All other things being equal, how does the mass of a pistol's slide effect the recoil imparted to the shooter?
Background: firearm enthusiasts often assert that the larger the "reciprocating mass" the more recoil. I am no physicist, but this seems completely wrong to me. Here is my argument. I would appreciate anyone pointing out what I have right and wrong here.
Suppose we have two pistols $A$ and $B$ having equal mass and each firing bullets that impart identical forces. Suppose also that despite being equal in mass on the whole, the slide of pistol $B$ is more massive than $A$'s (obviously the frame of $B$ is proportionally less massive).
Now, since momentum is a conserved force the momentum imparted to the shooter is identical between $A$ and $B$: the additional mass of $B$'s slide is canceled, for lack of a better word, by the proportional decrease in its velocity. Kinetic energy, however, is proportional to the square of the velocity. So the more massive slide of $B$ in fact means less energy is imparted. So all things being equal, $B$ imparts less felt recoil--at least to the degree that a shooter feels both the momentum and kinetic energy of recoil.
Of course, there's more to the story in the real world admittedly. Having a lighter slide, $A$ would probably have a "heavier" recoil spring which would slow the velocity and acceleration of its slide I assume. On the other hand, a heavier spring means a greater force is imparted when the spring begins to expand as the slide begins moving in the opposite direction during recoil.
Finally, what can be said objectively about what one feels when a pistol recoils and the nature of momentum vs energy vs force (i.e. mass times acceleration)?
Is there any sense or truth in saying something like, "Momentum is what feels like the 'shove' you receive, while energy is what causes that feeling of the impact radiating into the bones of your firearm"?
(Again, I have no training in physics).