Deer Rifle With Least "Kick"


September 18, 2004, 02:34 PM
I'm checking into possibly buying a deer rifle for my father. He got a pacemaker and they had to put it on his right side.

He's determined to rifle hunt, so I thought I might get him something with a lighter kick than his 30-06 Remington autoloader. I think he'll be OK with the 30-06, a heavy coat and an awareness of where the pacemaker's located, but I might as well check around.

The only thing I can think of is a Rem 7400 in .243. It would be nice to somehow make it heavier. I'm also trying to get him to get to know an Encore pistol, but he's not too interested.

Any other suggestions?

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September 18, 2004, 02:43 PM
What about a Remington 700 LTR in .223? Imagine it can't kick that much and doesn't look like an evil black rifle.

September 18, 2004, 02:48 PM
I don't have any personal experience with it, but the Benelli R1 is supposed to shoot significantly softer than the BAR or 7400. It's available in .308, 30-06 and .300 win mag (I assume he'd want the .308) and the barrels are even interchangeable. The only downside is that it's pretty expensive with an MSRP of about $1000.

September 18, 2004, 02:52 PM
The first thing that popped into my head when I read the thread title was .243...

September 18, 2004, 02:59 PM
You could get him to use that "managed recoil" ammo:

basically uses a lighter bullet to reduce recoil. Probably still more than effective enough for deer.

Don't get to buy a new gun that way though... :(


September 18, 2004, 03:05 PM
Owen -- That's an outstanding idea! I'll check out the reduced load 30-06. Does anyone have experience using it in an autoloader? I suppose we could just shoot it single shot.

I can't imagine my Dad willingly shooting an Italian gun (or any gun manufactured by anyone he fought against in WW2), and .223 is illegal in MN for deer. Good ideas though.

Zeke Menuar
September 18, 2004, 03:42 PM
I have a few loads for my 270 that run down in the 2600-2700 fps range. Recoil is non-existant. I think they were 56-57 grains of H4831SC and a 130gr Hornady sp. This is the load my wife likes to shoot.


September 18, 2004, 03:44 PM
the .243 will work fine, itis what my son started with, if you want a little more with no more kick look at the 6.5X55 swed.

September 18, 2004, 04:13 PM
You don't want to simply reload for the '06? That way you could tailor loads, and have a little more "juice" than the Reduced-recoil loads if you so desired.

September 18, 2004, 05:18 PM
I thought .243 first as well. My second thought was 6.5x55 Swede would be good , but somebody with a pacemaker might also appreciate the weight savings with a shorter action, so how about .260 Rem? It's got roughly the same ballistics as the Swede and more lethality than the .243

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
September 18, 2004, 06:27 PM
Yep....6.5x55 in a Model 70 or Ruger 77 or a Remington 7 in .260 would be very nice, not to mention big medicine for deer critters.

Check into the Kick-EEZ recoil system, too.

IMO Better than Pachmayr.


September 18, 2004, 07:08 PM
You might consider a PAST strap on recoil pad too.

September 18, 2004, 07:16 PM
I agree with Rabbit, 6.5 Swede or .260. A classic deer caliber is .257 Roberts! Also see if you can find a Savage 99 in .250-3000.

September 18, 2004, 07:29 PM
Any of the .24 to .26 caliber chamberings would be ideal in a bolt gun or an auto loader. If it were me, I would get an auto loader in .243 Win. or a bolt gun in 6mm Rem.

September 18, 2004, 07:31 PM
Encore rifle in 7mm/08 or 243. The nice thing about the Encore is that he can move up/down the caliber scale as needed.

Matt Sutton
September 18, 2004, 07:47 PM
Ted Nugent uses a .243 Browning BAR. That's about the softest kicker I can think of in a deer rifle.

September 18, 2004, 08:14 PM
My wife uses a 6.5 pound 6.5X.223 Improved. With 120 grain Nosler Partitions at close to 2700fps (well over 2600!) it has negliable kick. My .250 Savage has about the same with 100 grain bullets (weighs close to same too) at about the same velocity. Both these guns have about 60% of the recoil of the tame ole 30-30!:cool:

September 18, 2004, 10:14 PM
I have a customized Mauser chambered in 250-3000. The recoil in that gun is very mild. This is the gun my wife shoots. She is very recoil sensitive but finds the 250-3000 very pleasing to shoot.

Jim Hall

September 18, 2004, 11:24 PM
Another vote for the 6.5x55 or the .260 Rem. These two ballistically identical cartridges (in factory loading) offer very little recoil, with more than adequate downrange performance.

Mr. Big Bore himself, Elmer Keith, stated that 6.5x55 was suitable for deer. Pretty strong endorsement from someone who typically recommended .375 H&H for elk... ;)

cracked butt
September 19, 2004, 03:18 AM
6.5x55- I had my wife shoot one a week ago, she has never shot a centerfire rifle before and expected alot of recoil, but she didn't even notice any recoil with the 6.5.

.257 Roberts and .243 would be good choices too.

September 19, 2004, 08:56 AM
How about a 6.8 or 6.5 Grendel in an AR platform. Recoil is extreamly light with either. Say a flattop w/ scope and an 18.5 inch barrel. Just a thought, plus then he has a EBR :D

September 19, 2004, 10:51 AM
I would vote for a bolt action .243. Stock design matters in keeping recoil down, thus I would go with one with a straight comb design over a monte carlo. This allows the recoil to come more straight back rather than back and downward as with a monte carlo. Also, put a Kick-Eez on there and that should be an accurate and very light recoiling deer rifle.

September 19, 2004, 01:51 PM
Lots of good choices.
Since you want a specific deer caliber rifle that has very little recoil and kills clean I would suggest something in .250-3000 Savage caliber.
Any of the loads using 87 or 100 grain bullets will kill any size deer cleanly.
The caliber meets the minimum power requirements in just about every state and blast and recoil are tolerable.
.250 Savage rifles can be found in bolt and lever guns and I think Remington made a few model 760 pump guns in this caliber too.
I also like the 7mm-08 Remington but think this caliber will belt your dad a bit harder than the .250 Savage.

4v50 Gary
September 19, 2004, 05:40 PM
Pachmayr decelerator recoil pad and have it ported?

September 19, 2004, 11:00 PM
Something like 6.5 Swede in an autoloader seems like a great battle rifle round. The other 6.8 and 6.5 calibers on an AR platform seem pretty cool too.

I think I'll check out the 30-06 managed recoil and a new recoil pad. If it still seems like too much, maybe the BAR or 7400 in .243.

Thanks all -- excellent ideas!

September 20, 2004, 02:59 AM
.260 and 7mm-08 are fantastic deer calibers with low recoil, that have appreciably more punch than a .243.

Your problem is rifle selection. I am sure he would appreciate a lightweight rifle, but they recoil more for any given cartridge. Still, a Remington Mountain Rifle in 7mm-08 would be hard to beat. For a bit lighter, try a Kimber 84 in .260.

Both excellent combinations.

Good luck with your choice.

September 20, 2004, 07:44 AM
The .243 is still a very adequate deer round. It's easy to get ammo for and easy to get rifles for. It makes an excellent first deer gun and makes an excellent low-recoil rifle. You can get a nice .243 by any of the major brands in a short action for not so much money and then spend more money getting a really good scope. You will certainly find rifles with more punch with somewhat more recoil, but that assumes the .243 cannot do the job. It can do the job and even though it is modest and unassuming without any bragging ability built in, it is so very popular because it works. Just my opinion, of course.


September 20, 2004, 09:55 AM
If you're shooting at fairly short ranges (under 100 yards), a Marlin 1894C in .357 magnum is reported to be a very effective deer rifle, and has virtually no recoil.

For that matter, a .30-30 doesn't recoil all that much, either.

September 20, 2004, 10:15 AM
Another vote for .243. It ruined this guys day...

September 20, 2004, 10:34 AM
What kind of range are we talking about?
If it's a short range brush rifle you need, I'd look at a Ruger Mini-30 or Winchester 94 in .30-30.

An SKS would be a cheap and reliable alternative to the Ruger, but a bit heavier.

September 20, 2004, 01:43 PM
If you want a "nice" rifle with low recoil, I'd go for a Browning autoloader in .243. In my experience, the gas action of a Browning tends to "mush out" the recoil noticeably, compared to a bolt action. Put on a thick, soft recoil pad, and add a muzzle brake, and your dad will only get a light tap on his shoulder. (The muzzle brake will make it "bark" a bit more, though.)

An SKS/AK/Mini-30 in 7.62x39 will do the trick, too. There's not much kick to begin with, and if you add a recoil pad or something, it's going to be pretty mild.

A lever action in a magnum handgun caliber should't be ruled out - if you use discretion, a .357 Mag handgun is OK for deer, so out of a rifle - where it should pick up a couple of hundred feet per second - it ought to work well, too. Use a 158 grain or heavier bullet.

If your dad can stand a little bit more recoil, the old 7x57mm Mauser had a reputation for being easy on the shoulder. Use "original" type loads - don't try to hotrod it - and it will do fine.

September 20, 2004, 09:20 PM
Nice buck, Ktulu!

I'm hearing more and more good things about the .243 for deer.

September 20, 2004, 10:17 PM
Used to work with a couple who both hunted. They both used .243 rifles and both always got their deer.

September 20, 2004, 10:25 PM
I love my Remington Classic in 6.5x55. BTW, it shoots the same bullet as the .260 (at least handloads do)

September 21, 2004, 09:45 PM
I agree with aerod1, in that the .250/3000 Savage is quite a little cartridge. This small 1/4 incher has more than enough power for Whitetail. Mine is a Ruger International, rechambered to Ackley Improved.

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