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From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: [RELOAD] Which has less recoil: light or heavy bullets
Organization: Dixie Communications Public Access.  The Mouth of the South. (Martin Schuessler) writes:

#To anyone who has tried this themselves: I'm shooting IPSC with a
#45 Colt Gold Cup.
#My load is a 200gr SWC over 5.5gr of W231, using WLP primers. This load chronos
#at 900fps, and gives me a 180 power factor. The other choices are using a 230gr
#bullet going around 790-800fps or a 185 gr bullet going 980 fps. Which of these
#three loads would have less felt recoil ??

#The lighter bullet, as I heard somewhere, imparts less momentum on the
#gun as it gets
#twisted down the barrel's rifling - but then there's the extra velocity to be
#dissipated. Anyone tried this ? I could, of course, load up the
#bullets myself and find out, but I can post the question right now versus
#having to wait a week or so to do it myself !!!

You really ought to have a copy of the shareware program BALISTIC.
Maybe someone can tell you where it is on an archive site.

Using a gun weight of 2.75 lbs (what my Gold Cup weighs with a full
magazine of ball), I ran your numbers through BALISTIC.  It computes
both the recoil force and the that due to the powder charge.  I used
5 grains for the powder.  Turns out the two loads are almost exactly
the same.  The particulars:

230gr/800 fps  is 4.8lbs total/ 3.9 bullet
185gr/980 fps  is 4.7/3.8 lbs

It's been a long time since I shot IPSC so I don't remember, are
those combinations power factor points?

Hmm, I *probably* ought not to tell this...  Back when I was shooting
IPSC, there were several of us friends who would do just about anything
to beat the others, including, er, shall I say, shady things.
One of mine was to make major with a trick load.  This was a 75 grain
bullet that looked just like a 230 grain FMJ.  I made these by
melting the lead out of 230 gr FMJ bullets and then casting
about 75 grains back into the nose.  A quick trip through the tumbler
restored the finish.  Backing this bullet with 5 gr of WW231 gave
me a lot of velocity, a lot of muzzle blast (to impress the bystanders :-)
but only a pound of recoil.  I had to work out a custom recoil spring
to make this light load work.  The recoil with this load was about
like shooting a .22 :-)


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