9mm vs. .40 - my VERY subjective range report [Archive] - Glock Talk

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DannyII
11-19-2011, 17:09
So, today I took my circa 1996 Gen2.5 G26 (many, many thousands of rounds through it), and my new Gen4 G27 (and my first .40 ever) to my indoor range to see how the two compare - for me. My goal was not to compare 9mm target ammo to .40 target ammo, but 9mm carry ammo to .40 target ammo. Why? Because I remembered from previous experience that .40 and 9mm were very different in recoil impulse/energy, in target load strength ammo, but wondered if the same were true for my carry ammo.

Here's my thoughts from today, YMMV:

1. 115 gr. 9mm target loads (WWB, Federal Champion) have far (15-25%-ish) less recoil than the lightest .40 target load (WWB, Federal Champion, TulAmmo). No surprise there!

2. 180 gr. .40 TulAmmo from Wallyworld is cheap, and it works just fine. It is also very mild recoiling ammo for .40. I did note some "sparks" when shooting it.

3. Speer Gold Dot 9mm 124gr. +P recoils pretty similarly for me to .40 regardless of .40 bullet weight.


So, I now think that in my chosen carry-quality ammo, there isn't much difference in perceived recoil between the 9mm and the .40. That makes me feel more confident in carrying the .40 for self defense for controllablity, and follow-up shots.


I have some .40 Federal HST in 165 and 180 coming on the big brown truck of happiness. When it gets here, I plan to compare them to the Speer Gold Dot 124 +P.

unit1069
11-19-2011, 19:20
So, I now think that in my chosen carry-quality ammo, there isn't much difference in perceived recoil between the 9mm (Speer 124-grain Gold Dot +P) and the .40. That makes me feel more confident in carrying the .40 for self defense for controllablity, and follow-up shots.


I have some .40 Federal HST in 165 and 180 coming on the big brown truck of happiness. When it gets here, I plan to compare them to the Speer Gold Dot 124 +P.

Please let us know your impressions. For what it's worth, every time I've shot .40S&W in 180-grain it demonstrated a significant increase in muzzle flip over 9mm and .357sig. Owning both 9mm and .357sig I decided to forego buying a Glock G-23 barrel for my G-32.

Totally subjective, but I'd place the .40S&W caliber right alongside .45ACP as to recoil, with the .45ACP somewhat more manageable.

hotpig
11-19-2011, 19:48
I shoot better with the 45 because it has less felt recoil and muzzle flip than the 9 and 40.

Edmo01
11-19-2011, 19:54
I shoot better with the 45 because it has less felt recoil and muzzle flip than the 9 and 40.

One reason is the lower operating pressure of the 45 ACP round vs either the 9mm or 40 S&W.

Edmo

PghJim
11-19-2011, 23:46
You are correct when you say "for me", the numbers show the 40 to have a greater recoil speed and energy than the 9mm. Just plug in your information:

http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp

However, it is a subjective issue. I believe the 40 S&W recoils worse than the 9mm, 357 sig, or the 45 ACP, but that is for me.

Brucev
11-20-2011, 05:53
Pressure is irrelevant to recoil. Recoil, felt or actual, is the result of bullet weight/velocity and the weight of the pistol. There are simple formulas with which such recoil force can be calculated. If you chamber a 21 in .45ACP and then fit a .40 barrel, you have a fairly close basis of comparison. Then same goes for two 1911's, one chambered in .45 ACP and one chambered in .40 S&W. Shoot 180 grain bullets in both pistols at identical speeds and compare recoil. If the weight of the pistols is not different, recoil will be virtually identical, both actual and felt.

Does a .40 S&W recoil more than a 9mm? Yes. Take the 17 and 22 for comparison. The 22 will recoil more using standard loads. Load the 17 w/ 147 gr. bullets and load the 22 with a similar weight bullet... maybe say 145 gr., at the same velocity, and recoil will be identical. The caliber of the bore and the pressure of the load are irrelevant.

English
11-20-2011, 07:13
Pressure is irrelevant to recoil. Recoil, felt or actual, is the result of bullet weight/velocity and the weight of the pistol. There are simple formulas with which such recoil force can be calculated. If you chamber a 21 in .45ACP and then fit a .40 barrel, you have a fairly close basis of comparison. Then same goes for two 1911's, one chambered in .45 ACP and one chambered in .40 S&W. Shoot 180 grain bullets in both pistols at identical speeds and compare recoil. If the weight of the pistols is not different, recoil will be virtually identical, both actual and felt.

Does a .40 S&W recoil more than a 9mm? Yes. Take the 17 and 22 for comparison. The 22 will recoil more using standard loads. Load the 17 w/ 147 gr. bullets and load the 22 with a similar weight bullet... maybe say 145 gr., at the same velocity, and recoil will be identical. The caliber of the bore and the pressure of the load are irrelevant.

Absolutely! Pressure is irelevant to recoil. What matters is net force and that is pressure times bore area minus friction summed over the distance the bullet moves. Force produces acceleration little bit by little bit as the bullet accelerates up the barrel. You can forget all that maths and say that recoil momentum is equal to bullet momentum plus a bit for the jet effect.

English

Kingarthurhk
11-20-2011, 10:51
A .40 is like a 9mm and a .45 had a baby. The .40 is definately the snappier of the two as far as perceived recoil.

DannyII
11-20-2011, 13:15
That was my thinking too, but only as far as 9 vs. .40 target/practice ammo is concerned because that was my basis for comparison.

The 9mm 124 gr. +P Speers felt pretty much the same as the .40 target/practice ammo to me.

DWARREN123
11-20-2011, 13:25
I myself enjoy the recoil from a hot 40 cal round. Makes me believe it will do wonders for bad people. :supergrin:
Love to shoot my G22 and G20 with warm reloads.

jeremy1
11-21-2011, 00:04
My first Glock was a G22, and after 2 yrs bought a G17 because 9mm was cheaper than .40. After taking them to the range I found that the recoil between the two was noticable, but not significant. I found that with the G22 I could hit a 12 inch square plate at 100 yards much more frequently than with the 9mm. I think that most shooters who can handle a 9mm should be comfortable with the .40, at least in a full size. I have not shot the G27, and maybe recoil is more noticable in the small packages. I sold the G22 to a friend, and wish that I kept it.

txgunguy
11-21-2011, 10:22
Brucev got it right. A 230gr 45 is going around 850fps, give or take. A 230gr +p 45 is moving around 950fps. The recoil is way, way harsher even though the velocity isn't that much more. The weight of the bullet makes that jump feel much more than it is. The +p 45s I have shot make it un pleasant to shoot.

I agree with the op about 9mm gold dots feeling like a 40.

I carry 180gr hst in my 40. They seem to have less blast than the 180 gr gold dots to me. They were more accurate out of my 27 also.

LawScholar
11-21-2011, 10:33
I acknowledge there is a difference between 9 and .40, but I shoot them identically (or very close to, no discernible difference) accurately and quickly, so I lean toward the .40 for my chosen self defense round, with the general exception of micro-compact pistols.

SouthernBoyVA
11-22-2011, 07:18
Felt and perceived recoil is a very individual thing and is affected by a number of factors. The weight of the gun, its shape, the height of its bore axis, size of the shooter's hands and how it fits in his hands are just a few of the considerations.

A good way to do a valid comparison is to use the same gun in different calibers; such as a Glock 19 and 23 for example. I have found that the Winchester Ranger 127gr +P+ (RA9TA) fired in my 3G G19 feels similar to Federal American Eagle 155gr hardball target rounds from my 3G G23. And in general, both my Glock 19 and my Glock 23's seem to generate more felt recoil than my M&P's in 9mm and .40S&W, a fact which I attribute to the guns' designs (the M&P just has a better grip purchase for most folks).

Once again, the perception of recoil is definitely not a static thing. Just too many variables to make blanket, one-size-fits-all statements with this topic.

fredj338
11-22-2011, 09:17
That was my thinking too, but only as far as 9 vs. .40 target/practice ammo is concerned because that was my basis for comparison.

The 9mm 124 gr. +P Speers felt pretty much the same as the .40 target/practice ammo to me.

I don't know how much shooting exp you have, but in identical platforms, there is a significant recoil diff. between 40 & 9mm+m in recoil. Not objectionable but certainaly noticeable.:duel:Recoil is very subjective though, I would certainly shoot your chosen carry ammo & compare that to the 9mm+P. I think you'll find a diff.

PghJim
11-22-2011, 12:09
A good way to do a valid comparison is to use the same gun in different calibers; such as a Glock 19 and 23 for example. I have found that the Winchester Ranger 127gr +P+ (RA9TA) fired in my 3G G19 feels similar to Federal American Eagle 155gr hardball target rounds from my 3G G23. And in general, both my Glock 19 and my Glock 23's seem to generate more felt recoil than my M&P's in 9mm and .40S&W, a fact which I attribute to the guns' designs (the M&P just has a better grip purchase for most folks).

Once again, the perception of recoil is definitely not a static thing. Just too many variables to make blanket, one-size-fits-all statements with this topic.

I do not have an M&P, but I think you are right about the Glock grip, for me anyway. I had one Glock (G23) grip reduction by Robar and it made such a difference that I had it done on all of my guns. Maybe the G4 takes care of that, but the fit of the gun to your hand does have a big influence on the perceived recoil. To me, the grip reduced G23 seemed to have less recoil than an unaltered G19 shooting +p+ ammo.

OctoberRust
11-22-2011, 18:44
Owning both, even shooting +p non comped vs non comped I feel a huge difference. Now when I use my 23 with a comp'd barrel vs my standard 19, it's much closer.

bruzer
11-22-2011, 19:16
I have a Gen 4 G22 with 40-9 conversion barrel and the stock .40 recoil spring.
Shooting the 9mm WWB and Federal target loads my Wife will get stove pipes, I get none.
Shooting 9mm +P ammo my Wife and I get no failures.
Shooting .40 WWB and Federal target loads we get no failures.
9mm target ammo almost feels like the gun is on the verge of too little slide action and that is probably why my Wife will have problems.
9mm +P ammo actually makes the recoil feel great and you can shoot all day long.
.40 target ammo has enough recoil that after a few magazines you will see the Gen 4 grip leaving impressions in your hand.
Mike

DannyII
11-22-2011, 21:59
I don't know how much shooting exp you have, but in identical platforms, there is a significant recoil diff. between 40 & 9mm+m in recoil. Not objectionable but certainaly noticeable.:duel:Recoil is very subjective though, I would certainly shoot your chosen carry ammo & compare that to the 9mm+P. I think you'll find a diff.

En GARDE! :supergrin:

I've had my 26 for 15 years now, and I probably shoot on average 1200-1500 rounds per year through it, and I compete in 3-4 GSSF matches per year. So, I think I've had plenty of experience with lots of different 9mm ammo - both hot, and bunny-fart.

That being said, the 27 is my first .40, so not so much experience there.

I just receieved my .40 HST (165 & 180) so I'll be trying those out next to the Gold Dot 124+P this weekend.

fredj338
11-23-2011, 00:26
En GARDE! :supergrin:

I've had my 26 for 15 years now, and I probably shoot on average 1200-1500 rounds per year through it, and I compete in 3-4 GSSF matches per year. So, I think I've had plenty of experience with lots of different 9mm ammo - both hot, and bunny-fart.

That being said, the 27 is my first .40, so not so much experience there.

I just receieved my .40 HST (165 & 180) so I'll be trying those out next to the Gold Dot 124+P this weekend.

Let us know how 40 SD ammo feels, but 1200rds a year is not much shooting, many are doing that in a month. I can tell when I switch 9mm ammo in my G26, I would certainly know I was shooting full power 40s in a G27. Recoil is very subjective though. Usually it's the other way; shoot a lot & you don't care much about recoil, shoot a little & recoil seems more of an issue. Shoot bigger guns & recoil gets even more subjective.:supergrin:

ironmike86
11-23-2011, 23:38
I don't even think about recoil with 9mm,40 or 45. Never bothers me much. Big bore wheel guns thats recoil. I think it's funny how some ppl say the 40 sw has so much more recoil then a 9mm?. Cracks me up. My 100lb 15yr old Daugher shoots my G27 with ease. never heard her complain it has to much recoil????? Just practic practic with what you have.

DannyII
12-18-2011, 17:30
Sorry for the delay in updating my range report, but I just got back from the range from shooting my Gen2.5 26 & Gen4 27.

I took the following ammo:
1. 9mm Speer GDHP - 124 gr. +P
2. .40 WWB - 165 gr target/practice ammo
3. .40 Federal HST - 180 gr. hollowpoint
4. .40 Federal HST - 165 gr. hollowpoint

When shooting #1, my 26 just tracks the sights right back down on target almost automatically. Tight groups at SD speeds. Nice!
#1 and #2 still felt pretty similar to me.
#3 was hotter, a lot snappier and had noticably more recoil.
#4 was about the same as #3, but surprisingly more accurate.

All were sufficiently accurate for SD, but I'd never try GSSF with my .40 over my 9mms.

BTW - still 100% flawless with the Gen4 27. Positive, consistent ejection about 6' away at around 4:00 o'clock. :supergrin:

Tiro Fijo
12-18-2011, 19:13
The hot 135 gr. & 155 gr. .40's are the demarcation line for most shooters as they are demonstrably hotter & buck more.

steve581581
12-18-2011, 19:46
To me the G26, G27, and G33 are all pretty similar in recoil. The punch from the 9mm is a little less than the .357 and .40. The only difference in the .357 and .40 to me is the sound.

adamc
12-18-2011, 20:53
Try some 165 gr Gold dot's in that 27 and you will swear you are shooting a 10mm. The 165 and 180 HST's are not nearly as hot.

JBP55
12-19-2011, 08:05
In the same size Glock platform all using the same brand ammunition such as Gold Dot or HST the 180gr. will have far more felt recoil than a 147gr. and a 165gr. will have far more felt recoil than a 124+P.

LawScholar
12-20-2011, 04:04
In the same size Glock platform all using the same brand ammunition such as Gold Dot or HST the 180gr. will have far more felt recoil than a 147gr. and a 165gr. will have far more felt recoil than a 124+P.

I've heard others say this but I just can't agree. I have fired HST 147gr. in a G17 and HST 180gr. in a G22 and found them very similar. Recoil is a very subjective thing.

JBP55
12-20-2011, 09:31
I have arthritic hands and I can shoot more rounds of 9mm 124 NATO from a G17 than .40 165gr. from a G22. The pain does not lie about the recoil.
I see hundreds train every year and more than a few complain about the .40 being snappy and it shows in their shooting. Almost no one complains about the recoil from a 9mm. Quite a few of these shooters are new shooters. Most are using 180gr. .40 and 147gr. 9mm.

LawScholar
12-20-2011, 11:11
I have arthritic hands and I can shoot more rounds of 9mm 124 NATO from a G17 than .40 165gr. from a G22. The pain does not lie about the recoil.
I see hundreds train every year and more than a few complain about the .40 being snappy and it shows in their shooting. Almost no one complains about the recoil from a 9mm. Quite a few of these shooters are new shooters. Most are using 180gr. .40 and 147gr. 9mm.

I'm sure that's true, but it's still shooter-based perception. I'm a big guy, 6'5" and 240 lbs with big, thick wrists. Nothing short of hot .357 loads really makes me notice. My small, bird-boned mother is also a pro with .40, though that I can't explain.

I do think it's important to know your limits as a shooter, and if .40 pains you, 9 is absolutely the way to go. Still a perfectly lethal and acceptable round.

johnniet
12-21-2011, 11:05
[QUOTE=DannyII;18304125]

I took the following ammo:
1. 9mm Speer GDHP - 124 gr. +P
2. .40 WWB - 165 gr target/practice ammo
3. .40 Federal HST - 180 gr. hollowpoint
4. .40 Federal HST - 165 gr. hollowpoint

When shooting #1, my 26 just tracks the sights right back down on target almost automatically. Tight groups at SD speeds. Nice!
#1 and #2 still felt pretty similar to me.
#3 was hotter, a lot snappier and had noticably more recoil.
#4 was about the same as #3, but surprisingly more accurate.


I've had similar findings comparing a G23 ( 165 gr. +p HP Gold Dots ) and a G19 ( 124 gr. +p HP Gold Dots ). The G23 had a lot more recoil muzzle whip than the G19.

Roering
12-22-2011, 12:54
[QUOTE]

I've had similar findings comparing a G23 ( 165 gr. +p HP Gold Dots ) and a G19 ( 124 gr. +p HP Gold Dots ). The G23 had a lot more recoil muzzle whip than the G19.

In my G23 with comparable ammo I find the 9 to be softer than the .40.

Accuracy is pretty much the same though. But those who shoot with me can attest that's not saying much. :rofl:

Scoob
12-31-2011, 18:26
To the OP...your findings sound about right to me. People need to remember, when you complain about .40/357 sig recoil that these two rounds are more powerful than +p+ 9mm and are being fired from (at least with glocks) guns of identical size and weight to 9mm. It is absolutely going to have more recoil.

If you get into the 155 and 165 grain .40s you will notice it even more. The 40 cartridge Power factor goes up as bullet weight drops below the standard 180 grain. I can't think of another cartridge where that is the case.

PghJim
12-31-2011, 19:17
Absolutely! Pressure is irelevant to recoil. What matters is net force and that is pressure times bore area minus friction summed over the distance the bullet moves. Force produces acceleration little bit by little bit as the bullet accelerates up the barrel. You can forget all that maths and say that recoil momentum is equal to bullet momentum plus a bit for the jet effect.

English

As usual, English is correct. I always use power factor that is used in action pistol shooting to judge comparative recoil. The higher the number, the higher the bullet momentum and the higher the recoil.

Bullet Wt. (in grains) x Velocity (in FPS) divided by 1,000 = power factor

itstime
12-31-2011, 19:48
I agree with what everybody is saying. Different guns give me noticable differences in felt recoil also.

I just shot my new Walther PPQ two days ago. It felt so light in my hand. Isn't recoil hard. (9mm) bit I did notice more muzzle flip in say my G17 or 19.

Also different people describe different feelings different ways. Yes I do get more snap out of my 40's but in reality it really isn't more recoil. Just very little. Just more of a quick flip to get back on target.

I can shoot 40 as acccurate as 9 target shooting. Recoil doesn't bother me at all. But when I turn up the speed it is generally easier to have a better second and third shot on target. Generally. Some 40's are pretty good. Give me a G27 and watch out. LOL. me no good with it. I admit it.

DonGlock26
01-01-2012, 20:43
Please let us know your impressions. For what it's worth, every time I've shot .40S&W in 180-grain it demonstrated a significant increase in muzzle flip over 9mm and .357sig. Owning both 9mm and .357sig I decided to forego buying a Glock G-23 barrel for my G-32.

Totally subjective, but I'd place the .40S&W caliber right alongside .45ACP as to recoil, with the .45ACP somewhat more manageable.

I concur.

_

janice6
01-01-2012, 21:06
To me the G26, G27, and G33 are all pretty similar in recoil. The punch from the 9mm is a little less than the .357 and .40. The only difference in the .357 and .40 to me is the sound.

This is also my experience with these calibers. I have 9mm,.357 Sig and obviously, .40 in my G27 and they are all very similar to me.

Mattkcc
01-04-2012, 22:44
Because you don't feel the difference in recoil doesn't mean it's not there. When we switched from 9mm to 40 cal, scores on the range went down. We carried Hydro Shoks in both the 9mm and forty. No real difference in performance in the field either. The only reason we switched was we got traded even for are 9mm. The new 40 came with LE marked mags which are 9mm's were not. This is back when civilian market could only buy 10 rounders unless the high capacity wan't marked LE. I think the 40 was more of a marketing effort to sell new guns, with the SD ammo today 9mm's have no trouble penetrating 12" or more.