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Differences in recoil with the same ballistics

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by lee1000, Feb 20, 2010.

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  1. lee1000

    lee1000 Member

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    I had bought some 40 S&W 165 gr Winchester Supreme Elite PDX1 (S40SWPDB) for home defense and when shooting, it seemed like it had a lot more recoil/snap to it when compared to the Remington UMC 165 gr (L40SW4) I’ve been practicing with. Why is this, the muzzle velocity and muzzle energy are fairly close in comparison. The only thing I can think of is different test barrel lengths but I would think that the use the same length barrel. Its probably 4”


    I would like to shoot a practice round that feels the same as a HD round. If anyone can recommend one i would appreciate it.
     
  2. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    Speer Lawman is practice ammo loaded to the same speeds as their Gold Dot loads, so a 165 Lawman would probably be a pretty good match for your Winchester loads.
     
  3. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    The phenomenon has been noticed for years. Much of the answer lies in the powder burn rate. With identical velocities at the muzzle in a given barrel length...the quicker the power, the more recoil it will generate with the same bullet mass...and the reason is largely theoretical, but seems to make sense.

    Pistol powders reach peak pressure fast...often before the bullet has moved even a half-inch, and drops off quickly...while slower powders peak later and hold the peak pressure longer. With the faster powder, it seems feasible that at some point in its trip down the bore, it's actually moving faster than it is at the muzzle. Conversely, the slower powder doesn't do this...or at least the velocity difference between part-way and at exit isn't as great.

    Since more force is required to accelerate a given mass to a given velocity in a given distance...if the bullet driven by the faster powder reaches a higher mid-way velocity than with the slower powder...and because force forward equals force backward...the higher the recoil impulse will be with the fast powder. This, even if the slow powder load produces a higher muzzle velocity.

    Other factors are involved, of course. Bullet jacket and core material, and how much frictional resistance is offered to its passage affects pressures and force generated can have an effect. Bullet surface area in contact with the bore is another factor to consider. The more resistance the bullet encounters, the quicker the pressure rises and peaks.

    It's also entirely possible for a given cartridge to generate more felt recoil with a lower muzzle velocity than another cartridge loaded with the same bullet, but with a slower powder.

    The science of ballistics is long, wide, and deep.
     
  4. shadowalker

    shadowalker Member

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    Also there is no guarantee the Remington ammunition is developing the velocity that is printed on the box. With my P229 when I shot Golden Sabers over my chrony there were significantly slower while Hornady and Speer were very close to the velocity on the box.
     
  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Yup. Advertised velocities may be considered to be more of a suggestion than a guarantee. Even velocities listed in loading manuals may produce lower...or higher...velocities than you actually get. The velocites are what they got with their gun with that powder lot and with that primer in that case...on that particular day.
     
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