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painted_klown 07-14-2008 07:21 AM

.45 acp and 9mm handguns
Hey all.
As you all know I am a noob to the gun world and have had VERY little opportunity to shoot different gun types and calibers. Up until earlier today I had only shot various .22 lr rifles and a Ruger mkII .22 lr handgun (lots of fun).

Today I had the opportunity to shoot a Ruger .45 acp handgun and an Arcus 9mm handgun.

I must say that I did NOT like shooting the .45. I was intimidated by it's power and sheer force and I wasn't wearing hearing protection!:eek: This was a BIG mistake.
I am NOT kidding it hurt my ears so bad I stopped and started putting my hands over my ears. The shots were so loud my ears started ringing instantly. And it seriously physically hurt as well. Now all day I have felt as if I have an earache in both of my ears. NOT cool. I did not enjoy the experience at all and was uncomfortable shooting a gun that powerful. Not the recoil so much but even that was bad enough I doubt I will be owning one any time soon. Perhaps I will "work up" to larger calibers.....:rolleyes:

The 9mm on the other hand wasn't too bad. I wish we hadn't brought out the .45.....after my buddy ran through a clip and I took a few shots with it my ears were hurting so bad I just wanted to go home.:(

Anyway, yeah. The 9mm wasn't as bad as far as recoil or ear piercing volume. I am planning on asking to take it out again just by its self to get in some more time with it. I will also be wearing hearing protection the next time I fire it up.

I know that this post may make me seem like a "wuss" who can't handle any real firepower but I was just NOT expecting the sheer hurting volume of those guns. It made me very uncomfortable with the .45's volume and power. I was afraid of hurting myself or my friend. We were being completely safe and he was talking me through the steps for firing it but was just too much gun for my current comfort level.

I am used to going out with a group of people, ALL with .22 lr caliber guns and shooting all day........I was really excited to do the same today with some bigger calibers but we actually only stayed out long enough to run through 2 10 round clips in each gun. I was ready to go by then. My friend however didn't seem bothered at all. He was holding the guns with one hand and shooting like it was no big deal.....I don't think I am ready to "take the plunge" and get something larger for myself until I am more comfortable with a larger caliber pistol.

One thing I am considering after todays adventure however is saving up for ever and buying a Glock 17C. The 9mm with the compensator's, just because I think I might be more comfortable with less recoil. I can't imagine being very accurate unless I get comfortable with the actual gun and the way it feels, the recoil, ect....I was thinking a Glock 17C with a .22 conversion kit until I was used to using and handling the gun......its pretty expensive to go that route though so I am just going to try out my friends 9mm some more and decide from there. Hopefully I will not get bothered by the volume and recoil next time.

Shooting a large caliber like the .45 seems to be like a life altering moment. It was a pretty crazy feeling for me. It felt like I had real stopping power in my hands. It was a weird feeling.

Sorry for the long was just an eye opening experience.:)

chorst294 07-14-2008 10:52 AM

Always, always wear ear protection. In my youth, I would shoot without hearing protection and paid the price. I have a feeling I'll continue to pay for that mistake until I'm old. As far as recoil is concerned, everybodies tolerence for recoil is different. I would continue gaining experience with your friends 9mm and maybe even try out different 9mm guns if available to help you decide what type of gun you like. If you haven't done so, I'd try out a Glock before buying. I love my Glocks, but you might not. The .22 conversion for whatever 9mm you purchase is a great idea. Cheap practice in the same firearm you use for protection is valuable training.

ScottG 07-14-2008 11:00 AM


Originally Posted by painted_klown (Post 31795)
We were being completely safe....

Please don't take this the wrong way PK, but you were not being completely safe at all. No hearing protection is one of the biggest mistakes you could have made besides shooting yourself.

Never never never never never never go shooting again without ear plugs or cans or both, especially if you want to try the .45 again. Was your friend wearing protection? Not much of a friend if he didn't remind you to do so. If he had nothing for you, you should have gotten some first, or not gone shooting. Let that be a lesson to you. However, you might have already damaged your ears permanently. You might want to have your hearing checked.

I've taken a few shots with a .22 rifle without protection, but even then I still had some with me and I put it back on after shooting the small caliber. Don't go out uncovered again, it could do permanent damage, and you noticed it took the fun out of shooting.

ScottG 07-14-2008 11:03 AM

Now that the safety portion has been dealt with, don't worry about not liking the recoil. You're not a wuss for being uncomfortable with it. There's a well known Gun Guy who admits to being a "recoil wussy." Nothing wrong with that, just understand that the larger the caliber, the more recoil there will be.

opaww 07-14-2008 11:26 AM

Nothing wrong with being a little recoil shy, when one is new to fire arms. It is something you can get used to the longer you shoot and if you have a real good instructor.

Donít let heavy recoil dissuade you, just take it slow and learn to handle a weapon properly.

Ear protection is among the most important protection one can and should have. The damage even firing a .22 lr. can have on your ears, is ever lasting. In other words you cannot replace your hearing, and a hearing aid is no replacement for natural hearing. Many years ago we did not use hearing protection when firing weapons sense it was all out doors and most people back then would think a person with earplugs or muffs was a *****. Even when I joined the U.S. Army we were issued earplugs for the range but we seldom used them in real combat.

Now almost 40 years later I wish I had used the earplugs each and every time I was enjoying the shooting sport or even in Military action. My hearing is partial gone and will never be repaired.

c3shooter 07-14-2008 02:55 PM

Back in the day. only a "wuss" wore eaplugs. We;;. I am now one of those "real men" that did not wear them, and I have a permanent hearing loss. USE THE HEARING PROTECTION. Whther it is a .22, or a 155 mm Howitzer. Throwaway foam plugs are CHEAP and work well. Show up at the line at my range without hearing protection, you will be given some. Refuse to wear them, you will be asked to leave.

Recoil- well, yes, the 45 kicks. Due to big, fat, heavy bullet that generally can knock most things on their butt. The PERCEIVED recoil will vary to some degree depending on how your hand fits the gun, shooting stance, etc. My girls were shooting 45s at age 12- BUT- I handload, and these were light loads that would barely cycle the action. I also shoot a 9mm Hi-power, and it has MUCH less recoil. But also has less stopping power.

Bottom line- pick something you ENJOY shooting. If that is a .22- well, so what? This is NOT a test of "manliness" (whatever that means- my grandaughters are cute as a button, and enjoy shooting, too) or a test of ability to absorb pain. Find what you like, and go shoot. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks about your choice of a target caliber.

Dillinger 07-14-2008 03:11 PM

You know, when I was about 14, I went shooting with a buddy and his dad for the day. His old man had a lever action .444 Marlin, with a steel buttplate, that you weren't a "real man" until you shot it. Real man or not, that hurt like a Sum of a B!tch when I touched that thing off and I never wanted to shoot it again.

Bottom line, if you aren't comfortable shooting it, what is the point of having it? You won't want to practice with it and you won't get any better.

Find something that fits your hands and that you like to shoot - then it won't be a chore, it will be fun. Which was the idea in the first place.


BigO01 07-14-2008 05:25 PM

Well painted_klown no one here has been rude enough to say it so I will .

We don't consider you a "wuss" but if you don't start wearing hearing protection we will consider you a damn fool for not trying to take care of yourself , especially after so many have tried to tell you to do so .

It isn't just shooting and the sudden high noise involved with it either it is regular exposure to loud noise above a certain decibel level that will damage you forever .

I a Bowling Machine Mechanic and forklift driver by trade and between the constant noise in a Bowling centers machine area and the forklifts and automated machines in warehouses I now suffer from a permanent yet luckily only slight ringing in my ears and I'm only 45 and have used the protection religiously for shooting for 27 years .

Quality protection can be had for as little as $15 for shooting handguns and rifles . Silencio and Peltor both have muffs that cheap with a 25-28 db rating and will greatly help protect your hearing . Even Walmart carries muffs so there's no excuse not to own 2-3 pairs just in case a friend unexpectedly joins you for a day of shooting .

O and BTW be thankful it was a 45 and not a snubnosed 357 with hot magnum loads you think the 45 hurt you ain't seen nothing until you touched off a 357 or are near one without protection . I made the mistake of taking mine off a bit too soon at a range once when leaving and a guy fired a 4 inch barreled 357 , hurt wasn't the word for what my ears felt like and I was 25 feet away .

painted_klown 07-14-2008 06:03 PM

Thanks for the replies/advice all. :)

Yes, I have definitely learned my lesson. Hearing protection is a must. My friend wasn't wearing any earplugs or anything either. He seemed like it didn't bother him at all, I guess he was just used to those volume levels or something.

So I have decided that hearing protection and more practice with a 9mm will be my next "objectives" in my growing gun experience. :D

Before yesterday I was thinking about getting an sks as I became fascinated by their looks and supposed durability. This same friend has 2 of them so I will get the opportunity to shoot one before I purchase. I was just going to get one for the "cool" factor. I have now learned that it's a good idea for me to shoot whatever caliber/style of gun BEFORE I purchase it as I may end up not even liking to shoot it. I am glad however that I have this figured out before I actually made a purchase of some gun I don't like. Too costly of a mistake, I probably would not have gotten close to what I paid even if it was only fired a few times. A financial hit is something that NONE of us need.:eek:

Thanks again for all of the information and advice gentlemen.

Minionsram 07-14-2008 11:12 PM

Also when doing a lot of shooting the regular ear plugs dont help too much, they are better than nothing but not the best. If you are going to shoot alot perchase you a pair of ear muffs. The muffs will protect the ear canal and the mastoid (sp?) bone that is below your canall. You can pick up a good pair for cheap from places like this s.

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