“In almost every civilian course there’s been someone who struggles with recoil, weapon manipulation (racking the slide), or loading magazines. Often the person suffers from injuries, diseases like arthritis, or the one that’s going to get most of us, old age.”
This is one of the best articles I’ve read on this issue.
Over the years, as an instructor, I’ve taught thousands of people how to grip and shoot handguns. In almost every civilian course there’s been someone who struggles with recoil, weapon manipulation (racking the slide), or loading magazines. Often the person suffers from injuries, diseases like arthritis, or the one that’s going to get most of us, old age.
I’ve always struggled with advising those folks as to what gun they should purchase. Short of an ageing serum, there isn’t much most of them can do to increase their grip strength or reverse injuries; it’s a problem that is more easily fixed by purchasing a gun that’s easier to manipulate and shoot.
Rimfire handguns have been one of the only options for people who need easy. While I’m a big fan of the .22 LR and own at least a dozen of them, I don’t actually think it’s the best choice for self-defense or concealed carry. This is largely due to that fact that .22 ammo is so unreliable. Misfires are common, as are malfunctions.
Smith & Wesson saw the exact problem I’ve described and have literally engineered a gun to be easier to shoot and manipulate. The S&W Shield EZ in .380 is loosely based off the S&W Shield 9mm/40S&W. Loosely is the correct term because they actually don’t share many features once you get past the name Shield.
The Shield EZ is currently only available in .380. While this isn’t my favorite caliber, I also wouldn’t want to get shot with one. Many naysayers of the .380 forget that it has nearly the same diameter bullet as a .357 magnum (.355 vs .357) and penetration tests show that it can get the job done. Also, better bullets and ammunition have made a big difference to the lethality of the cartridge.
I’ve always argued that the best caliber is the one in the gun that you have with you. I have friends that are pretty snobby about calibers but they don’t carry every day. I’d rather have a .380 inside my waistband than a 454 Casull at home in the safe.
by True Pearce