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Need a LOW recoil rifle for deer

Old 04-25-2010, 05:20 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default Need a LOW recoil rifle for deer

My father (age 76) has had some rhythm trouble with his heart. He had a defibrilator installed in his chest, and all is great.

He is an avid hunter and at our farm in WV he has always used a Rem 600 carbine in .308. This is one hard kicking little gun. It weight in at about 4 1/2 pounds and just delivers a thumpin. It's never been an issue...but now he isn't supposed to have any "sharp" jabs to his shoulder area.

My question is...what gun/caliber combo has virtually no kick and is still a suitable caliber for whitetails....small whitetails. I have a .223, and I've killed several deer with it. He isn't quite the shot I am and I'm a little nervous about turning him loose with that.

I've looked at a 7mm-08, 7.62x38, and .243.

Any help is appreciated...and please don't give me an ethics course on the energy needed to kill a whitetail. Thanks!
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:26 AM
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I am not sure how you hunt, but if you hunt from a stand, I would look at the .243 for whitetails. Get a heavier than normal stock, and bump the weight of the gun up to about 9-10 lbs or a little heavier, and there should be no recoil felt at all. Though heavy for all day carrying, it shouldn't be too bad for you to carry to a stand for your dad. I have seen a few deer taken with the .243, some in the 150 lb class, and it handles them no problem.

Just a thought.

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Old 04-25-2010, 05:38 AM
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Either a .243 or .257 Roberts.Both have low recoil even with hot loads and both shoot well with lighter loads.I know Ruger still chambers the Rob but many don't.Everybody offers the .243.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:27 AM
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I would also recommend the 257 roberts or perhaps a 25-06. I have a remington 700 with a heavy stock and my wife loves it. You cannot go wrong with a 243 either. Most companies offer them and there is a good amount of different commercial loads that can be found everywhere.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:29 AM
Giant Nontypical
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My .243 has a 24 inch barrel on it and there is minimal recoil...I'd also suggest that .223 or even a 22-250 and the 60 gr Partition...

Back in the late 60s I used a 22-250 for population control on our farms...While it killed deer, I knew it wasn't really a deer caliber after killing a few...

About 6 years ago, my younger brother picked up a 22-250 in trade, he remembered that I used to have one so he had me set it up for his daughter (13-14 at the time)...I picked up a couple of boxes of the 60gr Federal Premiums with the Partitions in them...My niece is now in college and has killed about a dozen deer with that gun, losing none and having exits on every one...

Most dropped at the shot to a high shoulder shot...

It would be great if you could find a local guy with a .243 and try it out...If he couldn't take that recoil I wouldn't hesitate to go to a 22-250...
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:59 AM
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You can get reduced recoil loads for your 308. I believe Remington sells 125 grain reduced recoil that's supposed to reduce felt recoil by 50%.

The real problem is how light the rifle is. If he had a 6 or 7 pound 308 it would dramatically reduce the felt recoil.

With all that said, you might be best going with a 243. It's the lightest caliber I would suggest for whitetail hunting. You can shoot light 100 grain type loads and put on a thick recoil pad. I would venture to say it would be very easy to shoot. Just make sure you don't buy a super light rifle, because they will have more recoil.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:05 AM
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ever think bout just puttin a sled in the blind?
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:30 AM
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I would consider a 6.8 SPC. Its case capacity is just slightly larger than the 223 rem but it hits harder than the 30-30. Max powder charges are around 30 grains max.

Trajectory wise its muzzle velocity with the 100-120 grain bullets is similar to the 308 with a 150 grain bullet. At around 2700 fps it has over 1000 lbs KE at 300 yards so it is a real killer despite its small size. See the link for performance.

Felt recoil in a 7 lbs rifle is only 9 ft/lbs for this round compared to 18ft/lbs for the 308.

Last edited by Scott Gags; 04-25-2010 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:30 AM
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any heavy rifle in one of the .308 knock offs, I'd look to the .243, 7mm-08, and maybe another .308.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:35 AM
Giant Nontypical
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.243, 7mm-08, or that new 6.8 spc in a gas gun is your best bet. Be it a classic autoloader or some AR.
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