Stock design does make a difference, but physics are physics. Equal rifles shooting the same weight bullet to the same velocity will be roughly equal in recoil.Sess
My shoulder can certainly tell the difference. The 338 seems to slap me around like going a few rounds with Mike Tyson.
My Whelen on the other hand seems like a big push by comparison.
It may have had something to do with the stock. The 338 was in a Winchester model 70 where as my Whelen is a Savage stock that seems to fit me like it was custom made for me. Winchester, Remington sako and a few others feel like a a crowbar in a fence post or a knitting needle in an axe handle and just don't feel right.