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Interesting article I found about pistol recoil. At peak recoil a pistol slide moves at 25 feet per second, or 17 miles per hour. This specific number was measured with a .45 ACP 1911. The article said there would be variations in other guns; but with standard gun design, the choices of slide mass, recoil spring strength, etc. keep this figure typical of most pistols.

I wonder if there is any correlation with revolver recoil. I would guess with the entire revolver basically locked together as one mass, it's like having a 2-3 pound slide recoiling.
 

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Revolvers lose pressure thru the barrel-cylinder gap so some recoil is dissipated there. I remember reading that a single actions shape reduces recoil as the revolver slides in the hands while the BBL moves upward. All that ever did for me was slide back and rap my thumb. Thats why I put Pachmayer's on my Super Blackhawk so it wouldn't slide. I can handle a little recoil a lot more than getting my thumb or fingers rapped.

As to semi's I know a semi rifle or shotgun has less felt recoil than a bolt or O/U or single shot.
 
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