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May 23, 2015


James Nelson

Certainly the ability to handle recoil is an individual thing, I once let a 16 year old girl shoot my Redhawk in.44 magnum with full power loads and she giggled after each round. In the years that I was shooting weekly, I saw many first time shooters, mostly women, trying unsuccessfully to handle some little .38 special revolver. Those that I could get to try something else (most of them) usually fell in love with a larger revolver or semiauto. The most popular gun I loaned to them was a Makarov in 9x18. Small enough to conceal, all steel for a decent weight, and a cartridge with reasonable recoil and very cheap at the time.

K.N. McBride

I get your point about calibers, but I'm trying to keep this simple. The nomenclature is a confusing enough without getting into the weeds. I've tried to explain that .38 isn't really .38 a to new shooters a couple of times and the glazed expressing in their eyes convinced me to stop.

I'm going to heartily disagree with you on the .38 revolver. The lovely (but very petite) Sithkitten has a Taurus 85 titanium with a tiny little barrel and she finds it very easy to control, even with +P rounds.

You are however absolutely correct that it is an individual thing. Doing some comparative research is essential. I'll feature that in a later piece.

James Nelson

I'll only do one gun snob comment, .38 calibers are not .38 inches, they are .355 to.361 diameters depending in the individual cambering. 9 millimeter rounds are all .355 inches, modern .38 special bullet diameters are .357, the old 38 S&W (now obsolete) is .361.
While everyone should have the largest caliber they can comfortably and accurately shoot, for some people that is a much less than magnum. Proper fitting of the handgun to the person's hand will let them properly shoot a somewhat heavier caliber.
In my experience, one of the 2 most important things a newbie can know is little guns kick way out of proportion to their caliber, smallest gun for a newbie is a medium sized frame. A Bersa .380 as opposed to a Kel-Tec P3-AT comes to mind. The second thing is that gun stores exist to sell things, not as a font of all gun wisdom. That is people who work in guns stores may know what they are talking about or not.
For God's sake do not buy a light weight short barrel .38 special revolver. They are noisy, uncomfortable and difficult to shoot accurately and have put many beginners off of guns.

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