~~~Sir Issac Newtons third law of motion~~~
That's what recoil is all about. Shoving that bullet at hundreds or thousands of feet per second results in you and your gun being pushed backward equally. Since that bullet only masses a very small fraction of your body mass and the mass of your gun, the results are mostly tolerable and there are things that can be done to lessen the effects of recoil.
There are two types of recoil, actual and perceived. Actual recoil is a constant and can only be changed by lessening the weight or velocity of the bullet. Perceived recoil can be changed in many ways and is what I will concern myself here since firepower is our concern.
We can increase the mass of our gun. Less recoil is felt by using a larger gun, (i.e. longer barrel or heaver frame and grips.)
We can wear a padded shooting glove, but we can't do that unless we know before hand that we are going to shoot.
We can go to more resilient rubber grips which will help take the sting out of the recoil.
We can use a gun that has been "ported", where small slots or holes are machined into the end of the gun barrel which re-direct part of the escaping gasses slightly to the rear and upward. This works extremely well. I have a couple of weapons that have been ported or have a muzzle brake attached which does the same thing.
One is the .44 Magnum that AOW fired. She is just a small thing and the revolver would have tore itself from her hands or flipped up into the air if it wasn't ported. She was sitting down and I stood right behind her because I knew that it would push her back. As it was, although the first shot startled her, she was pushed back but retained control of the gun. It didn't hurt her at all.
From the previous post:
"I don't like SemiAutomatics because I'm afraid of a jam when I need to fire... I prefer revolvers. Any advise if we just consider revolvers? I should have said that before... When we were getting our CWPs, two applicants had semi-automatics jam during the target portion of the test."
Semi-autos are prone to jamming for many different reasons, dirt in the gun, under powered ammo, mismatched gun and ammo (some will simply not function except with certain specific types of ammo, many are prone to jam with hollow point ammo), over-strong springs or worn parts in the pistol.
One cause of jamming is an insufficiently tight grip on the pistol. A semi-auto pistol is operated by recoil. A loose grip can absorb the force of recoil that is required to load the next bullet.
My wife is incapable of firing a semi-auto without it jamming simply because her hands are too small.
"My husband has a Browning 9mm SA - I haven't fired that one yet. Would it have greater recoil than my .38 revolvers? I like the SAs because they carry more bullets, but the jamming thing has me worried."
I wouldn't call semi-automatic pistols SAs. That's a designation that gun people have used for the "single action" pistol or revolver since the late 1800s to differentiate it from the DA (double action) pistol.
Try it out and see. Semi-autos feel totally different than revolvers. In the case of your PPK, the gun is so small that the recoil is greater and the design isn't ergonomic. Hence, it stings your hand.
"a new higher 'power' and/or larger bullet would be for home protection and firing range."
In that case I'm going to recommend you look for a .357 magnum with at least a 4" ported barrel. Use it with 125 gr jacketed hollow point ammo for home defense or a .44 special which is ballistically similar to the .45 Colt. Possibly a ported .44 Magnum from which you may also (or only) shoot .44 specials.
Remember, you should only fire jacketed bullets through a ported pistol.
I'm not going to recommend a .45 Colt Most of the revolvers its offered in are single action only and the double action offerings are extremely expensive. There are only a couple of different bullet loads available for it also. You would be better off shooting .44 specials through a .44 Magnum revolver.