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Old 12-12-2012, 09:37   #32
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: London
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Originally Posted by Shark1007 View Post
I'm an avid shooter, ex LEO/Military and have herniated cervical disc from a car wreck. Recoil hurts these days. I just had low back fused and will be having neck done soon.

I'm almost 60 and feel strongly about protecting the family, I have CCW and normally carry a Mod 27 with .357 factory barrel or a PM45 Kahr

I've seen mention of Springco and also GlockStore has a tungsten guide rod they claim reduces recoil. I owe a duty to my family and the public to train and be proficient if I carry a weapon and the reduced recoil would be very appreciated, cost is not a big factor, reliability is. If I have to sell a gun to trick out another that won't hurt so bad, I'm game.

What says the group and thank you in advance.
The physics of this is easy enough. The first principle is that you can't escape momentum. The second principle is that it isn't momentum that hurts but the speed with which it arrives.

The momentum you recieve is equal and opposite to the speed of the bullet times its mass plus the speed of the other ejecta, gas and unburnt propellant, times their average velocity. Very roughly speaking, the loader the bang the greater this second component, and 357s are very loud!

So the first step is to get a compensated barrel as pictured by barth in #9 as distinct from a muzzle brake as pictured in his #23. That is, you want to divert that high velocity gas to a direction at right angles before the bullet leaves the muzzle and there is a good reason to divert it upwards rather than sideways, but see later. With the 357SIG this might save you some 5% of the recoil and it will stop most of the barrel flip. Incidentally, I suspect that the brake in #23 is far from ideal as the ports are too close to the end of the "barrel" so that there might not be enough time for the pressure to have fallen enough before the bullet leaves the barrel.

Most of what people talk about as felt recoil is how much discomfort is felt in the hand. This is essentially caused by the speed of the grip slapping back into the hand. Roughly speaking, if you double the weight of the pistol it would halve the speed and would feel much easier. This is not your problem. What is happening is that the hand or hands are accelerated backwards by the pistol. They accelerate the arms backwards and they accelerate the shoulders backwards. They accelerate the spine backwards and leave the head behind. It is that last bit that hurts you with a motion similar to the rebound from whiplash in a car.

In this proces of stage by stage accelerations the mass accelerated becomes larger and larger and the acceleration therefore becomes smaller and smaller. Because of that, the felt recoil at the hands makes very little difference to the effect on your neck, and so heavier pistols or tungsten guide rods will be a waste of money.

This sounds as though there is no more that can be done, but there is hope for more in two directions. First you can fire lighter weight bullets. They will typically go faster but not so much that they will not reduce their momentum. Their bang will be louder and in normal circumstances the gas component of total momentum will be greater but you have dealt with that with the compensator. This should give you a little more reduction. You can continue this process by fitting a 9mm conversion barrel with the same compensator and by shooting 115gn or lighter bullets. I share your opinion of the 367SIG but practice with such a 9mm will still be effective relative to the carry of 357SIG.

The next thing is more difficult because it means changing your style. Remember, it is the speed of delivery of the momentum that hurts. You need to slow the delivery of the momentum to your spine and to do this you need to learn to shoot with bent arms and relatively relaxed muscles. In this way you can change the delivery to the spine from a jolt to a slower push. Incidentally, the fact that I purposfully avoided mentioning above is that the compensator's reduction of muzzle flip will reduce your need and inclination to muscle the gun. This lets you allow the recoil to push your hands back quickly and absorb the momentum over a greater distance with less force. Clearly, this is easier said than done.

There is one other significant training thing that you can do and that is learn to point shoot one handed from waist level with your elbow about level with your belt buckle but to the side. This is a very soft way of receiving recoil and although it might seem strange because the force is still going through the shoulder, it is doing so in a different way. Rather than being pushed back into the spine it is being twisted downwards so that the recoil is delivered to the abdomen leaving the upper spine and head behind. That is, there is no longer the abrupt whiplash effect between head and shoulders. This alone could be enough to allow you to fire your 357 SIG effectively in most defensive situations without any modification.

I hope this helps.

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