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SAAMITECHNICALDATASHEET
TECHNICAC
L O R R E S P O N D E N TH
' SA N D B O O K

1.O4O2A

GUN RECOIL- TECHNICAL

F R E ER E C O I LE N E R G Y
Recoilcan be describedmathematically
by the physicallaw of the Conservation
of Momentum.The
law states: "lf a force and it's reactionact betweentwo bodies,and no other forces are present,equal
and oppositechangesin the momentumwill be givento the two bodies."Simplystated,this saysthat
for everyactionthere is an equaland opposite(in direction)action.
The momentum,therefore,of a free recoilingfirearmis equaland oppositein directionto the
momentumof the bullet(or shot chargeand wad column)and the propellantgases. Becausethe
propellantgasesare extremelydifficultto weigh,for purposesof this application,
the propellantgas
weightwill be equatedto the powderchargeweight.
Free RecoilEnergyis reallykineticenergyand so can be expressedmathematically
as F.R.E=
. lrMVz
Where M = is the mass (or the weightof the firearmdividedby 32.17)and
V = is the velocityof the recoilingfirearm,
To determinethe velocityof the recoilingfirearmwe can use the formula:
V

Wo*Vu*W o'*V"
7000xW"

WhereW"

Weight(in grains)of the ejecta(bulletor shot and wad column)

V"

Velocityof ejectain feet per second

Won =

Weightof propellantgases

Von =

Velocity(fps)of propellantgases

7000 =
W

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Conversionfactorfor grainsto pounds


Weightof firearmin pounds

1O4O2B

S A A M IT E C H N I C A LD A T AS H E E T
TECHNICAC
L O R R E S P O N D E N TH
' SA N D B O O K
GUN RECOIL- TECHNICAL
lf thereforeM--

W,

W,
thentLM=
and
z
32 tt
64.34

+(lhg.Wt.xV*
,, _W"xV"
7000xW.
The Free RecoilEnergyof a Firearmcan be describedas:

!''!l.li -l

( w , \ ( w' * t ''' t ( h 's w t x vz -x \ '


ll
34r[
7000xW, )
[64

The weightsof the gun, of the ejectaand of the propellantgasesor powderchargeare easily
determined.The effectivevelocityof the propellantgas, a muchmoredifficultmeasurement,
varies,in
general,with the muzzlepressureand projectile
velocity.
The followingVpsshouldbe used: V* =V"xf wherefor
High poweredrifles

Von =

V" x 1.75

Shotguns(averagelength)

Von =

V. x 1.50

Shotguns(longbarrel)

Vps =

V. x 1.25

Pistol& revolvers

Von =

Vux 1.50

were derivedfrom extensiveexperimentsby the British,


[The above velocityrelationships
publishedin "BritishText Bookof SmallArms"publishedin 1929and confirmedby later
work in this country.l

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1O4O2C

S A A M IT E C H N I C A LD A T AS H E E T
TECHNICAC
L O R R E S P O N D E N TH
' SA N D B O O K
G U N R E C O I L_ T E C H N I C A L

NOTE: Firearmweightmustbe in pounds;ejectaand powderchargein grains;velocityin feet per


second. Freerecoilenergywill then be expressedin foot pounds.
EXAMPLE. How much Free RecoilEnergywouldbe developedby an averagelengthshotgun
weighing
7 p o u n d sf i r i n ga 1 2 g a 2 % - 3 l z l o a d o f N o . 4 s h o t w i t hw a d sw e i g h i n 4
g3
grainsand loadedwith 33.4 grainsof powder.
Therefore:
Wr = 7 Pounds
Wu = Shot is 1 % oz. x the conversionfactor437.5or 546.9grains;
wads weigh43 grs. TOTAL: 589.9grains
Chg. Wt. = 33.4 grains
V" = 1275 fps (Averagevelocityfrom tables)
r =1.5 (Foraveragelengthof shotgun)
So''
WoxVo + (-hg .Wt.x
vor, ) '
FRE =(
)(
7000xw1
\ 2 x 3 2 1 7) l
)

+otstt s1'
F R E = 1orce{7szt2z
\

4e000

s''1'
F RE = (oroo1'sroooo
'\
4e000 )

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S A A M IT E C H N I C A LD A T AS H E E T
TECHNICAL
C O R R E S P O N D E N TH
' SA N D B O O K

1.O4O2D

G U N R E C O I L .T E C H N I C A L

F.RE = (oloo[roos),

= (oroo[zzz.:)
= 30.22 FT LBS.
ANS: About30 ft. lbs.
ExactF.R.E.for a givenshotwoulddependuponexactweightof shotchargeand exactvelocityof that
shot.
Calculations
may be made in the metricsystemif firearmweightis givenin kilograms;ejectaand
powderchargeweightin gramsand the velocityin metersper second. Massto weightconversion
factoris then 9.8. The equationwouldthen take the form:

( wJ. \ ( w x r * ( ' h s . wxrl ' r , ) '

F.RE_ I

[zxoaJ[

w,

The F.R.E.wouldbe givenin kilogram-meters

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