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View Full Version : HD/SD Pistol for my mom?


TiMe_1
08-01-2011, 10:16 AM
Some stuff happened over the weekend and my mom who is 61 now wants a gun for her home and now she wants to try and get her CCW.

My mom isnt the strongest lady and has a real hard time pulling the slide back on my G23 so im thinkin anything semi auto is out of the question. (unless theres some out there that arent hard to pull back.) Ive been thinking revolver is the best for her.

Im planning on taking her to the range soon so she can shoot a couple different guns. I have no idea how she will handle recoil.

Can you guys recommend me some revolvers that arent to bad on the wallet? Ive been thinkin about the S&W Bodyguard or Ruger LCR but I want some different opinions.

Thanks!

ZombieTactics
08-01-2011, 10:22 AM
I would avoid snub-nose revolvers, as they are difficult to shoot without a good bit of practice and recoil more than those with longer barrels. I love my LCR and my wife loves her S&W 442 ... just maybe not the best choice for mom. Consider standard barrel lengths.

You may also find that with proper training/instruction, the slide-racking issue becomes moot. My MS-afflicted wife can rack anything in existence, for example, and she has extremely weak muscles owing to her condition.

Sam
08-01-2011, 10:45 AM
ZombieTactics, wasn't it you with the YouTube video of your daughter racking guns?

OP: Couldn't find a video, but read this:
http://corneredcat.com/RunGun/rack.aspx

MossbergMan
08-01-2011, 11:04 AM
Not knowing the problems your Mom had that she now feels the need for a handgun, having two isn't a bad idea. Dedicated house gun, .357 S&W 4" DA revolver would do nicely. The heavier weight of the 4" gun will dampen any perceived recoil and cheap .38spl. ammo is readily available anywhere. Her carry gun could be a snub-nose 5 or 6 shot. I carry a J frame 637 with crimson trace grips and a Colt Detective Special II (6 shots) without feeling under gunned. Of course I can hit what I point at too.
Go to an indoor range that rents the type of guns she may feel she's interested in and comfortable with and then shoot them. It matters not what I or anyone else thinks is the best gun for her....it's her decision based on what's comfortable for her to shoot and PRACTICE with. She could buy the god awfulest(sp) man-stopping gun on earth, but if she's intimidated by it she won't practice.
Good luck and keep us posted.

six10
08-01-2011, 11:50 AM
I'm a woman in your Mom's age bracket and I'd recommend a 4" stainless steel .38 Special revolver. A Smith & Wesson, preferably; Model 64 or 67. These are K frame guns and fit the average woman's hand well. And the weight (36 ounces) really subdues the recoil. Might be a bit much to carry concealed, but either of these models would make an excellent HD gun and then down the road, if she manages to acquire a CCW, she can consider getting a snub; by then she'd have working knowledge of shooting basics and be able to make an informed decision about getting a shorter-barreled, lighter-weight gun --and the training commitment it would require.

redhemi
08-01-2011, 12:01 PM
Have her try a Ruger SP101 3" barrel. It can shoot 38s and 357. Its a nice size thats not to lite or heavy.

tacticalcity
08-01-2011, 12:06 PM
I tried to get my mom a gun since she lives alone now that my step father passed away. She refused to learn how to use it properly. Acting like a stubborn child. Insisting on having it, but offering nothing but excuse after to excuse as to why she couldn't set aside the time to take a free gun course an instructor friend of mine had arranged for her. Not sure when my mom turned into a spoild child, but she is acting increasingly irresponsible about a wide variety of things that she would have been responsible about in the past. It is really ticking me off. She is a young woman. There is no excuse for it. Needless to say, she doesn't have a gun anymore. She is just too darn unsafe with it and has zero desire to learn how to actually use it. I am more worried about her hurting herself, others or possibly me if she forgets I am in town and staying at her place for the night than I am about somebody breaking in and hurting her. The liability of somebody who is untrained and unsafe having a gun is just way too high.

Hopefully your good itentions won't damage your relationship the way mine did ours. She is really pissed off I won't trust her with a gun. Thankfully she hasn't figured out she can go and buy her own. I think she is just as intimadated about doing that as she is learning how to use one.

My mom was so cool while being both smart and responsible when she was younger. Now she's bat dung crazy! But only some of the time and about the oddest things. Very frustrating. She's only 60. Way too young to start going looney on me.

CK_32
08-01-2011, 12:14 PM
Get her a small snub nose revolver.

axhoaxho
08-01-2011, 12:17 PM
For an older lady HD/SD/CCW; a light-weight Ruger .38 Special LCR, paired with some lighter recoil rounds (e.g. Gold Dot Short Barrel .38+P 135g), might not be a bad idea.

Easy to carry in purse or pocket, simple to operate, the LCR trigger is surprisingly light for a double-action resolver, and the modern lighter recoil .38 Special +P ammos should do the job right.

I also agree with everyone that should let your mom tries different guns, so she can decide on which she finds fit best for herself.

Regards,

tacticalcity
08-01-2011, 12:34 PM
Some stuff happened over the weekend and my mom who is 61 now wants a gun for her home and now she wants to try and get her CCW.

My mom isnt the strongest lady and has a real hard time pulling the slide back on my G23 so im thinkin anything semi auto is out of the question. (unless theres some out there that arent hard to pull back.) Ive been thinking revolver is the best for her.

Im planning on taking her to the range soon so she can shoot a couple different guns. I have no idea how she will handle recoil.

Can you guys recommend me some revolvers that arent to bad on the wallet? Ive been thinkin about the S&W Bodyguard or Ruger LCR but I want some different opinions.

Thanks!

The trick to the slide is to push the gun forward while also pulling the slide to rear. Because it is done in one movement new shooters can't visually tell what we are doing when we show it to them. So they try and do it just by pulling. That's won't work. They have to push the gun as well.

In the mean time, get her a small pocket folding knife or push blade knife small enough to fit in her pocket. Teach her not to warn people she has it. That just gives them a chance to take it from her. Teach her to only pull it if she is put into a position that she has no choice but to use it, and where to cut for it to be effective. Remembering that complete surprise is necessary for it to be effective. Absolutely no warning the bad guys that she'll cut them if they don't leave her alone. With a gun you can give warning to an approaching attacker. Not with a knife. A knife is a weapon of last resort and is 1000 times more effective when they do not know you have it.

The hardest thing for really girlie women (for lack of a better description) to get used to is that they have to keep it in a front pocket or around their neck. Not burried in the bottom of giant purse. There will not be time to say, "Excuse me Mr. Attacker, but I need 20 minutes to dig in my purse for my knife. So just hold your horses and I will be with you in a few." Getting women to stop burring their keys in their purse and spending 20 minutes exposed out in the open parking lot while they search for their keys is just as difficult. How hard is it to train yourself to get your keys while you are indoors and have them in your hand before you go outside and walk to the car? For the life of me I cannot get the women in my life to do that. Even after a friend's wife was attacked and rapped while trying to find her car keys in a parking lot. She now grabs her keys before leaving for her car, but refuses to carry a knife or take a self defense course. She also is wildly anti-gun. I don't get it.

A lot of women totally get the self defense concepts and are totally on the ball with this stuff and makes us men look like girlie men. For some reason none of the women in my life are like that. They think I am nuts for being even remotely security concious and suggesting they learn how to protect themselves. Makes me worry for them.

theneko
08-01-2011, 12:44 PM
My mom got her .38 Spl revolver 30 years ago and now she is 75. Great gun, always works.

RONIN.
08-01-2011, 12:56 PM
As with anyone.. Not just your mother. A handgun is a very personal preference. I would take her to a gun store so you can feel a bunch of different guns. Then when she finds something she likes, take her to the range. Hopefully the range will have the handguns, that she liked.. So that she can fire them and figure out what exactly she liked and go from there. Because we all know what I might like, you may not like. Same goes for your mother.

I went threw this with my wife a few years ago, when I left on my first contract overseas. As it sits I ended up with a bunch of berettas.. blah.. carried them in the service and didn't like them one bit, but my wife loves them.

ronin.

ZombieTactics
08-01-2011, 1:07 PM
ZombieTactics, wasn't it you with the YouTube video of your daughter racking guns? ...]
Yep. The back-story behind that is that my wife had insisted for some time that she simply COULD NOT rack the slide on a Ruger SR9c, which tends to be a bit stiff. She resisted all attempts by me to show her good technique, but operates like a champ after seeing our little one demonstrate it. I won't post the vid here, as it's a bit OT, but it ("Mall Ninja vs. Tactical Mouse ...") can be reached through the "GunFu" link in my sig line below.

Kanoodler
08-01-2011, 3:36 PM
I have an aunt who is 65. We got her a Ruger Sp101 3" bbl .38/.357 and she loves it. She can load and unload it on her own. She shoots very well with it.
It has a medium/small frame but is heavy enough to damper the mild recoil of 110gr. .38 special loads she has for HD. The other pick at the time was a S&W model 65, also with a 3" bbl.

I would avoid the 2 inch and under small frame .38 revolvers due to the pretty snappy recoil, unless Mom can shrug it off.

Good on Mom for wanting a HD piece though! Let's raise a glass to Mom!!

tbhracing
08-01-2011, 3:47 PM
OP and others- I was/am in the exact same situation. Father passed away and my mom needed a firearm. My mom just isnt intune enough to know how to rack a slide in an emergency situation, etc. So, I bought her the Ruger 38 revolver is with light recoil JHP rounds.

The gun works well and my mom never knew the difference between hard and soft recoil. After her first range trip, I was somewhat disappointed and wonder what should I do or how to fix this to be an idea situation. ANSWER- I bought her snake shot for the Ruger for home defense and the rattlers in her backyard.

YES, I know- snake shot is not ideal for HD/SD. But in this case, my senor citizen mother would just have to point in the general direction to stop or slow a threat. Basiclly- a shotgun in her hand.

Not the best solution, but it works and she has something to defend herself with. She may lose interest down the line and I will just get my LCR back, but it was better than nothing for this anti-gun senior mom who needed something for her country home.

movie zombie
08-01-2011, 3:47 PM
for a woman get a metal gun....let me repeat: a metal gun. do not get an ultra light or airlight similar revolver. i cannot say this enough. i almost didn't touch another gun after shooting a s&w 317 snubbie.

a .38/.357 is great because she can practice the .38 and/or lighter .357 loads.

it will all come down to what is comfortable in her hand. the sp101 was to big for my hand but i could have chanced changing out the grips and perhaps it would have fit better.

the smiths fit my hand better in both the j and k frames. i love my model 60 snubbie as well as my 19 snubbie and my 66 with a 4 inch barrel. any of these will work for home defense but what will she practice with? if she doesn't practice it won't be a good match for her.

a sheriff told me at a gunshow some years ago that more people are killed by a .22. while i agree that it isn't what i'd want to have for home defense, it if is what she'll shoot then that's what she should have.

and if $ is no object, she can have two guns...start out with a .22 and then upgrade to the .38/.357 as she gets more comfortable with shooting.

it all comes back to practice Practice PRACTICE and if she gets a calibre she doesn't want to use at a range, well, she'd be better off with a lower calibre.

InGrAM
08-01-2011, 4:08 PM
get her a revolver!!! preferably a S&W or a ruger.

honeywalnutshrimp
08-01-2011, 4:08 PM
A friend of mines mom has a high standard sentinel .22 its a 9 shot revolver and tho .22 may be under powered in comparison to others 9 relatively reliable shots of it especially after firing the light revolver.. I wouldn't mind my mom having one in her bedside drawer...

The gun goes bang everytime overly easy to handle and control and 9 .22 caliber rounds running at anybody is better then nothing

blakdawg
08-01-2011, 4:09 PM
Ammo selection can make a tremendous difference in how a new shooter thinks about a gun - I recommend Fiocchi 148gr lead wadcutters in .38 Special for a person who's recoil-sensitive. Even ordinary .38 Special loads can be unpleasant in a lightweight snubnose - my wife didn't want to shoot more than 15 rounds or so out of her Ruger LCR until I got some of the Fiocchi 148 gr, now she'll shoot it all day long happily.

Are the Gold Dot short barrel rounds really low-recoil? I bought some, haven't had a chance to shoot them yet, but wasn't expecting them to be low recoil, just effective for self-defense. If I'm shooting a bad guy, I don't care if my hand hurts afterwards or not.

marker
08-01-2011, 5:21 PM
I'm a fan of s&w revolvers but since price is a consideration in this case why not taurus? I wouldn't trust their semi autos but revolvers are a different beast that should be less problematic. They also seem to have a very extensive line up of all different sizes.

In my experience women generally prefer smaller handguns as the larger, heavier ones can be uncomfortable for smaller hands to grip and to hold on target. In this case, I wouldn't bother with 357 ammo at all, as the wrong ammo/gun combination will turn off a new shooter faster than almost anything else. I've seen more experienced shooters try a s&w airlight with 357s and not want to pick it up again after the first shot. Not that one will notice in an emergency situation, but especially for a newbie, practice/training is of paramount importance.

RollingCode3
08-01-2011, 5:23 PM
Have her try a Ruger SP101 3" barrel. It can shoot 38s and 357. Its a nice size thats not to lite or heavy.

This

Get her a small snub nose revolver.

not this

TiMe_1
08-01-2011, 5:32 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys! I'm gonna take her to the indoor range this week and rent a couple guns for her, most likely revolvers. I'll update this thread after the range time.

elSquid
08-01-2011, 6:09 PM
for a woman get a metal gun....let me repeat: a metal gun. do not get an ultra light or airlight similar revolver. i cannot say this enough.

Or a man, really. I'm a 230lb male and I don't enjoy shooting my Airweight... a novice shooter is not going to find the recoil agreeable. At all.

If the gun is not for daily CCW, I don't see much reason for a lightweight snub.

SP101 or a steel k-frame is a much, much better choice. Perhaps a used model 10?

-- Michael

llamatrnr
08-01-2011, 6:14 PM
...and don't forget the bear spray . . .

JagerDog
08-01-2011, 6:42 PM
I'm a woman in your Mom's age bracket and I'd recommend a 4" stainless steel .38 Special revolver. A Smith & Wesson, preferably; Model 64 or 67. These are K frame guns and fit the average woman's hand well. And the weight (36 ounces) really subdues the recoil. Might be a bit much to carry concealed, but either of these models would make an excellent HD gun and then down the road, if she manages to acquire a CCW, she can consider getting a snub; by then she'd have working knowledge of shooting basics and be able to make an informed decision about getting a shorter-barreled, lighter-weight gun --and the training commitment it would require.


^^^^^this.

tbhracing
08-01-2011, 7:00 PM
One of the best investments I ever made-

http://picturearchive.auctionarms.com/1408/9594147/acf39d2.jpg

Riodog
08-01-2011, 7:13 PM
A cute lil pink 12" barreled 20ga coach gun.
Rio

blakdawg
08-02-2011, 11:39 AM
Are the Gold Dot short barrel rounds really low-recoil?

This review - http://www.thegunzone.com/speer135jhp38sp.html - makes it sound like the Speer Gold Dot +P Short Barrel rounds are definitely NOT low-recoil, so they would not be a good choice for a new shooter or recoil-sensitive person to use for practice, experimentation, or acclimatization.

They still sound like a good choice for actual defensive use.

stix213
08-02-2011, 3:10 PM
Take your mom to the range and have her try a variety of guns, especially gun sizes. New shooters can have a lot of problems with small guns. Experienced shooters often see a small gun as a benefit in certain situations, but if you're a new shooter more afraid of shooting a high recoil gun than hitting the bad guy, it loses its size advantage.

A woman's purse can also allow for a larger/heavier gun than a man would prefer on his person. So a larger/heavier gun which would be more controllable for a newer shooter could be a good choice for her. Again, take her to the range and see what she likes.

Oceanbob
08-02-2011, 3:16 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys! I'm gonna take her to the indoor range this week and rent a couple guns for her, most likely revolvers. I'll update this thread after the range time.

I just wanted to say 'you're a good son'.

:D

JagerDog
08-02-2011, 4:13 PM
Take your mom to the range and have her try a variety of guns, especially gun sizes. New shooters can have a lot of problems with small guns. Experienced shooters often see a small gun as a benefit in certain situations, but if you're a new shooter more afraid of shooting a high recoil gun than hitting the bad guy, it loses its size advantage.

A woman's purse can also allow for a larger/heavier gun than a man would prefer on his person. So a larger/heavier gun which would be more controllable for a newer shooter could be a good choice for her. Again, take her to the range and see what she likes.

The pros would agree. For a non-shooter, get the biggest revolver they can genuinely handle for HD.

JosephP
08-02-2011, 4:16 PM
S&W M642 with 125gr +P Speer Golddot ammo for short barrel.

Dhena81
08-02-2011, 10:28 PM
Basically the same thing happened to my mom she's 62 I took her shooting I was thinking along the same lines getting her a 4" 357 magnum. Well she didn't like the trigger on the S&W and she really liked my 1911 she said it felt like a real gun. One of the reasons she didn't like the S&W was maybe because she was so new I only had her shoot in DA and it was harder for her to keep her finger away and out of the trigger guard while I was harping on her.

Anyways we ended up renting everything they had in 9mm we went Glock 17 19, HK USP USPC P2000, S&W M&P, XD, Sig P229 P226. She ended up shooting and manipulating the Sig P226 for whatever reason the best of all of them. She now owns one and is able to cycle the slide and do tap rack bangs and she really loves her gun. We bought it with a short trigger and I installed the E2 grips and she just took a class and was so excited. I bought her a magazine loader and gun since the Sig's are so smooth when greased up and not anywhere near as difficult as a Glock loading it isn't hard.

The point is don't assume the 357 is going to be the best choice for her go with what she can shoot the best almost everything else is training. I would stay far away from a snub nose they are extremely difficult to shoot even for seasoned shooters.

Dhena81
08-02-2011, 10:34 PM
I'd like to add besides added weight a fullsize HG might be fine for a female CCW holder. I would assume most females would end up carrying in their purse so a CCW HG size for a male may not apply as much to a female how do you ladies carry?

DannyInSoCal
08-02-2011, 11:01 PM
Get her the 8 shot SW .357 - She's gonna unload the thing anyway and most likely not have a chance to reload. The extra rounds might be the ones that save her...

Old4eyes
08-03-2011, 10:34 AM
I'm a fan of s&w revolvers but since price is a consideration in this case why not taurus? I wouldn't trust their semi autos but revolvers are a different beast that should be less problematic. They also seem to have a very extensive line up of all different sizes........

I've got a Taurus Tracker 357. I will say this about Taurus- Never Again.
Put up the extra bucks and go for a Ruger or a Smith.

Mine had severe timing issues out of the box and took two returns to Taurus to be fixed properly. The shop where I bought the gun had other Taurus revolvers with severe problems and based on those experiences and the feedback from Taurus on the repair problems, they stopped carrying the line.

Caribouriver
08-03-2011, 12:36 PM
Another thing to consider is the old adage of "Practice Makes Perfect". Whether a revolver or a pistol, just get so familiar with the actions of loading, unloading, on and off safe and cocking that it is reduced to instinctive muscle memory. That will also build muscle. I'm having a devil of a time not grimacing these days as I rack pistol slides. Between just getting older, arthritis in my left hand and my left middle finger dislocating under stress (from an old injury), I have had to practice my technique for racking slide. By practicing, I am slowly getting better as I develop a technique that is:
1. safe
2. reliable
3. doesn't cover the port
4. prevents my hand from sliding down the slide and getting cut on the rear sight.
heh heh. Like the guy answered when asked directions to Carnegie Hall: "Practice Practice Practice".

bsg
08-03-2011, 1:12 PM
it warms my heart that you care about your mom... and will put the effort into assisting her with this matter.

you are getting some good feedback and advise here. i just wanted to compliment you for your effort to help your mom.

Boomer...
08-03-2011, 1:42 PM
As already stated, she should avoid too light a weapon in combo with too much recoil. A factor not mentioned for older folks (like this Boomer :rolleyes:) is arthritis, which I have in my shooting hand. I have 9mm and 32 acp pistols, but when shooting my Ruger SP101 3", I load with 38 spl vs .357 for reduced recoil and quicker follow-up target acquisition. Hey, I'll shoot .357 in my old Ruger Blackhawk, but not in my lighter revolver.

shortround1
08-03-2011, 6:19 PM
A cute lil pink 12" barreled 20ga coach gun.
Rio


Do not do this^^! A shotgun with a 12" barrel will get you into heaps of trouble.

doubleactiononly
08-03-2011, 11:54 PM
it's too bad they don't make the Beretta 86 anymore.. Semi-auto .380 with tip-up barrel means decent size cartridge in a pistol, and you don't have to rack the slide to load it.

They still make the Tomcat (.32acp), which I suppose is better than nothing..

Riodog
08-04-2011, 12:26 AM
Aw c'mon, some ones gotta say it-> post some pics of your Mom.

SR1, remove panties from said orifice. If it was my Mom I'd strap an MP5 around her neck and good luck to whomever.
Rio

TiMe_1
08-08-2011, 3:02 PM
I just wanted to say 'you're a good son'.

:D

it warms my heart that you care about your mom... and will put the effort into assisting her with this matter.

you are getting some good feedback and advise here. i just wanted to compliment you for your effort to help your mom.


Thanks :D

I care about my mom dearly and her safety is important to me.

We havent made it to the range (she has a lot going on), so for now I have her setup with a lil 6 shot 25 auto that she can rack the slide on. I know its not much but its better than nothing.