questions about recoil?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    questions about recoil?

    I have had the privilege to try out some different handguns recently but I have never tried the same gun in different calibers and note the difference in recoil. In the same gun how does the recoil of a 9mm, 357sig,40 S&W, 45ACP, etc compare?

    Can it always be assumed that a larger handgun will soak up the recoil better? I shot a subcompact glock in 40S&W and a full size 1911 in 45 and found the 1911 to be more controllable concerning recoil. I assume this is mainly due to the differences in size and weight. Am I right?

    Also, are some guns better at soaking up recoil than others? Like will an H&K USP in 45ACP kick harder than a 1911 in 45ACP?


  2. #2
    Junior Member stevexd9's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    A 9 mm being the weakest but sharp recoil.
    40 S&W will be bigger and "sharper recoil”
    45ACP will be more of a push back not sharp at all
    You can’t assume that a bigger handgun will soak up the recoil, because the recoil spring may be bigger/small. Also revolvers tend to have a little more recoil. Some guns are better, for the spring reason I stated above. Example the HK USP 45 will have a smaller recoil than the HK USP Compact 45 because of the recoil system in the full size version

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mike Barham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Arizona, baby!
    Simple recoil is pretty easy to quantify - the weight of the gun versus its power. See Newton's Laws of Motion and all that.

    But many things can change a shooter's perception of recoil. For example:

    - A high-pressure round may feel "snappy" or "sharp" compared to a lower-pressure round.

    - A pistol with a high bore axis will allow the muzzle to flip up more, making the pistol seem to recoil more.

    - A pistol that shifts or moves in the hand under recoil will often be perceived to kick more.

    - An inexperienced shooter often places his hands on the pistol incorrectly, giving him a lack of control.

    None of the typical pistol calibers - 9mm, .40, .357, .45, 10mm - actually recoil very hard, if you know how to put your hands on the pistol. Some are easier to control than others, and you may even perceive them differently than the guy next to you on the range.

    But generally, most people find the 9mm easiest to control, the 10mm the hardest, and the .40, .357, and .45 all pretty similar.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - / Veteran OEF VIII

    Donate to the Christian and Stephanie Nielson Recovery fund: .

    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

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  5. #4
    Junior Member Mystro's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    The Fruited Plain
    +1 Mike

    I have found that #4 is the most common issue when describing percieved recoil. If the proper grip is not established, not only will the shooter be recoil challenged, he will often not hit his point of aim.

    I find the 10mm is no more difficult to control or has any more recoil that a hot .45. But larger calibers - .44 mag and up, it's two hands, brace your self and hold on!

    A fella once told me when I was a youngster that shooting a Colt M1911 was a lot like riding a bull.
    You could hold on tight, make the 8 sec. and get a nice score - or get off anyway you wanted to.

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