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more recoil will return sights to POA

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by twofifty, May 13, 2013.

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  1. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    There have been threads about loading light loads, to make the gun 'easier' to handle and to reduce recoil.

    I've noticed that loading down to low velocity charges can make the gun harder to shoot fast with accuracy.

    For example my 9 when loaded with 4gr to 4.4 grains of one powder 'hangs up' high under recoil. In other words, the gun does not return the sight picture to the original point of aim, so I have to consciously return the gun to POA and micro-adjust the sight picture. This takes time.

    From 4.5 gr onward, the gun's recoil is greater but it also starts to return the gun to POA. At 4.9 grains, the gun snaps right back to POA with full sight alignment, so all I need to do is confirm the sight picture (no adjustment required out to 10 yards) and press the trigger a second time. With a good reset technique, the shots are closely spaced in time and on target.

    Anyone care to share some reloading experiments and tweaks that you have used to make your gun easier to shoot fast and accurately?

    This is in an IPSC environment.
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Do you use a compensator?
     
  3. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    No.
    It's a 5" barreled 'production' class steel gun.
     
  4. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    Everyone I know shooting gun games with an uncompensated gun (IPSC, cowboy action, etc) tries to load as light as possible to get back on target faster. Never heard of anyone loading for MORE recoil to allow them to recover faster.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Could it be you are expecting less recoil & blast, so you aren't holding as hard??

    Other then that, it doesn't add up to me.

    rc
     
  6. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    I agree that it sounds crazy and totally counter-intuitive. And I know the cowboy action guys shoot very minor loads and it works in their revolvers.

    This is in an IPSC match context where the ammo is expected to make a certain minimum Power Factor (PF). In Production Division (semis-autos not revolvers) the minimum PF is 125, below which you are considered to be shooting underpowered ammo.

    If we looks at my chrono numbers, a 124gr bullet powered by 4.0gr Win231 starts at an average of 939fps. Per the IPSC power formula, this yields a 116 PF. Too weak. With this low power load, recoil is minimal in my gun but it seems to hang up in the air at the end of the recoil impulse. I have to bring it back down into my line of sight. This takes time. Plus the cases are sooty.

    Upping the powder load to yield a muzzle velocity of 1,010 fps yields the min PF of 125, on a given day under certain atmospheric conditions. If the load was developed on the high plains of Colorado but is shot at a Florida match, it will fail to make the min 125PF. This forces the competitor who travels to develop a load that he is sure will make PF under any and all conditions. Plus this gun still hangs up in the air at the end of the recoil impulse.

    Working up to 4.9gr of Win 231, avg. velocity is 1,137 fps, for a 140PF. This is hot. Yet the gun settles into a perfectly predictable recoil impulse that brought it right back down to my line of sight - without any thought or effort on my part. (numbers edited)

    In IPSC this is an advantage as two shots are required to score on each target. A quick bang-bang puts two rounds on most targets, pretty close to each other, for a full 10 points.

    So yes intuition tells us that more powder makes a gun harder to shoot well, but in this particular case, the opposite is true.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  7. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    All I load and shoot are full power loads, so I'm accustomed to dealing with the extreme amount of barrel jump / recoil involved, and the additional amount of time it takes to get back on target. But I'm at a complete loss, as to how more recoil, equates to quicker target acquisition between shots? Some of my weapons are compensated, but even with those firearms, recoil still slows reacquisition of my target sight picture. But I'm certainly am not an expert, so maybe there is something I am missing here?
    GS
     
  8. David E

    David E Member

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    Two fifty, your recoil management technique needs work, not the loads.
     
  9. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    Thanks for posting RC.

    Grip was consistent through this whole load development exercise, i.e. a full meaty grip but not a squeezed/clenched grip. I've found that a too-tight grip (or death grip) makes for inconsistent shooting.

    I HOLD the gun so that it will do what it will where I point it. The gun then plays nice for me. ;)
     
  10. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    I am not an expert either.

    Gamestalker, yesterday I watched (from the side) my gun in recoil when shot slow and rapid fire by a competent shooter and the muzzle was rising a mere 2 inches. I don't know how to explain what I saw and what I experienced.
     
  11. David E

    David E Member

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    I repeat, your recoil management technique needs work. YOU should manage the recoil consistently and effectively, not relying on the "gun playing nice."

    If I may inquire, what classification do you hold in USPSA?
     
  12. Ex

    Ex Member

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    Twofifty, I may have missed it somewhere, but what is this gun?
     
  13. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    Cold hard facts. :uhoh:
     
  14. murf

    murf Member

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    only thing i can think of is you are loosening your grip for the lighter loads and the gun is moving in your hands.

    have one of your ipsc buddies check out your recoil management technique, or squeeze harder.

    luck,

    murf
     
  15. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    C class in 2010, which is when I let my IPSC membership lapse. I was a member for only 2 years.

    Since then I've shot unsanctioned local club matches and mini-matches, with the very same bunch of guys and gals. As a result I don't have a current classification.
    Since 2011, I've shot these small non-events a couple times a month. I am still having fun and improving slowly.

    Regardless of my non-membership in IPSC, I do know what I've seen and experienced. I mentioned IPSC in order to provide a context in which this load was arrived at.

    Next weekend I'll ask our local Master level shooter (one of those smooth, fast and accurate IPSC types) to shoot this load and will post his assessment of the load and of my grip.
     
  16. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    Will take you up on that advice.
     
  17. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    The ubiquitous CZ SP-01 Shadow
     
  18. David E

    David E Member

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    Squeeze harder with the support hand, about 70/30

    Ask your Master class shooter about "static tension" and how to get it.
     
  19. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    Thanks Dave.
    I will make a protracted effort to analyze my grip and change it if that can help with recoil mgt. Fortunately there are local shooters who will observe and advise when asked.

    What I don't get is if my grip is poor or inconsistent, why does this gun recoil in a more easily managed fashion at 140PF as opposed to 125PF...

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there is room for personal improvement.
     
  20. David E

    David E Member

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    It isn't. Your perception of what you think is happening is skewed.

    With the lighter loads, your recoil impulse is less, but your technique "leaves it hanging" instead of automatically returning it back to where it started. That's where the. "static tension" comes in.

    With the heavier loads, the recoil impulse is greater, the muzzle rises higher and now you know you have to fix it, so you do. But it's still not automatic as a properly executed technique would do. Or, since you know it's going to kick more, you're paying more attention to your technique as a result and its working.....but it's probably the first reason.

    I could diagnose you pretty quick in person, but your master class guy should be able to do it , too.
     
  21. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    David I'm really glad to have posted about these experiences.
    Now I feel on the cusp of discovering something new about my grip, and possibly taking it to the next level.

    Thanks.
     
  22. David E

    David E Member

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    I appreciate your attitude!

    Ok, do this: stand in front of a wall. Put your arms out in front of you, assuming an old school isosceles stance. Elbows locked, hands clasped as if holding a gun, feet shoulder width apart, equidistant from the wall. Your hands should be 18" or so from the wall. Pitch yourself forward keeping body stiff. Catch yourself against the wall. Now, if you we're holding a gun, you'd be able to see the sights. (IE; don't put your hands too high or low on the wall)

    Do a few push-ups against the wall. On the last one, lock elbows, then slightly break them. Hold that position for 20-30 seconds. Pay attention to what muscles you're using to hold the position.

    Your arms should outline a symmetrical house: the hands are the peak of the roof, forearms the roof, upper arms the walls, your chest the foundation.

    The tension you're using to hold this position is the exact same tension we will be shooting with. I call it the. "Ring of Power," "Circle of Strength," or just "static tension."

    You shoot from the upper chest/arms and it does not matter what the rest of your body is doing. You do not have to get your "fighting stance" before shooting. You can shoot from here.

    Hands: the inside support hand knuckles align with gun hand knuckles clamping down on the gun. You're doing the old pectoral muscle exercise girls everywhere did as teens- "I must, I must, I must increase my bust!"

    Support hand contributes 70% of the grip.

    There are a few more details, but these are the main points. Try it and see if it helps.
     
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