Good gun for arthritis

Good gun for arthritis

This is a discussion on Good gun for arthritis within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm hoping someone here with arthritis can help me out. My mother in law, who has arthritis, is looking to buy a gun. Since I ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Compa49's Avatar
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    Good gun for arthritis

    I'm hoping someone here with arthritis can help me out. My mother in law, who has arthritis, is looking to buy a gun. Since I own a gun and carry she has asked me to go with her to look. But since she has arthritis I don't know if some guns might be better than others. My thinking is anything DAO or DA/SA wouldn't be a good choice since the DA trigger pull might be too hard for her. So I was thinking any of the modern striker fire style guns would be a better decision. Any ideas?

    And before anyone asks or says anything, she is gun literate. She shot guns when she was young and she intends on taking a firearm class before buying the gun so she is currently trained on how to handle it.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Happypuppy's Avatar
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    Good gun for arthritis

    I would take a look at the ruger LC380. Since it is .380 in in compact size the recoil is light. The energy needed to rack it as the recoil spring is tight is far easier as well. I would also look at the LCR with light recoil .38 special loads, and perhaps a .22.

    If she is not looking to carry why not a 20 gauge coach gun? That's what my 83 yr old mother has; a 7lb Stoeger 20 guage. There is no way she could handle a pistol or a pump shotgun. All she has to do is open the gun up drop 2 shells in and close it. The stock is youth sized for her.


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    Distinguished Member Array Tundra5.7's Avatar
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    I think a good revolver might be in order here. The small semi's could be hard to operate the slide on for someone with arthritis. Having said that, my wife has had battles with RA and loves her Ruger LC9. She can operate the slide on the Ruger perfect and found it easier for her to operate than similar offerings, such as the Kahr CM9, Shield, and Taurus Slim 709.
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    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    I would have to cast another vote for the LCR, as it has about the best trigger of any revolver going. It can also be had in a variety of calibers if a .38 Special is a little too much for her to handle. In particular, the 22 Magnum version would be a great alternative for someone with severe arthritic problems.
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    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    Walther PPQ, awesome trigger and she would only have to rack slide one time.
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    Some triggers and arthritis do not go well together. Long distance trigger pulls can hurt.
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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    Another vote for LCR .22 mag good trigger light recoil no slide.

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    Have you looked at the tip up barrel Beretta pistols. Check out the Beretta 3032 Tomcat or the model 21 Bobcat. You don't have to rack the slide to load, you can tip up the barrel.
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    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    Other than the older Smiths, the rim fire revolvers tend to have heavy double action triggers. Heavier than center fire revolvers because it takes quite a whack to reliably fire the rim fire cartridges.

    One candidate would be the SIG P238. It has the easiest slide of any semi-auto I've ever seen. It's literally two fingers to rack it. It is also the most pleasant to shoot small .380 I've had in my hands. The P238 can be loaded, unloaded, and cleared with the safety on if the hammer is cocked.

    The P238 is much more pleasant to shoot than the LCP, the Walther PPK or the PPK/S.

    Note: I haven't fired an LC380 so can't compare with that one.

    If you can find an old Colt Detective's special all steel 6 shot snub nose, those aren't too bad to shoot (much easier on the hand than the Ruger LCR when I shot them side by side) and tend to have a relatively nice double action trigger. The single action trigger on them tends to be very nice indeed. That said, the recoil is noticeably stiffer than the P238 though.

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    Re the Beretta bobcat; I just sold one in 32 acp. The gun was rock solid reliable. A fine weapon.

    But it had an unusual, and unpleasant kick. It kicked a whole lot more than I thought it should. Honestly, I dont complain or remark about kick on any of my other weapons, but on that gun, it stood out to the point that I mention it here, as I dont think the person you are helping to pick a gun for would ever want to practice with one. I think she would hate it, to tell you the truth.
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    Member Array Whaler1's Avatar
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    You might consider a Colt Mustang Pocketlite or Sig P238 for a pistol. A S&W 642/442 is a good choice for a revolver but has much more "snap" in the recoil.
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    Distinguished Member Array 1911er's Avatar
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    Will this be for HD or SD?

    For HD - a compact (5" high) to full size.
    For SD - probably a compact or any pistol or revolver that she can get all three lower fingers on the grip. That means a sidearm with a 5" height.

    Revolver - .38SPL, 3" barrel, or longer, say a S&W Model 64 with Wolff "carry" main spring to lighten the trigger pull. SD - 22 mag revolver, say the S&W M351C kit gun or a Taurus Ultra-Lite .32 Mag (has a soft grip but she probably wouldn't want it ported), and if she can handle the .38SPL recoil, there's plenty of great revolvers to choose from. And while the Ruger SP101 in .38SPL is great she may object to the carry weight.

    But if she loves pistols, a SIG with the SRT trigger because they are supposed to have smooth pulls.

    But she will have to put a lot of pistols in her hands to make sure they fit right, preferably one with soft rubber grips to help absorb recoil better.

    A lot may depend on whether she has arthritis in her whole hand or just the trigger finger. For example, if the arthritis is just the index finger then she probably wants all her other fingers around the grip - if the pinky has no purchase then the index finger will probably get stressed more. (Put a pencil in your hand. Make sure the bottom of the pencil is flush with the pinky. Close your fist around the pencil. Pull the index finger like you would a trigger. Now move up the pencil so that it is flush with the bottom of the ring finger. Pull the trigger. It should feel different. And to that end - some pistols have flared lowers, say CZs, that will put the pinky a little further out, say as opposed to a J-frame whether the pinky is closer (as opposed to being further away.) S&W K revolvers with square stock grips will have flared bottoms, for example. Yes, I know that she won't have her pinky flush with the grip bottom. It's just that the revolver grips usually flare out and the pinky "sticks" a little further out. She'll have to dry fire the revolvers to see who her arthritis feels.) And of course any ergonomic pistol will probably fit better, hopefully it comes with adjustable back straps. Polys will probably give less felt recoil. Small sub-compacts will probably give a lot more felt recoil. So you probably want a soft shooter. Too bad the Glock is too blocky whilst being a soft shooter. So what pistols have the lowest bores? for the softest recoil? They may have their slides riding the inside which may make racking the slide harder. She may not like trapezoid slides as they may not give a good enough purchase, forcing her to close her hand even harder, thereby exacerbating the arthritis pain. Yep, take her to the next gun show and let her try a lot of side arms. Ask which ones can take rubber grips, and which rubber grips since some are hard rubber and not soft rubber. So, now, I wouldn't be surprised if she goes home with a 1911 Government model with Pearce soft rubber grips.
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    I don't have arthritis, but I gave a private lesson to an older man and his wife. The wife had pretty bad arthritis. She couldn't even big to pull the trigger of the revolver her husband had bought her. Honestly, a revolver for someone with arthritis is a bad idea.

    If she's not able to rack the slide of a semi-auto, consider a couple things.

    Your mother-in-law probably isn't going to be out running and gunning (if she is, she's a tough lady, lol). So the only time she's honestly going to need to rack the slide is while she's at the range. As long as she has somebody go with her, they can chamber a round for her before she starts shooting. That's what we had to do with the lady that I mentioned.

    After a range trip, whoever's with her can help her chamber a new round with her self defense ammo so she can have it ready to go.

    But she might not have that problem. Keep in mind that a lot of pistols at gun stores are not well oiled and well used machines. Their slides can be much more difficult to operate than they would normally be. So don't let a rough slide at the gun store change your mind about what might otherwise be a good gun.
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    Distinguished Member Array zamboni's Avatar
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    Everyone that has any physical issues has their own personal set of limitations.

    Just because I can’t do something doesn’t mean someone else can’t, though we both suffer from the same health issues, and just because we are both afflicted with it, I many not be able to rack ah slide on ah LCP but; someone else can.

    Take your Mother In-Law to more then just one LGStore to try a wide variety or better yet a LGShow where they will have plenty of firearms for her to see what SHE can handle comfortably. Then let HER pick one out SHE likes. Then try to rent one of those for HER to try shooting before she buys one, or maybe you have something similar she can fire to see what recoil SHE can handle. Keep in mind too though, that the recoil might feel stout to her now, but it’s going to be used in an emergency SD situation, so firing a few rounds under stress will not affect her as much as it will on the range since she’ll have more dramatic issues to deal with.

    She may not be able to handle the recoil of a 357mag, "maybe yes ~ maybe no", but what’s not too say she can’t handle a 38special or 9mm or 380acp. Maybe she will be able to rack ah slide on an LCP or even ah g26 with practice, "maybe yes ~ maybe no"? And don’t think that getting shot with ah couple or four rounds of 22WMRF is any picnic. So depending on HER limitations that may be HER best choice as a Ruger LCR 22WMRF. Though as Joe B. suggests: "get a double barrel shot gun"....if she can't handle a 12g then a 20g in Home-SD-Mode is no slouch....if she is able to wheeled one.

    There’s the Ruger LCP, LCR, SP101. The S&W M&P Shield or 9c. Maybe even a G26? Let HER set HER own limitations, NOT YOU. Suggestions yes, conclusions no. I might add too that having too many manual safeties to dilly dally with under stress may hinder her efficiency. So you may think twice before she gets an LC9 or LC380 or even a Shield, make sure she is mindful of their safeties operation.

    Only SHE can pick what SHE can comfortably operate so let HER pick one out. Then YOU help HER learn how to use it…..safely & hope she’ll never need to use it.
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  15. #15
    Member Array Rxdoc's Avatar
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    Another vote for a revolver, specifically the Ruger LCR. Simple to load and unload, enough power (.38spl), buttery smooth trigger, and lightweight, easy to handle, with a Hogue Tamer Grip which absorbs recoil handily. I have a bad case of RA, and carry the Ruger LCR for SD. No slide to rack, or hard to push mag releases to reload (+ slide release or rack), reloads easily with Five Star Speedloaders without a hitch. Good luck in your search, just my $.02 worth.
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