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Will Recoil Hurt My Smartphone?

By October 29, 2016Inteliscope
Will Recoil Hurt My Smart Phone?

Gun owners spend lots of their hard-earned money on expensive scopes without realizing they’ve had one in their pocket the whole time. With the Inteliscope mount and free app, your smartphone can be turned into a targeting system that allows you to zoom in and out, record your shots, store multiple rifle setups, and even add thermal vision for under $500.

However, one of the first questions we often get from hunters, shooters, or law enforcement officers is, “What about the recoil? Can my smartphone handle it?”

In this post, we’re going to attempt to answer a few questions on the subject of recoil and its impact, if any, it has on smartphones.

What is recoil?

Gun Noob helps us understand just what recoil is and why it occurs. As physicist Isaac Newton would explain it, recoil is the equal and opposite reactionary backward motion of a firearm in response to the force of the explosion that creates the forward propulsion of the bullet. Usually, by the time you feel the recoil, the bullet is 10-20 feet away, and the remaining force of the explosion pushes (or kicks) the firearm backward.

However, perceived recoil, what the shooter feels, is a highly subjective matter. In addition to gun weight, it is influenced by many factors. One of the most important of these is the fit and shape of the rifle stock. A good recoil pad can help soften the blow to the shooter’s shoulder. (Source: Chuck Hawks)

Since there are so many factors that determine recoil like gun weight, the grain of the bullet, proper grip, buttstock absorbers, muzzle brakes and suppressors—figuring out a simple explanation may be dang near impossible. So, instead of bending our heads around the physics of recoil, we decided to look instead at the iPhone itself to see just how tough it is.

How tough is the iPhone?

Many phone owners are skeptical about the integrity of their iPhones, but it’s important to understand that iPhones are tested extensively. As we learned from Cult of Mac back in 2014, test phones are not just put under pressure in Apple’s labs, they’re also twisted an average of 8000 times and go through hours of sit testing and daily use testing in the pockets, hands, and purses of the company’s engineers, who all test new model versions of the phone to try and find flaws in design or construction.

But any phone will break under the right conditions. The folks at Consumer Reports put a whole bunch of smartphones through some pressure tests after 2014’s Bendgate, when the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were bending in people’s pockets, to see just how much force it takes to bend an iPhone. Consumer Reports found the iPhone 6 was the first to break at 70 lbs. of pressure, the iPhone 6s at 90 lbs., and the iPhone 5 at 150 lbs.

iPhones are becoming more practical for outdoor and hunting with the latest release of the iPhone 7 that claims to be waterproof, as we mentioned in our last article. Add a sturdy case like a Lunatik or Otterbox, and your phone becomes almost indestructible.

For those who use Android Phones, please see this video.

The 23 floor drop test

Check out this YouTube video of an iPhone being dropped from 23 floors. 

According to our calculations, the building in the video would be roughly 230 feet high (70 meters). The iPhone with an Otter Case weighs roughly .5lbs (0.195612 kgs). So with those two parameters in mind, that would mean the iPhone hit the pavement going somewhere around 60 miles per hour.

And it still worked!

While there are potentially some monsters of recoil out there which could generate ft-lb of recoil (torque, roughly) equivalent to those phone-bending weights of pressure, standard rifles like an AR or even a 12-gauge won’t do any damage to your smartphone. By using the Inteliscope mount, the shooter’s shoulder absorbs most of the recoil—softening the jolt to the phone, even more, while your phone is held securely to your rifle.

Long and short of it, recoil is not a problem for smartphones. We’ve sold thousands of Inteliscope Mounts over the past four years and have yet to receive one report of damage from customers shooting 12-gauge shotguns, automatic and semi-automatic ARs, .308s, .22LRs, and more.

If you’re still not convinced, here’s a few videos for you to check out.

.308 DPMS / 147 GR


Indoor Range:


Range Segment


Ruger 10/22 LR


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