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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My father is 86 years of age. He lives in a retirement community that is located in a section of town that is becoming increasingly dangerous. Last weekend there were four shootings in the neighborhood, including a 17-year-old who was chased down a street by two men, caught, shot, and was DOA at the hospital. My father asked me today if I would return his old revolver he purchased back in 1951. He is concerned that, sooner or later, one of those bad boys will walk into the senior citizens home to rob and abuse the defenseless. The revolver is no longer safe to shoot, so I told him I would take him to the range to test fire a few weapons and find one he can handle.

I am thinking about what type of weapon he can handle. He never carried a handgun in the military, and only owned this old .32 no-name revolver. He does not have any experience with semi-autos, so I do not like the idea of introducing him one now. It would be difficult for him to load the mags with aged hands, too. I am thinking about a good revolver for him. I know Taurus makes some great revolvers, but I am not familiar with them. I think a .38 or possibly 9mm is the most he can handle. I know he can't handle a .357 magnum. His hands are not strong now, so a light trigger pull is essential. He needs to be able to conceal it, so I am thinking maximum of 3" barrel.

What do you recommend for an old codger who really is to old to fight, to stove up to run but is still a sheepdog at heart?
 

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I would not do a 9mm because of the stellar clips which I think could be hard to load. Rossi made a model 68 revolver it is a 5 shot 3 inch barrel I have one and it is pretty easy to shoot. A smith&wesson 4" police special would probably be OK too. I'm not sure if any of the newer revolvers are made in 3" barrels. I'm not much help I guess but I mostly shoot semi-autos right now.
 
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Just shot my 4" Model 627 Tracker .357 with my GF yesterday. Was using standard .38 special with the ported barrel. She loved it. Holds 7 shots. Mine has the stock springs in it but am thinking of getting the Wolfe springs like I have in my carry Model 85. Makes the double action really easy. Worth a look if you can fing the shorter barrel.

I would also look into the Model 617. 7 shots with the 2'' ported barrel. Just use the standard pressure .38 special ammo. Very little "kick"
 

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Taurus 605 357 magnum, or a model 85, 2 inch, loaded with 5 rounds of 38 special, standard pressure. Easier to conceal than the 617 and only a little lighter.
 

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I'd suggest a steel frame (if he's going to have control issues, a heavier gun would be better than a light one- light ones kick harder or at least have more felt recoil) .38 or .357 (which can be loaded with .38 Specials but is usually a bit beefier in build) with a traditional DA/SA action. That way, if he can't pull the trigger reliably DA, he can thumb cock it and shoot it SA.

Get him into the habit of holding the gun in two handed and using his off hand's thumb to ear the hammer back. That will give him a reliable short and light (2 1/2 to 3 pound) trigger pull and using both hands means it can be done fast.
 

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Rossi makes a great 3" .357. I would suggest that. Its a bit heavier and if he loads it with .38's (not +P) it should shoot pretty softly. If you are somewhere near an Academy Sports I have seen them there for around $300 or so.
 
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Here's a vote for the 4" Model 66! It is well balanced, very accurate and it holds seven rounds.
Recoil is easy to manage, especially with .38 Special rounds. It is also very reliable. These are
the reasons it sits in my nightstand and I think your father would like the Model 66. The only
fly in the ointment with this gun is the triggers are a little stiff, especially at first. Otherwise,
I think it is good as any revolver out there and for the cost, it would be hard to do better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to everyone who posted!! Your suggestions give me a good place to start looking, and that is what I needed.
 

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I'm just a year older than your dad. I have a S&W 38 Special with a 3-inch barrel that I chose for the time of my life when I can no longer rack a semi. I practice with it and my daily carry, the pt111.
Yes, I recommend a revolver, a 38 special from whomever.
 

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If the .38 is too much for him you can always consider a .22 revolver.Yes it isn't much stopping power but the mere sight of a gun firing ends most attempts.
Will he actually carry one and use it?Does he have enough dexterity to retrieve it from a pocket or holster?Is he a danger to himself with it(i.e. clumsy or forgetful)?No one likes to think of their dad in this way but you would hate to get the call that there had been an accident.
Consider a Ruger LCR or similar revolver in double action only.Not having a hammer to get in the way or be there to play with might not be a bad thing.Keep in mind how much trigger pull he can stand as well.Some are too heavy and be mindfull of one that is like butter also.A trip to a gunsmith may be in order as well.
 

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I LOVE quality old revolvers and they are out there for you if you look hard! S&W - lots of different models like the 14 in 38 sp, Colt Police, older Taurus revolvers. They are beautiful - work all the time, easy to take apart, and an absolute joy to shoot! you never know - taking your dad to the range to help him get familiar with his new to him revolver might make him very happy - and give you good memories to look back on in the future! good luck and let us know how things turn out- give us range report on your dad's shooting, too!:angel:
 
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Personally, I think you just need to get him out and see what he can handle. Start with .38spl and work down. In my CCW class an older gentleman qualified with a single action .22lr. He was slower than the rest of us, but he could put those rounds where he needed to. So, I say, don't be afraid to take him down to the good old .22. PT22 might be a good choice in a semi-auto. Loading the 1 in the pop up barrel is handy, and you can get those devices that help to load the magazines (I forget what they are called). Anyway, like I said, you are better off starting small. I think a .22 might be perfect for him based on what you said.
 

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If the .38 is too much for him you can always consider a .22 revolver.Yes it isn't much stopping power but the mere sight of a gun firing ends most attempts.
Will he actually carry one and use it?Does he have enough dexterity to retrieve it from a pocket or holster?Is he a danger to himself with it(i.e. clumsy or forgetful)?No one likes to think of their dad in this way but you would hate to get the call that there had been an accident.
Consider a Ruger LCR or similar revolver in double action only.Not having a hammer to get in the way or be there to play with might not be a bad thing.Keep in mind how much trigger pull he can stand as well.Some are too heavy and be mindfull of one that is like butter also.A trip to a gunsmith may be in order as well.
Consider the older Charter Arms revolvers also.I Like them a lot I just wish I had a few more of them.
 

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bapak2ja

There have been a lot of good suggestions. I think the first thought you had is one of the best. Take him to a range, let him shoot & handle as many guns as they have there that qualify for his needs. Remember if you choose a .357 mag, you don't have to use mag. ammo, .38s will work quite well.
Two brands I really like are the Buffalo Bore 158gr low flash non +P lead SWC HP. Buffalo bore says it gets 850fps from a 2" bbl, it gets 867fps from mine, shoots to POA, is pretty easy to control, & is accurate. Another that is highly recommended by Massad Ayoob is the Speer 135gr Gold Dot +P. I haven't tried that one, but having read a lot of Massad's writings & corrisponded with him, I trust his judgement.

Remember there are really nice practice loads out there for the .38 Special in the form of Target Wadcutter loads. Those are really fun to shoot, accurate, low recoil, & usually hit pretty close to fixed sights. They cut a full caliber hole in anything they hit!
 

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I love Taurtus but, my wife and I both also have River LCR 38spl. The reason I suggest this is that the trigger pull is very very smooth.
 

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I have a 2" Colt Cobra ( 16 oz. alloy frame ) 38 special ( no +P's in the alloy framed colts ) it is a real pleasure to shoot and fairly light trigger pull. My wife carries it frequently and I don't want her pointing it my direction because I am in love with my body just the way it is, it don't need any extra holes in it.

The down side is that none of the older colt revolvers are low cost any more!
 

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Here's a vote for the 4" Model 66! It is well balanced, very accurate and it holds seven rounds.
Recoil is easy to manage, especially with .38 Special rounds. It is also very reliable. These are
the reasons it sits in my nightstand and I think your father would like the Model 66. The only
fly in the ointment with this gun is the triggers are a little stiff, especially at first. Otherwise,
I think it is good as any revolver out there and for the cost, it would be hard to do better.
I have the same and LOVE it! The dual action makes it an easier trigger pull. Yes, with .38 it handles very nicely.
 

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I would also look at a .327 mag. The .32 S&W longs will also shoot just fine in these revolvers and make for some real light practice ammo. If the .327 mag rounds are to much for him then just stick to the .32 S&W longs. They served many police forces for years. Using wad cutters can help with a better wound channel from the lighter rounds.
 
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