recoil on a full sized Sprinfield 1911a1?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by phamily man, Nov 2, 2009.

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  1. phamily man

    phamily man Member

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    I currently own a Smith & Wesson .38 revolver. Pretty accurate and relatively easy to conceal. My local range doesn't have a .45 acp to rent, and that's the next pistol on my wish list.
    I'm in the market for a Springfield 1911a1, probably a trophy match so its good to go right out of the box.
    Question: Having never fired a full size .45 acp, how does it compare to the recoil on my .38? I'm thinking its a whole new ballgame....
    I've shot a friend's Springfield V10, (the ultra compact .45...great for concealment) and the recoil was, well, abusive compared to what I'm used to...
    I'm not looking to carry a full size 1911a1, I'm just tired of the guys at the range making fun of the 38. Plus I really want a semi auto, and the 1911 is the mother (imho) of all semis!
    Thanks for the input!

    ...and please no "get a glock" posts....I WANT a 1911
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    It is definitely more than a .38, but not bad at all. I started shooting one at around age 16, and never understood why folks thought the recoil was anything much. The recoil in a full sized steel 1911 is a lot less than a lightweight compact. I din't think it will bother you.

    Welcome to THR
     
  3. phamily man

    phamily man Member

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    thanks for the input!!
     
  4. rondog

    rondog Member

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    If my grandson can handle it, so can you!
    th_20081005151123.jpg
     
  5. EOC_Jason

    EOC_Jason Member

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    What size frame S&W?

    I would say the kick from a full size .45 is no more than trying to shoot .38's from a J-Frame S&W...

    I don't think you would have any issues with it. I'm sure if you go to the range enough, *someone* there has to be shooting a 1911... Just explain to them you are wanting to buy one but want to try shooting a few rounds first. Also ask them about their 1911 and their thoughts and opinions... Everyone loves to talk about their guns... ;)
     
  6. dairycreek

    dairycreek Member

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    An individual person's assessment of recoil is such a subjective matter. It is hard to talk about and compare in any meaningful way. However, my personal opinion of recoil and the 45 ACP is that it is not at all excessive.

    I find that the better my hearing and eye protection, the less I seem to feel the recoil. My suggestion (based only on my personal experience) is that the reduction in the sound results in a lessening of perceived recoil. Whether or not this is helpful, you should still take great care to protect your vision and hearing while shooting. Good luck!
     
  7. RotorPilot

    RotorPilot Member

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    The Springfield 1911a1 was actually the first pistol I ever shot. I couldn't figure out for the life of me why most people I talked to said the kick on a .45 was so horrible. I'm thinking they were all shooting sub compacts. I have a friend who weighs about 105 soaking wet and she actually kept her pattern tight w/ that exact gun! Good choice going for a 1911 IMO.
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I'd say the recoil is in the same range as with a large frame .357 revolver. My Ruger security six seems to recoil about the same as my 1911.
    Michael
     
  9. phamily man

    phamily man Member

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    EOC Jason - its a medium frame w/ a 4" barrel and wooden grips
     
  10. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I have a 6" S&W 686 (medium frame revolver) in .357 magnum and a Colt 5" 1911 and S&W 4506 both in .45 ACP.

    For an extended shooting session, I would much rather shoot either of the .45's rather than the 686 in .357. The .45 ACP is much more pleasant to shoot than the .357. However, the 686 with .38's is a pretty pleasant gun to shoot.

    I find that the semi-auto (both of my .45 ACP pistols) slide recoiling straight back on the horizontal plane on the frame makes recoil management easier for me to handle than the muzzle flip I get with the .357 revolver.

    I think you will enjoy the .45 ACP.
     
  11. Noveldoc

    Noveldoc Member

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    You can always handload with a lighter bullet and/or medium powder charge for target use. Not a bad idea really.

    Tom
     
  12. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    I have never shot a .45 that had terrible recoil. The thing about the 1911 is that it seems to have moderate muzzle flip, it does rare up a good bit but the "felt recoil" just ain't what people make it out to be. My wife shoots a XD40 that has much more recoil than any of my .45's, even my 17oz KAHR.

    I'm with rondog to, my oldest son was shooting my 1911 when he around 7 or 8, with heavy supervision of course.
     
  13. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    It is definately going to be more than your .38. Though recoil is not bad at all. To me it is less than a .40. The .45 feels like more of a dull push then a sharp muzzle flip. I would say it is somewhere between a 9mm and .357 out of a 4" barrel. It takes a little getting used to but is definately not overwhelming to most average sized people.

    More importantly use correct technique and you will hardly notice the recoil.
     
  14. Clarence

    Clarence Member

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    My 1911's have less recoil than my S&W 642, but more than my 686 shooting .38's.

    Compared to a 686 with .357's the 1911 doesn't have as much recoil or nearly as much muzzle blast.
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed.
     
  16. rondog

    rondog Member

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    And FWIW, you can change the firing pin stop plate on a 1911 to one that has a much smaller radius at the bottom. That radius is what pushes the hammer back on recoil (re-cocks it), and a larger radius absorbs less of the recoil energy than a smaller radius. With the smaller radius, it "has to work harder" to push that hammer over, which eats up more of the recoil energy.

    I can't think of the name of the firing pin stop plate manufacturer though, I'm thinking EGW? I "think" that's it, but anyway it comes slightly oversized, needs to be filed to fit, and you can file the radius to whatever you want it to be. I believe it's almost square to begin with.

    And, of course, Wolff offers recoil springs in many different strengths, from lighter for target loads to stiffer for full-house loads.
     
  17. wojownik

    wojownik Member

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    I think you'll find .45 ACP in a 1911 to be a bit a bit more than your .38, and more forgiving than .357. A bit more "thump" and muzzle flip, but not so jarring like a .357.

    Also, at least fo me, the felt recoil in 1911s seems to be less than revolvers that use .45 ACP (such as model 1917s).

    But, as others have noted, felt or perceived recoil can vary from person to person ...
     
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You can shoot, and control a full-size 1911 using only the trigger finger and thumb wrapped around the grip.

    The .45 ACP is a low-pressure, low velocity round, and as such you don't get the palm slap of some of the higher intensity calibers in a lighter gun.

    The short-recoil locked breach action also absorbs the recoil and spreads it out over a longer time frame then a solid breech revolver.

    rc
     
  19. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    I taught my neice to shoot when she was 14 . Her two favorite guns? My S&W Model 686 and my Kimber Custom Defender II .45 ACP. She was 5'2" and weighed 90 Pounds. If she can handle a full size .45 auto, so can you.
     
  20. Big Bill

    Big Bill Member

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    For me, when I had mine, it was more of a push that an abrupt kick. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised over time.
     
  21. phamily man

    phamily man Member

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    Thanks everyone!
    I ended up getting a used Springfield Loaded model PI9132LP. The muzzle flip is manageable, and actually feels about the same as my S&W .380, or at least the recoil is about even compared to P+ ammo. Its more of a "push-back" than a flip, which is what I was concerned about. Who wants their hits in a vertical line?
    I get a pretty solid grouping and its so much more fun to drop a magazine with this gun knowing that its not gunna hurt it if it lands in the dirt. Thats why I used to be such a fan of revolvers with speed loaders.
    ...Plus I really needed adustable sights because I'm a righty but left eye dominant. I also like the grip safety; I have 2 pairs of pants that I can actually wear it cocked and locked. too big for anything else...
    :D
    ...not to mention it looks totally sexy-awesome. But then again, I guess everyone feels the same about their new piece, right?
     
  22. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    Probably more than a .38 but less than a .357 mag. It feels good though.
     
  23. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Compared to my old Ruger P345, an all steel 5" 1911, recoils alot harder, with the same ammo. They won't flip up as bad as a revolver, and compares to my 6" GP100 .357 mag in comfort, while shooting.
     
  24. Drail

    Drail Member

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    It's a different kind of recoil. Sort of like a big air powered nail gun. What you feel mostly is the slide coming back and going forward. The impulse is spread out over time a little more. The first time you shoot one it's kind of startling. But not at all punishing. With an EGW firing pin stop it is really slowed down. I love my magnum revolvers but the .45 auto always goes in the range bag. Fun!
     
  25. U-235

    U-235 Member

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    I have a Springfield Operator, it is by far the most comfortable to shoot of all my handguns. As others have mentioned, the recoil is more of a slow push than a sharp snap. The mass of a full size 1911 really helps to soak up the recoil.
     
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