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What do most think,...do heavy for caliber bullets recoil less or more? I always see a 50/50 split on the web. I have a .40....and never really notice a difference between 155gr and 180gr range ammo. Is there any proof out there as to heavy for caliber recoiling less? Much thanks.
 

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Google "recoil calculator". You will need to input the weight of the powder charge as powder becomes gas and is expelled along with the bullet. I found it helpful to use an online loading manual to look up what you need.
 

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What do most think,...do heavy for caliber bullets recoil less or more? I always see a 50/50 split on the web. I have a .40....and never really notice a difference between 155gr and 180gr range ammo. Is there any proof out there as to heavy for caliber recoiling less? Much thanks.
I cannot answer this with heavy or light, the variables include; powder, amount of crimp, depth of bullet being seated and primer.

Shooters who are looking for a recoil that feels light( because impulse is a longer push) loads with a heavier bullet, those that load light weight( feel an impulse that is very quick but short in duration).
The problem though different powders have different burn rates and deliver different impulses not only because of burn rates but of design of the powder.

The 50/50 split probably will always remain, the question which allows faster acquisition will probably be go heavier, although if one can control the faster impulse of the smaller bullet, it actually is the faster acquisition.
 

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In ascending order of calculated recoil, as determined by the power factor (PF) calculation
Glock 23:
Remington Golden Saber 165 gr. @ 1,048 fps / 402# KE / PF 173
Federal Hydra-Shok 180 gr. @ 969 fps / 375# KE / PF 174
Federal HST 180 gr. @ 1003 fps / 402# KE / PF 181
Winchester Ranger T 165 @ 1,146 fps / 481# KE / PF 189

Glock 19:
Remington HTP 115 gr. +P @ 1,177 fps / 354# KE / PF 135
Remington 124 gr. +P Golden Saber @ 1,136 fps / 355# KE / PF 141
Federal HST 124 gr. +P @ 1,210 fps / 403# KE / PF 150
Federal HST 147 gr +P @ 1,044 fps / 356# KE / PF 153
Winchester Ranger T 127 gr. +P+ @ 1,235 fps / 430# KE / PF 157
 

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Generally heavier will have less felt-recoil. If you can't tell the difference between 155 and 180 .40 you either have very slow 155s or very fast 180s.

What brand of ammo were these 155s and 180s?
 

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I agree with cowboy1964 "Generally heavier will have less felt-recoil. If you can't tell the difference between 155 and 180 .40 you either have very slow 155s or very fast 180s."

The .40's (in general) always seem "snappy" to me anyway.
 

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Running the same vel as lighter bullets, heavier bullets recoil more, just physics. The "softer" recoil you can get from heavier bullets is running them slower, as in minor loads for the service calibers. A heavier bullet running slow, will allow the gun to function & felt recoil will be softer.
My 40 minor load is a 175gr bullet @ 740fps, it is stupid soft reclosing, less than any factory 9mm. The gun runs 100% w/ a 14# spring in my XDM. To get a lighter 155gr bullet to function the gun, I need another 100fps or so, that adds to recoil. The diff is barely noticeable but is there.
 

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Running the same vel as lighter bullets, heavier bullets recoil more, just physics. The "softer" recoil you can get from heavier bullets is running them slower, as in minor loads for the service calibers. A heavier bullet running slow, will allow the gun to function & felt recoil will be softer.
My 40 minor load is a 175gr bullet @ 740fps, it is stupid soft reclosing, less than any factory 9mm. The gun runs 100% w/ a 14# spring in my XDM. To get a lighter 155gr bullet to function the gun, I need another 100fps or so, that adds to recoil. The diff is barely noticeable but is there.
Heavier projectiles, larger powder charges, will increase recoil. As another poster said, it's physics. Find a copy of Hatcher's Notebook. His work has a thorough chapter on the subject.

PS
I used to teach this stuff. As Sgt. and Lt. I ran the NYPD Police Firearms Instructors school. It was a million years ago...
 

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Heavier projectiles, larger powder charges, will increase recoil. As another poster said, it's physics. Find a copy of Hatcher's Notebook. His work has a thorough chapter on the subject.

PS
I used to teach this stuff. As Sgt. and Lt. I ran the NYPD Police Firearms Instructors school. It was a million years ago...
I think that was what I said??;)
 

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Broke out my copy of Hatcher’s Notebook. The General has two chapters on the subject (XI and XII – pgs. 279~299). Lots of detailed stuff. Way too much for me to write out, but he did state this;

There are three elements to recoil:

“The first is the reaction which accompanies the acceleration of the bullet from a state of rest to the velocity it possesses when it leaves the gun, that is, to its muzzle velocity.”

2nd element – “…the recoil caused by the reaction of accelerating the powder gas to approximately half the muzzle velocity of the bullet, while the bullet is still in the bore.”

3rd element – “This is that part of the recoil of the gun that is caused by the muzzle blast produced when the bullet leaves and the pent up gases are free to expand into the atmosphere.”

He wrote that, using the M-1903 rifle with 150 grain service round (30’06) “…64 percent of the recoil velocity caused by the bullet and 36 percent by the gas ejection.”

In his chapter The Theory of Recoil he makes the interesting observation;

Discussing the .45 ACP service pistol, “for an instant the pressure is driving the gun back with a force of from 2226 to 2385 pounds, or well over a ton.”
*​
Hope you guys found some of this interesting.
 

· Code-7A KUZ769
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Good info ChiefWPD.

To add my layman's thoughts on felt recoil, when comparing a single caliber to itself, the following have an effect on felt recoil (subjective):

1) Bullet Weight
2) Case Capacity of powder (or how much powder is used which leads to)
3) Muzzle Velocity of any given bullet weight
4) Barrel Length
5) Barrel axis (how high the muzzle sits above the hand)
6) Handgun weight (all steel v. Polymer frame in the same caliber and similar barrel length)

As a quick example, my Sig P225 seems to have more muzzle flip compared to my G26 or my G19 when shooting the same ammo.

As a caveat, recoil is very subjective from one person to the next.
 
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