does recoil efect accuracy?


Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2009
a question that has been since the invention of firearms is does recoil efect accuracy?
after you pull the triger and the gun goes BANG,if the barrel moves 6 inches to the right or or left does this efect the accuracy? or does the bullet leave the barrel way before that happens? l would say it wouldnt have a huge efect on accuracy but for shure the bullet would impact at a different spot than y7ou aimed at? is this true? l think it is.
I think the recoil is happening while the bullet is in the bore, handguns and slow rifles shoot heavier bullet and lighter bullets with different recoil to radically different POI's.
ita alittle of both. most of the recoil happens when the gas is expelling form the end of the muzzle. a smaller amout happens under the compression phase. during the compression phase your pushing a bullet down the bore but the bullet is rubbing on the barrel pulling it forward. if most of the recoil happened during compression there is no way you could get a gun to even shoot 1 moa let alone .1
This is just a guess but I'm thinking that my 8lb rifle must be accelerated to some speed, say 18fps, from a stopped position. Something must cause that acceleration. After the bullet leaves the barrel there is not much left to affect the rifle.

Shoot your rifle with fire forming loads. Just powder and toilet paper. Not much recoil. The bullet accelerating in the bore must be the cause of the recoil. There is nothing else that would do it.

JM .02
I shoot a 300 WBY that you really have to hold right or the torque of the recoil with larger bullets will really through it out of wack. I don't see the recoil as the problem it's me consistantly controlling and moving with the recoil.
I think its pretty much as bigngreen said.

The recoil in and of itself isn't the problem its the effects/affects ((?) of that recoil that messes with accuracy.

Back in the day when I kept track of such stuff I recorded a higher percentage of misses with a 110 gr bullet in a 270 Win vs a 90 gr bullet. This was when shooting many chucks with a sporting rifle under all conditions and shooting positions.

Since I've learned how to better configure a rifle for straight back recoil recoil is much less of a consideration though the shooting platform must be very consistent, Such as, the bipod feet must be at the same level vs a short and long leg, etc.
I have an Encore pistol with a .444 Marlin barrel. I thought I would sight the scope with the rifle stock attached. I didn't let it free recoil but lightly held the forearm. I then went back to pistol configuration and found it shot high. Re-checked with the rifle stock and it was dead on. I adjusted to compensate with the pistol grip and theorized the recoil was effecting the bullet before it left the barrel. As you can imagine a .444 Marlin pistol recoils a little with a bit of muzzle flip. Windage was the same. A little unscientific I know but there is nothing easier than making the equation fit your answer.
If it is long gone, then why does a rifle shoot differently with a bi pod on than with out? Or why does a whipy barrel matter? Why would barrel contour matter at all? If it is just a matter of weight, you could easily add weight to the stock.

Not saying that I know, just adding questions. I tend to think it must have some effect.

Many moons ago this question came up on Benchrest Central. After much cussing and discussion it was decided that the rifle recoiled about 3/8th of a inch while the bullet was in the barrel. These are guys that shoot free recoil and they shoot small groups and don't worry too much about recoil affecting accuracy.:D:D
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