Greg, I agree that the 226 is still a shootable weapon. A self-loader that large firing a 9mm has a very mild recoil indeed. However, that is not to say that the 226 is one of the all-time greatest hammer and controlled pair pistols out there. My original statement was that the 226 is one of the worst pistols in this regard, not the best.
You mention the 686 and say that the 686's bore axis is even higher than that of the 226. This is probably true. The revolver, by its very nature, has to have a high bore axis. The only way to lower the bore axis would be by having a narrower cylinder. (I'm not including the oddball revolvers that fire from the six o-clock chamber.) That does not make the revolver a poor design, for its relatively high bore axis is inherent to its design, the same way a longer overall length is inherent to the repeater's design.
But one of the reasons the 226 is a poor design is that its bore axis can readily be lowered, i.e., it's not inherent to its design. As I said before, the Glock features an identical method of operation (modified Browning short recoil with the chamber reinforce and ejection port locking the barrel and slide together) yet it has a substantially lower bore axis than the 226 does. Combine the high bore axis with the 226's DA/SA trigger action and you have one of the worst hammer and controlled pair shootability of any 9mm self-loader.
Originally Posted by greghirst
My mentioning the FG42 illustrates the point that, despite a supposed low bore axis design, accuracy was difficult due to it's full-size round and resulting muzzle climb.
Yes, the FG42 does have poor full-auto controllability despite its low bore axis. That is correct. However, I said previously that the FG42's poor full-auto controllability was due to its full-power cartridge and not its straight-line layout. I never said that a low bore axis was dispositive and controlling to the exclusion of all other design factors. It is merely one of many other shootability factors. For example, let's say H&H makes a self-loader chambered for .700 Nitro Express. Let's say this self-loader has straight-line construction with a fishtail buttstock. Is this weapon going to be controllable? Will it have low felt recoil? Of course not. But it will have lower felt recoil than than if it had a high bore axis.
According to your line of reasoning, the FG42's low bore axis is irrelevant because the rifle would not be controllable in full-auto no matter what recoil-reducing features were fitted. However, reducing felt recoil and muzzle flip are not an all-or-nothing thing. It's a success if a feature on a weapon (such as a low bore axis) merely helps to reduce felt recoil and muzzle flip. For example, if the FG42 had a high bore axis, it would be even more uncontrollable in full-auto mode than it is now.