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I want to get another new pistol for my wife as a surprise gift. For about $200 I can get either a new TCP or a new poly PT22. I've looked at the PT22's at gunshows, and they look really nice - really great quality for the cost. I've fired an older PT22 quite a bit but not one of the new plastic framed ones. I haven't fired the TCP either. We've got a good 380 ammo supply, and a fair 22 ammo supply too. I got her interested in shooting a year ago or so... I want to keep her interested and I want it to stay fun for her.

We like going to the range about once a week... and would want a pistol that is a good combination of fairly fun to shoot, very reliable, and fairly accurate...

SO - from YOUR perspective - if you got one as a surprise gift, which would you rather have?

(assuming that *both* is not an option)
 

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I think it depends on the need for it. In my case, i just picked up (still on layaway) a PT22 Poly. I mainly bought it for my kids to have a gun to shoot when i take them to the range. Not gonna go broke at the loss of a couple dozen rounds of .22's flying down range. Also, i've wanted a mini .22 for a while now, and while it's not a big self defense round, plenty of people have fallen to a sting by those little buggers.

Now if i was in the market for a .380 to carry in the pocket, i'd go TCP all day long. But since i own a P-64 that run 9x18 Mak, i'm not really in the market for one at the moment.
 
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My wife already has a .38, so I would probably go with the PT22 poly. Besides, I think it's a pretty neat pistol, and hopefully I would get to shoot it too! :D
 

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Same here, it just looks fun to me. I wouldn't even mind slipping it in my pocket from time to time as a BUG since it holds 9 rounds. One thing i noticed when i handled the one i'm picking up is that racking the slide is easier on either of my .45's than that little .22, and it's definitely not from a lack of grip. Glad that barrel flips up and you can just drop one in the chamber since it's DAO.
 
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1. I am a woman
@ I love the 738 with extended pinky grip its perfect and it has that nice grip. I have handled both of these guns and the 22 seamed a bit cartoonish and whimpy to me. It was too small for my hands so thats why I like the 738 it feels good in my hands but I do reccommnd the extended mag grip I can pout this pistol anywhere even with the girls and I dont even need a holster lol
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all. I'm still thinking about it... Also still thinking about *both* :)
 

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$400 isn't too bad of a price tag to put on a pair of pistols IMO.
 

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I handled the PT22 and agree with Plum, that it does seem small for my hands too and I don't feel i have large hands. It wasn't what I had expected. I haven't seen the TCP 380, but from the pics it looks bigger (to me). I think I'd probably have to do an extension mag on it though. I don't like the feeling of not having my pinky fully on the grips.
 

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I will admit it is tiny in my hands, i can almost make a closed fist around the entire gun. But being the case, i do have large hands. I have to actually grip it with my middle finger and thumb and curl my ring and pinky fingers under it, so it's a good thing .22's don't put out much of any recoil at all. Even my P-64 is small in hand, but i can put my ring ringer on the finger groove of the mag and curl my pinky under it.
 

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TCP by a long shot! .380 is a better caliber and MUCH more reliable than rimfire. If you get the .22 (I don't like tip ups, had a bad experience with a Beretta) be sure to rotate the ammo often. I know a sweaty pocket will cause it to dud after a month or two. It's pretty hot and humid down here. I rotate it out of my NAA mini revolver every week. I carry it as a back up 24/7. You don't want it to go click when you need it.
 

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For starters and this needs to be told firmly to every dude that's out there "buying a gun for the wife", it needs to be her pick. She knows what's best for her and her needs and wants.

Does she have training and is proficient with any handguns? If yes, then no problem.

If not then let it be recommended that the NRA or NSSF - National Shooting Sports Foundation basic handgun course be taken by her. There are women's only classes available from them,too.

Once she gets a good rounded education then she can make the decision as to what gun/caliber combo are right for her.

May I suggest some things,please.

There is the Taurus 732 in .32 ACP if the .22lrf guns do not work out.

.22lrf pistols that are bigger than the mini-pistols are a good way to start out. Walther,Beretta, Ruger,S&W, and others make .22lrf compact pistols that can be teaching,fun, and overall around use firearms. Not as small as the mini-guns, but immanently more shootable and user friendly.

My wife started out on a Ruger 4inch barreled 22/45 MK.II. Light weight, but not all that heavy or big.

Phoenix Arms makes a single action small gun. These can be had for a few extra bucks with a longer barrel that slips in easy as a conversion package. Phoenix Arms Official Website - Pistols - Firearms - Handguns - Manufacturer - HP22 - HP22A - HP25A

Have her try a few or as many as possible and see if that is the way to go. Let her pick what feels right and works.

Next up are .22lrf revolvers. Taurus 970 and 990 revolvers with the 4 inch barrel strike a nice balance and have better trigger pulls than the 94s. I've got a 6 inch 990 that my grown daughter can lift and use.

There are some nice S&W revolvers along the same line. Most of them are older models. There is a 617 that's nice.

If a single action is needed then Heritage makes a heritage firearms, heritage revolvers, heritage rough rider, heritage arms, heritage guns, heritage pistol, heritage handguns budget gun. www.ruger.com/ has some nice ones in it's Single-Six versions. Granted, single action is not the best type of revolver, but it works. Got my first shots on a Single-Six and got hooked for life.

Next up are the .32 calibers.

.32 ACPs is not a powerhouse, but with newer technology rounds available it gets the round up off it's knees and makes it a viable round.

Regular sized pistols in the line of the Taurus PT132 Mil Pro (own 3),CZ83 (own one),and Bersa (new version), are more user friendly,fires a mild cartridge, and one that almost anyone can handle. Dropping down in size is the Taurus 732. I own one of those, too.

There are the .32 calibers in revolver guise. Taurus makes several models. Both are snub revolvers, but very mild, with little recoil and noise if .32 H&R magnum or .32 S&W Long ammo is used. Taurus models are the 731 (.32 H&R magnum) and the 327 (.327 Federal Magnum). Six shots.

Ruger makes a SP-101 in .327 Federal magnum. 3 inch barrel.Six shots. It can be use as a main gun or a secondary one. It depends on the user. All Federal magnum guns can shoot .32 H&R and .32 S&W Longs.

Ammo For Sale : Cheap Ammo : Find Ammunition at AmmoSeek.com and AmmoEngine: .338 Winchester Magnum, Instock For Sale Premium & Discount Ammunition, Ammo Deals are two good ammo sources for these.

So is www.venturemunitions.com and Georgia Arms

Let's look at the .380s.

Bersa,Taurus, Beretta, and others make good medium sized .380 pistols. I own a Beretta 85 which is a single stack. Model 85 is a double stack. Beretta 86 is s tip up barrel version and is like the 85 in other respects.

Taurus has the 680, PT138 Mil Pro, and the new DT series of pistols to take a look at. These are double stack pisto

Bersa single stack pistols that are reliable and a number of guys here claim their gals have one. Or they do.

We could go into other calibers, but that seems like a good starting point. 9x19 and .38 Special come to mind. Both are user friendly and mild with the proper ammo and gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
For starters and this needs to be told firmly to every dude that's out there "buying a gun for the wife", it needs to be her pick.
I agree 100%. And - THANK you for the lengthy response and all the great information. I probably should have included more information with my question - but I tend to over-write, so I try to keep things brief. Sometimes by cutting things down, I leave out important details. Here's the REST of the story:

I started teaching my wife, who formerly had a fear and an aversion to any firearms, with a Ruger 22/45. That is a great first pistol and I picked it for a number of reasons. My primary concerns with that were minimal recoil, safety and accuracy, as well as the similarity of controls, grip, and manual/battery of arms to a number of other pistols. I didn't realize the new messes in Ruger's new Mark III's - but I've addressed most of them - added a fiber optic front sight, removed the mag disconnect, and smoothed the trigger for her. It took several weeks at the range for her to get comfortable with it - and for her to get comfortable with people in adjacent lanes firing while she fired. It took some time finding her comfortable ear protection, and she still isn't thrilled with the eye protection I have her wear at the range, but she gets the reasons for it. She's read most of the cornered cat website. (which I think is an amazing resource!)

I felt competent and well-qualified to instruct her a wide variety of basics like safety, nomenclature, safety, sight picture, safety, stances, safety, natural point of aim, safety, care/cleaning, and safety. Although I'm not NRA certified, I have been shooting since I was 12, and did serve for 4 years in the Army (qualifying expert with rifle and pistol every time/multiple times) and served 6 years in the Marine Corps, in the infantry (and again qualified expert with rifle and pistol every time/multiple times). I was an armorer by MOS in the Army, and worked as an armorer in the Marines, and I taught marksmanship in the Marine Corps at squad, platoon, and company level. I'm considering taking some NRA classes - and perhaps getting qualified as an NRA instructor - but that is a topic for another thread.

SO - After she was safe, competent, and comfortable shooting that 22/45, she completed an 8 hour Intro to Firearms and Safety course with a local police instructor who is qualified. One of my inherent limitations as her husband is that I can't really teach her anything. There's a weird husband/wife dynamic going on, and if I were to tell her, firmly and loudly, DON'T DO THAT! at the range, she might take it personally, instead of taking it as instruction designed to help her understand a potential safety issue. I've also realize - COMPLETELY - that teaching Marines how to shoot is a VERY different thing than teaching my wife how to shoot. Different in every way! The Castle Doctrine is VERY different than military rules of engagement... Anyway -

She enjoys shooting - really loves it now. We got her a basic j-frame, a S&W 442. She enjoys shooting that with 148gr wadcutters... but doesn't really like shooting it with anything stronger. After that, at HER insistence, I got her a Diamondback 380. She loves that pistol, but doesn't maintain the greatest wrist firmness when shooting it. That's an issue because with that pistol, limp-wrist can contribute to, and induce failures. I enjoy the Diamondback also, and have never had a FTF or FTE or any other failure with it. And I've got a nice stockpile of .22 and .380 ammo for her now. I've also recently got her a Taurus 327, and that is great because it can fire the 32 S&W which has muzzle energy equivalent to a 22lr, and recoil that is not much greater if any - and it can also fire the 327 magnum, which is an amazingly powerful blast to shoot. I'm stocking up on 32 and 327 ammo when I can. I've been to gun show after gun show with her, and had her put her hand on at least half of every current production revolver and pistol out there. Where it made sense, I've had her dry-fire a bunch of pistols. There are several that she would like to have. She'd like a Taurus or Beretta 92. She'd like a TCP. She'd like a poly PT22 (either stainless or black) She'd like a commander sized 1911 in .45acp.

The last time we were at the range, she shot 3 handguns, put 50 rounds through each, using mostly the weaver stance, but some shot with each hand, offhanded, on a single target at 15 yds. The ammo was a mix, in each handgun. When she finished, all of the rounds but one were in the 10 ring on the target. She was furious about the "9." My older brother, who was a Marine Infantryman in Vietnam, has told me that he would never teach his wife to shoot. I, on the other hand, am quite happy that I've been a part of introducing my wife to firearms, and helping her learn about them and become safe and proficient with them.

GIVEN those basics,
My idea with this question is to get her something that I already know she would like to have AND that she will have FUN shooting, AND could potentially also be carried concealed, or concealed as a backup weapon.


I want to surprise her, and figured - there are ladies here who can tell me what THEY would prefer - and I will factor that in. I want to get a more womanly opinion.
 
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Thanks for the clarification.

Did any of those light up her eyes more than another out of the ones she says she wants? Is she going to need a CCW first versus a house gun that may be more powerful than a .380 mini pistol?
 

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Depends on the woman. My wife would not want either, she likes revolvers.
Our friend would like the PT22PLY because she likes autos but does not like shooting small .380's.
I like the PT22PLY because it is very small and easy to shoot. It also fits perfectly in a front pocket, seems to have a profile shaped for staying in position in a front pants pocket. Never tried the TCP for pocket fit.
 
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