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Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:44 pm
by angie_nrs
I went shopping for a pistol today for a good conceal gun. I have a S&W Air weight that is too bulky/heavy for me to comfortably carry every day. So, I'm not really liking the revolvers for carry. I've also used a 9mm Gloc and Ruger SR9C and they are too big to comfortably carry for me. I'd carry on my hip when I walk the property, but it wouldn't be something I would feel comfortable in public with. I also struggle sometimes with the slides. I have strong arms, but small wrists and weak hand grip and get sweaty hands when stressed. You should see me at the dentist. :rolleyes:

I went shopping today and spoke with a less than helpful salesman so I didn't really get anywhere. I left with nothing. I'd like something small like a Ruger .380 or the LC9 but had some trouble with the slides on those as well. I liked the size and narrowness of both and would be more likely to carry something of that size. However, I really don't want to struggle with the slide, especially if I should need it. I'm not overly experienced with guns. I'll admit that I don't practice nearly as much as I should. I've also never shot a .380 but have some experience with 38 and 9mm. I don't know if that makes much difference or not.

I really don't want a .22. I already have one. Price is always a consideration, but if it was a gun that I felt completely comfortable with, I'd spend the money. So in conclusion I'm looking for a small carry pistol that is easily concealed, light, and not bulky. I'm looking for .380, 38, or 9mm. I'm also looking for ease of use......most notably an easy to handle slide if a semi-auto.

There is no place in my neck of the woods to shoot before you buy. You can handle before you buy, but that's it. I also don't know anyone that has a .380 or a LC9 or any other smaller gun that I could try before I buy. That said, anyone have any suggestions?

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:23 pm
by IceFire
As a woman with small hands, I have some experience in this area. I have a couple of 9mm pistols. One is a Kahr CW9; the other is a Kimber Solo Carry 9. They are both nice and compact, and conceal well. The Kimber is a bit pricier, than the Kahr, but both are VERY nice. The Kahr is probably just a bit slimmer than the Kimber.

For working the slide, instead of trying to pull it back (which is what MOST people would do) instead try HOLDING the slide, and PUSHING the rest of the gun FORWARD. I think you'll find that method works better for you.

I personally can't stand the Glocks. As small as my hands are, they are like holding a brick...I can't get a good grip on them, as my hand won't "wrap" around it. The Kahr and Kimber, however, are slim enough that getting a good grip is NO problem whatsoever.

Hope this helps.

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:27 pm
by arkieready
I have both lcp and lc9. Lcp fits poorly in women's pants pockets(can hardly conceal a quarter in women's pants pockets), but does go in. It get lost in my men's shorts pockets ( men get cavernous pockets). I can conceal it in the flash bang bra holster. Not flat chested or boy built.
My 9 I can carry in a jacket pocket, or iwb if I'm wearing a sweater. I'm kinda pudgy and have a very short waist.
The slide thing. Are you pulling or pushing? Out in front or using your chest to support your forearms? I have very bad wrists and often numb-ish thumbs and fingers and I can do it. I don't pinch it with my fingers and thumb, I more use a monkey grip (?)
It would be nice if you knew someone with those guns near you to let you try. Gun club? CCW instructor? Gun shop owner? I would if you were near me.
I exercised my own judgement, contrary to DH's recommendations (lol) and not sorry. He'd have me carry a glock or a revolver in weird sizes. When I holstered his weapon on me the way he carries, I looked like a, um, "gifted" man. To much firearm for my britches.
My musings.

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:30 pm
by arkieready
Ice, you posted while I was, too. The solo is sweet and sexy. I waited on the call list for 8 months and bought the ruger a couple days before they called me about the solo. LC9 was much less $$$ and very nice.

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:14 am
by Photon Guy
You should check out a gun shop that has lots of handguns that you can take a look at. Even better would be if the gun shop has a shooting range and if they rent out guns that you can try. In PA they've got The Heritage Guild where you can do that. I don't know if you're in or near PA but if there's a Cabela's not far from you they've got good selections. Bass Pro can have good selections too although you will usually find more guns at a Cabela's as Bass Pro is more oriented towards fishing. Like I said, its a good idea if you can, to find a shooting range where they rent out guns that you can try. You say you prefer a semi auto over a revolver, so if you can find a shooting range that has a wide selection of semi autos to choose from that's what I would recommend. If you're in or near PA, aside from Heritage Guild, I can give you good links to other good ranges and shops.

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:37 am
by angie_nrs
Thanks so much for the replies! They were very helpful.

As far as trying before you buy.....I knew I'd get that response. I get it, really I do. But that is just not an option where I'm at. If that was an option, I probably wouldn't have bought my Air weight. It still has a place in my life. It's just not what I was hoping for. So, it's not a complete waste. No matter what I get, I'll put it to use. But, this time I really want a conceal pistol.

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:01 pm
by Photon Guy
angie_nrs wrote:Thanks so much for the replies! They were very helpful.

As far as trying before you buy.....I knew I'd get that response. I get it, really I do. But that is just not an option where I'm at. If that was an option, I probably wouldn't have bought my Air weight. It still has a place in my life. It's just not what I was hoping for. So, it's not a complete waste. No matter what I get, I'll put it to use. But, this time I really want a conceal pistol.


So where are you at? What state? Most of the states that aren't super liberal will have shooting ranges where you can try out all different sorts of guns. If there aren't any such ranges around where you live you could travel. I would like to help as best as I can.

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:35 pm
by Fullmoon
One other aspect of selection is the cost of ammunition. Store bought 380 ammo costs almost twice as much as 9mm does.

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:27 pm
by arkieready
Is there a gun range nearby? Even if they don't rent they should be willing to try to help you find resources.
Maybe an ad on armslist.com to meet at a gun range. An ad to join a ladies shooting group? Call a ccw instructor, maybe he can help

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:23 am
by Hiker72
My girlfriend went with the Ruger LCR, then got a Glock 43. She likes the Glock, but is also thinking about getting the Ruger LCP 2.

My ex went with the S&W air weight as well, and she regularly shoots the S&W M&P Shield and MP9 Compact that our sons have.

Both my ex and girlfriend have weak wrists/hand grip and said they had trouble working a semi-automatic pistol. It's been my experience that this is generally a training issue, and both have received the needed training to remedy that.

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:33 pm
by BK in KC
I'd recommend a single-stack 9mm. There are several good ones on the market, pick one that fit's your hand and feels comfortable. A few recommended models:

    Ruger LC9S
    Glock 43
    Kahr CM9
    Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield

You can't go wrong with any of those.

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:08 pm
by koeelvry
Take a look at the Taurus model 709 Slim. I bought one for under $200.00 and it shoots great. It's lightweight and about the same size as my J frame Smith but much thinner. The slide isn't anywhere near as stiff to manipulate as the little 380s and it's not much bigger.

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:28 pm
by MrDanB
My wife likes her Kahr cw9. It's a good fit for small hands. Being able to grip your pistol correctly is crucial! Going to a local pawn shop or gun shop and just gripping them in your hands you will know pretty quick which ones feel "right". I like all of my guns, but I enjoy shooting a 1970s S&W 9mm double stacker I bought on a whim for $350. It fits my hands perfectly and has less recoil due to its heavy weight. I am very accurate with it. Good luck in your search!! Dan

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:03 pm
by Legion489
Go to as many gunshows, gun shops, pistol shoots (IPSC, cowboy, IDPA, target, whatever you can find in easy driving distance) and go watch. Soon all the guys will come around and ask about you. Tell them you are interested in small carry pistols and dollars to donuts someone will have what you are look at/for and will let you shoot it. Don't worry, where everyone is armed it is very polite!

It doesn't matter what anyone else carries, or what someone else likes, what feels good to YOU! What can YOU carry easily? What do you like?

As always, knowledge is your friend. Go to the local library and get books on guns for women, concealment for women, concealable handguns, etc. The library doesn't have any? Get them through the interlibrary loan system and real them all! Then request the library buy the better ones!

LOTS of sites on the net that are set up for women shooters, for women by women. Read them and see what they have to say.

Last but not least, look at some concealed carry clothes! Clothes designed for concealed carry and not the "Shoot me first" vest.

Re: Recommend a good conceal pistol for a female

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:51 am
by Justice Is Free
Since there hasnt been much suggested that is lighter or smaller than the S&W 38 you already own I suggest you just keep using it. However its a consumers world. Good luck.