My mom is in her 60’s. Other than shooting a BB gun as a little girl, she had never fired a gun in her life. After years of watching the news and seeing people fall victim to crime, she decided she wanted to defend herself. Two years ago she decided she needed a gun. I took her to the range with me and let her shoot my Smith & Wesson M&P in 9mm. She liked the gun, it fit well in her hand and the recoil wasn’t bothersome. After a little instruction on how to use the sights, she was regularly hitting the target from the 7 yard line.
There was only one problem with the M&P. My mom could not pull the slide back to chamber a round. She just didn’t have the strength. It is possible that with time, a little work and some confidence, she could have mastered it, but the more she tried the more she convinced herself she couldn’t do it. In my opinion, this made a semi-auto pistol a deal breaker for my mom.
For the next range trip, I borrowed a Smith & Wesson 442 38 Special Revolver from a friend and took my mom to the range again. I was really concerned about recoil from a small J frame revolver. I gave my mom some instruction on how to use the revolver and let her squeeze off a few shots. She loved it! The recoil didn’t bother her and she ran through a whole box of ammo. I then set her up with some Federal Hydrashok self defense ammo. Federal makes a low recoil 38 Special so that is what we tried. She shot the whole box without issues.
She decided this was the gun she wanted. We went to the store where she decided on the stainless version ( the 642). She consistently goes to the range and practices with her gun. She recently got her concealed carry license and is becoming more and more confident that she can defend herself if needed.
For Christmas this year, I got her what every mother wants, Crimson Trace Laser Grips. The overmolded rubber grips give her a better grip on the gun and help her shoot better. The laser is an added bonus for her as I believe it would give her confidence that she could hit the bad guy if she needs to. Now, she practices alf the time with the laser and half with it off. She knows that she may need to use the revolver at some point and find dead batteries for the laser. In future posts we’ll discuss the use of lasers more.
It has been great to share my shooting hobby with my mom, and it is a great reward to see her grow in her confidence as a shooter. But the best part is that she is not an easy target anymore. If my mom can do it, you can too!