I Hope I Made You Proud

Today I met a new friend at my local range because what better way to get to know someone then to share a little lead?

My gun collection consists of a Glock and a Ruger LCP. Not much to offer, but at least I paid for the range time. My new friend has lots to offer. In addition to her sweet personality, she brought an XDm in 9mm, Glock 19(which is also a 9mm), a .22 pistol, and a bodyguard in .380. Do I even have to say how excited I was?

While said friend was loading her magazines with ammo, I shot my Glock 27(that shoots a .40 caliber bullet, if your new)

I breath, I aim, I squeeze, bang…OUCH! What the heck, that hurt. My finger was numb and my hand was stinging. I have had this happen a few other times, but I could not find any rhyme or reason as to why sometimes I shoot my gun and nothing and other times, I can’t hardly handle the sting. I shoot my gun a few more times and decide I am not a fan, so I put it down and start shooting the other guns. First the XDm, then the Glock 9mm, then the Bodygaurd. Actually, I am taking turns with my friend, but that is the order I shot the guns. Then my friend says would you like to shoot the Glock .40 full size. Sure. I shoot and it doesn’t hurt. I am sure the size of the gun impacts recoil, but I just didn’t think the bigger gun was the main difference.

(This where you might be proud because this is where what I have been learning here kicked in.)

My mind was thinking and thinking what is the deal? Finally, I ask my friend what grain her .40 ammo is…she says 155. Mine are 180 grain.

For the purpose of those that might not understand what I am talking about, I am going to give you a very basic explanation. As always, the technicalities of all this I will leave to others, but grain is essential the weight of the bullet. So, you can buy a bullet in a .40 caliber, but it’s weight or grain can vary. You can buy a .40 in 155 grain or 165 grain or 180 grain. There are more choices, but just to give you an idea.

I have understood the differences intellectually, but I didn’t really understand how they effected my shooting, until today. Well, I understood a lighter grain meant the bullet travels faster, but not as far whereas the heavier load goes farther, but at a slower velocity. I am not really a good enough shooter to be able to tell the subtle difference between grains, or so I thought.

After I realized that her .40’s and my .40’s were different grains, I asked if I could shoot my bullets out of her gun. She said yes, so I did. Guess what? It hurt my hand. Not quite as much as when I shot my smaller gun, but my hand still stung after each shot, so, of course, I asked if I could shoot her .40’s out of my gun and since she is unbelievably AWESOME, she said yes. Guess what? No pain! I normally shoot 165 grain, so the 180 grain is brutal on my hands. Too much power for me. I have to say, even though I felt the recipe differently, ny shots were pretty darn good regardless of what I shot. That was pretty cool.

I literally jumped up and down. I figured it out, on my own. I was so excited that I had enough knowledge to think, “hey I wonder if it is the grain” and then to do a little experiment and then to find the answer!!!!

Our hard work is paying off! Thanks for answering my endless questions. I am learning! I am learning!

P.S. I do not like 180 grain, do not like it at all.

45 thoughts on “I Hope I Made You Proud

  1. Thank you! I learn something from your posts every time I read them. I’m a novice with guns but have been around them for years thanks to the husband.

  2. Thank you for the insight. My husband has a glock 27. The first time I shot it, it hurt like heck in my hand, along with a casing ejecting and hitting my thumb. I haven’t been too excited to shot it ever since. I’ll be asking him tonight what. grain his 40’s are! Thanks .

    From a fellow gun enthusiast. Jenean

    • Let me know what he says. I am very interested to see. I will say that the .40 can be a “snappier”(that’s my technical term) recoil. More of a snap then a push of say the .45, so I think for that reason a lot of peeps do not like the .40 in any grain, but I like it. It’s more recoil than a 9mm which I kind of enjoy:)

    • Guess what his ammo is also 180 grain. He enjoyed reading your post and also learned something new today. We are gonna try 165 grain for me next time we go shooting ! Thanks Again

  3. You got to experiment with practical application of something you learned, plus a day at the range always = WIN!
    I have some range time scheduled for Friday. I certainly need it.

  4. 180gr Sellier & Bellot in 7.62 Russian are WAY HELL NO FUN either. Mosin-Nagants kick like a mule anyway, but 180 grain…

    Well, let me put it this way. The recoil caused the threads in my aluminum scope mount to shear right off (because the steel screws holding it in place were stronger).

    So, yes. Welcome to the dismal fun of ballistics! 😉

    • are you using your sling? maybe i’m an oddball but when i shoot my mosin with 147 grain light ball the recoil is more than manageable. For what it’s worth however recoil pads for the butstock and a compensator that fits the full size mosin are both fairly inexpensive

    • Bob, I have sporterized the hell out of my Mosin with both an ATI stock and an additional recoil pad. I have no trouble at all shooting 147 grain milsurp, but that 180gr commercial stuff damn near dislocates my shoulder.

    • yep why i was asking about using your sling 8D – i had the same problem initially w/ the 180 grain but using the sling correctly made it irrelevant PLUS lately the 147 grain has been easier on the pocketbook so… yep you get the point lol 8D

      oh and in case your wondering my mosin has about 3k rounds of the 180 grain through it and 3 spam cans of the 147 grain 8D

      not that i have any idea what was shot through it between 1942 when it was made and the day i got it lol

  5. I see a foray into the realm of the reloader in your future. Reloading is in my opinion very satisfying, both the process itself and the outcome, cheaper ammo. On another note, I believe you can get a conversion barrel for your Glock to allow it to fire 9mm bullets. You simply change the barrel and change the magazine and you are good to go. Around 100 dollars and you can shoot up two different types of ammo. Also can shoot .357 sig the same way IIRC. http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=1003&CAT=241

  6. We are definitely proud to see the development of a new shooter. In addition to the different bullet weights, there is the whole dimension of powder charges. A “+P” round versus “normal” load with the same bullet weight will have very different recoil impulses. It bothers some people. Others not so much. As you are discovering, it’s all about how you perceive it that matters

  7. And the .45ACP rounds we shot were all 230 grain. Think Newton here (in layman’s terms, not technical ones): bigger bullet requires a bigger push, and will cause bigger recoil. If both the light bullet and the heavy bullet are traveling at the same speed, the heavier bullet will cause more felt recoil. The .40 is going much faster than the .45 is, so it generates a bit more ‘snap’ in the hand. “+P” is a round that has both a heavier bullet and a higher velocity, and you will feel it more.


  8. Make sure your gun fits your hand and that you’ve got it seated properly – while you might be able to notice the difference in grains, it should not be painful.

    • As long as you know it fits you and your grip is good. You might just be sensitive enough (which is a good thing) to notice the difference in grains. It just makes me sad that it’s painful for you. But know you know that you can shoot other without pain, you can stick to the comfortable rounds.

    • Well, it is interesting to me. Might do some experimenting and just my grip etc. I know that experience, technique etc play a role, so now that I am aware, I might be able to adjust for it….thanks!

  9. Another issue is that different manufacturers load different powder loads for different weight bullets; AND some (like S&B and Fiocchi) use a hotter powder, which generates more felt recoil.

    If y’all are anywhere near the DC area, y’all are welcome to come to NRA and shoot with us.

  10. Yeah a small subcompact like your Glock 27 will be more sensitive to different bullet weights than larger guns. Since you didn’t like the heavier grain, you probably won’t want to shoot +P (overpressure, has more powder than normal) rounds out of it either, although mechanically your gun would handle it.

    • I wouldn’t say I won’t want to shoot them, I might, but this is just the first time I “felt” the difference and it’s the first time shooting was unpleasant for me. That just has never happened. I love to shoot everything all the time. If there is something out there gun, bullet, grain etc, I want to shoot, but I now know I might not like it…a revelation that was both exhilarating and sad:)

    • Oh definitely try it, I doubt it’ll fly out of your hands or anything, it may just be harder on follow up shots. I shoot a Glock 19 myself, I like a bit lighter recoil personally. Same with shotguns, I use 20ga over the 12ga.

  11. So proud. Yes – physics. Equal and opposite reaction and all that. NFO is on to something as well. Powder loads can have something to do with recoil. Back to the physics thing, pushing a heavier projectile pushes back on you more, therefore more recoil. Also pushing a lighter projectile with more force (stronger powder charge) will cause more push back on you and therefore more recoil. Just an FYI, self-defense ammunition has a tendency to be loaded a bit hotter. If you can, shoot some of the ammo (at least a magazine-full) that you carry so you will not be surprised by how it acts in your gun. I’m so glad you had fun!

  12. If Weer’d doesn’t I will. I need to do some of the math anyways to quantify some upcoming purchase decisions towards the end of the year.

    I’m seriously contemplating getting back into the competition shooting rings (thanks to Joe). In doing so I found out some of the weirder rules have increased the complexity of my purchase decision for power factors. Especially for the wife too since she has special requirements and we are wanting a matching pair.

  13. I had the same experience! In my case, not only did it sting, but I kept having malfs due to the stronger kick and, being of the fairer sex, my wrists were just not up to the job.

    I switched to 165s…much happier now with my G23.


Comments are closed.