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Recoil ranking

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Recoil ranking

Old 11-18-2015, 05:30 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default Recoil ranking

I know, hard question "which kicks more", so let me try this.

I am getting a rifle for my wife, the goal is to use this for the next 10+ years all across north America hunting, we have "dreams" to hunt whitetail, mule, antelope, elk.

By far the most use will be NH whitetails, so 100 yards is a long shot, but we want it to be suitable for up to elk out west.

I have a post elsewhere on the specific rifle, ignoring caliber, so now flip question.

Given the same gun, which fits her, can anyone rank the recoil of several suitable calibers (also, are the below suitable for deer to elk, also any others)

7mm Mag

We don't reload so off the shelf bullet selection is important.

I carry a .30-06 and have no issue with having a second one in the house, but not opposed to other calibers as well.

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Old 11-18-2015, 05:52 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Many factors in consideration but this is worth looking over:
http://www.accuratereloading.com/recoil.html .

I would suggest you consider a 7mm-08 Remington.

All calibers listed would work.

Last edited by Game Stalker; 11-18-2015 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:56 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Try it now, Bob.
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Game Stalker View Post
I would suggest you consider a 7mm-08 Remington.
^^^x10! If she can put the bullet where it counts, the "baby 7" will bring down anything in your dreams OR nightmares!

BE CAREFUL however... Once you shoot that lil 7 & see it in action you likely have TWO in your house!

Last edited by HatchieLuvr; 11-18-2015 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 11-18-2015, 07:51 AM
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Step #1: Have your wife shoot your 30-06 and see how it feels for her. There's no substitute for real world experimentation - if she can handle the recoil of a 30-06, there's no need to go looking for anything smaller or lighter recoiling. Nothing I'll say below matters if she can handle your 30-06 comfortably.

Keep in mind: Elk are the hardest to kill, and most likely the one you'll hunt the least. Saying "Pronghorn, deer, and elk" sounds easy, but that spans a gap between about 100lbs and 600lbs, dictating disparate needs in a rifle to hunt them. Sure, an elk rifle will kill deer and pronghorn, but it'll carry a lot of extra recoil to do it. Couple with that your likelihood to hunt each species. Deer hunts are cheap and easy, even out of state. Antelope and elk, not so much. Sure, there ARE states where you can DIY hunt elk with OTC tags, but they're not cheap, and guided hunts are assuredly more productive in quantity and quality. For most folks hunting as non-residents - especially couples - elk hunts only happen once or twice every 10yrs. So your wife might be better served to get a deer and pronghorn rifle that's just enough for elk, OR, let her use your 30-06 on those rare elk opportunities, OR get her two rifles.

ALSO - Keep in mind: Even within the same model, not all cartridges have the same weight or balance, so a 308win might feel very different to her than a 7mm Rem Mag even in the same model. Short action rifles tend to be the lightest, and often have the shortest barrels, typically 22". Long action standard cartridges often weigh about 1/2lb heavier than short action versions of the same model, with 22-24" barrels. Long action Magnum cartridges often weigh another 1/4 to 1/2lb heavier, and typically come in 24-26" barrels - So a 7mm Rem Mag might be 2-4" longer and a full pound heavier than the SAME MODEL in 308win. Remington - typically one of the lighter models on the market = highest recoiling - doesn't follow that trend as tightly, there's only about 1/2-3/4lb between their short action and long action magnum rifles - meaning their 7mm RM will tend to have a lot more recoil than makers like Savage or Ruger. It's a good idea to let her hold the actual rifles, not just one representative.

If the 30-06 proves to be too much for her, then you can consider this ranking:

308win = ~16.5 ft.lbs. Free Recoil Energy (8.5lb scoped rifle w/ 150grn load at 2850fps)
270win = ~18 ft.lbs. FRE (9lb scoped rifle w/ 130grn load at 3050fps)
30-06 = ~20 ft.lbs. FRE (9lb scoped rifle w/ 150grn load at 2950fps)
7mm RM = ~22 ft.lbs. FRE (9.5lb scoped rifle w/ 140grn load at 3100fps)

I'd recommend, however, that the 243win is quite possibly the most efficient deer hunting cartridge on the market. A 243win proper deer hunting load will only have around ~11.5 ft.lbs. of free recoil energy out of a "standard" short action rifle. It's on the bottom end for elk, and not legal in all states, but if you're open to having 2 rifles for her, or letting her use your 30-06 on rare elk hunts, the 243 is a great option.

If you're dead set on only one rifle for her and not using your 30-06, then look a little heavier than the 243win. The 7-08rem and 25-06 are good short and long action options, respectively, for deer and occasional elk. More punch on the business end, but still a big reduction compared to the 30-06. Either of these are effective elk rifles at moderate ranges.

Comparatively - if she shoots your 30-06 as a benchmark to set the standard:

243win = 58% of the 30-06 recoil = kicks a little over half as much
7-08rem = 75% of 30-06 recoil = big reduction
25-06 = 75% of 30-06 = big reduction
308win = 83% of 30-06 recoil = significant reduction
270win = 91% of 30-06 recoil = knocks the edge off, but not much
30-06 = your standard that she compares against
7 RM = 110% of 30-06 recoil = incrementally more recoil above an already stiff kicker

I'd personally look hardest at the 7-08 and 25-06 for a low recoil deer, pronghorn, and occasional elk rifle.
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Old 11-18-2015, 08:19 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Thanks that is awesome info! Keep it coming! Our first trip is probably fall 2017.

She hunts right now with either a 20 guage pump for deer/ducks or a Ruger .44 mag carbine for deer. Shot a turkey with a single shot 16 guage (personally I think this kicks more than my .30-06)
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:08 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Oct 2013
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None of those are hard kicking rounds. Proper stock length, good stock design and a good recoil pad (Decelerator etc...) would make them manageable. My wife is 5'2" and she can easily shoot my 7mm Mag.

By the way if you want a hard kicking rifle try a 450 Rigby or a 505 Gibbs. They'll rattle your teeth.
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:24 AM
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There is reduced recoil ammunition available for some of the popular cartridges such as the 30-06 and 270. The recoil reduction can be quite significant. Of course a handloader can make most any cartridge shoot softer and to a degree make them shoot harder.

You can make the common cartridges shoot softer but it is quite difficult to make the smaller cartridges shoot harder.



Last edited by Big Uncle; 11-18-2015 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:48 AM
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+1 for the 7mm08REM suggestion as well. I've taken Elk cleanly with the little 7mm08 and while I wouldn't go over 250 yards for the shot on an Elk, it does an excellent job. Premium bullet selection would be a MUST with the 7mm08 going after an Elk but regular cup and core selections would be fine for deer or speed goats. Less recoil equals more practice time at the bench. If she develops a flinch from a rifle that has just too much recoil for her to handle well then she will be taking a serious chance of missing, or worse, wounding whatever game she is pursuing.
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:58 AM
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Take a look at the Weatherby and Lazzeroni style stocks. They are suppose to help "absorb" recoil. I have a .284 wildcat being built with a McMillan Lazzeroni stock right now so I can't confirm it helps, but they say it does.

But any of the calibers you mentioned aren't too bad. Are you against a muzzle brake? I use them on everything now, even the 22/243 had one.
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