I found this pretty interesting. I have been Trying to wrap my head around felt recoil of the common semi auto handgun calibers. I know this will not be an end all but I think it kind of supports what a lot of people tend to say they feel. Check it out.
Handgun Recoil - Condensed Table
If you divide the recoil energy by the weight, i think you have a primitive foundation on which to compare felt recoil. I think you have to factor in the weight because that helps reduce the actually energy transferred. I did this and here are the ranking from least reciol to the most factoring the weight of the gun.
There is also a section for Velocity. I don't know what to make of velocity in terms of something that you can feel. Does a quick recoil mean more snap?? I don't know. But looking at the numbers, 40 has the quickest recoil and 45 has the slowest, so I would have to assume that speed does equate to snap in the real world. I also don't know what role the pistols weight affects the speed of the recoil. Again, I have to assume a lighter pistol would have a quicker recoil, think of the small autos and how a 380 can kick pretty hard. I divied the speed by the weight and Here are the results
When I average these 2 ranking together these are the results
I don't know if this tells us anything but I will say that I think the results are interesting and to me, they seem to support what people say they feel. They say the 40 is snappy, they say the 45 is a smooth push. Most importantly the middle results of 10, 357, 9 are pretty close but there is a hunge gap between and the 45 and the 40.
I don't know if factoring the weight of the pistol is useful or not. I did it though to try to have a fair comparison to evaluate the recoil of a 2.25lb 10mm vs a 1.5lb 9mm.