Revolvers and Arthritis

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Revolvers and Arthritis

Post by 230Ball on 9/3/2018, 8:17 pm

The last time I competed with the revolver my hands were steady and solid as a rock.  Here it is more than twenty years later and I'm fortunate to be able to say they are still steady.  However, I have developed mild MP/joint arthritis in thumb area of both hands.  Shooting any semi-auto hand gun is no problem, but revolvers are a different story.  Not too long ago, I dug out my S&W 14-4 for a practice match and felt it almost impossible to thumb-cock the hammer while maintaining a good target hold on the stocks.  It was to the point that I thought it may be unsafe on the line (i.e., dropping the pistol), so I put the revolver back in the safe.
It's safe to say I am not the only one in this esteemed group  dealing with arthritis, and would like to know if there are any workarounds or ways to mitigate the effects of arthritis on revolver shooting.  Many thanks in advance!
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Re: Revolvers and Arthritis

Post by LenV on 9/3/2018, 8:49 pm

Aleve.. And warming up by shooting a bunch of autos first. I am pretty stiff and sore loading the first magazine. By the time I make it thru a 2700 I am ready to handle the wheel gun. I am 68 obviously by my bio over there on the right so starting to feel it. I do take a couple of Aleve on match days but the warm up would probably be enough. I also make crab pots for fun and a little extra gun money. I am pretty stiff starting in the morning but can completely close my hands after a day of knitting. That resets every morning of course. There are probably exercises that do the same thing but I prefer getting something done if I am going to be moving anyhow.

Len
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Re: Revolvers and Arthritis

Post by chopper on 9/3/2018, 9:56 pm

I have ostio-arthritis in my wrist and couldn't hold a hammer let alone a gun so I had an operation 3yrs back. I told the doc to just clip the nerve, and not fuse the bones, I figured they'd do that on their own. I can shoot a 2700 with the help of Ibuprofin before I start and some icepacks when I get done. 
 Ball, I don't know if you are shooting DR or just getting back into revolvers, but I tried Randall Fungs anatomical grips which help me with thumb cocking and holding. If I'm having real trouble with the 1911 I'll put the right half of Herret Nationals on so I have some support there too, but most of the time I'll use traditional stocks.
  I'm with you Len, ya gotta keep your hands active, same way with lower back fusions. You start over every day and on a bad day those anti-inflamatory pills help.
 Stan

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Re: Revolvers and Arthritis

Post by apipeguy on 9/4/2018, 8:14 am

I have pretty bad arthritis in my thumbs on both hands and a couple “trigger fingers”. Having surgery on my right hand thumb and trigger finger this month and after two months in a cast and two months of rehab I am certainly hoping that my hand will be back to where it was in my forties. Get to look forward to the same on my left hand next year.

Will need to work on my left hand bullseye as soon as I can get around.

Sucks getting old but it beats the alternative.
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Re: Revolvers and Arthritis

Post by 230Ball on 9/4/2018, 8:39 am

I certainly agree with you guys that warming up is the key augmented with Aleve or Ibupfofin.  My consideration for revisiting the revolver is to use it as my CF pistol in 2700.  I may have to find some other warmup exercises, as the .22 wasn't enough to limber-up the ol' thumb.  The Randall Fungs grips look enticing.  Was the thumb rest obstruction/restriction on extracting spent cartridges a nuisance?  I guess it's all a compromise in the end.
Pipe Guy - Best wishes on a speedy recovery from your upcoming surgeries!
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Re: Revolvers and Arthritis

Post by knightimac on 9/4/2018, 8:45 am

+1 on using special grips may help like those from Precision Target Pistol Grips.  He used 3D printer to make them.

Fish oil, Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements may help as well.  Advil an hour before shooting.

Warm water soaks to loosen them up in morning. 
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Was the thumb rest obstruction/restriction on extracting spent cartridges a nuisance?

Post by chopper on 9/4/2018, 12:37 pm

Yes, it can be, if in a hurry. They extract, but 3 will drop clear then you rotate cylinder for other 2. Speed loaders and moon clips probably will not work either.
 Stan

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Re: Revolvers and Arthritis

Post by Jack H on 9/4/2018, 1:14 pm

230Ball wrote:I certainly agree with you guys that warming up is the key augmented with Aleve or Ibupfofin.  My consideration for revisiting the revolver is to use it as my CF pistol in 2700.  I may have to find some other warmup exercises, as the .22 wasn't enough to limber-up the ol' thumb.  The Randall Fungs grips look enticing.  Was the thumb rest obstruction/restriction on extracting spent cartridges a nuisance?  I guess it's all a compromise in the end.
Pipe Guy - Best wishes on a speedy recovery from your upcoming surgeries!
This Fung grip works great.
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Re: Revolvers and Arthritis

Post by 230Ball on 9/4/2018, 2:54 pm

Dang!
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Re: Revolvers and Arthritis

Post by troystaten on 9/5/2018, 2:49 pm

I ran into the same problem with my 17-4 I used to shoot it all the time but cocking it single action with my thumb is not as easy as it used to be.  I was thinking about those wide target hammers or a King style hammer but I don't know if that would help.  I am sure the warming up and the ibuprofen would be a big help.  I don't mind getting older but I sure would like the cartilage of a 30 year old again.

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