Small-grip semi-auto handgun for personal defense

ChaosHokieChaosHokie New MemberPosts: 4 New Member
Hi all,

Long time lurker, first time poster....

Anyways, my wife's looking for a PD handgun, and wants a semi-auto. The problem is her hands are a bit small...for example, when shooting my 1911's with standard rubber grips, her main hand thumb sticks out 90 degrees from the plane of the gun, not parallel to it. She also does not like shooting my revolvers. She can handle the recoil for the .45ACP just fine.

So I'm thinking a single-stack 9mm or .40, but I want it to be a reliable gun, and potentially carry-able. The only one I can seem to find that isn't ridiculously expensive is something like the Kahr. It seems like all of the Sig's, Glocks, and XDs have huge grips. Would different grips on my 1911's be sufficient? Any other suggestions?

Replies

  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,468 Senior Member
    Any of the Kahr 9s, and Walther PPS would be great carry guns.

    If you want a 1911 style, there is the Springfield EMP with smaller frame. It is pricey though
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,052 Senior Member
    What kind of rubber grips, and is the mainspring housing arched or flat? Putting a set of Hogue grips with the finger grooves makes a 1911 very large.

    If you tried a set of slim-line grips and a flat mainspring housing you might be able to make the grip smaller for your wife. It will require slim-line grip bushings.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • ChaosHokieChaosHokie New Member Posts: 4 New Member
    What kind of rubber grips, and is the mainspring housing arched or flat? Putting a set of Hogue grips with the finger grooves makes a 1911 very large.
    Pearce grips with the modular wrap around, and a flat mainspring housing.
    If you tried a set of slim-line grips and a flat mainspring housing you might be able to make the grip smaller for your wife. It will require slim-line grip bushings.

    So from what I've read, that reduces the grip width by ~3/16", is that significant enough to make a difference?
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,052 Senior Member
    The reduction can be significant. What you could do is just take off the grips and see how well your wife can handle the unloaded pistol then. Not a good example, but if it's still too big, she'll need somethign smaller.

    You can also look at a single-stack 9mm or .40.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    She might find the .40 S&W a bit stout on a smallish handgun, perhaps a Khar in 9mm might best fit the bill.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    If you tried a set of slim-line grips and a flat mainspring housing you might be able to make the grip smaller for your wife. It will require slim-line grip bushings.
    I believe that the route Bigslug went.and from last report it has worked very well for his wife........Ken
    My idea of a warning shot is when the 2nd bad guy watches his 1st buddy go down....
  • cappy54cappy54 Member Posts: 269 Member
    Although I'm a glock guy, check out the S&W M&P9 fits most women and also the new kahr cm9 priced like a glock there is also the ruger LC9, many new choices for around $450. good luck happy shopping
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,590 Senior Member
    I think you're on the right track. Kahr makes a great pistol for people with small hands. You might consider one of the all steel models for a range gun since some of the smaller polymer ones can be a bit snappy due to their light weight.

    You might also look at the SIG P6. I've never fired one, but they're a single stack 9mm and there are a ton of police trade-ins around lately at reasonable prices.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,945 Senior Member
    Did this for my 4'10" wife -

    Take a standard 1911-A1 frame and assemble with the following:

    1. Short WWII/1911-A1 style trigger.

    2. Flat WWI/1911 style mainspring housing

    3. Grip safety WITHOUT a "memory bump"

    4. Low profile grips and related short bushings and mounting screws

    5. Gunsite low mount thumb safety

    6. Extended slide stop.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,672 Senior Member
    Welcome to the forum :beer:

    I'd look long and hard @ this Kahr
    http://www.kahr.com/Pistols/Kahr-CW9.asp

    I carry a PM40 and the wife carries a PM9 and both have been EXCELLENT firearms.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Did this for my 4'10" wife -

    Take a standard 1911-A1 frame and assemble with the following:

    1. Short WWII/1911-A1 style trigger.

    2. Flat WWI/1911 style mainspring housing

    3. Grip safety WITHOUT a "memory bump"

    4. Low profile grips and related short bushings and mounting screws

    5. Gunsite low mount thumb safety

    6. Extended slide stop.

    I like !!!
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • ChaosHokieChaosHokie New Member Posts: 4 New Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    I like !!!

    Me too! I could probably build that off a Mil-spec 1911 from SA to keep the cost down too I guess. I'll probably try a set of the low-profile grips on my 1911 to see if that helps first though.

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I hadn't considered the Ruger LC9 either. Cool.

    EDIT: HAH! Ok they've raised their prices on the Mil-spec since the last time I looked... guess I should look at another platform.
  • mythaeusmythaeus Senior Member Posts: 831 Senior Member
    I'm surprised no one suggested divorce and marry a wife with bigger hands :tooth:

    Seriously though, if the mods recommended by Bigslug doesn't work out and you are going to a different gun, consider the PM9 or MK9 (or .40 version, though 9mm is already pretty snappy on the MK9). The Kimber Solo is very much in the same league in term of grip girth. My wife just got an MK9 to replace here LCP as her primary carry and she absolutely loves it. She loves her full-size Kimber, but is perfectly comfortable with carrying and handling/shooting the MK9. Another one to consider in term of grip is the Sig P290 sub-compact. It's priced very well, although there have been reports of functional issues with the gun.

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,583 Senior Member
    Kahr CW-45 comes to mind. I have one and the grip is quite a bit smaller than my 1911's.
    $358 with free shipping from Buds http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=CW45&x=6&y=10

    Mine shoots really well with all ammo I have put through it. I have mine on my hip as I type!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,904 Senior Member
    ChaosHokie:
    Welcome aboard.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • ChaosHokieChaosHokie New Member Posts: 4 New Member
    timc wrote: »
    Kahr CW-45 comes to mind. I have one and the grip is quite a bit smaller than my 1911's.
    $358 with free shipping from Buds http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=CW45&x=6&y=10

    Mine shoots really well with all ammo I have put through it. I have mine on my hip as I type!

    I found a range nearby that has a couple of Kahr's for rent. I'm going to take her there and try a few out. Thanks for all the advice.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Also Robar does liposuction on the Glock and slims down the grip area considerably...... for smaller hands.....

    http://www.robarguns.com/glock.htm
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 8,534 Senior Member
    I give a big thumbs up to the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield :up: My wife who is just 5' tall recently got herself a Ruger LC9 that fits her hands just fine.

    I am surprised there has not been a whole bunch of "Take her shopping and try out lots of guns and let her pick out her own"
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,553 Senior Member
    Another vote for Kahr, for small hands. I have a K-9 and a K-40 that are way too small for my hands. But, I have adapted and can now shoot them OK without chewing up my trigger finger. The grip is fairly small, but the main thing is that the trigger reach is short, making it ideal for smaller hands. They are good pistols.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    ChaosHokie wrote: »
    I found a range nearby that has a couple of Kahr's for rent. I'm going to take her there and try a few out. Thanks for all the advice.

    Seems that you've got some decent options to try out. Keep us informed of the final choice. I don't think you'll be disappointed with Kahr, a nice, budget-priced pistol. And there are other brands to look at too.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
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