I shot this handgun with a 300 grain Barnes heavy "bear protection" load - once. Once was enough. Broke a fingernail (literally - something on the gun recoiled enough to hit one of my fingers) and drew some blood. Put it down to shoot other guns, but had to wait a while because my hands were shaking. Handgun recoil didn't used to bother me this much - although I once gave away a Grendel .380 because it was undependable and it bruised my hands (within thirty minutes I could see the bruises). Light guns can be brutal regardless of the cartridge. So then I shot it with 240 grain magnum loads. Not pleasant, but controllable enough to shoot a cylinder full - only just. My hands stung afterwards. My son-in-law loves to shoot it regardless of the load. Then I shot it with 240 grain .44 Special loads - 900 fps. Still not pleasant - not that I expected it to be, but still stings my hands. Today I shot 165 grain .44 Special Hornady "Critical Defense" 900 fps. Very manageable, not unpleasant, but recoil and especially muzzle flip, very noticeable. So then I got some Winchester 200 grain Silvertip .44 Special out of the closet - had some left over from when I owned a Charter Arms Bulldog years ago. This is 900 fps, but muzzle energy is about the same as .45 ACP 230 grain ball (which as I recall shooting from a Star PD that is the same weight as the 329PD, was not very manageable or pleasant). Anyway, the Silvertips had only slightly more recoil and flip than the Hornady 165 grain loads, so that is what is in the 329PD now as it sits in my bed headboard. I got online and order both Pachmayr Decelerator and Hogue X-frame grips. I will get some more ammo and see how those work, and which is better. Then I will probably send the gun off to be ported and an action job done on it next year. This is my "field gun" that I carry when walking in the woods. It isn't primarily for self-defense - if I felt I needed to carry a handgun specifically for that purpose (SHTF or going someplace risky) I would carry a hi-cap semi-auto instead, or at least a hideout pocket pistol. I bought this because when I was in Alaska I got real tired of carrying a handgun that weighed over 3 pounds - to the point that when I got out of brown bear country I no longer carried it. But I still like .44 Magnums, I just don't like the weight. So I bought this handgun, knowing it wouldn't be a pussycat like my Taurus Ti Tracker in .357 Mag is, but having no idea that it would draw blood when shot with bear protection loads. I still like it, but I am trying to find ways to tame it. The Silvertips are adequate for anything I will encounter around here - probably even for a bear or cougar (both of which share the mountain I live on (a cougar was seen less than a mile from my house) - but more likely I would encounter a feral or stray dog or human. But I want to be able to shoot a full cylinder of the heavy loads controllably in an emergency if I ever again travel to brown bear country.