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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
when it comes to recoil, I am really weak. I've fired 9mm practice ammo out of a beretta 92fs, and it was too much for me. same with standard pressure .38's out of a 20 ounce j frame; it was better, but still too much for me. I did some calculations, and 4.28 ft-lb is too much for me, more than any small.38 and anything other than a full size .380 like a Sig P232. Since both .38's and 9mm are out of the question for CC, and yeah, I know many here would say that I'm stuck with worthless ammo then, but for the sake of argument, what would you guys suggest? I'm a very short guy as well, 5'0 to be exact. I'm sure I could fire a .38 plus p with a full size revolver, but obviously I can't CC that. Thanks in advance.
 

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Never fired one but the Bersa .380 looks good. Looks like the size would help with recoil. As for worthless ammo I know I don't want to play catch with it. Get what works for you and practice.
 

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From what you've described a Bersa Thunder .380 should do just fine.

Looks something like this..

 

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Our all stainless Sig P230 is the softest shooting 380 I've ever fired. A close second was the BersaThunder 380. Though they are larger than a typical pocket gun, they are far from full size. Another soft shooter is the Sig P238. Very pocketable, easy to rack the slide, too notch all around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In regards to revolvers, I've read that the .22 magnum is better than any sub .32 caliber for concealed carry. Is that true?
 

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Yikes. I know you tried a 20oz J-frame in .38, but maybe 6 extra ounces out of a .38 Spl SP101 might help. When I shoot standard .38 FMJ outta my 3" SP101 (which is 27oz) I honestly feel little recoil. I would at least try to find a place that you could shoot a SP101. Even chambered in .357, just test it out with .38's.

OR, try a Ruger LC380. Not to be confused with the LCP, their itty bitty .380. The LC380 is a DAO .380 identical in size to the LC9. It weighs in at about 17oz empty. My stepmother has one as she is also sensitive to recoil. Maybe its because I shoot a .40 Shield, but shooting that LC380 is a dream. I would say no felt recoil. Its loaded with Hornady Critical Defense 90gr FTX, which scored well in the Lucky Gunner experiment. Not what I would personally carry every single day, but given the circumstances it will do.
 

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when it comes to recoil, I am really weak. I've fired 9mm practice ammo out of a beretta 92fs, and it was too much for me. same with standard pressure .38's out of a 20 ounce j frame; it was better, but still too much for me. I did some calculations, and 4.28 ft-lb is too much for me, more than any small.38 and anything other than a full size .380 like a Sig P232. Since both .38's and 9mm are out of the question for CC, and yeah, I know many here would say that I'm stuck with worthless ammo then, but for the sake of argument, what would you guys suggest? I'm a very short guy as well, 5'0 to be exact. I'm sure I could fire a .38 plus p with a full size revolver, but obviously I can't CC that. Thanks in advance.
Recoil is a funny thing. There's more than a few factors involved - including the old noggin. Just fyi, i've owned a Sig P232. Loved it, but I'm positive that my little Glock 42 in .380 has less perceived recoil. And that might very well be the case being the P232 is a blowback and the G42 isn't.

Anyway, congrats on knowing your strengths and weaknesses. If recoil isn't for you - it isn't for you. Believe it or not, you might grow into being able to handle more recoil in time. But until then, back to .380 ammo. I trust my life to LeHigh ammo in .380 when I'm walking about packing my 42.

Ammo ? tagged "355-380-auto, handgun" ? Lehigh Defense, LLC

I use the 90 grain, but the 65gr by rights, will kick less. I'm quite sure they would get the job done.

Speaking of lehigh, you know they make .32ACP ammo too right? If you really want to reduce the recoil and get back on target quickly, and are comfortable with .32ACP, why not a Cheetah? I've been toying with buying one for some time now. I'm stupid cheap though and have yet to pull the trigger, but it might be the perfect solution for YOU.

13 rounds of .32 - yeah, I would be ok with that.

BERETTA 81FS .32ACP 3.8" FS 12-SH BRUNITON BLACK POLYMER

 

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In regards to revolvers, I've read that the .22 magnum is better than any sub .32 caliber for concealed carry. Is that true?
No - as much as I love the .22MAG, it's a rimfire. It seems that rimfires according to those in the know aren't as reliable as a centerfire, which a .32 is. Of course it is a revolver, so if it doesn't go bang, pull the trigger again.

22 mag is loud though (note some people really don't do loud well equating it to recoil - true story).
 

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There's nothing "worthless ammo" about a 380. I often carry a gen 1.5 LCP when I dress such that my AR-10 won't fit in my pocket. :) Besides, if you can't carry/shoot a 1911/45 (some claim it's a death ray, and the passing wind from a miss is still fatal), it doesn't really matter how much "better" it would be than a (pick disparaging term of choice) 380 that you CAN carry, and CAN shoot, and CAN put rounds center target, and DO have with you when you need it. New XTP bullets and other fancy stuff can help mitigate the wimpyness.

There are tiny, huge, and mid-size 380s, as well. In addition to a Shield9, Mrs. 2nd previously had an early Walther CCP, which was traded for a Walther PK380 due to buyer's remorse and perceived "too new" reliability problems; maybe they're better now.

In this area we have a range/store where one can rent/try the entire inventory of 380/9/40/caliber of choice for a flat $20 plus lead. Suggest finding a place like that around you, because in addition to the obvious differences of sights and trigger, each gun has slightly different slide/spring/buffer that will affect the "quality" of felt recoil. For many guns there are softer grips, different shaped grips, and little rubber sleeves that fit over the factory grip, all in an effort to better mate with the shooter's hand.
 

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There's nothing "worthless ammo" about a 380. I often carry a gen 1.5 LCP when I dress such that my AR-10 won't fit in my pocket. :) Besides, if you can't carry/shoot a 1911/45 (some claim it's a death ray, and the passing wind from a miss is still fatal), it doesn't really matter how much "better" it would be than a (pick disparaging term of choice) 380 that you CAN carry, and CAN shoot, and CAN put rounds center target, and DO have with you when you need it. New XTP bullets and other fancy stuff can help mitigate the wimpyness.

There are tiny, huge, and mid-size 380s, as well. In addition to a Shield9, Mrs. 2nd previously had an early Walther CCP, which was traded for a Walther PK380 due to buyer's remorse and perceived "too new" reliability problems; maybe they're better now.

In this area we have a range/store where one can rent/try the entire inventory of 380/9/40/caliber of choice for a flat $20 plus lead. Suggest finding a place like that around you, because in addition to the obvious differences of sights and trigger, each gun has slightly different slide/spring/buffer that will affect the "quality" of felt recoil. For many guns there are softer grips, different shaped grips, and little rubber sleeves that fit over the factory grip, all in an effort to better mate with the shooter's hand.
Its funny - I know people love to run down the CCP and you know, that's cool, but I love mine. The trigger is insane - love it. More importantly though, I am positive it's the softest shooting 9 I have ever owned.

Did Mrs. 2nd feel that way too or was she just disgusted at the gun to care less?
 

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A though


Chippa rhino ?

I have fired and owned one 38 normal ammo to me was like 22lr in it ..38 + p was like 38 and 357 mag was like 38 +P to me ...Easy to shoot good and easy to carry ... The way the barrel is helps a lot

Also look at the 686 s&w 2inch or a model 10 HB 4inch .... Or a all steel gun like the 84 mentioned above or the 32acp model
 
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A really small lightweight easy to conceal .22 magnum like a Ruger LCR has about a 20 pound trigger pull and serious recoil - really serious. My husband who is no way recoil sensitive had one and traded it in for a bigger, heavier .357 magnum all stainless which is a lot easier on the hands.

The suggestions for the Bersa Thunder are good ones. I tried one and didn't like it but the slightly larger BERSA BP380cc is ONE NICE SHOOTING GUN. A little extra size and weight modifies the recoil in an amazing way. It is still very easy to carry concealed.

One problem with that BP is almost no stores have it. I got mine from Bud's Gun Shop on line. Holsters are not easy to find either, but Vedder makes their light tuck model to fit that BP and it says 9mm size but that same holster is also a perfect fit for the 380 version.

My two "best" .380s are my Glock 42's though - smaller, lighter, easier to conceal. But a tiny bit more recoil than the Bersa. BUT you can rent a G42 almost anywhere to see if that type of gun is what will work for you. A G42 will cost you only about $40 more than the Bersa BPcc and the workmanship and warranty are far superior.
 
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Recoil is a funny thing. There's more than a few factors involved - including the old noggin. Just fyi, i've owned a Sig P232. Loved it, but I'm positive that my little Glock 42 in .380 has less perceived recoil. And that might very well be the case being the P232 is a blowback and the G42 isn't.

Anyway, congrats on knowing your strengths and weaknesses. If recoil isn't for you - it isn't for you. Believe it or not, you might grow into being able to handle more recoil in time. But until then, back to .380 ammo. I trust my life to LeHigh ammo in .380 when I'm walking about packing my 42.

Ammo ? tagged "355-380-auto, handgun" ? Lehigh Defense, LLC

I use the 90 grain, but the 65gr by rights, will kick less. I'm quite sure they would get the job done.
I completely agree. The Glock 42 is a very mild gun to shoot, far more mild than any blowback .380 I've shot (PPK / P232 style guns). I had the G42 at the range today and was thinking what a mild gun it is to shoot.

Another possibility is the SIG P238, but they are SAO so you have to be comfortable carrying it "cocked and locked". They are also a bit spendy.
 

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If you have issues with recoil, you need some frame/slide mass. You're working with Newtons Law here, equal and opposite reactions. Something that has a larger frame for the cartridge will put a bit less energy into your hands. Something like the LCR with +P is brutal. All that recoil goes right into your hand.
 

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I might suggest trying a Ruger LCR, but in .357 Magnum, because it's heavier than the .38 version. It's actually a bit lighter than that j-frame (17 or 18 oz), but the grip it comes with is faaar superior to standard S&W grips when it comes to recoil. (It's also polymer-framed, so it may be that it flexes a bit, which can help with recoil.) Load it with .38 - maybe a light bullet variety - and it should be pretty manageable.

Also nothing wrong with a quality 380 auto. Check out shootingthebull410 on YouTube for help selecting ammo. It's not a very powerful round, but ammo designed for limited expansion probably makes the most of it.
 

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.22 magnum is better than not carrying...S&W, Taurus, and Ruger all have .22 mag snubs that would conceal well. Is it ideal? No. Is it passable? Of course.

Another .380 to check out is the Bersa BP380cc. I have the 9mm version - its been 100% reliable. By all accounts the .380 version is a very soft shooter.
 

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Start reloading, download some 38 Special, learn to make head shots.
 

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You can carry a fullsize revolver concealed...case in point, I've got a 2.5" 686 on me right now, with a flannel shirt covering it...just got back from running some errands, I doubt anyone was the wiser.

If you don't want to, that's your choice, but I guarantee you could if you decided you wanted to.

In which case, there's plenty of snub nosed K frames out there...a snub model 10 or 64 would fit the bill, I would think. Load it with a light wadcutter or semi wadcutter load, and you'd be set.

But, if you've decided that simply is not an option, then...I'd recommend a metal frame, mid to full sized .380; a Beretta 84 or 85, CZ 83, or an older Beretta 70, something like that. Possibly even a Makarov.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I should probably mention that in addition to being recoil sensitive, I have great difficulty racking slides and pulling triggers with a pull weight of more than 10 pounds. Of the .380's I've tried, the Sig p232 and the Ruger LC380 are the most agreeable with me. I also know that the P238 is supposed to be great in all of these areas as well.
 

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I should probably mention that in addition to being recoil sensitive, I have great difficulty racking slides and pulling triggers with a pull weight of more than 10 pounds. Of the .380's I've tried, the Sig p232 and the Ruger LC380 are the most agreeable with me. I also know that the P238 is supposed to be great in all of these areas as well.
Commander sized RIA .22TCM 1911.

Light trigger, and the 8# recoil spring makes working the slide a breeze. Darn near recoilless.
 
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