Well I see Big5 has beat me to this. I have been shooting a .340 Weatherby for 20-25 years and I have never found it to be a problem. I have also shot a .416 Rigby a good deal.
My .340 is a Sako action with a Heym barrel and a McMillan synthetic stock. It is not a heavy rifle and yet I do not find it to be a problem, even from the bench and I generally shoot the heavier 225 and 250 grain bullets out of it. Now mind you my wife says I tend to be numb and insensitive, so that could be an issue.:)
The .416 Rigby I used a fair bit was a CZ and it most certainly was comfortable to shoot.
Like Big5, I also suspect the issue with your friends .340 is stock fit and that may be compounded by how he handles the rifle.
. . . relative to my last post I should also mention that my personal choice of bullets for my .340 is either a 225gr Barnes-X or more often a 250gr Nosler partition. Admittedly a 225gr or 250gr bullet will increase the recoil of a .340, but not so substantially as to offset the intent or purpose of my post.
The reason I posted data based upon a 200gr is because it's apparently become one of the most popular for the caliber and was therefore the only one listed and readily available to me.
Among other variables I will again maintain; sufficient shooting experience to avoid ‘anticipating’ and ‘fighting’ the recoil will make a world of difference in one’s shooting ability and in all likelihood maintain a bruise free shoulder.
How much experience do you have with big bore rifles? Both the 458 Lott and the 460 Wby come with a significant amount of recoil. If you are not experienced with rifles that whack you that hard I'd suggest that you look at the 375 H&H. Far more buffalo have been taken with the 375 than have been taken with the 458 lott and the 460 wby combined. If you can shoot a 3006 comforably, than you will have no trouble with a 375. Alternatively, CZ offers their 550 magnum in 404 Jeffery. The recoil of a 404 is not dramatically worse than that of a 375, yet it hits harder and has a well deserved reputation for being enough rifle for any game in Africa. I have used both on Buffalo and see no reason for a bigger caliber.
I have no experience with big bores.. but i can tell you i grew up shooting. I lived on a large farm in KY. I know how to shoulder a firearm and have no old "football" injuries. I am not a wannabe hunter.
I grew up in the marsh of south Louisiana hunting and trapping. Like you I am able to handle a firearm.
Originally Posted by Big5er
My first "big bore" was a 375 H&H. It was comfortable to shoot. I then bought a 416 Rem in a Ruger No. 1. I shot three shots out of it in the first 10 years that I owned it. It just kicked too much.
Then we decided to got to Africa and I had to learn to shoot it. First I added to the length of pull and installed a better recoil pad. That, with learning a little about shoot a big bore, coupled with practice I fired several hundred rounds through the rifle. the recoil seemed to dissappear.
Now I have I a Lott and 470 Nitro and both are a joy to shoot.
If you start out with a Lott make sure the rifle fits. If you reload it may not hurt to start out with some reduced loads and work up.
For me 90% of recoil is mental, the other half is physical.
Mike70560. . . very sensible post. If more people followed your lead there would be much less controversy and far fewer ear shattering muzzle breaks out there.
I also agree that for many people much of it is mental. Therefore shooting experience will not only assist someone in minimizing and managing the physical effect of recoil it can completely eliminate the mental effect.
I agree with Mike and Big5..............that is why my wife, who is all of 5'3" tall, shoots a .338 Win. Mag. and thinks nothing of it. It always makes me smile, as it points out just how much the mind plays into perceived recoil. I know all sorts of guys who are a hell of lot bigger than she is, that snivel like babies about recoil on rifles chambered in cartridges that are much more forgiving.
I think men as a whole are getting softer and they need to buck up..........gadgets can never replace properly fitting stocks, shooting technique and practice. Gadgets will however, help to mask shooter problems that can and will manifest themselves at the worst possible time.
There is a point at which more horse power crosses the line of practicality. When a cartridge passes the point where a properly fitted rifle of suitable weight, shooting technique and graduated practice cannot make the rifle and cartridge combination manageable, then it is probably too much of a good thing.
But that is just my opinion .................. and I could be wrong.:)