Recoil (often called dateless, kickback or simply kick) is the backward momentum of a gun when it is discharged. In technical terms, the recoil caused by the gun exactly balances the forward momentum of the projectile and exhaust gasses (ejecta), according to Newton's third law. In most small arms, the momentum is transferred to the ground through the body of the shooter; while in heavier guns such as mounted machine guns or cannons, the momentum is transferred to the ground through its mount. In order to bring the gun to a halt, a forward counter-recoil force must be applied to the gun over a period of time. Generally, the counter-recoil force is smaller than the recoil force, and is applied over a time period that is longer than the time that the recoil force is being applied (i.e. the time during which the ejecta are still in the barrel of the gun). This imbalance of forces causes the gun to move backward until it is motionless.

A change in momentum results in a force, which according to Newton's second law is equal to the time derivative of the momentum of the gun. The momentum is equal to the mass of the gun multiplied by its velocity. This backward momentum is equal in magnitude, by the law of conservation of momentum, to the forward momentum of the ejecta (projectile(s), wad, propellant gases, etc...) from the gun. If the mass and velocity of the ejecta are known, it is possible to calculate a gun’s momentum and thus the energy. In practice, it is often simpler to derive the gun’s energy directly with a reading from a ballistic pendulum or ballistic chronograph.

Read more about RecoilPerception of Recoil, Mounted Guns, Misconceptions About Recoil

Other articles related to "recoil, recoils":

Misconceptions About Recoil
... of the bullet must be equal to the recoil energy of the gun in fact, it is many times greater ... energy as it leaves the muzzle, but the recoil energy of the gun is less than 7 Joules ...
SLWH Pegasus - Design
... alloy materials that are lightweight and yet able to withstand the recoil force of the 155 mm artillery system ... Special recoil management design is also employed to reduce the recoil force to a third lower than conventional 155 mm howitzers ...
Muzzle Climb
... the elevation of muzzle of automatic and rapid-fire semi-automatic firearms caused by combined recoil from multiple shots being fired in quick succession ... are used to reduce or eliminate it, including reducing the recoil itself with devices such as muzzle brakes compensating for recoil using a ported barrel or asymmetric muzzle fixture ...
Atomic Recoil
... Atomic recoil is the result of the interaction of an atom with an energetic elementary particle, when the momentum of the interacting particle is transferred to ... If the transferred momentum of atomic recoil is enough to disrupt the crystal lattice of the material, a vacancy defect is formed otherwise a phonon is generated ... Closely related to the atomic recoil is the electron recoil, (see photoexcitation and photoionization) ...
Collision Cascade - Linear Cascades
... When the initial recoil/ion mass is low, and the material where the cascade occurs has a low density (i.e ... the recoil-material combination has a low stopping power), the collisions between the initial recoil and sample atoms occur rarely, and can be understood well as a ... In linear cascades the set of recoils produced in the sample can be described as a sequence of recoil generations depending on how many collision steps ...

Famous quotes containing the word recoil:

    Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another.
    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930)

    A man with your experience in affairs must have seen cause to appreciate the futility of opposition to the moral sentiment. However feeble the sufferer and however great the oppressor, it is in the nature of things that the blow should recoil upon the aggressor. For God is in the sentiment, and it cannot be withstood.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)