A friend of mine lives in the hills East of Oroville, CA. She likes to hike & carries a S&W 9mm is thinking about going to a larger caliber. She's had operations on both wrists so they're not as as strong as a 50 y.o. woman's might be and her reason for a larger caliber is because there have been occasional sightings of cougars & black bears. I don't shoot handguns larger than a 9mm (unless you count my .223 AR pistols) so I can't really give her good advice on whether she should buy a .40 S&W or a .45 ACP. She inherited a Scandium & Titanium S&W .44 mag but knows that's way too big and furthermore I'm going to do my best to buy it for my collection. I asked for opinions on some FB forums & not surprisingly got a lot of "expert" advice. Her "must have" list includes a laser so that eliminates using +P or +P+ loads in her S&W Model 39. I'd heard that .40's have less recoil than a .45 but (a) have never shot a .40 & (b) haven't shot a .45 in over 25 years. Having weak wrists, racking the slide can be hard for her so I told her about the TacRack that I use on two of my Glocks. That takes care of one issue but given identical guns, which would have more recoil with factory loads - a .40 or a .45? Let the fur fly & thanks in advance.