Consider a sa/da snubbie in .38 spl
My wife (63 yo) has no training, plus has arthritis, but wants to become familiar with a handgun. She can rack the slide of a Bodyguard (with a struggle), but the DAO trigger pull is too much. A DA revolver would probably present the same problem. A powerful caliber is out, and I don't trust the .22 because of the lack of positive ejection.
I'm thinking a SA semi auto in .32 is the best choice. Any ideas I'm missing?
Consider a sa/da snubbie in .38 spl
I recently bought my wife a Walther PK380. It is DA/SA, has an 11lb trigger in DA and 4lb in SA. The slide is very easy to rack and it has an ambidextrous safety. it is large enough to control recoil and she loves it more than my 9mm or 38 spl revolver. It's worth looking at.
You really need to take her to a gun range that rents guns and try some small guns out. See which ones she can handle properly and with the least amount of discomfort.
"They who give up essential liberty to obtain temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin, 1775
I have a Charter Arms 38 snubby that my wife who has rhumatoid arthritis has no problem with.
The NAA .32ACP is a very nice small gun and with good ammo does fine.
We have two of them. However you might be surprised by the recoil.
It's not wild but is what I would call strong for such a little feller.
The P22 is a very soft shooter even with high velocity .22LR hollow points.
I have not had any failures of any kind with the P22.
AMMO for .22
Cabela's: Aguila .22 LR Super Maximum 30-gr. HP Ammunition with Dry Box
* .22-Magnum-like performance from a .22 LR
* 1,750 fps muzzle velocity
* 30-gr. lead hollow-point bullets
I prefer Winchester Silver tips for the .32 ACP and it eats them.
Maybe a 32 S&W or 38 S&W (not Special) revolver?
Not sure what kind of SD ammo available in these calibers but they're not as brisk in the recoil as the 38 Special and larger calibers.
Shouldn't be too hard to find an old revolver in one of these calibers and have it checked out and tuned for a light pull by a competent smith.
Alternately what about the 327 Magnum?
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The only treatment I know for arthritis is a combination of exercising the problem joint after Bengay have been applied -- might as well exercise it with learning and practicing how to handle a gun and shoot it. I know -- I had a problem thumb on my right hand and it hurts everytime I pump my G23. With Bengay during winter time, no problemo. At other times, I can't even feel any hurts at all.
(Please note: I am not affiliated with the company. I am just a user of their product for my comfort.)
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I have a Beretta Tomcat stainless in 32acp, the tip up barrel makes for easy charging and is also easy to make safe by removing the round.
Not my first choice in caliber but works with the stiff weak hands/grip.
The first round trigger pull is a little long but the next ones are much better. Also has external safety but I never use it.
If you need to jack a round in the chamber by racking the slide, good luck it's a bear, thank goodness for the tip up barrel. It's a tad large for a 32 but the extra size helps with the weak grip, it has never failed me in hundreds of rounds. Use the Winchester Silvertip, they seem to have a good track record and have never failed to feed and function...
Your mileage may vary