Working your way up in caliber?


January 14, 2003, 05:28 PM
Is it wise to work your way up from a small caliber to larger? I only have a .40 S&W right now, and I'm really wanting to get into .45 ACP and 10mm. So should I go to .45 first, or would it matter much if I went to 10mm before getting experience with .45? I have fired more than just .40 before, but this is my only handgun, hence the one I have the most experience with, and the largest hangun caliber I've shot yet. Anyone want to indulge me a bit on this one? FWIW, I'm a pretty stout fellow: 6 foot, 230 lbs. and the weight isn't just in my gut :scrutiny:

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January 14, 2003, 05:40 PM
The .45 likely isn't gonna kick a lot more than the .40 - So go get that 1911!

January 14, 2003, 06:35 PM
The first firearm I shot was a Glock 21 (.45ACP). Second was a .40S&W in a SIG P229. The first gun I bought was a Walther P99 in 9x19. For younger and/or smaller individuals, I'd probably say starging with a smaller, less recoiling caliber might be a good idea. Otherwise it probably doesn't matter as much. I've heard the 10mm kicks way harder than .45 anyway.

J Miller
January 14, 2003, 06:44 PM
I've been shooting for over 3 decades now, just a baby compared to others. Here is my suggestion.

Get the basics down first. You seem to have done that. Then borrow or rent different guns and try them. See what you like.

Even now sometimes I'll aproach a shooter at a range I'm at and tell him I'm thinking of buying what ever he's shooting. Then ask him his opinion of it, any suggestions he might have for me, then after all the small talk I'll ask if I can try a cylinder full, or a magazine full. I have only had one shooter turn me down. He had fired his last ammo just before I started talking to him.

Once you have tried a few, you'll be in a better posession to know what you want.

Some of the guns / rounds I have fired by my small talk method:

Flintlock rifle in an indoor range, (choke gag haka haka, fun tho)
Winchester 70 in .458 Win Mag. ( This put the grimace in ouch)
S&W Mdl. 57 .41 Mag.
M1 Garand :D
Colt SAA in 32-20
Reising SMG
Various .45 Autos
Browing Hi Power (Load on Sunday and shoot all week applies)
Glock 9 mm (Boring)
Broomhandle Mauser in the little bottle necked round.
S&W 29 4"
S&W 6" L Frame .357
NM Super Blackhawk .44 Mag. (I hate that dragoon grip frame)
SS Ruger Vaquro in .44 Mag with Hogue rubber grips (OUCH)
BIG bore muzzel loading rifle. (Owner said it recoiled like a 12 guage- RIGHTTTTT a 3" mag 12 guage.)
A funny cartrige cap fired single shot bp rifle.

I'm sorry I got carried away. I reminded myself how many guns I have got to fire just by talking to other shooters.

I think I'm going to the range tomorrow. Never know, I might get to add something to my list.

January 14, 2003, 06:53 PM
In similar guns a 10mm will recoil more than a 45, but both are very controllable. I personally enjoy shooting 45s to me it seems that the recoil is more of a shove that a snap. Everyone is different, so I recommend you try before you buy like Mr. Miller suggested. If it were me I would get a 1911 in 45AC, then I would get a 10mm.

January 14, 2003, 07:01 PM
Purchases in order:

Walther P99 (.40S&W)
H&K USP 45 (.45ACP)
Mossberg 590A1 (12ga)
Springfield XD-9 (9mm)
Mosin-Nagent M-44 (7.62x54R)
Springfield M1A Scout (.308)
Walther P22 5inch (.22LR)
Tikka Whitetail (.30-06)
Springfield Ultra-Compact (.45ACP)

Next on the "to buy" list:

Sig Pro SP2340 (.357SIG)

Nope, no pattern or plan here (except I like plastic) :D

edited to add my M1A (how did I forget THAT!)

January 14, 2003, 08:26 PM
Unless they make something bigger than .50 BMG that's easy to shoot from the shoulder and legal to own... :D

Gila Jorge
January 14, 2003, 08:41 PM
My first revolver was a Ruger 45LC with 7.5" barrel it was one of those 1976 models. Next came 357s and then 44mag....only now have 40 S&W finally. No 9mm.

Standing Wolf
January 14, 2003, 09:12 PM
I've worked my way around in circles. I started with a .38 special revolver, then bought a .22, then bought some .357s, then bought some .44 magnums, then bought some .45 A.C.P.s, then bout a .380 A.C.P., then...

I'm content these days with .357 magnums and .22s.

Jim Watson
January 14, 2003, 09:37 PM
I am working my way DOWN; I have shot more .22s lately than in years. Gotta have the centerfires for IDPA competition, but it doesn't seem to matter which. Changing calibers is more a pain in the neck than a thrill to me. Like J Miller, I had rather know somebody with a peculiar gun than have one for myself.

January 14, 2003, 10:23 PM
I am free to admit that I've only been really into shooting for a little over a year. I started with a S&W MP .38 Special and added a 9mm luger CZ 75B. I shoot the 9mm far more than the .38.......
I've had the pleasure of renting/borrowing .45s, .40s, .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, and a few rifles up to a .30-06 and I like them all! Thing is, I'm looking to buy my third handgun soon and am getting another a 9mm....I just like a lot of things about 9mm luger: wide variation of mild to wild loads, cheap to buy ammo, easily controlled subsequent shots, very fast=very accurate. I will eventually aquire at least one .45 ACP, .40 S&W, .357 Mag, etc. My opinion only, but I just love the 9mm!

Sean Smith
January 14, 2003, 10:24 PM
Here is my take on it:

.45 is easier to shoot than .40 for alot of people, because the recoil feels different... it is more of a push than a *snap*. Thus, going to .45 from .40 with similar guns should be super-easy.

10mm would be like .40, only more so... pretty "snappy," but not excessive from the right gun. With 10mm it is easy to work your way up from .40 S&W equivalent loads to .357 Magnum equivalent loads and beyond.

I'd say go straight to 10mm if you want to get in 10mm anyway. Otherwise, just stick with .40 since you are already in it, since the difference between .40 and .45 is minimal anyway.

January 14, 2003, 10:34 PM
Work 'up' in caliber? More like move sideways depending on your needs & wants...punching paper, plinking, competing, hunting, all require diff't things.
If you want a 45, get one & experience what they're really about! Do the same w/ the 10mm & whatever other caliber you may want.

January 14, 2003, 11:02 PM
I had a USP.40 for 9 months before moving 'up' to a Kimber 1911. I sold the 1911 and went to the Beretta 92. I like 9mm the best, and will probably put my .45s in semi-retirement.

Shooter 2.5
January 14, 2003, 11:06 PM
Until you get into the magnums, recoil isn't part of the equation. We have an eleven year old girl who shoots IDPA with a FN Highpower in 9MM. I don't think she knows a thing about recoil because she can really shoot.

John Limbaugh is a fairly small statured man and he does shoot the stuff he designs.

If you need an excuse to buy more guns, have at it.

The last time I was bit by a gun was with a PPK .380.
I don't want to shoot anything over a .45 at the moment because of some messed up ribs on my right side.

January 14, 2003, 11:59 PM
I don't think it matters. Whatever you shoot, fire it enough to get reasonably good with it. That means developing good trigger control and the whole bit. If you just fire a few rounds, you might not be good enough with it to even know if you like it.

Essentially, anybody can successfully shoot any handgun. The question is whether or not they will like shooting specific ones.

Just remember that for every handgun made and every cartridge available for them, there are a bunch of people who love them and can drive tacks with them. So can you, but learning how is greatly facilitated by liking the cartridge and launching machine.

January 15, 2003, 12:18 AM
See quote below :D

January 15, 2003, 12:41 AM
I went form .380 to .45. I didn't have any problems and the .45's recoild is not THAT much worse than a .380. Now, a .357mag on the otherhand is a LOT worse than a .45, imo:what: .

Sleeping Dog
January 15, 2003, 06:39 AM
I don't have a bunch of pistols, so don't know the recoil on a .40.

For me, the 1911 is more comfortable to shoot than a Glock 26 9mm. The 1911 recoil feels like a big push, the 9mm seems harsh and snappy. I don't know if this is due to ammo. The 1911 is heavier and has a much bigger grip.

Another gun I like to take to the range is a Ruger 22/45, just to get some shots with "zero" recoil, hopefully to reduce "flinch".


January 15, 2003, 06:52 AM
I have really been eyeing the Springfield Mil-Spec lately, and that's going to be the next hangun I buy. I was just looking for other's opinions on the difference in recoil and/or muzzle flip. I'm pretty sure that I can handle whatever I feel like shooting, but I was just wondering what other's had done when first getting into shooting.

And its funny to me because I really don't like shooting 9mm because I'm not as accurate with it as the .40. Before I bought my gun I borrowed a SW99 and a Baby DE .40 from a couple of friends and shot them at a local range, and I couldn't really group at all on the SW99, but the BDE .40 was really easy to shot and loosely group with.

January 15, 2003, 02:07 PM
Get a 1911 in 45 ACP and get out and shoot it.:)

January 15, 2003, 04:28 PM
It ain't the caliber, it's the size of the gun...

If what you want to do is test yourself, get a ultra lightweight .357 snubby and load it with 125-grain hollowpoints. Shoot a second box if you can get through the first :)


January 17, 2003, 08:09 PM
You didn't say which make of .40S&W you had, but ...

... if either of the Glock 10mms fits your hand (the 20 or 29), they easily become 3-in-1 guns because of their ability to accept aftermarket "drop-in" barrels in .40S&W and .357 Sig.

All you need are the extra barrels, which you can get from KKM or Federal Arms. All the other stock 10mm stuff (like the mags) works fine w/ these other cartridges.

That way, you could sell your .40S&W pistol, use the cash toward financing a 10mm Glock, then buy a couple of aftermarket barrels (which together costs less than a used .40 gun), and still end up shooting .40S&W whenever you want.

HTH. :)

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