1911Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When you shoot competitions, lets say IDPA, and there is a power factor to contend with, do you shoot a light bullet fast as you can or a heavy bullet slow. We are having this discussion at our club and we would like your opinions.
Some say its easier to shoot to get back on target with less recoil. But, what gives less recoil at the same power factor, a 9mm 115gr bullet at 1086 or a 145gr. moving at 850fps.

What do you use and why?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,649 Posts
At any given power factor, the recoil is effectivly the same. What is different is how fast that recoil impulse occurs. Lighter bullets have to accelerate to a higher velocity which means the impulse hits quick and is over quick. With slower, heavier bullets this occurs over a longer period of time.

The recoil impulse feels more like a push or a shove wheras a light bullet feels has more of a snap feeling. Most people find the push more comfortable and more easy to control. Often people will see less muzzle flip with the heavier bullets, however, many people feel the sight is back on the target faster with a heavier bullet.

In IPSC, at the GM level there is a clear preference for lighter bullets and even light guns. In the lower classes, it's just the opposite.

After primarily shooting an IPSC open gun for the last few years, 200 gr .40 loads and 230 gr. 45 loads feel very slow to me. I now tend to lean to lighter bullets even for my non-compensated guns, 165-180s for the .40 and 185-200s for the .45s. One side note is the range bag is a lot lighter with 300 rounds of 125s than 230s!

Bottom line is there is no single 'best' bullet weight but most shooters will prefer the heavier ones.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,627 Posts
I like light bullets and a sharp recoil impulse. I don’t like waiting for the slide to get done doing its thing. That is greatly exaggerated, but I want the gun to go bang and be back and ready.

What I have found is soft recoil with heavies equals more muzzle climb and a slower recoil impulse. I will take sharp recoil with less muzzle climb any day.

But, a day of shooting 115's or 155's at the speed of heat can do wonders for you elbows. And it’s not good. Yet another reason why the 9x25 isn’t around anymore.

I shot 220’s in my 40 for a season. Liked them. Shot open and became spoiled with a fast cycling gun. I also tried 147’s and 160’s in my Steyr (IDPA and IPSC) for a month. I settled on 124’s for IDPA and IPSC Production, 180’s in 40 and 115’s for IPSC open. But I just got a new open gun Tuesday. Time to start tinkering, again.

Tom
AF Shooting Team
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
I tend to go with heavy bullets if you consider a 200 SWC a heavy bullet in a .45 auto.

In my .38 Super I use to make major using a 160 SWC but I wasn't shooting a compensated gun.

My understanding is compensated guns need a high velocity load in order to be useful, so that's likely why light bullets are so popular.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Originally posted by Walking Point:

My understanding is compensated guns need a high velocity load in order to be useful, so that's likely why light bullets are so popular.
Well that makes sense. The faster the bullet leaves the barrel, the faster the gas will leave the barrel. The faster the gas in the compensator, the better it will work.

------------------
No Second Place Winner
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,627 Posts
Originally posted by AKM:
Well that makes sense. The faster the bullet leaves the barrel, the faster the gas will leave the barrel. The faster the gas in the compensator, the better it will work.

The lighter the bullet, the more slow powder you can stuff in the case. The more powder you have, the more gas you have to make the comp work.

Tom
AF Shooting Team



[This message has been edited by Tom Freeman (edited 08-23-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,156 Posts
[All this talk of compensators is making me nervous.....]

In my bone stock 1911, I do enjoy shooting 250 grain 45 Long Colt LRNFP over Clays. Light recoiling, although the gun tends to "roll" a bit. Plus, the steel tends to vaporize!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
550 Posts
Not to pick nits, but the efficiency of the compensator is a function of gas pressure. Any weight bullet can be loaded to any given pressure level consistent with the cartridge capability.

The lighter bullet is theoretically better with the compensator because the bullet reaches the compensator sooner in the recoil cycle, and resists muzzle rise earlier in the cycle.

In practical terms, the difference in light and heavy bullet loads of the same power level is, if not imaginary, at best slight. Those who protest this are invited to have someone load one of their magazines with a random mix of light and heavy bullet loads, of equal power, and see if they can tell which is which.

While other factors are much more important, people do a lot of fiddling with bullet weight because that is something they can control easily, while mastering trigger control is more difficult.

In other words, it ain't no big thing.


[This message has been edited by KLN (edited 08-26-2001).]
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top