Saturday, February 13, 2016

On The Question Of Which Gun An Elderly Arthritic Person Should Use For Self Defense... was discussed at New Jovian Thunderbolt in this blog post: What do?, I think the more important approach is not to worry so much about which gun but to have the potential self defense shooter well prepared. So, the best answer I can think of is to have the person exercise and practice a lot with whatever pistol they choose after first practicing with a few to several pistols in different sizes and calibers. 

Osteoarthritis is or should be easier to manage in that way than rheumatoid arthritis, or at least so my medically untrained sense would tell me. In fact, I have seen many elderly arthritic folks (with osteoarthritis) easily and competently handle, load, fire, clear semi-automatics and revolvers in mid-level calibers. If they have mild to moderate arthritis, I would guess they could do well with any handgun in a reasonable caliber. Large calibers like magnum handgun rounds might do damage, so maybe they should avoid them. Someone with severe arthritis may need physical therapy  or medication to allow them to shot a handgun and it could be best for them to check with a medical professional first. Then again, so many doctors are anti gun, who can say if that is the thing to do. Anyway, people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis should be able, again this is my medically unschooled opinion, to handle and operate handguns in any caliber up to 45 ACP.

Heck, I suppose I am one of them (the supposing is only that you may or may not consider me elderly). Besides me witnessing other arthritis sufferers shooting I have first hand experience at being one of them. I have twice had Lyme disease, I suffer from osteoarthritis in virtually every joint in my body including in my hands, and suffer from neuropathy mostly due to radiation and chemo treatments and possibly due to head injuries in my distant past. Let's face it, I am not as nimble as I was once upon a time but still can do what needs to be done. If I must say so myself, I do so quite well when I it comes to handling a pistol or revolver. I have seen many arthritic folks into their 80s (or in other words decades older than me) do likewise.

One of the best things they, or anyone, could do before purchasing a handgun is to rent a few to several pistols and revolvers in different calibers, at their local range, and try each out to see how they feel. Mind you, it would be best to shoot each at several range sessions over a few weeks time, not merely at one, before deciding on a purchase. That way they will at last somewhat develop their muscles and joints to get them used to shooting before making a decision on which their lives may later depend. While renting guns at a range over a few sessions is not cheap, it might be more frugal, for a senior on a fixed income, to try before buying because if they wind up with the wrong handgun they may not be able to afford another more suitable replacement.

All the best,
Glenn B

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