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Old 02-26-2012, 04:04 AM   #1
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Default Arthritic handgun newbie

I have mild/moderate rheumatoid arthritis and am forging ahead to become a handgun owner in a few weeks. I don't have a lot of upper body strength so am looking for the lowest recoil pistol, and am leaning towards a 9mm Glock due to their availability , mid range prices, and large aftermarket support. Would a "C" model or Gen 4 Glock 17/19 have noticeably less recoil? I'm also considering the pricier FN FiveSeven since it has large grips/controls and reportedly similar recoil to a .22 Magnum. I shot a Glock 17 Gen 3 yesterday and could handle it, but I was fatiguing a little by the end of 1 box of 50 rounds and could never get 100% comfortable with gripping the pistol. All comments appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 02-26-2012, 04:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shooterfan1974 View Post
I have mild/moderate rheumatoid arthritis and am forging ahead to become a handgun owner in a few weeks. I don't have a lot of upper body strength so am looking for the lowest recoil pistol, and am leaning towards a 9mm Glock due to their availability , mid range prices, and large aftermarket support. Would a "C" model or Gen 4 Glock 17/19 have noticeably less recoil? I'm also considering the pricier FN FiveSeven since it has large grips/controls and reportedly similar recoil to a .22 Magnum. I shot a Glock 17 Gen 3 yesterday and could handle it, but I was fatiguing a little by the end of 1 box of 50 rounds and could never get 100% comfortable with gripping the pistol. All comments appreciated. Thanks.
Different guns will experience felt recoil differently but generally speaking 9mm is a pretty docile round. Sounds like the bigger issue is grip width and grip angle. A Glock has a more aggressive grip angle than say a SIG or an XD and that may have something to do with your fatigue. Another issue is obviously the width of the grip...you may be more comfortable with a larger grip found in many high capacity guns like the Glock or you may find a slimmer grip more comfortable, think about a Browning Hi Power or a 1911 in 9mm. Another factor is polymer versus metal. Polymer is lighter but that leads to more felt recoil, again generally the lighter the gun the more recoil. The aforemention Hi Power and 1911 are typically all metal as are the Beretta 92 and the CZ 75.

Another thing to keep in mind is whether your limited hand strength makes a semi-auto the best choice. In addition to the need to rack the slide, both Glock and XDs utilize a trigger safety mechanism. A lack of finger dexterity may lead to an inadvertant discharge while holstering or unholstering the gun. Manual safeties are available on other guns but again do you have the dexterity to engage and disengage the safety if needed. My point here is not to disuade you in any way but suggest that you also look at a revolver. A 4" or 6" .38 special revolver or a .357 chambered revolver using .38 special ammo will not have any more recoil that a 9mm. A Ruger SP or GP series is priced similarly to the Glock.

Best advice I can offer is to try out a bunch of different guns until you find the right balance of weight, grip width and angle. Once you find what works best for you it will help with your ultimate choice.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:42 AM   #3
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Thanks! A friend who is a very experienced shooter- OK, he's a gun nut, also suggested a revolver. I will definitely have to try out a wheel gun. Prior to Friday, the last gun I shot was a .38 with, I think, a 3" or 4" barrel and it felt like a .22.

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Old 02-26-2012, 12:41 PM   #4
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Try a M&P 9 if you want everything a Glock has, but has better ergonomics IMHO. The three grip sizes will give a good fit for anybody. They should be around $500 cheaper if you can get a Leo/military discount.

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Old 02-26-2012, 01:41 PM   #5
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Some semi-autos are more difficult to rack the slide than others, too. However, technique can go a long way to solving many of the problems you may run into. There is more than one way to accomplish just about anything related to the manual of arms of a semi-auto. Your hand strength will improve with practice, and there are some good hand-exerciser units out there as well.

Get some good training, and research your concerns. Google is your friend, and YouTube has a wealth of both good and bad information as well. You have to find what works best for you.

There's really no reason that even with some limitations from RA you can't enjoy both sport and self-defense benefits from a good firearm.

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Old 02-27-2012, 09:57 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I just about had my heart set on a Glock till I shot one. It was a Gen 3 so I'd love to try a Gen 4 w/the adjustable back straps. The M&P and XD 9mms are both on my list to try, as is a 1911 chambered for 9mm. At a recent show, I also held an FN FiveSeven and it felt comfortable, so I'm thinking I need something with a large grip combined with lowest recoil to start. That's why I'd like to try a Gen 4 Glock with the largest back strap.

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Old 03-03-2012, 02:27 AM   #7
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You may also try any of the steel CZ pistols. With the arthritis in your hands the polymer frames may not function well. You may get failures to feed or eject. Steel frames are more forgiving when grip strength is an issue.
My arthritis can make revolver shooting a test of my patience. It's a pity too, 'cause I love my snubbies. Action jobs on any handguns help immensely with trigger control and minimizing arthritis pain.
GOOD LUCK and take your time. You will find a weapon that works for you.

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Old 03-03-2012, 03:12 AM   #8
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Here is a great article addressing this issue

http://www.americanrifleman.org/m-articlepage.aspx?id=2884&cid=18

Good luck

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