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Should I give up on my Mom?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by eracer, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

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    Give up trying to help her become prepared to use a gun defensively, that is?

    About five years ago I helped my Mom buy a .38 revolver, and she got her CCW permit. She never carried the gun, and never practiced. I tried to get her out when I came to visit every few months, but she always told me the gun was "too heavy" and "the trigger was hard to pull."

    So I helped her sell that revolver and get an LCR at a local gun show. She never fired it, never went to a class I pointed her to, and so this last weekend I kind of dragged her to an indoor range to get her some trigger time.

    Well, the recoil of the LCR was simply too much for her (I suspected that might be the case when she bought it.) That, combined with the noise of the guns firing all around her made her very nervous and uncomfortable, so she went out into the store and I finished up about a 30-minute session.

    I really want her to be able to shoot a gun confidently, but I'm beginning to think she's just too nervous, mentally, to handle it. I think she's being a trooper, especially since she saw her 2nd husband negligently shoot himself in the head and die in front of her 40 years ago. But I don't know if she can be an armed citizen - even if I want her to be one (and she 'thinks' she wants to be one...)

    Should I try to get her to shoot a .22LR, just so she has some gun to protect herself with? I think maybe if I could get her out to an outdoor range, where things are quieter, and let her shoot a gun with almost no recoil, than I can eliminate some of the fear that she is feeling about guns right now.

    Or should I concede that she is not meant to have a gun for self-defense, and look at some other method?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  2. Clay1

    Clay1

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    You're in a tough spot man. I'm surprised she has done as much with firearms as she has so far.

    Is your Mom in her 50s or 70s? A standard G17 is wonderful but you still have to manipulate the slide. No compacts at all for many older women, the slide is just too tough for many to manipulate. A larger heavier revolver is better for recoil management. A Ruger 357 all steel gun would shoot easier on her with 38 special rounds of course but it would be more difficult to actually carry. For a house gun it would be nicer than something that she felt was going to rip her arm off.

    My mother won't shoot either. I ended up buying her a 2 oz can of Fox 5.3. It's better than nothing.

    I don't like rimfires for personal protection, the ignition system just isn't as consistant as I want to bet my rear end on. A full sized 380 wouldn't be a bad option if she can manupulate the controls. If there was NO Other Option, the latest Ruger SR22 MIGHT be considered, but as a absolute last choice in my book. If she can manipulate the slide on the SR22 she probably can manipulate all of the controls on a G17. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012

  3. OctoberRust

    OctoberRust Anti-Federalist

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    I'm sure I'll get flamed for this but here goes........

    Yes, get her a .22 LR just at the very least to start off with and practice. If she likes it, she may want to move up later, if not, it's better than nothing.

    I'm in the same boat with my girlfriend AND my mom. They both only carry/shoot .22 lr. I don't knock the caliber too much in front of them, and just let them know it has its limitations. I still would champion placement over caliber, even in .22..... They can hit the 10 ring with ease on rapid fire from 10 yards away, and they can't hit the 10 rind from 7 yards away consistently with careful shots due to flinching. It is what it is, and neither of them want to invest too much time into getting used to the recoil. I just let it be and I'm glad they have SOMETHING to defend themselves with, if god forbid the time were to arise.
     
  4. ABACABB

    ABACABB

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    I think this could be an interesting post for Mas Ayoob in the Self Defense Section. In one of the books he worked on(Can't remember the name) he talks about being mentally able to kill someone in defense and if that person is not then having a gun on them might be more dangerous than not.
     
  5. stolenphot0

    stolenphot0 RTF2 Addict

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    I agree with you. A .22 is better than nothing. My dad kept his Ruger Mark I loaded at home for years in case he ever needed something to go to.

    Don't give up on your mom just yet. Get her a .22 or even a little .25 or .32 auto.
     
  6. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Why did you even choose a snubnose 38 for your mom in the first place? That is not a novice friendly gun at all. The LCR is even worst.

    Get her to try a Beretta Tomcat in .22LR.
     
  7. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    A .22 you are reasonably proficient and comfortable with is 100x better than standing there with your d-word in your hands. (Well, not in your mom's case.)

    Shoulda started out smaller, OP. It's not too late. How about that new .22 Ruger semi-auto???
     
  8. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

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    a .38 subnose is a PITA gun for a beginner.

    1) Hard to be accurate with
    2) DA trigger pull is hard.
    3) Recoil can be stout.
    4) Personally even I hate CC'ing a Snubbie.


    Us gun owner are idiots when it comes to buying guns for new shooters, especially older females.

    October Rust, Dennis, andFnFalman is right. Get her a .22, like a Ruger SR22 ot a Walther P22 if she is interested in having a gun. It will have a ligher recoil. Also for CCW is she is ok with the trigger pull, look at a .32 like the Kel Tec P32or the Beretta Tomcat. If not there are .25 and .22 pocket guns.

    But let me ask you, does she really want a gun for CC. It sound like she is reluctant. Let's be honest, not everyone wants to CCW. Not everyone wants to be an armed citizen, or a sheepdog. You are her son, and she may be trying to just to keep you happy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  9. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

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    I think the .22lr is the right track for your Mom. . . .
    I'd go with a .22 lr revolver, though.

    The manipulating of the slide/cocker MIGHT be 'too technical' for someone that is just learning, or is in their 70s.

    I know that my dear old Mom (who'll be 89 in Sept!) would never attempt to work the slide on a semi-auto!

    Whatever the latest 'whiz-bang' .22 lr ammo is available, is what I'd put in there, for defense.
    (I'd let her train with standard velocity .22 lr, though. In a defensive situation, she won't notice the difference. Adrenaline will take over.)




    Don't give up on your Mom, yet!!
     
  10. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    I'd say that, but I'd worry more that the trigger pull would be more than necessary vs. a semi-auto.

    I've not handled one, so I really can't say. Usually, slide pull on a .22 isn't that hard.
     
  11. DustyJacket

    DustyJacket Directiv 10-289

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    Either give up, or get her a .22 revolver.
     
  12. ronin.45

    ronin.45

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    A tip-up beretta .22 would be my choice. Tiny, light gun for her to carry, but still almost no recoil. No racking a slide at all. As many have stated, a .22 is better than nothing.

    Snubby revolvers are often chosen for novice shooters/carriers. This is a double edged sword. I always say that they are the easiest gun to shoot and the hardest gun to shoot well.
     
  13. Mrs.Cicero

    Mrs.Cicero Wayward Member

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    1. Get her a can of pepper spray (and make sure she practices with it once to be sure it works and she actually knows how to use it). That way is she still chooses not to carry a gun, she isn't totally defenseless.
    2. Get her to an outdoor range with a .22 - so she might actually not HATE shooting.
    3. Get her to a Women On Target day at the local OUTDOOR range, where she can try a variety of handguns, because frankly that's the only way she will ever realize that some guns are far easier to shoot than others.

    Mrs.Cicero
     
  14. smokeross

    smokeross GTDS Member #49

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    Get her a .44 Magnum. Then have her practice her best Dirty Harry squint, and memorize the words, "Make my day, Punk." She won't need any ammo, or ever have to fire a round.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  15. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Get her what she can use and something she will maybe practice with once in a while.

    Even a 22 pistol in the hands of a woman that knows how to use it is a deadly thing.


    Once in a while I teach women to shoot that have never touched a gun before.
    Inside a few days they can do well with everything from a 2 inch 38 to a AR.
    They just have to want to learn.
     
  16. Goaltender66

    Goaltender66 NRA GoldenEagle

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    Is she doing the gun thing because *she* wants to, or because *you* want her to?

    If it's something she wants to do, then yes...get her on a .22 and get those bad habits addressed.

    If she's doing this because she wants to make you happy, then nothing you do is going to make her *really* want to put in the effort to become proficient.
     
  17. Detectorist

    Detectorist

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    A .22 should have been the first gun she tried, not the last.
     
  18. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

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    The reason I stated the revolver, is the actual decision-making process of 'racking the slide' on the semi-auto vs. just pulling the trigger on the .22 revolver.

    I agree that the slide on a .22lr is easy to pull back, but, in an HD/SD situation, will "Mom" remember to either rack the slide, or remember to thumb the safety off?????


    My dear old Mom would just stand in the hallway and wet herself, to be absolutely honest.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  19. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

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    I agree with this, and before I even helped her get her first gun, I asked her if she felt certain that she could learn to prepare for an armed encounter, and even more importantly, take a life. She answered in the affirmative, and so I began working towards the goal of making her a confident shooter.


    I must be older than you, because the 'common wisdom' I grew up with has always been revolver over pistol for a new shooter, and .38 Special as a good balance of power and manageability. She handled the 4" revolver I originally got her just fine, but always complained about the weight and heavy trigger pull. And that was five years ago, which is a long time when you are her age.

    As I said earlier, I suspected that the LCR might be too much for her, but it has a very nice DA trigger pull, and I was hoping the recoil wouldn't be too bad.

    In hindsight, I personally should have shot one before helping her get that model, because it is a SNAPPY little son-of-a-gun, and is clearly too much for her to handle. I now own it (in fact, it sits in my pocket as I type this.)


    She will never be a 'sheepdog.' She is 73 years-old, and lives alone. She wanted a gun for self-defense, both in her home and during her real-estate showings.


    It really is what she wants. I just hope she hasn't given up, and that I can get her to keep trying to find a gun that she will be comfortable enough with to become confident with.

    This is a true statement. But I am personally so biased against the .22LR as a self-defense carry weapon that I simply eliminated it as a choice when I picked a .38 SP revolver for her.

    It may be the right choice for her though.



    Thanks to all who added their thoughtful comments (and even you, Dirty Harry!)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  20. Goaltender66

    Goaltender66 NRA GoldenEagle

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    Eracer, the .22 doesn't *have* to be her carry weapon, but it *should* be the one on which she learns fundamental shooting skills. Yes, typically we practice and practice exclusively with our carry weapons until we know our individual pistol by feel, but that's usually after we've spent many hours learning to shoot with smaller calibers.

    For a brand new shooter, the .22 is an ideal learning platform.