Perceived recoil

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by Tarpon Hunter, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Tarpon Hunter

    Tarpon Hunter Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2018
    I'm relatively new to the mechanics and workings of 1911's.I have a Les Baer Custom Carry SS Comanche and it is balls on accurate. The grips and checkering on it give me a more solid grip than other 1911's I have and is very still comfortable. I also have a Springfield RO Elite Champion. It has a 4" barrel instead of 4 1/4", weighs 30 oz. vs the LB that weighs 36. Yet the Springfield seems to have less recoil. Is that in my head or is it a function of a dual spring in the Springfield vs a single spring in the LB?
  2. gun_fan111

    gun_fan111 Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    Bull barrels make a difference

  3. 605atthe wheels

    605atthe wheels In the staging lanes Supporting Addict

    Oct 19, 2012
    I believe Bull Barrels make a difference also. 3.5" DW 9mm ECO, 4" EDCX9, & 4" WC XTAC ELITE Compact shoot as soft or softer than any of my 5" 9mm bushing guns. (Also 147gr fmj for the win). YMMV,

  4. dakota1911

    dakota1911 Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2015
    When I was a kid an old gunsmith called pistols a "dance of the springs" Leaving this thread I could go to Ruger Blackhawk SA revolvers. One has similar weights, grips, etc. Below in 9mm/357 and 10mm/40S&W. I also have them in 45Colt/45ACP.


    At this point one can get an idea of different recoil between the rounds. With a 1911 one thinks again about the weight of the hand guns and about the recoil spring, the main (hammer) spring and I would not forget about the firing pin spring for reliable functioning. After the spring there is the bottom of the firing pin stop. Here is a pre 80 Series Colt Commander apart.


    I always thought a 1911 was great as in addition to the springs, etc one can change the grips and MSH without too much problem. The grip safety and thumb safety and trigger require a bit more expertise. Still one can do it. Bobbing the grip, mags wells, etc, etc, are all out there and there are many, many choices.

    Then there is what is between your ears. I never thought a 1911 in 45ACP "kicked" that much. On the other hand before I shot my first one when I was 9 years old I shot my fathers 357 Blackhawk in 357 Mag.
    UBOATDOC and Kip like this.
  5. Grizz

    Grizz Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2016
    The firing pin stop reduced my recoil to unbelievably soft
  6. july19

    july19 Womb? Weary? He rests. He has travelled. Supporting Addict

    Sep 16, 2013
    I used a flat bottom fps for a some time but didn’t like the feeling. Recoil is not something I’m concerned about.
  7. kc1911

    kc1911 Member

    Jul 13, 2018
    In spite of all the math and physics, it really seems that perception is more important than math in how you respond to recoil.

    Like the OP, I have an RO Elite Champion 9mm. Bull barrel, dual recoil spring, 9mm. You would think it would recoil significantly less than my DW Guardian 45ACP. But to me the Guardian has slightly less perceived recoil than the RO.

    I also shot a DW ECO 45ACP. The ECO is only 1 ounce lighter than the Guradian; but it seemed to have much more recoil using the same ammunition.

    I dunno why. The basic recoil formula is mostly related to foot-pounds of energy versus weight of weapon. But it seems that other elements such as amount of grip, speed of recoil, angle of recoil, and possibly others are more important in how we "feel" recoil.
    Tarpon Hunter likes this.
  8. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    When a pistol recoils, what you actually feel is the movement of the slide. The impulse from the round gets sent into the slide, which then moves and transfers a transient load to the frame by way of the recoil spring and, to a lesser degree, slide rails.

    Think of it this way. Imagine removing the recoil spring, and then firing your gun. What would happen? You wouldn't feel anything when you fired a round until the slide reached it's rearward most point and the front of the slide impacted the frame (or until the slide flew off the frame and knocked your teeth out). When that happened, you would feel a sharp pulse. But that pulse would not be coming from the round itself, but the slide to frame impact.

    Thus, the recoil system, and even the lube you use on your slide rails, can change the "shape" and intensity of the pulse you feel. The shape of this pulse can influence your perception of recoil. An sharp pulse might feel more severe than a fat/slow pulse, even if their amplitudes are the same.
    kc1911 likes this.
  9. Babboonbobo

    Babboonbobo Avatar is back to my favorite things!

    Nov 18, 2014
    The softest shooting pistol I have is my compact CQB Wilson in 45acp then a commander size Nighthawk in 9mm

    I have a few new 1911s in 45 from GI and LB that I have yet to shoot so we’ll see how they do. I’m still good and don’t have too much of an issue with recoil yet but I’m still pretty young;)

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