Friday, April 10, 2015

Six Ways to Survive your Drive to Work

Six Ways to Survive your Drive to Work
… and a new AR15 is not one of them.

When it comes to survival discussions, nearly everyone gets all excited and nerdy over the latest and greatest gadget, gizmo, and gear. I suppose it is human nature to get more excited about tools than the most important survival tool - “thinking”. Recently I was forcibly exposed to a “drivers safety” class after getting caught going far beyond the posted speed limit. Yes, I am a speeder, always have been, and without conscious thought, probably always will be; a trait I marry with another trait of extreme impatience. Though I accomplished my goal of having the ticket dismissed and a no points pulled from my license, I did actually learn a few things about surviving. Realistically the mayan, zombie, EMP, Gas Shortage, economic collapse, and alien invasion probably will not happen this year, however in the interim I need get to work. On the other hand, you are cruising down a rural road to your favorite hunting or fishing haunt and bam, then next thing you remember is waking up in a hospital. Statistically we have the highest likelihood of dying while driving.

1. Situational Awareness - Gone are the the days of Stop, Look, Listen, & Live and in is a more relevant Recognize, Understand, and Act, because after all if you see something that is not right when you are doing 90 in a 60, slamming on your brakes to look around and listen is not the best course of action.  Especially when you are talking to your wife on the the phone when the radar detector goes off while going 90 - it could happen. Distilling this down they noted that an actionable situationally aware person could avoid well over 90% of potential accidents. Included in this statistic was refraining from mentally altering legal or illegal substances.

2. Wear Your Seat Belt - Over 53% of those killed in car accidents were not wearing seatbelts. The statistics typically used are that wearing a seatbelt will increase your survivability by 45% and reduce your probably of injury by 60%. Those involved in higher speed accidents who are not wearing their seatbelts are 30 times more likely to be throw from the vehicle. Statically you don’t fair well at that point with 3 out of 4 dieing after being “thrown clear”. Having been in a few accidents, I am a seatbelt guy and based on these stats and odds I will continue to be. Airbags obviously are a lifesaver as well, however not everyone has them and alone they are not as effective as when a seatbelt is also used.

3. Close and Lock your Doors - I found little to support statically that locking your doors would decrease the probably of your doors flying open in an accident, however every source and piece of information presented to us during the class highly recommended it. I recommend it simply because it secures the vehicle and prevents anyone from walking by your car and opening a door. Logically it should also provide a barrier to potential carjackings.

4. Adjust your Head Restraint - The Insurance Institute for Highway safety notes that as many as 66% of all “severe” accidents result in a neck injury, however over 50% could be avoided by proper heat restraint adjustment. I tend to like my neck and the thing attached to it, so I take the second required to reach back and adjust my head support before backing out of the garage at 40MPH.

5. Stop Using a Cell Phone in the Car - Situational awareness was noted above, but this deserves its own special section. Why? Using a cell phone while driving is a triple manual, visual, and cognitive distraction. Mythbusters tested this and it was shown to be as bad or worse than driving drunk. Since then, a significant amount of testing has validated this great show’s data. Even worse is texting because you also have to look at the screen while using at least two thumbs for typing... so that leaves only 80% of your hands and 5% of your mind able to concentrate on not killing yourself. Accorinding to IIHS.org statistics you are four times (yes 4) more likely to be involved in an accident when using a cell phone. You have to ask yourself punk, was that call or text worth dieing for?

6.  Avoid the Four Highest Percentage Fatal Accidents - #1 Speeding, #2 Right of Way Confusion, #3 Crossing the Centerline, #4 Tailgating/Following Too Closely. Oddly enough there has a been a spike of all four of these deadly accidents with the invention of the cell phone. The distracted driver tends to do all four.

If you are going to die in a car accident, 32% of the time it involves speeding. As a State validated member of the high speed club I will admit that I have had more close calls due to going a bit fast than going slow. If you want to die, you can do it faster by Speeding.

Unless you are complete butthole behind the wheel with rage issues let the other driver pass and give yourself some working room when making turns or at crossways. The highest percent of fatalities are due to a left turn. Though less deadly than speeding, 41% of all accidents occur when someone turns left into oncoming traffic - IIHS.org. The percentage goes up if you include right turns, parking lot accidents, and other accidents. Watch your left!

If you are going to get into an accident crossing the centerline is worse than playing Russian Roulette. This accident kills 53% of the occupants on average simply because a head on collision between two 45MPH cars colliding from opposite directions is the same as a 90 MPH crash. It is deadly and then number one, two and three causes are cell phone use/texting, distracted driver, or an impaired driver.

Tailgating surprising kills more people than you would think and represents most neck injuries due to the shear number of these accidents. 23% of all accidents are tailgating related causing 5% of the fatalities of all traffic accidents. My advice is to back off a bit. You hugging their bumper will probably result in a butt whooping or at at least higher insurance rates.

Say alert my friends and survive another day going to work, to the hunt, to school, or to the range. It is surprising that its not the thing we do every day that is one of the most deadly threats we face.

Kahr CT9 Value Priced 9mm Pistol Review

Kahr CT9 Value Priced 9mm Pistol Review

About a month ago, I reviewed Kahr’s CT45 .45ACP which is essentially the identical marginally larger version of the CT9 9mm pistol here. The CT9 deserved a separate review simply because it delivers a size and shape which may be one of the best pistols for small handed shooters.

I am a fan of the Kahr pistol lines and models. Among the sea of companies who wanted to offer a pistol too, Kahr has delivered an exceptional design which is actually different and not just another functional copy with a different logo. The Kahr design basically offers all the safety benefits of the Glock pistol, minus the trigger split tongue safety, into a Kahr pistol design which has a simpler fire control mechanism. To me, the simplicity of the Kahr design is one of its primary selling points and one of the main reasons why the pistols are stone cold reliable.  I have been carrying and shooting the Kahr CM9 for almost two years and never had an issue with reliability.

The CT9 9mm is the same philosophy as the CM9 "Value Version" of the PM9. The new CT45 and CT9 models are the "Value Versions" of Kahr's high end pistol models. What a brilliant idea - Kahr asked the public, "How about we sell a less expensive version of our $600 pistols for around $390 on the street." People rejoiced, glasses were poured with fine scotch, super models posed, the iPhone 6 was released shortly after, and shooters stormed gun counters with money in hand... well some of that happened. The value line of Kahr pistols is a terrific idea and delivers a straightforward gun with proven reliability minus a few cosmetic points. Where my previously reviewed CT45 was chambered in .45 ACP, this CT9 is in a slim 8+1 capacity concealable 9mm package.

FIT, FINISH, FEEL, & FEATURES
The fit on the CT9 is the same as any of Kahr's higher end pistols I have handled and shot. Even the internals are the same as the high end models. The biggest difference between the high end and value line is the additional machine work on the slide, the higher grade surface finish on the slide, milled vs cast slide release, and the more expensive metal sights versus the polymer versions. If you want a little more contoured pistol with a bit better finish and more durable sights, the higher end models may be a better choice, however for the majority of us who just need a gun for CCW and home defense, the extra luxury is not required or needed.


Comparing even these "Value" lines to the competition, you see some huge differences. The slides and barrels for instance are machined from stainless steel instead of standard carbon ordnance grade steel. The slide release is an actual dimensionally manufactured part versus being a stamped part. The sublimely awesome trigger is actually metal versus being polymer as are the magazines. Even the recoil spring is a stainless double captive spring recoil assembly.

Like all Kahr pistols, the trigger feel is closer to a really light, smooth and crisp double action revolver than a striker fired pistol trigger. Every Kahr pistol features the same operational internal design which is a trigger cocking DAO (Double Action Only); lock breech "Browning - type" recoil lug design. Pulling the trigger disengages the passive striker block safety, finishes cocking the gun and then completes the firing cycle by releasing the spring loaded firing pin. It is an extremely safe design which in many ways works more like a revolver then a striker fired pistol. Thankfully, Kahr only offers external safeties only on a handful of models, but the vast majority of pistols in their line are free including the CT9 and void of any external safeties or magazine disconnect safeties. So yes, you can fire the gun without a magazine in the gun which is good because I consider the Magazine Safety the most retarded firearm invention ever.


Thanks to the double recoil spring assembly, the CT9 is really very easy to hand cycle and charge. One of my biggest pieces of advice to new gun buyers is to assure they can hand cycle the gun. If they cannot due to either gun ergonomics, spring tension, or hand strength, they should move on to another gun no matter how much they want that gun. In the case of the CT9, even younger and small frmed female shooters should find them extremely easy to manipulate.

Consider the price of these Value Line guns given the quality and you really start to appreciate the high quality of Kahr's value line which is better in many cases than most regular production handguns on the market.

The CT9 represents a very aggressive $390 price point. It is way down under the price of most of the used Glocks, Walthers, S&W, and H&K pistol lines and you end up with a new gun with full manufacturer warranty. Kahr is also one of the very few companies who uniquely offer only single stack magazine designs. For the less-free Americans living in communist states faced with 10-round magazine limits, the Kahr pistols make a ton of sense. The gun's design begs the question, why would you carry around an extremely large gun with a truncated capacity magazine when a slim gun would do the job.


Another benefit of Kahr's single stack design is that they are very slim and trim guns which fit the hands of gals and dude with small to medium hands. They are basically the logical common opposite of the made for giants Magnum Research Desert Eagle. If you fall into the smaller hand category, I would highly recommend Kahr pistols. In the case of the CT9, the shooter is greeted with an impressibly slim and small grip which is so slim that it actually makes you think that you are shooting a .380 chambered gun. The overall profile is a bit shorter than the CT45 and actually a little smaller than a Glock 19 profile. The Kahr grip is not particularly ergonomic in the same way as a 1911, however it somehow still delivers a comfortable grip. Kahr does a good job not going nuts with over texturing the grips and focuses on the front and back straps which provide excellent grip.

Before the Walther PPQ and H&K VP90 entered the market with jaw dropping trigger feels, I would have said that Kahr had the best trigger in any polymer pistol.  In reality, Kahr pistol's triggers still have a better smooth stacking single action feel from the beginning to the break, however the PPQ and VP90 just happen to have more crisp final break at this time.

The CT Value Series also most to traditional rifling versus the accuracy increasing hex rifling. I have shot both types of barrels and don't really see you give up much at all when it comes to a defensive pistol shot at combat distances. There is an accuracy difference, however from a defensive pistol perspective it is such a marginal difference I would not consider it a relevant point. What I would point out is that this budget pistol has the ability to consume cast bullets whereas the high end hexagonal rifled models do not have the same ammo flexibility and can only digest plated rounds due to leading issues with cast bullets on the Hex rifling.  Though the accuracy may be a bit better with the hex rifled models, you can shoot far less expensive home case lead bullets in the Value CT 45 and CT9 models for practice.

Essentially the CT9 is the same DOA (Double Action Only) Kahr design which the company designs into all its pistols. From a size perspective you basically get a compact commander DOA 1911 sized gun without any external safeties in a 8+1 magazine capacity.


FUNCTIONS & ACCURACY
I have come to expect that Kahr pistols deliver reliability on par with other more known pistol brands and this is what both the CT45 and CT9 delivered. I pushed a little over 250 rounds of various ammo from Hornady, Winchester, Federal, CCI, Wolf, Liberty Extreme Velocity, and even some handloads and I did not have any stoppages or malfunctions of any kind in either the CT45 or the CT9 with similar rounds. Functionally they are simple pistols which just freaking work.

Accuracy was pretty standard defensive grade accuracy similar to the CT45. I found the CT9 just a hair more accurate than the CT45, but not by much. Expect around 2" 10-yard unsupported groups and about the same off sandbags at 25-yards with most quality ammo. Reloads may change those groups a little or a lot. The CT9 did not seem to be as picky with my reloads, so either I did a better job with those 9mm reloads or it simply has less ammo preference to deliver still deliver good accuracy.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Generally in this price realm of sub-$400, buyers are looking at the HiPoint and KelTec lines or the questionable "import knockoff" models or used police trade ins to get into this price point. Even the Taurus lines have a tough time getting into the sub-$400 price range. I think Kahr has made a brilliant decision to offer this quality at this price.

The CT9 is a great size which is just big enough to make it fun to actually shoot at the range, but in smaller package which is an awesome carry gun size. The CT line delivers a very slim profile which makes for a mighty comfy concealed carry gun even in this full sized pistol. Shooters with mid-small sized hands such as the new female shooter market should really take a hard look at Kahr and try to overlook the pin up girl marketing of the company. In a 9mm chambered CCW gun, I think Kahr has introduced a category killer which will drive other manufacturers catch up in this value priced category.

SPECS
Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 8+1
Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; "Browning - type" recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
Barrel: 3.965", conventional rifling; 1 - 10 right-hand twist
Length O/A: 6.5"
Height: 5.08"
Slide Width: 0.90"
Weight: Pistol 18.5 ounces, Magazine 2.1 ounces
Grips: Textured polymer
Sights: Drift adjustable white bar-dot combat rear sight, pinned in polymer front sight
Finish: Black polymer frame, matte stainless steel slide
Magazine: 1 - 8 rd Stainless
MSRP $449 - Street $370


SOURCES

Magnum Research .22LR MLR-22ATU Rimfire Rifle with 18-inch Ultra Tensioned Barrel Review

Magnum Research .22LR MLR-22ATU Rimfire Rifle with 18-inch Ultra Tensioned Barrel Review

The graphite barreled MLR22AT from Magnum Research rifle I tested about a year ago was  about half the price of any of the rifles I tested in my Ultimate 10/22 shootout. That graphite barreled delivered performance and accuracy which was nipping at the heals of high dollar competition 10/22’s brands like Kidd, Volquartsen from a performance perspective. The Magnum Research 10/22 clone rifles are kinda like the guy in the tweaked Nissan 300Z who can keep up and occasionally beat the guys in $1 Million sports cars.”  It does it all at a $560-$599 + optic MSRP instead of $1000+optic MSRP.

For the price, the Magnum Research MLR-22 line is one hell of a head turner on the bench and down range when inspecting the tiny groups. The same buddy who had previously shared a similar comment on the graphite barreled model again asked “why would I buy anything else when this is under $600?” Indeed, the Magnum Research 10/22 MLR-22 line is a phenomenal deal when it comes to performance and all the extras included.


Magnum Research now also offers the MLR22ATU with the same specs as the original model but with a lightweight tensioned 18” aluminum sleeved barrel instead of the graphite barrel all at a price that is about $30-$40 less expensive than the previous graphite barreled model.

ABOUT MAGNUM RESEARCH
If you have watched ANY action movie in the last decade you know Magnum Research.  Their giant semi-auto Desert Eagle pistol in powerful .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .50 AE (Action Express) calibers are often nickel or gold plated and are the kick butt feature firearm of more than a few action heroine and villain.  What you may not know about Magnum Research is that they have a unnoted goal of producing unbelievably accurate firearms.  

This accuracy goal is nothing new, I owned a .22LR Mountain Eagle pistol and it was amazingly accurate... kinda sick about selling it.  Today, Magnum Research’s proprietary graphite barrels have become know as tack drivers from this 10/22 line to their new Blueprinted 700 bolt action rifles. I also own a .357 magnum Desert Eagle.

Magnum Research is also famous for their strategic industry relationships focused on making good production products better than ever.  Recently, a relationship with Walther to produce their MR9 pistol has made a Walther influenced design even better than the original design.

Their Remington 700 blueprinted action centerfire rifles have transformed a standard 700 into an ultralight stunningly accurate big game rifle.  In a similar strategy, Magnum Research has transformed the stock Ruger 10/22 into a price leading custom rifle at a great deal which should scare the heck out of competitors.

THE MAGNUM RESEARCH MLR22ATU BUILD SPECS
The Stock MLR22ATU hovers around a very low $500 street price.  Magnum Research shipping these rifles very nicely equipped with a CNC billet upper receiver, billet machined match bolt, custom charging handle, lightweight stock, and proprietary aluminum sleeved tensioned barrel with Benz target chamber. The trigger group is stock Ruger spec.

I will note that shooters are doing this rifle a disservice if they do not upgrade to a match trigger such as a Timney Match trigger assembly. This performance is great out of the box, however you can easily expect group sizes to improve by 20-30% just with a high quality match trigger upgrade to push the performance in line with the other top shooting custom 10/22 rifles.  Even if you do spring for an aftermarket  $200 trigger upgrade, the total street price is still well under $750 for the rifles minus the optic which in some cases is about half the price of the top end 10/22 builds I have tested previously.

Where I went inexpensive on the initial MLR-22AT review with a Bushnell Banner scope, on this aluminum barreled model I added a $420 Lucid 4x-16xx44mm Crossover Scope to complete the build; the total build as equipped was only $964 with the optic. Some will note that this optic is a bit overboard for a 10/22 .22LR rifle, however I would disagree on several fronts. Clarity is key to accuracy and if you have a very high end optic, you will certainly deliver better accuracy downrange. Although LUCID is a newer brand, they are delivering stunning optics for the money which would cost 30% more from one of the major brand names for the same quality. The LUCID 4-16 also features a tree’ed L5 MOA reticle which is very handy once you realize that the accuracy this gun can deliver does not stop at 50-yards. I was accuracy and reliably delivering shots out to 200-yards with this reticle tree.

FIT, FINISH, FEEL, & FEATURES
The old MLR22-AT with 16” graphite barrel (still available) and the new MLR22-ATU Aluminum Sleeve 18” barrel feature roughly the same exact components with the exception of the barrels. Honestly I was pretty blown away at the capabilities of this rifle considering its price and weight even with the stock Ruger trigger assembly.  The rifle is stupid crazy lightweight at only 4.5lbs.  

The MLR22ATU is a bit showier than the older model due to the beautiful aluminum sleeved barrel and is subtlety cool all dressed up in black. The billet machined receiver is every bit as nice as any of the other custom receivers I have tested and contributes overall to a very well made rifle.

The trigger is a stock Ruger 10/22 unit which means it is far from a premium match trigger, however the “newer version” Ruger 10/22 stock trigger is “not bad” but still far from Ruger’s now even newer BX-Trigger. The reality is the accuracy increases by about 20% from this Aluminum Sleeved MLR22ATU after dropping in a match Timney trigger. But as is in stock form, this rig can still get shooters consistently into the high .1xx’s" and low .2xx”  range groups at 50-yards with a clear optic like the LUCID. With Timney upgrade, the groups consistently shrank into the .1xx” size groups at 50-yards.

Magnum Research upgraded to a stock Ruger extended magazine release from the earlier model I tested and also added the two sling studs I asked for in previous review of the graphite barrel model.  I also noticed that Magnum Research now includes precision turned and hardened receiver pins versus the stock Ruger Models. Where the older graphite model was only available without a threaded barrel, the new MLR22-ATU offers a threaded barrel option for a $40 upcharge. There is a lot to love about this new model even over the older model.

The bolt is not showy but is an in house precision billet machined part which has all the extra tuning features such as pinned firing pin and correctly dimensioned face. It is a well finished part, however it does not include the extra little decorative cuts like you see on some other custom 10/22 bolts. The charging handle is big, however perfect for a working mans rifle; I love it.  You can even work the bolt with big heavy mittens in the bitter cold or in my case taking a shot out of the garage at a target of opportunity with welding gloves on.


The stock itself was light and sturdy and an excellent interpretation of a Boyds Evolution stock but far lighter and due to the weight, I like it better on this rifle, however it is designed around a shorter overall length of pull. The Magnum Research MLR22AT packs a lot of great components into this rifle that I would use in future builds, however they are already conveniently packaged into an affordable ready-to-go rifle. This is a scary efficient rifle that puts the upgrades where they matter.

ACCURACY
I am fortunate that I can test both the graphite and tensioned barreled models side by side. The graphite model has the edge on accuracy but not by much. It may be that my older MLR22-AT just has a more worn in trigger, but I consistently see groups several hundredths of an inch smaller with the older graphite barrel. When you are talking hundredths of an inch it could just be an difference in ammo preference or optic clarity.  Like the older model, the new aluminum tensioned barrel prefers CCI Standard Velocity, however what I did uncover was that out of the box the aluminum sleeved version seemed to be more consistent across various ammo than the older graphite barrel. The graphite barrel MLR22-AT took quite a while to break in to see that same consistency, where this new aluminum version has seem to be only marginally tighten up groups over a period of time.

The barrel is not just an aluminum sleeve over a stainless barrel liner, it is a tensioned stainless barrel liner. In theory a tensioned barrel will deliver higher accuracy and the aluminum sleeve will aid in heat dissipation to further increase accuracy.  Of note, the MLR-22ATU's barrel is pre-tensioned and non-adjustable, so you cannot "tune" the barrel yourself. Tensioned barrels basically apply tension or lightly stretch the barrel at each end of the barrel to increase barrel strength, reduce harmonics, and in the end increase accuracy.

Magnum Research again used a .22LR Benz match chamber for the MLR-22ATU model. Though some accuracy advantages can be had with proprietary match chambers, the Benz match chamber has shown to deliver exceptional accuracy without having the finicky nature usually associated with super tight match chambers.

The widely available CCI Standard Velocity rounds have become my favorite everyday round as they consistently deliver 10-20 shot groups of only .5” at 50-yards, however Lapua Center X, Xact, and SK Standard also delivered exceptional results with some of the smallest .124” 5-shot 50-yard groups I shot.

The Magnum Research 10/22 rifles are extremely reliable. One thing I liked best with the old model was an absence of non-ammo related malfunctions and this rifle delivered the same flawless reliability.   

The question you have to ask yourself is whether you want a custom $1200 showy match rifle that shoots match ammo really well or two rifle for $1200 which are light, includes most of the asked for features, shoots Mini-Mags and CCI Standard Velocity ammo really well, and is ready for the next level trigger upgrade whenever you are. Even when adding a top end optic such as this LUCID and a Timney trigger, the shooter is still under $1000 complete for a 10/22 rig which is just a fraction of a hair under the performance of rigs $500 more expensive.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Top to bottom this is an awesome super accurate and reliable setup, however it does not have the finish quality and refinement of the Force or Kidd custom 10/22s. It is clear to me that Magnum Research wanted to produce a competition killer at a very competitive price and they did.  It makes you wonder why you would buy a heavy cumbersome expensive rifle. For a first 10/22 for especially for kids this would be top of my list.  

Generally new shooters have a tough time managing heavy rifles anyway, so this makes it just that much more friendly for new shooters.  The MLR22ATU is far from a beginners gun and will hang with the top end rigs almost shot for shot and do it will less expensive ammo. It packs everything on an owners ultimate 10/22 wishlist with the exception of a match trigger all in a $560 rifle.  When you have the money, add a match trigger and it is everything you need in a package you will not be terrified to use.

Though the trigger is stock, the rifle still delivered some outstanding groups and continues to do so, but groups tightened when the Timney trigger was added.  I believe Magnum Research has chosen a sweet spot that lives in an area where a rifle gets used, scratches, scraped, bumped, and flogged in the field, on the range, and even serve as a light training rifle youngsters. This rifle has proven its accuracy potential can hang with the big names of 10/22 precision all in a package you are not afraid to use. The best part is that if you are dead set on spending $1200 for precision 10/22s, then you could buy a set of these...

SPECS
Model MLR22ATU
Caliber .22LR
Barrel 18" - 1:16 twist
Weight 4 lbs 8 oz
Length 36 1/8” overall
Length of Pull 13-⅝”
Sight Integral Scope Base
Stock Ambidextrous Thumbhole Stock
Magazine One 10 Round - Ruger Rotary 10/22 Magazine

SOURCES


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Size Matters & Newton’s Third Law of Physics Applies to Firearms

Size Matters & Newton’s Third Law of Physics  Applies to Firearms

Newton’s Third Law - When one body exerts Force (Mass X Acceleration) on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body. - Isaac Newton

All too often, I hear new shooters say that they do not like recoil so they want to buy a small dinky lightweight handgun. Well unfortunately, Mr. Newton would vehemently disagree with them on this common misperception.  The main problem is that a "small" sub-compact gun half the size and a quarter the weight of a full sized handgun is typically not shooting a round 50%-75% less powerful. Most are still shooting the same 9mm or .38 Special ammo in just a smaller sized gun. The result is that when all the power contained in the round is let loose from pulling the trigger, approximately 300-400 ft/lbs of energy, the bullet energy going forward must be completely managed via the mechanical internals of the gun, leverage, or weight or you will feel recoil. The reality is that no gun manages recoil completely and you will feel some degree of recoil; sometime less, sometimes more.

A 9mm powered custom Salient International
Glock 17 is a delight to shoot.
Especially with handguns, size does matter and in almost all cases, a larger heavier gun will shoot with greater control, be easier to operate, deliver better accuracy, and deliver far less kick/recoil to the shooter. In most cases this rule also applies to revolvers as well.

TRANSLATING NEWTON’S THIRD LAW FOR FIREARMS - No matter how you slice it according to old Newton, when you have 400 ft/lbs of energy leave the front of the barrel, force equaling that 400 ft/lbs of energy is coming back into your hand and it needs to be dissipated in some way.
Kahr's tiny 9mm CM9 shoots the same
ammo as the the Custom Salient
Glock 17 above and its snappy
to shoot.

When one body (the explosive energy and recoil of the round going off) exerts Force (Mass of the bullet X Acceleration of that bullet) on a second body (the Shooter), the second body (the Shooter) simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body (the recoil from the round going off).

Without getting into a giant physics lesson, basically when something like a gun recoil pushes on your hand and your connected body, you push back with approximately the same force. Some of the felt recoil energy can be dissipated by things like weight, mechanical internals of the gun, friction, shooter’s leverage on the gun, muzzle flip, compensators…and many other things.
Ruger's 17oz 9mm LCR shoots the same
ammo as the the Custom Salient
Glock 17 above.

WEIGHT
Weight is one of the most significant factors to reducing recoil. If you get a gun heavy enough, recoil can be nearly eliminated unless you start increases the power of the cartridge as well. Weight is one reason the giant 6” Ruger GP-100 in .357 Magnum is a favorite of mine. With standard .357 Magnum loads the huge heavy pistol is a blast to shoot with very little recoil due to the weight. Take that same .357 Magnum round and drop it in a Desert Eagle Semi-Auto pistol with even more weight plus a gas driven semi-auto action and you feel like you are shooting almost a rimfire cartridge thanks to the weight and semi-auto action. Toss that same .357 Magnum round in a uber-light 17oz  Ruger LCR and your hand, arms, and body and the experience become more abusive to the body. Weight is one reason the not particularly light 1911 style pistols are so pleasant to shoot. For a home defense handgun, do not be afraid of a bigger and heavier gun. The weight will make it one of your favorite guns to shoot which will make you want to train and practice more.
These are all 9mm handguns with the
exception of the bottom right Ruger .380 LCP
The Top Left Glock 19 obviously has the least recoil

MECHANICAL INTERNALS
Revolvers unfortunately cannot mechanically manage recoil like a semi-auto can, so most shooters will note in a side by side test that a small .38 Special snub nosed revolver will deliver more recoil than a similarly weighted, powered and sized 9mm compact semi-auto pistol. Revolvers are without question easier to operate for novice shooters, however the semi-autos are drastically more comfortable to shoot. The main reason for this is that the semi-auto spring/slide action absorbs/manages some of the recoil by using it to cycle the firearm. This semi-auto mechanism also distributes the recoil impulse over a short period of time while the slide and spring cycles the action and creates a buffering effect on recoil. This is the same reason we bend our knees jumping off a chair - we can distribute the impact energy over a period of time using our knees as a spring versus locking out our knees and jackhammering ourselves into the floor. On revolvers, there is nowhere for the energy to go which is not compensated by weight or leverage, so a larger percentage of the recoil is felt by the shooter.

Extending this concept to rifles and shotguns, bolt action and pump action shotguns without question deliver more recoil to the shooter than a semi-auto rifle or shotgun action simply because the semi-auto action can absorb more of the recoil energy. At one time I had an old Savage 12 Gauge bolt action shotgun and it was downright abusive to shoot, my Browning A5 is of course a dream with very little recoil.



The cycling of a semi-auto action burns off some of the recoil energy in the form of slide friction, spring tension, potentially the flex of the polymer lower receiver, slide weigh cycling, and other friction points. If you want lower recoil buy a semi-auto action pistol, rifle or shotgun.

LEVERAGE & EASIER OPERATION
As noted above, a bigger and longer semi-auto handgun will deliver less felt recoil and a full grip (versus two or three finger grip) will increases leverage/control when hand cycling the gun.

Ruger's 9mm LCR uses "moon clips"
to hold the rounds instead of magazines.
Improved shooter leverage with a full sized grip and more pistol weight/length out in front of the hand ultimately delivers a softer feeling recoil because more weight of the gun can work to control recoil when compared to the same round being fired in a smaller shorter gun.

Revolvers are typically designed to place the grip very far rearward and low compared to the bore axis to maximize leverage and decrease recoil. However despite weight and this rearward leverage advantage, revolvers generally still deliver heavier recoil to the shooter than an equivalently heavy semi-auto.

NUANCES & DESIGN REQUIREMENTS OF TINY SEMI-AUTO PISTOLS
Tiny little semi-autos still have to manage at least some of the recoil to reliably cycle the round. Too little recoil or too much and the gun just will not cycle properly. So that generally means all that compressed spring force of a longer recoil/slide spring of a longer gun now needs to be extra stiff in a tiny little gun. A very stiff recoil/slide spring of course makes charging these dinky guns somewhat challenging for those with less hand strength… and if you can’t get rounds in your gun, that does tend to be a problem. For new  or less muscled shooters, this is “the” one reason I tend to recommend revolvers in the small sized category such as the new Ruger LCR 9mm. You will suffer more recoil, however you will more importantly be able to operate the gun. That same new  or less muscled shooter would likely be able to operate a Glock 19 just fine, however once you go small, the shooter has to start dealing with a very stiff recoil spring which can make manipulation less than forgiving and more problematic even for bigger, stronger, and trained shooters. If you decide to carry a dinky little semi-auto, I recommend without reservations carrying the gun always with a round in the chamber. I have never felt comfortable with my own reliability of performing the Massod - Draw, Charge, Shoot method with tiny little semi-auto pistol.

The mass and leverage of this Ruger tames
even the hottest .357 magnum loads
BIGGER IS BETTER
Bigger Semi-Auto Gun = Less Spring Tension, More Weight, More Shooter Leverage
1st Class Lever and Less Recoil

Bigger Revolver = More Weight, More Shooter Leverage, and Less Recoil

In the case of recoil reduction, bigger is better, however due concealment, size, and weight limitations we obviously are not going to all carry around Desert Eagles and Ruger GP100s with 6" barrels. Handguns like Glock 19s, Glock 26, Walther PPS, and H&K P30s are more typical as concealed carry handguns... or at least that is what I carry.

The giant Magnum Research Desert Eagle requires
the hottest .357 Magnum loads just to operate
reliably and still delivers a soft recoil.

Reasonably sized handguns end up being the choice and sacrifice that we all make to absorb a bit more recoil instead of requiring a chiropractor once a week from lugging around a backbreaker of a gun. There is a place for teeny weeny little guns, however that should be left to situations only where concealment or extreme convenience dictate a diminutive sized gun. 

My advice for a first time gun buyer is to choose a firearm with a comfortable full sized/four finger grip, semi-auto action, and a size in the mid range size such as the H&K VP90, Walther PPQ M2, or Glock 19, but if you need something smaller just expect to manage recoil.

Newton was right, however convenience sometimes overrides even Newton's laws of physics.