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ISO Smallest gripped HK for wife's small hands (not VP9)

5617 Views 26 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  r4ndy
Had the wife try maybe 10 different handguns to find something she can manipulate the controls on. The G43 and Shield worked, but strong springs in these small blasters make them snappy and difficult to rack. VP 9 felt good but was a bit too heavy and after a half hour her arms and wrists were failing. She is now using a small Sig P320, but again the weight is an issue. I'd like to hear your thoughts on something like a P30sk. I definitely want to keep it 9mm. Thanks in advance!
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The solution is to make her arms and wrists strong by using a USP compact.
try out a p30sk, has adjustable grip panels and back straps. I daily carry one and it's a great gun
I have really small hands and I love the p30sk. It's my edc. I just picked up a glock 43 for something slimmer.

All guns feel tough to rack (Haha maybe it IS because of small hands!) but over time and practice it's gotten easier and more comfortable.

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Any small pistol will be strongly sprung. Any pistol that isn't will be heavier. My honest, no joke suggestion is to hit the gym. Barring that, a larger pistol with a weaker spring is the way to go. In practical use, she won't be holding the pistol out for long.
"Easiest Way for a Woma. To Rack the Slide..":

This video also explains why the smallest pistols have stronger springs.
The soln is curls for the girls and rows for the bros. Seriously, not trying to be a jerk. The VP9 weighs less than 2lbs empty. HK-USA website lists the weight difference between the VP9 and P30sk at less than 3oz. If she can't handle the weight of a VP9 she need to do some extended forward arm lifts with 2 and then 5lb weights, twice a day, two weeks oughta do it.
That video is pretty good. I do think I've been told a few times to push forward as I rack it. It is much easier that way!

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Best thing I can do is recommend the grip strength exercise tools. Start with a generic one that goes up to 88 lb, and then 125, 150, 200, etc...

Second alternative, and I know I'm going to catch a lot of safety Sally flak for this, is cheat-racking by grabbing the slide near the muzzle ledge, along with the front serrations. Obviously, keep the fingers out of the way / finger off the trigger, and push with dominant hand, while pulling with support hand. This is a last-ditch resort.

A lot of HKs have trapezoidal slides (all the newer ones) instead of parallel slides (like the USP), with mediocre serrations, which are not conducive to folks with weaker hands, especially during sweaty conditions. I don't think the P30SK is going to remedy that.
The video is the correct way, but I have met women who lack the grip strength to hold onto the slidd while the push their other arm forward. Phuam is on the right track, general weightlifting (particularly olympic lifting) is very conducive to grip strength. There are other benefits to that too.
P2000SK Lem 9mm worked well for a woman with small but strong hands. This was pre P30SK.
In using grippers train carefully so as not to damage yourself.
Of the HK's I'd say one of the SKs (P2000SK or P30SK)

Have you considered a 9MM revolver like the LCR? I know it's not HK but there is no slide to rack and the trigger pulls are pretty nice out of the box.
Is it possible she's getting fatigued by having to manage the recoil in a smaller lighter gun? I imagine that would "tire" a person faster than holding a gun up.

She may honestly be better off with a full sized 9mm.

Try having her shoot a .22 pistol. If she still fatigues then yea, like stated abouve, she'll have to train some how to get stronger.
If you find a gun light enough to keep her arms and wrists from failing after a half hour session, it'll be too light for her to control. Get her a P2000 and make her do push-ups.
Haha I don't understand, guns aren't that fatiguing. I am a pretty average size/strength female. Yes, it was hard to get used to... I started with a full size 1911 and hk p30. I had a ton of stove pipes on the hk because of limp wristing initially.

It just took time and practice. If she really is interested and finds a firearm she really likes... I suspect this won't be that big of an issue.

Yes, I'm probably still a little "weak" looking in the way I rack the slide sometimes but it hasn't impacted my ability to learn to shoot or improve my gun handling/shooting. I've simply gotten smoother and better with it over time.

Unless she has arthritis or some other conditions that really diminishes her hand strength (then a revolver is probably her best option) I seriously doubt the average woman's hand strength is too weak for a polymer gun.

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As several have said the P30sk would be a great option. I have large hands but use the Large grip inserts and feel extremely comfortable and confident holding it. An alternate you could try if you liked sig is the Sig 938. Its a balanced weapon with a slim profile and the quality of buying a Sig. I know its heresy to recommend something that isn't HK but it would be worth a shot.
Strength training required as mentioned. Surprised a P7 has not been suggested.
Strength training required as mentioned. Surprised a P7 has not been suggested.
The P7 is a steel frame pistol. That would make it heavy and fatiguing.
In terms of the physics, the strong spring doesn't make the gun snappy, the lack of weight does. That same lack of weight necessitates the strong spring. Polymer guns can feel less balanced and cause fatigue sooner for the same weight steel gun because the center of gravity is high and forward rather than central.

If she can't hold the gun up for an hour range session, go for a 1/2 hr range session or break it up by taking a 2 minute break to collect brass, stretch, walk around.... something to move different muscles every 10. Keep in mine that in *actual* defensive situations, you aren't going to hold the gun up for an hour.

My wife has the same problem: 5'5", about 100lbs wrapped in a wet blanket, and does electronics for a living (high dexterity, low strength). The biggest thing that's helped my wife is to just get out and shoot. shoot big guns, small guns, rifles, anything. That goes for both shooting itself (ie, not flinching) and holding/operating the weapon (racking the slide). Last time we were at the range, my wife ran several guns she balked at a few months ago. I even pointed it out to her afterwards and she was like "oh...yea I guess getting out and practicing helps".

In the realm of half joking but true: Find someone that has a 2-5 year old to babysit. great exercise for the shoulders to pick up a 30-40lb kid a few thousand times an hour. once you get that down, practice throwing them in the air. My 40lb, 39" tall 4 year old loves to "fly" with our 9' ceiling and my shoulders reflect it.

The P7 is a steel frame pistol. That would make it heavy and fatiguing.
Yea, kinda but the weight is low and centered. bigger problem is the huge grip front-rear. My wife can shoot it but didn't like it because the grip didn't fit her hand at all. Mine, at least, has a heavier recoil spring than many of my other pistols. In the same vein, I'd also suggest some careful consideration before getting a P30 or VP9 because of the finger grooves. They fit my big mits great but my wife basically fits all 3 fingers on an SK: not so comfy with the aggressive grooves.
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I've noticed that people who have weak and or arthritic hands and arms to the point that they have trouble racking a slide with proper technique also struggle with limp wristing (like my wife). Generally, these can be improved through strength training and practicing good technique. BUT, sometimes the answer is the good old revolver. That is what solved the issue for my wife.
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