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  1. #1
    Dsig1's Avatar
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    Recommendations: Looking for a low recoil .40 cal

    I need opinions on a low recoil .40 for target shooting. I had an XD .40 Tactical but I didn't love it due to the felt recoil, probably from the light weight. Thinking of having my S&W Sigma ported but want to pose the question and see if any of you have owned or shot a .40 with low felt recoil. I follow pricing on Gunbroker.com fairly close and I'm seeing an increase of used, upper end guns at discounted prices. Lots of grade 1 used Sigs selling in the $500 range. There's a nice 2022 .40 for $440 right now. Now/soon might be the time to buy.

    Thanks for the input.

  2. #2
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    Just out of curiosity...if you're looking for lower recoil and it's just for target shooting then why not just get a 9mm?

    -Jeff-

  3. #3
    Todd is offline Banned
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    You also could put in a different (heavier) spring.

  4. #4
    Patient_Zero's Avatar
    Patient_Zero is offline Junior Member
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    Couple things to note:
    Felt recoil is subjective. I think my .40 has pretty mild recoil, but I've seen it nearly jump out of the hands of other shooters. And yes, I laughed at them.

    .40 isn't the most cost effective round for target shooting. Although I'm not a big fan of the 9mm, it would be more efficient in terms of cashflow.

    If you're determined to use a .40 for target, as Todd said, heavier spring. Order directly from Wolff and it gets to you faster. Another way to cheat is to weigh down the front of the gun. Since I hate compensators, I've used a mount for a tactical rail and put a piece of bar stock in place of the light/laser. For a Sigma, you'll need the laserlyte adapter.

  5. #5
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    Beretta 96 is a good choice. Big, heavy gun with a 5" barrel making it quite accurate for target shooting. The size/weight makes it a real soft shooter with low recoil for a 40. Probably among the lowest recoil pistols in 40 cal.

  6. #6
    Dsig1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeefyBeefo View Post
    Just out of curiosity...if you're looking for lower recoil and it's just for target shooting then why not just get a 9mm?
    I have about 4,000 rounds of .40 that I bought from a reloader. 1,500 rounds were from me and 2,500 were from another guy who stuck him with a load that the guy never picked up. I bought them all for .165 each. That's $8.25 per 50 bullets. At the time I had both my Sigma and my XD Tactical so I jumped on the deal. Then I sold the XD to buy a Kimber TLE.

    I like the .40 round for both target and HD. Not sure if I'd use my new Kimber or a new .40 for the home. Probably not until the 1,000 round Kimber break in period.

  7. #7
    Dsig1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    Beretta 96 is a good choice. Big, heavy gun with a 5" barrel making it quite accurate for target shooting. The size/weight makes it a real soft shooter with low recoil for a 40. Probably among the lowest recoil pistols in 40 cal.
    My first gun was a 96. I did like it Might be a good choice.

  8. #8
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    I'd get a CZ75BSA in .40. Excellent low bore axis, all steel (read: heavy!) and single-action operation with a good trigger. The grip is extremely comfortable for 90% of shooters. Reasonably priced, too.

    http://www.cz-usa.com/product_detail.php?id=33
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    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  9. #9
    Dsig1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    You also could put in a different (heavier) spring.
    Please explain how a heavier spring reduces recoil. Also, what if any, negative affects can come from a stronger recoil spring. I'm not one to really disassemble and tinker around inside my guns other than to clean them..

  10. #10
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dsig1 View Post
    Please explain how a heavier spring reduces recoil. Also, what if any, negative affects can come from a stronger recoil spring. I'm not one to really disassemble and tinker around inside my guns other than to clean them.
    If I'm not mistaken it keeps the slide from slamming back as hard. More controlled.

  11. #11
    Dsig1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dredd View Post
    If I'm not mistaken it keeps the slide from slamming back as hard. More controlled.
    So recoil is a combination of the energy leaving the muzzle, combined with the rearward action of the slide.?.?.? I never viewed it this way. I thought that the energy out of the muzzle was all that created the recoil.

    OK, so stronger spring, slide doesn't slam back as hard. Less recoil. Got it. How about spent rounds catching the slower slide coming backward or slide coming to battery too quickly causing jams? Standard spring is 18 Lb. I can go from 19 to 24 LBS. Any suggestions?

  12. #12
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dsig1 View Post
    Please explain how a heavier spring reduces recoil. Also, what if any, negative affects can come from a stronger recoil spring. I'm not one to really disassemble and tinker around inside my guns other than to clean them..
    The way I understand it is the spring decelerates the slide and, therefore, reduces the impact of the force generated when the slide reaches the end of it's backward travel. Heavier spring = more reduced impact on the backward portion of the slide travel. You can go too heavy though, just like you can go too light, so my recommendation is to make a minor change and see how it goes.

    Some of the negatives I have heard of a heavy or too heavy spring can be failure to lock back on an empty mag and limp-wristing jams can be more common.

    Not too much as far as tinkering inside the gun. You need to replace the spring anyway, no matter if you keep the factory weight or not because they do wear out. You field strip the gun to clean it, I assume? Just slide a different spring in after cleaning the gun.

  13. #13
    SigShooter127 is offline Junior Member
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    I just picked up a Sig p226 ST in .40...the added weight from the stainless frame really helps keep the recoil manageable...Great pistol

  14. #14
    Dsig1's Avatar
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    Yes. No problem in removing and replacing the recoil spring. I probably have 3500+ rounds through it now. Looks like a good potential $8 solution rather than buying a new gun right now.

    Thanks for all of the input.

  15. #15
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dsig1 View Post
    So recoil is a combination of the energy leaving the muzzle, combined with the rearward action of the slide.?.?.? I never viewed it this way. I thought that the energy out of the muzzle was all that created the recoil.

    OK, so stronger spring, slide doesn't slam back as hard. Less recoil. Got it. How about spent rounds catching the slower slide coming backward or slide coming to battery too quickly causing jams? Standard spring is 18 Lb. I can go from 19 to 24 LBS. Any suggestions?
    The post above me from Todd pretty much sums it up. Too hard a spring means you can get some of the issues you mentioned.

  16. #16
    ScottyMac's Avatar
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    I would have to say the Beretta PX4 40cal. With it's rotating barrel assmebly it's a soft shooting 40cal. I've put hundreds of rounds through mine at the range and have yet to leave feeling abused. To me it felt softer than some 9mm's I've shot. My buddy who shoots an XD40 really likes how soft and accurate my PX4 is. I think that's why Shipwreck finally bought a 40cal.

    That's just my 2 cents

  17. #17
    JeffWard's Avatar
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    I've never owned a gun long enough to wear out the spring...

    What's the expected service life on an XD45 4"?
    What is the prefered replacement? Why?
    How will I know when it's worn???

    JW

  18. #18
    PanaDP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dsig1 View Post
    Please explain how a heavier spring reduces recoil. Also, what if any, negative affects can come from a stronger recoil spring. I'm not one to really disassemble and tinker around inside my guns other than to clean them..
    Think of it this way.

    (Felt Recoil)=(bullet energy)-(energy it takes to cycle the action)

    If it takes more energy to cycle the action, as it does with a stronger spring, there is less energy left over to be transferred to your hands.

  19. #19
    Dsig1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWard View Post
    I've never owned a gun long enough to wear out the spring...

    What's the expected service life on an XD45 4"?
    What is the prefered replacement? Why?
    How will I know when it's worn???

    JW
    Great questions. Might need a new thread to get some answers.

  20. #20
    R.J.Adams is offline Junior Member
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    I think before I would port the Sigma, I would look at that CZ Mike mentioned. My Beretta 96 would be comparable to it for weight, and it isn't at all hard on the hand. Follow up shots are pretty easy to get back on target.

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