I owe the .45 fans an apology...

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I owe the .45 fans an apology...

Post by MarkTBSc » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:16 am

I fear that I've been labouring under a misapprehension. Everyone knows the ongoing battle of .45 Vs. 9mm. I've been a long-term supporter of the 9mm side of the battle on the grounds that the 9mm is a smaller round and, thus, would have less recoil. Less recoil giving a higher degree of accuracy and a better hit percentage at range.

Yeah, I was kinda wrong on that.

I saw a note somwhere on the M1911 that suggested that the .45 ACP actually imparted *less* recoil than the 9x19 Parabellum. I prefer not to take anything for granted so I did the math. The figures are on Wikipedia in the M1911, .45 and 9mm entries. Some of them could be argued on the basis that they depend on barrel lengths and powder loads, but I'm treating these as guidelines.

A .45 ACP round - weighing 15g and with a muzzle velocity of 244M/s - has a kinetic energy of Approx. 446.5J

A 9mm round - weighing 8g and with a muzzle veloucity of 350M/s - has a KE of Approx. 490J

Equal and opposite reaction and all that, the higher the KE the higher the recoil.

Now this thread wasn't intended to set off yet another discussion of Browning HiPower Vs. Colt M1911. I merely intended to put this out there for anyone who happened to have the same mistaken ideas in their head as me.

If we in the UK ever get our pistols back, then I will certainly be joining the "Never turn up to a gunfight with a pistol that doesn't have its calibre start with at least a .4" crew.
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Post by Zdigger » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:25 am

Nice information.

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Post by ClownRacer » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:32 am

i am a huge .45 fan but i dont know about your logic.....felt recoil for me has always been higher in any of the 45s ive shot (all 3 of em :) ) vs the 9mm ive shot(all 4 of em)

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Post by Jonas » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:57 am

I always thought the .45 is more of a slow push and the 9mm is more of a snap. The recoil always varies from platform to platform. I feel more recoil in an XD than a Glock but personal perception is hardly quantitative.
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Post by TravisM.1 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:02 pm

Jonas wrote:The recoil always varies from platform to platform.
Yup. The light, open topped slide of a Beretta 92 will cause a different feel during recoil than the slide on a Glock or 9mm 1911.
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Post by Hoppy » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:11 pm

math and numbers are nice and all. but you cant really say anything forsure untill you put some rounds down range.

the 9mm is ok. but as the guns get lighter and lighter (damn polymer) you will lose the main factor in reducing recoil, weight. now if you want to talk personal experience. the lower pressure of the .45 round does give me more of a "push" than a recoil. a drastic analogy would be a Black powder rifle, vs a smokeless powder rifle. though its not nearly that drastic, its a decent way to describe it.

are there any rental ranges in england? some where you can go and rent a gun and try it out. then you can see for yourself.
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Post by mr. right-wing » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:12 pm

I like 9mm because they have lower recoil, higer capacity, and have put down a lot of people, and will continue to do so. I like 45, and would carry for defense, but I prefer 9mm
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Post by GoSlash27 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:17 pm

It's not kinetic energy that determines the recoil, but the momentum.
The differences are even more glaring when multiplying the force and the mass, but as always 1) the handgun has more effect than the round and 2) the differences are so minor that they're not worth making a fuss about.
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Post by misanthropist » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:18 pm

This is the internet, everything is worth making a fuss about.
DocGKR wrote:.45 ACP is much easier to stop with armor than the smaller, faster 9 mm. On the other hand, the larger mass of .45 ACP allows it to do much better against windshields than 9 mm. What is optimal all depends on your likely engagement scenarios.

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Post by Bear_B » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:20 pm

:roll: Why dont you try actually SHOOTING them instead of monkeying around with numbers... :roll:
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Post by mpi » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:35 pm

the proof is in the pudding.
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Post by Dave_M » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:39 pm

Bear_B wrote::roll: Why dont you try actually SHOOTING them instead of monkeying around with numbers... :roll:
Because he's in the UK.
MarkTBSc wrote:If we in the UK ever get our pistols back
Yeah right
:lol:
Last edited by Dave_M on Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ninja-elbow » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:51 pm

Hoppy wrote:math and numbers are nice and all. but you cant really say anything forsure untill you put some rounds down range.

the 9mm is ok. but as the guns get lighter and lighter (damn polymer) you will lose the main factor in reducing recoil, weight. now if you want to talk personal experience. the lower pressure of the .45 round does give me more of a "push" than a recoil. a drastic analogy would be a Black powder rifle, vs a smokeless powder rifle. though its not nearly that drastic, its a decent way to describe it.

are there any rental ranges in england? some where you can go and rent a gun and try it out. then you can see for yourself.
I'm agreeing with the polymer point made.

I was at the range last week and rented a 9mm M&P to try out (tried a GLOCK 17 last year) and, though both are good pistols and I am planning on a polymer purchase sometime in the future, they both kicked like a Karate dude compared to my Berretta.

I've shot both .45 and 9mm (and a bunch of others) and it is about pistol, round and shooter.

I do appreciate the OP's sentiment though. :)

Edit: not an XD but an M&P.
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Post by CommonHighrise » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:54 pm

Trying to determine the felt recoil/shooting comfort of a round based on kinetic energy of the projectile itself is kinda like determining the performance of two cars based on the compression ratios of their engines.

.45 is for traditionalists, 9mm is for economy, .40 is for tech geeks, and .357sig is for velocity nerds. Any centerfire with 'magnum' after it is for manly men who dont care about capacity. .32 is for mouse guns, and .50 is for people with more money than sense. :D
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Post by misanthropist » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:07 pm

Nice...traditional manly man here!
DocGKR wrote:.45 ACP is much easier to stop with armor than the smaller, faster 9 mm. On the other hand, the larger mass of .45 ACP allows it to do much better against windshields than 9 mm. What is optimal all depends on your likely engagement scenarios.

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Post by MarkTBSc » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:11 pm

Hoppy wrote: are there any rental ranges in england? some where you can go and rent a gun and try it out. then you can see for yourself.
Unfortunately Hoppy, there are only three ways to try out a pistol in the UK. One's illegal and I won't discuss it here, the second involves joining the police and going for SO19 training. The third is the Army.

I've thought about the third but I'd suck at it and I'd be miserable so I'll stick with the tech geekery.
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Post by MarkTBSc » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:21 pm

I can appreciate the points made by everyone. A heavier gun lowers perceived recoil. As does the design of the recoil mechanism. So... Does a Classic M1911 have a lower percieved recoil than a Browning? Or even is it a similar recoil? Which is easier to shoot long range with?

I can't try it myself so I'm curious.

Sidebar - Has anyone compared the kick from an M1911 with a similar sized and weighted revolver firing .45 ACP? After all the revolver has no recoil mechanism so it'd be interesting to see if they felt different.
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Post by mr.trooper » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:36 pm

DavePAL84 wrote:
Bear_B wrote::roll: Why dont you try actually SHOOTING them instead of monkeying around with numbers... :roll:
Because he's in the UK.
MarkTBSc wrote:If we in the UK ever get our pistols back
Yeah right
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no offense, but the OP is just flat wrong. Your numbers for the 9mm are correct, but You underestimated the 45acp by about 100 feet per second. It commonly generates 560 joules (414 ft-lbs) at the muzzle.

Owning and shooting both calibers, both a .45 caliber Glock 30 and a 1911 A1 have significantly more felt recoil than a 9mm CZ-75.
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Post by Beowolf1911 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:46 pm

it is "felt recoil" that really makes the gun, and that is different in each pair of hands, to me my 1911 has just about nothing in the way of recoil and my friends S&W M&P in 9mm has a but too much jump for me. The 1911 throws it's weight straight back at me and 9mm's tend to jump the barrel up more, but that is just the way my hands work. I maybe a .45 fanboy, but I try not to knock any round, hell my primay CCW is a 9mm mak.
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Post by misanthropist » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:49 pm

I find the 1911s to more thuddy and the BHPs to be more cracky. I do not currently own a BHP (which I should probably change now that I think about it) but that's about the size of it. BHPs do have very manageable recoil, though. Overall I would say less than the 1911s, but 1911 recoil is also very easy on the hands. It happens that I'm about six foot three and slimmed myself down to a svelte 225, and I can probably palm a volkswagen, but then my baby sister also shoots my 1911s and finds them easy shooters...my girlfriend and her sister shoot magnum revolvers and prefer the hot loads to the soft ones.

Revolvers have slightly sharper recoil in similar calibers...I reload for .45 and .38/.357 and can make some pretty similar rounds there...but then the grip is so radically different that you have a very different recoil experience anyway. I find some single action revolvers with hot .45 colt loads to be totally comfortable to shoot on account of the grip design, whereas other guns with similar mass have a much harsher recoil.

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DocGKR wrote:.45 ACP is much easier to stop with armor than the smaller, faster 9 mm. On the other hand, the larger mass of .45 ACP allows it to do much better against windshields than 9 mm. What is optimal all depends on your likely engagement scenarios.

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Post by GoSlash27 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:58 pm

Which is easier to shoot long range with?
(only one of these I can answer)

Whichever one has the longer sight radius. The recoil/ lack thereof has no impact on long range ability.

The two firearms in my arsenal with the most unpleasant recoil are the heaviest and the lightest:
.380 KelTec mouse gun and Mossberg 590 when firing 3" 12 gauge. Either way, ouch!
The differences between the major handgun calibers when fired from full size handguns are so minor in my experience I can't really tell 'em apart. .38 or .357 from the same revolver? 9mm vs 40 vs 45?
You guys really notice the difference? :?

Maybe it's just me.
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Post by Mark Pearson » Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:00 pm

The .45 is going to have more recoil.

After all, one .45 bullet is enough to take down a WW2 japanese fighter plane. :lol:

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Post by Abacus » Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:04 pm

I shoot and carry both .45 and 9mm, the only difference I really care about is mag capacity. Otherwise, I find shooting is shooting. Recoil is a natural byproduct of shooting, you make your peace with it and move on.
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Post by GoSlash27 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:05 pm

Flee your country, you are never going to have any fun there!
Way off topic, but +1!

Come to America, but make it quick 'cuz sooner or later they'll decide that nothing this fun should be legal and we'll all be screwed! :lol:
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