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 closed
and 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=4...B-RAISING-KITS
I have found that a properly used military style sling helps tie everything together, and good shooting positions are important: