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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Female total newbi here - never shot a handgun before. (Though that will change later on today when we fire a few of our friend's).

I just got my pistol permit here in NY (what a pain!). I bought a Walther PPK/S (two months ago thanks to our fine laws, when I had no idea what I was doing)- mistake. I hate it, cant rack it.

I am looking for a 9mm or .380 semi-auto. I have held a number of guns but am starting to get overwhelmed. I have some qualifications that have to be met and am looking for some advice.

First and foremost I need to be able to rack it.

Secondly, I need (most likely) a single stack mag. Most double stacks are too wide for me to grip comfortably. The most comfortable gun I've held is the S&W 39-2, but I want to buy new. I cant seem to find anywhere online how wide that gun is.

Finally, I am not opposed to an external hammer, but I like the feel of the trigger pull on the glock/XD internal hammers. But as said those (as far as I've seen) are a little too wide for my taste.

Wondering if there is an internal hammer, single stack out there? If not, I'm sure I can get used to the hammer and prob just have to train to cock it on the first shot for accuracy sake.

So what do you suggest? TIA!
 

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Sorry to hear about your PPK/S, my wife has one and loves it. Right off hand I might suggest you try a Colt 380 government model. They are made just like a 1911, just smaller. They have an external hammer but as you said Im sure you can get used to it.
Another one you might look at is the Sigsauer P230 in 380. It looks like the PPK, but I think the slide may be a little less hard to rack.
Next would be the Sig 239 in 9mm, looks just like the 228 only has a single stack magazine. The slide will be a little wider and might be a little easier to grasp.
All the Glocks are double stack mags except the 36 and it is a 45. I doubt you would want it, has a little more recoil.

Good luck, Im sure you will find something to your liking.

Rev.
 

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If you get the opportunity, try a J-frame S&W revolver or a Ruger SP-101 revolver in .38 Special.... they will fit your small hands, and there's no need to rack a slide.

Trigger pull in double action mode is heavy, but manageable... trigger pull when fired single action is great - light and crisp.

If you think the recoil wouldn't bother you, you can even get the Ruger in .357 Magnum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tips. I will look into those Sigs and the Colt. I am not completely against a revolver but I am not really favoring one right now. In a few hours I will have shot a few so maybe I will change my mind. Thanks again and if there are any more suggestions I would love to hear them.
 

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You may also want to look at the Sig P239 DAK. It is single stacked. 9mm holds 8 in the mag, .40 holds 7.

It has an external hammer, but it is double action only and the Sig DAK trigger system is nice and smooth every shot is the same and no de-cocking to have to worry about.
 

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Take a good hard look at a Kahr. They possess all the traits you described. They are thin concealable single stack pistols with a very nice double action only trigger. They don't really have a hammer, they are striker fired like Glocks and others, but still, no external hammer. Kahr makes a very high quality firearm. I would urge you to go with a 9mm over the .380 ACP, but its up to you. They have steel frames as well as polymer.

http://www.kahr.com/PA-1_9mm.html
 

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Re: re: single stack, internal hammer? or other options

killerb said:
Take a good hard look at a Kahr. They possess all the traits you described. They are thin concealable single stack pistols with a very nice double action only trigger. They don't really have a hammer, they are striker fired like Glocks and others, but still, no external hammer. Kahr makes a very high quality firearm. I would urge you to go with a 9mm over the .380 ACP, but its up to you. They have steel frames as well as polymer.

http://www.kahr.com/PA-1_9mm.html
I second that. Some of the compact Kahrs in 9mm fit your description and are well made, reliable guns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Long story short (well sort of short)...
After tons of research and lots of guns held, I am experiencing buyers remorse at the moment because, of course, I chose the most expensive gun on my list...Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm. Way out of price range...external hammer...totally not what I thought I wanted. But that is why everyone says hold a lot of guns. They're right!

I held the Kahr P9, the Walther PPS, a couple Sigs, S&W M&P, Kimber 1911, Para something, Glocks, XD, and a whole lot more that I cant even remember. My biggest problem with the internal hammers was that I have this knobby thumb knuckle (skinny, long fingers) and the edge on the grip where my thumb knuckle hits is terribly uncomfortable at first grab. I always have to adjust my grip. That's not what you want in a bad situation. On the 1911 style it fits perfect every time. No wear and tear on my knuckle...which I actually got just from holding the other guns...cant imagine if I was firing them.

I thought I didn't want the external hammer because it was more to fuss with and I was concerned about the DA first trigger pull. But once it was explained that when I rack it, its cocked (I wouldn't carry it/store it with a round in the chamber), then I realized I don't have to worry about that first trigger pull being different then the rest, since its already cocked. Hope that make sense...

So buyers remorse - just cuz it was ALOT of money...but I'm really happy with it. Plus...its pretty :D . I hope to fire just a few rounds this week (outside, with blankets stuffed under my coat due to pregnancy concerns) and then put her away til the summer after baby is born (DH is considering carrying it but the holster it comes with really doesn't conceal well on him, so we shall see).

I'll let you know how I like shooting it. Thanks for all your help.
 

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Re: re: single stack, internal hammer? or other options

buttrfli said:
(I wouldn't carry it/store it with a round in the chamber)
I feel this is a mistake, if it all goes wrong some place and you have to pull your pistol...
1. You are probably not going to have time to rack the slide.
2. In that kind of stress you might not even remember to rack the slide.
3. If you carry a round in the chamber with the hammer down the pistol will not go off. And the hammer is a lot quicker and easier to cock.
4. If you carry the pistol in your purse like most women it will be very cumbersome to retrieve the pistol from your purse and then try to rack it.

Im not trying to discourage you in any way, I just want you to be effective in self defense.
 

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Good for you buttrfli,
It's whats works best for the shooter that will carry the firearm. If a Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm is a pistol you can shoot well and will carry all the time then that is the right pistol for you. I'd say thats the prefect choice.

I would still suggest you carry with one in the chamber, With a DA or SA and a hammer it's truly safe. In a stress situation racking a round might be more time than you have. It might be pretty but it has to be ready to work when needed.
 

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Yeah, what they ^^^^^^^^ said.

You should carry it with a round in the chamber. Please. Lol.

Its not going to go off on you.

As stated, should, god forbid, a situation arise where you need to protect you and yours...you don't want to waste precious time with chambering a round. Not to mention you might forget...or you might do it wrong and cause a feeding problem.... Too many concerns. I sincerely recommend carrying with a round in the chamber.
 

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You should understand that carrying a 1911 "cocked & locked" is as safe as they come.

There are 3 safeties on a 1911....

First; the thumb safety, when in the "safe" position, blocks both the hammer and the trigger. If the trigger could somehow be pulled (hard to see how that could happen), the hammer is still physically blocked from falling.

Second; with the thumb safety in the "fire" position, should something strike the hammer hard enough to break the sear, the hammer still can not get to the firing pin, as there is a "half cock" notch that it can not fall past unless the trigger is to the rear. This test was part of the standard armory inspection back when the armed forces carried the 1911.

Third; the grip safety prevents the trigger from being pulled unless depressed..... even with the thumb safety in the "fire" positiion, you can not pull the trigger unless the grip safety is depressed.

Contrary to the advice given by Rev, if you have a round in the chamber with a 1911, DO NOT carry it with the hammer down... cock it and put the thumb safety in the "safe" position. With the hammer down, the thumb safety will not go to the "safe" position, and therefore will not physically block either the hammer or trigger.

With other autoloaders, things may be different, but I don't know. I've fired Berettas, Glocks, Rugers, SIGs, and Springfield XDs..... didn't warm up to any of 'em.... I'll stick with my 1911s
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes I do understand about "cocked and locked". Once I am much more familiar and comfortable with the gun I will consider it. For now I cant legally carry anyway so it doesnt really matter. Hopefully by the time I can (judges here require a 1 year wait before I can apply for restrictions on my permit to be removed) I will have enough experience to be comfortable carrying as such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well yesterday was the day!!! I finally got to play :D Got familiar with her and then shot off a full mag in the backyard. The recoil is no problem. It malfunctioned on the first and second round but but after that was fine. DH looked it up and it seems that can happen. After 300 rounds it should be completely reliable. I really wished I could have shot all 300 yesterday - in other words...I love it!!! I will have to wait for warmer weather and skinnier belly though :lol:
 
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