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Old December 9, 2012, 07:39 PM   #26
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When I decided to get back into shooting after 15 years [moved/college/life/etc], I researched and bought a .40 as my first handgun. S&W 410 was what I could afford.

I developed a flinch that took me 5 years to remove. Of course I hit the range about once every 3 months during that time, but it lasted a LONG time.

I sold the handgun within 2 years of buying it and went to 9mm/.45acp and .357mag/.38special. Those are the guns that I used and liked.

Based on my experiences, I'd say the shooting instructor's observations make sense. Those are my experiences over the past 10 years also. My personal experience is that the .40 is my least favorite common semi-auto round. I'd pick .45 or 9 above the .40 for pleasure at the range any day.

That said, I've recently picked up a couple of .40s and my flinch with it is almost completely gone. I still don't enjoy the recoil as much as either 9mm or .45acp.

Heck, I would rather shoot 50 rounds of .44mag through my SRH [loaded to around 900 ft/lbs of ME] than 50 rounds of .40 [normal 400 ft/lb ME rounds]through my G22 or BHP.

But, that may be a rationalization to use my SRH more often!
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Old December 9, 2012, 08:02 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Tom Servo
...of course, if I had my way, everyone would start with a .22, then work their way up to .38 in a medium-frame steel revolver before ever touching an automatic in a service cartridge.
Tom, this is why I love you. In a totally socially acceptable dude way, that is.

I cannot begin to count the number of times I have been approached by my Fraternity Brothers, usually around graduation or Christmas, asking what sort of gun they should get for home defense when they move out. My favorite incident was when a relatively quiet mild manner guy, who was a mechanical engineering major up and asks me what kind of gun Jack Bauer carried and was it legal for him to own.

I wish there was some way I could force every one of my Brothers to go through Sergeant Mack's Rimfire Pistol Familirization Course(soon to be tradmarked and have a DVD line) before they saddled off down the road to Bass Pro Shops for thier "Glock Fortay"

.22 automatic, 22 revovler, steel framed .38 Spl, then a steel framed automatic with progressively hotter loads, and finally, if thy so choose, a polymer gun of some sort in a duty round is my general plan of attack when taking some of my novice Brothers pistol shooting for th first time.
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Old December 9, 2012, 08:43 PM   #28
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I was always better with the .45 1911 than with any 9mm, mainly because I spent alot of time and ammo learning to shoot the 1911 with best possible accuracy.
I don't doubt the same would hold true for most autoloaders.

While groups size was if anything tighter with the 9mm I always hit low with the 9mm compared to the .45.

The way I was taught was to roll the web of the hand into the grip to avoid hammer bite then draw the grip back into the V with the middle finger with decreasing pressure of each finger on down with the little finger barely touching the grip.
This lets the pistol roll back into the V so the recoil consistently lets the muzzle rise to the proper angle as bullet leaves the bore.
With lighter bullets at higher velocity and less recoil the muzzle doesn't rise as much. The broad backstrap of the double stack 9mm pistols also reduces roll. The Luger and Lathi compensated by having a more radical grip angle.

As I've mentioned before the only reason I stopped using the 1911 was due to a hand injury that made use of pistols with a grip safety a bit of a problem.
When I master the grip safety of my FN 1922, which is still a problem, I'll be looking to get another 1911.

Theres dozens of reasons why any particular shooter may be more accurate with one caliber over another.
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Old December 9, 2012, 08:49 PM   #29
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Yesterday, I would have called bs on this...actually, I may have in a previous post.

Today Glock 21 vs Glock 23....the 21 had a worse trigger, but was soooo much easier to hit with...slow or rapid fire, the 21 was just easier to hit with! Unbelievable! Honestly, I think the 21's heavier weight and longer barrel was the key.
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:19 AM   #30
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40 has a very characteristic "snappy" recoil. It's not as easily manageable in a firearm of similar size (and nearly identical specs) as a 45 ACP. I can send lead more accurately downrange with just about any 45 compared to a 40, the edge narrows as the guns shrink.

I prefer the 357 SIG, and converted my 40s over to it--I'd shoot it more, but it's expensive... The same goes for 10mm, it's a great alternative to 45, but it's expensive and any gun you want to shoot that round accurately with is a hand cannon. don't like the recoil of 40 and I'm more accurate with 45. SIG is too pricey... 10mm isn't that practical... that brings me back to 45.

There's a reason the 45 round has survived over 100 years. Any gun can be shot accurately. To some, like me, it's easiest to shoot a 45.
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:34 AM   #31
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I wonder who the internet commandos and macho men are - those of us who have owned and shot multiple platform types in the calibers under discussion (9mm, .40, and .45) and have formed opinions based on trigger time, or those who did their research, bought a .40, and now tell us we don't know what we are talking about?

For accuracy, I like a .45 quite well. I find .45 recoil less snappy than .40 recoil. Note that .45 has been lauded for inherent accuracy for decades.

For speed, with good accuracy very close to that of a .45, I like 9mm. (Picking up a P7 PSP next week, and suspect I might get speed and excellent accuracy with that).

I have owned or shot .40 platforms of similar types to pistols I have owned or shot in 9mm and .45, and have sold all but one. Actually, I am listing that one next week, so if anybody wants a P06...

I can't warm up to .40 pistols. I have tried. I like them in theory, but do not like them in practice.
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Old December 10, 2012, 12:46 PM   #32
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Different weapons have different feels as well. I do pretty well with my .45, but grab my brother's .40 or his revolver, and the grip difference is jarring.

If "both" of his .40's are a different gun than his .45 I can believe it.
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Old December 10, 2012, 10:40 PM   #33
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I do not have a ton of experience with .45's but one thing I noticed right away is how gentle a 1911 is. The gun has so much metal and such a balance to it recoil seems to disappear.
Now fire a polymer framed .40 and there is no comparisson. The jolt resonates though the grip.
I can see why 1911 shooters do well with a .45.
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Old December 11, 2012, 03:16 AM   #34
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I just handed my 3" 45 with 200 grain semi wad cutters to a guy Sunday. He had a 40 and was all over the target. His spread was about 14 inches at about 12 yards.
He shoots my 45. having never handled one before, after I briefed him of the controls and safeties of the 45 and he commenced to shoot about a 6 inch group.

I have a 40 and much perfer the 45
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Old December 11, 2012, 04:47 PM   #35
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i shoot my 1911 45 better than any other gun i have, but its not really a fair comparison. My 40 is a glock27, my 9mm is a p11. Until you have 2 guns exactly the same but in separate calibers you cant really attribute it to the caliber in my mind.
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Old December 11, 2012, 05:05 PM   #36
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or those who did their research, bought a .40, and now tell us we don't know what we are talking about?
Sounds a lot like what I said except for the not knowing what you're talking about part...

If you're directing that at me, I did not infer that shooters with more experience aren't correct or don't know something. I only said a broad generalization of why a new shooter would choose a .40 wasn't a fair assessment. I talked at length with a very experienced instructor who said many of the same things I'm hearing here but didn't get a strong opinion that I'd be making a mistake starting where I did. Maybe I like a challenge.

If it came across that I have discredited anyone, I apologize.
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Old December 11, 2012, 06:41 PM   #37
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dstryr, I don't recall if you were one of the posters disparaging others as internet "macho men" or "internet commandos". If you were not, then my remarks were not aimed your way.

As far as metal .45 vs polymer .40, I am not making such comparisons.

Compare SIG P220 to P229; not much weight or length difference, though there is some. P229 was much snappier with .40 or .357 than was the P220 with .45.

I have also owned Glock 30s and a 21, and have shot another person's G22.

9mm vs .40, I have owned or do own:

P01 and P06

PX4 9mm and .40

FNX9 and FNX40

I have owned a Beretta 92 and shot a Beretta 96;

I have owned a BHP 9mm and shot a BHP .40.

So no, I am not comparing a heavy 1911 .45 to a plastic fantastic .40. Whether .45 vs .40 or 9mm vs .40, I am comparing identical or very similar platforms.

To me, the .40 is snappier across the board, and I prefer 9mm or .45.

treg, sometimes people list guns (as above) not because they are internet commandos, but because (in cases like this) it adds some substance to the argument made.
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Old December 11, 2012, 07:48 PM   #38
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P220 Compact/P245 and P229 are virtually identical in specs size-wise, the P229 is chubbier and grips differently (better or worse depending on your perception).

I have both and will attest the P245 has more manageable recoil, less flip, and I can shoot it more accurately at 15 yards. Get closer, and it becomes less of an issue.

I also have shot the G29 and G30 extensively, and both those guns are much more similar in design and the G30 is much easier to handle and there is much less muzzle flip. Both kick about the same.

The ultimate 45 gun is the 1911. Most are solid steel bricks, heavy as hell, absorb recoil beautifully, and seem to be made to shoot the 45 cartridge... oh wait they were. Until I'm an old man who can't see and shoot worth a ****, I'll attest that a well-crafted 1911 in 45 ACP is the best shooting semi automatic weapon that has ever been made or will be made until we're shooting lasers or some crap. 38 Super is a close second.

I don't know why there is such a rush to unseat and replace the 45 ACP round. It's big, slow, has a predictable trajectory, and is easy as hell to reload (even for morons like myself) and works at pressures that are kind to guns.

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Old December 11, 2012, 10:40 PM   #39
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Folks, the only reason the .40 exists is because it'll fit in a 9mm gun and carry twice as many rounds as a .45 1911 pistol. It's much better for the spray and pray crowd. It's much better to throw 30 0r 40 rounds at a bad guy than to shoot only a couple rounds that hit the mark, I don't know why.
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Old December 12, 2012, 02:25 AM   #40
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Folks, the only reason the .40 exists is because it'll fit in a 9mm gun and carry twice as many rounds as a .45 1911 pistol. It's much better for the spray and pray crowd. It's much better to throw 30 0r 40 rounds at a bad guy than to shoot only a couple rounds that hit the mark, I don't know why.
What makes you say that those that like the 40 are spraying and praying? Sometimes it takes more than 1 or 2 hits. I shoot my 40 better than anything else I shoot, besides my 357 Sig , which is technically the same gun.
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:45 AM   #41
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Are we fighting the 'one size fits all' theory?

Just for the tally book, I carry a USPc as a defense pistol. It is the best trade off between 'carry-ability' and 'shoot-ability' I have yet found. If I were carrying openly, I would probably carry either a Government Model in .45 ACP or an N frame S&W revolver in .44 something (or .45 ACP). I carry a USPc because it is easier to carry and hide. That pistol and I can keep all our shots on an IPSC target out to 25 yards all the time and out to 50 if my eyes are cooperating.

For target shooting, I carry something appropriate to the match.

Scotty Coyote makes a very good observation about comparisons. I have several Government Models in .45 ACP and two H&Ks in .40 S&W (USPs, a big 'un and a little 'un.) According to the recoil calculations, the 40s recoil more than the .45s. Not in little part due to the weight difference. However, unless I am shooting them side by side, the difference does not occur to me. There is a marked difference in recoil between a full steel frame pistol and a polymer frame pistol.

It has been mentioned, one must have a pistol that 'fits'. I have small hands, and normally a Government Model is about as big in circumference as I can hold properly. The USPc also fits me, barely. I've carried Glocks (by issue) and they are just too dang large to shoot comfortably; especially one handed.

If one's hands are just a trifle larger, one might be just fine with a Glock.

I am amused by the comment "... .40 is not a beginner's gun..." Many summers ago when I was first interested in firearms and handguns especially, the very same comment was made about the .45 - which in that day meant Government Model. Everyone knew that .45s kicked really hard and were hard to shoot at all, let alone 'well'. They were practically unmanageable by a tyro. History really does repeat itself.
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Old December 14, 2012, 03:55 AM   #42
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I agree that beginning shooters are better off starting with smaller calibers in full size, even metal guns so they don't develop bad habits in response to recoil. BUT, once someone learns how to grip a gun to control recoil and get back on target, I think the difference between a 9, 40 or 45 is negligible. Granted hotter loads make a difference as do the guns, a full size metal 9 is much more managable than a pocket poly gun. I do not buy into the 40 is hard to shoot hooya, but I do see value in capacity and carryability...JMO-
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Old December 14, 2012, 01:02 PM   #43
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We can't tell because we aren't in the other shooters pants and shoes so we don't know what feels good to him or how recoil feels. I have a sister who complains bitterly about the recoil of my 25-20 rifle and 3 shots brings tears to her eyes. I personally feel less recoil from it then I do my 22's but then I think shooting a 10 gauge is fun so I can't judge what she feels.

On the other hand I had a WAC on my Army Pistol Team whose hands were so small she had to hang onto the grip with her thumb on the back strap to reach the trigger with her finger tip and you did not want her shooting at you, She could empty that gun as fast and shoot as good as most of the men on my team. Her sister who was taller and heavier lasted one session, it was to hard for her???

So who likes Stanley tools, who likes Craftsmen and who doesn't care what tool he uses. I have a student who is 6'5" and 300 pounds, the 9MM hurts his hands??? Okay, to be fair he is a teacher and has no idea what a callous is but 2 of his brothers are cops, another is a fireman, a sister is an ER nurse and he is the smallest of them. You would think he would be a .480 Ruger Revolver man but he is wired different.
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Old December 14, 2012, 05:46 PM   #44
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45 is so much easier to shoot than 40. 40 is a snappy bear.
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Old December 14, 2012, 05:51 PM   #45
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From my experience shooting my XD45 ACP and my Glock22 in .40 cal S&W, I was always smoother, more relaxed and better on target with the 45.
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Old December 15, 2012, 01:49 AM   #46
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I shoot 45 better then I shoot a 40 or 9 mil I also have about 100k rounds down range more with the 45 the either of the others. I shoot autos better then revolvers also but I buy more revolvers then I do autos because they are cooler. YMMV
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Old December 15, 2012, 02:04 PM   #47
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I think platform has as much to do with it as anything. We are not all the same, no 2 of us will shoot the same gun the same way. It is interesting though that certain platform/caliber combinations are easier for most people to shoot well. The 1911/45 ACP is one and the Glock 9mm is the other that come to mind for me. I do not shoot anything any better than my Glocks, that includes Smith revolvers, 1911's and H&K's. I can shoot faster with the 9mm conversion, but not better.
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Old December 16, 2012, 07:01 PM   #48
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Twenty years ago, when I first taught my wife to shoot, I taught her on a 1911 in .45, because that's all I had. That was a mistake. (Ignoring, for the moment, all the other mistakes I made that day, like teaching my own wife.)

Now I start people on a Ruger 22/45, then do the standard progression, 9, .38, .40, .45.
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Old December 16, 2012, 10:35 PM   #49
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First center fire long ago was a 4 inch ruger security six 357.
Now years later, I carry a Taurus pt 945. Owned carried shot kel tech 9mm, ruger 9mm in a full size pistol, glock full size 40 cal, Taurus 840.
To my surprise two weeks ago I found myself void of a handgun for about a week. I borrowed a new Ruger SR9C 9mm and found I shot it better than anything ive ever had in my hand. Could almost put rounds into the same hole at 10 yrds firing fairly rapidly.
Im currently saving pennies to get one
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Old December 16, 2012, 10:46 PM   #50
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I shoot my XD45 better than my Issued Glock 22.

Probably because the XD has a slight edge in trigger and a majority edge in I've fired thousads more rounds in it than the Glock.
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