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Old November 17, 2012, 02:31 PM   #39
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Join Date: February 21, 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,424

1st time hand gun buyer
My question is i am 70 years old and wife 66 we want to buy a hand gun but are worried about recoil. I was going to buy a 380 but was told it was hard gun to control. Any way if you have any ideas would like hearing about it. I do have a 30/30 and a 12 ga shotgun but the shot gun is getting to be alot for me and wife cant shoot it. We want it mostly for home ortection but i may go for a ccw after i buy a gun. Thanks for any help you can offer. Michael Grassel
Crow Hunter (post #5) raised some relevant issues for you to consider.

Some inexperienced shooters have difficulty in keeping their hands from dangerous places on short barreled revolvers. Some shooters tend to wrap up a small revolver and get injured from escaping gas from the barrel/cylinder gap.

In addition to considerations or debilitating arthritis in both men and women, some level of hand strength is necessary to operate the slide of an semi-automatic handgun. Many females lack sufficient strength and/or dexterity. My sister lacks the ability to operate a semi-auto due to injuries.

As to recoil, consider that felt recoil is a matter of the power of the cartridge fired and the mass of the handgun from which it is fired. For a given load increasing the mass reduces the felt recoil. Therefore, a 20 ounce "snubby" firing a .38 load will have more felt recoil than a 30 ounce 4" barreled K-frame 6-shot S&W shooting the same load. Depending on the load, the longer barrel may have less muzzle blast as well.

An additional factor is the size, shape and material of the grip of the handgun. These three factors have a great deal to do with how you hand perceives the recoil impulse. A small grip tends to be less controllable than a larger grip up to the point that the grip is too large for the shooter's hands and then it makes the gun less controllable. As to material of the grip, a hard material will transfer the recoil more abruptly compared to a softer rubber grip (such as Pachmayr makes). A rubber grip that fits your hand can greatly reduce the sensation of recoil and increase your control.

As a general rule, new shooters tend to become competent with revolvers compares to semi-auto in a shorter time. This is primarily due to the extra training needed to deal with the possible failures that may happen with semi-autos.

Only you can decide which path to take, how much skill you currently possess, and how much training & practice you will invest.
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