I was reading a thread on another forum where the OP said he was thinking of buying a single shot rifle that he would get two barrels for; a short range big game cartridge and a medium to long range big game cartridge.
Mentioned game was deer & black bear. He mentioned a few choices for both, among them a 45-70 for short range and a 30/06 for long. I liked this pair of selections, myself. Anyway the posts started and several stated that he'd be very sorry if he actually selected the 45-70 as it was a fierce recoil-er.
I chuckled and wrote my post saying I liked the 45-70 & 30/06 for the two choices and for the ranges he was talking, factory 300 or 405gr loads would work very well for the 45-70 and have minimal recoil. Well, did I ever hear how ridiculous I was and that the 45-70 would be just terrible in that rifle. On the other hand, many agreed all he needed was one barrel in 30/06. I still like the two barrel approach, personally.
So, I decided I'd do some checking and get some purely factual information to back my post and it's statements. The results may surprise even those who own all the rifles in question. These are all typical factory loads in same weight rifles. I cannot say I was surprised, but the numbers are certainly interesting. Here ya go:
.308 180gr @ 2600 FPS rifle weight = 8.5 pounds, recoil force = 15.8 FPE
30/06 180gr @ 2700 FPS, rifle weight = 8.5pounds, recoil force = 18.5 FPE
.358 Win 200gr @ 2490 FPS, rifle weight = 8.5 pounds, recoil force = 19.7 FPE
45-70 405gr @ 1330 FPS, rifle weight = 8.5 pounds, recoil force = 18 FPE
45-70 300gr @ 1800 FPS, rifle weight = 8.5 pounds, recoil force = 21.5 FPE
For comparison, one last cartridge:
.300WM 180gr @ 2960 FPS, rifle weight = 8.5 pounds, recoil force = 25.9 FPE