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Real objective, factual

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by shooter1103, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. shooter1103

    shooter1103 Active Member

    feedback on the difference in recoil of a 40 cal vs 45 firearm.

    I am down to a Kimber ( can't belive I am looking at spending that kind of money...grin) CDP Pro II or maybe same model in the custom or a S&W M&P 40.

    I really like the 40S&W caliber and have other hand guns in this caliber but don't see a lot of models I care for in the Kimber offered 40S&W models.

    I don't find the recoil bad at all on my Glock 40's but have never shot 45 ACP on any brand or style gun and since it is hard to find Kimber's to rent before buying, I am trying to get some feedback from actual users who have been there and done that.

    So it is down to S&W 40S&W M&P, or Kimber CDP II Pro/Custom. The S&W M&P feels this best in my hand as do the CDP models. I have had other models and makes in my hands, but just don't like them as well as these two models and builders of firearms.

    I would appreciate any and all feedback and especially if there is a big difference between the Kimber CDP 4" Pro and CDP II 5" barrell as far as recoil??

    Thank you
  2. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    Gun weight the same a .45 will generally have more recoil.

    Go the the Ballistician's corner at http://www.beartoothbullets.com/. There's a recoil calculator in the list of tools.
  3. Navy87Guy

    Navy87Guy Well-Known Member

    There is no way to answer that question objectively, because it's all about perceived recoil, which is subjective.

    There are a ton of factors that go in to the assessment, including the particular ammo, the make/model of the gun, how you hold it. The only way to know with certainty is to try the ammo in question in a specific gun. Are you really interested in recoil (which is how fast/far the gun travels in the opposite direction of the bullet) or muzzle flip (which is what happens when the recoiling gun interacts with the retention system known as the operator)?

    Ammo makes a huge difference. There are plenty of big, slow .45 rounds that are very "soft" shooters. There are also .40 S&W rounds that bring a whole new meaning to the term "snappy". Those same rounds fired out of different guns can take on a completely different character.

    Unfortunately the only way to know for sure is to try it for yourself. If you can't find a gun to rent, consider looking for another shooter/forum member who lives in your area and is willing to meet you for a day at the range. Most guys I know would be happy to let you shoot their gun as long as you're buying the ammo. I'd be very hesitant to sink $1000+ into a gun that might work for me -- and I'd hate to think I missed out on a good one because I didn't get a chance to try it.

    Just my $0.02...

    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
  4. RyanM

    RyanM Well-Known Member

    I'll just outline my impressions of recoil from all the major calibers I've shot, so you have a better point of comparison than just two calibers.

    .380 ACP NAA Guardian, 95 gr FMJ - snappy as hell, beat up my hands, hated shooting it.

    .380 ACP PPK, unknown FMJ ammo - only slightly better than the Guardian.

    9mm Kahr CW9, 115 gr FMJ - Recoil? What recoil? The gun would move a little bit, basically felt like someone pushing on the muzzle with one finger.

    9mm Egyptian Beretta 92 clone, unknown FMJ ammo - Huh? Recoil? You mean this isn't a BB gun? Actually, I found the recoil felt basically the same as the Kahr, despite the huge difference in size and weight.

    .38 SPL some kinda off-brand snubby, unknown lead ammo - Recoil felt like pointing the gun into a stiff breeze. Even less than either of the two 9mms, amazingly.

    .38 SPL Ruger SP-101, Rem 130 gr FMJ - Gun barely moves around at all, but there's a surprising amount of snap. Not uncomfortable, but more than 9mm, and more than you'd expect given the extreme low power of the ammo (130 gr at 800 fps from a 4" barel).

    .357 mag Ruger SP-101, Rem 125 gr SJHP - Holy crap! My hands! My wrists! One cylinder full would turn the palms of my hands beet red, and my forearms would ache for the rest of the day.

    .357 mag Ruger SP-101, 158 gr moderate handloads, around 900-1000 fps from the SP-101 - not much muzzle flip at all, just a straight back sort of recoil. Pretty good amount of snap, but not uncomfortable. About on par with the 165 gr .40 below, but with less muzzle rise.

    .40 S&W Glock 23, 165 gr FMJ - More muzzle rise than any of the smaller calibers. Pretty good amount of flip, actually, but not hard at all to control if you know what to expect. Recoil is snappier than 9mm, but not by a lot. Main source of discomfort, initially, was the serrations in the finger grooves digging into my fingers, but I got used to them after a few range trips.

    .40 S&W Kahr MK40, 165 gr FMJ - Feels pretty much identical to the Glock, to me. A fair amount of muzzle flip, and a bit of snappiness. Shot recovery is a little slower, because of the miniscule smooth grip and longer trigger reset.

    Both .40s with 180 gr book max handloads, around 1100 fps - Muzzle flip actually remains about the same, but recoil becomes quite a bit snappier, bordering on uncomfortable. Hands get sore after more than about 50 rounds of that in one range session.

    .45 ACP Colt 1991A1 compact (4" barrel), unknown FMJ ammo - About as much muzzle flip as .40 S&W 165 gr ammo, but with no snap whatsoever. Recoil was like having the 9mm's big brother push on the muzzle with two fingers instead of one.

    .45 ACP some kind of tricked out 1911, some kind of handloaded 185 gr LSWC light target loads - Felt like a 9mm. Negligible recoil and flip.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
  5. Mac45

    Mac45 Well-Known Member

    Seems to me that my 1911 comes back harder, but slower, and the M&P is not quite as strong, but faster.

    I don't think either is bad.
    Just my opinion, and worth exactly what you paid for it.
    Like Navy87guy said, perceived recoil is subjective.
  6. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    Agreed. I could tell you that the .45 (especially in a heavy steel gun) has a "shove/slow roll" recoil instead of the .40's sharp snap. The .45 also has more of a "boom" sound to the report instead of a "crack." But those are my perceptions and opinion.
  7. Pat-inCO

    Pat-inCO Well-Known Member

    It depends on the gun size, weight and grips. PLUS the load you are using. In other words, it depends.
  8. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Well-Known Member

    theres so many variables to take into consideration

    but to summerise, i always view the .40 to have more of a "Kick" and the .45 to have a "push"

    the .40 seems brief and strong. where as the .45 seems longers and spread out...nothing more reliable, than my own meandering experience
  9. shooter1103

    shooter1103 Active Member

    Ok, thank you men

    I appreciate the feedback. Thanks again.

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