Lighten Recoil


July 5, 2007, 05:21 PM
Hi Fellows, I was wondering if any of you had ever had the same problem I have with my wifes reluctance to shoot my 380's or 9mm's because she is afraid of the recoil. Now that I've started reloading my own ammo I was curious to know if you could seriously reduce the recoil in these calibers by decreasing the bullet size and load weight? Forinstance.....a 95 or smaller gr. 380 bullet with the lightest load possible.
Shoot.....I'm new to this reloading I'm probably not making sense.
Any help...

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July 5, 2007, 06:40 PM
Lighter bullets at starting loads will reduce recoil pretty well. Just reducing charges behind heavy bullets will help. Faster powders that require less of a charge weight helps as well.

July 5, 2007, 07:05 PM
First of all, as they are, the 380 Auto and 9mm Parabellum cartridges don't have much recoil. If you load them down too much, a semiauto action won't cycle dependably. You might be best off considering something with even less recoil like a 22 LR. I know it's nice to have more power for self defense but if the extra power means you wife won't be willing to shoot, you would be best off with less power. Maybe with practice she'll tolerate more recoil later.

July 5, 2007, 07:19 PM
Thanks for the reply my friend. She likes the little Walther P22 I got her a few months back, so I'm going that rout with her now.
I was afraid the blow back system in the 380 would present problems, however, I thought I might be able to lighten the bullet and load in the 9mm to see how that worked.
Thanks again,

July 5, 2007, 07:31 PM
It's all a matter of physics. Heavier bullet traveling faster means more recoil. The same with the mass of the firearm. The lighter the firearm, the more recoil. Then you add in ergonomics, which affects felt recoil. Sometimes changing the grip on a handgun will make the recoil easier to handle.

You can experiment with your 9mm loads and use lighter bullets, with lighter loads, but you'll probably have to change the recoil spring to get reliable functioning. It can be done with a little work and research. Wolff makes the springs you'll need for just about any handgun, and the reloading manuals are full of loads you can try.

A revolver is much easier to tailor loads for, since you don't have to worry about functioning, just getting the bullet out the barrel fast enough to hit the target. I've loaded some real powder puff .38's to get people started shooting and it's worked every time.

Hope this helps.


July 5, 2007, 07:50 PM
powder puff .38's

Would you mind sharing which powder you use?

Jim Watson
July 5, 2007, 10:39 PM
I found that it was possible to load 9mm P down about 12% from maximum for a Sig-Sauer P225 for a Lady; it would not run at -15%. But even at -12% recoil was still less than the usual blowback .380.

July 6, 2007, 12:47 AM

I used Bullseye. I PM'd you with the actual loads, since I make it a practice to not post loading data on forums.

Hope this helps.


July 6, 2007, 12:53 AM
My wife (100lbs and 5'2") loves the big pistols. 40 S&W from a Glock 23, .357 Mag from a colt python... she loves them.

As for reducing felt recoil, I would start with lighter bullets, buy the reduced recoil rounds (though they are pricey), or just go with a heavier firearm. A 9mm with average 115r factory loads in a 35 oz firearm will not give the muzzle flip experienced in the Glock 19s.

You could obviously try the smaller 38 Special (NOT +P loads) out of a good ole heavy Ruger long barrel revolver would be a GREAT firearm to learn from in a large caliber pistol.

Just short of placing a compensator on a 1911 shooting 38 supers I dont know what else advice to give you! Maybe the .22 pistol? hehe

Hope this helps!

July 6, 2007, 01:18 AM
Blowback recoil seems to be a little sharper in my opinion, so you may have more luck with the 9mm. If you use lighter .380 bullets in a 9mm with starting loads, you may get the results you're looking for. Avoiding limp-wristing may become even more important though.

July 6, 2007, 07:13 AM
3.6gr Clays/ 115gr fmj :) Starting load for this powder, cycles my CZ75 and G19, but you dont want to limp wrist it:D

July 24, 2007, 12:48 AM
Light on powder with heavy bullet to take up capacity. I was trying to work on subsonic/reducing report for the area I shoot in. I started with 3.2 grains of NM13/Bullseye and 147gr bullets and worked down to 2.6 grains. The added bonus is soft recoil and not having to look too far for brass. At 3.0 grains cycled my UZI carbine, G-17 and Para P-18. At 2.6 cycles my Para but does not slide lock and brass was not ejecting far enough.

July 24, 2007, 09:45 AM
For 9mm 3.1 of VV310 or titegroup with a 147grain bullet out of a full size (1911) is as soft as it gets for IDPA at least and it runs 100%. My wife likes it better than factory 380 out of her tarus. If you want to ensure your wife enjoys shooting with you take her to a range that rents and let her pick out her own pistol (even if it's a .22lr), let it be known that it's "hers".

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