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Thread: Best choice for arthritic hands?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    exile's Avatar
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    Best choice for arthritic hands?

    Wondering what might be the best choice for arthritic hands when other handguns are not so pleasant to shoot;

    1. FN 57 (5.7 x 28 caliber) low recoil ammunition;

    2. Ruger SP 101 with 2 1/4" barrel in .357 magnum, loaded with cast .38 Specials;

    This was a question asked of me by an older friend not long ago. I recommended the FN 57 due to problems with his wrists and handling recoil. He was not thrilled with that idea and wanted to try the Kel-tec PMR 30 (.22 magnum). He wanted something with high magazine capacity so he would not have to perform a reload under stressful circumstances.

    I have recently also thought that a Ruger SP 101 loaded with .38 Specials might be a good choice when racking the slide of most semi-automatic pistols became a problem.

    I am interested in hearing your thoughts on both choices (or others for that matter).

    (I suppose I assumed that racking the slide on an FN 57 would be easier than say, a Glock, 1911, S & W M & P, etc., although I have never fired one myself.)

    Thanks,

    exile
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

  2. #2
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    i have wrist problems way beyond what most people have, and for small revolvers i went with an sp101 in 327 federal. 6 shots with a lot more bite than 38spcl, and much less recoil than 357. for high capacity, hard to beat a good 9mm with a decent bullet.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Assuming this is for practice and plinking, I recommend any steel frame semi-auto in 9mm. I own a Springfield Range Officer in 9mm and the recoil is minimal, the slide is easier to rack due to lighter springs, and the accuracy is outstanding.
    Many companies are making steel framed semi-autos these days. Nearly all are getting good reviews.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    racking the slide on my Ruger 1911 9mm is not bad at all I also have a SP101 3" that I down load 357 brass to 38 spl loads and they shoot
    great but now I'm thinking more about being able to see the sights looking at this now https://ruger.com/products/sp101/specSheets/5771.html or something that has sights like it
    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  5. #5
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    S&W M&P .380EZ, or the newer one in 9mm. Both specifically designed for easy operation by people with weak or arthritic hands.

    An older S&W K frame .38 (like a Model 10 or 64) with a round butt and Pachmayr grips and an action job would be my choice over a Ruger SP101, for a revolver. Lighter, smoother trigger pull, an extra round, not much difference in weight.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Good thoughts guys. Speaking for myself, my biggest problem with the 1911 is not recoil or racking the slide, but taking them apart to clean them. I suppose I'll get used to it, but the more modern pistols like the Glock seem so much easier in that regard.

    exile
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    My wife has weak hands. She has issues racking slides on most semi autos. But she also has issues loading the magazines. This may be something to consider.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I'd suggest trying a Glock 17. The fact that you only have to compress the recoil spring (there is no hammer/mainspring) cuts down on some resistance. The fact that the full size gun has more slide mass and longer slide travel reduce the need for a beefier spring.

    I'm a big fan of double action revolvers, but if your friend has arthritis pain/strength issues, dealing with a 10-pound trigger pull EVERY. . .SINGLE. . .SHOT can be more problematic than racking a slide ONCE - - -which you'd have done well in advance of the need.

    Cycling Slides for the Puny (my new book title) is more about technique than strength. Assuming your friend to be right handed:

    1. Keep the pistol pointed downrange through what follows
    2. Turn your body so that you're facing the right side of the range.
    3. Bring the gun close to your body
    4. Lock both your wrists and push your elbows towards each other

    This has you pushing the slide back with the entire strength of both arms and is A LOT less dependent on wrist and grip strength.
    WWJMBD?

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I second the S&W .380 EZ. My wife has one and she actually looks forward to shooting it. Easy to work the slide, easy to load the mag, easy to take down and clean. Ah...now I get it. EZ.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz Krumhunger View Post
    S&W M&P .380EZ, or the newer one in 9mm. Both specifically designed for easy operation by people with weak or arthritic hands.

    An older S&W K frame .38 (like a Model 10 or 64) with a round butt and Pachmayr grips and an action job would be my choice over a Ruger SP101, for a revolver. Lighter, smoother trigger pull, an extra round, not much difference in weight.
    My girlfriend just tried racking my new M&P 380 EZ. She is petite (short with a size 5 1/2 shoe) . Racking the slide was ok but had problems releasing the slide. Gun is brand new so will probably loosen up with use. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Anything in .32sw long or .32acp.

    2 grains of Red Dot, 90 gr cast TC lubed with BLL. Shoots like a .22lr with more punch on the far end.

    I am really liking the little Beretta 81 in .32acp, same load. Twice as many rounds before reloading. But you do have to be able to rack the slide.
    Revolver eliminates that.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    The 57 is a ton of fun and is very light recoil and the slide pulls easily. My daughter is not quite 5'3" and does not have large strong hands and she loves it.

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    id like to add that while many people think arthritis is just about losing strength, depending on exactly what type and severity, there can be a lot of pain involved. this really means that each individual needs to try multiple things in order to find what works for their strength, and pain tolerance, as we all experience it differently.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Have the same issues, but another thing to consider is the weight of the gun. I can shoot my Range Officer with 155 or 190 gr cast SWC and 3 grains of Bullseye and recoil is not the issue, although the load is very light and requires a 10# recoil spring to function. Problem is the weight of the pistol, just holding it up causes pain in my wrist and I have to limit it to 5 rounds at a time and a short rest between magazines. Had to sell my High Standard Victor as it was just too heavy to use comfortably, and even the weight forward feel of a Ruger 22-45 is uncomfortable. I used to own quite a few S&W revolvers but regardless of the grip type was painful to curl my fingers around the stocks. All are gone now except a M17 that was an engagement gift from my late wife that I still shoot, but not often or a lot. DA only on modern autos is a non starter, pulling the triggers hurt. If weight is not an issue suggest something all steel in an auto as my experience is that they twist less, and heavy enough to absorb some of the recoil. He might have to try several brands and calibers to see what works best with his hand, finger and wrist issues.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for all your comments. I agree that this is a very complex issue and that it is different for everyone involved. Wrong section I know, but does anyone have any experience with the new Glock .22 lr. pistol?

    The FN 57 is looking pretty good right now.

    Does anyone make a 40 grain mold for that cartridge? Ha, ha!

    Thanks,

    exile
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I have got SP101 in 357 then later in 327 the trigger pull was heavy for me I am have my gun smith change the springs on the both of them and work on it to make it easyer on me.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    There is the new Ruger 57 to look at , he could buy $500. Worth of ammo for what he saves in the price of the FN

  18. #18
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    Mytmousemalibu's Avatar
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    The S&W Shield EZ series! In .380 or now, 9mm. Only drawback I see is its single stack bur statistically it has more than enough for 99% of self defense encounters.
    Possibly the new Ruger 57 a viable choice too, a ton less expensive than a new FN.
    ~ Chris


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUCKYDAWG13 View Post
    racking the slide on my Ruger 1911 9mm is not bad at all I also have a SP101 3" that I down load 357 brass to 38 spl loads and they shoot
    great but now I'm thinking more about being able to see the sights looking at this now https://ruger.com/products/sp101/specSheets/5771.html or something that has sights like it
    I have one of those, it’s pleasant to shoot with swaged 158’s in .357 cases loaded to +P velocity. A Wolfe spring kit helped with the trigger

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Just called my LGS, they have a Ruger SP 101 in 357 magnum with a 2 1/4" barrel. However, it is in a matte black finish and according to Ruger' s website is made of "alloy".

    Does that mean it is a lighter frame than the stainless steel guns? Also, is this the same finish as on Ruger' s other blued guns?

    (Just checked Ruger' s website, both stainless and matte versions weigh 26 ounces, so there is one question answered).

    Anyone have any experience with this particular gun and finish? Cast is all this gun would ever see. So, would it stand up to the occasional use of Hoppe's #9?

    Thanks,

    exile
    Last edited by exile; 01-16-2020 at 06:59 PM.
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

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