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Pistol recoil tolerance

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by gspn, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. gspn

    gspn Well-Known Member

    Where does recoil begin to bother you?

    I shoot a lot of magnum handguns. Tons of 44, 41, and 357 mag...and i cant wait to pick up a 454 casull...but this weekend i changed it up a bit. My model 29 was unavailable so i was shooting fullnhouse magnum loads through a short barreled 629. That experience is best described as a fist full of violence. I still shot it well...but it kicked like a three legged ninja. It wasnt as much fun as shooting the heavier revolvers.

    Where do you draw the line? What caliber or caliber/frame size produces intolerable recoil for you? I know everyone is different...just curious to hear everyones thoughts.
  2. firesky101

    firesky101 Well-Known Member

    I have shot several .454's and they stung but were fun. I can put a box of .357 through my KLCR without too much pain/flinch (I attribute that to the grip/poly frame). I draw the line at a S&W 340PD, I shot one cylinder full and I was done. My hand feels like shaking anytime I see a picture of one.
  3. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    Muzzle blast, flash, and concussion are fine. Fun, actually, as long as you have enough hearing protection.

    Straight up pain in your hand from the recoil pulse...no thank you. It hurts and it is not fun. The most painful handgun I have fired is my Smith and Wesson 642 with stock grips and Buffalo Bore 158gr +P LSWCHP. Holy mother. I put some Pachamary compact grip son after one range trip like that.

    Now, the hottest Buffalo Bore .357 mag out of my 4" Ruger GP100? That's just plain fun, and I would like some more. .44 or .454 is in my future
  4. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    When I hand-crank my Model-T, sometimes the crankshaft gets bent.. I just continue daintily sipping my cappuccino. true story
  5. TAKtical

    TAKtical Well-Known Member

    .500 s&w
  6. kynwatch

    kynwatch Well-Known Member

    It depends. I had a Ruger Super Blackhawk 7.5" that I fired less than 20 rounds through. I hated it! It was very uncomfortable to shoot. I ended up trading it for a Savage Mark II(very happy with by the way).

    On the other hand. I have a Smith and Wesson 500 8"that I absolutely love. It's one of the never trade guns I own. It pushes back into my hand when firing. No pain, just a big boom.

    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2
  7. ApplePie

    ApplePie Well-Known Member

    The hardest recoiling handgun I have ever shot is my S&W Model 329PD airweight, a 25 ounce 44-magnum revolver. With 240 grain low velocity practice loads at about 800 fps, it kicks harder than my S&W 629 with a maximum load. My 6-inch barreled 629 weighs twice as much as the 329.

    With a maximum load, the 329PD is a handful. However, it does not hurt me. I don't mind shooting it at all, and I am very thin with average size hands for a man. I'm also older. However, after shooting 50 full-power rounds in a day through it, I really don't have any desire to shoot more that same day. Besides, I'm concerned if it will hold up to that much full-power shooting.

    I read a review about 10 years ago that said the S&W 340PD airweight 357 magnum revolver that weighs 11.4 ounces is the hardest recoiling production handgun in existence, with full-power 357 magnum loads. Maybe not anymore; I don't know.
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I have shot all the magnums from the .357 to the 500 S&W and all are ummmm an experience.

    I'm comfortable shooting any .357 Magnum load and every .41 Magnum load I have shot. Very heavy bullet .44 magnums at full power and not a fun round to shoot just to shoot them. Nothing wrong with downloading the .44 Magnum for range fun though...
  9. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    What is the lightest gun (you have fired a full house magnum load out of of?
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I have shot a full .357 Magnum load in a 12oz Airlite but I won't do it again unless necessary. It was not fun and I see no reason to do it!

    I routinely shoot 145gr Winchester Silvertips and equal rounds from a S&W M640.

    I have shot a 25oz S&W M329PD in .44 Magnum and while not pleasant it was not as bad as the .357 Magnum Aitlite!

    I carry a 15oz Airweight .38 Special daily and shoot +P ammo most times at the range.
  11. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    I haven't found a handgun that bothers me yet, but I haven't tried anything larger than a hot .357 or .44 special.

    So far, the only thing without a stock that has bothered me was when my friend got a pistol grip for his Winchester 1200 in a kit and decided to give it a try.
  12. kozak6

    kozak6 Well-Known Member

    Small and light can kick worse than big and powerful.

    I could fire my neighbor's big heavy .357 all day. It's tremendously fun.

    Firing a friend's subcompact .380 feels like getting smacked in the hand with a hammer for every shot. Firing more than a round or two takes a real toll on the hands, and you will have to recover for a while after firing a whole magazine.
  13. Safetychain

    Safetychain Well-Known Member

    I can shoot my 1911 45 or my SRH 44 mag all day long with no problem, but just after 3 cylinders of 357 in a friend's S&W and my elbow and wrist start aching.
  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    .."6" brain circle"? Those are some big-brained critters! Do they belong to Mensa?
  15. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    Full throttle .357 loads out of a Smith and Wesson Airweight are no fun at all. I put a cylinder through one immediately after putting a cylinder through a Super Red Hawk in .480 Ruger and the little Smith was much worse.
  16. Pete D.

    Pete D. Well-Known Member


    I haven't shot every combination of hard kicking gun available. I have shot most of what has been mentioned already.
    The most unpleasant was a T/C Encore chambered for the 500 S&W. I was testing some of Rick Gibson's 600 and 700 grain bullets. Not fun...every single shot hurt.
  17. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Well-Known Member

    I shoot full power 200 gr and 325 grainers out of my 5" bbl 460 magnum, and it doesn't bother me. It is a handful, and impressive, but the recoil doesn't hurt or anything. I've not shot the 500, but I want to. I've looked at those 2.5 inch bbl ES 500's and 460's, but wouldn't buy one. I think that would be a bit unpleasant.

    3" 410 shells out of my Bond Arms derringer are no fun at all. In fact I'm thinking of selling that gun because it just isn't any fuun to shoot. I don't particularly like 158 gr +P's out of my 642 airweight either, but they will do in a pinch.
  18. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Well-Known Member

    Have to admit the 454 is my limit.
  19. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Well-Known Member


    They used to make a COP handgun that was a 4 barreled .357 magnum.

    It was stainless and I shot full house rounds from it and it kept going out of time due to the recoil.

    I was young and did a good deal of one handed shooting with a pistol gripped 12 bore,that was more comfortable than the COP handgun.

    I actually sold it due to the 'going out of time ' thing.

    The other gun that kicks like a mule is a DAO .9MM derringer that I own.

    Kicks more than the .45 LC derringer that I shot for SASS.
  20. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    I've had the opportunity to shoot quite a few of the bigger hand cannons. While a couple of rounds is fun and a bit of a test I don't fancy shooting such things on a regular basis.

    Even my recently aquired .44Mags are more fun for me when loaded down to about 10% less than max pressure loadings.

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