The "Feel" of a Handgun

posted on March 18, 2014
wiley-clapp.jpg (1)

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.


Eotech Launches Anti
Eotech Launches Anti

EOTech Launches Anti-Counterfeit Measures

EOTech has launched a campaign targeting those who create and sell illegal copies of its military sighting systems.

The .405 Winchester: History and Performance

Now largely a forgotten footnote in cartridge development, the .405 Winchester was once the most powerful rimmed cartridge capable of use in a lever-action rifle and was a favorite of Theodore Roosevelt.

Colt Mustang .380 ACP: The Pocket-Size 1911

Based off the classic 1911 design, the small Colt Mustang chambered in .380 ACP is easily concealable and shares the same classic look in its tiny frame.

NRA Reschedules The Annual Members' Meeting

The NRA has rescheduled its Annual Members' Meeting to occur on Oct. 2, 2021 in Charlotte, NC.

The Men And Guns Of D-Day: 101st Airborne Division

Watch this segment of American Rifleman Television "The Men And Guns Of D-Day" to learn more about the men of the 101st Airborne Division, their stories and the firearms they used during "The Great Crusade."

Pat Garrett's Pistol Sells for Highest Price in History

The Colt Single Action Army revolver used by Pat Garrett to kill Billy The Kid sold at auction from Bonhams for more than $6 million dollars, in what is probably the highest price ever paid for a civilian firearm.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.