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! 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..... 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 still.....it 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 post....it was just an eye opening experience.