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Percieved recoil/Best Proficiency of two

  • .45 had less felt recoil

    Votes: 3 8.1%
  • 9mm had less felt recoil

    Votes: 27 73.0%
  • I shot the .45ACP the best

    Votes: 16 43.2%
  • I shot the 9mm the best

    Votes: 17 45.9%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those who've shot both 9mm and .45 from a full-sized pistol:

1) Which one gave you more felt recoil? ......9mm
.......45ACP

2)Which one could you shoot the best with? ...........9mm
..........45ACP


...don't want a 20-page war, just to see your experiences from those who've fired both...

(yeah, I spelled perceived wrong in the poll but I can't change it...sorry)
 

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Apples and oranges for me but I shoot a G19 better than a G30 and an XD45 compact. Tied for the G19 is the HK USP Compact in 40.
 

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Back when I was shooting .45acp Govt. model 1911's a lot, I rented a range Glock G19 and shot a box of ammo through it as I had never tried a 9mm before. I thought the difference in felt recoil was significant, with the 9mm being less. However, I was more accurate with the 1911's.
 

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I have shot both. Whie handgun stopping power sucks. We all know shot placement trumps caliber. Im more comfortable with the 9mm. And untill this crazy ammo buying frenzy sarted you could shoot more 9mm and stay proficient with chosen caliber. Just my thoughts.
 

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To qualify perceived recoil, you need to shoot both calibers out of similar firearms. I tested this once just for fun, not science.

Both firearms are of similar size and weight, not exact but close. Both were single action semi-automatics. For 9mm I used a CZ 75SA and for .45ACP I used a stainless steel Colt Commander.

My test was for speed and accuracy as recoil management is key to this balance. I shot five round strings at 10 yards. I chose this distance because anything closer I tend to point shoot and I wanted a test of AIMED fire.

I ran four strings through each gun, alternating as I went. I shot from a high ready using a random start on my shot timer. All of the shots were aimed not hammered. All of the shots were grouped CoM about fist sized.

I never recorded the actual times but all strings were well under 4 seconds for the 9mm and around a half second slower for the .45ACP.

So, in my completely un-scientific test, the 9mm had the edge in perceived recoil.
 

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For me, it is totally dependent on the gun. In 9mm I have both an HK USP and an M&P. I perceive less recoil (really muzzle flip) with the M&P. I think this is because of the barrel sits lower on the M&P. I find no recoil problems on a Gov sized, steel 1911, but shooting 45 ACP in a Kahr PM45 is a hell of a lot less effective for me than 9mm in my PM9. Even though the one caliber I really do not shoot well is 40, I find that in a full sized M&P it is quite manageable
 

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As to recoil, I cant acknowledge anything as recoil in commonly carried calibers for SD because I dont even notice it.

Accuracy is a very subjective term. In practical application, I have found no real difference in calibers, but I have in platforms. However, some think great accuracy is somewhere on the paper, and others want a 50 shot one hole group.

Also, weight and design of the pistol married with a certain caliber may exhibit certain characteristics that either take away, or improve shooting attributes to the user which transpose to time/accuracy/recoil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
...slow as I am, I couldn't factor in speed of follow-up shots...or weight...just both full-sized was as close as I could get...some difference between steel and alloy/polymer frame weight, but...perceived recoil affects shooters' performance more than it should...I had a rookie who had a Commander...I had a Combat Commander...when we'd shoot, he'd always want to shoot mine...said his kicked too much...till I loaded both up and emptied them at the same time into the target...holding them with only thumb and forefinger...once he SAW that they both kicked the same(or very close), he took his gun back and shot great with it...
To qualify perceived recoil, you need to shoot both calibers out of similar firearms. I tested this once just for fun, not science.

Both firearms are of similar size and weight, not exact but close. Both were single action semi-automatics. For 9mm I used a CZ 75SA and for .45ACP I used a stainless steel Colt Commander.

My test was for speed and accuracy as recoil management is key to this balance. I shot five round strings at 10 yards. I chose this distance because anything closer I tend to point shoot and I wanted a test of AIMED fire.

I ran four strings through each gun, alternating as I went. I shot from a high ready using a random start on my shot timer. All of the shots were aimed not hammered. All of the shots were grouped CoM about fist sized.

I never recorded the actual times but all strings were well under 4 seconds for the 9mm and around a half second slower for the .45ACP.

So, in my completely un-scientific test, the 9mm had the edge in perceived recoil.
 

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This also depends on the firearm being used to shoot as well as the type of ammo being used. A 9mm +p+ out of a short barrel will give you as much kick as a .45 in some cases. As well as a .45 shot of an all steel weapon like the 1911 or one with straight back reciol such as the EAA witness is designed to do will have as much felt recoil of a 9mm in some cases.
 

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...slow as I am, I couldn't factor in speed of follow-up shots...or weight...just both full-sized was as close as I could get...some difference between steel and alloy/polymer frame weight, but...perceived recoil affects shooters' performance more than it should...I had a rookie who had a Commander...I had a Combat Commander...when we'd shoot, he'd always want to shoot mine...said his kicked too much...till I loaded both up and emptied them at the same time into the target...holding them with only thumb and forefinger...once he SAW that they both kicked the same(or very close), he took his gun back and shot great with it...
I have a Keltec PF9 which I would love to see that experiment conducted with.
 

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It will come down to the guns size, weight, and feel how much "perceived" recoil you will feel. About the only gun I know of that shoots the exact same gun in 9 or 45 is the 1911 but the weights are off because of the heavy barrel in the 9. About the closest test I can think of would use 147 grain 9mm and 180 grain in the 45. That would make them closer. DR
 

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In similar guns, I find the 45 to be a little more difficult than the 9mm; and the 40 more difficult yet. That being said, I find I can shoot well with any of them if I practice and don't switch back and forth between calibers. If I don't practice, I don't shoot well with any of them.
 

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The problem with "perceived" is just that - that much of it is up to individual perceptions, which is a subjective measure based on the unique individual.

I don't say this to imply that "perceived recoil" is to be poo-poo'ed. Rather, to simply point out that it is subjective, and based on the necessarily individual judgement of the unique shooter. In-reality, that judgement can matter quite a lot. :smile:

Break out a shot timer when you're evaluating new defensive-pistol purchases. Sometimes, your subjective perceptions may well not mesh with objective measures of your performance.
 

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Two of my pistols are the G19 and the HK usp compact .45. The recoil does feel different (i have 3 other 9mm's also). Not sure if it is the pistol or just comfort shooting .45, but i am a good bit more accurate with my .45.
 

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Since it was my first handgun: I find a well done, full sized 1911 to be a joy to shoot; 45 ACP in the weapon it was designed for is fantastic; makes you feel like you are weilding "Thor's Hammer". 9mm in full sized weapon designed to shoot it is also a fantastic round to shoot and I really don't see a lot of difference between the two in shootability. They are both at the top of anything I see as "fun to shoot".
If I had to choose between them I would give the edge to the 45 in "meat grinding" but that could be because you never really fall out of love with the "1st one".
 

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I didn't answer the poll because I agree that it really does depend on the gun... but I've also found that issues other than recoil, contribute to PERCEIVED recoil.

I shoot my husband's Kimber Ultra Carry .45 as well or better than the full-sized 9 mm Glocks, CZs, etc. I enjoy shooting it and I'm just as accurate with it as with the full sized 9's. However, the .45 is noticeably louder than the 9's, which can lead to hesitancy and flinching just as recoil does.

I make sure to wear earplugs and earmuffs together when I shoot it.
 
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