Big bore shooting effects on your body?

Ridge Runner

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As I read through the threads, most everyone only goes to the range to shoot only one box, presumably a 20 count box, or less rounds through their (African) big bores.

Is this due to: ammunition costs or the harmful effects that could arise to shooting more than 20 rounds of big bore ammunition at one time/session at the range?

In preparation for my upcoming trip, weather permitting, I take my 458 WM and 375 H&H rifles and 44 Rem Mag revolver to the range once or twice a week, shooting 30 to 50 rounds minimum per rifle (occasionally as many as 60to 80 rounds) 18 to 50 rounds out of my revolver.

Am I shooting to much per range session safely, health wise?

I am shooting reloads I plan to hunt with and checking/testing/comparing factory loads. Shooting mostly off sticks; 50 and 100 yards.

Also:
Is a 1 1/2 to 2 pound trigger pull to light of trigger for a 458WM and 375 H&H?
I really dislike these 3-4 pound triggers!
 

sierraone

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Use a 1 inch Past Pad if you want to shoot the big bores alot, even from a bench. I shoot my .404 up to 30 rounds from a bench with the pad. My .416 Rigby gets shot from stix or some type of arm support. Usually maxing out at 10 rounds for it.
Can't help you with bigger than the Rigby.
 

chashardy

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For me, I find that my tightest groups are the first two groups of 3 or 4 rounds. After that, I notice the recoil and have a tendency to flinch a bit.
Also, with my 416 Rigby, the ammo is pretty expensive and I don't reload, so 8 rounds in the Rigby is about $60 t0 $70.
I shoot my 375 H&H on alternate weeks and the ammo is less expensive, but I generally shoot no more than 10 rounds.
If I can place a couple of tight groups close to the center of the target, I'm not sure there's a lot more to be learned from shooting dozens of rounds.
I will add that I have heard about hunters who now avoid big bore rifles due to damaged retinas from the repetitive concussion of shooting many, many big bore rounds.
 

Forrest Halley

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As I read through the threads, most everyone only goes to the range to shoot only one box, presumably a 20 count box, or less rounds through their (African) big bores.

Is this due to: ammunition costs or the harmful effects that could arise to shooting more than 20 rounds of big bore ammunition at one time/session at the range?

In preparation for my upcoming trip, weather permitting, I take my 458 WM and 375 H&H rifles and 44 Rem Mag revolver to the range once or twice a week, shooting 30 to 50 rounds minimum per rifle (occasionally as many as 60to 80 rounds) 18 to 50 rounds out of my revolver.

Am I shooting to much per range session safely, health wise?

I am shooting reloads I plan to hunt with and checking/testing/comparing factory loads. Shooting mostly off sticks; 50 and 100 yards.

Also:
Is a 1 1/2 to 2 pound trigger pull to light of trigger for a 458WM and 375 H&H?
I really dislike these 3-4 pound triggers!

It's cost for some and diminishing returns for most.

At $4 a shot or more, what's gained in firing forty rounds at one time? I will only shoot as rapidly as the barrel will bear without becoming untouchable, so in summer that could take a great deal of time to reach forty rounds.

I also cannot take much more than 10 shots with my .458 Lott before I get fatigued and flinchy.

I think the trigger weight depends on several things. Are you cautious with your trigger finger and do you have experience with lighter triggers? Are you going to be cold or have a loss of sensation in your hands? Is the light trigger safe with respect to sufficient sear engagement to handle a rough manipulation of the action and rifle in general?
I don't want my rifle discharging uncontrollably. Ever. It must be drop safe because I cannot control every aspect of my situation.
I think the lighter trigger makes the rifle easier to shoot because there is sometimes a mental increase to the pull weight when you are focusing trying to shut out fatigue and even flinch.
 

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I have a friend who would not shoot my 416 Rigby for fear of retinal detachment.
It may be a consideration if you are repeatedly shooting big bores.
 

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I have a Mossberg Patriot 30-06, with a 1 1/2 pound trigger. Most every rifle I own or have own had 1-1/2 to 2 pound triggers: 22 LR to 7mm Rem Mag, with exception to single set triggers, my muzzle loading, double set trigger rifles were adjusted to 1-1/2, 1-3/4 pound.

I have adapted to a certain way of shooting that works: set the butt to my shoulder, trigger finger lays straight along the stock, focus the cross hairs onto the target, slide my finger to trigger, rifle goes bang, focus on bullet hit in target, reload, repeat.....4 rounds. This doesn't work as smoothly with 458 & 375.

When shooting my 458 and 375 (with 3 pound triggers) what feel like 10 pound triggers. I pull/ jerk/ yank....throughing... the first 2 or 3 shots getting use to the heavy trigger pull.

At the range I alternate between rifles with a few minutes between rifles:
Fire 4-6 shots (about 10 minutes), set the first rifle in the rack, pick up the second rifle, dry practice-form, rifle to body posture, load, fire 4-6 shots, place second rifle in rack: 5-15 minute break, check/replace targets, pick up brass, chat with other shooters: pick up first rifle: repeat. With intermittent handgun shooting.

Range time usually runs around 4 to 6 hours.

When checking rounds thru my chronograph it's a string 5 rounds, about a minute between shots, out of both rifles, they both go to the rack, and I shoot 6 to 12 rounds out of my 44 and/ or 45 auto. Then back to the rifle routine.

With these big bores I am curious as to whether a light trigger would be feasible or safe?
 

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I use a Limb Saver (funny name) pad when practising with .375H&H and upwards...why take more punishment than needed..? During hunting you dont feel recoil due to adrenalin so its no issue..
 

Ridge Runner

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I use a Limb Saver (funny name) pad when practising with .375H&H and upwards...why take more punishment than needed..? During hunting you dont feel recoil due to adrenalin so its no issue..

Yes, that is another item to get use to. My 458WM already had a thick pad, but it was getting weak and the 375 needed a thicker pad for proper LOP fit, so both received new Limbsaver thick butt pads.
 

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Is a 1 1/2 to 2 pound trigger pull to light of trigger for a 458WM and 375 H&H?
I really dislike these 3-4 pound triggers!
The effects of shooting big bores on me....leaves me wanting more big bores.

Kidding aside, I have moved to the Blaser R8 and their superb 1.9# trigger.
It's amazing and I highly recommend trying one when you have a chance.
Dry fire practice will also really help with proper trigger control.
IMO - I don't believe 1 -2# trigger pull is a problem on a hunting rifle.
 

CTDolan

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As others have mentioned, a detached retina would be the only real cause for concern. Anything else will heal readily on its own.
 

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I found my LOP on my Winchester 375HH from the factory was almost an inch to short. I used a slip on decelerator pad over my rifle pad to add the extra inch. The two pads reduced the felt recoil by quite a bit. If your rifle is a tad short I’d give it a try.
 

Standard Velocity

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I’ve read that physically larger people often have a more difficult experience of recoil since they create more resistance to the movement of the rifle. I’m not a big guy and have never had much difficulty with heavy recoil. The gun simply moves me to where it decides I’m gonna go and I have to reposition. Poorly fitting stocks have caused me more grief than anything else. A too short LOP beats me up.

I tried a PAST pad once. It changed the LOP and I did not like it. I prefer a shooting patch over the shoulder. Just an eighth to quarter of an inch of fabric takes enough sting out of it for me.

I used to shoot clay pigeons until I was black and blue as a kid. I would worry about detached retinas as I age. Does anyone have any explanation as to why this happens and how difficult treatment is?
 

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Just to throw in another negative possibility. I have some friends who are competitors in sporting clays. Sorry, not big bore rifles, but something you should be aware of. They developed neck/vertebrae issues and have had to have operations to fuse them. They fired thousands of rounds a year. I don’t know that this would happen with big bores, but it is a possibility you might want to be aware of.
Personally I shoot and hunt with thin gloves a lot. 2 3/4-3 lbs is what mine are all (small bore and large bore) set and seem to work for safety and accuracy.
Best of luck!
 

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Mother Nature says "The more near sighted a person is, the sooner his retinas will detach. "

I was rather nearsighted and as a child and wore glasses from first grade on. My eye doc told me to avoid contact sports and that would delay retinal detachment, but that some time after mid 50s , my retinas will tear and/or detach due to the elongated shape of my eyes. He was right; the good news is that modern eye surgery can do wonders for you if you see your eye doc as soon as you see floaters (drops of blood) in an eye. Avoiding excessive head trauma makes sense for all, and each person must learn what constitutes their personal "excessive" head pounding. Tip - carry good medical insurance as eye surgery is expensive.

You can look up "Retina Detachment" on the Internet.

The better your vision (round eyes) the less likely is natural detachment.
 

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Big bore shooting effects on your body????

With Excessive Muzzle Blast and the subsequent Shock Wave....I experience.ummm...how should I say this??? a heightened sense of arousal?
 

kurpfalzjäger

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Big bore shooting effects on your body????

With Excessive Muzzle Blast and the subsequent Shock Wave....I experience.ummm...how should I say this??? a heightened sense of arousal?

I also find the big bore shooting very arousing , ...has a special effect on my body , ...I cannot get enough of that !
 

Forrest Halley

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Yes, that is another item to get use to. My 458WM already had a thick pad, but it was getting weak and the 375 needed a thicker pad for proper LOP fit, so both received new Limbsaver thick butt pads.
I find the Pacmayr XLT Trap pads to be better than limbsaver. My .375 #1 had a limbsaver on it and it was still substantial so I tried the Pacmayr and it was much better. What may be even better and smarter is thinking about lighter practice loads. At short range there isn't that much lost in practice loads. You can always set up offset on the target if needed to gauge accuracy.
 

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I enjoy shooting big guns but try not to shoot too many rounds in one go as I’ve noticed the effect it has on my body is I start flinching. I know this is psychological not physical but it does happen to me. When I want to shoot more rounds in one session I interchange big bores with a 22lr rifle, it helps a lot.
 

Ray B

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Shooting a big bore has two effects on the shooter. One is the direct recoil. the other is the muzzle blast. the latter affects primarily the shooters hearing and as such proper hearing protection can prevent damage. the former is more complex. One aspect of it is the hit the buttplate is putting on the shooters shoulder. If the shooter is properly attached to the gun and his/her muscles are relaxed, when the gun pushes it will push the shooter back with it. the energy passes through and the body/rifle returns to pre-firing position. the other aspect of the recoil is more of a problem- the snap of the shooters head as the rifle/body are moved backward. the snapping causes the brain and eyes to be pushed against the bones/tissue that holds them. As noted, this can lead to retinas coming apart as well as concussions to the brain in similar fashion to a football play being smacked to the turf. While one smack has little apparent effect, the accumulated damage can lead to noticeable problems, especially as years pass.

As a result, when I shoot a big bore, I do most of the firing with reduced loads, making sure that my body alignment is supportive of the gun, that I am relaxed and that I have good follow-through on the shots. This develops proper muscle memory so that when I shoot full power loads things go as well as could be expected and the most is gained from it.

I suspect there is a formula that plots number of full power rounds fired against damage inflicted to a shooters brain & eyes. I suspect it's somewhat like firing a hot varmint rifle in that a few shots from a cold barrel do little damage, but several shots from a hot barrel cause damage quickly. So I shoot only a few full power loads on a given day and have a limit on the number of full power loads I shoot per year. I doubt that I'll live long enough to hit the maximum total full power rounds- but I have no idea what that number is.
 
 

 

 

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