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As someone who values accuracy above all in a self-defense situation, I’m a big fan of low-recoil weapons. The Chiappa [Spearmint] Rhino gets maximum props for reducing .357 recoil to sub-.38 levels. Kudos to the SIG SAUER P290 (Ralph’s review when I return), an incredibly shootable pocket 9mm. Self-defense .22? If that’s what it takes. Yes but—I LIKE recoil. My Benelli M2 Tactical shotgun may have a gel-pad-based recoil reduction system, but I get my kicks from its kick. JOE MATAFOME’s S&W500s are the business because they go BOOM! My name is Robert Farago and I like recoil. You?

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29 Responses to Question of the Day: Do You Like Recoil?

  1. Everyone likes recoil. And loud noises. And the smell of gun powder.

    But there’s something I’ve been wondering for a while. As technology steadily marches onward, what if laser type weapons existed? Something from Star Trek maybe. If they were lethal, but had no noise or recoil. (When’s the last time you clicked on a laser pointer and it went bang?)

    But if weapons like that existed, would you take your laser pistol to the range or your 1911? Id stick with my good ol fashioned broomsticks, personally. They’re just fun to shoot.

    And with a more dangerous type of weapon available, would the gun control crowd move on to the newer and scarier tech?

  2. I like the feel of my RPK as I shoot it from the shoulder, holding the front end down with my forward mounted pistol grip/spring loaded bipod. For some things, though-I don’t want too much distraction. My .45-70 Marlin has a lace-on recoil pad over the factory mounted pad. I get extra length and it kicks like a 410 gauge shotgun now. As for handguns, bring them on. About the only showboating I ever allow myself on a firing line is shooting a pistol grip 12 ga pump with one hand.

    • Dog – I guess I need to spend more time in the gym, I definately feel it the next day after 15-20 rounds through my Marlin 336 30-30, I need to get something like you have set up. Maybe its the 3 surgeries I’ve had on that shoulder, maybe I’m holding it too tight in the “crease.” I think it was Mr. Finn who wrote the “Cowboy Assault Rifle” conversion article that inspired some similar modifications but I love shooting that gun, just don’t like paying for it the day after…

      • Oh, trust me Brother, I have that extra recoil pad for a reason. My right shoulder has been dislocated twice-once in a roping incident and once in a motorcycle accident. I don’t like things banging too hard into it. I found the best therapy for it is a “swing weight.” I managed to get hold of a huge 3-4 foot length of bolt and these massive nuts to fit on one end. I fluidly swing it to both sides as I stand with my feet well apart-sort of like loosening up for batting practice. It strengthens the muscles and tones the supporting muscles that were knotting up around the shoulder blade and causing the pain. I can still partly slip it out of socket when I want. You know for shotguns you can get the Knoxx recoiling stocks, right? Blackhawk bought them out. The reduced recoil 12 ga buckshot from almost all the manufacturers now is handy also. I try to take care now, for fear of arthritis later!

        • To follow up, with the lace on recoil pad addition to the .45-70 Marlin, we are now “such friends” that I even have it as an optional home defense weapon-with a universal barrel mount and a Sportsmansguide Guide Gear 800 Lumen LED weapon light attached. It is set on the left side of the barrel as you aim the weapon. The method to the madness is that it not only illuminates a potential target for you, being set to the side illuminates the sights for you! The light goes for about $80 with Sportsmansguide Buyer’s Club discount, and the light is rated for .50 BMG use. I have a spare one for handheld use-it is blindingly bright. I’ve had another one on my RPK, but it went dark after working loose and being banged about too much from the hard jolting of the RPK at high volume rates of fire. That was perfectly understandable in my opinion, I should have put loctite on the mount. That and we’re talking during the course of 1000-2000 round firing sessions. I quit firing so many rounds at one time after the Obama ammo scare, and I had finally conditioned the RPK into being smooth and 100 % reliable, thanks to the bonding ability of Militec 1. It is designed for light and heavy machineguns. Nothing says loving like cooking your RPK steel bits in the oven! I would baste the parts with the Militec 1 as they heated to 350 degrees. My wife at the time was none too happy!

  3. I don’t mind it intellectually. But I’ve got some skittishly flinchy reflexes that act up involuntarily at the start of shooting sessions, at both the sound and the recoil. Once I get comfortable and they go away, though, recoil only bothers me if it messes up my followup shots.

  4. Often, I just don’t understand how others can complain about recoil (usually in handguns). I was thoroughly disgusted when felt recoil was used as one of the justifications for switching to 9mm in the US Army (standard NATO ammo was the bigger factor).

    I have experienced high volume fire a few times in my life. Once firing a M249 and others firing M16A2/M4 series weapons. The noise was so loud and constant that the only assurance I had that my weapon was cycling was recoil. It is no exaggeration on my part to say that if not for the vibrations of my weapon I would not have known I was contributing to the suppression of the enemy. Lay next to a M2/M60/M240 that is rocking and fire your 5.56 on semi. Which do you hear?

    We are hearing (pun intended) that the US Army is buying suppressors for most rifles. I am in favor of that move. Noise does not cause a sucking chest wound to the enemy. But if you ask my wife how my hearing is after serving over 25 years, she will not be a fan of workplace hazards.

    Recoil up to a point is okay. Too many that want a service rifle in 7.62mm/.308 do not understand how much recoil can affect the handling of a weapon and the ability to get a follow-up shot. I am happy with my 6.8mm AR. But that is about as much recoil as I can handle and still accurately operate rapid aim shots. As my rifle is civilian, I cannot say if I could handle it on full-auto or burst. My best guess is that I could. But until we see a buffering system that is greatly improved, it will keep us from going to a higher caliber service rifle.

    Generally, I am like most shooters I would guess. How much bang for my recoil am I getting? If I need to drop a rabid grizzly bear charging our campsite, then I will gladly break my arm firing a .600 Magnum with explosive tips. But when my 9-year-old daughter and I are punching holes in paper, I love her and her Ruger 10/22. I could shoot it all day.

    Judging from the footage I have seen, the M41A Pulse Rifle does not have much recoil when firing the standard 10mm caseless, explosive tipped, light armor piercing round.

    • You gotta admit one thing: although the sound of an M2 going off next to you is loud, it sure is confidence inspiring. Its just a great feeling knowing that someone else is catching hell instead of you.

  5. Do You Like Recoil?

    That’s similar to asking do you like hot food. My answer is yes, up to a point i.e. to just before it starts to hurt. I’m curious about high power handgun silhouette. Maybe my 44 Mag Super Blackhawk could knock over a 50# ram at 200 meters. But I doubt that I could endure shooting 40 of those magnum shots to complete the match!

  6. Do I like recoil? Oh hell yeah. Do I dislike recoil? Oh hell yeah. For fun on the range, I love big, noisy, rude, crude, obnoxious and powerful guns that recoil like a sumbitch. Turning that kind of chaos into a nice group is just a fantastic experience that never grow old. For SD, though, a gun with the minimum recoil for the cartridge allows more accurate shooting in social situations.

  7. I agree that for SD, accuracy is best improved through lack of recoil.

    However, I still shoot .40 better than 9mm. 10mm better than .40

    I shoot .38 in a medium to large framed revolver better than any of the above.

    Why? Don’t know, though I spent years training .40. Still more accurate with my G20 than any other autoloader short of a good 1911.

    I personally don’t care for recoil, but I don’t allow it to get in my way either. Still considering a 20gauge to replace my 12, but I do fine with it.

    Less recoil just seems like it’d be faster target to target.

    ps.- I abhor recoil for any .44mag or larger in a revolver. Scares me for some reason. full powered 454 in a short barrel… scary IMO

  8. I LOVE RECOIL!!!! My 500’s can get pretty nasty depending on what grain you use, but their dead accurate.

  9. BTW, this was the worst video job I’ve ever seen. With the camera bouncing around, it was like watching Cloverfield but with an uglier monster.

  10. I bought a .50BMG single shot because I like recoil. On self defense guns, however, I prefer lighter recoil and high magazine capacity, both of which are secondary to reliability.

  11. I am an admitted recoil junky. There is nothing like the discharge of either my Remington 700 270 or 308. You feel it down to the soles of your feet.

    Sid: The military came up with all sort of excuses to replace the 1911 but the real reason was that we got a great deal on it. We spent millions to replace the well worn 1911s with M-9s and got billions in F-16 sales in return. I also think that 1911 has bad reputation for heavy recoil but it really isn’t that bad. It’s a heavy gun. I can see why a light weight polymer framed 45 would seem to kick a lot it though.

    • My wife (small framed and average height) thinks that the recoil on my 1911A1 is similar to that of my XDm 3.8 9mm. The big hunk of heavy metal factor really helps the 1911.

      I have a Century CETME in .308. The recoil is not what you feel as much as the force from the horrible muzzle device on it. I put a G3 collapsible para stock on it and recoil is very easy to manage, but I can feel the shock wave hit me every time.

      Try an M44 Nagant for recoil. Fun, cheap to shoot and kicks like a pissed off thoroughbred.

    • We mostly agree.

      I was on active duty when we began the swap to the M9. I had moved on to the NG who we were still using 1911s and had to transition to the M9 again.

      The US Army offered a plethora of reasons (excuses) for the swap. The 1911 fleet may have needed some maintenance and overhaul, but the weapons were still in good enough condition that replacement was not really justified.

      The excuses were “it is too big for small handed shooters”, the capacity, need to use a standard NATO ammo, is easier to teach new shooters with lower recoiling handgun, and too much recoil. I disagree with the change, but I carried an M9 on my last deployment. I have witnessed small-handed, small-framed female soldiers shoot the 1911 well. Recoil on the 1911 is not that bad.

      • Right on! Because we all know the M9 is so much smaller for those little hands to hold on to…

  12. Recoil can be fun within limits, but it’s still useless. I’ve had fun shooting some hard-kicking guns (sometimes with less-than-perfect posture) and I’ve got the bloody noses and the crescent-shaped scar between my eyebrows to prove it.

    Once I’ve got enough cartridge and enough gun for the job, I want them to give me as little recoil as possible. I’d accept a lot of recoil if I were shooting at the 40-foot long rockworms that sometimes tunnel under Paradise, Nevada.

  13. I’m not overly wild about recoil. When we were first choosing guns, we were told to get the biggest gun we could handle. Off to the range we went, and rented a 9mm and a .40 cal semi-auto. After the one visit, I knew that the .40 was just too much gun for me. For long guns, I’ve shot the Mosin Nagant as well as a 16 gauge and a Marlin 795 .22lr. I’d rather fire a 410.

  14. I like recoil…in moderate doses. I mean, shooting a short barrel 500 magnum is not remotely fun, more than once. And my wrist can’t deal with more than 20-30 .44 magnum loads anymore. Long guns, recoil really doesn’t bother me. I like shooting those Marlin Guide Guns in 45/70. Muzzle blast bothers me more than recoil. Noise and flash is worse to me. Especially firing at indoor ranges.

  15. Recoil is why I favor a system for the US military to offer a variety of handguns in 9mm, .40, and .45ACP. Not to sound too weird, but I favor a system that allows the individual soldier the ability to purchase their sidearm. I would like to see the military get more progressive in encouraging weapons proficiency. Each post could have range days when a soldier could just drive-up and get a lane and 50 rounds. Turn in your brass and silhouette with the rangemaster on the way out. I am not asking my 105lbs medic to handle my .45ACP, but don’t ask me to step down to her 9mm.

  16. Not a big fan of recoil. If I wanted to be abused by something, I’d go back to my ex.
    But one big reason I don’t like recoil is I have found that other undesirable factors accompany recoil. Heavy guns (I’m lazy), expensive ammo (I’m cheap), more cleaning (I’m lazy), and chances are the weapon is more expensive at the counter (I’m cheap). Icing down my shoulder after range time is merely the icing on the cake.
    I do however agree that louder booms are waaaay better than quieter booms. The problem is I’m just too cheap and lazy.

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