Easy-to-rack pistol -- *in CA*?

My wife has a skin condition that causes her skin to literally be “thin”. She wants a pistol (not a revolver), but racking her current pistol (a CZ75 P-01) damages (rips) her skin. Changing racking technique does not help much with this issue … she needs something that reduces the friction required to rack it, which means less it has to require less racking force. (clearly a revolver would be one solution, but she’s not ready to make that jump, yet)

Can anyone recommend a pistol (preferably 9mm, although possibly .380) that’s a lot easier to rack?** Here is the catch that complicates the heck out of this question – we live in Nannyfornia, where models that are known to be easier-to-rack, like S&W Shield EZ and Wather CCP, are illegal to sell++.

==> Does anyone know of a 9mm or .380 pistol that’s easy to rack, that’s been on the market since before 2013 (therefore might be available in CA)?

We realize that any of
relocating “back into the USA” ;-),
SOCTUS declaring CA’s Handgun Roster unconstitutional,
or switching to a revolver
would solve this problem, although none of those is currently an option.


++ because they committed the “crime” for coming onto the market after 2013 (when CA’s microstamping law took effect); no semi-auto pistol models that were new after 2013 can be sold in CA. And many that were on the market before then have dropped off the infamous Handgun Roster so have become illegal to purchase, also. If you see a handgun advertised in a magazine, it probably is a newer model and sale is outlawed in CA.

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@David380 - Welcome to the community. We’re glad you’re here.

Given the requirements as you have provided them, nothing comes to mind. Any solution I can think of violates one or more of your/CA’s restrictions. Have you considered an aftermarket “helper” like this or this?

I don’t have any experience with either.

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Welcome to the family brother and god bless you.

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Will the Ruger LCP 2 in 380 fall into the category you mentioned?

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Welcome @David380!

Not sure this will help since you didn’t ask for tips on racking.

I don’t have a lot of experience with a CZ75 except for using a friend’s during a range session. From what I can recall, it was definitely hard to rack. It was also brand new so I’m not sure if it loosened up over time. One thing that helped during the range session, but not sure if it would help her if the firearm is meant to be an EDC, was cocking the hammer back before racking. That way, she’s only fighting the recoil spring.

If you decide on keeping the firearm and depending on the ammo you use, you may also want to look into a lighter recoil spring or main spring or both.

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Welcome fellow californian. May we both survive our states lunacy.

The answer to your question is VERY limited. Yes, you can buy a Ruger LC.380 or a Sig Sauer P238 and they can “become” easier with use. I have both and honestly I feel like the sig is the easier one. I’m using my young daughter as the gauge (she’s almost 10). She can pull the slide back on both but likes the sig because she says it’s easier and feels better. When you first get either, they will be stiff. Everyone will be stiffer out of the box. What I would recommend is taking the pistol to the range and putting a couple hundred rounds through it yourself to loosen it up a bit and afterwards, clean it and spend some time racking the slide to help loosen it a little more if you can. I’d also suggest filling the slide grooves with some silicone or something as it’s a little aggressive and if her skin is that thin, it could really cause issues. You might also be good taking a really high grit sand paper to the edges to soften them up if you wish to help reduce any potential injury. I do highly recommend the sig though over the ruger but that’s just my personal preference…have your wife see which feels better to her and go with either one.

We don’t have many other options though in this damn state till the supreme court finally decides to stop that damn roster from existing.

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Thanks for the suggestion – yes, that MIGHT just help. I’ll try to pick up one of those, and see how she does with it!

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Thanks! :smiley:

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I checked, and two (but only two) of the variants of the Ruger LCP II in 380 are (amazingly) available in CA. The pipeline is currently all sold out, but that’s one we might look into. Thanks for the suggestion!

(I’m not thrilled about having to stock yet another caliber of ammo, .380, but if it would solve the problem, I’d roll with it!)

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PDA3, thanks for the suggestions.
Those might help mitigate the problem somewhat.

Re “EDC” … wait a second, while I get up from rolling on the floor laughing … there is no such thing in most of CA (the 3 metro areas, SF Bay, LA, and SD). It’s a “May Issue” state, which sheriffs in the metro areas interpret as “NO issue” (the only known exception is that the Santa Clara County [San Jose] sheriff will occasionally issue a carry permit IF you make sufficiently substantial contributions to her re-election campaign). I know, states like CA, HI, NY, NJ are no longer really part of the USA, but that’s what we have to live with until SCOTUS tosses out some of these laws.

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Erik10, thanks for the suggestions AND for the empathy. You obviously understand what we’re dealing with! SCOTUS needs to strike down the Handgun Roster, the std-magazine ban, and the insane new ammo restrictions from Prop 63. All are blatantly unconstitutional (you know that, but others reading this might not).

We have 2 friends with P238’s – although with current CA laws they can’t loan it to me or my wife for her to try, but maybe I can arrange for one of them to come WITH us to the range so she could try it! (once ranges finally re-open again … for now, we have to drive an hour each way into another county in order to get some range practice, so we’re about to do that for the first time in 5 months!)

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The magazine ban is gone now…again. We got one of the 50 ridiculous laws abolished. Now we need to work on the other 49.

Not sure what part of California you’re in but I’m in SoCal and the ranges are all open and have been. We are currently dealing with an Ammo shortage at most of them but they’re open none the less.

And while you are correct that you can’t have them LOAN the pistol to you, they can bring it and you try it out at the range.

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@David380. Welcome to the Community!
As a P-01 user I can tell - anything other than CZ in 9mm is gonna be much, much easier to rack.
P-01 construction and spring’s high weight creates the problem.

If 1911 style is something you want to consider then Kimber Ultra Carry is a great choice. If you prefer striker fired, probably Glock Gen3 is a good choice.
I do not have any experience with all other suggested in the thread.

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I got my wife the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9 EZ… it comes in a 380 version also. Easy to rack, easy to load magazine, easy to shoot. My wife loves it and I got one for my later years… It rates very well in all categories.

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Erik10,
Unfortunately, the magazine ban has NOT yet been overturned. Although the 9th-Circuit 3-member panel of judge upheld the District Court’s ruling of “unconstitutional”, AG Becerra has appealed for an 11-judge en-banc hearing so the stay is still in effect – in other words, it’s still illegal to buy any mag over 10 rounds in CA :-(. And it will probably stay that way until it’s eventually appealed to the Supreme Court, and how it rules by then (years from now) may be determined by this Nov’s election.

Re ranges – all ranges are SHUT DOWN by county order, in the 6 counties that ring the SF Bay. Is that constitutional? Probably not, esp if restaurants can be open with limited capacity.

And yes, there is an ammo problem right now. We have enough to get by for a while, but we’d dive straight into the shortage if we bought a new caliber, and of course then every single round would be registered with the CA gov’t :-(.

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Thanks for the voice of CZ experience. My wife picked out the P-01 a few years ago, so apparently she could rack it OK then … but not so much, now.

Perhaps she’d consider an 1911-style, in which case I’ll suggest she try a Kimber Ultra Carry, as you recommended :-).

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Thanks, Danny28 … I have heard really good things about the Shield EZ, esp re its rackability!
… buuuut, like every semi-auto pistol introduced after 2013, is ILLEGAL to purchase in CA :frowning_face:. If we ever leave CA and “return to the USA”, that is certainly one of the firearms on my list to purchase.

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Find a Beretta .32 cal “Tomcat”. It has a tip-up barrel and easy to load. It is very small, light weight and will fit a pocket or purse, Very deadly when loaded w/ silver tip hollow pt. ammo and it has an external safety. My wife & I have carried one for years. No one needs to know.

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Ever see a movie called “Clockwork Orange”? Have you ever read a book called “Helter Skelter”? If you have then you will know what to do about California Law. DISOBEY! Sharon Tate had her unborn child cut out of her belly!

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Bob40,
Rather graphic description, but I get your point! And surprisingly, it looks like a Beretta Tomcat can still be purchased in CA (shocking!).

The problem with carry w/o a permit is – if EVER caught, that’d be a felony and we’d have to give being able to defend ourselves permanently :frowning:. Not to mention, that might result in loss of my livelihood :frowning: :frowning:. And a felony would even mean loss of ability to defined ourselves, even if/when we ever move out of CA, back into the U.S.A.

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