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Whats the worst handgun recoil that you've experienced?

Mike WeberMike Weber Posts: 91 Member
Just curious? I've long been a fan of large caliber revolvers. I've developed some pretty hot loads for my .45 Colt Blackhawk I'm generally not bothered too much by recoil. With the right grips I don't find the Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull unpleasant to shoot. I haven't yet had an opportunity to shoot the S&W X frame revolver But I did shoot another revolver in .500 S&W chambering and it was a MONSTER I'm talking about the Magnum Research BFR. This revolver looks somewhat like a stretched frame version of a Ruger Blackhawk and it considerably lighter than the X frame Smith.
I was out at a friends ranch a few years ago and he had just acquired one of these in some horsetrading. He offered to let me shoot it and of course I couldn't resist. I set up a 12X12 patio block at 50 feet, Anchored the revolver in a two handed grip and let fly. The first shot looked to have vaporized the cement block. Muzzle flash would have been the envy of any hollywood special effects team and Recoil OMG Recoil was horrendous. I felt the recoil as it moved up my arms, in my wrists, elbows even felt the recoil effects in my shoulder. I'd never experienced anything like it with any other handgun. Since after the first shot my patio block target was gone, I fired off the last four rounds into a tree stump at about the same range, It was like watching the stump being struck with an ax chunks of bark and wood flying with each hit. I managed to fire all five rounds. Didn't notice any bruising in my hand but all the joints in my right arm were sore for about a week afterwards.
I guess I found out why these things are called "Hand Cannons"


  • JayJay Posts: 4,629 Senior Member
    Like you, I'm not generally bothered by handgun recoil for the most part. That is, if the gun and grips is designed in a way that doesn't make it uncomfortable to shoot. I'd rather shoot a 454 Casull out of a Super Redhawk than a stout 357 mag out of a light, small grip gun like an Airlite. The only recoil that has really bothered me was 44 mag out of an old JP Sauer and Sohn revolver I used to have. Grip design and trigger guard made it such that every shot tried to break the naughty finger on my right hand. With 44 Specials in it, no problem.

    I do have a S&W in 460 mag. To me, recoil is managable and not any worse than 454 Casull, which I also fire out of it. The Casull rounds tend to be a sharper hit, as opposed to the 460 S&W being more of a hard shove, for lack of better words. The muzzle blast and cylinder blast from the 460 S&W is considerable, though. But my gun is a 10 1/2 inch Performance Center gun with a muzzle brake on the end, so my experience is different from others shooting the smaller X-frames.

    A friend of mine got into shooting Lone Eagles in various rifle cartridges. I fired several of those, all having brakes on them. I didn't find any of them to be unpleasant. They just make a lot of noise. I think I only fired 308 Win, 223 Rem and 22-250, if I recall correctly.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    A Ruger .44 Mag Super Blackhawk with original factory tiny grips. I was shootin factory full house loads near Cache Creek outside of Fort Sill OK back in the 80s. It was hot, my hands sweaty and the "Plow Share" grips let my hand slip up with every shot, drew blood. I dreaded every shot.

    Rubber helped, but I still didn't like that particular SA, got a Redhawk..much better, but now I own S&Ws.

    My 629 Classic is a pleasure to shoot with the Mono-grip. My 3" round butt 629 is a handful, but manageable.

    I fired a lightweight space age metal .357 S&W that was awful too.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • TeachTeach Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    My .45 Colt Blackhawk with the 300 grain loads was an attention-getter until I put the Hogue Monogrip on it. Knitepoet's .45-70 Contender with some of his T-Rex loads in it was interesting, to say the least!
  • NNNN Posts: 25,236 Senior Member
    Since I have CRS, the best I can remember is was a Redhawk in .44 mag, 310 gr Garret bear load with the factory rose wood grips.
    Not only did it recoil good, it hurt my middle finger and drove the point of the grip into the palm of my hand.

    However, a .327 in an SP 101 was punishing with the original factory grips and after shooting 20 rnds.

    I generally won't shoot with the big boys.

    And I took Jerry's word for it and did not shoot any of his T-Rex loads.
  • Mike WeberMike Weber Posts: 91 Member
    Jerry if those are the same 300 gr loads I'm thinking of yes they are a handfull. I fired about 150 rounds of them as I worked up the loads and the plowhandle grip on my Blackhawk tends to catch me right in the center of my palm, I did have some bruises from those loads. They even kicked when fired from my model 92 rifle. I'd heard about recoil from the 45-70 Contenders and never really had a desire to shoot one of them.
  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,409 Senior Member
    .454 Casull

    Break Action

    Bolt Action
    .308 Winchester

    Falling Block

    .338-06 A-Square

    All the above were handguns and wouldn't say they were "worst" in a bad way. Just the largest I've fired/owned in their respective actions.

    I want to build a Falling Block Specialty Pistol in .375 Ruger.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Gene LGene L Posts: 12,817 Senior Member
    Worst was a .44 Mag (yes) out of a old Contender with the small octagonal barrel. Factory loads. Each time I fired, my gun arm went to 180 degrees. I don't handle recoil all that well. A .22 LR feels real good to me.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • AntonioAntonio Posts: 2,986 Senior Member
    Strongest? A Freedom Arms .454 Casull S.A. revolver using some powerful reloads. If owner hadn't warned me about letting the gun's recoil "flow" it would probably have been a much more unpleasant experience. Remember that since everything above .38 Special or 9mm Makarov is almost banned over here, you don't have the chance to experience and learn to handle a hard-kicking handgun very often.

    Most unpleasant? Probably some odd European handguns with awful ergonomics regarding to grip, like the Spanish JoLoAr (9mm Largo).

    Worst leaving hands hurting? Maybe either Mauser rifles with pistol-grip stocks and pistol-sized barrels used by poachers and robbers in the Andean mountains, 12GA "shotguns" made of steel pipes or Lupara-style shotguns loaded with slugs or 00. All of them fine products of local criminals and "armorers" ingenuity.
  • rallykidrallykid Posts: 657 Senior Member
    No joke, my LCP .380. Not the strongest recoil by far but uncomfortable to shoot. It is tiny and light with no grip. 250 rounds of .44 mag through the Blackhawk is no problem, 500 rounds through one of my Glocks or .45's is no problem. 50 rounds through my LCP and I need an ice pack and a nap.
    No, I do not have a pink fuzzy bunny fetish but apparently my Facebook hacking wife does.
  • sakodudesakodude Posts: 4,882 Senior Member
    Had an opportunity to run a few stiff rounds through a BFR in 45-70, that was quite the handful yet very manageable.

  • wddodgewddodge Posts: 1,150 Senior Member
    I can shoot my S&W 500 with 440 gr hardcast without a problem. The recoil feels more like a shove than anything. But load up some near max 325 gr and it becomes almost unpleasant. It made my right hand and fingers tingle for awhile.

    Participating in a gun buy back program because you think that criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbors have too many kids.... Clint Eastwood
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Posts: 18,360 Senior Member
    Tie for worst was a hot loaded .45-70 and a 375 JDJ in an Encore..not scarey worst...just convinced me that I really didn't want to invest in either....

    Then there was this little scandium framed .357 snubby....:down:
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    I'll have to string along with the grip makes a big difference crowd. Had a buddy with a 4" 29. He loaded max loads. I forget what grip it had but I think it was some type of rubber. I hung in there, to prove my manhood or some other foolish reason, but I never wanted to play with it again. But my Bisley framed .45LC with hot loads and heavy bullets is no big deal to me. It has the factory stocks on it.
    Once though while sighting that and some rifles in for deer season, a rather diminutive buddy asked to shoot it. When he touched it off the front sight cut his cheek.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,409 Senior Member
    Most painful (worst) I've ever fired has to be my Scandium framed S&W 340 M&P in .357 Mag with stout 158gr loads. That just doesn't feel good in the center of the palm.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Posts: 14,104 Senior Member
    :that: Me can verify that. Mongo no like big boom boom.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Although, not a handgun per se , but my Mossberg Mariner 12 ga came with a pistol grip kit....I had to try it out. With 3" magnums, it is no fun to shoot and the black synthetic stock went back on it for good.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    I'm not one of those guys that loads everything to a lesser energy just to make it more comfortable. If you buy a .44mag, load it to .44 mag energies or get a .44 special. If you buy a .454casull, shoot .454casull. I happen to love the .45colt but I shoot them out of a .45colt, not my .454SRH and I shoot .44special out of my .44special pistols. I enjoy shooting high energy pistols. With that being said, the most horrible thing that I've ever touched a round off in was a .410 derringer that a friend had. I only fired one round and handed it back. It was like slapping a light post as hard as I could.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
  • horselipshorselips Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    Although I've fired larger, heavier magnums aplenty, the worst recoil I have ever contended with is from my S&W 386 Sc/S .357 Magnum, 2 1/2 in barrel. It's an ultra-light scandium and titanium revolver weighing in at around 20 ounces. WAAAAAAAY too light for that caliber. And S&W stupidly and cruelly sells it with the worst possible grips - Hogues, which leaves the backstrap fully exposed and uncushioned. With full house .357 Loads, I have hard time getting through the whole 7 round cylinder without giving my arthritic hand a break. I replaced the original grips with Pachmyers - far superior, but until I get this thing ported, I keep it stoked with .38 Special +P for now.
  • BigslugBigslug Posts: 9,863 Senior Member
    Most unpleasant handgun I've ever shot was the Wildey .44 Auto Mag. Under recoil, the corners where the backstrap turns into the side of the grip feel like they are knives that are just barely sharp enough to cut. This is not the kind of sensation you can get used to - shooting it more will only damage you more. In that way, it's like the Scandium S&W .357's, but at least with the Airlites, it's generally implied that this is not a gun that was intended to be shot all day with full house ammo. Most autos chambering revolver rounds make the recoil more bearable, but the Wildey magnifies it.

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    It would have had to be the Contender with .45-70 heavies. Didn't enjoy it at all.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Posts: 8,609 Senior Member
    SP = 375 Chey-Tac Improved
    Revolver = 454 Casull

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    50 AE outta Desert Eagle wasn't so bad, just a big/bulky pistol to hold. .45 win Mag from a L A R Grizzly was darn snappy and loud, but not awful.

    Shootin should be fun, not painful and I appreciate that more the older my bones get :guns:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • jigbonejigbone Posts: 182 Member
    rallykid wrote: »
    No joke, my LCP .380. Not the strongest recoil by far but uncomfortable to shoot. It is tiny and light with no grip. 250 rounds of .44 mag through the Blackhawk is no problem, 500 rounds through one of my Glocks or .45's is no problem. 50 rounds through my LCP and I need an ice pack and a nap.

    I can second this. I'm a fan of big-bore revolvers, so if the gun has the mass to handle the recoil, it's not that bad. But little pocket guns, especially .380 for some reason, seem to really bite the webbing in your shooting hand. I hadn't shot one for years until I was at the range a month or so ago and a friend was having problems with his pawn shop special stove-piping on him (he was limp-wristing it). I fired one magazine (maybe 6-7rds), no jams for me, but I was done. And just before that I had shot about 100rds of 158gr .357 from a 4" 686 with no fatigue at all.
    ATF should not be a government agency, it should be a discount store.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    My Pollock P-64 9X18 MAK caliber bites my finger under the trigger guard, but then again it was made as a back-up/carry 6 quick shots when the manure hits the :fan: or, at least, that's what I bought it for.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Posts: 3,249 Senior Member
    When I saw the price the guy at the last gun show I went to had on his POJ .357. For me it would be the Interarms Virginian Dragoon in .44 mag. It moves around enough that it tends to beat up my knuckles. After that the P-64 can be a bit snappy with the factory recoil spring.
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • twatwa Posts: 2,245 Senior Member

    This one hurts bad with 3" mags. I can't handle more than a few at a time.

    More as CPj mentioned on this one as well, a grip issue, and it usually always leaves a mark.
  • Mike WeberMike Weber Posts: 91 Member
    Agree derringers are not user friendly. I used to own a pair of American Derringers in .44 Special. Recoil would definitely get your attention. Not much to hold onto with those grips either, mine seemed to utilize truck springs as their mainsprings making it nearly impossible to cock those hammers one handed. I was amused watching a guy shoot one of those North American mini revolvers in .22 Mag at the range. With those tiny grips the little revolver would nearly fly out of his hand under recoil.
  • bisleybisley Posts: 10,815 Senior Member
    I haven't fired anything bigger than a .44 magnum in a Ruger Blackhawk. It was very manageable and I liked shooting it. The pistols that actually hurt me to shoot them were both Kahrs, a PM-9 and a P-45, but that was before I learned how to modify my grip to keep the trigger and guard from chewing up my fingers. Unfortunately, I traded both of them off before I figured that out. I just came to the conclusion that they were too small for my long fingers, and swapped them. I have since learned to shoot the Ruger LCP, which is even smaller, and it's no big deal. I wish I still had the PM-9 and P-45.
  • Mike WeberMike Weber Posts: 91 Member
    The standard plowhandle grip frame on a Ruger Blackhawk or Super Blackhawk is a bit short and doesn't fit my hand as well as a Colt SAA style or Bisley style grip frame The bottom edge of the standard grip frame tends to hit me in the center of the palm. I've had bloodied knuckles on more than one occaision from those old Dragoon Style squareback triggergaurds on the Super Blackhawks.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Posts: 12,429 Senior Member
    Worst in just sheer volume was a Tax Stamped H&R 20Ga with a snub grip and an 8" barrel. Not really a handgun, but it was just nasty to fire. Hammer tore the crap out of the web of my hand.

    Worst in sharp pain was the star model B that taught me the true meaning of hammer bite when my blood spattered on my shooting glasses.

    Worst in my collection is a CZ-72 in .32 ACP. Seriously. It has a sharp edge that lies right along the proximal joint of my thumb and feels like someone is trying to hack my thumb off with a dull butter knife.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
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