Advice needed for shooter with weak grip [Archive] - Glock Talk


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Glock 1
02-18-2013, 14:05
I went shooting this past weekend and for the first time, my Mom went with me. We had a blast despite the crowd.

Over the past year she has come to me and said someone she knew had a (insert gun name and model here) and she wanted one. Of course, being a dealer and a good son, I bought them for her and did all the paper work to get them to her. She got a Bersa 380, Glock 26 and a S&W 360 Airweight 38spl.

In the past I know she has gone shooting and boasted of shooting an older Dan Wesson 44 Magnum but it has apparently been a very long time and never with me. I never questioned her buying these guns because her brother shoots and so did her late husband (my late step dad). I thought she knew what she was buying or had shot them.

However, the first gun she shot yesterday at the range was the Airweight 360 and it almost flew out of her hand with a standard UMC FMJ round. As soon as I saw it I stopped her and asked her what happened. It turns out that over the years her grip has gotten substantially weak even when using both hands and it has been "forever" since she has been shooting. The G26 and Bersa fared no better.

I figured the 360's weight and the short snappy action of the smaller guns was the culprit and in turn I worked on her grip with her as well as her stance and let her try my G4 Glock 17. She really likes it, her first shot was a bullseye at 15 yards and the recoil was very manageable. Just to make sure she could duplicate it I let her shoot a mag or 2 in the 17 and then gave her my M9 to shoot, same results. She also shot my M&P 22 handgun and loved it. I will be getting her one of those for economical shooting at the range.

Her only complaint is that the 17 and the M9 were bulky and heavy. She is in her 60's and loves to shoot. I told her I would keep taking her with me when I go and help her find something she can manage both in respect to size and recoil. The problem is, I have no experience like this because I don't have this issue.

She is the kind of person who would have me buy all the types to try out and then sell the ones that don't work out. I am not about to do that. I already get to sell these 3. She is retired and doesn't need to be playing the guessing game with an expensive hobby like this.

So, I need to know from those who have weak grips and small hands, what do you recommend?

My first thought was a Walther PK 380 because its mid size but in a smaller caliber and one that I will be reloading. It's just for range practice and personal defense in case me or my wife are not home. She wants to get her CHL and wants to test with a semi-auto.

She is handicapped so taking her to a gunshow is out of the question as she will not go. A gun store might be good but she bought the others based on their "feel" so I don't see a store being a good way to buy.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


02-18-2013, 14:16
For people with weaker grips, automatics can be difficult to maniuplate. I am a decently strong guy, and even with a lighter spring in my CZ SP-01, it's damn difficult for me to rack. I would have no idea how a weaker person would do it, or even myself with a bit of sweat on my hands!

How would she feel about a revolver, like a 4" K-frame Smith?
Or a SP101 Ruger with light .38 specials?

02-18-2013, 14:23
Would a Kahr be worth a look? Here is my thinking...with a weaker grip and smaller hands, the more the hand can wrap around the grip, the better. Maybe the Kahr K9 or the KP380 if really downsizing?

The drawback with each, my wife says, is the very long trigger pull. She too does not have a strong grip.

NOW, for an out-of-the-box option, the FN five-seven...VERY mild recoil, and I was told by my LGS guy it was originally marketed as a ladies weapon. Large for concealed carry, but a great weapon if you like that sort. Had I the money for one, I would pick one up for the sheer pleasure of it.

Glock 1
02-18-2013, 14:25
Thanks for the fast response.

She used to have a Taurus 38 snub nose and she could shoot it well but sold it and traded up to the Airweight because it was lighter so 4" barrel would be a no go. She prefers the automatic to the revolvers because they manage recoil better.

Glock 1
02-18-2013, 14:28
I will take a look at Kahr's lineup. I think a midsize 380 is the way to go.

02-18-2013, 14:37
Start her off with a .22 until she re-masters the basics of stance, grip, sight alinement and trigger control. She'll ejoy it a lot more and will progress farther and faster with a .22. When she's got the basics down and she's ready to step up to a center fire let her pick out whatever she wants.

02-18-2013, 14:40
I will take a look at Kahr's lineup. I think a midsize 380 is the way to go.

The 380s are snappy guns and most are small and difficult for an accurate second shot

Last fall I worked with a women that had arthritis in her hands and I just could not get her to reliably shoot a semi auto. We settled on a 38 special with a shrouded hammer s&w it only gave her 6 shots but the gun cycled perfect and she was accurate.

Glock 1
02-18-2013, 15:07
She is fine with a 22. She shot the hell out of my M&P and she is a good shot.

I was hoping a mid size 380 would be better than a small one but if they are the same I will see if I can find a better revolver.

How about a 9mm revolver? That would have less recoil than a standard 38 right?

02-18-2013, 15:47
She is fine with a 22. She shot the hell out of my M&P and she is a good shot.

I was hoping a mid size 380 would be better than a small one but if they are the same I will see if I can find a better revolver.

How about a 9mm revolver? That would have less recoil than a standard 38 right?

OK..I am still likin' my FN five-seven, and the Kahrs are wonderful, but make sure you are with her during break-in or she may get vexed with the pistol.

Which then gets me to the Sig 232, a personal fave in the mid-size 380 category and stunningly beautiful. Oddly roundly dissed by the Sig community mostly for the mag release being on the heel. If I empty a full mag in a situation, I clearly have more pressing issues than the mag release location, which I personally like.

If you can find one, a Beretta 70S has never malfunctioned for me and a delightful weapon.

02-18-2013, 16:03
Look at the LC380 Ruger. LC9 size and format chambered in 380. My LC9 is pretty easy to rack, and for all the prima dona *****ing about the trigger you read on here, it actually is only about 6# or so. I ASSume the 380 version has lighter recoil springs and would be easier to rack than the 9mm version.

The SR22 is worth looking at too. While it's only a 22LR, I'd imagine her grip isn't going to improve with time and a big slide with light recoil springs should be easy to rack also.

02-18-2013, 16:09
If it's just for recreational shooting:

Some pistols that seem to do well with Goils. :supergrin:

1. Makarov or CZ in 9mm Mak or .380. Fun and easy to shoot.

2. Find a used SIG P239 in 9mm. Was my ex-wife's favorite. Good reach and easy trigger for smaller hands. Recoil was good. (I still have it. :tongueout:)

3. A steel revolver shooting .38 target loads.

4. USPc 9mm - you know why. :whistling::wavey:

02-18-2013, 16:57
I don't have a gun recommendation but wanted to put a good word in for sandpaper type grips like Talon which could help compensate for a weak grip. My hands are not particularly weak but I still really like this type of add on. Makes my time at the range much more enjoyable to have a solid grip on the gun. I sort of roll my own using 60 grit silicon carbide sprinkled over epoxy but the Talon adhesive backed strips should work fine.

Also a grip with finger grooves or combat style would be good too.

Here's some nice looking combat grips on a sig p239: