. They are built to fit the hand of anyone, especially a woman's. She just may fall in love with it.

Worth a look,
Regards,
Galileo
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,082 Posts
Women I've noticed are'nt really loving of shooting. They want the gun for an emergency. But don't want the thing banging and bouncing unless absolute disaster strikes. We are the gun people the women are just wanting one left behind incase. And maybe that is enough. Don't get her scared, let her shoot a .22. Easily better accuracy and confidence builder. But leave the .38 because a tight adrenaline grip would have no problems with the feather light .38 Special. Which is a bouncer in most peoples hand. And a bad choice on your part for a women you wanted to target shoot it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
My wife doesn't like 9mm either. She's fired my Ruger P-85 a couple of times, and just doesn't like it, mainly because of the trigger pull. She can shoot her .357mag Taurus revolver for quite a while with full house factory loads (expensive). And she likes shooting my Kimber. She'll like it even more once I get some target loads dialed in.

Part of her problem in not liking the P-85, (and, yes, we did discuss it) aside from the trigger pull, is you have a very light frame with a big steel slide. Part of her dislike was from firing a "top-heavy" gun. And, that the brass had a tendancy to bounce off the top of her head...
I'm hoping this doesn't crop up with her shooting the Kimber (or, maybe I am, so it doesn't become "her" gun
)

Chevy, you might want to ask at the dealer if he has some lighter 9mm rounds. By lighter, I mean less powerful. If she was shooting regular store-boughten ammo, yeah, I can see where it might have a really good snap to it, especially with a gun as small as the millenium. Them things just don't seem to have a lot of mass to them for comfortable shooting. I've found that the larger and heavier the gun is, the lighter the recoil feels. I've fired my wife's Taurus 608 revolver with a light target load in .38 spl., and it's downright comfy. When I shot the same load through a .38 spl snubbie, it was awfully snappy and sharp.

Wondering out loud...Maybe she should try wearing a shooting glove? hmmm

Best,
-- John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all of your input. I'm going to try to find some lighter loads for her, but it sounds like I may end up finding her a heavier medium frame revolver. Any suggestions on the revolver, so I can see what I'm looking for?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,204 Posts
Used K frame S&W in .38 Special. 4" barrel.

From the title of the thread I thought you let your wife shoot your 1911 and now you can't get it back. Seen that happen a few times.

------------------
Ne Conjuge Nobiscum
MOLON LABE
Leonidas c 480 BC
FFF

[This message has been edited by Jim V (edited 10-28-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Try loading only one round in the magazine at a time. This will lock the slide to the rear with each shot and will change the felt recoil. I did this for a friends wife for about ten rounds, then two rounds so that she felt confident that the gun wouldn't keep firing uncontrollably. That was her fear at first. Now she out shoots her husband.

------------------
Guns cause crime like spoons cause Rosie O'Donnell to be fat!

I hunt, therefore I am.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top