Factors That Affect Recoil?
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:59 PM   #1
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Default Factors That Affect Recoil?

I went to the range with a buddy last week and fired some rounds through his old Ruger MarkII bull barrel .308 and was really surprised by the recoil. It wasn't unmanageable but it was still pretty bad. I've shot lighter 7mags and 30-06's with less thump, and I had bruising on my should the next day in the shape of the recoil pad from firing 6 or 7 rounds. .308 and 30-06 are two rounds that I just never know what the recoil is going to be. One gun shoots like a dream in either caliber and the next kicks like a mule, and the only way I can tell which a gun is going to be is to shoot it (especially in the 06).

So my question is what factors affect recoil besides bullet weight or load?

In the case of my buddies Ruger, I really didn't expect much recoil because its such a heavy gun but I was wrong. I know that a longer barrel adds velocity to a bullet and thus more pressure so would that also add more felt recoil? In the past I just assumed a longer barrel would also add extra weight to the gun and cancel out the felt recoil but I'm not so sure now. I'm also wondering if the rate of twist would affect recoil? The difference in felt recoil between guns is something that has always puzzled me so any thoughts will be appreciated.

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Old 01-15-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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you mentioned what i was thinking. my first thought was weight of rifle but you said it was heavy. i know weight, such as synthetic vs wood stocks make a differance. also bolt vs semi auto, and as you mentioned bullet weight/ load. also if the barrel is vented

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Old 01-15-2012, 01:30 PM   #3
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Ooops, sorry, I wrote a response based on a pistol. Then I looked at your post, and noticed you are talking about a rifle. It's too early in the morning......brain fart.

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Old 01-15-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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There are several variables involved in producing felt recoil. There is the size of the projectile (bullet), the velocity it leaves the muzzle, the design of the cartridge (size of brass compared to bullet), stock design, barrel design and weight of rifle, etc. just to name a few. Remember the old scientific law, "for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction"? This is sure to happen in the form of recoil in this case but how the recoil is felt is another question. I get the bruises on my shoulder every time I shoot a few of my rifles, especially my Win 94. I enjoy shooting and don't mind taking the pounding.

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Old 01-15-2012, 02:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jjfuller1 View Post
you mentioned what i was thinking. my first thought was weight of rifle but you said it was heavy. i know weight, such as synthetic vs wood stocks make a differance. also bolt vs semi auto, and as you mentioned bullet weight/ load. also if the barrel is vented
Yea, all of that is what got me to really wondering about this again. I had a plain jane Rem. ADL with a synthetic stock in 30-06 that shot like a dream. I also had a walnut -06 BDL that shot great. The same buddy had a walnut Rem. BDL in .308 that had a pretty serious thump to it, much more than the ADL or BDL 06 I had. I've shot many Remington ADL's and BDL's in .308 and -06 and I can never guess which will shoot well and which will have a pretty serious kick even with nearly identical guns.

Every high power rifle my buddy has ever bought would hurt after a couple rounds (with normal factory ammo) and neither of us have any idea why? I'm convinced he could buy a .17 HMR in a gun that weights 20 pounds and it would still jar your teeth. He just has that sort of luck, but I can never figure out why?
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BlueTurf View Post
There are several variables involved in producing felt recoil. There is the size of the projectile (bullet), the velocity it leaves the muzzle, the design of the cartridge (size of brass compared to bullet), stock design, barrel design and weight of rifle, etc. just to name a few. Remember the old scientific law, "for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction"? This is sure to happen in the form of recoil in this case but how the recoil is felt is another question. I get the bruises on my shoulder every time I shoot a few of my rifles, especially my Win 94. I enjoy shooting and don't mind taking the pounding.
I guess that's whats driving me nuts? The same laws of physics apply to every gun, but the felt recoil of a gun seems to be more of an art than a science?
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:33 PM   #7
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Stock configuration, drop at comb, length of pull etc. has alot to do with felt recoil. Overall weight is one of the biggest factors, but not the only one

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Old 01-15-2012, 03:52 PM   #8
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Ive always wondered this too... Outta all my rifles my 30-30 has the worst kick, but is one of the smallest? My bigger military guns with metal butts are gentler, and have more of a nudge, and the 30-30 has a sharp kick?

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Old 01-15-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
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There is recoil, and PERCEIVED recoil. I have a VERY light .308 bolt gun with a stock that leaves marks on me, and puts tears in my eyes- ESPECIALLY when shooting ftom the bench. No place for recoil to go but me. Added a limbsaver pad- different gun. A force meter would show same recoil- but the shape of the curve has changed.

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Old 01-15-2012, 04:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
Stock configuration, drop at comb, length of pull etc. has alot to do with felt recoil. Overall weight is one of the biggest factors, but not the only one
You are correct.The weight is a big factor in the same rifle as an M70 with light and heavy barrels of the same length. I have found that fit is one of the biggest factors. I have shot rifles from different mfg of similar weight, using the same ammo and found a difference in recoil. I have tried identical rifles in 308 and 30-06 with the same weight ammo and the 06 seems to recoil less, not much but less. It might have something to do with the powder and case capacity. I think the smaller case of the 308 gives a sharper impulse. The recoil from my Marlin 45-70 was worse than my Ruger #3 with a heavier load. When I first bought my wife her 243, she complained some about the recoil. After I cut the stock down to fit her there were no more complaints. It was the first hunting rifle she had shot. I believe the butt design of the Model 94 30-30 and the weight are the main recoil factors in that rifle. I always liked the Marlin better and preferred the 35 Rem.
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