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Discussion Starter #1
I know it's kind of an old question, but what really is the more inherently accurate round, .40 S&W or .45 ACP? I know the .40 used to be considered a less accurate round, but that was primarily because it was new and the guns that were developed to shoot it were new. Now that there's a situation where there's a direct comparison, only barrels and bushings really being different, is there a difference in accuracy?

The reason I ask here is, hopefully someone has compared what I'm really asking this for. I'm considering a Pointman AUSI from DW and I haven't decided on .40 or .45. I know .40 is cheaper to shoot so I'm leaning that direction, but if .45 is more accurate from the same gun I'd pay the extra. This would mainly be a range gun too. There might be an extrememly rare case that I'd carry it for a backup while hunting, but most likely it would only be for punching holes in paper.
 

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Welcome,

I am not in agreement on the pricing of 40 or 45. You can probably get 45ACP cheaper.

I think the 45 ACP can be more accurate because of the different loads that can be made. IE like bullseye loads. I don't have any experience with the 40cal, but there are some 45 loads that I have that will go into the same hole all day and everyday.

Just my 2 cents.

Enjoy,
Bob
 

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Either caliber will be more accurate than you are. I'd get the 40 simply because you can then get the extra mags. and barrels in 357sig.(same mag as 40) and 10mm and have some great fun.. Hand loading will always allow you to get more accuracy by tuning the load to the gun, but unless you decide to shoot beyond 50yrds, I don't think you will b e disapointed with any caliber.
 

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My experience has been that the .40S&W is NOT as "accurate" as the .45ACP (or even the 9mm).
More correctly, the .40 is less PRECISE than the other two.

Much of this has to do with the current state of load development, I'm sure, or at least the state of load development when I was trying to like the .40S&W some years ago, just after it was introduced. Try as I might, I couldn't get the same precision out of the .40 that I could from the .45 and 9mm, from equivalent guns.

This rather soured me on the cartridge, and I got rid of all my .40 guns, accordingly.

I do believe that the long development of the .45ACP and 9mm has permitted a greater degree of precision to be built into those cartridges, though, and of the two, I think the .45ACP has the edge on the 9mm.
YMMV, etc.

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have to agree that I'm probably not as accurate as very many guns and their respective rounds. I figure I'll go for any advantage I can get as far as inherent accuracy though. I don't see a point in having the gun or bullet as the limiting factor.

Actually there's another reason for asking this question too. I recently borrowed a Sig P226 in .40 S&W. I shot 200 rnds though it. 50 Wolf, 50 UMC and 100 Winchester white box. I was trying to go for accuracy, but even bench resting and doing everything I could to pay attention to my trigger squeeze, being as steady as possible I was getting groups of about 4-5" at 15 yards. I know that gun should shoot better, so I guess it was me. It really pissed me off that I couldn't get my Buck Mark 5.5 Target to shoot much better, maybe 3-4" groups at 15 yards. It's been a while, so maybe it's just that I'm out of practice. The first 1911 I ever shot was a compensated, highly customized Colt and I was able to put a 1.5" group in a target at 25 yards. I want to get back to something like that at least.
 

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If you look at the short history of the 40 round, then you would see that it started out pretty in-accurate and it has slowly gotten better. The fundemental round has not changed, but we as an industry have learned out to make more accurate ammunition and firearms to use it. Give it 80 or 90 years like the 45acp and the 9mm and it will probably be pretty good.

Consider a 10mm though. This appears to be just a fundementally accurate cartraige. Most of the reloading manuals I have make some statement like that on the 10mm.
 

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Well one thing to consider is that the 1911 was designed for ball ammo in 45ACP. Unless you're getting a ramped barrel, the .40S&W and 10mm Norma bullets may cause you some problem w/feeding, especially in the short 40S&W loadings - that's why a lot of folks load 40's long close to 10mm dimensions.

One reason for the lack of reliability is that you can't get jacketed round nose in 40/10, I've tried and the best I could do was a RS (round shouldered) bullet from a company I've forgetten the name of.

The .45ACP has lots of folks making FMJ round nose bullets.

Another issue is magazines - I think only Tripp Research ($44 each) makes 10 round 10/40 mags, and metalform just put some out. I've heard great things about the Tripp mags, and they may solve my RZ feeding pblms...but they're darn exp.

Everyone makes 10 round 45ACP mags, and they have been around for a while (thanks to L10).

All that said, I prefer the 10mm Norma round, it does seem to be most accurate and fun to shoot. I've only had problems with it in my RZ, my other 10mms feed and shoot it fine.

Due to the high cost of the tripp research mags (I need 6 for USPSA - and after having bought and used about 15 metalform mags, I'm not too impressed w/them so it'd have to be the Tripp mags) and to the lack of reliability of the RZ, I still shoot a patriot 45ACP in matches, and it is the most reliable 1911 I have (except when parts break).
 

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I find I am more accurate with the 10mm than the 45. I just feel more comfortable with the 10 for some reason. I like the quick snap of recoil, and find it pops back on target for me quite naturally. Your results may vary. :D
 

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There's another solution : Get a 1911 chambered in .45 Auto and buy an aftermarket .400 Corbon barel. THen you have a .45 auto and a ".40" that approaches 10MM Auto without developing excessive pressure, resulting in a longer service life for the gun.
 

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All things considered, I'd have to say that the venerable .45acp would be the way to go. I think it has an edge when it comes to accuracy potential, it is also easier to make feed reliably, and is a lower pressure cartridge, to boot.
 

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The first 1911 I ever shot was a compensated, highly customized Colt and I was able to put a 1.5" group in a target at 25 yards. I want to get back to something like that at least.
Good accuracy depends on the gun being used. I have highly tuned STI custom guns in 40sw and 45acp. Both have Schenmann(sp?) Tri-comp barrels on them. Both have red dot Optimas mounted to the slides. Both shoot groups at 25 yards (heavily sandbagged from benchrest) under 1.5" when I do my part. The 40 is a tad more accurate betweeen these two guns----however not enough difference in group size to mean anything. My stock 1911's from various makers range from very accurate (Springfield Loaded) to El Sucko---Colt 1911. I also have a Kimber 10mm that is OK accuracy at 25 yards....but not as good as my custom guns. I also have an old Clark 45 Bullesye style 1911 that will eat the center out of 25 and 50 yard targets when mounted in a Ransom Rest. To bad my arm doesn't work like the ransom rest. You should be able to get decent accuracy from the more expensive STI's, Kimbers and Springfields. I have no experience with the new DW 1911's but they seem to be accurate enough accourding to this forum.
As you mentioned in your post----custom guns will be more accurate and I don't think it will make much difference between 40 or 45. IMO, 40's are much cheapr to shoot---both factory ammo and reloads.. BUT, if I could only own one gun it would be a 1911 in 45ACP.. Just my experience.
 

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You should be able to make most handgun calibers accurate, which means that the gun/ammo. specifics..not caliber are the most important factors. If you are discussing long range shooting with rifles, that is another matter.
 
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