.40cal recoil vs .45cal recoil

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by VASH1456, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. VASH1456

    VASH1456 New Member

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    Is there a noticeable difference in recoil between a .40cal and .45cal? And does barrel length and what the weapon is made out of play a role also in the recoil?
     
  2. Polygon

    Polygon New Member

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    Yes, yes, and yes.
     

  3. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    there is a difference between the two. the 40 has a little sharper recoil, not unpleasant, but sharper. material of the pistol will translate into how it absorbs recoil. lighter pistols tend to have more felt recoil than heavier ones. size can make a difference in felt recoil also. compacts are sometimes harder to manage recoil due to their grip size.

    if you are curious about them and how they shoot, then see if you have a gun range near you that rents pistols to shoot and try them out to find out about the recoil.
     
  4. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    1911 recoil is like apple pie and good sex after you achieve zen oneness :cool:
     
  5. crazycharlie2

    crazycharlie2 New Member

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    I only have one .40. It's a S&W Sigma.
    Recoil is snappier than my 1911.
    What others have said about weight, bbl, length are are all contributing factors.
    Comparisons to a polymer frame and all steel frame, the ergonimics, etc is like comparing apples to oranges.
    I have an XD Tactical in .45. Thirteen rds, in the mag. As you shoot it and as the weight of the ammo lessens with each shot you can feel a slight difference in recoil.
    The Sigma is my truck gun due to it's size, stainless steel and polymer being a low maintenance pistol.
    I prefer shooting my .45's,
     
  6. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    Hmmm...
    I hate the recoil of .45's. Only have a full-size Colt 1911 Combat Target now and that has a recoil-damping recoil spring guide. LOVE the .40 tho, even in my compact 1911-type.
     

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  7. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    hmmmm..... some people just don't appreciate a 45 acp!
     
  8. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, both cartridges are different. The .45 is a lower velocity, somewhat lower pressure round. So, yes they recoil differently.

    Yes barrel length can have some effect on recoil in either cartridge chambering. The extra weight may reduce felt recoil or actually dampen it, or it may increase some leverage at the muzzle and increase the perception if recoil with increased muzzle rise.

    Different gun designs and materials have effects as well. Polymer framed guns may be lighter in weight but they may also have some shock absorbing flex in their material properties. How high the bore is above the hand also influences muzzle rise or muzzle flip which can increase perceived recoil.

    I have noticed that a Sig 220 and a Glock 21, each chambered in .45 ACP, give different perceived recoil. The Glock sits with the bore axis lower and closer to the hand, and the polymer frame flexes somewhat, so it feels like it recoils less and it dies have less muzzle flip.
     
  9. levelcross

    levelcross New Member

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    I prefer the BOOM of the .45 to the flip of the .40 in almost every gun I have compared the two with.
     
  10. Polygon

    Polygon New Member

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    I would go with the .45 ACP.

    I'm not a fan of .40 S&W. For all intents and purposes, it shouldn't exist. It is a high pressure round and it wears guns out faster. I also, don't care for high pressure rounds either. There is very little difference in ballistics and the added wear and recoil isn't rewarded with superior ballistics.

    I will never own a gun in .40 S&W. Of you want a .40, get the real deal and pick up a 10mm.
     
  11. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had a Glock 23 which is a 40 and I have a Glock 36 which is a 45. I would rather shoot the G36 than the G23 even though the G36 is lighter. Now a 40 in a Berreta 96 is another story. The extra weight tames the 40 snap down considerably.
     
  12. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    Barrel length and gun material play the most important role in recoil.

    General Rules:
    Heavier = less felt recoil
    Longer barrel = less felt recoil

    - Steel is heaviest and best for controlling/managing/handling recoil.
    - Alloys are typically lighter, only in rare pot metal cases do you find heft equal or greater than that of steel, due to increased material thickness to compensate for reduced structural quality.
    - Polymer is the lighest and most felt recoil, although slides are still steel and help to provide top heavy recovery from the recoil, which also accounts for the longer barrel theory.
     
  13. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

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    Assuming you meant the .45 ACP vs the .40 S&W, yes, there is a noticeable difference. The .40 S&W tends to flip the barrel up and to the side while the recoil from the .45 ACP is more raise the barrel straight up. Depending on the fit of the firearm to your hand one or the other will probably be uncomfortable. I suggest you test fire different firearms to see which one works best for you.
     
  14. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    That's a nice M40!!!!
     
  15. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Given the same model of pistol, the .45 is more pleasant to shoot. I can get off a seconf aimed shot from my Glock 21 faster than I can with my Glock 22.

    I don't like the recoil of either in a lightweight carry weapon though, so I stick with the 9MM. Easier to shoot accurately, higher capacity, and every bit as effective as the .40 or .45.
     
  16. Recoil is Subjective

    I have two .40S&W pistols (both H&K, polymer frame) and several .45 ACP pistols, mostly Colt Government Models.

    According to the calculations, the H&K .40 recoils more. However, the only way I could really identify that was to shoot them both - well, one at a time - and compare them. As mentioned, the .40 S&W is a bit snappier; that is more abrupt and sudden. Neither is what I think of as abusive.

    The biggest factor of recoil is the ratio of bullet momentum to pistol weight. Essentially, the more the pistol weighs, the less recoil is noticed. However, as mentioned prior, the 'flex' of a polymer frame probably 'masks' some of the recoil; like a shock absorber. Longer barrels give more weight, and therefore reduce recoil, however in some instances a longer barrel gives enough higher velocity to provide more energy (momentum) to the bullet and raise recoil impulse.

    All that to say this: It does not boil down to an equation on paper. As mentioned, find a place where you can try out what you're considering and compare them. That will tell you much more than any formula and all the advice you can get on the internet - or gun shop sales room.

    The Colt Government Model has much more class.
     
  17. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    That's because they have not achieved Zen Oneness with it.
     
  18. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    I have a 1 full sized 1911 in .40 and others in .45. .40 feels different, perhaps even a bit odd in comparison. Aside from "harsher," it's hard to describe in useful terms, kind of a "broken bat single" kind of feel. Both are quite manageable though.
    Worth noting: much in the way of "feel," depends a lot on ammo choice.
    IMHO, .40 in smaller guns gets tiresome quickly (I also have an XD40SC,) when compared to my CCO .45.