My mom is going to get a home defense gun. She's very recoil sensitive. I know my S&W Airlite 38 snubbie would kick too much, but how would a heavier, longer barreled 38 shoot? Any recomendations?
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August 22, 2005, 11:13 PM
Why not a .380 Beretta Cheetah? A friend of mine is learning pretty fast on that one and her hands are small even for a woman.
August 23, 2005, 12:05 AM
Take her to a gun shop and let her decide what feels best in her hand. A .38 that doesn't fit is less pleasant than a .357 that does. Once she has narrowed the spectrum to a few possibles, try to find a range where you can rent them. Most ranges will have some .38 snubbies to rent. And don't completely rule out auto's. While they require more training and pratice in order to be proficient, sometimes revolvers just don't "do it" for certain folks (my wife hates wheelguns). It needs to be her decision with some advise from you.
August 23, 2005, 12:11 AM
Indeed - she needs to try some examples. A semi even in .380 may not be for her - compared with revo simplicity.
You say tho home defence - so taking that as read - and not thinking carry - she could do worse than something like my wife's HD gun - Taurus 66 revo - 4" tube. Out of all my guns she has tried, this one, despite weight and size - is the one she shoots best - using just 38 spl. It is ''Smith smooth'' with D/A.
She purse carries a snub but the M66 is what floats her boat!
August 23, 2005, 12:19 AM
The issue is recoil...
Generally speaking, anything that is heavier is going to be less annoying to the recoil-sensitive shooter. A nice steel .38, with a longer barrel, is a good choice for someone who (reasonably!) perceives that a lightweight snubbie slaps/kicks too hard.
It's fairly common for a woman to select a superlightweight handgun at the gun shop (often at the urging of a not-so-knowledgeable employee), then take it to the range and find it too painful to shoot ever again. Not everyone understands the basic physical law which dictates that the heavier the gun, the less the perceived recoil, and so such women -- having been hurt once by a gun that everyone told them was "perfect" -- are likely to really shy away from trying anything else. The perception is that anything else, especially anything heavier, is going to be even more painful. So it can some fast talking (and some level of personal trust) to get them to try shooting againafter that.
However, if you have the chance to set before your beginning shooter one of the lightweights and an identical gun in steel, and then warn her about the recoil issues, and then let her shoot and compare -- she will be willing to try the heavier gun because you already warned her the lightweight was going to kick more than the other.
The other issue, especially with older women shooters, is that they can find the heavier guns harder to hold out in front of them. If that's an issue, you'll have to work with her to find the right balance for her.
But generally speaking, Yes!!! it's a good idea to look for a steel instead of a lightweight, if you have a recoil-shy newbie.
August 23, 2005, 12:50 AM
Ruger Security Six with 4" barrel and 158-gr. LSWCHP's is hard to beat for what you're looking for.
August 23, 2005, 12:57 AM
There used to be a Colt Government 1911 chambered in .380. while i've never fired one, the combination of a semi-auto, the weight of a 1911, and the .380 cartridge just screams easy recoil.
looks like its gonna take some luck to find one though, i see one on gunbroker for $775.
Really any fullsize (metal framed for weight. this is why i dont like glocks... too darn light!) auto in a caliber like 9mm or .380 should do well.
Rent a bunch, see if she finds one she likes :)
August 23, 2005, 01:18 AM
38 Special is much more effective than a 380, but if that's all you have, then it'll have to do.
Revolver keeps things simple and costs the least.
wizard of oz
August 23, 2005, 01:27 AM
I know that this is in the handgun forum but I think a double barrelled 20g shotgun would be just the thing.
August 23, 2005, 01:39 AM
I bought my Girlfriend and my Mother both a S&W Model 10. They are the nickle versions with the 4 inch bbl. The length is good and the heavier barrel makes recoil almost nothing. They both love these little guns so much that they constantly drag me to the range.
August 23, 2005, 03:34 AM
August 23, 2005, 07:23 AM
shotgun with reduced recoil loads. this is what they're for.
August 23, 2005, 09:59 AM
If she likes small but is shy firing something too light, I'll second the motion for a Ruger SP101 or try a S+W steel j-frame like the 60 or 640 or 648. (All built to handle .357's) There are tons of loads available in .38 special. Find the mildest .38 you can possibly find for the first time she shoots it, then you can steadily move her up to her highest level of tolerance. Regular .38's in a steel-framed gun built to handle .357's are a lot of fun and not 'offensive', increasing the likelihood she will enjoy it and want to shoot it more often. This is an advantage over an auto because sometimes finding the mildest possible load to get her accustomed to the pistol may be mild enough to adversely affect functioning.
August 23, 2005, 11:15 AM
I advise a DA revolover for the casual or non-shooter seeking a defensive pistol. Simple and reliable with minimal moving parts, levers, etc.
If she is really that recoil sensitive get her a 22 and have her shoot it once in a while. Better to have a 22 that she uses pretty good than a bigger gun she is afraid to fire.
In 1976 I bought my then 60 year old mom a brand new S&W Model 10 with a 5" barrel. It lives in her nightstand drawer loaded with 158 grain lead SWC +P HPs. She used to hunt with my dad and has used rifles and shotguns so this gun doesn't scare her. She used it one night when she chased off a prowler who was in the back yard. She would have shot him if the dog hadn't been hanging on the seat of his pants while going over the back fence.
August 23, 2005, 12:33 PM
Speer Short Barrel 135-gr. Gold Dots will also work as an option to the Ol' FBI load of 158-gr. LSWCHP's.
August 23, 2005, 06:02 PM
Ruger revolver's are very easy to re-load (Push Button), but my wife's favorite is her (taken from me) early 70's Blued S&W Model 36 3" with a Tyler "T" Grip.
August 23, 2005, 10:24 PM
Nice trade, :-) :)
August 24, 2005, 12:45 AM
Maybe a Star BM? 9mm, 34 oz, all steel. And only $140. http://www.southernohiogun.com/surplushandguns.html
August 24, 2005, 04:08 AM
I've dealt with this issue with my mother. It came down to the facts that: she wouldn't be practing all that much (but she swore she would), hand strength and utter simplicity. Answer: Revolver. I'd look at the 3" GP 100's and practice shooting .38's in it. Good Luck, Mike
August 24, 2005, 09:43 AM
I helped my mother-in-law select a S&W Mtn. gun in .357. A fairly light gun but it handled well for her. Good luck.
August 25, 2005, 01:52 AM
My 84 year old Mom uses my S&W model 10, 4" 38 special, loaded with Federal Hydrashock ammo. She's getting arthritic enough that I think she'd have trouble getting it out and in use quickly, but have little doubt if she had to fire it she could. Of course any intruder would have to get past my two cattle dogs first, which would be a noisy painful experience in itself for any would be intruder.
August 25, 2005, 02:08 AM
Just bought a NIB Lady Smith 357 / 38 for my sweetheart and (since this is my first Smith & Wesson) thought I'd inquire with you folks as to what you thought of this particular model?
Sssssshhhhhhhhhh! Don't say anything as I haven't given it to her, yet! :eek: