I'm trying to get my daughter (adult) a handgun for protection. She took a women's class
and handled all semi-autos. She's small with small hands, and all the slides were tough to operate. I've got the SP101 as mentioned, and it fits her hands well. Double action she handles it well, but cocking it for single action was very difficult. I'm not a gunsmith, and my knowledge of handguns is limited. My questions are, is there much improvement to be had with the triggers in these revolvers without sacrificing reliability. Is there a hammer extension available for them, and any thoughts regarding aftermarket parts I should look at. I will be taking it to a gunsmith-but would like to know a little bit to better understand what to ask. The plan would be get her started with the .22, and move up when she's managing it well.
Anything that reduces the hammer pull weight decreases reliability. The proper lube in the right places helps as does shooting it a bunch to break it in and smooth things up.
For a given caliber on semi auto's the smaller they are the harder the slide is to pull.
If she can't operate a revolver then maybe a hand gun not the best choice for her right now. One of those grip exercisers used regularly should help get her the hand strength needed to operate any firearm.
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Thanks guys, I'd like to keep the single action capability to start with, just for basic can plinking with her husband. I was bit surprised the single action gave her trouble. She used to have pretty good hand strength from playing fast pitch, and at one point was the only girl at school that could do pull ups from gymnastics. The last few years though she's been book worming her way through pharmacy school. I had another female friend try and fail to cock it as well. I guess actually measuring the pull would be a place to start. If I can get her through this first part, I'd look at something hammerless and more concealable.
Also consider that the instruction she got in her class was lacking. Not that the instruction was poor. There's only so much an instructor can cover in one class.
In more advanced gun fighting classes, students are taught to rack a semi-auto slide using one hand, using either the strong or weak hand. Even racking a slide with two hands is done more aggressively and reliably. I strongly suspect a good instructor could teach her to rack the slide on a medium frame 9 mm pistol.