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Old September 20, 1999, 09:29 PM   #1
Al Thompson
Staff Alumnus
Join Date: May 2, 1999
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3,611
Hi all,

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"

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Old September 21, 1999, 07:25 AM   #2
Long Path
Senior Member
Join Date: May 31, 1999
Location: N. Texas
Posts: 5,896

You're exactly right on the scope placement! In fact, I now have the rule of thumb that you should have to almost squirm your head out like a turtle to get the full view in the scope. Reason is, when you're down in a solid rest, you've got the time, and when you're standing and shooting offhand, your face tends to ride a bit closer to the scope, anyway. I, for one, seem to have a natural scope-creep, anyhow, and I like to set the rear of the scope such that I pretty much can't creep up and smack myself. This creates confidence, so that I can concentrate on other things, like the shot.

Other suggestions:

For summer use, the Past (tm) recoil shield is awesome. Wearable by shooter.

Ideally, I like to shoot some in a like-firearm of a lesser caliber first. .22 or .257 Rbts before '06, .308 before .300 Win Mag, etc. The results improve remarkably. But for REAL improvement with this technique, try it with .22/.38/.44 mag! Just about as good is to shoot some Specials in your Mag, first.

Although there's still blast, the lighter pills will have less recoil in a given caliber, for practice purposes. One can certainly get the feel of his '06 with 130gr. loads at 3300, and then settle down to real work with his '06 in 150's, 165's or 180's.

To well-alleviate the blast, wear good facial protection, and good ear protection.

Shoot at reactive targets, or at least ones that are fun. This alleviates the strain and tension of simple target punching.

Shoot more. No, a little more than that.

Remember: it makes big noise, it moves around a bit, but it can't hurt you.

Have fun.

Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?


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Old September 21, 1999, 01:01 PM   #3
Staff Alumnus
Join Date: July 28, 1999
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,454
Once you are zeroed at the range with your past recoil shield etc... go into the field and shoot your rifle some. You will find that when you draw down on a deer and touch it off you will hear the shot... see the aninmal drop etc.BUt you WON'T feel the gun kick.. at all.

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Old September 21, 1999, 05:40 PM   #4
The Mohican Sneak
Join Date: June 7, 1999
Location: Soperton, GA
Posts: 76
But what about "men" like me that just love recoil? I mean, after touching off a hot loaded .338, I like to stand up, rub my shoulder, do a "tool man" grunt--then go back for round 2!

In all seriousness. I'm a big guy, so recoil doesn't bother me that much, but it does bother me. After praticing with the 7mm Rem. Mag. my shoulder is begging for mercy and so am I, after about 20 rounds. I think once a person feels his/her shoulder getting tender, it's time to stop for the day.

If every shot is going to send a streak of pain across the chest, it's end result will be a flinch--which affects accuracy, which affects confidence, which affects pleasure in shooting, and so on. It's the snowball effect...

You guys have made some good points. About the only other thing I can add is; don't be in a hurry to shoot. Take your time, breathe right, squeeze the trigger, then take a break.

In my opinion it's best to take 10 good shots an hour, than 20 bad ones.

"but if you're bored then you're boring"...Harvey Danger

[This message has been edited by The Mohican Sneak (edited September 21, 1999).]
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