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Joined: 07/25/2007
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4 ways to cut down on recoil

Recoil can be one of the major factors in deciding to get a gun, but with some tips you will be able to master a gun with larger recoil. Let’s start off with a lesson in recoil. Recoil is usually grouped in two categories perceived and real. Real recoil is measured in foot-pounds and perceived recoil is what you perceive or feel; this has a lot to do with how the gun and you are designed.
To figure out real recoil there is a complicated formula, but there are a couple websites that will help you and pretty much do all the work for you (http://www.rfgc.org/reload.recoil_calc.htm is a good one).
To help prevent perceived recoil some adjustments to the rifle or shotgun can be made. If the gun is a loud gun getting a pair of earmuffs will help drown out the sound (peltor.com has some good ones). Sound even though it doesn’t sound (pun intended) like it, is a crucial factor in how much recoil you think the gun has. The drop in the stock also has a lot to do with where the recoil is directed, adjusting this will also help.

4 recoil fixes

1. Get a butt plate pad or have one installed.
2. If you have an old rifle that has lots of drop at its comb, get a newer stock with less.
3. Put in one or two inertia recoil reducers, this will add weight to your rifle reducing the kick.
4. Get a muzzle brake. These help a lot with real recoil but make sure you get some good earmuffs or the sound will make you deaf.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
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4 ways to cut down on recoil

Great contribution. However I've always found that proper gun mounting along with proper shooting technique coupled with a gun that fits you well are all the real keys to handling recoil. Plus plenty of practice to build up a tollerance to recoil. All the new gadgets are great, but you have to learn to handle recoil by actually shooting.

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Location: USA
Joined: 06/04/2006
Posts: 166
4 ways to cut down on recoil
WesternHunter wrote:
Great contribution. However I've always found that proper gun mounting along with proper shooting technique coupled with a gun that fits you well are all the real keys to handling recoil. Plus plenty of practice to build up a tollerance to recoil. All the new gadgets are great, but you have to learn to handle recoil by actually shooting.

I agree with the quote above, and the one before that to some extent! However there are times when the rifle fittes you like a glove, and is heavy, and well ballanced, and you still get kicked to death. Some of this is because of the weight of the person shooting the rifle! WHY, you ask! It is simply a matter of physics. A light person rolls with the recoil, far more than a big heavy person, who absorbs more of the recoil. There is always the misconception that a big man can shoot harder kicking rifles than a small man. This is the mistake people make when buying a hunting rifle with a very marginal chambering , for what they want to hunt, for a woman, or a teenager to avoid recoil. I find that once a woman gets used to shooting a center fire rifle, she can handle a rifle that hurt her 250 lb husband. I know several women who shoot 470NE double rifles all the time in the hunting fields of Africa, and big men who are worried about the recoil of a little pip-squeek 338 Win Mag.

The key to learning to shoot heavy caliber rifles is to stay off the damn shooting bench, and stand on your hind legs for your practice. Very few places I've hunted, are equipt with shooting benches when you see an Elk !

If you notice, when you are shooting at game, you don't notice the recoil of even big rifles. So, the best way to handle recoil is to shoot, and shoot a lot, but from hunting positions, and you will be supprised what you can shoot comfortably! I was shooting a 10ga Stevens single barrel shotgun at the age of 7 yrs, when I only weighed about 75 lbs, and the actual recoil of that old gun is about equal to a 500NE in a heavy double rifle. However, I never shot it except when hunting, and I loved that old gun. None of the things like brakes, and recoil reducers in the stock are necessary, as long as you have a good recoil pad, you can shoot anything meant to be fired from the shoulder! Thumbs up

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
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4 ways to cut down on recoil

Yup, you bring up some very good points. All true too.

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 601
4 ways to cut down on recoil

I do a combination of all that has been stated, except make the rifle heavier. However I do shoot alot but not alot of shells when i shoot. But i have the luxury of shooting a couple of times a week.

tim

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Location: Somewhere Up There
Joined: 01/06/2007
Posts: 217
4 ways to cut down on recoil

I guess my view of physics is a bit different. While the concept of weight versus recoil makes a difference in the weight of a rifle, I don't think the weight of a human makes a difference because whether you are a pipsqueek or big boy you are not displaced by the rifle. For example, a rifle that generates 40 foot pounds of force is not going to displace a 120 person any more than a 220 pound person. The shooter always stays in the same place. However, in regard to shooting technique some of the lighter ladies may have something in that they learn to absorb some of the recoil simply by not fighting it??

Personally, I think it's mostly psychological. I've seen people deathly afraid of some pretty miniscule rifles and I've seen new shooters step up to 300 Wins and 338s with no problem.

Don't get me wrong, because a 338 win mag certainly kicks more than a 243, but the human body is big enough to handle the physics of the situation. With a GOOD recoil pad bruising is eliminated and the rest is talking yourself into it.
One thing you can do to help yourself along is to try a little 'comparative psychology' on yourself. Imagine shooting something bigger than you already have, and then see how much less your rifle kicks!

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Location: TEXAS
Joined: 08/08/2007
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4 ways to cut down on recoil
Highflyer wrote:
Personally, I think it's mostly psychological. I've seen people deathly afraid of some pretty miniscule rifles and I've seen new shooters step up to 300 Wins and 338s with no problem.

You are exactly correct. I have sat and watched a 14 year old kid shoot my .338 win mag off the bench, and never hesitate when asked if he wanted to shoot it again. Have watched my wife put the same rifle on the bench and shoot it withyout any complaints. Also watched a 110 lb woman put 20 rounds thru my 45/70 in preparation for using it for a hunt. I know grown men that refuse to shoot either of these rifles.

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4 ways to cut down on recoil

One very effective way to cut down on recoil. Use a smaller case and a lighter bullet. From the measures being described in the opening post, it sounds like a fearsome cartridge. The search for velocity and energy has it's down side and only really shows pronounced benefit on dangerous game up fairly close. In which case you had better have a bullet that will make the trip!

I fail to understand the reasoning behind getting some heavy kicker to kill a deer with, or even an elk, on the belief that you may be faced with a 500yds
shot that most of us wouldn't or couldn't take anyway. Best way to deal with recoil is to get only what you need.

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Location: Somewhere Up There
Joined: 01/06/2007
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4 ways to cut down on recoil

Don, I agree entirely. I love my 300 WSM, but don't think it's neccessary for deer sized game. We could debate Elk, Moose, etc (certainly many have been taken down by less) but I agree with the point that there is no use going any bigger than you really need to. I just happen to find myself in places where the 300 is ideal and places where it might be overkill, but I'm a one gun kind of guy so I'd rather lean on the heavy side.