14 year old overly affected by recoil?


May 11, 2003, 06:41 PM
hey guys.

I was wondering if I would be overly affected by recoil. I'm 5'7" and 130 pounds. I work out, go to karate 5 times a week and take long runs, so I don't have much.. erm.. padding, to stop the recoil. I'm pretty thin. I wear 30" waistband pants, but even those are slightly big for me. I was wondering.. If I fired a gun, would I be thrown off with now possibility of a timely follow up? What are the factors involved?


PS: I WISH i had an ak....

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Oleg Volk
May 11, 2003, 06:51 PM
AK47 kicks very lightly, due to the heavy gun with a relatively light round and also due to the design of the gas system.

FWIW, my friend runt_of_the_litter is about 105 pounds, 5'3" and has no problem shooting an M44 Mosin carbine (7.62x54R round -- pretty stout). Technique will overcome recoil of most reasonable weapons. Same for handguns, 357mag snubbies are not problem for her. Don't worry so much.

That said, learn with a .22 and get up to larger guns later.

May 11, 2003, 07:33 PM
Well I dont think it would be a problem. Im 6'1", 150 lbs and do almost nothing. Im a weakling and I have had no trouble :p

May 11, 2003, 07:34 PM
Five ft seven inches and one hundred and thirty pounds is in the range of size of many soldiers who served in the infantry during WWII. These troops wagged all sorts of rifles all over the place. Nowadays soldiers are a bit heavier; my godson, weighing in at over 180 pounds has spent most of the last two years dragging a hudred pounds of equipment around Afghanistan and Iraq.

There are other considerations however and I agree with Oleg that nowadays it is better to start with smaller calibers. Another is that a rifle is easier to learn than a pistol, starting out. Also, iron sights teach better intuitive control than do glass sights.

There are cultural considerations as well; society being what it is these days a 14 year old man should use shooting as an opportunity to train an older person, perhaps a parent or other relative in the fine art and hobby. So many elders are retarded in their hobby skillls one should consider this to be an honor and not a burden.

Going it alone is much more risky both legally and practically than in the pre-64 days when we could just go out in the backyard and shoot without having to supervise an adult. :(

May 11, 2003, 08:09 PM
Don't sweat it. I am 5'7" and weigh 135 lbs. I can handle anything from an SKS to a .22. I shoot .357 mag with no problem. I prefer to shoot a .45. Get some good instruction and have fun. Remember, keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. You might think that sounds trite, but you would be surprised how many people forget that number one rule of gun safety.

May 11, 2003, 08:10 PM
If you have no experience or very little experience with shooting guns, I might not recommend the M44 or a 357 snubby as your first guns to try. Think most everyone should start off with rimfire and then go to 9mm or 38 Special in handguns and 223, 243 or 7.62x39 in rifles.

You may very well able to take 30-06 or 300 Win Mag recoil right off but no since in pushing it. Just my opinion. ;)

May 11, 2003, 08:29 PM
When you're of age, the 9mm are also a mild recoil gun that shouldn't be a concern. I'm a woman and my Berettas don't bother me in the least -- my .38 S&W 442 -- sold it but the Berettas are a blast! The other advantage is the Winchester Value Packs that are cheap and allow for a lot of time at the range.:D

May 11, 2003, 08:33 PM
We need to stop demonizing recoil and get back to just accepting it as a moderate result of shooting. Yes, recoil exists but it has now reached such biblical proportions that we have new shooters coming into the game with an established fear or wariness of recoil.

Recoil is just something that happens when we shoot. It is neither good nor bad, it just is. Unpleasant, painful and injurious recoil is not going to happen until we get into serious magnums, whether hand or shoulder fired.

It is up to us to bury the currently accepted stigma of recoil. If you are one of the few who want to continue the legend of crushing recoil, I'll let you run a few rounds through my .454 Casull and you can form your own opinion.

May 11, 2003, 08:36 PM
Well jeeze. I didnt want to offend, just wondering. I didnt know where between the extremes (matrix style uzis with no recoil at all and the bone crushing recoil I hear about) it lay. Sorry if I know nothing about guns.

May 11, 2003, 09:26 PM
I'm pretty big these days (wasn't always), but even a tiny little 22 rimfire has enough kick for me that the sights can't be kept in alignment from shot to shot. You could say that the more a gun kicks the longer it will take you to align the next shot. But maybe not.

With practice one can keep the bullets on target without aiming during fast firing sequences (at resonable distances). It's a timing issue. I don't bother to aim every shot when I am trying to empty a gun as fast as possible yet I can keep all the shots in the black. It's as though the gun were a yo-yo. Just as you know when a yo-yo hits the bottom of it's travel you will know when a gun comes back into alignment for it's next shot.

I probably have not done a good job of explaining this but it's a good technique to be familiar with because eventually it can become helpful in aiding with faster aimed shots by giving you a feel for where to bring the gun back to after a shot.

Your size won't matter so much as your co-ordination and natural sense of perception. Instincts are a very good thing. Trust them, use them.

May 11, 2003, 09:34 PM
I don't think your question is without merit. Some guns are awful for recoil -- such as the .38 snubbie like the model 442 of Smith and Wesson. On revolvers -- the shorter the barrel, the worse the recoil and accuracy is terrible without constant practice. Hard to do on something that is killing your hands.

Weight in a gun is a good thing -- it reduces the recoil and makes it more of a pleasure to shoot. The 9mm tend to be mild -- yes there's recoil but it easy to take. It gets harder with the higher caliber depending on the heft of a gun. A light weight gun will kick. My Berettas have a good weight and I love to shoot them. Believe me, I'm a lady that hates pain -- the 9mm are a great way to get into firearms. Shotguns -- I have yet to learn and a little concerned about what to expect when it kicks...:what:

May 11, 2003, 09:45 PM
Fortunately I have great instincts concerning where my bullet is going to hit. It seems I have a great trajectory calculator in my head. The non lethal things I do that involve projectiles (spitballs, airsoft, paintball, nerf) I have very, very good aim. I seem to know where my gun is pointing at all times, so I can fire from the hip and still hit. I think this will help me with the follow-up shots. I just wanted a concept of how dead my hands are going to be...

Dan Morris
May 11, 2003, 10:03 PM
Hey, don't worry about size or questions about recoil. I started my son with a 22, went to 30-30 and later 30-06.........at that age,
he had no problems.
Good luck and good shooting.

Phantom Warrior
May 11, 2003, 10:09 PM
I'm 6'0" and 145. So I'm about the same build, just a little taller. Personally I'm very comfortable shooting 12 gauge in shotguns, .308 in rifles, and .40 (and .45) in handguns. I haven't had a chance to shoot some of the big stuff like .454 Casul or .300Win Mag, so I can't speak to that. But all the things I've listed (or smaller) are what you'll generally run into shooting and what you would likely be considering for a first gun. I don't think you would have any trouble with any of those.

That said, I would recommend a .22 rifle with iron sights for your first gun. They are easy to get, cheap, cheap to shoot, and just fun guns. That's probably the best way to develop your shooting skills. If you feel like getting something bigger, though, I doubt you'll have trouble with that.

Art Eatman
May 11, 2003, 10:19 PM
Wisnton, I was about 5'-10" and 130 pounds when I was given my first .30-'06. I had just turned 16. I was so skinny I could turn sideways, stick out my tongue, and do a good imitation of a zipper.

The rifle was an old Model 1917 Enfield, and I can tell you that the steel butt plate darned near beat me to death. It was summertime in south Texas, and I was usually shirtless.

I probably burned up 300 or 400 rounds, that summer. :D Wandered the pasture shooting rocks, jackrabbits and trees...

Once I'd sporterized it and put a decent buttpad on it, it wasn't any problem at all, even though it was about a pound lighter.

Recoil of any rifle when fired from a benchrest is much more noticeable than from the offhand position. And I've yet to hear the noise or feel the kick when I was shooting at any game. :)

Nothing wrong with "padding up" while exploring the world of centerfires. Heck, even start with a thin glove for the Big Bang revolvers.

IOW, don't worry about it a whole bunch until you get up into the serious .300 Mag an larger.

And have fun!


May 12, 2003, 11:05 AM
Recoil really shouldn't be a worry for you -- as I said, the 9mm, some .380 and even some .45 suprise you regarding how managable the recoil is. It really shouldn't be an issue -- but an important thing to remember: before you buy a gun, use it at the gun range first so you're not surprised by the recoil. Always know what you're buying. It's a lot of money to throw away on a gun you find you don't like -- after you've bought it. Such was the case with my .38 -- now sold.;)

May 12, 2003, 12:49 PM
Dont think you'll have a problem. I'm 5'7" and 140 pounds I can handle recoil better than one of my friends who is over 200, I dont think weight has much to do with it. I do workout quite a bit, having a large chest helps alot with recoil

May 12, 2003, 01:01 PM
I'm just under 6' and about 215lbs. Myself, I'm not very sensitive to recoil, but I know alot of people my size are. And then there are people half my size that have no problem shooting a .30-06. I guess it's more technique than anything.

May 12, 2003, 01:39 PM
I think it's really hard to predict how someone will react to recoil. My wife shoots my 1911s and my 700 ADL in 270 just fine while I know a couple guys that shy away from the 45ACP because it happens to kick a bit more than a 9mm. And my wife's brother loves shooting my 357 Magnum and 44 Magnum revolvers but says his dads 30-30 kicks too much for him. ??? On the other hand, as I said before, I don't think there's a good reason to spring a serious - if not a heavy kicker - one someone just starting out. The 30-06 gets plenty of use by hunters every year but I see no reason that if someone has access to any other centerfire gun should start off with a 30-06.

Off the top of my head, I'd say anyone should be able to shoot 9mm, 40S&W, and 45ACP from a full size gun with little problem. 10mm is a bit more unpredictable - the hot loads can be hot, but are still under 41 Magnum levels of recoil, due in part to the semi auto function compared to a revlover. Some of the smaller 380s start to have a bit of snap as well. For revolvers, 357 magnum in a large steel frame and a 4" barrel would be the most I would just hand someone and say, 'hold it tight and have fun' without a warning on recoil. 44 Magnums even just with factory ammo, get to the point where I probably wouldn't allow a new shooter to shoot it his or her first day unless they were really a monster.

For rifles, any of the 22 centerfires, 243/6mm family, and the 9mm/40S&W/45ACP/357 magnum rifles are really pussycats. Other than a loud blast, they don't do anything that should scare any shooter over 10 years old. Stepping up to the 44 Magnum, 30-30, 308, 260, 7mm-08, 270 and my beloved 25-06... no reason a any shooter should be intimidated but I would offer a bit of a 'hold on' comment. Above that, stepping up to 30-06, 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, 444 and full (though not excessive) 45-70 would be the category that I would start to exercise some caution in allowing a first time shooter to play with. These comments apply to carry weight rifles - say under 9 lbs. A 12 lb 7mm Rem Mag I would probably put into that middle category.

The thing that always cracks me up, no offense to anyone, is the knowledge that a 13 year old girl had the record for some sort of African antelope for a while and she took it with a 375 H&H magnum. Plenty of women shooters use the 454 Casull in competition and Maccad Ayoobs 10 year old daughter won a trophy using a fullsize 1911 a few years back. Recoil shouldn't scare any serious shooter. Until you get to the 40 lbs of rifle recoil and up in a rifle or anything 44 Magnum and up in a handgun (unless it's one of those scandium 357s that Smith builds) you should be just fine with a good grip and some good hearing protection. ;)

May 12, 2003, 02:13 PM
your fine... im 6' 210 lbs pretty big for 16 and I've been shooting rifles since I was about 12 and pistols for as long as I can remember... its all in your mind about the recoil just be sure to hold the gun tightly up against your shoulder or it'll hammer you pretty good. I was shooting 12 ga.'s at 12 so im sure you can handle it, the only thing I'd be worried about is maybe a .338 lapua mag or one of magnum researches BFR's (biggest finest revolver aka biggest ******* revolver) in 45-70 I shot one of those last week end and it damn near gave me a labotonmy.

May 12, 2003, 04:42 PM
The first gun I ever shot was a .38 snubnose revolver. I was in my high single digits, 8 or 9 I guess. To my ears it sounded like a cannon going off, and my hands could barely keep hold of the thing. As the years went but I shot a host of .177cal BB rifles, .22LR rimfires and a Marlin 30-30 lever action brush gun. In my teens I shot an M-16, a Mini-14, a .357mag Colt Python, heck, I even tossed a couple hand grenades! But never did I shoot a .38 snubnose revolver. When I turned 21 I went to try out a few different pistols and among them was a .38 snubnose revolver. Despite all the much heavier firepower I'd experienced in the years since I shot such a thing, I had it built up in my head that this little .38 was going to kick like a mule and sound like thunder! Suffice it to say I was a bit underwhelmed when it went "pop!" The moral to the story is percieved recoil is much worse than felt recoil.

As far as biometrics goes, I'm just about 5'8 and 150lbs, probably a *little* bit light for my frame. I have no trouble at all with an FAL, which is a semi auto .308... considerably more powerful than a 7.62x39 AK. You shouldn't have any trouble. Don't let the noise make you flinch, it's just a gun.

May 12, 2003, 04:45 PM
.... only in gym class.

May 12, 2003, 05:04 PM
One thing to consider is that a lot of folks have bad form regarding shooting, and other folks won't correct 'em. Went shooting last week, and the person I went with was putting the butt of the .357 carbine high on her shoulder, so that only a couple of square inches were contacting. That would _have_ to leave a mark after a few dozen rounds... That got fixed.

Shootin' gongs is fun. Shootin' gongs with a friend is even more fun. Shootin' an entire magazine at gongs, with no misses, is even better.

Steve Smith
May 12, 2003, 05:07 PM
handling recoil is more about a good posiiton than it is about anything else. The bench can make it hurt.

May 13, 2003, 11:58 AM
I'm pretty certain you won't have a problem. The folks that first introduced me to the AK were smaller than you in most cases. You know...the guys in black PJs?;)

TFL Survivor

May 13, 2003, 01:50 PM
Just this morning my great-nephew who is 8-10 years old and weighs 80-85 pounds shot my NEF Handigun .45-70 off the bench.

He stuffed a folded-up hand towel between his shoulder and the stock, had to work a bit to put the stock firmly up to his shoulder.

His first words after touching off the cannon were: "Can I shoot it again?"

He also shot a replica Winchester 92 in .44 mag with no difficulty. And he emptied a Ruger 10-22 magazine quicker than you can say it.

Lord Grey Boots
May 13, 2003, 01:51 PM
Learn to tuck the recoil pad/butt plate firmly into your shoulder, and take a secure weight-forward stance and you will be fine.

May 13, 2003, 02:18 PM
It's all in what you get use to. The AK won't cause you any problems but you will be hesitant the first ime you shoot, but after the first shot you'll loosen up and have no trouble. Will it knock you down? No, unless you're not standing correctly and you might lose your balance but nothing more.

Just because so many did this I'll throw my build in here. I'm 5'10" 235 lbs power lifter. I wish I could be thin but when that never happened I went and did what I was built for :)


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