9x18 vs. 380 recoil


July 30, 2009, 10:10 PM
How does the recoil of the 9x18 compare to the .380? And to the 9mm for that matter.

Thanks for the input.

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July 30, 2009, 10:13 PM
Welcome to THR!

9x18 and .380 will be pretty much the same if fired in a pistol of the same weight and action type. Both often seem to recoil more harshly than 9mmP, but only because the latter is usually found in locked-breach pistols.

July 30, 2009, 10:21 PM
The 9mm is more recoil than I like. I was considering a cz 82 in 9x18 or cz 83 or bersa thunder in .380. But I'm looking for LESS recoil than a 9mm. Not more.

Thanks for the welcome :)

July 30, 2009, 10:30 PM
Yes, but the point of my post was that the 9x18 and .380 often seem to recoil more than the 9mmP due to the types of pistols chambered in each caliber.

The CZs are an exception. Though straight blowback, their weight soaks up a good chunk of the recoil.

Maj Dad
July 30, 2009, 10:40 PM
I have 9mms that recoil less than my Polish M64 shorty Makarov - it is small, light and the 9mm Mak round recoils smartly. The biggest 9 I own, a Taurus PT-99 is fairly heavy, especially with an 18 rd mag, and the recoil is much less noticeable. It's the old physics principles applied to shooting: it's all relative... :)

July 30, 2009, 10:49 PM
I see, so CZ over Bersa then, for the all steel frame for more weight and less recoil. Is there no difference between then .380 and 9x18 say from the cz 83 and 82? Is this simply an artifact of history that Browning made his 9x17 and the Russians made theirs 9x18?

July 31, 2009, 12:06 AM
I personally believe that a CZ-82 9mm mak has almost no recoil. I practice with it; even one handed. No problem. But if you shoot it and believe that it does recoil more than you like; a simple $8 wolff spring at 16.5 or 18.5 lbs and you won't even know you fired it. And yes, the ALL STEEL, while heavy, is what takes away all the recoil. I can shoot that gun all day. In warmer weather, it has become my #1 CCW

July 31, 2009, 01:04 AM
To me, it just depends on the platform. Because the makarov is largely an eastern round, it's mostly fired in eastern guns which tend to be bigger and heavier than they have to be.

380s on the other hand are a little smaller and lighter than they prolly need to be a lot of the time.

North Bender
July 31, 2009, 01:13 AM
I'll disagree with Christcorp on this, and that speaks to the nature of felt recoil.

All of the blowback 9x18 pistols have a fairly sharp recoil in my opinion, even with heavier springs. It's the nature of the beast. You can find a smoother shooting .45 caliber - pistols that don't use the blowback system, where the recoil comes back straight into your wrist rather than making that flip; they are easier to shoot.

That said, 9x18 is my caliber. Everybody has an opinion.

July 31, 2009, 01:17 AM
Bender; I've definitely felt the recoil more on the tiny Polish P64. But on the all steel CZ-82, just not there. I'd say that it's about equal to my Sig Sauer P220 45acp, and I find the Sig to be pretty good. Again, I shoot a lot one handed, and it's not that bad. I've also found however that each gun can be different. Even 2 of the same model. Especially if the recoil springs are worn differently.

July 31, 2009, 07:22 AM
My CZ-82 lets you know when you've touched one off, no doubt about it. Recoil with 95gr Wolf Classic or 95gr Barnaul from my CZ-82 (Wolff 16.5 lb spring) from my CZ-82 to me feels about the same as 127gr +P+ Winchester Ranger from my Kahr K9 (with Wolff 22 lb spring). It's a sharper "snappy" type recoil with the CZ-82 whereas the K9 has more of a mellow shove.

That said, I've never had any issues with the recoil of my CZ-82 even when I was still using the tired issue recoil spring. It's a heck of a pistol for an insanely reasonable price. Why more people haven't jumped on these deals is beyond me (especially during these times when 9x18 is plentiful while there's a run on everything else). I believe this pistol remains a sleeper.

July 31, 2009, 01:00 PM
I currently had a Makarov PM in 9x18 and a Kahr MK9 in 9x19. The Makarov has more disagreeable recoil than the Kahr. It's definitely a question of the operating system.

Slightly different subject, can anyone list pistols chambered for .380 that aren't blowback operated?


July 31, 2009, 01:21 PM
Right off the top of my head
Current Locked-Breach .380's.

Kel-Tec P3AT
Ruger LCR
SIG P238
Kahr P380

Discontinued models.
Colt Pony & other models.
Remington Model 51
Llama Model 6

I'm sure there were several others.


July 31, 2009, 01:39 PM
Are you saying that the locking breach guns will have more felt recoil?

Silent Bob
July 31, 2009, 01:59 PM
To me:

A Bersa .380 with an aluminum frame = very little recoil. Less than a locked-breech 9x19 IMO. I can see this being a good option for someone who is recoil sensitive.

Makarov 9x18 with steel frame: substantially more recoil than the Bersa .380 and more than a locked-breech 9x19, actually reminds me of the snap of a .40S&W Glock 23

July 31, 2009, 02:08 PM
Even though it weighs twice as much, my blow-back Walther PPK/S kicks / stings my hand worse then my locked breech Kel-Tec P3AT with hot loads.


July 31, 2009, 03:11 PM
So the locking breach .380 will have LESS felt recoil. :uhoh:

July 31, 2009, 03:29 PM
Still depends on the gun. And many times, even the individual gun itself. My friend had my check out his AMT Backup 380 to do some tests on it. Because it's small, you feel all the recoil right in the palm of your hand. On the other hand; the ALL STEEL CZ-82 in 9mm Makarov wasn't even noticeable if you compared the 2. I don't consider the CZ-82 any more noticeable than my PPK 32acp. Feels about the same.

July 31, 2009, 03:51 PM
For ME:

I'd much rather shoot a full-size or 'compact' 9mm like the Beretta 92, SIG P226, Glock 19 or 26, etc. than a Walther PPK in .380. Blowback-operated guns are not fun to shoot IMO.

I also feel my ~11 oz. (empty) Ruger LCP has less recoil than the Walther. The LCP is a locked-breech design.

July 31, 2009, 04:06 PM
So the locking breach .380 will have LESS felt recoil.Yes, always.
The locked breach spreads the recoil impulse over a longer time span, and also uses up some of the energy.


July 31, 2009, 04:45 PM
dunno about ALWAYS. a 12-lb .380 blowback might have minimal felt recoil. :D

July 31, 2009, 04:47 PM
Theres always one!! :D


July 31, 2009, 05:19 PM
Thanks rcmodel, and duh, me. I had a Ruger LCP and should have remembered that one.


Shadow 7D
July 31, 2009, 06:43 PM
I always felt that recoil depends on the design of the gun, ie. weight, ergonomics, mechanism (locked breach, blow back, bolt, etc.)

and shooter, grip type and stance.

Finally the type of rounds your firing, heavy +p = more recoil than light reduced load.
So from that you can generalize

little, light, blowback more recoil than large, heavy, locked breach semi in the same caliber with the same ammo.

August 1, 2009, 01:02 AM
I put in an order for a CZ 82. $200 for pistol, 2 mags, holster, and mag pouch. It seems like a quality used gun and fits my hand perfectly. The hand fit was a major factor.

Thanks for the feedback

August 1, 2009, 03:10 AM
The Micro Desert Eagle is gas operated. Video on youtube makes it look like it shoots pretty smooth for being so small.

August 1, 2009, 05:17 AM
rbhoth, if I didn't know better or went of my meds (kidding!), I would swear the CZ-82 was made for my hand. There's so much going for the CZ-82 and really nothing to complain about.
I enjoy my CZ-52 as well, but when comparing the two it's not hard to imagine that the CZ-82 addressed just about every conceiveable complaint someone might have against it's predecessor.

August 1, 2009, 09:05 AM
I put in an order for a CZ 82. $200 for pistol, 2 mags, holster, and mag pouch. It seems like a quality used gun and fits my hand perfectly. The hand fit was a major factor.

A very good choice. These are excellent pistols, if a little big for the caliber. Mine has been carried, used in a practical shoot match (where it acquitted itself just fine) and kept as a "night stand" gun. Plus, 9x18 ammo is easier to find at the moment than .380.

August 1, 2009, 09:37 PM
Just my 2 cents. My 380 lcp hurts my hand and irritates my trigger finger. My 9mm Glock 26 has quite the kick. My 9mm CZ75b has a very 'fun' recoil and does not hurt one bit. My Taurus PT92 has very little recoil and is really nice to shoot. My Bersa 380 Thunder feels like it has no recoil after shooting most of the other pistols I've mentioned. My 40 cal glock has more recoil than my 45 1911 which is very manageable due to it's weight and nice grip. If you read enough posts, you'll get a surprisingly accurate impression of the recoil of various pistols.

You'll really like your CZ 82. You may or may not be shocked by it's recoil, but I can guarantee you'll get used to it and will not be bothered by it.

August 1, 2009, 10:43 PM
GS, great post!
I'd imagine jackrabbits can make challenging targets if on the go.

August 1, 2009, 11:06 PM
Just my 2 cents. My 380 lcp hurts my hand and irritates my trigger finger. I have a BHP and I shoot hot loads in it using moderately heavy bullets. The recoil is no problem. I also have a P3at and the recoil from it using plain vanilla ammo like WWB is fierce. It *really* used to sting my trigger finger until I shortened the trigger about 1/16" with some sandpaper and cleaned up the sharp edge.

August 2, 2009, 12:43 AM
I have a cz, i have a bersa, no comparison. I like the look of the Bersa, but te recoil of the CZ is a good deal less...

August 2, 2009, 03:39 PM
Holy crap that rabbit is ugly as hell. It looks like it's on steroids. I guess I've never seen one of those before...

Anyways, to me the recoil is so similar between the two that I can't tell the difference.

August 2, 2009, 04:46 PM
off the subject ,But can anything be done about the long trigger pull on the lcp ? Ihate it more than the recoil !

August 2, 2009, 04:54 PM

It will get better after you shoot it a while.

Just like the Kel-Tec they copied it from, or a DA revolver, the long trigger pull is the safety.

And going much lighter will likely cause mis-fires.


August 2, 2009, 07:31 PM
I was under the impression that the Glock 25 (not available in the States) was blowback.

However, when I bought one, I discovered that the internals were identical to other Glocks - removable barrel with lugs and removable recoil spring and guide. So I guess it must be locked breach after all.

I must say I find a CZ 83 to have milder recoil than my Glock though. I can only assume it's to do with the extra weight of the CZ.

August 2, 2009, 08:08 PM
ZXCVBOB: Thanks for the tip. If the trigger were a little less curved, it probably would not bother me.
GREASYSTOOL: I don't think that photo of yours will be admitted into evidence, nor if it were, would prove to a jury that the rabbit drew that gun on you prior to you killing it.

August 2, 2009, 08:21 PM
9 mm MAK is a little peppier than .380 in the CZs, but nothing to worry about.

I just hope that you guys that carry the 82s are using good factory JHPs for defense, like the Hornady XTP.

August 2, 2009, 08:33 PM
GreasyStool, that is the most beautiful CZ-82 I have ever seen.

How much?

August 2, 2009, 11:01 PM
Hmmm..... if you want a non-blowback action pistol in .380acp give the Taurus PT-58 a look. Its a scaled down Beretta 92 type pistol in .380. To be honest though, I have never shot one.

August 2, 2009, 11:20 PM
Re: Micro Desert Eagle

There's a big difference between "gas operated" and "gas assisted blowback". The manual just says "blowback operated". Other references mention that it uses vented gas to slow down the slide. Sounds like "gas-delayed blowback" ala HK P7 et al.

Regardless, when I handled one at a gun show, it was obvious that I would have a very hard time firing it without having two new notches cut in the web of my hand. There is very little room back there.


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