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Old 06-05-2018, 12:59 AM
1eyeshooter 1eyeshooter is offline
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Default Wife wants a light weight light recoil revolver

My wife would like a light weight light recoil .22 LR revolver. We are both over 72 and would only do occasional plinking and target shooting. She tried various revolvers today and liked the S&W 317 the most because of its light weight and smooth trigger pull in double action. Before I buy one for her I would like to hear from experienced S&W folks with more experience. Unfortunately, no ranges nearby have one to rent and test fire. I am so pleased she decided to join me in target shooting after more than 50 years of marriage I will buy her what ever revolver she wants. Thanks in advance for comments for me to consider.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:17 AM
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I bought my wife a little J-frame S&W Model 34-1 "Kit Gun" back in 1980. She loves the revolver because it's light and easy for her to shoot. It is a sweet shooter and I have used it to introduce other ladies to handguns.

S&W Model 34-1 "Kit Gun" in .22 Long Rifle with Altamont Walnut grip stocks.




Thanks for looking at my wife's Kit Gun.

God bless,
Birdgun

Last edited by Birdgun; 06-05-2018 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:20 AM
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My wife carries a 2" model 317 every day and has for years.

Revolver is filled with 8 rounds of cci stingers of which she is
quite competent with.

I would suspect that others will not agree with her choice of
firearm but my view is let her carry what she knows how to
use, and she does.

And better this measly little 22 than a 1911 that she wouldn't
carry at all.

terry
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:28 AM
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I know you mentioned 22 LR but I would humbly suggest checking out the S&W 351PD in 22 Mag. More power than the LR and recoil is still minimal.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:31 AM
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A Model 317, with a smooth double action trigger pull ?

I would like to see that.

My 317 trigger is so bad, I put in another mainspring. It will only fire reliably, with single action use. It's a field gun, so that doesn't bother me.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:56 AM
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I like the j-frame .22s but they are (at least for me) more difficult to shoot well than a slightly larger and heavier 4" Model 18 or something similar. I have no new S&W .22s and don't know what's currently available. Just something to consider.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:29 AM
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My wife. Took my model 43c.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1eyeshooter View Post
My wife would like a ***light weight light recoil .22 LR revolver***. We are both over 72 and would **only do occasional plinking and target shooting***.
Ruger LCRX 8-Shot .22LR


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Old 06-05-2018, 10:00 AM
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If your wife liked that gun on the range, after shooting it, get it. If just in the gun store, doesn't count.

Light weight and light recoil do NOT go together, although with a .22LR it might not matter much. Light weight and sufficient stability to shoot targets well do not go together.

Birdgun's recommendation is best for most women, and even the grips illustrated may be the best for your wife, although there are many others.

For your stated use (NOT defensive), I believe that a Model 34 (steel) would be better than lighter guns, and better than larger guns which will probably not fit your wife's hand at all.
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Last edited by Model520Fan; 06-07-2018 at 04:25 PM. Reason: put "ci" in "sufficient"
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:10 AM
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Let your wife pick her gun.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:19 AM
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I heartily agree with Rpg.

If she gets a chance to shoot an older Model 30 or 31 (I-frames) or their J-frame equivalents (30-1 or 31-1) in .32 Long she might give up on the .22 idea. A bit more oomph and just a pleasure to shoot. Can be found in 2", 3" or 4" barrels.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:20 AM
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My old H&R Model 676 22 revolver had a much better DA trigger pull than the S&W Model 34 that I replaced it with.
And yes, it's been back to the factory for a tune-up and repairs.
J frame Smiths don't always have the best/smoothest trigger pulls.
Larger S&W revolvers are where you get a good trigger pull.

Last edited by max503; 06-05-2018 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:47 AM
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Op stated that the use would be plinking and target shooting, which are both enjoyable shooting sports that my family engages in a lot.

The ladies (wife and 6 daughters) usually like the 22LR's for target and spinners, cans, paper punching, and all of them seem to like the longer barrels, longer sight radius and the stocks don't seem to matter much due to little if any, felt recoil.

The 2" is a .32 Long and feels just like a 22 Magnum out of this Model 31-1, the Model 34-1 is 4" and all around best choice for fun and accuracy, but when they get serious about knocking spinners, cans at little longer ranges, they grab the Model 17-3 with 6 " barrel and are pretty darn good with it.

Usually after an hour or so, they all want to step up to 38 for more oomph. Meanwhile, the "guys" ( 3 sons - 2 SIL's) are busy banging away with the Model 28, Model 27, Model 25, etc. and we are also happy to take a break and knock over some cans with the 22's.

OP whatever your wife's choice that fits her hands, that is the gun to buy...doesn't have to be new either, some real bargains are out there at LGS in used guns.

You are truly blessed to have a wife that enjoys the things you do. I am 73 and my wife of 53 years also enjoys the shooting sports, sometimes as spectator, sometimes steps up to the line, sometimes trudging down a cold range to reset targets, staple new ones, etc.

Makes the "after range day" evening cookout much more enjoyable with family gathered and just enjoying the company.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:02 AM
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Buy it before she changes her mind. Then if she decides she wants something else, buy her that too. Before long, she might have more guns than you and, If you are lucky, she might even let you shoot a few of them
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncleted327 View Post
I know you mentioned 22 LR but I would humbly suggest checking out the S&W 351PD in 22 Mag. More power than the LR and recoil is still minimal.
Notice the original post indicated that the gun was to be used purely for plinking and recreation. Many comments above seemed related to concealed carry or for defense!

Therefore, 22LR is perfect for the mission!

I would recommend any S&W 22 LR revolver not over 4 barrel for weight considerations. Shorter barrels for plinking may result in less accuracy.

This may be blasphemy on the S&W forum. But you may want to consider Ruger LCRx in 22LR with the three inch barrel.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:09 AM
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My DW just bought a Walther P22. Her new go to gun. Btw if anyone thinks .22 is not a viable round, I've seen it drop q 1000lb bull with one shot. Look at "Swamp People" and see what they're shooting the Gators with. Known fact that alot of assassins used/s .22. NO one wants to get shot, not even by a .22 YMMV
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion520AZ View Post
Ruger LCRX 8-Shot .22LR
This.

I wish S&W would make something to compete with it and the .38 Sp version.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:36 AM
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I think the 317 should be light enough for your wife...

John

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Old 06-05-2018, 11:46 AM
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Keep in mind that Smith triggers from the factory are usually terrible.

A trigger job by a competent gunsmith will solve the issue.

This isnt a do it yourself proposition: triggers should get professional attention.
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:19 PM
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Wouldn't a K22 Airweight be neat?
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:20 PM
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317
34
35 (kit gun with 6" bbl)
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:33 PM
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43c, with 8 Velocitors (over Stingers as they weight 20 percent more).

351c, with 7 GDHP.
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:33 PM
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"Keep in mind that Smith triggers from the factory are usually terrible."

My NRA pistol coach buddy calls them "lawyer triggers"....
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:48 PM
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Buy what ever she wants. My wife prefers semi autos, and the Ruger Mark series are just smile makers. For plinking, and plinking only 22 if I was limited to a Smith it would be the Victory.

As for 22 revolvers there are so many choices it can make one dizzy. The Ruger SP101 might be a good choice, lots of good reviews.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnK View Post
A Model 317, with a smooth double action trigger pull ?

I would like to see that.

My 317 trigger is so bad, I put in another mainspring. It will only fire reliably, with single action use. It's a field gun, so that doesn't bother me.
Clark Custom Guns fixed mine (317 w/ 3 " barrel) up with a service action job. Smooth as a babies behind and totally reliable. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and let a pro do the work ....especially if using as self defense .
The service action job was $115.00 and worth every penny.
Loaded with 8 rounds of CCI Stingers , I don't feel naked.
Gary

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Old 06-05-2018, 01:16 PM
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My wife used to shoot anything I did . That was before surgery on both hands and thumbs. Now she carries a S&W J frame 22 Magnum. I believe the model is 351pd.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:27 PM
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"She tried various revolvers today and liked the S&W 317 the most because of its light weight and smooth trigger pull in double action."

Buy It Now
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:35 PM
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...12 ounces...



52330 .22 Mag Pathfinder Lite, Pink | Charter Arms
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:53 PM
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The blast and high pitched bang of the 22 Magnum could easily create a flinch and desire to practice in a lot of folks. I tried a Ruger and it’s worse than my 4inch Model 29 44 Magnum. 32 S&W Long would be great, but ammo costlier.
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:06 PM
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My wife likes this 34 OK but it is heavy and doesn't fit well in smaller purses. And no, she won't carry "on person." Joe
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:17 PM
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I bought my wife a model 63 - 5 and she loves it! If I remember correctly, it only weights 1.5lbs unloaded, but dont quote me on that. The pic isn't that great, but it's the only one I have at the moment.

Edit to my original post: I looked on the Smith & Wesson website and compared the 63 to the 317. They are basically the exact same gun except the 63 is made of steel and the 317 is made of aluminum. If light weight is important, the 317 might be better. The 317 is 11.7oz because it is aluminum and the 63 is 24.8oz because it is steel. But I would think that while the 63 is three fourths of a pound heavier, that would help with recoil. Hope this helps. Good luck on your new purchace. It is always exciting to hear that a wife wants to shoot with her husband. I know I sure enjoy shooting with my wife.

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Old 06-05-2018, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingfool View Post
Notice the original post indicated that the gun was to be used purely for plinking and recreation. Many comments above seemed related to concealed carry or for defense!

Therefore, 22LR is perfect for the mission!

I would recommend any S&W 22 LR revolver not over 4 barrel for weight considerations. Shorter barrels for plinking may result in less accuracy.

This may be blasphemy on the S&W forum. But you may want to consider Ruger LCRx in 22LR with the three inch barrel.
My post mentioned nothing of defense. Lightweight pretty much leaves out the all steel longer barreled guns most common for plinking. That leaves us with scandium, alloy and polymer based guns. I made a suggestion based on that. And in 22 Mag you now have a dual purpose gun as well.
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:51 PM
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I gave one of my grown daughters a 317 along w/a box of .22 mini mags. It is a great little revolver but the trigger is very heavy to ensure ignition of the .22 rimfire round. Once you master that trigger it’s all good.
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:53 PM
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For a range gun, "lightweight" tends to increase felt recoil. Short barrels are more difficult to shoot well, (especially with aging eyes like I have). One of the all times best for range shooting is a Model 34 or 63 4" gun. J Frame light, (but all steel to absorb recoil) and longer sight radius to make hitting easier.

I wanted to post a picture, but currently my security software is blocking Postimage.org for adware problem
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:44 PM
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I have one of those, with boots and the shrouded hammer. Found it sitting all alone in some LGS case marked about a bill less than it's black or satin silver brothers. Shoots nice, just call it Salmon. Ummm, salmon, braised with lemon and garlic and asparagus, what were we talking about?
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:21 PM
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My wife would like a light weight light recoil .22 LR revolver.....
It's surprising how much bad advise you've received on this thread. It's seems many paid no attention to your original post, and just suggested their own favorite .22 LR revolver.

Major requirements: light weight, light recoil. Weight first. You must buy an alloy frame gun. This eliminates all steel frame guns. Further more, it would eliminate K and L-frames, with regard to rimfires.

Which brings us to cartridge selection. Obviously, the .22 Long Rifle is the only viable choice. The .22 Mag is extremely loud and harsh to shoot in a snub nose revolver. Plus, it's more expensive and has a smaller selection of ammo compared to the Long Rifle. The round excels in rifles. In revolvers, it's alleged advantages are unrealized due to short barrels and cylinder gaps.

Okay. By logic and elimination we're at an alloy J-frame .22 LR. S&W gives you two to choose from.:
The Model 317 Kit Gun (SKU: 160221). A very good option. 8-shots. Exposed hammer makes it a little "snaggy". But I like the ability to shoot both single action and double. Has a lock, which is good for grand kids.

The Model 43 C (SKU: 103043). Another good option. This gun has a Centennial shape, so there is no exposed hammer. Double action only. Also a 8-shot J-frame. Probably the best choice, for strictly self defense. So light it almost floats. Recoil nonexistent.
Both are known for relatively heavy trigger pulls. This gets a lot better the more the gun is shot. Get some .22 snap caps, or dry wall anchors. Over time, cycled the action 1,000 times. You don't have to do it all on the first night, it can be done over weeks. You'll be pleased with how much smoother and lighter it feels.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by armenius View Post
The blast and high pitched bang of the 22 Magnum could easily create a flinch and desire to practice in a lot of folks. I tried a Ruger and its worse than my 4inch Model 29 44 Magnum. 32 S&W Long would be great, but ammo costlier.
...they are offered in 22lr also...although the aluminum frame may not be offered in 22lr...why I don't know...

...that's a link under the photo...
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TomkinsSP View Post
I have one of those, with boots and the shrouded hammer. Found it sitting all alone in some LGS case marked about a bill less than it's black or satin silver brothers. Shoots nice, just call it Salmon. Ummm, salmon, braised with lemon and garlic and asparagus, what were we talking about?
I have the Santa Fe Sky model in 38 Special...

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Old 06-05-2018, 04:46 PM
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Default Buy Her What She Wants!!

Buy her what she wants....quickly......and ignore the responses here that suggest their alternate favorite. What a privilege to have a wife be so interested as to have a preference! These guys don't understand the primacy of her opinion. She likes what she likes for the same reason that those with alternate choices like their favorite. Even if she ultimately changes her mind it is far better to let her be self determinant. You are a lucky man to have a spouse shooting companion. Flatter her choice.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Kernel Crittenden View Post
It's surprising how much bad advise you've received on this thread. You must buy an alloy frame gun. This eliminates all steel frame guns.
So you are saying a j frame 22lr that weighs only 1.5 lbs is not a light gun? How is this considered anything except light weight? Of course there are lighter guns, but it is still a light weight gun. And built for small hands. And has almost zero recoil.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:59 PM
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So you are saying a j frame 22lr that weighs only 1.5 lbs is not a light gun? How is this considered anything except light weight? Of course there are lighter guns, but it is still a light weight gun. And built for small hands. And has almost zero recoil.
Ask again after gender reassignment surgery and turning 72.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:05 PM
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So you are saying a j frame 22lr that weighs only 1.5 lbs is not a light gun? How is this considered anything except light weight? Of course there are lighter guns, but it is still a light weight gun. And built for small hands. And has almost zero recoil.
A valid point. It depends on one's definition of 'light weight'. It would be nice if she could try one with the steel frame and one in an alloy frame. Although the alloy is a lot lighter, that may make it less comfortable for her to shoot, even with .22 longs.

Younger people here fail to take into consideration the effects of aging on people as it transitions our abilities to lift and hold items as well as handle recoil. 70+ year old hands, especially if they have arthritis, can only take so much, and they aren't going to get any better with age.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:19 PM
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The .22 lr IS the right caliber choice. You really don't want to get her a 22 mag or anything larger for your stated purpose.

As for model, I think you answered your own question. A 317 would be a good choice. ( 34 or 63 as well if a few extra ounces are OK.) Especially the model with a 3" barrel and fiber optic front sight .
As for other brands, it's somewhat of a **** shoot. Some models/ specimens will be good. Some not so much. Whatever you do, do not get her a Ruger SP 101 in .22 lr . The triggers are VERY hard and stack horribly. I learned the hard way (twice :-)
Ruger LCRX in 3" might be another option. ( They are ugly though :-)
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:17 PM
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Default I would NOT recommend....

I would not recommend an alloy pistol under normal circumstances. But seeing how ya'll are going to be shooting 22 the 317 kit gun would be ideal. It has adjustable rear sights

update: Not SITES. Fixed the spelling.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:50 PM
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I would not recommend an alloy pistol under normal circumstances. But seeing how ya'll are going to be shooting 22 the 317 kit gun would be ideal. It has adjustable rear sites
Remember, RW, there are two variations of the M317. The 3-inch gun, with adjustable sights. I have one and really like it a lot. So light you forget it's in your pocket. One of these days I imagine it will go thru the washing machine when I forget to take it out.

There is also a snub nose 2-inch gun that has fixed sights. I forgot to mention it myself in my previous post. It's even lighter.

Older versions of the M317 were made before the lock. If that is important to anyone, those used no lock versions can be found with some patience. You may have to pay something like $100 extra for the privilege, if the seller is educated.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:13 PM
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Buy her what she wants... but a quality gun like a M63 or older M34 will be a very useful gun. My 34-1 has the old factory target grips.

When ever a buddy brought his wife along, she'd want to shoot my M34... even with the steel or SS M63, the gun is still light. The alloy framed versions would be ok but not necessary since it's primarily a range use gun.

I recommend reactive targets like spinners or scaled down steel silhouettes. I have converted many non-shooters... once they began having success. (Start up close)

Make sure she uses good hearing protection... or she'll walk away in an instant.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:45 PM
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Congratulations on 50 + years together and still enjoying do such things together.
Get her what she'll shoot. The Smith 317 is an excellent revolver and would fit your needs very well. If you want to consider a semi-auto, the S&W M&P 22 Compact weight and recoil are much like the 317. However, loading those magazines can be problematic with arthritic hands.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:58 PM
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If she likes the 317, then go for it. But I strongly suggest you get the 3" with adjustable sights for your stated purpose.
If you can find one, let her try a 4" Model 34. A little heavier, but a joy to shoot.

A couple of people have recommended the Charter Arms Pathfinder. Don't do it! I had one for a while. It felt good in my hand and the trigger was excellent. That's why I bought it. However, the damned thing wouldn't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside! Dumped it like a hot rock with no regrets.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:03 AM
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What Tom S said. I turned eighty last September, and have arthritic hands. At this year's retired LEO qualification in May, l dropped to 280 something out of 300. Easily qualifies but I used to clean the target regularly. I hate to ask, but I need a loader to stuff those twelve rounds into my Sig 229 .357 Sig. About 9 or 10 is all I can get into the magazine without aid of a loading device.

Same trouble opening jars and using the Blaser cocking device on the R93. The thumbs have lost it!

Jack

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Old 06-06-2018, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by uncleted327 View Post
I know you mentioned 22 LR but I would humbly suggest checking out the S&W 351PD in 22 Mag. More power than the LR and recoil is still minimal.
The only reason I would not recommend this choice is because .22 Magnum will be very loud compared to the .22LR, and especially so when fired in a shorter barrel. Plus the ammo is more expensive, especially if the gun will be used for range/plinking purposes mostly. I love the rimfires and especially the .22LR. Six of those rounds with 40 grain bullets total 240 grains, which is not to be sneezed at. Penetration
is not bad at all with HV ammo. If that's what a person can shoot accurately and well, then I say that's what they ought to use, even for personal defense. From my past experiences, I sure don't want even one of those in my chest area, much less more of 'em!

If the noise and blast of the magnum rounds in a handgun is not a concern, then by all means consider it!
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