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Old June 6, 2006, 06:30 PM   #1
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Hate Recoil, But Need New Elk Rifle

Hello All:
Just wanted to get your opinion on a new Elk Rifle. Hunting Elk will be its primary function, 300 yards at most, and I HATE recoil. Please include your suggested bullet types and weights as well, but please note that I don't reload, so factory ammo only, please. Thanks!
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Old June 6, 2006, 06:55 PM   #2
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Well this is going to depend on a lot of factors. $$$$ being the biggest. You can almost any rifle fitted with a decent muzzle brake and they can vary in how greatly they can cut back on recoil. Also depending on where you are from, are you looking at a bolt gun or do they allow semi? Hunting somthing like an Elk requires a enough punch and penitration to properly kill the animal. On the light scale you could look to a .270 or 7mm-08. But I wouldn't venture farther down the line than that. Remington and I believe Winchester are both offering Recoil reducing loads, and they are available in many different cals. So you may want to check out them. But thats about all I can think of. Coming from my own experiences when I'm hunting deer and such I don't notice the recoil. I sight it exhale and wait to see it drop in my sights. I don't recall feeling the rifle kick once.
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Old June 6, 2006, 07:02 PM   #3
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Have you considered a muzzel break???That will let you run any caliber with the right break and get minimal recoil..THey produce a hell of a Bang and make a mess with anything around them so probably would be bad choice for the EARS as well as hunting,,Im not sure.Just an idea though).If you wan't the knockdown and the light recoil go with a muzzel break.If the ear piercing and leaf blower effect is not acceptable then I don't know what else to say because I don't know what cartridges are best for elk with little recoil out to 300yrds..Will the 308 be enough???Thats a nice cartridge but I don't know If its optimal for elk.well good luck
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Old June 6, 2006, 07:46 PM   #4
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It depends on what your limits are. If you can handle an 06 in a sporter weight rifle, well, that is all the rifle you need, and you don't even need a muzzle brake for it.

Your options are to either go up in rifle weight and/or down in rifle caliber/power. Some people choose to hunt elk with the .243 or .257 Roberts class cartridges, but I wouldn't go much below the .308 Win or .270 Win. Both of these will do the job without a lot recoil.

You could get a good recoil shield like a PAST for shooting from the bench and practice. Chances are you won't notice the recoil much when you're trying to get the crosshairs to settle on a bull's shoulder.

In terms of bullets, the Nosler Partition and Accubonds are good choices. I prefer heavy for caliber projectiles, esp for tough game like elk. So I would go with 150 gr .277 cal, 160 or 175 gr .284 cal, and 180 gr .308 cal.
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Old June 6, 2006, 08:01 PM   #5
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The .270 is one one of my favorite rounds, but it's really pushing the lower edge of what would be suitable for an elk. I'm thinking a .308, .30-06, or .300 WSM for an elk. Possibly (and I do mean possibly), something along the lines of a .30-30, but that's also a stretch.

If you're going after big critters, your gun is going to have some big recoil.
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Old June 6, 2006, 08:36 PM   #6
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35 Remington lever

If you are not going to be to far from the target. 150 yds max. 180 grain soft point.

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Old June 6, 2006, 08:42 PM   #7
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I have and have used a 270 for elk. I've not taken a bull but mostly gone for meat and have drawn cow. Taken five with one shot...all less than 100 yards, not bragging, just telling, the 270 will do the job. I personally would not take a shot much over 200 yards. I use the Nosler Partition 150 gr.

One of my hunting buddies also uses the 270 and has taken at least three bulls...the lucky guy.

I had a recoil reducing pad put on my gun and I'm pleased with the results. When sighting-in I put in ear plugs and wear ear muffs. I found that I was more sensitive to the blast than the for me. I don't remember the blast or recoil when taking an animal.

Last year I bought a Kimber 84 Classic in 308...the jury is still out on that one with elk. It dropped a big buck mule deer with 150 gr Silvertip this past season. Good Luck, Preston
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Old June 6, 2006, 08:48 PM   #8
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Muzzle brakes work wonders. .300 win mag with a muzzle brake would be perfect.
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Old June 6, 2006, 08:51 PM   #9
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There is a bunch of things you can do to reduce recoil and many have been suggested.

1/ A muzzle brake, or "loudener" will do the trick. The opposite of a silencer, you will get a greatly increased muzzle blast. Hearing protection is a must.

2/ A heavier rifle will help. Stick to wood, nice fine grained walnut, and make sure the rifle fits. If you have the cash, consult your gunsmith about getting the stock adjusted to fit you better. Stock shape is vital in lowering felt recoil. A medium weight walnut gun will kick a lot less than a feather weight synthetic.

3/ Get a semi auto. That will reduce your recoil a lot, and not be vastly expensive compared to monkeying round with your stock.

4/ Get a PAST recoil pad, and get it fitted properly. Again, this will reuce felt recoil.

My advice- get a Browning BAR in .30-06 with a wood stock, fit a muzzle brake, add a recoil pad and stick to decent 150 grain slugs, and it will be like shooting a .223. Honest.
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Old June 6, 2006, 09:01 PM   #10
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My advice- get a Browning BAR in .30-06 with a wood stock, fit a muzzle brake, add a recoil pad and stick to decent 150 grain slugs, and it will be like shooting a .223. Honest.
Yep, +1. But I'd use a 180 gr bullet. And like they said, wear hearing protection. Another possible choice is a Remington Woodsmaster 750 in .35 Whelen - big round knockdown power for .30-06 ish recoil. But I think that the Brownings can come already with a boss muzzle break system, so you wouldn't have to have a gunsmith thread your barrel etc. like you would with the Rem 750.
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Old June 6, 2006, 09:06 PM   #11
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6.5x55 Swede. Does everything the .270 does, with less recoil and noise.
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Old June 6, 2006, 09:30 PM   #12
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Whatever gun you decide to get, put a good recoil pad on it. The Kick-Eez, the HiViz Xcoil, or the Limbsaver work wonders on recoil. A good pad is worth the money.
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Old June 6, 2006, 10:20 PM   #13
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Try getting a Browing or Winchester with the BOSS system. I shot a .338 a few weeks ago with the BOSS and it felt like a 12 Ga shotgun. My 7mm Remington kicked more. You could also get a Limbsaver recoil pad.
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Old June 6, 2006, 10:27 PM   #14
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You can also try the new Remington "Managed Recoil" ammo. It is supposed to be pretty good.
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Old June 6, 2006, 10:30 PM   #15
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I'd go with an '06 and 180-grain bullets. I've yet to notice recoil when shooting at Bambi or varmints.

For plinking/practice, use light loads of some sort. 150-grain, or mild handloads.

Stock fit is the biggest factor in handling recoil. Length of pull, drop at the heel of the stock, angle of the cheekpiece. If it fits properly, perceived recoil is less. Mount the rifle to your shoulder with your eyes closed. When you open your eyes, you oughta be looking right through the sights/scope or right down the barrel without moving your head. (Same for shotguns)

Agree with Death from Afar about the recoil pad idea. Since elk hunting is usually in cool or cold weather, your jacket provides extra padding. Or, sew a pad onto your hunting shirt(s) where the butt fits into your shoulder.

FWIW and my 2ยข worth,

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Old June 6, 2006, 10:37 PM   #16
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On the other hand . . .

. . . a heavier gun will absorb recoil, but you'll have more to carry. Still, you should have a steadier shot when you take it. A Savage 10 FP weighs 8.5 lbs, while a CZ 550 Varmint weighs 9.1, and that's before you put a scope on.
On second thought, maybe a lighter gun with a muzzle brake makes more sense.
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Old June 6, 2006, 11:03 PM   #17
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I have killed three elk with a 7/08 loaded with 150 grain Barnes XBT bullets. Two cows and one bull have each gone down on one shot and never run more than 25 yards after the shot. The farthest shot has been about 75 yards but I would not hesitate to shoot one out to 250 or 300 yards. But, if you will not handload your best bet would probably be something on the order of a .270 Win, .280 Rem or .308 Win. Recoil would be similar and you should have a better selection of elk weight bullets in factory loads.

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Old June 7, 2006, 01:05 AM   #18
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There are different kinds of recoil too. Bullets leaving the muzzle with lower velocity are easier on my shoulder (more of a shove than a snap). That will limit your range without good estimation and knowing how much hold-over you need.

45-70 using the heavy lower power loads is pretty tame out of an 8# gun.

...Or, you could get a machine-gun tripod and make a pintel mount....


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Old June 7, 2006, 02:05 AM   #19
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I would look at a .358 Winchester, .35 Whelen or .350 Remington Magnum or 338-06 or the new 338 Federal (.338/08).

These give you great performance at sensible hunting ranges without too much punishment- if used in a full size rifle (in a light carbine with heavy loads it is a different story!).
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Old June 7, 2006, 04:36 AM   #20
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i have a browning bar 338 mark II loaded with 72 grns of reloader 19 and a 250 grn bullet, and kick isn't a factor. i let my brother in laws sister shoot it and she didnt have a problem.( also note she's 5'4 and about 120 lbs) i dont know what your buget is but this gun new is under $900.
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Old June 7, 2006, 04:59 AM   #21
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The cartridge and recoil pad are important, but don't forget that some rifles SEEM to kick more than others. This factor should not be dismissed lightly. Of all the commercially-available rifles at moderate cost, the Remington 700 seems to have the best stock design to minimize the effects of recoil. The new, softer recoil pads work beautifully also.

I'd opt for a 700 CDL in .30-06. There are reduced-recoil rounds available from Remington for practice, but when going for Elk, use the standard or premium ammo and you'll be fine. Ear protection may not be necessary for hunting. Opt for the 165 grain bullets instead of 180 or 220s.

Noise can also be abated somewhat. For example, moderate burning speed of IMR 4064 is much quieter than IMR 4350 or Reloder 22 in the same rifle with about the same muzzle velocity. The difference is that more of the powder is consumed further back in the barrel and the pressure at the muzzle is less than with the slower burning powders.

Besides, if you don't like it, you can always sell a .30-06 more easily than about any caliber.

Quote: "There's nothin' ya can't fix with $700 dollars and a 30-06!" (Can't remember who said it.)

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Old June 7, 2006, 08:54 AM   #22
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Or he could buy the CDL in .308 and have a lot of great 168 grain round choices.

The CDL will come with a great recoil pad. You'll handle the recoil of a .30-06 or .308 just fine.
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Old June 7, 2006, 08:55 AM   #23
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IIRC, "There aren't many things that a man can't fix,
With seven-hundred dollars and a .30-'06."

Jeff Cooper's daughter. Sorry, I disremember her name. Good poem.

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Old June 7, 2006, 09:29 AM   #24
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How about an Armalite AR-30 in .300winmag or .338 Lapua fitted with the optional muzzle brake? The Lapua rounds are super expensive though.
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Old June 7, 2006, 10:09 AM   #25
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All of the above hints/ ideas will work. Put them all together and you would do very well with a : Decent, fairly heavy ( 7 pounds unscoped and up )bolt rifle in .30-06, .270, 280 rem or similar cartridge, have a muzzle break put on it, wear electronic muffs ( so the blast doesn't deafen you, but you can still hear the sounds in the woods ), fit it with a good quality recoil pad and use a shoulder pad too.

My dad has a bad shoulder and we are going through a process to see how much recoil he can handle. he is using a PAST shoulder pad and a new Thompson encore flex stock to cut the recoil. It really helps!!!

Good luck and have a great hunt this fall!!!
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