So, quick question:
Do sub compact guns, 9 mm in particular, have more felt recoil than larger guns? I was at the range killing some paper men with my .22 Neos, and decided I wanted to try out some 9 mm pistols, as I am looking at saving up for a concealed carry gun. I tried a S&W M&P and a SA XD, both in the sub compact setup. I felt like I was fighting to hold on to the gun every round I fired, even though the grips felt fairly good in my hands when not shooting. I guess I'm wondering if I've gotten spoiled by my .22, but I also don't remember my friends compact 1911 .45 having that much kick either. Thanks in advance for any input.
The extended mag on an M and P 9mm Shield is worth it. That gun feels great. PF9 with extended mag, good grip also. Proper grip goes a long way in helping control recoil. Firm grip with shooting hand, other hand wrapped around fingers of shooting hand. Perceived recoil will feel different. Be sure thumbs are together, do not have one behind the slide. Blood will flow.
They're all different. Ergonomics can make a big difference. I used to own a Sig P250 subcompact 9mm that was as tame as a marshmallow duck. I had a Ruger SR9c that was the same way, except that it was also incredibly accurate as well. Then there was the Ruger LC9, an absolutely horrid little ditty with massive felt recoil and slower than a cat crappin' molasses for follow up shots, and it couldn't hit the broad side of a galaxy. If I ever purchase another auto pistol, it will be a full size job. The lil' fellers just don't fit my big hammy hands very well.
'There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before.' -Sherlock Holmes
I was trying to do cup and saucer... Felt like it kept wanting to leap back at me. It was an XD with flush mag, not the extended, so I was also lacking a good place for my little finger, ...
While a cup and saucer may work well enough for .22 target shooting is not considered an adequate combat/defensive pistol grip (or at least it hasn't for the past 15 years or so).
Get a firm two handed, both thumbs facing forward towards the threat with your support hand fingers firmly (not death grip) covering your strong hand fingers on the gun.
This applies to both the full sized grips or the smaller "chopped" subcompact gripped guns.
This method will greatly control the recoil compared to the "cup and saucer method" espeically in the area concerning muzzle flip as you now have the mass of both your wrists and forearms as directly behind the recoiling bore axis of the gun as possible.
As stated before pretty much everything will have more felt recoil than a .22LR. If that is all you mostly shoot it may feel even more pronounced.
While 9mm is not a harsh recoiling caliber compared to .40 SW (which is very snappy in a subcomact) or .45 ACP it may feel a tad bit more snappy out of a subcompact frame.
Kaybe mentioned the new M&P Shield. If you can try one in 9mm do so, it is very thin and it comes with a 7 round flush fitting magazine and a slightly longer 8 round extended grip length magazine that lets you get all three fingers on the gun. It is very controllable and comfortable.
The gun is becoming very popular these days. Thin, concealable, light weight, lots of accessories for it, and a decent price (MSRP $499 with 2 mags).
It's not always the size of the dog in the fight. Often it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Good advice so far. The book "combat handgunnery" by Massad Ayoob has several grips and stances (the two most common being isoceles and Weaver/Mod Weaver). I use the two handed grip mentioned ^ but use thumbs locked (do much revolver shooting) with the support hand thumb locked over the shooting hand which is down and gripping the gun FIRMLY. I use a high VERY FIRM grip for the shooting hand (not support)--and find this works quite well. My reasoning is that it takes one more variable out of the equation and also dramatically minimizes gun movement while my trigger finger moves. Thumbs parallel or locked really isn't that much of a big deal but the good stance and grip is. I use thumbs locked because I find it gives me a more consistent and better grip to deal with sharply recoiling revolvers (J-frames with stout loads or the Public Defender variants with buckshot).
The compact 9mm will "snap" more but you will get used to it. I put pierce mag extenders on my Glock 26 which let the pinky have a little more leverage and result in more accurate shooting. The recoil from any subcompact is more than managable, but will be more than your .22--you will get used to it. DO GET SOME GOOD INSTRUCTION so that you do not develop bad habit patterns in grip. It's not possible to visualize someone over a website so this means in person. Once you get a good firm grip I think you will find recoil not to be too much of a big deal.
Lighter guns WILL recoil more than heavier ones; this is simple physics. Ammo types and velocities will also vary the recoil and felt recoil; higher velocity is more of a 'snap'. Grips can go a long way toward decreasing felt recoil as can good double hearing protection (which is more of a psychological thing). The big thing is never to anticipate recoil; keys to good shooting are a firm grasp, good body position (including breath), focus on the front sight, and having the gun not move from the point you squuuuueeeeeeeezzze the trigger until the bullet leaves the barrel.
Thanks for all the input. I think I will definitely get one of the range guys to help me out with grip and stance next time I'm there. What I've been doing has been good enough for .22, but I don't want to be just "good enough", if you know what I mean. I guess I was surprised as the 9 seemed to have more felt recoil than my buddy's .45, but I suppose that could be the difference between compact all steel 1911 and sub compact polymer... Or just that I haven't shot it, or anything bigger than my .22, for 2-3 weeks. Guess I've gotten complacent, ...
The compacts do have a little more snap than their bigger brothers. But I have been shooting the M&P 9 compact competitively with the 2 thumbs forward hold and shooting as accurately as anybody with a full size frame.
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Well, I guess that settles it, I need to work on my grip/stance more... Anyone relatively close to the Richmond metro area to help me out? Otherwise, I'll just try to get some time with one of the range trainers...