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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry, but this is probably going to end up being another thread about which gun is more suitable (notice, I didn't say better). I've been following several ongoing threads right now and have done my best to not hijack 'em. So, I figured I'd just start a new thread getting to the point I'm interested in.

I currently carry either an LCP or a PF9, depending on my dress and how concealed I need to be. I consider the LCP to be the bare minimum for a SHTF gun. Close in, under extreme duress, it's better than the Colt Python back in the truck glove box. The PF9 is better. 9mm vs the LCP 380, longer barrel, one more in the mag. But, I have some doubts about the PF9. That guy's recoil is snappy, to say the least. I have had trouble with limp wristing it when firing outdoors in cold weather. That, and the fact that it is only 7+1 has made me think about getting a new concealed carry pistol (though I really like size of the PF9).

That gets me closer to the question of my post. I am looking at buying a new gun. The requirements are: less than 7.3" or so in total length, less than 5" in height, with a barrel no shorter than than 3.46" (yeah, I didn't want to ignore the SC glocks so dropped it from 3.5"). Caliber 9mm, 40, or 45. I plan to carry in my pocket if it's small enough, IWB if it's not. Deep conceal is a priority for me.

The guns that I've put on my short list are

glocks g26,27,30
S&W M&P
Firestorm Mini Pros.

I've expanded from the smaller guns up to
glocks g19,23
XD with the 4 in barrels.
S&W SW9/40GVE

Oh, yeah, and I'm likely never to shoot one of these guys before I buy it; no place to rent around here. I will have a chance to handle it, but not fire it. Oh, yeah, I'm also under a tight budget, hence no SIG, HK, Walthers etc on the list. A NIB M&P is probably outside of my budget, too.

So, my questions are: What is the perceived recoil difference between these guys in the same caliber (say, g23 vs XD40 4") and what is the perceived recoil difference between similar guns in different calibers (g26 vs g27 vs g30)?

Yeah, I realize that asking this question probably puts my man card in jeopardy, but I'd like some info from folks with experience with these pistols......

Thanks,
David
 

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9mm is poppy
40 is snappy
and 45 is pushy.

Smaller gun to me say's smaller caliber. If you want an inexpensive sub-compact or compact - take a look at your budget concerns first.

Any decent modern firearm will outlast you, your kids and possibly grandkids. What's another 100 bucks you have to save?

What's another 100 bucks or so if you never carry the thing.

Of the guns you listed I personally consider the double stack G19 size pistols to be the biggest i want to carry everyday.
The G26 is nicer.
There are smaller Kahr's.

In the long run, nobody can pick your gun for you. Go shoot some, borrow some or just fondle 'em.
 

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I think I am not the only one who thinks the 40 is probably the most uncomfortable to shoot all other things being equal. This is the primary reason I have no 40s. Since every 40 out there also has a 9mm counterpart I opt for the 9mm every time.

45 is a little different though since it is never chambered in identical guns like the 40 and 9 are. Generally the 45 guns are a bit bigger or wider and are better suited to handling recoil in general. I guess what I am saying is that it is difficult to get an apples to apples comparison between the three. Maybe with Taurus PT111, 140, and 145 it could be done but with Glocks for instance, there is the 26 and 27 in 9 and 40 respectively. Then there is either the 30 or 36 in 45. Both of those are sized different than the 26 and 27. Anyway they choice is up to you...
 

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The only direct comparison I can give you is between the XD40c and XD9sc I own and shoot regularly. I expected the 9sc to have more perceived recoil because of the shorter barrel, but in reality it is just the opposite. That little 9 is fantastic for follow-up shots and for maintaining sight picture. I find the 40 to be a LOT snappier and harder to get good, accurate, fast follow-up shots with. That is why I switched from the 40 to the 9 as my EDC about 6 months ago.
 

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Do you want to switch from your PF 9 because it jammed or you don't like the recoil? How often do you shoot? Do you clean the gun after each shooting session?

Shooting a gun accurately and confidently is something you have to constantly work at. I try to shoot once a month, but my last range trip was closer to two months after the previous trip and I could tell a difference in the quality of my shooting.

If you don't like the recoil in the PF 9, then I can safely say you will not like shooting the .40. I have 2 .40's, a Glock 27 and 22RTF2 and I am as accurate with the 27 as I am the 22. The .40 recoil takes some getting used to, but can be mastered with practice. I actually prefer to shoot my XD .45 Compact because the .45 is a softer push recoil compared to the .40.

In everything, there is a certain amount of "give & take", especially when it comes to comparing these 3 calibers.

The 9mm auto generally will give you more rounds to carry and has less recoil.

The .40 is a good compromise even though it holds less than most 9mm's it holds more rounds than a similar sized .45. Most defensive .40 rounds are balistically equal to or superior to a .45.

The compact .45 will carry fewer rounds, but there is no dispute that the .45 is an excellent defense round.

You would do yourself a big favor to test a few guns before you buy one. I shoot at Range USA here in Memphis, and they rent various brands and calibers. I think one rental fee will allow you to test-shoot various models. You could benefit by making a road trip to Memphis and giving this a try.
 

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9mm is poppy
40 is snappy
and 45 is pushy.
I think that's one good way of puttin' it. Out of your list on the G26, G27, and the G30, I'd say your most felt recoil will be out of the G27 in the 40S&W. The G30 is heavier, and very manageable IMO.
 

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With a 40 you want the bore axis as low as possible. I have shot 40's that are snappy and those that are pushy. The reason I went with the sw mp 40c was because it was more pushy than snappy.
 

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Sniper - that's probably the best and most concise description of the recoil patterns I've ever heard. Dal - if you can save up just a little longer, I think you'd be better served with the XD 9mm or the M&P. I sold my .40 for a second 1911 .45, but am contemplating a 9mm in 2010 (just to have).

I'd recommend the 9mm for recoil and ammo cost. Now it comes to weight and fit. The recommendation to take a road trip is excellent. Buyer's remorse is common so you want this purchase to fit you, your budget and your needs.
 

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I can't say that it's either 'snappy' or 'pushy', but I prefer the .45 before any .40, and I've had several of each.
I gotten rid of my .40's and stayed with .45's.:22a:
 

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I'd always been told the .45 would kick your butt - then after several years I finally got to shoot one and wow - not as bad to me as the 9 or 40. More of a "push" than a snappy kick.
 

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Tried several 40's and then tried the Glock in .40 and also in .45 at the range of the gun shop. I left that day with the Glock 30 due to the feel and the control I experienced with recoil. My choice was .45 over the .40.
 

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I've never been a big fan of the .40...All my guns are either 9mm or .45...I've never thought the .45 recoil was much at all, so I never saw the need to go down to .40..
 

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I'm not sure what "snappy", "pushy" or "poppy" mean, but I do own both a Glock 19 and 23. It shouldn't be a surprise that the recoil from the 19 is quite noticeably less than that of the .40 cal. With proper practice and trigger control, the guns will fire with equal accuracy. I prefer the 9mm.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the responses and info. Lot's to think about!

Do you want to switch from your PF 9 because it jammed or you don't like the recoil? How often do you shoot? Do you clean the gun after each shooting session?
Partly it's because of concern of limp wristing during a critical moment, partly to get a bigger caliber, partly to get a longer barrel, partly to get more rounds. Probably a lot of "I want another gun and I want something different".... :cool:

I practice as much as I can, time and money, but not enough. I wish I could every week. I do keep my CC pieces clean, at least once a month.

Thanks for the info on Range USA in Memphis. Memphis is within easy driving distance for me.

I did check practice ammo cost at Walmart yesterday. Basically, $10 for 50 9mm, $12.50 for 40S&W, $15 for 45ACP.

I think based on the responses so far that I'm going to not go the 40S&W route. Hopefully, I can get up to Memphis and try out some Glocks, SA's, and S&Ws. There's also a couple of gun shows in the next few months that will give me the opportunity of handling a bunch.
 

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If it's a matter of ammo expense, then that's your priority. Get the 9mm. Stopping power (in high grade SD ammo) between 9mm, .40 S&W & .45 acp makes for great conversation, but in practice, it's good shooting that stops the threat and they'll all get it done quite resoundingly. If you WANT a .45ACP (1911 design), then consider getting a Marvel .22 conversion. 1" groups at 50 yards and it costs pennies (okay $5) to shoot all day long!
 

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With a 40 you want the bore axis as low as possible. I have shot 40's that are snappy and those that are pushy. The reason I went with the sw mp 40c was because it was more pushy than snappy.
+1 on that... the M&P's are so well balanced the recoil is not as much as a factor.. the gun gets right back on target..
 

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Of the guns you mentioned, I own a 26, 27, 19, 23, and 30. I don't consider any of these guns to be "pocket" guns.

If I had to get rid of all but one, I would keep the 19. That would be my choice.
 

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If it's a matter of ammo expense, then that's your priority. Get the 9mm.
No, not my main priority. I have a Taurus PT92SS that is a blast to shoot. It's accurate as all get out and has never misfired or misfed. I'll probably always keep that and can always get cheaper 9mm reloads to shoot in it.

I went shooting today with a buddy and his Colt Commander. Wow, what a gun! It was a blast to shoot. I think I'm going to add the Rock Island MS 1911 to my short list... :cool:

I did run another 75 rounds or so through my PF9. I had cleaned it really well after my last outing and had some new Fiochii (sp?) ammo to try. It did better than any of my previous outings, but still failed to eject twice (once was my fault). But, it had 10 or more failure to feed faults. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that guy. My buddy watched and he didn't think I was limp wristing it.
 

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Dal,

another option is the Glock 36. It's a single stack .45 subcompact. It sacrifices some capacity on the Glock 30, but it fits the hand (my hand, at least) a lot better. The thinner profile is a lot easier to conceal too.
 
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