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WesternHunter's picture
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low recoil calibers

.270 Win. is a great all around big game hunting cartridge. I've used it exclusivley for years on many deer, a few pronghorn, one black bear, and many elk with excellent results. While the .308 Win. may offer slightly less recoil, ballistically the .270 Win. offers some advantages and disadvantages when compared to .308 win. For one, the 150 grain bullet of .277 bullet offers better sectional density and better penetration potential when compared to the 150 grain .308 bullet. Velocity for both cartridges in 150 grain are nearly the same, about 2850 ft/sec, give or take 30 ft/sec. Inside of 200 yrds the ballistics (velocity and energy) of both cartridges in 150 grain are very similar if not identical.

The advantage of the .308 win. is that you can go up to a heavier bullet to 200 grains. Trajectory and velocity drops off fast with heavier bullets Though the .308 shoots plenty flat with full velocity 150 grain and 165 grain bullets.

The advantages of the .270 WCF are that with 130 grain bullet you can load this round to 3140 ft/sec, and that is a flat shooting longer range round. In my experience the 130 grain bullet at full velocity offers enough energy out to 250 yards to fully penetrate and hit the vitals of a large bull elk. With 150 grain bullet you can duplicate the ballistics of the .308 Win or 30-06 springfield out to 200 yards and still have better sectional density with the .277 bullet.

fuzzybear pretty much said it straight!!

ADKBEAR's picture
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low recoil calibers

Well to thro another round into the mix, not as popular as the others mentioned (anymore) the 257 Roberts. There are enough of them out there that the most places carry the shells and mfg's still put them out as special run guns. If anyone still offers them standard I do not know? There were enough made that they can also be picked up used.
My first deer rifle was a 257 in a Rem 760, killed a bunch of deer with that gun.

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Location: CA Central Coast
Joined: 12/01/2005
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low recoil calibers

I don't know whether you've seen this, but maybe it will help:

rifle recoil table

Don Fischer's picture
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Joined: 03/24/2005
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low recoil calibers

Ya had to know that someone was going to bring up tables with numbers on it. Yes Theres a problem with those tables, they don't take into account other things.

First off should be stock design. That is a good straight stock throws the recoil straight back into your shoulder. It doesn't diminish the recoil any, it just makes it feel different, felt recoil. A stock with a lot of drop at the heal, rear of the stock and top, doesn't recoil straight back but rather up and back hitting you not only in the shoulder but also in the cheek. The recoil doesn't change, it's just felt differently and seems more severe.

I haven't measured the dorp in my stocks lately so couldnt tell you what they are nor even what I'd concider excessive right now. But it you want to know what your drop is, remove the scope and place the barrel against a wall. Then measure from the wall to the heal of the stock.

Another fator effecting recoil is rifle weight. Just as bullet weight increases recoil by requiring more effort to srart the buller and push it, rifle weight reduces FELT recoil by causing the cartridge to move a greater mass backward.

Another thing is tied to rifle weight. Barrel dia. A heavier barrel puts more weight out in frount of the ballence point and helps to reduce muzzle jump. A muzzle port also redirects gasses upward just befor leaving the barrel and reduces muzzle jump. Even with a straight stock and no porting, there will be a certain amount of muzzle jump causing the stock to recoil into your cheek, increasing felt recoil.

The charts tell you little if you have nothing to compare them to. Probally another bad thing about the recoil question is that most people with the experience to answer it, usually also are experienced enough shooters that have learned to handle it without thinking about it. That's why you'll often hear someone say a 7mm mag or a 300 mag just doesn't seem to have much recoil. Others will compare certain cartridges to a 12ga shot gun. I think if I remember that it's the same or close to the 338 win mag. The difference is that you never shoot your shotgun off a bench with sand bags. That's where we learn what recoil is all about and how to handle it.

Then there is the individuals tolerence. Some very small people can handle a lot of recoil and some very large people have a hard time with it. But a cartridge that can push what I'd call a suitable bullet for deer and larger game without excess recoil can be pretty much guessed at. First off is the case size, for light recoil 308, 8x57 or 300 Savage case, many excellent rounds there. Next is bore diameter. The bigger the bore, the heavier bullet required to be suitable and the greater the recoil.

308 case:
243 win, 260 rem, 7mm-08 and 308 win(parent case)

8x57 case:
6mm rem, 257 roberts, 6.5x57, 7x57 and 8x57 (parent case)

300 Savage:
250-3000 and 300 savage (parent case)

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
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low recoil calibers

Ya had to know that someone was going to bring up tables with numbers on it. Yes Theres a problem with those tables, they don't take into account other things.

First off should be stock design. That is a good straight stock throws the recoil straight back into your shoulder. It doesn't diminish the recoil any, it just makes it feel different, felt recoil. A stock with a lot of drop at the heal, rear of the stock and top, doesn't recoil straight back but rather up and back hitting you not only in the shoulder but also in the cheek. The recoil doesn't change, it's just felt differently and seems more severe.

I haven't measured the drop in my stocks lately so couldnt tell you what they are nor even what I'd concider excessive right now. But it you want to know what your drop is, remove the scope and place the barrel against a wall. Then measure from the wall to the heal of the stock, at the floor.

Another fator effecting recoil is rifle weight. Just as bullet weight increases recoil by requiring more effort to srart the bullet and push it, rifle weight reduces FELT recoil by causing the cartridge to move a greater mass backward.

Another thing is tied to rifle weight. Barrel dia. A heavier barrel puts more weight out in front of the ballence point and helps to reduce muzzle jump. A muzzle port also redirects gasses upward just befor leaving the barrel and reduces muzzle jump. Even with a straight stock and no porting, there will be a certain amount of muzzle jump causing the stock to recoil into your cheek, increasing felt recoil.

The charts tell you little if you have nothing to compare them to. Probally another bad thing about the recoil question is that most people with the experience to answer it, usually also are experienced enough shooters that have learned to handle it without thinking about it. That's why you'll often hear someone say a 7mm mag or a 300 mag just doesn't seem to have much recoil. Others will compare certain cartridges to a 12ga shot gun. I think if I remember that it's the same or close to the 338 win mag. The difference is that you never shoot your shotgun off a bench with sand bags. That's where we learn what recoil is all about and how to handle it. It's also where we learn to flinch!

Then there is the individuals tolerence. Some very small people can handle a lot of recoil and some very large people have a hard time with it. But a cartridge that can push what I'd call a suitable bullet for deer and larger game without excess recoil can be pretty much guessed at. First off is the case size, for light recoil 308, 8x57 or 300 Savage case, many excellent rounds there. Next is bore diameter. The bigger the bore, the heavier bullet required to be suitable and the greater the recoil.

308 case:
243 win, 260 rem, 7mm-08 and 308 win(parent case)

8x57 case:
6mm rem, 257 roberts, 6.5x57, 7x57 and 8x57 (parent case)

300 Savage:
250-3000 and 300 savage (parent case)

Don

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low recoil calibers

Hey, Don -

Your point is well-taken -- I'm a firm believer that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Still, it's better than nothing. The factors you mention matter too, but as you doubtless know, no combination of rifle stock/heavy barrel/etc. is going to turn a .460 into a .223. This table was handy for me in selecting my first rifle, since I had been told that for my hunting purposes I should have something in the .30-06 range. When I came across the Sako in 7mm Remington magnum, I used the table to see that its kick wouldn't be too much more, and could make my purchase with that information.

I was only trying to provide a tool to aid in decision making; not to come off as the burning bush or anything...

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low recoil calibers

Anyone besides myself ever notice that a lot of the recoil is in the ears. Never near as bad when wearing good ear protection, or is it just me ???

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low recoil calibers

The best way I've found to deal with recoil is to concentrate on the target. Squeeeeze the trigger. It goes BANG and you load another round.

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Joined: 08/21/2003
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low recoil calibers

I think most of the people who claim their .300 Magnum doesn't kick that much more than a 30-06 are just playing macho. I've seen it too many times where I've loaded their rifles for them, tricked them into thinking I put 3 rounds in their gun when I actually only put 2 in and then watched them fire, cycle the bolt, fire again, cycle the bolt, and then click empty and jump or shake a little at the same instant. Shame on You!

The worst part is getting anyone to admit to flinching, and I hate to say this, but male shooters are worse about the whole recognition thing.

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Location: Maui, Hawaii
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low recoil calibers

I have to agree with Captain Obvious. I started off shooting with a 30-06. I bought a 7mm-08 to use while I rebarreled the 30-06. I went with the 7mm-08 because I read that it is has a mild recoil and is a round recommended for women and youths.

The recoil is indeed mild and helps me put the bullet exactly where I want it. I hunt pigs with the rifle and so far all have been 1 shot kills. The last one ran 15 yards, all the others dropped in their tracks.

All the calibers mentioned will take the game. Much of decision lies in what you the shooter is capable of. The Captain is absolutely right. The 300 win mag is a great cartridge, but, for myself and some other shooter I know, it has too much recoil for them to shoot with confidence.

Statistically, the 30-06 and its associated cartridges are the borderline for recoil that the average person can manage.

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