Looking for a carry gun for parents

This is a discussion on Looking for a carry gun for parents within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi all im looking for a new carry gun for my parents. They currently have a charter arms 38 special And there both aging with ...

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    VIP Member Array sixgun's Avatar
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    Looking for a carry gun for parents

    Hi all im looking for a new carry gun for my parents. They currently have a charter arms 38 special And there both aging with arthritis and its hard to cock it for single action and double action is almost out of the question with there arthritis. I suggested a small 380 the ones we are looking at are the kel-tec p3at the ruger lcp and the taurus tcp 380. But I wonder if they can rack the slide with arthritis. Or are these guns fairly easy to rack the slide. Any pros or cons to each of these. The taurus is on sale at our local gun shop right now for $179. Any other options for a better carry for them. Throw some ideas out there. Thanks for the time. Stay safe.

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    Member Array SandWMandP's Avatar
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    Both the lcp and the p-3at are DAO triggers. May be to hard to pull. Also even though the .380acp is a small round it has some kick when shot through a small gun like the ones you mentioned. I know its a price jump up but maybe a walther pk380 or bersa thunder 380 which are DA/SA triggers and have more whight to control the recoil.
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    Member Array ToeMoss's Avatar
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    The TCP is a little difficult to rack.
    While a DAO gun typically has a heavier pull I still suspect it to be better than trying to manipulate a thumb safety with arthritis.
    Just thinking that trigger weight should be your primary consideration. How often will they need to rack the slide anyway?

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    Senior Member Array yz9890's Avatar
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    everything about the P238 is easy. you'd just need to train up on cocked and locked carry.

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    If arthritis is causing problems cocking the hammer on a revolver, they will really have problems trying to rack the slide on a semi, and as mentioned by the previous poster, a DAO or even a DA trigger is going to be long and heavy, just like the DA trigger on their revolver.

    If they do opt to go for a semi, I'd recommend something that is DA/SA (Bersa Thunder380, CZ83 to name a few). Or there is the SA guns like the Sig P238 that might work. Only way you'll know which one they can rack the slide on is going to be take them to a gun shop and let them try them out.
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    Member Array ToeMoss's Avatar
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    The sig P238 does rack easily but I would rule it out due to the thumb safety.

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    Senior Member Array Lish's Avatar
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    What about a Beretta or Taurus with a pop up barrel? No slide to rack - the only thing I'm not sure about is caliber availability - I know the Taurus comes in a .25, but I don't know if either comes in anything besides a .22 or .25...

    Would a revolver be an option? Again, no slide to rack.
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    Member Array muddy's Avatar
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    This is always a hard question to answer over the net, you should probably take your parents shopping so they can try different weapons and see how well they operate them. One question I always have with people getting a pistol is whether or not they will take the time to learn how to clear stoppages? Both my 69 year old parents and 43 year old wife carry hammerless revolvers, well my Dads has a bobbed hammer. Why you may ask, because when you pull the trigger they go off and there is very little worry about a failure to feed or jam. If the round does fail to fire just pull the trigger again. With strength problems a double action can be hard to pull but I would think a slide would be just as much of a problem. I find the Smith and Wesson revolvers have a better trigger then most cheaper weapons. If your parents can't even cock a well made revolver I just don't see them running a slide at all. You will probably get all sorts of reply's about get them a pistol not a revolver but when it comes down to people that want to carry but don't want to get to know there weapon a revolver is for them.
    One thing I noticed with my parents and wife is if you hang a bulls eye target up for them to shoot they are going to try and shoot bull's eyes. For the most part a carry type double action revolver is not a target weapon. Try hanging a standard piece of paper up and instruct them to fire two quick shots at the center of the paper with hard, fast stead pressure on the trigger not the slow target trigger squeeze. They will probably find by doing this that they can pull the trigger just fine and there accuracy will probably be better then slowly pulling the trigger back. I find the longer it takes to pull a long double action trigger back the shakier the shooter becomes.

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    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I too have arthritis in both hands. Small handguns just hurt to shoot. So I have moved up one size of gun and down a size in ammo. I no longer shoot sub compact guns, but compact [ 3" barrels ] seem OK. If your dad likes revolvers let him try a K frame sized gun with a 3" barrel. The extra size will help stabilize the gun. And the extra weight will lessen the recoil.DR.

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    Distinguished Member Array Ghettokracker71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lish View Post
    What about a Beretta or Taurus with a pop up barrel? No slide to rack - the only thing I'm not sure about is caliber availability - I know the Taurus comes in a .25, but I don't know if either comes in anything besides a .22 or .25...

    Would a revolver be an option? Again, no slide to rack.
    A .22 or .25 is better than poking with a stick or throwing rocks.


    I'll also echo what others have said,...I've owned two Kel-tec p3ATs. The recoil on a tiny-tim .380ACP like the P3at, TCP, or LCP is pretty snappy. With the thinner and smaller slide, it could be harder to rack because it isn't as easy to grip.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Any decently-reliable and well-built revolver should do the trick. Most can be worked on by nearby gunsmiths who are very familiar with revolvers. Smoothing up and lightening a trigger pull weight to ~4-5lbs can be done. With bad arthritis, manipulation of the cylinder-eject mechanism will be all they'll need to deal with, in terms of running the gun.

    In the S&W brand, there are several revolvers that are sub-20oz that might be easily carried. Downside of the puny/light "snubby" revolvers is that they can have a stout kick, being that light.

    A really good revolver is the Ruger SP-101, which is ~25oz. If you can find one in the 3"-barrel variety, it'll be reasonably concealable but have noticeably less kick and muzzle-flip than any of the ~12-15oz "air weight" type revolvers on the market. It's also a .357 steel frame, which can easily run .38spl but can run .357mag if preferred. Well-designed and -built. Unless there's a good reason the somewhat heavier weight isn't something they can deal with (as opposed to heavier kick of the ultralight alternatives), this would be my choice. With a suitably smoothed/lightened trigger.

    I've had a Kel-Tec P3AT .380ACP. Its trigger pull and slide racking are both fairly easy, so far as semi-auto pistols go. And it got easier as time went on. But, as with any other semi-auto pistol, jams can be a bear to clear. With arthritic hands, it could spell trouble in the case of a jam. By comparison, a revolver could be far simpler to operate, particularly when the SHTF. Trigger pull weight's only part of the equation for arthritic hands, too. Consider the magazine release button on any semi-auto. These tend to require a bit of pressure to release the magazine, possibly more effort than any slide/trigger would be (to a given arthritic hand), depending on the person.
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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    S&W model 19

    I would agree that a revolver may be best for people with hand strength problems, as it avoids slide racking a semiauto, which requires some strength. As for the double action trigger pull, I have found that the larger size S&W revolvers (K, L, and N frame) have a smoother and easier pull than the smaller J frames. One of my favorites for a light, smooth DA pull is the K frame model 19, which has been out of production for awhile. But many of them exist on the used market.

    I have a couple of model 19 snubbies, which I have often carried on the belt. These have a 2.5 inch barrel, weigh about 32 ounces (all steel) and one of the best trigger pulls I have seen on a revolver. They can also be thumb cocked and fired single action with very little effort, bringing the trigger pull down to maybe 3.5 pounds. I would recommend one of these for your parents, who could use either .38 special or .357 magnum ammo in them.

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    VIP Member Array sixgun's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. But the double action pull on there revolver is a bit to hard for them to manipulate. They can handle recoil ok. Its just the heavy pull of the revolver. I have a p-32 and it doesnt recoil to bad and the slide is fairly easy to rack. But they are prone to rim lock and I thought that the smaller 380s might be a better choice. Just thinking.

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    Member Array Coltman 77's Avatar
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    My parents are older too (85 and 81) so I understand your position OP. I'd suggest a Walther PPS in 9mm. Accurate, reliable, light, good trigger and easy to rack the slide.

    The PPS is very easy to shoot, mild recoil even with +P ammo but it's like a Glock, no safety except your trigger finger.

    Good luck.
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    Member Array SFCDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixgun View Post
    Thanks for all the replies. But the double action pull on there revolver is a bit to hard for them to manipulate. They can handle recoil ok. Its just the heavy pull of the revolver. I have a p-32 and it doesnt recoil to bad and the slide is fairly easy to rack. But they are prone to rim lock and I thought that the smaller 380s might be a better choice. Just thinking.
    A carry size 1911 may be a good option as if it is carried with the hammer back the trigger pull is very short and light. Also it can be modified as low as 3lbs. Of course they are pricey, but as I always say you can buy insurance and a lot of material items, but your life is priceless.
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