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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/13/2002 8:35:21 PM EST
I wanted to get her something simple and safe so I wanted togo with an HK P7M8.

Fantastic gun, but she had problems squeezing the cocking lever so that was a "no go."

Then she also had problems racking the slide back on many of the semi-autos because it was just too hard for her with the exception the Beretta 92 (too big!)

Is a simple revolver the way to go?
If so, what is your recommendation for something reliable, light, easy to fire and safe to carry?
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 8:44:55 PM EST
My Mom likes my Sig 232. .380 very simple to operate, light slide, safe. Even with a Wolff 15 lb. main spring (which is slightly heaver than stock) she can rack the slide. I changed the spring because the stock spring didn't work quit right with +P cor-bon ammo.
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 8:51:27 PM EST


Got me mum a S@W 686 L-frame .357 snubby.
Heavy gun,but with .38 rounds,even she can land them.
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 9:05:40 PM EST
G26
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 9:09:45 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 9:15:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/13/2002 9:23:57 PM EST by Dave_A]
1911A1, small variant (Officer/Commander, et al)... Maybe in .38 instead of .45...
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 9:23:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/13/2002 9:25:22 PM EST by Maddog50]
Kahr K9... Same size as a Taurus Titanium, but much easier to shoot. More rounds, too.

Plus it is simple to operate: only three controls.

My wife had trouble with the slide at first until I showed her that she can push with her firing side hand and pull with her support side hand at the same time, thus doubling the force.
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 9:43:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 10:01:49 PM EST
Kel-Tech?.......
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 10:04:48 PM EST


I would have bought her something of a bit more quality,then again,i only have an IQ of 76.
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 10:09:38 PM EST
Hard to beat a traditional S&W five-shot .38 Special, such as a Model 36 – small, simple to operate, extremely reliable, and firing a reasonablely powerful round.

Also, she can practice with milder ammo while carrying more powerful rounds (though she definitely should also practice with her carry load).

Granted, they are pretty hard to reload quickly. Also, perceived recoil is greater with a revolver than a semi.

The lightweight and titanium models are easier to carry than the steel framed ones, but harder to shoot well.

Ruger makes a good five-shot, too. I’ve heard both good and bad things about the Taurus five-shots.

While semi’s are arguably better handguns, they introduce all sorts of problems for folks not well versed in firearms and/or lacking in hand strength.
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 10:16:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/13/2002 10:20:59 PM EST by DarkHelmet]

Originally Posted By 199:
Hard to beat a traditional S&W five-shot .38 Special, such as a Model 36 – small, simple to operate, extremely reliable, and firing a reasonablely powerful round.

...snip....

While semi’s are arguably better handguns, they introduce all sorts of problems for folks not well versed in firearms and/or lacking in hand strength.



Much agreed. For someone not well versed in firearms it's hard to beat a 5 shot .38 with some good JHP ammo.

Get one with a shrouded hammer (one less thing to manipulate) and make sure that the double action trigger pull is managable for your mom.

Hopefully the sight of her with a gun will cause any attacker to think twice. Then 5 rounds will be 5 more than she needs. I carry a S&W 342PD AirLite Ti in the summer and I love it. The titanium is quite a handful of recoil especially with +P ammo. But a good Airweight (with aluminum frame steel cylinder) should prove reasonably light but not so heavy on the recoil.

I recommend the S&W 642 Lady Smith. Smaller grip than a standard 642 to better fit a smaller hand.



www.smith-wesson.com/sport/select_firearm.cfm

Type: Revolver
Model: 642LS
Caliber: .38 S&W Special +P
Barrel Length: 1-7/8"
Capacity: 5 Rounds
Action: Double
External Safety: N/A
Hammer: Internal
Trigger: .312" Smooth Target 1-7/8"
Grip: Dymondwood® Firing System: N/A
Front Sight: Serrated Ramp Rear Sight: Fixed Notch
Frame: Small Finish: Satin Stainless
Over all length: 6-5/16" Weight: 14.5 ounces
Material: Aluminum Alloy / Stainless Steel
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 10:32:59 PM EST
If she has trouble racking the slide, teach her the other method of doing so. Most people who have fits trying to rack the slide in the traditional fashion....by grasping the rear portion....will have no trouble at all after moving forward on the slide. Just make sure that she keeps her hands away from the tip of the muzzle, while grasping her palm over the top of the slide just forward of the ejection port. This will give her much needed leverage and could solve her dilemna. You can even get her a pack of snap caps and just let her practice cycling the action. This will give her experience and confidence.

Something else that can aid in use is a good lube on the slide's frame rails. Make sure the gun is well-lubed with a quality lubricant. But don't over-do it. I am not sure what the SEAL's use, but if you have ever seen them racking the slides on their P226's, it looks like they could basically do so with their pinky! Could they have a different spring or something?

But once and if she gets better at manipulating the slide, get her a Sig P228 or P229. These are 9mm and .40 respectively and are extremely reliable and accurate pistols. The grips also fit small hands very well...or larger hands for that matter. The Glock 19 would also be a decent choice.

If she still can't manipulate the slide, then you might check out the Beretta Model 86 .380 pistols. These have a tip up barrel and should work well for people with weak hands. Again, I am not a great fan of the .380 round, but it should be better than clawing at an attacker with fingernails.

Or you could just skip the autos altogether and go with something like a Smith and Wesson model 10, or even better the Smith and Wesson Model 15 Combat Masterpiece with adjustable sights. Load it up with FBI loads (158 gr + P lead hollow points) and this should give her pretty good protection. And of course there are still the small 2" barrel revolvers in .38 Special. But unless she is carrying this around with her a great deal, I would stick with the 4" models for better accuracy and velocity. The little ones also have a quite a bit of sharp recoil also.

But if at all possible, have her look at and inspect several different types until she finds something that suits her (don't allow her to bring home a Hi-Point or Jennings though!) and is comfortable with. Again, I think she could learn to operate the slide on most autos with a bit of good coaching and practice. Try some of my advice and see if it helps. It helped my mom and she seemed hopeless in the world of autos! LOL. Anyway, good luck and let us know what happens.
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 11:21:23 PM EST
Charging handle
that is a very good point on lubing the slide and perhaps letting the gun loosen up a bit while breaking it in.
we'll definitely try the hand-over-slide grip to rack the slide too. thankyou for your advice, it just might be what we need.

Dave-A
I had at first let her try the smaller 1911s, since that is what I carry, but she felt very uncomfortable about "cocked and locked" and I definitely need for her to be comfortable with her gun. Good to know that there is another 1911 fan here!

I suppose at this point we will have a look at a Kahr K-9 (never seen one before,) a few of the recommended Sigs and the S&W revolvers as many of you have suggested.

The S&W revolvers were what our local gunstore had recommended...but I was worried about the kick of the light weight frames. I suppose .380+ may not be so bad.

We're going to just have to go back and look and try until she feels that she has one that she is comfortable with...

Its such a tough decison to try to pick a firearm for someone you love, especially your mom, since you want nothing but the most simple, effective, and safe firearm for her. I swear I have put more thought into this than I do when picking out a gun for myself.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 12:14:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By DSR-1: Its such a tough decison to try to pick a firearm for someone you love, especially your mom, since you want nothing but the most simple, effective, and safe firearm for her. I swear I have put more thought into this than I do when picking out a gun for myself.


That is sure the truth! I would almost rather take a beating than to have to do this. But just make sure that it's reliable, whatever you choose, and you will have done your part.

Something else that I thought of since my last post, was a long gun for her also. I have no idea her age, size, mobility, etc....but a good ol' Remington 870 Express in 20 gauge from Wal-Mart might come in handy for her as well, if this would be practical. Get the short barrel model. A 20 gauge isn't very brutal on the shooter and are usually just right for women. Load up with buckshot or a course birdshot if overpenetration is a concern and she should be very well armed between the scatter gun and pistol.

If the 20 gauge is just too much for her, a nice Marlin Camp Carbine in 9mm or a Ruger PC-9 in 9mm would be other good choices. Virtually no recoil but due to longer barrels and sight radius, still a more effective weapon than a handgun. Federal 147 gr Hydra-shok JHP's do well from carbine length barrels. And of course the surplus or IAI .30 cal carbines make a handy little package for women also. Just choose a good soft point or hollow point load with these. Hardball can be a bit on the whimpy side.

Just thought I would toss this in as well. A long gun may not be in either of your plans at this time and that's ok. But since I worry about my mom being alone sometimes when dad is out and about, I made sure she had the necessary tools to defend herself with. Yep, the Sig P228 and a Remington 870 Express 20 gauge. And she can use them well! Hehe.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 2:27:13 AM EST
I had to do just that 2 years ago. Small frame double action revolver. Keep it simple, easy to shoot straight, and remember, 9 CCI stingers is enough for her to get her point across. Mom is not going to get into running gun battle with a gang of pistoleros.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 3:20:14 AM EST
Is she a newbie to shooting handguns? Will she carry it or keep it in the house?

If she's a newbie I would recommend teaching her to shoot with a .22 to get the fundamentals down before progressing to a larger caliber.

I would then graduate her to a .38/357 medium frame double action revolver. The idea is not to give her recoil shock, which turns off many a new shooter.

After that it's a matter of letting her decide what she's comfortable with.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 4:16:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By TREETOP:
My mom wanted something small and light, I got her a Kel-Tec P-32. She loves it.

The slide and trigger are easy on this one for someone with weak hand strength
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 4:25:23 AM EST
Get her a wheel gun, nothing to do but pull the trigger. If it doesn't go bang, just pull it again.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 4:41:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 4:47:41 AM EST
Keep it simple. S&W Model 10 with a 4" barrel.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 5:05:42 AM EST
The Kahr K9 is a nice compact pistol. I also would suggest having her look at a PPK in .380 or a baby Glock in 9mm or .40SW. As far as simple to use, hands down the Glock takes it, even simpler than a P7 because the P7 under stress has the issue of sending the slide home between mag changes if you squeeze before inserting fresh mag. The Glock is just point and shoot, no safeties or decocking levers to mess with, nothing to do but pull the trigger and call for the coroner. But you should let your mom handle and fire a few of your top choices so she can get a feel for which weapon is more fitting for her hand. The weapon that fits her hand best, has less controls and has the best natural point of aim should be her choice. some guns point really nice for me while others are not so natural. I think the HKP7 and HK USP series is a very natural pointer for me, as is the Glock, but that is in my hand, it has to fit the shooter.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 5:25:04 AM EST
S&W 6 shot K frame, 3-4 inch barrel with a round butt frame.

Simple, safe, and effective.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 5:31:37 AM EST
Smith & Wesson M65 Ladysmith. Start her out with 38 wadcutters.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 5:44:16 AM EST
Well my mom used to have a .50AE Desert Eagle with the 10 inch barrel and a Leupold 2.5 x 8 EER scope. Then she saw an Automag III in .30 Carbine so that became her carry piece. She later added an ITI Lam (a gunsmith added a custom mount). Now she moved up to the debabtably ultimate of hand firepower:

A Phillips & Rodgers Mid Frame PR-230 revolver in 7.62x39mm with a muzzle brake and barrel porting and express sights. It gobbles up Wolf ammo like there is no tomorrow. (Yes this really exists) She claims she can't feel recoil and regularly gets 1 inch groups at 200 yards without a reflex sight. BTW: She is 107 years old.

Doggonit (SIG love)

I am just kidding about the above. It would be funny though...
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 6:51:09 AM EST
My wife likes her Taurus 85 lite. She qualifies with a 3913(CCW), but is not maintainance minded enough for me. She always carries it in her purse in an Uncle Mike's pocket holster.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 7:18:01 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 4:33:31 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 5:20:45 PM EST
I'm going to have to strongly agree with the revolver & 20ga. crowds. My mom is not a gun person. She had a hard time understanding and operating a PPK, so I got her a Ruger SP101 .357 mag. Stainless steel = low maintenance. I have her shoot with light .38 loads, but it normally stays loaded with full power .357's. She took an NRA gun safety course too. She probably still doesn't understand the mechanics too well, but there's no doubt that should the need arise, she can point, shoot and reliably hit.

For all around home defense, though, I'm certain that a 20ga. pump or autoloader with a cylinder choke is an ideal weapon. YMMMV (your mom's mileage may vary).

But if your mommy can clear a crack house with an MP5, please disregard my comments above.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 7:44:20 PM EST
Thanks for the advice guys.

The local neighborhood HoustonPD officer who our family knows quite well came by and had recommended the 20 gage shotgun to her for home defense. He kept telling her that if she had to use it she had to "SHOOT TO KILL okay?" Mom just nodded her head. I thought she would be freaked out but she saw the point!

I think that we are going to go for a revolver.
Its probably going to be a S&W lightweight/airweight series or a Ruger chambered for .357/.38. I'll show her how to shoot on the .38s and give her .357 for defensive rounds.

I think I saw a model out there that had a hammer that did not protrude, but it was still there in case she needed to cock the hammer back manually. Is anyone familiar with such a revolver?

Looks like we are going to go to the gunshop later this week to pick one out. I'll keep you guys updates as to what we get.

BLAMMO....
Hehehehe. I have a shotgun for home defense thats backed up by a safe full of NFA. If the shit really hits the fan, the wife uses the silenced MP5 SD3 with Aimpoint sight. No loud bang to scare her silly of the weapon and the red dot makes things "real easy" for her to shoot.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 8:19:35 PM EST
DSR-1I'm a little old, but I'm available for adoption. I was originally going to post the following, but didn't to keep my post brief, but here it is anyway:

About the time my grandfather passed away (late 70's) there was a shady character that had been hanging around the area, so my grandmother asked the sheriff to come over and give her some security advice. He told her that if she ever had someone try to break in, to shoot and keep shooting until she was out of ammo. He said it would be better (legally) if the body was in the house, and if it wasn't, she should call him personally and he'd make it so.

Times are a-changin' but I'm very impressed with the advice your mom got! I bet your mom could use a supressed MP5 too. Realistically, I don't see any reason we shouldn't all have unrestrained access to whatever firearms we want. www.cafepress.com/rkba
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 8:54:31 PM EST
A Colt 380 Govt Model is a nice pistol and the controls are the same for when she moves up to a BHP (or 1911.)
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 4:47:15 AM EST
S & W Centennial (sp). In 357, she can use 38 or 38+p's or 357 mag. No hammer to snag, sill shot out of her purse or pocket, and in lady smith, a nice trigger pull.
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 10:36:07 AM EST
I agree with the recommendations on the revolver. About 15 years ago a good firend passed away and he had several pistols but only two revolvers, an H&R .22 and a blued S&W 2" Model 36. I sold the guns for her so that she didn't get taken, and she wanted to keep the .380 PPk for "hers." Problem was, at the range she couldn't rack the slide on the little blowback. As her late husband also had a Series 70 Gold Cup, I had her try that. No problem racking or firing it, but a handful to hold (small hands, even for a woman). Next was the M36, and it was what she stuck with. She could fire DA and SA, and handle the recoil of Federal .38 Spl JHPs. She still has it, and the Gold Cup because it was her husband's favorite.

My suggestion would be a J, K, or L-frame S&W in 38 Spl or .357, or if you can find one, a Ruger SP101 or S&W 940 in 9mm. Both use 5-shot full moon clips, which are defacto speedloaders and reduce "fumbling and fiddling" for reloading.

That said, some women I know have no trouble racking Makarovs, but any auto is not as simple as a revolver. IMO, keep it simple.

Noah

Link Posted: 7/15/2002 12:08:44 PM EST
S&W Model 10 heavy barrel 4". It doesn't come any simpler than that and contrary to modern beliefs, this is a damn good handgun. I bought this gun for my wife, it was like $100.00 used. It gave her 6 shots of .38 special HP's with a good grip, decent ballistics and good peace of mind when I was at work.

Now, some 8 years later, she's all grown up and packing a Glock 23C!
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 3:05:38 PM EST
Revolver all the way!

I am a semi-auto man, but I know revolvers have there place.
This is a good example.
If I was to buy my mother a gun, it would no doubt be a revolver.
I bought a ruger sp101 .357 for myself from a friend for $200, couldn't pass it up.

I have found that small revolver to be an excellent concealing weapon in the summer.
Small, powerful, and simple as hell.
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 4:57:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 5:08:06 PM EST
I bought my wife a Kel-Tech p-11 when they first hit the market. 10+1 9mm really light. The only drawbacks were, about a 10# trigger, and no safety, but all in all, she likes it better than my g-22.
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 7:55:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/15/2002 7:57:02 PM EST by MurderSHO45]

Originally Posted By DSR-1:



I think I saw a model out there that had a hammer that did not protrude, but it was still there in case she needed to cock the hammer back manually. Is anyone familiar with such a revolver?




I know in the Ruger SP101 series, the spurless series is DAO.
I saw a warning in the manual, it stats that you should not use the spurless series in SA mode. The hammer doesn't lock, and if it drops, it will fire.

I tested my DA/SA model, if the hammer drops without the trigger fully depressed, the firing pin will not extend to strike.

I thought that was interesting.
Anyone out there with a DAO?
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 8:48:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/15/2002 8:49:33 PM EST by 199]

Originally Posted By DSR-1:
... He kept telling her that if she had to use it she had to "SHOOT TO KILL okay?"
...
I think I saw a model out there that had a hammer that did not protrude, but it was still there in case she needed to cock the hammer back manually. Is anyone familiar with such a revolver? ...


The LEO may have been thinking of “shoot to kill” versus “shoot to wound” - if so, fine. However, if she ever gets into such an incident, she needs to say that she shot to “stop”.

S&W Model 38 or 638 (basically the same revolver), photo of 638 below. However, the value of such a setup is rather doubtful.


Link Posted: 7/16/2002 12:30:53 AM EST
199,
Now there is some good advice on the LEO statement. You wouldn't be one of them thar LAWYERS would you? : )

I am curious as to why are you doubtful concerning the design of the S&W 638?
Link Posted: 7/16/2002 3:30:16 PM EST
my moms got a G19C
Link Posted: 7/16/2002 6:34:09 PM EST
S&W airweight .38/.357
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 7:43:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By AggieAlum:
199,
Now there is some good advice on the LEO statement. You wouldn't be one of them thar LAWYERS would you? : )


Not only no, but HELL no!


I am curious as to why are you doubtful concerning the design of the S&W 638?

The S&W 38/638 is a fine weapon.

However, the likelihood of needing to manually cock a five-shot revolver in a life-and-death encounter is very remote, especially for non-LEO’s who will most likely be confronting a bad guy at arm’s length.

IMHO, someone that is not especially proficient in weapon handling probably shouldn’t be cocking a revolver in such an encounter anyway, while proficient weapon handlers can generally shoot very well using only the double action.

Also, my very unscientific observation over the years has been that five-shot revolvers are very difficult to shoot accurately at long distances, anyway - single or double action.

An additional very minor point is the Model 38 is cut open at the top, unlike say the totally enclosed hammer area of the Model 40 Centennial type revolver, which lets dust and crud into the action. Granted, any revolver has other entry points for such debris.

That said, the 38/638 is a fine revolver for anyone who wants a five-shot that they can cock. IMHO, anyone who wants that ability would be far better off with a K-frame or a semi to begin with.
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 9:21:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Emu:
My Mom likes my Sig 232. .380 very simple to operate, light slide, safe. Even with a Wolff 15 lb. main spring (which is slightly heaver than stock) she can rack the slide. I changed the spring because the stock spring didn't work quit right with +P cor-bon ammo.



Light slide my ass. It has a very stiff recoil spring that is a downright pain to retract compared to a full-size pistol. I own a Sig and really love it, but I would never give one to my mom because the felt recoil is nasty and the recoil spring is so stiff.

I bought my mom a Ruger P95 a few years ago and she digs it. It came with two ten-round magazines which were soon augmented with 2 aftermarket fifteen-rounders (ProMag IIRC). The 9mm is light in recoil, the gun is reasonably light and compact, is accurate, reliable, and chambered for a caliber that is serious enough to make bad guys dead quick.

My mother was an Army officer and was trained on the 1911 .45 (so that would have been my first choice), but multiple schlerosis has given her some problems with weakness in her hands and sensitivity to stress, (shooting for just a little bit makes her arms hurt) which precluded the more powerful pistol. I'd recommend the P95 anyday, but any reasonably well-made pistol in 9mm will do just great. It all really depends on what your mom is capable of. My mom qualified expert with the .45, and sharpshooter with the M-16, so she has some experience, but had her strength and recoil tolerance reduced by a chronic disorder.


Bottom line is that you should get the absolutely most powerful weapon your mother will feel comfortable with.
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 9:36:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By Maddog50:
Kahr K9... Same size as a Taurus Titanium, but much easier to shoot. More rounds, too.

Plus it is simple to operate: only three controls.

My wife had trouble with the slide at first until I showed her that she can push with her firing side hand and pull with her support side hand at the same time, thus doubling the force.



My wife has the same gun and loves it. Biggest piece of advice I can give is this. Let her make the final decision. Just give her ideas. Dont try to talk into something.
Link Posted: 7/18/2002 5:34:51 AM EST
I'd get her a glock 26 - then Id take it to the range and fire it 2000 times to loosen up the slide for her. I'd also pack her mags for her - I seriously doubt my mother could get even the first bullet into a new mag without breaking a nail.
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