Handgun shooters as we age.

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Scott Tschirhart
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Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Guys, I used to pound out thousands of rounds of .45 ACP and .44 Magnum. Some of my favorite guns are chambered in these rounds. I shot so much .500 Linebaugh that I hurt myself back in the day.

These days, I am feeling the effects of all of those rounds. I still enjoy shooting a .45, but I tend to limit my shooting to 50 rounds per outing. If I shoot over 100 I tend to feel it the next day with sore hands and wrists.

So, I have been shooting a lot more .38 Special recently and I really enjoy that, particularly with a 6 inch Smith Model 66.

I don't know if I am suffering from arthritis or just too much pounding. Anybody else feeling this?
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Blaine »

Yes.... :(
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JimT
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by JimT »

Sadly, yes.
A few months back I dug out my old .45 Ruger that Linebaugh rebuilt for me. I had not shot it since before we moved to Africa in 2010! I took 25 rounds of my standard load ... 300 gr. cast bullet at 1100 fps. I brought 20 rounds home! That hurt my hands!! I used to shoot hundreds of those. "Back in the Day" they did not seem to recoil that much.

These days I really enjoy shooting the Model 10 S&W that I rebuilt. 160 gr. cast bullet over 3 gr. of Bullseye. Breaking clay pigeons ... shooting paper .. whatever. Fun stuff.

And the Single Six .22 rimfire!

My heavy loads these days are the .41 Magnum with a 210 gr. bullet and the .44 Special.

I am happy just to be able to shoot!
1894cfan
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by 1894cfan »

WAYYYY back then about 40 or so years ago most of my shooting was 22LR and 38spl with a fair amount of 357s thrown in with 45acp, 40s&w, 9x19 and 380acp added on over the years, so I didn't get hammered all that much! So I'm still doing pretty good these days. BTW, I'm 66 and shoot both riffle and handgun. I can still generally hit what I'm pointing at. :o
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Grizz »

i can relate. when i was commercial fishing i had a grip like a vice. literally. and arm strength that i fondly remember, but can't replicate. so, in part, this is why i have a 50Beo pistol as the Alaska Bear Woods PDW . . . :lol: two hand hold, quick pointing, laser sight, etc., just to have a fighting chance.

a 3 inch 12ga buckshot load from my boat gun with birdshead grip just about disassembled my hand. which appears to be disintigrating as i approach lift off

i can shoot the AR50 using a cheek weld on the buffer tube with no adverse repercussions, and wonderful percussions. it's a win-win so far
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by OldWin »

Yup. The older I get, the less fun it is to take a pounding.
Of any kind.

I do still enjoy 45ACP.
And 357 on the lighter side is ok.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by piller »

Age weakens humans. It just happens.
I have a long barrel Ruger Super Blackhawk with a scope. It is pretty comfortable even with heavy loads. Only thing is that it weighs enough that a shooting rest really helps it anymore. Holding it is not as much fun as it used to be. When I want to make tiny little groups, it is great.

My .357 is a GP 100 with a 6 inch barrel. It is heavy enough that recoil is pretty mild. My son is a bit recoil sensitive. He likes my GP 100.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Sarge »

I don't know what's the matter with you fellas. After 5-6 shots I just get younger, taller, broader shouldered and better looking.



Seriously...

I have beaten my hands up pretty good over the years and and starting to notice some stiffness in my fingers during cold damp weather. A little decline in manual dexterity has, for me at least, made precision shooting at distance--say, 6" plates at 50 yards--more difficult. I have noticed using handguns with full size grips helps a lot. An old no-rail, beater Glock 22 and a 7 1/2" Uberti 44 Mag with an 1860 grip get used more than anything else. I can do 3-4 cylinders of 240/1425 from the Uberti w/o discomfort.

I stay tuned up on those and figure they'll handle anything I'll need a handgun for.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by piller »

The grip style and size makes a lot of difference.
My Glock Model 22 is a second Generation model. I did get an aftermarket fully supported barrel for the .357 Sig. That is fun to shoot. Using the 165 grain rounds in the .40 barrel is real mild. The .40 may be a weakened and compromise round, but it still is very accurate for me. Some do not like it because it is certainly not nearly as powerful as the 10mm. You don't always need to throw your target to the ground and stomp it to the size and consistency of rice krispies that have been sitting in milk for 3 to 4 hours.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Ray Newman »

I am in the same situation. In a few weeks, I will be 75 and I do not think my situation will get any better.

Thinking back though, about the mid 1990's I first noticed shooting issues in my hands after I had carpal tunnel surgery in both wrists. I just did not seem to have the same strength/grip as before. Several years ago, I switched to Trail Boss in several of revolvers for less stress on the revolver, the hands, and wrists.

Hogue grips are on all my Smiths and they do help a great deal.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by MingoKid »

I find that I enjoy downloaded fodder much more now than before. 44's and 45's with Universal and a heavy cast bullet does just fine. Likely all I will need from here on out. My 454 has become a heavy launch platform for the aforementioned 45 loads. I had a wrist bone removed last year and a implant placed to atone for heavy duty stuff in my youth. With the cost of ammo, reloading helps the bottom line and my arthritic meat hooks. MK
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by ollogger »

After hanging unto a chain saw 5&6 days a week for 23 years I do have problems with my hands
last summer i got a 454 casull Ruger Alaskan, great gun! with its weight & giant grip it fits me better
than any other hand gun i own, with 11 gr, of unique & a 300 gr. cast bullet i can shoot up a 50 box
with out any pain, 357 & other hand guns i shoot mild loads other wise it turns into agony for a day or two
the worst of it is i have 20-20 vision at 10 feet & not that good at arms length



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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Sarge wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:29 pm
An old no-rail, beater Glock 22 and a 7 1/2" Uberti 44 Mag with an 1860 grip get used more than anything else. I can do 3-4 cylinders of 240/1425 from the Uberti w/o discomfort.
I have one of those Uberti .44 mags with the 1860 grip frame myself. One of the more comfortable revolvers I own. But I confess that I shoot it mostly with a 250-255 gr Keith over 7.5 gr Unique in .44 Special cases. I have no problems with that gun.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by 1894cfan »

piller wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:43 pm
The grip style and size makes a lot of difference.
My Glock Model 22 is a second Generation model. I did get an aftermarket fully supported barrel for the .357 Sig. That is fun to shoot. Using the 165 grain rounds in the .40 barrel is real mild. The .40 may be a weakened and compromise round, but it still is very accurate for me. Some do not like it because it is certainly not nearly as powerful as the 10mm. You don't always need to throw your target to the ground and stomp it to the size and consistency of rice krispies that have been sitting in milk for 3 to 4 hours.
The 40S&W is nothing more than the 38/40 (40/38?) in semi-auto form. And it was no slouch, either. Killed a lot of people in its day, in both Colt 1873 SAA and Winchester 73! HTH 8) BTW, I've got a 2nd Gen Glock 23!
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by gamekeeper »

Well that's one problem I don't have...darn anti gunners and politicians stopped me from experiencing any age related discomfort... :roll: but I do admit that Slugs and a single barrel 12 gauge are not as much fun these days.. :wink:
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Sixgun »

It's testosterone.......when we are young, everything has to be the most powerful whether it's guns, automobiles, motorcycles, boats..etc............we do this even though we know in the back of our minds that the power is seldom needed.......what we are doing is showing the next guy how strong we are and if need be, what's waiting for them if they so intrude in our lives or we are possibly putting out the untalked about macho projection ..."I'm better and stronger than you".....it's in our DNA.

Same way with high cap mags.....IF. (IF...IF) there was no fear of our fellow man or the real facts of what other people/governments can do to you we would all be content with 5 round mags.

As we age, we let go of that testosterone either through aging or using your head and tend to settle down. With age comes wisdom and the realization our days are numbered so why beat yourself up.

When I was 20-30 ALL of my ammo was loaded to the max, even pushing the limits on guns you should not be pushing upon.

I used to get all of my 45-70 brass which I used for a mess of different dash numbered calibers..... ......many thousands.... from this rich guy who was in love with any REVOLVER that used the 45-70........all R-P..........I ran into this guy a few years back and he had to quit shooting handguns all together..........screwed up his arms bad....he had medical terms but those things fly over my head.-----006
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by marlinman93 »

I've had a 85% disability in my right wrist, and nursing it since 1971. They told me I'd need to have it fused back in '75, but I keep fooling them, and still haven't. Get's extremely sore when I'm turning wrenches, and almost useless after I'm hammering nails for a day.
So I don't load anything hot, and I've sold any magnum caliber handguns I owned. I still load and shoot .45 colt, .45 ACP, and .38 Special, but all loaded down. My others in .32-20, .32 Long S&W and .22RF are no issue. I love the .45 Colt, and the .45 ACP, but even with mild loads I don't shoot hundreds at a sitting.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Sarge »

Scott Tschirhart wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:40 pm
Sarge wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:29 pm
An old no-rail, beater Glock 22 and a 7 1/2" Uberti 44 Mag with an 1860 grip get used more than anything else. I can do 3-4 cylinders of 240/1425 from the Uberti w/o discomfort.
I have one of those Uberti .44 mags with the 1860 grip frame myself. One of the more comfortable revolvers I own. But I confess that I shoot it mostly with a 250-255 gr Keith over 7.5 gr Unique in .44 Special cases. I have no problems with that gun.
I recall you posting pics of that gun and I really liked it.

I have some 205 grain RNFPs and they're super nice over 7.0 grains of W231. I should have ordered 240-265 SWCs (sights are regulated for 240s) and will rectify that soon. A good full weight SWC at 1100 fps or so is easy to shoot and does about everything well.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Sarge »

1894cfan wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:56 pm
piller wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:43 pm
The grip style and size makes a lot of difference.
My Glock Model 22 is a second Generation model. I did get an aftermarket fully supported barrel for the .357 Sig. That is fun to shoot. Using the 165 grain rounds in the .40 barrel is real mild. The .40 may be a weakened and compromise round, but it still is very accurate for me. Some do not like it because it is certainly not nearly as powerful as the 10mm. You don't always need to throw your target to the ground and stomp it to the size and consistency of rice krispies that have been sitting in milk for 3 to 4 hours.
The 40S&W is nothing more than the 38/40 (40/38?) in semi-auto form. And it was no slouch, either. Killed a lot of people in its day, in both Colt 1873 SAA and Winchester 73! HTH 8) BTW, I've got a 2nd Gen Glock 23!
I routinely refer to the 40 S&W as the "38-40 Rimless Short".
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by .45colt »

I surprised My self a few weeks ago and took the Pedersoli 86/71 45-70 out and shot fifteen rounds offhand. 300 grn at 1900fps. A heavy Rifle. Had a ball shooting 1/2" holes thru some steel . haven't shot it since My eye surgery 7 years ago . Felt pretty good. everything handgun seems to be a big surprise , I don't re-member the recoil being so big.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I was out on Sunday shooting on the ranch. I was playing with a 6 inch K frame with moderate .38 loads and enjoying hitting 8 inch plates at 50 yards. I just cannot do that with a .44 mag these days.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by AJMD429 »

Heck, even when I was a kid I didn’t like recoil all that much. My first center fire handgun was a Super Blackhawk, but that was heavy enough that with it the 44 Mag wasn’t unpleasant.

Now that I’m older I still shoot it but I like my Bisley-gripped one better.

What I really dislike is shooting tiny 380’s and 9mm’s; the recoil is terrible and for all that discomfort and noise I’d rather at least do some damage downrange... :D

One exception is the SIG 938 9mm; at least with the extended magazine that adds a finger to the grip, it is one sweet-shooting sub-compact, and EASY to shoot accurately.

Favorite handgun overall just for shooting though just might be my 33-20 S&W 10, which is SO mild with vintage loads.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by KWK »

Younger, I quickly set aside magnum this or that. The slap and blast wasn’t worth it. My Model 12 firing light, target WC loads is my only handgun today. The 357 is now a fine rifle round, not a revolver round. My next rifle will likely use 44-40. My “heavy” rifle is a 30-40, but I’ll likely develop a reduced load for it.
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Post by piller »

Funny thing is that most close range interpersonal crisis situations can be handled with the .38 Special or smaller. Sure the more powerful calibers work, but handguns are not really powerful enough to stop most determined assailants with only one shot. Using something that kicks like a Missouri Mule just makes the second and third shots that much slower. Being a bit arthritic makes things worse for the defender.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Buck Elliott »

Well, 25-30-35 years ago, when I was in my orime, I used to shoot my .454, just for fun. 300 to 325 grain cast bullets, @1700 fps. It was quick, slick, clean and accurate, and I seldom fired more than 25 or 30 rou ds per session. There really wasn't any need to.
Eventually, I backed off to heavy .45 Colt loads in an original Ruger Vaquero, and finally, to heavy .45 Colt in one of my Beretta/Uberti Stampedes. .
I'm now 78 1/3 years old, and am no longer 6' tall at 210, like I was in the 80s & 90s .. I'm down to 5'10" and 180#, but years of bucking hay, saddling and packing horses, and custom leather smiting have left me with strong hands, even as the rest of me dwindles.
I no longer go for the long shots, because I can't see that far any more.
In all, I reckon I've been there and done that.
I've played with friend John Linebaugh's .500s and .475s, and even met the S&W .500 and .460. Again, 20 to 30 rounds per session will tell me everything I need to know, without undue punishment. .
Years ago, I lived in a little 2-room cabin, which came complete with a mouse problem. I also had a very nice little Colt .22 "Buntline" (7 1/2"), with which I got very good at sniping tiny rodents with .22 cb caps. When "rat patrol" got boring, I turned to sniping toward the multitude of knots on the cabin's log walls and putlins.. It's a wonderful way to practice trigger control...
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by RIHMFIRE »

SO FAR IT HAS NOT BOTHERED ME.....GOOD GRIPS HELP ON THE 45 44 AND 357!
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by octagon »

I think Buck's mention of hand strength is significant to this issue. I've been an avid guitar player 40+ years, and use fence wire size strings compared to most. At 58 yo I have real good hand strength. My Ruger Hunter in .44mag weighs 52 oz, is amazingly accurate, and I can shoot it with one hand no problem. I've always enjoyed handgun recoil, makes me feel like I'm getting something done. Bad rifle recoil is another issue, never enjoyed that, and was at the doctor with a bad shoulder yesterday. Most of my shooting is with 45acp and 10mm, was on a 10mm romance for years and have come back to the 45acp.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Bearskinner »

I know recoil takes its toll on all of us. Yes, more as we age. Last year in speaking with Ronnie Wells, of RW Grip Frames. looking into changing the angle of a Bisley grip frame 4 degrees, basically halfway between its current angle and a Super Black Hawk grip frame. It absolutely changes the FELT recoil, by balancing out the push back and barrel lift or felt snap, it FEELS so much lighter, or even on firing.
For a test I took a pair of 6” barreled Bisley Blackhawks, converted to 500 Linebaugh. I installed the Bearskinner Bisley Brass grip frame on one ( Brass looks very cool on SS too) and got to shooting. Once the snow stops, I will make a few short videos showing the way the revolver jumps, comparing both guns being fired from a sand bag rest, with a grid in the back ground to show real lift and push against.
The felt recoil shooting 525 grain and 450 grain 500 Linebaughs is NOTICEABLY less with that 4 degree angle change. 20 rounds with a standard Bisley grip is fun, but tiring. 20 rounds with the Bearskinner grip frame, no issues, I did 20 more. It makes that much of a difference!
Subtle differences, the 4 degree angle, plus it lifts the angle of the rear of the grip frame slightly, the front and rear of the bottom of the frame are both slightly radiused. The trigger guard is ever so slightly opened up to the front and bottom. The slight duck tail on the original Bisley, has also been removed, to a straight back. I really like the bottom angle as I almost always shoot one handed, on sighting at longer ranges, I put my off hand under the grip frame, palm up. That little rear lift keeps the frame from digging or snagging my off hand. Unless you have two guns side by side, comparing them, you may not notice any difference, but you will FEEL the difference. Look at the websight. Lots of options. I helped design the Bearskinner to my shooting of big boomers, and snappy hard hitting rounds. Time to build two more gun conversions.
Last edited by Bearskinner on Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I think you are onto something about small changes in angles. When we were in Arkansas last year, I shot a Ruger GP100 in .44 Special. The factory wood grip felt good in the hand, until I pulled the trigger. After 2 5 shot cylinders of Skeeter loads, I was done. It hurt.

But in a SAA frame or an N frame, I can shoot that load a bunch with no ill effects.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by AJMD429 »

.

Bearskinner, those are interesting:

https://rwgripframes-com.3dcartstores.c ... ep_15.html
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Lefty Dude »

The older we get, the more we respect the lowly 22LR !
I was out this past Week end with my Ruger SS 4 3/4" and my vintage Hi-Standard R-106 six inch double nine, Revolvers.

Both are very accurate, love to shoot Golf balls and spent plastic 12 G shells. Digger Rats are a bonus.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Malamute »

I started thinking about geezer guns about 15 or so years ago. I thought a Smith K-32 might be good fun and cheap and easy to shoot. They used to be difficult to sell, nobody wanted a 32. Until they did. The collectors discovered the K-32s a bit before I decided I wanted one for future use.

Saw a bit on the castboolits forum, a guy shot 70k rounds of 38 wadcutters through a model 27. Hmm, good goal, and probably really soft shooting. I then also sort of remembered 38 Short Colts, they are pretty mild shooting in 38s and 357s. 125 gr cast at around 700 fps. I got a bit of brass and have shot a few, but may get more brass and get more serious about it. They make really nice carbine loads also. 9mm dies work OK for loading the Short Colts also, so it wasnt hard to get started on them besides brass.

Single actions of any sort are milder to shoot in a given chambering than Smith DA guns. Im holding out for carrying/shooting the Ruger 45 when other stuff gets more painful. Im still ok shooting K frame Smiths in 38 and occasional 357s, but none of the hotter stuff is as much fun as it used to be.
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Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by piller »

The angle and shape of the grip does affect the way your hand and wrist are pushed. When it happens that all the bones line up, the push from the recoil is spread out over a larger area. When it is concentrated in a smaller area or it causes more twist, the smaller area of concentration causes pain. When it fits you well, you know it.
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6pt-sika
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 8712
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:15 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by 6pt-sika »

The 44 Mags are slowly leaving me . I’m trying to get down to a couple 45’s perhaps a 10 a 357 a 38 and a couple 22’s . I’ve not noticed the discomfort in my hands from shooting handguns as much as I notice it in my neck and shoulder after shooting 2-4 rounds of skeet/trap . The shoulder discomfort isn’t the normal recoil bruise thing but rather the shoulder joint etc . I go out on Tuesday evenings to the club for informal skeet and usually the first two rounds I do like I always did , then in a third and perhaps fourth round it goes down hill and get tired . I truely HATE this getting older thing but as my dearly departed mother would say “it beats the alternative “ !
Parkers , Mannlicher Schoenauer’s , 6.5mm's and my family in the Philippines !
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Sarge
Levergunner 3.0
Posts: 523
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:54 am
Location: MO

Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Sarge »

piller wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:02 pm
The angle and shape of the grip does affect the way your hand and wrist are pushed. When it happens that all the bones line up, the push from the recoil is spread out over a larger area. When it is concentrated in a smaller area or it causes more twist, the smaller area of concentration causes pain. When it fits you well, you know it.
I've never liked the basic New Model Blackhawk/'old' Vaquero grip frame, but these are a big improvement for me. YMMV

https://www.thesixgunjournal.net/texas- ... ver-grips/
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Grizz
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 8209
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:15 pm

Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by Grizz »

it's interesting to see the variety of grips and grip frames. i use finger groove pachmyer or similar grips on my heavier recoil guns because i lock my wrist and let the recoil elevate from the elbow. i found that for hunting i did much better with that, but that was when i had a grip that could do that. i've seen lots of video of revolvers rotating in the hand, or rotating the wrist, or both. i've always resisted that. not that i recommend it, it just makes the grips look different to me.

the defining recoil feature of my SBH 44 with 10 inch barrel was that it mostly recoiled straight back into the palm of my hand. i controlled the muzzle rise and it facilitated thumbing the hammer with the weak side thumb for a follow up as the barrel lined up on the next animal...

too much coffee and not enough protein this morning
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JimT
Shootist
Posts: 2462
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:04 pm

Re: Handgun shooters as we age.

Post by JimT »

I've been shooting the Star BM 9mm lately. It fits the hand nicely, is all steel construction and has enough weight it sits in your grip with authority, like it should be there. The weight makes shooting the 9mm rapid fire pretty controllable. And it does not use much powder. I can get around 1600 reloads from a pound of bullseye or 700X, which makes it pretty economical to shoot. And the 9mm doesn't recoil enough to bother my hands. It's a fun little gun and round.
IMG_1949.JPG
IMG_1960.JPG
No hammer bite!
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