Best handgun for frail woman? - Page 2
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Thread: Best handgun for frail woman?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker's Mom View Post
    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.)
    Actually I've always been a fan of Flexall 454. And no I am not affiliated with the company either.

  3. #12
    My wife had the same issues at first then got used to her Glock 26, but i part time at a gun shop, and I would say the ideal pistol for your wife would be ether a Walther P-380 or a Bersa compact 380, very easy guns to rack and shoot, easy triggers, and in my opinion the 380 is the absolute minimum caliber the should be used for personal protection, I know the 22 or 32 may get the job done but remember the smaller the bullit the more important shot placement is, and if and when a concealed handgun is used, haveing a steady hand and good aim is a bit much to hope for, your most likely going to pull it and blast away, in which case bigger is better

  4. #13

    handgun for frail woman

    Quote Originally Posted by geezer117 View Post
    I found this excellent article on the subject.

    Handguns for Handicapped and Very Recoil Sensitive Shooters
    Chuck Hawks has some great articles. The best point in this article is that a heavier weight gun is better for helping to absorb recoil, so stay away from the lightweight metals and the polymers.

    Massad Ayoob has a GREAT tip for women who want to rack the slide on an automatic: Armed and Female by Massad Ayoob Issue #63

    Now, let’s look at techniques. The average woman’s fingers will be shorter by about a digit’s length than the average man’s. She will have less upper body mass and strength than her brother. Thus, some shooting techniques may work better for her than for him, or vice versa. For example, most men operate a semiautomatic pistol by holding the frame in their dominant hand, and reaching across their chest with the free hand and grabbing the slide to “rack” it back. This is an upper body strength intensive technique, pitting arm against arm, and a lot of smaller or older women can’t do it well with many pistols. They’ll have better luck with the “SLINGSHOT” technique, in which the support hand firmly grabs the slide and pulls back while the gun-hand is pushing forward. This can be combined with a turn of the hips that puts the entire body weight into the movement, making it happen almost effortlessly.

    I use this method because it is functionally easier--not because I can't do it the "traditional way." [Let me know if you need more info on this slide racking method]

    I agree that you should take your wife to the range to test fire guns, but bear in mind that the recoil springs of a rental are typically well-used so less springy.

    I once read in the forums that a man hand cycled his new guns at least a 100 times to break in the springs, make sure the slide functions smoothly, and work on muscle memory of how to grasp the slide and rack it. I think it is a great idea....

    Best of luck in finding a suitable gun for your loved one,

  5. #14

    hangun for woman

    My suggestion is a smith model 642 using either a standard hollow point or a +p.

    One thing that is often overlooked is that on a 642 with a concealed hammer you can use two fingers in the trigger guard to pull the trigger, possibly that could give her almost double the trigger pull strength.

    I would stay away from semi auto since she may push her partially impaired finger into the trigger guard causing a semi to fire.

    I have seen this on the range with retired people who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

    Pat Olvey
    email [email protected]
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Hamilton County

  6. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Greater Houston Area, TX
    As many have mentioned I carry a Bersa 380 and it works well for me. I will not be getting rid of this one! But sometimes the size can be an issue. I've also shot a Sig p238. I really like this gun and plan on getting one. It's small enough to carry really easy and is single action, so the trigger is light. They make several models including a HD which is heavier in weight and might work better. Definitely go rent some and try them out.

  7. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Omaha, Nebraska
    OP stated that his wife wants to become familiar with a handgun, not that she want to carry one concealed. My wife has some of the same problems. I gave her my Smith and Wesson Model 15 with 4" barrel, and she keeps this loaded in the house. I modified the revolver by putting a wide target hammer on it and by putting Hogue grips on it. She cannot shoot it all day, but for the first six rounds she is deadly with it. She can fire about 18 rounds at a session before her wrists start to get a bit sore. I have confidence that the 158 gr LSWHP+P ammo loaded in her revolver should convince an intruder to seek a lesser armed victim.

  8. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    was SE Ok. Now SE Ohio
    My wife has a Ruger SP101 .357 with Wolff Springs. She has graduated from .38 Special to .38 Special +P in it with no problem. Not tried the .357 shells yet. The SP101 is heavy enough to tame recoil where it is manageable for her. She too cannot rack most semi-auto slides, and has become very proficient with the little 5 shot wheelgun.

    The thing is, let her try to find her perfect handgun herself. If there is a range close that rents them to try, so much the better.

    BTW, my wife of 48 years just started shooting this year, and already has better guns than I do! (A Ruger SS .357 and a SS Mark III).

    "A free people should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from anyone, including their own government. ~ G. Washington

  9. We've recently taken Kathleen's Mom to the range. She's about 68, diabetic, some arthritis, small hands. She hasn't shot anything since a .22 rifle many years ago. I rather expected her to take to my little S&W Model 34 kit gun. But she liked a new Ruger .22/45 that I just bought.

    I had a bunch of guns with me for her to look at. My late mother's 1907 Savage .32 auto (this one made in 1914) is a ten shot .32 that seemed to fit her hand OK, but cocking the hammer is far beyond her strength.

    So we'll continue to encourage her with the Ruger .22 while I watch the development of the Kel Tec PMR-30. My limited experience with .22 WMR is that it recoils very little more than .22LR, but makes a lot more noise. Assuming the relatively new Kel Tec gets past the usual teething problems (some buyers have had great luck, some bad, but Kel Tec stands behind their products), a relatively light 30 shot .22 magnum with high visibility sights, a rail to mount a weapon light, and stuffed with Winchester's hottest hollowpoints, still wouldn't be a major caliber, but it would sure beat throwing rocks.

    She did also express some interest in a shotgun. Kathleen's boys (soon MY boys, once the adoption goes through) are growing; I'm thinking about a youth shotgun, like the Remington Youth 870 in 20 gauge that I gave my daughter a few years ago. I think there's also a Youth 1100, or used to be. That might be even better for the recoil sensitive shooter.

    But back to handguns: I regret losing my aluminum framed orginal Ruger Bearcat in the divorce. It always seemed to me tailor made for people with tiny hands. The current iteration has a steel frame and isn't quite as light.

    I couldn't talk Mama into trying Kathleen's Airweight Magnaported Centennial -- almost did, until she saw it fired with Kathleen's +P carry loads. And she almost tried my .38 Colt Diamondback. Past experience with another petite friend: She liked a buddy's 3" heavy barreled Model 60 with adjustable sights and Uncle Mike's grips (I know, that doesn't sound like a Chief's Special but they did make a few), and she loved my 4" Diamondback with Pachmayr Compac grips. They only way I got it back was to find another at a show, and they haven't been making them for a lot of years.

    The little Phoenix .22 would fit Mama's hand, and the pistol shoots fine, but I would NEVER take one for defense. This thing was designed by a product liability lawyer. It has TWO safeties, one on frame and one on slide, and more slide latch, magazine, safety interlocks than you can make sense of. The manual or arms is best described as a Royal Pain... For defense, you want simple; grab it and go bang.

    I think the tip-up pocket pistols have merit for those with small/weak hands.

    Past experience with ladies who are not avid shooters suggests that having the right grips is quite important. It's amazing what a difference a nice cushy Hogue Monogrip can make on a Centennial, or a Pachmary Compacs on small frame Colt or medium frame S&W.
    “The police of a State should never be stronger or better armed than the citizenry. An armed citizenry, willing to fight is the foundation of civil freedom.” Heinlein

  10. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Honolulu, HI & Salt Lake City, UT
    First of all, the woman or ANY person needs to be comfortable with the operation and feel of the firearm for it to be effective.

    Based on my experience, elderly students usually do better with revolvers. They're generally easier for them to load and operate, and tend to have less malfunctions on the range.

    Have her handle, dry fire and if she's comfortable, shoot a variety of firearms in calibers that she's comfortable working with. Once you figure out a firearm, and she's able to operate and shoot it safely, then you can work on accuracy of shooting and other aspects of marksmanship.

    Good luck!

    "A few well placed shots with a .22LR is a lot better than a bunch of solid misses with a .44 mag!" Glock Armorer, NRA Chief RSO, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Muzzleloading Shotgun, and Home Firearm Safety Training Counselor

  11. #20
    Think about a 22 mag revolver from S&W or Taurus. They both make great revolvers you can get it with a 2 or 4" barrel.

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