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Matthew Duncan

Which reload has the less perceived recoil?

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Which reload would have the less perceived recoil?

 

Caliber:  45 Colt

Powder:  Titegroup

 

200 grain bullet with 6.8 grains of powder

 

250 grain bullet with 5.1 grains of powder.

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Generally speaking, the heavier the bullet the heavier the perceived recoil, given the same caliber, gun, and powder type.  But, there is a huge difference between 6.8 gr. and 5.1 gr.  Why such a spread?  I understand that with the larger bullet, there is less space in the casing for powder, but there shouldn't be that big of a difference, should there?  I haven't looked at the recommended load data.

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Without conducting a range test I would expect the 200 grain load to kick a bit less.  I doubt the increased powder mass and bullet velocity would compensate for the extra 50 grains of lead.

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Recoil energy is less with the heavier bullet, based on calculators available on the internet.  Felt recoil is more subjective and depends on the design of the firearm.

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1 hour ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

Recoil energy is less with the heavier bullet, based on calculators available on the internet.  Felt recoil is more subjective and depends on the design of the firearm.

Ding, ding, ding!

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Yep, perceived recoil is in the shoulder (or hand) of the beholder.  Folks PERCEIVE things differently. 

 

SO....

Calculate the recoil energy.  My guess is that you will have quite a bit more muzzle velocity with that 200/6.8 load, and that it will calculate to more recoil energy using the calculators.  At least that is a real energy number.  Not a perception.

 

I get the same recoil energy with a 200 grain bullet over 4.7 WST, as I get with a 230 grain bullet over about 4.4 grains of WST.    I think you will find you have your 200 grain bullet load with too much powder to be as comfortable as your 250 grain load.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Another test is to have two identically loaded rounds.

Same bullet weight and charge.

 

Each shot form a different revolver.

6.5" barrel and a 4.5" barrel.

 

The precieded recoil will be more in the 4.5" barrel.

Even though the recoil in the longer 6.5" barrel is more.

 

The difference is the louder noise from the shorter barrel is processed as more recoil.

And the 4.5" barrel gun is lighter in weight also giving more perceived recoil.

 

 

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The ratio of bullet weight plus powder weight (total mass) of the 200/250 is about 0.81. Multiply that by the 6.5 gr weight of the powder under the 200 gr bullet and you get 5.5, which would give the equivalent powder load for the 250 gr, bullet.  So the 5.1 gr load under the 250 gr bullet should feel slightly lighter.  However, without knowing the actual muzzle velocities of both loads it isn't possible to calculate the actual impulse each load will deliver (mxv=I). The other consideration is that the heavier bullet will leave the barrel more slowly, resulting in sooner muzzle rise, which may cause the apparent or felt recoil to be perceived as greater.

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I see lots of data but I am curious to what is actually USED to get results. 

 

For example - I hear lots of chitter chatter about Trailboss being great for CAS pistol work - but when looking up starter loads for my .38 the velocity is 753 for a 125 gr bullet.  It isnt hard to find a few other powders that provide lower velocity with both 125 AND 158 grain bullets. 

I would rather manage a bit more recoil if it is cheaper and cleaner than Trailboss - I just dont know where to start.

 

I am new to reloading so I dont know.  The rounds I have been using are advertised to run about 850 with 125 gr flat nose bullets - they seem to have less felt recoil in my pistols than the 158's that I was using but it is barely noticeable.  I have sen a few folks shooting 105s but I haven't seen any reloading data for 105 gr bullets.

 

The same goes for shotgun - I hear all kinds of chatter about loads that replicate the Winchester Low Recoil rounds but all of the table I have found tend to show FPS number in the 1100 range.   I dont think I have seen handload data that gets 12g shells down around 980....

 

What am I missing?

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What you are alluding to, CS, is that many cowboy loads are below what the powder manufacturers consider their starting load.   There used to be some Cowboy load data published (Hodgdon used to have quite a bit).   Now, the manufacturers understand that many cowboy loads are not very clean, reliable nor powerful, so the loads generally do not keep MOST of their (non-cowboy) shooters happy.

 

So, that is one value of this forum.  You can gather the advice of cowboys who have tried (hopefully perfected) their lower power loads that powder manufacturers don't publish now.

 

As an example, here's a nice soft load for .38 Special that makes about 700 FPS with the 125 grain bullet:

125 grain cast bullet

2.8 grains of Clay Dot (or 2.6 grains of Clays)

Federal SP primer

 

If you seat the bullet to get the right length (about 1.50"), it will make a load that will operate in most 73 rifles. 

 

Will you find this in anyone's published data?  Nope.  

 

So, how do you find this?  You ask your fellow shooters.   And ignore the random chatter that seems to be concerning you.

 

So, how are you sure it's safe, reliable, accurate?  Simply, you test it.   Most cowboy loads are very low pressure.  You are not likely to blow up a gun.  Your are more likely to have squibs than blow up a gun.  But that does not mean "go crazy" with your loading.   Pay attention to what works well.  Get favorite loads from pards who have shown to be safe, knowledgeable reloaders.

 

If that is beyond your level of comfort or you don't have the time to "work up" your own loading data, start with published "Starting Loads" from Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, or Hodgdon (annual load magazine, or on-line) or other expert sources.  Use those until you need something lighter.   Then you might try backing powder charge down a little at a time until you get to where loads don't generate enough pressure to be reliable or accurate, or you find your sweet spot.

 

Cowboy reloading really is kind of an advanced class in reloading technology.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

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