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Discussion Starter #1
Does any one have information about building a machine which will measure Free Recoil or has built one? Not equations or tables about recoil but maybe something crude like a measuring scale might give on measuring recoil devices, recoil from loads, or comparing recoil from different powders.
I have seen pendulum devices which will measure, but I don't have that kind of money to invest in something like that. I was thinking of a small mobile device I could attach and move around on a cart, with some kind of scale which would measure the thrust of shot gun recoil.
I would be interested in something that other shooters may have tried!
Thanks
 

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You need a sensitive load cell to capture the recoil pulse. It is like capturing a heartbeat on an EKG. Then there is the problem of what do you do with the data. Recoil is a variable force exerted over a length of time. The area under the curve is the recoil energy.

I have seen a very sophisticated device that someone built in a lab. Not a simple problem.
 

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Well, I would probably just use a scale to measure the weight of everything inside the hull, and a chronograph to measure the velocity of the load. Multiply those two things and you could compare one load to another accurately.
 

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It's calculable.

The only thing a tool like this would capture is the time and curve, which would allow you to compare a "push" vs a "punch".

All of which is basically meaningless since FIT plays such a critical factor in felt recoil, and it would be very easy to create a gun/load combo that has more CALCULATED recoil, but less FELT recoil.
 

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I saw a video of a guy testing the recoil of long guns using I believe an accelerometer. It gave readings similiar to a richter scale or EKG.
It basically measured the "action" or force the guns exerted before, during and after firing.

Also, Muzzle Brakes and More has a neat contraption they use for comparing recoil before and after a Muzzle brake is installed. It's like a LeadSled on wheels. When the gun goes bang, the whole cart (gun and all) slides in the opposite direction and stops at a certain point. They have a bunch of videos demonstrating.
 

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winchester auctioned off theirs when they closed the old factory down in 2008. would be interesting to find info on it from the WCA.
 

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It's not precise, but it is free. Your shoulder.
 

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The ballistic pendulum device could easily be built by a home experimenter. An electronic solution is somewhat more complicated.
My question is why?
The principles are well known. If you have a measure of the velocity of the projectile, the weight of the projectile and the weight of the firearm you can readily calculate the physical force involved.
What are you going to add to your knowledge by construction of a recoil device?
 

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At what point in calculating recoil, using mass of the ejecta and mass of the gun....do you start to take in to account the weight of the shooters shoulder, which is an opposing force against the movement of the gun, but also moves in the same direction as the gun?

Does the fat man feel more or less recoil than the skinny man?

Some argue the fat man feels more recoil, because his large/heavier body is less likely to move with the gun, whereas the skinny man's shoulder has less resistance to the movement of the gun, and therefore, goes with the flow, and feels less recoil.

Looking forward to your thoughts on this......
 

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At what point in calculating recoil, using mass of the ejecta and mass of the gun....do you start to take in to account the weight of the shooters shoulder, which is an opposing force against the movement of the gun, but also moves in the same direction as the gun?

Does the fat man feel more or less recoil than the skinny man?

Some argue the fat man feels more recoil, because his large/heavier body is less likely to move with the gun, whereas the skinny man's shoulder has less resistance to the movement of the gun, and therefore, goes with the flow, and feels less recoil.

Looking forward to your thoughts on this......
Not too many really good, skinny trapshooters.
 

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Well, I would probably just use a scale to measure the weight of everything inside the hull, and a chronograph to measure the velocity of the load. Multiply those two things and you could compare one load to another accurately.
That would compare one load to another but he wants to check recoil of the gun. A heavy gun would absorb recoil more than a light gun.........
 

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Some words of wisdom from 120 year ago

Sporting Guns and Gunpowders: Comprising a Selection from Reports of Experiments, and Other Articles Published in the “Field” Newspaper, Relative to Firearms and Explosives, Volumes 1-2, 1897
Sporting Guns and Gunpowders

Sporting Guns and Gunpowders
It has been asserted that this or that powder gives “absolutely no recoil.” If one were to believe all that has been written on that point, there are various powders that possess this inestimable quality; but unfortunately…these statements are absolutely untrue.

It is a fundamental principle that action and re-action are equal and opposite; therefore, at the moment when the shot leaves the muzzle of the gun, the momentum (or weight x velocity) of the shot will be equal to the momentum of the gun. This is strictly true from the tune the shot first commences to move until it finally leaves the muzzle, but only up to that instant.

On no subject in connection with gunnery are there more erroneous ideas—superstitions one might almost call them—than on recoil. Many men will tell you that certain guns, with precisely the same ammunition, will give much more recoil than other guns of exactly the same weight. It will generally be found that these men are either novices in the art of shooting, or else they do not hold their guns properly up to the shoulder. Once and for all, it may be laid down that the recoil of guns, rifles, and arms of every description, from the smallest pistol to the heaviest piece of ordnance, proceeds from the same causes and depends upon the same elements.

Sporting Guns and Gunpowders
“judging of the weight and nature of recoil by the feeling alone one is apt to be misled; for according to the state of bodily health at the time, so will be the sensation produced by a normal recoil…”
 
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Discussion Starter #17
The ballistic pendulum device could easily be built by a home experimenter. An electronic solution is somewhat more complicated.
My question is why?
The principles are well known. If you have a measure of the velocity of the projectile, the weight of the projectile and the weight of the firearm you can readily calculate the physical force involved.
What are you going to add to your knowledge by construction of a recoil device?
Sure I can tell which gun I shoot has more felt recoil than do others; 870 vs. 1100. You can feel the difference for sure, but I want a # which I can look at and say this is so much and has more recoil than this other gun.
I want to see what a PFS does compared to a Soft Touch or a Graycoil or a Pad does Falcon Industries has a pad which they claim reduces recoil by 80%, that is hard to believe!
 

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It is IMPOSSIBLE to calculate felt recoil, it's ENTIRELY subjective, and COMPLETELY dependent on gun fit.

Personally I find 1100s to be enjoyable to shoot but find the recoil of a Beretta 303 to be uncomfortable, and I'm positive there are people here who would say the exact opposite.

The ONLY empirical data you could collect, with very complex and expensive setups, would be DURATION of recoil (like I said before, curve and time). TYPICALLY, the longer the timespan the recoil is spread over, the less objectionable it feels, this is why gas autoloaders appear to have less recoil than break action guns, even though Newton's Laws say that the must be exactly the same, excluding weight differences.

You are looking for black and white data and trying to apply it to something it can't be applied to. REDUCING RECOIL (actual recoil, calculable) in shotguns is basically 100% impossible. Spreading the recoil over a longer period of time is what "reducing recoil" means, using imprecise terminology.
 

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My take is that 99% of the time when a shooter thinks they've stumbled onto "the load", it's because a chronograph is a foreign concept for them, as is a scale. They are either using a lot lower powder charge than they think they are (you typically have to go UP 2-3 bushings in a MEC to get the correct drop), or they use an inappropriate combination of components that resulted in a velocity lower than they think they are getting (common is using AA wads in Federal Paper hulls).

I used to FEEL/believe that Gun Club hulls kicked more than STS hulls, and repeated it dozens of times in discussion. When I finally got the chronograph out last spring, not only were they identical in velocity (with the GC hull actually providing more consistent results) wouldn't you know it, they no longer felt any different in recoil. The mind is a funny thing.
 
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