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What do you guys think? The guy who did my permit class said the lower the grain, the higher the recoil? Is that true?
 

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You probably won't notice much of a difference between 115 and 124 but 147's are supposed to shoot a little softer.
 

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147 loaded with a fast powder will have less perceived recoil than a lightning fast 115. In reality, the 147 will have a slower recoil making it feel softer
 

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What do you guys think? The guy who did my permit class said the lower the grain, the higher the recoil? Is that true?
Well it depends. You can't fight physics. Run a 115gr bullet fast enough to cycle a lot of guns, recoil impulse can feel higher. A heavier bullet running the lower vel can feel softer but run a 115gr bullet @ 1200fps & a 124gr @ 1200fps, the 124gr definitely has more felt recoil. Power Factor (PF) is vel x weight, gives a rough window as to what is going on. A 115gr @ 1200 is 138PF, a 124gr @ 1100 is 136PF a 147gr @ 900fps is 132PF. All are pretty close to most factory std pressure rds. As vel goes down, you need more bullet mass to cycle the gun. Load the 124gr @ +P levels of 1200fps, 149PF.
For practice, get what is cheap & functions in your gun. Then for serious ammo, try diff weight JPH, see what you like. The ammo MUST be tested in your gun anyway, so a 20-50rd box will tell you what is up with your gun.
 
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Shorter version of what fred said. It is a little like algebra. There are more variables than just bullet weight.
 

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Recoil? In a 9mm?

I kid.

Good answers, but remember that in the end it's what *you* perceive. Sometimes muzzle blast can change someone's perception on how much recoil is actually there.
 

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What are you shooting with?

A 5" Tactical? Not so much.

A 3" barrel P938? Grains and +P loads can be felt.
 

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Recoil? In a 9mm?

I kid.

Good answers, but remember that in the end it's what *you* perceive. Sometimes muzzle blast can change someone's perception on how much recoil is actually there.
Which is why I always wear ear protection and close my eyes when shooting a 9mm.
 

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As Fred and GT Jon have mentioned, there are a lot of variables. 9mm is a walk in the park with a gun approaching 2lbs, and for a practiced shooter with a decent grip still no big deal even with something like an XDs but it is certainly a noticeable difference with the heavier and lighter guns. Even in 9mm the differences in bullet weight at the same power factors are perceptible, but not what I would consider "punishing" with any bullet weight. With a 40cal things get more interesting, and I have always felt the heavier bullets in that caliber were easier to shoot fast than lighter ones. 180's at around 170-172 power factor always seemed easier to shoot fast and well than even 165's at the same power factor. I don't think it's just me because most gun gamers also prefer 180's for major in 40cal and their scores show it. You will seldom see a winner shooting 165's let alone 155grn bullets when making major. In the gun games like IPSC/USPSA (action pistol events) where 9mm is used in some divisions, 147grn are most often the bullet of choice. This varies some in Steel Challenge where 124/125grn see some followers because the speed of the bullet over a course of fire can make a difference in the final score which are sometimes so close that one hundredth of a second can mean winning or losing. If you are good enough to get under 2 seconds on a course like "Smoke and Hope" then bullets moving faster but still allowing you to get on target really quickly may make a difference for you... otherwise, not so much, and 147's may prove more beneficial to you.

Though I am not trying to equate gun gaming and self defense practice, there is some crossover. I will say that if you have a range that allows for it, some speed shooting using a bullet weight and power factor you are carrying is a "good thing" and should be done. Then you can sort out for yourself just what bullet weight you might find most desirable for those times when "one and done" is probably not going to cut it.
 

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As JSG notes, heavier bullets running slow, allow you to download for less recoil & still have the slide run. Why the gamers prefer hvy & slow, the gun still has to run. With factory, recoil affect is less obvious as shown in PF ratings.
 

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I use to think it made a difference and I am sure it dose but can you really feel it or tell for me no when i load them separate I thought I could then one day just for fun i loaded a few mags with random weights and could not tell which I was shooting at all. I think for most people its just all in your head If you think 124 feels lighter it will.
 

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I use to think it made a difference and I am sure it dose but can you really feel it or tell for me no when i load them separate I thought I could then one day just for fun i loaded a few mags with random weights and could not tell which I was shooting at all. I think for most people its just all in your head If you think 124 feels lighter it will.
The lighter the gun, the easier it is to feel the difference. I certainly can in my P938.
 

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I use to think it made a difference and I am sure it dose but can you really feel it or tell for me no when i load them separate I thought I could then one day just for fun i loaded a few mags with random weights and could not tell which I was shooting at all. I think for most people its just all in your head If you think 124 feels lighter it will.
I have a theory about this. Lighter bullets take more powder to drive them to the same power factor as heavier ones. More powder is more energy, and even if the bullet is lighter, it is accelerated more quickly by the increased energy which gives a different feel. Plus, the lighter bullets are going to be "supersonic" in most defense calibers and that means a bigger report as well as faster pistol recoil (equal and opposite reactions and all that). So yes, I personally can fell a bit of a difference even in 9mm, but more so in .40 and .45 where generally we are talking about major vs. minor power factors.
 

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Opposite for me. The 124 gr has a higher felt recoil than the 115.
I personally would be unable to tell the difference between the two based on recoil. I'd have to look at the weight printed on the box. It's a pretty trivial weight difference. We're talking about only 9 grains. That's not even 8%. And the other factor in recoil is speed: the 124s are going a tad slower which -- all else being equal -- would reduce recoil. It's just too close for me to notice.
 

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I personally would be unable to tell the difference between the two based on recoil. I'd have to look at the weight printed on the box. It's a pretty trivial weight difference. We're talking about only 9 grains. That's not even 8%. And the other factor in recoil is speed: the 124s are going a tad slower which -- all else being equal -- would reduce recoil. It's just too close for me to notice.
Nine grains, but the Hogdgon data shows a difference of 2,000 PSI energy.
Just feels snappier to me. YMMV.
 

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Nine grains, but the Hogdgon data shows a difference of 2,000 PSI energy.
Just feels snappier to me. YMMV.
I should note that all of my guns are on the relatively large side, so minor difference in recoil are likely to go unnotice as so much recoil is absorbed by a larger gun. Hard to notice such things in a Beretta 92, which is HUGE compared to most 9mm pistols.

It's been so long since I've fired 147gr that I don't even recall how it feels. Though again we have greater weight which should give more recoil combined with lower velocity (a sub-sonic 990 ft/sec which should give lower recoil vs 1,135 ft/sec from a 115gr bullet).
 

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im going to side with Isaac newton on this one.
every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
grain is a measurement of weight
so a heavier projectile being pushed at the same speed as a lighter projectile will have a higher reactive force on the object it is pushing against (the gun). so more recoil will occur. everything after the physics seems perspective and opinion to me.
 

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im going to side with Isaac newton on this one.
every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
grain is a measurement of weight
so a heavier projectile being pushed at the same speed as a lighter projectile will have a higher reactive force on the object it is pushing against (the gun). so more recoil will occur. everything after the physics seems perspective and opinion to me.
I agree, but they're not moving at the same speed. 115gr is about 1,135 ft/sec. 147 moves at a sub-sonic 990 ft/sec.
 
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