Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Jan 2010
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    Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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    Question Advice needed, pistol for Mom.

    I want to buy a pistol for my Mom. She's a small lady. Bad nerves, Fibromyalgia, not in love with the idea of having a gun, swears she "couldn't kill anyone," ya know, one of those types. I called BS on her, making the point times aren't getting any better and if it's between her and some scumbag she's gonna do what she's gotta do; I know the practical side of her agrees with me. Basically she's getting a gun and she's gonna learn to use it whether she likes it or not, and she's accepted it's as much for her as it is for me, feeling a little better about her safety. Not to mention it's always a self confidence boost.

    I've been down this road with a lot of female friends, and they always do better than they expect first time at the range, however; they're all younger and in good health.

    I've grown to admire the little Bersa Thunder 380s (particularly the price, I'm not able to spend a lot), a couple close friends have them. However, I'm a big man, and feel that all things considered, they're snappy little buggers, and I'm not trying to scare her ya know? I know she wouldn't like anything bigger. Anything too small will have too much recoil and she'll hate it.

    So I'm looking into .32 ACP caliber guns. Bersa has them, the Beretta Tomcat seems like a fine choice and is in my price range. I need advice because on one hand, I think she's better off with something she can shoot confidently, but is .32 enough compared to .380? I would appreciate any feedback you have to offer.
    Read what I say as if I were speaking in a matter of fact, unassuming tone.

  2. #2
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    Honey Brook, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Advice needed, pistol for Mom.

    My thinking on caliber choices for smaller individuals has always followed this pattern: "Well... .32 is better than .25 is better than .22 is better than nothing..." Basically you should go with the largest caliber you think she will feel comfortable practicing with, even if that's not considered optimal for self defense, it's better than nothing. (And better than putting something she's not comfortable using in her hands... jittery=unsafe)

    The pocket gun .380's are very snappy, .32 would be eaiser to handle. You might also consider a good weighted .38 special revolver, as they often handle the recoil better for their overall size. If you have Bersa handguns and you trust them, then I will not tell you differently. Just be aware there is a decent amount of bad press on the reliability of their handguns. Like I said, just food for thought, I've never owned one.
    The Army was the biggest mistake I've ever been proud to make.

  3. #3
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    Henryville, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Advice needed, pistol for Mom.

    You will have to take mom to the gun store and let her try a few and see which one SHE likes, if she doesnt like it and is comfortable with it she is not going to carry it for long. Let her Choose.

    The Bersa is a fantastic gun at a fantastic price but not for someone with fibromyalgia and bad nerves- it has a serious recoil because it is a blowback pistol.

    If she like revolvers i would suggest a Ruger SP101 loaded with regular .38's , if she like the Auto pistols i would recommend a soft shooting 9mm, like Kahr k-9, or a Sig 239 loaded with regular 9mm , not the plus p stuff.

    But you got to get her to the gun store.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Advice needed, pistol for Mom.

    I would suggest taking mom to the gun shop and holding a bunch of different semi-auto's as well as some revolvers. See what SHE thinks is more comfortable.

    Then go from there.

    If she likes semi-auto's, I'd suggest going with 9mm...preferably a steel frame or anything that isn't polymer. Something like a CZ, maybe a 75b or even a 75b compact. She will have plenty of capacity in a 9mm and low recoil. Plus you can get so many different self defense loads in 9mm, and it is typically a low-cost caliber. Just be careful, many men believe that women should carry pocket guns...BUT, a lot of women find pocket guns to have lots of recoil and uncomfortable to shoot. She needs a gun that she LIKES to shoot, and that she will practice at the range frequently. If she looks at heavy full size, or possibly even some compacts, she will most likely have more pleasure shooting it rather than a snappy subcompact or whatever.

    If she takes a liking to revolvers, definitely .38sp. I don't really have to expand on that, a great round, rather low recoil, and you can find good self defense rounds.

    I don't like those calibers such as .380 and .32 because they are typically more difficult to find, as well as a little more pricey than 9mm. And .380 is rather snappy for females.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Advice needed, pistol for Mom.

    Thanks for the replies so far. Cheers to the CZ's I have a full size and compact CZ 75, and an 83, and like other semi autos I've had, she has a hard time racking the slide and loading the double stack mags. I had a Ruger LCR for a while (kicked a lot like the Bersa), but most double action triggers are too heavy for her. Good thinking on the Ruger SP101. I've shot those too and was impressed with the trigger/recoil management. I'll keep an eye out for one with a short barrel.

    I'm hoping to hear a little more about the Bersa .32, but would much rather go with a 9mm or .38 if I could. How about Ruger's LC9? That's about the right size/price. Too much recoil?
    Read what I say as if I were speaking in a matter of fact, unassuming tone.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2011
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    Mollymayhemsbuttcheese, Pennsylvania
    (Lackawanna County)
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    Default Re: Advice needed, pistol for Mom.

    LCP .380 might work for her. Just have her try out a few guns and see what she prefers.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Advice needed, pistol for Mom.

    My mom is small, I bought her a Sig P229 in 9mm she handles it fine and is actually a very good shot.

  8. #8
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    Pocono`s, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Advice needed, pistol for Mom.

    DIL carries a pink Taurus 738|TCP. She had a broken wrist at one time so she had to find a pistol easy to rack.
    This fit the bill and has been reliable too.

  9. #9
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    May 2011
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    Williamsport, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Advice needed, pistol for Mom.

    Check the reviews on the Tomcat before purchasing.

    My mother wanted a small carry gun and so I checked into them.

    This was a year ago.

    But if I recall correctly the Tomcat got poor reviews.

    My mother ended up getting the Beretta Wildcat .22 as her carry.

    Not much but better than nothing and since the barrel pops up to load the initial cartridge she was happy.

    Her hands keep her from being able to rack most slides.

    Have your mother try the slides!!!!!

    Remember this tidbit:
    When you are young you do not want to listen to Mom and Dad's advice.
    Then when you have gotten older and lived through life's experiences and you are now able to give Mom and Dad advice - they will refuse to take it from you!

    Just a thought ...

    God bless!!

    PPP
    I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. - Jesus Christ

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Advice needed, pistol for Mom.

    Don't rule out the .32 Mag or .327 which can shoot the .32 Mag. As said, a .22 is better than nothing but she need to try a few to see what she wants to shoot. The OP said his mother is small and has bad nerves and Fibromyalgia. She need's to work up to what she wants to shoot. Who knows, by this time next year she may want a .454.

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