Recoil Mitigation

colorado

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Also dry fire a lot even at the range at first. If you find you're still right on target after two or three dry fires, then fire a live round, rinse and repeat. That and either a Past recoil pad or a lip on limbsaver will really help. After awhile you won't need to do any of these things.
 

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Professor, good day.

I figure there is very little that my Mark V .270 WBY won't accomplish. So my .375 is Weatherby's Vanguard S2 with what is referred to as their Tupperware stock. Not very pretty, but very serviceable. Scope is a Leopold 2~7X. I'm 5'8" and 190 pounds. Rifle fits fine. As a retired bird hunter, rifle fit is further down the list compared to fit for wing-shooting.

Adding weight and reducing loads are helpful but pushing 15 pounds forward at trigger break seems to be most helpful.

Thank you for your inquiry.

Grouser
aka Trent

View attachment 368676View attachment 368677View attachment 368678View attachment 368679
What is the weight of the Wby?? It may be a tad light for .375 HH but there are ways of correcting that (for when you're away from your sticks, shooting from sticks not possible, etc.) Add heft, muzzle brake, magnaporting, etc. The most pleasant 375s I shot were ~13 and another with a better stock/recoil pad weighed just over 10. I always shake my head when I see 4.5-7.5 lb guns in heavy calibers. They are only interested in the sale.
 

Grouser

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Out of the box with just the iron sights the rifle weighs 7 pounds, 10 ounces. With the Leupold scope and rings it weighs a pound more. Add 5~6 ounces for four cartridges. Yes, light. Too light without mitigation.
I figure if I am ever shooting without sticks, it will be at something for which I won’t notice the recoil. : )
 

steve white

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Hello Grouser;

Since you are looking to acquire proper habits, with much apologies please allow me to say that you are not doing it right, and please allow a few observations :)

1) As indicated by MMAL and BeeMaa, you need to use your left hand to pull the stock rearward into your shoulder pocket during aiming, and to control firmly the forearm lift under recoil. The way you hold the sling provides no aiming stability and little recoil control.

2) If it is rested behind the tripod/bipod fork, the swivel stud (when it is located on the forearm, which is not ideal on a high recoil rifle - hence barrel band swivel studs on DG rifles) has a very good chance sooner of letter of biting hard into your left hand when you hold the rifle by the forehand, especially when you get into 416, .458 etc. calibers.

3) Grabbing the tripod/bipod together with the forearm will result in lifting the tripod/bipod off the ground under severe recoil, especially when you get into .40+ calibers, and will slow down considerably a follow up shot as chances are good that the tripod/bipod will not return to its proper position.

4) Therefore, the proper left hand position is to have the swivel stud ahead of the bipod/tripod fork, and to hold the forearm only - not the tripod, and not the barrel - firmly, as follows:
View attachment 369021

5) To minimize the lateral (side to side) sway of the rifle on the sticks, it is important to have the rifle resting on the sticks near the forearm end (which you are doing correctly), otherwise the upper body sway will result in substantial muzzle wobble:View attachment 369022:
Incorrect position: the rifle rests on the sticks near the front action screw, resulting in the upper body sway inducing substantial muzzle wobble.

View attachment 369023
Correct position: the rifle rests on the sticks near the end of the forearm, resulting in the upper body sway inducing minimum muzzle wobble.

6) To further minimize the lateral (side to side) sway of the rifle on the sticks, it is important to form a triangle between the sticks and the two feet:

View attachment 369024
Incorrect feet position: the two feet in line with the tripod result in the upper body sway inducing muzzle wobble.

View attachment 369025
Correct feet position: the two feet forming a triangle with the tripod result in little to no upper body sway inducing little to no muzzle wobble.

7) To minimize the longitudinal (front to back) sway, it is important to lean heavily (within reason) onto the tripod/bipod (which you are doing correctly). Placing the left foot slightly ahead of the right foot will also prevent tipping backward and loosing balance under strong recoil.

8) To facilitate recoil absorption, it is important that the tripod/bipod fork be almost at shoulder height so that the body can rock back under recoil, rather than fight painfully the recoil, being hunched over the stock (and risking a very painful scope bite).

If regularly practiced, this proper shooting form will result in darn near 100% hits standing off the sticks on an 8" steel plate out to 200 yards, without recoil pain or body hurt, even from the most powerful rifles (e.g .458 Lott).


PS: Keep in mind that full power practice has but little to do with shooting form practice, and that you can practice endlessly and almost for free your shooting form with a .22 LR out to 150 yards on a 6" plate. The passing grade is 5 series of 5 shots each (25 shots total) for 25 hits at 150 yard. Every miss resets the count. By the time you get there routinely (say after 500 to 1,000 .22 LR practice rounds for most folks), you will be amazed to discover that .22 LR shooting form carries seamlessly into full power rifles shooting, and there is not much Africa can throw at you that you will not be ready for :)
I would fear that placing the sling swivel stud FORWARD of the tripod would only cause it to ride up over the tripod upon recoil, thus raising the shot by the height of the stud. Unless you are planning on it NOT recoiling into the tripod by some means....the picture shows the stud forward, but up against the tripod!
 

One Day...

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No worries, it does not. The reason is simple: DG rifles do not recoil in straight line, they recoil upward and rearward....

I have never filmed in slow motion how the front swivels move under recoil, but since mine do not scratch the tripod limbs and do not tip the tripod back, I would guess that the lift of the recoil clears the studs over the tripod fork, even with sling attached...

As shootist~ says "there is no reason that more that one method cannot be practiced" so by all means steve white, do not follow my recommendations if they do not make sense to you.

All I can say is that I have shot standing off the sticks many hundred rounds each of .375 H&H, .416 Rigby, .458 Win, .458 Lott and .470 NE, not to mention many hundred rounds of .340 Wby, which also has a well deserved reputation for strong recoil. In all, likely well over 3,000 rounds in these calibers over the last 30 years, so I do not pretend to know anything for certain, but I have "been there and done that" a bit, and my observations are well grounded...

What I know for facts are two things:
  • First, since I have placed the swivel stud ahead of the tripod fork, a swivel stud has never cut my left hand.
  • Second, using the shooting form described, I am hitting a 6" plate at 100 yards and a 10" plate at 200 yards with quasi 100% predictability standing off the sticks with .340 Wby, .375 H&H, .416 Rigby and .458 Lott. This means that apparently nothing interferes with the zero of the rifles, and certainly the shots are not raised by the height of the stud. Obviously, if the stud raised the forearm by its height - say, about 3/8" - this would cause the shots missing the plate (of whatever size) by feet - not inches - even as close as 100 yards...
I am therefore quite confident that my recommendations are reasonable, not to mention that they have worked very well with many friends and family.

By the way shootist~ the reason I am not wrapping my fingers around the barrel is that you can burn yourself pretty bad on a DG barrel after as little as 5 shots...

All of us are entirely free to shoot whichever ways we think is best. To each our own.

I was lucky to learn my lessons practicing before hunts (thank God it did not happen in Alaska or Africa where it would have seriously compromised expensive hunts), but it sure hurt like a M@#$%& F%^&#%* to get a .340 Wby sling stud dig into my hand, and to get blistered fingers from a .458 Lott hot barrel snap shooting plates repeatedly (too many rounds too fast!) at close range, so if what I write can help someone avoid it... :)


PS: since I moved the front swivel studs to barrel bands on the .375 and 416, and put a flush front swivel mount on the .458 Lott, I do not worry about them anymore - which is by far the best way to deal with this, but the .340 Wby Mark V still has a swivel stud on the forearm, so the above is not theoretical, and regularly verified by actual shooting...
 
Last edited:

Fastrig

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Hello Grouser;

Since you are looking to acquire proper habits, with much apologies please allow me to say that you are not doing it right, and please allow a few observations :)

1) As indicated by MMAL and BeeMaa, you need to use your left hand to pull the stock rearward into your shoulder pocket during aiming, and to control firmly the forearm lift under recoil. The way you hold the sling provides no aiming stability and little recoil control.

2) If it is rested behind the tripod/bipod fork, the swivel stud (when it is located on the forearm, which is not ideal on a high recoil rifle - hence barrel band swivel studs on DG rifles) has a very good chance sooner of letter of biting hard into your left hand when you hold the rifle by the forehand, especially when you get into 416, .458 etc. calibers.

3) Grabbing the tripod/bipod together with the forearm will result in lifting the tripod/bipod off the ground under severe recoil, especially when you get into .40+ calibers, and will slow down considerably a follow up shot as chances are good that the tripod/bipod will not return to its proper position.

4) Therefore, the proper left hand position is to have the swivel stud ahead of the bipod/tripod fork, and to hold the forearm only - not the tripod, and not the barrel - firmly, as follows:
View attachment 369021

5) To minimize the lateral (side to side) sway of the rifle on the sticks, it is important to have the rifle resting on the sticks near the forearm end (which you are doing correctly), otherwise the upper body sway will result in substantial muzzle wobble:View attachment 369022:
Incorrect position: the rifle rests on the sticks near the front action screw, resulting in the upper body sway inducing substantial muzzle wobble.

View attachment 369023
Correct position: the rifle rests on the sticks near the end of the forearm, resulting in the upper body sway inducing minimum muzzle wobble.

6) To further minimize the lateral (side to side) sway of the rifle on the sticks, it is important to form a triangle between the sticks and the two feet:

View attachment 369024
Incorrect feet position: the two feet in line with the tripod result in the upper body sway inducing muzzle wobble.

View attachment 369025
Correct feet position: the two feet forming a triangle with the tripod result in little to no upper body sway inducing little to no muzzle wobble.

7) To minimize the longitudinal (front to back) sway, it is important to lean heavily (within reason) onto the tripod/bipod (which you are doing correctly). Placing the left foot slightly ahead of the right foot will also prevent tipping backward and loosing balance under strong recoil.

8) To facilitate recoil absorption, it is important that the tripod/bipod fork be almost at shoulder height so that the body can rock back under recoil, rather than fight painfully the recoil, being hunched over the stock (and risking a very painful scope bite).

If regularly practiced, this proper shooting form will result in darn near 100% hits standing off the sticks on an 8" steel plate out to 200 yards, without recoil pain or body hurt, even from the most powerful rifles (e.g .458 Lott).


PS: Keep in mind that full power practice has but little to do with shooting form practice, and that you can practice endlessly and almost for free your shooting form with a .22 LR out to 150 yards on a 6" plate. The passing grade is 5 series of 5 shots each (25 shots total) for 25 hits at 150 yard. Every miss resets the count. By the time you get there routinely (say after 500 to 1,000 .22 LR practice rounds for most folks), you will be amazed to discover that .22 LR shooting form carries seamlessly into full power rifles shooting, and there is not much Africa can throw at you that you will not be ready for :)

Thanks One Day. Going to modify a couple of things I think I've been doing slightly off from your excellent instructions the next time I go to the range. Just got my first big bores (375 and 416) and can see how a couple of things I've been doing might not be ideal. Thanks again!!!
 

colorado

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Here's our Rem XCR II that weighs 7 1/2 lbs in 375 Weatherby (including scope and rings). I'm not a recoil sponge, but with factory 375 H&H ammunition (Remington Premier Safari grade 375 H&H 300g A-Frames at 2500 fps) recoil is mellow not sharp at all. With Weatherby ammo, 300g Partitions at 2800 fps, it's a bit snappy. I think the XCR II stock is soft and soaks up recoil, it is accurate so we're not changing anything

 

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shootist~

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By the way shootist~ the reason I am not wrapping my fingers around the barrel is that you can burn yourself pretty bad on a DG barrel after as little as 5 shots...
.....

No arguments there - after 4 shots my thumb moves to the side of the forearm - on it's own accord. :oops:

For the most part however, I'm shooting three or four and switching rifles - often to a 22 for a couple of 5 shot strings; then to a different centerfire. I really dislike cooking a barrel when I can keep from it.

Edit to add: The sling swivel Stud has never bitten me, but the Swivel itself (the retention screw on the side of the swivel, actually), sure has. For that reason I followed @One Day... 's post on installing barrel mounted sling points - on a couple of rifles.
 
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BeeMaa

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@Grouser - There is no reason you can not learn to shoot a 8.5# 375 well.
It takes time, and a lot of it on the range in addition to dry fire practice.
There are no shortcuts to learning good habits and muscle memory.

I urge you to listen to the council given by @One Day...
I know, it's a lot to take in.
But his notes are detailed and spot on.
 

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Does anyone run a 1907 type sling on their rifle? What we need is a 2" wide not so legal 1907 sling then you would have all the recoil mitigation you could ask for. I believe that the thickness of the barrel on my .458 is going to all but negate POI shift from using a sling as it is sewer pipe thick.
 

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@Philip Glass just put out a video on different kinds of shooting sticks and also mentions the Edwards Recoil Reducer. Not an instructional video, but I found his hand position on different types of sticks both interesting and relevant.
 

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@Philip Glass just put out a video on different kinds of shooting sticks and also mentions the Edwards Recoil Reducer. Not an instructional video, but I found his hand position on different types of sticks both interesting and relevant.

One of the things I love about this forum is the Excellent tips, advise, and knowledge that’s so freely shared. Your’s and One Day’s tips for using sticks I’ve been paying close attention to. My feet position I noticed was not optimal, same with how I was pulling the rifle to my shoulder and leaning into the sticks for stability. Going to be working on changing those things as I can see how they all would contribute to improved accuracy and recoil mitigation.

The hand position portion looks like it might need to be adjusted to the rifle, stick type, and at the end of the day shooter’s preference. I’ve been playing with this with the four new custom Mark V Weatherby’s that I purchased this week. Completely different setup with these rifles over the Merkel and Mauser I’ve been using and definitely going to have to spend some quality time at the range to find the optimumal positioning. I’ve been holding the fore stock and sticks but that’s not going to work with these rifles, too much stock real estate in front of my hand position for that.
 

Philip Glass

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One of the things I love about this forum is the Excellent tips, advise, and knowledge that’s so freely shared. Your’s and One Day’s tips for using sticks I’ve been paying close attention to. My feet position I noticed was not optimal, same with how I was pulling the rifle to my shoulder and leaning into the sticks for stability. Going to be working on changing those things as I can see how they all would contribute to improved accuracy and recoil mitigation.

The hand position portion looks like it might need to be adjusted to the rifle, stick type, and at the end of the day shooter’s preference. I’ve been playing with this with the four new custom Mark V Weatherby’s that I purchased this week. Completely different setup with these rifles over the Merkel and Mauser I’ve been using and definitely going to have to spend some quality time at the range to find the optimumal positioning. I’ve been holding the fore stock and sticks but that’s not going to work with these rifles, too much stock real estate in front of my hand position for that.
Thanks. Each person has to find what is comfortable for them when on the sticks. This is why I stress practice instead of trying to demonstrate what I do when It may not work well for everyone.
 

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I looked at @philip 's video and subsequent comments. Very nice!

I am sure Philip will not mind the following thoughts, because he has proven through his writing to be a true AH.com companion.

I only have one observation: a 7mm Mag with Edward’s Recoil Reducer shooting 160 gr bullets is hardly representative of a DG caliber rifle shooting 300 to 500 gr slugs.....................

Here is a video from @BeeMaa shooting the .416 Rem from a 13.5 lbs rifle, which he does very well I might add...
May I suggest one does not try having one's left hand between sling stud and tripod/bipod fork with a .416 or .458 rifle ;)

I would hate to suggest someone tries it to illustrate my point, but I think that everyone understands exactly what I mean :)

This is the ENTIRE point about acquiring ONE proper shooting form that becomes unconscious muscle memory: one's hand does not wander back & forth on the forearm, front or back of the sticks, and it does not matter what caliber one shoots...

This is another example why in the end one needs to shoot a few boxes of ammo with the actual rifle, the actual load, and under actual conditions, before going on safari, to verify that everything comes together. It is better to discover at the home range that, for example, flat nose truncated solids do not feed through one's rifle, or to get a few stiches in the left hand palm web at the local American or European emergency room, than to have this happen in Africa :oops:

Yes, there are "many different ways to skin a cat" (or in this case: to shoot off the sticks), and I guess that both house kitten and Leopard are cats (the same way both 7 Rem / 160 gr and .416 Rem / 400 gr are rifle & load combos), but one should not get distracted in thinking that what works with one will necessary work with another. Just saying :rolleyes:
 
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