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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In 1992, as a young Marine with limited funds (“One doesn’t become a Marine to get rich,” a sergeant once told me), I purchased a small .380 semi-auto pistol called the Grendel P12. It was a polymer frame pistol that many called the “tiny Glock,” although it obviously had nothing to do with the Austrian gunmaker. They were a company in Florida that made firearms and owned by a gentleman named George Kellgren. Many may know him as the man behind Kel-Tec. Grendel ceased making pistols in 1994 and Kellgren re-emerged with his new company, Kel-Tec that continues manufacturing arms today.



After purchasing my Grendel P12 for carry in my car (legally) and for home defense, I took it to the range on one of our training days. After shooting the required pistol courses as a military policeman (MP), the training officer would usually open up the range for us to shoot any of our own personally-owned pistols. I was eager to shoot the Grendel, and I pulled it out of its diminutive box and eagerly loaded the 9 round magazines, of which I had two. As I was loading my magazines, the lieutenant came over to me and laughed at my pistol. He said it was tiny and probably not very good. I told him I’d let him shoot it, and he said, “Sure, I’ll shoot it. How bad can it be?” Well, what we both weren’t aware of is that repeated shootability at the range was not a strong suit of the P12. I found out quickly that after a few magazines, the force of the .380’s went directly into the wrist and caused some unexpected soreness in the wrist. The lieutenant saw me massaging my wrist and asked me if I would prefer a BB gun to shoot. I handed the pistol and a magazine over to him and said, “Here, Sir. Shoot the magazine.” He took the pistol, inserted the magazine, racked the slide, and with a grin aimed at the target. I watched him pull the trigger, and the smile immediately disappeared from his face. A few more rounds, and he looked down at his hand. “What the heck? This kicks like a mule for its size!” he told me, and called a few other officers and staff NCO’s over to shoot it. They were all impressed with its accuracy and build, but nobody was happy with its recoil. They agreed it was a great pistol to have as a backup or as a defense weapon, but not for a plinker or range shooter.



On bus on the way back from the range, I asked the lieutenant if he wanted me to bring extra rounds the next time we went to the range for him to shoot the Grendel. He told me in no uncertain terms and in quite colorful naval traditional language that not only was it not necessary, but not recommended.



I still own the Grendel, and it was my daughter’s concealed car carry weapon for a few years (legal in Texas) until she exchanged it with me for a Daewoo DP51. She will soon be trading up to a Glock 19 Gen 2.
 
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I have a candidate for a more obnoxious small gun, the Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV. Tiny grip, not very heavy, recoil with 3/4oz 410 ga ammo is just plain nasty.

My S&W 500 Mags are far more comfortable to shoot. Sold the nasty little thing. Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I once fired a derringer in 357 mag. I will NEVER do that again. The Grendel cannot be anywhere near that bad.
No; probably not! lol A .357 Derringer sounds pretty rough!

I have a candidate for a more obnoxious small gun, the Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV. Tiny grip, not very heavy, recoil with 3/4oz 410 ga ammo is just plain nasty.

My S&W 500 Mags are far more comfortable to shoot. Sold the nasty little thing. Don
That sounds pretty rough, too!
 

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I posted in another thread about shooting a friends sawed off 410 gauge "pistol". It was horrible. Unbelievable muzzle flip.

However, I have to tell you a story to shame me.

I never had much experience with handguns until I got on shipboard in the Navy. I had heard my friends and their acquaintances discussing how bad the recoil was from a 1911 for some years, so I believed it.

First day at sea that we broke out the small arms for shooting practice, I picked up a 1911. I was on the fantail and shooting at milk cartons thrown overboard. So it was a pretty stable platform.

I wracked the slide and took a stance that I hoped would help me handle the massive recoil I was expecting. I finally slowly pulled the trigger and it fired.

For some seconds I just stood there waiting for this punishing recoil to overcome me, until I realized it was all over. There was a couple of guys behind me laughing their heads off at me anticipating the god awful event this pistol was going to perform on me.

I overcame the embarrassment and to this day I believe the 1911 is the nicest, softest shooting, most ergonomic handgun I have ever fired. I was totally embarrassed but got over it.

Your experience seems to make up for mine.......:scared:
 

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A friend of mine had a derringer in .45 ACP. His hand loads were hot. I only fired one round out of the gun and gave it back to him

Another brutal gun to fire is my SP101 with full power .357 loads. I replaced the stock grips with Pachmayr's and it is better, but I still shoot it with .38 Special rounds. I can't imagine what a S&W J frame is like in .357.
 
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I had a Kel-Tec P-11, probably a great grandson to your Grendel, that I think was the hardest kicking handgun I've shot to date. It wasn't bad for a box or so of ammo, but much more than that, and my arm would tingle all the way up to my elbow for a day or two.

Great little carry gun, but not something to take to the range and plink away all day with.,
 
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I had one of the internal magazine models and it was awful. Could not get through a mag without the rounds locking up inside. Horrible trigger and not comfortable at all.
 

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I've found by and large, none of the small .380 or 9mm guns to be fun to shoot. I do practice with mine at the range, but try to get that out of the way early, and get to the full sized guns that are more enjoyable. The small size and light weight are what make them great carry guns, those same factors make them not a lot of fun to shoot.
 
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I had both the Grendel P10 and P12. My P12 came with a 10rd and 12rd plastic mags. The 10rd mag was never very reliable.

They are, hands down, the hardest recoiling 380s I ever shot. They weigh next to nothing. Maybe yours, were like mine, having a mold seam on the inside of the trigger guard that would cut my trigger finger during recoil.

But, perhaps, the most annoying feature was field stripping. Need three hands and a punch to take them apart. After years of abuse to my wrist, I sold them. One of the few guns I never regret selling.
 

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I've found by and large, none of the small .380 or 9mm guns to be fun to shoot. I do practice with mine at the range, but try to get that out of the way early, and get to the full sized guns that are more enjoyable. The small size and light weight are what make them great carry guns, those same factors make them not a lot of fun to shoot.
I've got a Sig 238 that I thought would be a lot snappier. Recoil feels like a .22, to me at least. The 938 isn't much worse.
 

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I had both the Grendel P10 and P12. My P12 came with a 10rd and 12rd plastic mags. The 10rd mag was never very reliable.

They are, hands down, the hardest recoiling 380s I ever shot. They weigh next to nothing. Maybe yours, were like mine, having a mold seam on the inside of the trigger guard that would cut my trigger finger during recoil.

But, perhaps, the most annoying feature was field stripping. Need three hands and a punch to take them apart. After years of abuse to my wrist, I sold them. One of the few guns I never regret selling.
Yeah, field-stripping was like spading a grown lion. It was after I field-stripped once that I decided to get rid of it. I don't even know if I sold it, I might have thrown it away. Just wasn't worth the aggravation.
 

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I've got a Sig 238 that I thought would be a lot snappier. Recoil feels like a .22, to me at least. The 938 isn't much worse.
I've shot the 938 and agree, the heavier steel frame gives it enough heft to tame them and make recoil more a rearward push than a flip. As size goes, they are perfect. However, I carried a Colt .380 that weighed about the same and the Bodyguard is noticeably lighter than either one.
 

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You can really see the similarities between the P12 and the Kel-Tec P11. I think those guns were punishing by design; it keeps the round-count low, increasing service life...
 

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I had the first P-12 that loaded from the top with a stripper clip, when they came out with the reconfigured P-12 using a magazine I sold the other one and bought it with 4 magazines. Carried it for years, never once jammed. eventually sold it and carried the KelTec P-32, then the .380.
 

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I had one in '91 and it was without a doubt the worst pistol I've ever had. Back in the day they were known as "throw-aways," at least in the B'ham, AL area where I policed. I bought it new from a local gunshop that I'd done alot of business with, and it took THREE replacements to get me ONE fairly reliable P12. It had those lousy internal magazines and the first three wouldn't even make it through one mag without locking up. It was really comical, everytime I'd hand a pistol back to the gunshop's owner he'd just toss it and give me another to try. THREE times he did that, and on the fourth attempt I ended up with a fairly reliable little piece of sh##. After the final one's first cleaning I traded it for an even bigger POS, a Tokarev.
 
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