I noticed something interesting during my too-brief time behind the gun counter: Elderly people would shy away from even mid-sized guns like the Glock 19 and LC9, and immediately assume that smaller guns like the SIG P238 and Ruger LCP would be easier for them to handle. The feeling in their minds was that smaller guns = smaller recoil, which is, of course, not the case.
Not by a long shot.
The other thing I noticed was their reaction to failing to perform the (apparently) simple task of cycling the slide.
Think about it: What’s the first thing that any (competent) gun store clerk does when pulling a gun out of the case? They drop the mag (if there is one) and cycle the action to prove that the gun is unloaded (Rule 1!) and then hand it to the customer. We do it so often, it’s like breathing to us, and we make it look like it’s a super-easy task to perform.
But what if, for reasons of age and/or upper body strength, it’s not a super-easy task to perform? All of a sudden, a basic task that signals the start of using a gun is an impossible thing to perform, which creates doubts in the person’s mind… if I can’t do THAT, what else can I not do?
Yes, this seems silly to those of us who shoot a lot and can cycle a slide in our sleep, but I assure you, it’s really, and it sold a LOT of P238’s, a small gun that is (relatively) easy to shoot and very easy to cycle.