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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After years of trying to get my wife to the range with her CC and nightstand gun (Ruger LCPII), I've given up and gotten a S&W 642 for her. I figure she won't shoot it until she's confronted with a desperate situation, so she really won't have a point of comparison for recoil, flash, etc.

Leading up to this decision was last week's effort to encourage her to at least learn how to keep her finger out of the trigger guard, unload the magazine, unload the chamber and then reload the weapon. She failed miserably at all three chores, so I figure why not get her something that will go 'bang' five times no matter how she holds the gun or shoots it from inside her purse or a jacket pocket.

I've got five rounds of hollow point ammo and a box of FMJs (not that she'll ever shoot them in a practice session or two or three). I'm also getting a speed strip for one reload.

That long, hard trigger pull is my hope she won't accidentally shoot herself or some other innocent. After that, I'm kind of washing my hands and leaving her in peace with her 'snubbie'. Although I've suggested a can of pepper spray followed by a baseball bat, she seems committed to a firearm.

Any other suggestions? I'm open to ideas.
 

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All you can do is all you can do.

If you've had a serious heart to heart talk about why you think this is important and your mate is not interested...what else can you do?

My wife was very similar, until our evacuations for Katrina and Rita, particularly Rita.

Your mate will either come around or she won't. As far as your firearms choice, I think you've made it about as foolproof as it gets.

Just my $.02. I'm sure she has other positive points so don't be dogmatic about the topic. Let her come to the realization of need at her own pace. Good luck.
 

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My 82 year old mother never shot her S&W 442, until an urban youth (who had broken into her car the night before) knocked on her door late at night. She opened the door (not smart) and cranked off a couple of rounds into the ground to dissuade him from staying. She said he ran like a jackrabbit. He never came back.

Moral of the story is that a person can point and shoot if she is truly motivated. Your 642 is good in that regard, because all you have to do is pull the trigger. Gun safety still matters of course, but you can only do what you can do.
 

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After years of trying to get my wife to the range with her CC and nightstand gun (Ruger LCPII), I've given up and gotten a S&W 642 for her. I figure she won't shoot it until she's confronted with a desperate situation, so she really won't have a point of comparison for recoil, flash, etc.

Leading up to this decision was last week's effort to encourage her to at least learn how to keep her finger out of the trigger guard, unload the magazine, unload the chamber and then reload the weapon. She failed miserably at all three chores, so I figure why not get her something that will go 'bang' five times no matter how she holds the gun or shoots it from inside her purse or a jacket pocket.

I've got five rounds of hollow point ammo and a box of FMJs (not that she'll ever shoot them in a practice session or two or three). I'm also getting a speed strip for one reload.

That long, hard trigger pull is my hope she won't accidentally shoot herself or some other innocent. After that, I'm kind of washing my hands and leaving her in peace with her 'snubbie'. Although I've suggested a can of pepper spray followed by a baseball bat, she seems committed to a firearm.

Any other suggestions? I'm open to ideas.
Start her out with soft recoiling Target Wadcutters and then move up to the underwood defensive wadcutters which still have mild recoil and are non Plus+P.

They are better than any hololowpoint for defensive use becau most hollowpoints will not expand at standard 28 speciall velocites and teh lighter weight ones won't penetrate much and don't have ballistics much better than a 380 ACP.

But teh Underwood 150 grain Hardcast Wadcutters don't need to expand to be effective. The flat nose of a full wadcutter causes blunt trauma an d even low velocity target wadcutters have proven effective for both self defense and in use on small game. Advertis3ed velocity out of a short 1 7/8ths inch barrel is 850 fps and I have choreographed them out of my Model 38 S&W humpback body guard and the y do just that. Buffalo Bor makes an Identical loade but it's more expensive.

Underwood has the ammo in stock and their shipping rates are reasonable. I also found some target wadcutter ammo for a good price at a time when most sources are out of it.

https://www.underwoodammo.com/products/38-special-150-grain-lead-wadcutter?variant=18785707556921

http://www.georgia-arms.com/38-special-148gr-lead-wadcutter/

https://www.targetsportsusa.com/rem...rain-lead-wadcutter-match-rtg38s3-p-4106.aspx
 

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What next?

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Doesn't sound like your wife wants to shoot. But the little snubbies are about as easy of a point and click interface as you can get.

Now if she does go to the range with you, I would say don't have her shoot the 642, unless you have some really really light wadcutter loads, but even with them the air weight smith can hurt, especially with the stock grips and arthritic hands. Might want to consider getting a set of th e Pachmyr grips tha completely enclose the back strap like the 03252. But the best thing would be to pick up a .22LR revolver for her to start shooting on. If you can find a J-Frame S&W it would be best.

My story, been married 31 years, wife wasn't a shooter before I met her, but she wasn't against guns and wanted to learn how to shoot. I traveled a lot when we first got married and didn't like leaving her with a gun she wasn't comfortable shooting, but the only gun she liked to shoot was my Ruger Single Six in .22 LR. So when I went out of town I put the .22 mag cylinder in it and left it in her night stand. I figured she was better off with six .22 mag JHP she could shoot well than something else. Later on Ruger came out with the Single Six in .32 H&R mag. Exactly same size as the .22, she never knew she had a bigger gun in her night stand, just thought it was her little .22 she liked. But I was much more comfortable knowing she had the 85 gr JHP if she needed it. Finally about 15 years later she learned to shoot the Glock 19 and that is her choice now.
 

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If the .38 spl recoils too much, and if she scoffs at the .22 LR and .22 WMR, consider a .32 such as a LCR or LCRX in .327 magnum; it would allow .32 S&W for minimum recoil, or .32 S&W Long for accuracy with wadcutters, penetration with FMJ, and lethality with the round chosen by Teddy Roosevelt for the NYPD over a century ago. Or .32 H&R Magnum for defense, or .327 Magnum when even more power is desired. These 4 rounds are a bit expensive and hard to find, but .32 ACP might also work. All of these fill the gap between .22 magnum and .38 spl.

View: https://youtu.be/rz_m4M8CAe0
 

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My wife was not a shooter, but she came around because "Well, if they're going to be in the house I need to know how to use it."
She is nominally competent with handguns, but has not graduated to rifle/ shotgun.
She thought she would like wheelguns more at first, mostly because the manual of arms was easier. She had trouble with racking the slide on the 9mm's.
HOWEVER- she has since learned that she is more accurate a shooter with the 9mm's.
The 38 and 357 recoil too much for her, and are not as easy to control. Basically, her marksmanship with the semiautos is better. And she has learned how to drop a mag, chamber a round, and is even working on clearing malfunctions with the 9mm's.
While she was initially more conformable with the .38, simply due to ease of loading, etc, it is now her least favorite gun. She pretty much wants the Glock 26 for herself.
I encourage it.
 

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After years of trying to get my wife to the range with her CC and nightstand gun (Ruger LCPII), I've given up and gotten a S&W 642 for her. I figure she won't shoot it until she's confronted with a desperate situation, so she really won't have a point of comparison for recoil, flash, etc.

Leading up to this decision was last week's effort to encourage her to at least learn how to keep her finger out of the trigger guard, unload the magazine, unload the chamber and then reload the weapon. She failed miserably at all three chores, so I figure why not get her something that will go 'bang' five times no matter how she holds the gun or shoots it from inside her purse or a jacket pocket.

I've got five rounds of hollow point ammo and a box of FMJs (not that she'll ever shoot them in a practice session or two or three). I'm also getting a speed strip for one reload.

That long, hard trigger pull is my hope she won't accidentally shoot herself or some other innocent. After that, I'm kind of washing my hands and leaving her in peace with her 'snubbie'. Although I've suggested a can of pepper spray followed by a baseball bat, she seems committed to a firearm.

Any other suggestions? I'm open to ideas.
You have reached the conclusion most should start out with when it comes to wive's and carry guns! Few women are "gun enthusiasts"; most become tolerant of the gun enthusiast with whom she is partnered.

The popularity of semiautomatic pistols for concealed carry is not at all reflective of any "social" or "tactical" need on the part of John Q. Citizen, but it certainly makes for great marketing opportunities and profits as the consumer spends money not only to acquire a semiauto pistol, but then shoots more practice ammo, buys magazines, carry solutions, range memberships, and all manner of associated minutia! People who buy revolvers tend to shoot fewer rounds even at the range because they can't show up with a hundred loaded mags and stand there banging away at a piece of paper for hours, only pausing for sip of their Sonic Iced-coffee! Shooting a revolver slows down the pace, makes the shooter actually AIM with a bit more concentration between shots, and is absolutely MORE accurate than any moving barrel semiautomatic pistol that hasn't been built into a multi-thousand dollar range toy.

Self defense encounters simply do not involve hundreds of rounds fire, nor even more than a few in most instances, and even six shots being fired in a self defense encounter is rare as hen's teeth. So all those strutting around strapped up everyday with a chopped off version of a "duty gun" resting in a high-dollar rig for quick drawing, with their belt festooned with a ring of magazines are NOT do so for any real threat, only because it's fun to "dress up" and "play urban operator"!

The ONLY "upside" of the semiauto for the private citizen carrying for self defense is capacity and since we KNOW only a few shots are likely to be fired in the real world, the capacity and reload speed of the semiauto is not needed....let me repeat for the visually impaired, NOT NEEDED!

Now let's look at the DOWNSIDE of semiautos for private citizens in street carry:
They must be chambered - many do not carry chambered out of fear of the convolution of safeties they do not understand.
They must be cocked, or have DA capability.
Any manual safety must be swiped off during an encounter where the human stress response has reduced fine motor coordination in favor of gross muscle strength in preparation for mortal combat.
Autos cannot be fired from inside pockets unless you're content with just one shot...might need to do it, but doing puts your gun out of action.
If your assailant is within contact distance when you fired, any blow delivered to swipe the gun away may cause it to malfuntion - now your gun is out of action.
If you press the gun into someone is WILL NOT fire.
IF you're cartridge fails to ignite the very best "second strike" capability you have is a DA pull to quickly hit it a few more times before resorting to the "malfunction drill" of clearing the thing while a hulking, 325 pound, 6 foot 5 inch MONSTER has just closed the distance between you and is now gripping your entire head in his huge hands, applying so much pressure in an attempt to crush your skull you can FEEL your jaw being forced open, and your eyes being literally pushed out of their sockets!....All this while your now flailing hands are trying to fix your gun!
If you DO need more than one shot and that first one fired, now you're in the realm of failure to extract because you didn't have a good grip under stress and the gun stovepiped, or failure to chamber. All these "cut down" duty guns tend to lose reliability, and since ALL autopistols rely on the physics of slide operation to work, any lack of support to the gun when fired it potentially lethal to YOU!

Granted, when they work as advertised, semiautomatic pistols are GREAT! But when they fail, they INSTANTLY place the operator in jeopardy of getting DEAD shortly thereafter, and there ain't ANYBODY - not even the coolest, range-king, tacticool operator who can face off inside "room distance" draw, have a malfunction, clear, and fire before a maniac is ON HIM with a hammer, warhawk, 8" killing knife, or just the overwhelming force of being huge, STRONG, and in a complete rage! Now, none of this is ever going to convince the totally cool operator to carry a revolver because until he's survived such an encounter he won't believe it can happen, and truth be told, the tacticool operator is probably as well prepared as can be to successfully employ a semiauto pistol in an "arm's length" self defense encounter!

Most people seem not to understand that the bad guy isn't going to start barking from 30 feet away, he's going to be in CLOSE when he makes his move specifically so you WON'T have time to react! There is an entire "universe" of street shooting and self defense videos on YouTube that are completely ignored by the gun enthusiast, tacticool crowd that can be used to educate oneself as to what a SD encounter will be most like...and it won't be like standing bolt upright, banging away with a belt of special mag pouches and stepping behind barricades and shooting at plates 25 yards out....if it IS then that tacticool operator is likely going to be charged with felony murder - certainly 2nd degree Murder and they'll go down for it too. The last thing you want is to be seen as a maniac trying to get away with killing someone under the pretense of SD...remember George Zimmerman? That is EXACTLY why he was tried for Murder 2!

Now consider the revolver...it only holds 5-6 shots and is time consuming to load and reload by comparison to the auto, but....
It can be fired inside a pocket until empty.
If a round fails to fire the next one up is FRESH - no waiting, no delay!
It's got a simple DA trigger system with no added external safeties needed.
You can SEE it's loaded even as it lies there on the table.
It doesn't "need" to properly lubed...not to shoot 6 shots.
It doesn't need to be "broken in"....EVER.
It will fire when pressed hard into someone's abdomen.
If will NOT malfunction due to being struck while in the process of "unloading it" into someone.
It can be loaded in 1980 and fired in 2020....like the Honey badger, "he don't care"!
It has no magazine needed to work, nor to carry the ammo
It can shoot ANY nose profile and you never even have to worry!
It doesn't care one iota if you have a weak grip, or partial grip...if you manage to pull the triger it's going bang and it will be ready for the next shot!
ZERO "manual of arms"....aka: manual of clearing malfunctions!
It's intrinsically more accurate at ALL distances.
You NEVER need to fire it to know it will go boom when you do, nor break it in, nor find out if it's going work with this brand or that brand ammo....which of course is why the gun companies and ammo companies LOVE the modern craze over semiautos!

So your WIFE, without ever expressing it, has taught you something about guns! She don't NEED no stinking Ruger LCPII and "range time" - she ain't interested! She "needs" a simple J-frame or other such brand REVOLVER that requires ZERO practice beyond simply "that's the grip...grab it and yank the trigger"! Because if she's like MY wife she's never going to load it, or unload it - that's YOUR job! When she feels like it she'll carry it and it will get the job done in the HIGHLY unlikely event she ever needs it to actually launch a bullet!
NOTHING will EVER make that LCP the "equal" of a compact revolver in terms of practical carry!

MY wife has taken to carrying my S&W M360 with titanium cylinder (12.6oz) stoked with 125 grain American JHP ammo. She has never fired it, never likely will fire it, and has no clue about all the fuss over shooting a .357 magnum from a 12.6 oz gun! But you know what? Under the stress of a life-or-death encounter she will have no problem at all yanking that trigger and near contact distance...and yanking it again, and again, and again, and again IF needed! And after it's all over she'll never even remember the gun had recoil!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Scott60 - All I can say is: "Wow"! Thank you very much for your dedication to my issue. I can relate to just about everything you typed on your keyboard. I've begun to see just about every point you make. In fact, today I made the swap with our son … it's going to be sort of a belated Mother's Day gift when she arrives 'up north' on Saturday.

My only quandary now is the grips. Our son provided four sets of grips, including the original. Currently it has some oversized Pachmayr rubber grips. I tried shooting a tin can in the ditch at about 10 feet and couldn't hit it! I assume all the rounds were high or a ricochet would have hit the damn thing!

No matter. If she shoots it even once for practice I'll make certain we're about six feet away from the target so she can see where the bullets are hitting the target. If she's up for more, we can move the distance … away.

As you said, the odds of her actually shooting at a person seem awfully remote, even now. If things continue to degenerate, that may change, but I think she'll be open to current events and a bit of training under those circumstances.

Again, your lengthy scribe was well-received.

ronin.45 - point well taken, which is why that insanely loooong trigger pull with the 642 is so important. I've suggested the option of pepper spray followed by a bat to the head, but she likes the convenience of a lethal weapon: a handgun.

If you are all interested, I'll let you know how it goes when I present her with her new handgun on Saturday. I hope it goes well. I'll try to set the stage beforehand.
 
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Not sure if it’s strictly for home defense or for carry.

I think she should not be carrying at all. She will probably be more danger to herself and others than she will ever come close to using it for defense. For home defense I think a small or medium size revolver with a little more barrel length would be better, but the snubs not bad either for her situation.
 

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Scott60 - All I can say is: "Wow"! Thank you very much for your dedication to my issue. I can relate to just about everything you typed on your keyboard. I've begun to see just about every point you make. In fact, today I made the swap with our son … it's going to be sort of a belated Mother's Day gift when she arrives 'up north' on Saturday.

My only quandary now is the grips. Our son provided four sets of grips, including the original. Currently it has some oversized Pachmayr rubber grips. I tried shooting a tin can in the ditch at about 10 feet and couldn't hit it! I assume all the rounds were high or a ricochet would have hit the damn thing!

No matter. If she shoots it even once for practice I'll make certain we're about six feet away from the target so she can see where the bullets are hitting the target. If she's up for more, we can move the distance … away.

As you said, the odds of her actually shooting at a person seem awfully remote, even now. If things continue to degenerate, that may change, but I think she'll be open to current events and a bit of training under those circumstances.

Again, your lengthy scribe was well-received.

ronin.45 - point well taken, which is why that insanely loooong trigger pull with the 642 is so important. I've suggested the option of pepper spray followed by a bat to the head, but she likes the convenience of a lethal weapon: a handgun.

If you are all interested, I'll let you know how it goes when I present her with her new handgun on Saturday. I hope it goes well. I'll try to set the stage beforehand.
My wife shoots once or twice a year. She just doesn’t practice enough to stay proficient with malfunction clearing and magazine handling to make a semi-auto a good choice.

Her current self defense gun is a bobbed hammer Model 66 shooting Critical Defense Lite 38 special. It’s outfitted with a Magna-Trigger as recommended by Mas Ayoob to reduce issues if she’s disarmed / overpowered.

We do carjacking and self-defense drills when we do go shoot once or twice a year.

 

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Is the j frame for CCW or a nightstand gun?
As a nightstand gun a airweight j frame is about the worst choice one could make!

My girl prefers revolver too do to the simplicity of them but she has a steel k frame!
 

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Both the LCP and the revolver are hard to shoot. Especially the revolver. But if your wife likes it and practices with it there are plenty of people who shoot them really well. No doubt your wife could too, with practice. For me, they aren't fun to practice with. I have a 350PD that I do carry occasionally, but it's one of my least fun guns to shoot. I also have an LCP, but don't see any reason to carry it when I also have an LC9S Pro and a Glock 43X. Both those guns carry every bit as well as the revolver, are fun and easy to shoot, and the Glock holds 15+1 rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The gun will be used for both purse carry and nightstand duty. If you go back in the thread you'll see that she simply refuses to practice and this gun is simply a last-ditch weapon for bad breath distance. If she ever decides she WANTS to go shooting she can try my G42, G23 or Sig Sauer P365.

But, to be honest, I think it would take more than few range sessions to get her past the bad grip and weak grip strength … she can't even rack the slide on the LCPII or the G23, which is why we went back to a snubbie for her.
 

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My wife shoots once or twice a year. She just doesn’t practice enough to stay proficient with malfunction clearing and magazine handling to make a semi-auto a good choice.

Her current self defense gun is a bobbed hammer Model 66 shooting Critical Defense Lite 38 special. It’s outfitted with a Magna-Trigger as recommended by Mas Ayoob to reduce issues if she’s disarmed / overpowered.

We do carjacking and self-defense drills when we do go shoot once or twice a year.

That's some good shooting!

Does she keep some magna doohickey on her hand 24/7 to make the gun work? Or just if she is going to use the gun?
 

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For your circumstances, I think the 642 makes a lot of sense and is the same gun my non-enthusiast wife uses. In the event of an intruder getting into the home, the plan is to put as many barriers/locked doors between her and the intruder while she hides in the walk-in closet in the designated safe room/master bedroom while the police are called.

Any shots needing to be fired will be about three feet max. She will likely be hesitant and wait until the absolute last moment, so the short muzzle, compact size and inherent weapon retention capability of the snub is an asset.

Being DAO is nice, so she can’t cock the hammer, which she very well might if in a panic. Plus the concealed hammer is a functional advantage in a contact scenario.

The 642 is small and light, so she just might actually carry it in her purse or around the house if I’m not at home. A heavier gun is an absolute no-go.

It’s simple to use and relatively safe in the hands of the most inexperienced users. I think you made a wise choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Mister X - Thank you. You're situation mirrors mine almost exactly. This is NOT a weapon she'll become proficient with, it's a last-ditch alternative to something more benign like pepper spray or a baseball bat or even a Taser.

For a long time my personal theory is that if someone threatens my life, my family's lives or the lives of those I deem innocent (say an attack at a restaurant, megastore or theatre) then I intend to respond in a way that will take that assailant off the board, preferably forever.

I think I understand the implications of such personal action, the potential for criminal or civil litigation, in which case I can only hope my initial interpretation of events meets the criteria of 'what a reasonable adult would assume under the circumstances'. Neither one of us can anticipate every possible scenario, but I don't think either of us envision her rushing to rescue other shoppers at Walmart in the event of an attack … she will try to escape or find shelter and have the means to stop the threat if it confronts her.

There is also the potential for recrimination by a friend or family member of the perpetrator, which wouldn't be a logical reaction by me, but possibly by someone who's attached to the perp (dead or otherwise seriously injured). We would just have to deal with that possibility and meet it head on. I simply refuse to live in hiding from people who've stepped way beyond the bounds of the law and common human decency.

In a home invasion scenario (very rare in the locations where I live), I have little doubt just the very fact that a person or persons has broken into my castle makes them guilty of at least one crime and, therefore, subject to violent confrontation.

With the snubbie there's no fear of limp wristing or malfunctions due to impediments to the slide action, and I doubt if the blast and recoil are going to affect her 'bad breath' shooting with the adrenaline surge that surely will accompany the event.

Now, it's just wait-and-see if she agrees with me when I present her with her Mother's Day gift on Saturday. Wish me luck.
 
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