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  #1  
Old 07-18-2018, 2:28 PM
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Default Recommendation for a self-defense revolver for an older woman?

Im working with my 77 year old mother in law on shooting. She lacks the hand strength to rack a slide.

What revolver would you recommend, for purse carry? I am a semi fan, so not much expertise/experience with various revolvers.

Shes in FL, so no roster restrictions. (Lucky)
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Old 07-18-2018, 2:43 PM
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2" revolver in .38+P. Its for up close and personal. Personally I suck at shooting revolvers at paper but YMMV.

The lighter and smaller it is the more its going to feel like holding a tiger by the tail.
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Last edited by lightcav; 07-18-2018 at 2:48 PM..
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Old 07-18-2018, 2:49 PM
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https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearm...-combat-magnum
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Old 07-18-2018, 2:52 PM
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I'm a diehard S&W fan. That said if it were my mom I'd recommend a Ruger LCR or LCRx in .38 special. S&W J frames have really stout triggers whereas the Ruger seems to have mastered the triggers in the smaller guns. The LCRx has a 3" barrel making it slightly more shootable than the LCR.
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Old 07-18-2018, 2:54 PM
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I hate to suggest it, but .38 might be too much for her. Take her to a range and let her try a 38 first. In a snub nose (which is likely what she will carry). If it is too much for her, she may have to go the 22 or 22 mag route.

I am not sure if there are any 32's available. That could be another choice.

Edit: Ruger makes an LCR in 327. It will shoot 327, 32 Mag, 32 Long. One of those should work for her.

Last edited by ARDude; 07-18-2018 at 2:59 PM..
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Old 07-18-2018, 2:54 PM
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I’d have to say LCR or LCRx will h the longer grip installed. Possibly the .357 version loaded with .38’s for a bit more weight for control. A .22 WMR wouldn’t be bad either.

Edit: wait, the LCR comes in .327 now, that gives you a 6 shot, and those .32 H&R hydrashocks are easygoing.
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2018, 3:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motherlord6 View Post
Im working with my 77 year old mother in law on shooting. She lacks the hand strength to rack a slide.

What revolver would you recommend, for purse carry? I am a semi fan, so not much expertise/experience with various revolvers.

Shes in FL, so no roster restrictions. (Lucky)
With respect to hand strength, is cycling an automatic tougher than pulling a DA trigger or managing the recoil of a j-frame? I'm actually wondering... maybe just get her a Glock 42 that's kept loaded? Good luck, that's a tough one.
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Old 07-18-2018, 3:19 PM
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At age 77, why would she be worried about self defense? Maybe carrying a gun might not be the best idea. Use common sense and stay away from bad neighborhoods. Carry pepper spray or stun gun might be safer alternative.

Shooting a gun is one thing but in a stressful situation, can lead to greater problems. Take her to a training class and see if the instructor deems she is competent to carry and shoot a gun in a stressful situation.
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  #9  
Old 07-18-2018, 3:21 PM
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Look at a Ruger LCR in 22LR, model # 5410.

Double action only (outstanding trigger pull BTW).

No exposed hammer to get hung up when presented from purse or pants / jacket pocket.

Light weight 14.9 oz.

8 shots.

Loaded with CCI Stringer ammo (1640 fps / 191 lbs muzzle energy... zoom zoom) makes it a very effective, low recoil, very easy to use, concealable SD handgun.

I've got approx. 1,500 rds downrange with mine. Zero issues, no drama....Absolutely love it.

Good Luck.
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  #10  
Old 07-18-2018, 3:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Beretta View Post
Look at a Ruger LCR in 22LR, model # 5410.

Double action only (outstanding trigger pull BTW).

No exposed hammer to get hung up when presented from purse or pants / jacket pocket.

Light weight 14.9 oz.

8 shots.

Loaded with CCI Stringer ammo (1640 fps / 191 lbs muzzle energy... zoom zoom) makes it a very effective, low recoil, very easy to use, concealable SD handgun.

I've got approx. 1,500 rds downrange with mine. Zero issues, no drama....Absolutely love it.

Good Luck.
This is an excellent choice
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Old 07-18-2018, 3:35 PM
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Whatever you do, DO NOT suggest or get her a small 2 inch barrel revolver. Keep in mind that small light weight guns ( even in .22LR and .22 mag) with short barrels have excessive recoil and muzzle blast. Why would you handicap her with such a choice. A full size standard weight .38 special 4 inch barrel "K" frame size is the way to go. Give some consideration to rubber grips that fit her hand size. I prefer Pachmayr, but that are a number of manufacture.

While not ideal, give some consideration to suggesting she get a mid size pistol similar to a Glock 19, which I did for my wife. We would go to the range together, and she fully understood how it worked mechanically, and was a very good shot. Once home, we cleansed it together, and I loaded it for her. She understood that all she needed to do was to get on target and pull the trigger and she had 15 rounds of quality 9mm on tap.

Keep in mind we are discussing an elderly women with self defense needs, not a gun enthusiast.

Last edited by 003; 07-18-2018 at 3:54 PM..
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  #12  
Old 07-18-2018, 3:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Beretta View Post
Look at a Ruger LCR in 22LR, model # 5410.

Double action only (outstanding trigger pull BTW).

No exposed hammer to get hung up when presented from purse or pants / jacket pocket.

Light weight 14.9 oz.

8 shots.

Loaded with CCI Stringer ammo (1640 fps / 191 lbs muzzle energy... zoom zoom) makes it a very effective, low recoil, very easy to use, concealable SD handgun.

I've got approx. 1,500 rds downrange with mine. Zero issues, no drama....Absolutely love it.

Good Luck.
As above post, I 2nd this as well (or is it 3rd?). Many times, I've read 9/10 just presenting a firearm scatters crooks. And when a shot goes off, they all seem to scatter if a group of bad guys.

Situational awareness always number one. Then a secure residence. But as a "when you need one, you need one" I would be comfortable with an LCR 22.

If not the LCR22, a Model 10 or 64. If hand strength can manage. Extra weight for recoil and the added size for a visual presence. Using a hogue grip works well over stock wood stocks.
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2018, 4:01 PM
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I cant believe I am going to say this ( dont like anything about Bill Ruger Sr.) but.... buy her a 3" Ruger SP101 in .357 or .38 special loaded with .38 special +P hydra-shock's
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2018, 4:05 PM
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If merely presenting a handgun will scatter the threat, then why not get a pellet gun. Those things look like the real thing nowadays.
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Old 07-18-2018, 4:08 PM
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The Sig Sauer P238 has an amazingly easy slide to manipulate, a far better trigger than any DAO trigger, and is actually fun to shoot.
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Old 07-18-2018, 4:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Litespeeds View Post
At age 77, why would she be worried about self defense? Maybe carrying a gun might not be the best idea. Use common sense and stay away from bad neighborhoods. Carry pepper spray or stun gun might be safer alternative.

Shooting a gun is one thing but in a stressful situation, can lead to greater problems. Take her to a training class and see if the instructor deems she is competent to carry and shoot a gun in a stressful situation.
Well my mom (RIP) was a North Dakota farm girl - transplanted at about the age of 21 to California with her husband, a North Dakota farm boy.

They didn't much care for firearms, although they had used them their whole life prior to the CA transplant. When I became interested in firearms and hunting at about 12 they indulged me, but enlisted the assistance of friends and relatives to take me to the hunting and shooting.

My mom could grow anything, but was very upset when the local squirrels started taking what she believed was more than their fair share of product!

She lived on a very large lot, but it was in a urban area. She requested a remedy from me. That being taken into consideration and living as an adult over 2 hour away, I purchased a .177 Webley air pistol for her, showed her how to use it, and said "good luck". I used to visit her every few weeks and she would show me the bucket of squirrels she had disposed of. I promptly
disposed of them in the trash (discretely)

Year later she wanted a self defense weapon. She "lived" in that bad neighborhood, refusing to move!!! I purchased a 2" Colt Detective special for her and loaded it with wadcutters. Thankfully, I never had to "discretely" disposed of any bodies!!! She died at the ripe old age of 95 - no foul play involved!

If I were to make a suggestion I would purchase a old Smith and Wesson model 36 with a 3" barrel (smooth as silk) and load it with wadcutters (aka flying saucers)
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Old 07-18-2018, 4:14 PM
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Glock 43 with a Serpa holster. The Serpa holster has a quick release lock and covers the trigger so the gun can be loaded and safe. Also its easy to just pull the light trigger. She has someone load it. Its the only good option. Revolver trigger is probably to hard to pull.
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Old 07-18-2018, 4:18 PM
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SW model 36-3 with pachmayr grips. 3" barrel gives it better balance. Hollow base wadcutters turned backwards or frangible rounds.
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Old 07-18-2018, 4:21 PM
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https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...RD+38SP+%2BP+3 Ruger LCRX
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Old 07-18-2018, 4:28 PM
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3" Ruger SP-101 in .327 might just find the sweet spot for her between weight and recoil.
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Old 07-18-2018, 4:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Litespeeds View Post
If merely presenting a handgun will scatter the threat, then why not get a pellet gun. Those things look like the real thing nowadays.
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Old 07-18-2018, 4:37 PM
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I know you’re looking for a revolver but since she’s not limited to ca roster maybe look at the m&p 380 ez they claim it’s easy to rack the slide
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Old 07-18-2018, 4:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB-AR View Post
I know youre looking for a revolver but since shes not limited to ca roster maybe look at the m&p 380 ez they claim its easy to rack the slide
Yeah, that was my first thought as well.

https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearm...80-shield-ez-0

The biggest issue with a revolver is the DA trigger pull. If she can manage it, nothing wrong with a snubbie, if that's her thing.

Just load it with wadcutters, recoil will be on the low end.

https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....0-ACP-vs-38-Sp

With few exceptions, the vast majority of .38 Sp JHP's fail to expand when fired from 2" barrels in the 4 layer denim test. Many of the lighter JHP's demonstrate overexpansion and insufficient penetration in bare gel testing. Also, the harsher recoil of the +P loads in lightweight J-frames tends to minimize practice efforts and decrease accuracy for many officers. The 158 gr +P LSWCHP offers adequate penetration, however in a 2" revolver the 158gr +P LSWCHP does not reliably expand. If it fails to expand, it will produce less wound trauma than a WC. Target wadcutters offer good penetration, cut tissue efficiently, and have relatively mild recoil. With wadcutters harder alloys and sharper leading edges are the way to go. Wadcutters perform exactly the same in both bare and 4 layer denim covered gel when fired from a 2" J-frame.

When faced with too little penetration, as is common with lightweight .38 Sp JHP loads or too much penetration like with the wadcutters, then go with penetration. Agencies around here have used the Winchester 148 gr standard pressure lead target wadcutter (X38SMRP), as well as the Federal (GM38A) version--both work. A sharper edged wadcutter would even be better... Dr. Fackler has written in Fackler ML: "The Full Wadcutter--An Extremely Effective Bullet Design", Wound Ballistics Review. 4(2):6-7, Fall 1999)
"As a surgeon by profession, I am impressed by bullets with a cutting action (eg. Winchester Talon and Remington Golden Saber). Cutting is many times more efficient at disrupting tissue than the crushing mechanism by which ordinary bullets produce the hole through which they penetrate. The secret to the increased efficiency of the full wadcutter bullet is the cutting action of its sharp circumferential leading edge. Actually, cutting is simply very localized crush; by decreasing the area over which a given force is spread, we can greatly increase the magnitude to the amount of force delivered per unit are--which is a fancy way of saying that sharp knives cut a lot better than dull ones. As a result, the calculation of forces on tissue during penetration underestimate the true effectiveness of the wadcutter bullet relative to other shapes."




-- Michael
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  #24  
Old 07-18-2018, 4:53 PM
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At the risk of responses suggesting I'm trying to get dear old Mom dispatched so I can inherit the house, mine relies on a 9 shot High Standard Sentinel Mk V in 22 Magnum. The grip is just right sized, the trigger is easy to pull and 9 shots is pretty good capacity. She's 87 and has no problem handling it. Except for reloading. I doubt she has any idea, or could if needed in a hurry.
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Old 07-18-2018, 5:04 PM
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Guns my gals like to shoot:
- Buckmark: (Or other comparable .22 semiauto) it's funny how they can deal with racking the slide, put safety on and off, filling mags and other such things when they want to shoot these accurate, reliable and easy kicking guns.

- Colt Mustang, Gov't, Sig 238 etc: super easy slide rack if you cock the hammer first, manual safety for safe handling and storage, easy trigger, small frame fits their hands, mild recoil especially compared to small blowback guns in .32, .380, 9x18.
If you get an all steel version, they are so easy to shoot, but even the Pocketlites are good to go.

- Nobody likes snubby 38s or anything like that. Steel frame, alloy frame, cute as can be but hated.

- Ruger Six Series, K frames etcetera in .38 Special is about as much as most want to deal with, but these are OK.
Revolvers are better for those not mechanically inclined, but again the snubbies don't get any love.

I have strong concerns about leaving any gun loaded in a drawer unless it has some sort of manual safety or long heavy first trigger pull.
The issue is having a non-gunner find the loaded gun.
The first thing a non-gunner does when they pick up a handgun is put their finger on the trigger....it's a natural, the index finger goes right there as if the gun was made for that (it was).
The non-gunner may try to pull the trigger, not considering that the gun might be loaded.

No SIT (Safety In Trigger) guns unless it has either a manual safety or MDS.
A MDS can work well, leave mag in gun but drop mag just a little ways down. To fire, push mag up then pull trigger.

My Mom and MIL are still going strong at 90.
There's no reason a mentally sharp 77 year old should be limited to a slingshot.
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Old 07-18-2018, 5:27 PM
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Ruger LCRx .38 SPL+P 3" Barrel
Winchester 130 gr Ranger Bonded +P

- 15.7 oz.
- Cocking hammer
- Smooth crisp trigger
- Winchester 130 gr Ranger Bonded .38 SPL +P (at ~ 900 fps)







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Old 07-18-2018, 5:28 PM
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If she does not have the strength to rack a semi's slide, then she will not find it easy to pull the DA trigger on the Ruger SP-101. It is a heavy trigger and revolvers tend to have different grip angles that may affect her trigger pull leverage. You can certainly upgrade the springs to lighten and smooth things up, however.

The Sig P238 is an excellent choice. I believe that S&W released the M&P .380 specifically designed for persons like your MIL. Since she is in FL, she should go to a good shop to see what fits her best.

One of the biggest mistakes that many people make are listening to a bunch of dudes on the internet about what's best for who without knowing anything about her other than what said people state.
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Old 07-18-2018, 5:37 PM
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Smith model 60, it's what my 82 year old mother has.

Load with 38's, practice with downloaded 38's.

It's a point & shoot "belly gun" so you really don't need a lot of power.

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Old 07-18-2018, 7:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9mmContagion View Post
The Sig Sauer P238 has an amazingly easy slide to manipulate, a far better trigger than any DAO trigger, and is actually fun to shoot.
238 with a hogue rubber grip is an excellent choice.

Since she is purse carrying, I would recommend a slightly larger revolver if you insist on going the revolver route. Maybe a 357 with a 4 inch barrel and load it up with 38 special ammo.
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Old 07-18-2018, 7:35 PM
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Before I forget the name of this website again, here it is:
https://www.corneredcat.com/article/...n-for-a-woman/

Do read the other info categories, too, as the website goes beyond just choosing one handgun and it's good for men/males to read this info too.

This website is directed to female shooters/future firearms owners. It discusses things men/women/people didn't think of or imagine.
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  #31  
Old 07-18-2018, 8:04 PM
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OP, I'd ask a mod to move this to the Ladies forum here.
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Old 07-18-2018, 8:29 PM
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She wouldn't need to rack the slide herself. I doubt she's going to get into a gunfight where she needs to change mags. Rack one in for her and put the safety on. A Model 60 in single action would have acceptable trigger pull but cocking the hammer might be difficult.
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Old 07-18-2018, 8:34 PM
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At her age, she probably has bad eyes and may find it difficult to aim at her target. Whatever gun you get, put a Crimson Trace laser grip on it. She will find it much easy to get on target. Plus the laser allows her to dry fire practice staying on target while cycling the trigger.

Last edited by TC7050; 07-18-2018 at 8:38 PM..
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Old 07-18-2018, 8:37 PM
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S&W 351 PD in .22Mag
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Old 07-18-2018, 8:53 PM
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Going through a similar analysis with my mother. Arthritis has her very limited. She just cant reliably and consistently rack a slide. I dont like the idea of just chambering one for her. What if she needs to clear a malfunction? Besides that, she is not terribly dexterous with fine motor skills and probably wont practice too much.

The point and click of a revolver seems about right. Doesn’t fire, just pull the trigger again. She can run it and reload it with no help.

A trigger job can do wonders. A proper holster is essential. A quick access bedside safe will restrict unauthorized access.

This is the route we are following. Whatever you do, make sure she gets a chance to handle and preferably fire the gun before buying. Good luck.
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Old 07-18-2018, 8:58 PM
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Beretta solved this problem:

Taurus also.
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  #37  
Old 07-18-2018, 9:07 PM
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meno377 meno377 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Beretta View Post
Look at a Ruger LCR in 22LR, model # 5410.

Double action only (outstanding trigger pull BTW).

No exposed hammer to get hung up when presented from purse or pants / jacket pocket.

Light weight 14.9 oz.

8 shots.

Loaded with CCI Stringer ammo (1640 fps / 191 lbs muzzle energy... zoom zoom) makes it a very effective, low recoil, very easy to use, concealable SD handgun.

I've got approx. 1,500 rds downrange with mine. Zero issues, no drama....Absolutely love it.

Good Luck.
Plus 1000. Light gun with hardly any recoil being a 22LR. Great choice.
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  #38  
Old 07-18-2018, 10:28 PM
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S&W model 63. https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-63 Teach her to thumb cock with the support hand, this is the only way my mid 60's mom with arthritis can shoot her revolver.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespeeds View Post
At age 77, why would she be worried about self defense? Maybe carrying a gun might not be the best idea. Use common sense and stay away from bad neighborhoods. Carry pepper spray or stun gun might be safer alternative.

Shooting a gun is one thing but in a stressful situation, can lead to greater problems. Take her to a training class and see if the instructor deems she is competent to carry and shoot a gun in a stressful situation.
Completely agree. She will require training either way.
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Old 07-19-2018, 1:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Litespeeds View Post
At age 77, why would she be worried about self defense? Maybe carrying a gun might not be the best idea. Use common sense and stay away from bad neighborhoods. Carry pepper spray or stun gun might be safer alternative.

Shooting a gun is one thing but in a stressful situation, can lead to greater problems. Take her to a training class and see if the instructor deems she is competent to carry and shoot a gun in a stressful situation.
Ditto.

FWIW, I would NOT recommend training a 77 yr old woman to carry a gun for self defense - semi auto or revolver. Just sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.
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