I've been what you might call an old-school gun guy.
For semi-autos, my preference ran toward stuff like a Beretta or Taurus 92, maybe a Beretta Tomcat in .32 for pocket carry.
When it came to handguns, I've leaned to tried-and-true classic wheel guns like the Smith and Wesson Model 10, or a Ruger Service Six revolver. Some of the new alloy snubbies only reinforced my old school preference, the recoil just kills my hand and wrist when a gun's too light.
Gotta say, it was my wife who put me on the path to composite enlightenment.
She likes to shoot a Glock. And because she shoots a Glock, I tried a Glock.
It's a sweet experience. And accurate way, way out.
Yesterday, I shot a Ruger LC9s. Always assumed a smallish 9mm pistol would be like a snubbie revolver, a real pain to shoot. I was wrong. Sure, there's some recoil. But not near what I would have previously expected.
So what's up? Why are these newer technology semi-autos so much more pleasant to handle?
I suppose part of it is the softer composite grips. Sometimes there's a double recoil spring. And there's the cut of the gun itself: Your hand grips higher, and the barrel a wee bit lower on many newer pistols. This means a muzzle blast puts less torque on a gun when it's held properly and fired.
Less torque (less recoil, if you will) means less shooter fatigue, and a faster ability to get a gun back on target after a round is fired.
And the lighter guns are so much easier to carry. In a proper pocket holster, you can carry something like a Ruger LCP or a Kel-Tec P32 all day, and almost forget it's riding in your cargo shorts. A heavier old school pocket gun like the Tomcat can really beat up your leg in the course of a day, even in a proper holster, just from normal movement associated with walking or other daily activity.
Don't get me wrong, I still have my old school favorites. Was a time some of them were considered cutting edge. But I'm also seeing great advantage in some of the newer options.
I'm not trying to talk anyone into giving up their favorite 1911. But if you haven't tried any of the newer semi-autos, ask to shoot a buddy's, or rent one for a range session, if for no other reason than to better understand what other folks are using.