Is the degree of recoil perceived?

This is a discussion on Is the degree of recoil perceived? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Earlier I posted a comment re: Corbon Ammo. Well I bought a box and finally got a chance to shoot it yesterday. (I'll give you ...

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Thread: Is the degree of recoil perceived?

  1. #1
    Member Array bruce272's Avatar
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    Is the degree of recoil perceived?

    Earlier I posted a comment re: Corbon Ammo. Well I bought a box and finally got a chance to shoot it yesterday. (I'll give you the specs at the end).

    I also tried (for the first time) Federal's American Eagle and to me, it felt like the recoil of the American Eagle was more pronounced.

    I found this kind of weird, as I set myself up to expect a much greater recoil (this was mentioned by other forum members) from the Corbon.

    Am I loosing it ? or has anyone else experienced this (hotter ammo=less felt recoil vs. a load with less velocity and bullet weight=more felt recoil.

    Pistol used: 5" 1911 customized with 18 lb. Wolfe recoil spring and buffer.

    Corbon Ammo: 230gr +p JHP Velocity 950fps, Energy 461 ft/lbs

    American Eagle: 230gr FMJ Velocity 890fps, Energy 405 ft/lbs.

    This experienced has totally stumped me. I felt that neither rounds' recoil to be unpleasant although I would assume that the Corbon would have more "kick".

    Bruce
    "Western civilization didn't make all men equal,
    Samuel Colt did"

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  3. #2
    Member Array BaserRonin's Avatar
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    no explanation here. Same weight bullet, and the Corbon is faster.

    If I had to throw out a wild guess I would say the recoil spring is buffering one more then the other. Slamming back harder on the America, or the Corbon is just more "in tune" with the springs in the gun. Just a wild guess though.

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    If you have to 'guess' on the effectiveness or powe of one type of ammo over another...who cares.
    I only worry about what works in my firearm...that's all that counts.
    If my gun likes it, then I like it.
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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Did you chrono the ammo or go off manufactors published data? Bullet design and powder used also come into play.
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    Member Array bruce272's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevew View Post
    Did you chrono the ammo or go off manufactors published data? Bullet design and powder used also come into play.
    Nope,

    Used the published specs right off the box, could it be that FMJ seals tighter than JHP, thereby causing a greater felt recoil?

    Thanks for the responses, please keep them coming.

    Bruce
    "Western civilization didn't make all men equal,
    Samuel Colt did"

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    Member Array trapper T's Avatar
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    I will take a guess. It is the powder burn rate (the speed at which the powder burns). Powders that burn slower produce more felt or preceived recoil because the slower burn rate is still building pressure as the bullet goes down your barrel. A faster burning powder gets the bullet to top speed before it leaves the cartridge and gives you less preceived recoil. The bullet or shot weight may be the same and the bullet speeds may be the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce272 View Post
    Earlier I posted a comment re: Corbon Ammo. Well I bought a box and finally got a chance to shoot it yesterday. (I'll give you the specs at the end).

    I also tried (for the first time) Federal's American Eagle and to me, it felt like the recoil of the American Eagle was more pronounced.

    I found this kind of weird, as I set myself up to expect a much greater recoil (this was mentioned by other forum members) from the Corbon.

    Am I loosing it ? or has anyone else experienced this (hotter ammo=less felt recoil vs. a load with less velocity and bullet weight=more felt recoil.

    Pistol used: 5" 1911 customized with 18 lb. Wolfe recoil spring and buffer.

    Corbon Ammo: 230gr +p JHP Velocity 950fps, Energy 461 ft/lbs

    American Eagle: 230gr FMJ Velocity 890fps, Energy 405 ft/lbs.

    This experienced has totally stumped me. I felt that neither rounds' recoil to be unpleasant although I would assume that the Corbon would have more "kick".

    Bruce
    Here is an article, call it an advertisement if you will, however I think it is worth reading. I only shoot good quality ball nose FMJ through my 1911 pistols.

    D&L Sports .45 ACP Special Ball Ammunition
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    Member Array bruce272's Avatar
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    Sig,

    Thanks for the link, interesting reading.

    As both these two loads were only fired for the first time, I don't think that "bullet pushback" is the cause. I did find the bit about not shooting +P kinda weird. I guess if you have an alloy pistol that would be something to be aware of, or any ammo in excess as I've seen Commander frame cracks happen.

    My 1911 is steel and I doubt that an occasional diet of +P won't be a problem.

    Thanks again for the link and let me know if you fall across any other info.

    Bruce
    "Western civilization didn't make all men equal,
    Samuel Colt did"

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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    One way to look at it is, consider the pistol to be a hand held rocket.

    When the powder is ignited the pressure builds and propels the bullet down the barrel. Pressure in the thousands of PSI is now contained in the barrel and prevented from escaping by the bullet.

    Once the bullet exits the barrel the cork has been popped and all that tremendous pressure must now escape. It does so from the open end of the barrel just like through the nozzle in a rocket.

    This force is directed opposite to the escape point and that is (except in ported barrels) straight back. Just like blowing the plug from a CO2 cartridge and watching it take off.

    There are more factors to recoil or percieved recoil than that but it is the major force being exerted once a bullet leaves the barrel.

    OMO

    bosco

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    Quote Originally Posted by boscobeans View Post
    One way to look at it is, consider the pistol to be a hand held rocket.

    When the powder is ignited the pressure builds and propels the bullet down the barrel. Pressure in the thousands of PSI is now contained in the barrel and prevented from escaping by the bullet.

    Once the bullet exits the barrel the cork has been popped and all that tremendous pressure must now escape. It does so from the open end of the barrel just like through the nozzle in a rocket.

    This force is directed opposite to the escape point and that is (except in ported barrels) straight back. Just like blowing the plug from a CO2 cartridge and watching it take off.

    There are more factors to recoil or perceived recoil than that but it is the major force being exerted once a bullet leaves the barrel.

    OMO

    bosco
    I liked your analogy. I will add more to this but what you said is almost exactly what I know to be true. Very well stated.

    SIG
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    Member Array trapper T's Avatar
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    Your analogy is dead on but the burn rate of the powder is what creates the pressure. There are two types of powders, one is a single base or nitrocellulose powder, and the other is a double base or nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine base.
    The single base powders burn very quickly and expend all the energy within the cartridge or hull. These powders are mainly used in lighter recoil loads with lighter payloads. The double base powders are slow burning and continue to burn and create pressure as the bullet or shot travels down the barrel. Double base powders are mainly used for heavier payloads and hunting loads.
    An analogy of the two is like a gasoline engine and a diesel engine. Gasoline is like single base powders, easy to ignite and gets moving quickly. Diesel is like the double base, harder to ignite but creates much more power to pull heavier loads or push as with bullets.
    The slower the powder burns the greater the time push back is felt or percieved. Different burn rates and amount of powder used in a load is what we percieve as recoil.
    I will add an example for a load from Alliant Powders.
    .40 S&W shooting a 180 gr. JHP.
    using Unique powder the bullet is traveing 1065 fps. and creating 33,800 psi in the barrel.
    Using Blue Dot powder the bullet is traveling 1065 fps but is creating 34,000 psi in the barrel.
    Both powders are double base, but Blue Dot is a much slower burning powder and creates more pressure.
    On the Relative Burnrate Chart for powders from quickest to slowest, Unique is #25 and Blue Dot is #40.
    Last edited by trapper T; December 2nd, 2009 at 04:12 AM. Reason: adding info.

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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trapper T View Post
    Your analogy is dead on but the burn rate of the powder is what creates the pressure. There are two types of powders, one is a single base or nitrocellulose powder, and the other is a double base or nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine base.
    The single base powders burn very quickly and expend all the energy within the cartridge or hull. These powders are mainly used in lighter recoil loads with lighter payloads. The double base powders are slow burning and continue to burn and create pressure as the bullet or shot travels down the barrel. Double base powders are mainly used for heavier payloads and hunting loads.
    An analogy of the two is like a gasoline engine and a diesel engine. Gasoline is like single base powders, easy to ignite and gets moving quickly. Diesel is like the double base, harder to ignite but creates much more power to pull heavier loads or push as with bullets.
    The slower the powder burns the greater the time push back is felt or percieved. Different burn rates and amount of powder used in a load is what we percieve as recoil.
    I will add an example for a load from Alliant Powders.
    .40 S&W shooting a 180 gr. JHP.
    using Unique powder the bullet is traveing 1065 fps. and creating 33,800 psi in the barrel.
    Using Blue Dot powder the bullet is traveling 1065 fps but is creating 34,000 psi in the barrel.
    Both powders are double base, but Blue Dot is a much slower burning powder and creates more pressure.
    On the Relative Burnrate Chart for powders from quickest to slowest, Unique is #25 and Blue Dot is #40.
    True...

    Amount of powder
    type of powder
    bullet weight
    burn rate
    primer flame size
    crimp
    volume of powder in case
    powder compression
    distance of seated bullet to where it actually enters the barrel
    ambient temperature.

    All the above are among the factors that determine how much pressure is built up before the bullet (cork) pops and the rocket effect begins.

    Add muzzle brakes, porting, recoil operated actions, gas operated weapons, barrel weight, total weapon weight, barrel axis, type of stocks or grips, caliber at the rocket's nozzle (crown) and total volume of the pressure container (barrel interior volume just prior to bullet exit) into the equation and recoil can get real complicated. LOL

    Add to the above the differences each shooter's own ability to tolerate recoil and the only way to determine a gun's or a cartridge's felt recoil is by getting out there and shooting it.

    bosco
    Last edited by boscobeans; December 2nd, 2009 at 09:04 AM. Reason: Sorry..spelling edit

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    Member Array FHBrumb's Avatar
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    There's also the human factor. If you expected more recoil, you likely braced a hint better. Even at a subconscious level, you likely did it.

    But the Rocket analogy with burn rate as the cause, are potentially the greatest impact on what you report, in my opinion.
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    Member Array trapper T's Avatar
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    To answer your question more Bruce. Federal uses more medium to slow burn rate powders because they load for everyone. They load ammo for any type of action and gun, and for any type of shooting. I personally have found Federal ammo to have more recoil overall. They sale ammo at a lower price overall as well, but you get what you pay for. Speed of the bullet does not always mean more recoil, it is just another variable.

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    Forget the "perceived" bit about recoil for a moment.

    A specific round (say the Amer Eagle 230) produces the same recoil in [I]every/I] gun. It's a matter of physics (X amt of y-type powder behind the 230 grn bullet). Different guns have different weights and different recoil springs, That's what gives the shooter the different "felt" recoil.

    The AE 230 will feel like it kicks harder in a 27 oz Glock than the much heavier Govt 1911. The actual energy produced in the cartridge is the same. Just as in a featherweight rifle in a .338 magnum will reset your dentures while the heavier bull-barrel target rifle will absorb most of the kick. But the .338 Mag energy doesn't change.

    Does the AE round recoil harder than the Corbon? Quite possibly. Faster powder versus slower powder, etc. There's no "perceived" about it if they're both fired in the same weapon; one kicks more than the other.

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