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Pistol choices for female junior

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Pistol choices for female junior Empty Pistol choices for female junior

Post by hengehold 2/17/2023, 2:29 am

My 12 year old daughter has expressed an interest in learning to shoot a pistol. I would like to get her something that is able to be used for bullseye so she can eventually attend matches if she develops an interest in joining me. 

Looking for suggestions for pistols that may be good for her. The Ruger MKIV 22/45 Lite looks like it may be a good starter for a youngster. I like this model specifically because it is lighter than some other pistol choices and has a pic-rail already mounted on top so can use irons or red dot easily. Trigger upgrade is available if she cares to compete. 

I see there is a trail side for sale in the classified section. That also looks like a relatively lite gun. However, the red dot mounting appears questionable as it has a dove tail on top. Any recommendations to go with a trailside vs a Ruger 22/45?

-Trevor

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Post by RADJAG 2/17/2023, 3:25 am

I have two Ruger Mk. IV 22/45's, one with dot the other irons, that I keep as "lenders" for beginners or friends who want to give it a try. Dead reliable with almost any ammo - I prefer Aguila Super Extra SV - and very accurate, certainly good enough to make Master or go Distinguished. Triggers can be easily upgraded with a drop in kit.

I have not tried the "lite" version, but it sounds perfect for your needs.

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Post by CrankyThunder 2/17/2023, 7:14 am

Good Morning!

The Rugers are very good and the trailside is a good pistol as well. Have not heard of anybody having problems with the mounting of a dot on the trailside. 

If your daughter has smaller hands the beretta neos has a smaller grip that a couple of our female shooters have preferred, although the trigger leaves plenty to be desired.  One of our shooters liked the neos so well she had a gunsmith do a trigger job but there is not that much you can do to improve the neos trigger.
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Post by mikemyers 2/17/2023, 7:59 am

Why not start out with a pellet gun?

Less cost, no recoil, and they can be as "real" as a regular gun if you get a quality gun.  I bought a Umarex that looks and feels like a 1911 Colt.  It is more expensive than the "toy" guns they also sell.  It will probably cost you in the range of $300 or so.

Depending on where you live, it can be shot in the backyard or basement.  I wish I had known that long ago.

This is the manual for the gun I bought, which with extra supplies came to a little over $300:

[url=https://www.umarexusa.com/UMAREX/Product Manuals/Manual Colt 1911 EN.pdf]https://www.umarexusa.com/UMAREX/Product%20Manuals/Manual%20Colt%201911%20EN.pdf[/url]

It is not a toy, and it can be very accurate.  I shoot it mostly at my brother's home, outdoors, with regular bullseye targets mounted on cardboard boxes.
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Post by james r chapman 2/17/2023, 9:46 am

I shoot my Walther lp500 in my basement.
A good training option

Some have a decent 10mm rail for mounting a dot if needed.

Also, look for a lightly used Benelli MP 95.
Often found for a decent price
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Post by hengehold 2/17/2023, 10:16 am

Thanks for the feedback so far. My daughter has an astigmatism and wears glasses. By contrast I do not so I have a hard time understanding what her visual capabilities and limitations are when it comes to shooting with iron sights or a red-dot sight. I am leaning towards rimfire rather than air pistol because a red dot is allowed in bullseye and is an option for her if she needs it. I guess I still need to do some trial and error with her to experiment with iron sights to figure all this out. It is going to be difficult though because she is young and inexperienced so she has no frame of reference to compare things to. Long story short, I am thinking that flexibility of different sighting options is important in this case.
Please keep the suggestions coming.
-Trevor

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Post by BE Mike 2/17/2023, 10:26 am

hengehold wrote:Thanks for the feedback so far. My daughter has an astigmatism and wears glasses. By contrast I do not so I have a hard time understanding what her visual capabilities and limitations are when it comes to shooting with iron sights or a red-dot sight. I am leaning towards rimfire rather than air pistol because a red dot is allowed in bullseye and is an option for her if she needs it. I guess I still need to do some trial and error with her to experiment with iron sights to figure all this out. It is going to be difficult though because she is young and inexperienced so she has no frame of reference to compare things to. Long story short, I am thinking that flexibility of different sighting options is important in this case.
Please keep the suggestions coming.
-Trevor
You touched upon something important. For those who need glasses, a prescription for shooting glasses is important. Many optometrists are very accommodating if they are given a "heads up" before the appointment. Rugers are hard to beat and these days they have many aftermarket additions that can make them very competitive. I'd recommend that she try the slant grip (original) models, as well as, the 22/45 models before making a decision. As for weight, if she develops her interest to be serious about bullseye pistol competitions, she will train to tone the muscles needed for the sport, just like anyone else.
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Post by toddcfii 2/17/2023, 11:02 am

I have an astigmatism and have found a diopter - the kind that stick on glasses like eyepal make the dot much rounder and easier to use. They also help make the front sight on irons much clearer.
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Post by mikemyers 2/17/2023, 5:34 pm

First, for some basic information that you might find useful:
  astigmatism

Maybe you can invite user 'shootingsight' to join this discussion.  He is an expert on eye correction and glasses.
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Post by Wobbley 2/17/2023, 7:23 pm

An out-of-the-box comment, have you considered a S&W M&P 22 Compact?   It is NOT a true target pistol by put it is less than a pound in weight,  might be easier for her to hold.  

As for her astigmatism get a good pair of glasses and make sure she wears them,
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Post by Allgoodhits 2/17/2023, 8:06 pm

If you do not have a 1911, considering buying one, or another one. Add a Nelson of Marvel .22 conversion kit. It will cost you a tad more, but opens up so many options down the round for her, or adds options for you, or both. BTW, the Ruger is fine too, just limited compared to a 1911 setup.
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Post by SaraiEsq 2/17/2023, 8:26 pm

When I was looking to buy my first pistol (insert sappy music), a few folks tried to steer me to the 22/45 Lite because it was a Ruger (reliable, accurate, well-known), it had the same grip angle as a 1911 (making the transition to a .45 easier), and it was lighter (making it easier to raise and hold).  I ended up going with the Mark IV Target instead because it was heavier and more suitable for competition, and I didn't need a lighter pistol.  In fact I think my old Ruger Standard and the Mark IV weigh about the same.  She may like the lighter pistol (25 ounces vs 35 for the MIV) and it may make it easier to learn if she is not fatigued by holding the pistol.

This is pretty standard advice, but let her try different pistols out, see what feels best in her hand after a few strings.  If she's like me, there will be one she just keeps coming back to as "home".  

And be sure to get her a "Shoot like a girl ... if you can" t-shirt at some point.
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Post by John Dervis 2/17/2023, 9:20 pm

I didn’t like the trigger on the 22/45 example that I owned but otherwise it would be a good choice for your purpose.
I am partial to Browning Buckmarks.  The two I have owned are pretty old models but the Field model has a full length combo rib so can be used with either irons or a dot.  The frame on these is aluminum so the gun is somewhat light in general but I think you can get specific “Lite” models as well.  
Good luck with getting your daughter involved.  I have three and not a one of them was ever interested in shooting.  I hope you get her hooked.

John

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Post by msmith44 2/18/2023, 12:08 pm

hengehold wrote:My 12 year old daughter has expressed an interest in learning to shoot a pistol. I would like to get her something that is able to be used for bullseye so she can eventually attend matches if she develops an interest in joining me. 

Looking for suggestions for pistols that may be good for her. The Ruger MKIV 22/45 Lite looks like it may be a good starter for a youngster. I like this model specifically because it is lighter than some other pistol choices and has a pic-rail already mounted on top so can use irons or red dot easily. Trigger upgrade is available if she cares to compete. 

I see there is a trail side for sale in the classified section. That also looks like a relatively lite gun. However, the red dot mounting appears questionable as it has a dove tail on top. Any recommendations to go with a trailside vs a Ruger 22/45?

-Trevor
She's TWELVE, she wants to LEARN. The Ruger MK IV 22/45 is a great starter pistol AND they come in really cool colors. Yeah, they don't have the world's greatest trigger. So what! They are light and manageable for a 12 year old and fun to shoot. The key here is fun (positive experience) today. If its fun she'll want to come back and do it again. Maybe she'll develop an interest in PP, maybe small bore or air rifle,or the practical pistol disciplines. If and when she shows an interest in shooting sports, that's the time to start buying competitive guns. For the sake of your pocket book, just hope it's not shotguns. 


Good luck,


-m-

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Post by mspingeld 2/18/2023, 12:50 pm

I do not recommend the lite version. It's hard to control. Ruger (with aftermarket trigger), and the others mentioned are accurate enough. My favorites, although more expensive, would be the Hammerli eXesse. Great trigger, great balance, great accuracy.

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Post by popchevy 2/18/2023, 1:28 pm

I don't know what your budget is. But, my Hammerli Excess is a full lb lighter than my Ruger mk 4 target. With a badly torn rotator cuff that was important to me. All you need are Weaver scope mounts as it had a rail machined into the barrel. Not cheap, but a wonderful gun. they also make diff size grips for it. 2nd choice would be the Ruger 22/45.  
We got a 10 yr old shooting with our group now and he loves it !! and the guys like having him around.

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Post by msmith44 2/18/2023, 3:19 pm

mspingeld wrote:I do not recommend the lite version. It's hard to control. Ruger (with aftermarket trigger), and the others mentioned are accurate enough. My favorites, although more expensive, would be the Hammerli eXesse. Great trigger, great balance, great accuracy.
... a good PP gun but that's not the goal. Is it?

Data taken from manufacturers website.

Ruger Lite 22/45 Model #43926 – 25 oz.
Ruger Target (aluminum frame) Model #40101 – 35.6 oz
Hammerli eXesse #2870282 – 31 oz (880 g.)

The OP's 12 yo daughter wants to learn to shoot a pistol. The OP hopes that one day she'll join him on the line. At this point she just wants to learn to shoot. Every respondent, except Wobbley and me, seems to assume the young lady is interested in PP. According to the OP she's interested in learning to shoot a pistol and I think that's the place to start.

If she were my daughter, I'd get her a gun that has a small enough grip and is light enough so she can handle it without struggling and chambered in .22lr. I'd let her shoot one-handed or two, doesn't matter at this point and start at 15-25 feet with a target large enough so she can be hitting the bullseye (just in the black or whatever color the bullseye is) quickly. The goal is for her to learn, have fun and have success in hitting a target and WANT to do it again. Between range sessions she'll probably start looking at various shooting sites on the web and discover that there aren't many pictures of women doing PP but a boatload shooting small bore rifle, air rifle, shotgun sports, and action pistol. As she gets better you can move the target to 50 feet and gradually reduce the size of the target so she's not intimidated by 50 or 25 yards. As the challenge increases you might introduce her to basic skills needed to shoot a handgun effectively. This isn't PP technique but basic marksmanship. If she's still enthusiastic (which she will be if she has fun andregularly  hits the smaller target) she may want to explore PP... or not. She's 12 after all and children's passions at that age can change with the seasons.


-m-

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Post by Ray Dash 2/18/2023, 4:21 pm

My opinion would be the Hammerli Xesse. I have some top tier pistols and have still shot my best targets with my Xesse.
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Post by popchevy 2/18/2023, 6:59 pm

Hmmm , something to consider. With the Ruger 22/45 they make accessories in all kinds of diff colors . If ya picked her fav color , I bet it wouldn't be long before she gave it a name !

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Post by SaraiEsq 2/18/2023, 9:22 pm

popchevy wrote:Hmmm , something to consider. With the Ruger 22/45 they make accessories in all kinds of diff colors . If ya picked her fav color , I bet it wouldn't be long before she gave it a name !

How long did it take for you to give your first pistol a name?  Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

I don't know if Steve Pardieck (Master, Indiana SRPA officer) in on this forum, but his girls shoot (and they are young too).  He might be able to offer some advice on suitable pistols for the young lady as well as fanning interest in the shooting sports.
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Post by FimRire RongLifle 2/18/2023, 9:33 pm

Smith 422 and 622 are light weight also if the grip fits. Easy to cerakote. 22/45 is more like a 1911 though. The browning 80% 1911-22 is pretty cool and light. Hard for optic though
Astigmatism often transfers eye dominance to other eye btw.
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Post by rich.tullo 2/19/2023, 6:58 pm

The S&W Victory is a good option.
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Post by popchevy 2/19/2023, 8:05 pm

How long did it take for you to give your first pistol a name?  Pistol choices for female junior Icon_biggrin Pistol choices for female junior Icon_biggrin Pistol choices for female junior Icon_biggrin

This 1st couple times it jammed, but it wasn't.......cute !

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Post by hengehold 2/20/2023, 12:52 am

An update here from the OP. I found a used 22/45 lite for under $500 so I decided to give that a try for my 12 yr old. If the grip is too big or whatever then we will try something else.

I first started shooting with an NRA program that allowed me to earn classification badges and the requirements started out pretty easy and progressively got harder. Two handed shooting, short distances, etc. I think I’ll let her try that out for starters and go from there. It is fun to earn trinkets so maybe she will find it enjoyable.

Thank you to everyone for your input. Some great suggestions and counter points made here. See you on the range.

-Trevor

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Post by blindfaith429 3/2/2023, 10:14 am

My wife wanted to get into pistol shooting. After showing her a few pistols, I went with the Buck Mark Lite (aluminum barrel). Nice balance, nice trigger, and not overly heavy due to the aluminum frame and barrel.

Only issue is the slide, kinda a pain due to its shape / design.

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