Handgun for my Mom


August 12, 2009, 02:26 PM
My Dad just died last month and she lives in nothern Az all by her self and is worried about home defense. I loaned her one of my rifles for the mean time. I was thinking the new Ruger LCP but she hasnt been shooting in a long time. So I was maybe thinking a 9mm. Maybe a S&W M&P. Any sugestions?:confused:

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August 12, 2009, 02:37 PM
A 38 spl 4" revolver Many different loads soft to hot also simple to operate and load Been defending homes for a long time Autos are not for every one neither are shot guns

August 12, 2009, 02:39 PM
Yeah but I worried about her aim. Thats why I thought a auto.

August 12, 2009, 02:41 PM
Depends on your Mom. Can she rack the slide of a semi auto w/o trouble? +1 on a 4" .38.

August 12, 2009, 02:45 PM
I'm not shure. I have .45acp's and she is afraid to shoot them. Maybe when she comes down for my b-day sunday I see if she can rack mine. Good point.

Ghost Tracker
August 12, 2009, 02:48 PM
Ruger LCP is pretty small. If it's HOME defense then conceilability isn't really a priority. I would look at a M&P, SR9 or G19 (9mm) before I went tiny (.380). How's her hand strength? I replaced my Mom's HD Ruger 9mm autoloader with a S&W M10 .38 revolver because she was having trouble racking the slide. Seems easier, simpler, safer(?) & SHE'S happier (most important part)!

August 12, 2009, 02:50 PM
Take your mom shooting, and let her try out as many different guns as possible. There is nothing we here can do without knowing her, and even then, it comes down to what she is comfortable with.

August 12, 2009, 02:58 PM
My mom didn't shoot a gun in probably 30+ years, until a few years ago. But, go figure, she smacked the target 9 out of 10 times at a considerable distance with her Kel-Tec P11.

Really though, just take her out and work with her. Put some lead downrange, let her get the feel for shooting.

August 12, 2009, 03:08 PM
My mother has arthritis and carries a 642 that she hates because of the painful recoil. She wants a tiny gun that doesn't kick, but wants it to be a man-stopper, and DA revolver simple. Go figure. I think she'll only be happy with a Taurus 941.

If you're mom has arthritis, you're in between a rock & a hard place.

August 12, 2009, 03:20 PM
You AND your mom need to read The Cornered Cat - SHE needs to determine what will be the most comfortable and easiest for her - it may not even be a handgun - she might find a rifle or shotgun more to her liking. Whatever SHE chooses, she needs to practice with it

August 12, 2009, 04:30 PM
No arthritis.

August 12, 2009, 04:42 PM
Handgun for my Mom
sounds like a fair trade...


August 12, 2009, 05:01 PM
real funny wise guy.

August 12, 2009, 05:21 PM
I agree. :)

August 12, 2009, 05:22 PM

August 12, 2009, 06:14 PM
In my experience with introducing women to handguns, They've all loved the 4" S&W Model 10 in 38+P. They found it easy to shoot accurately and the recoil wasn't bothersome.

They've all balked at 9mm and 45acp autos, mostly because of problems with racking the slide and fumbling with safeties. Some objected to the 45's recoil, too.

The 38 revolver is just plain easy to shoot well.

Just my $.02

Bass Killer
August 12, 2009, 06:40 PM
Glock 19

August 12, 2009, 07:14 PM
Ruger LCR. I've shot one. It's very pleasant to shoot. Even I was amazed at how comfortable it was. Blows the old S&W J-Frame out of the water, I'll say that much.

August 12, 2009, 07:37 PM
Ditto on the full size (not J frame size) .38 special like the S&W 686, Ruger GP-100 or similar. Easy to handle, easy to aim, lower recoil. Perfect for home defense.

August 12, 2009, 07:52 PM
My wife (60+yo) has problems with the slides on my semi-autos. She handles and shoots my Ruger Police Service Six better than I when loaded with .38Spl's and not too bad with .357 mags (just not as many rounds). Just let her test and deside, she'll be happier and shoot more often. :)

August 12, 2009, 08:24 PM
Crimson Trace laser sight will solve worry about your Mom's aim

August 12, 2009, 08:28 PM
I am a young man but honestly my arms are tooth picks and i have to use both hands to eat a Big Mac and my Bersa 45 imo gives no recoil it is like nothing

I have a Ruger LCP too as mentioned,imo it could jump out of a ladies hand possibly

August 13, 2009, 01:55 PM
How about a Beretta cheetah? That is a 380, but bigger then the LCP.

August 13, 2009, 05:13 PM
If she is only going to have 1 gun for HD, don't overlook the shotgun. My wife does not like my 12 ga, too much recoil she says. But she absolutly loves her youth model Mossberg 20 ga Model 500 pump. The stock is shorter and she can handle it better than a full size mossy 500. The slugs and buckshot in 20 ga have a lot more punch than any handgun load except for the magnums. For HD at close range even birdshot will do the job.:)

August 13, 2009, 06:22 PM
For HD at close range even birdshot will do the job

THAT is not necessarily correct and has been beat to death on several forums and threads

OP - as I said previously your mom needs to determine what will work best for her, not you.

August 13, 2009, 06:29 PM
Crimson Trace laser sight will solve worry about your Mom's aim

Get her a set of Crismon Trace grips to turn it on all she has to do is grab the grip.

Checkout the video.

August 13, 2009, 06:39 PM
38 revolver with Crimson Trace laser sight will solve worry about your Mom's aim

I second this! My hd gun is a S&W Model 19, 4" barrel loaded with .38 spl with crimson trace grips. It's easy to hold, easy to shoot, and the recoil is comfortable rather than painful. I'm reasonably accurate at self-defense distance at the range w/o using the laser. The ct grips were a Christmas present from my son who wanted to make sure I hit where I aim (or did he say "aim where I want to hit?").

August 13, 2009, 06:44 PM
glock 19 and a little training , and a safe holster for it

August 13, 2009, 07:15 PM
Kingpin hit it on the head. My dad passed in April and I went through the same thing. She had a S&W38 but didn't like it. She took classes and rented a couple dozen different models. She settled on a Glock 26. It is what she is comfotable with and can shoot really good. Let her settle on what she is comfortable with.

August 13, 2009, 08:11 PM
How about one of these loaded with 38+p http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=135888718

August 13, 2009, 08:50 PM
My wife loves her Beretta Neos and she can put ten shots into a bullseye at ten yards within ten seconds. She just shot for the third time a couple weeks back after a fourteen year haitus. She doesn't have any interest in larger calibers btw.

What she's comfortable with is what she'll practice with. Otherwise it'll just collect dust.

August 14, 2009, 04:44 PM
Well, goodness... my condolences.

If you aren't sure about your mom's aim and if it's only for home defense, don't rule out a long gun. They just aim more naturally. And a shotgun would be the way to go, though I'd recommend something less than a 12. Even a 410 wouldn't be bad. 'Course you'll have to decide together whether she needs a pump gun.

Great Scot
August 15, 2009, 05:43 PM
A Beretta 86. A .380 with a tip up barrel. Easy to load and operate. A little work to find one, but they are out there.

A Beretta 70s. I realize I'm going to catch hell for suggesting a .22, but they are reliable, and very easy to shoot. It's very easy to put alot of .22s down range in a hurry with a Beretta 70s.

A Smith a Wesson model 10/13 with a three inch barrel. Compact, easy to load and shoot, and several grips to choose from so she can easily customize her own gun.

Just a couple more options. Good luck with the search.

August 15, 2009, 06:07 PM
I would recomend a 38 revolver (simple)
380 Bersa for an auto (cheap/light recoil)

August 15, 2009, 09:35 PM
I agree with all that have posted that you need to help her try lots of choices, then let her pick. I would think a 38 special might work well, and if she can rack a slide, the S&W M&P full sized pistol is a very easy gun to shoot well.

August 15, 2009, 10:13 PM
+1 on the medium frame .38spl revolver. Best gun for the non-firearms hobbyist and/or gun totin' professional.

Yo Mama
August 15, 2009, 10:17 PM
No safety on what ever you decide. It's a set up for really bad things to happen to have anything get in the way of her defending herself.

August 15, 2009, 10:19 PM
I took my mom to the range recently and shes on oxygen and a walker but loves shooting her 92f 9mm,it is about the max she can handle recoil and racking the slide.

I suggest a 20guage or 410 pump shotgun with 00buck.

Ok here is the odd one,but i can see many advantages to it tho:
Thats the ATI MP5 .22lr
22 rounds with little to no recoil,racks easily and easy to hold.

August 15, 2009, 10:21 PM
Wise, Wise men have said things like

38 revolver with Crimson Trace laser sight will solve worry about your Mom's aim

Get her a set of Crismon Trace grips to turn it on all she has to do is grab the grip.

And I agree with them.:D

August 22, 2009, 10:35 AM
I think I will go with a youth model 20 ga. Makes most sense.

August 22, 2009, 03:40 PM
Sorry about the loss of your dad.

In terms of a handgun for use by an inexperienced, older person in home defense, I agree with previous posters who recommended a .38 Special (or a .357 Magnum loaded with Specials) revolver and one no smaller than a K-frame Smith (no need for a harder to shoot compact revolver if concealment isn't an issue). Then take your mother to the range on a regular basis and practice with the gun until she is comfortable and confident with it. I'd recommend starting with (and maybe even staying with) low recoil wadcutters until she gains more experience. Finally, get her use to reloading with a speedloader.

August 22, 2009, 06:02 PM
.32 Beretta (tip-up barrel for easy loading) ?

August 22, 2009, 06:37 PM
Yeah but I worried about her aim. Thats why I thought a auto.

Aim has nothing to do with it...if she can't aim a revolver, she won't do any better with a semi-auto.

I'd suggest a 4" DA revolver in .357 Magnum, but loaded with .38 Spl +P rounds. That's not too heavy a gun, and the .38 +P's are relatively mild. As far as brand...well, I'm a Taurus fan and have had extremely good luck with them. Another good one is a Ruger.
And, if you read American Rifleman, or one of the other NRA magazines, you'll read about a hell of a lot of .22's being used for home defense. Wouldn't recommend a .22, but a lot of folks use them.

I see where some folks are recommending mouse guns (Ruger LCP, Beretta Tomcat, etc.). Had a Tomcat and frequently carry an LCP (BUG) but unless she's going to carry, I suggest she stick with a medium sized handgun.

August 22, 2009, 06:56 PM
Aim has nothing to do with it...if she can't aim a revolver, she won't do any better with a semi-auto.

Absolutely! What makes anybody believe that an auto is easier to aim or more intrinsicly accurate than a revolver? Autos have their advantages but practical inherent accuracy isn't one of them.

August 27, 2009, 01:17 PM
Recoil seems to be a deal with all women.there is only one pistol that all the women like to shoot. My s&w 17-8 10shot .22
with 6" barrel. If it's not easily shot you won't hit anything under stress.you can't take out the trash until it's bagged!
Take mom out and see what she likes.

August 27, 2009, 02:01 PM
Sorry about the loss of your dad. :(

I second (or is it third?) the recommendation that you read The Cornered Cat before you do anything. SHE should pick her gun out...


August 27, 2009, 02:24 PM
+1 on the DA revolver. A GP100 is tough to beat IMHO... No safety to get her in trouble, and loads that run from mild to wild. You can get her a round just hot enough for her tolerance!!

Get it in stainless and she doesn't even need to clean it!! You and I know she should, but that doesn't mean it will happen.

August 29, 2009, 01:48 PM
My first suggestion would be a 20 gauge youth shotgun. However, a revolver is also very practical if she has to answer the door or take out the trash. Does she live in the country? Why did you loan her a rifle?

August 29, 2009, 02:22 PM
My 50 year-old wife will shoot my 442 .38, hits targets pretty well with it, but doesn't necessarily "like" it. A larger-frame .38 may well be a good option if your mom likes revolvers.

My wife really likes her S&W 5904 9mm (ubiquitous used PD-trade-in). It fits her hand, she shoots it well, and the decocker/safety makes her comfortable storing and carrying it with a round chambered. As a bonus, a 9mm carbine like a Marlin Camp 9 (same ammo, same mags even, and the best grandma-gun ever, IMO) or similar, to augment, would provide your mom with a good, compact HD rifle that also works well if she needs to dispatch vermin in the yard... (Rural setting assumed).

I'm just sharing what works for us.

Good luck!

August 31, 2009, 08:55 AM
Your mom should be able to handle a 20 gauge, but it's not always the most accessible when moving about. As others have said, a good 38 spl. should suit her well. The 110 gr. Hydra-Shoks are great loads for 38 spl. -- low recoil, low flash, good expansion.

August 31, 2009, 02:42 PM

This has to be the dumbest, most ignorant, femi-nazi biased gun related website I have ever seen.

September 5, 2009, 12:26 AM
Easy shibby, this website happens to belong to a good member of this forum.

September 5, 2009, 09:03 AM
This has to be the dumbest, most ignorant, femi-nazi biased gun related website I have ever seen.
The Cornered Cat website has been around for a long time, and has excellent info from a woman's point of view. It's an asset to the gun owning community, and so is the lady who administers it.

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