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As we get older our needs in a concealed carry gun can change. Reduced grip strength, vision challenges and less tolerance for recoil can mean the gun(s) we’ve been carrying and relying on for years may not be the best choice any more.
In general, most seniors can benefit from handguns that are easy to rack, feature a reasonable trigger pull weight and produce less felt recoil. There are plenty of pistols that fit the bill and not everyone’s needs will be the same, But here are our top ten picks for senior-freiendy everyday carry handguns.

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  1. Beretta made their tip barrel pistols. I don’t know if they still do. But these would be a great gun for a person with weak hands due to age or illness. The 84/85 chambered in .32 or .380 would be a much better defense tool than a rape whistle. The overbuilt Beretta’s in those chamberings would be lighter on recoil than the plastic pistols so popular now.

    I couldn’t get the video on my computer so I may be covering ground already covered.

    • If Beretta brought back the 86 Cheetah and specifically marketed it to seniors/the injured/women-who-don’t-realize-they-actually-can-operate-a-normal-pistol-with-proper-instruction, I wonder how many they’d be able to sell? That gun was awesome.

      • women-who-don’t-realize-they-actually-can-operate-a-normal-pistol-with-proper-instruction” this had me laughing so hard! Yeah, I have met a lot of women who for some reason insist that Glock 17 or a P226 is to extreme for them to ever use. I don’t know where this idea comes from.

    • @ Skinnedknuckles
      TTAG works on the latest Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 for me. I suspect you have something else going on.
      I’ve also tried it on older browser versions on XP machines I have which is IE8 and FF 49

    • Works with my Microsoft Edge without any extensions or add-ons. I have added extensions and add-ons on my Firefox and Chrome that helps with my privacy and they block some videos on some websites, so I then use Edge to view those videos.

    • Have you learned nothing from our glorious army? Overmatch is key. You NEED that Barrett 50 cal. What if you come across three robbers in full level 4 body armor robbing grandmas bag in 300m distance? Whatcha gonna do bout that? See, you will do nothing. Unless you have a semiauto .50bmg.

      • I would say ‘good’, yes, but I think your assessment fails to take in to account that these people are likely to be mostly on a fixed income. So ~ weapon / ammo / (long-range) range time. . . you start to see where maybe the BMG might be NG.

        Recoil attenuation on osteoperosis challenged skeletal chassis might make an older person shake to pieces.


  2. So what’s a “senior”?(Video doesn’t work). I’m in my mid 60’s and I have zero problems racking a slide or pulling a double-action trigger. Push/pull on the racking thing…fairly certain everyone but the extremely infirm could do that with proper instructions.

  3. The trigger on my tip up barrel Beretta when fired DA requires the grip strength of a pipe fitter to fire .

  4. Next up on TTAGtv: The Top 10 Ways Dan Zimmerman’s Dull Monotone Voice And Complete Lack Of Personality Puts Us All To Sleep.


  5. Why’s it gotta be a video? I’m a senior, and the video aggravates my mad cow. What happened to writing?

    • These snot-nosed kids never learned the Palmer method, so their handwriting is illegible, they never learned to touch-type, so it takes them half a day to write a simple note.

      It all comes down to this: they’re whining about having to work overtime to write anything down.

  6. I emphatically disagree that the Smith and Wesson model 642 airweight snub-nosed revolver is a good choice for senior citizens. First and foremost, the factory double-action trigger is VERY hard to squeeze at something like 12 pounds. Second of all, recoil with standard .38 Special 125 grain range ammunition is quite unpleasant due to the revolver’s scant 16 ounce weight. Recoil from 158 grain bullets or +P ammunition is downright awful.

    • I agree with you on the SW642. I carry one now because comfortable, deep concealment is an important consideration for me. One of the things I am looking forward to in my retirement is to not give a damn at all about that and open carry something in an L frame or a large enough semi-auto with a trigger and sights that allow accuracy at more than bad breath distances and enough weight that recoil isn’t a problem for follow-up shots.

  7. I am thinking that the Ruger LCR revolver chambered in .327 Federal Magnum would be the best revolver choice for senior citizens.

    First of all, it has Ruger’s amazing double-action trigger. Second of all, the cylinder has six chambers instead of the standard five chambers in small .38 caliber revolvers. Finally, and most important, recoil is relatively mild with the .327 Federal Magnum cartridge because bullet weights are lighter than .38 Special and .357 Magnum bullets.

    And if your standard .327 Federal Magnum cartridges produce too much recoil, you can load .32 H&R Magnum cartridges and reduce recoil a bit. Or you can load .32 S&W Long cartridges and drastically reduce recoil.

  8. As long as you’re including the Ruger LCR in your Top 10 List, why not mention that it is available in .327 Federal Magnum as well as .38 Special?
    The Fed-Mag cylinder offers the opportunity to carry a load of 6 cartridges instead of 5; and some seniors might find that to be a worthy consideration.

    Edit to add: OK, so uncommon_sense beat me to posting this idea by about 17 minutes. . . .

  9. What is with the stupid videos? Can’t we just get a written list and argue from there? Videos are slower than molasses in January

  10. Bersa Thunder .380. Compact, not a mouse. Assuming they are still as well made as mine is. It is 12 years old now. 6 + 1, double/single action. I use Federal 90 grain hydra-shok hollow points. Two spare mags. The CC looks good as well. I came across this Bersa by necessity, my two revolvers were stolen during the night while I was at work. $250 at the time, turned out to be money well spent. It would be nice if could try any firearm before buying. It could be the most gooder pistol/revolver in the world, but if it don’t fit you can’t force it.

  11. I’m 70 and shoot the same guns I shot when I was a callow youth. Methinks all this “Pistols for Seniors” and other condescending sh!t is getting out of hand.

  12. Very low recoil, easy racking of slide, night sights, pocketable in larger pockets = Sig P238. Only drawback is price. Personally compared Sig P238, Glock 42, Ruger LCP2, Browning 1911-380, and Bersa Thunder as side by side rentals. Sig absolutely softest of all. Bought the Sig. Not just for “seniors”.

    9mm’s with low recoil, reasonably small = Shield in 9mm and Ruger SR9C.

    Please no more videos like this, especially without subtitles for those who don’t want to listen.

  13. Were old and week and ready to fall down. Lol. One of the easiest slide racks pistol I have is 54-1 Tok, about 250 rounds thru it, not week recoil spring. .I humped up a bluff today carrying an 03 and as much as I despise plastic guns my knees was wishing for a Matel shootin shell.

  14. Glad to see the SIG P250 in the mix. I have one and I love it–and I’m a month away from 65. What Robert forgot to mention, though, is the ability for the P250 to use the magazine from the next size up version (the compact magazine in the subcompact version) with the addition of a grip sleeve. That allows for the capacity of a compact in the basic size of a subcompact. The other thing he forgot to mention is that the grip modules can be bought in different widths and easily swapped out. allowing the P250 to fit a wider range of hand sizes than guns that just use an interchangeable backstrap.

  15. Recoil is subjective and not necessarily associated with age. I’ve always been somewhat recoil sensitive. Light weight snub revolvers in 38 have always been painful and distracting for me, and don’t even mention 357 magnum. My SP101 was a beast so I sold it. My LCP is doable, but I prefer my Keltec 32 acp or my Taurus 32 H&R magnum snub. The LCR in 327 might be a good choice, especially since it is made on the slightly heavier frame used for 357 and 9mm. However, I’ve heard (no pun intended) that 327 is very loud and I think some people, myself included, react to that as much as the recoil impulse. The only other issues I can think of are reduced visual acuity, slower reaction time, joint stiffness and reduced arm, hand and finger strength, possibly due to arthritis. Each of these should be dealt with individually in whatever way works best for the person.

  16. I’m 66 and have rheumatoid arthritis. I’ve been shooting my whole life, but grip strength and slide-racking capability is now a BIG problem for me. I alternate between an LCR .38 revolver and a Taurus 380 pocket semi-auto and I don’t have any major problem with either yet. If they ever become a problem I’ll switch to one of those tiny Berettas with the tip up barrel, as I’d certainly rather be carrying some handgun, as opposed to none at all – and yes I’ve been a CCW carrier for almost 50 years (so far!).

  17. A stupid video. The shooting mostly shows slow double action trigger pull using the sights. This is not how shooting happens in an emergency. Fast shooting shows the muzzle all over the place as is exactly what happens with double action trigger pull. And .357?

  18. Anyone under 60 years of age should not be allowed to comment on this topic.

    Furthermore, any extant posts from non-seniors should be tagged as regurgitated Pablum.

  19. The biggest real problem for seniors is not recoil or racking or weight. It’s the sights and the sight radius. What’s that you say? Don’t focus on the front sight? No problem, I can’t see either sight.

  20. OK.
    Where the fuck is the guy who posted the list, so I don’t have to watch this lame-ass video?
    You wanna teach an oldster about guns? Easy. Start screaming at them like their D.I. used to:
    Grandpa: BLOOD! BLOOD! BLOOD!
    Grandpa: BECAUSE I FEED HIM!
    Grandpa: BLOOD! BLOOD! BLOOD!
    See? The training is still there, you just gotta wake it up.

  21. So, what’s wrong with a revolver, nothing. They just work every time, all the time. Or you buy anything from Walther and practice malfunction drills. S&W 642 may have a heavy trigger, but in a defensive use, I doubt the shooter would notice.

    P.S. What’s with the endless ads blocking my screen on the TTAG. Is this something from Microsoft? Can you imagine if MS made aircraft? We would all be dead by now.

  22. I took a co-worker to a local gun store a week or so ago. She had a revolver(Taurus 85, I believe), but wanted a smaller revolver so as to be more concealable. She wanted to stay with a revolver because she said she couldn’t rack the slide. I was hoping the guy at the store would be able to talk her into a semi-auto like the P320 or XDs. Long story short(er), she really *couldn’t* rack the slide on the XDs, and one other that I can’t remember. NO hand strength in her left hand. The sales guy and I both conceded that she should get another revolver…

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