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Rifle Recomendations for Big Game Hunting.

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Rifle Recomendations for Big Game Hunting.

Old 04-02-2014, 12:32 PM
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Smile Rifle Recomendations for Big Game Hunting.

Hi there. I'm looking into purchasing a higher caliber gun, and would like some recommendations. Right now I have a .3030 mainly used for whitetail, but I would like to get into Elk an Sheep aswell. I know the .3030 is not ideal, and would like to upgrade. However, I recently suffered a shoulder injury, and the recoil is a concern at the moment. .does anyone have any recommendations on a higher caliber rifle with less of a kick back? I know the recoil is inevitable, but I would like to try and find the best rifle with as little recoil as possible.
We went out skeet shooting the other day, and I normally take my 16 gauge, but I tried my mother in laws "Ladies" edition and there was hardly any recoil. Is there anything like this in a higher caliber rifle instead?

Last edited by CanadianGirl; 04-02-2014 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Added info
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:29 PM
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Side note, I had never even known a shot gun like hers existed before Sunday, and have never had any issue with the recoil in any rifles I have shot. My only concern now comes with injury, and not wanting to sit out this season.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:55 PM
Typical Buck
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As to calibers I'd recommend 270 Win or 280 Rem. All the power you need and no severe recoil.
Even more important is stock configuration and how it fits you. Try as many rifles as you can in gun shops and you will find what fits you best. This is huge in negating felt recoil. Ask someone who knows to accompany you as you try different rifles.

Good luck in your search !!
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:04 PM
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These are excellent questions. It looks like you already shoot a 30-30 and are presumably able to handle that amount of recoil in a rifle. If that's so, see the recoil information below.

If you're trying to find a rifle with less recoil than your current 30-30, i.e. lower recoil like your M-I-L's shotgun, you may want to also consider some additional methods for reducing recoil besides shooting a smaller/ lighter recoiling caliber. My wife has an old neck injury and I've been working on a similar concept for her. So far, we're using a 243W for deer and antelope size animals and I'm seriously considering a 7mm-08 for her to try out for the bigger animals. We're still working through the different Limbsaver type and will probably have one of the Limbsaver recoil pads custom installed by a gunsmith for fit and finish.

Although Canada is pretty restrictive on semi-automatics, I did hunt with a Browning BAR 338WM in British Columbia for bear and moose. A semi-auto does use some of that recoil energy to cycle the rifle's action and thereby "lessens" the recoil to some degree. An AR style platform in some 30 caliber would be awesome but I know there's no way Canada would allow that.

Some people use some type of muzzle break or porting on their rifle to reduce recoil. Both of these systems have some type of slots or "ports" on the sides of the end of your rifle barrel and release some of the pressure of the rifle to the side and thus lessen the recoil somewhat. They also direct more of the muzzle blast sound to the sides and are not very popular with hunting guides and/or hunting partners.

Some people have a recoil pad installed on their rifle in place of the existing butt-plate. These pads are made of recoil absorbing materials and do reduce recoil quite a bit. Just by way of illustration, I happen to own a 1950ish Winchester 94 in 30-30 and have shot 150 and 170 grain bullets in it (the 170's definitely kick harder). It's a typical hard type butt-plate that transfers 100% of recoil energy to my shoulder. I recently bought a Marlin Guide gun in 45-70 and was surprised at how the length of pull was so much shorter (guess Marlin figures we'll all wear heavier clothing when shooting their Guide Guns). I bought a slip on Limbsaver pad with my rifle and it increased the length of pull to where it felt much more comfortable. I have shot the rifle with and without that Limbsaver pad and it's noticeably less felt recoil when I shoot with the pad on. In fact, it seems like it kicks less than the 30-30.

Recoil Information:
If you're looking for some kind of comparison of recoil energy levels amongst different popular calibers, you could obtain the below listed information at Chuck Hawks website or from other sources both on and off of the internet. According to the rifle recoil table at Chuck Hawks (see link below), your 30-30 generates something between 10.6 and 11 pounds of recoil energy, depending on whether you're shooting 150 grain bullets or 170 grain bullets.

In comparison, here are some recoil averages (per Chuck Hawks' website) for 7MM and 30 caliber cartridges:

7MM Calibers
7mm-08 12.1 to 12.6 ft/lbs of recoil
270 Win 16.5 to 17 ft/lbs of recoil
280 17 to 17.5 ft/lbs of recoil

30 Calibers
308 Winchester 15.8 to 17.6 ft/lbs of recoil
30-06 20.1 to 20.3 ft/lbs of recoil
300 Win Mag 23.5 to 25.9 ft/lbs of recoil
338 Win Mag 25.9 to 35.2 ft/lbs of recoil

For more recoil information, check out this website:

This is a lot of information to digest but hopefully it helps you make a more informed decision. A couple of last things I would also suggest are to consider combining one of the lighter recoiling calibers (perhaps the 7mm-08) with a recoil reducing pad to obtain the lightest amount of recoil in a gun that can take those animals at reasonable ranges. Even better would be if you have a family member or friend who has one of these rifles or if they have a friend who has a rifle you can shoot a few rounds through and get a better idea of what would work best for you. Good luck in quest. It's doable and you'll end up with a rifle that's just right for you.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:37 PM
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Check out the 6.5Creedmore. I am hearing lots of great things about this cartridge from a lot of the guide services.

Same trajectory as the 300 Win Mag with the same recoil as the 7MM08 or there abouts.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:59 PM
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Now a days, it almost has more to due with the improvements in the manufacturing of modern production rifles. They are lighter and kick less with the right components.

Either a 7MM RM or a .30-06 with reduced recoil ammo should give you plenty of energy without breaking your shoulder.

Hell, the way I figure it; it's only suppose to be ONE SHOT anyway !!!

Take a look here;


Last edited by Sheridan; 04-02-2014 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:11 PM
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Depends on the condition of your shoulder. I had mine rebuilt about 20 years ago, I feel it grinding around a bit, but I don't notice any issues from it with recoil (I live in a shotgun-only state for deer and the recoil from a 12 gauge slug gun is fairly substantial). And, is your shoulder a temporary condition? Do you want to make a major purchase based on something that's going to resolve in a year or two?
Anyways, I always hear about the Swede's taking moose with the 6.5 calibers (.260 rem would also fit here), so I suppose that would work for elk. I own a 7-08 and like it, though I bought it more as a deer/antelope gun (I see plenty of posts saying it will work for elk, though). Problem with some of the rarer calibers is ammo availability and price. Of everything mentioned so far, the .270 is going to be the most available.


Some more objective guidance:

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Old 04-03-2014, 11:49 AM
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As stated, a 270 will do all that you ask, and do it without beating you up. Ammunition is available everywhere, and they reach further than a lot of people should even consider shooting. Great for everything from mice to moose. Easy to reload, and flat shooting, they are an excellent choice for everything except the big bears. In a pinch, they will work on them too, but not my choice for an angry grizz.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:11 PM
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7mm gets my vote. It will handle Moose and any other North american critter. You can get reduced recoil rounds as stated. My GF who weighs 120 lbs shoots my 7mm mag at the range but can only shoot about 5 shots without the lead sled before shes about had enough but thats with the heavy magnum hunting loads. You can always practice with light loads that switch to heavy loads for huntng because in the field you only need 1 shot. The bullet out of a 7mm is fast, flat, and carrys a lot of energy. Not to mention finding ammo for it is easy not much more you can ask for. One thing to consider is what type of game is going to most hunted if Elk a 270 might be on the lighter side but still capable. If deer and antelope are main quarry then the 270 may be better.

Last edited by Elkhorn25; 04-03-2014 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:03 PM
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A question you will get 20 answers for!!! I have some big magnums that I love. however if I were to do it over and pick one it would be a 300wsm and a brake. There is a lot of ammo on the shelf for these compared to others. If you reload, all the better!!!! Yes, an 06 a .270 and .308 can all get it done. Just personal preference!!! I shoot a 7 ultra and a 30-378. I have to reload!! Love both guns and have made some long damaging shots. But I think I would go with the 300wsm. Still may own one!!!lol I shoot quite a bit and it sure would be cheaper. My buddy and nephew each own one and I am damn impressed.
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