Radek

.45 vs .40 vs 9mm vs 380, etc ...

53 posts in this topic

I own and bulk of my experience is with 9mm and .40S&W. I have also shot .357 sig, .38 spl, .357 magnum, etc., but the focus of my post is on the primary calibers used today in modern handguns.

 

Some people say .40 is snappier. Snappier than a .45acp!?

 

I will be shooting my recently acquired Sig 220 in .45acp and will give you my impressions. I have heard the boom from a .45acp ..., so I know what to expect.

 

I think the perceptions of snappier (or felt recoil) are based on first experiences (or very limited) ... what do you think?

 

Please rank your rounds based on felt recoil and also indicate your level of experience with it (how long, guns used, etc.)

 

I will convert this post into a poll based on responses here.

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9 is nothing

40 is snappy

45 is just right

10mm is a banger

357 lots of recoil.

12gauge with 3 1/2in turkey load, lots of recoil.

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Obviously, much of recoil or perceived recoil/muzzle flip can be tamed by the mass of the gun itself.

 

For instance, I understand that an LCP (380) is painful to shoot after one or two magazines and yet a PPK (380) is comfortable.

A J frame S&W vs an L frame S&W, both shooting the same loads...

 

I have found that I can get a Commander 1911 (45acp) back on target much faster than a Service length XD (40S&W).

 

My 2 cents. YMMV.

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Mostly, its all about what it's shot in with weight being very important. I have limited experience with .40 (ew!) but I can tell you that a lighter bullet will snap more compared to a heavier one. This is of course, assuming that the energy behind the two loads is similar/the same. Heres what I think:

 

40 pistols are lighter, thus recoil more

40 pistols shoot a lighter bullet but at comparable energy, thus recoil more

40 pistols are lame, so they recoil more :icon_lol:

 

So thats my little pitch on why 40 is considered snappy. Since I dont ever really shoot it however, I cannot compare to .45. But I will tell you this, .45 is not bad at all. Yes, its a noticable difference compared to 9mm though.

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Sigh... my lengthy post got lost. The readers digest version. the recoil impulse dwell time is much shorter on the 40 vs 45 making it feel snappy. Add that to a high bore axis pistol like a HK USPc and you have a whippy pistol. There is barely a recoil difference between 40 and 45. It just if a push you slowly for 2 feet or I shove you two feet in 1/3 the time. Same energy, much different feel. I dont find the recoil to be an issue at all for these calibers. But I have been accused of being recoil insensitive.

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I own an XD and a 1911 in 45 I don't have any issues with recoil, I think because it is a slower round the felt recoil is less. I have a Ruger in 40 and think the recoil is a little snappier but managable. My wife doesn't care for the 40 recoil but likes the 45's. I have owned 2 9mm's - a Beretta and a Glock. The 9 is a great target load and has very little recoil. I also own a PPKs in 380. This is a small gun and the recoil, like the 40 has a bit of a snap to it. My Taurus revolver in 38 is an easy shooting gun and a decent gun for students and inexperienced shooters due to the light recoil. My mom likes the 38's. Then there is my Ruger GP100 in 357 which is a load of fun and has taken a Deer. The 357 is a powerful round but the recoil is managable. I can put 100 rounds through the Ruger in a day but my hands start to get a little sore after two boxes.

In order of favorites: 45, 38, 40, 357, 9, 380.

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if you are interested 40 cal. remember different guns feel different, for example my brothers springfield xd 40 feels like it has more snap than my baretta px40. you gotta shoot alot different guns and calibers to know what works for you everyone is different.

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Mostly, its all about what it's shot in with weight being very important.

 

Whether its a 22 or 8" howitzer, recoil is a function of the total ejected mass (bullet and powder) with a factor for velocity vs the weight of the gun. This doesn't change unless you change the load or gun. There are other factors such as stock configurations and grips which affect felt recoil. Larger grips on a j frame spread the recoil over a larger area making it feel less.

 

Muzzle blast bothers people just as much if not more than recoil.

 

Use the link to calculate recoil for a given load and gun.

 

http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp

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"Muzzle blast bothers people just as much if not more than recoil."

 

I have found this to be absolutely true and have proven it to several shooters that they were reacting to blast, not recoil. I had them plug in earplugs then muffs over that. All of a sudden it didnt recoil so much :D.

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Like the vast majority here I agree. 9mm is a joke, .40 is snappy (especially in a USPc as previously mentioned), and .45acp is just right. I've heard it said over and over again that the .40 is a compromise round that ends up.... compromised. That's not necessrily my experience however. I like 9mm for practice and mag capacity in a zombie situation, and I like .45 for a self defense round.

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And also this to brass:

glock-brass.jpg

 

That's called a Glock "Smile", although considering the possible repercussions, I think a Glock "frown" would be more appropriate. It is why many of us reloaderswho shoot 40/10mm throw in an aftermarket barrel with better head support.

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if you are interested 40 cal. remember different guns feel different, for example my brothers springfield xd 40 feels like it has more snap than my baretta px40. you gotta shoot alot different guns and calibers to know what works for you everyone is different.

 

I think that is because of the rotating barrel .lockup design unique to the Beretta Storm and Cougar models. It is great for recoil reduction.

 

Glock Kabooms are mainly with reloaded ammo, but early generation Glock barrels were not well supported. It happened in other calibers too, but mainly 40S&W because of the higher pressures.They also happened with factory ammo, but less often. Glock doesn't do recalls (which would imply imperfection). They make midstream corrections and don't tell the public. Newer barrels are much better supported, which is why you don't hear much about kabooms any more except from haters.

 

By the way, my vote is for 10mm...

10mm-1.jpg

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After taking Basic Pistol and shooting a whopping 60 rounds or so of 9mm, 38spl, 22lr I had a terrible urge to shoot a .45 1911. I went to ShoreShot and rented the 5" Kimber and thought the recoil was almost more comfortable than the 9mm. The .45 was like someone shoving your hands backward, while the 9mm felt like someone slapping them. Since then I've obviously shot quite a bit more and DO prefer the 9mm recoil (since it's more or less non-existent), but the .45 just feels good. Kind of like a strong handshake from an old friend.

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After taking Basic Pistol and shooting a whopping 60 rounds or so of 9mm, 38spl, 22lr I had a terrible urge to shoot a .45 1911. I went to ShoreShot and rented the 5" Kimber and thought the recoil was almost more comfortable than the 9mm. The .45 was like someone shoving your hands backward, while the 9mm felt like someone slapping them. Since then I've obviously shot quite a bit more and DO prefer the 9mm recoil (since it's more or less non-existent), but the .45 just feels good. Kind of like a strong handshake from an old friend.

 

It also depends on which gun you shoot, man.

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