Limp Wristing a 380 Shield EZ?

Discussion in 'Women with Firearms' started by Dawgdoc, May 16, 2019.

  1. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    We bought a M&P 380 Shield EZ for my wife for Christmas. We have an LCP that she could carry, but like many people, she really did not like to shoot it. She finally decided that we could get a new gun that maybe she would actually like to shoot, and we settled on the Shield EZ.

    Unfortunately, I think she has a problem limp wristing the gun (even when consciously trying not to do so), but I cannot replicate the problem when I shoot it. At any one range session, she will have mixture of failure to eject, stovepipes, and failure to feed. Most recently, a problem of some kind happened approximately every 4-5 rounds. Whenever I fired it (using the same ammo and magazine), it had no problems. We were using Winchester Train rounds and reloads at the time.

    Today, I shot it by myself trying to cause it to jam. If I held it loosely one handed, I could get it to repeatedly failure to fire on the second round, but it was due to not holding the grip safety tight enough because it would fire on the second trigger pull with a tighter grip. I was shooting Aguila and Monarch ammo (trying to use the cheapest ammo to see if quality made a difference) and some reloads. On the last reload round, I had a failure to lock back on empty.

    Previously, I had managed to cause some jams using light reloads, but the new batch have a higher powder charge with no problems except today.

    The odd thing is, she has never had a jam with the LCP or LC9 (just problems actually pulling the trigger) or a Rock Island 1911 full size 9mm. I am speculating that part of what makes the Shield EZ "easy" is really weak springs to make it easier to rack but prone to other issues. It really is the easiest gun I have ever racked, but I wonder if even a slight limp wrist is enough to cause a problem. She also tends to hit low, which makes me wonder if she is flinching in anticipation of the recoil and loosening her grip at the last moment before squeezing the trigger. My wife is very small, so nearly every gun she has tried has some problems for her.

    From my research, the solution is just shooting it more and getting used to the recoil. However, if I could consistently replicate the problem, I could be more sure that it is a shooter problem and not a gun problem.

    Anyone have any experience with a similar problem using a Shield EZ and a petite shooter.
     
  2. TimBob

    TimBob Old, Slow, Boring Dude

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    I don't own an M&P EZ, although I have shot one. Very smooth and easy to shoot, rack slide, etc.

    I wouldn't mind having one, but the grip safety seems totally unnecessary.
     

  3. Wegahe

    Wegahe NRA Instructor

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    I have noticed this issue with the EZ with a lot of people using the range rental. I do not think it's a problem with "limp wristing" alone. Look the grip safety and you may discover what I mean. Most of the problem is in the grip and grip safety. The design tends to force small hands too low or to become too low on the frame when firing. This causes people to not have enough hand behind high enough on the frame which causes the limp wrist effect and loose grip on the safety. A slight modification on the safety so it could be more easily held pressed in could solve 99% of the problems.
     
    TimBob likes this.
  4. Phil1979

    Phil1979 Member Georgia Carry

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    Bersa .380 might be the way to go. Steel gun = less recoil, and no stupid gizmo on the grip waiting to cause human error.
     
  5. Phil1979

    Phil1979 Member Georgia Carry

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    The Makarov 9x18 might also be a good choice. It looks like it may have good ergonomics.
     
    phantoms likes this.
  6. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Soon we'll take a look at her grip. What Wegahe suggests makes a lot of sense. Since my hands are bigger, I would naturally have less chance of a problem unless I actively tried.
    If she cannot consistently grip it well, then I guess we'll look for something else. We considered the LCR originally.
     
  7. Craftsman

    Craftsman Well-Known Member

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    Sig makes a nice .380, but it is a lot pricier than it's competition. It has a metal frame which adds to the cost but also provides a little more mass to handle the recoil. I switched the stock grips for the rubber Hogue grips and it is a lot better. The action is basically a baby 1911 without the grip safety.
     
  8. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    have you considered pinning / blocking or otherwise disabling the grip safety on this pistol? I don't know about that S&W Shield design, but on the model 1911A1 disabling the grip safety is a fairly easy process, and there are multiple ways to do it.
     
  9. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    How about doing an experiment where you use tape to hold down the grip safety temporarily, for one trip to the shooting range?

    You could use two strips of tape-- one piece going behind the trigger, across the grip frame and compressing the top of the grip safety.

    Then another piece going just below the trigger guard back across the bottom of the grip safety.

    These two pieces of tape should allow your lady to test the issue as to whether or not the grip safety really is the problem.
     
    TimBob likes this.
  10. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

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    I like that idea and I second it.

    Also, she may just not be comfortable with the firearm and these bad range experiences will only make it worse. If she doesn't have confidence in the gun or her use of the gun, then she isn't likely to grip it sufficiently, pull her shots, etc.

    I'd start with taping the grip safety and see if she has a better experience. Confidence I think would be critical at this point as there doesn't appear to be an issue with the firearm itself.

    Maybe with a little success she could then focus on strengthening the weak hand grip and ensuring she has a good wrap around the firearm. Some people just never do well with grip safeties. Does she carry? If so, in a self-defense situation she may have a very weak grip as she loses fine motor skills, so that is something to consider.
     
    TimBob likes this.
  11. Wegahe

    Wegahe NRA Instructor

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    Taping the grip safety may or may not make any difference. Look closely at the safety near the top. This is about the only place you can hod the safety pressed all the way in. Which happens to be the proper way to grip the firearm. The problem with this is training someone with some firearm experience to properly grip a firearm. Most people have been doing it wrong for so long it's almost impossible to change them. I see it all the time. Boyfriends teaching girlfriends / husbands teaching wives how to shoot and they don't even have a proper grip to start with. I give out far too many band aids to people being taught by those who are supposed to know what they are doing. Slide bite hurts and bleeds a lot.

    upload_2019-5-18_13-19-15.png

    If their hand is up high enough for the safety they should be able to control the recoil. If their hand is a little low they might be able to get a shot off but the recoil is going to cause a failure to feed or extract or loss of depression on the safety if it does happen to feed.
     
  12. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    We examined her grip tonight while dry firing, and she does have a hard time getting her hand all the way to the top of the grip safety. When I grip it, I get the proper grip without thinking about. Her hand looks like it just doesn't fit the same way.

    We made sure her support hand was positioned correctly and thumbs were forward, then she would squeeze the trigger, and then I would rack the slide. After doing that several times, I could feel less movement of the gun backwards as I racked it. Also less simulated muzzle flip.

    The problem us trying to find time for live fire. When our three-year old was in Mothers Day Out care, occasionally my day off would coincide with her schedule, and we could both go shooting, but that is out for the summer.
     
  13. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Doesn't fit the same way? The webbing between her thumb and forefinger should be jammed all the way up against the beavertail. Am I misunderstanding something about her grip?
     
  14. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    She has very small hands, and she jams the webbing all the way to the beavertail, and then it still exposes some space between the beaver tail and the hand. I (and probably most people) have a meatier webbing thst squashes all up into this space, filling the gap. In her case, her webbing is so thin, there is a little bit of a void left even when gripped as high as possible.

    In carpenter terms, she looks like she needs a shim behind her webbing to adequately press all the flesh into the space.
     
  15. DonT

    DonT Deplorable bitter clinger.

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    I'm sure you're doing this, but I think it's just a matter of getting in more practice of a good, firm grip. I always use the term, "firm handshake" to my training clients, ie, as firm as comfortable, but backed off from "so tight you shake." Practice should include getting the grip as high as she can reasonably do so. Getting more live fire practice is going to proof the grip to ensure it's working.
     
  16. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    May I suggest the Shield instead?
     
  17. Wegahe

    Wegahe NRA Instructor

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    The 380 EZ is a Shield...
     
  18. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    B2EB1A3A-46FF-4E77-AAFC-3C823BDA57B8.jpeg
    Not the same design, though.
    The M&P Shield 9mm doesn't have a grip safety.
     
  19. Wegahe

    Wegahe NRA Instructor

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    I am aware of that. It doesn't alter the fact the Shield 380 EZ is also a shield.
     
  20. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Just because the company gives it the same name doesn't mean it's the same thing.
    Clearly, in this thread were talking about the actual functional characteristics of firearms, not whatever name they've been given by the manufacturer with an eye towards marketing and sales.