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Reason to choose a 1911 in 40 S&W over 45 ACP for USPSA?


BryceA
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I've been somewhat interested in a 1911 and hadn't consider one chambered in 40 S&W until I picked up a Sig Max Michel today. I'd have preferred 45 ACP, but after looking at the USPSA 2018 equipment servey (pages 42 and 43) it seems 40 S&W is actually quite popular and I'm wondering why. My best guess is that 40 S&W the flexibility to legitimately switch between major or minor power factor based on the course. After that, maybe it's just cost compared to buying/reloading 45 ACP.

 

Could someone with more than guesses fill me in on the secret?

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"My best guess is that 40 S&W the flexibility to legitimately switch between major or minor power factor based on the course."

 

Not sure I understand that comment.  What do you mean by switching between power factors based on the course?

Edited by sitw
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Adam from atlas said that in one of his videos “to switch from major to minor depending on the match.”  That’s stupid. You always want to shoot major if you have the option. The difference between the 2 calibers besides major is the round count. You’ll get more rounds with 40 than 45

Edited by Atlasguy321
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Wow, how the heck could you look at the match book and decide if shooting major or minor was a better option?  Better minds than me I guess.  If you shoot all A's fast, go .40 minor as Atlasguy321 said, more rounds.  If you need every possible point, go major.  But switching depending on the match is going to be a lot of guess work.

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6 minutes ago, sitw said:

Wow, how the heck could you look at the match book and decide if shooting major or minor was a better option?  Better minds than me I guess.  If you shoot all A's fast, go .40 minor as Atlasguy321 said, more rounds.  If you need every possible point, go major.  But switching depending on the match is going to be a lot of guess work.

Looking at stages in advance can help determine if minor or MAJOR is more advantageous. BUT, it means a whole lot more if minor is 9mm for the capacity jump. Two-three more rounds per mag can  be a game changer depending on stage designs. 

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25 minutes ago, sitw said:

Not sure I understand that comment.  What do you mean by switching between power factors based on the course?

 

I mean looking at the stage layouts for a match and using that to inform selecting between minor power factor scoring with 2 extra rounds, or sticking with major scoring at 8 rounds. I've heard this discussed before but I haven't shot single stack before so I don't have any experience with it. @Sarge, I think you can use 10 rounds so long as your taking minor scoring regardless of caliber but perhaps a 10 round 40 S&W mag doesn't fit in the box?

 

If that's not the reason to get a 1911 chambered in 40 S&W, what is? Maybe because that is just what the Sig Max on the shelf happened to be chambered in 😉?

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3 minutes ago, BryceA said:

 

I mean looking at the stage layouts for a match and using that to inform selecting between minor power factor scoring with 2 extra rounds, or sticking with major scoring at 8 rounds. I've heard this discussed before but I haven't shot single stack before so I don't have any experience with it. @Sarge, I think you can use 10 rounds so long as your taking minor scoring regardless of caliber but perhaps a 10 round 40 S&W mag doesn't fit in the box?

 

If that's not the reason to get a 1911 chambered in 40 S&W, what is? Maybe because that is just what the Sig Max on the shelf happened to be chambered in 😉?

I didn’t think 10 round .40 was possible to fit box. I see many more 9mm SS GUNS than anything these days.

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SS minor is a thing. There are GM SS shooters that choose minor and win with them. 

 

That being said, in Major PF, choosing between 40 and 45 is a preference. I shoot SS major in 40 and I love it. No need to monkey with mags to barney up, since mags hold 9. I personally like the recoil of 40 compared to 45.

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7 minutes ago, Sarge said:

I didn’t think 10 round .40 was possible to fit box. I see many more 9mm SS GUNS than anything these days.

According to reviews on Dawson Precision's sight of a 40/10mm mag designed to be short, it looks like it's possible, though a tight fit. Good to know.

 

5 minutes ago, Bigzeke said:

I personally like the recoil of 40 compared to 45.

This is the first I've heard this. Care to elaborate?

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You can switch between minor and major, but you an also switch between ss and limited with your reloading equipment. Which also means you can bulk buy your components for both as well. I suspect that's where the real convenience lies.

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3 hours ago, CJcycles said:

There is a lot to be said for using your same ammo as your limited rig. Plus not having to sort large and small primer brass. LOL.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This. Also 40 bullets and brass are cheaper/more available. 

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5 hours ago, CJcycles said:

There is a lot to be said for using your same ammo as your limited rig. Plus not having to sort large and small primer brass. LOL.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

2 hours ago, cheby said:

This. Also 40 bullets and brass are cheaper/more available. 

These two are probably the most viable reasons for it.

I can split my 40 or 45 about the same on the timer .

 

My 40's run a little quicker , though that is a perception, based on the timer.

Simply Stated I think a lot of SS shooters also shoot limited so it's an easy way to  keep your components simplified!

 

Get the 40 Max, currently they can be had for "cheap" by comparison to what they were going for a year ago. And they're worth the money when compared to outfitting another pistol with the magwell, ignition kit and sights etc.

Figure SIG is coming out with a new model and clearing out the old style. That just a guess, no inside info!

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I am one of those who prefers the recoil of the .45 over the .40.  And, it is a totally subjective since no two shooters share the same reaction to felt recoil. It seems the younger shooters prefer the .40.

 

If you want to shoot minor, get a 9MM. Some matches favor the major, some the minor. I do know my next SS gun will be a 9MM, that extra pair of shot really does make a difference in make up rounds.

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I’ve noticed over years of shooting .45, .40, and 9mm in SS Division that .40 loaded to the same PF and bullet weight as .45 feels slightly less recoil when slow firing off the timer. When the buzzer goes off though....it’s all the same. From a reloading component perspective though...40 all day long over .45! However, from a minor scoring perspective, 9mm is easier to get reliable feeding from now that there’s so many good manufacturers of 10-round mags.

 

If you’re going to shoot both Major and Minor...get a .40 and 9mm pistols and take them to the match and actually walk the stages. I’ve never seen a good enough printed stage diagram that actually let you make an informed decision about which PF to shoot. It’s only when you’re actually on the ground looking at the stage layout that you can make the call as to which gun to use. 

 

Finally, the few hotrod SS MINOR guys that I’ve watched shoot have generally stuck with Minor all the time and just run the stages like its Production Division. Most of the time at level 1 and 2 matches that aren’t Single Stack focused....they win! I always look at the scores between SS and Production at those matches and it generally looks like the top Production shooters finish a good bit higher than the highest Major PF Single Stack Shooters. As a result, I’ve decided to just stick with 9mm in SS and try to run and compare myself to the best Production Shooters I know. Of course....ymmv!

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B, let me preface this by saying I am a 45 ACP lover.  I competed for years with my 1911 45 and loved it.  However, I was at a serious disadvantage in some games.  You mentioned 40 and 45 in a 1911.  You also mentioned USPSA.  With a 1911 you can shoot SS minor and major plus L10 minor and major.

 

In 40 there is only one mage that fits the box and runs 10 rounds reliable.  That is the special Tripp.  In 45, the only thing you cannot shoot is SS minor with 10 rounds.

 

40sw brass is plentiful and cheap.  It costs less to reload.  It doesn't hurt to leave it on the ground and forget it.  Not so with 45.  Brass costs a lot more and reloading costs more.  I shoot 7000 rounds per year in events that are essentially (for me) lost brass matches.  So I would go 40 in a heartbeat, for that reason alone.  If you don't want to reload, there are many, many places you can buy new or remanufactured 40sw in both minor and major.  Since SS 45 has always been a handloader's game, very few places reman any 45 ammo.

 

For those that suggest 1911 9mm minor, I'd say that in my experience they are not as reliable as 40 and 45 in a 1911.  When you go to 10-round mags you roll the dice.  I had to go through four brands of mags in the last 1911 9mm I built just to get it to run.

 

So really it comes down to how much you are willing to pay for brass, and reloading costs.  If you don't care, go for the 45 in a heartbeat.  If it is a concern, consider 40sw.  If you don't want to reload, 40 is your only real choice.

 

BTW, the Max trigger pull sucks, but is fixable, even without removing the 80 Series stuff.  Your holster choices will be severely limited because of the slide shape.

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7 minutes ago, RangerTrace said:

I thought if you were shooting major, you could only have 8 rounds in the mag, regardless of caliber.  But it's been 10 years since I shot SS or looked at those rules.

Very true, but you can have 10 rounds of 40s&w minor in a mag...if it fits the box.

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I've got no .40 pistols, nor 9mm pistols, for that matter, but do have a carbine, revolver, and a few 1911s all in .45, and I reload. So, I'm more than a little biased here. But there's one reason to prefer .45 that no one here has mentioned yet, which is that when you're shooting SWC bullets, you get these big giant holes in cardboard targets that are easier for scorers to see and marvel at.  😁

 

Oh, and every once in a while, a .45 hole hits the perf line where a .40 or 9 hole will not...

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