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  #1  
Old 10-03-2017, 9:30 AM
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Default Attempted home invasion 10/3/17 - different gun for Mom?

I just received a call. My mom, who lives in a very nice neighborhood in Temecula (the Harveston neighborhood), owns a home. At about 2am, her alarm sounded and then she heard breaking glass. The dogs (who sleep in her room, 1 big but old Boxer and 1 little guy, don't know his breed) began to growl and bark. My oldest niece (7 years) and sister also live there. My niece knew something was wrong and was crying.

My mom went for her M&P Shield in 9mm, and as there are children in the house, doesn't leave a round in the chamber. As much training as I've given to her (I'm the only man in the family.... 4 nieces, 3 sisters, 1 mom, 4 aunts... etc), she could not, in the moment, rack the slide. She pulled and pulled, even pushed (pushing the receiver forward as she holds the slide)... and it would not seat a round. Before I get "well she better hit the gym" comments, she's 61. She's a feminine woman. She's not a gun gal. It's just not her thing. She only trains when I take her (I don't think she'll ever be 100% comfortable with a firearm). She just has a gun for self-defense.

She put the gun down and called 911 (police were actually already on their way, via the alarm system). Fortunately, the would-be home invaders got discouraged by the alarm, the dogs, and whatever else. They busted the back sliding glass door but apparently didn't enter, and ran off.

TL.DR - the status quo is unacceptable. As a responsible and loving son, how do I remedy this? Get her a revolver? She doesn't like .38, prefers the 9mm. I'm thinking the Ruger LCR9 (revolver in 9mm). I live about two hours away, and I can't always rush to any sort of rescue (much as I've tried most of my life). And I'm also a very busy guy, I manage a sales office, just moved, am getting married in two weeks.... I only have two hands and two feet, only so much I can do.

Can I get some opinions? Racking the slide has always been hard for her, no matter how many times I've had her do it to get muscle memory down.
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Last edited by Xanthippus; 10-03-2017 at 9:32 AM..
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2017, 9:33 AM
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Have you thought about getting her a gun with a magazine safety? Have a round chambered, pop out the magazine and have her put the to together when needed, have the magazine stored somewhere else when not needed.

Just another way to skin the cat so to speak.

Dan
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2017, 9:37 AM
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Pulling the slide back can be tough. Takes a decent amount of finger tension so they don't slip off, plus the strength required to actually compress the recoil spring. Easiest way (IMO) for those so challenged is to grab the pistol with the strong hand (normal grip) and put the weak hand on the top of the slide, thumbs together. Hold the pistol across the chest with your forearms opposite each other (elbows out), and push your hands together. Most of the muscle involved is in the torso; much stronger than just arms.
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Old 10-03-2017, 9:37 AM
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Revolver, leave first chamber empty. 2 pulls then bang. This is just my personal opinion. Caliber will be up to her with advise from you.

9mm lcr
38 special lcr are both my favs, light, simple. Bang.
etc
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  #5  
Old 10-03-2017, 9:38 AM
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I'm glad the home invaders were deterred by the alarm system. Home invaders are no joke with a house full of females. They've cased up your mom's house and they know they're all females. They need to be vigilant as the invaders will try a different route of entry. Usually they'll post up during a known family member's arrival. They will block the drive way and try to gain entry via family member's keys and entry codes. Best way to prevent the invasion is to stay in the car and ram their car if an armed person exits the car. Honk your horn and get as much attention as possible. Once they gain entrance to the house they can do whatever they want.

Full size guns in 9mm are easier to rack. My wife can rack a round in my Shield 9mm most of the time, but when she's tired she has a hard time. She can't chamber a round in my Glock 23 and 27. She has no problem racking a Glock 17, Sig P320 full size, 1911 5" in 9mm and Beretta 92.
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Last edited by JTROKS; 10-03-2017 at 9:46 AM..
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  #6  
Old 10-03-2017, 9:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNA View Post
Have you thought about getting her a gun with a magazine safety? Have a round chambered, pop out the magazine and have her put the to together when needed, have the magazine stored somewhere else when not needed.

Just another way to skin the cat so to speak.

Dan

Was thinking the same.....is her Shield 9 off-roster?
The mag disconnect would be a viable option.

Other than that, LCR.
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  #7  
Old 10-03-2017, 9:41 AM
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Glad to hear they are okay OP.

Revolver seems like the most suitable alternative. Although if shes not comfortable keeping it loaded (understandable with child in the home), she may struggle loading the revolver in a similar tense situation.

Another alternative is to purchase her a biometric safe to keep the firearm locked and not easily accessible to your niece. And have her keep the firearm loaded to avoid this.
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Old 10-03-2017, 9:43 AM
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Leave it chambered and get a quick access safe.

Upgrade said boxer to newer model. Between the alarm and the dogs she's pretty well covered as you found out. A lot of people miss these two non lethal methods. I would prefer not to shoot anyone if possible. Mom did great.
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2017, 9:44 AM
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My wife also had a hard time racking the slide on a shield but with a G19 has zero issues. I ultimately decided to get her a Model 36 to keep in her bedside safe.
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2017, 9:44 AM
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The smaller the gun, the stiffer the recoil spring is going to be. If you were to suggest a revolver, you lose a bit of capacity, but gain point and click ease of use.

I'd ask why she is so fond of 9mm when there are plenty of .38 loads that can approximate without the need for moon clips and the added hassle.

Maybe try taking her shopping and see if there is a semi-auto she can operate more easily than the M&P.

If nothing else, a Sig DA/SA trigger is going to have the same qualities in DA of a revolver and is (relatively) safe to leave chambered. Second the suggestion for a quick-access safe.

Last edited by Robotron2k84; 10-03-2017 at 9:49 AM..
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  #11  
Old 10-03-2017, 9:47 AM
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Hmmmm. If she is so frail that she can't rack a 9mm slide, does she have grip strength to fire a double action trigger? My small frame wife could rack the slides on several pistols, but did not have sufficient grip strength for a da revolver in .22.

When I went through the same eval process decades ago, I opted for a Mossberg 500C in 20 ga with the short barrel. All the females in my home could cycle that, and with the 18" barrel they could proficiently hit what they were aimimg at. And with the short shotty, less chance of a self-inflicted wound.

I know I know. ...shotgun vs. handgun for SD... flame on.
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Old 10-03-2017, 9:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTROKS View Post
I'm glad the home invaders were deterred by the alarm system. Home invaders are no joke with a house full of females. They've cased up your mom's house and they know they're all females. They need to be vigilant as the invaders will try a different route of entry. Usually they'll post up during a known family member's arrival. They will block the drive way and try to gain entry via family member's keys and entry codes. Best way to prevent the invasion is to stay in the car and ram their car if an armed person exits the car. Honk your horn and get as much attention as possible. Once they gain entrance to the house they can do whatever they want.

Full size guns in 9mm are easier to rack. My wife can rack a round in my Shield 9mm most of the time, but when she's tired she has a hard time. She can't chamber a round in my Glock 23 and 27. She has no problem racking a Glock 17, Sig P320 full size, 1911 5" in 9mm and Beretta 92.
This is true. A nice, broken in, full-size Glock should be easy enough to rack, put some grip tape on the slide maybe also...

But yeah, I'm leaning towards Revolver in a lock box.
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Old 10-03-2017, 9:52 AM
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Have you considered: https://www.tandemkross.com/halo-Cha...ols_p_385.html
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  #14  
Old 10-03-2017, 9:54 AM
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Shotgun/carbine would be even better for HD than a sub 10 round pistol. Ever thought about maybe even a Keltec su16ca or another side charging carbine? Those bolts are easier to use than a slide, and they are arguably more powerful cartridges with less recoil from a larger platform unless your mother's got shoulder issues etc.

Dan
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Old 10-03-2017, 9:58 AM
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Teach her the "one hand-rack" technique. We teach this to our cadets in the event the are injured and lose the functionality of an arm. Understanding your mom probably doesn't have a rigid holster on her, the use of a edge of a corner dresser, night stand, back heel of a shoe, basically any rigid surface with a edge.

Rest the front edge of the slide, edge of the ejection port or a the leading edge of the rear sight. With ones body weight, push down on the receiver.

Here is something similar to what I'm talking about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkK83Crpzt4
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:03 AM
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I agree, a .38 revolver would be a better choice for a frail or feminine woman with limited strength, very simple to operate.

no racking the slide or lost magazines in the dark to worry about.

a revolver like a S&W

http://www.range365.com/sites/range3...0nRnv&fc=50,50

Last edited by omega; 10-03-2017 at 10:07 AM..
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:05 AM
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I am sorry to hear there's a attempted home invasion, but at the same time I am glad that no one is hurt within your family.

I think there's two things in here

1) Training and the right mindset. I know it is easier said than done, but your mum def does not have a mindset ready to use this tool (gun) to protect herself and her family, along with enough training or practice. Just because you know how to rack and shoot a gun in the range does not mean he or she is ready to use it for self defense. The only thing that can be done is either part away from using a gun and instead get something else, or give her more training on both. Hopefully she would be ready and be more open minded about that after this incident. I would recommend the 4 day defensive handgun training from Front sight Firing Institution.

2) I also think it has something to do with the M&P shield. It is a nice gun, no doubt on that, but I also find it super hard to rack this gun. I think it maybe better to give her something that is not sub compact size pistol (maybe glock 19, Sig SP2022, or even SD9VE) I find that Springfield XD-9 takes a bit more force to rack as well. Or maybe something that has external safety, then she can potentially leave a round in the chamber and have the external safety to stop it from firing (of course it could still be dangerous)

Last edited by kisekinecro; 10-03-2017 at 10:17 AM..
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:05 AM
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My wife prefers a 3" S&W 686+ small enough to fit into the night stand, heavy enough to reduce felt recoil, easy enough to point and shoot.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:08 AM
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If your Mom cannot rack the slide to chamber a round, then she cannot rack the slide to clear a jam either.

Something like a 4" .38 Special revolver in a quick open safe seems to be needed.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanthippus View Post
I just received a call. My mom, who lives in a very nice neighborhood in Temecula (the Harveston neighborhood), owns a home. At about 2am, her alarm sounded and then she heard breaking glass. The dogs (who sleep in her room, 1 big but old Boxer and 1 little guy, don't know his breed) began to growl and bark. My oldest niece (7 years) and sister also live there. My niece knew something was wrong and was crying.

My mom went for her M&P Shield in 9mm, and as there are children in the house, doesn't leave a round in the chamber. As much training as I've given to her (I'm the only man in the family.... 4 nieces, 3 sisters, 1 mom, 4 aunts... etc), she could not, in the moment, rack the slide. She pulled and pulled, even pushed (pushing the receiver forward as she holds the slide)... and it would not seat a round. Before I get "well she better hit the gym" comments, she's 61. She's a feminine woman. She's not a gun gal. It's just not her thing. She only trains when I take her (I don't think she'll ever be 100% comfortable with a firearm). She just has a gun for self-defense.

She put the gun down and called 911 (police were actually already on their way, via the alarm system). Fortunately, the would-be home invaders got discouraged by the alarm, the dogs, and whatever else. They busted the back sliding glass door but apparently didn't enter, and ran off.

TL.DR - the status quo is unacceptable. As a responsible and loving son, how do I remedy this? Get her a revolver? She doesn't like .38, prefers the 9mm. I'm thinking the Ruger LCR9 (revolver in 9mm). I live about two hours away, and I can't always rush to any sort of rescue (much as I've tried most of my life). And I'm also a very busy guy, I manage a sales office, just moved, am getting married in two weeks.... I only have two hands and two feet, only so much I can do.

Can I get some opinions? Racking the slide has always been hard for her, no matter how many times I've had her do it to get muscle memory down.
Hence my preference for a full size all metal SA/DA with a decocker and a chambered round for home defense. Pull the trigger it goes bang. No slide to rack or safety to drop. Also a combo weapon laser light. With other people in the house she needs to identify the attacker. The laser improves accuracy and can act as deterrent negating the need to shoot. With children in the house a biometric safe is a must.

A pre conceived notion among new female shooter is a small gun is easier to shoot. An M&P shield (while for great CCW) is a poor choice for home defense.
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Last edited by Blade Gunner; 10-03-2017 at 10:12 AM..
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  #21  
Old 10-03-2017, 10:11 AM
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Glad everyone's okay. Scary night for sure. The Shield is a stout pistol to rack; by far the easiest small pistol I have to rack the slide is the .380 Sig p238. Probably not a caliber she'd be interested in given her dislike of the revolver .38 round. I like the mag disconnect suggestion since she already has the pistol and probably a CA Shield-good idea.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:12 AM
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I appreciate all the responses and tips.

I'm driving over to her place after I get off work tonight, and I'll explain some to her and find a solution.

I've always been very protective of my family, perhaps due to the majority of them being female. It breaks my heart that my little niece had to experience that, seriously tears me up. I think a trip to get ice cream tonight is in order.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:15 AM
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8 shot s&w, loaded in a lock box. All the capacity, none of the hassle.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:21 AM
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As a new M&P owner I see that rear slide covers are sold with "wings" that make for easy grasping. As much as I like a 4" or 6" revolver for my 86 year old Mom, maybe that's a good approach?
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:24 AM
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When her hands are sore my wife will store with the slide locked back and magazines out.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:26 AM
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Please simply convince her to keep a round chambered and just put the gun in a quick access safe.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:26 AM
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get her a full sized gun. if this is a nightstand only gun there is no need to get something small.

full sized guns are easier to rack the slide than sub-compacts. and less recoil.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:28 AM
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I always recommend revolvers for non-gun types. There is almost nothing that can go wrong; you pull the trigger it goes bang, if it doesn't just pull it again. Even if she left the semi loaded and ready she might still have to rack a slide in the event of a FTF/FTE.

What's not to like about the .38? Recoil wise a standard .38 special (non +P) is very similar to a 9mm. Maybe look into a .22 or .22 magnum if she is recoil shy. They wouldn't be my first choice for HD but are much better than a 9mm you cant shoot.

Something along the line of a S&W model 10 - KISS.

Take her to the Shootist in Murrieta and take a look at the revolver case. They have a lot of consignment S&W and Ruger revolvers at pretty good prices.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:31 AM
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Very glad to hear no one was hurt.
I agree with many above.
Revolver, or slightly larger pistol which might be easier to rack, and grip tape.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:31 AM
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Small autos are not only hard to rack,but are very hard to get proficient with...I say find her a used 4" S&W "K" frame (model 10, 13, 14, 15 ect.) My mom is 87 and she's had one loaded in her nightstand for 40 years...I pity the fool that shows up in her room at night...she shoots it single action
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:35 AM
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Nthing the recommendation of a revolver. Maybe one of those 7 shot Smiths, just to make sure she has the extra round over most revolvers.

I'm always amused that women think small gun = easy to handle, when in reality subcompacts are among the worst guns for new shooters or those with limited experience.

Good luck OP, glad your family is ok.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:39 AM
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My wife is a pacific islander with teeny hands. I bought her a g19 but she can't grip it so I bought her a xd. She could grip the xd and shoot it fairly well but no matter how much instruction by a professional, she can't rack it. Then I bought her a Ruger lc9. She could rack it but can't hit shet with it. She now shoots my gp101 (with 38's) and loves it.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:39 AM
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The Shield is hard to rack compared to full sized guns, especially if you have sweaty hands. If she insists on having a Shield for self defense, I would swap her recoil spring out for a lighter one to make racking the slide easier. Another option is to store the Shield unloaded with the slide locked back. Then she can insert a mag and use the slide release to chamber a round.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofbak View Post
Hmmmm. If she is so frail that she can't rack a 9mm slide, does she have grip strength to fire a double action trigger? My small frame wife could rack the slides on several pistols, but did not have sufficient grip strength for a da revolver in .22.

When I went through the same eval process decades ago, I opted for a Mossberg 500C in 20 ga with the short barrel. All the females in my home could cycle that, and with the 18" barrel they could proficiently hit what they were aimimg at. And with the short shotty, less chance of a self-inflicted wound.
^^^ This.

I've seen more issues with pulling a heavy DA-only trigger than racking the slide. My daughter couldn't pull the trigger on a 22 J-frame. Just recently I was teaching a petite young woman how to shot a revolver and she couldn't do DA on a N-frame Night Guard.

If OP's mom has hard time racking a particular slide, that gun is off the table as an option. It's supposed to be easy and effortless, so if she has to train just to rack the slide it's a wrong choice for the self defense gun. Instead of trying to "make it work," she needs another option.

One option is to have a gun with a hammer, where she can cock the hammer to help rack the slide. If this doesn't work, shotgun or other long gun is the only option.

I wouldn't go to revolvers, even if SA/DA. As much as I like and shoot revolvers, after running them in a few USPSA matches I can see how much more difficult and slower they are than the semi-autos - the only realistic way to measure performance is on the clock...
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratch705 View Post
get her a full sized gun. if this is a nightstand only gun there is no need to get something small.

full sized guns are easier to rack the slide than sub-compacts. and less recoil.
This right here. If she is still having issues with a full size then either move to a revolver (not what I would do, slower to reload without speedloaders or moon clips, and limited capacity.) or move on to shotgun/rifle.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:53 AM
sigstroker sigstroker is offline
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If she can't rack a slide, she can't pull a double action revolver trigger.

There's a thread like this every month, and every month I recco the same thing - a Beretta 86 or the like with a tilt-up barrel. It's a .380, not a 9mm, but that's still quite a dissuader to a burglar.

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Old 10-03-2017, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ojisan View Post
If your Mom cannot rack the slide to chamber a round, then she cannot rack the slide to clear a jam either.

Something like a 4" .38 Special revolver in a quick open safe seems to be needed.
Agreed. I'd probably go 3" all steel. You want the weight.
Doesn't like .38?
You can buy low power 38's. 158gr wadcutters are the lightest recoiling. Much less than any 9mm I've shot.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:58 AM
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Just something to consider. I've had two sliding glass doors self implode. I'm guessing from the house settling. I was staring right at the damn thing when it happened too.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:07 AM
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Man thank goodness for the dogs and alarm. Happy to hear things didn't go bad. You planning on staying there a few nights? Maybe give your niece and sister a cheap 911 phone that they keep charged. Have Mom keep a round in that little gun if she doesn't want to replace it with revolver. A speed safe mounted some where close to where she sleeps. I have one mounted to the side of the bed where the wife sleeps. The comforter covers it during the day.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:08 AM
.45_ACP .45_ACP is offline
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Default Forget the Semi

Get her a Smith 7 or 8 shot 9mm revolver.

Is there anyway to convince her to try .38 special?

LCR is fine for ccw. It wouldn't be my pick for a home defense weapon, but would work in a pinch.
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