recoil and muzzle flip on a 45 ACP


December 8, 2008, 10:42 PM
I can get almost new HK45 for about 1/2 the price. The problem is that I never shot a pistol in 45 ACP. What is the muzzle flip of a 45ACP compared to 40 SW?

I won't be able to shoot a 45 ACP until this weekend and I'm afraid that the gun might be sold out by then...

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December 8, 2008, 10:54 PM
It will be less, especially in a solid pistol like an HK. Generally, the recoil of a .45 is described as a "rearward push" rather than a "muzzle flip". It's really, really not bad at all.

The Lone Haranguer
December 8, 2008, 10:58 PM
Feel and perception is a bit hard to quantify. I do find the "sharp push" recoil of .45 to be more pleasant and controllable than the "snap" or torque of the .40.

December 8, 2008, 11:10 PM
Is 45 ACP easier to keep on target because its "a push" rather than the vertical snap of 40 SW?

I know this is all subjective I really don't want to miss on this HK45 deal if the caliber isn't something that I should worry about.

December 8, 2008, 11:14 PM
Some .45's have more muzzle rise than others, but guns like the HK and steel frame 1911's are very controllable. I find my 1911's to be a blast to shoot. I'd rather shoot them than a 9mm. I ran a box of Cor-bon +P's through my Glock 36 one time. That is a whole different story.
If you can shoot a.40, you can shoot a .45.

December 8, 2008, 11:18 PM
If you are anything close to an adult in mind and body, you will be able to handle the recoil of a .45 ACP chambered in an H&K autopistol, presuming you have no major disability - which you have not mentioned.

If you find you really don't like it, at half price you will certainly be able to dispose of it without losing any money. They are quality pistols.

December 8, 2008, 11:19 PM
Get the gun. After you fired it, you'll wonder why you asked.

December 8, 2008, 11:22 PM
A few years back I bought a CZ-75 in 9mm. About eight months ago I bought a Springfield XD-45. After the 9mm. the first time I brought the XD to the range I was prepared for a slam dinger recoil ... but it was not really so different than 9mm.
The XD, atleast, is a nice gun in .45ACP.
I'd go for it and have fun!

(and be safe).

December 8, 2008, 11:47 PM
I practically felt no difference between XD9 and XD40. Maybe I "over anticipated" 40 SW but considering that HK45 is a different pistol/platform... I'm somewhat hesitant to purchase it even if it's a great deal. I know they are great guns it's just that I'm not familiar with the 45 ACP at all.

I understand the snappiness of 40 SW. I felt it. I don't know what to make from the "push" analogy of 45 ACP. It's new to me...

December 9, 2008, 12:09 AM
I had the same thoughts and apprehensions as you have. I mean, like dude, its a freaking FORTY FIVE!!! I first got a 1911 and thought that was fun. It is more of an assertive push and I love the BOOM. It sounds like a big dog bark instead of an sharp angry yelp like a super sonic round. Totally not unpleasant. I then got a taurus pt145. Again a little worried because it is a power round out of a 23 ounce pistol. Still fun. No MORE fun. My 12 year old shoots both guns and loves it for what it is worth.

December 9, 2008, 01:25 AM
if you dont get it...i will! let me know! :)

December 9, 2008, 03:17 AM
like jfrey, I'd rather pull the trigger on a full size .45acp than any other autoloader in 9mm or .40, or 10mm. It's power and recoil characteristics make it a real winner - 100 years later and it's more popular with civilian shooters than it was the first 20 years it was on the market.

December 9, 2008, 09:45 AM
I can't comment on the HKs since I've never owned one. But I've owned several polymer pistols in .40 and a 1911 in .45. I'll never own other .40 caliber unless it's just an insane deal. It's .45s for me all the way now. Once you quit shooting .40s and start shooting only .45s you forget what the other was like. I just went to an indoor range this past weekend with a friend and I brought my 1911 and he brought his Sig 229 .40 and we were shooting. I noticed I was literally kicking his ass with my groups and I know I'm probably not that great of a shooter. I ask him if he wants to swap, you shoot mine I shoot yours type thing. So I load up some .40 in the Sig and shoot it and notice that it's got a great deal more muzzle flip than my .45. I don't know if I'm shooting correctly, but when I shoot my .45, I let what muzzle flip their is move through my arms and I bend at the elbows slightly. I lock my wrists so they don't move and absorb the muzzle rise with my elbows. Again, don't know if it's right or wrong but it's just how I do it. But when I shot the .40, it was very hard to keep my wrists locked. It wanted to snap them up every time. And for me, I try to get into a rhythm when shooting where after I shoot and my arms go up with the recoil slightly, I still keep focused on the front sight as my arms fall down, then when the front sight drops to the X, I squeeze, and I repeat this process for the whole clip. But to me, it seemed a lot easier to do with my .45 because it didn't snap up nearly as far. The .45 is definitely more of a rearward pressure with just a slight flip.

December 9, 2008, 05:21 PM
The .45 is a lower pressure, lower velocity round then the .40. Every gun owner should have at least one 45 ACP in there collection. If you get the 45 you will be happy you did.

December 9, 2008, 07:27 PM
The .40 S&W is in the 35,000 CUP range for pressure and most
platforms - the popular ones are polymer which are lighter than the
usual all steel 1911 which is the majority of .45 ACP platforms and the
.45 ACP is 21,000 CUP and except for a few Lightweight _+P loads is
sub sonic.

I have a 1911 5" bbl. full size, as well as a S&W 625 REvolver with a
5" Bbl. and full underlug it's 4 or 5 oz heavier than the 1911 when
both are fully loaded. Although the revolver has the bore axis higher it's
still very manageable in recoil and re-acquisition of the target.It's my favorite wheelgun, whereas the high pressure .357 Mag 686P I have is only 6-7 oz lighter it's a PITA to ME after 20 or so full house loads. The
1911 as many have said is a heavy push, but the slide coming back
forward helps bring it back on target, firm wrists, and bent
elbows and all that.

Get the HK you'll be glad you did.


December 9, 2008, 08:36 PM
Most of the felt "recoil" of a .45 ACP fired from a semi auto is from the slide cycling. Shoot the same round from a revolver and you will be surprised how soft it is. I think almost anyone can learn to love a .45 ACP. It's just like a big puppy.

December 9, 2008, 10:54 PM
Get the gun. After you fired it, you'll wonder why you asked.


December 9, 2008, 11:07 PM
No doub't 45acp is more fun for me, and maybe easier recoil than most 40 caliber pistols.

December 9, 2008, 11:13 PM
I have an HK45 and USP .40 Compact. The difference in recoil is minimal between the two, but both recoil less than other brands in their respective calibers. My wife has shot less than 50 rounds of anything larger than 9mm, and handles the HK45 just fine.

December 9, 2008, 11:23 PM
I own an HK45 and have shot my buddies' M&P compact 9mm and Beretta 92FS fairly extensively, and have shot another friend's CZ every now and then. I should probably add that I'm fairly new to handguns, and feel as though I am still learning a lot about how to shoot whenever I go to the range.

I don't even think 9mm has recoil to be perfectly honest. I can empty my friends' 9mms in a second or less, and have a fairly tight groupings of less than 5" in diameter at 9yards.

The HK45 definitely has some recoil. I can't empty the mag and maintain a tight grouping like that (yet, at any rate, I'm getting better though), though the grouping is still easily all in the CoM at 9 yards. I have also observed some of my friends develop a "flinch" type reflex when shooting it.

There definitely is recoil, but with practice, and patience, it's easily manageable. I had to review and experiment with different grips and stances to gain proficiency with it. With a 9mm, I was able to start placing bullets on top of bullets without really paying much attention to grip and stance, and although my shooting with these guns was very precise, I should point out that it wasn't extraordinarily accurate.

OH, and one last thing, HK sights are different from most other sights, and when I figured this out, my shooting significantly improved. You COVER the intended point of impact with your front sight, don't "bob" the target. If you start to "bob" your target, you'll find that you are always shooting low. I noticed a big improvement in accuracy when I adjusted my sight picture accordingly.

I really enjoy my HK45, I would recommend that you get it, especially with such a great deal on one.

December 9, 2008, 11:50 PM
the issue should not be percieved recoil.of the three major calibers,the .40s&w has more than the 9mm or .45acp and you allready have no problems with the .40s&w.

the issue you should be considering is, if you want another pistol or add a .45acp weapon in your arsenal or want to own an h&k. if you do,run don't walk and snatch that puppy,assuming it's in perfect condition or to your judgement worthwhile.

consolidation and logistics should also be considered.

practising to become proficient with it will cost you more than a 9mm but if you want a .45acp pistol,you can't go wrong with Hk45.

December 10, 2008, 12:27 PM
I have had, and currently still have a bunch of .45's I shoot every week. For low recoil, my M&P 45 is great. For the least recoil, my CZ-97B is the schizz'. For me, 1911's seem to have more muzzle rise.

Just a rearward push, with very, very, little muzzle rise from my fav's. I've watched other people shoot my CZ and it seems as though the muzzle rise is less than a inch.

December 10, 2008, 12:32 PM
It sounds like a big dog bark instead of an sharp angry yelpYep. I have always said low boom vs crack, but I like that decripition.

Recoil. Not bad at all. I like it better than hot .40's. Anyone who likes to shoot should have at least one .45 ACP.

December 10, 2008, 12:37 PM
45's are real easy to shoot.:) i think that is one of the reasons there is such a following. but, there is one SERIOUS problem, that is inherent with all 45's that you need to be aware of. you will go broke shooting them. not so much the price of the ammo. but you are going to want to shoot so darn much of the stuff :D :neener: !

December 10, 2008, 10:51 PM
Yup, .45 ACP is definitely the "crack cocaine" of the handgun world. I've been addicted most of my life. There is no known cure.

December 10, 2008, 11:00 PM
A guy I know that does custom work on Sigs and HK's put it this way: "A 45 shoves; a 40 snaps." I personally love the shove of a 45acp. I shoot one-handed alot with no problems.

December 11, 2008, 10:52 PM
I got the HK45, shot it, and I like the gun but... being a bad shot I kind miss the safety/assurance of a high capacity magazine. 8+1 rounds is less than 15 that I'm used to (in 9mm).

I love the gun, safety, de-cocker, custom grips and everything else about it. Thank you all for your responses and help. You guys are awesome.

December 11, 2008, 10:56 PM
You couldn't have gotten a better .45, especially for that price. My HK.45C
is very easy to control. Recoil is a lamb.

Darth AkSarBen
December 11, 2008, 11:17 PM
Glad you got the .45 ! Welcome to the pre-expanded club!! When others hope to expand to .45 caliber this one is already there, and any HP or Cor-Bon DPX that expand it is just gravy. My Taurus 24/7 Pro in .45. shot by Taran Butler broke a Steel Challenge record hitting 4 ea 12" targets from 30 feet in 97 hundredth of a second. You can only do that if you do not have too much muzzle flip and the .45 is capable of shooting very fast and very accurately.
Below is a 5 shot group using Rainier 185 grain plated bullets from my Taurus 24/7 Pro. I did not shoot this in 1 second though.:)

BTW I have shot a HK in .45 ACP and it was a great shooter and fun to shoot. Quality throughout!

December 12, 2008, 12:23 AM
I've got an XDM .40 and a Colt Series 80 .45, and love them both. I've had the Colt for about 15 years, and I shoot straight as heck with it, and the thing'll feed beer cans...I can't recall ever having a jam.

The .40 is a recent purchase (on Election Day, actually) a nice price on it and it's fun to shoot as well. VERY manageable recoil...much more controllable with double taps than another .40 I had.

The two calibers are just different feeling, but both are good. The .45, to me, is much more of a torquey-spring kind of thing...whereas the .40 is much more of a sharp push back.

Like many earlier posters, I'll tell you just get the'll be glad you did!

December 12, 2008, 12:24 AM
OOops, okay...saw you got it! Congrats!

Dean Williams
December 12, 2008, 01:57 AM
Yup, .45 ACP is definitely the "crack cocaine" of the handgun world. I've been addicted most of my life. There is no known cure.

Ain't it the truth! I seem to have a double dependency in the 45 ACP and the ol' Long Colt.
Best of both worlds.

I know a couple of guys who shoot the .40 very well, but they both prefer 45 ACP. Mainly for the same reason I like it over the .40; It seems to be easier to shoot well, along with being fairly easy to manage, recoil-wise.

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