Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

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river251
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Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#1 Post by river251 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:06 pm

Hi, my first post here. I have arthritis in my right wrist. I want to start carrying a handgun and must pocket carry. I want to get extremely good so want to practice (300 rounds 2 or 3 times a week). I have narrowed it to two guns which both fit into the front pocket of my pants.

1. Sig P238 (HD or Spartan all steel frame), small but fairly heavy at 21oz unloaded, shooting 380
2. Walther PPS Mod 2. Larger gun, about the same weight 23oz, shooting 9mm.

Simple question: Which will be most comfortable (least recoil) for extensive target practice?

Thanks
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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#2 Post by senorgrand » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:06 am

I would lean towards the heaviest gun you can carry shooting 9mm. 9mm is crazy cheap compared to 380 -- more time at the range.

That said, 380 out of a p238 HD is very mild.

If you can't rent these guns, I would suggest going to a gun store and at least try racking the slides -- arthritis might be a bigger determent to manipulating the slide than actually shooting it.

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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#3 Post by senorgrand » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:07 am

Oh, also revolvers are awesome...
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Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#4 Post by Bucolic » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:09 am

My wife has arthritis in her dominant hand and had a lot of trouble finding a comfortable pistol with a slide that she could easily rack and recoil that did not cause her pain. After trying several, including an LCR, she got a Sig 238 and is very happy with it. It’s easy to rack and soft to shoot, albeit not inexpensive.
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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#5 Post by atxgunguy » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:35 am

Out of the two, I'd go with the Sig P238.

Have you tried the Ruger LCRx in 9mm? The LCRx line has an excellent trigger, its single-action being incredibly pleasant with very low recoil. No slide-racking required. Ships with moon clips!

https://ruger.com/products/lcrx/models.html
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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#6 Post by shinzen » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:04 am

Third on the P238- probably the softest shooting 380 I've ever owned, and makes for a very polite, albeit heavy, pocket companion.
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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#7 Post by danhue » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:59 pm

The P238 is smaller and lighter than the PPS. I know my P938 (9mm) is lighter than 21oz, so I checked the Sig website, and it says 16oz for the 938, and 15.2 for the 238. That's more like it.

The P938 is considered to be a good gun, but physics's a bitch, and it's hard (and not that much fun) to shoot well. I am not familiar with the .380 cartridge, but my guess is that the PPS will be a softer shooter. The specs are similar to the HK P30SK, which is a comfortable gun to shoot (albeit a little heavier - maybe you could consider it too). It's also close in specs to the Springfield XDS, which is also a nice gun.

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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#8 Post by Bardo » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:57 pm

What ammo you use makes a big difference. Shooting nato/+p 9mm is much different than say a cheap FMJ 147gr.

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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#9 Post by highdesert » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:26 pm

+ P238 Lighter ammo in a heavier pistol is the way to go and SIGs are excellent. A heavier 380 would be a Walther PPK, Beretta Cheetah, and there are also Bersa, Cobra, Kimber, or Remington in 380.
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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#10 Post by max129 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:40 pm

+1 on the Sig P238. I like the Walther PPS, but the P238 is one of Sig's best models. And I understand the guidance from some about 9mm (and I prefer 9mm to .380), but if you have arthritis, you need lighter springs. The P238 is a good choice. If you want the Walther, I would recommend you follow high desert's lead and go with the PPK, not the PPS.
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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#11 Post by CDFingers » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:11 pm

The nine over the .380.

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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#12 Post by VodoundaVinci » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:52 am

My wife is small and arthritic and w she settled on the Sig P238 and Glock 42. Revolvers? Seriously? For recoil sensitive people?

My Wife prefers revolvers and we have shot them all. By the time I loaded soft recoiling rounds that she could handle comfortably they were so anemic that a .380 blew their doors off. Plus her Sig 238 is comfy with *hot* .380 which outperforms .38 Special and she gets 7 rounds and a lightning fast reload instead of 5 rounds of .38 and a 10 second reload.

Revolvers are great (I love them) but not for small, weak, compromised, or novice shooters. Arguably the toughest platform to shoot accurately in a pocket sized (snub) gun. A pocket .380 is awesome and the choices are stunning now. I carry 9mm and would recommend it over .380 *but* it's not an apples and apples comparison for recoil sensitive people.

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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#13 Post by Bucolic » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:52 am

VodoundaVinci wrote:My wife is small and arthritic and w she settled on the Sig P238 and Glock 42. Revolvers? Seriously? For recoil sensitive people?

My Wife prefers revolvers and we have shot them all. By the time I loaded soft recoiling rounds that she could handle comfortably they were so anemic that a .380 blew their doors off. Plus her Sig 238 is comfy with *hot* .380 which outperforms .38 Special and she gets 7 rounds and a lightning fast reload instead of 5 rounds of .38 and a 10 second reload.

Revolvers are great (I love them) but not for small, weak, compromised, or novice shooters. Arguably the toughest platform to shoot accurately in a pocket sized (snub) gun. A pocket .380 is awesome and the choices are stunning now. I carry 9mm and would recommend it over .380 *but* it's not an apples and apples comparison for recoil sensitive people.

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Same story with my wife. What hot ammo do you use? I had a few feed problems with Hornaday Critical Defense ammo in her 238.


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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#14 Post by VodoundaVinci » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:07 am

In .380 we are running the Ruger ARX for carry.

http://mousegunaddict.blogspot.com/2016 ... t-and.html

Seems to feed reliably in all of our 9mm's and .380's. The Hornady seems to run fine in the G42 and in my Pico....never tried it in the P238.

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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#15 Post by Bucolic » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:19 am

Thanks. I’ll give it a try.


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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#16 Post by YankeeTarheel » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:09 am

VodoundaVinci wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:52 am
My wife is small and arthritic and w she settled on the Sig P238 and Glock 42. Revolvers? Seriously? For recoil sensitive people?

My Wife prefers revolvers and we have shot them all. By the time I loaded soft recoiling rounds that she could handle comfortably they were so anemic that a .380 blew their doors off. Plus her Sig 238 is comfy with *hot* .380 which outperforms .38 Special and she gets 7 rounds and a lightning fast reload instead of 5 rounds of .38 and a 10 second reload.

Revolvers are great (I love them) but not for small, weak, compromised, or novice shooters. Arguably the toughest platform to shoot accurately in a pocket sized (snub) gun. A pocket .380 is awesome and the choices are stunning now. I carry 9mm and would recommend it over .380 *but* it's not an apples and apples comparison for recoil sensitive people.

VooDoo
Interesting. Yesterday I went shooting with a friend at GFH (NJ denizens know the range). He's young and a Conservative(!) and a much more expert shooter than I am.
We brought my 3 handguns: A Sig p320 RX set up with a Carry grip module, an H-K VP9 LE, and a Ruger GP100 1771 revolver (7 round cylinder). The Sig and VP9 are 9mm, and the Ruger is .357 / .38.

Haven't shot the revolver much, but I was amazed at how much LESS recoil it had shooting .38 Special versus the 2 9mm semi-automatics. I mean it was significantly less. Part of that is the heavier gun, but also the .38s made significantly smaller and better-defined holes in the targets (we were shooting a 15 yards the whole time).

But compared to the 9mms, it seemed almost recoil-less.
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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#17 Post by VodoundaVinci » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:58 pm

Apologies....I meant to qualify my observation of revolvers to mean pocket sized/snub/light weight revolvers. A full size .357 revolver with .38 special is a kitten. Mama shoots her S&W M19 like a trooper but she's never gonna carry that....by the time we get a revolver small enough for her to conceal and pocket or purse carry they are brutal in .38 Special.

The OP specified pocket carry and I also pocket carry....but not a 7 shot Ruger G100. That's a full size belt gun.

Mama has a Ruger LCRX 3" revolver and she loves it. Hands down the most accurate gun she shoots. But with .38 Special SD ammunition She has to resort to ice and analgesics after a range session. With a snubbie S&W and SD ammunition it is even worse....it's brutal.

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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#18 Post by featureless » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:13 pm

Not on your list, but throw the Ruger LC380 (not LCP) into the mix of .380. It's very easy to rack, smallish and well mannered. Less recoil than my M&P9, for reference. The Sigs are very nice, but I have zero interest in the cocked-n-locked methodology. Smith & Wesson also has the .380 Shield EZ, specifically aimed at recoil sensitive and reduced hand strength customers, for what it's worth.

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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#19 Post by VodoundaVinci » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:19 pm

My Wife has the Sig P239 Nitron and not only is it light on recoil, the slide is easy to rack. The gun is a peach for recoil sensitive people or folks with limited hand strength. If you are trying various guns (and you should - everyone is different and felt recoil is highly subjective) you should maybe rent/borrow and Glock 42. I have shot literally every commonly available pistol in .380 and a great deal of pistols not commonly available. They are not all alike and perceived recoil between various makes and models is wildly variable.

.380 Ruger LCP, the favorite of pocket carry aficionados everywhere is too brutal for me and I'm 6' 3" and 180ish with no arthritis. My Wife fired one shot out of an LCP, winced and flinched and handed it back. The lightest recoiling .380, even with my hot hand loads pushing a 100 gr. bullet to 1000 fps is a kitten in the G42.

There are a lot of pocket .380's out there now and I find the Sig P238 and the Glock 42 to be the reliable, soft shooting standard. Beretta makes some soft shooting .380's as well but the Pico (my favorite) is an experts gun with very stiff springs (my Wife can't even rack mine....hates it!) to the classic models 81, 84, and 85 cheetahs. The 81 is .32 ACP but out of a longer barreled gun hot European Standard .32 ACP is only a smidgen behind a .380.

There are lots of great .380's out there now and high tech ammunition to feed them. For a recoil sensitive person with limited hand strength there are many, many options. Any of the small 9mm's are great as well *but* recoil generally increases exponentially. Subcompact 9mm's are not low recoil. The S$W Shield in .38 and the Sig P290 (Double Action Only) are way worth a look as well.

In general, smaller guns are harder to shoot and have more recoil. Tiny pocket guns are a compromise....easy to hide and carry but hard to get good with and shoot well. That said I'm a pocket carry aficionado as it allows one to get a firing grip on the gun without brandishing. I back pocket carry my .380 Pico and can stand leaning against a wall with my hands in my pockets looking like I have absolutely not a clue and deploy that pistol to multiple shots on target in less than 2 seconds. Pocket carry is The Bomb.

Final point - how big are your pockets? Jeans pockets? Jacket pocket? Back pocket, or front pocket in a pair of Khakis or casual pants make a huge difference in what type/size of gun can be carried. I have carried a Glock 43 back pocket and it hides well...front pocket I can't get it out.

VooDoo

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Re: Softest recoil: 9mm Walther PPS or .380 SIG P238?

#20 Post by YankeeTarheel » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:55 pm

VodoundaVinci wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:19 pm
Final point - how big are your pockets?
Usually people ask how deep are they..... :angry: :blush: :confused:
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