Recoil Perception
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Thread: Recoil Perception

  1. #1
    Genius in Training RZR6-4's Avatar
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    Feb 2016

    Default Recoil Perception

    Lots of people take recoil into consideration when buying guns and I think some people are just too worried about it. For semi autos I totally get it with the issue of trying to speed up your follow up shots but others I just don't get it. For example, some people think that 44 mag out of a snubby is a recoil monster but as a fairly young teenager I had no issue with it. People also think that 12ga kicks you around. I personally used to shoot 100 rounds every Saturday and it never bothered me once. Nowadays I am a 270lb guy so that makes sense but I've been one handing my shotgun since I was a 200lb high schooler. My brother gave me three 3 &1/2 inch shells to shoot out of a pump as fast as I could. It bounced me around enough that I didn't hit my target at all but there was no pain whatsoever.

    I've never considered myself to be exceptionally tough when it comes to recoil but lots of people seem to be afraid of guns that I've never had an issue with. Small women makes sense but when grown men complain I wonder what the issue is for them. Does it really hurt or are they just over playing it?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2019
    central Texas near Ft Hood


    Depends. I weigh about 125. With handguns, recoil is not an issue. But with my bad joints, long guns are a definite issue. Especially since I have got older. Design plays a large role though. It doesn't bother me to shoot a Garand, but most bolt action rifles and most shotguns hurt. I can shoot them, but I am going to feel it for a couple weeks. At least.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member NGF Addict! square target2's Avatar
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    Jul 2019
    Plattsburgh, N.Y.


    3 1/2" 12 gauge will bounce most people around!
    And armed man is a free man, a disarmed man is a slave.

    Epstein didn't kill himself.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member NGF Addict! Rivervalley0311's Avatar
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    Sep 2013


    You shoot a hard kicker long enough, you may not hurt, but I can guarantee you will develop a flinch at some point.

    Those that say they don't are either FOS or don't know it's happening.

  6. #5
    Senior Member NGF Addict! AgedWarrior's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
    Northwest Iowa


    Quote Originally Posted by RZR6-4 View Post
    My brother gave me three 3 &1/2 inch shells to shoot out of a pump as fast as I could. It bounced me around enough that I didn't hit my target at all but there was no pain whatsoever.
    When you flinch you miss...maybe too much recoil? I do not think recoil is typically a matter of pain as much as it is flinching and unable to truly handle the gun effectively because of the flinch. When I was younger I was quite used to shooting a lot of big bore revolvers, and got quite comfortable with them, but if I shot too much they would eventually start to wear me down, and the flinch would creep in and accuracy would fade. If you cannot hit with three rounds, it might be too much recoil. Not a question of being man enough, just violent recoil. Can you get used to it? Maybe, depends on the person and the gun.

    I know a petite lady (wife of a friend) who is happy as can be blazing away with her commander sized 1911 in .45 ACP, but does not care for anything more than a .223 rifle, and still is not fond of the recoil with the rifle. Recoil is different for all of us.
    Knowing when and how...

  7. #6
    Senior Member NGF Addict! Stamps6's Avatar
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    Jul 2016
    Northern NJ.


    I’m a big guy, 6’ 240 pounds ( I know I have to loose ) and I’m not embarrassed to say I don’t like recoil in long guns. I shoot mostly 20 ga shotguns unless I’m waterfowling or turkey hunting. I do shoot the 30-06 on deer but I don’t like it. My 12 ga water fowl gun is a semi to suck some of it up. It’s a necessary evil so I don’t shoot it very often off the bench. I use a lead sled to sight it in.

  8. #7
    Senior Member RaySendero's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    US South


    With my wife there also a loudness factor.
    She thinks my heavy 6" barrel 357M with 125 practice reloads kicks to much,
    Yet shoots her 1.5" aluminum 38Spcl just fine.
    And I can tell ya that little 38 with 125 wt ammo has a kick.
    It just isn't as loud.

  9. #8
    Senior Member NGF Addict! Fitasc Shooter's Avatar
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    Apr 2018


    There are two different recoils, actual and perceived. Actual is a math calculation, perceived is a combination of actual and gun fit. A gun that does not fit, regardless of how hot the load is, will be nasty to shoot.
    Win94ae likes this.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member NGF Addict!
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    Oct 2012
    west central Texas


    my magnum days are purty much fading........i just no longer enjoy or am willing to tolerate the recoil and other factors as compared to my younger days. Nowadays its less range time, more health issues, and less time it seems.....

    to those ends when i do get some range time in, i like the 38 special in snubs and service revolvers and am developing a great appreciation for the 32 H&R mag and 32 S&W Long for lighter weight snubs.....and think the reduced recoil offerings in 12 ga slug/buckshot loads are the cats meow in 12 ga defensive ammo as i still like some range time with a riot gun....

    my rifle choices have toned down over the years as well.....mainly staying with the 308 and 30-30 as my primary calibers............they just simply are more enjoyable and tolerable nowadays...

    so i am staying in the game....and enjoying the a slower more manageable pace.......for me.....
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  11. #10
    AZHerper NGF Addict! gvaldeg1's Avatar
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    I really believe that recoil perception is highly subjective and totally a matter of the specific individual. However, it certainly can change as a function of age and physical impairments. For most of my life, I was not only not bothered by recoil but I kind of enjoyed it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a masochist but I rather figured that if I was shooting something with up to several thousand foot pounds of muzzle energy, when I squeezed the trigger, I should expect dynamic things to happen. In spite of this, I never developed any significant flinch and I shot successfully on a couple of rifle teams. However, and alas, things have changed dramatically. I caught my carpal tunnel way too late and even though I had surgery my thenar muscles have atrophied to the point that the only semi-auto that I can rack is my P3AT 380. However, I have a Taurus 605SH2 .357 which is a 16-ounce titanium revolver. I can still pull the trigger both single and double action but I have it loaded with .38 special +P's which are easier to control than the .357's. Anyway, I've been shooting for at least 75 years and I'm not going to quit.
    deputy, Wag and Fitasc Shooter like this.

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