View Full Version : Advice with 9mm auto's

The Stook
September 8, 2005, 08:10 PM
Well the decision has been made, me and my father will be purchasing a 9mm pistol each. We want to have different models. He has never owned a pistol before and his hands are pretty arthritic.
So far the list of pistols i am considering is this:

cz 75B - 5" barrel, sturdy design, have shot one before and liked it.

Cz p-01 - basically a 75b with a shorter barrel and a rail.

SW9GVE - I love the enhanced Sigmas, nothing i have found fits my hand as easily.

S&W auto - don't know the nomenclature to well but i think the 59xx series is the high cap DA pistols.

S&W M&P - well they aren't out yet, but maybe i should wait to try one before we buy.

Some other cheap 9mm i havn't thought of.

Remember, suggest two of different models. I.e. a 1911 and USP. (purposely picked two guns not on the list and out of budget)

September 8, 2005, 08:19 PM
If he is arthritic, make sure he can work the slide easily. Some are easier than others. Also a gun with double strike capability might be good as well. ;)

The Stook
September 8, 2005, 08:23 PM
I hadn't thought of the slide difficulty before. Good point.

Oh i forgot to mention that these guns will be strictly for range. Punching holes in paper and knocking over bowling pins.

September 8, 2005, 08:37 PM
I've been very happy with my Taurus Millennium Pro 9mm but it's considered a sub-compact and while fine for carry and defense, doesn't make an ideal range gun. However, the Taurus 24/7 does and now is available in a Long Slide version as well. I've been hearing good things about the 24/7. My Mil Pro as been super reliable and eats up everything I feed it...including cheap range ammo like WWB, CCI Blazers, or Wolf. Also, the Taurus has second strike capability. If you have a round that doesn't fire, you don't have to wait and eject the round. Just pull the trigger again and you get a second or third strike on the round. I've had about 1/2 dozen fail to fire in about 1000 rounds and every one went off on the second strike. Good for self defense too...if you're firing and that happens, you don't waste time clearing the weapon.

September 8, 2005, 08:40 PM
The arthritis is the thing that is hanging me up. I am not sure I would suggest a 9mm pistol to anyone who might not have the ability to repeatedly chamber/clear rounds. Some springs are harder than others, but all take a fair amount of strength and some dexterity.

Have you considered a double action wheelgun? I generally suggest them over autos to the elderly. It takes much less strength and dexterity to push the cylinder release latch than to cycle a slide. In addition, they can easily tell when the gun is loaded and don't have to fieldstrip it to clean it. Also, if the double action trigger is too much, they can switch to SA.

Smith and Wesson make some very nice, light .357/.38s that would be very good defensive guns,at home or on the hip as well as being great for target practice. Check out the 386PD


September 8, 2005, 08:41 PM
Based on what Jkwas said, there are some makers, like Beretta, that make firearms with tip-up barrels; but I am not aware of any that make them in 9mm. It would be worth researching though.

September 8, 2005, 08:46 PM
Get a Glock 17 or 19 for your father. Install a 14# recoil spring. If he still has trouble with that, there's a slide racking assist device that replaces the slide cover. (on the very rear of the slide)

September 8, 2005, 08:55 PM
Is the price of a lighter recoil spring heavier recoil?

After the first round would be chambered, he could pretty much shoot without having to rack the slide. If you are going to be shooting with him, that should not be too much of a problem. As the glock slides locks after the last shot, he theoretically could do a whole range session with one manual rack.

Suggest staying away from double action semi's if he has arthritis, because of the longer and heavier trigger pull. Also, since semi's are subject to limp wristing, and 9mm needs a firm grip, perhaps a beretta in .32 with the tip up barrel might be better. a nice older gentleman that I met at the range bought a glock 19. When I saw him shooting with it, the jams were because of limp wrist or unfirm hold. When I helped him with it, he has fewer jams.

September 8, 2005, 09:13 PM
Yes, Beretta makes tip-up BBL versions of their sub-compacts. They are not large enough to be easily manipulated by people with arthritis. Furthermore, the .32 ACP is a mousegun. It is not even close to the 9mm (which I consider about minimal for defensive work). Having had several in several configurations, I can tell you they are neither accurate or completly reliable, IME.

The .357 loaded with modern .38+p is a fine choice and is the choice I reccommend for those seniors who cannot handle the stresses of larger, heavier guns. The individual's recoil tolerance will determine what ammo he/she can carry. Always start out with the light (110 Gr.)standard pressure .38s and work up to the 158 Gr. SWCHP. If those are tolerable go to the +P versions starting at 125 Grains. If they can tolerate a 158 Gr +P Try the 110/125 Gr. "defensive or med.velocity ammo in the .357. If that goes okay....


September 8, 2005, 09:24 PM
shooter249, I agree with you. I should have clarified...if there are any tip-up barrel handguns in 9mm, they might be worth a look. In general, I think a .38 or .357 may be the best answer, but the original question was about semi-autos in 9mm....

I also agree that .32ACP wouldn't be anywhere near the top of anyone's list for a defensive round...sorta' in the "better than nothing" category. :)

September 8, 2005, 09:40 PM
If your father is willing to give a little on caliber size, try a Sig Sauer p232. It's .380. These are copies of a Walther PPK. I have fired one and the slide is very easy to rack. Also the stainless steel one will have relatively light recoil. It was pretty accurate aswell. Although it will be more expensive than any CZ.

Pinky Carruthers
September 8, 2005, 10:09 PM
I wouldn't recommend a CZ for your father if he has bad hands. The Cz inside the frame rail system results in much less slide to grab to charge the pistol. I know for me at least, my P01 is more difficult to rack the slide with, because of the smaller slide grasping area. For you, however, the CZ would be great, I really enjoy my P01. Also, check out the Walther P99, available at Cdnn.

chris in va
September 8, 2005, 10:23 PM
Oh i forgot to mention that these guns will be strictly for range. Punching holes in paper and knocking over bowling pins

Just in case anyone failed to see his second post. No 'defensive' calibers needed.

I usually don't do this, but agree about the revolver thing. That way you two can have some *really* different guns. :cool:

September 8, 2005, 11:32 PM
beretta does have a tip up .380.

September 8, 2005, 11:48 PM
Okay the "range only" thing opens a lot of avenues. First of all, if all you are doing is range-work and you want an accurate gun to plink with and that an arthritic hand can stand, you can choose from any number of .22 semis like the Buckmarks or MkIIIs. You can also look at any 4-6" revolver in .22 rimfire, .32Mag, .38 Spl. In fact, that opens up the single-action revolvers as possibilities too. Yikes. The possibilities are now almost endless (unless you are stuck on the 9mm auto idea). In which case, there is still nothing out there. I love punching paper with a 51/2" Bull-BBl Buckmark target model.

Check it out


September 8, 2005, 11:53 PM
If your father doesn't know teach him to grasp the slide with his whole weak hand and push the frame with his shooting hand. It's a lot easier to rack a slide this way when you don't have the hand strength of everyone else.

September 8, 2005, 11:57 PM
+N on the wheelgun - the amount of force needed to operate it is just much lower than the semiauto. It should be much more comfortable for him. When you see that purpose built homes for seniors have lever door handles instead of twist knobs for older hands... I don't think the semi would be good for him.

You never know - if you don't already have one - you might like to get one too! I have no arthritis yet, but I still prefer shooting revolvers - just a smoother, more civilized experience - feels like precision machinery. :)

The Stook
September 9, 2005, 01:59 AM
Well, i currently own a .40 auto and a 686-6 6".

We want the 9mm cause it is cheap ammo and a managable package with high capacity to play fun range games with. We have lots of bowling pins and soda cans to have fun with.

September 10, 2005, 10:20 PM
Can you get cheaper ammo than .22?

September 11, 2005, 09:37 AM
If you're lookin at the S&W autos, don't forget the 908 or 908s. The recoil on mine is very managable and it doesn't take a big guy (I sure as hell ain't) to rack the slide so I should be good the the arthritic among us. Just another to throw in the mix.

September 11, 2005, 10:05 AM
Arthritic people have no need shooting the heavier trigger pulls for long range session with heavy DAO guns like the Sigma VE series.

Some guns have a harder slide to rack, and some guns have a slide and serrations too small for an arthritic hand to graspp and pull. The CZ may be in this category. My CZ has a darned low profile and slim slide.

Light, controllable, and easy to operate would be something to consider. 22LR will not knock bowling pins, but will hit paper just fine.

Single action 9mm may be pretty good. Revolver will be easier to load/unload, but they will take a lot of loading and unloading for 9mm. You will need some kind of moonclips and the tool. Loading magazines are easier.

One 9mm I have which has a moderate spring recoil assembly is a Taurus PT92/99 series. Wide body for stable grasping. Easier to rack slide with good cocking serrations. Lots of high cap mags for more fun range sessions.

Either that or your father may have to take some aspirin or such before a range session to overcome any discomforts in the hands.

September 11, 2005, 10:23 AM
Can you get cheaper ammo than .22?
Not really.
Wax bullets in empty primed cases or the Speer plastic bullets which use primers and a propritary plastic case can be close pricewise for cheap basement or backyard practice.
So can some of the better pellet and/or BB pistols.

Handloads can get pretty cheap also if you cast your own bullets and stick with very light target loads in a straight wall case like a .38 spl or .45acp.

For *real* factory ammo, .22lr is the king of cheap.

Re: Arthritis - I have some problems with it from time to time. CZ's with the inside rails can be a problem. Cocking the hammer before racking the slide helps a lot.
The Browning High Power is easier to use though with it's larger slide purchase and again, cocking the hammer prior to racking the slide.

Vitamin G
September 11, 2005, 10:45 AM
Have you considered a BHP? I picked up an FM for $300 and its much better than I expected.

September 11, 2005, 12:01 PM
My point precisely on .22 being the cheapest. I've stayed with that, not only because it's affordable but also because I have carpal tunnel syndrome and I need to fire the .22's because of the least recoil. I can still fire between 500 and 1000 rounds of the .22 in one session without having any CTS problems. However, at 1500 rounds one weekend, I did get a good case of elbow tendinitis. Changing stances from Weaver style cured that problem though.