A compact DAO 9mm with easy to rack slide for a woman?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by JLStorm, Mar 21, 2007.

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  1. JLStorm

    JLStorm Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    My wife carries a 2" .38 snubby now, but ammo capacity is an issue. She does not practice reloading like she should, and she is not worried about having only 5 shots, but I guess being surrounded by gun culture, ammo capacity is always an issue in my mind.

    She likes the revolver (S&W 640) because its easy to use, goes bang when she pulls the trigger, has no safety to get in the way, and has a heavy enough trigger pull that she doesnt worry about not having a safety (I know, finger off the trigger...she is new to guns and still comes up with the "what if" scenarios :rolleyes: ) She also thinks its very pretty, which means a lot to her. the 2" .38 does have a hell of a kick for her and she knows it, which is another reason a 9mm may appeal to her more if she can find one she likes.

    I want her to try a gun with the following features:

    • DA or DAO
    • No external safeties or weird grip safeties
    • 9mm
    • compact or sub compact, but something that will allow at least three fingers on the grip
    • an easy to rack slide <---very important to her and her main reason for avoiding a semi auto

    Cost isnt an issue, dependability is, its hard to compare a semi auto to a revolver in terms of dependability and she knows it, so if she is going to convert the .38 to a BUG, she wants something that will go bang every time just like the revolver.

    I can get her to the gun store, but the last thing she wants to do is stand around and handle various guns, so if I could get a list of 4 or 5 semi autos for her to try that would really help.
  2. Rumble

    Rumble Member

    Dec 15, 2005
    Indiana, PA
    I don't know how to quantify "easy to rack." But as far as the other requirements go, the Glock 26 seems to fit the bill precisely.
  3. Whirlwind06

    Whirlwind06 Member

    Feb 20, 2006
    North East Ohio
    Kel-Tec P11 comes to mind. Pretty much a bottom feeding revolver. :)
    Won't win many beauty contests though.
    I don't find the slide to difficult to rack. But that is a relative thing.

    The Kahr 9mm also comes to mind.
    They might fit the "must be pretty" requirement :)
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
  4. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

    Oct 17, 2003
    Clemson, SC
    If she can't rack a slide easily, maybe her best solution would be to practice reloading her revolver, and use standard pressure ammo to keep the recoil down.

    Or she could go for a G26, and just leave it loaded all the time... no need to rack the slide frequently. The only time my carry gun gets unloaded is when I'm switching out ammo to head for the range, or cleaning after returning from the range. It won't meet the pretty requirement, but it should recoil less and has more capacity. Maybe go for a 19 if she wants something a little bigger, or maybe a Sig 239 if she thinks the Glock trigger is too light?
  5. forrestd

    forrestd Member

    Mar 28, 2006
    Cocking the hammer before pulling back the slide can make a difference. You might have her try that if she's going with a model that has an external hammer. Though cycling in a new round manually in case of a light primer strike might be an issue. Or have her do more hand strengthening exercises.
  6. Jkwas

    Jkwas Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    Boca Raton Fl. "The Gunshine State"
    My wife started off the the Taurus MilPro pt111. Slide racks easily, nice trigger, ergo grip, light recoil etc. Shoots it very well. Only problem.... It has a manual safety. Doesn't fit your criteria. Now she carries a revolver like your wife. She looked at the keltecs, but was befuddled by it's manual of arms.
  7. creitzel

    creitzel Member

    Jan 24, 2006
    South East Michigan
    I know it's not DAO, but you might consider having her try the Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM compact.

    My wife has the service model, and I have the compact model. We both like both of them. The service model can be a little hard to conceal though. My wife has no problems racking the slides on either of them.

    You also might consider having her check out Pax's site. She's got a great page on there about racking the slide. My mother found it very helpful, as she too had trouble racking the slides on semi-autos. Here's a link: http://www.corneredcat.com/RunGun/rack.aspx
  8. copaup

    copaup Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    Memphis TN
    She likes the revolver. She carries the revolver. Buy her some speedloaders for the revolver and let her practice reloads. 5 rds is plenty for 99% of any non LEO shooting scenario. She's not going to look to engage armed robbers in a running gun battle. If she needs it, its going to be up close and she'll probably run out of time before she runs out of ammo.

    Compact 9mms generally have heavy recoil springs and the small slides of the compacts don't give you a lot of leverage or gripping room. If SHE wants to try some compact autos tell her to grip the slide with one hand firmly with the elbow locked out and to push the frame forward with the hand holding the grip while holding the slide stationary. The added leverage on the grip and the stronger muscle groups involved will help rack the slide.

    Compact 9mms also have rather brisk recoil of their own. I've owned several at one time or another. The ones I recommend are the Kahr MK9 (not the PM9, I had problems with mine eating its own frame rails), the Glock 26, and the Smith and Wesson 3953 (if you can find one, no you can't have mine). CZ also makes a pretty good compact, but it is a good bit bigger and heavier than the ones I listed. While I do like the Kel Tec 3at, I do not like the P11, as I had one spontaneously disassemble itself while shooting.

    I'm a cop in what is considered the second worst city in the country to live in right now. Off duty, the gun I carry most often is a Smith and Wesson J frame loaded with Corbon DPX, a speedloader, and maybe a speed strip with 5 more rounds in my back pocket. The little J is small enough to fit in a pocket, light enough to forget it is there, reliable enough to count on, and powerful enough to be decisive as long as I do my part.

    Her carrying a gun at all is a good thing. Let her carry what she likes and trusts. The 5 rds in the J frame on her is far better than the 31 rds in the Glock 19 and spare mag she left in the glove box.

    Reading over what I just wrote, it may come off a bit harsher than I mean it. I'm not trying to come down on you any, just be helpful. My wife loves to shoot my USP in 45, has no problem with my 229 in 40, but absolutely hated shooting my Kahr and my PPK due to the snappiness of the recoil and fighting the slide when clearing malfunctions (common until she quit limpwristing the little guns). Heck, I have problems sometimes clearing the PPK. That is a tiny little slide with a really short stroke.
  9. mjrodney

    mjrodney Member

    Jul 11, 2006
    SW Florida
    Copaup wrote
    For more years than I would like to count, I've been buyin' and tryin' the latest on the market, and I always come back to my J-Frame.

    You have summarized very well, Copaup, why this model continues to be a valid defensive tool.
  10. Mandirigma

    Mandirigma Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    Lucidity, Texas
    .....oops creitzel already got pax's site up.

    Send your wife over that a way.

    As for the gun. G26 with +1 grip extenders (allowing the third finger). That'll give her 11-12 ( +/-1 pipe), which is twice what the 5 shot is, and the option to slap a full sized mag into it (+17). Or she can BUG the 642 and NY reload.

    But as copaup says 5 on person better than any others left in the car :)
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  11. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

    Feb 13, 2006
    In the land of make believe.
    Tell her to try an HK P2000sk. Its a great gun. Try it with the LEM trigger and I guarantee she will fall in love. It is a 10 + 1 easy recoiling 9mm. It is an excellent shooter. And most importantly...

    it is an HK.:evil:
  12. JLStorm

    JLStorm Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    I own the HK P2000SK in .40 LEM and I absolutely love it, I thought of the P2ksk initially, but I need to find a range that rents on in 9mm to see if she likes it and if she can rack the slide...I dont think she would like the snap of .40.
  13. DennisE

    DennisE Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    A SIG 239 9mm. The DAK trigger is smoother, kinder than standard DAO, slide is easy to rack compared to most others, the gun is 'melted down' with no rough edges, and comes with a night sight on the front for low light situations. I love mine. Dennis
  14. pax

    pax Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Washington state
    If she is happy with the revolver, confident with it, and willing to practice with it, I see absolutely no reason to coerce her into getting something else simply to placate your fears. Buy her some speedloaders and have her take a class from someone who will teach her how to use them.

  15. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 25, 2002
    Down East in NC
    What Pax said.

    However, if she does decide that she wants something with a higher capacity, a Glock 26 with a New York trigger (8.5 lb, IIRC) or a New York Plus trigger (~12 lb) would seem to be just the ticket. The G26 takes 10-rounders that fit flush with the grip, but it will also use 15-round G19 mags:


    It is also factory rated for +P and +P+ ammunition, IIRC.

    I'd suggest the G19 to start with, but that might be too big for her to easily CCW is all.

    My wife has a G26 and the slide is very easy to cycle.
  16. outofbattery

    outofbattery Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    I'd suggest the P239 or S&W 3913 as my personal favorites in compact 9mm's.As has been said,if she shoots the J frame well,why change? _I_ find the SIG and Smith to be much,much easier guns to shoot but there is also a size and weight tradeoff.I only take the J frame as a coatpocket gun in the winter when there are too many layers between me and a holster as I don't shoot it particularly well.I have as much confidence in the gun and round but not as much in myself IRT actually placing the rounds but that's all very,very subjective.I'd say go to range and give them a try or perhaps there are some Highroaders who would be willing to let her give other pistols a try.
  17. Flopsy

    Flopsy Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    It seemed to me that you described a G26 or G19. My girlfriend has had troubles racking some semiautos, but had no problems with the Glocks.
  18. j2342

    j2342 Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    well jl you might want to rethink that one

    your wife is ready and willing to carry it and is unlikely to have a accidental discharge. That might be all one could hope for in a new to gun's wife? ;)

    My wife has weak and small hands and is recoil shy, so I have gone through this same scenario. I wish my wife would agree to reliably carry her snubbie.:banghead:

    That said i have had this same idea as you have. its only 5 rounds, well I think most shootings happen at 10 feet? or something rediculously close. I think no would be rapist or robber is going to stick around after the first shot probably wether it hits anything or not even. UNLESS she allows the person to close, technique training is good there, if a guy is close you dont extend your arms torward him. If the attacker is behind her she should turn to her her left if she shoots right handed, and vice vesra, so that the arm can not be grabbbed and gun removed or be held where its not usefull. I know some tactical as my son teaches at a local range. ok all that is just things she should know about how to handle whichever gun she is carrying in a really close qaurters exchange.

    if your asking which gun can she rack the slide on, my wife can really only work Glocks or things with no more resistance then a glock (which in any caliber is few). 22 slides she is usually able. and those flip up barrel guns make it so a woman need not rack the slide, but i consider them total crud not worthy of a self defense. I had a NAA and worked a lot of similars and few inspire confidence. The little 22auto like a SNW 422 but was made under another model number in a 2 inch version. I would carry but not with much confidence because we all know 22's :banghead: . I have a 22 taurus 94 9 shot and at least you can just pull the trigger again, but its not worthy of self defense as it has a horrible trigger and it likes the cases firmly in the cylinder. which walking around they would work loose over time. 6 shot one maybe fine as the geometry of the gun would not make the trigger so awkward. you have to fire one to understand its a variable trigger pull to be kind:(

    ok well let me get around to the topic.

    three guns basically come to mind.

    number1 glock 9mm sub compact or compact matters little in cocking ability ,someor major in capacity, concealablilty clearly the baby glock has a edge, the down side of the baby, is the grip angle, tends to leave most shooters natural hold trending upward and in a panic situation shots may go high, its weight and recoil may magnify this. I would highly recommend either the little pinky mag bottom for a 26 or the mags with that built in? as i like sticking with factory glock stuff, i would make one mag with the pinky grip and see if i like it and keep the other one stock. 19 or 19c if the space is around? is a great gun that even my wife found comfortable to shoot. I woudln't let her loose with one and to secure it to my liking its not a carry gun to me unless you can carry open, remember I am in SC and it can 110 in with 98% humidity so concealing is not easy here on the worst days of summer:fire:

    chioce 2 would be the new springfield EMP9 (9mm and 9 rounds) , i know you said no safeties, you know your wife and I know mine, this gun she could carry cocked and locked, you could cock it even if need be and again its about 10 rounds? and this gun has a wonderfull tigger and naturally points well. i know its not a DAO but its a workable answer to her need so i am putting it. safety you can flick with your thumb while drawing and start firing is a good thing in my mind:D

    choice 3 also does not exactly fit your question but may fill her need well. The little Sig 232 .380auto its the only sigarms that is niether boxy looking or a 1911 style gun, its debateable cocking wise and only gets you 2 rounds but it fits small hands (and oddly) big hands well, spreads recoil around well, it's trigger on initial pull is long, light, and smooth and pretty reasonable right out of the box. so A/D if you hit the trigger or grabbed it in emergency situation is very unlikely. I would go with some hot ammo on this one if you want it to hit like a 9mm. it is accurate as anything you could hope for in small guns.
    My Sig 229 is the only gun I think I have ever owned that had NEVER malfunctioned in anyway.(thousands of rounds) ever, no matter what its fed or anything else. I have had bad 38 ammo that locked up one of my smiths for a second and some other cheap range ammo for my 38s that after firing were hard to remove, so techincally my SIG has been even more reliable then my revolvers :what: but only because of cheap range ammo:cuss:

    I didn't forget about kahrs or hopefully any other great gun?, I own one :D and handled several and known several women who have tried them and didnt stick with them. I love my kahr but with one your not really picking up many rounds and the slides are usually hard for a woman and long but still pretty easy trigger with no safeties external. Kahr only gets you 2 rounds also in K9 not sure on the PM9?

    I know my post is kind of not on target with DAO and no safeties etc, but I having been all up and down your street. These are the only three semi-auto guns that I consider worthy of self defense when I consider all factors in my mind and I have owned or tried most the guns in this category looking for the perfect gun for a wife. I should put a star beside the springfiled EMP as I heard some of the new ones had some kinks and it is a new design and not time tested. The good news is she has a great gun allready, if you worry about capacity maybe have her carry a second 640 :neener: how about that after bundles of guns it still comes down to glock or not to glock :scrutiny:
  19. G95

    G95 Member

    Feb 8, 2007
    Southwest, USA
    i dont know if magnum research makes a compact DAO baby eagle but the slide on my full sized is extremely easy to rack and is the only auto my wife has no problem racking/locking back
  20. KingAirDriver

    KingAirDriver Member

    Jun 29, 2006
    Here's another vote for an HK... I've got a USPc 9mm and it's the ONLY gun my wife likes because it's the ONLY one she can operate the slide easily! I'm sure you know that they make all different variants, so you could probably find a DA w/o a safety or decocker that would work for her. :)
  21. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

    Jun 8, 2005
    Please explain why you would & the possible consequences of this action? :confused:
  22. strat81

    strat81 Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Assuming she is a healthy woman with no disabilities, there is no reason she can't rack the slide using proper technique. Pax's website gives good tips on this, I believe it's www.corneredcat.com.

    I carry a Glock 26 and am quite happy with it. The stock trigger is a bit light for my tastes, so I had a NY1 trigger installed. I don't consider a Glock DA or DAO since there is no second-strike capabilitiy. If you want DA/SA, check the CZ 2075 RAMI. It has a manual safety, but it can only be engaged in SA (so it can be carried cocked and locked).

    Otherwise, let her stick with the wheelgun. It's a fine choice in weapons.

    MICHAEL T Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    outback Kentucky
    3913 S&W Lady Smith 9mm just a little larger than a PPK/S DA/SA and mine has been a 100% from day one. This is my #1 carry in 9mm.
  24. Shipwreck

    Shipwreck Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    I am teaching my 67/68 year old mother to shoot to get her permit. She ended up buying my Bersa 380 from me - it was the only fairly cheap gun she could rack the slide on. She couldn't do a Glock, XD, Walther P99, Sig 239.

    She CAN do a fullsize or compact USP, for whatever reason. But, she didn't want to spend so much to buy an HK.

    I would suggest a USP compact - maybe with the LEM trigger if you don't want any safties. Someone else recommended the HK P2000. I don't know if it is as easy to pull back as the USP or USPc. U can try,
  25. MrTuffPaws

    MrTuffPaws Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    Another vote for the Taurus PT111 MilPro. They have moved on to SA/DA, but you should be able to still find the DAO models. It does have an external safety though, but it is easy to ignore and I have never had an issue with it engaging when I did not want it too.
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