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Old August 12, 2012, 02:56 AM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Yikes. Is .308 recoil a surprise for all rifle noobs? (or just me?)

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...)...
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Old August 12, 2012, 03:37 AM   #2
trublu
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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 ?
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Old August 12, 2012, 04:25 AM   #3
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 04:46 AM   #4
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
It's just a matter of building tolerance.
Building calluses, more like!!

Quote:
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
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Last edited by Pond, James Pond; August 12, 2012 at 04:53 AM.
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Old August 12, 2012, 06:02 AM   #5
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 06:03 AM   #6
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 07:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond
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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 07:32 AM   #8
phil mcwilliam
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 07:43 AM   #9
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 07:45 AM   #10
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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!!

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!!
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Old August 12, 2012, 07:47 AM   #11
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 07:49 AM   #12
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
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!!"
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Old August 12, 2012, 07:53 AM   #13
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 08:09 AM   #14
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 08:33 AM   #15
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 08:48 AM   #16
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 10:21 AM   #17
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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.

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Old August 12, 2012, 10:34 AM   #18
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 10:46 AM   #19
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 11:08 AM   #20
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 12:12 PM   #21
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^^^^^ How about a camo Hoveround?
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Old August 12, 2012, 01:53 PM   #22
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 02:05 PM   #23
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 02:07 PM   #24
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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.
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Old August 12, 2012, 02:51 PM   #25
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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.
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