Wanted: Semi-auto handgun recommendations

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Motomom34, Dec 7, 2017.


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  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    After much thought I have decided to trade in my Walther PK380. I no longer have faith in it. Yes, it works but after the safety issue plus it is real finicky on what ammo you feed through it, I realized I do not want to shoot it. I lost confidence that it would do the job when I needed it to. I am now debating do I get another 380 just different manufacture or go for a different gun all together.

    The things I really liked about the Walther were:
    Weight- very light
    Size- compact and easily fits in my purse
    Slide- very easy, even on days when I was having wrist pain, I could still work it

    Dislikes:
    Ammo snob- picky in what it will shoot
    Key/tool to take it apart (lose it and you cannot clean your gun)
    Factory did fix the safety but I no longer have confidence in it

    I was reading this review and I agreed with all the good, bad and ugly assessment Gun Review: Walther PK380: Guns.com finds the Good, Bad and Ugly about it - Guns.com

    I want to find a new handgun that will have the things I really liked about the Walther without the issues. The biggest issue with getting a new handgun is finding a slide I can work easily on days when my wrist is acting up. Mostly my wrist is fine but I want to make sure I can rack it when needed.

    So I am researching and will be going to the range and testing new handguns. Any suggestions?
     
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  2. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    S&W Stealth in 9mm if it fits your hand.
    or try a Sig 290RS in 9mm, is what wifey carries, it's too small for my hand.
    Why 9mm, same size as a .380, 38 special, 357, why not... More availability, NATO standard.

    I like my Stealth, I have the one without the safety, so that would solve your safety problem.

    Rancher
     
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  3. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    S&W Bodyguard .380 is what my wife uses when her wardrobe doesn't allow larger. Ammo variances seem to affect accuracy more than reliability.
    ETA: wife has a section of bone missing in her wrist, so being able to charge the weapon was a large selling point...but as others have mentioned, trying each perspective weapon is going to be the best route.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Looks like a few hours visiting gun shops and handling a few to see if your wrist likes one better than another. Then, variable wrists may not be too awful critical if you carry condition 2 or 1 that don't require your wrist when carrying. As long as there's a hold open on the last shot, anyway.

    Go Sig, you'll never go back, regardless of the caliber you want to use. (Plus it is designed to rack the slide on any convenient edge, like a doorway or counter top.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  5. apache235

    apache235 Monkey+++

    You "might" want to think wheel gun such as a J frame S&W. Yes, it's only 5 shot, but they carry well, you don't have to rack the slide, no safety. Reloading is much slower even with speed loader although if you have problems (my wife does) of loading a magazine, stuffing a wheel gun is a lot easier. If you are in a situation where 5 rounds may be problematic, then you might want to re-think the whole small handgun thing anyway. The .38 special with the 95gr Hornady Critical Defense Lite is a nice shooting round and even out of the Airweight S&W has a very manageable recoil. I'm not a huge revolver fan, but they do have their place and in some cases are a better choice than an auto. For a BUG, I actually prefer the small revolver over a small auto, as for accuracy I can hit steel at 100 yards with a 3" S&W M60 in .357. Granted my hand is a little shaky after a dozen full power .357's which is why I carry a lightly loaded .357 (which is still more powerful than a .38 special). In the little guns the Hornady is the ammunition of choice. Normal carry, CZ P01 in 9mm or the lighter CZ P07.
     
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  6. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    Another vote for the Sig P290rs, it’s my EDC and I have considerable faith in it! I have never had a fumble with it! No safety at all since it’s DAO!
    I recommend 9mm over the .380 as a general guideline. The 9mm is available in a wide variety, practice ammo is cheap and the difference in recoil is minimal. My P290rs is pretty pleasant to shoot and I shoot it every time I go to my gun club, not something I did with the .380s I’ve carried.
    Here’s mine with the factory laser. BTW, it has excellent night sights!
    4BDDD997-531E-40F2-BF34-BA14D8C94B41.
     
  7. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    As a direct replacement for the Walther, I would recommend the Glock 43 (9mm) (~$500-$530) and I would also look at the S&W MP Shield (~$470). The M&P line has received excellent reviews, is priced a bit lower than the Glocks, and the Shield magazine carries one extra round (7) more than the G43 (6). I have never own any M&P so I cannot give a personal recommendation, all I know is what I have heard/read, but everything I have read and heard has been good. Personally, I would have no doubt with purchasing a Shield. I do know my colleague who shoots a Shield and I have never seen him have a problem on the range with it. I have shot it and actually find the grip and balance better than my G43. For a purse gun, I can think of nothing better than these two.

    However, I do have lots of experience with Glocks. They will shoot any and all ammo you feed them, no problem. They are extremely easy to maintain and clean. Stand up to abuse. Are extremely reliable and lightweight. And, there are lots of accessories available. There are many that do not like the 'plastic guns' but I am not one of them. My Glocks do what I ask each and every time I ask so I have no complaints and will continue with them.

    I understand your problem concerning the slide as my wife had the same problem with a Kahr P9. I finally had to sell the Kahr even though it was the perfect carry pistol for her simply because she could not work the slide in a reasonable fashion, she had to struggle with it. In all honesty, what you will have to do is go to a gun store that carries both guns and try racking the slides. It is the ONLY way to know for sure. BTW my wife, who is rather petite, racks the G43 slide easily.

    I am assuming that you have been taught the push-pull method of racking the slide as it does help somewhat. It is simply pushing with the pistol grip with one hand and pulling back on the slide with the other as opposed to simply pulling the slide and holding. Sometimes this is enough but it didn't work for my wife so...

    EDIT: Yes, I also recommend getting off the .380 and onto the 9mm for all the reasons listed. It's just good sense...
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  8. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I have a sig p232.
    It shoots everything, my reloads, any factory ammo. I never tried more than about 1 of the super pricy boutique ammo. No special tool to take it apart.
    I don't recall ever having it malfunction on me.
    It doesn't have a manual safety which I like. It freakssome people out.
    The only thing I didn't care for is the heel clip magazine holder. But I guess with a little gun like that you don't really need one.
     
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  9. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Yes - 9mm is the smallest round I can also recommend for self defense.

    What's that bench?
     
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  10. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Take a close look at the S&W M&P line, especially the shield for concealed carry. They are inexpensive, reliable, and shoot well. They also have the lightest charging force of the pistols my wife and I found when we went shopping. This makes it easier to load especially during a stressful situation where your hands might be sweaty (or muddy) and for those with nice nails like Mrs. 3M. They also come with and without frame safeties in addition to the trigger safety.

    I've standardized on this line to keep the battery of arms the same for all semi auto pistols - full size .22, full size 9mm, and a shield for each of us.

    The Shield is my personal favorite. Somehow they managed to keep the felt recoil lower on those model than the full size version. It also shoots very accurately at pistol ranges. Mrs. 3M is getting a Crimson Trace for hers for Christmas this year - it was on her list :)
     
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  11. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I will never own a S&W semi auto pistol.
     
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Look at the Ruger LC9....
     
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  13. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    That is a really small one, smaller then my 380. How is the recoil on it?
     
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  14. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Like this that can be racked on an edge. That is a good thing because if one hand is injured, you can still do it. Interesting that so many like Sigs, I will have to call the gun shop to see if they have them to demo.

    Really, bad experience? Makes me very curious.
     
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  15. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I already knew not to buy smith autos.
    Then I saw a semi auto smith 22lr pistol not cycle at all, it was a single shot semi auto, I believe the ammo was thunderbolts, cci probably mini mag and winchester ammo.
    Then one of their 45acp pistols broke the first time it was fired in such a way that the unfired round was stuck in the chamber and could not be ejected.
    Pretty spectacular failures for new guns.
     
  16. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    How long ago was this and do you recall what models? So far I have 4 M&P's with hundreds of rounds through each. No FTF's, jams, extraction issues, etc.. I have zero issues trusting my life to any of them.
     
  17. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Give the Beretta Cougar a look! I bought one for my self and my Bride liked it so much she swiped it and told me to get one for my self.
    Also give the Taurus 24/7 compact a look. Both are very nice and fit well for carry.
    I would look at 9 MM as the minimum and find what ever fits and you can cycle.
    Others i can recommend. S&W shield, Kimber solo compact, kimber ultra carry II ether 9 mm or .45, Star compact 9 mm, and for shots and giggles a CZ 82, a little challnging to find ammo for, but well worth it. Ruger LCP is another good choice. Keep in mind, the small compacts are going to have stiffer springs which makes them more difficult to cycle. Also, many have very stiff mag springs which makes them difficult to load. For a semi compact, any of the name brand 1911 officers models would make excellet choices and can be found in both 9 MM and .45! They are a little on the heavy side because they are all steel, but they are as reliable as any and pretty simple to operate and thehvtend to be pretty easy to cycle the slide and to load mags.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  18. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Kahr PM9/CW9. Light, narrow, 9mm +P, no tools disassembly, easy slide operation, no external safety. Not cheap, although the CW9 is easier on the wallet than the PM9.

    I've carried one with the black diamond finish every day for more than 10 years. It just shoots better and better. Very comfortable, instinctive pointing firearm (for me). No safety to worry about being on when you have no time to think about it.

    I have had one experienced lady shooter try it and not like the recoil. She is very slim, and has hands so small that her Glock 17 has the grips ground down almost to the frame. I find the recoil comfortable, and shooting rapidly and accurately to be easy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  19. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    PMR30. This is a whole different animal, and a different way of thinking about armed self defense. 30 rounds of .22 magnum is some serious deterrent. I've heard that the .22 magnum isn't a "man stopper" in the traditional sense... but it will hurt a bad guy so bad he'll want to stop.

    Really comfortable small grip, little recoil, although there is a tremendous fireball at the muzzle. Traditional thumb safety. I carry 90 rounds loaded in three magazines to steel plate shoots and have yet to need a reload on any stage.
     
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  20. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Those 2 smith autos failed I think it was 2014 or 2015.
    I don't' know what models that failed were, as far as I'm concerned that's all I ever need to know about smith autos.
     
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