Later this week, I will be instructing a friend in the use of handguns. She is over 60, has small arthritic hands and has never used a firearm before. She’s taking her required carry course over the weekend. Her loving husband procured a mint S&W Model 12 revolver with a 2″ barrel for her. That’s a 14.5oz gun chambered in 38Special. She has not fired it yet.
She cannot pull the trigger with one finger and has to use both hands in double action. She cannot cock the hammer either. The recoil is likely to be quite painful as well.
I plan on introducing her to guns with a .22 first. The lightest and simplest would be a Keltec PF9 with a Twisted Industries conversion kit. No external safety, same trigger pull on the first and subsequent shots, robust magazines, fiber optic sights available. Picatinny rail provides an option to mount a laser. I will also bring a Walther P22, an M&P22 and a P11 conversion. Once she masters one of those, I will bring out a 32ACP “mini-1911″ and see if that has low enough recoil.
M&P22 uses the same holsters as the M&P9, and I have a holster for the Walther. I didn’t have a PF9 holster that wasn’t a deep concealment design — until yesterday, that is. That’s when the Comp-Tac paddle arrived and I plan on using that. It doesn’t require a very sturdy belt, has a Velcro-like patch that keeps it from shifting in the waistband and allows tensions adjustment. Being able to holster safely is always a concern for new shooters — Kydex allows doing that one-handed and without covering self with the muzzle.