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Old January 12, 2019, 04:05 AM   #19
Aguila Blanca
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 13,595
Originally Posted by LineStretcher
A heavier bullet requires more energy to move it.. Because it is harder to move, chamber pressures in all directions also increase. So yes, the heavier the bullet the greater the felt recoil. Simple answer..
Not so simple. Remember, the question stipulates two bullet weights with the same powder charge.

Originally Posted by USNRet93
with same 'powder' load, which bullet weight has more recoil? A lighter one or a heavier one? 115gr or 124 gr? 9mm?
The fundamental rule of Physics is "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." The action in firing a handgun is the rapid combustion of the powder. This combustion generates energy/force. This energy/force acts equally in all directions. Radially, the force is constrained by the surrounding cartridge case and barrel. That leaves two directions in which the energy can act -- forward (pushing the bullet), and rearward (pushing the slide and then the firearm).

In this case, since the powder charge has been stipulated to be the same, what's going to change is how fast the charge can push the bullet. It's axiomatic that for the same powder charge a heavier bullet will result in more felt recoil than a lighter bullet. This appears, at first, to be contradictory. Since the force is acting on a lighter bullet, it would seem that the opposing force (recoil) would also be less. The overlooked factor is that the lighter bullet accelerates faster and exits the barrel sooner. As soon as the bullet leaves the barrel, there's nothing there for the column of expanding gas to push against. From that point forward in time, any gas left in the barrel and chamber basically dissipates without adding anything to bullet velocity or recoil.
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