Compare Recoil

Pondoro

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When practising with rifles from .375 and up I always use a shoulder sissy bag...mine is called Limbsaver.. This make me shoot rifles up to and included .475NE from the bench without ill effects or flinch developing. During hunting you never notice recoil anyway..due to adrenaline..
 

Major Khan

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.300 Winchester magnum -4
9.3 x 62 mm Mauser - 6
.375 Holland & Holland magnum - 6
.416 Rigby - No personal experience
.450/400 Nitro Express - 7
.470 Nitro Express - No personal experience , but I rank the .476 Westley Richards ( Which I DO have personal experience with ) ... As an 8.5
 

cajunchefray

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Recoil is subjective to the shooter, everyone feels different...You can use all the designs and fit to reduce recoil and I see that as mostly sales candy, I was in the booking business for 40 plus years and I shot the 470, 505, 458 Lott and during the warm months and hunting season in Africa I had no probem with the recoil of any of these big boomers, and I shot a lot...During the winter months in Idaho I didn't shoot much then when is was about time to hit the road to Africa, Alaska, the recoil from the same rifles about ripped my head off, I had to really get back in recoil shape, and it was hard to do every year, so if you intend to shoot big bores, shoot them from time to time year around, like I said recoil is sugjective to the shooter and his circumstances. Hope this helps it took me a long time to figure it out.

I believe in muzzle brakes, I use them on some guns to work up loads, sight in the rifle, for all bench shooting, sometimes I take them off while hunting but as I age I notice I tend to keep them on..I figure the good Lord gave the nay sayers the opertunity to hunt with someone else or use those God given fingers to stick in their ears! :)
Ray,

Well said from a man that’s been there and done that. I’ve gained a lot of information from your wisdom over the years on various sites. I appreciate that.

Shooting everything on this list, except 470 Nitro, but 500 Jeffery in its place,
I think rifle fit, stock design, powder charge are important.

But most of all, for me at least, scrawny 160 pounds, 5’10”, is Recoil Velocity.

The recoil calculators include this but most focus on recoil energy.

John Taylor, in his first book,
Big Game and Big Game Rifles referred to a British officer( can’t remember his name) who tested various rifles and tabulated recoil energy and recoil velocity.

His findings indicated that most men could tolerate 17 pounds feet per second.

A 416 Rigby was around 18.

A 450/400 Nitro around 16.

Lighter powder charges help in reducing recoil velocity.

However, it is always subjective.

my Ruger #1 450/400, weighing 10 pounds scoped, kicks the hell out of me with my standard load of 63 grain R 15 and 400 grain softs.

my double 450/400, weighs 10.5 pounds and I perceive the recoil as 40% less, more of a big push than the strike of the Ruger with a one inch Decelerator.

Now I shoot 300 grain loads in the Ruger
 

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In one of my previous posts I had 9.3x62 as a 3 in CZ 550 FS. I think that rifle is close to 9.5 lbs with a scope. Just shot a newly re-barreled Mauser 98 in slim wooden stock with no recoil pad. Easily 5-6 on my scale. Sure took me by surprise. Then I weighed the rifle. 6 lbs 13 oz or so. :E Horrified:
 

MS 9x56

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In one of my previous posts I had 9.3x62 as a 3 in CZ 550 FS. I think that rifle is close to 9.5 lbs with a scope. Just shot a newly re-barreled Mauser 98 in slim wooden stock with no recoil pad. Easily 5-6 on my scale. Sure took me by surprise. Then I weighed the rifle. 6 lbs 13 oz or so. :E Horrified:
I gotta agree with you there. I never thought of a 3006 as a big “ kicker” until I acquired a Ruger American 3006 that tupper ware stock has very little weight even with scope and sling it comes in at 7.25 and is quite lively if you are not mounting and holding correctly. My sons mossberg 12 gauge with 3 1/2 mag turkey or goose loads puts all my rifles to shame. It literally gives me a headache to shoot it.
 

Milan

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I gotta agree with you there. I never thought of a 3006 as a big “ kicker” until I acquired a Ruger American 3006 that tupper ware stock has very little weight even with scope and sling it comes in at 7.25 and is quite lively if you are not mounting and holding correctly. My sons mossberg 12 gauge with 3 1/2 mag turkey or goose loads puts all my rifles to shame. It literally gives me a headache to shoot it.
My Mossberg 12 ga is what caused my last hearing injury and increased tinnitus after. It is the reason for my switch away from magnums and to smaller, “quieter” calibers.
 

chashardy

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Interesting topic. I agree with all the posters who say that rifle weight and design both have a great deal to do with felt recoil.
My 300 winmag is a Model 70 Supergrade maple stock with a Leupold scope, which I have not weighed, but I would guess the weight at around 9 pounds and I would rate the recoil on the suggested scale here as a 3.5.
My 375H&H is a Chapuis double rifle with walnut stock that weighs about 10 pounds and I would rate the recoil at about 5. I had a Model 70 375 H&H and I would rate the recoil on that rifle at 6.
My 416 Rigby is a John Rigby Big Game with walnut stock and a Leupold scope and I think with the scope it weighs close to 11 pounds. I rate the recoil of the Rigby at 7.5. It's noticeably harder than the 375, but it's more of a push than a sharp hit when shooting Federal 400gr. Swift A-Frames at the range.
I shoot a 12 gauge shotgun at sporting clays and waterfowl, so I may be more recoil tolerant than some folks, but I have to confess that after three or four rounds of the 416 Rigby at the range I am prone to flinching.
 

Milan

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Oddly enough o/u 12 ga was not unpleasant for clay shooting at all. 3” shells out of that m500 were.
 

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Thanks Jerome. I knew that post, I just wanted to know about these specific calibers from the experience.
You can have a 7 lb 375 shooting 350 gr bullets that exhibits felt recoil in excess of a 14 lb 470. It's not just the momentum of a particular round (that's only part of the puzzle.) I've seen quite a few guns made (esp. mass-produced factory guns) that are just too light for caliber. Any big bore gun in the lot you mention can be made and/or set up to be handled with ease and pleasure. I don't consider a 375 to be punishing in the slightest. Quite a pleasure to shoot as-is in a properly sized gun. Read Art Alphin's book "Any Shot you Want," specifically his knowledge of stock butts and recoil pads (the larger the butt area, the less energy per unit area translated into your shoulder.) Kevin Robertson talks about same in his books as well (differences in felt recoil amongst big bore calibers-which can be tamed by gun heft, recoil reducers, clothing worn, and my favorite-size of the tusks/horns you have just spied!) Even the way a heavy slug 2,000 fps round translates energy into your body is much less on a unit per time basis than a 2,600 fps 460, for gross example (big shove vs. heavy fast push). Even the pressure differences between different loadings of the same caliber can make a world of difference (i.e. factory 2350 fps load vs. hot 2450 handload under max pressure.) Stock angle too. Stalk in closer with slightly reduced loads. Lots of variables to consider and control.
 
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C.W. Richter

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Don't buy a light gun. Off the top of my head I recall Robertson saying that (as a general comparison) the lighter guns impart ~60 ft-lbs of energy on you while the heavier ones are more in the 110 range. That's pure mathematics. It can be controlled by the above-mentioned factors.
 

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Me, I think eating more (adding more recoil absorption to the shooter) is the easiest and most joyful option.
 

Professor Mawla

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Felt recoil from the .416 Rigby is going to be the sharpest on the list ( relatively speaking ) .
 

C.W. Richter

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Felt recoil from the .416 Rigby is going to be the sharpest on the list ( relatively speaking ) .
That said it is perhaps the lightest felt recoil of all the four sixteens due to its lowest pressure cartridge. I have the 416 Taylor which I love. It's a more compact package with a shorter cartridge firing at the same velocity but with considerably higher pressure and associated recoil. It is still highly accurate. I think that's why so many PHs carry a 416 Rigby. It's traditional plenty of power and relatively speaking easier to shoot. Yes to your comment it's a toss-up between this and the 470s mentioned...
 

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That said it is perhaps the lightest felt recoil of all the four sixteens due to its lowest pressure cartridge. I have the 416 Taylor which I love. It's a more compact package with a shorter cartridge firing at the same velocity but with considerably higher pressure and associated recoil. It is still highly accurate. I think that's why so many PHs carry a 416 Rigby. It's traditional plenty of power and relatively speaking easier to shoot. Yes to your comment it's a toss-up between this and the 470s mentioned...
@C.W. Richter
Yes . That is 100 % correct . I personally do not find the .416 Rigby to have an uncomfortable recoil , at all .
 

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My 12 lb 500 Jeffery (includes Leupold 1.5-5x scope) shooting a 570g bullet at 2300 fps with 103g of H4895 generates 88 ft lbs of recoil, with a recoil velocity of 21.74. It's not a stiff load, but a little below max and the faster powder cuts down on recoil. Recoil is sporty. When shooting my older son's 416 Rem or our 7 1/2 lb 375 Weatherby they feel like 300 Win mags in comparison.
 
 

 

 

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