I've noticed a fairly common concern with recoil on some of the rifle threads (here and there).
The biggest impediment to getting a hard hitting rifle seems to be the hard hitting on the butt end. Just thought I would talk a bit about things I have seen and done to cut the learning curve down a bit.
The first thing I see folks do is to get all set at a bench wearing a T-shirt and touch one off. I would recommend that the first few shots come from the standing position - after all, you need a couple of fouling shots to start breaking the bore in right? Take these first few shots standing - much eaiser on the shoulder.
The actual zeroing of the rifle is best done in the clothes you'll wear while hunting. I usually have a thick fleece jacket on in the stand. The thickness can be a problem with eye relief, so it makes sense (to me) to wear it or a reasonable substitue while getting the scope, ammo and rifle in sync. Here in SC, wearing a jacket in the summer can lead to heat stroke, so I usually use a towel between my shoulder and the rifle. (also helps to wipe the sweat out of your eyes)
The other tactic is to either get a recoil pad on your stock or invest in a stock with one on. I have HS Precision on my deer rifle and I've a Bell and Carlson on my .375. The B&C has the biggest "footprint" of any after market synthetic stock out there (I think). Really cuts down on the reverse punch. MPI is offering a synthetic version of Art Alphins "Rekoil-Chek" stock and it looks like a winner.
The reloading technique of starting with a light load is very useful, but only to those that reload.
I also find that a scope with improper eye relief can accentuate kick. I like the longest eye relief possible. The rear eye peice of the scope should be over the cocking indicator of the rifle. Any furthur back seems to lead to trouble.
Anyone who has any other tips - please share!
"Hear the voices in my head, swear to God it sounds like
they're snoring." -Harvey Danger, "Flagpole Sitta"