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Where did “soft shooter” come from? Login/Join 
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted
Yeah, another terminology gripe.

Where did “It’s a soft shooter” originate? It seems to becoming more and more prevalent, and based on the many times I’ve encountered it, I gather that it means the gun doesn’t have much felt recoil. If that’s the case, why not say, “It has less felt recoil than the XYZ”? Recoil is what guns have. Soft makes it sound like a toilet paper commercial.

What’s next? “Oh, Pet, the Hoppe’s and 700X I’m using with my Alien meld together ever so wonderfully to form the most delightful fragrance”? Roll Eyes




“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 45451 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shall Not Be Infringed
Picture of nhracecraft
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Uhhh, Hoppe's IS 'the most delightful fragrance' all by itself... Wink


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Posts: 5826 | Location: New Hampshire | Registered: October 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Experienced Slacker
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Likely from the ever increasing chance that you are trying to sell a gun to a woman. Nothing wrong with that of course, but I'd bet that is the primary reason for such a phrase.
 
Posts: 6933 | Registered: May 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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I think it came from, and tend to use it, in the context of open-bolt versus closed bolt subguns. Closed bolt guns tend, at least for me, to shoot "softer" in that they don't have that open bolt chatter like Uzis and Ingrams.
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: June 11, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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quote:
Originally posted by kidcop:
they don't have that open bolt chatter like Uzis and Ingrams.


You could say that. Wink

And you see, without your saying that, I would have no idea what "soft" meant in your example. So not only am I reminded of a toilet paper commercial, I am not informed as I'm sure you'd like me to be. Smile




“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 45451 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Oriental Redneck
Picture of 12131
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
...why not say, “It has less felt recoil than the XYZ”? Recoil is what guns have. Soft makes it sound like a toilet paper commercial...

It's a "soft shooter" requires less effort (in both conversing and typing). And it is really soft, like Charmin. Big Grin


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Posts: 22395 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: September 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
Picture of Flash-LB
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quote:
Originally posted by nhracecraft:
Uhhh, Hoppe's IS 'the most delightful fragrance' all by itself... Wink


Yeah, but combined with the fragrance of burnt 700X, it's heaven.

Got to thinking about the OPs rant and here's my 2 cents worth.

It has less felt recoil thn XYZ is specific to comparing it to one particular handgun.

Saying it's a soft shooter is generic in that it doesn't compare it to anything at all, just says recoil is mild. I've been hearing this one for at least 30 years or so.

I see uses for both expressions.
 
Posts: 8766 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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I guess the Russians or Democrats have been censoring what I heard and read for the past 50 years or so because it’s only in the past couple of years I’ve heard/seen the expression in any context to refer to felt recoil or anything else. But then it wouldn’t been the first time my experiences—or at least memories—have been different from someone else’s.

But whether I missed it all these years does not change my opinion of the expression, and I will remember it if I ever see a toilet paper commercial again. Smile




“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 45451 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His diet consists of black
coffee, and sarcasm.
Picture of egregore
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A .44 Magnum loaded with .44 Specials has less, therefore "softer," recoil, than the same gun with full-power loads. I consider .45 ACP to have a gentler, "sharp push" recoil than the "snappy" recoil of .40 S&W. Unlike improper word usage like "ordinance" when you mean "ordnance" or "reign in" when you mean "rein in," I don't find "soft-shooting" to be wholly inappropriate.
 
Posts: 25569 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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I do understand that most 44 Special loads have less recoil than many 44 Magnum loads, and when I shot a lot of the latter, that’s how I put it. People understood that as well.

As for what other people used to say, I would have had a vivid memory of it if Dirty Harry had said his handloads were “softer shooting” than full power ammunition. But he didn’t. He said they were easier to control because they had less recoil.

But we can agree to disagree about whether we are referring to what guns do or whether we are characterizing toilet paper. Wink




“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 45451 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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When I see a post with "soft shooter", I expect other posts from the same person of "the rifle is sub-MOA, all day long, as long as I do my part." The drivel-o-meter is pegged in the warning zone.
 
Posts: 7278 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
is circumspective
Picture of vinnybass
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^^^ As long as the fitment is right.



"We're all travelers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house. Birth 'til death. We travel between the eternities."
 
Posts: 5137 | Location: Las Vegas, NV. | Registered: May 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
Picture of jhe888
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I am a confirmed language curmudgeon and grammar NAZI, but "soft shooter" doesn't bother me in the least. It seems an apt expression.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 51270 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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So, what’s the opposite?
“It’s a rough shooter.”
“It’s a hard shooter.”
“It’s a firm shooter.”
“It’s an erect shooter.” I believe that will be my new favorite. Wink

I of course don’t expect to change any practices. In fact, whenever I post something like this I can expect to see a rash of posts that are obviously intended to use the term as a way of exercising the poster’s right to say “soft shooter” if he wants to.

But at least I got it off my chest. Smile
(Next will probably be a rant about Internet firearms and ammunition testing protocols.)




“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 45451 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Although I don't think I have ever used the term, soft shooter has never struck me as annoying.

Weirdly, perhaps, "felt recoil" does. It seems kind of pretentious in its supposed technical correctness, when "felt" is just as subjective a description as "soft". Is there some device that scientifically measures recoil, like we measure trigger pull weight? There may be but I've not seen or heard about one.

Just say "recoil" Smile
 
Posts: 340 | Location: The Sun & Fun Capital of the World | Registered: May 03, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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I agree that “felt” recoil is to a degree the same sort of unnecessary enhancement of the term. It does, however, focus on the fact that the shooter can perceive the same absolute amount of recoil differently with different guns. The one time I shot a Glock chambered for 40 S&W it hurt my hand, whereas I can shoot SIG pistols of similar weight and barrel length with no discomfort at all. The recoil of the different guns isn’t significantly different, but how I feel it certainly is.

There should probably be a term to describe what I’m referring to that doesn’t include “recoil” at all, but I’m not sure what it would be. And of course none of the pundits who discuss such things would have any interest in changing their terminology.




“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 45451 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When you only take one of the two recommended
Horny Goat Weed® capsules.


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Posts: 13796 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
Picture of Flash-LB
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Then of course, there's recoil tolerance which varies tremendously from one person to the next.

For many years, I'd shoot 200 or so full house .44 Magnums each time I took a .44 to the range. I haven't done that in a long time but it takes a lot of recoil to get my attention, so me telling someone that it doesn't have much recoil is very misleading.

The opposite is also true of many shooters which further complicates the terminology.
 
Posts: 8766 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peripheral Visionary
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I recently referred to the G20 as shooting softly. I was so pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the recoil was the first time I shot it, softly seemed like the appropriate adverb.




 
Posts: 10716 | Location: Texas | Registered: January 29, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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quote:
Originally posted by tigereye313:
I recently referred to the G20 as shooting softly.


I wasn’t going to get into the grammatical aspects of the issue, but now that it’s been brought up, that is another thing.

“Soft” in the sense of a “soft shooter” is an adjective modifying “shooter” which in that expression is a gun, i.e., a noun. In that context therefore, what it implies is that the gun is soft, or to use a couple of synonyms, that’s it’s squishy or malleable, or perhaps flaccid (to return to one of my antonyms). That, of course, is not what people mean by the expression. What they’re referring to is how it shoots, not the “shooter.” That means the proper modifier would be an adverb in a phrase such as, “It shoots softly,” as you correctly pointed out and used—but which most people don’t.

Smile




“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 45451 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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