Fairly low-recoil, yet still powerful hunting rifle for my aging dad?


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Cheeseybacon
September 27, 2006, 04:26 PM
What do you folks know of that's available in the way of powerful, yet fairly low-recoil rifles? My dad's birthday is coming up, as is deer season and I was thinking about getting him a new rifle since he constantly complains about his present rifle, an ancient 30-06. He says he's getting older and can't take the recoil like he used to. I personally don't mind it, but then again I'm a mere 25. Nevertheless I think I'd like to get him a new rifle if it will make hunting more for him enjoyable in his older age.

I heard him talking a lot about something called a "short magnum" or something to that extent. Basically it had a fat, short case, instead of the longer, smaller-diameter cases. The idea being you get the same amount of power, but somehow having a wider, shorter case effects the manner in which the powder burns/pressure builds, which results in reduced recoil. Anyone know where I'm going with this or am I crazy? :confused:

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usp_fan
September 27, 2006, 04:33 PM
I don't know that the short magnums recoil any less. What I would look for is a gas operated semi-auto rifle like the Browning BAR. I believe John Taffin just reviewed one in the latest issue of GUNS magazine. If he's looking at deer hunting. There are lots of calibers with less recoil than the great 30-06. Maybe a .243 or .260 rem. ?

--usp_fan

wdlsguy
September 27, 2006, 04:34 PM
I suggest something in .243 Winchester.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 27, 2006, 04:37 PM
Have you considered a muzzle brake or mercury-type recoil reducer? Both of these are pretty effective at taming recoil on centerfire rifles and would probably be less expense than a new rifle (plus he maintains familiarity with the rifle).

Plain Old Bill
September 27, 2006, 04:38 PM
6.5 x 55. Great cartridge; use the 140-grain bullets, great penetration.

Jackal
September 27, 2006, 04:55 PM
I have 2 30'06 rifles. One is a Ruger M77 that kicks like a mule and bruises my shoulder with every shot. The other is a Remington 740 gas operated semi-auto that has very little recoil at all. I liken it to shooting my SKS. While the cartridge does matter, the platform matters just as much.

Cheeseybacon
September 27, 2006, 04:55 PM
Interesting, so that short magnum stuff is a load of crap then? :scrutiny:

rbernie
September 27, 2006, 05:28 PM
Free recoil is a function of bullet/ejecta velocity and bullet weight and rifle weight. It's a purely physics kinda thing - a short-mag cartridge will have no more or less recoil than a longer cartridge with the same powder fill with the same bullet weight.

Perceived recoil is governed by how well the rifle fits and the 'shape' of the recoil pulse (sharp and sudden or longer and slower). Semiautos tend to have softer/longer recoil pulses, rifles with straight or Monte Carlo combs tend to 'feel' softer than rifles with dropped combs, and so forth. Of course, you can also alter the recoil pulse with different recoil reducer buffers and recoil pads...

I have also found that NOISE alters a shooter perception of recoil considerably. A longer barrel tends to be quieter than a shorter one.

Spencer
September 27, 2006, 05:31 PM
Seems something like a .280 remington might be good for him.




Oh yes, also, I think it is remington that makes a line of reduced recoil ammunition and I think its available in a .30-06.
I'll have to check up on that though.

miko
September 27, 2006, 05:35 PM
I also recommend a .243 - especially in something like Remington 7400 or 7600.

miko

mp510
September 27, 2006, 05:45 PM
Check out a bolt gun in 7.62x39mm. There are some nice Ruger 77's (synthetic and stainlss) on the used market, as well as various Century (et al) Mauser Sporters.

You get .30-30 ballistics, out of a round that is pretty affordable for practice. You should be good to go for deer sized game at reasonable ranges.

roscoe
September 27, 2006, 06:31 PM
You know, you can get 'managed recoil' hunting ammo from Remington for the .30-06. It is supposed to greatly reduce the recoil, while still maintaining the point of aim out to 150 yards or so. It has been well-reviewed so far and is cheaper than a new gun.

Dave R
September 27, 2006, 06:33 PM
Another vote for 6.5X55.

Europeans use it for Moose! Its probably light for that. Recoil is pretty reasonable, too. Bigger bullet than a .243.

Run&Shoot
September 27, 2006, 06:40 PM
Good suggestion on the managed recoil ammo from Federal and Remington. Also, a newer, better recoil pad could help. Is he currently using 180 gr loads or 150 gr.? The lighter the bullet the less the recoil (typically). The 150 gr load is plenty for deer.

If .30-06 is still too much then the .243 would be great. Really have to be good on the shot placement and no "Idaho heart shots" (as some of us in Washington and Oregon call running away shots, at least when I am around the Idaho side of family).

For a little more power and recoil there is the .260 and .7mm-08 Remingtons, and the 6.5x55 Swede. Even the .270 with 130 gr bullets will be noticeably less than the .30-06.

Cosmoline
September 27, 2006, 06:44 PM
6.5 x 55. Great cartridge; use the 140-grain bullets, great penetration.

Ditto. It's low-recoiling but hits hard.

You get .30-30 ballistics, out of a round that is pretty affordable for practice. You should be good to go for deer sized game at reasonable ranges.

Yes and no. I have worked up 150 grain SP handloads into the range of a .30-30 with the CZ mini-mauser, but it's not that easy to do. The cheap ammo is also no good for serious hunting. And it's not so cheap anymore. Cor-bon's 150's are about the only ones on the market right now I'd suggest for deer.

musher
September 27, 2006, 06:47 PM
25'06 is another good choice in my opinion.

'Card
September 27, 2006, 06:47 PM
One more vote for the 'managed recoil' or 'reduced recoil' ammo from Remington or Federal - rather than a whole new rifle. It's good stuff. Both companies claim it reduces recoil by as much as 50%.

I've tried it, and I don't know if it's a full 50% reduction, but it does make a huge difference.

.38 Special
September 27, 2006, 06:47 PM
Guess I'll come out against the .243. Pretty underwhelming AFAIC.

I like the 6.5s, but IMO you need to use a heavier bullet in that diameter and then put up with reduced range. (I think it's a great choice, especially with a 160 grain round nose, but for folks who like to hunt at 300+ yards, it's no bueno. By the time the bullet is light enough to move fast enough to be effective at long range, it's too light to be seriously effective on big game. IMHO, of course.)

I think the .257 Roberts is a wonderful low-recoil round for anything that's not trying to eat you.

And the 7x57 is simply fantastic.

Aftre having said all that, I'll throw in another vote for reduced recoil .30-06 rounds, unless the old man is really just making excuses to buy a new rifle!

azredhawk44
September 27, 2006, 06:57 PM
I second the idea of changing the bolt action out for a gas semiauto.

My .308 M1A kicks a heck of a lot less than even my .30-30. Granted, it's a heavier gun, but the cartridge is pretty powerful.

An M1A is a bit spendy, though. If it's out of the price range then consider the Remington 7600. It's even available in .30-06 so he can use the same caliber and get reduced recoil from the gas system.

wdlsguy
September 27, 2006, 07:27 PM
Guess I'll come out against the .243. Pretty underwhelming AFAIC.

Lots and lots of dead whitetails would disagree if they could. :neener:

Meatco1
September 27, 2006, 08:04 PM
257 Roberts or 7x57, either will get the job done on anything here in the lower 48, and the recoil is far less the any 30-06, including the BAR.

Richard

Terrierman
September 27, 2006, 09:02 PM
If recoil is the primary consideration, a .243 gas operated semi-auto will be about as mild as it gets and still be a totally capable white tail deer round. Remington 740 or BAR. A full sized bolt rifle in that same caliber with a good recoil pad would be darn mild mannered too. As others have said, the managed recoil .30-06 loads are another viable option. The .257 Roberts is another excellent recommendation with low recoil. When you go up from the .243, given the same platform, recoil follows the laws of physics and increases.

That's why they call them the LAWS of physics, not the usually it works out this way more or less guidelines of physics.

Hazzard
September 27, 2006, 09:06 PM
Could get the old '06 ported or a muzzle brake installed. You couldn't ask for a better caliber for deer than what he's already shooting.

usmccpl
September 27, 2006, 09:10 PM
Find a hand loader and get him to make some loads for the 06 that are reduced. Still kill on the one end but dont cripple on the other end.





one shot one kill

.38 Special
September 27, 2006, 09:19 PM
Lots and lots of dead whitetails would disagree if they could. :neener:
True enough, but the same could be said of the .22 LR.

For broadside shots at unspooked animals at relatively close range, the .243 will certainly do. Otherwise, I'd prefer a bit more oomph. YMMV, as always. :)

Terrierman
September 27, 2006, 09:24 PM
The .243 and .257 Roberts both launch a 100 grain projectile at 3000 FPS. Why is the .243 anemic for whitetail and the Roberts good enough for anything that is not trying to eat you?

.38 Special
September 27, 2006, 09:37 PM
Primarily because I'm a biased old so-and-so.:)

In all seriousness, though, it's that the .257 is most often offered with 117 or 120 grain bullets, while most of the .243 shooters, in my experience, opt for the 80 or 95 grain bullet. The former is capable of handling shoulders and less-than-perfect angles while the latter is not. IMO, of course.

TIMC
September 27, 2006, 09:51 PM
I second the get him a muzzle brake opinion. Take his rifle in and have one installed. They make the gun louder but will reduce about 50% of the recoil. Cost will run you about $200 for a good one installed.

Hazzard
September 27, 2006, 09:53 PM
If you wish to try another caliber, you may want to look at the tried and true 30-30 in either the lever action Marlin or Winchester varieties. Very effective at decent ranges and the recoil is manageable. Both manufacturers make reliable and accurate rifles, although the Marlin would be more inexpensive more than likely.

.38 Special
September 27, 2006, 09:56 PM
I'm one of those fellows who finds the noise and concussion from a muzzle brake more insulting than the physical recoil. And short of simply lopping off the offending experiment, "undoing" a muzzle brake can be a bit of a PITA.

FWIW!

Clipper
September 27, 2006, 09:56 PM
...I have a .25 Winchester super short magnum and I love it. 25-06 performance with low recoil and great accuracy. If your dad wants one, get him what he wants! If he is uncomfortable shooting his '06, I'd stick to the .270 short mag or the .25 super short. Browning chambers the A-bolt in the short and super short mags, and I've never heard of a bum Browning...

rangerruck
September 27, 2006, 10:01 PM
6.5 swedish, is the ultimate best choice here, hands down. 120 to 140 grns, long, flat, straight shooting, mild recoil. either that or my next choice would be an old remmy mohawk or new ruger, chambered in 6mm remmington.

rangerruck
September 27, 2006, 10:04 PM
third kick would be for the 257 roberts. Also the 6.5 swede ammo will be new made or milsurp at gunshows, and will be cheapest. 6.5 milsurp ammo at Houston shows runs about 6 to 7 bucks a box.

redneck2
September 27, 2006, 10:05 PM
FWIW...I have a Marlin 1895 in .45-70. First thing I did (before I even fired it) was to have a really good recoil pad installed. Heard all the stories about the brutal kick and all. Even with pretty good handloads, it's still very reasonable to shoot (for me).

I had a Rem 7400 in .35 Whelen. Plenty big enough for anything in N America. Thought it would kick the snot out of me, but the semi-auto made it quite pleasant to shoot.

Personally, I'd pass on the muzzle brake. I've lost too much of my hearing already.

Point is, a good mid-range caliber with either a super recoil pad or semi-auto should be the ticket.

Since he's a little older (I can relate to that), you can still get something that's light enough to carry.

For whatever reason, synthetic stocks seem to kick harder than wood. Have no idea why.

WYO
September 27, 2006, 10:39 PM
If his .30-06 is that "ancient," it may have a hard butt plate or an age hardened rubber pad. Something as simple as having a Limbsaver installed (with original LOP maintained) could keep him in the game with his original rifle. Otherwise, the .257 Roberts or 6.5x55 could also do the trick.

Cheeseybacon
September 28, 2006, 11:10 AM
If his .30-06 is that "ancient," it may have a hard butt plate or an age hardened rubber pad. Something as simple as having a Limbsaver installed (with original LOP maintained) could keep him in the game with his original rifle. Otherwise, the .257 Roberts or 6.5x55 could also do the trick.

You are correct on that one, it's definately old (he bought it before I was born), and it has super old rock hard rubber pad on the end of the stock. It might as wel not even be there because it doesn't provide squat in the way of recoil reduction. Hmmmm, perhaps a limbsaver would be the way to go. It would certainly be cheaper than buying him a new gun, and I could use the money I save to get him a really nice scope instead. He's using an equally ancient Tasco 4X scope that likes to fog up. Maybe I should plunk down some cash on that and a limbsaver instead.

Hmmmmmmm... Suggestions on a scope?

dogngun
September 28, 2006, 11:22 AM
I agree about the limbsaver. I bought one for my Marlin .35-I have a pacemaker on the right side, my shootin' side, and the limbsaver slip on is the best recoil pad I have ever used. Got it at Walmart for about $20, feels great and my pacemaker and heart are still working.
ALSO:
Try 125 grain bullets on the-06; Remingtons work fine for deer size game, very light recoil, very accurate.
I love my .30-06's, and my old rifles, too.

Mark

foghornl
September 28, 2006, 04:22 PM
Another vote for the GOOD recoil pad and the Rem "reduced recoil" ammo.

The 125-Gr stuff works pretty well and doesn't change POI vs POA much out to 200 Yds, compared to whatever load 'Dad' is using now.

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