Defensive Pistols: Low-Recoil Options

Recoil sensitive shooters, or those who suffer from hand problems, must choose among caliber, weight, size and capacity when choosing defensive handguns. Here are some options that should do the trick. From the article “Defensive Pistols: Low-Recoil Options.”

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23 Responses to Defensive Pistols: Low-Recoil Options

Vinny wrote:
October 18, 2012

I am a senior and bought this but what I found out is that the slide is so hard to rack that it was very difficult. plus its design has the slide very close to hand and the slide would leave me with red marks in the web of my hand and I have medium sized hands. Sold it for a Sig P238 and it works out much better for me.

Jessica wrote:
October 15, 2012

@ Robert Brodie- Yes, there is a .327. I have one.

Jim wrote:
June 14, 2012

So - you're recommending a 327 MAGNUM for low recoil. I've never fired a 327 but this makes no sense to me. I'd rather load a GP 100 with standard pressure .38 sp ammo any day. Fired out of that lovely boat anchor, .38 sp feels like .22LR.

Randall wrote:
May 15, 2012

I have one of these guns and I am considering the rubber finger grips for extra recoil absorption. Great gun for small hands.

Jim Eaves wrote:
March 26, 2012

Have one on way from J&G Sales $240.00.Looked at 82 but dont like price of 9x18 ammo.It is also hard to find in small town.Wish it were standard 9mm. Very good write up..Thanks BigJim

Jason Burrell wrote:
March 03, 2012

I plan on owning a FiveSeven eventually based only on what I know of its performance but have you priced one yet? Cheapest I've seen was $999. Yikes.

brandon wrote:
December 16, 2011

i have been looking at getting this pistol for awhile now and am thinking of getting it when i return form afghan but what are people saying about this pistol?

Jake wrote:
December 10, 2011

After reading police stories of shoot outs i've realized the two most important things if rounds start flying is to hit your tatget in the CNS and to not run out of ammo. One story a cop shot a guy 5 times with a 357mag and the badguy shot him in the chest with a 22lr, the cop died and the badguy lived, another story an undercover cop got in a shoot out with a guy with a Glock 17 and he had a 5shot revolver, he hit the guy like 3 or 4 times but not where he needed to hit, he played dead after he ran out of rounds, thats the only reason he lived. What i've learned is you need to carry a gun you can shoot with pin point accuracy and you need to train with that same gun often, I now feel my Beretta 84 with 14rounds of 380 is a better carry gun then my Ruger SP 101 with 5rnds of 357, i sold my lcp and p3at. I dont think if your under fire your going to be able to make the shot with a tiny gun like that. Just my take on it,

Sig Smith wrote:
March 24, 2011

The P232 is the most unreliable gun I ever worked on. The German made P230 is the one to own.

Jerry wrote:
February 17, 2011

John, have you tried CDNN Sports yet? They have a great price for the PMR-30 and are always advertising it in their catalog.

ALS wrote:
December 05, 2010

Sights are very difficult to see, gun has been recalled in the last two years and I still have some quality problems with it. German engineers blah, blah, it's made here in the states under license and I can't wait to send it back, again.

Carlo Falco wrote:
November 27, 2010

Behold, the finest .380 ever made. This pistol is simply beautiful.

Carlo Falco wrote:
November 27, 2010

I would have to disagree that the .32 ACP is an excellent defensive round, thank you very much!

eugene lopez wrote:
November 21, 2010

a beautiful weapon easy handling feels full size in a small package.not as small as some but easy for ccw, used as a back-up for many a police officer, in pocket, ankle holster, and bellyband, or iwb.accurate & dependable.

Jim Althoff wrote:
October 26, 2010

I think this is a great cartridge but the pistol is way over priced. Will the price ever come down ?

Phil wrote:
October 25, 2010

I didn't know any body made a 22mag. pistol! let alone in a semi auto. I have been a 22mag. advocate for many years. I need to know more about this jem.

Bruce Jones wrote:
October 25, 2010

As a long-time .44 magnum shooter, my hands are now too damaged to shoot such calibers anymore. I am part of the market this article is aimed at, but only the PPK is old enough to have been seen on the range by me. I confess my prejudice in favor of revolvers means I would not seriously consider mos of the list here for my own use, if only because climate and the need for light clothing it brings reduce my consideration for physically large guns. My first of these for tryout would be the S&W .327 Magnum, but what I've seen of them still seems much too big for daily carry in the South. I agree with the author in many ways, but it also must be remembered that few of us will be shot at this year, unless we work in situations which produce exposure. If I consider danger to be imminent for some reason (and I am usually wrong in that these days, thank goodness) I still have my 1911A1 and my Glock 17 and a shoulder rig to carry them under my coat. I'll sweat rather than die, but not sweat every day when the odds are heavily stacked against an armed confrontation. And I still shoot well enough that my S&W 5 shot makes me feel reasonably safe.

Joseph De Luca wrote:
October 25, 2010

As an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor, I must strongly agree! One size and one caliber does NOT fit all! What works for me at 70 years of age doesn't necessarily work for my wife, nor her friend the arthritic neighbor or the handicapped retired chap down the street. The point is "better a small caliber low recoil firearm vs "tussling" of a 100 lb female with a 2 large vicious home invaders". Better a small handgun than hands, feet and teeth!!! The odds are then much improved. Great article!!!

Robert Brodie - Life Member wrote:
October 25, 2010

On your Ruger SP101 you state that it is a .327. I have a 101 and it is a .357. Is there a .327 or is this a misprint?

John R. Harbison wrote:
October 25, 2010

Why talk about a pmr-30 from Kel-Tec when it is impossible to order one. I have had one ordered from to dillerent dealers for months

Bob W wrote:
October 25, 2010

Wife has small, weak hands. Couldn't rack my Glock. After much research, bought her two Bersa Thunder 380s. Excellent choice, lifetime guarantee, consistent performance on the range, exceptional price. I added Pearce grip extenders for steadier grip.

Keith Hamilton wrote:
October 25, 2010

I am 70 plus, with medium hand strength, and I had to rid myself of this one as I could not draw the slide. Onbly on the PPK 22 could I work the slide.

Mike wrote:
October 21, 2010

Why didn't you consider the .357 magnum loaded with .38 special? Low recoil and several good choices as far as price.