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I am looking for recommendations and possibly a little guidance. Due to a motorcycle accident my daughter lost the use of her right arm. She has no feeling or motor ability in the arm. It is still there, but is just a limp arm.

She is 22 now and she wants to learn to shoot. I am looking for recommendations on what handgun would be the most 1-arm friendly. I realize things like tactical reloading and malfunction clearing will be problematic, but that does not mean its not possible. She will be taking a class soon at Front Sight, but they were not able to recommend a handgun for her situation.

I know there are very knowledgeable members here that have seen about everything... So any guidance and assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Roger


Sig P229 - .40
Sig M11-A1 - 9MM
Sig 938 - 9MM
Dan Wesson CCO
Wilson ADP
 
Posts: 68 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: March 19, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Blue Machine
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Will she carry it concealed? Use it for home/car defense? Range only?

Perhaps a pistol with a paddle style mag release would suit her well. Something like the HK VP9 or Walther PPQ M1.
 
Posts: 1138 | Location: South Carolina | Registered: February 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think pretty much any medium size polymer 9mm auto would be good.




“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” –Chuck Palahnuik

The world's a dangerous place, we can help! http://portlandfirearmtraining.com/
 
Posts: 2505 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Gotta take her to the range to see what she likes. Rent a lot of guns.

Things I would suggest trying:
Ambi controls
Paddle mag release (VP9/PPQ M1), though most buttons can be switched to the other side
Sights that have a ledge (to rack against belt or whatever)
Striker fired, maybe SAO with safety (if ambi)
9mm
Aggressive grips

Things I would suggest avoiding:
Heavy trigger pulls (DA/SA)-without a support hand, it may be difficult to hold the sight picture
Revolvers (hard to reload, and likely heavy pull)
Sub-Compact/pocket pistols.

Thing that she'll have to figure out:
Weight/size. A heavier pistol will make her tire quicker one handed. Conversely, a heavy pistol won't recoil as bad. A small pistol may be easier to hold steady, but will jump a lot more. A larger pistol will probably be easier to hold between her legs to reload. Smaller, lighter pistols are also more likely to be sprung heavy, which may be difficult to rack.

Whatever pistol she chooses, it may help her to cant the pistol slightly when shooting. If you make a fist then punch straight out and hold it, you'll probably notice your hand is tilted, not vertical. So canting the pistol for one handed shooting can feel more natural.

Finally, I don't know your relationship with her, but often our closest loved ones are hard to teach. Patience gets lost quickly and polite suggestions get taken as criticism. Having her take a class is a great idea dad!!!

Good luck, I don't know either of you but I'm proud of both of you!


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Charter member of the vast, right-wing conspiracy
 
Posts: 1007 | Registered: June 25, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Agree with Buddy, pretty much.
Ledge sights so she can rack the slide against a boot heel, thick belt, table top, doorframe, etc.

A magazine catch and slide stop she can either reach with her left thumb or operate with her left trigger finger (Or left middle finger, which is what I do for a weak hand reload.)

The straightforward one handed reload - as done by a one armed shooter here - is to drop the empty magazine, holster the pistol, insert a fresh magazine from a carrier on the holster side, draw, and close or rack the slide.
There are other ways that are faster, but somewhat dangerous unless intensively practiced.

She might check out the Taelin gadget which includes a magazine carrier that holds mags bullet up so you just ram the gun down over the magazine, rotate it out of the holder, and fully seat it with a bump against the thigh.
They also have a gadget to rack the slide against, but the ledge sight is also good.
http://www.taelintactical.ca/products.html
http://idpaforum.yuku.com/topi...med-shooters-compete

Note that most of the objections to the device are magazine placement for IDPA and location of the racking device. The first doesn't matter, the second can work with the racker relocated.

I bet my FLKB (Friendly Local Kydex Bender) could make a simpler magazine carrier along the lines of the old Idaho Reloader which held the magazine with lips up like the Taelin, but simpler.


Kudos to you and your daughter.
I had a co-worker with the same problem, a severed nerve rendered one arm useless. His doctor recommended amputation but he said "Wouldn't I feel silly if they announced a nerve repair the next week?"
 
Posts: 2562 | Location: Florence, Alabama, USA | Registered: July 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Don't discount the revolver. I learned to use one using only one hand, either, in the 80's. It can be done and is effective. Further, a company called Falcon Arms, I believe, used to make a "port sider," reverse operation 1911. Might be worth a look.

You CAN fins ways to make a semi-auto work, but I'd rather find a tool that fits the user than vice versa.
 
Posts: 13018 | Location: Lexington, KY | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by BuddyChryst:
Gotta take her to the range to see what she likes. Rent a lot of guns.

Things I would suggest trying:
Ambi controls
Paddle mag release (VP9/PPQ M1), though most buttons can be switched to the other side
Sights that have a ledge (to rack against belt or whatever)
Striker fired, maybe SAO with safety (if ambi)
9mm
Aggressive grips

Things I would suggest avoiding:
Heavy trigger pulls (DA/SA)-without a support hand, it may be difficult to hold the sight picture
Revolvers (hard to reload, and likely heavy pull)
Sub-Compact/pocket pistols.

Thing that she'll have to figure out:
Weight/size. A heavier pistol will make her tire quicker one handed. Conversely, a heavy pistol won't recoil as bad. A small pistol may be easier to hold steady, but will jump a lot more. A larger pistol will probably be easier to hold between her legs to reload. Smaller, lighter pistols are also more likely to be sprung heavy, which may be difficult to rack.

Whatever pistol she chooses, it may help her to cant the pistol slightly when shooting. If you make a fist then punch straight out and hold it, you'll probably notice your hand is tilted, not vertical. So canting the pistol for one handed shooting can feel more natural.

Finally, I don't know your relationship with her, but often our closest loved ones are hard to teach. Patience gets lost quickly and polite suggestions get taken as criticism. Having her take a class is a great idea dad!!!

Good luck, I don't know either of you but I'm proud of both of you!


Very informative post, thank you. The only thing she has tried thus far was my Mrs 938. She did OK with it, but I want to make sure I try a few so she can figure out what she feels the most comfortable with.

A wiser man than I once told me; two things you should never do... teach your Mrs to drive a manual transmission car and the other is shoot, Haha. For her, muscle memory will be key... I need her to not develop any of my bad habits that would be tuff to break.


Sig P229 - .40
Sig M11-A1 - 9MM
Sig 938 - 9MM
Dan Wesson CCO
Wilson ADP
 
Posts: 68 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: March 19, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A striker fired pistol or if a classic Sig, then I would consider one with the DAK tigger. No decocker to contend with for a lefty and both have a nice double action trigger. I have Sig pistols in both DA/SA and DAK and shoot the DAK just as accurate.
 
Posts: 293 | Registered: December 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good advice presented above.
Have worked with strength limited handgun shooters, but not with one arm shooters. What I have learned that might be useful: 1. upper weight limit needs to be found - no more than something like 30 oz. seems typical. 2. Racking effort is a common go-not go. Protrusions can be a big aid as can a lighter recoil spring (and lighter ammo). 3. Effort to release the magazine can also be a limiting factor. As others have noted, a trigger-guard mag. release might be best. 4. Lighter ammo makes the needed practice more comfortable.

A specific suggestion is the new Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite because it shoots 22LR, it is not too heavy, can be opened for cleaning using only one hand, and racking can be performed using one hand. The latter is being done now by several shooters using a hardwood stick inserted into front of barrel and then pressing down. Sounds crude, but it works and can be done using only one hand without damage. Mag. release may take a bit of thought, but the magazines are then well ejected. Easy to mount a red-dot sight to enhance the experience.
Down side is the need to replace internals with a good part-kit so as to get better trigger with adjustable pre-travel and over-travel. The latter should not add more than about $100.

With confidence shooting a Mark IV Lite, the transition to a lightweight 1911 in 9mm would be a natural. Colt and Ruger make a light Commander size 1911.

Build confidence and skill with a Lite. Shoot some Bullseye matches with it where only one arm is used anyway. . . . and find someone else to be coach while you load and gunsmith.
Let us know what you do. Others will benefit.


Mac in Michigan
 
Posts: 337 | Location: Below the Bridge in Michigan | Registered: July 04, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I made it so far,
now I'll go for more
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K frame S&W

Bob


I am no expert, but think I am sometimes.
 
Posts: 3695 | Location: Mass | Registered: January 23, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of 1KPerDay
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I vote revolver...


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My hovercraft is full of eels.
 
Posts: 1564 | Registered: February 27, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I suggest the FN FNS...it is a true ambi pistol. While it is not as nice as a P320, VP9, or a PPQ. It has full ambi control and is often overlooked.
 
Posts: 598 | Location: Wisconsin  | Registered: May 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I suffered an amputation on my left/support hand I made it a priority to get to the range twice a week and practice everything with my primary hand while my support side was recovering. I discovered that the best gun for me strictly one handed was my G19. I practiced with many others including Sig, HK, revolvers, 1911's. Something about the really low bore axis and light weight made it ideal for one hand only shooting. Just my experience


For ME:
DA/SA= Sig 9mm
Striker fired= Glock 9mm
If it's a .45= 1911
Suppressed= HK in .45
I like anything in 10mm

 
Posts: 1295 | Location: VA | Registered: July 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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IMO a semi auto is much more likely to be pointed at a body part or someone else's while trying to load/unload/clear malfunctions one handed, than is a revolver (which you basically have to disassemble to load/unload... cylinder open there's zero chance of an ND). However if you're set on a semi, I'd have one or more of these mounted somewhere handy.

https://youtu.be/NkMFQM-SBrM?t=2m54s


---------------------------
My hovercraft is full of eels.
 
Posts: 1564 | Registered: February 27, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Stangosaurus Rex
Picture of Tommydogg
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I busted my left humerus bone 3 years ago and had to have a plate and 21 screws installed. I was one handed for almost a year. I picked up a compensated revolver, a S&W V Comp. I was so amazed by how well it shoots one handed with 38 special that today I prefer to shoot it one handed. With an underlugged barrel and the comp that it comes with, even .357 is easy!


___________________________
"I Get It Now"

Beth Greene
 
Posts: 6432 | Location: South Florida | Registered: January 09, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Get her to skip Frontsight. The fact that they would not aid her in a handgun selection is very telling. It's not well thought of in the community of reputable instructors.

Get her some good private instruction with a reputable instructor. If she lives in the Vegas area or is planning to travel to that area one of the very best handgun instructors in the country is just south of there. Among his clients are the USAF PJ's.
 
Posts: 37 | Registered: September 07, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Weight is going to be important. A one arm big man is going to have fewer issues with weight.

The FNS9C is nice. I bought one to use in IDPA as a BUG gun only to learn a week latter that the rules were changed and it has too long a barrel. More to the point of this conversation: wife finds it too difficult to rack using the convention methods. However, with a stick, it would be OK. If she finds a FNS9C to her liking - I will be pleased to send to your FFL for under wholesale.

I can see making a wooden frame to hold revolver for loading and unloading.


Mac in Michigan
 
Posts: 337 | Location: Below the Bridge in Michigan | Registered: July 04, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for all the recommendations. I took her to the range and rented a few just so she could get the feel of different guns. she tried:

- The original Sig 938 - Although fit her hand well, it had a bit more kick on the follow up shots.

- Smith and Wesson Shield - A little better. With the longer barrel, it was actually easier for her to stay on target. She liked this one as a left hand only shooter.

- FHN FNX9 - Liked this more than the shield. She said this one seemed to fit her and better and was just smoother feeling.

- HK 930SK - This one was the heaviest, so after 2 magazines she wanted a break... But having the ability to swap out grip/stock parts, we installed all the size small parts. This made the gun fit her well, have good balance and the recoil was more manageable.

I am going to the her to the range again this weekend and try them again. I like the idea of trainmen her with a 22LR so she can focus on trigger control and fundamentals with less kick. I have a P229 with the 22LR slide/mag... I am going to add that one to the mix this weekend.

I had her hold the revolver, and as the range guy was talking with her about loading etc; it scared her off... I am going to have her try one, but I need to make sure her head is in it before I do. Since she was starting with bad "feelings" it would have been a pretty biased review I think... We have watched many youtube videos about 1 hand shooting... Come to find out, not as unique of a situation as I thought. A LE buddy of mine said they train to use one hand in those "just in case" scenarios.

So the search continues... We are taking our time and I have enjoyed the bonding time we have had while shooting.

Roger


Sig P229 - .40
Sig M11-A1 - 9MM
Sig 938 - 9MM
Dan Wesson CCO
Wilson ADP
 
Posts: 68 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: March 19, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by rbert0005:
K frame S&W

Bob


Without knowing her intended use, I second this or any other quality revolver.


Risk the consequences of honesty...
 
Posts: 3827 | Location: DFW, TX | Registered: December 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Ice Cream Man
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FN 57 is light, low recoil and easy to rack
 
Posts: 3361 | Location: Republic of Ice Cream, Myrtle Beach, SC | Registered: May 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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