I think I know how one would calculate recoil energy from just the projectile, use conservation of momentum to find the velocity of the cannon based on that of the projectile, then calculate kinetic energy from that, right?

What I'm confused/lost on is how one can calculate recoil based on the expanding gas travelling out the barrel. Normally, I can see how this could be negligible, especially with a high-mass projectile, but with my Trident it's not. There is only slightly more recoil shooting a 11/32" ball bearing than there is with no projectile. So... how does one calculate recoil energy produced by an expanding gas?

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