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February 27, 2007

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How Much Kick Can You Take?

Floyd Paterson, the former heavyweight champ, had a chin of Dresden china and probably spent as much time on the canvas as he did on his feet. Muhammad Ali had a chin of iron, and absorbed some of the most savage beatings in ring history without going down. He could be decked only rarely, and knocked out, never. How come? No one has an answer.

So it is with recoil. Some people can take a ton of it and walk away with a spring in their step and a song in their heart. Others run shrieking for the ice bag and the Ibuprofin if they fire anything bigger than a BB gun.

It doesn’t seem to relate to body size. I know small guys who can shoot horrendous rifles with no trouble, and immense humanoids who swoon at the sight of a .30/06. As a rule, the upper limit for most rifleman is a .41-caliber cartridge such as the .416 Remington or Rigby. Both fire 400-grain bullets at 2,300 fps or so. When you get up to the .458, with 500 grains at 2,000 fps (or a little less) and about 60 foot-pounds of recoil, most people would rather not, thanks. And with bigger cartridges like the .458 Lott and .450 Dakota 500 grains, 2,300 fps), even the toughest riflemen grow pale and begin to tremble.

The worst-kicking rifle I’ve ever used is the .378 Weatherby. It comes back at you so fast you can’t roll with it, and it’s the only rifle I’ve ever sold because I feared it.

The worst thing you can do if you want to learn to shoot a big rifle is use a Lead Sled. The way you learn to take a punch is by getting punched. The way you learn to handle lots of kick is by getting kicked. The Lead Sled absorbs just about all the recoil, and prevents you from becoming a manly man. (If you are a woman, this is obviously not a consideration.) Take your whupping and learn to live it.

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Comments

Chad Love

I'll agree with you on the muzzle blast. I'd be guilty of gross understatement to call it significant. But it was a blast (so to speak) to shoot. I'm seriously thinking of trying one out on an open plains whitetail hunt next year, adn I'm not much of a handgun guy.

John B.

Years ago I bought a lightweight Husqvarna 30/06. They were brand new out and looked liked a dandy little hunting rifle. But kick? It was brutal. It had to be the stock design as I shot a friend's .243 in the same model some years later and the felt recoil was way beyond any other .243 I had shot. I traded my /06 off on a standard model Husky and never regretted it.
I also had an early model Ruger in .44 mag - prior to the square gripped Blackhawk. My hands are small and I couldn't control it. With that rounded grip, the gun would roll back in my hand and whack me on web. Damn it hurt. That one had to go too.
Then there is the beautiful .375 built for me by gunmaker Pete Grisel. On delivery Pete supplied me with some high test handloads he had made up. They were incredibly accurate but by the 3rd shot off a bench I had a "go home" headache. Kept the gun but reduced the loads.
Who said shooting wasn't a contact sport?

Jason

Chad,

I am not 100% sure, but, I think the load I was shooting thru my .454 Casull was a Cor-Bon 325g at 1600fps. I could describe shooting this in many ways, but "almost pleasant" isn't one of them. I definately need to try some lighter loads.

Jason

Chad Love

Now you may be right there. I was shooting the Cor-Bon 200 grain Barnes X. Bump it another 125 grains and I may be singing a different tune...

Mike

I'm looking at buying a sporterized mauser that's chambered in 7X64. I can get dies and new brass but I've been unable to get any loading data. I'd use 140 and 160gr Barnes TSX. Anybody got any reloading info for this?

Mark

Mike,

Speer manual #12 says a reloader can use 280 Remington loading data for 7 x 64.

Mike

Mark,
Thanks a lot for the information. I'll pick up a Speer manual. I checked my Barnes, Hornady, Hogdon, and Sierra manuals and they didn't indicate you could use 280 loads. Appreciate your help...Thanks.

P Landry

A friend with a 7mm rem mag warned me about the recoil as I picked it up to try it out at the range. But, after the beating I took the week before from a half dozen turkey load shots from my 12 ga Winchester while patterning a new choke, I barely felt the rifle.

With the shotgun, I know the kick is coming but I hang on and just take it - and you do kind of get used to it.

It really is all relative. And the bruise on my shoulder from the shotgun gradually dissapeared in about ten days.

JB

M-79

MattWV

P Landry,

The load I use in my 7mm Rem Mag is 67.5grs of RL-22 and a 140gr Nosler Accubond. This is actually the max load in Nosler's manual but the recoil is quite manageable (though after running it over my chronograph the velocities are about 250fps slower).

My friends usually sight their rifles in at my house (you know, 3 shots the weekend before season) as I've actually put money into a decent front rest and rear bag and no matter how many times I offer they refuse to try my gun. It's funny because they always pull out excuses like "I don't want to waste your ammo" or something along those lines but really you can tell they're afraid for some reason. I didn't realize magnum was such a terrifying word till now.

jbtool

Well I have an old H&R 10 ga.
That I shoot and I enjoy the recoil. But all my friends hate it.
But I can't stand the recoil of a 30-06 that beats me up. thats why I shoot a 308

Krusty0369

Anti-Fudd
Last I checked this thread is a "recoil discussion" the other topic is a couple of pages back. Not many fudds here just people talking about guns. Read my posts back there I MEANT EVERY SINGLE WORD OF IT and I doubt you'll find anybody that is against the Fudd Mentality more than I. But! say what you need to say at the apporpriate time and place.
We're pissed about that issue I think they get it. But this isn't the forum for discussing that issue so trashing it is in poor taste. If you feel the need to do further on that topic might I suggest writing letters to the editors, Mr. P, and the advertisers.

Mark

My re-education is in progress. Please bear in mind I've only been retired for less than a year and I still work in that comunity so I'm constantly exposed to my native tongue and must remain fluent. Talking about the recoil standards you'd be amaized at what is studied in excrutiating detail. There's a gold mine of information there if you can just sift through it.

Perry,
My next wheelgun (once I talk the ole' lady into it) is going to be a .500 SW. For tactical pistols I always carry a 1911 45ACP. I'm a big fan of flying ashtrays.

Roger E. Reeves,  Sr.

Enought weight is the major secret to reduced recoil. No way can you shoot a 4 to 5 lb gun in 300 WIn Mag or larger and it not knock your block off. I'm a small guy, l28 lbs and bought a Model 70 Win in 300 WSM. I shot it 3-4 times and sold it. Bought a Rem 700, walnut in 06 and added 2 lb to stock. With Scope, lead in stock, loaded, it weighs about 9 l/2 lbs, shoots like a 22 LR. No way can we have it both ways. Either light and Kick your A-- or add wt and sweet dreams when you pull the trigger, end of the flinch and dead on target.Its a pleasure to shoot the 06 now, never give the recoil a thought with a l80 gr bullet. A lot of pratice and good bullets, place the shot in the Vitals and bring home your trophy. Leave the baby weight guns to the large guys, who can handle a 30 + recoil, I sure cannot and few serious hunters can either.

Krusty0369

Weight is nature's recoil dampner. PAST pads attenuate recoil and make it more manageable. If you're a dinosauar hunter or just can't live without megaton amounts of impact energy one thing that works well is a properly designed muzzle break. Either a cheveron or a bi-spherical brake can make a noticeable difference in felt recoil.

Guns-Up!
Krusty

mark

Hi Dave.
I liked your article on recoil. I still own a .378 WBY. She is a beast all right, but I spend time in areas where grizzlies are abundant and if I ever find myself in a situatuation where my my rifle will help me, I'll be happy to have my .378 in hand. I sight in with the aid of my lead sled, and practice all shooting positions with plenty of hearing protection. I find that the porting in the barrel results in recoil equivelant to my .300 WBY without porting. Held right, it's not that bad for me.

Cheers!

Charshooter

Recoil is a subjective thing, but I have to agree, that anything with more recoil the 300 Win. Mag. gets to bothering me at the bench. On the other hand, I have friends who hate bench shooting anything with more recoil than a 270 or a 7-08, then there are those who shoot a 375 H&H on the bench without any sweat. I believe what matters is two things: ones overall size, heavy frame is more important than height; how much practice one commits to shooting at the bench and is willing to move to heavy calibers and if one learns to hold the rifle right. Excessive rigid stance will lead to punishment, where a loose relaxed pose will allow one to move with the recoil, not fighting it.

Overall, I must agree, the 416 Rem. was about the most I could shoot well in a standing position, much like magnum 10 gauge shotgun loads, yet with a entirely different kick, they are both upper limits for me. On the other hand, I think with practice, the super heavy 45 plus calibers could be manageable, but then who needs the expense to learn to shoot these well?

booty0

3" slugs from an 870 is always unpleasant. I've also found that hot .35 Remingtons from T/C Contender can be a fairly daunting experience...

CHRIS CAMPBELL

HI, I HAVE JUST GOT A RUGER NO 1 IN 458 LOTT I AM 24 YEARS OLD AND OWN AND SHOOT A 50BMG AR-50 WHAT WILL THE RECOIL BE LIKE ON THE 458 LOTT? I EVEN THOUGH ABOUT USEING A THICK TOWEL TO PUT BETWEEN MY SHOLDER AND THE GUN...
ANY HELP WILL BE GREAT!!!
CHRIS,SOUTH CAROLINA.

CHRIS CAMPBELL

THIS IS CHRIS AGIN, ONE MORE THING I WOULD LIKE TO ADD. I AM HOPPING TO THAKE THE 458 LOTT TO THE RANGE THIS WEEKEND. I STILL WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT I'M IN FOR AS FOR FELT RECOIL. I OWN AND SHOOT A 500 MAG REVOLVER, AND A DOUBLE RIFLE IN 8-BORE WITH A 535GR BULLET AND ABOUT 100GRS OF BLACK POWDER AND IT KICK'S!!

I HAVE SEEN ON ALOT OF BLOGS THAT THE 458 LOTT HITS VERY HARD AND MOST SHOOTERS CAN ONLY SHOOT IT ABOUT 4 TIMES AND THEN THAT IS IT FOR A WEEK!! IS THIS TRUE? AND IS IT GOING TO BITE LIKE THEY SAY? OR IS IT BARK WORSE THAN THE BITE?

PLEASE LET ME KNOW I NEED ALL OF THE INFO THAT I CAN GET!

CHRIS CAMPBELL,FOUNTAIN INN,SC

CHRIS CAMPBELL

WELL..... I JUST GOT BACK FROM THE RANGE TODAY. AND I HAVE TO SAY. WOOOOOOOOOOW!!! THE 458 LOTT DOES KICK, AND KICK HARD IT DOES! I COULD ONLY SHOOT 5 ROUNDS OF 500GRN RN BULLETS AND THAT WAS IT FOR THE DAY. AND MAN YOU TALK ABOUT A FAST FIRING BULLET. IT WAS. WELL NOW I CAN SAY I CAME,I SAW, I GOT BLOWED UP!! MY NEXT GUN TO FIRE IS GOING TO BE THE 505 GIBBS ANY IDEA WHAT THE RECOIL MITE BE??? PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
CHRIS CAMPBELL,FOUNTAIN INN,SC

im a 13 year old and i shoot my grandpa 700 06 like a dream and i was looking for a gun and i was thinking a 7mm mag but wahts the best

panda

Happened upon this page and thought I'd add a couple of personal comments.My preferred weapon is a 1911, however, I have been known to shoot rifles now and then. My husband and I were at the range this weekend to hone our pistol combat skills and happened upon an acquaintance of ours. He's also a well-respected local expert who was shooting his Ruger .458 Lott. Being quite the gentleman, and knowing my husband's gunfighting skills, he offered my husband the opportunity to squeeze off a couple of rounds. Surprisingly, he made the same offer to me, and although I usually never pass up such an opportunity, I was a mite bit intimidated by his expertise and (a little bit) the rifle itself. However, I was quickly persuaded that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and that I would likely be the only woman in West Virginia to have fired a .458 Lott. With that challenge, I was hooked. Words can't describe the experience! Thought I had no hopes of hitting the target (4x8 plywood backing with pie-plate sized targets) even with a good scope at 50 yds., so I did as instructed, put on the shoulder pad, adjusted it, shouldered the rifle and let 'er fly. Well let me tell you that if you ever get the chance to fire one of these rifles, you MUST do so! I fired only three rounds (standing), but am proud to say that one was in the outer ring and one was on the edge of the target, and I lost one, but I was more than pleased! I hadn't expected to even hit the target. The recoil with the shoulder pad wasn't a big deal. I always figure that recoil is something that one can manage. It's all in your attitude and determination to master the weapon. I also have had an excellent instructor - my husband. I imagine that someday we'll own one of these incredible rifles. Nice to know that I can handle it if needed.

CHRIS CAMPBELL

I HAVE JUST GOT A 450 ACKLEY MAGNUM RIFLE. IT IS A BOLT ACTION WITH A 5 RD INSIDE MAG. THE BULLETS ARE ON THERE WAY, AND COST $99.95 PLUS S&H FOR A BOX OF 20 DOES ANY ONE KNOW HOW MUCH BIGGER THE 450 ACKLEY IT TO A 458 LOTT??? I SEE ON LINE THE BULLET HAS MORE RECOIL THAN THE 458 LOTT,AND HOLDS MORE POWDER!! ANY HELP WOULD BE HELPFULL.

MDS

I'm heading to Alaska to live. I want to carry a suitably capable gun for protection against Brown Bears. Have been looking at heavy rifles - e.g. 450 Lott in the Ruger 77, but interested in the ability of the 12 gauge with Dixie slugs to fill the need (.730 diameter, 730 grains, 1400 fps - TKO of 106). I am not interested in giving a bear a fighting chance or being sporting - if I'm shooting, I want the first shot to count. I certainly don't want to be under gunned.

Advice? Comparison of 12 GA with Dixie Slugs to 458 Lott?

Thanks.




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