Need some input on a semi-auto pistol for an older shooter - Pistolsmith

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Old 10-16-2003, 12:19 PM   #1
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Need some input on a semi-auto pistol for an older shooter

A friend of a friend was recently mugged here in our "quiet little drinking village with a fishing problem." She is 77 yrs old and in the typical physical condition that would go with a 77 yr old. She approached me and requested to take my CHL class. We have discussed the pros/cons of revolvers & semi-autos and I do not wish to get into that here.

What I am looking for are suggestions for pistols .380 and above, that have fairly weak recoil springs. I am attempting to narrow down the field of pistols for her to try. She has no problem shooting accurately; it is the hand/arm strength for racking of the slide which is the issue. Thus far the Astra A-100 is the easiest one for her to use.

Please give me your suggestions and do not turn this into a caliber debate!!

Thank you all in advance,
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Old 10-16-2003, 03:38 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Weber City, Virginia
Posts: 705
What about the tip up barrel Beretta's!
Cheetah in .380
Tomcat in .32 ACP
Bobcat in .25ACP

All she would need to do with these tip up the barrel and drop in round if my recollection is correct.
Old 10-16-2003, 05:15 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2002
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Thanks for the input. I initially thought of the tip-up barrels as I have a Beretta .22 in that style. I shyed away from them since I only thought they came in .22, .25 and .32. I will definately look into the .380.

Old 10-16-2003, 07:29 PM   #4
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Hello, sir. You might look at the .380 Bersa Thunder. I have a range report on one here:

The recoil spring is not heavy.

Old 10-17-2003, 05:31 AM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Alabama
Posts: 55
Howdy, Joel!

There is another alternative to consider. Semi-autos without a recoil spring guide rod (M1911 and Browning Hi-Power) can be loaded by placing the front bottom of the slide against something that will not move, such as a sturdy table or counter top, and pushing the pistol down to rack the slide. This can be done using one's body weight and won't require a whole lot of hand strength. This technique is often taught for wounded shooter one-handed loading and malfunction clearance drills.

Also remember that for pistols with an exposed hammer, slides are easier to rack if you first cock the hammer back to release the tension from the mainspring. Then after loading, you use the hammer drop lever/safety or engage the frame mounted safety, depending on the pistol's design.

Hope y'all figure something out.

Old 10-17-2003, 05:51 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 12
Thank you for replying to the posts. I will look at the Bersa and the gun show this weekend.

I also wanted to complement this group for the following reason. I have cross posted this in several different gun boards. This is the only board that has apparently actually read my post concering not wanting to discuss the merits of a revolver in this case.

Once again, a whole-hearted thank you to those that replied.
Old 10-17-2003, 08:10 AM   #7
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Also when looking at the 1911's a .38 Super or 9mm will have a lighter recoil spring than the .45.
Old 10-17-2003, 01:18 PM   #8
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Location: Greenville, NC
Posts: 133
I believe the recoil springs on the locked breech 380s (Colt Govt 380, et al) are easier to work than those of the straight blow back pistols.
Old 10-17-2003, 06:06 PM   #9
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How 'bout a Commander model (steel) in 9mm with a
light recoil spring designed for light loads?
Old 10-17-2003, 07:28 PM   #10
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 87
Try Makarov in .380

J. Adrian,

A very fine choice and an accurate weapon is the Makarov in .380. These weapons work almost flawlessly and are accurate and cheap.

Gary Morris

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