Author Topic: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?  (Read 2843 times)

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Willful

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Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« on: November 24, 2011, 02:24:13 PM »
I have been looking for about a month for a suitable handgun for my wife. I know, you will tell me to let her choose her own gun. I intend to do just that. However, because she has a bulging disk in her neck, even on a good day shooting a gun can be a painful ordeal. Thus my quest for those guns with small grips (she has small hands) and low felt recoil has led me to realize that there is a big gap in the many ways we measure and analyze our firearms. I have seen the posts that tell me how many grains of powder will create such velocity with a bullet that weighs X number of grains. I have also seen the posts that tell me the weight of force required to pull the trigger on any gun. I know how long the barrel is, how wide the slide, etc.
Why do we not apply the same analytical technology to the recoil? Why can't I find a list that shows semi-automatic handguns listed from least amount of recoil to most, in pounds of force? Why don't the manufacturers make this information readily available?
Okay, I hear you saying, "But there are too many different types of ammo, and they all have different amounts of recoil". I say there should be some standardized way to measure the felt recoil. I really believe that knowing how much recoil a gun has would be helpful to anyone considering a new purchase.
I hate it when one of the most important aspects for choosing a model or manufacturer is absent!

M1911A1

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Re: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2011, 03:18:12 PM »
It's pretty easy to identify cartridges with the least recoil impulses.
If these particular cartridges are fired from a relatively heavy pistol, the result is very low perceived recoil.

You might want to try the .380 ACP cartridge in a comparatively large Bersa, or something similar. The .380 is the least powerful cartridge which, if shot accurately, will be sure to stop a fight.
Take a fishing or trigger-pull scale with you to the gun shop, and actually weigh the candidate guns. Of the ones which weigh the most, let your lady try them out for comfort in the hand.
If it's possible, rent time on each candidate and have her shoot them. Stay with the most comfortable. Accuracy is not an issue, but reliability is.
Steve,
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Brademan

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Re: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2011, 03:32:04 PM »
Good post.  The question comes up fairly often, is loaded with misconceptions and is generally a lot more complicate than is thought to be.

The start of the problem comes with the actual definition of the term, 'recoil'.  What you are actually asking for a measurement of is the less common, but more accurate term, free recoil.  While I don't put all my stock in Wikipedia, the listing they have for free recoil is pretty good.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_recoil
I don't pretend to understand the actual math involved, but the measurement IS possible and would give you a meaningful figure.

Simple; yes.  Easy?; NO.
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Charles1951

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Re: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2011, 05:31:21 PM »
I dare say this site will be of some help:

http://www.genitron.com/Default.html

Do a search for any gun you are interested in and recoil factor is listed with it.

Charles

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Willful

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Re: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2011, 06:35:42 PM »
Charles, that's totally awesome! Exactly what I was wishing for. Thank you!

Charles1951

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Re: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2011, 06:44:36 PM »
Charles, that's totally awesome! Exactly what I was wishing for. Thank you!

Your quite welcome. Really like that site myself and use it often. Glad it hit the mark for you.
Charles

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Brademan

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Re: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2011, 09:23:47 AM »
Ditto.  Nice post, Charles!
Brademan
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Charles1951

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Re: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 01:07:13 PM »
Thanks. And the compare feature is one I use a lot. (I forgot to say that.)
Charles

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Shawn Hoyle

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Re: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2011, 07:03:21 PM »
That site is SA-WEEEET! I just compared my P380 to the LCP & the P3AT and just confirmed that my Kahr has less recoil than the others. The Kahr also has a modern polymer frame and real sights, unlike the others. Yea, I paid more for it but I don't regret it at all. My 16 & 20 yr. old daughters love to shoot it, too. I stuck a CT Laserguard on it just to help in the close-proximity accuracy department.

Willful, I would encourage you to have your wife try the Kahr P380. It really is a easy shooting pocket pistol.

Good Luck!  ;)
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Synthetic

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Re: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 07:10:42 PM »
The first time I shot a 300 Winchester Magnum rifle my forehead became a recoil indicator! And the blood led a pathway to the indicator ground zero!
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M1911A1

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Re: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2011, 07:56:45 PM »
While the Genitron Handgun Data Base looks very nice, I have to question its seemingly arbitrary ratings.
Who decides, and how is the decision made, about what ranking each pistol achieves. How can anyone rank "concealability"? What, exactly, is the "defense ranking" all about, and what does it tell us? How is the "recoil factor" arrived at? And what does the "power factor" mean?
But more than that, who says that the Genitron rankings reflect any kind of reality? And how would he/she/they prove it?

Reading that the gun you have chosen to carry ranks well in "concealability," has a high "power factor" and a low "recoil factor," and ranks high in "defense" is, I am certain, very reassuring.
But I question whether or not this information reflects any usable reality. I believe that it is merely one person's (or one small group of persons') perceptions of reality, and that it has very little basis in hard, meaningful fact.

I suggest that placing any dependence upon these rankings is not a particularly good idea, and that you still have to do your very own experiential and subjective assessments when choosing a carry gun.
Steve,
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Charles1951

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Re: Why don't we have a way to measure recoil?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2011, 09:39:55 PM »
While the Genitron Handgun Data Base looks very nice, I have to question its seemingly arbitrary ratings.
Who decides, and how is the decision made, about what ranking each pistol achieves. How can anyone rank "concealability"? What, exactly, is the "defense ranking" all about, and what does it tell us? How is the "recoil factor" arrived at? And what does the "power factor" mean?
But more than that, who says that the Genitron rankings reflect any kind of reality? And how would he/she/they prove it?

Reading that the gun you have chosen to carry ranks well in "concealability," has a high "power factor" and a low "recoil factor," and ranks high in "defense" is, I am certain, very reassuring.
But I question whether or not this information reflects any usable reality. I believe that it is merely one person's (or one small group of persons') perceptions of reality, and that it has very little basis in hard, meaningful fact.

I suggest that placing any dependence upon these rankings is not a particularly good idea, and that you still have to do your very own experiential and subjective assessments when choosing a carry gun.

Steve,

Did you read the graph disclaimer? All your points are more than covered there. Yes, there is considerable subjectivity in the graphs especially in what is important in the measurements to determine concealability and defensive ranking. A couple of the measurements are standards such as the recoil factor which is the OP's primary interest. The graph of the recoil factor shows a percentile of all the guns in the database so that ranking may actually have true value because it has little subjectivity.

I just use it as a guide to see how close different guns are when they are all measured using the same criteria. As you said, there is no replacement for self evaluation of a gun done by handling it and shooting it.

At the end of the disclaimer is the following:

Again, please remember, "For Intertainment Purposes Only" and "Subject to the Viewer's Interpretation".
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 10:56:11 PM by Charles1951 »
Charles

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