I have been thinking about the same thing, lately. My wife has expressed a want for a gun for protection in the home, when I am gone, and while she is not little, she has arthritis, and not a lot of strength, and regardless of what some of you say, I know she would probably have problems racking the slide on many semi's, and even a pump, plus if either one is not done correctly a jam may occur.
I am thinking about a shotgun, and cheap double might work, but not a hammer gun. I have considered an H & R Single shot, but they are pretty light and kick pretty hard, also even the 20ga single barrels can have a pretty vicious kick, because they are pretty light.
What I am considering is an old used Trap gun single barrel, because they are heavy, even if I cut the barrel down, and even one that is pretty worn out, will often be of much better quality then the H & R, but they are still more expensive. I have found a kind of rough old Winchester 101 single barrel trap for 500 and I am leaning towards it. Put a shell carrier on the stock, and go. It's very simple and loose enough to be easy to open and close. All she has to do is pick it up and load one round, close, push safety foward and pull the trigger if needed. No hammer to manipulate, even. If she fires it, the empty will eject when she opens it, and she can load another from the shell carrier. This is probably all she needs.
I have also found an old Lefever Trap gun, also but it's 600 and tax, however is much nicer, probably too nice. One thing I do sorta like about it is it doesn't have a safety, you just load it, and you either pull the trigger or you don't. It doesn't get much simpler then that, not even a safety to think about.
Of course I could just give her a Glock 19, load it with one up the pipe and all she would have to do is pick it up and pull the trigger, but I don't really think she needs that kind of readiness. I would much rather have an unloaded singlebarrel shotgun accessible which would only take few seconds to load.
The single shot is probably all of the fire power needed and pretty fool proof.
Last edited by Blue Duck; March 12, 2013 at 09:16 PM.