Question about controlability of "caliber"


Sean Dempsey
November 16, 2006, 12:55 PM
I have 2 9mm XD's and a S&W .357 6" revolver.

I read alot about people wanting the smaller end of calibers for the "control" factor, that a .45 or .357 is harder to control because of the added force of the recoil over a .380 or a 9mm.

this has me confused, since I am wanting to switch to a .45 for my carry piece, over the 9mm. I can control the 9mm fine, but there have been alot of people on these forums who say the .45 is harder to control.

This has me confused. The ONLY way I can see this being possible is that since it recoils harder, it takes a little more to regain your sight alignment for a 2nd shot. Is that really all people mean by the "harder to control" when they talk about a .45? Especially I've heard women refer to the smaller calibers as easier to control. What exactly do you mean "control"? Are you simply referring to the ability to recover from the recoil and acquire your target again?

I am not a large man, but I can fire the .357 in DA mode, 6 shots in a row without feeling "out of control". They're not dead-center bullseyes, but its gotta be kicking harder than an XD45.

Someone help me out here. It seems that if you have good trigger control and your sights are lined up, it shouldn't matter what gun you are firing. The muzzle doesn't jump until the bullet has left the barrel, right? So if the sights are aligned, and you don't flinch/jerk, a .45 should be as easy to shoot as a 9mm, right?

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November 16, 2006, 01:28 PM
You've hit the nail pretty firmly on the head yourself. Harder to control = greater recoil and longer time between follow up shots. Of course all kinds of things like caliber, how hot of a load, gun weight, grip angle, and how well then gun fits you are factors.

As far as 9mm vs 45 ACP I find 9mm to more of a quick snap recoil, and 45 ACP to be more like a slow heavy push. The 45 undoubtedly has more recoil, but it's not at all hard to control. The 40 S&W combines the snap of a 9mm and heavy push of 45. With a little practice even the 40 S&W is easily controlled by most folks.

In your situation if you want to move to a 45 ACP I don't think you'll have a problem. From your post it sounds like you're quite comfortable with both 9mm autos and 357 Mag. wheelguns. You're experienced and know how to handle recoil. Get a gun that fits your hand and go for it.

Sean Dempsey
November 16, 2006, 01:35 PM
I think a XD45 compact is in my future...

the .357 is my dads 1978 Model 28... when I took it the first time a few weeks ago (it had been in mothballs for god knows how long), I fired up some .357 mags and readied myself for my first shot. I hadn't shot this gun, or one like it, so I had my friend ready in case I flew backwards into my car.

So I braced myself for the inevitable knock-out punch it was going to deliver. Hah. Boy was I in for a surprise. It definitley pushed BACKWARDS (where the XD is more of a rotational "up" movement"), but hell, even 1 handed it's not too bad. It is a 6" barrel of course, and heavy as hell. When I threw some .38s in there, it was like candy.

I gotta try out the XD45. We don't have any ranges anywhere near my city, and there's not a big sport-handgun community, so basically, if I can't buy it, I can't shoot it =/

November 17, 2006, 12:16 AM
The gun makes all the difference. I can shoot any .357 from my Ruger GP-100 in total comfort and without too much muzzle flip. While some rounds are noticeably stronger than others, I can fire follow-up shots just as fast.

This same comfort zone using my SP-101 snubby is with .38 special ammo. While the blast increases with +P and +P+, time between follow-up shots is still really close. When I get into .357 territory, my ability to shoot a second shot totally depends on the load. 110-grain ammo is doable with quick follow-ups, 158-grain requires a fairly large movement to get the gun back on target, and 125-grain loads require me to re-grip the gun before firing again.

Shooting some +P rounds in my Airweight 642 nearly causes the gun to jump out of my hand. For me, it is critical to find an appropriate load for this gun -- something with enough power, but able to be shot in a less than ideal position without having the gun require re-gripping. If it were my 4" model 10, there would be no issue at all.

If your carry .45 allows you to get a solid grip, I don't think there will be a problem.

November 17, 2006, 08:51 PM
I shoot and reload for .32, 9mm, .38, .357, .40, .44, .44 mag, and .45. Line up the sights and go steady on the trigger. Only difference is time it takes to realign sights due to muzzle flip. Also depends on the size and weight of the gun and the type of round being fired. I have a S&W airweight that bucks like a colt with standard .38s and a huge Western Marshall .44 magnum that handles the mag loads very well.

.357 magnum
November 17, 2006, 09:28 PM

The .45 is actually my favorite when it comes to recoil and control. I own two XD .45's the Service model and Tactical model.[4 inch and 5 inch barrels respectively] The XD comes with a double recoil spring and polished feed ramp. Right out of the box, I found it easy to shoot and a very accurate gun. As alluded too earlier your load can make a difference. I stay away from +P loads in the .45 They are harder to control and you do not need them for self defense. The 230gr is what I practice with and carry for SD. The Remington 185gr Golden Saber is an awesome load for shorter barrels. [4 inches or less] I just happen to like the punch of the 230gr load and it is the common practice load for .45 caliber. [The .45 was made to shoot the 230gr load so accuracy is good with this load] As ugaarguy stated earlier the .45 is more of a push. Very easy to control and learn too shoot. I have been teaching my 28 year old daughter to shoot the .45, she is just a little thing [no body builder] and she does quite well. I am not a big man, but have never had a problem with the .45 It is a lot less recoil then a 125gr .357 magnum. I think you would enjoy the XD .45

The Best to you and yours!

November 17, 2006, 11:15 PM
with a little bit of practice, and a little refining on the part of the way people shoot, from stance to the way they hold the weapon, could really help them out alot and would improve the way they control the weapon. i personally have come a long way in the "controling" factor with my xd .40 service model and all handguns in general.

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