Recoil Surprize


February 23, 2010, 04:53 PM
Usually I shoot Magtech .357 158 gr out of my GP100 and I have been happy with it. I squeeze the trigger and it goes boom and I hit the target. Today I went to the range and tried some Remington .357 125 gr. This time I squeezed the trigger and it went BOOM with significant recoil, much more than the Magtech cartidges. It was so loud the RO came over and looked to see what I was shooting. He thought it was a .44 magnum. After about 25 rounds the recoil was starting to get uncomfortable. I finished the box of 50, but I must say that it was not that much fun to shoot that particular cartridge.

Correct me if I am wrong, and I am likely to be wrong since I am a relative newbie with handguns, but I thought that a 158 gr bullet would give me more recoil than a 125 gr bullet. Why was the Remington so much more snappy and loud than the Magtech rounds.

Oh yeah, the Remingtons were also very dirty. Much dirtier than Blazer aluminum case rounds.

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February 23, 2010, 04:57 PM
Higher velocity means greater recoil. The 125's would only prodice less recoil if they had the same or lower velocity then the 158's.

February 23, 2010, 05:01 PM
Velocity & pressure level.

The Magtech probably isn't loaded as hot as the full power Remington 125 grain stuff.

What you got with the Remington load is really what a .357 Mag is all about.

less recoil if they had the same or lower velocity then the 158's.Nope.
A 125 at 1,400 kicks less then a 158 at 1,200.
A 125 at 1,500 kicks about the same as a 158 at 1,200.

The recoil impulse may feel sharper, but actual free recoil of the gun is almost identical.


February 23, 2010, 05:31 PM
the BOOM may also be contributing to your estimation of recoil. The concussion/blast from the muzzle comes back and hits you in the face. "Wow, this gun really kicks!" :)

February 23, 2010, 08:40 PM
You should shoot some of my reloads......:eek:


February 23, 2010, 09:28 PM
My wife sold her GP100 because the recoil of my 629 spoiled her for the BIG boom...
I dont like a gun that doesnt have a decent amount of violence.


February 23, 2010, 09:29 PM
Thanks for the clarifications. I understand better now. And although I said it was not that much fun, well really it was. I loved that massive boom and the sharp snap of the recoil.

You should shoot some of my reloads......

I would love to take you up on that offer Tango!

February 23, 2010, 10:24 PM
125's have more flash and blast to them, plus a tad sharper feel, to me any way. I like 125's at around 1275 to 1300 FPS, but not much more.

Try some max loaded 125's with Blue Dot, at dusk if you can, and get back to us. :D

February 23, 2010, 10:33 PM
Some time ago, I owned an SP101-2" I remember shooting most of a box of Rem 125s in it. Then I quit; wrist was sore.

Jim H.

February 24, 2010, 10:52 AM
Not to Hijack your post, but I thought I would share a quick experience. I have a private range in my backyard, (actually a private 3000ft grass runway). Every once in a while, I'll run into an LOE in a local gunshop that I frequent, who's a distant cousin of mine. Last year he asked if he could come shoot the SWAT teams long range rifle on my range. I said yes, and a few days later I had him and a friend over.

That day I was tinkering with a Ruger Blackhawk in .357 with a custom 3 3/8" barrel. Both of them replied that they liked the gun, but had never shot anything other than their issued .40S&W's and .9MM's. Seeing and opportunity...:D...I offer to let them shoot it and grabbed some ammo from the hobby room.

It was just about dusk as we were standing on the back porch. I loaded the Blackhawk and handed it to "Cousin".

Pop...Pop...Pop......."I thought a .357 would be more powerful than this...":scrutiny:

Keep shooting...


"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!!!":what::eek:

"That was a .357 Magnum.:evil:

February 24, 2010, 12:05 PM

I do the same thing when letting people shoot my .357. :lol:

My brother did that to me with his model 60. :eek:

February 24, 2010, 12:21 PM
I did the same at the range I have a SBH in 44mag. My plinking load runs around 800 fps and my mag load is 1200. 5 plinking and one mag and the guy who had never shot a 44 before wanted to shoot it and I let him know what was in the gun before he shot it. 2 or 3 plinking and then BOOM he said that was enough for him.

February 24, 2010, 12:56 PM
Kinetic energy (in ft-lbs) = 1/2 * m* v^2

Since energy is resultant of the square of the velocity, mass has some but not as such a dramatic effect as increasing the velocity.

The energy of the bullet will equal the energy of recoil of the pistol.

Also, conservation of momentum applies => m1*v1 = m2*v2

All this is number-nerd description of why "light" guns "kick" more than "heavier" guns shooting the same rounds.

February 24, 2010, 01:06 PM
This happened to me as well. I've got a box of .357 125gr that recoil enough to make shooting very uncomfortable. Federal Gold Dot. The Winchesters are more fun for target practice.

Vern Humphrey
February 24, 2010, 01:10 PM
My first tour in Viet Nam, I was in 18th ARVN Division Headquarters when I saw a VNAF lieutenant with a strange looking revolver in his holster. I took a closer look, and sure enough, it was a 3" Colt Python. I spoke to him and we talked guns awhile. He said he liked the gun, "But can't get good ammunition." He had a western-style belt and holster, and the cartridge loops were filled with GI FMJ .38 Specials.

"Ah, Trung Hue, I have good ammunition for that gun. Come tomorrow and I'll give you some."

Now, I had a Colt M357 with several hundred rounds of my handloads. And they were loaded for bear (meaning you're more afraid of the gun than you are of the bear.) I also had a dinky little snub-nosed .38 Special someone had given me. I took a box of my .357 handload in the next day, and a box of .38 Special powder-puff wadcutters that I got with the little snubbie.

The lieutenant was quite grateful and wanted to pay me. I said, "No payment necessary, but let's go and shoot our guns." Went out on the berm and lined up on some old ration cans. You have to realize this Viet Namese was about 5' 2" tall, and very slight of stature. When that Python went off, a ball of flame enveloped his hand, the gun flew back and the front sight parted his hair! He stood there stupified, looking at it.

I drew my little snubbie loaded with wadcutters, and he flinched. Then "pop - pop - pop." His expression was one of amazement. I handed the snubbie to him. "Want to shoot it?"

On the way back into headquarters, he said, "You want change guns?"

"Oh, I couldn't do that -- this was given to me by a friend."

"You big man, little gun. I little man, big gun. We change."

"I just couldn't."

"I pilot. Maybe get shot down. Need little gun."

So, reluctantly, I traded him my little snubbie for his 3" Colt Python.

Occam's Razor
February 24, 2010, 03:27 PM
Here's a handy calculator for recoil if you don't want to do the math:

Recoil Calculator (

February 24, 2010, 03:51 PM
I concur: 125gr .357 Magnums are nasty. To me, not only are they loud but they are more "torquey" than 158gr bullets. And, FWIW, I'm talking about the Remington 125gr, too. I have a box that I use for hot-shot gunnies who think they are the cat's whiskers with their wonder 9s.


February 24, 2010, 04:51 PM
I feel like there are just different kinds of recoil. The sharp snap and the slow push. From guns in 357 all the way to 500 its the same. When I load a 125 in a 357 its like a sub 300gr somthing in a 500 or a 200gr in a 44. But a 158gr or better yet a 180gr in a 357 is like a 700gr in a 500 or a 300 somthing in a 44. Maybe I'm just weird......

February 24, 2010, 06:20 PM
When I had my taurus 605 i was practicing with the 38 special softball loads, and at the end of the session I will shoot the 125's ... accuracy did not suffer, and it only stung a little.

Snappy little things, will do in an emergency and I rather give than receive those 125's

February 24, 2010, 09:18 PM
I find that the full power 158 grains are very easy to shoot, even in the SP 101.

However, I don't enjoy the full power 125 grain magnums even ina revolver the size of the GP 100.

The 158s to me are a mild to moderate push.

The 125s are IMO very, very snappy.

I would guess recoil is similar if measured by a machine... but in terms of pure comfort / feel I prefer how the 158 recoils vs. the 125.

I also enjoy shooting 180 and the rare 200 grain .357 magnums. The 200 grain .357 I consider decent black bear defense -- especially for those that do not own a .44 magnum (I do have a .44 magnum so in most situations I would recommend that if one lives in black bear country).

But for me the 158 grain has the best combo of mild recoil, decent velocity, and decent bullet weight. To me the 158 grain bullet is the ideal all around load for .357 magnum, and it is what I usually load my defense revolvers with.

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