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Old July 5, 2009, 12:00 PM   #1
vts
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375H&H recoil compared to 12ga

I just came across an article by Chuck Hawks.
He claims that a 12ga magnum has the same recoil of 375H&H.


"12 gauge Magnum shells are even worse. A 2 3/4 inch Magnum shell throwing 1 1/2 ounces of shot at 1260 fps from a 7.5 pound shotgun belts the shooter with 45.9 ft. lbs. of recoil, somewhat more than the recoil of a typical .375 H&H Magnum rifle shooting 300 grain factory loads! And the 3 inch Magnum 12 gauge shell firing 1 7/8 ounces of shot at a MV of 1210 fps in that same 7.5 pound shotgun slams the shooter with over 60 ft. lbs. of recoil energy. This is equivalent to the recoil of a .378 Weatherby Magnum rifle, and exceeds the recoil of a typical .458 Winchester Magnum rifle. This is literally recoil in the elephant gun class, and most shooters would be well advised to avoid such loads."

I am interested in getting a Ruger No1 in 375 Ruger and some friends of mine keep telling me that the recoil is so bad it can't be shot well. If I could just load up my 12ga with the right loads, I could demonstrate the recoil.

My question is, how does real life recoil from a 12ga compare to the 375 H&H?
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Old July 5, 2009, 01:26 PM   #2
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not the same. i owned and shot a mauser bolt gun in 375 h and h for about ten years. reloaded, down loaded, max loaded. when shooting it at the bench your elbows will travel back about 16 inches. it takes alot of concentration to hold tight in your shoulder. a number one is balanced wrong for a heavy cartridge in my opinion. for me the worst slap was from a mohawk 600. the second worse was a lightweight 35 whelen.
....everybody should own a 454 casull, a 375 h and h and a 50 bmg. for a while that is.
...get one casue you want to. not cause it doesnt recoil....fwiw, bobn
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Old July 5, 2009, 01:35 PM   #3
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I have a number of twelve gages and one M70 in 375 H&H.

The M70 is a rather heavy rifle. It is not bad to shoot.

When I shoot buckshot, or worse slugs, in the 12 Ga, I hurt.
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Old July 5, 2009, 01:38 PM   #4
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recoil

Under normal circumstances, the .375 has substantially more recoil. By "normal" I mean with more "normal" shotshells. Those loads cited by that article are heavy 12 gauge loads. When people shoot any of the clay games, they are most probably not shooting 1 1/2 ounces at 1260 fps or 1 7/8 at 1210. I'm not shooting them when I'm hunting grouse. Those loads are certainly available but they are not every day loads (at least not for this boy). Most of my gunning is one ounce at 1150-1200 fps. The free recoil on that type of load is about 19 ft.lbs. in a 7.5 lb gun. The .375 is about 46 ft.lbs for the load cited (in a 7.5 lb gun - though most .375s weigh more than that.)
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Old July 5, 2009, 01:50 PM   #5
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Unless it is in an unusually light rifle, the 375 is not bad in field shooting positions. From the bench it will pound you. I would rather shoot the 375 than a really heavily loaded 12 ga. I don't think its the actual energy of the recoil as much as it is a different impulse. I think there are alot of times a rifle with more recoil will be more enjoyable to shoot than a lesser recoiling rifle because of the different " perceived recoil". Stock design can be a major factor also. If you load up some really heavy buckshot or slug loads the recoil of the 375 wont be any worse.
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Old July 5, 2009, 01:52 PM   #6
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try shooting 3.5" shells with 2.0 oz of shot. If it bothers me that much I wonder how the turkeys feel
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Old July 5, 2009, 03:03 PM   #7
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While Chuck Hawks is certainly more knowledgeable than myself I feel that that comparison does not do justice to the recoil in question. The esteemed Mr. Hawks compares recoil energy, but ignores recoil velocity.

For simple people like me felt recoil is dependent on gun fit, recoil energy (how hard it hits you), and recoil velocity (how fast it is all happening). Guns with higher muzzle velocities (e.g. rifles) have much faster recoil velocities, and to some (myself included) this difference is noticeable.

Does a heavy 12 ga load have similar recoil energy to a 375 H&H magnum. The simple answer is yes. However it happens faster with the rifle and that to me makes the recoil of a 375 H&H magnum less tolerable.

I hope this helped.
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Old July 5, 2009, 03:39 PM   #8
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I have a 3.5" 12ga back home, it wasn't that bad. But I can't get to it now.

I agree that the 12ga loads mentioned are not every day loads, I just wanted to try to see it the recoil is too bad. And if the recoil is similar to a 375 H&H it would be a cheap way to see if I can handle it or not.

I got a Rem 870 express 12ga 3", it weighs 7.5 pounds empty, if I load it with a single round of 1 1/2oz at 1260fps it should, according to the article, give me similar beating as a 375H&H. My plan was to get a box or two of those loads, and see if I can shoot them, with out developing a flinch.

As to recoil impulse, the 375 H&H would be faster then any 12ga, 1260fps vs 2600fps, that's more than double.

Bobn, you wrote that a #1 has the wrong balance for a heavy cartridge. What cartridges did you shoot in a #1?

Slamfire1, would you say that a heavy 12ga load is worse than your 375?

Thanks for all the reply's.
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Old July 5, 2009, 04:44 PM   #9
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i shot a ruger in 7x57, 7 rem mag, 45 70. the shorter light weight barrelled guns a too muzzle light. imho, bobn
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Old July 5, 2009, 04:52 PM   #10
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Bob, I'm assuming you shot an A or Tropical version of the #1. The B version and V version are quite muzzle heavy in my opinion. I find the A and RSI balance 'bout right.
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Old July 5, 2009, 05:32 PM   #11
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To me any heavy shotgun loads out of a 12 ga has seemed to have a sharper recoil than the .375 H&H or Ruger. The .375 has always seemed more like a heavy push. I know I'm more comfortable shooting a .375 with 270 grain bullets from field positons than I am with a 12 ga shooting even 2-3/4 magnum loads. I know the math doesn't back up what I just wrote but give me the H&H any day over a shotgun.

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Old July 5, 2009, 07:23 PM   #12
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Couple of factors left out ....

When comparing recoil between different shoulder fired arms, several factors need to be accounted for.

First, I own and shoot both a: 12ga O/U field grade shotgun and Mauser 98 action 375 H&H.

The important things are: the weight bullet or shot charge, muzzle velocity and weight of rifle or shotgun and shooting position. My 375 H&H with lower power scope weighs ~9.5 lbs. My shotgun weighs ~8.6 lbs.

The more the rifle or shotgun weighs the less felt recoil. Shooting position is just as important too! I prefer to fire my 375 H&H from the standing position where my whole body can absorb and move with the recoil. I would not shoot it prone, and from the bench I add a ten pound shot bag between my shoulder and the butt of the stock.

I tend to use bird-shot loads in my shotgun, but under heavy loads it is less pleasant to shoot than the 375 H&H.

Just for comparison sake, my 7mm Rem Mag, 160 gr Speers, has about two-thirds the recoil of my 375 H&H shooting 270 gr Hornadys.

YMMV
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Old July 5, 2009, 11:44 PM   #13
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blhseawa and taylorce1, you both said that a 12ga magnum load is worse than your 375.
Regardless of the math, this is useful information. The perceived recoil might be different in my case, different gun and different recoil tolerance.

But, I will get a few boxes of heavy magnum loads for my 870, and see how I tolerate the recoil.
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Old July 6, 2009, 05:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
But, I will get a few boxes of heavy magnum loads for my 870, and see how I tolerate the recoil.
Tolerance to recoil is somthing that can be learned, and somthing you will have to learn if you do get a .375 H&H. While I don't find the recoil terrible from this rifle it is eye opening the first time you ever touch a round off. I don't own the H&H, but I shot my friends M70 stainless synthetic .375 H&H quite a bit when I was trying to decide if I wanted to re-barrel my M70 into a .375 Ruger.

I found that if I would concentrate at the bench I could pull off some pretty good groups with the H&H using just sandbags and a PAST recoil pad. Field positons it was much more pleasnt to shoot standing, kneeling and sitting, than it was prone and from the bench and still group less than 2" at 100 yards. I went ahead and built the .375 Ruger on my action, but I must constantly practice with that rifle to be able to shoot it well. It is not a rifle you can go out a week before season and shoot a group with to be ready for hunting season.
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Old July 6, 2009, 05:58 AM   #15
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Many years ago, I had a light weight single shot 12 gauge chambered for 3 inch magnums and so I just had to shoot a box of them. The recoil was so severe that I bruised my trigger finger on the trigger guard. Later, I accepted someone's invitation to shoot a couple of rounds out of a .458 magnum and it really wasn't any worse than that 12 gauge shooting those 3 inch shells.

In Wheeler's book, "The Gun and its Developement" it is stated that in order to be comfortable to shoot, a shotgun needs to weigh 96 times as much as the shot. Why 96 and not an even 100, I don't know but most trap guns weigh about 8 pounds so the competitors can shoot 100 birds in a row without the wheels falling off of their wagons.
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Old July 6, 2009, 07:19 AM   #16
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my first deer rifle was a 375.... thought it was a 30/30 when i first got it.... didnt seem like it kicked any harder than the 12 ga that i used to shoot pigeons from the barn with.
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Old July 6, 2009, 08:28 AM   #17
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It's quite similar. The 375 is quicker than the 12ga. Neithr is really that bad.
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Old July 6, 2009, 09:06 AM   #18
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Seemed to me that the No. 1 I fired in 45-70 was a true @$% kicker compared to my CZ 550 in 375.

I don't think the 45-70 was loaded to anything special, I couldn't tell you as it belonged to someone else. I DO remember that it wasn't something I wanted to do again...... I shoot my 375 all the time and LOVE it. It is my "go to" rifle and has had a number of adventures with me.

I don't think the No 1 is stocked quite right or maybe didn't fit me well enough for a big bore cartridge.

Just my $.0000002 (adjusted for the current economic policies of our government)
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Old July 6, 2009, 09:43 AM   #19
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I don't know about the .375s people are shooting, but the stock designs of most shotguns is so poor it makes the recoil unnecessarily brutal.
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Old July 6, 2009, 10:30 AM   #20
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my rem 700 375 H&H with the factory synthetic stock was near brutal. wieghed around 7 pounds!

i put a custom stock under it with aluminum bedding block and WOW what a difference!

im shooting a fairly hot hand load(max recommended by hodgdon) with a 260 grn accubond.

i can satand to shoot about 30 rounds through it off of a bench while wearing only a sweatshirt and the pachmyer pad installed on the gun. NOT that bad in my opinion just keep you teeth together and dont stick out your tongue like my buddy does! i had to laugh at that one!

AND as far as accuracy...my 375 will now shoot a 1.5 inch, 3 shot group at 200yrds. is that poor...i think not
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Old July 6, 2009, 09:15 PM   #21
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Stock design and fit is very important, I used to put HS stocks on medium and high powered cartridges rifles, costumers would come in and complain how bad there rifle kicked, I would talk them into getting a custom fitted HS stock, and a good recoil pad, some would come back and tell me how much less it kicked.

Freakshow10mm, makes sense, the energy is the same, butt one is faster then the other.

jglsprings, could it have been a Ruger #3? They are known to kick bad in 45-70, just a thought.
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Old July 7, 2009, 03:55 PM   #22
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I had a Mark X Whitworth rifle in 375 H&H years back, and the recoil was substantial but not overwhelming. The rifle weighed about 10 lbs loaded, so recoil was tolerable. I also own a Citori in 12 gauge with 3" chambers, and I try not to shoot 3" magnums out of it because it will loosen your fillings if you try shooting it as a steady habit. Point of balance and stock geometry have a lot to do with perceived recoil in any rifle, but the weight of the firearm will dictate how much recoil gets passed to the shooter.
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Old July 7, 2009, 03:59 PM   #23
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I stopped paying attention to Chuck Hawks when he claimed that .45acp ball is better than a .357mag hp...
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Old July 7, 2009, 06:29 PM   #24
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Quote:
I am interested in getting a Ruger No1 in 375 Ruger and some friends of mine keep telling me that the recoil is so bad it can't be shot well.
Not true at all. My buddy has a Ruger No. 1 in .375 H&H and while the recoil is stout, it isn't unmanagable. Bench shooting will wear on you, but you should be able to put 20 to 30 rounds through it at a sitting without begging for mercy. It's a great round and while it's a bit of overkill, it will drop a whitetail in it's tracks.

The only draw back is ammo cost. .375 H&H isn't cheap and not available every where.

For the record, I've never seen a 12ga recoil like a .375 H&H but gun weight and stock design all counter in. Plus, I've never fired a 12ga off a bench nor have I ever fired the .375 off of any thing other than a bench.

If you can handle a 30.06 or a 7mm Rem Mag, you can adapt to the recoil of a .375 H&H without too much of an issue.
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Old July 7, 2009, 08:53 PM   #25
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recoil

Quote:
my first deer rifle was a 375.... thought it was a 30/30 when i first got it.
If it was a lever gun, it was a .375 Winchester. You can make the cases for it from .30-30 brass and vice versa. Not in the same class of power and recoil as the .375 H&H.
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