Lowest recoil self defense options

holyearthholyearth Posts: 1 New Member
Hello everyone, new here. If this post violates the rules, please remove it.

I am new to gun ownership. I would like to ask you experienced members what do you recommend in terms of the following priorities (ranked by importance)

1) Lowest recoil
2) Long lasting, well known reliability (cost is not necessarily a factor)
3) Easy or easier to use - especially for beginners and females (low trigger pressure)
4) Corrosion resistance - may be used in a marine application

I am looking at making a good first weapon purchase for self defense. I will be trained on the gun by a professional. The purpose of the gun is primarily self defense at home and out on the sea. My budget is $400-$1100.

Please let me know your suggestions, thanks!

Replies

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,457 Senior Member
    A 38spl revolver with a 4" barrel loaded with appropriate ammo should do it.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,469 Senior Member
    Agree with early, but will add the following comments....

    Smith & Wesson Model 686 revolver in stainless steel, 4" barrel, chambered in .357 Magnum. (You can shoot .38 Special in it, but you have the option to up your game should you, with experience, desire to do so).

    For home defense ammo in this rig, 125 grain jacketed hollow-point loads are never a bad choice, whether shooting .38 Special or .357 Magnum.

    Mike

    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,600 Senior Member
    Look for the firearm first and then consider the round. Mossberg makes a mariner shotgun and Remington makes a marine magnum that are designed for a marine environment. I live on the northern Gulf of Florida and you can send me a PM if you want a more detailed recommendation.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,469 Senior Member
    I assumed you were speaking of handguns. If not, a Mossberg 590 Mariner (12 gauge, stainless steel, 9 shot capacity pump shotgun) fits the bill nicely. Don't let 12 gauge scare you. There are low-recoil defense loads out there that don't recoil much more than a dove-load but are bad news on the receiving end.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,469 Senior Member
    While I was typing, Fishead beat me to it. Solid recommendations for sure.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,457 Senior Member
    Nothing wrong with a good shotgun. A rifle could do it too. Lots of different size rifles with different finishes for corrosion resistance.

    A long gun is easier to aim than a handgun. The user can support it with both hands a shoulder and their cheek against the stock. They also deliver more energy on target with less recoil to the user.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,810 Senior Member
    edited April 5 #8
    On a boat, in that price range,I would have a 12 gauge as described above.

    Welcome, hey.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,133 Senior Member
    If there's a range near you that rents weapons, go there and survey what's available, rent a likely one that strikes your fancy, and shoot it a few times downrange. nThen make up your mind.  I would recommend a stainless gun for a marine environment.  If you're going to take it on a boat, where space is pretty tight, I might forego the shotgun because it would be hard to deploy in a boat, unless you're on a yacht.  If you're going to tote a concealed handgun or have it hand there are lots of choices out there.  But there's going to be recoil  A 12 gauge isn't a low recoil weapon.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,993 Senior Member
    You pretty much just described a Glock 9mm perfectly.

    1.  Much of law enforcement is returning to the 9mm for both it's lack of recoil and its vastly improved performance with modern duty ammo.

    2. In 9mm, there were Gen 1 and Gen 2 specimens documented as firing in excess of 100,000 rounds.  The current Gen 5 benefits from the 25 year experiment that was the .40 S&W (a high pressure, snappy recoil breaker of pistols).  They're only making the new guns in 9mm but there's a lot of "beefed up for .40" engineering inside it - should be even MORE durable.

    3. You have a trigger with the safety mounted on it, a magazine release, and a slide stop.  That's it for operational controls.  The standard set of trigger parts will give you a pull of about 5.5#

    4.The surface treatment that's under the cosmetic black exterior is famous for being impervious to, well, pretty much anything.

    A stainless double action revolver is not a bad choice for what you're wanting, but the double action trigger function that you're most likely to use is typically about 10#.  I like both brands (a lot) but I'd probably recommend a Ruger GP-100 over Smith & Wesson's offerings for this application - it comes apart into sub-assemblies for easy rinsing of salt water deposits.  FYI - the Glock is probably even more corrosion resistant than most gun-quality stainless steel.

    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,726 Senior Member
    edited April 5 #11
    I agree with the above posts.
    If it's to be used from a boat, one of the "marine grade" shotguns would fill the bill.

    If it is going to be carried on occasion, something along the lines of a Glock 19, loaded with Fed HST or Speer Gold dots would fill the multiple roles nicely.

    There's also the option of buying a "police trade-in" Glock and saving some money.
    My personal Glock 19 is over 30 years old, has fired countless thousands of rounds and is still running strong. The only thing I've done to it is add Tru-glo Tritium/Fiber optic sights to it
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,133 Senior Member
    edited April 5 #12
    My wife preferred a revolver because it was simpler.  She wasn't a shooter. She never could fully trust the concept of an auto, you know, a bullet in the chamber; she was afraid, I guess, that it would go off unintentionally.  She couldn't care less about shooting and learning the ins and outs, she just kept my Model 65 under the bed when I was away.  Pulling the DA trigger, she understood.

    If the OP is not all that interested in shooting an auto to the point she's totally familiar with it, a SS revolver is an option.

    Shotguns are great, but they're kinda limiting...they're place guns, fine for home and bedroom, but they can never leave the house except to practice with it.  And to us, they're simple to operate, but they're not intuitive (pump guns.)
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,288 Senior Member
    My wife is similar - she prefers revolvers also. She does enjoy going to the range and shooting hers, but she likes the simplicity and she REALLY dislikes flying brass from a semi-auto.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,796 Senior Member
    Three great choices listed above.  May I summarize?

    Stainless revolver in either .38 or .357, easy to use, powerful, low recoiling lighter .38 special loads, accurate, potentially heavy in weight to carry, can be carried easily on person, larger than some guns, corrosion resistance ( NOT rustproof ).  Five or six rounds of protection. The Smith and Wesson 686 or Ruger GP 100 are good options.

    Glock semi auto in 9mm, Glock model 19 or Model 17.  Polymer based frame with stainless or corrosion resistant coatings.  The 9mm round is a high pressure and loud round but low recoiling in these semi auto handguns.  The Glock 19 hold 15 rounds of 9mm while the model 17 holds 17 rounds ( a little confusing ).  Convenient to reload, and easy to shoot, the semi auto pistol requires some training and practice to learn how to clear malfunctions.  easy to carry on person, corrosion resistant, choice of a lot of law enforcement, fairly accurate.  Grips can be large for smaller hands.  Requires ability and strength to manipulate the slide.  More training required to be proficient.

    Mossberg mariner shotgun in either 12 gauge ( common ) or 20 gauge ( uncommon ). "Marinized" meaning it has a tested marine coating.  The 12 gauge is a handful to shoot and has lots of recoil.  They make mini shells or it, so you can load more rounds and have less recoil.  The 20 gauge is almost as effective as the 12 gauge, but has less recoil as well.  Larger, this is hard to carry on person, unless you sling it over your back ( not practical ) .  Typically on a boat you might keep it in a tube for storage and corrosion resistance.  it is pretty easy to load and will carry about 5 rounds.  It can shoot either solid rounds like a slug or shot from large .32 caliber 00 buck down to small # 8 bird shot, and that can make it versatile.   It takes practice to use it proficiently, but is pretty easy to operate.

    Enjoy the selection process and learning.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,606 Senior Member
    All of the above is good advice. Here is something else to think about that I think is more important than which gun to buy:

    Buy good ear protection equipment - Electronic earmuffs are my personal choice, because they allow normal conversation between you and your instructor, yet block out the sound waves that new shooters associate with 'recoil.' If you shoot enough to become proficient, you will come to realize that much of what you think of as physical 'recoil' is simply the shock to your senses that is caused by loud noises. Tone down the noise, and learn the safety and accuracy fundamentals, and you will quickly begin to enjoy shooting as a fun hobby, as well as a useful self defense aid.

    I have 'indoctrinated' several friends and family into the world of handgun shooting, using a CZ-75B pistol that accepts a high quality .22 conversion kit (Kadet). I am not an expert, so I typically only instruct them in safety and rudimentary aids to accurate shooting - grip, trigger control, and sight picture. Everyone I have 'coached' has been able to perform well, quickly,  with the .22 and transition into 9mm and sometimes .45 ACP, without fear of recoil, usually in about two hours time. At that point, with plenty of repetitions, they are ready for more specific training from a more qualified instructor.

    Bottom line: Become a good shooter, first, and you will shoot any firearm well, undeterred by fear of recoil.


  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 1,841 Senior Member
    Another nod to the 357. Any 357 Magnum will take 38 special wadcutters. In my N frame, it's feels like a cap gun that makes perfect punches in the paper. Zero recoil, and easily ramps up the scale until they can shoot something more effective. 

    I can teach nearly anyone the manual of arms on a revolver in about 5 minutes. Several make a 7 or even 8 shot version. Easy to pack with the correct holster if needed. Can even take fairly large game with proper loads and practice. 

    Autoloaders take more skill to master. Shotguns are great for static defense but also require two hands, and I would get the 20 gauge. Most 20's swing a bit faster and from personal experience the Mossberg 500 holds 6 rounds of 20 versus 5 rounds of 12. 
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,385 Senior Member
    Glock 19 in 9mm, or a similarly sized competitor, all day long and twice on Sunday. Ideally the Gen 5.

    1) Lowest recoil - 9mm isn't the lowest recoil, but it's definitely down there. Additionally, when you downgrade below the 9mm to the ubiquitous .380 ACP you give up a lot of terminal performance. There are numerous YouTube videos out there proving this.

    2) Long lasting, well known reliability (cost is not necessarily a factor) - Glock, Glock, and more Glock. There are Gen 1-3 renditions still chugging along. If something does go down, it's the most common Mil/LE gun on the planet and replacement parts are plentiful and affordable. There are other handguns showing up on the scene such as the M&P series and the P320, but Glock has a track record that started over a decade before them.

    3) Easy or easier to use - especially for beginners and females (low trigger pressure) - Some will argue against the Glock in this regard because of the grip angle. Poppycock, training (which you've indicated you will pursue) overcomes that. Writing off a gun because it doesn't "point naturally" nor "feel comfortable" indicates an unwillingness or inability to train, and not a fault of the gun. The obvious exception to this is if the gun is physically too large to handle, but the Gen 4 and Gen 5 Glocks offer a smaller grip to help with this. The Gen 5 in particular also has a much better trigger than previous renditions.

    4) Corrosion resistance - may be used in a marine application - While most modern EDC or Service oriented handguns have figured out Stainless Steel with various corrosion resistant coatings, Glock figured it out first. You CAN make a Glock slide rust, I've done it, but it takes downright neglect.

    Cost? Glock 19's can be found all over the place for $530, plus tax. Less on the used market. If you're Military, LE, First Responder, Veteran, etc etc they can be had for $430. Add $50-$100 for night sights or Ameriglos This includes 3 mags. Another factor to cost is accessories such as holsters, replacement sights, spare mags, etc. Because the Glock is so common, all of these accoutrements are rapidly available and usually for less than other handguns.

    Am I a fanboy? Reluctantly. I have actively tried to ditch my Glock 19's several times, but nothing that has come out is enough BETTER to justify the cost. I just spent 4 days training with some of the bigger names in the industry, only ONE wasn't running a Glock rendition, and I'm pretty sure Bill Blowers is on Walther's payroll now (he has been hawking the PPQ Match Steel for a few months now).
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,659 Senior Member
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned it, and I can't speak specifically to corrosion resistance, but as far as your other considerations, a basic, light weight AR-15 would fit the bill. Plenty available with stainless barrels and coated bolt carrier groups that would likely resist corrosion well. Most other parts are aluminum or plastic so not as much of a concern. Won't find anything that has a better combination of light recoil and terminal performance. It's also much easier to put rounds where you want them for a beginner than either a pistol or a shotgun.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,810 Senior Member
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned it, and I can't speak specifically to corrosion resistance, but as far as your other considerations, a basic, light weight AR-15 would fit the bill. Plenty available with stainless barrels and coated bolt carrier groups that would likely resist corrosion well. Most other parts are aluminum or plastic so not as much of a concern. Won't find anything that has a better combination of light recoil and terminal performance. It's also much easier to put rounds where you want them for a beginner than either a pistol or a shotgun.
    If you are "out to sea" some ports of call may get their underwear in a bind over an AR
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
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