Which handgun has the lowest recoil? Home defense

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by LasVegas, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. LasVegas

    LasVegas New Member

    Hi America

    This is a very common question, and like most questions it has more than just one answer. I need a gun for Home defense. Can you recommend a handgun or a rifle?

    A shotgun has a way to big recoil for me......


    Thank you guys for answering
  2. seancslaughter

    seancslaughter New Member

    Welcome to the forum! Stop by the introductions thread and tell us about yourself. As to your question more info is needed for consideration on what would best suit you for a HD weapon. You have 2 pistols and one rifle listed the AR is a great HD weapon, but how close are your neighbors houses to yours? Will that round go thru your walls and hit someone over there. Both Glocks are great HD weapons with negligible recoil I would go to a gun store and see which fits your hand best if thats the route you choose.

  3. CardiacColt68

    CardiacColt68 New Member

    357 magnum loaded with 38 specials?? Kinda on the fringe for self defense, but not much kick is a nice size revolver. Or if you can shell out some good money a Gov't size 1911 chambered for 9mm might be good.
  4. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    Welcome to the forum.

    Have you shot a .410 shotgun?

    I've seen a lot of .20 gauge side-by-side shotguns used as home defense.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  5. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

    I shat 12 gauge. Wife sometimes complains I blow up the toilet. :p
  6. WillWork4Ammo

    WillWork4Ammo New Member

    My HD gun is a Glock 17 with 2 magazines loaded with Hornady Critical Defense.I also have a 995 9mm carbine ready to go on stand by if needed.
  7. kryptar19

    kryptar19 New Member


  8. vincent

    vincent New Member

    Recoil is mostly subjective, what may rattle the teeth of one, may be butter smooth for another...

    I suggest you find a rental range and try as many different calibers, in several different platforms, then tell us what your results were...

    Not pickin' at ya but the shotgun comment tells me you have a limited firearms background. Your knowledge will grow with more trigger time. Only YOU know what you will like best, all we can do is make suggestions based on our own experiences and preferences which will undoubtedly differ from your own...Case in point- I'm a .45 guy, that's what I shoot best. Not to say that any other caliber is wrong, just wrong for me. It took a good bit of time (and a couple of bad purchase decisions) for me to reach that conclusion...

    Best wishes...:cool:
  9. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

    One thing that people who don't have a lot of trigger time overlook is adrenaline. A 12 ga shotgun loaded with 3" slugs has over 70 ft lb of recoil. At target practice the recoil of a slug will rattle almost anyones dental work. Yet I have never heard anyone complain about recoil when they shot a deer. The excitement of shooting a deer is very mild compared to a fight for your life.

    You can buy low recoil ammo for a shotgun that is designed for shooting skeet. The recoil of a 12 ga is very mild with low recoil ammo. A member of our shooting club is a paraplegic. He has no problem shooting 100 rounds with a 20 ga loaded with low recoil ammo. He would shoot more if our sporting clay course was more wheelchair friendly.

    Shooting skeet is a good way to learn to handle a shotgun and how to handle yourself on a gun range. Shotgun shooters are a lot more laid back than pistol shooters. Pistol shooters seem to think if they embarrass a newcomer they won't make that mistake again. The only effect embarrassment has on me is I will not return to that facility. Shotgun shooters are much more laid back. Raising your voice at a newcomer will lower the number of free rounds you get to shoot.
  10. enfieldaddict

    enfieldaddict New Member

    Didn't you hear biden ar15s are harder to control than shotguns get a double barrel and shoot threw your door everytime you hear a strange noise
  11. MaineMan

    MaineMan New Member

    pellet guns are low recoil
  12. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    A light gun in any major caliber will recoil more than a heavier one. A duty size 9mm will not have heavy recoil and will be easier to control. Important! Make sure the pistol fits you. Fit is very personal and you will have to try some guns on to see what fits you. Glocks do not fit me. I am not badmouthing Glocks, they just dont fit me. Grip angle and fit make a big difference in a defensive pistol. You should be able to look at an object or target, close your eyes, raise the pistol with your eyes closed and when you open your eyes the pistol should be on target. I am not talking about a gnats posterior.
    A 20 gauge semi auto will have a good deal less recoil than a 12 gauge. The 20 gauge 20 pellet #3 buck load is very effective for HD. Stay away from magnum loads.
    Carbines are easier to shoot and control than a pistol and a lot of "experts" are now recommending them. The 5.56x45 55 grain load actually has less wall penetration than a 9mm from a pistol at close range as it tends to tumble reducing the penetration. Pistol caliber carbines are also an option. The longer barrel will give you some additional power. Again fit is important on long guns too. A poorly fitting stock will increase the felt recoil. My wife needs a stock 1.25" shorter than I do. If you are small look at youth models.
    Try on as many guns as you can. Rent or borrow a few if possible. You will find your niche if you dont jump to quickly.
  13. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

    Felt recoil in a handgun depends on several factors, probably the primary factor being the foot-lbs of energy at the muzzle vs. the weight of the gun. To simplify, a combination of a heavy gun with a small caliber bullet has less recoil than a lightweight gun firing a heavier caliber. For an effective self defense handgun there you don't want to go with too small of a caliber, unless there are health or disability reasons that make a small caliber necessary.

    My recommendation would be a moderate or heavy frame .357 revolver, with a 4" barrel, shooting hollow point .38's for minimum recoil. The variety of loads in .38 special (regular and plus p loads) and .357 will allow you to find your comfort level in ammo.

    Stay away from "airweight" revolvers or snubbies -- at least the equivalent of a Smith K frame, and heavier if possible.
  14. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter New Member

    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

    I have an AR15 but it would not be my first choice for home defense. At the ranges we are talking about (unless you live in a mansion), handgun calibers are fine and the platform is a lot more maneuverable than any type of rifle

    my 2 cents worth
  15. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

    There are many viable options.

    My experience with family is that my wife and my older teen nieces truly enjoy shooting .38 special rounds out of my 4" barrel S&W .357 mag. revolver. .357 mag. rounds, not so much, and out of my S&W snubby .357, less than out of the full-size revolver.

    .38 Special ammunition is poo-pooed by many but was the main carry ammo for law enforcement for many years. Today's modern self-defense ammo makes the 4" full-size revolver a formidable weapon.

    Take this info. as PART of your input from us, and good luck.
  16. FernandoTheCommando

    FernandoTheCommando New Member

    Lol oh yeah I almost forgot *rolls eyes*. To the op, I'm going to agree with the member who said a .357 loaded with some .38 special if your neighbors are close. My wife's first handgun she shot was my gp100 loaded with .38 special. She surprised me how well she shot. She's 5'4 and 110 lbs. I keep some +p Jhp in my revolver on a bedside holster. If a legit gunfight were ever to ensue, and the .38s weren't enough to "get their attention", there's a speed loader with hornady critical defense .357 magnum ready to go. I feel like any full size gun with 9mm would be easy on you too.
  17. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    what is you level of experiance with guns in general?

    what size shotgun has too much recoil for you? what type of shells were you shooting?

    without knowing more details, it would be very difficult to make any informed suggestions for you.
  18. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

    Ever shot a .32 ?...................
  19. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

    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. :confused:

    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.

  20. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

    right again. can the OP tell us a bit more about their experience and needs? :confused: