Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Palm Pistol

The New Scientist Blog reports that a new weapon has been developed to assist people with arthritis.

A US company claims to have received federal approval to market a 9-mm handgun as a medical device and hopes the US government will reimburse seniors who buy the $300 firearm. But the US Food and Drug Administration says there are currently no formal designations of the gun as a medical device.

Called the Palm Pistol, the weapon is designed for people who have trouble firing a normal handgun due to arthritis and other debilitating conditions.

It sounds like the only question is whether or not the folks who buy this gun will get reimbursed from Medicare. What do you think about that? Are there many older gun enthusiasts who have had to curtail or even give up their gun use due to arthritis in the index finger? What if the disease strikes the thumb joint? What then?


  1. this thing got put on an FDA list of "medical devices", then promptly de-listed once some FDA higher-up realized what had happened.

    the "medical device" listing seems to have been a PR gimmick as much as anything, but the manufacturer seems to be genuinely interested in building a self-defense tool for the frail and weak members of society. more power to him, although i'd recommend he not make it a single-shot if at all possible.

    Are there many older gun enthusiasts who have had to curtail or even give up their gun use due to arthritis in the index finger?

    this is clearly not meant for use by enthusiasts, as there is no (and apparently can be no) sights. it's about as sole-purpose of a self-defense tool as i've ever seen. its design seems geared to work around more general frailty and weakness than merely a trigger-finger affliction; the shape of it would tend to alleviate weak hand-grip strength, for instance.

    What if the disease strikes the thumb joint?

    that would seem to be the trigger, which can be made quite light. the levers on each side of the barrel are likely the safeties; if they're independent, you could get away with making those fairly light also.

  2. Nomen, there's attachment points for a laser-sight. I still don't think this gun would be very good for distances further than a few feet.

    Still my Grandmother gets calls CONSTANTLY from scammers looking to get her to sign her money away. Really scary stuff like "Hi, it's your Grandson, I'm stuck in a Mexican Prison, wire me bail?" sorta stuff.

    She's in her 80s so they're hoping her mind isn't still sharp so they can take advantage of her. She's also about 4'9" and about 80 lbs, and she has smoked most of her life. If somebody wanted to muscle her over for whatever reason (sadly being an Octigenarian doesn't exclude you from the rape demographic either....) it wouldn't take much effort at all.....unless she was armed.

    Again A few 1,000 Words from Oleg:

  3. I think this would make a great pistol for young women also.

    Instead of teaching them to point at an attackers nose or belly, just have them aim a little lower.

    A few rapists or muggers dying or better surviving might reduce attacks on women. Think about the scene....some guy having to explain how the women he tried to rape shoved one of this in his crotch and pressed the trigger.

    Repeat often enough and see how fast rape as a crime goes down.

  4. I dunno about that. The inline-design will probably mitigate recoil quite a bit better than a conventional handgun....still it looks small and light, making it look like an uncomfortable gun to shoot. Reloads are probably slow. It would make a nice backup gun, or a gun for carry in light clothing.

    Still as far as "nice gun for women shooters", I won't lie, all the women I've taught to shoot #1 weren't very interested in the mechanics of the gun, more the aplication and tecnique. And #2 many of them liked to keep score on their targets.

    This gun would be a really hard teaching gun for target ranges as it would take a while between reloads, and accuracy won't be fantastic.

    Will this thing put a JHP bullet into a bad guy inside of 10 feet? Likely. Will it stay in the black on an NRA Slowfire target at 10 yards....doubtful. That doesn't mean it's a bad gun, it is what it is, it DOES mean it might frustrate the shit out of a new shooter.

    Tho the small light construction is a plus. My wife finds it a PAIN to conceal a gun in her standard wardrobe, and really prefers her lightweight S&W 638 snubbie over anything more formidable. Women's pockets also SUCK for pocket carry....you could probably pocket this piece in a custom pocket holster just fine.

  5. What if the disease strikes the thumb joint? What then?

    Obvious answer would be to make a version for people that have problems using their thumbs. You got the money and licensing sorted, I've got the machine shop. I'd do it off the cuff for the sake of elderly people with bad thumbs.