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How Much Kick Can You Take?

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February 27, 2007

How Much Kick Can You Take?

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

Floyd Paterson, the former heavyweight champ, had a chin of Dresden china and probably spent as much time on the canvas as he did on his feet. Muhammad Ali had a chin of iron, and absorbed some of the most savage beatings in ring history without going down. He could be decked only rarely, and knocked out, never. How come? No one has an answer.

So it is with recoil. Some people can take a ton of it and walk away with a spring in their step and a song in their heart. Others run shrieking for the ice bag and the Ibuprofin if they fire anything bigger than a BB gun.

It doesn’t seem to relate to body size. I know small guys who can shoot horrendous rifles with no trouble, and immense humanoids who swoon at the sight of a .30/06. As a rule, the upper limit for most rifleman is a .41-caliber cartridge such as the .416 Remington or Rigby. Both fire 400-grain bullets at 2,300 fps or so. When you get up to the .458, with 500 grains at 2,000 fps (or a little less) and about 60 foot-pounds of recoil, most people would rather not, thanks. And with bigger cartridges like the .458 Lott and .450 Dakota 500 grains, 2,300 fps), even the toughest riflemen grow pale and begin to tremble.

The worst-kicking rifle I’ve ever used is the .378 Weatherby. It comes back at you so fast you can’t roll with it, and it’s the only rifle I’ve ever sold because I feared it.

The worst thing you can do if you want to learn to shoot a big rifle is use a Lead Sled. The way you learn to take a punch is by getting punched. The way you learn to handle lots of kick is by getting kicked. The Lead Sled absorbs just about all the recoil, and prevents you from becoming a manly man. (If you are a woman, this is obviously not a consideration.) Take your whupping and learn to live it.

Comments (74)

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from MDS wrote 6 years 43 weeks ago

I'm heading to Alaska to live. I want to carry a suitably capable gun for protection against Brown Bears. Have been looking at heavy rifles - e.g. 450 Lott in the Ruger 77, but interested in the ability of the 12 gauge with Dixie slugs to fill the need (.730 diameter, 730 grains, 1400 fps - TKO of 106). I am not interested in giving a bear a fighting chance or being sporting - if I'm shooting, I want the first shot to count. I certainly don't want to be under gunned.Advice? Comparison of 12 GA with Dixie Slugs to 458 Lott?Thanks.

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from CHRIS CAMPBELL wrote 6 years 45 weeks ago

I HAVE JUST GOT A 450 ACKLEY MAGNUM RIFLE. IT IS A BOLT ACTION WITH A 5 RD INSIDE MAG. THE BULLETS ARE ON THERE WAY, AND COST $99.95 PLUS S&H FOR A BOX OF 20 DOES ANY ONE KNOW HOW MUCH BIGGER THE 450 ACKLEY IT TO A 458 LOTT??? I SEE ON LINE THE BULLET HAS MORE RECOIL THAN THE 458 LOTT,AND HOLDS MORE POWDER!! ANY HELP WOULD BE HELPFULL.

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from panda wrote 6 years 48 weeks ago

Happened upon this page and thought I'd add a couple of personal comments.My preferred weapon is a 1911, however, I have been known to shoot rifles now and then. My husband and I were at the range this weekend to hone our pistol combat skills and happened upon an acquaintance of ours. He's also a well-respected local expert who was shooting his Ruger .458 Lott. Being quite the gentleman, and knowing my husband's gunfighting skills, he offered my husband the opportunity to squeeze off a couple of rounds. Surprisingly, he made the same offer to me, and although I usually never pass up such an opportunity, I was a mite bit intimidated by his expertise and (a little bit) the rifle itself. However, I was quickly persuaded that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and that I would likely be the only woman in West Virginia to have fired a .458 Lott. With that challenge, I was hooked. Words can't describe the experience! Thought I had no hopes of hitting the target (4x8 plywood backing with pie-plate sized targets) even with a good scope at 50 yds., so I did as instructed, put on the shoulder pad, adjusted it, shouldered the rifle and let 'er fly. Well let me tell you that if you ever get the chance to fire one of these rifles, you MUST do so! I fired only three rounds (standing), but am proud to say that one was in the outer ring and one was on the edge of the target, and I lost one, but I was more than pleased! I hadn't expected to even hit the target. The recoil with the shoulder pad wasn't a big deal. I always figure that recoil is something that one can manage. It's all in your attitude and determination to master the weapon. I also have had an excellent instructor - my husband. I imagine that someday we'll own one of these incredible rifles. Nice to know that I can handle it if needed.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 48 weeks ago

im a 13 year old and i shoot my grandpa 700 06 like a dream and i was looking for a gun and i was thinking a 7mm mag but wahts the best

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from CHRIS CAMPBELL wrote 7 years 1 week ago

WELL..... I JUST GOT BACK FROM THE RANGE TODAY. AND I HAVE TO SAY. WOOOOOOOOOOW!!! THE 458 LOTT DOES KICK, AND KICK HARD IT DOES! I COULD ONLY SHOOT 5 ROUNDS OF 500GRN RN BULLETS AND THAT WAS IT FOR THE DAY. AND MAN YOU TALK ABOUT A FAST FIRING BULLET. IT WAS. WELL NOW I CAN SAY I CAME,I SAW, I GOT BLOWED UP!! MY NEXT GUN TO FIRE IS GOING TO BE THE 505 GIBBS ANY IDEA WHAT THE RECOIL MITE BE??? PLEASE LET ME KNOW.CHRIS CAMPBELL,FOUNTAIN INN,SC

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from CHRIS CAMPBELL wrote 7 years 2 weeks ago

THIS IS CHRIS AGIN, ONE MORE THING I WOULD LIKE TO ADD. I AM HOPPING TO THAKE THE 458 LOTT TO THE RANGE THIS WEEKEND. I STILL WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT I'M IN FOR AS FOR FELT RECOIL. I OWN AND SHOOT A 500 MAG REVOLVER, AND A DOUBLE RIFLE IN 8-BORE WITH A 535GR BULLET AND ABOUT 100GRS OF BLACK POWDER AND IT KICK'S!!I HAVE SEEN ON ALOT OF BLOGS THAT THE 458 LOTT HITS VERY HARD AND MOST SHOOTERS CAN ONLY SHOOT IT ABOUT 4 TIMES AND THEN THAT IS IT FOR A WEEK!! IS THIS TRUE? AND IS IT GOING TO BITE LIKE THEY SAY? OR IS IT BARK WORSE THAN THE BITE?PLEASE LET ME KNOW I NEED ALL OF THE INFO THAT I CAN GET!CHRIS CAMPBELL,FOUNTAIN INN,SC

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from CHRIS CAMPBELL wrote 7 years 2 weeks ago

HI, I HAVE JUST GOT A RUGER NO 1 IN 458 LOTT I AM 24 YEARS OLD AND OWN AND SHOOT A 50BMG AR-50 WHAT WILL THE RECOIL BE LIKE ON THE 458 LOTT? I EVEN THOUGH ABOUT USEING A THICK TOWEL TO PUT BETWEEN MY SHOLDER AND THE GUN...ANY HELP WILL BE GREAT!!!CHRIS,SOUTH CAROLINA.

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from booty0 wrote 7 years 5 weeks ago

3" slugs from an 870 is always unpleasant. I've also found that hot .35 Remingtons from T/C Contender can be a fairly daunting experience...

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from Charshooter wrote 7 years 5 weeks ago

Recoil is a subjective thing, but I have to agree, that anything with more recoil the 300 Win. Mag. gets to bothering me at the bench. On the other hand, I have friends who hate bench shooting anything with more recoil than a 270 or a 7-08, then there are those who shoot a 375 H&H on the bench without any sweat. I believe what matters is two things: ones overall size, heavy frame is more important than height; how much practice one commits to shooting at the bench and is willing to move to heavy calibers and if one learns to hold the rifle right. Excessive rigid stance will lead to punishment, where a loose relaxed pose will allow one to move with the recoil, not fighting it.Overall, I must agree, the 416 Rem. was about the most I could shoot well in a standing position, much like magnum 10 gauge shotgun loads, yet with a entirely different kick, they are both upper limits for me. On the other hand, I think with practice, the super heavy 45 plus calibers could be manageable, but then who needs the expense to learn to shoot these well?

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from mark wrote 7 years 6 weeks ago

Hi Dave.I liked your article on recoil. I still own a .378 WBY. She is a beast all right, but I spend time in areas where grizzlies are abundant and if I ever find myself in a situatuation where my my rifle will help me, I'll be happy to have my .378 in hand. I sight in with the aid of my lead sled, and practice all shooting positions with plenty of hearing protection. I find that the porting in the barrel results in recoil equivelant to my .300 WBY without porting. Held right, it's not that bad for me.Cheers!

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Weight is nature's recoil dampner. PAST pads attenuate recoil and make it more manageable. If you're a dinosauar hunter or just can't live without megaton amounts of impact energy one thing that works well is a properly designed muzzle break. Either a cheveron or a bi-spherical brake can make a noticeable difference in felt recoil.Guns-Up!Krusty

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from Roger E. Reeves, Sr. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Enought weight is the major secret to reduced recoil. No way can you shoot a 4 to 5 lb gun in 300 WIn Mag or larger and it not knock your block off. I'm a small guy, l28 lbs and bought a Model 70 Win in 300 WSM. I shot it 3-4 times and sold it. Bought a Rem 700, walnut in 06 and added 2 lb to stock. With Scope, lead in stock, loaded, it weighs about 9 l/2 lbs, shoots like a 22 LR. No way can we have it both ways. Either light and Kick your A-- or add wt and sweet dreams when you pull the trigger, end of the flinch and dead on target.Its a pleasure to shoot the 06 now, never give the recoil a thought with a l80 gr bullet. A lot of pratice and good bullets, place the shot in the Vitals and bring home your trophy. Leave the baby weight guns to the large guys, who can handle a 30 + recoil, I sure cannot and few serious hunters can either.

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Anti-FuddLast I checked this thread is a "recoil discussion" the other topic is a couple of pages back. Not many fudds here just people talking about guns. Read my posts back there I MEANT EVERY SINGLE WORD OF IT and I doubt you'll find anybody that is against the Fudd Mentality more than I. But! say what you need to say at the apporpriate time and place.We're pissed about that issue I think they get it. But this isn't the forum for discussing that issue so trashing it is in poor taste. If you feel the need to do further on that topic might I suggest writing letters to the editors, Mr. P, and the advertisers.MarkMy re-education is in progress. Please bear in mind I've only been retired for less than a year and I still work in that comunity so I'm constantly exposed to my native tongue and must remain fluent. Talking about the recoil standards you'd be amaized at what is studied in excrutiating detail. There's a gold mine of information there if you can just sift through it.Perry,My next wheelgun (once I talk the ole' lady into it) is going to be a .500 SW. For tactical pistols I always carry a 1911 45ACP. I'm a big fan of flying ashtrays.

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from jbtool wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Well I have an old H&R 10 ga.That I shoot and I enjoy the recoil. But all my friends hate it.But I can't stand the recoil of a 30-06 that beats me up. thats why I shoot a 308

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from MattWV wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

P Landry,The load I use in my 7mm Rem Mag is 67.5grs of RL-22 and a 140gr Nosler Accubond. This is actually the max load in Nosler's manual but the recoil is quite manageable (though after running it over my chronograph the velocities are about 250fps slower).My friends usually sight their rifles in at my house (you know, 3 shots the weekend before season) as I've actually put money into a decent front rest and rear bag and no matter how many times I offer they refuse to try my gun. It's funny because they always pull out excuses like "I don't want to waste your ammo" or something along those lines but really you can tell they're afraid for some reason. I didn't realize magnum was such a terrifying word till now.

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from JB wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

M-79

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from P Landry wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

A friend with a 7mm rem mag warned me about the recoil as I picked it up to try it out at the range. But, after the beating I took the week before from a half dozen turkey load shots from my 12 ga Winchester while patterning a new choke, I barely felt the rifle.With the shotgun, I know the kick is coming but I hang on and just take it - and you do kind of get used to it.It really is all relative. And the bruise on my shoulder from the shotgun gradually dissapeared in about ten days.

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from Mike wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Mark,Thanks a lot for the information. I'll pick up a Speer manual. I checked my Barnes, Hornady, Hogdon, and Sierra manuals and they didn't indicate you could use 280 loads. Appreciate your help...Thanks.

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from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Mike,Speer manual #12 says a reloader can use 280 Remington loading data for 7 x 64.

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from Mike wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I'm looking at buying a sporterized mauser that's chambered in 7X64. I can get dies and new brass but I've been unable to get any loading data. I'd use 140 and 160gr Barnes TSX. Anybody got any reloading info for this?

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from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Now you may be right there. I was shooting the Cor-Bon 200 grain Barnes X. Bump it another 125 grains and I may be singing a different tune...

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from Jason wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Chad,I am not 100% sure, but, I think the load I was shooting thru my .454 Casull was a Cor-Bon 325g at 1600fps. I could describe shooting this in many ways, but "almost pleasant" isn't one of them. I definately need to try some lighter loads.Jason

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from John B. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Years ago I bought a lightweight Husqvarna 30/06. They were brand new out and looked liked a dandy little hunting rifle. But kick? It was brutal. It had to be the stock design as I shot a friend's .243 in the same model some years later and the felt recoil was way beyond any other .243 I had shot. I traded my /06 off on a standard model Husky and never regretted it.I also had an early model Ruger in .44 mag - prior to the square gripped Blackhawk. My hands are small and I couldn't control it. With that rounded grip, the gun would roll back in my hand and whack me on web. Damn it hurt. That one had to go too.Then there is the beautiful .375 built for me by gunmaker Pete Grisel. On delivery Pete supplied me with some high test handloads he had made up. They were incredibly accurate but by the 3rd shot off a bench I had a "go home" headache. Kept the gun but reduced the loads.Who said shooting wasn't a contact sport?

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from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I'll agree with you on the muzzle blast. I'd be guilty of gross understatement to call it significant. But it was a blast (so to speak) to shoot. I'm seriously thinking of trying one out on an open plains whitetail hunt next year, adn I'm not much of a handgun guy.

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from js wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Chad,I was at the range when a guy beside me started shooting his .460 s&w. The muzzle blast from that thing is ridiculous. I could feel the blast from 15-20 feet away. You guys have @ it.I'll pass on the hand cannon.Jim

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from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Hey, Anti-Fudd!You must be built like Goliath of Gath. The last thing I’d be lugging in Montana at the 4,000 ft level heading for the 6,000 ft level is an M-2. The damn thing is a turkey with cranberry sauce and dressing for the game fields.For the game fields and mountains I want something light that handles, and takes ammo where each round doesn’t weight as much as a lead boat anchors.Just remember shooting a deer or elk is easy. Lugging the carcass down off a mountain is a real drag…play on words……while carrying a rifle and your gear. From experience, I was dismayed what a Herculean chore dragging a mere 120-lbs buck off *DOWN* a mountain was. I never knew a dead animal could tie its legs around every damn sapling in my path!

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from furface wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

The lead sled has its place. Sighting in and working up loads.After that it is time to wrestle with the beast. Like David said "The way you learn to take a punch is by getting punched. The way you learn to handle lots of kick is by getting kicked."

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from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Speaking of handgun recoil, I got the chance to shoot one of the S&W .460s a couple weeks ago. I was shocked at how mild the recoil was. Granted, it was a big, heavy gun with an 8-inch compensated barrel and a scope, but with a handcannon like that I figured it would be much worse than it was. Now muzzle blast was significant (you want muffs fer sure) but it was, I dare say, almost pleasant to shoot, and it sent those 200-grain Barnes Xs downrange at 2,000fps. Impressive. I'm not a handgun hunter, but I'm seriously considering trying one out next deert season.

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from Anti-Fudd! wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I think I'll start huntingwith the 50.....M2 that is!Knock down a whole hell ofgame with that. Wouldn't yathink?I really don't care what youall think...Go to Hell!I'll use whats befitting tome!....Same back at ya!

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from Perrry Peltonen wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Krusty, on the 454 cas/ sold mine i use a 480 ruger now in my ss redhawk for alaska almost same snort less pain can hit stuff better not worrying about the earth quake getting me

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from Perrry Peltonen wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I Reload, And Hunt Alaska, Got 4 big magnums ,none of them kick at all compared to the Hand R single shot 12 ga 3and half magnum shooting turkey loads xfull choke a guy i know actually broke his nose ,and got the racoon look,shooting one,not a rookie either hunted with him for years , even the 835 mossberg kicks like a 2000 pound mule shooting these 3.5 mags

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from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Chad,I heard chocolate covered grasshopppers taste great. I think you can get them at Godiva.

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from John wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

All I know is my Savage Slug Warrior 12 guage will kill me in 5 shots unless I use some sort of recoil pad. Then it's bang bang bang all day long. Anything else doesn't really bother me.

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from jstreet wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Matt,The past pads work about like a Limbsaver pad. The do reduce the recoil a significant amount. Do them make shooting hard kicking guns fun? Hell no, but they make it a whole lot more doable.Jim

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from MattWV wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

How well do the PAST pads work anyway? I have a M70 in 30-06 with a steel buttplate and after 20 rounds or so I don't really care to shoot it much more; it really digs on you. This makes working up loads a very annoying procedure so I thought a pad might help a bit.

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from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Krusty, My Man…..You’re gonna have to learn normal “gun nut” speak, and drop the governmental-ese. That way we can all understand what you’re talking about and your vision.I’m amazed the Government spent this much time to document in minute detail this recoil stuff. Sounds as if a light colonel didn’t have enough to do and was looking for way to make full-bird.BTY I don’t know what a Lead Sled is, either. I always used a 20-lbs bag of shot between me and my big rifles when shooting from the bench.See you on FUDD-Land Campus! :-)

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from Michael wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Recoil is very subjective. I can shoot my .30/06 all day, but bigger is not my cup of tea.Handguns are a different story. I have shot revolvers up to the S&W 500 without problem.

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Figured it was some manner of rest. I could see where something like that could lead to a stock splitwith the cannon calibers. If I'm not manfiring for what ever reason I like shooting from a buffered rest.

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from MattWV wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Krusty,It's a product from Caldwell meant to tame heavy recoiling guns.http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=152664I've heard tales of them ruining scopes but I don't think any has ever actually been proven true. Unless I run into some money I think I'll keep using a sandbag between me and the gun when patterning turkey loads.

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Dave,60ftlbs is a guidline for evaluations / systems designs. I'd have to dig to find the exact number but it's one of the mil-specs established by the Small Arms ARDEC (army research,desighn & engineering command)at Picatinny Arsenal. In service weapons that generate 45-60 ftlb of recoil are pump shotguns M870 or M500 w/ the tactical slug or buckshot rds, M203 40mm grenade launchers especially when shooting illume rounds, and M82 or M107 .50 cal SASR. Suprisingly the .50s aren't that bad due to the cheveron muzzle break (take it off and it's a beast). I shot an Xsystem that shot 40mm High velocity in a single shot launcher 80ftlbs. That concept never went far. Since we're on neutral ground so to speak (I'll leave "the issue" where it belongs back at the wailing wall) I'm kinda new back to the sporting scene (just retired after 20yrs usmc and didn't shoot much sporting arms while in)and I'm trying to catch up on the whole market not just my little EBR nitch. What is a "Lead Sled"?

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from Joshua wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Petzal, how much foot-pounds of recoil for a Rem. 870 3 1/2 12 ga.

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from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Well, as long as we're airing recoil stupidity stories...I went dove hunting one day this past year with my young son (he was five at the time).I was carrying a little wand-like Beretta BL-4 20 gauge, a hair under six pounds. My son was hunting with a stylish little Daisy Red Ryder. We were having a grand old time until my son asked me if he could shoot my gun.Now my son is absolutely, feverishly gun-crazy (as all properly brought-up boys should be) but my initial reaction was to say no, junior, you've got a few years yet. But the way he looked at me when I said no clouded my judgement to the point where I told myself that A. my refusal might set off a chain reaction that would eventually push him toward skateboards and naval piercings and B. if I held it while he shot it wouldn't be too bad.Well, you know where this is going. I kneeled, got behind him, we got ready, picked out a good-sized cowflop and vaporized it.Nothing overtly bad happened, I suppose. He didn't cry or complain or drop the gun and run away, but I could tell by the way he looked that it was just too much for him.He also didn't want to immediately do it again, always a bad sign...Fearing that I had singlehandedly and in one fell swoop utterly destroyed my son's future enthusiasm for the shooting sports, I spent the next half-hour ignoring dove and ruining a perfectly good box of AAs by opening the crimp, pouring out almost all the shot and letting him shoot the quick-and-dirty squib loads at dirt clods and grasshoppers. We had a grand time, but I won't take another stupid chance with the second one...

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from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Ralph,That is not normal.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I purchased a couple of single/break barrel shotguns for my son's a number of years ago(their 1st firearms),and for the sheer punishment of it; I tried some 3in mag slugs in it last year. Now the gun probably can't weight more then 3 to 5 pounds, so if you need to "test your metal"(or clear your head of evil thoughts) shoot a dozen of these rounds through a gun like this.(T-shirt clad) I swear it felt like a .375 H&H bolt!Welcome back Dave-

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

To Ronnie: I've heard that quote before, and it's true, and Patterson was one of the most decent men ever to put on gloves, but as a legitimate heavyweight champ he was a fraud. He fought Pete Rademacher, who had never had a professional fight, and Rademacher dropped him. C'mon; that stuff shouldn't happen to the champ.I paid to see both of his fights with Sonny Liston, whom he ducked for three years or so, and it was like watching a steer go to slaughter.

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from Ronnie wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Floyd Patterson got knocked down more times than any other heavyweight champ. He also got up more times than any other.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I might as well pass on my favorite recoil story. Robert Ruark was hunting buffalo with his PH Harry Selby, and was carrying a .470 double rifle. He took a shot at a bull and the rifle doubled. In the same instant the buff and Ruark were leveled, and the rifle went sailing.Selby stood there a minute surveying the damage and then said, "Really, one of you ought to get up."

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from William Stojack wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Opps, Should have stated thats for the .50 BMG Systems. that they also call Anti_-Material rifles. Thats to not say the evil "S-Word". ___Wm Stojack

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from KJ wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Dave - I've not shot rifles bigger than a .45-70 and a .35 Whelen, but my turkey gun is an old Remington 870 Express 12 gauge. Shooting Federal 3" turkey loads it kicks like a mother. I watched a friend of mine pull the trigger and get a bloody nose. (He's still a friend, fortunately, even though I got a good laugh out of the scene.) To what big game caliber/cartridge would the recoil of my 870 compare? BTW - that gun kicks hard when I'm patterning it, but when I'm looking down the barrel at a gobbler I barely notice the recoil.

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from William Stojack wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

The Max number alowable practice rds, in one firing session,( Thats for zeroing with a particular loading, or for validation of zero ) was 20rds. That number is a generality, & also takes into consideration overpressure effect from muzzle-blast. That also valid only for the Navy. There is also the various weights of the "systems used" They have different weights, as Dave pointed out. This limit obviously is "range only" And may have been modified since .FWIW Wm Stojack

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from j wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

My bad recoil experience was patterning 3" turkey loads out of an over/under 12g Ruger Red Label. OMG, on the 3rd shot the gun actually flew out of my hands. the left side of my body was paralyzed for a week. and yes, i have shot high powered rifles. nothing touched this experience.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

To tom: In a 30-pound rifle, I get a figure of 102 foot-pounds.

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from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Dave,In reference to the 60 foot-pounds... where is the 50 bmg at?

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

To Krusty: Very interesting post, but please explain paragraph B. 60 foot-pounds is .458 level. Who has to shoot something like this?

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from theycallmestick wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Craig Boddington. I thought he's written articles for every outdoor/gun magazine in existence, but apparently he's missed a few. His blog is on sports afield. (sorry)

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from js wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Craig Boddington, career Military man. Author, hunter. Has shot every gun and probably every game animal on the planet. You are right, he knows his stuff.

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

have no idea who boddington is but it sounds to me like he nows his stuff.

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from Archerwvu wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I just love my .375 H&H mag.... the big purple bruise it leaves on my shoulder tissue and the uncanny way it leaves my head swimming. Nothing is more brutal except the missus.

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from Theycallmestick wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I consider myself recoil shy but have several medium/big bores (375, 458). I agree that even though recoil ft/lbs are a great academic comparison; recoil velocity, shooting position, and stock design/fit are of greater importance. I love shooting the big boomers standing, but if prone or off the bench they'll beat you to death. Boddington says the only way to cure a flinch is shooting a 22lr a LOT. It's a great way to focus on fundamentals and take a break during a big bore sight in session. Of course, pads are great too. I personally use a BELL Gel Bicycle Seat.

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from Jason wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I haven't shot a rifle larger than a .30-06 so can't speak to the larger bores. But I have a Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull. The first time I shot it, the area between my thumb and forefinger on my right hand hurt like heck, then later, went numb. I've put a Pachmeyer Decelerator grip on it and it's toned it down a little; but it still kicks pretty hard. I have friends that shot it once and won't try it again. This isn't quite a hard kicking rifle story, but it's the closest I've got.

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Please don't Delete this!this is on topic!a. Stock configuration has very little to do with the amount of generated recoil other than the funciton of how much weight it adds to the overall weapon weight. A poorly designed stock will hurt more and therefore give the perception of more recoil.b. 60 FTlbs coincidientally is the limit for firearms designed to be used by the 5th to 95th percentile soldier according to ARDEC guidelines.c. Coming from someone who's trained hundreds of shooters in a skill set they had to stake their lives on, the absolute worst thing you can do is to take a shooter unacustomed to heavy recoil and just thrust them into it. Garunteed you'll develop a horendous flinch. We had this debate at the school house when I first got there. They used to have students just start shooting 3"mag buck and slug (the USMC load is speced at the SAMMI Max as compared to a typical Mag load at wal-mart wich is 80-90% max. They had one guy that was a distinguished expert with service rifle before he came to thru. Did awesome on the pistol and carbine portions. Then they got to the shotgun portion and by lunch the first day the guy had developed the worst flinch I've ever seen in my life. He literally almost dropped a weapon on the firing line. Once you start flinching it hard to stop. If at all possible work up the recoil level if you can. We went and got PAST shoulder pads and the first time a student showed signs of flinching we'd pull them aside no muss no fuss and have put the PAST under his blouse. In a life or death situation, say you got a bear charging you or somethin you'll never notice the recoil of something like a .458 cause you'll have so much adrenelin going it just won't register. But if you flinch and miss you have some serious issues. Train with a PAST (if you're flinchingand if you're gunning for dangerous game or in some other "serious situaition" don't worry about it.

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from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I have a 35 Whelen and a 458 Mag. Both rifles are stocked rather straight so the recoil *Sorta* comes straight back. I discovered it’s wise to really have a good grip on the fore end so the recoil doesn’t get a head start on you. Whatever you do, neither rifle is something you take for casual, afternoon plinking.Recoil splitting the stock—My 458 is a Model 70 Express. It has two massive recoil steel lugs fore and aft the magazine. The express sights are welded to the barrel, I think.My 35 Whelen I made from a pre-WWII, Czech Mauser action. When I bedded the barrel'd action to a Bishop stock I used Accurglass/gel [? Looked like peanut butter] and filed a steel wool pad into the mess. I’ve yet to have a stock problem in this rifle after 13-years heavy use. Of course, Bishop gave me a lot of wood in that stock to whittle away. [Snicker]

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from Brian wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

All of the above assumes that the gun is shouldered properly so that the recoil rotates your shoulder, maybe fast, maybe slow. I snapped a shot at a flaring Canada goose with a 3.5 BBB load in a Nova: through my parka, through my sweater and shirt, the Nova hammered the pattern of my longjohns into my bicep. Properly shouldered, the Nova ain't so bad.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

To DW Griffin:Foot-pounds are useful, but only part of the story. Also important is stock shape, recoil pad thickness and hardness, and even the shape of the grip. A stock that directs recoil into your head will ring your chimes, but one that kicks straight back into your shoulder is much easier to take.

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from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

DW,In my opinion there is no scientific method. There are to many variables. The three biggest in my opinion are (in order of precedence)1. Stock configuration2. Pressure (cup)3. Bullet WeightOnce you take these into consideration you will be able to figure it out. I own a few high powered rifles with good stocks and they are fine. The most devastating gun I have is a 6.5 lb sxs 12 gauge blackpowder shotgun. I shoot black powder "turkey loads" with it and it knocks the crap out of me.It is cool when the smoke clears to have a dead bird.......

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from Wish I knew it all wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Check out this site.www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm

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from DW Griffin wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Anybody have a useful formula for estimating kick? Gun weight obviously figures into this, but I would like a way to compare rounds.

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from js wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

The worst kicking gun/ammo combo I've ever shot was a Remington 870 slug gun w/ scope that weighed 9 lbs. Shooting Winchester partition gold slugs (385 grains @ 1900 fps adds up to over 3000 ft lbs of energy @ the muzzle) that just beat the hell out my shoulder. All I got out of that deal was a bruised shoulder and a terrible flinch. I've since switched to a 20 gauge and suprise, my flinch is gone and the deer still die when you shoot them. Sometimes big is necessary, other times I just don't see the point.jim

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from Chris H. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

See, I'm stupid that way. I'm not affraid of anything until after it hurts me. I just remembered another gun that I only shot a few times because I knew it was going to hurt me. I had an old single shot 12 guage that I cut the forcing cone out of so it could shoot 3 1/2 magnums. That lite little gun would make your shoulder and your butt hurt.

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from David wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Chris H, I would make a distinction between a sore shoulder and being scared of recoil... For example, I often shoot a whole box of 12-gauge slugs in preparation for deer season. This doesn't bother me in the least while at the firing line, but I always feel it the next morning.

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from Chris H. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I've only had one experience where I complained about recoil. Once I ran about 150 hot handloads in about 3 hours through a savage 7mm Rem. Mag. with a synthetic stock. My shoulder was a little sore the next morning. This was still not as bad as my shoulder feels the morning after the first day I get my bow out after a four month break. I work out in the gym pretty regularly but there is something about the way I pull a bow string that I can't duplicate. The larget rifle I've ever fired was a .375 H&H Mag, about 25 rounds with no complaints. I've had people tell me my Mossberg 835 ultimag kicked like a mule even shooting 2 3/4", 7 1/2 shot but I can shoot it all day long at the local 5-stand just for chuckles.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

To Chad Love: This is not uncommon among hard kickers. The wood behind the recoil lug compresses, and tang bites into the stock, and it splits, Smart gunmakers leave a noticeable gap between the rear of the tang and the wood, so that even if the walnut does compress, it can't do any damage.Weatherby has the best solution. The Mark V tang, which is extremely sharp, rides on top of the wood, so there's no way it can dig in.

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from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

A friend of mine is going to Africa this year so he bought a new .458 Lott and a Lead Sled.After one trip to the range the gun went back to Ruger with a cracked stock from the tang back, presumably from the lack of give in the rest.If I go to Africa with a .458 Lott I will avoid all this recoil nonsense by simply hiring some dummy to shoot everything for me...

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from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Dave, remember the blog from a few weeks ago. This gentleman received his medal 40 years later.WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Lt. Col. Bruce Crandall's heroics in Vietnam were immortalized in a movie and a critically acclaimed book.More than 40 years after Crandall repeatedly risked his life to rescue American soldiers fighting one of the toughest battles of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military officially recognized his heroism Monday, when he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for military valor."For the soldiers rescued, for the men who came home, for the children they had and the lives they made, America is in debt to Bruce Crandall," President Bush said during the awards ceremony. "It's a debt our nation can never really fully repay."

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from MDS wrote 6 years 43 weeks ago

I'm heading to Alaska to live. I want to carry a suitably capable gun for protection against Brown Bears. Have been looking at heavy rifles - e.g. 450 Lott in the Ruger 77, but interested in the ability of the 12 gauge with Dixie slugs to fill the need (.730 diameter, 730 grains, 1400 fps - TKO of 106). I am not interested in giving a bear a fighting chance or being sporting - if I'm shooting, I want the first shot to count. I certainly don't want to be under gunned.Advice? Comparison of 12 GA with Dixie Slugs to 458 Lott?Thanks.

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from CHRIS CAMPBELL wrote 6 years 45 weeks ago

I HAVE JUST GOT A 450 ACKLEY MAGNUM RIFLE. IT IS A BOLT ACTION WITH A 5 RD INSIDE MAG. THE BULLETS ARE ON THERE WAY, AND COST $99.95 PLUS S&H FOR A BOX OF 20 DOES ANY ONE KNOW HOW MUCH BIGGER THE 450 ACKLEY IT TO A 458 LOTT??? I SEE ON LINE THE BULLET HAS MORE RECOIL THAN THE 458 LOTT,AND HOLDS MORE POWDER!! ANY HELP WOULD BE HELPFULL.

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from panda wrote 6 years 48 weeks ago

Happened upon this page and thought I'd add a couple of personal comments.My preferred weapon is a 1911, however, I have been known to shoot rifles now and then. My husband and I were at the range this weekend to hone our pistol combat skills and happened upon an acquaintance of ours. He's also a well-respected local expert who was shooting his Ruger .458 Lott. Being quite the gentleman, and knowing my husband's gunfighting skills, he offered my husband the opportunity to squeeze off a couple of rounds. Surprisingly, he made the same offer to me, and although I usually never pass up such an opportunity, I was a mite bit intimidated by his expertise and (a little bit) the rifle itself. However, I was quickly persuaded that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and that I would likely be the only woman in West Virginia to have fired a .458 Lott. With that challenge, I was hooked. Words can't describe the experience! Thought I had no hopes of hitting the target (4x8 plywood backing with pie-plate sized targets) even with a good scope at 50 yds., so I did as instructed, put on the shoulder pad, adjusted it, shouldered the rifle and let 'er fly. Well let me tell you that if you ever get the chance to fire one of these rifles, you MUST do so! I fired only three rounds (standing), but am proud to say that one was in the outer ring and one was on the edge of the target, and I lost one, but I was more than pleased! I hadn't expected to even hit the target. The recoil with the shoulder pad wasn't a big deal. I always figure that recoil is something that one can manage. It's all in your attitude and determination to master the weapon. I also have had an excellent instructor - my husband. I imagine that someday we'll own one of these incredible rifles. Nice to know that I can handle it if needed.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 48 weeks ago

im a 13 year old and i shoot my grandpa 700 06 like a dream and i was looking for a gun and i was thinking a 7mm mag but wahts the best

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from CHRIS CAMPBELL wrote 7 years 1 week ago

WELL..... I JUST GOT BACK FROM THE RANGE TODAY. AND I HAVE TO SAY. WOOOOOOOOOOW!!! THE 458 LOTT DOES KICK, AND KICK HARD IT DOES! I COULD ONLY SHOOT 5 ROUNDS OF 500GRN RN BULLETS AND THAT WAS IT FOR THE DAY. AND MAN YOU TALK ABOUT A FAST FIRING BULLET. IT WAS. WELL NOW I CAN SAY I CAME,I SAW, I GOT BLOWED UP!! MY NEXT GUN TO FIRE IS GOING TO BE THE 505 GIBBS ANY IDEA WHAT THE RECOIL MITE BE??? PLEASE LET ME KNOW.CHRIS CAMPBELL,FOUNTAIN INN,SC

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from CHRIS CAMPBELL wrote 7 years 2 weeks ago

THIS IS CHRIS AGIN, ONE MORE THING I WOULD LIKE TO ADD. I AM HOPPING TO THAKE THE 458 LOTT TO THE RANGE THIS WEEKEND. I STILL WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT I'M IN FOR AS FOR FELT RECOIL. I OWN AND SHOOT A 500 MAG REVOLVER, AND A DOUBLE RIFLE IN 8-BORE WITH A 535GR BULLET AND ABOUT 100GRS OF BLACK POWDER AND IT KICK'S!!I HAVE SEEN ON ALOT OF BLOGS THAT THE 458 LOTT HITS VERY HARD AND MOST SHOOTERS CAN ONLY SHOOT IT ABOUT 4 TIMES AND THEN THAT IS IT FOR A WEEK!! IS THIS TRUE? AND IS IT GOING TO BITE LIKE THEY SAY? OR IS IT BARK WORSE THAN THE BITE?PLEASE LET ME KNOW I NEED ALL OF THE INFO THAT I CAN GET!CHRIS CAMPBELL,FOUNTAIN INN,SC

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from CHRIS CAMPBELL wrote 7 years 2 weeks ago

HI, I HAVE JUST GOT A RUGER NO 1 IN 458 LOTT I AM 24 YEARS OLD AND OWN AND SHOOT A 50BMG AR-50 WHAT WILL THE RECOIL BE LIKE ON THE 458 LOTT? I EVEN THOUGH ABOUT USEING A THICK TOWEL TO PUT BETWEEN MY SHOLDER AND THE GUN...ANY HELP WILL BE GREAT!!!CHRIS,SOUTH CAROLINA.

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from booty0 wrote 7 years 5 weeks ago

3" slugs from an 870 is always unpleasant. I've also found that hot .35 Remingtons from T/C Contender can be a fairly daunting experience...

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from Charshooter wrote 7 years 5 weeks ago

Recoil is a subjective thing, but I have to agree, that anything with more recoil the 300 Win. Mag. gets to bothering me at the bench. On the other hand, I have friends who hate bench shooting anything with more recoil than a 270 or a 7-08, then there are those who shoot a 375 H&H on the bench without any sweat. I believe what matters is two things: ones overall size, heavy frame is more important than height; how much practice one commits to shooting at the bench and is willing to move to heavy calibers and if one learns to hold the rifle right. Excessive rigid stance will lead to punishment, where a loose relaxed pose will allow one to move with the recoil, not fighting it.Overall, I must agree, the 416 Rem. was about the most I could shoot well in a standing position, much like magnum 10 gauge shotgun loads, yet with a entirely different kick, they are both upper limits for me. On the other hand, I think with practice, the super heavy 45 plus calibers could be manageable, but then who needs the expense to learn to shoot these well?

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from mark wrote 7 years 6 weeks ago

Hi Dave.I liked your article on recoil. I still own a .378 WBY. She is a beast all right, but I spend time in areas where grizzlies are abundant and if I ever find myself in a situatuation where my my rifle will help me, I'll be happy to have my .378 in hand. I sight in with the aid of my lead sled, and practice all shooting positions with plenty of hearing protection. I find that the porting in the barrel results in recoil equivelant to my .300 WBY without porting. Held right, it's not that bad for me.Cheers!

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Weight is nature's recoil dampner. PAST pads attenuate recoil and make it more manageable. If you're a dinosauar hunter or just can't live without megaton amounts of impact energy one thing that works well is a properly designed muzzle break. Either a cheveron or a bi-spherical brake can make a noticeable difference in felt recoil.Guns-Up!Krusty

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from Roger E. Reeves, Sr. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Enought weight is the major secret to reduced recoil. No way can you shoot a 4 to 5 lb gun in 300 WIn Mag or larger and it not knock your block off. I'm a small guy, l28 lbs and bought a Model 70 Win in 300 WSM. I shot it 3-4 times and sold it. Bought a Rem 700, walnut in 06 and added 2 lb to stock. With Scope, lead in stock, loaded, it weighs about 9 l/2 lbs, shoots like a 22 LR. No way can we have it both ways. Either light and Kick your A-- or add wt and sweet dreams when you pull the trigger, end of the flinch and dead on target.Its a pleasure to shoot the 06 now, never give the recoil a thought with a l80 gr bullet. A lot of pratice and good bullets, place the shot in the Vitals and bring home your trophy. Leave the baby weight guns to the large guys, who can handle a 30 + recoil, I sure cannot and few serious hunters can either.

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Anti-FuddLast I checked this thread is a "recoil discussion" the other topic is a couple of pages back. Not many fudds here just people talking about guns. Read my posts back there I MEANT EVERY SINGLE WORD OF IT and I doubt you'll find anybody that is against the Fudd Mentality more than I. But! say what you need to say at the apporpriate time and place.We're pissed about that issue I think they get it. But this isn't the forum for discussing that issue so trashing it is in poor taste. If you feel the need to do further on that topic might I suggest writing letters to the editors, Mr. P, and the advertisers.MarkMy re-education is in progress. Please bear in mind I've only been retired for less than a year and I still work in that comunity so I'm constantly exposed to my native tongue and must remain fluent. Talking about the recoil standards you'd be amaized at what is studied in excrutiating detail. There's a gold mine of information there if you can just sift through it.Perry,My next wheelgun (once I talk the ole' lady into it) is going to be a .500 SW. For tactical pistols I always carry a 1911 45ACP. I'm a big fan of flying ashtrays.

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from jbtool wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Well I have an old H&R 10 ga.That I shoot and I enjoy the recoil. But all my friends hate it.But I can't stand the recoil of a 30-06 that beats me up. thats why I shoot a 308

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from MattWV wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

P Landry,The load I use in my 7mm Rem Mag is 67.5grs of RL-22 and a 140gr Nosler Accubond. This is actually the max load in Nosler's manual but the recoil is quite manageable (though after running it over my chronograph the velocities are about 250fps slower).My friends usually sight their rifles in at my house (you know, 3 shots the weekend before season) as I've actually put money into a decent front rest and rear bag and no matter how many times I offer they refuse to try my gun. It's funny because they always pull out excuses like "I don't want to waste your ammo" or something along those lines but really you can tell they're afraid for some reason. I didn't realize magnum was such a terrifying word till now.

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from JB wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

M-79

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from P Landry wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

A friend with a 7mm rem mag warned me about the recoil as I picked it up to try it out at the range. But, after the beating I took the week before from a half dozen turkey load shots from my 12 ga Winchester while patterning a new choke, I barely felt the rifle.With the shotgun, I know the kick is coming but I hang on and just take it - and you do kind of get used to it.It really is all relative. And the bruise on my shoulder from the shotgun gradually dissapeared in about ten days.

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from Mike wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Mark,Thanks a lot for the information. I'll pick up a Speer manual. I checked my Barnes, Hornady, Hogdon, and Sierra manuals and they didn't indicate you could use 280 loads. Appreciate your help...Thanks.

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from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Mike,Speer manual #12 says a reloader can use 280 Remington loading data for 7 x 64.

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from Mike wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I'm looking at buying a sporterized mauser that's chambered in 7X64. I can get dies and new brass but I've been unable to get any loading data. I'd use 140 and 160gr Barnes TSX. Anybody got any reloading info for this?

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from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Now you may be right there. I was shooting the Cor-Bon 200 grain Barnes X. Bump it another 125 grains and I may be singing a different tune...

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from Jason wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Chad,I am not 100% sure, but, I think the load I was shooting thru my .454 Casull was a Cor-Bon 325g at 1600fps. I could describe shooting this in many ways, but "almost pleasant" isn't one of them. I definately need to try some lighter loads.Jason

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from John B. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Years ago I bought a lightweight Husqvarna 30/06. They were brand new out and looked liked a dandy little hunting rifle. But kick? It was brutal. It had to be the stock design as I shot a friend's .243 in the same model some years later and the felt recoil was way beyond any other .243 I had shot. I traded my /06 off on a standard model Husky and never regretted it.I also had an early model Ruger in .44 mag - prior to the square gripped Blackhawk. My hands are small and I couldn't control it. With that rounded grip, the gun would roll back in my hand and whack me on web. Damn it hurt. That one had to go too.Then there is the beautiful .375 built for me by gunmaker Pete Grisel. On delivery Pete supplied me with some high test handloads he had made up. They were incredibly accurate but by the 3rd shot off a bench I had a "go home" headache. Kept the gun but reduced the loads.Who said shooting wasn't a contact sport?

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from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I'll agree with you on the muzzle blast. I'd be guilty of gross understatement to call it significant. But it was a blast (so to speak) to shoot. I'm seriously thinking of trying one out on an open plains whitetail hunt next year, adn I'm not much of a handgun guy.

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from js wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Chad,I was at the range when a guy beside me started shooting his .460 s&w. The muzzle blast from that thing is ridiculous. I could feel the blast from 15-20 feet away. You guys have @ it.I'll pass on the hand cannon.Jim

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from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Hey, Anti-Fudd!You must be built like Goliath of Gath. The last thing I’d be lugging in Montana at the 4,000 ft level heading for the 6,000 ft level is an M-2. The damn thing is a turkey with cranberry sauce and dressing for the game fields.For the game fields and mountains I want something light that handles, and takes ammo where each round doesn’t weight as much as a lead boat anchors.Just remember shooting a deer or elk is easy. Lugging the carcass down off a mountain is a real drag…play on words……while carrying a rifle and your gear. From experience, I was dismayed what a Herculean chore dragging a mere 120-lbs buck off *DOWN* a mountain was. I never knew a dead animal could tie its legs around every damn sapling in my path!

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from furface wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

The lead sled has its place. Sighting in and working up loads.After that it is time to wrestle with the beast. Like David said "The way you learn to take a punch is by getting punched. The way you learn to handle lots of kick is by getting kicked."

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from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Speaking of handgun recoil, I got the chance to shoot one of the S&W .460s a couple weeks ago. I was shocked at how mild the recoil was. Granted, it was a big, heavy gun with an 8-inch compensated barrel and a scope, but with a handcannon like that I figured it would be much worse than it was. Now muzzle blast was significant (you want muffs fer sure) but it was, I dare say, almost pleasant to shoot, and it sent those 200-grain Barnes Xs downrange at 2,000fps. Impressive. I'm not a handgun hunter, but I'm seriously considering trying one out next deert season.

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from Anti-Fudd! wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I think I'll start huntingwith the 50.....M2 that is!Knock down a whole hell ofgame with that. Wouldn't yathink?I really don't care what youall think...Go to Hell!I'll use whats befitting tome!....Same back at ya!

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from Perrry Peltonen wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Krusty, on the 454 cas/ sold mine i use a 480 ruger now in my ss redhawk for alaska almost same snort less pain can hit stuff better not worrying about the earth quake getting me

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from Perrry Peltonen wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I Reload, And Hunt Alaska, Got 4 big magnums ,none of them kick at all compared to the Hand R single shot 12 ga 3and half magnum shooting turkey loads xfull choke a guy i know actually broke his nose ,and got the racoon look,shooting one,not a rookie either hunted with him for years , even the 835 mossberg kicks like a 2000 pound mule shooting these 3.5 mags

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from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Chad,I heard chocolate covered grasshopppers taste great. I think you can get them at Godiva.

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from John wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

All I know is my Savage Slug Warrior 12 guage will kill me in 5 shots unless I use some sort of recoil pad. Then it's bang bang bang all day long. Anything else doesn't really bother me.

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from jstreet wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Matt,The past pads work about like a Limbsaver pad. The do reduce the recoil a significant amount. Do them make shooting hard kicking guns fun? Hell no, but they make it a whole lot more doable.Jim

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from MattWV wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

How well do the PAST pads work anyway? I have a M70 in 30-06 with a steel buttplate and after 20 rounds or so I don't really care to shoot it much more; it really digs on you. This makes working up loads a very annoying procedure so I thought a pad might help a bit.

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from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Krusty, My Man…..You’re gonna have to learn normal “gun nut” speak, and drop the governmental-ese. That way we can all understand what you’re talking about and your vision.I’m amazed the Government spent this much time to document in minute detail this recoil stuff. Sounds as if a light colonel didn’t have enough to do and was looking for way to make full-bird.BTY I don’t know what a Lead Sled is, either. I always used a 20-lbs bag of shot between me and my big rifles when shooting from the bench.See you on FUDD-Land Campus! :-)

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from Michael wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Recoil is very subjective. I can shoot my .30/06 all day, but bigger is not my cup of tea.Handguns are a different story. I have shot revolvers up to the S&W 500 without problem.

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Figured it was some manner of rest. I could see where something like that could lead to a stock splitwith the cannon calibers. If I'm not manfiring for what ever reason I like shooting from a buffered rest.

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from MattWV wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Krusty,It's a product from Caldwell meant to tame heavy recoiling guns.http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=152664I've heard tales of them ruining scopes but I don't think any has ever actually been proven true. Unless I run into some money I think I'll keep using a sandbag between me and the gun when patterning turkey loads.

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Dave,60ftlbs is a guidline for evaluations / systems designs. I'd have to dig to find the exact number but it's one of the mil-specs established by the Small Arms ARDEC (army research,desighn & engineering command)at Picatinny Arsenal. In service weapons that generate 45-60 ftlb of recoil are pump shotguns M870 or M500 w/ the tactical slug or buckshot rds, M203 40mm grenade launchers especially when shooting illume rounds, and M82 or M107 .50 cal SASR. Suprisingly the .50s aren't that bad due to the cheveron muzzle break (take it off and it's a beast). I shot an Xsystem that shot 40mm High velocity in a single shot launcher 80ftlbs. That concept never went far. Since we're on neutral ground so to speak (I'll leave "the issue" where it belongs back at the wailing wall) I'm kinda new back to the sporting scene (just retired after 20yrs usmc and didn't shoot much sporting arms while in)and I'm trying to catch up on the whole market not just my little EBR nitch. What is a "Lead Sled"?

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from Joshua wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Petzal, how much foot-pounds of recoil for a Rem. 870 3 1/2 12 ga.

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from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Well, as long as we're airing recoil stupidity stories...I went dove hunting one day this past year with my young son (he was five at the time).I was carrying a little wand-like Beretta BL-4 20 gauge, a hair under six pounds. My son was hunting with a stylish little Daisy Red Ryder. We were having a grand old time until my son asked me if he could shoot my gun.Now my son is absolutely, feverishly gun-crazy (as all properly brought-up boys should be) but my initial reaction was to say no, junior, you've got a few years yet. But the way he looked at me when I said no clouded my judgement to the point where I told myself that A. my refusal might set off a chain reaction that would eventually push him toward skateboards and naval piercings and B. if I held it while he shot it wouldn't be too bad.Well, you know where this is going. I kneeled, got behind him, we got ready, picked out a good-sized cowflop and vaporized it.Nothing overtly bad happened, I suppose. He didn't cry or complain or drop the gun and run away, but I could tell by the way he looked that it was just too much for him.He also didn't want to immediately do it again, always a bad sign...Fearing that I had singlehandedly and in one fell swoop utterly destroyed my son's future enthusiasm for the shooting sports, I spent the next half-hour ignoring dove and ruining a perfectly good box of AAs by opening the crimp, pouring out almost all the shot and letting him shoot the quick-and-dirty squib loads at dirt clods and grasshoppers. We had a grand time, but I won't take another stupid chance with the second one...

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from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Ralph,That is not normal.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I purchased a couple of single/break barrel shotguns for my son's a number of years ago(their 1st firearms),and for the sheer punishment of it; I tried some 3in mag slugs in it last year. Now the gun probably can't weight more then 3 to 5 pounds, so if you need to "test your metal"(or clear your head of evil thoughts) shoot a dozen of these rounds through a gun like this.(T-shirt clad) I swear it felt like a .375 H&H bolt!Welcome back Dave-

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

To Ronnie: I've heard that quote before, and it's true, and Patterson was one of the most decent men ever to put on gloves, but as a legitimate heavyweight champ he was a fraud. He fought Pete Rademacher, who had never had a professional fight, and Rademacher dropped him. C'mon; that stuff shouldn't happen to the champ.I paid to see both of his fights with Sonny Liston, whom he ducked for three years or so, and it was like watching a steer go to slaughter.

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from Ronnie wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Floyd Patterson got knocked down more times than any other heavyweight champ. He also got up more times than any other.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I might as well pass on my favorite recoil story. Robert Ruark was hunting buffalo with his PH Harry Selby, and was carrying a .470 double rifle. He took a shot at a bull and the rifle doubled. In the same instant the buff and Ruark were leveled, and the rifle went sailing.Selby stood there a minute surveying the damage and then said, "Really, one of you ought to get up."

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from William Stojack wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Opps, Should have stated thats for the .50 BMG Systems. that they also call Anti_-Material rifles. Thats to not say the evil "S-Word". ___Wm Stojack

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from KJ wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Dave - I've not shot rifles bigger than a .45-70 and a .35 Whelen, but my turkey gun is an old Remington 870 Express 12 gauge. Shooting Federal 3" turkey loads it kicks like a mother. I watched a friend of mine pull the trigger and get a bloody nose. (He's still a friend, fortunately, even though I got a good laugh out of the scene.) To what big game caliber/cartridge would the recoil of my 870 compare? BTW - that gun kicks hard when I'm patterning it, but when I'm looking down the barrel at a gobbler I barely notice the recoil.

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from William Stojack wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

The Max number alowable practice rds, in one firing session,( Thats for zeroing with a particular loading, or for validation of zero ) was 20rds. That number is a generality, & also takes into consideration overpressure effect from muzzle-blast. That also valid only for the Navy. There is also the various weights of the "systems used" They have different weights, as Dave pointed out. This limit obviously is "range only" And may have been modified since .FWIW Wm Stojack

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from j wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

My bad recoil experience was patterning 3" turkey loads out of an over/under 12g Ruger Red Label. OMG, on the 3rd shot the gun actually flew out of my hands. the left side of my body was paralyzed for a week. and yes, i have shot high powered rifles. nothing touched this experience.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

To tom: In a 30-pound rifle, I get a figure of 102 foot-pounds.

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from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Dave,In reference to the 60 foot-pounds... where is the 50 bmg at?

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

To Krusty: Very interesting post, but please explain paragraph B. 60 foot-pounds is .458 level. Who has to shoot something like this?

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from theycallmestick wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Craig Boddington. I thought he's written articles for every outdoor/gun magazine in existence, but apparently he's missed a few. His blog is on sports afield. (sorry)

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from js wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Craig Boddington, career Military man. Author, hunter. Has shot every gun and probably every game animal on the planet. You are right, he knows his stuff.

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

have no idea who boddington is but it sounds to me like he nows his stuff.

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from Archerwvu wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I just love my .375 H&H mag.... the big purple bruise it leaves on my shoulder tissue and the uncanny way it leaves my head swimming. Nothing is more brutal except the missus.

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from Theycallmestick wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I consider myself recoil shy but have several medium/big bores (375, 458). I agree that even though recoil ft/lbs are a great academic comparison; recoil velocity, shooting position, and stock design/fit are of greater importance. I love shooting the big boomers standing, but if prone or off the bench they'll beat you to death. Boddington says the only way to cure a flinch is shooting a 22lr a LOT. It's a great way to focus on fundamentals and take a break during a big bore sight in session. Of course, pads are great too. I personally use a BELL Gel Bicycle Seat.

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from Jason wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I haven't shot a rifle larger than a .30-06 so can't speak to the larger bores. But I have a Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull. The first time I shot it, the area between my thumb and forefinger on my right hand hurt like heck, then later, went numb. I've put a Pachmeyer Decelerator grip on it and it's toned it down a little; but it still kicks pretty hard. I have friends that shot it once and won't try it again. This isn't quite a hard kicking rifle story, but it's the closest I've got.

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from Krusty0369 wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Please don't Delete this!this is on topic!a. Stock configuration has very little to do with the amount of generated recoil other than the funciton of how much weight it adds to the overall weapon weight. A poorly designed stock will hurt more and therefore give the perception of more recoil.b. 60 FTlbs coincidientally is the limit for firearms designed to be used by the 5th to 95th percentile soldier according to ARDEC guidelines.c. Coming from someone who's trained hundreds of shooters in a skill set they had to stake their lives on, the absolute worst thing you can do is to take a shooter unacustomed to heavy recoil and just thrust them into it. Garunteed you'll develop a horendous flinch. We had this debate at the school house when I first got there. They used to have students just start shooting 3"mag buck and slug (the USMC load is speced at the SAMMI Max as compared to a typical Mag load at wal-mart wich is 80-90% max. They had one guy that was a distinguished expert with service rifle before he came to thru. Did awesome on the pistol and carbine portions. Then they got to the shotgun portion and by lunch the first day the guy had developed the worst flinch I've ever seen in my life. He literally almost dropped a weapon on the firing line. Once you start flinching it hard to stop. If at all possible work up the recoil level if you can. We went and got PAST shoulder pads and the first time a student showed signs of flinching we'd pull them aside no muss no fuss and have put the PAST under his blouse. In a life or death situation, say you got a bear charging you or somethin you'll never notice the recoil of something like a .458 cause you'll have so much adrenelin going it just won't register. But if you flinch and miss you have some serious issues. Train with a PAST (if you're flinchingand if you're gunning for dangerous game or in some other "serious situaition" don't worry about it.

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from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I have a 35 Whelen and a 458 Mag. Both rifles are stocked rather straight so the recoil *Sorta* comes straight back. I discovered it’s wise to really have a good grip on the fore end so the recoil doesn’t get a head start on you. Whatever you do, neither rifle is something you take for casual, afternoon plinking.Recoil splitting the stock—My 458 is a Model 70 Express. It has two massive recoil steel lugs fore and aft the magazine. The express sights are welded to the barrel, I think.My 35 Whelen I made from a pre-WWII, Czech Mauser action. When I bedded the barrel'd action to a Bishop stock I used Accurglass/gel [? Looked like peanut butter] and filed a steel wool pad into the mess. I’ve yet to have a stock problem in this rifle after 13-years heavy use. Of course, Bishop gave me a lot of wood in that stock to whittle away. [Snicker]

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from Brian wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

All of the above assumes that the gun is shouldered properly so that the recoil rotates your shoulder, maybe fast, maybe slow. I snapped a shot at a flaring Canada goose with a 3.5 BBB load in a Nova: through my parka, through my sweater and shirt, the Nova hammered the pattern of my longjohns into my bicep. Properly shouldered, the Nova ain't so bad.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

To DW Griffin:Foot-pounds are useful, but only part of the story. Also important is stock shape, recoil pad thickness and hardness, and even the shape of the grip. A stock that directs recoil into your head will ring your chimes, but one that kicks straight back into your shoulder is much easier to take.

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from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

DW,In my opinion there is no scientific method. There are to many variables. The three biggest in my opinion are (in order of precedence)1. Stock configuration2. Pressure (cup)3. Bullet WeightOnce you take these into consideration you will be able to figure it out. I own a few high powered rifles with good stocks and they are fine. The most devastating gun I have is a 6.5 lb sxs 12 gauge blackpowder shotgun. I shoot black powder "turkey loads" with it and it knocks the crap out of me.It is cool when the smoke clears to have a dead bird.......

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from Wish I knew it all wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Check out this site.www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm

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from DW Griffin wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Anybody have a useful formula for estimating kick? Gun weight obviously figures into this, but I would like a way to compare rounds.

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from js wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

The worst kicking gun/ammo combo I've ever shot was a Remington 870 slug gun w/ scope that weighed 9 lbs. Shooting Winchester partition gold slugs (385 grains @ 1900 fps adds up to over 3000 ft lbs of energy @ the muzzle) that just beat the hell out my shoulder. All I got out of that deal was a bruised shoulder and a terrible flinch. I've since switched to a 20 gauge and suprise, my flinch is gone and the deer still die when you shoot them. Sometimes big is necessary, other times I just don't see the point.jim

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from Chris H. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

See, I'm stupid that way. I'm not affraid of anything until after it hurts me. I just remembered another gun that I only shot a few times because I knew it was going to hurt me. I had an old single shot 12 guage that I cut the forcing cone out of so it could shoot 3 1/2 magnums. That lite little gun would make your shoulder and your butt hurt.

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from David wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Chris H, I would make a distinction between a sore shoulder and being scared of recoil... For example, I often shoot a whole box of 12-gauge slugs in preparation for deer season. This doesn't bother me in the least while at the firing line, but I always feel it the next morning.

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from Chris H. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I've only had one experience where I complained about recoil. Once I ran about 150 hot handloads in about 3 hours through a savage 7mm Rem. Mag. with a synthetic stock. My shoulder was a little sore the next morning. This was still not as bad as my shoulder feels the morning after the first day I get my bow out after a four month break. I work out in the gym pretty regularly but there is something about the way I pull a bow string that I can't duplicate. The larget rifle I've ever fired was a .375 H&H Mag, about 25 rounds with no complaints. I've had people tell me my Mossberg 835 ultimag kicked like a mule even shooting 2 3/4", 7 1/2 shot but I can shoot it all day long at the local 5-stand just for chuckles.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

To Chad Love: This is not uncommon among hard kickers. The wood behind the recoil lug compresses, and tang bites into the stock, and it splits, Smart gunmakers leave a noticeable gap between the rear of the tang and the wood, so that even if the walnut does compress, it can't do any damage.Weatherby has the best solution. The Mark V tang, which is extremely sharp, rides on top of the wood, so there's no way it can dig in.

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from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

A friend of mine is going to Africa this year so he bought a new .458 Lott and a Lead Sled.After one trip to the range the gun went back to Ruger with a cracked stock from the tang back, presumably from the lack of give in the rest.If I go to Africa with a .458 Lott I will avoid all this recoil nonsense by simply hiring some dummy to shoot everything for me...

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from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

Dave, remember the blog from a few weeks ago. This gentleman received his medal 40 years later.WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Lt. Col. Bruce Crandall's heroics in Vietnam were immortalized in a movie and a critically acclaimed book.More than 40 years after Crandall repeatedly risked his life to rescue American soldiers fighting one of the toughest battles of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military officially recognized his heroism Monday, when he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for military valor."For the soldiers rescued, for the men who came home, for the children they had and the lives they made, America is in debt to Bruce Crandall," President Bush said during the awards ceremony. "It's a debt our nation can never really fully repay."

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