Pistol-buying tip for seniors

xx Pistol-buying tip for seniors
July 29, 2017, 11:13:25 PM by Kerry
If you are a considering buying a pistol for self-defense/home protection, this senior recommends a revolver rather than a semi-automatic pistol.

The reason? Many seniors are prone to arthritis, others lose some grip-strength, and still others lose some coordination. A semi-automatic pistol requires thumb and finger dexterity and strength to pull back the slide so as to chamber a round. Note: Some women have not developed their upper arm and hand strength. Also, inserting rounds into a semi-automatic pistol's magazine requires some strength, coordination and dexterity such as pressing down against a spring and finessing the round into place.

A semi-automatic pistol may be easy to use today but ten years from now, in a stressful (possibly panicky-confusing) emergency situation, it might not be so easy.

For home protection/self defense I recommend a double-action, stainless steel, 4" barrel, .38 caliber revolver. Example of revolvers: http://www.range365.com/12-best-revolvers-you-can-buy-new#page-7.

  • "Double action" means that when you pull the trigger the hammer cocks and the gun firesówithout having to manually pull back the hammer. Simply release the safety and pull the trigger. For target practice you can manually cock the hammer. A cocked hammer makes it a bit easier to pull the trigger.
  • "Stainless steel" is less susceptible to rust, requires less yearly oiling and cleaning.
  • .38 caliber? Most agree that a .22 caliber round will not stop a determined (possibly drugged) attacker. Police considered .38 caliber rounds to have enough stopping power. Most Navy SEALs are comfortable with 9mm rounds. However, if you hit someone within ten feet with a larger .45 caliber round it will stop them even if they are rushing you. Not everyone has the courage to wait until the attacker gets within ten feet so they fire at greater distances and sometimes miss. This is why it's important to always practice with two successive rounds (referred to as double-tap).2

Concerns about a revolver's 5-6 rounds? For self defense, the interaction is over within seconds. Unlike the movies, there are no prolonged shoot-outs in home incidents.


1) Some recommend shooting to kill so that a wounded assailant can't later file suit against you, or worse, come back later and, out of revenge, ambush you because they lost the use of a leg or hand or whatever. However, you can't shoot them and then, while they are wounded on the floor, shoot them again to kill them; that would be murder.

2) Many knowledgeable shooters will advocate a double-tap. Shoot two rounds (the first might not hit or stop them).

3) Although it's not recommended, because of child safety reasons, you can keep the revolver loaded so that you can just pick it up, release the safety and fire it just by pulling the trigger, even one handed. For long term storage a thin coat of oil on the brass of each round before you insert them into the revolver's stainless steel cylinder will minimize corrosion.

4) I recommend that you shop several stores to test for a comfortable pistol grip. It's important that the grip is comfortable for your hand, many are not; there is a pistol that will feel comfortable for you. Once you find a used one that fits nicely you could then buy a new one on-line, however, used pistols are perfectly fine for self defense.

5) Here's a video that shows the stopping power of various caliber rounds.

Here's a nice tip for beginners: Weapons TrainingóStarting from Mastery

Last edited 12/3/17

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