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Which handgun has the lowest recoil? Home defense


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Old 01-18-2014, 02:05 PM   #21
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i once shot a fairly heavy 4" barrel 38 special that had NO RECOIL WHATSOEVER. however, in my 2" snub, the 38's have some decent snap....comparable to a small frame 9mm imo.

i think some have already recommended it, but i would go with a 4-6" all steel 357 and shoot 38's through it. the one i shot honestly had less recoil than my 22/45....i mean it just made noise with no recoil at all.

start with that or a 22 imo. get used to shooting and then step up to something with moderate recoil later. most new shooters start out a bit recoil shy and before you know it, they are seeking more powerful guns.

if you are asking specifically for HOME DEFENSE.....well, i think you should should use whatever you feel most comfortable and effective with. remember, many shooters choose a 20G over a 12G for reduced recoil in a shotgun. and a 20G is a VERY capable home defense choice imo.
at the distances most people would ever use a shotgun for SD/HD usage, a 20 ga. would be very effective and well serving along with having much less recoil than the 12 ga.
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:19 PM   #22
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at the distances most people would ever use a shotgun for SD/HD usage, a 20 ga. would be very effective and well serving along with having much less recoil than the 12 ga.
absolutely! whether true or not, i have read from more than one source that a 20G carries comparable stopping power to TWO 44 MAGS shot simultaneously!

fear of recoil is mostly mental imo. some recoil can give you a real whallop, and i'll admit some scare even me ....but a 20G's recoil really can't hurt any average person (man or woman) who is healthy. its the combo of the loud bang and abrupt push that frightens new shooters, though it rarely ever hurts them.

i had a nephew who was VERY recoil shy, and it drove me a bit insane for awhile. i came to understand later, it was the noise that frightened him much more than the recoil. he STILL dislikes 223 and will shoot 30-30 or 12G now.......everybody is different.

start small and work your way up imo. 22 to 223 and so on....if recoil still bothers the shooter, seek out good recoil pads and lighter loads until you find the maximum effective firearm they can comfortably shoot.

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Old 01-18-2014, 03:09 PM   #23
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curious why you believe you need to choose from the 3 you listed?

Glocks are nice if you are into plastic. If you want reduced recoil, get a metal frame pistol. There are many out there. For home defense you don't need to consider lightweight for your pistol like you might for a carry gun
Just want to point out that there are other factors to recoil that may need to be considered as well. Just having a heavier gun may decrease distance that a gun would be pushed rearward, but it may not make it more controllable. Weight distribution and bord height over the grip can have a big impact on muzzle rise and overall controllability.

Just as an example I have three different types of .45 ACP handguns. 1911s, Glock 21, and Sig 220. A friend has a HiPoint in .45. My 1911s have steel frames as well as a low bore axis, and use single stack mags. The Glock 21 has a polymer frame, but a bore axis that is equally low as my 1911, and a double stack mag. The 220 has an alloy frame a single stack mag and the highest bore axis of my .45s. My friends HiPoint has a polymer frame, single stack mag, a high bore axis and is a blowback action which means it has a really heavy slide, and recoil spring and therefore has the most mass, but most of it is above the hand.

The 1911 and Glock have the least muzzle flip and gave the fastest controlled follow up shots even with equal amounts of ammo in the mags. The Sig was noticeably slower for shot to shot times on controlled pairs. The HiPoint was a bit slower still. The Sig may have been able to run a bit faster by gripping higher, but that often resulted in the slide failing to lock back on an empty mag because the slide catch would end up being held down because of its location.

Many people have personal preferences in gun manufacturers and materials. But weight alone, and construction materials are not the only factors in how recoil acts on the gun.

I agree fully though that in a strict HOME defense gun weight may be considered less of a factor. Stature, age, physical abilities or limitations may bring weight up higher on the list. I also agree that one may not want to start only considering such a narrow list, especially if you have limited shooting experience and exposure to guns. I recommend trying as many as you can before deciding.

Price can be influenced by materials as well. My Sig is more expensive than the Glock, but no more functional (it is more accurate though and has a nicer trigger). It is more expensive than one of my 1911s but less expensive than my match 1911.

I'll finish with my most common advice. If possible, try several guns from trusted manufacturers, and find the gun that you shoot best. I have a fairly short list of guns that I just plain don't like. I have a few that I recommend that people include in their sample population if they can try them before they buy them, as well. Smith and Wesson, Colt, Sig, Beretta, Glock, H&K, and Ruger all have new and older models of guns that have proven to be solid performers. On the budgeting end side, one can look for used police trade in versions of the above. There are more out there, too. These just are the first ones to come to mind.

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Old 01-18-2014, 03:22 PM   #24
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The heaviest gun available in the chosen caliber. There is also "perceived" recoil, somewhat but not a whole lot, different from the physical momentum. Example: you want to use 44 special, get a Ruger Redhawk in 44 Mag.
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:27 PM   #25
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The heaviest gun available in the chosen caliber. There is also "perceived" recoil, somewhat but not a whole lot, different from the physical momentum. Example: you want to use 44 special, get a Ruger Redhawk in 44 Mag.
And muzzle rise is part of the perception. But, yes that Redhawk with .44 specials makes a pleasant shooter. Loved .44 specials out if the 8 and 3/8 inch S&W 29 as well. But that was partly weight distribution, having all of the weight forward.
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:34 PM   #26
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I have an AR15. I keep it locked in my safe. If the Chinese army landed on our shores and started heading toward Colorado I would grab my AR15 with the 5 mags and run with it. I do not use it for home defense. Even my carbine length gun is pretty long to maneuver through doorways and such in the dark.

As far as recoil goes, pretty much the heavier the gun the less recoil it has. I like revolvers. But I carry autos as well. I will not carry an auto in less than 9mm. I will not carry a revolver in less than 38 special. You would be much better off with a heavy gun in a major caliber than a lighter gun in a small caliber. I have a 4 inch S&W 44 mag. I also have a S&W Airweight J-Frame in 38 +P. The J-frame shooting 38 +p has more felt recoil than the 44 mag because of the weight difference between the guns. And that 44 mag will stop someone a lot faster than the best 38 +p.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:19 PM   #27
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If the Chinese army landed on our shores and started heading toward Colorado
I just put this sign up down by the road. I'm going to lay low.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:26 PM   #28
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Which Gun?. What Caliber?. Can I handle Recoil?. Am I comfortable with it?

These are all questions best answered by you, not a forum.
As Vincent said, go try them out.

Most areas have Gun Stores / Ranges that provide rentals. If you are seriously considering buying, let them know and they may offer any of their guns for you to try.

Spend some time and learn the proper grip. The old style was tea-cupping, most now use a firmer two handed grip. This helps a lot.
Learn the firm grip that makes auto's reliable. Pay for some lessons or training.

If possible, stop by several Stores/Ranges since models and availability varies.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:28 PM   #29
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The Ruger P95 is the smoothest 9mm I've ever shot! I'm sure there is better but it's very recoil friendly even compared to the Glock 17!
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:22 PM   #30
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Why has noone recommended a pistol caliber carbine? Kel Tec sub 2000 for instance. It seems like the OP is new to shooting. A pistol carbine is a LOT easier to shoot than a handgun, especially when you just woke up at 2:00 am and have adrenaline rushing through. But, it's still very easy to control and has very little recoil.
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