A lesson in purchasing the correct firearm for you and your needs

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Hello all,

I recently completed a visit with my parents who live in Pennsylvania. They are 70 and 72.

About a year ago, they informed me via phone that they had purchased a few new firearms...a Henry lever-action .22, a Ruger 10-22 and for home defense a Kel-Tec 9mm semiauto pistol. All good weapons and I congratulated them on their choices. Until then, the only weapon in the house had been a century-old .22 Quackenbush singleshot. (Don't laugh, that rifle fed us with many a tasty groundhog and rabbit while I was growing up :s0155:)

Anyways, during the visit, Mom showed me all of the new purchases. After nearly a year, none of the three weapons had been disassembled or cleaned, much less fired, and when asked, they were unsure of even how to load them. I did a filed strip and loading demonstration of the rifles and pistol. During this, it was discovered that neither parent had the strength to either load the Kel-Tec magazine or consistently cycle the pistol's slide. Again, this was the weapon that they had purchased for home defense. I immediately suggested that they ditch the Kel-Tec and purchase a weapon more suitable to their physical condition. They followed this suggestion, and later that evening we returned with a most suitable Smith 5-shot Airweight .38 revolver.

So, the moral of this story is...if you have an elderly parent or loved one who does not have an extensive background with firearms, don't assume that with the purchase of a defensive firearm that they know what to do with it. Check in on them and see if they have made the correct choice, or if they need some further assistance. Their life may depend on it.

Keith
 
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good point and not just elderly relatives my daughters husband wanted a 12 gauge for home defense not knowing if my daughter could fire it,shes on the smaller side took her out and she didn't want any part of it. long story short she was consistently grouping shots off a glock 19 at twenty yards buy for the least in your house.
 
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Gheeze - when did just "older Folks" have this problem.

My wife has never had strong wrist and grasp - So we went with a smaller semi auto she could more easily pull back.
She had troubles with my XD 40 until I showed her a different way to grasp and cock it.

But do not forget - you need to practice with it to it to have any real value.

Old is a state of mind - we are young at 60.
Respect your elders Sonny
 
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While I agree with the OP's concerns and his reasoning for having them switch guns, I disagree on getting them an airweight J-frame. These guns have very rudimentary sights, are not know for great trigger pulls (as with everything, exceptions exist), and are generally brutal on recoil, relatively speaking. All these factors make these guns exceedingly difficult to shoot well, especially for people who don't shoot often. I'm amazed at the people who would come to the gun counter I worked at with airweight J-frame (or Taurus ultralight. or Ruger LCR) on the brain. No matter how much you tried to tell them that it was not a great gun to start someone on, most just wanted the convenience of the lightweight. While it is certainly true that the gun that you will carry is better than one that you leave in the sock drawer, it does you absolutely no good if you cannot hit your target.

There are better alternatives. I think the Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum loaded with a standard pressure .38 (with a good bullet choice) will do better, as it is heavier and will absorb some of the felt recoil. Any of the k-frame snub-nose S&W's (Model 10, 15, 66, etc) would also be good choices. While the sights are still rudimentary on these guns (gutter sights at least on the model 10 and sp101, short sight radius on the others), the size is such that properly loaded, the recoil will generally not (at least in my experience of teaching female family members to shoot) induce as bad a flinch as an airweight.

Just my $.02 worth of opinion. It's worth exactly what you pay to read it. All of this aside, I think at least it should be said that the OP saw a real issue and made it right as best he could. Again, while I don't agree with his choice, I think his motivation was sound...
 
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..I disagree on getting them an airweight J-frame. These guns have very rudimentary sights, are not know for great trigger pulls (as with everything, exceptions exist), and are generally brutal on recoil, relatively speaking. All these factors make these guns exceedingly difficult to shoot well, especially for people who don't shoot often.
I thought pretty much the same thing about my stainless J-frame snubbie. It was my least favorite gun to shoot because of accuracy and recoil (with the stock wood grips). Didn't enjoy it at all, so I didn't practice much with it. Solved both problems by installing a CT Laser Grip. Now it is comfortable, accurate, and fun to shoot.
 
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I thought pretty much the same thing about my stainless J-frame snubbie. It was my least favorite gun to shoot because of accuracy and recoil (with the stock wood grips). Didn't enjoy it at all, so I didn't practice much with it. Solved both problems by installing a CT Laser Grip. Now it is comfortable, accurate, and fun to shoot.
I agree with it being easier to shoot, but (not to be argumentative) I've owned several sets of crimson trace for revolvers and all of them made the gun less comfortable for me to shoot. That might be due to my large paws...
 
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I agree with it being easier to shoot, but (not to be argumentative) I've owned several sets of crimson trace for revolvers and all of them made the gun less comfortable for me to shoot. That might be due to my large paws...
For me the stock wood grips on the revolver were extremely uncomfortable. I put some accessory grips on it (can't remember the brand), and they were a huge improvement. When I decide to try the Laser Grips my hesitation was they seemed a lot harder than the accessory grips I was using, so I was expecting an uncomfortable shooting experience again. I was so wrong; they did a great job of absorbing the shock. Your experience vs mine really does show how people can have different experiences based upon how they are 'built.' Just like clothing; one size/shape definitely does not "fit all."
 
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good point op, Fortunately for me my grandma was in the military and knows exactly what he's got ;) grams wouldn't touch a gun even if it meant saving her life. My mom is the same way...I cant stand it. And both of them have shot before and have been around all sorts of die hard hunting relatives their whole lives...I dont get that
 
OP
trainsktg
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Good points all.

The Airweight we selected has SA as well as DA. We passed on a few hammerless models because of the DA only.Since she is also going to be getting her CHP larger pistol would have been a bit much. She and Dad have purchased memberships at their local range to practice on a weekly basis. Of course I drilled them on proper range safety too ;) .

Keith
 
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I think it all comes down to how often they spend time with it. So muscles can get use to the gun or build strengths.

But good choice on revolver, can't go wrong it it.
 
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An airweight will have quite a kick to it if loaded with anything other than a mild round.

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