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View Full Version : Less Recoil: Glock 34 or S&W 686 ???


huntndog
12-14-2008, 8:40 AM
Newbie here. I want to get into IDPA shooting, and I'm really hoping to get my wife into it as well. Right now, she's afraid of guns.
I'm hoping to purchase one handgun for both IDPA and HD. Recoil will be an issue for her.

I'm down to these two... unless you have a better suggestion. Which do you think would be better for her? She's strong, but feminine
(if you know what I mean ;-). Commercial ammo only.

1) 9mm Glock 34. Thought about a ported barrel, but can't use it for IDPA SSP Class. I'd get an Advantage Arms .22lr conversion kit and start her off slowly.

2) S&W 686 4" 6-shot revolver. She could shoot .38spl in SSR Class. I have a S&W 617 4" .22LR that would be a good match for practice.

I need to make it as much fun as possible for her! :D:D:D

TIA!

http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa178/surfdog_photos/GLOCK-34-GREEN.jpg
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa178/surfdog_photos/SW686-4in.jpg

gibbygoo
12-14-2008, 9:25 AM
My guess is that the plastic gun will have more felt recoil.

Batbunny
12-14-2008, 10:07 AM
Let her handle and try out the two guns if possible and then let her buy the one she likes.

I think the revolver due to weight should have less recoil, not sure though.

huntndog
12-14-2008, 10:11 AM
To me, the question would be, which would she be more comfort with during reloads ?

Thanks guys... Good points. Bet the Glock would win the reload one.

Also, I need to watch an IDPA event at my club. I'm guessing many more people use semi-autos than revolvers.
If that's true, and the revolvers have their own start time, that would be a plus. Tried to get her into golf,
but her problem is that it takes all day to play... :D

Thanks!

tankerman
12-14-2008, 11:31 AM
Better make sure she can rack the slide before buying her a pistol. A lot of women just can't do it.

huntndog
12-14-2008, 11:36 AM
Better make sure she can rack the slide before buying her a pistol. A lot of women just can't do it.

Now that's a good one! It would be my first semi-auto, so I didn't think of that:oops:

Corbin Dallas
12-14-2008, 11:38 AM
Let her handle and try out the two guns if possible and then let her buy the one she likes.


That's the best advice here.

My girl prefers the Glock 19 over all my other glocks. I've also had her handle a 686 and the GP100. She prefers the auto over the wheel gun.

Felt recoil? It's all relative. I know I feel less recoil with my G34, but my girl swears it has more than her G19.

Conclusion: Get her the one she is most comfortable with.

tankerman
12-14-2008, 12:32 PM
Now that's a good one! It would be my first semi-auto, so I didn't think of that:oops:My wife is 5'7" medium build and very active but she has a very difficult time dealing with the slide on semi-autos. We tried various methods of racking the slide, but none worked well for her, she could get the slide back, just not very easily. She prefers revolvers.

461
12-14-2008, 12:33 PM
For recoil control the 686 is the winner, the range of loads available are astounding when you go from .38 cowboy loads all the way up to the zombie killer .357's. In 9mm you get standard or hot and that's about it, to reliably cycle the action you need to be in a very specific range on ammo.

Grip shape and style also goes to the 686, you can get grips in wood or rubber and they can be tailored to fit her hand perfectly. The Glock is the Glock and that's about it. You can have a grip reduction done, but they seldom do much but make them look funky and the Glock looks funky to start with.

Reload speed goes to the Glock hands down, but if you have the 686 cut for moon clips she can get pretty darn quick.

I own a G34 and find it just about perfect for me to the point that I don't feel the need for any other full sized autos but it isn't for everyone. I've owned 686's in the past and am a revolver shooter by choice so I'm biased, but again, it's not for everyone. Get her opinion on the platform she prefers and go from there.

Get some Calgunners out to the range with you and her and let her try out a bunch of different guns and see where her interest takes it.

CSACANNONEER
12-14-2008, 12:35 PM
It isn't just the gun that causes recoil. It's also the ammo. Try loading some lighter loads up for whichever gun FITS her the best.

Gryff
12-14-2008, 7:20 PM
Okay, a couple of things to consider here.

The 686 may not actually have lighter recoil, because the light .38 Special loads won't make the minimum power factor for IDPA. Generally, you need to shoot the +P rounds to make power, therefore the recoil goes up. I would think that the 686 would still squeak by with a recoil advantage, but it won't be as much of a difference as when using the lighter .38 loads.

Now, power factor isn't really an issue at local matches, so she could probably get away with shooting lighter loads. But if she starts to enjoy the sport and you start thinking about participating in bigger matches, it is a consideration (we've had to DQ people from the last two sanctioned IDPA matches we've held because their .38 Special ammo didn't make power).

The other concern with a 686 (or any revolver) is the heavy trigger pull in double-action. Is she comfortable with this? It's amazing how many revolver shooters there are that have never spent any real time shooting their guns in double action. It also can have a negative affect on her accuracy if her hands don't have a lot of strength, which could result in greater frustration for her.

The Glock is a good choice, because 9mm really can't be called snappy. If the grip is too big for her, then consider a Springfield XD, or a Smith & Wesson M&P. With the Glock and XD, you can change out the recoil spring to one with a lighter weight, thereby reducing the perception of recoil.

There is an issue with the strength necessary to rack the slide. This can be reduced by going to the above-mentioned lighter recoil spring, but can also be dealt with by teaching proper grip on the slide as well as using a push-pull method with her two hands. It really doesn't take long to overcome this issue.

Good luck.

tankerman
12-14-2008, 7:29 PM
The other concern with a 686 (or any revolver) is the heavy trigger pull in double-action. Is she comfortable with this? It's amazing how many revolver shooters there are that have never spent any real time shooting their guns double action. It also can have a negative affect on her accuracy if her hands don't have a lot of strength, which could result in greater frustration for her.Heavy trigger pull? Interesting that you suggest using a lighter recoil spring below for semi-autos but fail to mention there is an equally easy solution for reducing the DA trigger pull on a revolver.



There is an issue with the strength necessary to rack the slide. This can be reduced by going to the above-mentioned lighter recoil spring, but can also be dealt with by teaching proper grip on the slide as well as using a push-pull method with her two hands. It really doesn't take long to overcome this issue.
You must be taking about the magical grip of the slide, I mean "proper grip" that I wouldn't know anything about. Boy that's some ego.

You obviously pack-wood for Glocks and XD's, good for you but don't try to hide it by feigning objectivity.

JBBenson
12-14-2008, 7:42 PM
That OD frame is pretty cool, never seen that on a 34 before. Now I want one. Has anyone seen these in SoCal?

nick
12-14-2008, 7:51 PM
I'd imagine Glock 34 would have more felt recoil, being lighter and all.

That being said, don't assume she'll like the one with less recoil. I was planning to start my girlfriend on a .22lr, and then move over to higher calibers. Well, it took a while to buy a .22lr, as I initially wanted an Advantage Arms conversion for my Glock 35, andthat one was taking months to get. So I got her started on Glock 35, and had her try a few 9mm guns and a range 686. She liked G35 the most, and still prefers it to the rest of my guns (well, she hasn't tried the new guns I bought while she was away yet :43:). I eventually bought a .22lr pistol, and she doesn't even like it, calls it a firecracker, and is less than enthusiastic about shooting it. My Glock 35 though, I rarely shoot it when we go to the range these days... So, I wouldn't assume too much on what her preferences would be like.

EDIT: Did I mention that many women hate being treated like flowers? :)

eaglemike
12-14-2008, 8:13 PM
In IDPA the revolver can use the lower power loads if speedloaders are used. If moon clips are used, it goes to the higher number.

My suggestions would be the rovolver for a couple of reasons - unless she's strong enough to handle the 34 slide action. You can start with a very mild load in the revolver and work up. Most of the time at the lcal level IDPA matches the loads are not Chronjo'd, and I know that a fair amount of people aren't shooting full power factor at that time. .38 special is about the easiest possible round to reload, as well as cheap. So start soft, and work up.

The 686 can also use all the K frame grips, so you'd have a lot of options there. If it's not one of the very early 686's, it will also have a round butt configuration, (IIRC). This will give you more even more flexibility.


all the best,
Mike

Gryff
12-15-2008, 12:42 AM
Heavy trigger pull? Interesting that you suggest using a lighter recoil spring below for semi-autos but fail to mention there is an equally easy solution for reducing the DA trigger pull on a revolver.

You must be taking about the magical grip of the slide, I mean "proper grip" that I wouldn't know anything about. Boy that's some ego.

You obviously pack-wood for Glocks and XD's, good for you but don't try to hide it by feigning objectivity.

Wow. You really took offense at my posting, didn't you? Sorry if I hurt your feelings with my attempt to help.

So, to address your whining...oops...I mean "comments":

- Reducing recoil spring weight versus revolver trigger weight. Someone with minimal gun experience can swap out the recoil spring in an XD in about 5 seconds and doesn't need any tools. Are you really trying to tell me that a revolver's trigger can be lightened that fast and easily? If you say "Yes," then you are wrong.

- Racking the slide. Sorry if your wife doesn't get it. I can arrange for my 10-year-old son to meet her at the range and teach her how to rack the slide correctly if she would like. He grasps things on the side of the slide called serrations. And I'll make sure that he doesn't bring any ego with him.

- Why should I have any objectivity? The OP was asking for thoughts and opinions, and I provided some. Personally, I feel that a un-customized revolver is harder to shoot fast and accurately for a new competitor than a semi-auto. The OP originally said, "I need to make it as much fun as possible for her!" So I think that a gun with a reasonably light and consistent trigger pull is a better place to start. Revolvers are outstanding for reliability, and they are damn fun to shoot, but they are not what I would recommend to a new competitor who is also new to shooting in general.

So, just chill out, pal. My posting wasn't about you. If you want to counter what I've written with an opposing argument, outstanding. If you want to complain about it, it's just more useless digital white noise.

In IDPA the revolver can use the lower power loads if speedloaders are used. If moon clips are used, it goes to the higher number.

Actually, this isn't quite accurate. The division a 686 usually competes in is Stock Service Revolver (revolvers using speedloaders in .38 caliber or higher). The minimum power floor (bullet weight times velocity) for this division is 125,000.

If you take the Winchester .38 Special ammo sold at Wal-Mart as an example (USA brand), you have a 130gr. bullet with a muzzle velocity of 850fps. That's only a 104,000 power factor, which is well below the minimum. Remington UMC ammo only reaches 118,000 power factor with their 125gr. ammo (and that's a +P round). Even their high-performance Golden Sabre doesn't make power.

So, my point is that you have to go with uber-heavy +P rounds, or move up to .357 Magnum to guarantee meeting the power requirements. As I said, this is not really necessary if you are only shooting local matches, though. Only needs to be considered if you shoot a big match where they chrono the ammo.

Now, if you want to talk Enhanced Service Revolvers (revolvers using moon-clips), the power factor jumps up to 165,000. This is why the .45acp wheelguns are so popular in this division.

jinggoyd1967
12-15-2008, 10:54 AM
I started my wife out with a S&W Mod 65 revolver mainly because of the simple administration procedure. What I mean is that it is simpler to load, unload and verify that the weapon is clear. There are disadvantages to a revolver though. Felt recoil is going to be greater because of the solid metal frame also the bore is higher from the grip.
My wife's current gun is the Sig 225/P6. She really like the slim grip on this gun. Autos are more involved administratively but repetition help her know her pistol well. I thought her to properly work the slide by keeping the pistol relatively close to her body and using her weak hand to grasp the the slide on top. I slip empties in her magazine at the range so she can get used to tap-rack-bang drills. She can actually shot more accurately and faster than the revolver. I will probably buy her a S&W MP9 pretty soon (the grip feel and trigger pull are awsome).
Hope this helps you.

eaglemike
12-15-2008, 11:24 AM
Wow. You really took offense at my posting, didn't you? Sorry if I hurt your feelings with my attempt to help.

So, to address your whining...oops...I mean "comments":

- Reducing recoil spring weight versus revolver trigger weight. Someone with minimal gun experience can swap out the recoil spring in an XD in about 5 seconds and doesn't need any tools. Are you really trying to tell me that a revolver's trigger can be lightened that fast and easily? If you say "Yes," then you are wrong.

- Racking the slide. Sorry if your wife doesn't get it. I can arrange for my 10-year-old son to meet her at the range and teach her how to rack the slide correctly if she would like. He grasps things on the side of the slide called serrations. And I'll make sure that he doesn't bring any ego with him.

- Why should I have any objectivity? The OP was asking for thoughts and opinions, and I provided some. Personally, I feel that a un-customized revolver is harder to shoot fast and accurately for a new competitor than a semi-auto. The OP originally said, "I need to make it as much fun as possible for her!" So I think that a gun with a reasonably light and consistent trigger pull is a better place to start. Revolvers are outstanding for reliability, and they are damn fun to shoot, but they are not what I would recommend to a new competitor who is also new to shooting in general.

So, just chill out, pal. My posting wasn't about you. If you want to counter what I've written with an opposing argument, outstanding. If you want to complain about it, it's just more useless digital white noise.



Actually, this isn't quite accurate. The division a 686 usually competes in is Stock Service Revolver (revolvers using speedloaders in .38 caliber or higher). The minimum power floor (bullet weight times velocity) for this division is 125,000.

If you take the Winchester .38 Special ammo sold at Wal-Mart as an example (USA brand), you have a 130gr. bullet with a muzzle velocity of 850fps. That's only a 104,000 power factor, which is well below the minimum. Remington UMC ammo only reaches 118,000 power factor with their 125gr. ammo (and that's a +P round). Even their high-performance Golden Sabre doesn't make power.

So, my point is that you have to go with uber-heavy +P rounds, or move up to .357 Magnum to guarantee meeting the power requirements. As I said, this is not really necessary if you are only shooting local matches, though. Only needs to be considered if you shoot a big match where they chrono the ammo.

Now, if you want to talk Enhanced Service Revolvers (revolvers using moon-clips), the power factor jumps up to 165,000. This is why the .45acp wheelguns are so popular in this division.
Dude,
Chill! Please!:)
I'm quite familiar with the power factor. 125 is a pretty low power factor. As I noted, most of the local matches don't involve chrono's. It's quite easy to reload .38 specials and make this power factor. You see, I served my machine shop apprenticeship at a place called Star Machine Works in San Diego. This means something to those that know. IMHO .38 special is about the easiest caliber to reload there is, and in training a new shooter low powered ammo can be a good thing. The revolver will not be nearly as sensitive to this as the 34 would be. There is factory ammo that will make the power factor in .38 special, but since it's so easy to load, why bother? The brass is also easier to chase than 9mm. :)

I've trained many new shooters and contribute at the Women on Target clinics when I can.

all the best,
Mike

Gryff
12-15-2008, 11:59 AM
I'm quite familiar with the power factor. 125 is a pretty low power factor. As I noted, most of the local matches don't involve chrono's. It's quite easy to reload .38 specials and make this power factor.

Very true. But many new IDPA competitors shooting revolvers don't realize the issue with factory .38 Special ammo. It kills me to DQ guys from the big matches I run because they don't make power, and it is always a .38 shooter in SSR division that gets booted.

But, as you and I have both said, local matches aren't usually concerned about chronographing the ammo.