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Many years ago when I fired a Remington 44 cap and ball at a range of 25yd I found no difficulty in keeping all six ball on an A4 sheet of paper. The gun was heavy and the recoil was not difficult to handle. I did not know the load I was shooting.

When looking at recoil I see a 38 special is typically 3.5ft/lbs and a 45 auto about 6ft/lbs, 44magnums can be 12+.

Black powder muzzle loaders seem to come in at about 7ft/lbs or more.

So for mister average just how much is too much.

mik
 

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That is hard to say because each of us can or can't tolerate recoil to different degrees. I shoot a lot of handguns and do not find my Ruger Redhawk .44 mag uncomfortable. Although I would not want to fire it all day. But my black powder revolver I shoot with 25 grains of JSG 3f and I could and have shot that all day.

So it depends on how they are loaded and the individual. Now I have a friend that has shot my Redhawk and refuses to shoot it. Said it kicks too much.
 

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Everyone has a different tolerance; and just to make it interesting, that tolerance can change! Long ago, I felt that a .44 Magnum was 'way more than I'd ever master. But, I'd spent good money on that S&W, and I darned well wanted to shoot it, so I started reloading for it. In an amazingly short time I worked up from mild Special-level loads to loads that were the max a S&W ought to be fed. Nowadays, I fire my cousin's custom .500 S&W Ruger Bisley and think it's not too bad...
 

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Makes a huge difference how well the gun (stocks) fit your hand.
 

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Handling recoil, as with all shooting, is between your ears. To paraphrase Elmer Keith, 'sure it kicks, it's a powerful handgun, it's gonna kick, learn to handle it'. Probably no one during Keiths life had more experience with large caliber handguns than he. I do find that as I get older I don't relish big bore, hard kicking firearms as much as I once did. Too much is what you're unwilling to learn to handle.

Having said that, everyone is different. No matter the want to, some can and some can't handle recoil and body size has nothing to do with it.
 

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I shoot my Encore 45-70 with a 14" barrel maybe a dozen times at once without any difficulty, But, I've only loaded 350 grain bullets in the shell casings. The 500 grain bullets I've shot are just about all I care to shoot. My 308 Win Encore with 14" barrel recoils, but because of the weight it isn't as unpleasant to shoot as my Taurus 627 Titanium framed 357 Magnum. So, it depends on the person shooting and the firearm they are shooting. My 378 Weatherby rifle has the most recoil of any rifle I've shot. I shot it 16 times in a row one day, and that was enough. My shoulder was black & blue the next morning when i took a shower.
 

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No one can tell you what you like in recoil.


I loved my replica Colt Walker - the largest cap and ball pistol made. It shot great - but about 3 feet of at 70 yards. But it was very accurate.


Took it to a gunsmith just told him how far it was off and he fixed it in one try - yes it had fixed sights.
 
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