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American Handgunner May/June 2012 Digital Edition - Page 72

I believe it was Rob Leatham who once said, to paraphrase: “The noise and the recoil are part of why we enjoy shooting. It just wouldn’t be as much fun to shoot a silent, recoilless electronic ray gun.” I suppose I have to agree about the “wouldn’t be as much fun” part. But anything that can reduce recoil (and noise) makes any gun a more practical weapon. And even sport shooters go to great lengths to shoot rounds or firearms imparting the least amount of recoil, at least in a match. If you add the effect recoil has on aggravating tendonitis, then the goal of reducing recoil is something just about every shooter seeks to achieve at some level. Even me, with my full-size S&W M&P carry gun chambered for 9mm. “Nine millimeter?” I can hear you say with scorn. “The nine doesn’t have any recoil to begin with!” According to my high school physics textbook, technically it does. And besides, refer to the above paragraph for good reasons. Call me non-manly, if you like, for looking to cut the recoil of even my nine, but you’d also have to level that charge at many top competitive shooters. Toward that end, I recently tried Sprinco’s Recoil Management Guide Rod System in my M&P. The system consists of a replacement guide rod incorporating a secondary spring, and a new recoil spring (some pistols also require a separate bushing). As the slide of a pistol moves rearward, it contacts a sleeve on the rear of the guide rod which engages the secondary (sub) spring contained within it, dampening the slide’s rearward energy just prior to its full rearward travel. The unit is top reducer ralph Mroz recoIl SprInco’S But doeS It work? quality; Sprinco’s rods are made of 17-4 heat-treated stainless steel polished to such a good mirror finish it’s often mistaken for chrome plating. To cut to the chase — it works, and works well. Shooting it side-by-side with a friend’s identical M&P with a stock recoil spring and guide, we both thought it reduced the felt recoil by about 30 percent, shooting both 115gr. standard-velocity and 124-gr. +P rounds. Going back the next day and shooting another couple hundred rounds with the Sprinco-equipped M&P, I experienced zero failures shooting it 2-handed, strong-hand only and weak-hand only. This indicates the sub-spring didn’t cause any short stroking of the slide. I know you can’t really reduce recoil — you can only spread it out over time. But that’s the difference between taking one of Mike Tyson’s punches to the head, and receiving that same energy spread out over a week; one will kill you, the other you won’t even notice. Sprinco president Alan Dugger says: “My primary objective in designing this system was for faster sight recovery in rapid fire; the added benefits of less perceived recoil and reduced slide battering to the receiver are just icing on the cake.” He suggested I try shooting double, triple and quadruple taps to see if his system cut the amount of vertical stringing, compared to shooting with the factory parts. This was actually not the best drill for me because I never shoot as fast as I can pull the trigger; 19½ years of police work has conditioned me not to shoot any faster than I can assess what’s going on in front of me. But top competitors like Phil Strader, Eric Grauffel and Judy Tant use WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MAY/JUNE2012 The Widget 72

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