Guns & Ammo Network

Collapse bottom bar
Ammo Handgun Ammo

Where Do You Draw the Line on Handgun Recoil?

by Dan Johnson   |  June 10th, 2011 210

I was about 19 when I bought my first .44 Magnum, a second-hand Ruger Super Blackhawk. It was the first .44 Magnum I had ever seen in the flesh but its reputation preceded it and gave me considerable trepidation as I prepared to fire the first round. I had heard stories all my life about the awesome power and recoil of the “most powerful handgun in the world,” mostly from people who had never fired one. There was expert testimony as well and one gun scribe of the time warned not to fire a Smith & Wesson Model 29 without gloves as the recoil would cause the checkering to rip the flesh from your hand.

When I touched off, or to be more precise, when I jerked off that first shot with the Super Blackhawk, I decided the stories were not far-fetched. The most powerful handgun I had fired prior to that had been a .45 Colt in a Peacemaker clone and most of my handgun shooting had been with the .22 rimfire. So the .44 Magnum was quite a leap for me. Plus, the Super Blackhawk was not a good choice for me, then or now. I have large hands and still cannot shoot a Super Blackhawk without that squared trigger guard ponding my knuckles mercilessly. I kept that first .44 Magnum about a week, as I recall, before trading it and most of the ammo I had acquired with it for a Colt Detective Special.

Today, the .44 Magnum is no longer the world’s most powerful handgun, not even close to it, and I am no longer a wimp when it comes to handgun recoil. The progression has not just been a personal one, of course. The shooting public in general is more accustomed to recoil and handguns that were once considered wrist breakers are now viewed as pedestrian. It makes one wonder how far we can go in the quest for bigger and more powerful handguns before we reach the true limit of human endurance.

Will we someday see a more powerful commercial revolver than the .500 S&W Magnum? The weight of this handgun combined with the excellent muzzle brake and well-designed grip tame this beast considerably but it is still a handful for even the most seasoned shooter. It is hard to imagine a more powerful revolver being introduced but that is what was thought when the .44 Magnum came on the scene. Time will tell.

Felt recoil is largely subjective and some can deal with it better than others. The .500 S&W Magnum is more than most shooters care to deal with and many still feel the .44 Magnum is too much, which brings us to the question of the day. Where you do you draw the line? Which handgun and/or cartridge is at your upper limit and which produce more recoil than you are willing to deal with?

  • ricky cain

    I think it depends on the application.for hunting recoil is secondary to reasonable power. personally if they make it i'll shoot it.but if follow-up shots are likely as in self defense for me its the 45 a.c.p.

    • Mike

      A box of 50 rds of .44 Mag through my Ruger Redhawk wears me out. About 6 rounds of MagTech .454 Casull through my Ruger Super Redhawk not only wears me out, but also teaches me to flinch. I'd draw the "reasonable" line closer to 44 Mag.

    • William Bonny

      45 will keep you alive.

  • Al

    I have a 10.5" 500S&W and have no problem handling it although I was a bit timid about shooting for the first time. A few weeks ago, I shot 1 round of the MR Desert Eagle 50AE and the slide came back and scratch my glasses. I had a really hard time racking the slide and locking it back too. Nuts!!! What an atrocity of a gun. I guess what I am saying is that I can handle recoil as long as the gun is designed properly.

    It also worth mentioning that the weight and size of the gun makes a difference too. I know people who'd rather handle the recoil of a 44mag than a .380 LCP.

    • N320AW

      I'm one of them! The 44 magnum, especially in single-action persuation, doesn't bother me at all. However, the little Ruger LCP bites a bit.

    • Steven

      I shoot the 500 S&W in April without a muzzle brake My left thumb was still hurting after 6 weeks just 5 shoots after the first shot i thought do i really want to fire this thing again.

      I have been firing full bore weapons since I was 9 years old.

    • Randy Bauer

      How did you scratch your glasses? I have a 50AE from IMI and yes, the recoil is quite stout, but how? When I instruct people on shooting my IMI, first, they must wear shooting glasses. Next, grip the frame very stongly, extend your arms but don't lock your elbows. This gun has a tendancy to twist in your hands, so the ejected case may hit you in the forehead it you limp wrist. I never had a problem with firing this beast, and it is a total hoot to shoot. OK, at $1.50/rd, normally 3 mags is my limit for a session. It is also the only gun I shoot with a glove. I also shoot a .454 Raging Bull and the IMI is the limit on my need for recoil.

  • M D Smith

    The absolute top is the .500 S&W with a heavy load and a 700 grain Lead-GC bullet. Recoil is out of this world. Makes the 375 grain JHP feel like a .38 special. Just for practice, a 440 grain lead bullet with Trail Boss, even my wife can shoot.

    • LarEck

      MD. I know what you mean. I use 22 grains of 4759 and it does kick. Too much fun. I may try some on pigs in the fall, but I think will settle on the 275 and 350 HP bullets.

    • Donnie

      I had a buddy that had a S/W .500,he told me i had better hold on tight. I weigh 130lbs and 5'11".so yeah skinny guy shooting a .500. Anyways i blasted off 3 rounds like nothing. Yes it had some kick but nothing like i figured.

  • BPsniper

    The largest revolver I've shot was a .454 in a Taurus Raging Bull. Wasn't bad.

    In a TC, I used to use a 14" in .45-70 for hunting. The recoil was fine. The blast on the otherhand…………

    I'd like to shoot one of the .500s sone day. Just to experience them. Don't think I'd ever own one but I'd like to shoot'em.

    • LarEck

      I have a few. If you are in Colorado you can try one of mine.

    • Nytefytr

      First time I shot a .500 S&W was at a demo shoot – it's a handful, but I didn't think it was nearly as bad recoil wise as the .460, which I also shot that day, and now am a proud owner of.

      • Camo in Tennessee

        You are a P not the flower or both. The statement to the 500 not as a "handfull" is just bull unless you state the loads of each. Then I'll respond! I have both and load them differently to impress or bewilder. Need all facts.

    • Dan

      Well, I own two Smitn & Wesson .44 magnums. One is the model 629 classic and It is as smooth as silk. It has the 8 3/8 inch barrel. My other is the blued model 29, with the 6 1/2 in barrel I love them both. I feel they are the optimum cartridge for big revolvers.I had a 500 S&W and that's when the shells were a dollar each. I was able to manage the recoil, but shooting milk cartons full of water at 50 yards open sights, wasn't as fun as the .44 mag. The cartons just disappeared. With the .44 magnum you get an awesome Kaboom and the cartons explode neatly. I guess I'm a .44 magnum lover! I sold my 500 mag. to a guy going fly fishing in Alaska. He said his wife wouldn't let him go with out one. Humm…

  • Scott Mayer

    Without question, the .500 is a handful when you touch one off. But the most hateful gun I've ever fired is an American Arms Escort in .380. Those guns are only about 1/2 thick and shooting one is like trying to fire an axe made into a gun with the blade being the grip!

  • LMLarsen

    The first magnum I ever shot was a friend's .357 Blackhawk, and while it got my attention it certainly wasn't bad. Then in my ignorant youth, I decided I *had* to have a .44 Redhawk; again, not too bad, but worthy of respect.

    The most interesting handguns I've shot would have to be the Contender in both .45-70 and .223; I had to hold both like a stockless carbine, but they certainly weren't painful or bone-breaking.

    Now, as a wiser, saner man, I limit myself to .41 and .44 magnums; y'all can play with the .454s, .500s, and Linebaughs all you want, and I'll just read about it. :^)

    • Olderandwisershooter

      Amen Brother! You must be older than about 40 I'd guess, to have that much wisdom, and not be worried about seeming less macho. I've handled the 500 and its just plain "Stoopid" (No offence to you guys who like it – I just think its WAY too much gun for a handgun.) The .44 Mag is just fine for me, and .44 Sp is a neat round!

  • LMLarsen

    Oh, and the downright nastiest pistol I ever shot? A Walther PPK in .380! Little beast drew two bloody tracks on my shooting hand between the thumb and trigger finger!

    • Anishinabi

      My PPK made hamburger out of my hands and my son's hands. I decided to only shoot it with gloves on. I now shoot./ carry a PPS 9mm for deep concealed carry, which kicks like a Glock (not much). The PPK is retired to the safe. When I am serious carry situations, I revert to a Sig .40 RDAK 229

    • Broseidon

      I know that feel, bro. I have a war trophy PPK, and I have to wear leather workout gloves when I shoot it because it's impossible for me to avoid it biting into my hand.

      • Gerard

        Same thing here, however I did not think of the gloves. My wife loves it though. Personally, if I were shooting that cal. I would take a Colt over it any day! I had a P-38 with no NAZI markings, which I have a problem hitting the broadside of a barn with. Now my 1911A1 which belonged to my Grandfather is an accurate gun, however my Kimbers are the most accurate. Any comments?

    • willgvaa

      I own a PPK and have the tracks to prove it…. I thought it was just my large hands.

  • breamfisher

    Much like rifles, the firearm design has just as much impact (pun not intended) on the recoil as the cartridge. Standard SAA-style frames in anything above .357 Mag./.45 Colt are uncomfortable unless the handgun is wearing aftermarket grips. On the other hand, my friend's .45-70 Contender, shooting snotslinger loads, is not uncomfortable. You'll feel the grips compress and the grip frame recoil, but I've shot it multiple times.

  • Terry Brower

    I didn't much care for a fully loaded 35 Remington with a 200 grain round nose in my contender, especially from the bench. As soon as Iearned to get a death grip on the gun while at the same time allowing my forearm to go almost vetical through recoil it wasn't so bad. The same for 40 rounds full load 44 Mag at a silhouette match.

  • Bigslug

    It depends a lot on the launch platform. In hunting-sized handguns, I'm usually OK with .44 Mag and .454 Casull so long as I have some serious range time to get acclimated. Once my "reptile brain" realizes the level of recoil is normal and not going to damage me, I can shoot them well. Things like the 629 Mountain Gun and the scandium framed .357's, on the other hand, I do not enjoy at all.

    Of late, however, I've not really done much shooting with such things, having embraced the wisdom of Bill Jordan – that the handgun is a device for the last ditch and rifles are for engagements on your terms. That being my thinking, if I feel the need for more than a .45 ACP or .357, I'll generally grab a .30-06, .308, or 12 gauge.

  • PJ

    My 14" 45-70 Contender with my reloads launching a cast 330gr HP @ just under 1700 fps is pretty much MY limit

  • nn

    This is an interesting question and I guess depends on the handgun and it's grip.

    I thought a .327 in a SP 101 was too much for fun until an after market grip was put on.

    For .45 Colt it is the 265 gr +p and once the other 19 rnds are gone so is the notion to shoot +P in .45 colt

    For now I'll say the max I'll shoot is a .44mag in a Redhawk; the S&W offering was too much pain. I say this having not shot anything more powerful than the .44 mag; and I believe I do not need to.

  • Tim Sheahon

    The biggest I have shot, belongs to a friend and forum member, a BFR in 450 Marlin. It had a Colt SAA style grip, which allowed it to be a bit more tolerable than a TC type grip. 3 shots were enough for me, and while I can appreciate the COOL factor, my own 44 mag Ruger Super Black Hawk suits me just fine. And, a couple of 50 rnd boxes of ammo won't wear me out during a session.

  • robert38-55

    Well for me my limit is the .45 in ACP or Colt. I owned a couple of .44 magnums years ago a Ruger Redhawk, and a Ruger Blackhawk, it wasn't the gun or caliber, its just me… I got caught up in the "Dirty Harry" fad when those movies came out and was bound and determined to own a .44 magnum.. After aquiring two of them,and shooting them, it didn't take long for Robert to decide "Hey this is really too much gun for you" After the initial shooting of the two, I really didn't shoot them that much after that, for me they were great conversation and show pieces….

    …. Dan J. I likes that statement you made.." recoil is subjective,and some can deal with it better than others.".. How true how true!!!! I am the type of gun owner that can only deal with a limited amount of it. I never was any good with a .44magnum, I never learned to control it, very well, never learned how to re-aquisition the target for the follow up shots, etc. etc. I ever tried using some .44 special loads, and they helped a little but never the less.. I decided that for me, and this is just me, don't get any gun that ya can't stand to shoot, or learn to control……I have fairly small hands and that Redhawk I had was just to big for my hands…My brother had a .44 mag. with that short 2 or 3 inch barrel they used to make, I tried it and I didn't like that thing either….He also had a .44 mag that was magnaported and that one really didn't do me any good either… So from that point on I decided for me not to go any bigger than a .41 or .45 tops…..I never shot a .454 or .500 smith, I would try one if someone had one at the range and offered to let me shoot it, just to say I have fired one, but as far as buying one Naw…If a .44mag. is to big and bad for me, then I know that a .454 or .500 or any other caliber like that is going to be too big for me… Don't get me wrong fellows, I love guns all guns, I ain't bashing the large calibers, but I decided for me, that theres just no practical sense in owning a firearem any firearm, if I can't be good with it, or handle it very well…………..

    • Don L

      Don't mean to nitpick, but I don't think recoil, like gravity or any other force can be controlled. We just have to learn effective ways of managing and/or working with it.

      • brent

        to control recoil is to manage it , vise-versa

  • ericb

    I have shot the .454 Casull in a Freedom Arms Single Action that was pretty invigorating but tolerable. The worst recoil from a handgun and really one of the few guns that really hurt me to shoot was a my friend's .411 JDJ in a 14" Contender. I likened the recoil to laying your hand on a table and whacking the web between your thumb and index finger with a ball peen hammer.

    • C Grodhaus

      But that is the part of the fun !!!

  • tennmike

    Like Breamfisher commented, the firearm design has a lot to do with felt recoil. I have a Magnum Research Lone Eagle single shot pistol chambered for the .308 Win. round. Recoil is nasty due to the design, light in front with a heavy counterweight on the rear. After I threaded the barrel and installed a muzzle brake, the recoil is easily manageable, but muzzle blast is nasty. Good tradeoff, though. In SA/DA pistols, full house .44 Mag. is my limit for long shooting sessions, and I need the aftermarket grips.

  • ericb

    .411 JDJ was like getting my hand whacked with a ball peen hammer

  • ericb

    this is weird…sometimes my post appears, other times not.

    • Scott Mayer

      There can be a lag depending on traffic

  • Jermanator

    I have never shot a .500 S&W but I have shot full house 454 Casulls and .460 S&W's without too much trouble. By far, the most punishing handgun I have ever shot was a Scandium J-frame with some hot .357 loads. The .460 I had was actually a dream to shoot. It was the compensated hunter model with the real long barrel and a scope on it. The sheer mass of the gun and scope along with the comp doing its part made it pretty easy on the wrists.

  • Jayhawker

    The first .44 Mag I owned was a 4" S&W M29…quite pleasant to shoot actually…in time it went the way of many guns I regretted getting rid of…the most recent .44 was a 5" Super Blackhawk…and I found the thing to be decidedly unpleasant to shoot…painful with some loads…and was quickly traded for a .45 Colt that suited me.

    As far as the bigger boomers, I have no interest in handguns that can detach my retinas…If whatever I'm after needs more killing than I can do with a warm .45 Colt, I'll use a riifle…

    • BPsniper

      I of the same mindframe. Don't need the big guns to hunt. I'm happy with the .44 Mag.

      But it would be fun to shoot one some day.

      Now, I am interested in building a 'specialty' bolt-handgun. But that's just for the challenge of the hunt. Not for raw power.

  • second amendment man

    .44Mag is enough for me, anything more than that I don't enjoy shooting in a handgun.

    Anyone know when the forum is coming back?

  • Mark, PR

    My love hate relationship is with a 1911 .45 APC. Love shooting it, love its accuracy; hate disassembly and assembly. Recoil: Does it have?

    • Kalena

      I enjoy my 1911 A-1 45 apc and shooting it offen. I guess by disassembly it after each shooting it has made it lot simpler and easy to clean for me. I would rather clean my 1911 A-1 than clean my other 3 rifles and 3 hand guns after going out to the rifle and pistol range. I have no plans to purchase any 500 or 454 and add to my collection. If someone would let me shoot there guns I would like to try them out. Will stick to my 45 APC for now.

      • http://Cox Butch

        As a former Navy Corpsman, I carried the 1911 A-1 so I'm very partial to it. For reasonably controllable recoil, accuracy and stopping power, it's still the best round around to my way of thinking. For self-defense, as always, it doesn't depend upon how many rounds you have, it's where you put them. A body-mass or head shot with a .45 ends the conflict.


    The .44 magnum is big enough if you need a bigger caliber handgun its time to get a rifle!!! No ifs or buts end of conversation



  • Luis

    Like many above have said, I find the .44 mag to be the most I want to shoot. Anything requiring more than a .44 mag is rifle/shotgun territory as far as I'm concerned.


  • Mike

    .357 Magnum in a Colt Trooper Mk 3 4" barrel is the largest revolver and I do not like it. I wear padded gloves when shooting it.

    .45 is the largest semi-auto caliber is have shot and that is fine.

  • Rob M

    I have a S&W 329PD Airlite in 44 Mag that is fairly brutal with the wood grips. The backstrap beats the webbing between my thumb and pointer. I have shot other 44s that were borderline pleasant. I really do feel that felt recoil is more dependent on the weight of the gun, design & fit to your hand more than cartridge. Haven't shot the 500 yet though – but looking forward to it…

  • Jhon Baker

    The only gun I've fired that I don't like is my .380 LCP – good gun and good to fire for a magazine but after that the recoil wear on the hand and sometimes wearing through a few layers of skin is too much – as for the top end – I haven't found it yet but my largest handgun is a ruger .357 which I love to fire.

  • MH

    the most powerful bullit I have shot to date is in my T/C Encore with a 450 Marlin barrel that is a real kicker!

  • Sheriff44

    Whether or not a person can "handle" the recoil is not the issue. How accurate can a person shoot a heavy recoiling handgun should be more of a question. I have seen many times in my law enforcement days when qualifying in the old days, when the groups would shrink considerably when we shoot the .38 Special compared the .357Magnum in the Model 19. It works the same today with semi autos and rifles. The subconscious part of the mind needs lots of training with heavy recoil if that what a person needs to shoot. With today's high tech bullets and precise ammo, we all can go down to less recoiling firearms and have the same stopping power as we had 20 years ago with the larger calibers. Do the homework.

    • Don L

      Good insight. Another aspect of "recoil" is the muzzle blast. It's amazing how sound levels, as much or more than the physical recoil, will affect the perceived amount of recoil and the reaction to it.

  • jeff

    i have a ruger super redhawk with hogue grips . nice to shoot even with buffalo bore 340G +p+ which make the recoil somewhat exhilirating. i also shot my friends smith and wesson 500 with 4" barrel. a little scary with corbon 440g bullets but still ok. big guns require proper shooting techniques to minimize recoil or rather control the recoil. they are gonna recoil a lot how you react to it will make a difference how much you feel


    For something that I can shoot all day without undue discomfort, a .44mag with a 200 gr. bullet and a long tube (6" minimum) would be my upper limit. I have owned and shot a .500S&W, but only with a 350gr. bullet. It wasn't unbearable, but neither was it fun. This is definitely a hunter and not much more. As someone above mentioned, for a hunting arm, recoil is a secondary consideration. Today the largest caliber handgun I own is a .460S&W, which I have yet to fire.

    One of the bigger problems with guns of this ilk is the cost of ammo. $85 for a box of 20! No thanks.

    • Don L

      Learn to roll your own. Factory equivalent is about 3 or 4 to 1 ratio. Cast your own bullet and it's about 10 to 1.

    • Frank G Tennessee


      You will enjoy shooting the 460. Run a few 45s so you can get the trigger feel, both single and double action. The shear mass of the wheel gun is a controling factor, send a few 454s just for the feel as well. When you load the 460 loads, be SURE to have on hearing protection!!! I use mine for hunting………………. love the gun! Why it is produced as double action as well is beyond me. Have at it, $85 a box? Seems rather pricey, are they silver? Do you hunt where there are Vampires (ha)? Purchase Hornady they are the most reasonably priced and consistent.

  • Sal

    Dan, Much like you my first big handgun was a SuperBlackhawk I acquired in the mid 70's. Before that the most powerful handgun I shot had been the 45acp my dad had and also in the Army. It was a handful but I enjoyed shooting it and still do.

    I just recently added a S&W 460V to my collection as I was starting to feel like a my 44 mag was a little girls gun when the "big guys" were at the range. LOL I've also shot my friends S&W 500 quite a bit. Neither are guns I'd care to shoot full power loads from all day but 40-50 rounds aren't too bad.

    Would I be interested in anything bigger, heck bring it on and lets see, I'm always game. Love the concussion hitting my chest and feeling the hot muzzle blast pass like a wave over my face.


  • Bobby

    I have shot the .460 and the .500 (both factory loads) but my .454 with hot handloads is by far the most violent handgun I have ever shot. 33 grs of H110 pushing a 250gr Barnes X out of a 8 3/8″ barrel.

  • http://msn Roger Johnson

    I have a S&W 460 Mag and I Love it and you can use 45 Long Colt for just fun. But I still use way more 460 rounds love it. Roger Johnson

  • Quick Draw

    I don’t enjoy shooting anything even close to the Max .44 Mag! I shoot .45 ACP and .44 Special (150-200 rounds) with no after effects. I’ve shot max. 44 Mag, but find the lighter loads a lot more fun to shoot. Do love reading about all the advancements in BIG bore cartridges, but that’s the extent of my contact with them. Reading don’t hurt that much!
    Happy trails
    Quick Draw

  • Jerry K.

    I bought a .44 mag in the ’80s, and tried Hogue grips for a better handle, but never could get the accuracy I wanted and finally traded it. I was used to .45 ACP in 1911s, and retain that as a regular shooter. Also love my Beretta Stampede in .45 LC and GP100 in .357 mag. Shot 5 in a row .454 Casull and felt it in my wrist for the afternoon.

  • Danny D

    My Super Redhawk in 454 with hot loads is a handful but very controllable. After a couple cylinders full, I'm ready for something else. My Savage Striker in 7mm mag is OK with 139 grainers. Both of these guns weigh a lot and carry heavy glass.

    My 10 inch 44 mag barrel with iron sights on my Contender is simply not fun! It is more recoil than I want to put up with when loaded hot.

  • Alan

    The only hand gun I have fired that I find uncomfortable to shoot is the S&W .357 airlite, 2 rounds and my hand is too sore to continue. But I can shoot a 500 Magnum all day with no ill effects.

    Go figure………

  • Ralph Crosswhite

    In revolvers I shoot heavier than normal bullets – 41 Mag 240, 250 265, 300 gr. 45 Colt 285,300,325,340. Recoil can be subjective. In a properly designed grip the average person should be able to learn how to handle recoil. I will agree that there are guns out there that are worthless – some of the 380’s as mentioned. Have fired the Desert Eagle if 50 AE, not a favorite, but douable in a pinch. A Super Redhawk in 454 is a fairly nice gun on recoil with the heavy weights, controllable and can return to battery quickly for subsequent shoots. That is in my expierence. In the end the shooter needs to check out
    all the various calibers, find the one they can handle and practive, practice, and practice.

    • Scott Mayer


      Where are you finding 265 and 300 grain bullets and data for that .41?

  • Ted

    I shot a friends .500 – no problem, then he handed me a .44 Mag Alaskan titanium frame. Thought my hand/wrist was broken!!

    • ted is a trol


  • http://Earthlink Stan Botway

    The 44 mag demands respect, but my Greedom arms 454 beats you to death for respect. With double magna-porting, it clears the shooting bench on either side when fired. My buddy helped me sight in with the new Nikon scope. 100 yard tack driver.

  • Tom Beas

    As a collector of guns in general, I just had to buy the American Arms Derringer 44 Mag when I saw it. You all can talk about recoil, but until you have shot this derringer with a full load 44Mag, you have notexperienced true recoil.

  • John Herrington

    I agree that the gun design has a lot to do with recoil. I have shot .44s that weren't ban and other that were a nightmare. Weight does help, but if my pistol is as heavy as a carbine I would rather have a carbine. I have a 9mm Makarov that was the first pistol I ever shot that hurt when I shot it. I put after market grips on it now I love it. I think for the average shooter a .44 is close to the limit, but as technology changes you never know what we will see in the future.

  • Tom

    44 magnum is a nice balance of power. anything that doesn't go boom is disappointing. a word on those who choose to port or buy ported barrels – why???

    • Luis

      Ported barrels reduce recoil and muzzle rise. I used to have a Taurus Tracker with 4" ported barrel. With .44 spl loads, you could rapid fire it with virtually NO muzzle rise at all, and with full power .44 mag loads, recoil was still easily manageable. Sure was loud though. >.<

      • brent

        so you dont have to deal as much with recoil ,just need to learn sign language right?

  • Stebro

    I target shoot with a .44 mag Ruger Redhawk 7.5" barrel, 310 grain custom cast semi wadcutters. It's one of the most accurate pistols I've ever shot for distance and I frequently fire off 100 – 200 rounds in a session – no sweat. I use the smooth, stock, wooden grips. It must just fit my hand right. I've tried custom grips and still prefer stock.

  • Jan A

    I own and shoot a .50 AE Desert Eagle and a FA Revolver in .454 Casull in precision competition. It works, most people on the range declare me as being Nuts or at least laboring with a severe case of Magnumania.

    The .500 S&W I have shot without the Muzzle brake in a 5 3/4 Inch Barrel. Good Grips and a heavy, well-constructed gun will make shooting even short-gun Magnums a fun activity. Firing a heavy caliber out of a small, twisty gun will hurt rather than make You grin, so I avoid it. So, regarding the posted Question: I draw the line at shooting guns that hurt me. I love the slap of overpressure from a powerful magnum-load, but I am not keen on hurting my hands on a too small grip, sharp corners and so forth.

    Powerful loads like the Hornady Ammo in .454 Casull lead me to the very borders of my skill in gun handling. After two dozen shots or so, my accuracy will decline due to fatigue, further shots will be simply Money-to-noise conversion, so I will usually pack it in, or take out my .22 or 9mm for further shooting.

    I am wimpier concerning Long-gun calibers, btw. anything above .308 is no fun to shoot.

  • Archangel

    I prefer to shoot my Taurus .500 S&W magnum to my Ruger Redhawk .44 magnum.I can shoot the Taurus 1 handed quite easily,the Ruger not so much.

  • Tom

    Not to suggest changing to an unported barrel to hurt the hand, but doesn't the velocity decrease due to escaping gasses? I condition both my hands, (I am not telling anyone to do this) using a "IRON PALM" training scheme that includes the use of dit-ta-jow. Even then I agree, after 100 rounds plus my right hand trembles more than my left. This makes reloading difficult, but in a real self defense situation I would have put down a considerable amount of drug hyper bad guys without setting fire to any of my surroundings….lol

  • Silver Bear

    I sell guns retail and one of my customers bought the S&W 500 10.5 with 400 grn slugs for it. We put Pachmyr grips on the revolver. He could not handle the revolver. He flinched so bad each time it went off it was a wonder he could keep it within the range boundaries. The flinch was so bad he often caused the cylinder to rotate past a live round without the hammer falling on the 2nd or 3rd round, every cylinder (5 shots).

    I fired this 500, put 20 rounds through it at 15 yards on a silhouette and the recoil was not much more than my .44 or .357 magnums. I kept all 20 rounds in the 9 ring off hand, not rested, left and right hand, no malfunctions. I thought the 500 was fun to shoot and recoil was not an issue. I've been a handgunner all my life (long time) and this handgun is not a problem if you know what you are doing. There is video out there somewhere what can happen if you are stupid when shooting the S&W 500. Not pretty.

  • John Larson

    I grew up shooting the GP100 .357 which I liked a lot and then bought the .44 S&W (29) after which my .357 didn't get used much The .44 was just a hoot to shoot and I don't recall any recoil issues with it. Now I own a .454 Puma rifle and had to get the raging bull .454 for the sake of simplicity. I do all my own reloading which makes both of these firearms very enjoyable. I load up 10gr of tight group for the bull and 32gr of LilGun for the Puma shooting 250 jhp honady. I mix it up once in a while but these loads will perform and really make target shooting fun. I will tell you shooting factory Winchesters out of the rifle will 'get your attention' Shooting factory anything out of the bull is just not pleasant and after 10 rounds my arm just goes numb. When it comes to the 454 its all about reloading for price and flexibility.

  • Sproutz

    Ruger Super Redhawk in .480 was pretty nasty before the Hogue grip and scope. In stock configuration a box of 20 left me hurting. Now it's a breeze, and an excellent hunting companion I might add.

  • Steven

    The short barell S&W 500 Mag, i shot a box of 25 rounds Hornady 500 grn's through her and it may not have been what i wanted, but it was all i wanted !!!!

  • http://n/a Skip

    I'm not a wimp but just like the feel of my Smith and Wesson .38 spec. for a revolver that is. Because of the .38's recoil, my wife prefers our Ruger SR9. I use to carry a 1911 back when I flew in the Air Force and that would be my gun of choice. Probably just because I was used to it. Now 42 years later, I gotten soft (in many ways) and I too like the SR9 the best but intend on getting a 1911 when I decide which brand I like most.

  • Rick B

    Got a couple of .460 S&W's that I really like. Muzzle energy is comparable to the lighter .500 loads but the velocity is much higher. They are very controllable revolvers due to weight and excellent muzzle brakes. With a good scope, it's a very effective big game round at much longer than normal range for a handgun.

    • Obamistake

      Yep. I like mine with the long barrel, 8 3/8" or so? Anyway, the weight of the gun seems to soak up a lot of the recoil. I only shoot 200 grain Hornadys though. Anticipating the recoil is worse than the real thing…and then you fire it. Not bad at all.

      Shooting it isn't bad at all. Just a little bit of a kick. I do love how loud it is at the indoor range. Damn hand cannon!

    • Frank G Tennessee

      Rick B

      Ditto ……… XVR only.

  • Jim Rankin

    I think proper hearing protection takes the edge off a lot of perceived recoil. I have a .454 Casull in the Alaskan (stubby barrel) that bites a little, a Magnum Research BFR in 45-70, a .44 Magnum Super Blackhawk (same one for 40 years) and a TC with Magnaport's brake on the 14" barrel. All of these are manageable for this 65 year old skinny guy, but I get the most "kicks" from my S & W Airweight in .357. That little bugger hurts!

  • Mike Peach

    The worst recoil I ever experienced was in deringers, .38 Spl and .45 ACP. I started my handgun shooting life with a Ruger Super Blackhawk. I thought it was a bit mild. Almost 40 years later, I stick to a maximum of .45 ACP. And I shoot a .50 BMG for fun.

  • Felix Cortinas

    my favorite and trustiest hunting revolver, my Blackhawk .45 colt Bisley, 7 1/2 barrel with hot loads. thats all I need. I am a part time cowboy and the Peacemaker is part of me.

  • Tim Andersen

    My worst beast was my friends S&W 44 mag snubnose ,fired it twice and asked him why he still owned it.My 629 with 7 1/2 barrel and red dot scope is a pleasure.

  • Alvaro Casciani

    The most powerful handgun I’ve ever shot, was my former Ruger Super BlackHawk .454 Casull. Recoil was OK, so I guess I can handle it without problems, blast was way too large, even on its 7.5” barrel, and noise in the open range resulted unpleasant without hearing protection. I didn’t shoot it that much, maybe less than 100 rounds of Hornady XTP 300 grainers in quite a few sessions. The main issue here in my country (Uruguay-South America), is ammo supply. There’s not such a thing. You have to make you own way to locate (sometimes in another country, like Argentina) the components in order to handload, in my particular case, a friend of mine did it for me. And I also cannot say we have here the type of game that justifies using such a powerful firearm, so I trade it for a Ruger Super BlackHawk Bisley Hunter .44 magnum, and it’s as well more than enough here, but pretty much easier to get ammo.

    Perhaps, like the old Elmer Keith used to say, if you need more than a .44 magnum, what you really need it’s a rifle.

  • Alvaro Casciani

    I made a mistake in my previous post, I meant to say my former Ruger Super RedHawk, instead of BlackHawk…

  • LouisianaJoe

    I have a super redhawk in .454 Casul. A friend sold this to with some 300gr XTP's that he loaded to 1650 fps. I found this a bit much. They were more tolerable in my .460 S&W Mag. I load 240gr XTP's for the .460 at about 2100 fps and I do not find the recoil excessive.

  • pete b

    I own a .500 in the shorter barrel, I have well over 5000 rounds through it, over 500 rounds in one range session, this is the first "firearm" I have ever owned, I have shot other calibers before, and decided on this one for the fact that, If I master this "beast", everything else would be a cake walk, and I was right.

    I very much enjoy shooting this pistol and being proficient with it

  • Pete

    I have nerve damage in my hands, so a Redhawk in .44 Magnum is my upper hunting gun limit, even with a glove. For a carry gun, I favor a 9 MM with good anti-personnel loads. The 9 represents more than adequate power with enough control for a quick follow up shot. And it's available in small, concealable packages. My favorite gun and round are a 1911A1 in .45 ACP. But they're bulky.

  • Daniel Ponton

    I have a 8 3/8" & a 10 3/8" 500s Both shoot great. I can shoot them very good. You need to forget about recoil until after the shot ( mentally block it out) I have a non ported trail boss that hurts more! With the 500s bullet weight is when it gets rough, but when you hunt you don't notice recoil as much.

  • Marvin Reavis

    I own a S & W 629 in .44 mag with the 8-3/8" in barrel and a S & W X-500 Performance Center 50 caliber S & W with the 10-3/4" custom barrel. The X-500 is the highest recoil of all of course. I do not regret it but now the .460 S & W is available with another rail below the barrel to mount lasers and lights. I love shooting both of them and they are many times more accurate than I can reproduce under hunting conditions. The hunting that I do on feral hogs and white tail deer do not require the heaviest bullets and the recoil is not bad. There is no need to soup up a handgun load since there is so much variety available. There is a lot of fear about recoil. My advice is to get information from those who shoot these weapons a lot, not some friend who knows everything. Every one who has shot my X-500 has been amazed that the recoil is not more. Hunting with handguns adds a new dimension to the hunting experience. You can achieve wonderful accuracy if you practice. Especially if you get a progressive reloader that can put out a lot of ammo in a short time.

  • Daniel Sampsel

    I had a .44 Mag 629 Mountain Gun about ten years back that I said was "enough" with full house loads….sold it. I've since acquired a Magnum Research 7.5 inch 45/70 BFR. A good shove, but that is about it, even with Garret's & Buffalo Bore's beasts. Not bad at all…

  • Humberto D

    I was foolish enough to shoot a 12 ga steel flare gun with 00 buckshot. Recoil was fierce, the gun was a flywheight, and luckily didn´t burst. One shot left the palm of my hand with a blue bruise for several days.

    Worst gun I´ve ever shot, and kept all my fingers as a bonus!

  • tim4nh

    The fun factor of shooting a .44 is awesome. Every semi auto shooter needs a revolver. You appreciate every shot. It's a great change of pace. I had a S&W 629 and just remember smiling after every shot. Darn, now I have to find another. Shoot what you like.

  • Don L

    Have a friend who had a Encore barrel made in .458 Lott. I think it was about 15". I fired 1 each of full house 350, 405, and 500 grain bullets without the muzzle brake on. That's my personal limit. I enjoy shooting my 500 S&W and other big bore ctgs.

  • David Young

    I shoot .357 mag. in heavy handloads, and .45 Colt and acp normal power handloads all day with no trouble. My Taurus R.B. in 454 Casull is my upper limit for comfort, though. If I shoot overpowered .45 Colt handloads in it (with 21.0 gn. of AA #9 pushing a 250 gn. bullet), it's a pleasure to shoot. If I move up to full house 454 ammo, it's not so pleasant. I have an S&W 460 mag. for the fun of it (with .45 Colt and 454 ammo), but it's not so fun to shoot a lot of full house 460 stuff. With Buffalo Bore 360 gn. flat points it puts out 2860 ft/lb. of muzzle energy. That's more than my M1A pushing .308s. One cylinder of those, and I'm done for the day.

  • Richard

    454 Casull Super Red Hawk – I am finally getting comfortable with. I am up to 6 rounds of 454, after that I shoot 45 long colt in it. No glove, changed to a Hogue rubber grip that helped some.

  • bontai Joe

    I'm 6'-3" and weigh 295 and the .44 mag is at the top of my comfort zone. I've shot a 30-30 Contender once, too much recoil for me! I've got a pair of nice big hands and plenty of strength, but just don't care for the punishment of the really big calibers. The other gun that gives me a pain is the little .22LR AMT back-up I have, the grip is so small, I can only get about 1 1/2 fingers wrapped around it and have to readjust my grip after every shot. So I'll heartily agree with the folks above that gun design has a lot to contribute to unpleasant shooting. Now my Dan Wesson in .44 is a nice gun to hunt with, or use in the ocassional bowling pin match because of its weight, ported barrel, and excellent rubber aftermarket grips. But I'd want to shoot a few rounds in a Dan Wesson in anything more powerful before I spent money to buy one. They are too much money to buy first and then discover it ain't fun to shoot.

  • bontai Joe

    Any of you guys aware of gun writer John Taffin and his legendary tests of the biggest baddest caliber handguns? He'd shoot hundreds of rounds in all the monster caliblers until his wrist started bothering him all the time. X-rays showed he had permanently dammaged the bones in his wrist to the point that a couple of the little bones in his right wrist joint itself had disappeared, pounded into nothingness. Granted, he had shot 5 lifetimes of what a regular guy would probably shoot in this big guns, but this topic made me remember him and his having to reconsider what he was doing to himself.

  • Mick

    I have no need for more gun than my 6" 629, but have shot a gunbuilder's .50 cal 400 gr. load in a cut-down 460 Weatherby case a few times; he said it ran around 1800 fps. or so, built on a XP-100 action. Brutal but tolerable.

  • http://BruceRedding Bruce Redding

    I do not think it is too much recoil until you can no longer fire it accurately. If the only round that hits it's intended target is the first one, then you have too much gun. I understand the novelty of the big guns, ie. .454, .460, .500, but if you can not accurately hit what you are shooting at then I just do not see the point.

  • Wolfgang Shaffer been shooting Single Action .44 Magnums for YEARS [I'm 69 now ]…..and I learned that Single Action grips are made to "roll" in your hand. [ The reason for the HIGH hammer spur ]. A "death-grip" causes the recoil to go right up your arm and gets panfull after a lot of rounds. Just go with the flow…let the grips roll and the forearm rise.

    When the .454 Casull came I out…I HAD to have one. It was a Field Grade with rubber grips. { BAD IDEA ]. If you let the grip roll in your hand….it creates a blister in the meaty part put the thumb !…. I sent the Casull back to Freedom Arms and had them fit their SMOOTH Rosewood grips….what a difference !! [ Note: DONT trust after-market grips on a Casull. The slightest misfit will draw blood ]

    Smooth grip-scales and a firm but not a death-grip"caused a considerable muzzle rise BUT no pain in the hand or forearm. Later I sent it out for Magnaporting to control the muzzle rise [ for quicker follow-up shits while hunting deer ]. With these modifications…. the .454.Casull feels like a Ruger Blackhawk in .44 magnum. [ And it lays the deer down like a falling slab ]

  • David Watson

    Fired 44 mag many years ago, and had the same result – loud nose and vertical arm almost implanted the hammer in forehead (my fault not the weapons). The owner had the gun "magna-ported" and invited me to shoot again. Max loaded rounds, even his wife could shoot. recoil approximated that of a .38 S&W 10" bbl. (but oh the lite show in the evenings). Have fired the BFR in .45-70 recoil extremely manageable.

  • Wolfgang Shaffer


    While possibly appropriate, my statement at the end of my previous post [above ] should have read "…… quick follow-up SHOTS while hunting deer". You can't come up with these gems intentionally. = Wolfgang =

  • Frank

    I don't shoot the big .454 much but when I do I tend to prefer 45 colt +P loads (300 grain HP at 1300 fps) instead.

  • Dale

    My first .44 Magnum was a 3" S&W 29. Bought a cheap box of SWC full loads and even with the Pachmyer grips it turned the inside of my hand bright red. Only fired about 10, before selling them to another person. Found the Winchester Silver Tip to be the best in the 3" Magnum and even took a deer with it.

  • Jim

    S&W .500 is a nice gun. It's recoil is not that bad because you will never fire more that five rounds.. Due to the fact that each round may cost up to $6.00 a piece, you cannot make it an all day shooter. I use it with iron sights to hunt wild hogs. I must say the .500 makes bacon every time!!!

  • Rich

    Oh yea, try a 44 mag. in a Astra Terminator.

  • Nick

    I own 50 AE , 50 GI ,454 , 44 , 357………22 so I shoot up and down the scale all the time . I do however prefer a gun that I can hold with all my fingers , see 380 in most of them is …. lets say not as secure in my hand as the big boys so I like better the large ones. There is another problem with the large calibers then recoil , their very expensive so many times I have to stop because of the price of ammo.

    To anwser the question is 500 sw to much to deal with ? No , is just something that ones can do with proper training , and I for one I'm happy to put up with it.

  • Bikersteve

    I own up-to a S&W 500. I can shoot my .357 S&W 686 all day without discomfort the S&W 629 .44 Mag can be painful after a couple of cylinders full, & The 8" S&W 500 (500gr bullet) is fun for a couple of shots, then it starts to hurt my wrist, but I'm only 5'4" & 170 lbs.

  • Big Chief

    Like the Marshal, my first .44 magnum was a Ruger Super Blackhawk. Shooting it on a hot day in Oklahoma with those tiny factory grips using full house 240 JHPs was downright painful, drew blood. I put rubber grips on it and that dampened the felt recoil and gave me a better purchase on holding it. Much better, but I decided I needed a double-action .44 for some reason and sold it to buy a Ruger Redhawk. Much more beefy, but they still insisted on smallish grips, so it too got aftermarket Pachmayr's.

    I fired loads in that Redhawk that would involuntarily open my jaw! Sturdy revolver, well made that would handle full house loads and then some. Wish I would have kept it, but back then I went through many guns just to get the next one I had a wild hair for that I'd read about in gun magazines or seen on the range.

    Nowadays, I've settled on a couple of S&W .44 Magnums. A S&W 629 classic with 6 1/2 bbl and Hogue Monogrips. It is the most pleasant to shoot and accurate .44 Magnum that I've ever fired.

    I also have a 629 with a 3" bbl, unfluted cylinder and a round butt that is about my limit in endurance. I can put 50 rounds of max .44 Magnum loads through it at one range session, but it lets you know you are shooting a magnum handgun!

    I have fired a .45 Win Mag semi-auto and a .50 Desert Eagle, neither painful, but cumbersome to handle (DE) or to snappy or "Zippy" in a 1911 format.

    I have never fired the newer lightweight .44s made with space-age steel, but tried one chambered in .357, no thanks.

    I mostly shoot paper targets and targets of opportunity like pine-cones, sticks or whatever while someplace outdoors walking around. A reduced .44 Magnum load to about 1000-1100 FPS in my 629s do just fine and make the same sized holes.

    Shooting should be fun, not painful. I realize this more and more the older I get!

  • Big Chief

    The reason a "Hot Day" made any difference when shooting that SB .44 was my hands were sweating and made the grips ever harder to hold on to.

  • Bill

    Haven't seen this one yet, so here goes; .308. Yes a .308 single shot. One shot and each and every shooter was done. My wife's cousin bought one for his father. He still has the gun and its a dare gun… So you think you can handle recoil? Shoot this…..

  • Doug Schaffer

    Think of multiples of 357. 44mag is two, 480 Ruger is 3, 454 Casull is 4 (almost), and 500 S&W is 5.

  • Gene

    I have two 500's and one 460 mag I reload for them and make them all max loads. Yes it hits hard and I like that. I'm waiting for S&W to come out with the 600mag. I got one of my 5oo's from a guy I work with that can't handle recoil but is a big talker.

  • Ernie Bishop

    I am not a big revolver guy. The strongest recoil in a revolver has been my FA 454, with 300 grainers at 1775 fps. That was my regular load and 40-50 rounds at a time was the most I could tolerate.

    IF I bought another revolver for hunting today it would likely be a FA in 44 Mag. That would do everything I need out of a hunting revolver.

    In bolt-action single-shot specialty handguns my 2 largest cartridges is the 338 Lapua mag Improved and the 375 Snipe-Tac (375 Chey-Tac Improved). There is something about 150 grains of powder and a 370 grain bullet that equals–COOL!


  • NC JDub

    I shot two rounds out of a 460 4-inch. I was done with that foolishness! I'll go back to plinking with my AR's.

  • Matt "Shotgunsh

    Full power .357's in a 4" K frame are about where I draw the line. I honestly don't enjoy shooting heavy recoiling gun/cartridge combos in either rifle or handgun however. A .22 is still my favorite gun to shoot. Maybe I'm not manly enough?

    • FreeRanger

      Worried about uncomfortable recoil in a big revolver? Try a Ruger Bisley in .44 mag – – sweet !

      I agree with the genius above who says that the nastiest recoiling sidearm he has shot was a .380, say in a Ruger LCP. They bark and snap and pinch and make you regret the day you were born!

      That shooter wisely notes that it is the gun design that matters most, not the caliber of cartridge being fired.

      Don't believe him? Then try holding barehanded onto an exploding Blackcat firecracker and see just how that little thing feels. Not Good.

  • 1911fan

    I was another that just had to have a 44 mag at some point. It was too much gun for me for a long time and I rarely shot it. I now load it for plinking/practice and it's not too bad, but still not as pleasant as 357 and 45ACP obviously, however, I'm no longer afraid of it and if need be, I can launch some still loads in it for worthy targets in cases where I need to bring enough gun.

  • DDT

    454 Casull with 250 gr bullet in scoped SRH 7.5" barrell approaching 1800 fps. Anything more isn't fun for me, unless hunting. Then load up to 2000 fps. Practice loads are 1700 fps. Usually shoot about 20 of these before calling it quits.

  • Dan Johnson

    Handloading is a good way to condition oneself to recoil as it allows you to work up gradually. I still seldom shoot my .454 at full throtle.

  • Tom Ouellette

    Any quality long barreled .357 just right for me for power + accuracy

  • Gary

    I'm not very good at moderation. I have the 500 s&w and the Desert Eagle .50ae. The 500 is easier for follow up than the LCP. The big toys are fun ( I rationalize them as back ups to the .450 bushmaster for hog hunting.) but they remain toys. What guns works best for self defense? The one you have with you.

  • Sanjuancb

    I shot some 12 gauge, 3" BB goose loads out of a Serbu Super Shorty. That would be my limit for "handgun" recoil. :)

  • drew

    Used to really enjoy shooting my model 29 with with hot handloads but as age and arthritis came on I find myself going back to 44 special.

  • Len

    I own a 500s/w in a magnum research and its a big heavy handgun..the recoll isn't bad. I have a 475 linebaugh in a freedom arms a much lighter gun like a ruger blackhawk.It will make your arm go mumb after a few rounds..

  • Smaug

    I drew the line at 44 Magnum. I shoot mostly mild reloads with it. I shoot probably 8 rounds of 44 Special level reloads for every full-on magnum.

    My question is what is the point of a more powerful handgun? If it is for hunting, there are already bolt action hunting pistols chambered in rifle cartridges.

    Otherwise, 44 Magnum is powerful enough for even bears out to 100 yards.

    So what's the point of punishing oneself more with things like the 500 Magnum?

  • Jarhead5811

    I had a Super Blackhawk that was hard on the hands. Later I traded it (and a muzzeloader) for one the original S&W 500s and found it much easier on the hands. I later let it go. After the wow factor was gone I realized I don't need anything bigger than my .45acp and truly prefer autos. On that note a Sig P239 in .357sig has been the most impressive auto recoil I've experienced but was quite manageable.

    (I wouldn't doubt hand size has an awful lot to do with how well you handle recoil from different models. I wear size 9 gloves.)

  • paul krawic

    handgun recoil is subjective at best but i don't believe it has a fully direct correlation to calibre or velocity(i know technically yes it does but grip and brakes and other factors trump this).my girlfriend is 5'-7" and 120 lbs and she's terrified to fire my .380 accutek pistol but laughs at the hype surrounding the .44 mag as she'll shoot that all day.i recently had a chance to fire a .460 mag and found it to be a flame belching monster but even though i'm handicapped and my hands are affected i found the recoil manageable.i'm not speaking with bravado,it just didn't kick as much as i expected for a revolver basically duplicating the ballistics of a 45/70 in a 6" did belch out a ball of flame @ 18" and the recoil was stout but i have always felt that with handguns the method of grip and the way the elbows are set is what defines the recoil impulse.i think that with something that big people tend to set their elbows too rigid and send the shock straight into their bodies as opposed to taking up that shock with the set of the elbows.the next time you step up to fire that hand cannon try not setting yourself too all means set the grip tight enough to be safe,but don't grab it like it's a rope thrown to you to save your always shoot well and shoot often.

    • Ralph R

      My experiences support your comments on elbow position.

      Anything with the word "magnum" attached to it can hurt you. My first handgun was a Ruger SP101 (known as "The Beast") in 357mag. I fired my first three shots stiff armed and put my right side into shock for several days. Aching bone on bone impact, bruising the bone and joints. My next try, I put a little bend in my elbow and brought my muscles into play and had no problem. Be aware, you cannot let your arm fly back or you will hit your head with the gun so you still have use as much muscle as required to control the gun but you'll get the hang of it quick enough. This has worked with my 44 mag as well and also other 357s that I have. Good luck!

  • Michael Jordan

    S&W 340 chambered in .357 Mag. 9 ounces of nastiness when it goes bang.

  • http://N/A Lopaka

    I shot my first Super Black Hawk 44M in a 10.5 inch barrel back in 1970 and fell in love with it. I was shooting a 357M in a 6 barrel at that time and always wanted a 8.3 barrel in a 44M and still have not purchased one. I shoot each week my 357M and 45ap 1911. My friend I shoot with says the 45ap is not what he enjoys shooting. He likes the 357M and have decided the 44M is more than he wants to shot with. We all have our choice on guns we enjoy shooting. 44M, Yes for me! Great firepower!

  • Steve

    I enjoy shooting flite rite barricade projectiles out of the lightest 37 mm guns. I have fired a .44 mag. derringer (deringer?). Now I am trying to get American Arms to build me one in 500 SW.

    I am sure ya'all get the point!

  • Grandson777

    I'm only 13, but i shot my grandfathers .357 and I had absolutely no problem controlling the recoil. I was expecting alot more. All I did was use good form and technique and was able to manage it well. I did have a little trouble with his ruger .45 acp.

  • Brian

    50 grains of Hogdon 110 behind a Hornady 200 gn FTX bullet delivered from a 5" S&W 460V is AWESOME!

    Just make sure everyone is wearing ear protection.

    Recoil from this 4.5lb pistol is very managable and not nearly as bad you imagine.

  • Fred R Grimes

    Ive shot most all of them and the only one that I did not enjoy was the Scandium .357 S&W with 125 gr. full power loads. Ouch!

  • MRowsh

    As mentioned many times above, the quaity of the grips can make a difference. I shoot everything big bore. I do have both 500 S&W and 460 S&W from their custom shot with long barrels for hunting. I reload all of them for maximum power. For carry I use 45ACP, or 44mag. During summer, I do carry the Kel Tec 9mm.

    So, if the grip is well made for specific piece, the caliber is not an issue.

  • Steve

    Was interested in the gentleman's comment regarding the 30-30 TC being too much recoil. I shoot 300 gr .44 XTPs in my 10 ' Contender with 21 gr of H-110. While the recoil is entirely measurable it is not overwhelming for me. Have recently acquired a 14" 30-30 barrel that I have yet to get to shoot. also got 50 rds of 150 gr Nosler ballistic tips over 30 gr of 3031 so now am really curious as to what they will be like.

  • wilbur

    It was over 40 years since I shot anything. A friend took me shooting with a pair of .347 Magnums. I was very disappointed with the recoil. There wasn't much of one.

  • Carl Hawkins

    44 Mag is upper limit for me, I never understood the desire for something beyond that. If the 44 mag isn't powerful enough for your purpose then you need a rifle.

  • Rob

    I find the 44mag more uncomfortable than my S&W460, sure the 460 barks but it isnt as snappy in the hands as the 44.

    Big cals are fun to shoot!

  • mike jaral

    guess it depends on what your shooting, ruger sp101 snub with a 180 gram turns my hand red, but the same round in a ruger gp100 with a full lug, I can fire all day with no problem. these are only 357's. so I think its what you get used too. My 44 special snub to me has no kick at all.

  • M. Toliver

    My .44 magnum is about enough. I have a DE .50 AE and I must say, that there are times when I regret purchasing it. It's simply too much.

  • M. Toliver

    My .44 magnum is about enough. I have a DE .50 AE and I must say there are times when I regret purchasing it. It's simply too much.

  • Bill

    I bought my Rugger 44 mag SA about 15 yrs ago simply because the sporting goods store was closing and had a clearance sale. By the

    time I got there most of the (normal guns) were gone so what the heck,

    I bought it. I did shoot it somewhat regularly at first, but never found any

    particular use for it, I do enjoy shooting it and the recoil is manageable.

    Because its SA only the second shot is problematic as a SD gun so basically for me I will eventually trade it for another 1911. If I cant get

    it done with my 10mm or 45 1911s I guess my M4 is next in line.I

    have to admit though, the 44 mag is a very big bang!!


  • John Nau

    I side with the "type of pistol"crowd. I hate shooting my LCP and KelTec 380's, but have no problem with my 4" Model 29. I have never tried the S&W 460 or 500, but hope to some day.

  • http://wedge dave martinelli

    44 mag in my 5in. S

    .44 my 5in.S&W 629 is no problem…but my 2.5 in S&W 66 with full power loads is a handfull…….

  • Mick

    Differences in gun design affect recoil/gun shooting comfort as well. One of the most painful guns I ever owned was an AMT .380 Backup. Little 90-100 gr. bullets at under 1,000 fps but that gun hurt my hands. .357's in 2.5" Model 19's–no problem. 4-inch .44 Mag 240 gr., gets the attention, don't want to shoot too many because of cumulative effect. But just 1-2 magazines from that AMT were all I wanted, and I dumped it pretty quick accordingly and stuck to wheelguns, still do. Most importantly, I think, is to shoot power effectively rather than in quantity. While I CAN shoot heavy loads, why do so? That deer-size critter drops with 10 gr. of Unique under a 240 gr. bullet at around 1,000 fps. just as dead as at 1500 fps., and with modern bullet designs, more power isn't necessary for that purpose. I CAN shoot loads that will pick up a steel silhouette ram at 200 meters and knock it back 5-10 feet, but I don't play that game, so why get beat up? Nor am I in elk/bear country (Illinois–please take pity) so no need for the abuse. House loads appropriate at 2-3/4" steel BB's and #4 buck, hot .38/125 gr. Buffalo Bore for the wheelguns. Like my rock and roll, I'm settling down a bit as I age.

  • Randy

    I own an S&W 460XVR and find shooting it a joy and the recoil is acceptable to me. Based on that, and never having shot a .44 magnum, I would expect it to be a little less recoil and acceptable as well. I find these larger bore heavy revolvers more comfortable than my compact .40 cal Kahr Arms.

  • P.J.

    I'm hearing alot of people comment on different .380's tearing their hands up. I want to get my wife a compact pistol to target shoot w/ me and use for personal protection. My Glock 27/.40 is a little too snappy for her and now I'm reluctant to get her a .380. I've been thinking a med. sized& ergonomical 9 mm…… Any suggestions from my fellow G&A followers?

  • John Parker

    Daughter is 36 now. When she was nine or ten I took her shooting. Taught her to shoot a Ruger Redhawk 44 mag. Said "hang on tight and let it rise up as far as it wants to go". It had a scope and she shot it well. One day at the range, near us was a young fella showing his buddy how to shoot a 357 Mag. Heard him talking up 44 Mags as great cannons. When My daughter shot the 44 Mag, he came over, way impressed. I was daddy proud that day.

  • Mark

    60 rounds down range with my S&W 500with no prob.

    100 rounds down range with mt Taurus 40 I felt it a week daughter shoots the 40and says she is going to shoot the 500 next time out. She has only ben at the range 4 times with me and begged me to let her try it.I promised her next time

  • Tom

    I'll second other's comments – The weight of the gun makes a huge difference in perceived recoil. I have a S&W 442 and it's a bit of a beast and feels like my hand is being slapped. After a box, I'm ready to let it sit. The .357 in my 6" S&W is a joy to shoot, with a sharp but light recoil. I've shot .44 mag, which is a heavier push, but still enjoyable in the right gun. I tried a TC in .30-.30 and found the blast and recoil impressive, but again, in the right barrel, it's not too bad to shoot. Still, I have more fun shooting my XD40, Ruger .22 LR, and other lower recoiling pairs.

    • Tom

      I should say the 442 is .38 Special, a round that should be easy to manage.

  • Turkey

    Leverevolution 325 grain in a Contender, 10 gauge 3 1/2 inch shells in a Marlin Supergoose 5510, and 3 1/2 inch 410 in a Rossi youth shotgun. That's where I draw the line! And I now reload for my 45-70, hammer bite in a Contender isn't good!!!!!

  • m. sharpe

    I'm no fan of recoil. I love to practice with 22 shorts if possible. I fire approx.200 9mm rounds per yr. and hit what I am aiming at. Couldn't get past the recoil of the mod.29 and hunted for yrs. with .357 and .41.

  • Paul C

    I love my Bond Arms Century 2000 but with a full load of Home Defense 3" Mags she'll draw a bit of blood everytime. I only shhot this "pretty baby" only when necessary!

  • Joe

    I have two 44mags. A super blackhawk 10.5' barrel which has the largest wood grips I've ever held, and a super redhawk 7.5' barrel with rubber grips. Both are so heavy that even Buffalo Bore 340gr+p ammo is manageable. Recently I got a S&W ES460 with the emergency survival kit 2.75 barrel. I got a good deal on it because the original owner said after shooting 10 rounds he knew it was too much gun for him. Now that I own it, I see his point.

    • beggindog

      The 10.5 Blackhawk is the best and most accurate high caliber pistol I’ve ever had and probably the most powerful I’d ever want or need to shoot…

  • SDJ

    I own both the 500S&W and 460S&W they are both easier to control and less painful than the recoil of my 357S&W airlight hammerless. I sold it after just 10 rounds of pain.

  • wheelgunner

    The .357 Magnum is the best overall handgun caliber ever and the Model 27 is rightfully on the list being the "Godfather" of the magnum wheelguns. I preface this statement by stating that I own a Model 629 .44 magnum, a Ruger SR 1911 .45 ACP, a S&W 460 Magnum, a Ruger GP100 .357, and a model 627 8 shot .357 magnum. The .357 magnum can take anything from a thug (125 grain JHP from Buffalo Bore 1600 fps, 710 ft-lbs, out of a 4 inch barrel) to a black bear (180 grain hard cast flat nose from Buffalo Bore 1385 fps 767 ft-lbs, out of a 4 inch barrel) I personally chronographed at 7 feet both of these out of my 4 inch barrel S&W and my Ruger GP 100 4 inch barrel and averaged the results matching what Buffalo Bore claimed. (Buffalo Bore and Double Tap actually load the .357 magnum to its real potential to max SAMMI specs not like the other commercial manufacturers that give you whimped down .357). The recoil of a .357 magnum out of a 35 oz or greater revolver is very manageable for fast follow up shots in the hands of a "skilled" shooter. Try that with a 44 magnum or even worse a 454 CASULL or 460 Magnum. lol I shoot those big calibers all the time and skillfully BUT a properly loaded .357 magnum will do 99% of what you need a handgun cartridge to do. The .357 magnum destroys the .45 ACP in penetration, offers 50-100% more energy (weak comercial loads are around 590 ft-lbs to 800+ ft-lbs in maximum SAMMI spec configuration) and is suitable for hunting where the .45 ACP is a poor choice. I love my 1911 but I will never take that into black bear or wild hog country in place of a .357 mag/44 magnum. I have killed several hogs and couple black bears with a 200 grain hard cast .357 magnum load. All of the police data collected over many years of police shootings rank the .357 magnum 125 grain JHP as the number one one-shot stop caliber with the .45 ACP in second place. Morgue autopsies where used to gather data. Did you hear that all of you 19+1 9mm plastic pistol tupperpistol people? Kudos to the S&W .357 Magnum cartridge, the best of all time.

    • http://Oldcop Phillip Martin

      I carried a .357 mag. revolver for nearly at least 25 years before switching to .40 Glock model 22 as was required. Most of those years was before the improvements of the jhp bullets we have today. For the most part they didn't expand or expanded poorly. The most popular revolver of my day was the S&W m19 and 66. They recoiled heavily with .357 loads but were a delight to carry. This was the reason for the S&W 586 series that became so popular, to reduce felt recoil. I agree a .357 in a heavy revolver will do most anything I want done with a handgun and I would gladly carry one even today were I still working. During the 1970s I had to have a S&W .44 mag. and ended up buying two. I doubt I shot more than a box of full power loads through them because of recoil. I hand loaded them down to about 1000 fps with a hard cast bullet and used them for target shooting only as I only hunted with rifles.

  • mac

    Sorry, guys. If it is not self defense handgun types, I prefer a carbine. The .44 Mag or the .454 are about topside for recoil for me… All that pocket rocket beats up the range, limits of most ranges will not allow themsmall cannons, noise irritates the neighbors, weight and size become excessive for power level. General impression for public becomes entertainment….Liberals already running crazy with fear we might maintin our freedom in spite of their efforts to make us government slaves.

  • SPKorn

    .44 Mag wearing shooting gloves is where I draw the line. For the average shooter, the line should be drawn closer to the .357 mag.

    Both cartridges are among the finest calibers in my humble opinion

  • Brian

    Worst gun by far I ever shot was a Grindell. It was a P-10. It was 8 shot if I remember right and you loaded it FROM THE TOP into the internal magazine. I think it was 380. After the 1st shot my hand hurt, I emptied the box of ammo and ( I passed it around, empty making them load it ) took it back to my buddies gunshop and traded it. I had a Russian Markaov ( russian PPK ) it wasn't bad. Sold it then got a bulgarian one. Liked the Baikal the best, Would love a PPK in 380 but I need to get a 338 win mag

  • paul

    Each of us has our own tolerance level, I have zero problem with the 44 mag throwing a 240 grain at 1400fps or 445 dan wesson super mag, throwing a 300 rain at 1500fps, in consistently hitting a 6" paper plate from a sitting position, at 100 yards at the range,but I can,t see any use for the 500 S&W as its just beyond my personal limits on what can be fired fast and accurately out at 50-120 yards, where most hand gun revolver hunting seems to be in my experience.

    now the 445 DWSM is almost as large and heavy as the S&W 500

    but theres just enough difference to make the 445 DWSM useable where the S&W 500 is a bit more of a good thing that I can tolerate

  • james

    I don't like heavy recoil, have had several 44 mags. sold them all. I draw the line at .357 mag. love shooting 38 spl. and my 45 colt and 1911, 9mm is OK, like .380 in the PPK but the Kel-Tec is another story. Hell I just love to shoot especially .22. All I can say is shoot and shoot often with your favorite firearm………..

  • Fletchman

    I own a model an S&W 66-2, 2 1/2 bbl and with Pachmayr decelerator grips its very comfortable to shoot full power loads. With the original combat wooden grips my trigger finger was bleeding after about a dozen rounds of 125gr JSP . For hunting I use my Ruger Blackhawk in 357 with oversize Hogue rubber grips. The extrra weight and excellent grips makes it very comfortable to shoot. I have only fired a 44 mag a few times. a model 29 S&W and it had a very noticeable recoil but not unmanageable. However with full house loads the 357 will do everything I need in hunting.

  • 97th Signalman

    I have never fired a .44 magnum. My heavy S&W 686 in .357 is a handful for me. I can shoot .38 specials and 9mm in full sized guns all day. Half a box of .357 is plenty for me at one session. Shooting my six inch model 14 in .38 apecial is like sitting in a rocking chair.
    I had a Ruger LCR for a short time and I found that little bugger nasty to shoot. I got rid of it and bought an M&P in 9mm. It’s light but easy to shoot.

    I can shoot my CZ-75 in 9mm all day but my 1911 is good for a box or so, The recoil of that .45 ACP isn’t punishing but I do find myself anticiating the recoil after a few of mags.

    In the calibers that I have shot, my recoil tolerance depends more on weight and ergonomics more than it does oncaliber.

    .357 mag in a 40 ounce gun is tolerable for me.
    .38 Special in a 13 ounce stubby is nasty for me.

    I don’t think I would like a judge in .45 colt .410.

  • Eric Baker

    I have a Taurus 444, which if some don't know is the Ultra-lite 44mag(28 ounces). I really enjoy shooting it and do on a routine basis. To me it's not too much gun. I also shoot a TC Encore in many calibers to include a 458 Baker(created by myself and my uncle). The starting loads for that cartridge are max loads for a 458 Win Mag, and also for myself is pleasant to shoot. I hunt with a handgun almost religiously so for myself I don't need to grab a rifle, I just grab a different barrel for my encore or a different revolver.

  • dancenbear

    im blown away by all the comments on here about to much recoil & pain … WHAT HAPPENED TO MEN … seriously guys !! while i agree that some featherweights & the redhawk 44 is uncomfortable to shoot i have never experienced anything that remotely resembled pain when firing a pistol

  • John K.

    Worst recoil was felt with a 500 S&W round out of a Tompson Center Encore Pistol. It almost peeled my thumb off and the web of tissue between my thumb and forefinger were swollen for nearly a month. Favorite is a .44magnum through my Ruger Super Redhawk. It is comfortable, accurate, and is great for long ranges. I shoot the Redhawk with iron sites only because with the 9.5 inch barrel and a scope it becomes too heavy to aim accurately even when supported with shooting sticks.

  • Wilburn Man

    Worst? Support handing either an LCR 380 or my Walther PPS in .40. Worst I've heard of was a guy who made a .50BMG singleshot pistol. As I understand the first time it was fired it blew tiles out of the suspended ceiling and backed drawers in the shooting desk out…

  • Bill Hockensmith

    You don't know what heavy recoil is until you shoot a Kimber 10mm which comes from the factory with a
    18.5 lbs. recoil spring.

  • Kevin Gilbert

    The two most important determining factors are grip design and weight-to-caliber ratio!

    One of the worst recoiling guns for me was a Walther PPKS in 380. I would not like the LCP and these guns are getting just two light for the cartridges-THIS IS WHY I DON'T LIKE POLYMER!!

  • Tracy Thorleifson

    The trend towards more and more powerful handgun rounds is just silly.

    I used to hot-rod the .45 Colt to surpass .44 Mag energy levels (250 gr. bullets at 1,450 fps). One day at the hunting lease, I discovered that I had not packed my hot-rod hunting rounds. But I had a handful of "plinking" rounds handy: 250 gr. Hornady XTP's sitting on 6.3 gr. of Hogdon TiteGroup . These plinkers more or less duplicate the original .45 Cot specs, loafing along at about 825 fps out of my 5.5 in. Ruger old-style Vaquero. I was hesitant to use them, but what the heck, I was only gunning for hogs. That evening I dropped a 250+ lb. boar hog at 20 yd.s from a tripod with a single round to the boiler room. The bullet went through and through – gristle plates, bone, and all. My son recovered that bullet by chance from the mud under the feeder; it expanded perfectly, and is sitting on my desk as I write this.

    Somewhere along the line I read that the original .45 Colt was really designed as an anti-horse round. Duke Venturino wrote an article some years back in which he duplicated the old pine board penetration tests. His .45 Colt load penetrated eleven 1" pine boards, if I remember right. Truthfully, does anybody really need more than that? I now routinely hunt with my .45 Colt "plinkers." They're a lot easier on my hands and ears. And they get the job done just fine.

  • Bryan

    The .44 is the absolute limit for me… and not too many of those please. In my youth I'm not sure there was a limit, it being cool to shoot the baddest thing around. Closing on my 50th birthday I like to think I'm a little wiser now.

  • northstar

    44mag in desert eagle gas system takes out just about all bad recoil compared to revolver type guns back strap on super blackhawk will start hurting after first six just diy guys all things that go boom are good

    • Thom

      If i can't do the job with a .357 I start looking at rifles.

  • Buford

    I enjoy shooting my S&W 500. Defiantly a hand full, I can't imagine anything bigger but I would be willing to try. The one hand gun I did not enjoy was a Lone Eagle single shot chambered in 308 Winchester. It was more of a sharp twist than a huge push.

  • DJayScha

    I hunt with a Ruger Super Redhawk in .454. My deer pistol for bear country. Gladly own .460 s&w or .500 s&w, just have to save my pennies.

  • Eugene Leonard

    I'm waiting for the 600 Mag. to come out I will buy one of those too.

    • blake

      can someone shoot a 44. magnam at the age of 14

  • Muddasser Awan Mib

    Point is can i have this thing in here … Pakistan… coz i dont know how to handle customs and taxes… any help

  • Dan Ess

    Didn't really start shooting handguns till I was 52; the only one I haven't shot is the 500S&W, but the 460V is definitely a smile maker : ) with the 200gr Hornady FTX. The 500 will likely never happen and even if it did, I don't think I'd shoot the maximum grain available, which to my knowledge commercially available is 700. But the recoil from a low grain bullet vs high grain are two different beasts. I'd rather shoot my model 629 3" 44mag with 240 or 300 gr. ammo than 180 or 200. I generally shoot between 24 and 36 rounds before I've had enough. When I go to the range I shoot 2 or 3 calibers plus a 22LR for warm up. When all is over I have spent about 200 to 250 rounds, the first 100 through the 22.

  • Henry

    The 44 mag is enough for me. I have shot some 45 colt loads in my Blackhawk that were down right scary. I got the load from a loading manual so it should be safe for that gun but the blast was so bad it was like shooting a flame thrower yikes. I made 50 rounds but have only shot 6. The rest I am saving for when the zombies attack

  • James Jaschob

    Another through process to recoil and How much is enough is what I used to gauge the max I will attempt. I have shot 44 and 45 cals in my life. But, personally I did not feel that I had enough control of the gun through touching it off and recoverey for a next shot. My line is if I can't keep my arms from comeing up more than 45 degrees from shooing position, I do not feel that I have enough controll of the firearm. Thus, I place my limit at teh 357 Mag. And with hand loading data from teh powder and firearm manufactures, there is plenty of ummph to make a person not want to fire more that a full 6 at once.

  • R. Stein

    After shooting a 6.5 inch S&W Model 29 for more than a decade, I decided I must now be immune to revolver recoil. My 8.38" S&W 500, proved otherwise. While I was not initially terrorized by the recoil, (thank goodness the 500 doesn't come with checkered walnut grips like the 29), once I started shooting anything over 400 grains, lets just say I had to really concentrate. Now maybe 1000 rounds later, I can actually print decent groups off hand with it, but with heavy bullets at full velocity you definitely know when you pull the trigger. Every time I shoot it at an indoor range, everyone else stops shooting and looks around with that WTF expression. It’s a load of fun but I don't think I'm ready to put multiple rounds into a grizzly at close range just yet.

  • SPKorn

    I would suggest .357 is the practical upper limit to shoot competently for most people

    My limit is the .44

    There is not pleasure after that

  • Wolf

    I think its really about the design of gun and grips.. I love PPK 380's, but i can shoot my Bersa 380 all day long compared to my PPK. I would rather shoot my S&W 29 44 mag than my S&W 19 in 357 mag.. My least favorite gun to shoot is my S&W 442 classic. My middle boy and I both agree, but My oldest boy loves it..My glock 27 40 cal gen 4 shoots better than my neighbors full size glock 40 gen 3. I think 45 acp is as easy to shoot as 9mm,,i hear most people comlplain about 45 me the 45 is more of a stronger push and the 9mm more of a quicker snap.. My kimber ultra carry 45 1911 is easier to shoot and control than my full size colt and kimber 1911's. Dont make sense but i like shooting most of the compact better than full size.. IMHO

  • Glider1266

    I don’t like shooting the Blackhawk 44 mag because the grip is rounded. I do like shooting my 3″ 629 w/Pachmayr grips. I own both S&W 500’s 8 3/8″ and 4″. The 4″ is a flame thrower w/factory ammo and after a cylinder or two i feel it in the web of my hand. The real stinger is the $3 a round. I doubt you’ll see any factory handgun over .50 cal., If i’m correct this would be considered a Destructive Device and requires special licenses and taxes per round! There’s some crazy elephant rifles out there I’m not shooting them in a hand gun. The rifle would knock me over LOL

  • Evan Frame

    I think where I draw the line for pistols is the .500. For rifles, I can handle almost anything that you throw at me.

  • Landon

    My first time shooting was when I was 8. My second time was two weeks ago. My buddy took me out on my land to show me all of his guns and to shoot them. I’m 30 yrs. old and weigh 240. I do spend some time in the gym but, love drinking beer instead. We started with 9mm sig and moved over to the 5.56 ar. Then I started feeling a bit more comfortable around the power. He pulled out the benelli 12 gauge and then he pulled out the .500 S&W and I feel in love! I was scared about shooting a 9mm and ended up shooting the .500 all day and the AR. Would love to see something even larger!! Man up !!

  • MMiikkee

    I can’t believe indoor ranges let you guys shoot 500 and 460’s. My indoor range won’t.

  • Barry A Clarke

    Once I showed my 16 year old daughter who weighted 100 pounds how to hold and shoot a FA 454 with 10 inch barrel and a full load of H110 with 300 grain XTP’s, she shoot all five rounds. Granted, she took a step back a few times, but shot all five rounds with decent group at 25 yards.

  • David

    Havent shot a pistol over .45acp but none of the 45s ive shot have ever hurt in the slightest I can put 30 rounds through and be ready for more (minus the ammo cost ha). One handed is completely fine with a .45 also, wish I had a chance to shoot a desert eagle.

  • brad

    i’ve been wondering if magnum research will build me a BFR in .458 win mag. my .500 S&W is nice enough but, even shooting 700gr bullets leaves me a little flat these days. the 5000+ ft/lbs of the belted magnum cartridge is intriguing…

  • Joseph Kool

    Anyone who doesn’t carry at least a ruger Alaskan 454 Casull is a wimp

  • Jason

    I bought a S&W Model 29 a year ago and have put several hundred rounds of 44 special through it, but less than 100 of 44 Mag. Recoil is of course the reason for this. The biggest handgun I had shot prior to this was 45 ACP but the biggest I owned and shot regularly was 9mm. The first few rounds I shot in 44 Mag tore my thumb up on the cylinder release. Over time, just shooting sporadically, I have gotten more used to it. I still flinch and am usually a little low with it, but much better than I was. I just bought reloading equipment and as the cost of shooting goes down and I get to go to the range more often, I’m sure the recoil will become very manageable. The funny thing is, a 45 ACP feels like a .22 now, so I shoot it really well. The trick to recoil management is practice.

  • Walter Bernhard

    Does anyone here know what the recoil would be like on a peacemaker clone in 44 mag with a 7 1/2 inch barrel?

    • Walter Bernhard

      I may be purchasing one soon, and I’m wondering if I should go for .357 or 44 magnum.

  • Humberto Tito Hernandez

    Thanks to my good friends over at Titan Arms I got to shoot the ,500 Smith & Wesson Magnum for the first time, I was expecting it to feel more or less like the .44 magnum shot from a Desert Eagle but it packed much more recoil than I expected. Once I shot the first round “with no gloves” It took some getting used and I knew this is not the type of handgun you would shoot at the range on a regular basis. For home defense propose I think it would be perfect though, I cant imagine anything that could remain standing after one shot . Over all very fun to shoot but be prepared to be sore for a few days!

  • Corey

    Try using a Speed Ledge. Try using a Speed Ledge, It works great! It is the BEST way to control recoil with any pistol.

back to top