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Old June 1, 2016, 10:47 PM   #1
Join Date: October 14, 2005
Location: California
Posts: 187
Soft recoil?

Today's 9mm session I brought along some Speer 124 gr FMJ, Magtech 115 gr FMJ, and HPR 124 XTP hollow points. Shot through the Browning HP and the S&W 6904. The Speer and Magtech were relatively comparable for recoil, the HPR felt really soft. Midway lists the HPR at Muzzle Velocity: 1017 fps.

Does that soft recoil typically translate to a lower FPS? Can a softer feeling recoil still have a high FPS?
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Old June 1, 2016, 11:21 PM   #2
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Only with a lighter bullet.

The laws of physics are set in stone.

For every action there is an opposit and EQUAL reaction.

If you push the same weight bullet faster, it will recoil more.

But, there is a but, but?

If you push it faster with a slower burning powder, it will still recoil more. (Spread over a longer duration)
But it may not slap your hand as hard as faster burning powder. (Felt recoil)

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Old June 1, 2016, 11:40 PM   #3
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The bullet is not the only thing of mass being sent out the barrel...

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Old June 1, 2016, 11:47 PM   #4
Join Date: November 30, 2008
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A very astute observation, Big Jake!
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Old June 2, 2016, 02:25 PM   #5
Join Date: October 14, 2005
Location: California
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As suspected.
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Old June 3, 2016, 10:44 AM   #6
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Location: Hastings, Nebraska - the Heartland!
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There are two 'sorts' of recoil. Actual recoil and perceived recoil.

As RC said, physics is the law of the universe and cannot be avoided. The combined mass of projectile and propellent gases, and spacers, wads, sabots and anything else - all lumped under the catch-all title of 'ejecta' - times the velocity of the ejecta, then divided by the mass of the firearm is the amount of recoil force involved.

So a lighter bullet, less powder, no 'packing' and a heavier firearm all work to reduce what it commonly known as 'free recoil'.

However, there is a 'perception' factor. A narrow back strap and grip which puts the recoil force into a smaller area causes more discomfort in the hand - which SEEMS like greater recoil. Sharp edges do the same when those sharp edges bear against the hand. Rubber grips tend to cushion the recoil thrust and make recoil seem less.

The over all velocity of the ejecta makes a difference in perception. Typically a shotgun or large bore but slower round (.45-70 Govt comes to mind) stretches out the recoil pulse over a longer period; the recoil is not as 'abrupt' and the perception is the recoil is lighter.

A long gun with a greater angle between barrel and shoulder stock tends to rise more. If the long gun smacks one in the face on recoil, this is uncomfortable and SEEMS like greater recoil.

One other factor which is quite subtle is the powder burn rate. Faster powders accelerate the ejecta more quickly and the recoil pulse is quicker and feels more abrupt. Slower powders accelerate the ejecta more slowly and - subtly - tends to lengthen the recoil period. Which makes for less 'perceived' recoil. (This is predicated on maintaining the same or reasonably same velocity.)

One other trick I have used to reduce felt recoil - with handguns - is to load a heavier bullet at a much slower velocity. The slower velocity tends to stretch the impulse over a longer period - subtly again - and recoil seems softer.

With factory ammo, one has little control over much of this. However, with 'cushy' grips, the velocity of the projectile is not influenced. By the same token, a set of 'heavy' grips will soften the recoil impulse. But that makes it heavier to carry, if that's important.

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Old June 3, 2016, 02:34 PM   #7
Vern Humphrey
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No. There really is no free lunch.
Whoa! Have you told Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders about this?
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