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View Full Version : Yikes. Is .308 recoil a surprise for all rifle noobs? (or just me?)


Pond, James Pond
August 12, 2012, 02:56 AM
Recoil pad coming up!!!

I know many hardened long-arm shooters will roll their eyes and tell me they can shoot an Abrams cannon comfortably but I will say, without embarrasement, that .308 has a heck of a kick!!

Admittledly, I was wearing a t-shirt and it had the original hard, resin butt, but after 20 rounds, my shoulder was having words....

To top it all off I have not zero'ed my lovely Burris yet (soon, my sweet, soooon...:D)...

trublu
August 12, 2012, 03:37 AM
I think you will get used to it. When I bought my .308 I could only shoot about 40 rounds per range session. Now I can quite comfortably shoot 100 rounds per session. (off the bench). Makes a difference if you are shooting prone or on a bench or offhand. What kind of rifle is it ?

TripHlx
August 12, 2012, 04:25 AM
I honestly have never fired a .308 Winchester rifle, but I know the round is comparable to 7.62x54r, and I have fired a lot of those.

I love my Mosin Nagant 91/30 because I can do a lot of shooting on the cheap with milsurp ammo. That rifle provides a solid thump, especially with a steel buttplate, but I got used to it very quickly.

I think you will probably do the same with the .308. It's just a matter of building tolerance.

Pond, James Pond
August 12, 2012, 04:46 AM
It's just a matter of building tolerance.

Building calluses, more like!!

What kind of rifle is it ?

CZ 550 Lux. I was shooting it seated, with it rested on my range bag as a support. I think anticipating that recoil did affect my accuracy: I could feel myself tensing: I used the single-set trigger to off-set any anticipation flinching.

I was thinking of buying a tube of bathroom silicon and fashioning myself a butt-plate pad to soak up a bit of the force.

The standard one is akin to bakerlite and a CZ upgradeis a whopping €50!!

Just out of interest, can shooting .308 do any long-term damage, such as retinal detachment etc? Just want to know, in case I need to avoid it, until the recoil is

Picher
August 12, 2012, 06:02 AM
Generally, you should pull the rifle back against your shoulder firmly. If it's loosely held, it gets a running start and punches you.

A slip-on recoil pad would help during bench sessions, as would a PAST recoil protector that straps on your shoulder. On very hard kicking calibers, I use a soft "bank bag" filled with sand, but not hard. Some folks use a small lead shot bag. The ultimate is a Caldwell Lead-Sled that keeps the rifle away from your shoulder completely. I don't have one and have heard that most people don't get the best accuracy from one, but it saves shoulders and eliminates (range) flinch problems.

madcratebuilder
August 12, 2012, 06:03 AM
Time to look into a PAST recoil pad, or some type of slip-on pad for the rifle.

The more comfortable you are the more you can concentrate on shooting. It's very easy to develop a subconscious flinch. Mix a snap cap in the third or forth magazine you shoot, you may be surprised.

PawPaw
August 12, 2012, 07:12 AM
roll their eyes and tell me they can shoot an Abrams cannon comfortably

Bad example, as the Abrams cannon is very comfortable to shoot. The gunner is seated in a comfortable chair and the cannon is a foot to his left. It's really like playing a video game.

Still, I get your point. One of the first things I do with a new rifle is to make sure that the recoil pad is sufficient. The newer pads from PAST, and Limbsaver, and even the newer Remington pads are very good at soaking up recoil. A new Limbsaver pad turned my .30-06 from a shoulder destroyer into a pussycat.

phil mcwilliam
August 12, 2012, 07:32 AM
Wearing thicker clothing does make a difference when sighting in from the bench. Making sure you hold the rifle correctly is also of importance. A slip on recoil pad will help, but increases overall length of pull.
It depends on what you mainly want to do with the rifle. I own two Sako 308's and use them for hunting & culling. The CZ550 you have is a great hunting rifle, but if you mainly wanted to use it for benchrest it maybe worthwhile permanently adding weight to the stock or having a recoil pad professionally fitted. If you mainly use your 308 for hunting you will never notice the recoil, unless varmit shooting.
I graduated through 40 years of shooting from .177 air rifles, .22's, 22-250, .308 & finally purchased a CZ550 in 375 H&H Magnum a few weeks ago.
While I'm perfectly comfortable shooting my .308's, I've had a couple of friends new to shooting that have received scope cuts to the eyebrow from a 308, so they can kick if not held correctly.
My CZ550 in 375H&H beat me up a bit after firing 40 rounds benchrest at the range, but since then I've actually enjoyed firing this rifle in field conditions.
I love my Sako rifles, but the CZ's are just as accurate. Stick with that 550 in .308 & learn to shoot it & you will be amazed at the accuracy with a bit of experimenting of ammunition.

4runnerman
August 12, 2012, 07:43 AM
James- It is something you will get used to for sure. I just put my 308 action in a Dog Tracker Stock ( awesome stock ) if you don't mind waiting 50 years to get it ha ha ( wish i was joking ). But any how as nice of a stock as it is the recoil pad on those things is about 1/4 inch thick if that. It was a good punch,but it only took a while and it was nothing again. Just don't develope a flinch because of it.

Pond, James Pond
August 12, 2012, 07:45 AM
Stick with that 550 in .308 & learn to shoot it & you will be amazed at the accuracy with a bit of experimenting of ammunition.

Funnily enough, your post count when you posted the above response was the same as another riffle I had considered before taking the plunge on this used 550: 527!!

:D Me like life's little coincidences.

I want to bench shoot with this rifle, but won't make any permanent changes to it. I will look into recoil pads, both locally and internet purchased, but for the time being, I think a folded hand towel and an old mouse mat on my should will have to to!!

Luckily, I am not fashion conscious down at the range!!

WV_gunner
August 12, 2012, 07:47 AM
A .308 isn't a heavy recoiling gun. And those slip on recoil pads are a joke I believe. I have a 45-70 New Englsnd single shot with a synthetic stock. It's a light gun, it's my heaviest recoiling rifle. It's not too bad. My friend's brother brought a slip on recoil pad so he would feel comfortablable shooting it. I shot it like that and the recoil was reduced but the gun felt squirmish. Just seemed to move around when shot. I'd rather just deal with the recoil. But everyone has heard that 10 gauges knock you down, I have one of those too. And it does no such thing.

Pond, James Pond
August 12, 2012, 07:49 AM
Just don't develope a flinch because of it.

That is partly why I am not going to try zeroing my scope, or indeed shooting it again, until I have found a way to counter that recoil. It may be that a fat towel is enough.

The recoil didn't leave me sobbing in the foetal position, but I could feel a flinch coming on and I did think to myself about half way through that range session:

"I say!! That smarts a bit!!"

Pond, James Pond
August 12, 2012, 07:53 AM
A .308 isn't a heavy recoiling gun.

I disagree. It may be light recoiling relative to a 375 HH, but if it hurts the shoulder then the recoil is still significant.

The difference is that the recoil should be easier to tame than in that HH, the same way that my .44 Mag hurt like heck, until I replaced the grips and adapted my shooting technique... Now it is stout, but comfortable.

Marquezj16
August 12, 2012, 08:09 AM
I remember my first time with 30-06. The recoil surprised the heck out of me. But I was determined to get comfortable with it.. Like someone said, make sure it is pulled tight to your shoulder, and get a good recoil pad.

With time and practice, you'll be comfortable enough with your rifle.

kraigwy
August 12, 2012, 08:33 AM
The first 308 I shot was my M-14 in basic with a steel butt plate.

I was being yelled at, cursed, and called all kinds of an idiot by drill Sargent's. The last thing I was thinking about was recoil.

I figured if I did my best, got my zero and shot expert, those suckers would go bother some one else.

It worked.

silvrjeepr
August 12, 2012, 08:48 AM
Don't develop a flinch by trying to be a tough guy. Make the rifle comfortable for you to shoot. A but pad is a start. If that's not enough, add weight to the rifle. A padded shirt or strap on shoulder pad helps also as long as it doesn't change your length of pull too much.

PetahW
August 12, 2012, 10:21 AM
FWIW, many folks zero their hard-kickers with a small sandbag betwixt shoulder & buttplate.

You might be surprised at the difference one would make.

BTW - If you're shooting off (bench) rests, w/o holding a .308 rifle tight, you're asking for a belting.

.

Fargazer
August 12, 2012, 10:34 AM
My wife first shot my Remington 660 in 308 a couple times, and thought it kicked hard; I added a slip on Limbsaver, and that made a large difference to her.

geetarman
August 12, 2012, 10:46 AM
My first .308 was an M1A. I made the mistake of not firmly pulling the rifle into the shoulder. It beat me up pretty good.

I learned the secret of not letting the rifle get a "running" start and it made all the difference in the world.

I have a Remington 700P that really shoots good, but the heavy barrel really soaks up the recoil.

Most of it just takes some getting used to the feel of the rifle when you have it mounted firmly.

The .308 is really a fun cartridge. I only shoot reloads and I never load to maximum pressure. I am only interested in what works for me and that is something moving somewhat slower than the barnburner loads.

Take the time to get used to it and it will grow on you.

g.willikers
August 12, 2012, 11:08 AM
A rifle in .308 doesn't have to kick all that hard.
Get a heavy, gas operated one like a M1A, for example.
A ten pound auto, vs a 7 pound bolt gun, makes all the difference.
Add some recoil preventers and a big, heavy scope, or two, and it becomes more fun than pain.
If it's all too much to carry around, take a tip from golfers and get a caddy.

geetarman
August 12, 2012, 12:12 PM
^^^^^ How about a camo Hoveround?

Hawg
August 12, 2012, 01:53 PM
A 308 is a relatively light kicker. Not much harder than a 30-30 which barely has any recoil at all. Snug it up good and you won't know it's there.

jmr40
August 12, 2012, 02:05 PM
A 308 generates around 16-18 ft lbs of recoil in most rifles with most loads. About double a 30-30 which is around 10- 12 ft lbs. A 30-06 is in the 19-20 ft lb range, 300 mags are around 23-25 ft lbs. A hot loaded 45-70, 40-45 ft lbs. If you are used to a 223, at around 4 ft lbs, a 308 can be quite a bit.


Those numbers are for "actual" ft. lbs of recoil and do not reflect "felt" recoil which can be worse. Many guns have much better stock designs that make recoil feel much lighter than it actually is. CZ's and most 30-30's stock designs are older designs that amplify felt recoil and actually hurt worse than the numbers would indicate. More modern designs with straight combs, wide buttplates, and a more forward balance don't hurt nearly as bad. I have a 5 lb. Kimber in 308 that does not hurt to shoot as bad as my 7 lb. 30-30. Stock design is the reason.

Buzzcook
August 12, 2012, 02:07 PM
Just out of interest, can shooting .308 do any long-term damage, such as retinal detachment etc? Just want to know, in case I need to avoid it, until the recoil is

Well one of the guys I know had to get shoulder replacement surgery. But he had been shooting many many years and had shot lots and lots of rounds.

Recoil on the bench is harder than off hand. The body can't absorb the recoil as well.

Fold up a towel for your shoulder while zeroing the gun. As soon as you have zero, get off the bench and shoot from field position.

Wearing just a T-shirt was probably a mistake.

Old Grump
August 12, 2012, 02:51 PM
You can buy a shooting vest or jacket for not a lot of money and it is well worth it no matter what gun you shoot. Get one that fits well, It should be snug across the chest but give you free movement of your arms. If it's shirt sleeve weather and I'm going to be shooting more than a few rounds I will take a vest instead of my jacket because I'm old and more easily bruised than I used to be. I don't need no flinching to develop at this stage of the game. It ain't sissy, it's common sense.

My shooting jacket is the canvas Marine style and when I shot competition I used to wear the heavy leather jacket. Not fun when it's 110 on the firing line and you are on your belly shooting long distance. The tough guys shooting in their shirt sleeves didn't last long and rarely finished the match.

Brian Pfleuger
August 12, 2012, 03:10 PM
.308 is more recoil that I like, I know that much. Other people might shoot it all day. It's just not fun for me.

Of course, I've been deer hunting with 12ga slugs my entire life and shooting 12ga since I was 12 or so. I guess I've had my fill of guns that beat me up and don't do anything that I can get with a lot less recoil.

That said, a good recoil pad and/or padded jacket as mentioned by others will do wonders.

Discern
August 12, 2012, 06:10 PM
You mentioned that you tensed up which will increase the felt recoil. Think of getting a shot in the arm. It hurts much less if the arm is relaxed vs. the arem being tight and tense. This is one reason why some kids scream when they get a shot.

It could be that you do not have the butt of the rifle on the right place of your shoulder and that it was not snug against the shoulder. When a shooter is uncomfortable shooting a firearm, they tend to tense up and also try to put distance between themselves and the firearm. The result is the butt typically is not tight against the shoulder. They also end up fighting the recoil by trying to anticipate when it is going to come.

It is also possible you were not using proper form, posture and balance.

Any of the above has the potential to increase the felt recoil.

10-96
August 12, 2012, 06:58 PM
I think Buzzcook was the first to nail what I was thinking. It will seem tons better when you get it off of the bench. Once you get into a good sitting or standing position- the recoil perception is much much less. Sadly enough though, you'll have to tough through it to get your sighting in done. But getting past that part opens a whole new world of shooting- and that's geting good at positions.

Also, do you have access to anything like this in your neck of the woods? http://www.champchoice.com/cat-Cloth_Coats-467.aspx For as little as there is to them- they make a huge difference. They're pretty popular in several areas of Europe.

allaroundhunter
August 12, 2012, 07:20 PM
James, don't feel bad about it. I had the same experience with my first rifle, a .270 WSM. The recoil seemed harsh, and the muzzle blast added to the "felt" recoil. I added a limbsaver recoil pad and the problem was solved. Now I just recently purchased a. 308 Win for a long-term project precision rifle build, and the recoil is not a factor. With the .270 experience behind me, the .308 is a walk in the park. Maybe it is the practice, maybe it actually recoils less, either way, a good recoil pad and some practice will cure that fear of recoil!

Best of luck!

Sent from my HTC One X

barnbwt
August 12, 2012, 10:22 PM
I found that my shoulder was much more recoil resistant after I started hitting the gym more frequently. An unexpected benefit of overhead presses; more meat right where the butt rests, in addition to the usual benefits of getting in shape :)

TCB

mrawesome22
August 12, 2012, 10:33 PM
In the same boat as Brian.

I grew up getting punished by 12 gauge slugs because of OH's deer laws. I am at the age where light recoil is a welcomed.

Lots of cartridges to choose from that do what the .308Win does, only better, and with less recoil.

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

SIGSHR
August 12, 2012, 11:09 PM
As barnbwt noted, pumping iron does help with shooting. In addition to becnh presses, shoulder work builds up the delts which are where the buttplate rests.

Pond, James Pond
August 13, 2012, 12:50 AM
This is one reason why some kids scream when they get a shot.


Oh yes. Kids. They scream... Not me, though. No, no!! I never scream, errr..... NURSE!!;)

As it happens I did a double take on that sentence. Initially I read it it as "This is one reason why some kids scream when they get shot."

I thought to myself.... What the heck does he expect?!

Pond, James Pond
August 13, 2012, 01:02 AM
Thanks for all the input and the recoil pad/shooting jacket/rolled towel message is coming in loud and clear: will definitely try them in the towel, pad, jacket order....

Pulling the rifle in tight:
I did pull it in as tight as I could: one thing I remember from shooting clays. Was it tight enough? I think so.
However, I got some fairly unforgiving injuries to my upper body courtesy of a car driver who was unable to notice 300kg of bike and biker before he pulled out, so it means that my right arm flexion is not as strong as my left and so, it may not be as tight in the shoulder as is the case for "intact" shooters.

Bench shooting:
Yes, I thought this may result in more punishment, but right now my barrel control is such that trying to hit a target at 20m was hard enough!! If my goal was to zero the scope, I needed stability. It was the same with pistols. Now I'm a respectable shot with those...

ROGER4314
August 13, 2012, 01:03 AM
One of our local matches is a military bolt action rifle match. I like to shoot my 1903A3 rifle in 30-06. Gotta admit after a 56 round match which includes two rapid fire stages, I have gone home feeling punished.

A friend loves those Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifles and fires them in the 200 yard matches while wearing a "T" shirt for a top. After firing 56 rounds from that brute, he has gone home with a blue shoulder. Of course, all vegetation forward of his firing line position is charred to the roots, as well.

Hey....there's your answer! Shoot about 50 rounds of 7.62x54R and when you return to the .308, it'll feel like a .22LR!

Flash

TheGoldenState
August 13, 2012, 01:05 AM
I took my .308 bolt out a few weeks back for first time.

I was shocked at how little recoil it had.

Lots of time on the shotgun may be blame?

ROGER4314
August 13, 2012, 01:18 AM
My shooting jacket is the canvas Marine style and when I shot competition I used to wear the heavy leather jacket. Not fun when it's 110 on the firing line and you are on your belly shooting long distance. The tough guys shooting in their shirt sleeves didn't last long and rarely finished the match.

Hey Grump, That's how I did it, too. I have a nice leather shooting coat that I cinched up for standing/offhand only. As soon as that stage ended, I stripped that coat off and wore my USMC canvas coat for the rest of the match. In sitting position, I unbuckled the bottom two buckles on the coat.

I have two of the USMC coats. I got them at ShootingMall.com but I went there tonight and couldn't find them. They actually make them for the Marine Corps. If I find them, I'll post it.

Flash

Colorado Redneck
August 13, 2012, 08:50 PM
What may be minor to one person might cause the next guy a bit of discomfort. And the flinch reflex is one of the most frustrating darn things there is about shooting, to me.

Recoil pad is the biggest issue, and rifle weight is second. Adding a really good pad is number one. Weight can be added fairly easily by drilling a hole into the stock from under the butt pad, and inserting a snuggly fitting lead rod. A pad and a pound of added weight will help immensly.

Shooting from the bench makes recoil worse, as stated by others. If you can latch onto a weighted shooting rest like the "Lead Sled" and sight in with that, it will help decrease any flinchitis that may set in if you take 10 rounds to really get dialed in. If you start flinching you may spend all day trying to get sighted.

Good luck!

Shotgun693
August 13, 2012, 09:19 PM
Years ago my right shoulder was rebuilt, the MD took all the padding off the front of my shoulder leaving a groove. I can't handle recoil well as a result. I've found, for me, having the rifle fitted to me like you would a better grade shotgun helps. A slightly wider butt stock helps more.

math teacher
August 13, 2012, 11:12 PM
As suggested above, a sandbag between the butt and your sholder will take out the bite by both adding weight and spreading out the recoil over a larger area. Don't let all the macho talk get to you. If it hurts, you will develop a flinch. Sand bags are easy to make. Don't use sand. Cut off sections of the legs of an old pair of jeans or work pants, sew up one end, fill with cheap non-clumping cat litter, and sew up the other end.

Keg
August 14, 2012, 01:18 PM
I can not imagine anyone complaining about recoil with a 308....Most of my guns are 308 cal....My wife shoots a 308....She has never complained....I have a 300 win mag that I shoot 180 grain bullets with....Try shootin it first....:D

SmokyBaer
August 14, 2012, 08:41 PM
Have not seen it in previous post but the only reason a .308 might have a bite would be shooting hot loaded 180-200 grainers. For a light weight bolt gun, i'd go for the 150s and a nice gel pad. If after that it's still way too much recoil, you will have to go with a gas gun FNAR, M1A or even a Winchester 100 which are a LOT more fun to play with anyways, in my opinion.

Drummer101
August 14, 2012, 09:28 PM
Recoil
Most to least

91/30, big gap....., 2 3/4 slug, m44, big gap again.... 308 semi auto, m1 garand (surplus ammo), EnField, 223 single shot

WWWJD
August 14, 2012, 09:36 PM
I think I'm on the opposite side of the fence on this one; .308 recoil on the light side. Of course, the rifle weights over 10 lbs too. I've put 60 rounds through it on the bench and barely felt a thing. On the other hand, a buddy's 7mm-08 (lightweight Savage) had a pretty good bite to it, and so did another buddy's 300 Savage. I had a BDL .270 that would leave a mark no matter what. So many variables here...

Mac284338
August 15, 2012, 02:03 PM
Mr Pond, might I suggest a Limbsaver Protective Pad (Midway, around $30).

1/2 inch thick shoulder protector that you slip your arm through and then buckle at chest. Really works to take the sting out.

Be Safe/Have Fun!

NRA Life Member

Major Dave (retired)
August 15, 2012, 11:22 PM
a Ruger Mark II carbine. Sweet little thing musta' weighed all of 5 1/2 pounds, I suppose.

Then I come home, in love with that little thing, and you guys tell me she'll beat me to a pulp.:mad:

LOP was 2 inches shorter than most bolt actions. Recoil pad was a hard, thin rubber. Maybe a thick, ventilated Limbsaver pad would give me the right LOP and soak up the recoil.

Wish it was a 260 Rem, now.:(

I'm just saying.

lefteyedom
August 16, 2012, 03:30 AM
I shoot a Savage 116, 338 Win Mag. About 20 rounds is my limit before the body wants a break.

1. You should check the fit of the rifle to YOUR BODY. If the length of pull (LOP) is too long or short, you will not get a good shouldering.

2. Have a really good recoil pad installed. Insure when the recoil pad is installed the LOP is correct.

3. Proper form. Firm but not death grip on the rifle

4. Do not fight the recoil, "allow" your body to "roll with the punch"

5. Much like a car wreck the key to surviving recoil is to increase the length of time it takes to absorb the energy and to spread the load over the largest area possible.

6. Last WEAR EYE PLUG AND MUFFS!!! much of the "PAIN" in shooting a rifle is acerbated by the noise and Muzzle blast.

Happy Shooting
:cool:

Kimio
August 16, 2012, 11:17 AM
My very first rifle was a Mosin M91/30

I made the very horrible mistake of snuggling up all nice and cozy onto the rifle while shooting off the bench.

I'll tell you, I never did that again.

I've had no real trouble with it since, though I tend to shoot my AR more simply because I want to develop my skills before trying to tackle it again. Don't want to get the flinches because of it.

Only thing I can recommend is to let your body "give" as you fire, don't stay rigid, because that makes it worse.

RUT
August 16, 2012, 01:27 PM
>>The first 308 I shot was my M-14 in basic with a steel butt plate.<<

Same here, and it's even more fun on full auto! (Guess we're dating ourselves, eh?) :)

bamaranger
August 17, 2012, 01:41 AM
If you say it kicks, then it kicks. My dad, who was a pretty tough customer, did not shoot typical deer rifles well, and shot his best w/ .243.

+1 to a good pad. Also, consider a lighter bullet. A 180 slug can be a pretty stiff kicker, and a 150 noticeably lighter.

g.willikers
August 17, 2012, 09:43 AM
A note on shooting from the bench.
Set things up so you are sitting upright, rather than low and leaning over the stock.
That helps for reducing the effects of recoil.

robertsig
August 18, 2012, 05:12 PM
I believe it's 50% mental and 50% physical. Most people get caught up on the physical and pay no attention to the mental. If you want it to scare you, or hurt, it will.

Just say to yourself, "I can take this. Bring it on! I'm not a wuss and this is nothing!!" Man up and actually enjoy the recoil. Get a thrill out of it similar to your reaction when riding a roller coaster. Don't fear it, relish in it. Say to yourself "Thank you master. May I have another?"

After that you have conquered the 50% mental aspect of it. When it truly, truly does start hurting your shoulder, you can stop.

Beans
August 19, 2012, 01:30 AM
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
That is partly why I am not going to try zeroing my scope, or indeed shooting it again, until I have found a way to counter that recoil. It may be that a fat towel is enough.

Trying to dial in a scope with a Fat towel is not going to give you a true zero on your weapon.

The next time you fire it and the "fat towel is not there or something else the same thickness you POA/POI is going to change.


Consistency in placing your head/cheek on the weapon's stock and the stock into your shoulder is what gives your repeatable accuracy

Big Shrek
August 20, 2012, 11:37 AM
The size & strength of the particular human shooting a particular weapons determines FELT or perceived recoil...
Meaning a Big Strong guy will have far less trouble that a tiny little limpwristy critter ;)

Marquezj16
August 20, 2012, 11:41 AM
The size & strength of the particular human shooting a particular weapons determines FELT or perceived recoil...
Meaning a Big Strong guy will have far less trouble that a tiny little limpwristy critter

My wife, all 5'2" and 120 lbs does not follow your reasoning.
X-bolt in .308
870 in 12 ga
She shoots them both all day at the range.

allaroundhunter
August 20, 2012, 02:23 PM
The size & strength of the particular human shooting a particular weapons determines FELT or perceived recoil...
Meaning a Big Strong guy will have far less trouble that a tiny little limpwristy critter

I beg to differ. Perceived recoil is all about the mindset. Typically, big and bulky people aren't worried about being pushed around by a gun like some smaller people are, but that doesn't mean that "tiny" people can't handle a large caliber gun without problems. My 4' 6" brother went out and shot 20 rounds through our 300 Win Mag without a problem and afterwards our 6' 3" tall neighbor put 3 rounds through it before he was done.....

Mindset...skillset....toolset...(through all parts of shooting)


Now, a higher caliber rifle will push a smaller person's shoulder more than a larger person (all else being equal), that is just physics. How they handle it goes back to their mindset.

Guv
August 20, 2012, 08:01 PM
A bigger person absorbs more recoil, so should feel more too. Especially if it's a M-70 Lightweight .308 their shooting.

Hawg
August 21, 2012, 09:12 AM
My wife, all 5'2" and 120 lbs does not follow your reasoning.
X-bolt in .308
870 in 12 ga
She shoots them both all day at the range.

My step daughter is the same way. She doesn't know what a recoil pad is. When she was 13 she was shooting my SXS 12 gauge and firing both barrels at once shooting clay pigeons. I guess I forgot to tell her it was supposed to hurt. My first wife wasn't into shotguns too much but magnum revolvers is what she loved. She weighed 110 and had small but long fingers. Her fave was hot loaded 44 mags.

Guv
August 21, 2012, 12:14 PM
^^ Agree with you Hawg; try this, let your buddy put both hands behind your shoulder (to limit your movement) while you fire that heavy recoiling rifle and see how much worse it feels.

allaroundhunter
August 21, 2012, 12:19 PM
Agree with you Hawg; try this, let your buddy put both hands behind your shoulder (to limit your movement) while you fire that heavy recoiling rifle and see how much worse it feels.

It will be a lot worse! It doesn't allow your shoulder to soak up the recoil by "rolling with the punch".

Powderman
August 21, 2012, 12:43 PM
To the OP:

One of the basics in rifle shooting is to keep the rifle firm into your shoulder. Where you place the rifle stock is also critical. Are you placing it into the pocket of the shoulder?

Another factor in recoil control is a good cheek weld to the stock.

Finally, prhaps the very best thing you can do about recoil is to install and properly use a 2 piece leather military sling.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmemFfZO-E0&feature=related

The link above shows the proper assembly for the 2 piece sling.

This next one shows installation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEJwf0iyJE4&feature=related

And here is an excellent instruction video concerning the use of the sling.

If you want to cut to the sling instruction itself, start at about 3:40.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTsUaujfiB8&feature=related

I guarantee that the proper use of this sling to bring that rifle tight into the shoulder will almost completely eliminate your recoil problem.

22Shooter
August 21, 2012, 05:56 PM
Try Remington managed recoil rounds. These 308 rounds have 125 gr core-lockt bullets, and will have recoil on par with a 30-30. If you're after deer at <200 yards, you are good to go-plenty of power for that. Your 308 rifle leaves you the option of heavier recoiling 165gr or 180gr rounds for longer range and/or larger game someday, but if that is not your object now, try starting out easy.

Txhillbilly
August 22, 2012, 03:17 PM
As some others have said,a quality recoil pad would be the first change that should be made to the rifle.
It also should be fit to suit you-LOP.
Some factory stock designs just SUCK!,and no matter what caliber the weapon is,it will punish the shooter.

If you want to be able to shoot the rifle comfortably,and enjoy it,then get it fit to you.It will be worth any extra expense that you put into it.

I have 2 308 caliber rifles,both are heavy barreled Savage's,a 10FCP and 12FLV.
The factory tuperware stock on the 12FLV would punish the shooter after only 3-4 rounds,even with the thick cushy recoil pad that came on it.
Factory stock-
http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/af113/1Txhillbilly/Savage%2010%20and%2012%20308s%20and%20Targets/006.jpg

New stock-
http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/af113/1Txhillbilly/Savage%2010%20and%2012%20308s%20and%20Targets/020-2.jpg

I purchased this rifle used,but it probably didn't have a box of shells shot out of it,because of the way it recoiled.I shoot a lot of 308-30/06-300WM rounds each month,and this rifle by far was a shoulder killer.
By a simple stock change,this rifle has a completely different feel,and I have no problem sending 100-200rds down range with it any day.

Shooting off a bench will also make the felt recoil worse if you are not properly set up at the bench with the rifle also.

Pond, James Pond
August 23, 2012, 02:06 AM
I bought some recoil absorbtion material. They have the consistentcy of that gel wrist pad you get with come computer mouse mats. However, they are much thinner.

I have cut 3 to size giving me a half-inch rubber surface, glued to a thin ply base. The mounting screws are recessed against that ply base so that they won't press into my shoulder when firing. That should help a lot and overall the stock length has only increased my about a quarter of an inch.

I'll get some more cartridges and get back to the range this week or next...

Art Eatman
August 23, 2012, 10:07 AM
For a lengthy bench rest session, I'll commonly place a small sandbag between the butt pad and my shoulder. Adds about a pound of weight to the rifle, and spreads the impact across a wider area.

A quality butt pad makes a big difference. Remington, for instance, did a good job on the 700 Ti. Mine, in 7mm08, is only 6.5 pounds with scope, sling and ammo--yet the recoil at the bench is no big deal.

Pond, James Pond
August 23, 2012, 10:31 AM
Well, I bought 20 rounds of .308 this afternoon and I have 90 mins booked at the range.

An hour on the rifle, and another 30 mins at the short range course to see how my .44 crimps are doing!!

Between the butt-plate replacement and some shoulder padding I should not be distracted from my shooting the way I was last time.

Nice way to start the weekend.

Marquezj16
August 23, 2012, 11:22 AM
Have fun shooting. Hopefully your new recoil pad does the trick.

Pond, James Pond
August 23, 2012, 11:38 AM
Have fun shooting. Hopefully your new recoil pad does the trick.

Thanks!!

I'll be sure to give an update on how it all went!!

RC20
August 23, 2012, 03:44 PM
James,

Considering the 308 matches the capability of a 30-06 Cartridge, yes its a pretty good kick. 30-06 needed the case capacity because of the lower capability powders (you could go fast, you just needed a lot of it). Modern powders allow a shorter case and equal capability.

Butt pads are your friend, if you shoot a lot then something along the lines of the modern recoil pads are the way to go (limb saver is sort of the generic but there are a lot of equal types out there that tune to your needs so research is needed)

I have shot three guns that are far worse than a 308, two rifles and a shot gun.

After years of layoff, I took my 3 inch 12 gauge magnum out to see if it still ran before I tried to sell it. Not sure how I survived it, but I was 20 years younger when I hunted with it. Phew (and it has a butt pad!). 3 was all I was up to.. .

Ditto with the 7mm Rem Magnum. That one is brutal. 10 shots and you are out (sans a limb saver of the like which my brother has and it entended his 7mm hunting another 10 years)

Oddly the 375 H&H was less lethal. Couple aspect, it builds pressure slower and it was a fairly heavy gun (again with butt pad but not a modern one). Harder then a 30-06 but not nearly as brutal as a 7mm.

You can also shoot reduced loads. We are shooting various 19-03s and using a 150 gr load with pretty low speeds in the 2400 range. Helps a lot as the guns are military restorer (or originals) and not butt pads are not part of a military stock (a good reason to get young recruits!).

So far have not needed to resort to a shoulder protector. Harder to shoot right with one of those I think. There are slip on limb saver types as well. Can use and then take off as desired and not a bad way to go.

Give me another 5 years and I may change my mind about the shoulder pad!

Good luck, have fun, look into reloading as that's the only way to get reduced (maybe regulations do not allow in your neck of the woods).

Art Eatman
August 23, 2012, 08:01 PM
I've never found that extra padding while at the bench has caused any difficulty for sub-MOA groups. Length of pull isn't as critical there as it is when hunting.

Drhc116
August 24, 2012, 10:01 AM
If it hurts, it is only because you are thinking about it too much. I have found that when shooting paper the recoil is much more than when shooting the same gun at a deer. Try not thinking about it and concentrate on your target and you should notice a difference.

miykael
August 25, 2012, 12:07 AM
As Discern brought up, proper positioning (technique) is crucial, to which I believe you said you were using. My experiences (all .308):


Savage 10FP. 24" Heavy barrel, slightly heavier rifle, lower felt recoil. Very manageable. Shot better than .5 MOA with my handloads. :D
Remington 700 SPS Tactical. Heavy 20" barrel, felt a little more recoil but still not too bad. Shot .5 MOA with my handloads.
Savage Precision Carbine. 20" Tapered heavy barrel, still lighter weight rifle but not bad for recoil. Still working on the loads :rolleyes:
Ruger Laminate Compact. 16.5" Sporter, under 6lb rifle, terrible buttpad. You think your rifle kicks, this was insane compared to the other ones. My solution was a VAIS muzzle brake! I can't say enough good things about VAIS. Their claims are TRUE. The brake not only reduces recoil by 40-50%, THERE IS NO INCREASE IN SOUND, which no other brake that I know can claim. I barely noticed the recoil after getting the VAIS muzzle brake.


Again, I would go with only a VAIS muzzle brake from now one. They are a little more expensive but the benefit of no sound increase is not only great for the range but for hunting too (guides don't like the excessive sound/blast from muzzle brakes).

Also, when your shoulder hurts...STOP SHOOTING! I learned this the hard way from the Ruger until getting the VAIS brake (which was my previous hunting setup). No point in fearing to shoot your rifle from pain and a flinch. I could barely get out 20 rounds before the VAIS brake and after, 20 was nothing.

No matter what rifle, I found my tolerance to be between 20-50 rounds. No point after that or when you start feeling sore.

If your only shooting at the range, why not go with a more dedicated range rifle? Either a heavier tactical or bench type rifle? You won't notice the recoil as much with a 10-12lb rifle (now that same rifle with a VAIS brake will shoot like a .22 :D )

http://www.muzzlebrakes.com/

Pond, James Pond
August 25, 2012, 03:53 AM
I went again yesterday.

I made a couple of changes. Namely, I was shooting whilst kneeling, with the barrel resting on a rack, and I had the new recoil pad.

On the whole, the gun was far more comfortable. There is a "shove" to it, but not the kick I had experienced before. That hard plastic standard butt-plate is just an unecessary evil in the world!!

I managed to zero the scope in 3 shots!! However, my Burris has a problem with one of the turret dials, so I may need to do it again at a later date...

At least I know it is easy enough to do!!

On the plus, despite my shaky aim, 1 MOA accuracy seems quite possible!!
:D

Marquezj16
August 25, 2012, 08:00 AM
Nice! Shoot it more. Enjoy:)

allaroundhunter
August 25, 2012, 09:05 AM
James, you shouldn't allow the barrel to be in contact with anything when sighting in, or when hunting as it will throw off the harmonics and your "zero" will not be an actual zero when you get into the field. It is best to rest the forend of the gun on a support. But regardless, great shooting, and I'm glad the gun isn't punishing you as bad as it previously had! Keep shooting and keep enjoying it :)



Sent from my HTC One X

Crazy Carl
August 25, 2012, 09:43 AM
Another issue might be the stock's length of pull. A too long stock will beat you up much worse. I have a Mossberg 590A1, that with the OEM syn furniture was both too light & the stock too long. Beat the bajeebus outta me.

Bought some NOS wood furniture for the extra weight (& look). My SKS fits me like a glove (I'm built like a gorilla at 5'7" & 46" chest), so I measured its LoP & cut the Mossy stock down to that length & added a LimbSaver pad.

Huge difference. Much more comfortable to shoot.

I'd be hesitant to hack up a CZ stock in my garage, but if the stock's too long, you might look into having a good 'smith cut the stock down & fit a good pad.

jimbob86
August 25, 2012, 09:51 AM
James, there are many factors in recoil, both actual and percieved..... and one of the most overlooked is stock fit in relation to sight/scope height. With the large objective scopes popular these days, the sight height is often far too tall for the stock (particularly on guns that have or had iron sights) to get a good "cheek to stock weld" and still look through the center of the scope ...... the shooter must raise his cheek up off the stock to get a good sight picture. Then when the rifle moves rearward in recoil, the shooter's head does not move back with the rifle as a unit, but is momentarily motionless, and then yanked back (and down) by the shooters neck (think "whiplash") ......

Proper equipment and technique will prevent all that.

To check your sight height, mount the gun to your shoulder with your eyes closedand make sure your cheek is firmly in contact with the stock. Then open your eyes. Can you see the whole field of view in your scope?

There are comb raising kits out there to bring your eye up to the right height while maintaining contact with the stock, as well as providing a bit of padding. I use this one on one of my rifles: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=42171/Product/COMB-RAISING-KITS

I have found that a properly used military style sling helps tie everything together, and good shooting positions are important:

http://carnival.saysuncle.com/001086.html

Pond, James Pond
August 25, 2012, 11:20 AM
you shouldn't allow the barrel to be in contact with anything when sighting in

My mistake with terminology. I was, in fact, resting the front part of the
stock on the rack: the part with the sling hoop.

Another issue might be the stock's length of pull.

Actually, I think the stock is OK, lengthwise. My elbow is bent through 90 degrees when the stock is in the shoulder. With the change in recoil after the pad, I feel it is that bakerlite plate that was the worst offender.

To check your sight height

This is something I've been meaning to do.

If needed, I can buy strap on leather pads, or I may make a wooden one and screw it into place...

Pond, James Pond
August 25, 2012, 02:54 PM
To check your sight height

This is something I've been meaning to do.



Tell you what!
My sight height is waaaay off!!!:eek:

Closed eyes, raised rifle to shoulder, nestled cheek, opened eyes, stared at back of bolt...

Yep, I need about another 2cm.

I see whittling in my future... my sunday afternoon future!!

jimbob86
August 25, 2012, 07:50 PM
My sight height is waaaay off!!!

Closed eyes, raised rifle to shoulder, nestled cheek, opened eyes, stared at back of bolt...

Yep, I need about another 2cm.


2cm? Yep, your head was up there moving around like you were a bobble-head doll..... that'd make for uncomfortable centerfire shooting.

GaryOlson
August 25, 2012, 09:52 PM
2cm? Yep, your head was up there moving around like a you were a bobble-head doll.....How do you steady a bobble-head? Use one of those U shaped inflatable neck pillows they sell for use on airplanes. Let's try that.....

Wow, this works much better than cheek pads. Inflate to the level you want and rest it on the stock. I found about half inflated was just right; nice and comfy and lots of support. Inflates in 2 minutes and useful for taking naps also.

I'll have to try this next time I go shooting.

Gary

jimbob86
August 26, 2012, 03:55 PM
Use one of those U shaped inflatable neck pillows they sell for use on airplanes. Let's try that.....


Not much use in any practical situation ....... Brownells has several different solutions to comb height issues, which leave nothing to futz with each time you mount the gun.

chucknbach
August 28, 2012, 09:19 AM
Ruger Laminate Compact. 16.5" Sporter, under 6lb rifle, terrible buttpad. You think your rifle kicks, this was insane compared to the other ones. My solution was a VAIS muzzle brake! I can't say enough good things about VAIS. Their claims are TRUE. The brake not only reduces recoil by 40-50%, THERE IS NO INCREASE IN SOUND, which no other brake that I know can claim. I barely noticed the recoil after getting the VAIS muzzle brake.



All this talking and I think your the only one to mention a muzzle brake. I'll +2 that.

I also have a Ruger Compact in a .243. I'll agree, it bucks like a mule!

akguy1985
August 29, 2012, 04:01 AM
.308 dont kick hard to me.

miykael
September 4, 2012, 06:43 PM
All this talking and I think your the only one to mention a muzzle brake. I'll +2 that.

I also have a Ruger Compact in a .243. I'll agree, it bucks like a mule!

Thanks chuck, I couldn't believe it wasn't brought up before either ;) and really is the best option. Try a VAIS brake on your .243, won't believe the difference it makes.

FloridaVeteran
September 4, 2012, 08:02 PM
When you add a muzzle brake, make sure you wearing top-quality ear protection forever after when shooting it. Depending on how enclosed is the area in which you are shooting, the increase in blast noise can be enormous. My 40-years' shooting buddy came by on Sunday for a visit. I noticed that he had Kleenex stuffed in his ears for the tinnitus he got from shooting a mulie in a box canyon with a .300 Weatherby and a KDF brake. That was about 15 years ago.

chucknbach
September 5, 2012, 10:21 AM
Blast noise is the same only redirected up and to the sides instead of out front.

Hearing protection should be worn even without muzzle break.

allaroundhunter
September 5, 2012, 10:38 AM
Blast noise is the same only redirected up and to the sides instead of out front.

Hearing protection should be worn even without muzzle break.

I agree on the use of hearing protection, but what was being said is that due to the direction of the muzzle blast being redirected closer to the shooter, there will be an increase in sound level.

*most muzzle brakes*

miykael
September 5, 2012, 07:16 PM
VAIS should be paying me to advertise ;) Not all muzzle brakes are the same and that is why I keep directing people to the VAIS, it does NOT increase the sound like other brakes. Like the others said, you should be wearing hearing protection regardless, but with the VAIS, there is no increase in sound (if there was I couldn't tell), just like they claim. Well worth it and takes care of the recoil problem.

Big Shrek
September 6, 2012, 03:52 PM
Muscle handles recoil far better than scrawny dude's skin & bones,
and far better than fat...

Moral of the story??

BULK UP!!

Lift heavy weights!!
Crush your enemies!!
and Give Big Hickey's to all the Fair Damsels!!

http://cdn-www.cracked.com/articleimages/dan/movies/cactus.jpg

If you haven't seen the movie, its basically Coyote/Roadrunner in human form, and funny as heck!!

Bushmaster1313
September 7, 2012, 05:18 PM
I shot my .308 Winchester Model 88 in .308 all of three rounds before I traded it.

Now I have an 88 in .243

TheSILENTtype
September 12, 2012, 02:35 PM
no matter what you attach, or how you customize ; shoot more first.

you will get used to it, and if you dont, your shoulder will all on its own.

I typically leave a rifle unloaded for beginners , and instruct them it's ready to fire. When they squeeze off it's unreal how many people jump...

If you squeeze as gently as you should, youll never see it coming and will fight off the wretched flinch.

Be sure not to lean too low and be shooting off the collar. That will give the impression of a huge recoil and leave your shoulder muscles sore, when in reality its the collar effected.

You can always sendoff a few dozen 00bucks downrange a few days a week, and when you go back to your .308 you'll be rocked and ready

langenc
September 12, 2012, 06:34 PM
Make sure the stock is in that natural 'pocket' formed when the upper arm is about parallel w/ the ground ie-on the shoulder-not the ARM.

Put the stock on the biceps and you will be sore-no question.

Nathan
September 12, 2012, 07:38 PM
Amazing! What is the weight of your 308? I'm guessing under 9lbs with the scope.

First, let's get some scope here so you know why people are abusing you. 223 level is basically no felt recoil in and average rifle. 243 Win can be felt. 308 is moderately firm. 300 mag in a hunting weight rifle is definately firm. Heavy recoil starts at like 375 H&H and it would be memorable, but this is also the caliber women and irregular shooters are asked to bring to Africa. 458 Lott, my dream rifle, has recoil. 5 rounds from a bench is likely unbearable, but from shooting positions would likely just be considered "HEAVY." 505 Gibbs, 600 Overkill, 470 NE, 577 NE are all "HEAVY!" I want one so bad!

TECHNIQUE:
Personally, I would bet this is 90% of your issue. First, get the rifle solidly on your shoulder and off your arm.
http://www.nrainsights.org/images/BenchRestPositions1.jpg
See how the line from shoulder to shoulder is nearly perpendicular. to the bore axis. That is the key. It allows the recoil to travel down the strong muscles of your back. Holding it back into your shoulder with your trigger hand with about 5 lbs of pressure helps also.

WEIGHT:
A 308 should be comfortable in a 9lb rifle including scope. More weight makes recoil feel like less. In a 15 lb rifle, you will feel little.

LOAD:
Lighter bullets and lower velocities recoil less. Those combined with weight are the primary physical things which affect rifle recoil.

STOCK DESIGN:
A straighter stock profile putting the action just above the shoulder line will provide the best recoil transfer and reduced recoil. Adding a good recoil pad helps. Many rifles, especially in 308 or lesser calibers come with a rather thin rubber pad. A ~1" pad or larger can be a big help. Also, some rifles have a lot of drop(barrel centerline above shoulder) This can really add to the recoil feeling.

SCOPE POSITION AND EYE RELIEF:
Sounds weird but, I don't trust scopes. If my rifles stock makes me likely to scrunch up around the eyepiece, I hate it. If my scopes eye relief does the same, I basically fear the recoil more that the recoil itself. There is nothing like taking a scope in the ey to make you hate recoil. Scopes with 3.5" or more eye relief are key. Then get the technique and stock adjustments so you are likely to fall into your comfort spot quickly and easily at the bench, prone, etc.

So, take it easy and really play around until you find a way to shoot this thing. I wouldn't mess with extra recoil pads, shooting jackets, etc at this point, but who am I to say!

Pond, James Pond
September 13, 2012, 12:55 AM
So, take it easy and really play around until you find a way to shoot this thing.

Thanks for the breakdown. I agree that it is likely to be technique, coupled with inexperience in what to expect.

The first time I shot it, was the first time I had shot a centrefire rifle. My sight height was wrong (as I now understand), I was shooting from a bench rest because my barrel control is so bad at the moment and the stock had a granite shoulder plate.

All those factors added up to my first .308 experience being stouter than it might have been. Having said that, a .308 is a powerful round in its own right, despite some of the manly-man-man remarks. It may not come high in the recoil league tables, but that doesn't mean it has none!!
Besides... I have muscles! It's just that a fair proportion have migrated to my waist....:o

I have since replaced that shoulder plate with a rubber recoil pad, I have moved to a more upright seated position, and replaced the scope with a model of greater eye-relief. I now only need to address the sight height issue.

Already the recoil is more of a shove than a punch.

I will soon make a stock block to raise my cheek, up to the level of the scope and I will try and visualise my shoulder position to match your suggestions, so thanks again!
:)

WildBill45
September 18, 2012, 08:06 PM
Recoil and the .308 do not exist together! It just doesn't happen except in the head of one who fears the rifle ... period!

Pond, James Pond
September 19, 2012, 02:27 AM
Recoil and the .308 do not exist together! It just doesn't happen except in the head of one who fears the rifle ... period!

OK.

Get a light-weight single shot .308.

Put the buttplate against the tip of your nose.... you can guess the next step.

....let me know if the results match your assertions. :rolleyes:




DISCLAIMER: ...and no, I don't actually advocate this as a test of recoil.