Re: Thoughts on a .40 cal
Recoil perception is in the hands and head of the shooter. Some people have a larger tolerance for it and others a lesser amount.
I have a friend who competed in silhouette competition in the Los Angeles area for years. He shot both air guns and 22's, both pistol and rifle. He was consistently first or second in competition in the relatively large club of the area. He was a natural shooter. That is not to say he only knew intuitively how to shoot well because he read everything imaginable on shooting. His success was that he new exactly how to apply the knowledge, had a very steady hand, and a good eye. But don't give him a 45acp gun. He bought one off a friend, a gunsmith worked over 1911 that was superb. He anticipated the recoil so bad he flinched unmercifully. He hated that gun. He eventually sold it.
Recoil is what is perceived by the shooter and is modulated by that given off by the gun. The physics says bigger bullet, higher velocity, and a few other things results in bigger recoil. The gun itself can absorb some of it but the shooter gets the brunt of the recoil. Plastic guns are said, by those that own them, to absorb a bit more of the recoil than a steel gun so they must deform from the recoil and turn that energy into something else (conservation of energy law of physics). It probably is heat but not so much as to be noticeable so maybe the plastic doesn't really absorb that much energy after all and the "reduced" recoil is a perception and not reality (??).
I find bigger cartridges when compared to 9mm and 357 mag are less sharp in their recoil and push longer, spreading the recoil force over a longer period of time. That is much easier for ME to take. But there are limits....like the 44mag and the 10mm full power loads. I find the recoil of my reloads for 45acp (mid range), down loaded 10mm, 40 S&W (mid range), 41mag (mid range), and 44 Special loads all very similar with none standing out in my mind. I prefer to shoot these loads over the 9mm and 357mag loads (mid range). I am not bothered at all by their recoil. But that is my perception, again. Yours may differ!