What is the most powerful handgun cartridge you will shoot?

I am an old, fat guy, and a fairly new shooter - about a year. I’ve shot .41 Magnum - just one wheel’s worth - through a buddy’s gun. I find .45 ACP controllable. I recently inherited a Hardballer Long Slide that I’m eager to put some through, not really interested in trying anything bigger. No grizzlies in south Texas. :cowboy_hat_face:

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the recoil from a 44 mag Desert Eagle, to me, is comparable to a .40 cal…DE is a heavy gun

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I am willing to shoot any caliber handgun, at least once. I love a challenge.

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I just sold a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 mag. It was an ok gun–I don’t really like revolvers.
I shot a TC Contender in .35 Remington with a muzzle brake for 20 years and harvested scores of deer with it. Great gun, loved it–but I didn’t wearing hearing protection when I hunted, and now I wear hearing aids. It was the only time I know I damaged my ears. The ringing would last for 3-4 days.
I have found from a handgun perspective, I really like the 10 mm in a semiauto. it is by far the most accurate pistol i have shot.

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It’s more about the ratio of the power of the cartridge to the weight of the gun that matters. I have a S&W model 69 that kicks harder with full-house magnum loads than the 454 Casull that I shot once, less powerful cartridge in the 69 but also a much lighter gun. For that matter, I don’t normally like to shoot more than a box of 158 grain 38 special +P out of a S&W 642 in a session, but I could shoot them out of a model 10 all day long. I reload lighter loads for both the 69 and the 642 so that they are more enjoyable (for me) to shoot. S&W makes the scandium model 329 in 44 magnum, but given that it regularly breaks the skin of those who dare to shoot it bare handed, I have no desire to shoot one at all…ever.

That said, my recoil tolerance has gone up over time. I can remember when I thought full-house 357 magnums were something in a full-size gun. I guess I still do find my 180 grain loads to be a little bit of a handful in an SP101, but in my Bisley Vaquero, I don’t think there is any standard pressure 357 magnum would even register on me now.

And there’s another thing. Grips. Grips matter. I’ve had wood grips that felt wonderful holding the gun but that would punish me under recoil because recoil brought some edge to bear on the webbing of my hand that wasn’t there before. With some guns the trigger guard will beat you up unless you get grips that fill it. I had the X frame grips on my 69, and that was better than the originals, but ultimately, even after purchasing a pair of custom made Herrett Jordan Trooper stocks for it, I wound up with cheap Hogue monogrips that don’t even cover the backstrap. They work pretty well for me. The Troopers were awesome for light loads, and with heavy loads they were good for converting the sharp recoil to a roll, but after awhile I didn’t like how the top of the grips would roll over the webbing of my hand. But if you are going to shoot heavy loads, you may need to change the grips to ones that suit you.

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Still waiting on it to come out!

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