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Old May 25, 2012, 05:42 AM   #1
rebs
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recoil difference between 223 and 308 ?

I have had an injury to my right shoulder and cannot handle heavy recoil, I find the AR 15 in 223 very comfortable to shoot, but I am thinking about a 308 in a bolt action rifle. I am thinking the AR 15 being a semi auto is softer shooting than a bolt action rifle like the Remington 700.

What is the difference in recoil between an AR 15 in 223 and a bolt action rifle in 308 ?
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Old May 25, 2012, 06:04 AM   #2
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There are so many variables. The weight of individual guns and style of the stock are important. Also, what do you want to do with it? The 308 isn't bad in a heavy target rifle, but in a lightweight hunting rifle does not recoil that much less than a 30-06. If you want a hunting rifle and need light recoil consider 7-08, 260 or even 243. They will take deer just as easily as 308. The 308 might be a better choice if elk or bear are a possibility, as would the 7-08.
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Old May 25, 2012, 07:21 AM   #3
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If you want a hunting rifle and need light recoil consider 7-08, 260 or even 243.
+1

Thoes would be my choices as well, and you could throw in a .25-06 if it is going to be a hunting rifle. If your main purpose is target then the .260 gets my vote.
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Old May 25, 2012, 07:42 AM   #4
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My wife broke her back in '03 while deployed to the sand box. She has three rods between her shoulder blades and can't take much recoil at all.

She can't shoot any of my 308s, She can shoot all my 223s (bolt and gas guns).

I built her a 243 on a Winchester Model 70 action and she has no problem at all with that rifle.

A lot of recoil can be taken care of with a good proper position, but that isn't always possible in some cases, like my wife's and I assume yours.

The short answer to your question is there is quite a bit difference in recoil between an AR in 223 and a 308 bolt gun.
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Old May 25, 2012, 07:59 AM   #5
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My $0.02's worth - a lot also depends on the shape and structure of the butt of the rifle. I have a pair of Winchester 1892's in .357mag, both with steel butt plates, both used mainly as range guns and plinkers. The carbine stock is not bad at all, while the crescent moon shaped rifle stock can really leave a mark where the top of the crescent rests against the least padded portion of your shoulder. In contrast, a marlin in 357mag with a flat rubber butt is noticeably lighter on felt recoil. I now do actually use a lace up butt pad on my 1892 to deal with the top edge of that crescent steel butt plate.

So whatever you get don't neglect checking out the design of the butt stock and also adding a recoil pad of some sort if necessary.
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Old May 25, 2012, 08:18 AM   #6
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I am a target shooter and after reading the posts I think I would be better off with a 223 bolt action rifle instead of 308.
I want an accurate rifle that I can put a decent scope on and shoot 1" at 100 yds and out to 300 yds.

What rifle would you guys recommend ?
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Old May 25, 2012, 08:32 AM   #7
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I think that is a good move. A solid breech .308 will have nearly three times the recoil of a gas operated .223.

About any name brand .223 bolt gun will do fine at 100-300 yards and even farther. I have read good things about the Tikka T3. I have a well set up and accurate AR but it throws my match brass in the weeds; a bolt is a lot more convenient for anything but rapid fire.
You will still need to feed it good ammunition, MOA is not reasonable with the "imitation army surplus" sold at Cheapmart.
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Old May 25, 2012, 08:46 AM   #8
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In the FWIW department, my Ruger 77 Mk II light sporter has been half-MOA from the git-go--even with the tort-liability trigger. I installed a Timney trigger and life got easier but not better. I bought it "like new" about a dozen years back. Prairie dogs at 300 yards (laser measure) are easy pickings.
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Old May 25, 2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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I know that Art likes .243s, and so do I. They're great for varmints, with 4000fps bullets (55gr) up to over 100 gr for deer. They don't kick as much as a .308.
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Old May 25, 2012, 06:11 PM   #10
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rebs:

In all of the didfferent calibers based on the 308 case if they are shooting the same weight bullet they will have about the same felt recoil. For instance, a 7-08 shooting a 140 grain bullet will recoil as hard as a 308 150 grain bullet. Take Kraigwy's suggeston and buy a .243.

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Old May 25, 2012, 07:48 PM   #11
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I'll take the advice and start looking for a 243. Do you guys recommend a good accurate brand ?
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Old May 25, 2012, 08:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
What rifle would you guys recommend ?
If it's fun target shooting, you might consider trying CZ527 Varmint and Tikka Varminter. I shot both of them in .308 Win, but I hear they are good in .223, too. Many people praise the Tikka and I liked the ergonomics of the Tikka Varminter a lot. I had a CZ 527 in .223 Rem but the light barrel variant only and it was about 1 MOA (maybe better) with a good ammo IIRC.

A friend of mine had a Marlin - but again in .308 - and said he was surprised how consistently the rifle shot for the low price, so I think there is a chance they will be OK in .223. I did not shot this one though.
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Old May 25, 2012, 08:14 PM   #13
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All my experience with .223 has been low recoil, easy to get back on target.
All my experience with .308 has been more recoil than a .223 but not horrible. You would most definitely feel a difference between the two but not so much that you wouldn't want to shoot it.
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Old May 26, 2012, 06:57 AM   #14
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after the replies I got here I am going to stay with Clifford and Kraig and go with with a 223 or a 243. With my shoulder injury I have too much to loose to try a 308.

Thank you for the replies.
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Old May 26, 2012, 07:54 AM   #15
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Just to put some real numbers up to consider I used this site to calculate recoil of some chamberings you are considering. I picked a load suitable for deer hunting. You could get slightly different numbers using lighter or heavier bullets and faster or slower velocities. At least this puts it into a perspective that is easy to see and not subjective


.http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp

I included a 30-06 just for perspective since since the 30-06 is considered about the upper limit that almost anyone can learn to tolerate. I can sympathise with your shoulder inury however. My 23 year old son is 6'2" and 250 lbs. But because of 2 shoulder surgeries earned while playing HS football he does not tolerate recoil nearly as well as I do.

If all rifles weigh 8 lbs you get the following recoil, with the loads I calculated


223, 60 Gr bullet @ 3150 fps----3.5 ft lbs recoil
243, 100 gr bullet @ 3000 fps---9.5 ft lbs recoil
260, 120 gr bullet @2895 fps----11.3 ft lbs recoil
7-08, 139 gr bullet @ 2900 fps---14.4ft lbs recoil
308, 150 gr bullet @ 2850 fps----15 lbs recoil
30-06, 150 gr bullet @ 3000 fps--19 ft lbs recoil

If you were using a lighter rifle recoil would be a bit more, a heavier rifle and it would be a bit less.
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Old May 26, 2012, 08:00 AM   #16
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Per Chuck Hawks Rifle Recoil Table HERE:

Cartridge....(Wb@MV)...Rifle Weight...Recoil energy...Recoil velocity

.223 Rem. (55 at 3200)......8.0..................3.2...............5.1
.223 Rem. (62 at 3025)......7.0..................3.9...............6.0

.308 Win. (150 at 2800).....7.5................15.8..............11.7
.308 Win. (165 at 2700).....7.5................18.1..............12.5
.308 Win. (180 at 2610).....8.0................17.5..............11.9
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Old May 26, 2012, 10:33 PM   #17
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Like the others said, weight is biggest factor followed by recoil pad, if for same caliber. I have a 308 bolt action that weighs about 10-11lbs, has a Hogue stock with the best recoil pad I have used. I can shoot it all day, but it has some decent recoil. I have a 308 AR style LR308 that weighs about 14lbs, has no recoil pad, recoil is definitely less than the bolt, but still has some recoil to it. My 6mm Rem, which is pretty much the same as a 243, weighs about 6lbs and it has worse recoil than the 308's.

Most bolt actions, with scope, are about 9lbs. If you go with a 9lb rifle, I'd go with a 243. If a heavy rifle, 308 would do.
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Old May 27, 2012, 01:01 PM   #18
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Just acquired a Browning X-bolt White Gold in .243, it is about 6lbs. before scope. It is a super accurate rifle and beautiful besides. My recoil sensitive wife has just about claimed it for herself after yesterdays outing to the range. I have to admit, she can shoot that thing. She ran through 30 or so rounds with no complaints of recoil at all. It could be an idea for you.
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Old May 27, 2012, 01:18 PM   #19
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No question in my mind that, out to the 300 yard max you say you're going to shoot, the .223 is the best choice. While those bullets will be less able to buck the wind, on a decent day they'll do as well as anything else.

Felt recoil is negligible in our .223 VTR, in a slightly heavier B&C stock.

What is the reason you're looking at a .30 cal for 300 yard target shooting?
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Old May 28, 2012, 08:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
I want an accurate rifle that I can put a decent scope on and shoot 1" at 100 yds and out to 300 yds.
Go with the 223 for target work , still a lot less recoil a 243. Any of the heavy barrel 223s like the Remington 700SPS/LTR , Savage 12 series , Tikka or CZs just to name a few will do fine and should easily shoot less than an inch @ 100 yards.

I have a 700 SPS Varmint , 700LTR and Savage 12BVSS - all accurate shooters in .223.
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Old May 29, 2012, 06:44 AM   #21
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You might want to consider a Savage 10 FCP-K in .223 or .308, although I would recommend a .223 if your shoulder is really weak.

Both of the -K models have a muzzle brake that really works to keep the barrel climb under control. It also might reduce recoil a bit also.
You actually can see the bullet hit the target with the .223 and be ready immediately for a follow up shot.

Both these Law Enforcement models have a great stock recoil pad that eliminates any real shock, but you still can't remove all the recoil motion that you would have with a .308. The rifle has got to move backward and if you have a weak shoulder the extra .308 recoil might cause some pain if you are sensitive to motion.

My shooting buddy is recovering from rotator cuff surgery on his shoulder and is also concerned about recoil. He is shooting the Savage 10 FCP-K in .223 and says the recoil doesn't bother him at all. He is still having problems with range of motion and can't shoot at the range for more than a few hours because his shoulder doesn't really like the position around the stock yet, but he has no problems with recoil.

I also have a CZ 527 in .223 with the Kevlar stock and Varmint barrel.
It also has almost no recoil. It would be a good choice as well.
However, the Savage FCP-K with the combination of a really big butt pad and the muzzle brake has even less. Both shoot with about the same accuracy and have the same 1:9 twist. They both average under 0.46 inches with their 10 favorite hand loads. The Savage shot some of the factory ammo better than the CZ.

The Savage was less expensive (by about $ 150) and you can order it at Dick's and still get a good price with delivery in less than a week.
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Old May 29, 2012, 10:29 AM   #22
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Once again I ask-do you belong to or live near a gun club??

Reason-there are many shooters w/ 308s, perhaps a friend or friend of a friend and surely a gun club member has a couple in the safe. Same for the 243 that has been proposed. . Most any shooter would let you 'try' their gun and see how you do with it.. I have done that w/ handguns several times.

If you reload you can down load any published load to fit your needs, esp for plinking.
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Old May 30, 2012, 05:23 AM   #23
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You need a gas gun to reduce felt recoil with a .308. Something like a AR-10 with a A2 stock and a heavy buffer from Slash (http://www.heavybuffers.com/). He has some custom buffer/spring compinations that really tame the recoil in this platform.

My AR-10 is fairly heavy with the PRS/scope/bi-pod/mono-pod, and has a heavy buffer. The felt recoil is just slightly higher than a 5.56 AR carbine.
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Old May 30, 2012, 05:52 AM   #24
rebs
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Once again I ask-do you belong to or live near a gun club??

Reason-there are many shooters w/ 308s, perhaps a friend or friend of a friend and surely a gun club member has a couple in the safe. Same for the 243 that has been proposed. . Most any shooter would let you 'try' their gun and see how you do with it.. I have done that w/ handguns several times.

If you reload you can down load any published load to fit your needs, esp for plinking.
Yes I do belong to a gun club and I met a couple guys at the range yesterday and got to talking to them. The one guy has a 243 and a we are going to meet Thursday and he would definitely allow me to shoot it. I will see how the recoils is for me.
I am going to stay with Clifford and Kraig's advice and stay with 243, I just think the 308 will be too much for my injured shoulder.
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Old May 30, 2012, 07:43 PM   #25
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I think a 243 would be a good choice for you. As I grew up hunting most hunters of my day considered a 243 too small for deer and a 30-06 or 270 to be a good middle of the road chambering. I made my gun buying choices based on that advice. The only thing keeping me from buyig a 243 is that I already own too many guns as is and I like what I have. Nothing at all wrong with the round as a target or hunting round.

My gun collection today centers around 308 and 30-06, but as I've gotten wiser and older I've come to understand that a 243, or 260, (especially with todays better bullets) are really the middle ground in big game hunting cartridges. My 308 and 30-06 are best used on the largest North American game and with the modern bullets a 223 is on the low end, but is plenty adequate for deer at short to medium range.
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