I had full replacement of my right shoulder last Thanksgiving and I'm just now starting to return to the ordinary things like starting a chainsaw as well as splitting wood. Hard to believe that my shoulder socket is a piece of high density polyethylene and the ball is highly polished alloy. My surgery was done at Mayo Clinic and they did a wonderful job. No pain at all anymore in that shoulder and range of motion is fine. My left one is in bad shape and will need replacing also. Strength is returning. I asked the surgeon if I would be able to shoot a centerfire rifle and his response was "yes" but he had only heard the question from another patient the day before and I didn't go into any detail as I had lots of other things to ask before having saws chisels and hammers as well as scalpels used on my shoulder.
I haven't been able to find any useful information from people who've actually had the experience and I sure don't want to screw up my shoulder.
I'm able to use my 65-year-old 257 Roberts without a problem since the recoil is low, but that caliber is not exactly a bear/moose gun and long ago I went up the ladder through 30-06 to 338 and haven't looked back. My favorite rifle is a Browning BAR 338. I also have a model 70 Winchester. If I ever manage to find any Hodgkin 4895 powder, I'll be able to load 60% reduced loads for the bolt action and i'm hoping I'll be able to shoot the Winchester with reduced but still useful loads. Since I stopped handloading, I've been using Federals with 250 grain Nosler partition bullets and been very satisfied with those. Since the BAR won't work with reduced loads, I'm assuming that even with a great recoil pad (I have a really good ones), the BAR will be a wall decoration but I would like to find out from someone who has had shoulder replacement what their experiences have been with shooting centerfire rifles and what limitations can I expect for the long run. Simply switching to shooting left-handed is not the solution since the left shoulder is pretty banged up and I'm attempting to leave as much as possible of the socket on that one so the surgeons can do full replacement of the socket and not just grind it down some.
After that long preamble, my question is directed to anyone who has had shoulder replacement surgery: what have your experiences been and what are the limitations with regard to shooting centerfire rifles?