Which do you feel has more recoil 9mm or .45acp


March 5, 2009, 02:30 PM
I have been going back and forth between which round I feel is more comfortable to shoot (9mm or. 45acp).

Do you feel the snap of the 9mm is easier to control over the push of the .45 or vice versa.

I have also seen some talk about noise levels. While this doesn't come into play at the range, it is something to consider during HD situations. Is the 9mm loader than a .45?

Lately I've been leaning toward the .45 as being more comfortable, but I want to see others opinions.


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Zak Smith
March 5, 2009, 02:35 PM
For the same weight pistol, a .45 will have about 50% more free recoil energy (FRE) (it's proportional to (m*v)^2). The problem with this comparison is that typically .45's are built on larger frames (which distributed the energy over more area of your hands and/or gives you more torque on the pistol) and have heavier frames or slides (which decreases the FRE).

Bottom line, in pistols of even approximately the same weight and size, the 9mm is more controllable and can be shot accurately faster.

March 5, 2009, 02:38 PM
I perceive .45acp to have MORE recoil than 9mm, but 9mm having SHARPER recoil than .45acp.

I carry both regularly.

March 5, 2009, 02:40 PM
it really comes down to gun size and configuration more than just caliber. just raw recoil, a .45 has more than a 9mm, but in different sized guns the recoil can be felt much differently.. for instance, if you shoot a full sized 1911, the recoil of a .45 acp is very manageable; however, if you shoot the same round in a smaller pistol, say a millenium pro pt145, the recoil will feel much stronger. Granted, it will be easier to find a a smaller 9mm with less recoil than a .45 of the same size, but then you get into what you are more comfortable with. I recently purchased a steyr M9-A1, shooting it is similar to shooting a stout .22 because of the configuration of the gun.

I will say that the recoil in a 9mm is of a different sort, but if you are used to shooting that caliber and, more importantly, the gun, then it is what you become accustomed to...

March 5, 2009, 02:41 PM
Go here & use this.

Figure 5 grains powder in both, and guns of the same weight.

It will answer all your questions.


March 5, 2009, 03:04 PM
it really comes down to gun size and configuration more than just caliber. just raw recoil, a .45 has more than a 9mm, but in different sized guns the recoil can be felt much differently..

wiser words never spoke .

My advise is to buy the pistol you can hit with no matter the choice of caliber . No pistol is a magic wand that you waive to stop bad folk . If you're wise you will not shoot them once , and then wait and see no matter the caliber you hold so pick the pistol you hit best with . Pistol recoil is largely in the mind of the shooter, tho muzzle flip is a function of grip, design, and stance . As a rule the higher the bore sets from the web of the hand the more muzzle flip you will experience tho some " slanted " grips can attenuate this some . My point is to shoot everything you can , hang out at ranges and beg trials ( buy your own ammo of course beg the trial ) from shooters who have one you have not tried . After the homework is done ask yourself ( keep notes of likes/dislikes if you need to ) Which pistol do i want to spend the money on ? You dont need us , you need hands on .

March 5, 2009, 03:40 PM
It also comes down to the actual load you are shooting.

Personally, I don't find either one to have much recoil in a good-sized gun, compared to anything else I usually shoot except for .22LR in heavy barrels and .38 Special cowboy loads in full-size single action revolvers.

March 5, 2009, 04:07 PM
Thanks for the info guys. RCMODEL, nice website, thanks for the link.

chris in va
March 5, 2009, 05:34 PM
I'm not terribly fond of my P11's recoil. But the micro 1911 I rented a few years ago made me return it after one magazine.

9mm is a pussycat compared to 45 out of the same gun.

March 5, 2009, 07:20 PM
in the same gun...like a 1911...the 9mm will feel like it recoils much less.

in like sized guns...like a Sig 226 and 220...the 9mm will have less felt recoil and muzzle flip, making followup shots faster.

i find the 9mm has a "crack" compared to the "boom" of the .45...if you want to feel "sharp recoil", try a .40 in a idnetically sized gun to a 9mm...like a Glock 22 and 17

The Lone Haranguer
March 5, 2009, 09:51 PM
The .45 has more recoil than the 9mm, but a "push" rather than a "snap" which makes it comfortable and easy to control. I prefer either to the .40, which combines the worst traits of both.

March 5, 2009, 11:56 PM
i went to the range with a co-worker. He has a USP .40 and a SIG P220 .45. I got a 9mm (sigma). We ran several mags through each just for fun.

From the .40 to the .45, there's not much difference IMO, then again, it's the first time I've shot his guns and the first time in that caliber. And yeah, like Zak said, doing rapid fire from his SIG is really difficult. The recoil really threw my hand up higher and took some time for it to come back on target. I tried doing the same with the sigma and seemed like the slide "snapped" back into line of sight much easier. I don't know if it's because of the design or because of the different caliber, but it was noticeable for sure.

March 6, 2009, 05:22 AM
My Kimber Ultra carry, is very snappy with SD loads. Recoil is recoil, snappy or pushy, never did really feel the difference:confused: Like the others have stated, the 45 will have more:)

March 6, 2009, 10:40 AM
9mm's recoil???:neener:

March 6, 2009, 10:47 AM
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The higher the muzzle energy of the cartridge being fired the heavier the recoil. How much of it you feel depends on how much energy is absorbed by the mechanics of the firearm (padded grips, weight, re-load function in the case of semi-autos, etc.).
I shoot .45acp and the difference between my normal range load Winchester White Box and my normal carry load Hornady TAP +p is substancial.

March 6, 2009, 11:52 AM
Neither have heavy recoil. I shoot a
S&W 1911 5" Stainless Steel and a
CZ 75B in .45 ACP and 9mm LUger,
respectively. The .45 has more
perceived recoil. I'm sure that would be
backed up by measuring same in a Ransome


March 7, 2009, 12:22 AM
It also depends on the weapon. My Nines are (from lowest recoiling and up) M&P 9, M&P 9c, P7, FEG PJK-9HP, and an FM hipower. I feel all are much lower recoiling than the average 1911. My M&Ps have very little recoil and I suspect the design would lend itself to taming the 45acp as well. I used to prefer the push of the 45 over the snap of the 9mm but after shooting 9mm almost exclusively for the past few years I have changed my attitude about that quite a bit. I find the quicker recoil impulse much quicker to deal with shot to shot.

March 7, 2009, 12:54 AM
Not more -- different -- even in defensive ammo, both are controlable and both shootable & effective

March 7, 2009, 05:25 PM
After shooting nothing but nines (and smaller) for a few years I bought a 1911 and I was actually surprised just how much more recoil it had compared to my M&P 9c and my P7. It was a slower impulse and it was perfectly controllable but I definitely feel faster with my nines.

March 7, 2009, 07:37 PM
Maybe it's just me, but neither seems to have much recoil in my hand.

The one that punishes my hand is a hot 38+P out my my airweight snubbie.

March 7, 2009, 10:36 PM
Now your talking. A while back I bought one of the S&W scandium frame 38s and I sold it after 2 trips to the range. The web of my hand hurt for two hours after my first range session. I usually shoot 100 rounds with my 9mm in a session and its perfectly comfortable. I used to do the same with one my 1911s. Both are very comfortable to shoot by comparison.

March 7, 2009, 11:14 PM
its all about the gun. My Kel-Tec P-11 (9mm) is a lot harsher to shoot than my 4" 1911 (.45acp). But, that kel-tec is about 1/3 the weight as my 1911, and I shoot real soft .45acp loads :) Even still, factory .45acp in my gun arnt like that P-11.

Neither are hard to control, however. 9mm definitely has more snap. I prefer shooting 35gr Pyrodex P out of my 44cal Remington 1858 cap and ball revolver, now THAT is a blast :D approaching 1911 with factory ball recoil...

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