Looking to help a friend with pistol choice


Active Member
Jul 20, 2008
Okay TGT braintrust, I need some advice to help a friend out, any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Friend of mine wants to get into handgun shooting and also use it for self protection. He has limited use of his right arm and hand. He would like a semi-auto if possible, so we tested out a few of my Glocks. He has enough grip strength to handle things with the hand, but not enough to allow him to rack the slide of a stock G17. He however, has enough strength in his arm that with some sort of mechanical advantage (i.e. a slideracker or other slide projection) he can rack the slide.

So question is, any recommendations for a leftie friendly gun that is easy to rack?

He isn't opposed to revolvers, but he would like a semi-auto of some sort first if possible.



Active Member
Feb 26, 2009
The revolver may not be sexy to him but it may save his life.....difficult question.


TGT Addict
TGT Supporter
Mar 28, 2008
Well me and my one hand I use a 1911. Fullsize and Commander the slide is easily manipulated with one hand and the slide is big enough that you can get a full grip. Also depending on the rear sight, you can use it to catch the edge of your belt, jeans, shoe or table/ledge and rack the slide in a pinch. I don't know if any of the guys have watched me work my Commander but I rack the slide, if need be by placing the butt of the gun against my abs/ribs and rack the slide. At the range you never have to rack the slide unless you need to do clearing drills. Count the shots in the mag, drop it when you have the last shot in the chamber and reload a new mag. The slide never needs to lock open or run the risk of being out of battery.

As for reloading, that will need to be practiced in the way that your friend finds best. The technique will be different at the range versus in trouble on the run.

Another firearm I'm used is the Beretta Cheetah 86 with the tip-up barrel. It is a .380 so ammo availability and cost should be considered.

This one armed gal doesn't like shooting revolvers. If the shooting grip is only one handed, you friend may find a single action pistol more accurate. Maybe not, but I do.

I have shot some polymer guns. I have found them more difficult for me to work the slide, especially the compact models. I think it's the shape and size of the slides. I'm just use to 1911s so that's what I trust.

Unfortunately when dealing with firearms, a one armed person will have to make compromises in action, capacity and size of the gun they choose. Your friend needs to decide which characteristic he can place more or less risk on and go from there. We can't use the same standards as 2 armed people because we aren't 2 armed people. I don't believe most folks realize this. You're friend may get criticisms for the choices he does make. But he needs to make the choices that are best and right and good for him. No one else.

Good luck

Big country

TGT Addict
Mar 6, 2009
Cedar Park,TX
will this be a CHL weapon or a night stand weapon?
This is something that needs to be considered. If he plans on getting a CHL then IMHO he should try to take the test with a semi-auto if at all possible. That way he can experiment with wheel gun vs semi-auto latter. I'm by no means an expert in handguns but that is the approach I would take. Just my .


TGT Addict
TGT Supporter
Mar 28, 2008
Umhm CHL go for the semi auto. There is the distinction made on the license.

Reliability is the biggest risk IMO in regards to one of 'us' using a semiauto. If the gun is reliable without a doubt, you know the ammo you use and what runs, then that lessens the chance of needing to clear jams. Am I saying you don't ever need to practice those clearing drills? Not a chance, practice practice practice!. But it means that the semiauto is a viable option for carry because it will run. I put a lot of faith and trust in my gear that it will run right when I need it. That's a risk I acknowledge. In turn I keep up with maintenance and ensure as best I can that the gun is reliable. The more you shoot, the more you'll trust it.


TGT Addict
Nov 21, 2008
Revolver first for his protection then get pistol for fun. My $0.02

not be be semantic, but a revolver is a pistol. An automatic is a pistol.

They are all pistols.

I know this is picky, but it bothers me. . . . . I need a life.



Greeneye Tactical
third coast
DK Firearms
Tyrant Designs
Every Day Man

Forum statistics

Latest member
Top Bottom