Yeah, I'm thinking that's not gonna work out too well.
Ruger LCR 22 lr 8 Rounds just keep pulling the trigger. Weight 15.9oz
Taurus still makes a 38 snubnose, hammerless for about $350.If regular 38 ammo is to much recoil for older hands,they make a low recoil ammo. here's a link to where you can see a picture of one.Taurus 850 Revolver - TheGunSource
Personally,I sleep with a 25 acp pistol(Tangfolio), under the pillow at night,clip holds 7 rounds,Now I also CCW a Walther PPK/S 380 and a (NEW) SA 1911A1
45 acp with 5" barrel.Being that I am an old duffer with health issues,I got some real good information from reading this site.Now when I leave the house my wife carries the 25 acp clipped to her smock pocket, and she is 73 yrs old 98# soaking wet,with a bad right arm,but she can handle the 25. Another thought would be like a small derringer. A small Biometric handgun safe to be close to her bed for storage during the day and for child safety, when the grandkids come to visit. In my household there is no small children,or grandchildren. I'm sure there are others on this site that can give you some real good information,as for m, I hope this helps. LOU
A gun for MY Mother-in law? Thats easy...a squirt gun ( for my safety ) For hers, probably a short barreled .22/.22mag with 8 or nine shots with a good trigger. Maybe even a .32/.32mag. Both revolvers. Forget something you have to jack a slide on or worry about safeties.
I'm with oneshot........if you are not going to practice on a regular basis stay away from autoloader pistols. If it was my mother, I'd recommend a stainless revolver. If she is small, frail and can't handle a large one I think something like the Ruger SP101 in 357 mag would be a wonderful choice. I wouldn't however recommend that she carry or shoot 357mag rounds; instead stay with a 38+p loading like maybe a Speer Gold Dot 135gr load. This is the round designed specifically for law enforcement use. In the SP101 (27 ounce, 5shot) revolver, they are not unpleasant to shoot. If she can handle a larger revolver you can't go wrong with the stainless Ruger GP-100 with a 3 or 4 inch barrel. They weight in at around 37 oz, have a 6 round capacity and shooting those 38spl+p is like shooting a 22 revolver. Hardly any recoil at all. Don't get per a pistol, they are too complicated to handle for a "non-shooter". You have to learn to clear jams, reloads......just too much for someone not into firearms.