Helping the wife shoot.
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Thread: Helping the wife shoot.

  1. Helping the wife shoot.

    I bought a Beretta px4 Storm sub compact for myself. I'm going to be buying the Springfield armory XD40 service next month. Anyways my wife wants the PX4 Storm as her daily but shes having a hard time pulling the slide back. I'm wondering if anyone could help me find a replacement recoil spring so she can have an easier time loading the gun. frankly I don't want her walking around with one in the chamber at all times. She can barely pull the slide back and it takes her several attempts and isn't very practical if she needs to use it. I'm thinking a spring with 5 pounds less pulling force then what comes stock. All help would be great.

    I'm not new to guns or shooting but I'm a noob when it comes to finding parts.

    Thanks for help in advanced

  2.   
  3. I have a lady friend with the same problem on the 9mm xd. I found a slide racker (?) Not sure the exact name. It's a small "handle" that mounts on the slide, gives them something to grab onto. Heres one:
    SLIDE RACKER | Brownells
    You would have to find one for your particular firearm. Putting a 5 pound lighter recoil spring in would batter the gun to pieces, and launch your brass into orbit, or the guys face next you at the range.


    Quote Originally Posted by redout67 View Post
    I bought a Beretta px4 Storm sub compact for myself. I'm going to be buying the Springfield armory XD40 service next month. Anyways my wife wants the PX4 Storm as her daily but shes having a hard time pulling the slide back. I'm wondering if anyone could help me find a replacement recoil spring so she can have an easier time loading the gun. frankly I don't want her walking around with one in the chamber at all times. She can barely pull the slide back and it takes her several attempts and isn't very practical if she needs to use it. I'm thinking a spring with 5 pounds less pulling force then what comes stock. All help would be great.

    I'm not new to guns or shooting but I'm a noob when it comes to finding parts.

    Thanks for help in advanced

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by redout67 View Post
    I bought a Beretta px4 Storm sub compact for myself. I'm going to be buying the Springfield armory XD40 service next month. Anyways my wife wants the PX4 Storm as her daily but shes having a hard time pulling the slide back. I'm wondering if anyone could help me find a replacement recoil spring so she can have an easier time loading the gun. frankly I don't want her walking around with one in the chamber at all times. She can barely pull the slide back and it takes her several attempts and isn't very practical if she needs to use it. I'm thinking a spring with 5 pounds less pulling force then what comes stock. All help would be great.

    I'm not new to guns or shooting but I'm a noob when it comes to finding parts.

    Thanks for help in advanced
    This is an operator problem and not an equipment problem. She needs proper training!

    The PX4 Storm has a double action trigger pull of 10-12 pounds. That's a revolver-type pull weight. Carrying this gun with an empty chamber is ill-advised, especially if this is the model with an external manual safety.

    Switching out the recoil spring to a lighter poundage will increase perceived recoil, may cause malfunctions, and will result in early wear-out.

    Racking the slide using the correct technique is important for efficient and safe operation. The support hand goes over the slide without going in front of the barrel. Grab the rear of the slide with the support hand and push the gun forward with the strong hand.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by redout67 View Post
    I bought a Beretta px4 Storm sub compact for myself. I'm going to be buying the Springfield armory XD40 service next month. Anyways my wife wants the PX4 Storm as her daily but shes having a hard time pulling the slide back. I'm wondering if anyone could help me find a replacement recoil spring so she can have an easier time loading the gun. frankly I don't want her walking around with one in the chamber at all times. She can barely pull the slide back and it takes her several attempts and isn't very practical if she needs to use it. I'm thinking a spring with 5 pounds less pulling force then what comes stock. All help would be great.

    I'm not new to guns or shooting but I'm a noob when it comes to finding parts.

    Thanks for help in advanced
    It is more technique than strength. My wife has very weak hands due to arthritis, yet has no problem racking her XD9sc because a woman that works in the LGS showed her a technique to use her arm strength to rack the slide.

    Also recoil springs are designed based on the recoil when the gun is fired, and changing it may be detrimental to the guns performance and even damage it.
    “Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.
    But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” ― Steven Weinberg

  6. #5
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    Thumbs up Trick for 'hard to rack slides'

    There are basically two common ways to rack the slide on a semi-auto --- 1) Hold the PISTOL firmly and push the slide back to chamber a round... or, 2) Hold the SLIDE with the pistol extended in front of you, and push the pistol body forward beneath the slide. For #1, you need more strength and esp. may need a lot more strength to both grip and push the slide. For #2, most folks have the strength of hand to simply hold onto the slide - but because you are pushing against the more-vertical pistol grip's back (rather than against the horizontal slide), it is much easier to apply more force on a hard-to-cock semi-auto. A variation is to hold the weapon across one's chest, but be extra-sure where it is pointing if you use this approach.

    Obviously, #2 being an ergonomically superior means to apply force, it works for anyone who may have need of such a technique.
    "There are two kinds of people in this world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who know better." (T.Robbins)

  7. Just a thought. It may be the wrong handgun for her. My wife had the same issue. Her hands had trouble clearing the safty and racking slide. Our cure was a S&W 438, change the springs and a little massage of proper internals, pull is down from the 10 lbs. to 6.5 lbs. Much better trigger pull and smoother action all around. Plus less chance of misfire than a semi auto when it counts. It really depends on your mindset of why you carry. We carry for protection and do not need people knowing or care about the cool gun factor. Its about reliability and ability to reliable action the wapon efficently when needed.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinpack View Post
    Just a thought. It may be the wrong handgun for her. My wife had the same issue. Her hands had trouble clearing the safty and racking slide. Our cure was a S&W 438, change the springs and a little massage of proper internals, pull is down from the 10 lbs. to 6.5 lbs. Much better trigger pull and smoother action all around. Plus less chance of misfire than a semi auto when it counts. It really depends on your mindset of why you carry. We carry for protection and do not need people knowing or care about the cool gun factor. Its about reliability and ability to reliable action the wapon efficently when needed.
    Your post contains some of the typical misconceptions that are the reasons why men chose revolvers for their women. Not that the women get any choice or any proper training.

    Are there people that have problems with racking the slide of a semi-auto handgun? Sure. However, any healthy person should be able to rack the slide using the proper technique. Since most men have zero formal training when they get their women handguns, they teach them the wrong skills, including how (not) to rack the slide.

    Now, lets assume for a moment that a person can not rack the slide. What's the difference between a loaded 6-shot snub-nose revolver and a loaded 13-round subcompact semi-auto handgun? It takes one reload for the revolver to get close in capacity. How about a 16-round compact semi-auto handgun? That's close to two revolver reloads.

    Semi-auto handgun malfunctions are typically related to magazines (mostly wear-out or dirt) and user error (mostly limp wristing). Clearing those malfunctions requires to rack the slide. However, revolvers are not necessarily as reliable as one thinks (see video below). A misfire is something completely different. It typically relates to ammo and sometimes light primer strikes (i.e. the gun). It can happen with both, revolvers and semi-auto handguns.

    In summary, get your women some training. There are lots of firearm training schools out there that have classes specifically for women. After such training, let them decide what they want. Lay off the nonsensical gun talk ("cool gun factor" ?).


  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bofh View Post
    . . . any healthy person should be able to rack the slide using the proper technique....
    That's my problem. I'm not a healthy person. I have Parkinson's disease, which, in my case, manifests itself with multiple hand strength and function issues.

    I used to be able to rack a gun, and I've had training--I just can't do it anymore. I work out to strengthen my body but I still have problems with fine motor movements (among other things). It's not just training--I can't operate all clothing fasteners, open jars, pick up small items, and multitude of other functions that don't require any training. I can't skip or jump--I tell my legs to do it and they ignore my commands. That's what happens when I try to rack--nothing.

    I still practice at the range but I know that I'll from now on have limitations. I still have a good grouping on the target, and I'll keep at it for as long as I'm not a safety hazard. I prefer my revolver now (yes, it's only a 5-capacity) but I do practice shooting my semi-auto with Hubby doing the loading and racking for me.

    I haven't given up. I keep practicing and hoping that someday muscle memory will come back.

  10. #9
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    My wife's hands are no longer strong enough to rack the slide of an auto loader so now she shoots & carries a Ruger LCR in 9mm. Perfect for her.
    Comfort One Another With These Words Also...There Will Not Be Another Generation

  11. #10
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    I have a Taurus Ultra-light Titanium .38 SP + P revolver (5-shot capacity), and a Ruger LC9s 9mm semi-auto (7 + 1 capacity). I can shoot them both but I can load only the Taurus.

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