Recommendations for my Thumbless Neighbor


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PBinWA
March 5, 2009, 11:37 PM
I have a neighbor that lost most of his thumb a few years ago.

He wants to buy a semi-auto handgun but is having trouble racking the slide on the Glocks he has tried and was asking me for recommendations. I don't really have that much experience with different models so I'm posting here.

I think he'd like a .45 if possible. Any recommendations? I think he'd prefer to keep the cost reasonable. Is there something a gun smith can do to make action easier?

Suggestions appreciated.

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feudalson
March 5, 2009, 11:41 PM
the springs can be changed but some guns become less realiable after doing so... i think the 1911 would have a tall enough slide that he could grip it like a pull up bar .. useing his plam and fingers...

Claude Clay
March 5, 2009, 11:53 PM
try---hold semi auto in dominate hand, place weak hand on top of the slide with thumb[ well, that parts gone but the palm of the hand is still there] pointing at chest. in this mannor you will be grasping one side with all 4 fingers and the other side along the full lenght of your palm/thumb. hold slide as firmly as possible and PUSH the grip (gun) away as you are also pulling the slide to you. this works more often than not--combining the strenght of a push and a pull.

PT1911
March 5, 2009, 11:54 PM
it is possible to rack any gun without the use of your thumb... you simply hold the pistol normally in your dominant hand, put your non-dominant hand on the top of the slide (pointing the gun directly to the left if you are right handed) and push with your dominant hand while grasping the slide with the palm of your non-dominant hand... it is also a safer way as the gun is never pointed at any part of your body while racking the slide.

feudalson
March 5, 2009, 11:56 PM
im with pt1911 on this one... dont suggest to your neighbor or anyone that they rack the slide while pointing the gun at their chest..

crushbup
March 5, 2009, 11:58 PM
They make a little add-on for GLOCK slides, it's essentially a charging handle. That should give him a good enough hold to rack it.

PBinWA
March 6, 2009, 12:12 AM
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll forward this thread to him.

distra
March 6, 2009, 12:38 AM
im with pt1911 on this one... dont suggest to your neighbor or anyone that they rack the slide while pointing the gun at their chest..

I believe Clay was refering to the neighbors thumb or what's left of it. He should point his thumb or stump towards his chest. If he cannot rack the slide with just his four fingers and palm, then I'd recommend the add-on "charging handle". I've seen these on 1911's as well. However, I thought they replaced the rear sight, but I'm not 100% sure of that.

crebralfix
March 6, 2009, 12:42 AM
Work it using the rear sight and the top of your belt, shoe, some object in the vicinity, etc.

oldFred
March 6, 2009, 12:46 AM
hammerless snubnose? or ANY dual action trigger? including the plasticky guns?

PT1911
March 6, 2009, 12:54 AM
well.. oldfred.. if it is anything but a revolver, the first round will have to be loaded by racking the slide.. this includes those plasticky guns... and I would kind of hate to handle a revolver while missing a thumb...:neener:

Dirtpile
March 6, 2009, 01:32 AM
He could also switch the gun to his left hand and grab the slide with his right to grab the slide and rack it. Assuming that it's his left hand with the stump.

PBinWA
March 6, 2009, 01:44 AM
He has a revolver but he says it is a pain loading it and with only six shots he wants something with better capacity.

PT1911
March 6, 2009, 01:49 AM
give him the instructions I posted previously.. do not have him rack using his belt or shoe or anything else.. those all involve aiming the gun at his body.. the only safe way to rack the slide is the way I spelled out earlier.. thumbs or no thumbs.. that is how it should be done every time....

feudalson
March 6, 2009, 01:50 AM
pt its funny how we agree on one thread and argue like dogs on another haha

PT1911
March 6, 2009, 01:55 AM
wasnt attempting to argue earlier... I agree, a legitimately unloaded gun has never killed anyone (unless they were beaten to death) but there are better, and more appropriate ways to handle a gun in that situation... I agree with everything you said.

average_shooter
March 6, 2009, 02:11 AM
do not have him rack using his belt or shoe or anything else.. those all involve aiming the gun at his body.

I have to interject on this one, as I believe you are wrong. I have practiced with Glocks and full-sized 1911s to be able to rack the slide with one hand.

On a Glock or similar pistol, preferably a model with metal not plastic sights, simply catch the front edge of the rear sight on a hard edge, like a table, counter top, belt can be done without pointing the gun at yourself, if you do it carefully/properly, etc. I find it hard to believe this person would be stranded in the middle of a prairie or desert with nothing else to push the gun against and need to load the weapon for some reason. I'd venture to guess they're pretty much always going to be near some sort of object they can use.

With full-sized 1911s with a standard recoil spring plug you can catch the bottom front of the slide (right below the barrel) on an edge in much the same way. Push forward, release, the pistol has been successfully racked and loaded. This is more difficult with models using recoil spring guide rods, but is do-able.

I've seen video of a person with no arms shooting clays with their feet. If that's possible, this guy can rack a semi-auto handgun just fine one-handed.

One last thing, I'm not disagreeing with your previously stated method. I think it can work. However, sweaty hands can mean there's not enough friction to hold the slide just between the palm and the fingers.

SouthShoreTJ
March 6, 2009, 02:13 AM
All of these instructions make assumptions about which hand is missing a thumb. To the OP: Which thumb is missing and which is his dominant hand? I'm sure he can rack the slide if he holds the gun in the hand that has a thumb and grips the slide with the palm and fingers of the thumbless hand. As to a .45 recommendation, I like 1911's.

PT1911
March 6, 2009, 02:14 AM
"I have to interject on this one, as I believe you are wrong. I have practiced with Glocks and full-sized 1911s to be able to rack the slide with one hand.

On a Glock or similar pistol, preferably a model with metal not plastic sights, simply catch the front edge of the rear sight on an edge, like a table, counter top, belt can be done without pointing the gun at yourself, if you do it carefully/properly, etc.

With full-sized 1911s with a standard recoil spring plug you can catch the bottom front of the slide (right below the barrel) on an edge in much the same way. Push forward, release, the pistol has been successfully racked and loaded. This is more difficult with models using recoil spring guide rods, but is do-able.'

I completely agree if there is a table or other edged surface available, but that was not the objection.. the objection was using ones belt (while wearing it) or shoe(while wearing it) to rack the slide.. if you can do this without pointing the gun at your body at any time then so be it, but I really doubt it.

feudalson
March 6, 2009, 02:26 AM
also he is missing a thumb not a hand... if its possible its better to not rack a slide with one hand and some inaimate object

PT1911
March 6, 2009, 02:31 AM
they want him to look cool just before he shoots himself in the foot..

gb6491
March 6, 2009, 02:52 AM
I think the Beretta 86 (http://www.berettaweb.com/Beretta%2080/Beretta%2086.htm) (.380ACP) and it's tip up barrel would be a viable choice if caliber is not a major issue.
Regards,
Greg

JDGray
March 6, 2009, 06:16 AM
The easiest slide to rack, was on my Ruger P345. Way easier than any other gun I've owned. He'll have to palm the slide, with his pinky finger forward;)

whitebb
March 6, 2009, 09:37 AM
How about a Beretta 92? My Italian one is soooo smoooth i can rack it with 2 fingers. Super accurate and reliable too.

Cloudpeak
March 6, 2009, 11:48 AM
The easiest to rack semi auto centerfire that I've racked is my 9mm STI Trojan. It's the only C.F. semi auto that I've owned that my wife can rack.

The support hand cupped over the top of the slide as mentioned above is the way to go if he's right handed and has lost the thumb on his right (support) hand.

Cloudpeak

sohcgt2
March 6, 2009, 12:07 PM
Get him a grip exerciser and when he has the hand/finger strength to rack the slide like you with your 2 thumbs then he will be set. In the mean time if he can't effectively return a jammed auto to service he should stick to something he can work effectively ( revolver, shotgun, bolt rifle, etc ).

Storm
March 6, 2009, 12:21 PM
http://www.shootnhunt.com/gun_accessories/grips/mako_gun_grips/1022366.html

PBinWA
March 6, 2009, 12:27 PM
I think the charging handle is the way to go. Thanks for the US store link Storm.

He'll probably need the extended mag release button too.

Supertac45
March 6, 2009, 07:00 PM
I rack mine using the palm of my hand over the slide. The thumb doesn't matter.

mgkdrgn
March 7, 2009, 10:58 AM
Learn to shoot with the other hand. With a handgun it really isn't all -that- hard.

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