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Old 01-18-2010, 01:32 AM
oldracer oldracer is offline
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Default Bullet weight vs Pistol weight

I have been doing quite a lot of shooting with my S&W M327 TRR8 using 38 special cases, 3.3 grs of W231 and Missouri Bullet double ended wadcutters. They are easy on my hands (very) since I have arthritis, cheap to shoot (very) and even my wife can handle them. There is nearly no kick or muzzle jump as would be expected with a gun this size and that light of a load.

Well, my wife gave me one of Ruger's new LCR with laser grips for Christmas and so far I have put about 500 rounds through it at mainly short distances out to 10 yards. I noticed that the little gun was beating my hand to death so I tried some of my home defense loads which are Berry's hollow points over 5 grs of W231 and of course there was a lot of flash but NO banging of my hand. One of the guys at the range said that the force I felt was mainly due to the weight of the bullet which I had not though of much but makes sense.

So what are the thoughts on gun weight vs bullet weight as I like the cast lead bullets so I might order some 125 gr instead of the 148 gr wadcutters? I love that big 'ol N frame but it is hard to hide and the LCR just disappears on your body and I do like to shoot them both!
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:32 AM
DonD DonD is offline
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Typically, dealing with max loads in a given bullet and pistol weight, perceived recoil will be noticeably higher in the heaviest weights. Frequently, I suspect that actual recoil in ft lbs will be higher as well. A heavier gun dampens recoil in direct proportion to the increased weight.

So, in a defensive handgun, you might be better off with the lighter weight slugs for quicker recovery time between shots. Don

Last edited by DonD; 01-18-2010 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:49 AM
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old racer; When I was developing loads for my 44 Mag Smith snubbie, I shot a 250, a 300, and a 325, all at 1000 fps. The recoil with the heavier bullets seemed to me to be more "comfortable". Instead of the sharp "slap" that was made by the 250, the 300 and 325's felt more like a "thud" or a push, so, the recoil of the light versus heavy was "different"....although I did notice as Don had stated that the recovery time seemed to me to be a bit slower with the heavier bullets. I guess its all about an individuals perception of what is comfortable to shoot, so, in the end you need to be the judge.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:33 PM
oldracer oldracer is offline
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Thanks for the thoughts. I will probably not shoot the little gun as much since I have gotten used to the trigger well and go back to the bigger guns. As you noted I guess "perception" is a big part of it also and even adding some shock absorbing material to the Crimson Trace grip it does not fill up the hand like the model 327.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:14 PM
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oldracer; When I first started shooting the 357 Magnum was still the rage, and the 44 Magnum was just gaining in popularity. I had the opportunity to shoot both side by side with "Magnum" loads. That darn 357 stung my palm like nobodies business!!! I then shot the 44 Mag and compared to the "sting" of the 357, it was a creampuff....not that it recoiled less, but that it recoiled "different"...........I bought my first 44 magnum shortly thereafter, and never looked back. To this day, I will not shoot a 357 Magnum!!! For your lighter guns, you may want to try a heavyweight bullet at a modest velocity. I have had much success by doing so...enough power to get the job done, without knocking your socks off!
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:24 PM
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The heavier bullet with light powder was what I have with the wadcutters I think. They whack my hand harder than the light bullets with more powder especially in the little gun. As I noted, I plan to let the LCR sit a lot now that I have felt how it works and all and will go back to the TRR8 as it shoots everything nicely!
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:04 PM
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oldracer....you call the LCR a "little gun" in your opening post...exactly how much does that little gun weigh? I have never much liked the "little guns" or calibers, so, I never owned one, and cant really relate to them. I have a buddy locally that has an LCR. Maybe he has an answer to you question. I will ask him...........
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:13 PM
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You'd be amazed how much less recoil is felt from a 5gr Unique/158LSWC load, compared to a 3gr bullseye/148DEWC.

The 158LSWC feels like a powderpuff load compared to that lighter bullet goin slower. (J-Frame Centennial)
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:11 AM
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Thanks again for the info. To expand what I meant when I said "little" is that it fits in the palm of my hand and I have small hands. It is 6.5 inches long and weighs 13 oz unloaded where my TRR8 is 10.5 inches long and weighs 35 oz unloaded. The S&W is an N frame so it has a much bigger grip, frame and a 5 inch barrel all which work really well to dampen even 357 mag loads. The LCR is meant to be a pocket gun and is how we use them and I did add some shock absorbing material over the back of the CT Laser Grips to make the hand area larger and absorb some shock. I think what I am feeling might be the gun being so light that even though the powder load is light the light weight of the gun can not absorb the work the burning powder is doing pushing that wadcutter out the barrel. The TRR8 can easily do this with it's greater mass and barrel length.

For Flattop, try shooting your buddies LCR and I think you'll see what I mean.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:21 AM
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oldracer; Now that you have schooled me on the LCR....I dont think I would want to shoot it!!!! Shovelwrench's suggestion on using the slower burning powder (Unique) versus Bulleye, is a good one and worth a try.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:47 PM
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Beyond bullet weight, the size, material and shape of the grip will have a huge impact on felt recoil. My 11 oz J frame was a bear to handle with +p but got tamed considerably when I went to a larger grip that padded the backstrap (CT305). I wouldn't shelve that nice little Ruger. Just find some better grips and then develop a "target" load for it.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:16 PM
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"You'd be amazed how much less recoil is felt from a 5gr Unique/158LSWC load, compared to a 3gr bullseye/148DEWC."

This has to be a matter of perception for the 5 grain Unique/158 grain SWC load would have noticeably more recoil for me than would the 3 grains of Bullseye/148 grain wadcutter.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:14 AM
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Its just a softer-longer pulse compared to a sharp snap. Noticeably easier to control, and easier on the hand.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for the input again. One of the things I noticed was that the Hogue grips are thicker and softer than the Crimson Trace grips I opted for when I bought the LCR so I added about 1/2 inch of "Mygrip" around the back of the grip to make it fatter and it also does absorb some of the shock. We have a show coming up at the Delmar fairgrounds in a few weeks so I'll get some slightly slower powder and also see if I can come up with some 110gr bullets as they might help also. The LCR is an amazing gun when you look at it in detail and as I noted earlier the trigger feels like my S&W performance center gun so I am really happy with it.
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Tags
327, 357 magnum, 44 magnum, bullseye, centennial, crimson, hogue, j frame, m327, model 327, performance center, ruger, wadcutter

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