Is recoil over rated when choosing a carry gun?

Is recoil over rated when choosing a carry gun?

This is a discussion on Is recoil over rated when choosing a carry gun? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; When choosing a carry weapon do we give to much thought to recoil? My opinion is in many cases we do. I see discussions al ...

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 49
Like Tree32Likes

Thread: Is recoil over rated when choosing a carry gun?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    okla
    Posts
    4,298

    Is recoil over rated when choosing a carry gun?

    When choosing a carry weapon do we give to much thought to recoil? My opinion is in many cases we do. I see discussions al the time about how small guns can be uncomfortable to shoot and therefore makes them a bad choice. While this would and should matter when discussing a target or plinking handgun I do not understand the concern when it comes to weapons that are not meant to be fired with full house loads on a regular basis. Most hunters when firing a large heavy recoiling weapon will not even notice the recoil. Or the blast for that matter.

    Why do we put oversize grips on a handgun meant for concealment in an effort to make it more comfortable to shoot. All the while making it harder to conceal? I have a 44 snubie that bites a bit when shooting heavy loads. The thing is that this gun was not meant to be fired everyday. It was meant to be carried not shot. The same goes with many of the old alloy framed magnum handguns. They were meant for carry and occasional use. Not for practice or casual shooting.

    Now if you carry gun is also the gun that you shoot every week for fun, yes recoil is something to think about. If its not then why concern yourself. The 44 I mentioned earlier does not lend itself to regular shooting. I doubt that either it or I would hold up to constant use. Then again I did not buy it for that. I bought it to use only in emergencies.

    For a self-defense gun weight and size should matter. For me recoil is at or near the bottom of my requirements in choosing a carry weapon. I would hazard to guess that during a life and death encounter I would not even notice the recoil.

    Michael


  2. #2
    VIP Member
    Array RoadRunner71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,397
    I disagree strongly.

    Recoil management is key if you need to make fast, accurate follow up shots. As we all know, handguns are NOT one shot stoppers. It may take two, three, four or more shots to stop your threat.

    If you can't practice adequately with your carry gun due to the sharp recoil, you may be handicapping yourself on the street.

    Carry the largest caliber you can actually control. I always try to remember that I am responsible for EVERY round that comes out of my gun.
    "Mind own business"
    "Always cut cards"

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    okla
    Posts
    4,298
    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner71 View Post
    I disagree strongly.

    Recoil management is key if you need to make fast, accurate follow up shots. As we all know, handguns are NOT one shot stoppers. It may take two, three, four or more shots to stop your threat.

    If you can't practice adequately with your carry gun due to the sharp recoil, you may be handicapping yourself on the street.

    Carry the largest caliber you can actually control. I always try to remember that I am responsible for EVERY round that comes out of my gun.
    Agree to a certain extent. I can easily handle the recoil of whatever handgun I decide to carry. Its just that some of those I would not pick for everyday plinking because of that recoil. Managing the recoil and enjoying it are two different things. I do not need to enjoy the recoil of my carry gun.

    Michael

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    9,122
    I'm not a good person to ask. I have shot 2 44 mag mountain revolvers to the point they could not be rebuilt, and cracked the forcing cone in my 41 magnum BH. I rather enjoy some good " thump" and fire from my guns, my perception of recoil is pretty much screwed up.

    Recoil is a subjective issue, and is largely determined by what someone is accustomed to. For some, an airweight snubby with +p loads is pretty rough. Hand filling grips work magic on most stout kickers.

    But, I think it's important to choose a gun/ammo combination that allows the user an adequate amount of trigger time. Personally, I'm more concerned about my first shot than any subsequent " bursts".
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  5. #5
    Member Array DustyBottoms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Tennessee!
    Posts
    112
    I think the "carry alot, shoot little" mindset is a older holdover from the height of the revolver days, and has kind of fallen to the wayside in the 'combat tupperware' era, except with 'mouseguns'. I think most shooters, and certainly almost all trainers, would think it very necessary to train well with any weapon you would actually carry for self defense, and it's hard to see how that is a bad idea.

    When hunters are taking a shot, they aren't being shot at. They are in control. They have planned the shot, and are executing what ammounts to an ambush on an animal that usually poses very little, if any, actual threat to them. They are also usually firing one shot, so recoil means very little when there will be no immediate follow up shots. This is completely different from YOU being ambushed and quickly thrust into a violent encounter with someone who can/will kill you. If gunfight data tells us anything it's that being shot at makes your own shooting accuracy often go to crap.. Recoil effects followup shots, which is very important since handguns kind of suck for instantly incapacitating people. You will probably need more than 1 shot to do the job, and you will need to put them accurately on target quickly. Since your overall accuracy has probably greatly decreased during the shoot due to your surpsie, excitement, fear, and an immense adrenaline dump, you will need all the help you can get to achieve effective shot placement. Why handicap yourself with a gun that recoils violently during rapid fire, and is hard enough to keep on target during a calm, sedate range trip, let alone during a deadly force encounter? You may not actually notice the recoil during a life and death moment, but it certainly will effect your shooting whether you do or not. It's not like you will somehow turn into a cool headed, deadeye assassin with hands and arms of steel that provide the steadiest shooting platform possible just because you are jacked on adrenaline. Thats especially true of a gun thats 'carried alot, shot a little'.

    That is why I think recoil, or lack thereof, is an important consideration for any carrier. It is the reason I never liked shooting .40 in any handgun I've tried and prefer to stick with 9mm. I can control my pistol's recoil better, and place quicker and more accurate follow up shots on target. This can only be a good thing if God forbid I ever have to use it in self defense and I'm no longer shooting as good as I do on a sunny range trip!
    NH_Esau, 9mmspecial and Showman like this.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array NH_Esau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    943
    I think it absolutely matters - if you can't handle the recoil, you won't practice, and you won't perform well when it counts. +1 on the problem with the hunting analogy mentioned above. Unless you're hunting dangerous game up close, quick follow-up shots aren't a normal worry. SD by its very nature is dangerous game up close.

    However, I think most people can handle more recoil than they think. I've mentioned before that my mom (who again, I will not call elderly because she is armed) trains regularly running .38 (often +P) through her airweight J-frame, and she isn't big. In terms of felt recoil, it kicks a lot worse than any .357 loads I've ever run through a Mod 66.

    Also, bigger isn't necessarily harder to shoot. Given the same type pistol, I'd rather shoot .45 ACP all day than 9mm+P or .40SW. There's a definite difference between the thud and the snap. But you'll never really know if you never really shoot it.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    3,007
    I say hogwash. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting at least 3 times. If your carry gun has so much recoil that you can not make fast follow up shots then I think it's time to look at a smaller caliber carry gun. Id rather have 3 hits with a .380 than 1 hit with a .45.
    NH_Esau, Rhcmlc, bklynboy and 1 others like this.
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    okla
    Posts
    4,298
    I guess maybe I could have worded it better. Or maybe I did and it doesn't matter.
    I have firearms that I do not enjoy to use when doing some all day plinking or target shooting. This in no way means that I cannot handle them. On the other hand I have firearms that while being great for all day shooting do not lend themselves to daily carry. While there are guns out there that are perfectly acceptable for both there is nothing wrong with choosing one that while you can easily control it might not be the best choice for a plinker.

    I'm old school. Would I choose a light weight alloy framed handgun over a heavier all steel gun for daily carry? Of course I would. Would I choose that same alloy gun over the all steel one for everyday shooting with heavy loads? Not if I expected to be able to hand that gun down when I die.

    Michael

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member
    Array miller_man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Nashville, Tn
    Posts
    1,550
    I choose to go with a 40 cal in a compact gun knowing I was giving up a little comfort and possibly accuracy for better concealability and (in my OPION!) a more potent bullet. In my opion it was a better trade off. But I don't think I have any problems with recoil, I am still working on getting better at follow up shots but thats even the same with my full size guns. Not much different with the 40 rather than my 9's, thats just where I am as a shooter right now.

    But I think its just a personal decision everybody has to make for themselves. I do go to the range weekly or bi-weekly and practice with my carry guns. Its not uncomfortable or painful to me but I don't usually shoot more than 50-100 rnds at most. And when I go shooting for fun and target practice I take my full size 9's.
    The stupidity of some people NEVER ceases to amaze me.

    G19 AIWB

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    27,362
    Overrated? Some might well do so. I feel it's a relevant factor to consider. Not all can get competently accustomed to a given factor, such as heavy/sharp recoil that's beyond one's abilities to effectively manage. It's as relevant as, say, overall balance in terms of its contribution to repeatable accuracy.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array dawei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    3,141
    I've been carrying two concealed handguns on my person for 41 years and two months. At the young and tender age of 62 I long ago learned to carry the most accurate self defense loads I can find; both in my 38 Special and 357 Magnums. I have two 357 Magnums as primary guns and one 38 Special as a BUG. My first primary 357 is a 30oz 2¼" barrel and I carry it with 357 Magnum 158gr JHP. My second 357 Magnum 2" weighs 24oz; and it's loaded with Buffalo Bore® 158gr LSWCHCGC+P. In my 15oz 2" 38 Special I carry the Standard Pressure Buffalo Bore® 158gr LSWCHCGC+P. All reloads for every gun, whether speed loaders, or speed strips; are with the Standard Pressure BB load.

    It's all about what you can shoot most accurately; not about how big your gun is.
    NH_Esau likes this.
    David
    Only two defining forces have ever died for you.....
    1. Jesus Christ.
    2. The American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman.
    One died for your soul, the other for your freedom!

    1Cross+3Nails=4Given

  12. #12
    Member Array Lindy1933's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Reno NV
    Posts
    206
    A friend let me shoot his 410 derringer. The pattern was hugh at 20 feet. It had a lot of recoil and IMHO was neither a carry gun nor a practice gun but it was a fun once gun. I shoot a S&W Airweight and every week at practice I draw and shoot the five rounds of .38 +p JHP that I carried that week into the target. It stings a little and 50 rounds would not be fun for a day of shooting. For the rest of the practice, I shoot standard .38. They are tame and are a lot less expensive. My summer pocket gun, the Sig P-238 is a joy to carry and a joy to shoot. Both guns have lasers and the hole goes where the red dot is at 7 yards.

    OTOH my son-in-law carries a S&W 40c and even though it has more power than the .38 +p, it seems to have less instant recoil. It has something to do with the auto slide stretching out the recoil time while the revolver recoil is instant. I believe everyone, while deciding on a weapon, should try them out with full loads and/or practice loads. My SIL was able to borrow a 40c and we spent a week end and a couple boxes of shells with it before he bought one.

    OT: I wonder how many CCW people and weapons were at the Colorado movie last night?
    Retired AF pilot, Vietnam FAC 1967-68

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Oshkosh, Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,330
    It is something to consider. However in any situation where you have to use it in S/D you will not notice the recoil much because of the adrenaline. But for practicing, you want to pick the caliber you can handle.
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable- JFK

  14. #14
    Member Array GunTrooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by DustyBottoms View Post
    It is the reason I never liked shooting .40 in any handgun I've tried and prefer to stick with 9mm. I can control my pistol's recoil better, and place quicker and more accurate follow up shots on target. This can only be a good thing if God forbid I ever have to use it in self defense and I'm no longer shooting as good as I do on a sunny range trip!
    I agree... I like the reported stopping power of .40. and in certain guns I am fairly accurate with it, but in reality I "like" 9mm better, because I think that in a stressful situation, with a target that is moving and shooting back at me, I stand a better chance of getting good shot placement with 9mm...

  15. #15
    Member Array mardet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    nc
    Posts
    54
    I found in vietnam, that when the adrenolin starts to flow, you don't notice recoil. I carried an M-14.
    Rhcmlc likes this.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

.38 vs 9mm recoil
,
best pistol follow up shots
,

best pistol for quick follow up

,

browning bdm 9mm luger ammunition

,
first 9mm hi power learn to shoot
,
gloves reduce kick revolvers
,
handgun recoil gloves
,
manage pistol recoil
,
recoil management systems 9mm problems
,

recoil ratings handguns

,
sd pistol with fastest follow up shots
,
which guns kick more
Click on a term to search for related topics.