So yeah.... my MOM finally came around. After flat-out saying she'd never own a gun in her life, she has wholeheartedly admitted that she needs a gun for protection. I guess its a combination of wisdom with age, and the increasingly dangerous world we live in.
The problem is, she's in her early 60's and has arthritis.
Like most people, I recommend DA/SA revolvers for any novice shooter. Automatics are just too complicated for anyone to successfully manipulate in a stress situation without proper training and practice. Old people that are new to guns usually can't see much without their glasses, and have a hard time manipulating slide releases, take-down levers, loading heavy-sprung mags, and forgetting to turn the safety off....And that's just at the range; you can imagine a mugger or home invader situation.
A revolver is undoubtedly the way to go if you want a simple point-squeeze-bang system. But, arthritis does not tolerate any sort of recoil well, even what you and I might consider light loads. A snub .380, even with 125 grains, is probably too much for someone with arthritic hands.
So i'm stuck going with "this gun is better than no gun". .380 and .25 ACP are all out because they are almost all semi-automatics, and we've ruled those out completely. Now I'm left with .32 mag, .22 mag, and .22lr.
.32 is harder to find, and REALLY narrows the choices. .22lr is much more common but is at the absolute BOTTOM of the stopping power discussion. So my number-one contender right now is a revolver in .22mag.
Smith & Wesson makes a really nice 7-shot snubnose J-frame in .22 mag called the 351PD. The ONLY thing stopping me from chosing this gun is the trigger pull. A rimfire .22 mag has like an 8-lb pull, which again, for arthritis is not ideal. It might break in a little with use, or I could get a trigger job done on it to lighten it up a little. I'm afraid that doing that might reduce reliability on the rimfire round though.
Can anyone reccomend an alternative?
BTW.. the .351PD is one FINE LOOKING GUN, i think I might get one for myself.