I, like most people, am not the athlete I used to be. I lettered in baseball during high school, but now, throwing any sort of object makes me feel like my shoulder is made from rusty, decades-old iron. Throwing the bowline onto a dock is doable, but there is little I can do by myself if one of my lines needs to be run over the top of something, or thrown a long distance in case of an emergency. Inside the box was a tool that is invaluable if your arm works about as good as mine, and we had endless fun testing it, too. Although I did feel an awful lot like Batman when using the SS, you need not be the savior of Gotham to use this launcher effectively.
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Final Ninja Zero. Meat Gun rope shooter. Gun Mayhem 2. G Switch 3. Endless War Gn. Papa's Pancakeria. Stickman Madness 3. A pendulum wave demonstration with bowling balls Rion Nakaya September 9, January 18, Crazy Flasher 3. Future Buddy. Dream Car Racing. Stickman Madness. Earn to Die 3. Freeway Fury 3. The closest analogy that might help to understand what is going on would be to imagine throwing rock in a moving stream or river.
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Recoil often called knockback , kickback or simply kick is the backward movement of a gun when it is discharged. In technical terms, the recoil momentum acquired by the gun exactly balances the forward momentum of the projectile and exhaust gases ejecta , according to Newton's third law , known as conservation of momentum. In hand-held small arms , the recoil momentum is transferred to the ground through the body of the shooter, while in heavier guns, such as mounted machine guns or cannons , recoil momentum is transferred to the ground through the mount.
In order to bring the rearward moving gun to a halt, the momentum acquired by the gun is dissipated by a forward acting counter-recoil force applied to the gun over a period of time after the projectile exits the muzzle.
To apply this counter-recoiling force, modern mounted guns may employ recoil buffering comprising springs and hydraulic recoil mechanisms , similar to shock absorbing suspension on automobiles. Early cannons used systems of ropes along with rolling or sliding friction to provide forces to slow the recoiling cannon to a stop. Recoil buffering allows the maximum counter-recoil force to be lowered so that strength limitations of the gun mount are not exceeded.
Gun chamber pressures and projectile acceleration forces are tremendous, on the order of tens of thousands of pounds per square inch and tens of thousands of times the acceleration of gravity g's , both necessary to launch the projectile at useful velocity during the very short travel distance of the barrel.
However, the same pressures acting on the base of the projectile are acting on the rear face of the gun chamber, accelerating the gun rearward during firing. Practical weight gun mounts are typically not strong enough to withstand the maximum forces accelerating the projectile during the short time the projectile is in the barrel, typically only a few milliseconds.
To mitigate these large recoil forces, recoil buffering mechanisms spread out the counter-recoiling force over a longer time, typically ten to a hundred times longer than the duration of the forces accelerating the projectile. This results in the required counter-recoiling force being proportionally lower, and easily absorbed by the gun mount.
Modern cannons also employ muzzle brakes very effectively to redirect some of the propellant gasses rearward after projectile exit. This provides a counter-recoiling force to the barrel, allowing the buffering system and gun mount to be more efficiently designed at even lower weight. The same physics affecting recoil in mounted guns and cannons applies to hand-held guns. However, the shooter's body assumes the role of gun mount, and must similarly dissipate the gun's recoiling momentum over a longer period of time than the bullet travel-time in the barrel, in order not to injure the shooter.
Hands, arms and shoulders have considerable strength and elasticity for this purpose, up to certain practical limits. Nevertheless, "perceived" recoil limits vary from shooter to shooter, depending on body size, the use of recoil padding , individual pain tolerance, the weight of the firearm, and whether recoil buffering systems and muzzle brakes are employed.
For this reason, establishing recoil safety standards for small arms remains challenging, in spite of the straight-forward physics involved. A change in momentum of a mass requires a force ; according to Newton's first law , known as the law of inertia , inertia simply being another term for mass. That force, applied to a mass, creates an acceleration , which when applied over time, changes the velocity of a mass. According to Newton's second law , the law of momentum -- changing the velocity of the mass changes its momentum, mass multiplied by velocity.
It is important to understand at this point that velocity is not simply speed. Velocity is the speed of a mass in a particular direction. In a very technical sense, speed is a scalar mathematics , a magnitude, and velocity is a vector physics , magnitude and direction. Newton's third law , known as conservation of momentum, recognizes that changes in the motion of a mass, brought about by the application of forces and accelerations, does not occur in isolation; that is, other bodies of mass are found to be involved in directing those forces and accelerations.
Furthermore, if all the masses and velocities involved are accounted for, the vector sum, magnitude and direction, of the momentum of all the bodies involved does not change; hence, momentum of the system is conserved. This conservation of momentum is why gun recoil occurs in the opposite direction of bullet projection -- the mass times velocity of the projectile in the positive direction equals the mass times velocity of the gun in the negative direction.
In summation, the total momentum of the system equals zero, surprisingly just as it did before the trigger was pulled. To confirm analytical calculations and estimates, once a prototype gun is manufactured, the projectile and gun recoil energy and momentum can be directly measured using a ballistic pendulum and ballistic chronograph. There are two conservation laws at work when a gun is fired: conservation of momentum and conservation of energy. Recoil is explained by the law of conservation of momentum, and so it is easier to discuss it separately from energy.
The nature of the recoil process is determined by the force of the expanding gases in the barrel upon the gun recoil force , which is equal and opposite to the force upon the ejecta. It is also determined by the counter-recoil force applied to the gun e. The recoil force only acts during the time that the ejecta are still in the barrel of the gun. The counter-recoil force is generally applied over a longer time period and adds forward momentum to the gun equal to the backward momentum supplied by the recoil force, in order to bring the gun to a halt.
There are two special cases of counter recoil force: Free-recoil , in which the time duration of the counter-recoil force is very much larger than the duration of the recoil force, and zero-recoil, in which the counter-recoil force matches the recoil force in magnitude and duration.
Except for the case of zero-recoil, the counter-recoil force is smaller than the recoil force but lasts for a longer time. Since the recoil force and the counter-recoil force are not matched, the gun will move rearward, slowing down until it comes to rest. In the zero-recoil case, the two forces are matched and the gun will not move when fired. In most cases, a gun is very close to a free-recoil condition, since the recoil process generally lasts much longer than the time needed to move the ejecta down the barrel.
An example of near zero-recoil would be a gun securely clamped to a massive or well-anchored table, or supported from behind by a massive wall. However, employing zero-recoil systems is often neither practical nor safe for the structure of the gun, as the recoil momentum must be absorbed directly through the very small distance of elastic deformation of the materials the gun and mount are made from, perhaps exceeding their strength limits.
For example, placing the butt of a large caliber gun directly against a wall and pulling the trigger risks cracking both the gun stock and the surface of the wall. The recoil of a firearm, whether large or small, is a result of the law of conservation of momentum. Assuming that the firearm and projectile are both at rest before firing, then their total momentum is zero.
Assuming a near free-recoil condition, and neglecting the gases ejected from the barrel, an acceptable first estimate , then immediately after firing, conservation of momentum requires that the total momentum of the firearm and projectile is the same as before, namely zero. Stating this mathematically:. In other words, immediately after firing, the momentum of the firearm is equal and opposite to the momentum of the projectile.
Since momentum of a body is defined as its mass multiplied by its velocity, we can rewrite the above equation as:. A force integrated over the time period during which it acts will yield the momentum supplied by that force.
The counter-recoil force must supply enough momentum to the firearm to bring it to a halt. This means that:. For a gun firing under free-recoil conditions, the force on the gun may not only force the gun backwards, but may also cause it to rotate about its center of mass or recoil mount. This is particularly true of older firearms, such as the classic Kentucky rifle , where the butt stock angles down significantly lower than the barrel, providing a pivot point about which the muzzle may rise during recoil.
The angular momentum of the gun is found by integrating this equation to obtain:. The angular rotation of the gun as the bullet exits the barrel is then found by integrating again:.
The angle at which the bullet leaves the barrel above the aim angle is then given by:. The momentum of the ejected gases will not contribute very much to this result, since the ejected gases have relatively low mass compared to the bullet, and only that portion of gas exiting closely behind the bullet has significantly high velocity to contribute to recoil momentum.
However, one should understand that total recoil momentum is slightly more than the simple product of the mass and velocity of the exiting projectile, for this reason. A consideration of the energy released during the firing of a gun leads to an additional equation useful in recoil analysis.
Using Newton's second law , force equals mass times acceleration, the energy within a moving body due to its velocity change caused by that acceleration can be stated mathematically from the translational kinetic energy as:. This equation is known as the "classic statement" and yields a measurement of energy in joules or foot-pound force in non-SI units.
In the firearms lexicon, the energy of a recoiling firearm can be described as "felt recoil", what the shooter literally feels from the force applied to the shooter's hand, arms and shoulder during the distance the gun recoils to a stop , free recoil , and recoil energy. This same energy equation applies to the projectile exiting the barrel and is called: muzzle energy, bullet energy, remaining energy.
Further along on the trajectory, the energy of the projectile at the point of impact is known as the down range energy or impact energy and generally will be slightly smaller than the muzzle energy due to wind resistance slowing the projectile. This, of course, is the design intent, to deliver a projectile a great distance forward, as opposed to sending a launcher uselessly rearward.
The source of the kinetic energy is the heat energy rapidly released during propellant combustion. Rapidly burning propellant in a sealed container generates tremendous pressure. Pressure is a force applied over an area; in this case the base area of the projectile, driving the projectile down the barrel at high speed. However, whereas momentum is balanced between the projectile and the recoiling firearm, energy is not.
Energy of the system is certainly conserved, conservation of energy , but in only the general sense that all the energy in the system, kinetic and potential energy , before the event equals all the energy after the event.
That is, some of the potential energy stored in the propellant is released to create kinetic energy in the subsequently moving parts. Some of the propellant energy, by creating high pressure and recoiling forces, briefly deforms the barrel, gun mount, and projectile materials, which heats these materials internally in the process. Additional excess heat energy from the propellant escapes through the muzzle blast as the hot gases exit behind the projectile.
All of this heat energy, that does not directly become system kinetic energy, slowly dissipates into the atmosphere as the gun cools. Therefore, whereas momentum between the gun and projectile balances, through conservation of momentum, kinetic energy does not balance between the two. For example, with a rifle weighing 5 pounds firing a grain bullet, at feet per second, the recoil energy will be only about 0. The bullet receives about foot-pounds of energy, and the rifle only Given the following calculations:.
Admittedly, calculations can be confusing with units of grains, slugs, feet per second, pound-second, foot-pounds, etc. Understanding where all the energy goes during the combustion process is important to properly designing gun and recoil systems.
Recoil energy is initially absorbed by the springs and hydraulic cylinders of the buffering system, or the body of the shooter, which produces the counter-recoil force. The kinetic energy of recoil is then slowly dissipated as heat energy. For a hand-held firearm, the energy is absorbed by the shooter's body, creating a small amount of heat in muscles and bones. For the naval cannon from the figure above, it will roll backwards and the recoil energy will be mostly absorbed by the friction forces in the wheel axles and between the wheel and the ship deck and this energy is again converted to heat.
The backward momentum applied to the firearm is actually equal and opposite to the momentum of not only the projectile, but the ejected gas created by the combustion of the charge as well. Likewise, the recoil energy given to the firearm is affected by the ejected gas. By conservation of mass , the mass of the ejected gas will be equal to the original mass of the propellant.
This expression should be substituted into the expression for projectile momentum in order to obtain a more accurate description of the recoil process. It is mostly dependent upon the type of propellant used, but may depend slightly on other things such as the ratio of the length of the barrel to its radius.
For small arms, the way in which the shooter perceives the recoil, or kick , can have a significant impact on the shooter's experience and performance.
For example, a gun that is said to "kick like a mule " is going to be approached with trepidation, and the shooter may anticipate the recoil and flinch in anticipation as the shot is released. This leads to the shooter jerking the trigger, rather than pulling it smoothly, and the jerking motion is almost certain to disturb the alignment of the gun and may result in a miss.
The shooter may also be physically injured by firing a weapon generating recoil in excess of what the body can safely absorb or restrain; perhaps getting hit in the eye by the rifle scope, hit in the forehead by a handgun as the elbow bends under the force, or soft tissue damage to the shoulder, wrist and hand; and these results vary for individuals.
In addition, as pictured on the right, excessive recoil can create serious range safety concerns, if the shooter cannot adequately restrain the firearm in a down-range direction. Perception of recoil is related to the deceleration the body provides against a recoiling gun, deceleration being a force that slows the velocity of the recoiling mass.
Force applied over a distance is energy. The force that the body feels, therefore, is dissipating the kinetic energy of the recoiling gun mass.
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Shot Line | Big Shot Slingshot | Tree Sling Shot | SHERRILLtree
I, like most people, am not the athlete I used to be. I lettered in baseball during high school, but now, throwing any sort of object makes me feel like my shoulder is made from rusty, decades-old iron.
Throwing the bowline onto a dock is doable, but there is little I can do by myself if one of my lines needs to be run over the top of something, or thrown a long distance in case of an emergency.
Inside the box was a tool that is invaluable if your arm works about as good as mine, and we had endless fun testing it, too. Although I did feel an awful lot like Batman when using the SS, you need not be the savior of Gotham to use this launcher effectively.
It uses one of three different. Attached to the projectile is a spool of feet of pound test nylon rope. After firing, reloading is as easy as grabbing and inserting a new spool of rope. Line launchers are incredibly useful in emergencies when your boat must be towed in or tied off from far away. Having one of these guns could prove to be the difference between being dragged out by a current and being towed safely to shore.
The SS comes with a pistol-type grip and a full-length shoulder stock to increase accuracy when firing. Mike, Chef Len, John and I all had a shooting competition with this launcher that went well into the evening that we first got it in the mail. Included in the launcher kit are two different kinds of missiles. The aluminum missile weighs eight ounces and has an aerodynamic shape. It flies the farthest, but shooting a half-pound of aluminum at a fiberglass hull makes me cringe just thinking about it.
We loved testing the SS. It is hands down the best launcher that we have ever seen, but we picked up some alternatives to test out to see if we could find any weak points in the SS. The first alternative we looked at is the Bridger C85 Shoulder line gun. If a line gun could be opulent for the casual sailor, this is certainly the one. The C85 can shoot a line up to feet, depending on rope and projectile used.
Excessive is the first word that came to my mind when I first saw John fire this, and I think it is just too heavy-duty for what we were looking for. If you work aboard large commercial ships or for the Coast Guard, the C85 definitely delvers the strongest punch of the line launchers we looked at.
With that increased strength, though, comes a lot of regulation. The C85 is classified and regulated in the same category as any normal firearm. Not too big of a deal if you work on an oil rig and you need your lines thrown, but the casual sailor is forced to go through many more hoops when travelling with a firearm. Without even considering price, the C85 is just not the right fit for what we were looking for.
On the opposite side of the firepower spectrum is the Big Shot Line Launcher. The Big Shot is essentially an eight-foot pole with a slingshot attached to the end.
In addition to one-piece, eight-foot poles, the Big Shot can be bought with a two-piece fiberglass pole in case you need more portability. The Big Shot was fun to use just like the SS, but ultimately the consistency of shots drops significantly when fired manually.
Unlike the C85 launcher, the SS is not classified as a firearm. There is just simply no other product available that matches the performance of the SS. I was easily able to hit targets over a hundred feet away after only one practice shot. When purchased as a kit, the SS comes with a waterproof carrying case that holds two missiles, two spools of line, the launcher, three canisters of blank bullets and a cleaning kit. In conclusion, the SS is an incredibly useful tool for those all of us unable to throw lines over feet.
It has a compact, durable design that splits in two for maximum portability. The launcher is incredibly accurate with little experience shooting it, and I had a tough time leaving the SS in the office when I went home because of how fun it is to shoot. If you think you could use a stronger arm to launch your lines, the SS line launcher is the best rope gun a mariner can buy.
The Teak Rail a collection of our favorite marine equipment. Each item featured on this site is a result of hundreds of hours of research and thousands of hours of abuse aboard vessels sailing the high seas.
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