1. Even if you limit your hypothetical conversation to a given bullet of appropriate mass and diameter, paired to a given appropriate chamber, with a given powder appropriate to that combination; and you limit your conversation to examining the results of only changing the charge volume of that one single powder, you need to understand that changing the volume of that powder charge will change the pressure curve. Even within the 'sweet spot' range for a given powder, it's not a linear relationship, it's a curve, and at some point outside that 'sweet spot' on the curve that powder will act erratically and unpredictably.

From the moment your finger begins applying pressure to the trigger, to the time the bullet comes to rest at the end of it's journey, everything, every single component of the overall is expressed as a nonlinear equation. Everything that occurs, occurs on a curve. The whole process is a nearly infinite series of intersecting curves, and every change to any single variable results in a change to one or more of the curves.

That's not to say we can't simplify it for purposes of conversation, but there's a limit. Approaching the subject from a position that any portion of it can be assumed to be linear, violates that limit. You can not assume to put any powder under any bullet. That's a nonstarter.

2. Originally Posted by calm seas
I agree wholeheartedly, iott. And I don't want to put just any amount of powder behind any bullet. Within safe parameters, will the same weapon be pushed back faster by an identical bullet over fast powder than slow powder? Smitty's link to that recoil calculator says my thinking is wrong....if I am correct in thinking it takes fewer grains of a fast powder to achieve identical velocities from identical bullets in the same weapon, then there would be less recoil from the same weapon shooting identical bullets at identical velocities, one round loaded with 7gr of X powder, and one round loaded with 24 gr of Y powder.
You seem to be hung up on the 'speed' of a powder, and trying to equate it to the speed with which it causes a bullet to accelerate.

The speed of a given powder only serves to roughly compare the burning rate of one powder to that of another, nothing more. The burning rate of a given powder says nothing about how much gas pressure will be generated from a given amount of powder burned. The burn rate may or may not roughly correlate to a pressure curve shape, but the pressure curve shape will change with change in charge volume. Burning rate of a powder says nothing about how fast it will accelerate a bullet.

3. Went and did some searching for burn rate to recoil, and found this over on the Ruger Forum, posted by one of the moderators:

Powder burn rate charts are great for getting a generic idea; however, powder can behave totally different in different cartridges and different bullet weights so the actual burn rate order may not even be close to what's on the chart.

If you have a good reloading manual (Hornady is my favorite for this process) you can find a common velocity with the bullet you plan to load then look at each powder available. The powder that uses the lowest powder charge will be the fastest burning and of course, the powder that uses the most grains at the same velocity will be the slowest burning. If you look at a different bullet weight or different cartridge, the rank order that you saw with the first cartridge may be totally different. Here's an example from page 817 in the Hornady 7th Ed for powders charge weights producing a velocity of 850 fps in a 38 Special with a 140 gr HP-XTP.

700X 4.5 gr
Bullseye 4.7 gr
Win 231 5.1 gr
Clays Univ 5.1 gr
Unique 5.2 gr
VHT N-340 5.3 gr
800X 5.8 gr
Power Pist 5.8 gr
VHT 3N37 6.2 gr
HS-6 6.8 gr
AA#5 6.9 gr

Of the listed powders, 700X will be the fastest burning and AA#5 will be the slowest. Hornady lists their powders in rank order by burn rate from fastest on top to slowest on the bottom. Pretty easy to use. If you want to do the math, you can compare two powder ie Win 231 and HS-6. [5.1/6.8=.75] or you can say W-231 burns about 25% faster than HS-6.

As for recoil with different powders ... here's the scoop. Recoil is based on the muzzle energy and the amount of time it take for the powder to burn versus the weight of the gun. In other words, time vs energy vs weight. If you use the same gun, same bullet weight, and two different powders loaded where the muzzle velocity is exactly the same with both, the total applied recoil would be exactly the same for both loads. When you figure time into the equation, "felt recoil" will be sharper with the faster burning powder. Using QuickLOAD, I plotted a W-296 (very slow burning) vs W-231 (fairly fast burning) using a 45 Colt with a 255 gr bullet. in a 7.5" barrel where the exit velocity is 1000 fps for both powders.

The time ratio is .000448:.00112 or 1:4 (W-231 takes .000448 seconds to burn up and W-296 takes .00112 seconds to burn up) That means it takes 4 time longer for W-296 to burn up so recoil is felt for a longer period of time but is less intense. With W-231, recoil will be sharper but won't last as long. You will feel a very notable difference between the two powders, even though they both produce the same energy.

4. Originally Posted by calm seas
If you have a good reloading manual (Hornady is my favorite for this process) you can find a common velocity with the bullet you plan to load then look at each powder available. The powder that uses the lowest powder charge will be the fastest burning and of course, the powder that uses the most grains at the same velocity will be the slowest burning.
Be aware that this does not always hold true. Generalized rules of thumb may be applied, but there are no absolutes. For instance, there can be found examples where a slower burning powder may be a higher energy powder than a faster burning powder (a double base powder vs a single base powder for example), thus in some instances a smaller charge of the slower burning powder may deliver equal or greater velocity than a larger charge of the faster burning powder, while remaining below the same max peak pressure limit.

If you use the same gun, same bullet weight, and two different powders loaded where the muzzle velocity is exactly the same with both, the total applied recoil would be exactly the same for both loads.
True.
..."felt recoil" will be sharper with the faster burning powder.
Not necessarily. "Felt recoil" is by definition subjective, and what feels sharp and objectionable to one shooter may feel perfectly innocuous to another.

5. I see very good explanations from IO.

WHICH, are at the outer limits of what I'm able to comprehend. So, I certainly couldn't improve on them.

I think he deserves a Happy New Year.

Smitty of the North

6. Originally Posted by iofthetaiga
Be aware that this does not always hold true. Generalized rules of thumb may be applied, but there are no absolutes. For instance, there can be found examples where a slower burning powder may be a higher energy powder than a faster burning powder (a double base powder vs a single base powder for example), thus in some instances a smaller charge of the slower burning powder may deliver equal or greater velocity than a larger charge of the faster burning powder, while remaining below the same max peak pressure limit.

Agreed. And the rate of powder innovation and evolution far outstrips my comprehension.

True.
And here is where I get stumped. Same weapon, same bullet, same velocity, same applied recoil. But, if you go to this recoil calculator: http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp (or the one supplied above by Smitty) it shows that a round propelled by 7 gr of powder will generate less recoil than one propelled by 24 gr of powder. Or, is the term 'applied recoil' not addressed in that recoil calculator? I am honestly trying to understand this, but my non-physics mind is struggling.

Not necessarily. "Felt recoil" is by definition subjective, and what feels sharp and objectionable to one shooter may feel perfectly innocuous to another.
Absolutely. And I think 'felt recoil' can change for the same person with the same loads in the same weapon under different circumstances - ie. stress snap shooting vs target shooting.
And Happy New Year, may 2018 be the best year YET for you.

7. Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone
It's called "Conservation of Momentum" Smitty and the only contributing factors in the formulas are mass(of gun and bullet) and feets per second. it don't care what kind of powder gets you those feets per second! Faster powders may sound louder but that's about it unless all of the physics articles that I have ever read on the matter are full of poop!
Thanks EKC. You are a learned man. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Smitty of the North, 2018 Model, atcher service.

8. Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone
It's called "Conservation of Momentum" Smitty and the only contributing factors in the formulas are mass(of gun and bullet) and feets per second. it don't care what kind of powder gets you those feets per second! Faster powders may sound louder but that's about it unless all of the physics articles that I have ever read on the matter are full of poop!

I disagree

You can easily fill a case with a fast burning powder and turn it into a bomb. You can also fill a case with a slow burning powder and barley push the bullet out of the barrel.

In the first scenario (bomb), well thats what I would call extreme recoil. In the second, that would be very little felt recoil, more of a push than a snap or punch.

9. Originally Posted by Chez
I disagree

You can easily fill a case with a fast burning powder and turn it into a bomb. You can also fill a case with a slow burning powder and barley push the bullet out of the barrel.

In the first scenario (bomb), well thats what I would call extreme recoil. In the second, that would be very little felt recoil, more of a push than a snap or punch.

I try to learn from other folks' mistakes; I don't think I'll live long enough to make all those mistakes myself
Although any reason to put rounds downrange is a good reason.

10. Originally Posted by Chez
I disagree

You can easily fill a case with a fast burning powder and turn it into a bomb. You can also fill a case with a slow burning powder and barley push the bullet out of the barrel.

In the first scenario (bomb), well thats what I would call extreme recoil. In the second, that would be very little felt recoil, more of a push than a snap or punch.

But, haven't you been trying to REDUCE recoil by using a FASTER burning powder? Now, you say your fast powder Bomb is extreme recoil?

I'm sorry if I've misunderstood you.

I think that if the powder burning rate had anything to do with recoil level, the powder type would be included in the formula for calculating it.

I think that it all happens so fast that, How Fast, doesn't matter.

And, how you gonna test? By Feel? Wouldn't that be too subjective to be a Valid test?

Smitty of the North

11. Originally Posted by Smitty of the North
But, haven't you been trying to REDUCE recoil by using a FASTER burning powder? Now, you say your fast powder Bomb is extreme recoil?

I'm sorry if I've misunderstood you.

I think that if the powder burning rate had anything to do with recoil level, the powder type would be included in the formula for calculating it.

I think that it all happens so fast that, How Fast, doesn't matter.

And, how you gonna test? By Feel? Wouldn't that be too subjective to be a Valid test?

Smitty of the North

I haven't experimented yet

Although I did go out this weekend and shot 300gr, 360gr and 230gr (factory), and the light weight factory loads had much more recoil compared to my "hot" 360gr loads using H110.

I was loading to hodgen specs and getting poor grouping with the 360gr but I think I can improve the groups by adjusting COAL. Another thing that may account for the poor grouping is the crimp. I didn't have my calipers with me so I couldn't check to see if the bullets were slipping out of the case.

12. XTPs are supposed to be great for black bears. I use 440 grain Cast Performance and Bear Tooth bullets for the 500 JRH but I've never shot a bear.

13. I think the question is what bullet and velocity is best for bears. My 2 cents. Right after the 44 mag came out in i believe the 50 it got real popular and killed some black and brown bears. The factory 240 grain cast bullets loads were the ammo of choice. I have always sort of stuck to that formula when choosing ammo for various gun and caliber combinations. I try to keep it in my mind that to stop a bear now i need a head shot, if i need a followup it is still a headshot and if i have to spend to much time getting that followup i am in real trouble so i avoid recoil that slows down the followup.

14. Hmmm. Y'all got me good here, pondering this stuff gives me a headache. We're planning a three-four week trip on the Wood River system and I THOUGHT I was good to go with a Ruger .44 in a chest holster and a .45-70 guide gun... I was going to use Buffalo Bore off the shelf ammo. Now I'm having thoughts that a pump with Brenneke's might be the ticket... big hole in, big hole out. I have been practicing a bit, and recently handled a Remington 870 Marine Magnum. I seriously think I can swing that 870 up to fire quicker than the .45-70. It just seems like the balance is perfect. Nothing sticking out that can snag on clothing, belts and whatnot... I will have to be dropping fishing gear and such... My local range is Lyman's Blue Trail Range and they have a small range off to the side a ways and they've been open to me using it as a "special practice area" where I can go through all sort of conniptions testing out this-or-that rig. (BTW, yes, the range belongs to THAT Lyman family... next town over from their famous machine works. They are great people.) Sounds like a great excuse for buying another firearm...

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