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Question for female members. . .

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by smallbore, Mar 6, 2010.

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  1. smallbore

    smallbore Member

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    I have a female family member who has had carpal tunnel surgery (both wrists) within the last 2 years. She recently verbalized having approx 80% strength back and has reported her intent to "buy a gun for personal defense". Are there any specific types of pistol/revolver that you could/would recommend? Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. girl shooter

    girl shooter Member

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    I am a retired NYPD officer that was shot in my right hand and I am right-handed.

    I have found that my .38 Special Smith model 36 with the full steel frame loaded with 38 short colts shoots as soft as a 25 acp. And while not being as powerful as a full house 38 load, it has about the power of a .380 acp and plenty of people pocket carry those.

    Also, my CZ-82 9mm Makarov is heavy enough that it curbs the toughest recoil.

    Best of luck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  3. smallbore

    smallbore Member

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    Thanks girl shooter. The list begins.
     
  4. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    Yep, revolver. Unless you're sure her strength is sufficient to rack a slide. Is there a range nearby where she can try some options before making a purchase?
     
  5. Oro

    Oro Member

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    Another important thing is grips. My partner has a similar wrist disability and shoots without much problem up to soft .357's. By using the softest rubber grips you can find (usually the squishy Hogue's) you can "cheat" the physics of the recoil by effectively slowing it down. Won't reduce recoil absolutely, but it spreads the momentum out slightly as the rubber compresses, so the peak impulse is lower.
     
  6. JellyJar

    JellyJar Member

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    I bet your female family member's main issue will be with the trigger pull. It could be that most revolvers will have to strong a trigger pull for her to be comfortable with. If it is not comfortable she will not practice for fear of making her carpal tunnel worse.

    I suggest a single action semiauto like the sig p238. Also, perhaps one in 32acp for its lesser recoil. Maybe even a beretta tomcat in 32 acp.

    She needs to test fire them first.
     
  7. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Best thing you could do is advise her to look at http://www.corneredcat.com and then make her own decisions.

    Although I'd probably recommend a polymer framed 9mm Kahr. Light weight, light recoil, and light trigger, but a "major" caliber. I've shot a CW9, and the recoil was amazingly mild, especially compared to the same size/weight Kel-Tec P11.

    Racking the slide may be a problem, but I look at strength problems this way. If someone has weak hands and wrists, they can have a trusted and gun-savvy friend or family member load the mag and rack the slide for them. They cannot have said friend pull the trigger for them. Clearing jams may be a problem, but is that a bigger problem than being unable to pull the trigger in the first place?

    I had a very severe bout with tendinitis a few years ago, that left me unable to pull a 12 pound trigger half the time. All better now, but I sold all my guns with a heavy trigger, and haven't seem to have re-acquired any...
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  8. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm no woman, but men can have problems with grip strength, too.


    What does she intend to do with this gun? Is she going to carry it, or is this just for the home?


    What I'm really getting after here is why it's assumed she's got to have a handgun for personal protection?
     
  9. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    The Beretta 86 may well be the ultimate "orthopedic handgun." The slide does not have to be racked to chamber or eject a round - just pop the barrel up - and it can be carried "cocked and locked" with the resultant light trigger pull all the time.
     
  10. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

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    Looks like the way to go
     
  11. Fleetman

    Fleetman Member

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    She certainly couldn't go wrong with a Ruger SP-101 .327 Mag either. Plenty of comfortable practice with .32 Longs and .32 Mag or .327 Mag would be adequate SD rounds.
     
  12. JellyJar

    JellyJar Member

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    I owned a Beretta 70 once and did not like it because of its stout recoil. Stout recoil because it was a straight blowback. It could be that she will not be able to handle the recoil.

    Does anyone make a pistol of that size and weight in 32acp with a single action capability?
     
  13. oldgoat46

    oldgoat46 Member

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    Buy two pistols. a 22lr in a snub nosed configuration to practice with and have her carry the 38+P the pain endured after will be insignificant to her life saved
     
  14. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

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    .22 cal revolver tend to have heavier trigger pulls than those of centerfire rounds
     
  15. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    I still want to know what her intentions are before I answer.
     
  16. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Along with her intentions, SHE needs to pick out her gun after reading The Cornered Cat.

    Then take her to a range that rents guns, let her try various makes, models, and calibers to see what SHE likes. In the end, she might prefer an M-1 carbine or shotgun
     
  17. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    are we talking about 80% hand strength in a frail old lady, or in a 25 year old body builder?

    What's the application?
     
  18. KarenTOC

    KarenTOC Member

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    I agree that SHE needs to pick out the gun, but I think she'll appreciate a bit of advice from the OP, especially if she's a first-timer. Having an idea where to start (which the OP can give her) is a big help, even though the final decision has to be hers.

    I don't have carpel tunnel, but I do have arthritis in my hands & fingers. It's especially bad in the thumb joints closest to my wrist, and in my index fingers, so heavy trigger pulls and massive recoil are things I avoid. For me, heavier is better. The "kindest" so far has been my S&W Model 19, 4", with 38 spl. (I haven't tried 357 yet). Model 10 with 2" bbl is a bit harder on the hands, but still not bad.

    I'll be interested in hearing what she finally chooses.
     
  19. Elvishead

    Elvishead Member

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    Buy two pistols.

    a 22lr in a snub nosed configuration to practice with, and have her carry the 38 or a 38+P the pain endured after will be insignificant to her life saved
     
  20. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    The only suggestion I will give without more info is a S&W Model 10 round butt with a 4" pencil barrel with the grips from a X frame aka 500S&W or 460 S&W.
     
  21. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    I know the answer to that question but am not allowed to respond because I'm not female.
     
  22. TexasBill

    TexasBill Member

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    Walther PK380 in .380 ACP. It's easy on the hands to shoot and, if you cock the hammer first, it's easy to rack the slide (yes, the safety can be on while you rack the slide).
     
  23. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    And if both of them read what I suggested thecorneredcat.com, there are sections that can give them some insight to aid them in their quest
     
  24. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    A model 10, 14 or 19, 4inch barrel with the soft Hogues, if they fit her hands, and a Wolff spring kit to reduce DA pull. Practice with 148gn HBWC loads and carry with either full house .38Spl or +P. The match 148 HBWC loads are pushy but have a softness to the recoil. So they should be better for practice than a .22 since they'll have more the same sort of character as the SD rounds.

    Some might question the Wolff kit and suggest that it would risk a light primer strike. But since installing them on my 3 S&W revolvers I have yet to have a FTF out of a few thousand rounds of mixed brands. In fact I wanted to see just how far I could reduce the trigger pull so I played with screwing out the spring preload screw. It got to where it was silly light before I had my first FTF. This same exercise could be done by the OP or the gun owner to confirm just how close to the edge the setup is for that gun. And for this particular set of circumstances where a reduced pull is required this seems like a worthy option.
     
  25. Nicodemus38

    Nicodemus38 Member

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    the person in question needs to do target shooting with a large selection of handguns. it may end up being the classic "i can handle the recoil just fine, but pulling the hammer back/working the slide/using a DA revolver just kills me"
    if thats the case, send me a PM and i can tell you how to be nice and show her a way that will let her work the handgun she shoots best, in the caliber she likes best, without having to run to "strong man" to work the slide or pull the hammer of her revolver back for her..
     
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