.40 vs .45

This is a discussion on .40 vs .45 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I didn't really see this anywhere, so my apologies if this has been discussed ad nausem. Why exactly does the .40's recoil tend to "flip" ...

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Thread: .40 vs .45

  1. #46
    Member Array Bruiser419's Avatar
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    I didn't really see this anywhere, so my apologies if this has been discussed ad nausem. Why exactly does the .40's recoil tend to "flip" versus the .45's "push" as mentioned in this thread? Thanks.

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  3. #47
    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    JMO, but I wouldn't change from 9mm to a .40 just to get the extra 'power'. The difference in effectiveness is marginal, and the .40 is a little tougher to manage.

    I have several 9's, several .45's, and one .40 (or rather, I did before that heartbreaking boating accident). I've concluded that the .40 just filled a need that didn't really exist. If you think a 9mm isn't enough gun, go for a .45. For a duty sidearm, a .40 is probably a pretty good choice, but for CC a 9 is going to be (typically) a little smaller & lighter, easier to shoot, and just as effective. Where concealment is not an issue (e.g. HD), a .45 is a little more effective, and easier to shoot.

    FWIW.

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    Jim

  4. #48
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Regarding .40 S&W/.45 ACP, I keep this on my IPad's note pad for easy copying and pasting:


    "I work for one of the USA's largest police departments. Since the late 1990s, our standard primary duty pistol cartridge has been the .40 S&W. The .45 ACP was one of the more popular choices before that date, and remains popular in the "grandfathered" duty pistols of senior officers. The result of the move to .40? No change! When we hit the important bits, they usually go down. When we miss*the important bits, they may or may not go down."

    I would be just as comfortable carrying 9mm, its its current premium controlled-expansion +P JHP form, and indeed, purchased a G17 when the firearms training unit submitted a proposal to allow 9mm as an alternative to the currently-mandated .40, in the 9mm counterparts of our presently-approved SIG, Glock, and S&W duty pistols, which we purchase ourselves. Why? Snappy .40 recoil, plus the higher bore axis of SIG pistols, has made my P229 a torture device for my aging, aching right wrist.

    I actually prefer .45 ACP, for its gentler acceleration, which, all else being equal, means gentler torque on my wrist, plus the lesser muzzle flash and blast effect in enclosed areas. My all-steel full-sized 1911 does not (yet) hurt my wrist, at least when fired in moderation.

  5. #49
    RKM
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    In a real life shooting, the difference you'll find between the two are so incredibly negligible, they'll hardly even exist. I dislike .40 due to the recoil. Not that it's too much to handle, but because 9mm and .45 recoils less and are easier and faster to shoot. There is no reason for .40 to even exist, in my opinion. If you want a .40, just get a 10mm and be done with it. It'll have even more recoil, but the performance will certainly out do .45 and 9mm. In that case, the recoil:performance ratio is worth it. Whereas the recoil:performance ratio of a .40 just isn't. Now I'm just making things up.... recoil:performance ratio's :D

  6. #50
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruiser419 View Post
    I didn't really see this anywhere, so my apologies if this has been discussed ad nausem. Why exactly does the .40's recoil tend to "flip" versus the .45's "push" as mentioned in this thread? Thanks.
    In layman's terms, the .40 is accelerating quite a bit of mass quite quickly, while the .45 ACP is accelerating just a bit more mass than the .40 a bit more gently. I have never owned identical pistol models chambered for each one, but as I stated in my previous post, my P229 .40 is a torture device, due to an ailing wrist, while my Les Baer TRS is gentle to shoot. I would also much rather stand next to a person shooting .45 ACP than .40 S&W, as the pressure wave from the .45's blast is notably less.

    Edited to add: Actually, I have owned similar pistols in .45 ACP and .40 S&W, because in 1991-1993, I had a .45 ACP P220. It was not snappy when I shot it, and it has a narrower grip than a double-column P229, whoch would make recoil more concentrated. I noticed the P229's snappiness right away, well before it started hurting to shoot it. To be clear, I am not blaming the .40 for my wrist problems, as I fired plenty of big-bore magnums back in the day, and such
    things often have a delayed effect.

  7. #51
    Member Array jblitz's Avatar
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    I have multiple guns in 9mm & .40 and one gun in .45. To be honest, I shoot the.45 MUCH better than any of the others. As others have stated, the recoil of the .45 is a bit different from the .40 but neither of them are uncomfortable to shoot. I do think you will find that perceived recoil is more about the gun and technique than caliber.

  8. #52
    Distinguished Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    I'm going to butcher this but, not long ago, one of our folks explained it. The 45 has a fairly high degree of recoil, the nature of that load has the recoil spread over a period of time that would probably be nano seconds. The 40 has slightly lesser recoil but the load allows the shooter to feel that recoil in an even briefer span of time. So less is more in less time......never mind. I've heard this story before.
    Savage Heartland

    What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about?

  9. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by svgheartland View Post
    Hey SFCDan, I've got the Para LDA and I can't say enough good stuff about it. Heaven forbid but I'd stack it next to a Kimber any day. I can say for sure that it's right there with my Colt 1991 and that almost hurts to admit. Give it a look. The DA trigger is pretty slick, very nice touch from the factory.

    Sorry for the digressive post.
    Thanks, This one looks really nice.... Para USA, High-Quality Handguns: Products

    I live in MA, so I would always have to check what I can and cannot buy here. For example, all Kimbers are illegal here.
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  10. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by svgheartland View Post
    I'm going to butcher this but, not long ago, one of our folks explained it. The 45 has a fairly high degree of recoil, the nature of that load has the recoil spread over a period of time that would probably be nano seconds. The 40 has slightly lesser recoil but the load allows the shooter to feel that recoil in an even briefer span of time. So less is more in less time......never mind. I've heard this story before.
    I say we all start carrying an S&W 500 that way even if the shot misses the fireball out of the muzzle will scare off the BGs.
    Former US Army SFC
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  11. #55
    Member Array aimtrue's Avatar
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    My personal choice is it to carry and employ for home defense, the handgun I can best handle regardless of caliber.

    Because the purpose of a home defense gun is to protect, that gun must first be reliable. Second, it should be the gun you can control to best place bullets where you want them to hit. Third, this gun should load a powerful enough round to incapacitate an attacker. Lastly in my criteria, the gun should have the capacity to allow you to fire enough rounds necessary to thwart more than one attacker without having to reload.

    If you have these attributes in your present pistol then you do not need to move to a larger caliber. Furthermore, it is usually easier and cheaper to stock a single caliber of ammunition.

    I echo the suggestions of other posters in recommending you try out larger caliber pistols at the target range. Chances are that one of them or the gun you presently own best fits in your hands and is the one that you are able to consistently print small patterns on target.

    Good luck on your choice.

  12. #56
    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    If it goes boom, fits your hand, and is a gun then it will be awesome. Just kidding, (kinda).

    Caliber doesn't matter to me between 9mm, .40, .45, it kinda depends on the platform as to which caliber I want it in. All of them will get the job done with good ammunition and operator skill. As has been stated the .40 is a high pressure round and you may or may not like that, or even notice. I don't currently have a 9mm, but that's just sheer odd occurrence. I do have .40's and .45's and my next handgun will more than likely be a 9mm, quite possibly a PPQ.
    .XX likes this.

  13. #57
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    There is something to be said for a higher round gun, something positive. That's one reason to go towards the 40 or even the 9mm.

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    I have a 9mm and a .40 in the same exact pistol.Its an EAA Witness in poly.The recoil between the two are not much different.The.40 makes a bit more pop.Thats about it.Its not like night and day or holly smokes that thing kicks.But the Witness line of guns are very nice in my opinion.I dont own a .45 so I cant comment on that.I dont notice the muzzle flip thing some folks speak of.But I like recoil.I like to know I'm shooting something.Just my two cents.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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