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Thread: Best handgun for frail woman?

  1. #21
    I have fibromyalgia. I found revolvers add to my pain. I carry a HK P2000 9mm. When my hands are especially weak I can still rack the slide and click the slide release even without a round in. Also the weight means the recoil doesn't add to my pain. It has ambidextrous mag and slide release which is good since I am a lefty but I also try to practice both hands since I never know which side will hurt worse. Hope that helps. :)

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakyhudew View Post
    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.
    Love mine.

  4. #23
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    geezer117,

    Personal I would look in to a FN FiveseveN. They are pricy but my wife has a 40 % disablity to her right arm, and she has no probelms with it. It is cambered in 5.7 x28mm, it kicks like a .22. I would say get one in your wife's hands and see how it works for her. Here where I live, I know a lady 65+ (guestament, I would never ask a lady her age!)that uses one to keep the coyote population on her property in check.

  5. #24
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    My 89 year old mother prior to passing carried a 38 revolver, my wife now loves it for home along with 9mm browing hi-power and colt 1911.

  6. #25
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    Small Calibers are NOT always the softest & easiest to shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by geezer117 View Post
    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?
    I don't think of my wife as frail, however she both broke & dislocated her right shoulder about 10 years ago and had to have her right wrist rebuilt 2 years, ago both of which are quite sensitive. And like most women her age (she's also 63) she's even less physically active than she was when she was younger. As a result, she is extremely recoil sensitive.

    She was very convinced that she needed the smallest gun possible that was also totally simple to use - AKA a revolver. So she bought a Ruger K-LCR. Naturally, it's a bit much when shooting 357 Magnum but she's pretty OK with 38 SPL. Still, she wanted a semi-auto so she also bought a Ruger LCP (380ACP) but discovered the little bitty Ruger had a very snappy recoil that she positively hated. But, she was still convinced that she didn't want anything more powerful than a 380, so she replaced the tiny Ruger LCP with a Walther PK380. Still too snappy for her.

    Then she found a really nice old Sig P6 at a gun show. She enjoys shooting the P6 but finds it too bulky to carry, so the hunt continued.

    Finally, I found a gun shop near Seattle that had an indoor range and a wide selection of guns that could be rented. So, we spent several hours there and after shooting nearly 30 different guns she discovered that the 3" barreled 45's were the most comfortable of all to shoot - not counting the all stainless 5" 1911's in 9mm.

    The result: she now has a Kimber Ultra Carry II dressed with wood grips and a few Wilson Combat S/S parts.



    The Wilson Combat safety lever is having some fitment issues, so it's not installed yet.

  7. #26
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    A lot of the ladies i have in my classes bring the Ruger LCR and everyone of them hate their guns after only a few rounds we keep the standard .38 ammo (not the 38 special rounds) for them or give them a Walther P22 to shoot a .22 in your pocket is better than a 45 if they want train with it or carry it.

  8. #27
    I'd like to second shakyhudew on the PK380. I have limited use of my right hand, but find that I can rack the slide of the PK380, the trigger pull is easy, and the ambidextrous controls are a pleasure to use. I'd feel under-armed with a smaller caliber such as a .22 so am happy to have the PK380.

    I'll have to say, though, that I'm not a fan of having to keep track of the little key needed to take the gun down for cleaning, nor of the quite stiff spring you must manage when taking it down and reassembling it.

    Even though I'd prefer needing no tools to strip it down, I still love using it.

  9. #28
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    I didn't read the rest of the replies, but here is what I would suggest. First of all, if your wife is goig to carry for protection, she needs to have something of a higher caliber than a .22 or a .32 which have no stopping power. I would suggest a .9mm. I have arthritis, too, and have difficulty racking the slide some times. I own a Springfield XD Compact; a Glock 19; and a Taurus PT709 Slim. My favorite is my G19. I had the trigger pull lightened and I love it. The other thing you could do to reduce recoil affects for your wife is have a gunsmith port the barrel. This will greatly reduce the recoil shock. Be careful in doing this, because you still need enough gas left in the chamber to trigger shell ejection if you are using a blow back type pistol. The other choice is a revolver. I just traded a 5-shot Taurus .38 Spl (which hurt to shoot and had a nasty trigger pull) on 6-shot Taurus .9mm. I haven't picked it up yet, but am anxious to try it. The recoil should be a lot less. Hope this helps.
    Be the one who walks away

  10. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by eaccents View Post
    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,
    This is a GREAT post and an LEO trainer I know teaches all of his officers, SWAT and regular, to rack slides with this "slingshot" approach because it's faster, more authoritative and therefore more likely to clear stuck rounds, force feed problems free and generally get the gun into action again when there is a problem. However, when you use this as your normal slide rack, it happens naturally when you have problems. Muscle memory, muscle memory, muscle memory...
    Edmund Burke: “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.” – 1784 speech. Taken from Founding Fathers Notes. "The unarmed man is not just defenseless -- he is also contemptible." Machiavelli

  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer117 View Post
    I found this excellent article on the subject.

    Handguns for Handicapped and Very Recoil Sensitive Shooters
    Geezer, bravo on providing a source of great info rather than adding to the confusing array of personal experiences!
    1)"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." -Thomas Jefferson.
    2)"Imagine how gun control might be stomped if GOA or SAF had the (compromising) NRA's 4 million members!" -Me. http://jpfo.org/filegen-n-z/nraletter.htm

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