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The single most impossible-to-answer question we get is regarding which load/cartridge “kicks” the most. Felt recoil is highly subjective and there is no formula or definitive number that can be assigned. We can determine free recoil via the laws of Newtonian physics, but “felt” recoil is entirely dependent on many factors that cannot be defined or quantified.
I am CONTINUOUSLY asked about which 44 mag. or 454 Casull (insert any cartridge) kicks the most. However, if I were to give my opinion, it would be based on my hand shape, hand size, forearm mass and strength, bone density, experience, nervous system, mind set, weight/mass of the handgun, shape of handgun grip and how that fits my hand shape/size, etc, etc, etc. So, what I think I feel in regards to recoil, will vary at least a little, if not a lot, from person to person. Hence, asking any person other than yourself, about how much (felt) some cartridge kicks, is entirely pointless. This means that the only way to know what you will feel, is to get the ammo in question and fire it in the gun in question. Many, many times I have informed a shooting partner that “this load/gun combination doesn’t kick at all”, only to have that person cringe in pain upon firing the first round and then refuse to shoot it any more………
EXPERIENCE TRUMPS FEAR
Further, I am convinced that folks, who are concerned about felt recoil, need to get out and shoot more, until they are so familiar with the recoil that they no longer think about it as a factor in their decision making. Free recoil and how it translates to felt recoil, in modern sporting arms is not a scary thing once we experience it and take the mystery/fear out of it. There is no substitute for experience.
Good shooting and God bless,