Hello, I am a complete newbie, senior and have some thumb-arthritis in my right hand which is causing issues with operating the slide lock, etc. I am currently in training (one-on-one) with an instructor and we have tried the S&W 380 EZ and Sig Sauer P365-380. I really like the EZ, but getting enough ‘umph’ on the grip safety is sometimes (not always) an issue. The Sig is nice, but I am having issues getting my largish hands wrapped around the shorter grip. Shooting 9mm and the resultant recoil adds to my hand issues, so that’s out. Any suggestions of what else to try (automatic or pistol)? Thanks - JJ
See if you can try out a Walther PDP F-series. Might not fit the lagish hands part as well, but it’s not tiny, is easier to operate than most, and does not have a grip safety
Hello and welcome to our group. I have some hand arthritis issues, and my wife has very small hands with not a lot of grip strength. She had bought the 380EZ thinking it was for her, but found that reaching the slide lock and even holding it properly were issues. She had tried quite a few semi autos and finally gave up on all of them, settling on a Smith and Wesson 43c 22LR, 8 shot revolver. In the “new guns” thread another member did the exact same steps (380EZ to 43C).
For me, I like shooting the EZ, as it’s got a great trigger and recoil is minimal.
I’ve seen people on line struggle with the grip safety, and put a rubber band on it. Don’t do that, if you do end up getting one. The EZ/Equalizer line are all hammer fired guns carried condition one (i.e. “cocked and locked” with a round in the chamber). The grip safety puts a hammer block between the hammer and the firing pin, and serves as the drop safety.
Anyway, good luck with your search for the right carry gun. While you’re searching, look at semi autos and revolvers, too. Revolvers will have heavy, double action triggers (unless you pull back the hammer) but can’t jam or fail-to-fire because of a poor grip.
Have you considered…
When I reach the Age of Arthritis,
that’s the one for me.
Old curmudgeon here. Below is the revolver I use when I get gout and RA attacks in my hands, both of which affect knuckles, grip and dexterity. It is a Model 60 with a 3" barrel, adjustable rear sights and removable front sight rather the set up many snubbies. 357 mag/38 special so you can pick loads that range from mild to wild and all manner of bullet weights and shapes. All kinds and sizes of grips are available if the stock rubber grips are not to your liking. Weight is about 24 oz.
I replaced the front sight with hi-viz tube full of day-glow orange juice (I forget the brand). I’m currently waiting for it to come back from Magnaport. I had my Model 66 magnaported and it reduced recoil a lot. A lot.
It’s only 5 shots, but if you can’t settle a disagreeable social encounter with 5 rounds of 357, 15 rounds of 9mm probably won’t work, either. If you think you need more rounds, you can always buy (and practice with) speed strips and speed loaders of which there are many. I’d be remiss if I did not mention that the bad guys in the infamous 1986 Miami FBI shootout were both stopped by an agent using a S&W Model 19 357 mag revolver.
Welcome to the Community @John1505
Another vote for Walther… but since you don’t like 9mm, perhaps you can try PD380?
The only issue might be to find this model and test it so you will have to use this option:
Thanks, good versatility having a revolver that shoots different calibers.
Thanks, I will check out the Walther.
Yes, I really like the EZ overall. I also like the idea of a revolver because of the absolute simplicity. I forgot to mention he had me try one of the Smith and Wesson revolvers in 22 caliber. Indeed, a lot of force to pull the trigger. I am working on building grip strength in between training days.
Thanks, I will add this one to my list to try out.
But that was after 2 FBI agents were killed and 5 wounded by the two bad guys. One of whom being armed only with a sawed off shotgun loaded with bird shot. Most of the damage was done by one of the bad guys with a semi auto rifle. The FBI agent who ended the fight with his revolver thought he was dying and charged in to end the fight at point blank range. Incredibly brave but perhaps not a tactic one would choose if they had more rounds available. The shootout was a major reason why the FBI completely ditched the last of their revolvers and started arming all their agents with semi auto pistols and long arms.
The revolver is a good idea for someone who can’t manipulate the slide on a semi auto. Though the long heavy double action trigger could be equally hard to control for someone with finger strength issues. It also takes a lot more practice to learn to shoot accurately even for someone with strong fingers and reloads are very slow and complicated as one of the FBI agents found out in that shootout.
That’s a great carry gun, I think, and .357 is among the most effective handgun calibers, still, for SD.
.357 is a very good self defense round as far as pistol rounds go. But the just of that article is that there is very little difference between the stopping power of handgun caliber bullets loaded with modern self defense ammo.
Most situations get resolved as soon as a firearm is drawn but more than a few situations require more than 5 or 6 rounds.
I distinctly remember a video from a DVD course I took where an off duty officer was in a store when a motorcycle with two criminals pulled up. One got off with a gun to rob the store while the other armed guy stayed on the bike. The officer waited for his opening and pulled out his snub nosed revolver and shot the guy in the store once in the chest at point blank range then turned to engage the guy on the motorcycle. The guy on the motorcycle was hit several times and started to run off. But while this was happening the guy with the chest wound came out and shot the officer in the back. I can’t help but think that if the officer had more than 5 or 6 rounds he would have pulled the trigger more than once to ensure the first guy was down before engaging the second guy. But he had to make sure he had enough ammo left to deal with the second threat. The officer did not survive.
I’m not saying revolvers are bad. Just saying they have noticeable limitations that need to be taken into account and there are more than a few scenarios that will be much easier to handle with a higher capacity firearm just as their will be some scenarios where a long gun may be needed. We all need to know our tools and their limitations.
I do totally agree that 5 or 6 shots is a major limitation of most revolvers, and knowing you only have 5 shots on board may cause you to become conservative in not fully stopping a threat. I do carry a 5 shot revolver all the time, but sometimes I add a 9 shot pistol, or a second revolver, especially when I’m on a long road trip and might be forced to use sketchy gas stations or break down and be stranded God-knows-where for God-knows-how long.
On the other hand, if a revolver is what your hands can use effectively, 5 accurate, assured shots is infinitely better than any semi auto FTF because of poor grip. An alloy Smith J frame is under a pound unloaded, so carrying two can be a viable option for most people.
I would consider that if I couldn’t reliably use a pistol for some reason. Would have to really practice rapid transitions though.
I am not against revolvers. A 3 inch .357 is fairly high up on my want list to pair with the .357 lever action also on my want list:) Much more practical for carry than my very heavy .357 5” S&W 8 shot. But for the areas and situations I am in (often open country, with vehicles providing cover and trouble makers often traveling in packs) I tend to feel more comfortable when my pistol has at least 10+1 or preferably more rounds on board.
Ironically, a 22 double action revolver can have a heavier trigger than a 38/357. I suggest that you try a 38/357 (preferably a Performance Center or one that has been worked over or shot a lot) side-by-side with a 22. If 38 special is too much, there are lots of lower recoil loads available.
I’ve done training classes with 800 round counts with both my 5 shot J frame and my 6 shot Model 66 (just a stainless steel revamped Model 19) using inside and outside the belt holsters. Both did well for me and accuracy was on par with any semi-auto. Shot them almost exclusively in DA mode.
Reloading with speed strips after any 2-round double tap keeps them topped up. The trick is to open the cylinder, press the ejection rod back 1/2 inch or so, then release it. The spent cases will stay extended and can be easily/quickly removed and replaced with two rounds from a flat speed strip. No need to carry bulky speedloaders that are used after running dry.
Zeta6 speed strips are what I prefer. Light, quick, carries flat in a pocket. Rounds don’t accidentally fall out in your pocket.