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  1. #1
    diablosrising is offline Junior Member
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    .40 S&W vs. .45 ACP

    Hello everyone. I've been lurking here for about a year, and I'm finally close to owning my first firearm. I've put 500 rounds down range in the past couple of days with rentals at my local gun shop. I just have to ask this question to see if I'm crazy:

    Does anyone else find .45 acp much easier on the hands that .40 s&w?

    Maybe it was the gun I was shooting in .40(M&P), but it gave my hand a nice sting afterwards. I decided to rent a g21 next to see if I could handle a .45 acp, and I found it surprisingly easy to handle, especially comared to the .40.

    Thanks for all of the helpful tips/posts over the past year everyone.

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  3. #2
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    The .40 is a higher pressure round. It is moving a good bit faster than most 45's ever will so the muzzle flip can get a little...snappy. I like a 40 when it comes to steel frame guns. The lighter poly fame pistols usually have a harder recoil. I have one Browning that's a poly pistol chambered in .40 though and I like it a lot. I go back and forth between 40 and 45 a lot and I guess I'm just more used to it. I really don't notice the recoil much anymore.

  4. #3
    gmaske's Avatar
    gmaske is offline Senior Member
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    DJ'S answer is good. The 45ACP is more of a push recoil were as the 40 has a lot of snap to it. I'm an old school 45ACP kinda guy. I like the look and feel of the 1911. As you pointed out it is a plesure to shoot over the 40 and it makes nice big holes. The 40 is a nice round but it will wear you out quicker at the range. Nothing wrong with either round. Both are good.

  5. #4
    Semi-jacketed is offline Junior Member
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    They are both good, but I prefer .45. Choose the one which you prefer to shoot more and/or better. At handgun ammo speeds it all boils down to bullet placement first, and hole size next. Very fast speeds causing permanent tissue damage from more than merely the bullet are typically only achieved with dedicated rifle rounds at around 1700+ fps.

  6. #5
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    I have a Para P16 that's a 40. It's a lot different than most other pistols I've ever shot. Then again.I am a 1911 kind of guy

  7. #6
    diablosrising is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the replies. It did feel a lot like a push with the.45. I think I'll just have to get a 9, 40 and 45!

  8. #7
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by diablosrising View Post
    Thanks for the replies. It did feel a lot like a push with the.45. I think I'll just have to get a 9, 40 and 45!

    Haahahahaa!! That's what I did. I do like the 1911 most and have six of them. But I see so many guns and so little money..errmm..I mean time..No..I mean money.. But I like shooting a few different types of pistols and am starting to amass a pretty good little collection. Too many? that's wife talk! Always room for one more

  9. #8
    J_B's Avatar
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    J_B is offline Junior Member
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    I shot and carried a 40 S&W for years and the sting is what I hate about the cartridge, and that is why with my recent purchase I got a .45 ACP and a .45 auto that fits my hand.

  10. #9
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
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    I find the .45ACP more pleasant to shoot than the .40S&W as well. The .40 is a bit too snappy for my taste these days. That being said, I prefer the 9mm over the .45.

  11. #10
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Telling ya, If your going to shoot a 40 make it an all steel gun. You'll appreciate the extra weight. My P16 is a dream to shoot, so is my 229 Sig. The Pro-40 I have while a really accurate weapon has a much snappier recoil.

  12. #11
    Brevard is offline Banned
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    Too me there is only a tad bit more kick than the .45. But not enough for me to start picking up a .45 cal gun. I have never had a sting after shooting any .40. I even took about 75 rounds through my cousin baby glock the 27.

    Matter of fact the only pistol that ever made me think about kick was a .357 mag, and then it wasnt even that bad. Cant wait to try the desert eagle 50 cal.

    I dont know if size has something to do with it. I found the baby glock and glock 23 to have more kick than my ruger p94. My friends H&K USP compact .45 seemed to have less kick than the glocks but more than my ruger.

  13. #12
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    oak1971 is offline Member
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    I don't see much use for .40 myself. Now 10mm auto is another story. At least with full power 10mm the kick has a payoff. .40 cal is just a wussified 10mm. Me likes .45 ACP.

  14. #13
    Brevard is offline Banned
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    I dont really notice any difference with a .45 and a .40 except for the .40 have a slightly shorter round.

    I am being to wonder if a .45 glock subcompact (which ever one is the .45 auto would kick as bad as the glock 27. I am thinking of the 9mm but I like having a bigger cartridge for stopping power.

  15. #14
    J_B's Avatar
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    J_B is offline Junior Member
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    My brother has a Kimber Gold Match in .40 and the snap wasn't there compared to the Glock 35/22/27 so all steel will be differant. Just the same this time around I went with the .45 ACP

  16. #15
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    I like the .40 and the snap doesn't bother me. I shoot a M&P 40 and a Sigma 40. The Sigma is a lot lighter and it has a whole lotta snap but you get use to it. I don't notice much difference between the 40 or the 45 M&P's that I shoot. I also shoot a .44 mag. BlackHawk so I guess recoil or snap is not at the top of my list.

  17. #16
    tekhead1219's Avatar
    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brevard View Post
    Too me there is only a tad bit more kick than the .45.
    I don't believe that it's as much more kick or just different. My .45 ACP (XD) has more of a push and the .40 that I shot (Glock). The .40 had more of an upward snap than a push. Just my .02.

  18. #17
    Brevard is offline Banned
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    After shooting 9's, 3 40's and two 45's. I have noticed that the .40's will kick just a smidge more. Like I said it isnt so noticable you would want to go and grab a .45 and shoot it instead.

    What is the difference in stopping power and such with a .45 than a .40

  19. #18
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    Torkwrench is offline Junior Member
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    I like both calibers myself. My weapon of choice is a .45 ACP, with that said, naturally my favorite gun is a 1911. But, the .40 has much more penetrating power, the .45 makes a bigger wound. All these factor in the loads you use. Some +P .45 loads are hitting harder and faster now. It all has alot to do with the gun you shoot.

    A Glock 20 10mm will kick like a bitch! But most Glocks do have more kick than normal. An all steel gun will have less.

    I like the Springfiel XD line-up because I felt less barrell hop and more push-back instead. Don't know why but the XD's shoot diffrent than any of my other guns.

    I carry an XD 9mm because little recoil, easy fast follow-up shots abnd it's more compact and concealable. Personal defense situations or tactical situations I carry the .40 Taurus 24/7 full size. Because mainly it has better barricade or armor penetration.

    Home defense, absolutely the .45 because it makes a big hole in the intruder.

  20. #19
    Brevard is offline Banned
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    Thank you I was curious and the only thing anyone ever told me was the . is bigger so it leaves a bigger hole and has more power. Then when I got to reading I heard that .40s exit the muzzle faster generating more power. All I know is I dont know if I could ever go with anything smaller than a .40 to carry on me. I dont like the idea of my wife carrying anything smaller than that on her. But I would rather her have something she can shoot accuerately enough to make the other person think twice if anything else.

    Right now I am stuck between a glock 23, glock 27, M&P .40 full size, and a M&P .40 compact. I can only get one now but the local gun store doesnt have M&P's for rent. So I am debatting as I can only get one when my taxes come in. First one will be either compact. Gosh the choices.

  21. #20
    Red-5 is offline Junior Member
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    I own a variety of calibers and my Kimber Ultra Raptor II, which is a pretty small gun has far less recoil than my Walther P99 .40. The .40 round is pretty snappy, and after shooting my usual 200 rounds, I need to give my hands a rest for a couple of days before shooting again.

    Bigger doesn't always mean better. Controlling you firearm is more important. You can defend yourself with a 9 pretty darn easily, so bigger doesn't necessarily mean better.

    Before jumping into the .40 because that is the smallest round you want to carry, try it compared to other rounds. Let you wife choose which she is most comfortable with. If she is not comfortable with a .40, she may never carry it and may not want to go to the range with you.

  22. #21
    Torkwrench's Avatar
    Torkwrench is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red-5 View Post
    I own a variety of calibers and my Kimber Ultra Raptor II, which is a pretty small gun has far less recoil than my Walther P99 .40. The .40 round is pretty snappy, and after shooting my usual 200 rounds, I need to give my hands a rest for a couple of days before shooting again.

    Bigger doesn't always mean better. Controlling you firearm is more important. You can defend yourself with a 9 pretty darn easily, so bigger doesn't necessarily mean better.

    Before jumping into the .40 because that is the smallest round you want to carry, try it compared to other rounds. Let you wife choose which she is most comfortable with. If she is not comfortable with a .40, she may never carry it and may not want to go to the range with you.
    That's a very good point that Red is making here. If your wife shoots the .40 and is uncomfortable with it, she may take a distatse to it and just decide not to carry it, therefore leaving her unarmed.

    I like a big caliber as stated my favorite is the .45acp, but I choose to carry an XD9 just because it's small, easily concealed, has a 16 + 1 shot capacity and fast, accurate follow-up shots are easily made. With that being said, I can shoot an attacker once with a .45 or a .40 and re-adjust to make follow up shots, and if I've aimed center-mass, they're pretty much incapacitated. But with the XD9 I can aim center mass and make 16 quick accurate shots, and the attacker is definately incapacitated.

    See my reasoning here?

  23. #22
    Brevard is offline Banned
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    I still dont see a big difference between the 9mm's I have shot and the .40. The .40 I believe is a better round. As far as follow up shots. With a Ruger P89 and the Ruger P94 there was only like a hundredths of a second at most between the follow ups.

    As for me I dont want ot have to shoot 16 shots for me to guarantee that they are done. I will take 2 maybe 3 at the most and guarantee the same results.

    If it is honestly taking you that long to follow up then something is definitely wrong.

  24. #23
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Some people like a 40 better. I really like the 40 round and will carry it from time to time but my daughter that is an excellent shot is not comfortable with it but she will shoot a 9mm all day. The thing with modern ammo is any of them will get the job done. A 9mm with a good HP slug will do plenty of damage. But say your wife has a 40 but does not like to shoot it. ot don't shoot it as well. It doesn't matter what the round is if it is not getting to the target. My daughter can hit a 3" target at 50 yards pretty easily with a 9mm. she might get 1-2 on target with one of my 40's. It would make no sense to give my daughter a 40 if she can't shoot it as well. she can have 3 mags with 14 in each and it still does no good. I can give her a 9mm though and her shot placement is spot on. Same with my wife.

    Shot placement is what matters. Not the hole it makes. If you can make the hole where you want/need to make the hole then it is not going to take 16 rounds.

    The main difference between the 9mm and the 40 is the 40 is a bigger round moving at around 9mm speeds. That means a snappier recoil. Some are just not as comfortable with that snappier recoil and don't or can't use the round as well.
    Last edited by DevilsJohnson; 01-29-2009 at 07:39 PM. Reason: added info

  25. #24
    Brevard is offline Banned
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    Well all things considered. If you can shoot a .40 as well as a 9mm then why not get the bigger (not counting the fact that 9mm is only slightly cheaper than .40 and by slightly I mean on like $1-$2 a box).

    My wife shot my .40. She wasnt ready and it about put her on her butt. She actually liked it but wants something with less kick to it. Now I am a decent sized guy so the recoil and stuff doesnt bother me. Now for her I would let her get a 9mm or a .380 whatever she felt comfortable with. Me I can shoot just about anything rather effectively. To me a .40 just seems to be the best round out there so far.

  26. #25
    J_B's Avatar
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    J_B is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson View Post
    Shot placement is what matters. Not the hole it makes. If you can make the hole where you want/need to make the hole then it is not going to take 16 rounds.
    This is sorta true, but the BG may have alot of fight in him, and like in Officer Soulis's case he shot the BG 17 times center mass and then 5 more times in the back finally killing the suspect.

    Another case a BG was shot 5 times center mass by a Officer with .45 ACP and many other cases have been reported where the BG was not on drugs but had alot of fight and desire to win.

    Shot placement is the key and with todays ammo 9mm, .40 cal, and .45 ACP have great performers.

    But for my own personal taste, I prefer the .45 to the others.

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