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Thread: Looking for a .40 or .45

  1. #1
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    Looking for a .40 or .45

    I am just starting my collection and want to purchase a .40or.45. I have been considering a Taurus PT145 Pro but I don't know much about all the brands out there. I would like it to be compact because I am a female with a small frame. I thought about the Glock36 but the only reason I haven't set my heart on it is that I have the Glock 19. I want to have some variety. Any suggestions on a "pocket pistol" will be appreciated as well.

  2. #2
    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    .40 and .45 are two totally different animals. .40 cartridges are pushing 35,000 psi, while .45 is only 21,000, so the recoil on .40 is going to be a lot snappier and unpleasant. Make it a compact weapon and it gets even more fun. Most .45 loads are so slow they're subsonic, so it's a strong recoil, but not quite as brisk.

    I'm bringing a lot of personal bias in here, but IMO if you need something bigger than 9mm, a 1 mm increase in diameter seems like a poor compromise. Personally, I'd try and find a .45 that fits my needs. I realize there are a lot more .40s that do that in the compact segment, but there are still plenty of .45s.

    But please, do not take my word for it, or anyone else's here or anywhere else for that matter. Try out a compact version of both and decide for yourself.

    Some options to look at:

    Walther PPS .40 (single stack mag)
    Springfield XD compact .45 or .40
    XD subcompact .40
    Beretta Px4 Storm compact .40 (in .45 if you can carry the full size version)
    SIG P229 .40 (if your budget isn't too constrained)
    SIG P239 .40 (single stack mag)
    And then don't discount the concealability of a short slide 1911. The single stack mag makes them very slim. They're steel so they'll be heavier, but that'll help with recoil.

    I'm sure others will chime in with more that I'm forgetting.
    "Anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting twice." -Zeus

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    EDC = Walther PPQ 9mm

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SovereignAxe View Post
    .40 and .45 are two totally different animals. .40 cartridges are pushing 35,000 psi, while .45 is only 21,000, so the recoil on .40 is going to be a lot snappier and unpleasant. Make it a compact weapon and it gets even more fun. Most .45 loads are so slow they're subsonic, so it's a strong recoil, but not quite as brisk.

    I'm bringing a lot of personal bias in here, but IMO if you need something bigger than 9mm, a 1 mm increase in diameter seems like a poor compromise. Personally, I'd try and find a .45 that fits my needs. I realize there are a lot more .40s that do that in the compact segment, but there are still plenty of .45s.

    But please, do not take my word for it, or anyone else's here or anywhere else for that matter. Try out a compact version of both and decide for yourself.

    Some options to look at:

    Walther PPS .40 (single stack mag)
    Springfield XD compact .45 or .40
    XD subcompact .40
    Beretta Px4 Storm compact .40 (in .45 if you can carry the full size version)
    SIG P229 .40 (if your budget isn't too constrained)
    SIG P239 .40 (single stack mag)
    And then don't discount the concealability of a short slide 1911. The single stack mag makes them very slim. They're steel so they'll be heavier, but that'll help with recoil.

    I'm sure others will chime in with more that I'm forgetting.
    Don't forget the fine Smith and Wesson M&P series. I have three, two of which are a .40S&W and a .45ACP. Some of the best feeling and handling ergonomics you will find.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 01-21-2012 at 05:37 PM.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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  4. #4
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    My username tells my story about caliber selection. I am a large sized man and I don't like the 40S&W recoil! Now there may be some gun out there that makes it more manageable but the ones I have shot, I don't like.

    I have a PT145 Millenium Pro that I used to carry in my front pocket with a Don Hume pocket holster. I loved the gun right up until it started to be unreliable. The features on it are all great: size, capacity, thumb safety, breakdown, recoil, cost. I think my problem were that I kept the magazines loaded all the time and the springs wore out to some extent where I had often FTF's. I use it to train my daughter (tap-rack drill) and she handles the recoil fine.

    So I stopped recommending Taurus' because of my experience but wish they didn't have problems because of their features. I bought a few new magazines for it and the FTF rate went down but not away. For a self defense gun I want it to go bang every time I pull the trigger and not malfunction when my/or my loved ones life is on the line.

    With that said, you can rent guns to see how you like them at several places in the area. The Marksman in NN has a good glock/Sig selection to try. If you already have a glock you might stay with another one since trigger will be similar. There are alot of good options out there other than Taurus and Glock. Springfield just anounced the XDs gun which is a single stack 45acp gun at SHOT show this past week. I started carrying a Sig P220 Compact rather than the Taurus. I sometimes wonder whether I should have gone with the PM45 from Kahr some days though. For a pocket 45 gun I think Kahr has all beat including the new XDs from Springfield.

    Then there is the grandaddy of them all the 1911, Kimber makes some smaller ones that people seem to like. :-)

    ETA: I do own a few 40S&W caliber guns even though I don't like shooting them much. One is the Kahr MK40. It is all stainless steel which helps with recoil. If you go with Kahr the PM series (polymer frame) will not be fun to shoot but will fit in your pocket and do the job. I also carry the MK40 in a Don Hume pocket holster on days the Sig seems to large.

    http://www.kahr.com/Pistols/Kahr-MK40-Elite.asp

    http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProdu...sas-gen-2.aspx

    ETA also: The kahr's have a long double action only trigger. I strongly prefer the SIG DA/SA trigger and the gun listed above has the Short reset trigger which I love. Some glock fans don't like the DA/SA trigger though so try it out before buying. The Sig is fun to shoot and you can shoot it all day, the kahr not so much. :-)
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 01-21-2012 at 11:30 PM.

  5. #5
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    Look at the new SUBcompact 3 inch .45cal from Springfield. I have the XD .45 compact. I love it... Its like a Glock... but I do not like Glocks for one reason... no safety. The springfield have the "back trigger" ... basically you must have a good grab on the gun inorder to pull the trigger.

    But I'm too thinking about getting a sub compact weapon too. But I love my XD compact. I have the tarus PT 638. Its nice etc. But those guns... are hard to find good holsters for.

  6. #6
    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Don't forget the fine Smith and Wesson M&P series. I have three, two of which are a .40S&W and a .45ACP. Some of the best feeling and handling ergonomics you will find.
    I was actually coming back in here this morning to mention that. Can't believe I forgot about them.

    I've never fired one myself (or even handled one-probably why I forgot about it), but I do like that they are available in .45 in the compact model.
    "Anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting twice." -Zeus

    "Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back!" - Malcolm Reynolds

    EDC = Walther PPQ 9mm

  7. #7
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    ETA also: The kahr's have a long double action only trigger. I strongly prefer the SIG DA/SA trigger and the gun listed above has the Short reset trigger which I love. Some glock fans don't like the DA/SA trigger though so try it out before buying. The Sig is fun to shoot and you can shoot it all day, the kahr not so much. :-)
    What a lot of people don't realize is that the Kahr's made since around the turn of the century have all adopted the trigger of their "Elite" series. This trigger has a shorter travel than Glock triggers: 3/8" vs 1/2".
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  8. #8
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SovereignAxe View Post
    I was actually coming back in here this morning to mention that. Can't believe I forgot about them.

    I've never fired one myself (or even handled one-probably why I forgot about it), but I do like that they are available in .45 in the compact model.
    My M&P45 is the version with the 4" barrel and the full size frame. Give this one a try if you can locate one. They feel a lot better than the compact.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  9. #9
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    What a lot of people don't realize is that the Kahr's made since around the turn of the century have all adopted the trigger of their "Elite" series. This trigger has a shorter travel than Glock triggers: 3/8" vs 1/2".
    Well I have the Elite model and it still seems about a mile and a quarter pull to me. ;-) I picked up a P380 for my daughter and it seems about the same as my MK40 so I guess what you are saying is true enough.

    Since the Originial poster was talking about a pocket pistol and she says she has a small frame bodysize, the Kahr seems like a great solution.

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SovereignAxe View Post
    .40 and .45 are two totally different animals. SNIP
    ...so the recoil on .40 is going to be a lot snappier and unpleasant. Make it a compact weapon and it gets even more fun. Most .45 loads are so slow they're subsonic, so it's a strong recoil, but not quite as brisk.
    SNIP
    And then don't discount the concealability of a short slide 1911. The single stack mag makes them very slim. They're steel so they'll be heavier, but that'll help with recoil.
    The. 45 recoil is often described as a "push" rather than a snap like the. 40. I also do not find the. 40 as comfortable to shoot as a. 45 (which is why I don't own anything in. 40). My wife prefers the. 45 to even 9mm.

    There are several aluminium framed compact 1911s. The Kimber Ultra Carry II, an aluminium framed, stainless slide, 3" barreled 1911 is my wife's favorite to shoot of the numerous guns she has tried over the last 4 years. It is compact, lightweight and holds 7+1.

    Not pushing the Kimber, just offering it as an example.

  11. #11
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    Well I have the Elite model and it still seems about a mile and a quarter pull to me. ;-) I picked up a P380 for my daughter and it seems about the same as my MK40 so I guess what you are saying is true enough.

    Since the Originial poster was talking about a pocket pistol and she says she has a small frame bodysize, the Kahr seems like a great solution.
    Kahr's make great pocket, compact, or subcompact carry guns for deep concealment. Their drawback is low round counts and their polymers have had a history of problems (in some cases, their steel framed guns have, too). But if you get a good one, it is worth carrying.

    The trigger is a true DAO without second strike capability. Kahr has one of the best triggers made in this design. I have two Elites and my MK9 was made before Kahr incorporated the Elite triggers in all of their pistols. It has a travel of 1/2". All of my Kahr's have fine DAO triggers.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    For something compact I would go with an M&P compact model or a sub-compact Glock like the 27 or 36. Both M&P and Glock are amazing handgun. Personally I think the M&P handles a little bit better than the Glock. I used to own an M&P40C and it was almost like shooting a 9mm. As far as a pocket pistol goes, if you don't mind the .380 round, then the Sig P238 makes an awesome pocket pistol. I have mine loaded with 90gr. Speer Gold-Dot and use it as a back-up to my Glock 23 or for my summertime carry if I dont want to dress to cover up my Glock as the P238 fits into a pocket with ease.

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    Regular Member GuidoZ's Avatar
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    I've been wishing I invested in a .45 ever since first shooting my XDm .40 SC. After shooting a XDm .45, it's a much nicer feel. The XDm .45 ACP SC model was recently released - it's my next purchase and will become my carry weapon.

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    Cool my .45

    first off I have to disagree with a comment on here. Some .45's have very little recoil, depends on the tooling I think. I bought a stoeger cougar .45 it is made with the same tooling as beretta. I love this gun, very dependable, and very little recoil to it. I have 9mm and .40 with more recoil. Just my two cents!

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    I just bought my wife her first gun. During her gun safety course, she was able to handle numerous semi-autos and found that she had a lot of trouble racking the slide on most of them. She tried out my buddy's Mustang and was very comfortable with it, so I got her a Sig P238, which is pretty much a carbon copy of the old Mustang. The 238 is pocket pistol sized and very comfortable to carry. That said, don't be afraid of the .45. She has since shot my Commander-sized Sig 1911 Carry and loves it. The recoil is very manageable for her and it fits her relatively small hands nicely. A .45 for her will be the next purchase in our family.

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    consider gettting something in 10mm.. talk about variety....

    Maybe, look at getting a G29, it's not much larger than the G36.
    With the G29 you'll get 11rds and won't be lacking any power.

    You can expect;
    1200+fps from 180gr Buffalo Bore
    1000=fps for 200/220gr Buffalo Bore
    > 1300fps from 135gr
    even readily available 175gr Win ST will yield 1100+fps

    With a simple barrel swap you can shoot:
    Economical 40 S&W
    or
    .357sig - don't know why anyone would want to use anything but a Fullsized (5-6"bbl) firearm for this caliber
    and
    9x25 Dillion (DT 125gr JHP @ +1400fps)


    If you're truly looking for a pocket pistol I'd give the Kahr Pm series a hard look, love them PM 45's.

    And let us not forget that AA makes a .22 LR conv kit.....
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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Edmonds View Post
    ...she was able to handle numerous semi-autos and found that she had a lot of trouble racking the slide on most of them.
    This is a fairly common problem for many women. Part of it may be because the guys rack by pulling back on the slide, and the gals try to imitate that physical act. Some of the ladies just don't have the grip strength, or the physical pulling strength to do that... however, I've seen several that can accomplish a slide rack by holding the slide stationary in the weak hand, and pushing the pistol frame forward with their strong hand. Just sayin', it's a possibility for some. Pax...
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  18. #18
    Regular Member yz9890's Avatar
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    don't sweat the 40 S&W recoil. not bad at all. yes, a lighter 40 will have more recoil than a heavy one but my 15yr old daughter shoots the hell out of my Glock 27 and prefers it over my much heavier Sig P229 40. a little bit of practice and you'll be getting quick and accurate follow-up shots with any of them. I really like the small Springfield XD's also.

    I like the 1911 as well but if I'm going to carry that much weight around, I would rather have more ammo. sometimes I open carry a Smith&Wesson M&P45 or a Glock 21.

    there's no such thing as an objective opinion about caliber and handgun choices. try them all. if possible, buy them all.

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    Kimber has some carry guns in the 1911 series that might fit the needs

  20. #20
    Regular Member Motofixxer's Avatar
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    I prefer Glocks, not because they are God's gift of firearms, but simply because they are an all around great piece. The G17, G19, G22 are great for a full or midsized piece. The G26 and G27 is a great subcompact. Almost all custom holsters will all interchange with these frames, and the subcompacts will accept the full size mags for range shooting etc. The simplicity and versatility between models is convenient. The .45 models are also great in similar ways. Just more expensive to shoot and wider frames. There are plenty of accessories available for all models.

    Likewise the XD and the M&P's are also nice firearms as are many of the Kahr's. Look for video reviews of each model your thinking of and you can learn a lot from watching and researching.
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    Don't rule out the Ruger SR40c either. It's got a pretty slim grip on it as well.

  22. #22
    Regular Member WOD's Avatar
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    I like my Glock 21, and I was considering buying another Glock in a compact size, same caliber. Simple breakdown, light for size, no extra safety, my general rule is KISS.... Keep It Simple Son.

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    My EMP 40 and Ultra CDP II 45 are the same size. The EMP weighs a few ounces more due to its steel frame. Both have been dependable and easy to shoot.

  24. #24
    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    I agree with what one poster said in an earlier post, that the .40 does have a snappier recoil than a .45 ACP.

    However, if you are buying it as a self-defense gun and not a range pistol, I highly recommend the Taurus PT740 Slim .40 S&W. Unlike the Glock, the Taurus Slim is equipped with a manual safety.




    Mine has performed flawlessly and is really fairly accurate at self-defense distances (0-21 ft.). The recoil is manageable when you assume a two hand grip on the pistol.

    Some folks have had bad experiences with Taurus, and one poster mentioned earlier. But all firearm companies have handguns that require repair work done from time to time.

    Since 1991, I have owned 13 different Taurus handguns, and have only had mechanical issues with one of them, a little TCP .380. I returned it for repairs to Taurus in Miami; and after evaluating the little pistol the review board sent me a brand new pistol with two mags and a Bulldog pouch.

    Taurus handguns all carry a lifetime warranty for the life of the gun.
    Last edited by MilProGuy; 02-22-2012 at 01:17 AM.
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  25. #25
    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Safety, schmafety... the only true safety a gun has is the hand that holds it, and the mind that controls it. The Glock safety system is as good as it needs to be. If your index finger ain't where it shouldn't be, and the gun is either holstered or pointed "in a safe direction", it's safe. Beyond that, everything else is manufacturer's liability protection! If a separate manual mechanical safety is in use, there is a (perhaps critical) fraction of a second lost - for those people who don't practice. (Besides, if one is good, then two or three should be better.) Pax...
    Last edited by Gil223; 02-22-2012 at 12:53 PM.
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