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HD gun for older woman

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by HSBB, Feb 9, 2010.

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  1. HSBB

    HSBB Member

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    Been shopping around for a handgun for my mother-in-law.

    Here's the scenario: Single woman in her late 60s looking for a gun primarily to protect an isolated vacation home. I feel safe to say that she is not interested in CCW.

    More than likely she will not train with it either. It will sit around and primarily function as a talisman, making her feel safer. (I know, FAR from ideal...)

    She has little or no experience shooting, but long ago when her husband was alive there was a snubby in the house. It's now long gone.

    She will not want to spend a lot.

    Given these parameters, I'm thinking a 4" .38, most likely a LEO trade-in K frame (eg. Models 10/15/64) or Service Six.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Yep, those pistols you listed would be perfect.

    357 Magnum would be just fine too. Can always shoot 38 +P out of it.

    Take her shooting and let her decide.
     
  3. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    A used 327 mag would fit the bill.
     
  4. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    Yup. You've already got the right idea.
     
  5. paradox998

    paradox998 Member

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    I would second the K-frame. A 357 might have a bit too much kick and be a bit intimidating for her.
     
  6. HSBB

    HSBB Member

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    Thanks, but I agree with paradox998. I'm thinking .327/.357 would have way too much giddyup for her!

    From http://www.gunsandammo.com/content/ruger-sp101327-magnum?page=2
    Now, there will be some who will use their experience with earlier .32s and declare it "a fine round for the ladies and for new shooters." Excuse me, but weren't you paying attention to the "115 at 1,316" part? The SP101 kicks, and it kicks pretty briskly. The .327 Federal Magnum, with the factory full-power loads, is not a ladies' or beginner's load. You want the performance, you have to pay the price. If you want more than the .327 delivers, you have to go to the .357 Magnum, and having done so you will pay mightily for it. An SP101 in .357 delivers a 125-grain JHP at more than 1,300 fps, but you get only five shots and muzzle blast and recoil that could make a brass monkey flinch.
     
  7. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Uh, you guys do realize that 38 special works quite nicely in a 357 Magnum gun?
     
  8. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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  9. HSBB

    HSBB Member

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    I do. The only advantage I see in buying a .357 to shoot .38 is if the gun is substantially heavier, thereby absorbing more recoil. The LEO guns all have the heavy barrel and, more importantly, come in around $275. All things considered, I'm not convinced it's worth it going to the .357.
     
  10. paradox998

    paradox998 Member

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    Yes, but there are nice S&W 38 specials on the market used, that would be fine for her purposes. I have a k frame 38 spl, and it is my favorite revolver. Old, beat-up, but accurate, and reliable.
     
  11. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    Actually, come to think of it, if she's never going to carry it, and it's just for HD, might a shotgun be a better alternative? Can be had for cheaper than the revolver, less paperwork when buying, easier to point/aim for someone who is not going to train much, more stopping power, and if she is the type who is going to hole up in the bedroom in the event of a "bump in the night" the maneuverability of a handgun is really no advantage at all.
     
  12. HSBB

    HSBB Member

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    Really??! I did a search for "grandma gun" and found NOTHING! :D

    Seriously, thanks for the link. Those JG 15s/64s were already high on the list!
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  13. Isher

    Isher Member

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    Rule #1: Let her shoot it and choose it.

    That being said, my wife, who is well on

    The North side of sixty, purely shoots the piss

    Out of a CZ P-01 loaded with 124gr JHP's.

    Its why I had to get a second one..........


    isher
     
  14. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    I'm thinking a low-power rifle. A plinking gun.

    If she's worried about an odd sound or a bump in the night, it's going to let her fire .22LR easy and will dissuade varmints of many varieties, including the 2-legged kind. The size and heft should reassure her, while taming the caliber and not being too much. It should look like business. Maybe the Henry Repeater?

    Remember, most of us are looking for a solution that will pick someone up and throw 'em away. I don't think that's the need here.
     
  15. HSBB

    HSBB Member

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    Good thoughts, Ben, but I'm pretty sure she'd be much more intimidated by a long gun. I need to ask her.

    I guess I'm in Kathy Jackson's camp on this one! :D
    http://www.corneredcat.com/FirstGun/handgun.aspx
     
  16. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    That's exactly what I would recommend.

    Something with adjustable sights is good because you can help her zero it for the ammunition she's using. For a beginner, different points of aim and impact can be very frustrating.
     
  17. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    Shockwave may be on to something. Something like a Ruger 10/22 might even be good. Think about it. She can just pull the trigger and let the rifle do the rest. Doesn't need to do any manipulations at all.

    I can see what you mean about a handgun being less intimidating which is why I had suggested it initially. Either way, I think she's lucky to have you helping her out.
     
  18. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

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    Hand strength could be an issue. A decent used .38 K-Frame is an OK idea but they are heavy. A square-butt-gripped J-frame might be better. A .32 might be even better than that.

    A removeable mag 16" .22 semi-auto -- not the worst idea. I got an ex-girlfriend, "an older woman" LOL, the best Valentine's Day gift ever -- a-harder-to-find OEM nickel 10-rnd. mag for her semi-auto "black" Marlin .22. Now she's got two, a coupla boxes of High Velocity ammo, and she's ready to defend the homestead all by herself.

    Al
     
  19. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

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    In my experience people are less intimated by long guns than they are handguns. Shotguns are good but pistol caliber carbines are another option. Hardly any recoil and much easier to aim.
     
  20. LeontheProfessional

    LeontheProfessional Member

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    +1 on the 10/22 of maybe even a Browning Buckmark.
     
  21. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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  22. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    A .22 LR revolver.
     
  23. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

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    I disagree w/a .22 LR revolver. A revolver is better'n a semi-auto pistol. But if she can shoot a revolver don't bother w/a .22. They are better'n nuthin' but too weak. Get at LEAST a .32 (i.e. a J-Frame sized 6-shot) which is generally consdered to be the smallest caliber acceptable to stop an attacker. At least the .22 LR from a RIFLE is about the same power as a .32. And quieter!
    Al
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  24. BMF500

    BMF500 Member

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    Is she dead set on a hand gun? A 20ga w/ buskshot sounds like a better option. Whole lot better odds for pray and spray.
     
  25. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    Just suggested a .22 revolver because grandma will probably never practice with or even touch the gun. Whatever she gets, it's gonna sit in a drawer for years without being touched or maintained. Which is why I'd prefer a revolver. Simple and easy to use. Simply point and pull the trigger, no safety to worry about. The .22LR is a very small caliber, but it will actually hurt someone. And grandma might actually hit what she's aiming at if she ever has to use it. JMHO.

    Edited to add: you guys are actually advocating a shotgun for someone who doesn't shoot guns, and who is never going to practice with the gun? All that recoil and noise are gonna make her flinch like crazy if she ever has to use it.
     
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