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Old March 11, 2013, 03:49 PM   #26
David White
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.40 vs .45 felt recoil

The .40 is a high pressure round. The .45 is not.

.40 ammo operates at the high end of chamber pressure with more felt recoil.
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Old March 11, 2013, 04:00 PM   #27
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The P250 is what I fired the .40 out of. It's my dad's and he says it kicks more than his 1911 in the Navy.

Then again, maybe it's that he hasn't really fired a gun since then and he's not getting any younger. Don't tell him I said that!

Anyways, the .40 is a blast but just a little too powerful for me to control at this point for any kind of combat situation. That and the Double Action trigger pull is so long and fairly heavy so I lose my accuracy after a few shots.

That said, I'll have to try a .45 at some point since the .40 is so fun to shoot in and of itself.
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Old March 11, 2013, 05:37 PM   #28
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One other thing I forgot to mention... Cycle Length.
Besides the size, weight and girth differences between 40's and 45's there is also the distance the slide travels - the longer it travels the less felt recoil as the spring has more time and opportunity to soak it up slowly.

The cycle length of a 45 is longer than a 40 by a few millimeters.
The cases are only about 1mm longer, but the overall length with a round seated is a few more (it has to be able to cycle out a complete round too, not just the case).

Point is.. the shorter the cycle length the "snappier" it will feel with all other things being somewhat equal (40 vs 45 energy levels).
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Old March 11, 2013, 07:20 PM   #29
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It would be nice to compare two similar frames and loads with a compensator!

Here's a nice chart that has the me ft lbs. the .45 acp in Me (ft lb) column compared to the 40 S&W.

But this chart....dunno how accurate it is though surprises me!

According to the chart, the 40 is neck and neck with the .45 in stopping power!

Now they compared the fmj in the 40 as a flat nose and the .45 was just fmj suggesting round nose. and the 40 had it beat in penetration but the true comparison was the hallow point! neck and neck? Your thoughts welcome there.
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Old March 11, 2013, 10:34 PM   #30
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.40 vs .45 felt recoil

That's why I went with the .40 over the .45.
Twice the ammo delivering a stout amount of energy over the .45!
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Old March 11, 2013, 11:00 PM   #31
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To me its like the difference between shooting a shotgun (.40) and a rifle (.45). Its like a slap vs a push. Actually i take all that back, felt recoil is much more about the pistol than the round.
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:54 PM   #32
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I've shot both and I feel that the 40 kicks more and to my way of thinking
If I'm going to endure a heavy recoil then it is going to be with the big
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Old March 14, 2013, 06:28 PM   #33
David White
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.40 vs .45 felt recoil

Weight of the gun could help to mitigate some of the .40 caliber "snap".
It also depends on the grain weight of the ammo you use.
The lighter 155/165 grn rounds have more recoil than say the 180 grn rounds.
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Old March 14, 2013, 07:32 PM   #34
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I believe it would be important to shoot a .45 ACP gun with the same weight as a .40 caliber gun and THEN compare the recoil. I have a .45 ACP 1911 that weighs ~40oz and it has pretty tame recoil. I have a ~30oz XD(M) .40 so it isn't a fair comparison off the bat.

I would like to hear from someone who has shot a 1911 in .40 and .45. Or someone who has shot a Glock in .40 and .45. That would be a much fairer comparison. Same weight, same bore axis, same everything but the caliber.

To make it even better. You need to compare the hottest loads in each caliber. i.e. Not a really wimpy .45 load vs a self-defense .40 load.

Plug in your chosen loads into this calculator: Recoil Calculator

Use the same weight for each gun. You will see that the .40 then has slightly less recoil than the .45 (and a higher capacity). I did notice that the recoil was pretty close to the .45. It doesn't split the difference between .45 and 9mm. It is pretty close to .45. And then putting it into a light polymer-frame gun doesn't really help in comparison to the all-steel 1911s many people are shooting their .45s out of (no offense G21 shooters... maybe you have a G17 and can comment?)
Rifles: Custom AR-15, Tavor, Arsenal SGL 31-68
Handguns: Colt Python, XD(M) 4.5" .40, Glock 19, M&P 9mm, Walther PPQ 9mm, FN FNS-9, HK P30S 9mm, Walther PPS 9mm, Browning Buck Mark
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Old March 14, 2013, 09:31 PM   #35
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I would like to hear from someone who has shot a 1911 in .40 and .45. Or someone who has shot a Glock in .40 and .45. That would be a much fairer comparison. Same weight, same bore axis, same everything but the caliber.
Easy enough. Scroll up.

As I said, I have P250 conversion kits (full size) in .40 and .45.* When firing them back to back (180gr .40, 230gr .45), the 45 does indeed kick more. The .40 isn't quite as snappy as I expected, but it is a touch less of a push than the .45 (although it's recoil characteristics are definitely closer to .45 than to 9mm and .357sig).

*The P250 full size kit is the exact same size across platforms... the only difference on the grip frame is a larger/wider cutout for the .45 magazine. The trigger module used was the exact same one (not same model, same exact module, so the trigger pull was identical). Sig reports the same weight for all calibers (29.4oz, with mag but unloaded). It's as close as you're going to get for being able to duplicate everything about the gun but the caliber.
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:28 PM   #36
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Depending on the loads that I'm shooting, I generally perceive little more muzzle flip with factory loads on the G23 (40 S&W) over the G30SF (45 ACP). However, this does not deter me from grabbing my G23 for the range or HD. I just don't find the slight difference in perceived recoil in making my decision on grabbing either the G23 or G30SF. Although, my wife prefers the G23 over the G30SF. She tells me that the G30SF pushes into her shoulders and she doesn't like it. She says that the grip on the G30 is too fat for her hands. (Weaver...Modified Weaver...Isosceles Triangle...In-Line Grip...Offset Grip...Thumbs Forward Grip...Thumbs Locked Down Grip, I'm not a trainer and I have been married for 28 years and I learned a long time ago not to mess with her shooting style or her wishes.)
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Old March 14, 2013, 11:03 PM   #37
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After kicking this around for a bit i got together today with a friend of mine and we went out shooting at the range. I brought along my hi-point 40 s&w, and my Bersa Thunder 380. He brought his original 1911 and a Taurus .357 magnum.

I mentioned to him about this debate and he said hey, they rent the hi-point .45 acp here and the frames are near identical given the small caliber difference, lest test!

Anyway we shot both hallow points and flat nosed fmj 40(wad cutter style?) and round 45acp and compared the difference. The kick was a slightly more in the 40 S&W...but ever so slightly with the fmj....due to flat nose? then the hallow points the 45 kicked harder?
We used max load Winchester fmj in Winchester and hallow points were Hornady (since he had Hornady we matched a box in 40 s&w).

So i said hey lets get some reloads, they are round nose and save the good ones for home.

So we tried the reloads...and wow no difference.

Interestingly enough we broke for home and set up some clay for ballistics.

The forty Winchester had same penetration, from the 40 s&w more damage (thinking the flat nose).

So we tried the hallow point and we had slightly more damage from the 45 acp and more penetration from the 40 S&W.

Then said what the heck tried the factory loads and had 3 1/2" more penetration from the 40 s&W about 12 3/4" vs about 9 1/4" 45acp.
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Old March 15, 2013, 12:22 AM   #38
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What you noted there, Wreckin' Crew, is exactly why I don't feel under-gunned with the 40 S&W.
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Old March 15, 2013, 12:57 AM   #39
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Re: .40 vs .45 felt recoil

Originally Posted by Mike38 View Post
I’ve shot tens of thousands of .45 ACP, but only three rounds out of a .40, so this isn’t much of a comparison really. To me the .40 is a “snap” for lack of a better word, and the .45 is a “push”. The .45 is more pleasant to shoot as far as I’m concerned.
This is pretty much how I would describe my experience as well...
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Old March 15, 2013, 02:07 AM   #40
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I like the 9mm and .45acp recoil better than the .40. To me [and this is only MY experiences], the .40S&W has the worst recoil traits of either of the other two rounds, with the best combination of self-defense traits.

Around 2001 I bought my first handgun. I grew up around them, but didn't shoot often. I hadn't fired a handgun in 10 years at that point. For the $ involved, I decided on a .40 for the blend of power and capacity.

I'm in california, so limited to 10 round mags.

I bought a S&W model 410 [alloy frame and steel slide], as it was the price I could afford.

I developed SERIOUS flinch problems and accuracy issues when I went shooting.

Of course, I only hit the range about once every 3 months, so it wasn't often enough to really work at it.

My accuracy and flinching improved over time, but the biggest improvement came after doing a lot of .22lr work to fine-tune my trigger control. Then, on to 9mm and .45acp. I was able to handle them better. Back to .40S&W and back to problems.

Around 2003 or 2004 I sold the .40S&W and gave up on it. I've stayed with other calibers and worked on trigger control/sight picture [and other mechanical aspects of shooting]. I've gotten better.

Recently I picked up a couple of .40S&W guns again [G22 and BHP].

I am more accurate with them than I used to be, but I still don't find them as enjoyable to shoot.

Heck, I'd rather put 50 rounds of .44Mag through a SuperRedHawk than 50 rounds of .40S&W. And I do not mean weak/cowboy loads of .44mag, but standard pressure rounds.

I agree about the descriptions of the .40 recoil: more 'snap' than the .45, but more 'push' than the 9mm. And, to me, less pleasant than either.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:16 AM   #41
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Jmstr, i can understand your .45 comparison based on personal experience, why the 9mm?
It should have lower recoil than the 40 S&W and the 45 ACP. Now if you threw in the 10mm...then we have a new quarterback to compare!
Now that i mention it anyone experience the 10mm? One caliber i have never shot. Got a comparison to the 45?
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Old March 15, 2013, 10:05 AM   #42
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What I mean is that 9mm feels like it snaps more in my hand, but doesn't put as much force into it. For me it is the combination of the faster round and the sound of it, with the faster 'pop' from the barrel. It doesn't cause as much muzzle flip or as much pressure backward as the .45 for me. But the pressure it DOES create is a quicker 'pop' or 'snap'.

For me the 9mm has less rearward thrust than the .40 or .45, which is why I can recover faster and get more rounds on target in less time. But, the supersonic round [anything over 1130 fps] and the faster recoil impulse makes if feel like a 'snap' to me, rather than the slower and more forceful 'shove' or 'push' of the .45acp round.

So what I meant was that the .40 shoves back as hard as the .45 in my hands [reducing recovery time compared to 9mm], while 'snapping' or 'popping' more in my hand [due to the faster round causing a faster recoil impulse/cycle].

So I can recover target acquisition fastest with the 9mm, I can ride the .45 thrust back to target acquisition easily with the .45 [as it is a relatively gentle strong thrust], but the .40 feels like a more violent rearward thrust that is the hardest for me to overcome.

Trying to use the .40 alone for the first year, and actually firing it only about once every 3 months, allowed me to develop a serious flinch that took me years to overcome. Of course, when I started to overcome it is when I started to hit the range every 2 weeks or less, and I worked with a .22lr for 2-300 rounds per range session to work the flinch out. And THEN I started the ball and dummy drill and others to work it out with 9mm and .45, before finally, 10 years later, picking up another .40s&w.

I've fired a 10mm for one magazine worth. It was a Glock [21? 20?], which meant it didn't fit my hand right. For me, the 10mm was something like shooting a cross between a overpowered .357mag and a moderate powered .44mag, but in a platform that felt 'wrong' in my hands. Sorry people: I'm one of those who don't care for the feel of a Glock in my hand. I have one, but only one.

I intellectually like the idea of a 10 round handgun firing rounds that are at least as powerful as full-powered .357mag, and closer to entry.44mag numbers, but with 4+ more rounds in it. If I lived outside of California [or New York, or a few others], I'd also like the idea of having 12+ rounds of that ammo to fire at once.

However, I'd have to try it in a different platform. A 1911 platform would feel better in my hands, but then I'm talking adding a $1000+ gun for 2-3 more rounds of the same power as the GP100 or SRH I already have and enjoy. Plus the ammo for the .357mag is both cheaper and easier to find in my neck of the woods.

I have too many toys [my wife's words] for that experiment. I'd be more interested in a 10mm top end that would work on my M&P .45 frame [if the frame can handle the 10mm full power stuff].

But, recoil wise, it was a .40S&W on steroids, putting it above .357sig and closer to top powered .357mag rounds. I like .357mag and .44mag. I can shoot a box or two of the stuff without trouble [unlike my dad, who does 2 cylinders of .44mag and is done]. The 10mm is manageable, but is in another class above the recoil of 9mm/.40S&W/.45acp.

And yes, I know the arguments that 10mm is what .40S&W SHOULD have been, before it was downloaded for the FBI, etc.
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Old March 15, 2013, 02:23 PM   #43
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They're so close in overall power in my opinion.
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Old March 15, 2013, 04:55 PM   #44
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i would agree that .40 is more uncomfortable to shoot than .45ACP. i also feel that .380 is more uncomfortable to shoot than .45 for the most part. i hate hate shooting .380 for fun.
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Old March 16, 2013, 10:38 AM   #45
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.40 vs .45 felt recoil

My limited perspective...

I've shot thousands of 45acp rounds from steel framed 1911s, both government and commander models, and never thought the recoil was an issue.

I've shot a few magazines of 40s&w through a pal's Glock, and didn't feel the recoil was bad at all.

I have an alloy framed Colt 1911 lightweight commander in 45acp and I definitely notice the recoil on that one, but still wouldn't consider it to be a big deal.

The recoil that has me thinking "ouch" is 38+P out of my airweight snub.
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