Helping a Senior Citizen - Concealed Carry.

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GunnyGene

Hawkeye
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Nov 23, 2013
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6,793
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Monroe County, MS
Had a great meeting with a lady Senior Citizen and her son yesterday about what firearm would be suitable for her to carry. She had won a free Basic Pistol class with a local (MS) NRA Certified Instructor, but had zero experience with handguns. Her son had initially contacted me about it.

I didn't want to step on anything the upcoming class would cover (MS law, etc.), so this was strictly about what her needs and capabilities were regarding a handgun. Anyway I laid out 3 firearms for her to try out. S&W Model 60-10, Ruger .22mag LCR, and S&W 9mm M&P EZ, and explained and demonstrated the basic operation/function, capabilities, safety considerations, of each and the compromises she had to decide on (how to carry, capacity, terminal effect on the target, etc..), and had her load some dummy rounds, dry fire them, and so on. It was about as basic an intro to handguns as it gets. I did not discuss self defense "mind set" with her, although I did talk with her son about it separately.

Like many Senior ladies (and men) she had trouble with heavy trigger pull, racking slides, loading magazines, etc. ,so much of this revolved around how to cope with all of that, and I showed her some alternatives that would make things easier. So after about an hour sitting around the dining room table, she decided to try out the EZ, so we went out on the back porch and had her load up the M&P and shoot my target stump. Accuracy was not on the agenda for this, only for her to understand the basics and if she could deal with the recoil, proper grip, etc.

Bottom line is that I'm happy to have helped, and I am confident that she will fulfill her goal of being a woman who can defend herself.
 

kmoore

Buckeye
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Mar 29, 2017
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Idaho
That was the right thing to do. Good job and thanks for sharing. I have heard stories of newbies getting basic training by real opinioned men and just tune out what's being taught/explained and gun store salesman telling them only the highest priced gun they have in stock is any good. You gave both some ammunition to be able to make better choices.
 

Pistolero

Hunter
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
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2,574
Location
Chama, NM-Our little piece of Heaven.
You did good for the lady and her son! I recently bought a S&W 9mm M&P EZ to have when the arthritis in my hands gets worse. In the meantime I keep proficient with it even though my EDC is a Glock 26 Gen 5 or Ruger LCR357.
 

prowler

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 29, 2005
Messages
111
Location
ID, USA
My wife and I carrying revolver, she carries 2 " LCR .22 win. Mag, I am carrying S&W 642 .38 spl. five shots.
The reason is revolver we can put seven rounds on her and five on mine. It is enough for self-protection, when we go anywhere that is all we carry even groceries store, at our home we have Ithaca model 37 18.5 inc. 12 gage pump shotguns with extended tube and at our SUV, I put Mossberg shockwave under passenger compartment back seat and Glock G17 in the middle console with easy to access.
Its doe does not make any different how big of the bullet is, it makes a lot of different where you put the bullet at.
For the pistol, if shooter have limp wrist it will be jamming for sure, you don't have to worry about revolver.
This is my opinion I have learned from the indoor range I use to have,
 

GunnyGene

Hawkeye
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Nov 23, 2013
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6,793
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Monroe County, MS
That was the right thing to do. Good job and thanks for sharing. I have heard stories of newbies getting basic training by real opinioned men and just tune out what's being taught/explained and gun store salesman telling them only the highest priced gun they have in stock is any good. You gave both some ammunition to be able to make better choices.
I'd told them that none of my firearms were for sale, so they wouldn't feel like I was pushing them in any particular direction, and it was all about her. We did discuss various carry methods, and the pluses/minuses of them. As with many women, she will likely carry in a handbag designed for the purpose, so part of the discussion was about that.

I also deliberately avoided talking about the various speed loading techniques/accessories available for the revolvers or tactical mag swaps in semi-auto's, among many other things that can wait for more advanced training. The KISS principle was foremost on my mind for this.
 

Thumbcocker

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
606
Location
Sounthern Illinois
I have shown several women the basics of shooting handguns. I lay out several and let them choose the one that feels best to them. A surprising number go for a 1911.
 

antique41

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 10, 2016
Messages
7
I am 80 and own handguns from 22 to 45 in both semi-autos and revolvers. I am particularly fond of 32 calibers. I carry a 32 H&R Mag revolver and this is what I usually recommend to my peers, both male and female for many of the reasons mentioned above.
 

jgt

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
824
Location
coleman texas
For women that have trouble racking slides I usually recommend the Barretta auto with the flip up feature for loading the first round. The 32 caliber is the most commonly recommended caliber.
 
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lipofsky

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
316
Location
Central Maine
MY Great Grandfather carried a .22 revolver till he passed, his rational was that a after a 1st direct hit, A 2nd direct hit with a .22 beat a miss with any other caliber every time.
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
821
I actually tried one of those tip up Beretta for my now late Mother . Turned out that the tip up lever required so much effort to tip up , that it was at least as bad as racking a slide . Yes . the recoil was plenty mild , but she would not abide anything she couldn't load and unload herself .

( Not a newcomer issue . She had long background shooting , hunting , skeet shooting , and Millitary Historian specializing in small arms . Purely physical between arthritis , shoulder injuries , and balance issues requiring one hand to stay balanced , and one hand to shoot .)

And the answer was ..... SA Revolver . Thumb cocking uses the big muscles of the whole hand with gross movement . followed with a light short trigger pull .

Don't laugh ! This can be done acceptably even when individual fingers are stiff/ weak . While slow , administrative loading and unloading don't require finger strength .

Downside ? Yeah , yeah , only 5 rounds on tap ( the selected revolver was of traditional lockwork ) .

Normally I don't buy into the " If you need more than 5 ( or 6 rounds ) , you're ( either incompetent , Or in a Situiation where no handgun is sufficient , and you really need rifle\ shotgun\ swat team instead ) . BUT , when one is at a point where significant compromises must be made , reasonably quick , very precise hits , with suitable ctg are better than not , even if only five of them .
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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Lake Lure NC USA
As an instructor,, who's taught hundreds of ladies,, and especially elderly ladies, I read this with interest.
First off,, KUDOS for helping this lady.

However,, a few things overlooked by people when it comes to self defense, AND the elderly ladies.
As noted,, racking a slide etc can be difficult. So, as mentioned,, the KISS method is often employed. But many of the necessary operating features of a semi-auto for an elderly lady who by & large most likely will NOT spend the time to become "motor memory skill friendly" isn't the best KISS method.
In my clinics,, we stress the worst case scenario.
We tell them to ask themselves; "If I'm being attacked, I'm on the ground, my dominant hand isn't usable,, can I use my non-dominant hand, and operate my firearm with just it,, for more than one shot?"
A semi-auto, with a slide that may need operating,, a safety lever, a magazine release,, all are to be considered. Plus,, if having to fire the gun while in a purse, in a coat pocket, or even under a dress,, a semi-auto can jam. Can it be cleared & used by the off hand,, and only by the off hand?
With that, we show the ladies how a DA revolver is the best KISS method designed gun for such things. Of all the popular designs,, a DA revolver offers the least issues in the physical attack scenarios.

I then use my own mother's attack as a teaching moment. She was pepper sprayed, (a total of 3 different times during the attack,) on the floor of her store,, physically being assaulted, TRYING to get her pocket gun into use. It was a Colt Junior in .22 short. There was not a round in the chamber,, and the safety was on. She was NOT able to use her SD handgun because of it's design.
My mother retired the Colt & bought a SP-101 after finally listening to me & trying out several handguns I had.

Things to consider when trying to assist a new gun owner or potential gun owner,, especially the elderly,,, and the kind who won't become a firearm enthusiast.
 

Snake Pleskin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
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2,180
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
Best to have a revolver with 5/6 certain rounds than an auto with 15 maybes! Most people with any type of infirmity, disability etc can find a double action hard to pull through since they average 10-12 lbs. They need work to smooth out and to lighten as much as is feasibly possible and still remain reliable!. I carry a 649 with Wolff springs and polished internals many times, even though I have other firearm's to choose from. I do not believe I will need 47 rds to ward off evil! I like the fact the 649 gives me options of SA/DA and with no hammer protruding fits in a pocket perfectly and can be drawn out smoothly & quickly. No one wants to be shot. When you have a particular firearm you must know and utilize it strengths and not dwell on its weaknesses. The J frame 649 is easy to carry, quick to use, reliable. It has limited rounds available. I load reduce power wadcutters ,loaded upside down. They run approx 650-700fps and make one heck of a big hole. it is what it is. IMHO
 

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GunnyGene

Hawkeye
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Nov 23, 2013
Messages
6,793
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Monroe County, MS
Best to have a revolver with 5/6 certain rounds than an auto with 15 maybes! Most people with any type of infirmity, disability etc can find a double action hard to pull through since they average 10-12 lbs. They need work to smooth out and to lighten as much as is feasibly possible and still remain reliable!. I carry a 649 with Wolff springs and polished internals many times, even though I have other firearm's to choose from. I do not believe I will need 47 rds to ward off evil! I like the fact the 649 gives me options of SA/DA and with no hammer protruding fits in a pocket perfectly and can be drawn out smoothly & quickly. No one wants to be shot. When you have a particular firearm you must know and utilize it strengths and not dwell on its weaknesses. The J frame 649 is easy to carry, quick to use, reliable. It has limited rounds available. I load reduce power wadcutters ,loaded upside down. They run approx 650-700fps and make one heck of a big hole. it is what it is. IMHO

I don't disagree with this, or the previous couple of posts, but as I said up front the decision was/is entirely up to the lady who sought some basic info. I think I provided that. Her son, btw, is a long time shooter whom I've known for several years and has a significant stable of firearms, but asked for my input as a second opinion. Mods, such as you mention, are not on the table at this point, nor are "gunfighter" skills. Perhaps she will pursue such things, perhaps not.
 

Snake Pleskin

Hunter
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Mar 26, 2022
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Location
Aiken, South Carolina
I don't disagree with this, or the previous couple of posts, but as I said up front the decision was/is entirely up to the lady who sought some basic info. I think I provided that. Her son, btw, is a long time shooter whom I've known for several years and has a significant stable of firearms, but asked for my input as a second opinion. Mods, such as you mention, are not on the table at this point, nor are "gunfighter" skills. Perhaps she will pursue such things, perhaps not.
Agree. All we can do is make suggestions based on our experience. In the end the "user" needs to decide what works best for them.
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,572
Location
Alaska, Idaho USA
Gunny, you did a good job going over things. One thing you covered most don't, is how to carry. Too often, people go out and buy a gun without considering how they are going to carry it. What I tell ladies is that you either have to dress for the gun you carry, or carry for the way you dress. There are several alternatives. I have taught many times (as taught through NRA instruction) on how to carry with a purse, with a pocket that is only for a handgun. But things happen, purses get dropped, or people fall on their purse and have no access to it, so over time I've become enamored to the belly band, or IWB, if they dress with their top out and can cover the gun. they will always have access to the gun even if they have to pull their shirt hard enough to pop a button off. Although velcro helps with that. If carrying on their person is never dealt with, it's way to easy for the gun to be left at home, or in the car, or in the safe.

Many women have discovered they like the Taurus G2c or G3c (compacts) because they can actually pull the slide back on it. Plus once they pull it back it's ready to go and they have up to 13 rounds to ward off an attacker. Not to mention the way the trigger operates it's very easy to use and if they want to practice dry fire, the trigger functions for that, where they don't have to work the slide after every trigger pull.
 

BearBiologist

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
483
I'm 72, with arthritis and a steel plate in my right hand. I personally have no problems racking a slide or firing double action. Neither do my peer group of friends (mostly 60+). A couple of factors to consider:
1. Colt revolvers tend to have a better trigger pull, especially in D/A. Has a Gen II Detective Special that was a dream (and carried 6 shots)
2. Hand exercises help a lot=a ball of putty or a soft ball.
3. Work her up at the range slowly but progressively==make it fun!
 

RSIno1

Hunter
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Messages
2,304
Location
Southern California
I have shown several women the basics of shooting handguns. I lay out several and let them choose the one that feels best to them. A surprising number go for a 1911.
My wife is still mad at me for getting rid of "her" little Detonics 45. The deal was just too good to pass up. I bought her a Glock 26 - BIG mistake. She likes her little purple LCP 380 now, but has to use the shove the slide against the edge of the table trick to load it.
Not all gun salesmen try to sell you the most expensive gun in the case. Sometimes they make a bigger profit on a cheaper gun or some dog has been in the case so long the store owner is offering a bonus to whoever can move it on down the road.
 

GunnyGene

Hawkeye
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Nov 23, 2013
Messages
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Monroe County, MS
My wife is still mad at me for getting rid of "her" little Detonics 45. The deal was just too good to pass up. I bought her a Glock 26 - BIG mistake. She likes her little purple LCP 380 now, but has to use the shove the slide against the edge of the table trick to load it.
Not all gun salesmen try to sell you the most expensive gun in the case. Sometimes they make a bigger profit on a cheaper gun or some dog has been in the case so long the store owner is offering a bonus to whoever can move it on down the road.

Buy her a Handi-Racker.

 

BearBiologist

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
483
I've tried several types of "ears" on semi autos. I started with a pocket model and liked then so much that I put them on all my semi-autos. I can't find any info right now (will update, if I can find it). One replaces the rear slide plate and has a cross piece that extends out on each side. The "ears" do gouge if wearing an IWB holster, but it provides a better grip and mi wife (purse carries) likes it. The other claps over the rear of the slide and widens the slide, providing a better grip.
 

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