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Old 05-11-2018, 10:59 PM
SquarePizza SquarePizza is offline
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Default Recoil question

Dealing with an elbow injury has had me playing with glocks for awhile, the 9mm is a little easier on me.

But I miss my 41 magnum something fierce. I broke it out today and ran a few cylinders of 41 special through it and that got me thinking...

Lets say I want to load up a mouse fart... lets say 5.0 grains unique with a 215 grain ball, which should go somewhere around 750ish fps maybe.

If I kept the same charge of 5.0, and loaded a 265gr ball which will now be going slower.... would that recoil more because of the heavier ball or less because its going slower?

Energy is equal to mass x acceleration^2, so it would seem that if we have an equal and opposite reaction, and velocity is squared when bullet weight is not, that speed would be the greater portion of the recoil equation.

This is more of a thought experiment because I don't have any heavy ball on hand. *Edit* I just picked a random powder charge weight out of the air, I'm not saying I am committed to loading 5.0 grns of Unique.

Last edited by SquarePizza; 05-11-2018 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:07 AM
richbuff richbuff is offline
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If you have powder charge E1, and bullet weight M1, that would yield muzzle energy ME1.
Now, you ask if you add a little bit more bullet weight (M2), but keep the powder charge the same (E1), will ME2 be greater, or less, or the same as ME1?

From a theoretical physics point of view, I would say ME2 would equal ME1. Because you are supplying the same amount of initial chemical energy that is to be converted to mechanical energy.

Keeping the bullet weight the same and increasing or decreasing the powder charge will result in increase or decrease in ME, because starting input energy is being increased or decreased.

Also, there is both the theoretical and the practical the efficiency of the conversion process. Is the conversion of the same amount of chemical energy to mechanical energy more or less efficient with a lighter or heavier bullet? Is the increase or decrease of efficiency statistically significant, or insignificant?
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:02 AM
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Same powder charge but with a bullet that's 23% heavier. My chart says that would be a ~18% increase in pressure = more recoil.

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Old 05-12-2018, 02:03 AM
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My first thought would be that the recoil would increase.

The amount of energy expended is identical (or close enough to call it so)
So as the mass it is pushing against increases so will the "equal and opposite reaction" (a.k.a. the recoil).

Look at it this way: if all of the powder's energy were expended against an immovable object - say a rod inserted in the barrel with the other end attached to a brick wall) then all of it would be converted to kinetic energy pushing the gun backwards. Of course in the real world that would result in a destroyed gun, but it illustrates the logic of why the recoil would increase.

So expending the same energy against a heavier projectile will result in a proportionally higher reaction force = more recoil.

Last edited by BC38; 05-12-2018 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:30 AM
Wise_A Wise_A is online now
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If you want to reduce felt recoil, your best bet is a lighter charge of a faster powder.

I would suspect that, out of a full-sized steel-framed .41 Magnum, you could easily come up with a load that had less felt recoil than a polymer-framed Glock. Far less, in fact, between loading hot enough to cycle the Glock, and then the weight of the slide banging around, versus the immobile mass of the .41.

Edit: I'd also suggest that a standard-weight lead bullet is likely to be more comfortable than an underweight one, if you stick to Starting Load data as your minimum.

Last edited by Wise_A; 05-12-2018 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:40 PM
MichiganScott MichiganScott is offline
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Part of the recoil calculation uses total weight of the ejecta. Therefore, a heavier bullet with the same powder charge will recoil more. Pressure of the load does not enter into the calculation, although the "rocket effect" of escaping gas must be considered and a fudge factor entered for overbore rifle cartridges.

If you are looking for less recoil, load smaller charges of fast burning powder behind a light bullet.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:24 PM
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The calculations and theories may be correct, but you might look at all that from a secondary perspective. Recoil remains a subjective experience - it's not "felt" in the same way by everyone.

Increases or decreases of various formula percentages may be significant to some in the way of felt recoil, yet completely unnoticed by others. Best bet would be to try a variety of loadings with your bullets of choice.

A bonus to developing the proper light recoil loads in the suggested manner (and using good bench technique to shoot groups) is that you will likely find a load that is significantly more accurate than other loads, yet is still within your "felt" recoil parameters when you shoot it offhand. Additionally, one load may provide a bullet impact closer to where you want it than other loads , something to consider even with adjustable-sighted guns that are sometime prone to run out of elevation adjustment.

If this doesn't work, go with the formulas and calculations. I doubt that will be necessary.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
The calculations and theories may be correct, but you might look at all that from a secondary perspective. Recoil remains a subjective experience - it's not "felt" in the same way by everyone.
True. I liked my 44 Magnums so much and really enjoyed shooting them, I hardly noticed recoil or muzzle blast. An experienced shooting friend tried my Ruger SBH in .44 Mag. with some of my "warm" handloads and replied, "Nope, not for me!". Although recoil can be measured, in ft. lbs. of energy (?), recoil is largely subjective...

Last edited by mikld; 05-12-2018 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:49 PM
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My son does not reload and sold me his S&W 29-5 .44 Magnum.

I reloaded some .44 Magnums with a minimum load of 231 and all the powder according to Quickload was burned in less than the first three inches of barrel.

My son came home and I let him shoot my reduced loads and he wanted the S&W 29 back.

When I was much younger I would call my buddy and say "Lets go shooting our magnums until our hands bleed".

I now call my buddy up and ask how the arthritis is in his hands and if he feels like shooting.

Bottom line, at the range the bullet hole in the target is the same size no matter how fast the bullet is going.
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:30 PM
SquarePizza SquarePizza is offline
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Part of my problem is I have a really sweet load worked up for my glocks. I have been running 90 grain 380 ball over 6.4 grains (max charge) of CFE out of a 9mm. Cycles great and handles like a kitten. This resulted in me getting a little spoiled.

My old preferred loading for my 41 mag was actually a 41 special loading. I used 15.0 grains of IMR 4227 in a 41 special case, pushing a coated 215 SWC from Missouri bullet co. It was running around 900 FPS out of the 2 5/8ths barrel. This load out shot any other handgun loading that I have ever developed for any of my guns. As an added bonus, there was very little low light flash.

However, I have found that with an elbow injury, I have slightly decreased grip ability. The strength is still there, but if I squeeze hard that translates into pain in the elbow. Now it seems anything with a higher bore axis beats the crud out of the web/thumb of the shooting hand because I cannot get torqued down on the gun the way I used to.

Since I miss my revolver so much, I am looking at building a real slow and soft round and trying to work back to my preferred load. Right now I am loading 200 grain DEWC with unique (I can't remember if they were 5.0 or 6.0) and they are ok for now. Its still early spring, so playing around is most of the fun.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:43 PM
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One glaring error in this discussion is that Newton's third law does NOT say that ENERGY is equal or conserved in action-reaction.
The Force is equal on both bodies, and since from second law F=ma, it is MOMENTUM that is conserved, and is equal and opposite.


Recoil calculator: Recoil Calculator


"Felt recoil" is subjective, but tends to be more with increased energy or acceleration (sharpness).


So if you keep the MOMENTUM (power factor in USPSA) the same in two loads, the heavier bullet traveling slower will have less energy and probably less felt recoil. That's why nobody uses 100gr bullets in .45 to achieve Major Power in USPSA.


Of course, if you don't have to meet any power factor and just want a hole in paper, you can get away with light bullets and just enough fast powder to get the bullet out of the barrel.
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:23 PM
Troystat Troystat is offline
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I think you will find shooting mouse fart loads in your 41 mag quite fun. I shoot 38 special wadcutter loads in my model 27 and the recoil is super light and it is a lot of fun to shoot. Give it a try with the 215 grain bullets I think you will like it.
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:46 PM
bigedp51 bigedp51 is offline
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Read the information below on "Lite Loads", they are more than good enough for practice.

Make Right With a ".40 Lite"

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Old 05-12-2018, 04:51 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Funny!Not later than this morning,one of my friends who just bagan using the .44Mag was telling me that his 10.0gr Unique has more recoil than my soft .44 mag load of 10.0gr of Unique.He is using 255gr bullets while my soft load uses 215gr bullets.
I think you have your answer.
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Old 05-12-2018, 05:49 PM
reddog81 reddog81 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquarePizza View Post
Lets say I want to load up a mouse fart... lets say 5.0 grains unique with a 215 grain ball, which should go somewhere around 750ish fps maybe.

If I kept the same charge of 5.0, and loaded a 265gr ball which will now be going slower.... would that recoil more because of the heavier ball or less because its going slower?.
Your assumption that the 265 grain bullet will be going slower isn't necessarily correct. The 265 grain bullet (I'm assuming it's not a ball...) will take up more space in the case, which will result in more pressure and quite possibly a higher velocity.

My Lyman manual shows a 185 grain bullet doing 1191 FPS with 9.5 grains Unique and a 210 grain bullet doing 1197 with the exact same charge. The pressure on the 185 grn round is 32,800 vs 39,000 with the 210.

However, if some how you are shooting identical sized round balls the heavier one will be going slower.
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:12 AM
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Default I don't know if this will translate to revolvers.....

I wanted a very light load to shoot out of 9mm. Of course there are considerations with the differences between semis and revolvers.

It was suggest me to try a heavy bullet (for 9mm), 147 gr. combined with a very light load of Acc #7. To make a long story short, it worked great. I felt like I could reduce the load even more. It was the most accurate load I'd shot out of my nines. The slow heavy bullet makes sense, but Acc #7 is NOT a fast powder, it's slower than Unique. And it burned clean. Unique would probably be pretty dirty, but may get the same effect. Maybe the quality is the Acc #7 can be greatly reduced.
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
I wanted a very light load to shoot out of 9mm. Of course there are considerations with the differences between semis and revolvers.

It was suggest me to try a heavy bullet (for 9mm), 147 gr. combined with a very light load of Acc #7. To make a long story short, it worked great. I felt like I could reduce the load even more. It was the most accurate load I'd shot out of my nines. The slow heavy bullet makes sense, but Acc #7 is NOT a fast powder, it's slower than Unique. And it burned clean. Unique would probably be pretty dirty, but may get the same effect. Maybe the quality is the Acc #7 can be greatly reduced.
Yeah, that makes sense. I'd bet that the same load of AA#7 with a 115gr bullet probably wouldn't generate enough recoil to reliably operate the slide. In this case the heavier bullet is what makes the light load work.

Last edited by BC38; 05-19-2018 at 01:42 AM.
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