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Thread: Irrational fear of recoil?

  1. #1

    Default Irrational fear of recoil?

    I recently got my first "big game" rifle, a Weatherby Vanguard in 338WM. Intend to use it on my first moose hunt in the next couple years. I had never shot a gun bigger than a 7mm mag I used to hunt with, so I was a bit worried about recoil with all the talk of bruised shoulders etc. I have read. I took the gun out and put a dozen 225gr rounds through it, no problems. I'm not a big guy, 5'10" 160lbs, am I missing something or is the Vanguard just a particularly forgiving rifle? Felt like I could handle more recoil comfortably. Makes me think I should have gone for the 338-378, which is what I really wanted.

    What's the muzzle energy of the gun that is the upper limit of what YOU are comfortable shooting?

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Some big guys faint when they get a shot and 99.9% of smaller folks don't so go figure. Everyone is different in what is comfortable and what hurts.

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    When I was young and thin, I could shoot anyhting, as I swayed back and forth with the recoil like a Chicago politician bending before the white envelope.

    Now being older and hideously obese, recoil is like hitting myself with a brick, plus it makes my manboobs jiggle, a disgusting sight I may add,,,

    So its 6.5x55 with a brake for me

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Wild,
    Thanks sounds like a disgusting sight... something like a nice 6.5x55 with a hideous barrel protrusion.

  5. #5

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    Do some push ups and don't worry about the recoil.

  6. #6
    Member highestview's Avatar
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    Default Technique

    Technique is majorly important, which is probably why you feel fine with your .338. I primarily shoot a .300 win mag, in a 6 lb rifle, with no brake, just a nice cushy recoil pad. I love it. Doesnt affect my accuracy, or any other aspect. Putting 40 rounds downrange ends up getting to me a bit but that'll do ya with any rifle. I've also felt comfortable (not neccesarily enjoyable) shooting .338 wm, .375 H&H, .45-70 Buffalo Bore loads, and .300 ultra mag. Your probably have good technique and could deal with almost any gun. I'm about the same size and you and not really in shape, and I love shooting those big bores listed above with no muzzle brake. My boss is only about 30 lbs heavier than me and his favorite rifle is his .458 (rich ba$tard goes to Africa once a year). He and I shoot together often and I've learned a lot of little things from him. I have never cut my eyebrow while several of my bigger friends who are not as familiar with guns have , shooting the same guns. Technique.. you sound like you have it. If you can get your .338-378 you should, you could probably handle anything up to those big safari magnums.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishfood View Post
    I recently got my first "big game" rifle, a Weatherby Vanguard in 338WM. Intend to use it on my first moose hunt in the next couple years. I had never shot a gun bigger than a 7mm mag I used to hunt with, so I was a bit worried about recoil with all the talk of bruised shoulders etc. I have read. I took the gun out and put a dozen 225gr rounds through it, no problems. I'm not a big guy, 5'10" 160lbs, am I missing something or is the Vanguard just a particularly forgiving rifle? Felt like I could handle more recoil comfortably. Makes me think I should have gone for the 338-378, which is what I really wanted.

    What's the muzzle energy of the gun that is the upper limit of what YOU are comfortable shooting?
    Were you shooting on the bench or offhand? Big difference there. What kind of recoil pad does the Vanguard have? That also makes a big differnce.

    I've just started shooting a 300 RUM. I'm 5'7 and about 160. The 300 RUM shooting a 200 gr handloaded bullet puts out about 4500 ftbls of KE to the 338 WM's 3900 with a 225 gr bullet. I use a slip on recoil pad at the range and as long as my technique is good, rifle butt snug into my shoulder, I can shoot it all day, If I dont have that rifle pad snug, it gives me a real jolt. Now if you shoot a 338 RUM which can launch a 225 gr bullet at close to 3200 fps,that will have some recoil.

    With a good recoil pad and good technique I am comfortable shooting any rifle.

    Enjoy your new rifle, I've heard good things about those Vanguards

    -MR

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishfood View Post
    I'm not a big guy, 5'10" 160lbs, am I missing something or is the Vanguard just a particularly forgiving rifle?
    For me, the Weatherby Monte Carlo stock design makes for "a particularly forgiving rifle" as far as recoil is concerned.

    And, I've heard the same from others.

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  9. #9

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    Huh, I never thought of myself as a particularly skilled shooter with a rifle, but I have been shooting since I was knee high to a grasshopper, so it must help. I was shooting standing offhand, my first shot was at a milk jug full of water at 50 yards and I missed as I was flinching at the dread of what I thought might be coming. After I realized the recoil was manageable, the next shot shattered the milk jug, pretty cool. The recoil pad is pretty thick, but the stock doesn't fit me that well as the rifle only comes in RH and I'm a lefty. I learned to hunt with several RH bolts since that's what my dad had, so it's not a huge deal. For the price and quality, the Vanguard is a great deal.

    I think I'll keep this but get a Mark V 338-378 in LH made, always an excuse for one more gun

  10. #10

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    May sound funny but put in ear plugs, then muffs on. Pull the rifle in snug to your shoulder and place your other hand on the forend without the "Death Grip"; aim, then close your eyes and squeeze the trigger. (I use shooting sticks, in the standing position.) The felt recoil is all you get, and is usually much less then what one thinks when you turn off the other two senses used in shooting ( sight & hearing). Always shoot in a safe place with the aid of someone else when doing this. No stray bullets needed!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishfood View Post
    I recently got my first "big game" rifle, a Weatherby Vanguard in 338WM. Intend to use it on my first moose hunt in the next couple years. I had never shot a gun bigger than a 7mm mag I used to hunt with, so I was a bit worried about recoil with all the talk of bruised shoulders etc. I have read. I took the gun out and put a dozen 225gr rounds through it, no problems. I'm not a big guy, 5'10" 160lbs, am I missing something or is the Vanguard just a particularly forgiving rifle? Felt like I could handle more recoil comfortably. Makes me think I should have gone for the 338-378, which is what I really wanted.

    What's the muzzle energy of the gun that is the upper limit of what YOU are comfortable shooting?
    It means that your rifle, including its stock, is well designed and absorbs recoil well.

    For example, the average .375H&H factory rifle produces more recoil than the average .338WM factory rifle that is similarly constructed (same design, stock, etc.). However, since the .375H&H is heavier, it seems that the .338WM rifle kicks harder. Weight is just one of numerous factors that can be used to tame recoil.

    For Alaska hunting, the .338WM is an outstanding choice. Congratulations on your new rifle.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    For me, the Weatherby Monte Carlo stock design makes for "a particularly forgiving rifle" as far as recoil is concerned.

    And, I've heard the same from others.

    Smitty of the North
    I've heard the same.

  13. #13
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Standing offhand shots will not punish you as much as sitting on the bench leaning into it. Very rarely do you have a bench to shoot off of in the field when Mr. Moose presents himself.

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    For me, the Weatherby Monte Carlo stock design makes for "a particularly forgiving rifle" as far as recoil is concerned.

    And, I've heard the same from others.

    Smitty of the North
    My Mark V in 340 Wby is not bad at all (especially with a shoulder-worn pad).

    I too was freaked out before shooting it the first time by all of the people who buy little pop guns because they hate 30-06 recoil. Though I am fine with a 300 Win Mag's recoil, I thought there was a good chance that something like a 340 Wby was going to be a bridge too far, and that I was just going to hate it, shoot it only once, and regret the purchase.

    Then ... I shot it. And thought: "What's all the recoil fuss about?" Though I probably would not want to shoot a 6.5-lb .340 Wby if there is such a thing.

    It takes more focus for me to shoot the 340 as accurately as a .308 or .223. But, when I do focus, I shoot my 340 better than any other rifle.

    I don't know what my upper limit is. For example, if I get to hunt Africa, would I get a beast like a 416 Rem. or a 378 Wby, or would I use only a 375 H&H? Either way, I can guaranty it would be a 10-lb+ rifle.

  15. #15

    Default Someone please correct me if I am wrong...

    If you have the recoil pad firmly, and I mean no gap with good solid pressure, against your shoulder, would the weight of the rifle not make very little difference in perceived recoil?

    I agree that if the rifle has a gap to jump to your shoulder that the heavier rifle is going to have less momentum than the lighter one and therefore less impact force into my shoulder.

    However it seems to me that if I have a solid shoulder mount, my weight and the rifle's weight are going to act together to resist recoil. Therefore saying a 10lb rifle is better than a 6lb rifle for that purpose would be the same as saying I would be well served to put on a few pounds.

    I have had physics, but am I missing something here?

  16. #16
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default recoil....

    though there are many rifles i can shoot well.... there is one fire arm that has given me a very rational fear of recoil....


    many years ago... once upon a drive to Fairbanks.


    my buddy and i were headed around summit lake on the Richardson hwy...

    there were ptarmies every where..


    i mean EVERYWHERE! thousands of them...

    all i had in the truck was a pistol grip style stainless 12ga.

    now these birds are running right past us and flying all over the hill...i tried two from the hip... and was told i need to aim that thing very quickly...

    so as i extended my arms and sighted down the barrel...


    and proceeded to pump rounds after round after round at these running scampering white balls of puff in the new snow...


    and each time i fired i punched myself n the mouth.

    i drove the rest of the way to Fairbanks and spent the entire weekend with my upper lip swelled to a point of having it stamped " INFLATE TO 45PSI" and a pic of the Michelin man tattooed on my chin.



    and did not get a single bird for it.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  17. #17
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    When I was young and thin, I could shoot anyhting, as I swayed back and forth with the recoil like a Chicago politician bending before the white envelope.

    Now being older and hideously obese, recoil is like hitting myself with a brick, plus it makes my manboobs jiggle, a disgusting sight I may add,,,

    So its 6.5x55 with a brake for me
    Its physics. Heavier people will feel more recoil than lighter. Lighter people will move back with the rifle, heavier will resist the recoil more hence more felt recoil.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  18. #18
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    If you have the recoil pad firmly, and I mean no gap with good solid pressure, against your shoulder, would the weight of the rifle not make very little difference in perceived recoil?

    I agree that if the rifle has a gap to jump to your shoulder that the heavier rifle is going to have less momentum than the lighter one and therefore less impact force into my shoulder.

    However it seems to me that if I have a solid shoulder mount, my weight and the rifle's weight are going to act together to resist recoil. Therefore saying a 10lb rifle is better than a 6lb rifle for that purpose would be the same as saying I would be well served to put on a few pounds.

    I have had physics, but am I missing something here?
    The weight of the rifle will have a huge bearing on felt recoil. The recoil forces have to overcome the weight (or mass) of the rifle to get to you. If you were to bolt the barrel and action to a solid object instead of a moveable stock, and crack one off, you stand a good chance of distorting or breaking the stock size bolts. Adding mass to yourself will increase felt recoil (maybe not perceptibly) by having more mass overall for the rifle recoil to overcome. All that energy pushing back has to go somewhere, and if it can't move ya, your going to feel it
    Kinematics was always one of my favourite parts of physics.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    If you have the recoil pad firmly, and I mean no gap with good solid pressure, against your shoulder, would the weight of the rifle not make very little difference in perceived recoil?

    I agree that if the rifle has a gap to jump to your shoulder that the heavier rifle is going to have less momentum than the lighter one and therefore less impact force into my shoulder.

    However it seems to me that if I have a solid shoulder mount, my weight and the rifle's weight are going to act together to resist recoil. Therefore saying a 10lb rifle is better than a 6lb rifle for that purpose would be the same as saying I would be well served to put on a few pounds.

    I have had physics, but am I missing something here?
    I think you've got it exactly. You were awake during Physics 101. Stay in contact with the rifle become an integral part of the machine and all movements. Not having a good stock weld at the shoulder or cheek is one big reason why it hurts. There is no way a recoiling rifle can hurt a grown human if good technique is uesd. Heavy rifles once set in motion by recoil with have more momentum and hit harder. The secret is not to let them hit you, stay with the rifle and be a part of the mass to be set in motion.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner View Post
    The recoil forces have to overcome the weight (or mass) of the rifle to get to you. If you were to bolt the barrel and action to a solid object instead of a moveable stock, and crack one off, you stand a good chance of distorting or breaking the stock size bolts. Adding mass to yourself will increase felt recoil (maybe not perceptibly) by having more mass overall for the rifle recoil to overcome. All that energy pushing back has to go somewhere, and if it can't move ya, your going to feel it
    Kinematics was always one of my favourite parts of physics.
    I still don't totally buy it. My buddy developed a .500 caliber short action wildcat that pushes 500 gr projectiles out the door at 2300 fps. There are not many cartridges that create more recoil energy than it does. He has several rifles chambered for this round ranging from 7lbs to 10+. I cannot tell any real difference in the recoil from one to the next with the same load as long as I have it firmly planted against my shoulder. Now if I slack up on it where it has to "get to me" as you said then yes, it will knock the you know what of you.

    I do understand about the weight of the person and felt recoil. I am 6'4" and 190lbs and can seem to tolerate recoil fine. I know big guys have a problem with it because they absorb it and don't move.

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