It has been argued that, with the 1911, the bullet leaves the barrel before any rearward slide motion begins. In addition, I have proposed that resistance to recoil must be aligned with the intended flight path because the resistance to recoil occurs before the bullet leaves the barrel and, if misaligned, the aim will be deflected and with it, the flight path of the bullet.
The video (link below) contains a closeup of the muzzle end of a 1911 when a shot is fired. Thirteen (13) frames are shown, spaced out so this can be analyzed.
Here is a description of the individual frames in this video.
- Initial position. Note dark frame at bottom left, and lighter slide above.
- Slide has begun moving to rear.
- Slide continues back.
- Slide continues.
- Slide continues.
- Gas can be seen coming from the end of the barrel. (Slide continues back.)
- More gas from the barrel. (Slide continues.)
- Front of bullet visible coming from the barrel. The odd shape thereof may be due, in my opinion, to the scanning of the video capture and the very high speed of the bullet as this scanning takes place. (Slide continues moving back.)
- Plume of incadescent gas mushrooms out from end of barrel, presumably immediately after the tail of the bullet “unplugs” the barrel. (Slide continues.)
- More of same.
- More. Final frame.
As you can see, the slide begins it rearward movement in frame #2, well before the tip of the bullet appears in frame #10.
Note that, if the slide is being propelled back, then the recoil spring is being compressed. That, in turn, is pressing the gun backward into the shooter’s hand with increasing pressure. The recoil from the shot, therefore, is attempting to move the gun backward before the shot leaves the barrel.
I conclude, therefore, that because the slide is in motion during this “critical to where the shot goes” time, this demonstrates that other forces acting on the gun at this same time — such as the resistance to the recoil from the shooter’s hand, wrist, arm, etc. — may cause the gun to move while the bullet is inside the barrel.
Muscle strength alone is insufficient to resist the exceedingly brief recoil when the gun is fired. The gun is going to move. The important question is, in what direction?
To achieve an accurate shot, resistance to the recoil must align perfectly with the shooter’s hand, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder and body so that the gun moves directly in line with the intended flight path. If fully aligned, the barrel will move “straight back” and the bullet will depart the barrel in the desired direction. Conversely, any sideways or vertical motion that occurs during this brief time is likely to “throw off” the shot.
A good indicator of aligned resistance to recoil is the manner in which the gun moves throughout recoil. Straight back is good. To the left, right, up or down suggests there may be a problem.
A special thanks to Tripp Research for permission to reproduce these frames taken from their video at … This link no longer works, sorry: http://www.trippresearch.com/media/movement/hispeedgateway.html