Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About AR-15 Recoil But Forgot to Ask by Robert Farago | Sep 16, 2012 | 36 comments facebook twitter linkedin email http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zehY45TwxGI&feature=g-all-u comments Mr. Lion says: September 16, 2012 at 10:34 Recoil? From an AR? *snort* Reply Mehul Kamdar says: September 16, 2012 at 11:16 + 100. 🙂 Reply Matt in FL says: September 16, 2012 at 11:31 Done in one. Reply NWGlocker says: September 16, 2012 at 11:46 Dismissing the effects of recoil? Not being a long shooter myself (yet), is this really the right attitude, just because it’s a lot less than pistol recoil? On a different note, why is this posted under Law and Order? Unless we’re just talking about the order part… Reply Alec says: September 16, 2012 at 17:45 **** Reply Alec says: September 16, 2012 at 18:18 Even a 150lb 16 year old like myself can easily handle AR15 recoil (or any recoil for that matter). For example this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj-b8bUDRsU) was taken shortly after I built my first AR. My recoil control is not perfect, but I am firing quickly (don’t normally as my budget is limited) and have only shot the gun once before the video was filmed Reply Jester says: September 16, 2012 at 19:07 Why wouldn’t I want to be able to make a faster follow up shot? Why wouldn’t I want to reduce my split time? Why wouldn’t I want to put 3 rounds downrange in the par time for 2 rounds? It’s not about “handling” the recoil, it’s about taming it and being more proficient. Despite what all the “anything less than a .45-70 is a pussy gun” people are saying, follow-up shots are always important and can always be made faster. This is true no matter what caliber you’re using. You have limited experience with only a single AR15 and none in an environment where recoil control matters. My guess is that a former marine (along with the thousands of others who understand the recoil control on an AR15 is important) might have some more insight into the matter than you do. Andrew says: September 16, 2012 at 19:48 When I hit something with a 545 grain Garrett Hammerhead from my 45-70, I don’t need any “follow up” shots as you do with your varmit gun. 55 ft. lbs recoil and 16.5 inches of barrel. Though it has a scout setup now. Jester says: September 16, 2012 at 20:09 Okay, your .45-70 is good for a hunter. Not everybody is a hunter. Others use their firearms for self defense or as a tool in their profession. Ask any trained/knowledgeable professional and they will tell you that concept of a “One Stop Shot” is silly dream at best. Doesn’t matter if you’ve got a .338 Lapua or a .22LR. You cannot count on your first shot to finish every job. Preaching “harden up, yo” makes for some fun internet talk, but does little to help in real life. Heck, Vuurwapenblog’s video is applicable to 3-Gun shooters for whom followup shots are an absolute must. That alone discredits every single one of the people saying that the concept of controlling the muzzle on a .223 is silly. If you seriously believe that a single shot from your .45-70 will be able to protect you in real life, I suggest you reevaluate. Jester says: September 16, 2012 at 20:26 Also the “varmint gun” comment is misleading. .223 AR15’s are used to hunt hogs to great effect. So calling the .223 a “varmint” caliber is a bit like calling a Corvette a Grocery Getter. It sure can, but it also does more. Rambeast says: September 16, 2012 at 11:49 You would think for someone that has recoil under control would shoot at a higher rate to flex that skill… Reply Jester says: September 16, 2012 at 17:10 Slow-mo video… Reply bill says: September 16, 2012 at 11:52 Actually a good muzzle break can really help the AR especially at long range. If you are class 3 you are defiantly doing yourself a disservice without one. Reply Joseph says: September 16, 2012 at 12:40 AR-15 recoil….seriously? The pussification of Amerika continues… Reply Andrew says: September 16, 2012 at 12:53 Not only is there a super serious video systematicaly breaking down the recoil of a 22 caliber varmit round, its in a semi-auto rifle that further negates the recoil. What happened to men shooting rifles with steel buttplates that were screwed to straight stocked wood stocks and blued steel barrels? I’m so sick of seeing LEO wannabes consumed with tacticool sickness. Grab a 45-70 , grow a pair, and shoot a real rifle. I’m cool with AR’s and the mind numbing list of accesories that come with them. What makes me sick to my stomach is every single website and magazine is consumed with them ad nauseam. There are better made and better looking long guns made. Waiting patiently till these kids grow up a bit and start buying real guns. Reply Dyspeptic Gunsmith says: September 16, 2012 at 16:54 You’re my hero for the day. Reply Tyler says: June 30, 2015 at 06:54 I know you said that post around 3 years ago, but I just have to reply…. Why don’t you grow a pair and shoot a .50 BGM? I mean really, sir? I’m gonna have to defend the AR-15 for this purpose: It was originally designed to be tactical on the front line during war. You hit someone in the chest, and it’ll come out their ass. Literally. That in turn causes mass internal bleeding. It also causes two of the enemy’s men to come to the aid of their commrade, and they get shot, then others come to their aid, and they get shot, and etc. Maybe if you did a little self-history lesson on the firearm that you want to degrade, before you talk out of your ass and let shit come out (because your mouth knows better), you’d be able to appreciate the reasons why anything in general was designed and created. Your 45-70 is a great caliber, hands down. So is my 7.62x54r from 1943, but the rifles are not practical for wartime use anymore. Well… Mine is if I fit it with proper optics, but yours is not, sir. It has nothing to do with “growing a pair” or “manning up”. It’s got everything to do with neutralizing the enemy and eliminating the threat, effectively and efficiently. So… To wrap this up: Think before you speak. Do research before you embarrass yourself. Last but not least… You just got schooled by a 26 year old that has been making AR-15s and AR-10s (in multiple calibers), for a living for a good while now. Reply Ralph says: September 16, 2012 at 13:01 Maybe he meant AR-15 muzzle rise, ’cause there may be some of that if the shooter’s technique needs five minutes of work. But recoil? Nah. Reply squarebob says: September 16, 2012 at 14:21 Highlight of the video: Nice lightning strike at about 0:39. Reply Bob says: September 16, 2012 at 19:05 A lightning strike. Now that is what I call RECOIL! LOL Reply Accur81 says: September 16, 2012 at 14:53 My wife and I were shooting my .45-70 at an indoor range in Nevada. Actually, I was shooting, and she was spotting. The load was Hornady’s 325 grain LeverEvolution out of a 24″ Marlin XLR, and I was shooting bench rest. A large, buff guy (I’ll say 6’4 ~ 240) wearing a Marine Corps shirt was a few lanes down, blasting away with a Colt 5.56 AR and normal capacity mags. After a little while, he came over with his lovely girlfriend and asked me what I was shooting. I showed him my set up, and explained that I had mounted the scope in its most forward position in order to protect against recoil. He settled into what looked like a solid bench rest position and squeezed the trigger. Blam! The rifle bucked back, with the scope hitting center nose and above right eye and shooting glasses. Blood came rushing down. He calmly set down the rifle and said “My mistake. Should have held it better. Let me take care of this.” I immediately apologized (I thought his position and mass was solid enough for a good hit, plus I’m only about 170 pounds). As the big guy went to the restroom, my wife and I pondered if we should pack up and leave. Instead, I gave him his target when he got back, with a .458 hole through the bullseye. We shook hands, each with a better understanding of recoil. Reply Alec says: September 16, 2012 at 17:39 Wow. Reply McCaveman says: September 17, 2012 at 08:34 No foul there, the 45-70 LeverEvolution loads are sporty. Im 240lbs and I cant shoot more than about 20 out of my Marlin guide gun before Im bruised up. Think about how tuff our grandfathers must have been. Blasting away at the Germans for months at the time with nothing more than a steel plate screwed into a chunk of hardwood as a recoil pad. Reply Dyspeptic Gunsmith says: September 16, 2012 at 16:53 If you really want to train to understand and handle the phases of recoil he’s talking about, then you don’t bother shooting an AR-15. Get yourself a Browning A-5 shotgun and some high brass field loads. There’s nothing subtle about the recoil phases of that shotgun, what with the entire barrel (and breech block) moving to the rear, then slapping forward independently. Once you use an A-5 to shoot some sporting clays or trap, you’ll learn how to deal with the multi-phase recoil. Now, as to the “pussification of America” that was mentioned up above: The AR-15, firing a fairly standard load (let’s say, M-193, 55gr at 3200 fps or thereabouts) results in a free recoil energy of under 4 ft-lbs. Our prior battle rifles used 7.62×51 and .30-06 rounds. Let’s harken back to a Springfield 1903 from 100 years ago… just because it is 100 years ago. The 1903 rifle was about 8.6 lbs, the bullet was 150 gr launched at about 2800 fps, giving a free recoil of a bit over 13 ft-lbs. The venerable .45-70 in a Trapdoor (both rifle and carbine), which used to be our standard issue rifle, was shooting a bullet of about 405gr launched at about 1100 fps from 55gr of powder from a 8.25 lb carbine and this too produces a free recoil energy of about 17 ft-lbs. If you had the full sized rifle and were using the full-capacity powder load to extract the full capability of the .45-70 round in a rifle of this weight or even a tad more, you’re up to about 33 ft-lbs of recoil. Pussified? Yea, I’d say so. Reply bill says: September 16, 2012 at 17:33 If your A5 with high brass is beating you to death you don’t have it set up right. Wipe the oil off the mag tube and Google a5 ring settings. Then try it. Should recoil less than any Benelli you ever shot. Reply Dyspeptic Gunsmith says: September 16, 2012 at 18:03 It’s set right. It isn’t ‘beating me to death…’ it’s merely a whole lot less subtle with the different phases of the recoil. If you’re paying attention, you can easily sense the rearward firing impulse, the barrel/block impulse and the forward impulse as the barrel and bolt go into battery. Compared to modern semi-auto shotguns, the A5 is slow – slow enough that a fast, experienced shooter can get ahead of the gun. Reply Twinkie says: September 16, 2012 at 21:12 You are seriously talking about a gun – the Trapdoor Springfield – that lacked sufficient firepower in July 1876? You must be trolling. Real battle rifles hold 20-30 rounds in a standard magazine for a reason. That reason is not ft-lbs of recoil, which WTF is with measuring effectiveness with a bathroom scale? If history has taught us anything, it’s that we should be giving riles in 45-70 to our enemies so we can outgun and kill them with our “varmint” rifles. Reply Andrew says: September 16, 2012 at 21:14 Who said anything about battle rifles? The discussion was on recoil. You are showing your ignorance, ft lbs. of recoil is the free energy the rifle produces, not something weighed. And the Trapdoor can’t handle the Hammerhead. uick question, you have two choices, get shot with he varmit round or the 545 grain 45-70? March on Captain America. Reply Twinkie says: September 16, 2012 at 22:15 DG was talking about previous rifles the US Army has adopted over the years. Who said anything about getting shot? Methinks either would be a bad day, and if I’m being shot at I’d rather be running from the guy with one big-ass shot than a guy with 30 smaller, faster shots. Dyspeptic Gunsmith says: September 17, 2012 at 02:19 “… measuring effectiveness with a bathroom scale…” Sigh. Go pick up a physics book. Turn to the chapter on “energy.” Start reading. Dyspeptic Gunsmith says: September 17, 2012 at 02:07 July, 1876 wasn’t the result of a poor rifle. It was the result of stupid leadership. In short, Custer was a moron. I’ve been there, I’ve walked over the ground. When you do that and look at it from the perspective of getting into a fight on that ground, it’s clear that Custer was seriously lacking as a commander. He did, after all, graduate last in his class at West Point. Reply jwm says: September 16, 2012 at 23:10 My first center fire rifle was an 03a3 bought at a yard sale. I rode home on my bike and told dad I’d like to buy it. He told me it was my money so go for it. Rode back to the yard sale and told the man I had my parents permission and gave him the 50 bucks for the rifle and rode home with it across my handle bars. We lived in a different country then. 3 years later at age 17 I enlisted and they handed me an m16. I was sadly dissapointed in that rifle and missed my springfield the whole time I was gone. Reply EATENG says: September 17, 2012 at 17:15 You may call it “pussification”, others call it innovation and progress. Do you berate farmers for not plowing their fields with oxen and yoke anymore, or by hand? Do you say construction workers today are pussies for using modern tools and machinery? Different rifles were created for different reasons. A heavy-kicking lever action rifle may be great for certain hunting purposes, but it is severely lacking for other purposes. A video that discusses ways for people who choose an AR15 platform to better control and improve their firing rate and accuracy is just that. I really don’t see the need to berate it, as if someone’s manhood derives from the type of weapon they choose for whatever their reasons. Come to think of it, how long did it take you tough guys to load this website on your 2400 bps dial-up modems? Oh wait, you must be one of those broadband high speed Internet using “pussies”. Reply Dyspeptic Gunsmith says: September 18, 2012 at 03:14 Doing a slow-mo video about the supposed recoil off an AR-15 is the whinging I’m getting at. No one was doing such ‘analysis’ of recoil when there was a lot more of it. There’s even less point in doing such ‘analysis’ of recoil now that they’re almost none of it. Using your analogy of the high speed ‘net (and your pithy words are actually running through code I wrote, BTW), it would be as if someone with a OC-12, viewing cheezy video is whinging about how long it takes to load his next video. Reply EATENG says: September 18, 2012 at 13:27 Except there was no “whining” going on in the video. Dude was just explaining the phases of recoil on an AR15 platform. It would be pretty different if the guy was actually bitching and moaning about it. Heck, if that were the case, I’d probably be the first to scoff. I just think the negative comments were unwarranted and reek of a “my gun is bigger/kicks harder than yours” type of snobbery. My guess is this guy’s audience is probably newer gun owners, or those that became intrigued through the tacticool AR15 and its many gadgets. Why not be more educational and less condescending? After all, us 2A supporters need more friends and allies. I live in CA where gun rights are trampled upon all the time. Any chance I get to educate a new gun owner or someone even slightly interested, I will take. In my experience, condescension never works. I suppose YMMV. Reply EATENG says: September 18, 2012 at 13:36 And before you say it, yes, I should have taken my own advice in my initial post. The last paragraph was probably unecessary. Write a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.