Factors That Affect Recoil?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by TLuker, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    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. :confused:
     
  2. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

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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
     

  3. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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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.
     
  4. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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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.
     
  5. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    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:confused:?
     
  6. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    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?
     
  7. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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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
     
  8. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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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? :confused:
     
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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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.
     
  10. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  11. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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    C3 hit it on the nose. Big difference between recoil and perceived recoil. I've found that with a rifle, contrary to what you might think, some big men complain more about recoil on a given rifle than smaller ones. The greater mass in the body and shoulder of a bigger man has less give. The recoil doesn't push them back as much, so their shoulder has to absorb more of it.
     
  12. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    I have a Remington 788 in .243. There are people who say a .243 doesn't kick much but this one seems to have a pretty good wallop to it. I had shotgun kick pads put on both my .243 and .270 and it made a big difference in lessening the felt recoil. With all of my rifles I notice recoil less and less as I shoot them more. Speaking of recoil, the first time firing my Super Blackhawk in .44 Mag was quite an eye opener for me. I didn't think it would kick that much, but I quickly got used to it.
     
  13. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You probably learned how to hold it to reduce the felt recoil. I have seen big guys end with the pistol over their head and smaller people handle it much better. Grip is everything.
     
  14. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    You are very correct. I learned how to better hold my rifles and handguns and learned what works and what doesn't. There is always someone somewhere who gets the black eye from the scope or lets a big bore handgun come back and hit them in the head. I knew what to expect from my .44 mag and I was careful about the way I held it when I pulled the trigger. Still, I got quite a jolt the first few times I fired it but now it is no big deal, and quite fun to shoot. The hardest kicking rifle I ever shot was a Remington 700 BDL in 8mm Rem Magnum. I was prepared for the recoil but firing that rifle actually made me take a step backwards. My friend always loaded his ammo at maximum and I felt it.
     
  15. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Recoil is the mass and velosity of the projectile = the mass and velocity of the recoil.
     
  16. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

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    Lot of good replies so far. One thing that will effect felt recoil is how you are holding the rifle all the way through the shot. Just a little bit of room between you and the butt when you pull the trigger can give the rifle a head start into your shoulder that you can't stop. A solid shooting position is very helpful.

    And just 'cause nobody else has been a smart a$$ and said it yet, the kind of panties worn when shooting might have an affect too.
     
  17. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    there are many different factors that affect felt recoil and many have been mentioned. and there are many factors working together that can make the difference in one rifle vs. another. stock design and material, bullet weight and caliber size, recoil pad design, type of action, barrel length and weight, powder type used in the ammo, headspace of the cartridge, ect., ect.

    i have noticed over the years, that for some reason my ruger bolt actions always seemed to have more felt recoil than the same cartridge in one of my remington bolt actions.

    as a general rule, i prefer heavier rifles for larger calibers, and tend to lean more to target style rifles, because i enjoy shooting a lot. there are many improvements that can be made to reduce felt recoil, such as a very good recoil pad, adding weight to the rifle, adding a recoil reduction device. if you reload, then using slower burning powders can help to, and also lighter weight bullets. i am sure there are other ways too.
     
  18. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i noticed on my 44 mag. revolver that by changing the grips, i could handle the recoil much better, even with very hot loads. but it comes back to what you say, grips equal proper holding and control.