It is sad when a person studies the gun magazines and finds a particular type of defense gun that really appeals to them, only to find that they can’t operate it properly. They may also find that they can no longer operate the defense gun that they have relied upon for years. Instead of giving up, it may simply be time to find one that works.
Physical impairment may be the result of advancing age, injuries, disease or birth defects. It really doesn’t matter because these folks need to be able to defend themselves as much as anyone else. In fact, they may have a greater need because their ability to just get away from trouble may be impeded.
It is important to keep in mind that there are a number of handgun action types that will give good service for personal defense. The double-action revolver, single-action auto, double-action/single-action auto, and striker-fired autos all function somewhat differently, and you should consider each of them when you’re trying to find one that can be handled effectively in spite of physical impairment.
I would caution folks not to rely on your friendly sales clerk at the local gun store. While this person may be well-meaning and willing to help, he or she also might just be trying to move some inventory.
A person dealing with physical issues needs help from the professionals. A good idea might be to check and see if there are any doctors who are members of your local gun club or shooting range. Thankfully, there are many pistol-shooting doctors and most of them are more than happy to help someone solve their problems.
An even better source of good information is the professional shooting school. Everyone may not have access to this this option where they live. The key is to just not give up. Get professional help, try different types of guns, and go with the one that works best for you. If you always carried a .44 Magnum revolver but now, due to health issues, all you can manage is a .22 auto, go with it. That’s still way better than chunking rocks. We can’t always dictate the cards that life deals us, but we can stay in the fight.
Our thanks to our NRA Family and Sheriff Jim Wilson for their contributions to this article.