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Recoil

This is a discussion on Recoil within the MP Ammunition forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; I thought I knew this answer, but want to know the right answer.....two bullets, a 147gr HST, and a 124gr HST, fired out of a ...


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Old January 9th, 2017, 01:52 PM   #1
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Recoil

I thought I knew this answer, but want to know the right answer.....two bullets, a 147gr HST, and a 124gr HST, fired out of a small carry weapon like a shield. I assumed that the lighter bullet would cause less recoil, and the heaver grain bullet would cause more recoil. But from what I have read, the heavier bullet is traveling slower, and will have less recoil? What is the right answer to this? Sorry if this has been asked before, I haven't been to the range to test, but I always carry 124gr HST in my carry weapon, and never noticed heavy recoil, and I ordered 100 rounds of the 147gr HST to compare, the shipping has been slow so I hoped to get the right answer here.....thanks!!!
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Old January 9th, 2017, 02:42 PM   #2
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IN GENERAL the heavier bullet will have more recoil and impact higher on the target than a lighter bullet. Wait a sec...what did he write? Yes, the heavier bullet will impact higher on the target than a lighter bullet, its traveling at a lower velocity, and has higher recoil, so it leaves the barrel slightly later, at the same time the recoil pulse has had longer to act on the bullet, so the barrel will be pointed more UP when the bullet leaves the barrel.

And of course the lighter bullet will impact lower on the target, it leaves the barrel earlier in the recoil pulse, so it hits lower.

Now that is rule of thumb, it isn't set in concrete, so occasionally a heavier bullet can have lighter recoil, not common though.

Now, the standard bullet weight for a 9mm is 115 gr, everything is designed around that bullet weight, the barrel twist and the way the sights are regulated, so a 147 gr bullet will normally impact higher on the target, how much depends on distance, at average ranges 25 and 50 yards it will be higher, as the range increases, the heavier bullet falls faster, so eventually it crosses the trajectory of the lighter bullet and will impact lower, I'm not sure how far that takes, maybe a couple hundred yards. At very short ranges, say 5 or 7 yards, you might not see much difference.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 06:38 AM   #3
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Well, maybe yes and maybe no. It all depends on the velocity. In factory ammo the heavier bullet would probably have more recoil if it's been loaded "up" to be used in the real world, and again, it probably is. (I agree with John)

But if the energy coming out of the muzzle is the same, as in just making minor for USPSA (in my case) the heavier bullet will feel as though it has less recoil due to the less snappy recoil. That's why many of us use them. I've even gone to shooting very heavy for the caliber bullets that move slowly (160 gr) to maximize this. Understand that the energy out of the muzzle and the energy on the hand will both be the same, but only feel different. Now if the velocity is the same for both bullets the heavier bullet will have more recoil.

If you up the energy of both of them to real world usable levels the lighter bullet that gets it's energy from velocity should have less felt recoil than the heavy bullet. At least that's what my hand feels. But we're no longer discussing equal energy out of the barrel, but comparing apples and oranges.

Spend some time with an online recoil calculator and see what I'm writing about. I was quite surprised when I ran the numbers. The recoil feels substantially different, yet the recoil is the same. Intellectually I should have expected that, but my hand told me a different story.

In USPSA a 115 grain bullet moving at 1090fps has roughly the same energy as a 160 grain bullet moving at 790fps. But the recoil FEELS so much different (less) with the heavier bullet, yet they recoil with almost exactly the same energy. If you could get the heavy bullet to the same velocity it would have substantially more recoil. Since one would have to recover from that recoil no one would ever attempt doing that for the Action Pistol game because it would be a handicap.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 07:36 AM   #4
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Yeahhhhhhhhh, kinda like the difference between the skinny guy vs the fat guy running up hill...lol.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 09:22 AM   #5
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Great answers, thanks very much everyone....
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Old January 10th, 2017, 03:05 PM   #6
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Let me tell you a story about lighter bullets that happened to me.

Back in the 1980's when I was a Deputy most of us carried S&W model 19 or 66 in 357 magnum. The standard bullet in 357 is, and has always been 158 gr. Research came out showing that the high performance 125 gr bullet in 357 was the #1 manstopper of all pistol calibers and bullet weights.

S&W revolvers in 357 mag, their sights are regulated for 158 gr bullets. Our Dept got a supply of 125 gr 357 mag and I took it to the range to sight it in. At 25 yards it was shooting (as I recall) about 2 FEET low, at 50 yards the shots were completely off the standard B27 target. I adjusted the sights as far as they would go, at 25 yards they were still 6-8 inches low on the target. Modification to the pistol would have been needed to do any better. It was a poor choice but all I could do was remember to use Kentucky windage if I ever got into a shooting situation. One of the problems with ammo that far out of whack with the ammo is that the pistol won't point naturally, a pistol has a natural point that it shoots to, if the ammo is not shooting to that point you are going to miss a lot more often in a moment of high stress. I hope that I have explained this so it makes sense.

That revolver is sitting in the safe today, its loaded with 158 gr bullets so the sights will work as intended.

Sooooo....since this is about recoil, what about the recoil? Quite frankly I don't remember, the main impression when shooting 125 gr +P 357 magnums, the muzzle blast and flash from that load is so overwhelming that's all you can remember!

Last edited by G56; January 10th, 2017 at 03:10 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 06:13 PM   #7
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At identical momentum ("power factor" in USPSA) the heavier bullet generates less recoil.
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