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The "Feel" of a Handgun

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The so-called “feel” of a handgun is a mighty subjective matter. I am very aware that making your decisions at a gun store counter is probably the way that most handgunners have to make their choices, but if there is any way to actually fire a sample of the gun, it should be done. Some guns just naturally feel very good in your hand, but don’t shoot very well. To me (and many other shooters), a Colt Woodsman feels very nice. But when you raise it to eye level for aiming, your wrist is bent and your shooting suffers. The actual contours of a pistol or revolver often sell the gun, but they are not necessarily best for shooting the gun.

Take those monster X-Frame S&W revolvers in .460 and .500 calibers. The grip frame is actually the same as the company’s K-Frame .38 and .357 revolvers, so the firm puts a nice hard rubber grip on them. That works OK, but try a set of Jordan Troopers from Herrett’s and the difference is huge. Those classic stocks were designed to vector recoil into the palm of the hand and it is much easier. Be careful in making choices, and whenever someone offers you the chance to shoot something different take it. Over time, you will build up a memory bank of experiences that help when you look at new handguns. Obviously, a gun store isn’t likely to let you try a brand new gun, which isn’t new if you shoot it.

Feel isn’t everything.

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