As an avid gamer and an avid shooter in real-life, looking over the recoil system in Spycraft has me a little confused. Some of the recoil ratings make little sense to me. For instance, the Glock 17 has a recoil rating of 18 (a 9mm pistol), while while the Glock 21 (a .45 ACP pistol) has a recoil rating of 16; heck the Glock 20, (the 10mm pistol) has a 19, one more than the 9mm. Now, having shot both the 17 and 21 models, I can tell you for a fact that the recoil on the 9mm is considerably less than the .45. Though I've not fired the 10mm, it's frame is the same dimensions as the .45, but it is a much more powerful round (steel-framed pistols have trouble handling the 10mm in fact, some having their frames cracked by repeated use, hence a reason why the .40 cal was developed), and can even be used for hunting. Compare these ratings to a Beretta 92 9mm, with a 12 recoil rating, or the 93R with a 10 (for a burst-fire capable weapon, both steel framed guns), these values seem quite a bit off (on a side note, the composite weapon quality is just completely wrong...but I can understand it's purpose for the setting).
Then there is the Kel-Tec P3AT, a .380 auto gun, that while small, has a recoil rating of 33! While I can understand that such a small, light gun can have quite a recoil, you'd still have to have a 27 str to aim and brace it without penalty. That just seems waaaaay off, and much too high. A little gun like that with more recoil force than a .500 magnum or a .50cal rifle? Not happening.
Even the bolt-action rifles have issues. What's the reasoning behind the AI AW's recoil rating of 12 vs. the (same caliber) AI AW Covert's rating of...2? It's the same cartridge, and the gun weighs only about 1 pound less than the non-covert version. None of the additional 'covert' weapon qualities have anything to do with reducing recoil by 10. Honestly, I can't even begin to fathom the reasoning on these ratings.
I personally feel that the recoil system isn't needed at all, or at the most, needed only as something relating to non-proficiency, or possibly for not having a forte in the weapon group. The description of recoil itself sounds more like 'flinching' to me, which is common if you've not trained and practiced with a weapon. I understand that in most cases, it's only going to be a -1 penalty, but I've lost count of how many times I've actually missed in an RPG because I was off by one. I'm just looking for some solid reasoning on why some recoil ratings seem okay, while others, like the ones I've mentioned above, for example, seem completely off, as though they were chosen at random.