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Pop Pop
Senior Member

USA
688 Posts

Posted - September 07 2014 :  11:21:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had a class with my sweetie’s cousin on shooting yesterday. Her husband has developed Parkinson’s disease and has been institutionalized so the cousin is living alone at present. She wants to arm herself for self defensive purposes. We talked safety first and she was really nervous as we proceeded. We must talk safety more as she would forget where she was pointing the gun when it was unloaded. I never allowed her to load until I was beside or behind her.

I allowed her to fire a 22LR, 22Mag revolver, Glock Mdl 19, 9MM, Kahr P 9 9MM, a Ladysmith Mdl 65 revolver loaded with 38 Spl practice ammo, and a Ruger LCR in 38Spl. She kept all hits on a B27 target in the black, at 5-6 yards, from a standing position. She could shoot the smaller guns as well as the larger. She fired about 75 rounds and said her hand had begun to hurt, so we stopped.

I am really concerned that she wants the Glock 9MM. That would be all right with me, but she does not have the hand strength to load the magazine nor rack the slide to load the pistol. I know one can purchase a loader for the magazine, which would make it easier, and she can use a table to help her to lock back the slide to load the pistol, but I am really concerned she may have a FTF, or something that would stop the semi-auto from firing, and she would not be able to clear the gun and get it back into the fight. Said she could only afford 1 gun.

The reason I think she is preferring the semi auto is the amount of rounds on board as opposed to the revolvers 5, 6, 7, or 8 rounds on board. I told her that she could purchase a 7 shot K frame pistol, like my Taurus 617, which would give her 7 rounds. She does not like my S/W 681 and says it is too heavy for her to hold up and she could not conceal it should she get her HCP here in TN, which I advised her to do. Told me money was scarce and she could not afford 2 or 3 gun purchases.

She is a determined learner as I observed her facial expressions while firing and witnessed her determination. We spent about 2 hours with me teaching and talking to her as we fired each handgun. I thought of a 20 GA, but don’t know if she would be open to that and she had grown tired from out first outing. I may try that on the next outing.

My wife can fire my youth model mdl 500 Mossey, but does not like the recoil and prefers her Lady Smith(357DPX) or LCR (38 Spl DPX). I am working on the shotty, with her, for home protection and realize she must shoot it several times to get accustomed to a shotgun. This is a work in progress. Also my sweetie does not have the hand streng to rack the slide on the Glock either. I reccomended the revolvers for her and she agreed.

I would like your thoughts on which way to proceed with the somewhat new shooter and what advice I should give her on either the revolver or semi auto. The fact she cannot work the slide bothers me a lot. I am leaning toward the revolver with speed loaders or speed strips. What advice do you have for us?

Pop Pop

Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2939 Posts

Posted - September 07 2014 :  11:37:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If she lacks the ability to FULLY operate a semi-auto handgun I would definitely steer her to a revolver. If the gun is for home defense as opposed to CCW I would also steer her to a 4-inch 6-shot model with .38 Spl+P. These don't require a lot of maintenance or manipulation -- just point and pull.

I had this situation crop up some years back with an elderly female neighbor. She lacked the hand strength to operate a semi-auto and the revolver was something she could operate.

The problem with the lack of hand strength with a semi-auto can also cause "limp wristing" and malfunctions... which she may not have the hand strength to quickly clear. She might be better off with 6 rounds she can count on than 15 she may not be able to count on.

As for a shotgun, I would definitely go with a 20 gauge 'Youth Model' with a standard load of #3 Buck. She will be able to manipulate that 5.5 pound gun much easier that a full-sized 12 gauge... and for inside the home defense it's just as effective.

Just my .02 cents

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.

Edited by - Chris Christian on September 07 2014 11:41:06 AM
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mojo
Advanced Member

USA
2911 Posts

Posted - September 07 2014 :  12:02:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chris raises some good points, if she is only interested in home defense the 20 gauge is the way to go. For CCW a revolver is still King!

Texas and Louisiana Concealed handgun instructor.

NRA Certified Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearm Safety, Personal Protection and Refuse to be a Victim instructor.

NRA Endowment member.

Disabled U. S. Army Veteran 1St Cav and 82nd Airborne 1967-1970.
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wolfgang2000
Advanced Member

USA
3742 Posts

Posted - September 07 2014 :  2:42:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Most females new to guns have trouble with the slides. It's more a strength issue than a gun issue. If they are determine, give them exercises to build the strength in the right muscles.

I usually attribute this as a female problem. But todays crop of boys that have nothing more strenuous than us a game controller, are in the same boat.

If she really want the G19 then get her doing what is needed to build the strength needed in the hands and upper body. If she isn't dedicated to doing this, then by all means go with the revolver.

A grip master is a simple hand strength tool and easy to and will build hand strength.

female LEO all over this country carry semi autos on duty. Most (male and female) had to learn and build the muscles to do this. It all depends on the dedication of the student.

“The key is to hit them hard, hit them fast, and hit them repeatedly. The one shot stop is a unit of measurement not a tactical philosophy.” Evan Marshall
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Malcolm
Advanced Member

USA
4008 Posts

Posted - September 08 2014 :  12:41:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"It all depends on the dedication of the student...", true, IF, there are no preexisting issues like severe carpal tunnel, permanent injuries to grip strength, etc. My wife, no longer a concert pianist because of severe carpel tunnel issues, and surgery could not be done without making the damage worse, still shoots, she limits her shooting to handguns she can comfortably shoot and practice with. With her, it's not a "training issue" at all. Yes, she "can" shoot a .357, .38 Special, or 9mm if she "has" to, but chances are, she'll drill you full of holes with her .22LR well before you can say "what was that?"; or, she'll use one of the 1911'sm which for some reason don't bother her wrist strength at all. I chalk it up to the actual recoil impulse of those all steel 1911's.

"The measure of a man's character, is how he treats someone who can do nothing for him." (unknown)
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wolfgang2000
Advanced Member

USA
3742 Posts

Posted - September 08 2014 :  1:24:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I understand. My wife got sever tendonitis in her strong arm elbow. Because of that she couldn't pull the DOA trigger on the issued 4046 enough to qualify. Thankfully the G19 trigger pull and lighter recoil allowed her to finish her career.

“The key is to hit them hard, hit them fast, and hit them repeatedly. The one shot stop is a unit of measurement not a tactical philosophy.” Evan Marshall
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revjen45
Advanced Member

2234 Posts

Posted - September 08 2014 :  7:42:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Would you consider a Beretta Mod. 86? For most people it is as big as a 9X19, but the tip-up, hi-cap and mild recoil might be the right combo of features for the lady.

Better to perish in the struggle for freedom than live to see defeat.
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