SP101 revolvers have long been appreciated for their compact design and durable construction. Federal's 85-grain Hydra-Shok jacketed hollow point leaves the barrel at 1,400 fps, producing 370 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. If the recoil of an 85-grain hollow point is still too stiff for the shooter, the revolver can be loaded with a milder .32 H&R Magnum ammunition.
Caliber: .327 Federal Magnum Capacity: 6 Weight: 28 oz. Barrel Length: 3.06" Overall Length: 8" Front Sight: Black Ramp Rear Sight: Windage Adjustable Action: Single/Double Action
Smith & Wesson took advantage of the .327's smaller case diameter to build a J-Frame revolver with a six -round cylinder. They also added a Carry Comp port to the 3-inch barrel to reduce the moderate recoil of the .327 even more. This revolver offers an ideal balance of weight, size and recoil management. To reduce recoil even more, the Model 632 can also be loaded with .32 H&R Magnum ammunition.
Caliber: .327 Federal Magnum Capacity: 6 Weight: 24.5 oz. Barrel Length: 3" Overall Length: 7.5" Front Sight: Pinned Serrated Ramp Rear Sight: Adjustable Action: Single/Double Action
This pistol offers the largest magazine capacity of the .380 handguns we considered. With legally armed citizens currently choosing to carry pocket pistols that contain six or seven rounds, a pistol with a 19+1 capacity should be taken seriously. The double-stack magazine gives this pistol's grip a full-size pistol feel while still maintaining a low unloaded weight of 18.1 ounces.
Caliber: .380 ACP Capacity: 19 +1 (10+1) Weight: 18.7 oz. Barrel Length: 3.25" Overall Length: 6.125" Frame: Medium Sights: Fixed Action: Double-Action Only (DAO)
As one of the world’s finest firearms manufacturers, Sig Sauer has a proven track record of excellence in pistol engineering. The P232 is a commendable pistol for its fit, finish and snag-free design. The single-stack magazine design offers a slim grip profile for smaller hands, while still offering enough weight to help mitigate recoil. These pistols arrive from the factory with night sights installed.
Like its larger brethren, this CZ 83 has a conventional double to single-action trigger which allows the pistol to be "cocked and locked." The elongated tang helps to prevent hammer bite for people with large hands. The CZ 83 is on the heavy side for this review, but the 28.8 ounce weight will work to reduce felt recoil for shooters who can comfortably handle it.
Beretta has a reputation for building durable, accurate pistols, and the 84FS is no exception. The best features of Beretta's 92FS pistol are mirrored in this smaller, lighter handgun that produces less recoil. Unlike the 85FS, which has an 8-round, single-stack magazine, the 84FS can be loaded with a 13 round double-stack magazine. The 84FS has the right balance of weight and capacity for use as a low-recoil defensive pistol.
The single-stack magazine version of this pistol is highly popular for concealed carry. Owners appreciate the quality they receive for the reasonable price they pay. The Thunder Plus is the same pistol as the Thunder, but with a wider grip to accept a double-stack 15-round magazine.
Thanks to Mr. Bond, James Bond, movie fans around the world are familiar with the Walther PPK. However, shooters may not be aware that this high-quality, ultra-reliable pistol is also available in .32 ACP. The features of the PPK that make it exceptionally shooter friendly when chambered in .380 ACP are enhanced with the reduced recoil provided by the .32 ACP round.
This pistol offers positive features usually reserved for full-size defensive pistols, such as large sights and deep slide serrations, but in a more compact, light-weight package. The polymer frame of this gun is quick to handle and manage when chambered in .380, but it becomes an excellent example of a low-recoil defensive pistol when chambered in .32 ACP. The lower stopping power of the .32 ACP round is nicely offset by the 10+1 capacity double-stack magazine.
This pistol was designed with shooter ergonomics in mind. Every effort was made to reduce the weight of the pistol, but not at the cost of the shooter’s comfort. The controls are user friendly, and the slide is exceptionally easy to cycle. The 5.7x28 mm is a powerful round for the moderate level of recoil it produces. The Five-seveN can launch a 31-grain bullet at 2,350 feet-per-second, which yields 394 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. In addition to 10- and 20-round magazines, 30-round extended magazines are also available for the Five-seveN.
Caliber: 5.7x28 mm Capacity: 20+1 (10+1) Weight: 20.8 oz. Barrel Length: 4.8” Overall Length: 8.2” Height: 5.7” Width: 1.4” Sights: Adjustable Three-Dot or Night Sights Action: Single-Action Only (SAO)
The PMR-30 is an excellent low-recoil defensive pistol. Its low weight and full-sized grip make it easy to hold and shoot. Fully loaded, the pistol only weighs about 20 ounces. It has a light, smooth trigger pull, and the slide is exceptionally easy to operate. The pistol is topped off with large, bright fiber-optic sights. The PMR-30's greatest strength, the almost non-existent recoil generated by the .22 Magnum cartridge, is also its greatest weakness. This is because the .22 Magnum has low stopping power compared to cartridges like the .380 ACP and .32 ACP. However, the lower power of the .22 Magnum round is offset by the pistol’s 30+1 capacity.
Caliber: .22 Magnum (WMR) Capacity: 30+1 (10+1) Weight: 13.6 oz. Barrel length: 4.3" Overall Length: 7.9" Height: 5.8" Width: 1.3" Sights: Fiber Optic Action: Single-Action Only (SAO)