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Old October 5, 2012, 10:05 PM   #1
FLChinook
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Does barrel length affect recoil?

For the same .357, say a S&W 66, will a 2 1/2" barrel recoil less than a 4" or 6"? It seems if the bullet spends less time in a shorter barrel that it might produce less recoil. Of course the noise and muzzle blast will be greater so you might THINK the recoil is greater
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Old October 5, 2012, 11:00 PM   #2
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Well kind of. Recoil is a function of the speed/acceleration of the bullet, and the mass of the bullet plus the mass of the propellant.

The difference in speed between a 2" snubbie and a 6" barrel isn't that great.

It's possible for a slower burning powder to not be fully combusted in a shorter barrel slowing the bullet even more.

But for practical purposes the recoil will be the same.

What is different is felt recoil. That's affected by mass of the gun, type and fit of grips, and training.
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Old October 5, 2012, 11:01 PM   #3
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Very good question , most will chime in the longer barrel adds weight & that`s true to a point , but there`s physics of geometry involved also .

Kinda like ya can hit harder with a longer handled hammer.

I`ve always been able to control a revolver better with too small a grip than too big, the too big of grips puts my hand lower from the centerline of the barrel thus giving it more leverage to twist up under recoil.
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Old October 6, 2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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A longer 6-8" barrel could be shooting the same bullet up to 300 fps faster than a 2-3" barrrel in magnum chamberings. The longer barrel will only add aound 4 oz more weight to help offset the added recoil caused by more velocity. In theory at least a long barrel will have more recoil, but also less muzzle flip. To be honest when actually shooting, I've never felt the difference was enough to notice. If anything the added noise and muzzle flip of a shorter barrel seem more objectionable even though the longer barrel should have more recoil.
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Old October 6, 2012, 08:27 AM   #5
Bob Wright
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All other things being equal, yes. It simply adds more weight to the gun.

This is most noticible in my Super Blackhawks, one with a 5" barrel, the other a 7 1/2" barrel. The shorter has more "whip."

As to difference in velocity, I've chronographed some .357 Magnum loads that are considerable higher out of my 4" Model 586 that out of the 6" gun. This with Hercules (now Alliant) #2400 powder.

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Old October 6, 2012, 08:39 AM   #6
JimPage
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Bob: I would suspect the difference is caused by a difference in the gap between the cylinder face and the forcing cone of the barrel between the two pistols.
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Old October 6, 2012, 08:58 AM   #7
Bob Wright
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JimPage wrote:

Quote:
Bob: I would suspect the difference is caused by a difference in the gap between the cylinder face and the forcing cone of the barrel between the two pistols.
Sorry, I don't buy that. That being the case, all loads should have similar results. They don't. Only certain powders exhibited that result. H110, for example, showed significant increase with the longer barrel.

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Old October 6, 2012, 09:18 AM   #8
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The longer barrel adds more weight to the gun, and therefore reduces the felt recoil. If anybody has ever shot a Ruger SRH .454 with a 7.5" barrel side by side with an Alaskan, they know this to be true.
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:27 AM   #9
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I fired recently my 4 in Highway Patrolman and my 27-2 8 3/8 - actually at the same session. There was a difference, with the 27-2 feeling more manageable BUT I also had target grips on it vs magna grips on the 28-2. I'm sure the grip type played into it some, but I noticed the difference. The 27-2 was mild whereas the 28-2 was snappy. I enjoyed the 28-2 more, kind of like riding a horse vs a bucking bronco or something, it was more exciting. My accuracy was nearly the same, as it was only a 50 ft range.
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:42 AM   #10
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depending on the gun and load...

Weight makes a bigger difference in the felt recoil than the difference in velocity.

10" .44 Mag Contender kicks harder than a 6" S&W, its lighter.
3.5" S&W .44 mag kicks harder than 6" S&W .44 mag, its lighter, even though velocity is less. Also the shorter barrel gun has a much greater "torque" in the hands.

With smaller lighter calibers, the difference may be even more pronounced.
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Old October 6, 2012, 02:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
As to difference in velocity, I've chronographed some .357 Magnum loads that are considerable higher out of my 4" Model 586 that out of the 6" gun. This with Hercules (now Alliant) #2400 powder.
This is not unusual and why comparing the velocity between 2 different guns is not reliable. If you were to shoot the same loads through the same gun, starting with a longer barrel and cutting it as you measured the velocity you will see pretty consistent velocity loss.
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Old October 6, 2012, 06:44 PM   #12
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My experience directly mirrors what 44 AMP posted. I've noticed a significant difference in muzzle flip with my 4" Model 29 having significantly more muzzle flip than my 6.5" Model 29. Muzzle flip translates into a higher degree of difficulty controlling the pistol and the perceived recoil is worse in my experience.

Last edited by HKGuns; October 6, 2012 at 08:37 PM.
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Old October 8, 2012, 02:44 PM   #13
thibaultfelix40
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Model 60 recoil

I had two model 60 S&W's. Identical, both with Pachmar Decellarators one was a 5" the other a 3". The 5 had noticeably more kick and Cronyed a lot higher than the 3. The 3 has High Vis sights but I don't think that matters. Traded off the 5 kept the 3.
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Old October 8, 2012, 03:32 PM   #14
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I've found that longer barrel guns with more weight up front 'feel' like they recoil less than shorter barrel guns. Its the added weight, the fact that its hung out front and reduces muzzle flip, and the lessened muzzle blast which makes one perceive it as less punishing.
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Old October 9, 2012, 12:34 AM   #15
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This thread has a head start on you.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=668447

Some good information.

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Old October 9, 2012, 01:56 PM   #16
BoomieMCT
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Quote:
This thread has a head start on you.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=668447

Some good information.

Lost Sheep
And I'll say here what I said there. . .

While the bullet is moving slower in a short barreled pistol, there are a few other things that make recoil more severe.

1) Less weight and COG further back.
2) Higher pressure differential between the gas in the barrel and atmospheric (creates a jet effect). If you look at a pressure profile graph the longer the barrel the lower the gas pressure at exit. This means less jet effect.

I actually think #2 has more to do with the increased recoil than #1.
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Old October 9, 2012, 01:57 PM   #17
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Aaaand, here is a good link for those who want to talk about the velocity differences;

http://ballisticsbytheinch.com/
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