Most controllable .45 ACP platform?


August 2, 2008, 07:08 AM
Well a new job has me looking at a little bit more disposable income to be diverted to toys. While I really want that DS Arms FAL, I think I am going to focus on getting a .45 for the bedstand first. I do this because my only current handgun is a Glock 20, which with my level of skill is a little much. I believe with the proper base and constant practice, the 10mm Auto is within just about everybody's reach and rumors of excessive recoil are greatly exaggerated. But it is a little snappier than I wold prefer.

I know I can shoot a 1911 .45 comfortably. And I am confident in the Glock as a platform as well. I was originally just curious as to whether the Glock 21SF I have my eye on would be more or less controllable in terms of recoil, muzzle flip, and overall shooting characteristics than the Springfield MC Operator I am currently planning on getting to fill the role. I firmly believe the 1911 has survived this long based on its shootability. But to open this discussion up farther, what do you think is the most shootable/controllable .45 on the market?

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August 2, 2008, 07:35 AM
As far as I am concerned, that would be the 1911 platform!

August 2, 2008, 07:37 AM
My first choice is a full size, all steel 1911. However, the full size HK USP is a very easy shooting .45. I have both and they are great.

Oh, another that comes to mind is the CZ-97B!

Tim Burke
August 2, 2008, 07:40 AM
Try the M&P and the XD in 45. I find the recoil in 45 to be:
1911 > GLOCK™ > XD > M&P.
I usually shoot a 1911, because the recoil is not that significant, and I prefer the ergonomics. When rating the ergonomics, I find:
1911 > M&P > XD >> GLOCK™.
Again, YMMV.

August 2, 2008, 07:48 AM
The H.K. U.S.P.'s dual recoil spring soaks it up, GLOCK's wide backstrap disperses recoil well, and the Sig P220, while it has a high boreline, tends to roll back very smoothly. Also polymer- although lighter, can absorb more recoil I.M.O. (as it is less rigid than alloy or steel). I think you could do worse than a 21 S.F. for a controllable .45 A.C.P. assuming it fits your hand. Of course you could do better too, if something else happens to be more comfortable, or if the S.F. is still a reach. J.M.O. and Y.M.M.V.

August 2, 2008, 07:55 AM
1911, USP, P220, G21.....IMHO all of them are pretty gentle shooters for .45ACP.

Since you already have a G20, you may want to look at a conversion for it that would allow you to use .45ACP.

Eric F
August 2, 2008, 08:15 AM
I would say a double stack 1911 or an all steel EAA just from personal experience the heavier it is the more control you get. But then again you are the person that has to carry it.

August 2, 2008, 02:40 PM
I am surprised that people find the USP to be so pleasant. I've never found a .45 to be painful or unpleasant, but of the three or four 1911s I've fired, my dad's Ruger P90, and the USP Tactical that collects dust in my room, I find the USP to be the least pleasant. It has much more muzzle flip than any other .45 I have ever shot. In terms of shooting characteristics, it more closely matches the muzzle flip of my Glock 20 shooting full power Double Taps than most other .45s.

August 2, 2008, 03:23 PM
1911's always win all the Speed-Racer combat matches, so I guess that would make it the most controllable.


August 2, 2008, 03:37 PM
I love the 1911 but recently purchased a Witness Match elite 45acp I believe
is the most controllable 45 I've fired.

August 2, 2008, 03:55 PM
I've shot Kimber 1911's, Springfield 1911's and XD45's, A Kahr, and a Glock 21 and 30.

Out of those the most comfortable and controlled for me was the Glock 21. That is what is in my nightstand safe.

Every person is different, but that was my preference.

August 2, 2008, 04:04 PM
I have owned a SA MC and a Glock 21. I wish I had kept the SA.
Both are quite controllable. In MY mind the edge went to the SA, but it was close.

Any chance to shoot both side by side? With the extra weight of the SA MC it is just every so slightly better.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 2, 2008, 04:37 PM
A Thompson. :p

Honorable mention to my V16 ported 6" longslide springfield.

August 2, 2008, 04:55 PM
Every one is diffrent, shoot a bunch, pick one.

I've shot 10-15 diffrent 45 autos, for the most part, the guns that were all metal( rather it be steel or AL frame) seemed to shoot the "softest". Your exp maybe diffrent.

August 2, 2008, 05:04 PM
For my bedside gun, I went with a railed 1911 longslide.

A gun which weighs 50 ounces does a hell of a job taking care of the .45.

August 2, 2008, 07:44 PM
I have shot 1911's and now have an xd45 service. Out of the two (for me)the xd45 feels more controllable.

August 2, 2008, 08:06 PM
Any platform ?

1. Auto Ordnance 1927A1
16.5" Bbl. and 12 lbs weapon weight
take yer pick of model type. I've always wanted
the "Commando" style with the plain horiz. forestock
but pair it with a detachable butt stock.... can you say
"FUN PLINKER"? or Hall cleaning tool?

oh Handgun

We'll eliminate T/C Contender with the long barrel and single shot....

2. surprized NOBODY picked it andit wins it's category in
competition A LOT.

S&W 625 - mines a 5" Bbl. with full, underlug and
weighs 45 oz. no slide and crap happening above your hands
and with the full size finger grooved & chechered Hogue
ROsewood grips, that Big Grll is a looker as well.

Semi-Auto Handgun ?

1911 5" Bbl.Steel frame - get the grips YOU like.


August 2, 2008, 08:10 PM
i would say a full size 1911 as well, my sa mc operator is awesome, very accurate,. reliable as can be and is fun to shoot, recoil isn't even an issue at all with that gun. even my ruger p345 is nice, even though it is a polymer .45 but i would definetly say go with a 1911 of some sort. the heavier the better for recoil purposes.

August 2, 2008, 08:11 PM
Of the .45's Ive owned throught the years, the most comfortable and the most controlable for me has been my CZ-97.

August 2, 2008, 08:48 PM
My own personal experience in shooting multiple .45acp chambered full size guns are as follows:

XD<Glock<M&P<1911<SIG 220

As mentioned all .45acp handguns are relatively easy to shoot for the most part. I did find a stock SIG 220 the most comfortable to shoot with 1911's close behind.

August 2, 2008, 09:39 PM
Many believe the Commander-length 1911 is the best compromise between controllability and concealability (in a 1911).

It's only a 3/4" difference in barrel length, but it can make a big difference in comfortable carry when seated.

Not really an answer to your question, as it is a compromise, but you might try a couple of Commander-length 1911's in your quest.

August 2, 2008, 09:59 PM
In 45 I prefer the 1911.

There are many other good platforms out there now, particularly the stainless single action SIG's that interest me, but I know the 1911, and I have fought with the 1911. I have yet to see or hear about another 45acp platform finishing a 1000 round endurance shoot successfully.

I will stick with the 1911 in 45acp. Only 97 years of consistent and reliable service. I guess some day one of todays existing guns will be able to say that. Until then..... 1911.

Go figure.


August 2, 2008, 10:13 PM
I prefer the 1911 because it fits my hand better than any other platform. Make mine with smooth grips and an arched mainspring housing and I can shoot it like no other. I have 3 .45 autos; 2 are 1911s. I should also say that my HKUSP45C feels far snappier than even my Kimber Ultra CDP with the same load.

August 2, 2008, 10:36 PM
All I've got to compare are the M&P .45 and my Sig220.

I've got smaller hands, so I much prefer the 220. For some reason, the measurement front to back on the grip is significantly longer on the M&P than it is on the 220.

Also, the M&P is a 1st gen gun, and over half of my department's guns would consistently malfunction when we switched over to the M&P from the 4506. They had to be repaired by the factory, and they didn't believe us at first.

August 2, 2008, 10:40 PM
Para Ordnance P14. lots of weight, full size. LOTS of control. P14's and other double stack 1911's are race gun favorites for their control

August 2, 2008, 10:47 PM
I've got to agree with the majority, of all the 45s I've shot, I doubt you would go wrong with either a HK USP45, Sig 220, CZ 97b, XD45, or any 5" 1911. (I'm partial to my DW PM-7)

August 3, 2008, 12:56 AM
Big and but not all that heavy----H&K MK23 is a pussy cat to shoot, and well it is accurate as all get out! Cheaper then a highend 1911!
But I sure like my H&K USPf in 45ACP! Well over 40K thru the gun and is more accurate than when new!

August 3, 2008, 05:52 AM
I am surprised that people find the USP to be so pleasant....I find the USP to be the least pleasant.

This is the thing that always throws me about the USP. I've read mixed reviews on it's recoil and it's trigger. Being so big, and supposedly designed to reduce recoil it shouldn't be a bad recoiler yet I've read more than one person who said it wasn't a light recoiler. I've been researching it because I'm interested in a USP as well.

Dr. Fresh
August 3, 2008, 06:05 AM
I fired a few rounds through a USP .45 and found it much more comfortable to shoot than my friend's XD40.

August 3, 2008, 07:20 AM
This is the thing that always throws me about the USP. I've read mixed reviews on it's recoil and it's trigger. Being so big, and supposedly designed to reduce recoil it shouldn't be a bad recoiler yet I've read more than one person who said it wasn't a light recoiler. I've been researching it because I'm interested in a USP as well.

If you anticipate the muzzle flip and force the recoil to come straight back, it really is a soft shooting .45. Its a big gun with a large grip that fills the hand. The grip for me is not the most ergonomic. It kind of feels like holding a 2x4, but it works.

Deer Hunter
August 3, 2008, 10:35 AM


It's the one on the upper left.

August 3, 2008, 12:16 PM
I have a H&K USPf 45, Custom Combat 45, & HK45c and all shoot much softer than any 1911 I have had which were mostly Colts.

tiger rag
August 3, 2008, 11:15 PM
1911 are very controlable , but I do agree with camslam I personaly shoot a G21 best.

August 3, 2008, 11:55 PM
I own a Sig 220 and a Springfield Micro in 45acp. I have shot the glocks version of the 45.. from my experience the recoil of the full size Sig is tame in comparison...

August 4, 2008, 12:09 AM
without a question in my mind, the FNP-45 is by far the softest recoiling 45 i've ever shot.

August 4, 2008, 12:14 AM
Any 5" 1911-type....if that's too much, try a hi-cap 9 like current recruits...of course, expect samewise combat results....

August 14, 2008, 04:57 PM
Beretta Storm Carbine

August 14, 2008, 05:03 PM
Since everyone's hands are shaped/sized differently, you will get a lot of different answers. For me though...

Revolver: S&W Model 25 / 625
Auto: 1911 Government Model

August 14, 2008, 05:09 PM
As others have said the 97B is a really nice .45ACP option. That big heavy steel frame just soaks the recoil up and gives you a DA/SA option not found on 1911s

August 14, 2008, 05:18 PM
You guys with the 97B's, do you have big hands? I've heard from a couple different sources that the grips are quite wide. I've never been able to find one locally to feel for myself.

August 14, 2008, 05:33 PM
1911s for me. I've had two USP45f...great guns, but the grips were just a tad too big to be completely comfortable for me.

August 14, 2008, 06:33 PM
Can't speak to the SF, but a standard G21 is quite a bit more controllable than a 1911.

Every time I've let a person who has experience with a 1911 try out my G21, they've done the same thing after the first shot: stop, turn the gun a little to the side, and look at in disbelief. They always marvel at the reduced recoil.

I always notice the increase in felt recoil when switching from the G21 to my 1911.

August 14, 2008, 06:43 PM
The USP Match is the softest shooting .45 I have ever owned. Followed by (in order) 5" 625, HK45F, 1911

Deer Hunter
August 14, 2008, 06:53 PM
I have medium hands. I have no problem shooting the 97B effectively.

that being said, the grips are what make the gun thick. If the grip is too wide for you, try some aluminum grips.

August 14, 2008, 07:01 PM
I don't know about recoil per se, but I find Glocks to have significantly less muzzle flip than other pistols in same calibers, probably due to the grip angle and really low bore axis.

August 15, 2008, 12:16 AM
I have been very happy with the HK USP45 & USP45 Compacts. I find them easy to control and easy to shoot (and shoot well).

As stated above, the HK Mk23 uses it's large size and recoil reduction system to keep the .45 ACP round tamed.

I have not yet had a chance to shoot the new HK45/HK45 I can offer no opinion there.

1911 guy
August 15, 2008, 08:11 AM
Controlability has a lot to do with how the pistol fits your hands. For me, that means a 1911 type with the XD tactical a close second.

If you're primary concerns are .45acp and control, I'd plan on soending some time handling several models from a few makers and deciding which fels best in your own hands. If you're not positive what makes for good handgun fit, ask for pointers.

Old School
August 15, 2008, 11:33 AM
I have had and do have several 45s. In regards to recoil only, I will tell you that my Beretta PX4 has less felt recoil than any other 45 I have ever fired. It is also interesting to note that it is the lightest 45 that I own. And, all of my 45s have less recoil than my snub nose 9mm revolver.

Other factors of interest on your specific topic, should be IMHO, balance and grip size/ergonomics. When it comes to follow up shots and even your ability to deliver accuracy, balance and ergonimics can play a huge role. When it come to those two factors I suggest that one has to chose on an individual basis.

Then you have to consider the trigger travel, pull weight and reach, which also affect ones individual ability to perform with a handgun. Because of all of these other factors, I personally don't think it is possible to truly know what is the best choice without actually using the weapon extensively.

Many ranges rent the most popular models and this is a great way to try one out. Other people (I won't mention any names) :p simply buy and try, then trade or sell what they don't like. Then you really know what suits you best.

August 15, 2008, 05:27 PM
of the 45s ive shot, ranging from a few different 1911s to m&ps, glocks, sig 220s and a usp, i have found that the recoil of the glock 21sf seems to be the most comfortable and it may be the one i get off the fastest double taps with. i have to say, though, that the most accurate 45 platform, for me, is definately the single stack 1911. I have shot the glock much more, and i think that is why i get better quick shooting results. both come back on target very very quickly, but i think the ergonomics of the 1911 are second to none and as far as control and round placement go i believe it is the best 45 pistol there is bar none. if you are looking at it as an all around gun, targets, sd, hd, i dont think there is a better gun on the planet as far as a combination of controllability, accuracy, and power. you will have a hard time going wrong with any 45 pistol that i mentioned and some others like the xd, and 45, because its recoil tends to "push" more than "snap" (the way some others like 40 and 357sig tend to feel) is a rather contollable cartridge. get the one that feels the best in YOUR hands, shoots the best for YOU (if you can try them out), and suits YOUR purposes the best (i.e. dont buy a 5 inch+ 1911 "race" (read target, more or less specifically) gun if you plan on carrying it, because it may not be the most comfortable thing to carry if it is 50+ ounces. for my .02, id say a steel frame 1911 is as good as it gets, but i would try things out and feel out what is best for you. good luck in your search!

August 15, 2008, 11:50 PM
I'm old and crotchety I guess- but when did we start calling guns "platforms"? They are GUNS!!

August 16, 2008, 12:19 AM
I have a half dozen pistols in .45acp they range from 1911's to the HK USP and Sig P-220. They all shoot well but the most accurate are the USP and P-220. Out of those two I would pick the Sig Sauer P-220 Elite as the most controllable. That said I will add neither gun is one that someone with small hands would like or feel comfortable shooting.

How comfortable, controllable and accurate a gun is depends a lot on the shooter. Hand size, stature, shooting experience and just plain what looks good to you make a big difference in choosing what pistol is best.

August 16, 2008, 12:25 AM
of all the 45's i've shot the softest most controllable was the ruger P 90 DC. it was the first real pistol i ever owned and i wish i hadn't let it go. it was also the most accurate out of the box. and reliable too. i could print happy faces on siloette targets at 30 feet all day long. me and a friend would practice together, load each others mags and slip an empty in the mag somewhere to see if we were pushing the shot. the ruger never failed to feed the emptys, i even put some in backwards to see what it would do, and they fed without any problems. its a heavy somewhat chunky pistol (not a real good carry gun) but for home defense/ bedside gun, i'd bet my life on it

August 17, 2008, 12:24 AM
A full size all steel 1911 is my best bet for a controllable .45 ACP platform.

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