Actually, what happens is the recoil force is directed against the spring and the mass of the slide over a longer distance, reducing the velocity the grip is accelerated to. But this reciprocation actually takes longer and itself involves higher inertial forces than the short rotational movement of the relatively light cylinder of a revolver. Without firing a round at all, we can feel the jerk of just dropping the slide release moves the gun more than rotating the cylinder of a double-action revolver. So the effect you're describing depends on the ratio of recoil force to gun mass. If and only if the recoil force is proportionally high to the gun mass, then the slide reciprocation slows recoil velocity and the result is less felt recoil. What if the recoil force is not proportionally high to the gun mass? Someone firing a .22 LR S&W 617 will not say that it has a lot of recoil or that the recoil is slowing their followup shots. The very short rotation of the cylinder can indeed happen much faster than most handgun slides can reciprocate. Firing the same .22 LR cartridge, generating the same recoil energy, the slide jerking back and forth on a M&P 22 will have more "felt recoil" and slide reciprocation will take noticeably longer than cylinder rotation on a Model 617. This is relevant to service-cartridge revolvers and pistols as well, but the revolver must have enough mass for a given cartridge force. No matter how powerful a cartridge we choose, we can always slow the revolver's recoil velocity to an acceptable level with enough mass (whether the necessary mass is acceptable or not is a different question). But the semi-automatic pistol's slide must always reciprocate at a fairly high velocity or it will be impractical in use.