Concealed Carry and Older Shooters
It was once said in an old Colt advertisement that the modern revolver was great equalizer. For many in our society that are considered seniors, this has never been more of a true statement than today.
There's just something about Mary
In a recent concealed carry class that I was giving for a preparedness group, I ran into a nice older woman named Mary. Her husband, a retired cop, had always said he was going to teach her how to shoot but never got around to it. Sadly, Ms. Mary's husband walked towards the light and left her alone. Now, traveling often back and forth several miles to visit grandchildren, work part time, and attend church, Ms. Mary felt she needed to learn.
During the classroom portion of the training I passed around several cleared and safe handguns ranging from a .22 Short NAA Mini Revolver to a full sized Glock Model 22 in .40 S&W. While talking about the various merits of each type of platform, I spent a lot of time discussing small frame/caliber firearms with reduced recoil ammunition. This was directed at Ms. Mary and a few others of similar demographics. When polled to ask what each candidate intended to carry, she said a full-sized .38 and I winced on the inside.
When we got to the live fire part of the class that afternoon, Mary pulled out a sweet 3-inch barreled Rossi M68 five-shot revolver in .38 Special. Even though it was thirty years old, it looked brand new. She also had a suede IWB clip on holster that looked just as new. I was glad that it was a 3-inch and not a snub-nosed as these guns provide a nice balance between accuracy and concealability since they are much smaller than a full-sized 4-inch K frame while having less muzzle flip than a snub. I inspected the gun and told her it was an excellent choice as long as she was comfortable with it and I meant it. I showed her how to properly conceal the holster and draw from it, which she got the hang of rather quickly. Then we went on the line.
The course of fire I run for CCW candidates incorporates everything from prone shooting (to show you can fight from the ground if you fall or are pushed) to kneeling, to support-hand only firing, emergency reloads, barricade fire, and so on stretching from 1.5-15 yards. Well here is where we ran into issues. Ms. Mary's knees no longer bent, so getting up and down proved an issue. Still she persevered and proved to myself, to everyone out there, and most importantly to her, that she could do it. On the offhand only shooting, her support hand proved too weak to pull the trigger. Later, with an unloaded gun, we were able to build it up a little and she promised to work on it.
"Get me two clicks off, ma'am." I asked with smile that she returned. She put in the work, never giving up, and accomplished what she needed to.
We ran through that course of fire twice in practice and then once to qualify. In the qualification round, she scored a very respectable 84% score on her first attempt. Most of her rounds were in the high thoracic cavity of her target. She showed that her vintage Rossi, her vintage knees, and her original issue eyes are upto the job of saving her life if needed.
Way to go Ms. Mary, and woe to the dirtbag who would call you out on it.