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A Bersa Thunder in .380 would also be less of a challenge to shoot.
I have both the S&W EZ in 380 and 9mm. I also have this Bersa Thunder two Tone.
The Bersa Thunder is $250 for black and $260 for the two tone. Very nice well made and accurate pistol.
Bought online from RKGuns. I can assure you she should have no slide problem with it. And, it is a hammer gun in addition. Price is very fair for that gun also. No big investment where you pay for a name.

Revolver Trigger Air gun Gun barrel Gun accessory
 

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I’m not a fan of small striker fired autos being carried around in a purse. Hammered fired would be safer. Just my two cents.
I agree with the hammer fired hand gun. I always want to know what that firing pin is doing.
 

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As far as revolvers go, I recently bought a Taurus 605.
It is about 7-8 .oz heavier than the Airweights, which does help.
I also installed a full grip Houge on it to help with whole hand placement.
It is still a bit heavy on recoil, but compared to the Airweight, it is much less painful to shoot.
A shooting glove does help that.
But a new shooter changing the grips, wearing a glove may be a little too much to ask.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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1. Find a shooting range near you that offers a selection of handguns for rent. THIS IS IMPORTANT!


2. Take your friend to the range and have her shoot as many different handguns as possible. This may take several trips to the range.

3. She will tell you which handgun she wants to own.
 

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I have a friend who recently lost her husband, is concerned about her safety and is interested in a handgun. She is competent and I have no concerns about her sincerity or capability. I will be training her in the use and care of the weapon.

I talked to a local gun shop and they showed me a S&W model 642, which fires the .38 special:
Model 642 | Smith & Wesson

Based on my discussions with my friend the S&W seems like a pretty good choice. Her concern is home defense, and occasionally a purse carry. She wants something small, light and easy to use.

I figured I should do some more research and when doing web searches everyone seems to prefer the various semi-auto 9mm or .380 weapons.

I have no problem with the semi-autos and they are my choice for protection. I also believe that the idea of a revolver being more reliable is not as true as it used to be with today's modern weapons, so I'm not hung up on that.

Years ago I got my wife a Colt Detective Special II and she couldn't hardly pull the trigger, so that was a poor choice on my part. I have never handled the S&W 642 so have no idea what trigger pull is like on it. You can get it with a pink grip so I'm assuming that Women is their target market.

I'm curious what other have figured out about this, any reason why popular belief seems to favor semi-autos? Any reason why this S&W 642 wouldn't be a reasonable choice? Any comments in general?
Bottom line, you're asking questions that can't be answered in black and white. Not all women are the same and there are too many guns to recommend one. Some women are comfortable with a 1911 45 cal. and some won't deal with a 380. She has to make her own decision and take the initiative to go to a LGS and do her own shopping if she's serious about it.
 

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Everything stated about trying before buying is true and what happened to us when buying a handgun for my wife. We were told by a good range owner, one of the few here that for here a heaver pistol would be easier for her to control. She tried a few and loved the S&W 686 4" barrel. According to the ranger owner during the handgun course, he told her she was a natural and for me to watch myself. So inother words do not make any purchase decisions for her, let her make them and she will be happy with what she picks out.
 

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Been thru this before. DO NOT get her a 38 snubbie!! Long touted as the ladies gun, it is too snappy for most women. Revolvers are better for shooters who practice ( shoot) infrequently. Whatever decision SHE makes, she must practice with it. Better yet, take a self defense course, and continue to practice.
my wife went 22 then 38 snubbie( didn’t like the snappy recoil, even with bunny fart light bullet loads) then 380. She became a shooter, has a Kimber 9mm, shoots my 45s easily (and well). If a pistol isn’t comfortable to shoot, you won’t practice.
The single most overriding must do is practice. If you don’t practice regularly and KNOW that you can use a pistol lethally, then get pepper spray, mace, hornet spray, or a taser
Ruger LCRin 22 mag or 9mm are good possibilities, more complex but easy to shoot are the Sig P238 (380) or the S&W shield EZ.
A gun, unused in a dresser drawer is useless, worse it’s dangerous.
 

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She wants something small, light and easy to use.
During the early and mid 90s my wife and I owned a brick and mortar gun shop. Endless husband and wife came in looking for a gun for the wife. I always suggested a .38 Special snub nose revolver for carry. While the newer semi-automatic pistols are less prone to failure I still suggest a basic simple revolver. Today my wife is 74 with minor arthritis. I just handed her a 2" Colt Detective Special and a 2" S&W Model 10 snub nose. She had no problem pulling the trigger double action on either gun. She did feel the S&W Model 10 was easier than the Colt. While pulling the trigger she exhibited no shake. Her personal choice for carry is actually an old Interarms import Walther PPK in .380 auto but again no problem with a DA revolver.

I suggest anyone considering a gun try to handle and shoot a few. Most good indoor ranges have rentals. I suggest revolvers because it is a pretty basic point and pull the trigger. I also like for some women the hammerless because God forbid you need the thing you don't need a hammer snagging clothing or anything else. Anybody choosing a gun needs to be comfortable with the gun and familiar with the gun. Training is important as is practice. Get whatever trips your trigger is my advice.

Ron
 

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My wife started on a 380 EZ. It’s now taken a back seat to the Rapide 1911 in 9mm. I’ve had her shoot the Taurus 856. She said it was a lot better than the 38 air weight my neighbor has. In my wife’s case though, she has a room full of guns to choose from so she shoots the “pretty ones”. I guess that Rapide is always an option if your friend has the cash, runs around $1600 though. My wife loves it. A little big for a carry.
Air gun Trigger Wood Gun barrel Wood stain
 

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Been thru this before. DO NOT get her a 38 snubbie!! Long touted as the ladies gun, it is too snappy for most women. Revolvers are better for shooters who practice ( shoot) infrequently. Whatever decision SHE makes, she must practice with it. Better yet, take a self defense course, and continue to practice.
my wife went 22 then 38 snubbie( didn’t like the snappy recoil, even with bunny fart light bullet loads) then 380. She became a shooter, has a Kimber 9mm, shoots my 45s easily (and well). If a pistol isn’t comfortable to shoot, you won’t practice.
The single most overriding must do is practice. If you don’t practice regularly and KNOW that you can use a pistol lethally, then get pepper spray, mace, hornet spray, or a taser
Ruger LCRin 22 mag or 9mm are good possibilities, more complex but easy to shoot are the Sig P238 (380) or the S&W shield EZ.
A gun, unused in a dresser drawer is useless, worse it’s dangerous.
I have a lot of handguns and my wife's favorite is our Model 37. Anyone that can't shoot a gun with recoil maybe shouldn't be shooting guns. All guns are loud and have recoil.
 

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Last Stand on Earth
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99.9% of the limitations women impose on themselves is born out of fear of the firearm. Like with any fear, baby steps. My wife is always telling me “I can’t” rack this and “I can’t “ rack that. I am constantly pointing out, “well you racked that one yesterday, and it’s harder “. Magically, she tries again and finds out she can. He fear of big bore semiautomatics was overcome with a 1911 day on the range. She likes 9mm more but she proved she CAN shoot a 45 effectively.
 

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My wife started on a 380 EZ. It’s now taken a back seat to the Rapide 1911 in 9mm.
What's not to like about that?
Full sized and heavy it has just a bit more recoil than the EZ, half the recoil of an Airweight.
And looks great as well.
If there is any downside at all it is that it's not a pocket gun.
But in a purse.....probably not a big deal.
My wife's purse seem like it's full of bricks....I doubt she'd notice the Kimber.
 

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What's not to like about that?
Full sized and heavy it has just a bit more recoil than the EZ, half the recoil of an Airweight.
And looks great as well.
If there is any downside at all it is that it's not a pocket gun.
But in a purse.....probably not a big deal.
My wife's purse seem like it's full of bricks....I doubt she'd notice the Kimber.
Idk about the recoil. I’d have to shoot them side by side. I’d venture to guess the 9mm 1911 would likely equal recoil or less than the 380 EZ. It would have considerably less than the 9mm EZ.

The 9mm full size Springfield Garrison only has about a 10% extra slide draw than the 380 EZ and again, easier than the 9mm EZ.

The Rapide has a fairly heavy slide draw for a 9mm 1911 but the slide is lighter.
 

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Idk about the recoil. I’d have to shoot them side by side. I’d venture to guess the 9mm 1911 would likely equal recoil or less than the 380 EZ.
I looked at Genitron for data on each.
According to that site the EZ 380 has 3.05 ft-lb factor, the Kimber 3.68.
An 18% difference isn't that much. I would bet with a full mag in the EZ and a nearly empty one in the Kimber you wouldn't tell the difference.
 

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I looked at Genitron for data on each.
According to that site the EZ 380 has 3.05 ft-lb factor, the Kimber 3.68.
An 18% difference isn't that much. I would bet with a full mag in the EZ and a nearly empty one in the Kimber you wouldn't tell the difference.
When I actually calculated it, a 100gr bullet from the 380 EZ was .1lbs heavier than the 115gr 9mm. This was actual loads I have and use.
 
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