Shooting with arthritis is challenging. This article identifies the 6 best handguns for women with arthritis. If you’ve been living with arthritis, you understand better than most people how painful and difficult it can be to shoot and operate a firearm. This could put you at a significant disadvantage for using a gun for self-defense, fortunately, there are a number of defensive guns on the market from reputable gun manufacturers that are excellent choices for those of you struggling with arthritis.
There are several key criteria that handguns that must meet to be used by women with arthritis for self-defense. These criteria are:
- They must be reliable
- They must produce low recoil
- The controls, such as the trigger, slide, and safety must require minimal force to operate
It is important to note that if you are going to use a .22 for self-defense, it’s very important that you be selective about the ammo that you choose. It is wise to use high quality defensive hollow point ammunition with higher velocity. Some good brands are Hornady Critical Defense or the CCI Stinger rounds.
The UpLula (9mm – .45 ACP) and Baby Lula (.22 – .380) are great magazine loading assisters. Perfect for those with hand weakness.
6 Best Handguns For Women With Arthritis
Here are what I believe to be the 6 best defensive pistols for women with arthritis. I selected these pistols because each of them come from a reliable manufacturer and are reliable. The below have controls that require minimal physical effort to operate in contrast to other guns on the market.
2 – Ruger SR22 .22 LR
The .22 LR may not be considered the best round for self-defense, but it can be used for that purpose if need be. If you are a very recoil sensitive person especially, a .22 LR may be the best choice for a defensive firearm.
One example of a .22 LR pistol that would be a decent choice for defense is the Ruger SR22. This gun is heavily based off of the Walther P22 but is also known for being more reliable. The SR22 has a 10+1 capacity, is small enough to conceal carry, and is large enough to fight with adequately.
The slide is easy to rack to the rear and recoil is nearly non-existent thanks to the .22 LR chambering.
5 – Walther CCP M2 9mm
The Walther CCP is a blowback operated 9mm pistol with an 8+1 capacity that is well-known for having a slide that is very easy to rack back. The pistol also has excellent ergonomics and a framed mounted thumb safety that is very easy to operate.
The CCP also utilizes what Walther calls ‘soft coil’ technology, which basically means that the pistol produces very minimal recoil when fired, at least when compared to competing firearms such has the Glock 43 or the Smith & Wesson Shield.
NOTE: buy the CCP M2 and not the M1, because the M2 has a much easier field stripping process.
6 – Walther PK380 .380 ACP
Another option from Walther, in a light caliber, is the Walther PK380 in .380 ACP. This is a double action/single action hammer fired pistol. It is also very easy to rack back and was made so deliberately that way by Walther.
The capacity of the PK380 is 8+1. It comes with a paddle style magazine release allowing you to release the magazine with your thumb or your index finger. It features a slide mounted safety lever as well.
4 – Smith & Wesson Shield EZ .380 ACP
The Smith & Wesson Shield EZ in .380 ACP was designed specifically for people with arthritis and those who have difficulty operating the controls on a semi-automatic defensive pistol.
The Shield EZ, being chambered for the .380 round, produces naturally less recoil than a comparable 9mm offering. The slide is among the easiest to rack back on any semi-auto pistol on the market today. The 8 round stainless steel magazines feature tabs on both sides that make them significantly easier to load.
1 – Kel-Tec PMR-30 .22 Magnum
The Kel-Tec PMR-30 .22 Magnum is a very low recoil defensive pistol that also offers an astonishing 30 rounds of ammunition in the magazine, which is definitely more than enough for most if not all realistic defense situations.
This gun is a little large and may not be the best option for concealed carry. The trigger, however, is also very easy to pull and the slide is easy to rack back as well. That’s not to mention that the .22 Magnum already produces a very low level of kick in comparison to other calibers.
All in all, the Kel-Tec PMR-30 is an excellent choice for those with arthritis looking for an easy-to-shoot and use defensive handgun.
3 – Smith & Wesson Model 351C .22 Magnum
It may be that you just don’t like the idea of using a semi-automatic pistol at all, and would prefer the simplicity and
inherent reliability of a revolver.
If that’s case, your gaze will likely turn to snubnose revolvers such as the Smith & Wesson J-Frame, which is an excellent choice for concealed carry and self-defense. The only problem with most J-Frames for those with arthritis can be the recoil. This can make the weapon unpleasant to shoot.
A good alternative would be to use a snubnosed revolver with a much lighter caliber that could still be used for self-defense, such as the .22 Magnum in the Smith & Wesson Model 351C. This is one of the softest shooting snub nose revolvers on the market, and at an unloaded weight of just eleven ounces, the 351C can also be easily carried in a purse or a pocket without issue.
The 6 Best Handguns For Women With Arthritis Conclusion
The best handguns for women with arthritis will be a gun that is easy to shoot, produces low recoil, and that has controls that are not difficult to operate. Any one of the above six handguns meets that criteria effortlessly.
This article provided by EIC of Gun News Daily, Chris Browning
136 thoughts on “6 Best Guns For Women With Arthritis”
Great article; thank you. You mention the S &W 351C revolver chambered in .22Mag. Was wondering what you thought of maybe a Ruger LCR 327 but chambered in a lesser .32 ammo vs. the Federal 327? Was thinking the pro’s would be an easier trigger pull, center fire reliability and a more manageable recoil.
327 federal magnum LCR is an awesome gun. You can fire the S&W 32 short or long. No recoil Super easy to shoot. I have 2.
Also you can use 32 H&R magnum, that’s what I’d recommend, still pretty powerful, hardly any recoil and easily managed .
The 327 federal magnum is manageable in the lower 85 grain loads.
The Speer 100 grain gold dots are the real hot ones, you’ll feel it.
1,500 FPS n 500 lb of foot pounds.
I have had multiple hand/arm surgeries and I love my Glock 44 .22 caliber
I would like to buy a semi-automatic handgun with low or very low recoil, easy to operate and clean and small enough for concealed carry. I have small hands and arthritis in both wrists. I want a gun for personal, everyday defense but also a gun that is powerful enough to kill or at least stop a bear running at me when I’m camping in the woods. Thank you for any and all suggestions.
KJ- Stopping an adult bear is going to take a sizable caliber gun with a stout load, and a good aim. It’s likely that no handgun will reliably stop a bear and be arthritis ‘friendly’. May be time to consider a long gun if bear encounters are a real problem in your area.
I agree self denfence you could get a S&W Shielg 380 or 9 mm ez but to stop a bear running you or me don’t want that gun better to get a long gun
.. or stick to bear spray.
I agree. I don’t have arthritis and i have no problem with “the big boys’ guns” But for the woods i’d still go for a long gun. I was 18y/o about 100 pounds, i couldnt hit the target to save my life but you don’t feel like the gun is the boss. You just feel like you need more practice. The old AR15 jams all the time it’s annoying. Be aware that terrain and weather are factors that you need to take into consideration.
The old AR 15 as you say shouldn’t jam if you are taking care and make sure all parts and accessories are functioning correctly
If you have enough strength to pull back the slide I would recommend a Taurus G2 or Canik TPS9 series . The Taurus is a bit smaller but the Canik slides back easier in my opinion. The Canik Trigger pull is easier but having Arther myself I don’t notice much pain difference. If you ever pulled the trigger on a revolver then you will be in heaven with these. Big downfalls. Taurus is Brazilian and Canik Turkish. On the uptake they’re going to pack a slightly bigger punch than a . 22 or 380 . .
I would get a handgun that is comfortable for you and good for self defense. As for a bear coming at you, I would get a few cans of a bear deterrent and carry it with you when necessary. There are a few deterrents out there that are known to work well especially when a bear is close enough and then start shouting to scare the bear. We had to do this in 2016.
The 327 magnum in a Ruger sp101 would be the least powerful gun I can think of for a black bear. With a 3” barrel it outperforms a 357. Ammos expensive. The sp101 weighs 27 oz, but that absorbs some of the recoil. You can practice with .32acp or hr 32 long in the same gun for less recoil. It’s has FSE less recoil than a 357. The 357 wastes most of its powder in a revolver. 327 was designed specifically for a revolver. More muzzle energy due to higher velocity. You can get some hard flat nosed special ammo and it will blow through anything made of bone and flesh. My two cents. Shopping for the same thing for my wife.
You can’t shoot an 32 acp out of that revolver.
I have SP 101 4.2”.
It will fire 32 s&w shorts or longs and 32 H&R magnum.
Also 327 which kicks a little.
I think 32 H&R is a good in between. But ammo hard to find.
I can find 327 magnum super hot 100 gr Gold dots easier.
The 85 grain Federal still 1,400 FPS and easily manageable.
If it were me I would want a. 45 or a .44caliber at least to fend off a bear. I have a lot of arthritis issues in my hands as well as having had my trigger finger ripped away and re-attached in an automobile accident years ago. It’s hard finding something. My best solution so far has been the taurus judge. If I pull the hammer back first, the trigger pull is much easier but the kick is still there. A Revolver is very easy to clean and very reliable.
Agreed even though any high caliber can be used for defense while camping.
But you have to remember you need to practice with whatever you’re using n the cost of rounds is pretty high if you can find them now. If you can find a gun or simulation which now is great ya don’t gotta spend money on rounds. Point is you may endure the pain of recoil let’s say in a revolver like the Judge mentioned above , you may just save your life but ya gotta know how to use it. I’ll take a little pain for maybe once in a lifetime encounter, maybe n carry the larger caliber. For every day carry same thing learn, practice, but by all means protect yourself. You may never have to use it. We all hope not.
Glock 44. Or Glock 43x the 44 is a little bigger but light weight and now recoil.
10mm is considered the smallest pistol round for a bear, But you might also consider bear mace. The best way to stop a bear is for the bear to choose to stop.
Can I get an updated list of recommended guns for woman with arthritic hands? Seems some of these models are not available?
We do have a newer article about what types of features you should be looking for when you have certain limitations called Guns and Hand Limitations, to read, CLICK HERE.
Or have you tried our gun finder yet? It is a short quiz that helps you narrow down your choices based on your needs! You can find that HERE.
They’re available, just hard to find in stock because everyone is buying so many in fear of 2nd amendment restrictions. Try looking on. gunbroker.com. When I can’t find one, I usually find it on there, and usually for cheaper than my local gun shop.
Try this site. You have to register but once you create an account it you can put it the item number of any gun in the search bar and it will tell you the cheapest places to buy. Who charges shipping and sales tax. If it’s put of stock you can register to be notified when it’s back on stock. It’s a great site to find the best places to get guns from.
You gotta search and buy online and have it sent to your local gun shop for FFL transfers
I have RA, and I have small hands. I carry a 9mm Sig P250 compact. It fits my hand great, and the recoil is very manageable.
Hey guys…. I need help LOL I do not own a gun HOWEVER I’m going to start my journey with trying to find the perfect gun for myself. I travel a lot and with my children and I want to feel safe. What gun would you recommend? I want something light with very very little kickback. Please help this momma out. Thank you ☺️
Have you tried our Gun Finder? You can find that HERE
or we have some great articles on finding the gun for you. You can find those HERE
To advise someone as to the perfect gun for them is difficult at the most, however my suggestion would be to go to you local gun dealer perhaps one with a gun range to try different gun and calibers the get the feel and comfort that most satisfies your expectations of a self- defense weapon after day this my most honored weapon is the Sig Saur p325 compacted and functional to my expectations
The Smith & Wesson EZ in .380 and 9mm come with extra safety for added safety if kid were ever to get a hold of one. You gave to apply adult level of grip to fire and it comes with or without the usual safety tab. These two guns are in the top 5 of easy to rack handguns. The 9mm is a higher caliber but many still choose the .380.
Does it have a big kick to it? I am starting to look at guns. I hate that kickback after fire but that is because I am not the average experienced guns woman right now so what is the very best gun for a woman with least kick when fired but yet enough to defend? Thanks
Hi Vivi, I rented a lot of handguns before finding the best home defense gun for my needs and recommend you do the same. What I found was — the heavier the gun — the less perceived recoil. As a result, my home defense weapon of choice was the 9mm ERA Witness in blued steel. Stainless steel would have been my preference, but cost considerably more. More recently I purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P 9 full size. Much lighter than the EAA Witness but the low bore axis makes the recoil feel very manageable. I recommend 9mm followed by 380 for self-defense. The Smith & Wesson Shield EZ would be my choice from the group listed up above, especially since Smith has made the slide very easy to operate. I believe it is available in several calibers.
The first time I walked into a gun shop, the salesperson handed me a large Ruger 9mm. I can’t remember the model but try as I might, I couldn’t pull back the slide. I can operate that same gun now, but I think it’s because I’ve had more experience and am not intimidated like I was when I first started out in my search for a gun.
So go out and rent several 9’s and 380’s to see what operates and shoots best for you.
If you feel that a .22 is all you can handle, I recommend you consider the Ruger SR22 semi-auto pistol. Rimfire ammo, like the 22lr, does not shoot as reliably from a semi-auto pistol as it does from a revolver as the low power of the 22 round can make it difficult for the slide of a semi-auto to fully cycle between rounds. The Ruger SR22 seems to be among the most reliable 22lr semi-autos in terms of the fewest number of firing failures. Keeping your gun very clean and learning how to handle it properly will also help avoid “failure to fire” rounds. Also, if you go the 22lr route, check out the variety of 22 revolvers on the market as they are the most reliable shooters of the 22 round as compared to semi-auto pistols.
If your hands are bad I do not recommend the 9mm shield Ez for the fact that there is a safety in the handle where you have to squeeze it very tightly to get it to fire. Or the gun will not. Ar first was not a problem but I get cramps in my palms sometimes and that extra pressure is rough..which is why I’m looking for a new firearm and the hunny is getting my EZ…
The grip safety on the 9mm EZ does not have to be squeezed very tightly. With any gun, you need to have a good grip on it or it will either come out of your hand when fired or you will miss your target badly. But the 9mm EZ doesn’t require any tighter grip to disengage the grip safety than you need on any other gun. I have this gun, and I’ve also suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel for over 20 years, and I have absolutely NO problem with the grip safety. The least amount of pressure on it disengages it and the gun will fire. Go to a local gun shop and try out a few guns. That’s the best way to decide what is right for you. My opinion is to go with at least a .380. A twenty-two doesn’t have the stopping power you need for personal protection.
Also, with an automatic, you need a firm grip anyway, to make sure it cycles properly.
IMHO, a .22 is better than nothing, but a .380, 9mm, .40, or .45 is better if you can handle it.
380ACP will have more recoil than a .22 mag or .22LR. If you want low recoil, light racking, and light trigger pull, I’d recommend the Ruger LCP .22LR.
The more you shoot, the less you notice recoil
Shoot some heavier grain ammo like 147 with slower speed
These tend to have less recoil as many articles describe. Borrow or rent a gun and shoot 50 rounds of 115, then 50 rounds of 147. After you put the recoil behind you, you can go out and focus on buying a gun that feels good and fits your budget.
Thank you for this article and the great reviews that followed. While my father isn’t a woman, these selections still made finding a new pistol for him very easy. In fact, with this list we were in and out of the gun show in record time! He went with the S&W Shield EZ .380. It is every bit EZ! He traded in his Springfield full size .40 cal since he could no longer rack the slide. With the EZ though he was operating it like he was back active duty in the Marine Corps. Both the slide and trigger pull were very manageable for his 86 year olds hands to operate. Thanks again to everyone on this thread!
Thank you for that lovely reply. It brought tears to my eyes. Tell your dad “Thank you for your service” and “Semper Fi”. I’m sure he is happy to be able to shoot again like he’s back on active duty. I was an Army Nurse for awhile and love to shoot but rheumatoid arthritis stopped that. I am looking again and hopefully these suggestions will help get me back there as well. Thank you again and God bless you and your dad.
Surprised to not see the Heckler & Koch VP9 on here. Only firearm I can easily drop the magazine out of and rack without hurting my hands. I have severe carpal tunnel and weakness on both sides. This baby shoots like a dream as well. Came highly recommended by my instructor as every other firearm we have is too hard for me to use.
If you get a chance try the ×other cap m2 with softcoil technology reduced recoil and easy slide comes in 9mm and 380
My wife is in her mid-fifties, and her arthritis is affecting her trigger finger. She really can’t fire revolvers; she needs a pistol. But it has to be something with a light trigger pull. We are considering the Ruger SR22, but we are open to suggestions.
I like the Smith and Wesson m&p 380 EZ shield ;(not just for ladies or the arthritic); this weapon is easy to slide, load, and has a comfortable easy trigger pull.
Hi Erik. I am having a similar issue with my finger. Arthritis has caused my trigger finger to bend so that if my hand is positioned properly on my Springfield 9mm, the pad of my finger that should be on the trigger is pointing down and resting on the metal frame around the trigger. Practicing shooting leaves the outer side of my trigger finger sore and raw. If the pad of the finger is properly on the trigger, the rest of my hand is lower than it should be and I cannot press the safety in order to shoot. I do not have trouble with the recoil. The arthritis is solely in my trigger finger in both hands. I would appreciate any help with this.
I’m a man who loves my ruger SR22. Fund to shoot. Cheap to shoot. I also own a glock 19, gen 5 but with being a lefty and some arthritis, it’s more of a pain at times. I also love my Ruger PC Carbine. Shotguns for hunting. I might even consider going back to a smth & Wesson 357 revolver. I was always a revolver guy. Easier to shoot and clean.
Love my ruger sr22. Fun to shoot ammo cheap. Clock 19 is ok. Love my ruger pc carbine too
Have her try the Sig P320, I have the same issue with my hands.
I have a Ruger SR22 and the trigger pull is very easy. I don’t have arthritis in my finger but do in my shoulder and also have lymphedema in the that same arm and have no problems at all shooting or pulling the trigger.
I have a Taurus G3 and I don’t have a problem with it. I am 70 and have arthritis in my hands.
I have arthritis as well. The best gun I’ve found to utilize the slide, drop the mag (very easy), and clean is the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 9mm. The gun is extremely well balanced in the hands, therefore, making it easier to operate in the way it cradles the hand. They make the same model that is not the EZ and I could not slide the rack. Luckily, the gun shop made it easy and gave me 100% refund and showed me the EZ model. The magazines also have tabs on each side to make loading the ammo a breeze without too much pain! I cannot speak for the others on this list as I’ve not tried any of them! It’s very accurate and the EZ can be concealed easily! I recommend you find a place which you can try each of these to see what works best for you!
I have ruger 22. Love it. May not be a 9mm, but it’s better than a stick!
Does it have a big kick to it? I am starting to look at guns. I hate that kickback after fire but that is because I am not the average experienced guns woman right now so what is the very best gun for a woman with least kick when fired but yet enough to defend? Thanks
I have arthritic thumbs, carpal tunnel and now the pinky side of the wrist is painful with a tear that will require surgery. I had been using the Glock 42 for carry and could handle the recoil fairly well, but apparently the wrist is now so weak that I have trouble with the gun feeding properly (stove piping and double feeding). Hate to change guns since I’ve got a fair amount of $$$ tied up in the holsters, sights, etc., but the problems I have with it now make me afraid of it. I’ve heard good things about the Sig P238 and am thinking of getting one. Anyone out there with opinions on that gun?
This is my first and only gun so far, so I might not be the best to answer, but I will say I just got back from the range with family that has a collection of handguns. I am having osteoarthitis issues that affect my grip strength and of all the guns tried today – I LOVE my Sig P238. I am able to rack the slide with ease. It’s smooth and did not take as much grip strength as others. Minimal recoil, shorter trigger pull, and lightweight as well. I have actually been looking for a second gun and considering going to a revolver just for ease of loading, but I am having a hard time finding one that compares to the P238. I would highly recommend it!
Thank you Danielle
I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE my Sig Sauer P238!! It was my first solo purchase and I researched and rented many different pistols at the range before finally settling on the P238. I needed something with very little recoil that could be worn. I have met many men that use the P238 as their secondary/back up conceal carry, but for me it is my first love.
The very first time I shot it, a big smile came across my face and after months of research, I said “This is the one”. I purchased an extended magazine for it, and it still fits nicely in my holster or purse and is lightweight and easy to maneuver.
I have a few guns and my first gun was a Sig P238 HD. The HD is the all stainless version, which practically means that it weighs about 1/3 heavier. It’s 20oz instead of 15oz, which makes the recoil even less. (The heavier the gun, the less the felt recoil). It’s the gun i carry for concealed carry. I don’t carry a backup gun. To me carrying 2 guns seems a little silly. I love how easy and “buttery smooth” racking the slide is. It shoots extremely smooth too. I don’t have any issues with my hands, I just like an easy to operate pistol. To me, it’s kinda the perfect gun that’s in-between small (like a .22) and a larger 9mm or bigger gun. I think it’s perfect for concealed carry, yet powerfull enough for self defense. It’s like the perfect sweet spot. I bought an extended 7-round magazine for it with a pinky rest, but later decided that since it made the gun a little larger, that that negated the whole point in buying the size gun that i did. I did however find a product from magguts.com and bought a magazine that holds 7 rounds in a magazine the same exact size as the 6 round magazine. From their website, you can either buy a new magazine (pre-converted to 7) or you can buy the innards to convert your existing 6round to a 7round. I’ve used the magguts magazine for about 2 years now and it’s an awesome product that gives you another round.
I forgot on my reply that you said that you have an extended magazine. Magguts.com also sells a conversion kit that converts your 7 round magazine to an 8 round. So with 1 in the chamber , that’s 9 rounds, which is pretty nice for such a small gun. If you buy from the website, there is a video that shows you how to convert it. It’s either on the website or youtube, i can’t remember. It’s pretty easy actually
Look at the Ruger SR22 LR. Recoil is less, easy to pull trigger….
Thank you to all that replied. Your input sure helped sway me in the right direction. The Sig p238 is the perfect gun for me. The first time I used it, I was amazed how easy the slide racked and theres so little recoil. It’s such a great little gun that my husband is going to get one too.
I have the Sig .380 P238 and have arthritis in both hands, wrists and shoulders. I used this gun for concealed carry and find it is both easy for me to rack the slide and reload when at the range. I have my original purchase from several years ago, a Sig .380 P232 with Hogue grips and that one is my favorite. The slide is thinner and has grooves on it making it super easy to rack back. Only thing is, it’s a bit bigger and a bit too obvious for carrying under a TShirt. Either are excellent handguns.
I am a 74 year old lady who also has trouble racking the slides of many of the semi-automatics out there.
I had thought about getting a S&W 9mm EZ or the Walther CCP M2 in 9mm. I have talked to people who have had ejection problems in the S & W EZ and have now read many articles about the Walther CCP M2 having ejection and jamming problems. My gun dealer advises against the Walther because of bad experience with the model and about what he called terrible public relations when he attempted to get satisfaction from Walther. What are your thoughts about this.
If the ejection issue is stovepiping, a higher and firmer grip will help with that. The ez also comes in .380 perhaps a little less recoil. .22 pistols like the ruger sr, will have very little recoil.
I’m 52, and I have a M&P380 ez that I absolutely love! I have arthritis in my hands and shoulders and can shoot all day with no issues. Easy slide, easy loading into the magazine, and easy pull trigger. My first gun so I was a little nervous, but now I’ve shot a variety of others and I have to say, its very comfortable. Now I’m looking for a shotgun!
I also have hand, wrist & shoulder issues & I’m going to be 61 in a couple of days. I never felt the need for a gun until the recent issues in our country. I purchased the S&W 380 EZ. I’m very happy with it. Recoil isn’t bad at all
The safety grip ensures that I’m gripping tight enough.
My girlfriend of 15 yrs has had surgery on her thumb and has hand strength issues. She has a ccp m2 380 and loves It. We have put around 200 rounds though it not one problem. It very important to keep it clean because of the mechanics of the gun.
I’m 70 yr. old woman that lives alone. I have a carry license but the 25 is almost useless to me. I have athritis and autoimmune. What would you recommend. I can’t lock or unlock this or pull trigger back comfortably
Shotgun is my recognition. You’re bound to hit something!
I recommend a shotgun. You’re bound to hit something and you’re using 2 game AND a shoulder to handle the recoil.
I have RSD in my primary hand, and also have quiet a bit of muscle dystrophy. My gun is the Taurus Judge! It will shoot both .45 caliber ammo, and 410 Gauge shells! Best home defense weapon on the market IMO!!!
Mossberg .410 pump action shotgun or a .22 automatic rifle, either a Marlin model 60 or a Ruger 10/22.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but as my hands/wrists have gotten worse I’ve gradually switched over to increasingly heavy, all-steel framed guns. I currently pretty much only shoot CZ’s – the bigger and heavier the better to absorb the shock. Typically put 400 rounds through each weekend with no ill-effects. With lighter guns I’m lucky if I can get through a magazine without being in pain.
Probably the best is a Ruger LCR in .327 magnum. While the .327 puts out some recoil it also shoots the .32 H&R magnum and the .32 S&W Long.. Lots of choices. I love mine…..
I am a 70 year old male who is used to carrying a 1911 and love that gun. However, I am now confined to a wheelchair and my muscle strength has become damaged to the point I cannot rack the slide on the semi autos I loved so much. I found the Smith and Wesson 9mm EZ just at Christmas. The slide and all other operations are amazingly easy to use. It’s the only 9 mm I could rack. It has easy loading magazines and the trigger is heavier than I was used to in my Kimber 1911, but it certainly is no problem. The load assist on the magazines are very nice as well. I never thought that would be an issue. Now one of my hobbies have been restored to me and I am blessed and happy to find a pistol that works for me.
Thanks so much for sharing!!! I carry an EA. 38 revolver because I cannot rack a slide or load a magazine, but my. 38 is kinda heavy..
Joe – thanks for sharing! I’m 35 and suffer from a muscle disability, I’m excited to test out the S&W 9MM EZ as well! Glad to hear this firearm is easy to use. I carry a 1911 as well, but would like to move away from having to carry a cocked-and-locked firearm.
Yes please do. The Smith and Wesson 9mm EZ is an awesome firearm and very easy to chamber. I love mine.
S&W MP 9EZ pistols are sold out. They recommended me to have Colt mustang 380 auto. What do you think? Thank you.
Well I had one i like then was around early 70’s I gave to my ex husband after we divorced. .now am older with what’s going on I need one to protect my self but i don’t like pistols.
Thank you for your posting! I’m 64, my daughter and I need a handgun. Is the brand you purchased comfortable for ladies? God bless!
Thanks for sharing, I’m 65, very strong and healthy, however, due to a lot of physical work over the years, my hands are weak and it is very difficult for me to rack. I have been researching a good option for me and comments like yours help so much!
I’m 58 and have an autoimmune disease that affects tendons in my wrists. Also my hands are stiff sometimes from rheumatoid arthritis. Any suggestions on which gun would be best for me? I’m home alone at night as my husband works 3rd shift. He leaves me his Ruger 9mm but it has a hard recoil that hurts my wrist. I pray if I ever need to use it for personal protection the adrenaline will help me ignore the recoil and shoot until they stop moving
Hi Shari, I would take this list of guns and head over to a range or local gun shop to see if you are able to try any of these options (all great for hand weakness). I have personally shot the S&W M&P .380 Shield EZ and can say that it is one of the easiest guns to shoot and handle! Even with hand weakness, this gun had an easy trigger pull, the slide racked with little effort, and the recoil was low. It is definitely a gun that would be a good option to try out!
I have a. 380 EZ and a. 38 Ruger pistol. I also suffer from severe arthritis in my hands, wrists, and shoulders. I can’t rack my EZ anymore, but I can still use my .38 with a 90 grain, Teflon jacketed load, no problem. Hope this helps others with arthritis!
One thing to keep in mind is shot placement. The gun needs to not hurt you otherwise you won’t hit where you want. For home defense/ personal protection while your husband is at work, maybe try a .410 shotgun. As far as hand guns if you’re ever going to concealed carry I would recommend a revolver they never jam or miss feed. This is especially important if you’re going to purse carry. My wife is looking to carry and I’m leaning towards the S&W 351C. I already own a couple S&W and they are a good product. The best gun for defense is the one that doesn’t hurt you to shoot and you’re accurate with. Good luck.
If you find a good weapon let me know . Have the exact
Conditions that you do.
The Walthers and the S&W Shield EZ sound good to me. Another possibility might be the Beretta model 86 .380. It had a tip-up barrel, so there would be no problem racking a slide. It is no longer in production, but some online sites have advertised used ones at reasonable prices.
A DA Ruger or Smith and Wesson revolver in .22, but on a medium frame (Ruger GP-100, S&W 648) should have manageable recoil, and if you can’t handle the DA trigger, you could manually cock the hammer.
.22 and .380 lack the stopping power of a .40 or a .45, but they are better than nothing, especially for a person who can’t handle the big calibers.
With the advances in self defense ammo .380 9mm 40 and 45 all will perform roughly the same. The bullets are designed to pentrate 14-18 inches and dump their energy into the target. I would agree however that 22 lr and 22 magnum are noy goid defensive rounds. Yes they can kill but they lack the trauma producing capability to quickly stop an attacker. There have been many cases of people shot with a 22 that expired hours later after continuing to do bad things. The smallest calibers I reccomend are 380 or 38 special out of a 2 inch barrel. The edge going to the 380 due to the difficulty in shooting a small snub nose revolver. The Smith and Wesson 380 EZ would be an optimum pistol based on these criteria. I carried one for a year after I shattered my wrist. I have been teaching people to shoot for 20 plus years and the 380 EZ seems to be one of the better desugbd of the last 20 years.
I am 73 years young and what kind of gun should I get…22 or 25. Ore 9 mm….can anybody help me…
Have you tried our Gun Finder? It is a quiz that asks about your abilities and gives you a list of suggested guns to try! Here is the link The Well Armed Woman Gun Finder
Thank you for sharing the link for the gun finder. I’m learning a lot from you all, before I make a purchase. Thank you, everyone.
Go to a range that rents guns, they will help you and you will be able to try a lot of different styles and calibers.
I absolutely love the Ruger GP100. It’s a big gun., but the balance is incredible.
IMO.. I think the Bond Arms BullPup 9 needs on this list. It’s by far the easiest of my pistols to operate. My 90 yo grandmother can slide it and pull the trigger with no complaints.
I’m looking for a handgun smaller than my Glock 19 that I can use for concealed carry. I’ve had hand surgery and I am able to use my Glock because of hand strengthening exercises but racking the slide is difficult in the cold.
I appreciate your list. I was looking at the shield and that’s a possibility but I need to go try some of these different ones.
I have the Smith & Wesson 380 ez and I love it! I have arthritis and carpal tunnel and it is so easy to rack. My next purchase will be the Walther CCP M2 9mm because it’s just like my ez
I have arthritis in my hands. I love my Ruger LCP 380.
Yes I don’t think arthritis is for women only so maybe a title without gender is more what this needs. I can’t pull back any of my guns anymore so need revolver I’m 68 and my hands are painful but I want to defend myself with something smaller than the canon I have lol. Thanks for info.
Since this is a well armed woman’s site I think that referring to arthritis in woman is apropos.
I want to know about arthritis and guns as it relates to my weaker arthritic hand.
I compete in 22 slowfire unassisted
I use a 22 beretta
I carry a 22 magnum interarms tiny revolver that fits in my bra in a small cellphone holder . As a backup I carry a 38revolver S&W airweight and hollow points. Laser point and most importantly pink grips. Love my weapon! GO PINK OR GO HOME
Wow! Stephanie Chesney. Are you angry? I am a 50 year old man that happened to find this page as I am researching for a pistol for my wife. I do apologize for intruding into a no men allowed website. Lighten up lady.
The Well Armed Woman was created to cater to women’s needs but men are welcome! I hope you find some valuable information for your wife.
Tiny, I think Stephanie was responding to the men complaint about the title of the article. She was just pointing out the site is directed at woman and therefore the title appropriate. Lol.,
Sites like Well Armed Woman is a perfect place to look for suggestions for a handgun for your wife or daughter! You are most welcome here.
I am small framed, 62 y.o. with arthritis in my hands and wrists and I am left-handed. I love my Ruger SP101 .357magnum external hammer most. It fits my hand well and the recoil is manageable with .38 special rounds. I also like my Beretta Pico .380. It is smoother than the Ruger LCP .380 and very concealable. When my hands & wrists are weak I use an aid to rack the slide.
I would like to try the Bond Arms Bull Pup! But I prefer revolvers because they are just easier.
I have to respectfully disagree with the revolver. I find that a lot of ladies with arthritic hands have a hard time pulling the heavier triggers of some revolvers, and what I’m finding on that trigger is worse than usual. American Rifleman’s review lists it as 15 lbs. That’s outrageous compared to what I already find difficult for ladies in the 12lb S&W airweight models, and 60% greater than the 9lb trigger of the Ruger LCR.
I had my triggers worked on so thw lightest pull is all you need. coming from the manufacturer, yeah, they are stiff. get someone to work on it and problem solved.
That is why I like external hammers on my revolvers. If I manually pull the hammer, the trigger is next-to-nothing.
True, but the recoil on my .38 Chief’s Special was too much for my arthritic hand. I’m going with the EZ.
That’s the one out of all of them that I’ve seen that has the easiest pull back and release. Love this model.
I am 62. Arthritis in hands. Love my Beretta Bobcat!!! Bought it as a backup to my Sig P320. Concealability?! Fantastic! Lightweight? Super! Easy to shoot? Absolutely! Tend to carry it more often than my Sig 9mm and Ruger 9mm. Love the little bugger!!! Highly recommend!!!!
The CCP M2 is a great gun Janet. The magazine release is ambidextrous 🙂 Here is a review: https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2018/08/sponsored-content/feast-your-eyes-on-the-new-walther-ccp-m2/
Good question. Lefty here. Following answer.
62 year old man, but regularly exercise and stay in fairly good shape. Important subject to bring up. Would like to see more like this for those of us who have arthritis or other physical disabilities. I am not quite that bad yet, but arthritis in my hands are starting to give me limitations, some days are worst than others . I do recommend hand gripper/tension exercise . They do get your hands stronger and help keep them flexible for a better grip, despite the pain.
I’ll second the Glock 42 for low recoil. I love to let my students shoot the LCP, S & W Bodyguard .380 and the Glock 42. The difference is evident! Definitely one to add to the list!
I like what you shared about the Ruger LCR327.
I’m 74 n I have a Sig Sauer P238 .380 w a pearl handle. . Smoothest gun for me n great for a concealed carry weapon.
But is it good for women with autoimmune diseases or arthritis?
I also love my Sig. It’s great when you have small hands.
I carry the S&W EZ 380. Can rack the slide with 2 fingers. Would be worth your time to check it out. Did carry the Body guard but there is a ton of difference
What are your thoughts on this gun for kick back and losing fodder an 82 year old with arthritis please
I have one too, absolutely love it..easy to rack, light..dependable.. I wish they’d make it in .9mm.
Thank you! I have a Glock 19 and a 43. But I am going to check out the Walthet CCP M2. My only concern is, I shoot left handed and wonder if it is ambidextrious.
Thank you for including a revolver, I much prefer them to the semi automatics! Looks like I will have to go check it out!
I own the Ruger SR22 .22 LR. Love it. Easy to fire, low recoil, lightweight, sure fire every time, and fits my smaller hand. I can easily take it apart and clean. I conceal carry with it as well. I handled and test fired many different pistols before choosing the Ruger SR22 .22 LR. It’s my first and my forever!
I have a Ruger SR22 and the Walther CCP 9MM. My wife loves the SR22 because it is very easy for her to operate. The CCP is easy for her to shoot but she has trouble sliding and loading. Both are great sidearms but the SR 22 is much easier to operate.
I also am male, 78 years old with carpel tunnel problems in both hands, at present I carry a 380 auto Llama, but the slide is hard to grip and rack for me, but the grip is a very good fit with my small hands. I carry 24/7 everywhere.
Get you a Smith and wesson 380 shield ez very easy to rack. I have rheumatoid arthritis and it’s easy to rack this gun and the bag are thumb loaded with a pull down loader in the mag mine has the green laser. My sister has one with no laser
I agree with you, but wish to add the EZ is as safe as I have ever seen. You can load unload the EZ with the thumb safty on and for it to shoot you have to be holding the handle safety on for it to shoot. I have both the 380 and the 9mm and they are so close I had to mark the 9mm. The size is so close I would say get the 9mm due to the cost of ammo. I see no reason to dislike the 380 or the 9mm. EZ
I have smith Wesson ez. Absolutely love it. Very easy to rack to get ready to shoot
This web page is called The Well Armed WOMAN. It may apply to all, but they publish content aimed at women.
I am a dog groomer, age 66, my hands are terrible. I can’t even open jars anymore. However, I LOVE my Sig Sauer P238! Very easy to pull the slide.
Both of my wrists are fused, and I completely agree with the Ruger SR22 mention. I love mine. Super low recoil. I’ll definitely be looking into the others. Thank you!
Ruger LC is also very smooth to rack & shoot
Seems like the Beretta 3032 Tomcat might be a good fit for this list.
Great information! I have arthritis and fibromyalgia so less strain on my joints the better! I currently shoot a Glock 42 and a Ruger. I’ve been thinking of getting the E Z just haven’t had time to get to the range and try it out. My husband really thinks I should get a revolver so I’m going to give them both a try and see what’s the best. Thanks for all the great and informative articles!
OK. I am a full grown man, but…..senior enough, arthritis enough, neurological problems affecting my hand enough, that I took notice enough of the article, “6 best guns for women with arthritis”. This selection of guns mentioned is good for all of us that have arthritis or other conditions, or those that just prefer low recoil.