Perceived Recoil

Perceived Recoil

This is a discussion on Perceived Recoil within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; While reading some Note's on Handloads and Group sizes from a shooting trip earlier in the year i came across a note to myself to ...

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Thread: Perceived Recoil

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Perceived Recoil

    While reading some Note's on Handloads and Group sizes from a shooting trip earlier in the year i came across a note to myself to make a post on Recoil or how it feels to you.


    What brings this up is where i was seeing people saying that the 1911 45 recoiled to much for them i found this odd as i started on the 45 but let me post my thoughts.

    I started my range session with a S&W 627PC V-comp
    Shooting some light 38Sp round these are real tame in about any 38 even a 2"snub just a plinker.

    So i put about 100 of them down range and took a few min break shot another 50 So then i decided to break out the 1911 45 Springer loaded

    First Mag i thought boy this does recoil for someone who isn't used to it i hadn't been shooting 45 in awhile in a auto just in my 625.

    I can see how someone switching from a wheelie to a auto 45 will say recoil is to much the loads i was running in the 45 were full power round.

    At that time just 7 shell's i switched to the 625 4" just to see how it felt perceived recoil was less than the 1911 well just seems something funny here.

    So i did some Digging

    625 Weight 43 oz
    627 Weight 47 oz
    1911 Weight 38 oz

    Ahh we have quite a weight change even among the
    the 45's Then i got to thinking about reciprocating mass
    The wheelie while heavier doesn't really move during firing . 1911 does that Big heavy slide is coming straight back at you and seems to add to the recoil.

    Now I'm not Recoil sensitive by any means as most know i do enjoy shooting the big 500 didn't enjoy the 454 as much but was still fun

    Not the above explains the 38-45 thing i think most people feel the difference in as a 38 wheelie will 95% of the time out weigh a 1911 looks though the smith catalog and old colt catalog to see that was mostly true except air weight and such.

    But what about my hatred of the Smith Wesson 40?

    I have complained many times i don't like it for the Muzzle whip again that would be perceived by me other shooters don't seem to notice it must be that too light of guns are what i have been shooting it out of the glock and sigma i have shot a sig but only 13 rounds or so and cant really tell what i think of the sig as absorbing recoil.

    The little Kahr was really squirrelly in my hands and my dads smaller hands

    I would much rather touch off a 440 grain 500 round than the 40's i dislike the caliber and guns that much. Even though i have tried i cant control the guns for fast follow up shots..

    Read this thread for more on my dislike of the 40 http://www.combatcarry.com/vbulletin...ead.php?t=6856

    So as I'm long winded thats what i think one why certain people say something is worse in certain caliber

    the way i load my 38 and 45's they usually run with in 100fps of each other and i could notice the difference also quick side Mary(the old ball and Chain) Will shoot a 1911 45 all day and a 38 all day wont touch the 9mm Recoil is too much.. Also will shoot a 38 super which runs pretty dang close FPS wise to a 9mm all day but don't like the 9mm

    Again i think it is a perceived recoil think the Glock 17 weighs a lot less than a 1911 which my 38 super is but she prefers the 38 super Go figure i think its just she don't like anything that isn't in a 1911 platform


    Also i happen to hear the 38-45 thing from newer shooters who all they have shot is 22 and 38

    Guess i was luckily as a kid to be able to shoot what i wanted and not learning now that i am 30


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array WJP9's Avatar
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    Very interesting thread, Bud. I share your thoughts. Out of the guns that I have owned and shot often with a meriad of loads I found that:

    *Felt recoil on my 1911 .45 ACP was very light due to the weight and size of the gun. Although loud and powerful (plus obvious muzzle flash!) felt recoil was very little and shot recovery was speedy.

    *My G23 (.40 S&W) was, quite frankly, a ***** as far as recovery/double taps were concerned. The muzzle flip was excessive and vibrations throughout the grip were on the high side and made long range practice less enjoyable.

    *Kahr P9 was surprising pleasant to shoot, given my past experience with polymer frame handguns. This may be due, as I have read, to the balanced weight and very heavy recoil spring. Although the action is DAO, follow up shots are quick and controlled due to minimized muzzle flip.

    I have also owned and shot .357, .38. But for the most part you know what you will get with these loads.

    I know it comes down to hand size, preferance, weapon, caliber, and loads...but these are my observations in regards to your thread.
    -Bill

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    Some good observations Bud. I do think for obvious reasons weight will be a factor, but so will bore axis, grip shape and even grip hold too. Actual cartridge'' power'' will not be a de facto single element in the recoil.

    For sure semi's help soak up some energy because of what goes into slide action but still if very light (example my R9) then recoil can still be quite sharp - I still find snubs rather punishing too myself. I do know that the weight of my 226 ST definitely makes 9mm's real ***** cats!

    I also wonder - despite recommending for most folks a firm grip - like ''go to white knuckle, and back off some'' - there is also a knack whereby at the firing instant or just after, the grip can be retained but somehow slightly relaxed too ..... let the gun move , under control.

    Reason I say this is because of bruisers like .454, BFR etc. The short vid clip I have linked to (have posted it b4) shows what I mean. First shot with my BFR is a buddy, an occasional shooter but not experienced - he holds tight but tries to ''control'' the recoil - result! The recoil shock comes back up his arm and into the body. Less than pleasant.

    The three shots then of me there, show (albeit looking a tad exaggerated) the way recoil goes when the gun is ''allowed'' to move and rise tho the grip is not actually lost - just a shade slackened and the wrist permits the upward motion. Less shock thru wrist, arm and into upper body.


    BFR shots

    .
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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    You bring up some good point Chris.

    but also look at the 625 vs the 627 both N frames and heavy guns they soak up the recoil and the 1911 seems to have more than the wheelie it is weight but i think also as you stated how you shoot.

    I still say moving Mass adds to the Perceived recoil i know it soaks up some recoil but to a shoot who never shot a auto i thing they would perceive it as more


    Newbies are prone to death grip and fighting the gun where as people who have shot a ton and shot the big un's roll with it more

    Also shouldn't a Moving mass add to recoil instead of take it away .. Where are our physics people

  5. #5
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    Yes - ''roll with it more'' is a good way to say it. Don't fight the gun in other words.

    I do think too, on reflection, that there are folks, in particular ladies with very slim wrists, who genuinely feel more than we do, however much they try to not fight the gun - could even be as basic as ''pain threshold'' - a very individual thing too.

    Still not sure re moving mass - maybe ''perceived'' is the key word because in truth a 45acp out of a 1911 should feel easier than a 625 - gun uses some energy but sure too, the gun's response on firing feels different from a wheelie!
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Senior Member Array .45acp's Avatar
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    Hi guys
    Just my Newbie impression but I would rather shoot my .45 1911 over my 9MM Makarov any day of the week.
    I can shoot the Kimber all day, less than 1 box of ammo out of the Mak though and my hand gets sore.
    I guess what I'm feeling isn't so much recoil or perceived recoil as good vs bad ergonomics.
    It's funny, I sometimes shoot the 1911 one handed just for the heck of it as I feel I won't always have time for proper stance etc. I alway shoot the less powerful Mak 2 handed.

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    I only have a little experience, but my Skyy CPX-1 9mm seems "Sharp" with a lot of muzzle jump, the 9MM Glocks (17&26) seem "sharper & faster" than the Wilson CQB 45ACP I shot, which felt to be a strong "push", and the 40 Glock I shoot seemed "inbetween"? Really not enough experience to say more than that. A 38 S&W J Frame was soft with some jump (probably me - the darn thing had a 2 lb trigger lol)


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    One other thing I forgot to mention - and that is the particular round's pressure rating. Again gun weight dependent to a degree.

    The Skyy being small and fairly light will almost certainly feel snappy and harsh - the 9mm is a very high pressure round. 45acp less so and 38 spl way lower. My R9 with just std pressure 9mm's is hardly truly comfortable!

    Compare too the .454 with SAAMI at 65,000 and then a 45-70 such as I use in BFR - loaded to a mere 30,000 or a little over.

    Thus a perceived difference between fast snappy shove and a slower ''push''.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Yes pressure of round and I think more is Peak Pressure and the Time it takes to Hit peak

    The 40 S&W and 454 Casull Peak very fast and hard if you look at the pressure curve where as 45acp 38 and 45 colt are like well maybe well start moving now and add little pressure

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    Ahh the call for physics...Chris is right about letting the wheel guns (or any other) rotate up as well as back, as some energy goes into rotating the mass, rather than all of it going straight back. As the gun goes up, gravity is also helping a little with the recoil.

    Another factor that Bud brought up was the mass of the gun. More mass, less recoil (the 38 super his wife likes is in a heavier 1911, while the 9mm she doesn't is in a lighter Glock). What he did not bring up was that for the same load, you will get more recoil out of a auto than a revolver, everything else being equal, because of the cylinder gap allowing some of the gases to escape, resulting in lower bullet velocities, resulting in less recoil.

    Another factor hardly anyone ever takes into account is the mass and velocity of the propellent gases coming out of the end of the barrel. The higher those are, the higher the recoil.

    The composition of the slide and frame does make a difference, as how much energy they will transmit/absorb. I was told by a long distance bicycle rider that steel absorbs shocks the best, Aluminum is springier and harsh, and that carbon fiber is better for its weight. Many people have similiar experiences with guns.

    I think part of the perception of recoil with autos is the sudden stop of the slide as it bangs into the frame at the end of travel. A revolver has the hard initial recoil, but is at it's lowest at the end. An auto user is trying to recover or bring the gun back down when the slide whacks into the frame, pushing it back and rotating it up at the end.

    Even though I own a BHP in 40, I agree with the opinions about round's recoil being worse than 9mm or 45ACP. The worst autoloader pistol recoil in my opinion is the 7.62x25 round in a CZ-52. It is worse (snappier) than the hottest 40 I have ever shot.

  11. #11
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    Three of my hardest kicking guns (subjectively of course) are my Dan Wesson 1911 10mm firing full-power 10mm loads, Kel Tec P3AT .380 ACP when firing Corbon's 90 grain JHP loads and Star PD .45 ACP when firing +P loads.....if I'm doing holster drills, I don't "perceive" the recoil as much as I'm doing slow fire drills or firing from a bench. When I do holster drills, for some mystical reason, I don't perceive the recoil to be as bad.
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    Thumbs up Great Thread You Started Bud

    Thanks. Highly Interesting!

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    Distinguished Member Array dimmak's Avatar
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    Try Hogue finger groove grips...
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