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.40 S&W power

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Pistola, May 25, 2008.

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  1. Pistola

    Pistola Member

    Dec 6, 2007
    Hi. I was going to get a .40 pistol for home defense and wondered about
    the recoil compared to say a .380 walther, .357 blackhawk? These are the
    closest ones I have now. I got partially disabled from a cycle crash, otherwise I wouldn't be concerned.

  2. rmarcustrucker

    rmarcustrucker Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    twinsburg, Ohio TWINsburg, Ohio
    I can't tell any difference between .40 and 9mm. Slightly sharper, but not like a .45 acp and 12Guage :). Wife handled it well and shoots .38 and 9mm but hates .45 acp and wont even touch the 12g.
  3. Kilted Cossack

    Kilted Cossack Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    I am a recoil weenie, and an avid enthusiast of "Ballistic Speculation" (aka BS). I love the idea of the .40 S&W, how it gives you the best of both worlds of the 9mm and the .45 ACP. Unfortunately---for me, anyway---it also gives you the worst of both worlds of the .45 ACP and the 9mm. The 9mm gives you a fast but light recoil, the .45 gives you a heavy but slow recoil.

    The .40 S&W---for me, anyway---gives a fast and somewhat heavy recoil.

    I prefer shooting the 9mm or the .45 ACP. To shoot the .40, I really prefer a heavier, steel framed pistol like a Browning Hi-Power. (Which, yes, I shouldn't have ever sold.)

    I shoot the .40 slower than I shoot the 9mm or the .45. I mostly distrust handgun stopping power, realize that we have fairly effective expanding bullet technology, and don't feel at all bad about using a 9mm. (Or a .45.)
  4. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Richmond, VA
    In a heavy all steel handgun you probably won't notice much diff between .40 and 9mm. In a lighter polymer handgun (Glock, XD, M&P, etc.), you will definitely notice a bit more recoil and muzzle flip with a .40. Try before you buy.
  5. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Wooster, Ohio
    I can shoot my M&P 40 rather well, but the requirement is both hands on the gun. In single-hand shooting, I'm a lot slower. The muzzle-flip is a lot more pronounced than a 9mm, but I don't think it's anywhere near the recoil of a 357 defense load. It's certainly more than a 380.

    If you start looking around, you'll find that 40cal guns can vary quite a bit in their percieved recoil. I've heard numerous people used to several different 40's remark on how soft the M&P is in comparison. You might give it a try if you're out testing. From what I understand, Smith designed the gun around the 40cal, rather than the 9mm, so that could explain a lot of it.
  6. h-word

    h-word Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    All I shoot are 40s right now. The first pistol my wife shot was a sub-compact XD40 and now owns one of her own. Recoil wasn't a problem for her.
  7. Treo

    Treo member

    Nov 30, 2007
    Co. Springs
    I carry a CZ75B in .40, and I find the weight of the pistol soaks up most of the recoil. I imagine a lighter pistol would have a sharper recoil. My Ruger PC -4 (also in .40)
    has almost no kick at all. My 2075 RAMI , on the other hand, kicks harder than my .45 ACP
  8. .357 magnum

    .357 magnum Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    Omaha, NE
    Give the MP a try-

    The SW MP has a Low Bore Axis so the recoil is one of the lowest for a .40 cal. I own One and could not be more pleased with it. I am not recoil sensitive, but would still also recommend using 180gr ammo if you decide to go with the .40 In particular for defensive purposes the 180gr Winchester Bonded is Excellent. Also the 180gr Federal HST. The 180gr ammo also cuts your recoil down, because of the lower velocities. The one's I have recommend are LE ammo and have Excellent weight retention, penetration and expansion. If you find the .40 has too much recoil, I would get a High quality 9mm such as the SW-MP, CZ, or Beretta. Good Luck in your search.

    The Best to You and Yours!


    PS-Welcome to THR!
    Last edited: May 25, 2008
  9. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Western NY
    It is really not that bad. I would rather shoot a box of .40 out of my CZ40B than a box of 125gr 357's out of my snubbie .357!
  10. MM

    MM Member

    Jun 29, 2004
    I actually prefer the recoil of my 10mm Glock 29 to that of ANY .40 I have shot. The .40 recoil was just too "snappy" and I traded off a SigPro 2240 because I found it no fun to shoot. It was accurate and reliable, however.
  11. Picknlittle

    Picknlittle Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Clarksville TN
    I am still in shock over the lack of apparent recoil from my Glock 30SF. It's like shooting a VERY SWEET 9mm. Not to mention, it's a freakin drill! I can't get my G22 .40 to group anywhere near the G30 SF. In rapid fire strings, the 30 returns to neutral immediately.

    It may just be the perfect fit for me.
  12. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    So. Calif.

    380's are great back-up guns, have a lot of snap/recoil, and get dirty real-quick with the blow-back action of most.. Also, 95gr JHP's are not nearly as effective, penetration-value-wise, than 40cal JHP in either 165gr or *180gr.

    In my SIG P232 SL 380, I use only 95gr FMJ for best penetration with flat nose bullets.

    I find the *180gr produces the least amount of recoil in 40cal.

    357.. more than ya need in all respects.. ammo is most expensive, along with 380acp, making 40cal the best choice here, as well.

    40cal with the right platform is sweet, effective, max mag-count over any 380 makes it the best choice IMO.

    I can recommend 2 that I shoot..

    First choice: SIG P229 40cal

    Second choice: Beretta Px4 40cal

  13. Sato Ord

    Sato Ord Member

    Mar 21, 2008
    Melbourne Florida
    I have a .40S&W. Recoil is a bit more than a .380, and bit less than any .357mag I've ever fired.

    About the same recoil as a 9mm. If you can fire the Blackhawk without problems you should do fine with a .40 cal.
  14. lechiffre

    lechiffre Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    i went to the range with a friend. he took his beretta 92 9mm i took my .40 cougar. recoil felt about the same to me. i don't much care for my other .40s (hi power and p99). i can feel the p99 get lighter and recoil more with each shot.
  15. golden

    golden Member

    Aug 28, 2007
    H&K if want polymer, BERETTA for metal

    The H&K P2000 comes with a recoil buffer. It really works. I got rid of my GLOCK 22 because it kicked much harder than my GLOCK 17 9m.m. The H&K is no worse to me than +P+ 9m.m.

    In a metal gun, my favorite is the BERETTA 96 Brigadier mode. I have owned both the standard 96 and the 96 Brigadier and reccomend the heavier slide Brigadier. Recoil is not a problem and the gun is very accurate and reliable. With the 96 Brigadier out of production, you might want to go with the BERETTA 90-two in .40S&W.

  16. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    Simply adding a pinky finger grip extension to your XD or Glock subcompact .40s and IMHO recoil becomes a non issue.

    free advice and worth what you paid for it ;).
  17. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Apr 24, 2007

    I've found .40S&W recoil to be rather sharp and snappy in lightwieght polymer framed guns; nothing uncontrolable or uncomfortable, just somewhat noticeable. Also muzzle whip seems to be much more pronounced. In heavier steel framed guns, I really don't notice it much at all. My only other take on the .40S&W cartridge itself, is that I've yet to find any gun in that chambering that has given me really decent accuracy. I've tried a number of different loads, from different ammo manufacturers, and I've yet to find anything that comes close to being a real tackdriver in the accuracy department.
  18. wristtwister

    wristtwister Member

    Mar 28, 2008
    If you're going to shoot "big bore" pistols

    like the .40 S&W, get a pistol with enough weight to make the recoil a non-issue. There are tons of police turn-ins out there that are great .40 caliber guns, and they weigh enough to be stable shooting platforms.

    I've never understood why people want to buy lightweight pistols and then try to shoot heavy caliber shells in them while complaining about the recoil. Just get a gun with enough weight to counter balance the exhaust fumes, and then when you run out of ammo, the "rock" in your hands weighs enough to make a difference.:D

    Seriously, I've got two S&W model 4006's that look brand new and are dead on accurate. I paid about $350 apiece for them at the gun show, and if you invade my house, I've got one for each hand...:what:...:D

    The picture's a little misleading because the gun wasn't cleaned up when I took it, but it cleans up like a new one... I had been shooting in the rain that day... another one of the benefits of stainless... the watermarks and mud just wash right off.


    Attached Files:

  19. Scratchshooter40

    Scratchshooter40 Member

    May 18, 2008
    North Georgia
    I shoot the .40 S&W exclusively, ranging from a 96 Beretta to an H&K USP. The Beretta has the perfect grip angle for me and is not abusive with recoil. I live in an apartment so I keep 135 gr. Hydraskocks in it for the home protection gig and use 155 gr.for carry. The H&K is amazing as far as recoil, no more than a .22 lr. The USP has a great recoil management system. I do use a Sprinco recoil reducer in my 96 Inox though, the black one I use in IDPA. Try Sprinco if you haven't. It's great in the double tap from a standing draw.
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