Is there any poly frame 9mm that recoils as soft as a Hi Power?


March 6, 2013, 11:04 AM
I was wondering if there are any polymer frame pistols that handle recoil management as well as the Hi Power. Having shot a few, and finding that each of them do quite well, . . . and having shot polymer pistols like the FNP-9, Glock 19, Ruger SR-9, Sprinfield Armory XDM, . . . I detect better recoil management in the Hi Power than them. Is this just going to be the case due to the design of the Hi Power and metal frame, or is there a brand who's polymer frame recoils as well?

If not, just reply with a "no".

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March 6, 2013, 11:23 AM
Felt recoil is often times pretty subjective. The fit of the gun, bore axis, etc. can all have an effect on the shooter's perception. In my experience, polymer frames have more give and "cushion", thereby reducing the abrupt feeling of being hit in the hand.

March 6, 2013, 11:26 AM

I can't really say for sure as I have never really tried a side by side comparison with my Hi-Power and any of my polymer 9mm.s. For me the recoil of the Hi-Power is relatively light given the excellent design and ergonomics at work and its all steel construction. But my Glock 17, Steyr M9, and Ruger SR9c all pretty much exhibit less felt recoil as well, probably due to the physical characteristics of the polymers used in their manufacture.

March 6, 2013, 11:51 AM
My CZ SP01 Phantom is pretty soft shooting.

March 6, 2013, 11:53 AM
I thought about an SR-9c for carry, actually.

March 6, 2013, 11:58 AM
Felt recoil is subjective, as others have said. I find the S&W M&P to be very soft-shooting due to ergonomics that suit me. I have the impression that I can feel the frame flexing slightly at the end of the slide's travel, though I don't know if this is real or illusory.

Wil Terry
March 6, 2013, 11:58 AM
AFTER SIXTY YEARS OF SHOOTING I know for a fact now that recoil is 90% between our ears, NOT between our hands. Furthermore, the recoil of every 9MM PARABELLUM pistol I ever shot[ That is pretty much all of 'em..] approximates that of a healthy beer burp. I mean really...C'MON !!

The Lone Haranguer
March 6, 2013, 12:22 PM
It's not that there are no differences between individual guns, but 9mm Luger just isn't a heavy-recoiling cartridge to start with.

March 6, 2013, 01:45 PM
Of course it's not. But one can shoot a .22 faster than a 9mm because it has even less recoil. And if 9mm recoil were a non-issue, then Steel Challenge shooters wouldn't have comps on their guns in open class.

March 6, 2013, 01:59 PM
I have a Bersa BP9cc that handles very well. I like it better than the Glocks, Ruger SR9, and S&W Sigmas I have shot. Not sure how it compares to Hi-power, haven't shot one of those in years.

***** yeah, I'm using my phone, big deal *****

March 6, 2013, 02:27 PM
I've owned 3 Hi-Powers and shot maybe another 3 P-35s, so I feel I have a basis of stating that the S&W M&P9 has milder felt recoil...the M&P40 actually has a bit less felt recoil (action opens later).

I feel that part of it is visual as the movement of the much lighter Browning slide on the rails in recoil was always a bit disconcerting

March 6, 2013, 02:32 PM
Okay, guys. I get what you all are saying. Of the ones I mentioned above in the OP, I thought the SR-9 "felt" the best. I haven't had the priviledge of shooting an M&P9, and would like to.

I guess I was just really surprised [after having been away from the Hi Power for quite a long time] at the seemingly more manageable recoil it had, . . . even over my steel framed CZ-01.

I wonder how the CZ FNS-9 would compare?

Gary A
March 6, 2013, 02:34 PM
I detect better recoil management in the Hi Power than them.
My experience is the same, whatever the reason. I do love my Hi Power and I'm really a single-action revolver lover at heart. (I guess, really and increasingly a traditionalist at heart.)

March 6, 2013, 02:52 PM
OP, one other thing to consider is that the weight of the recoil spring in the particular pistol can have an effect on percieved recoil. Some people feel a softer spring lowers felt recoil, while others think a stiffer spring does so. Again, it's subjective in many ways, but it may simply be that the HP has a stiffer or softer recoil spring relative to other stuff you're shooting. If the HP is old and has been shot a lot, its spring may have softened a bit, and you may be a soft-spring preferrer. It's possible a different HP wouldn't feel as good, or that another pistol would do just as well for you if you experimented with spring weights.

There's an interesting blog post on this issue here:

March 6, 2013, 03:31 PM
I could simply chime in and say, yes, my poly framed CZ SP-01 Phantom seems to recoil less than other pistols, but I'd think I'd rather just show you and let you decide.

March 6, 2013, 03:37 PM
Felt recoil is subjective. I will say that I find the Steyr M series of guns to be very very soft shooters. I haven't shot it side by side with a hi power. However, it seems to me to be a softer shooter than all the other service sized 9mms I've shot it side by side with (glock, sig, XD, etc). I think the extremely low bore axis may be a big part of the reason for this.

I have never shot one, but I imagine the Caracal would be similar to the Steyrs.

March 6, 2013, 04:47 PM
Good comments guys! :)

Thanks for the video armoredman.

March 6, 2013, 04:57 PM
I have two 9mm's, a full-steel 5906 and a CZ75-P07 (polymer frame). The P07 definitely has more felt recoil, but through proper grip technique it isn't any harder to tame than the 9mm in the full-steel gun.

One gun you might try is the PX4; it has a rotating barrel locking mechanism that changes the feel of the recoil. The hi-power has relatively soft recoil because it has a lot of slide mass.

March 6, 2013, 04:57 PM
For what its worth I think the SR9c has less "felt" recoil than the full size. I think the 9c is similar in recoil to my Hi-Power. Those are my two favorite 9mms to shoot.

March 6, 2013, 05:01 PM
In my experience there isn't a polymer framed gun that recoils as softly as a steel framed gun.

Steel just seems to absorb recoil better, I'm guessing because of the weight.

March 6, 2013, 05:11 PM
My Beretta PX4 full size has about the lowest recoil of any of my guns

March 6, 2013, 07:08 PM
Steel just seems to absorb recoil better, I'm guessing because of the weight.
I know we commonly say this, just like we say auto pistol when we mean semi-automatic pistol, but in the spirit of magazine vs. clip, it just isn't true...well, the second half is true.

Steel doesn't absorb recoil better because it doesn't absorb it at transmits it. What steel frames do, through their additional weight, is dampen felt recoil through inertia...just like heavy recoil spring guides.

The reasons a polymer framed gun can have less felt recoil (in decreasing order of affect) is by 1) spreading it over a larger area of the hand, 2) less leverage over the pivot point at the web of the hand and 3) the wrist/arm alignment the grip angle causes

March 6, 2013, 07:21 PM
I own an HP as well as a M&P fullsize and the M&P 9C. I would say all three are comparable in recoil with the edge going to the M&P fullsize as being the pussycat of the bunch. The softest recoiling 9mm I have is my S&W 5906.

The biggest factor to me in recoil management, if that is your ultimate goal, is the grip and your shooting technique. I practice holding the trigger back through the shot when shooting slow fire. I believe you can manage recoil better with your entire hand slightly flexed rather than relaxing the trigger finger and letting the trigger slap forward on its own. The front sight should naturally fall back into the groove of the rear sight after the shot. If you find it falling right or left and having to bring it back into alignment you need to adjust your grip or your fingers position on the trigger. As you bring the front down into the rear sight naturally, release the trigger to the reset, don't take your finger off the trigger and put it back on again, and apply pressure again to fire. As you practice this technique and speed it up you will find your recoil control improve and your recoil management for follow shots improve as well. As your speed increases you will find you are much less conscious of the trigger pull and you can simply follow the moment the front sight nestles into the rear and the next shot will break at the moment your sight alignment appears. I've found I can build up to some pretty impressive speed and still shoot accurately using this technique and the recoil becomes part of your shot rather than detriment to it. There may be similar or better techniques out there but I've found this works for me.

I just remembered I have a youtube video of me shooting my P7 and my M&P 9C. The P7 is probably one of the softest shooting 9mms you can find. You can see there is a little more muzzle flip on my M&P but the recoil seems a little slower and less abrupt. Its an older video and I've changed my stance, grip, and trigger control since then so be kind. If I think of it I'll take my HP and my M&P to the range next time and I'll shoot a vid of them side by side so you can see a comparison of the recoil of both of them.

March 6, 2013, 07:51 PM
Googled image

The Steyr doesn't win any points for being pretty, but they are mellow shooters. My M40 recoils far more like a 9mm than a 40S&W.

March 7, 2013, 11:10 PM
I have to agree. Out of all my 9mms, The Steyr M9-A1 is the softest shooting. It is however, one ugly pistol.

March 7, 2013, 11:26 PM
I have a govt sized Kimber in 9mm and a Glock 19. Really couldn't tell much difference. Saw a demo on one of the gun shows that explains that polymer pistols flex (yes the slo-mo shows the flex all along the slide portion of the frame) when the slide goes back absorbing some of the recoil. I agree with the assessments on steel. Weight vs inertia.

March 8, 2013, 01:15 AM
It's say try an HK if at all possible. While I don't have personal experience with one, the spring setups in their polymer pistols are supposed to be excellent when it comes to reducing recoil.

March 8, 2013, 07:17 AM
Wife's SR9 is a very soft shooting 9mm. It may be a mite softer shooting than my BHP but I need more research to confirm that.

March 9, 2013, 12:35 AM
Beretta PX4 Storm.

March 9, 2013, 03:52 AM
glock 26 is a softy for me, I think the width plus a dual recoil spring is just the ticket.

March 9, 2013, 05:54 AM
if you ever have a chance to shoot the Grand Power K100 or the STI GP6 give it a go, having owned glocks/stery/czp07, the GP surprisingly has less recoil than those i mentioned

March 9, 2013, 01:49 PM
Had a PX4 Storm in 40SW, worked well, was poor accuracy wise. Recoil was manageable.

March 9, 2013, 02:40 PM
17L is a pretty soft recoiling pistol IMO, put a 9" barrel in it and hardly recoils at all !

I owned a BHP and I really liked it, but I think the 17L is softer recoiling.

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