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What caliber to practice with?

This is a discussion on What caliber to practice with? within the Firearms & Ammunition forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; I am not bringing my rifle to Africa. The outfitter is providing a Krieghoff Semprio in 300 win mag. I ...

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    Default What caliber to practice with?

    I am not bringing my rifle to Africa. The outfitter is providing a Krieghoff Semprio in 300 win mag. I only own a 308 and am somewhat recoil sensitive. Should I continue to practice with the 308 or borrow something bigger to try to get used to the recoil?

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    I guess you could practice with heavy loads in your 308 Win? The Semprio is pretty fine rifle and you should be able to adjust to it. Just my two cents.

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    Before going to Africa on my last trip I shot perhaps 150 rounds in the 30 days before I left through the rifle I was going to use. I also spent some time with my 22-250 and some prairie dog towns. I also spent a bit of time just dry firing off the shooting sticks that I was taking with me.
    I guess my point is just shoot as much as you can. Even if its dry firing. You want that connection between your brain and finger that says to squeeze and not jerk EVERY time. I almost never feel the recoil when shooting at an animal. Too excited. So my suggestion is practice with what's comfortable and available. It will make you a better shot. I wouldn't worry too much about the recoil of the rifle you will be using in Africa. Likely you'll never notice it. Bruce

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    What is "somewhat recoil sensitive"?
    How much time would you like to spend on a treatment plan for flinching?
    Not likely enough.

    Get to the range when you arrive and shoot that rifle a few times. Then when you are shooting at game you won't have time to worry about it.
    Most flinches develop at the range, not while hunting!

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    I did own a 7mag but just didn't like the recoil. I enjoy shooting my 308. I can "handle" the 7mag if I have to but don't like it. I just assumed the 300 win mag would be significantly higher in recoil.

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    Some 7mm can bark a bit.
    If you just "didn't like it" you should be fine with a 300.
    You are not shooting a box of shells every day when you hunt.

    If you shot it a lot and developed a flinch and are now scared of recoil. That is a problem. Fix that before it gets very expensive when you shoot at game in Africa and wound it.

    Depends on the load and the gun (design, weight,recoil pad, etc)
    Get a pad for your shoulder like sheep skin and use it.
    Hold the gun into that shoulder when you shoot it and you should be fine.
    The gun will be sighted already.
    You just need to do a test shot and then go hunting.

    As an aside I shot a .375 H&H for the first time and did not even know it went off (same as a 308 I used), beyond the fact that I pulled the trigger.
    The excitement should take care of the issue.

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    I tend to agree with most of the above, however the difference in recoil between say a 7mm Rem mag and a .300 WIn mag is considerable, especially in factory form. For some reason the 7 mag is usually not loaded up to potential it seems, though maybe its better now, and is often loaded to not much more than max loads in a .280 Remington which is a pussycat compared to a .300 Winnie.

    If it were me, I would ask the outfitter if a .30-06 were available over the .300. Its much easier to shoot and not much more kick than your .308, just my 2 cents for whatever its worth.

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    Meassage,

    I too am somewhat recoil sensitive and don't enjoy prolonged use of heavy recoiling rifles. Stick with your PH's rifle though. As Brickburn stated you won't notice the recoil while hunting.

    I'm going to suggest a slightly different strategy. Check the sight in with the rifle when you get there and then don't shoot it again. Familiarise yourself with the operation of the action, the scope 'view' and dry fire as much as your PH will allow to get used to the trigger. Then go hunting.

    .308's are very popular in southern Africa and I'm sure the PH would be able to hire one if the worst comes to the worst.

    No matter what, have a great trip
    Time spent in Reconnaisance is never wasted.

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    There are different forms of recoil too. I feel the .300 win mwg has a sharper punch than my .375 H&H. I am small framed and recoil bothers me on the range. Like others have said not while hunting though. I have learned to shoot my .375 H&H. I think its a combination of proper shooting form and just getting used to the impact.
    Me personally i would ask about another rifle or i would borrow a .300 and shoot it just a couple of times after practicing with the .308.
    I have walked in the tracks of the elephant, heard the lion roar and met the buffalo on his terms. I shall never be the same.

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    I think the 300 Win Mag is a lot stronger than a 7mm Rem Mag. Felt recoil being twice as much with heavy loads.

    With good form at the shooting range, comes good form in the hunting field. The Semprio should be a excellent hunting rifle...and you should be alright.

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    I am very recoil conscious and was concerned about shooting high powered rifles on my SA trip. My hunting partner and I went to the range and shot a few times prior to our departure to try and switch from our duck hunting "slap the trigger" to the necessary rifle trigger squeeze. I prepared myself by shooting a moderate weight (7lbs) rifle in 30.06 with the intent of shooting the same caliber provided by the outfitter. I actually ended up shooting a .300 Win mag but I had brought along a Kick-ez slip on recoil pad which was really helpful. I left the pad with my PH for his father to use with his light weight 12 bore shotgun.

    I shot okay in Africa but not nearly as well as I should have (missed a couple of animals but killed all of the others) but recoil wasn't the issue, being excited and out of breath were the main issues. Since returning from Africa in May I've been preparing for my next trip. I've been to the range at least six times and am shooting my 30.06 maybe six rounds and then switching to a .22. I take a break of five to 10 minutes between .06 rounds, too. Another thing that makes a huge difference is shooting at photographic plains game targets, not typical "bullseye" targets. I'll be taking my 30.06 on my next trip. I'm am also working out twice a day to get into shape.

    So, I guesss what I'm offering is to get the recoil pad (read the reviews for it), practice frequently but take a break between rounds and limit your rounds. I also highly recommend you get the photographic targets, they make a huge difference to me. And be sure to get into better shape, that really helps when you're sighting in on that big kudu bull.

    Looking forward to your trip report and your plans for your next trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enysse View Post
    I think the 300 Win Mag is a lot stronger than a 7mm Rem Mag. Felt recoil being twice as much with heavy loads.
    Cant say I agree, have owned both and actually sold the 300 Win Mag in favour of the 7mm Rem Mag as they performed almost identically, but ballistically (and here it can become subjective due to the closeness of the call) I believe the 7mm Rem Mag proved superior........their recoil was always 1 : 1.

    just my experience........use it dont use it..............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumbo View Post
    Cant say I agree, have owned both and actually sold the 300 Win Mag in favour of the 7mm Rem Mag as they performed almost identically, but ballistically (and here it can become subjective due to the closeness of the call) I believe the 7mm Rem Mag proved superior........their recoil was always 1 : 1.

    just my experience........use it dont use it..............
    I have a Super Grade Winchestor 70 7 mm Rem Mag and it shots just fine...even better if I toyed with and replaced the hard recoil pad. My Browning A- Bolt 300 Win Mag is a "SOB" to shoot compared to the 7mm. I replaced the stock and put a muzzlebrake and it fine now. But before I altered it....I didn't care for it at all. Ballistics wise they are close. For the record I love the 7mm Rem Mag. I think the 300 Win Mag is a very good killer of game...but not comfortable to shoot and I absolutely hate the 300 Rem Ultra Mag. I have a 7mm Rem Ultra Mag that is probably the perfect long range gun!

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    One more suggestion, take an ammo pouch with you. I didn't think about it since I was using the outfitter's rifles and I didn't think about carrying ammo and ended up having to carry ammo in my pants pocket, not the best solution.

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    Another consideration is have you ever shot a Semprio? It is a different type of rifle. First it uses the much maligned cocking device in lieu of a traditional safety. Next it is basically a pump that operates backwards from a traditional pump gun. you slide the front of the rifle forward to eject the empty round and back to chamber the new round. I have tried them at the shows and they feel very strange to shoot.

    I would practice with a 300 Win Mag standing and on the sticks before leaving, that way you know what to expect.

    Semprio In-Line Repeating Rifle

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    I love this site for its ability to get such great information. Lots of ideas to digest. As far a the Semprio being wierd I agree. But I figured hunting with a Krieghoff while in Africa was too good to pass up. I think I will go with a combination of all the suggestions. I will shoot lots of rounds through my 308. They will be heavier loads. While I wait for my barrel to cool I will shoot my 22. I will get a slip on recoil pad to put on the outfitters rifle (Any Suggestions?) and assume that I won't feel the recoil when shooting at the animal.

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    Recoil is not an issue when hunting as far as feeling it in the shoulder. Where you might have problems is a scope with too little eye relief. If you choke up on a scope with short eye relief, then expect a good whack into your eyebrow. Buy a long eye relief scope or mount your scope as far forward as practical. Some European scopes like Zeiss are notorious for short eye relief, so be aware of that.

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    Best advice yet was to try to line up a 30-06, that was my first thought and I am sure there are plenty of them over there. The other really good advice was not trying to shoot your way through a flinch, it just doesnt work that way, it only gets worse. If you truely want to condition yourself to recoil do it one shot at a time, over a long period of time. Going home after firing many low recoiling rounds and just 1 high recoiling one will give you the confidence you need, going home with a hamburger shoulder is no fun and makes no sense.

    One other option if you cannot locate a 30-06 is to purchase a recoil tamer shoulder pad. get the thinnest one that will fit under your clothes. It is amazing how big of a difference they can make by spreading the recoil out over a much larger area of your shoulder.
    The journey is the reward.

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    Good surplus 7.62 NATO ammo is $100 per 200 rounds. If you buy a lightweight .308 Winchester mountain rifle, the recoil will be high enough to mimic a larger cartridge in a heavier rifle. You can practice relatively cheap, perhaps less than the cost of reloads. If you go prairie dog, woodchuck, pond turtle, poisonous snake or other type of high volume varmint hunting, you will be doing somebody a favor and in a real fire situation you do not notice recoil like at a rifle range, and it is real world practice with varying wind direction, etc. Varmint hunters are the deadliest big game hunters, for good reason due to their high volume of fire practice.

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    Just get a recoil pad. I have this One from Cabela's. That way you don't need to fret about recoil at all. Honestly you wont feel it when your hunting but it will help your confidence when your practicing and sighting in. I use it for my .300 RUM and when im sighting in my 12ga Slug gun. It also helps you practice better and longer when your at the range.
    The Light in Africa is different. It seems to make good shooters miss....

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