What Qualifies as “Grandma’s Gun”

Firearms Easy to Use for the Elderly, Injured, or Infirm

For those of us blessed with reasonably good health, firearms handling comes easy. We can hold a rifle or shotgun with both hands and into our shoulders. We can work the slides and cylinders of modern handguns. A trigger press is easily managed. Recoil is just something the gun does.

But that isn’t the case for everyone.

For those people in their 60’s, 70’s, or older even, for those with injuries that limit their strength or their range of motion, and for those permanently handicapped in any physical way that limits what they can lift, squeeze, or the dexterity with which they can operate a button, lever, or switch, all of our common mobility means nothing.

Those physically disadvantaged also mean for more physical vulnerability. You or I, in our health and strength, have reasonable odds of surviving and repelling a physical assault with just our physical assets. They do not. These people may rely more heavily on a firearm than ever before in their lives and that we can currently imagine for their safety from attack. A male looking to get in an altercation with me risks far more than a woman in her 70’s, unless that grandmother happens to have a defense tool she can use.

The ‘Grandma Gun’ is that type of tool. A firearm built with advantages for those with physical disadvantages. Slides are easier to move, buttons are larger, recoil is less, but the effect against an aggressive person or animal will still be enough.

Here are some examples of “Grandma Guns”

Shield 380 EZ

One of the best examples of a Grandma Gun is Smith & Wesson’s 380 EZ. Built with extra safety features along the lines of a 1911, the Performance Center 380 EZ shown above also exhibits low recoil, acceptable capacity, bright sights, and an easy to operate slide. For weakened eyes, hands, wrists, and even the inability to use one or the other hand the pistol is built to give advantage back to the user.

Ruger LCR/LCRx .22LR/.22WMR

The older generation grew up with revolvers and good revolver options still exist in spades. The LCR and LCRx from Ruger are examples of the modern craft. They are available in a variety of calibers, however .22LR with some .22 Punch inside or .22 WMR may serve the role as a just right amount of response while being able to be handled by someone too physically infirm for a full powered firearm system. The sight options and comfort of the grip also lend themselves to to this use case.

Where this won’t serve is if they cannot pull the double action trigger on their own. Fitment is crucial, especially with someone with limitations. They cannot improvise, adapt, and overcome the way of able-bodied individuals.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

This gun was a wildcard breakout, review here, the 5.7×28 round quite literally punches above its weight with 40gr JHP rounds doing some more serious work without disruptive recoil. The M&P 5.7 exhibits many of the same easy handling characteristics of the EZ line, however it adds ammunition and performance. 22 rounds in the gun! Optics ready for k footprint options. Extremely low recoil. Extremely accurate. Light and predictable trigger. Low pressure and easy to work slide, magazine catch/release, and slide stop.

The hardest thing about the M&P 5.7 is loading the magazine, and a loader is provided to assist. 22 rounds that can be rapidly and accurately sent where they need to go without abusing the sender. It’s a wildcat, but with the surge in popularity of the round it is a strong contender and worth seeing if it’ll serve.

Mossberg 500 Bantam

500 Bantam

A low recoiling pump action .410 with PDX1 or 00 buck is miles ahead of a sharp stick as a home defense long gun. At only 6lbs it isn’t super heavy and with 6 shots and a simple pump it will operate easily too. The shorter 13″ LOP is more favorable for smaller frames too. If smaller is need the 505 and 510 also exist as smaller still. The 510 limits capacity to 2+1 but it is small and PDX1 is a very significant shot per shot round.

510 Bantam
Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. editor@gatdaily.com A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.