Recoil Comparisons: Bolt-Action Rifle and Pump-Action Shotgun?


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Kylaen
December 15, 2010, 12:15 AM
I was not sure where to post this. I'm looking at a .243 bolt-action carbine rifle vs. a 20-gauge pump-action shotgun. My uncle, an 10-year experienced hunter, says the rifle would kick harder than the 20. I want to start hunting, and I want to get the lighter kicking weapon. Can anybody settle this for me?

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WTBguns10kOK
December 15, 2010, 12:25 AM
If you're hunting places where your shot will be 100 yards and under, buy the shotty, it's more versatile even if having more recoil (using slugs) than the .243. If big game hunting anything over 100 yards, buy the .243, they're fun and accurate. Google Chuck Hawk's recoil table for further explanation of recoil stats.

HOOfan_1
December 15, 2010, 12:29 AM
Depends on the weight of the gun, weight of the projectiles and the size of the powder charge...Assuming a .243 and a 20 gauge of the same weight...the 20 gauge is going to kick a lot harder with pretty much all common loads.

Kylaen
December 15, 2010, 12:42 AM
Oh, forgot to mention I'd probably be at 100-150 yards for deer, maybe other medium game? At that range my uncle says to use slugs in the shotgun. So, a 20-gauge slug or a .243 rifle cartridge?

HOOfan_1
December 15, 2010, 01:28 AM
Unless you are using a fully rifled barrel with a sabot slug, then the rifle is unequivocally the way to go as long as you can legally use a rifle. IMO the rifle is still a better way to go other than the fact that changing barrels on a shotgun can give you an upland bird hunting gun as well as slapping a rifled slug barrel on for deer.

Geckgo
December 15, 2010, 01:58 AM
I practice at the range from rest with my 30-06 and 150gr core-lokts or even 180gr bullets. Neither of them compare to the feel of my neighbors 870 pump action with a full power 3" shell in the chamber. If you want a shotty and you are nervous about the punch of it, try on an automatic, it may be what you are looking for. The .243 is a pretty light cartridge by comparison, or so I am led to believe, but should be sufficient for taking white tails with good bullet placement. I wouldn't hunt moose or elk with it though.

If you have friends with rifles and shotties, ask them if they will let you shoot some, and get a feel for the weapon. For me a 12 ga is a little heavy and even though I can shoulder one, I prefer not to shoot magnum slugs with it, but I will shoot my -06 any day of the week. Chances are that someone you know has a 30-06, .308, .243, and/or shotguns. Try them out. If you are used to a shotgun you might be surprised how light the medium cal rifles can be. If nothing else, get an autoloader.

Just my dime.

Kachok
December 15, 2010, 02:52 AM
While the .243 and 30-30 are great low recoil choices, get a 6.5x55 and you will never look back. It's kick is like a slight breeze even for a beginer (less then a 243 IMHO), and it's downrange killing power is legenadry. According to Chuck Hawks it has a sizable lead in killing power on his lethality index. 18 points for the 100gr 243, 25 points for 170 gr 30-30 and a whopping 30 points for the 140gr 6.5x55. To top it all off it is tipicaly a very accurate cartrage and works well with a wide varity of bullet weights 85-100gr for varmint, 120gr for deer and pronghorn, 140gr for tough game like elk and wild boar, and the heavyweight 160s that have taken every species of big game on earth for over 100 years.
Another thing that makes this such an exellent choice is the Ballistic Coefficient (BC) of it's long slim bullets. It just carries more energy to further ranges then other calibers, my handloads carry ethical deer killing speed and energy (1800fps and 1000 ft lbs) out to 675 YARDS!!! The 243 and 30-30 just do not compare to that. While you will probably never shoot a deer at those kinds of ranges you can see how much more efficient the 6.5mm is. I have owned alot of rifles in alot of calibers including the new high tech short magnums, but my 6.5x55 goes hunting with me 90+% of the time.

natman
December 15, 2010, 03:52 AM
I'd probably be at 100-150 yards for deer, maybe other medium game?

Recoil is not the issue. For that kind of hunting the rifle is the way to go. 150 yards is too far for a 20 ga slug.

Sav .250
December 15, 2010, 10:23 AM
While the 20 ga with the correct slug makes for a good choice....with limits.
The .243 would be the better choice . It`s recoil is minimal compared to the 20 ga.
Fire a 20 ga (with slugs) from the bench at your local gun range......that will tell the tail. That way you`ll know first hand. JMO.

Loyalist Dave
December 15, 2010, 10:55 AM
Yep, all good info..., on paper (note the disclaimer) the 20 gauge launches a heavier projectile, ergo the backward motion is greater, BUT..., does the shotgun have a wider stock area, and a recoil pad, than the rifle? How well does the rifle stock fit you? etc etc, for "recoil" is one thing, "felt" recoil is another....,

I agree the rifle is better for your application, and I second the 6.5x55 Swede...., an amazing round even when launched from a milsurp rifle.

LD

sansone
December 15, 2010, 11:04 AM
20ga high-brass kicks harder than .243 / light low-brass birdshot(#7 or 8) probably not

Art Eatman
December 15, 2010, 11:04 AM
I've tagged some two dozen bucks via my .243 carbine. Seven pounds total, ready to hunt. The recoil is essentially negligible. IMO, it's easily a 200- to 300-yard gun. More IMO: Far more accurate than a shotgun for precise shot placement.

redbullitt
December 15, 2010, 11:09 AM
Id go 243. Recoil is very mild, ammunition is common, loading your own works very well, pretty "flat" shooting, works great on deer size animals, or varmints etc.

Geckgo
December 15, 2010, 11:23 AM
Don't know if it matters, but after learning of the .243 and doing some research, a buddy of mine stopped by the house saying that he would like to buy a 30-06 (like mine) at some point as an all around do-everything gun and I told him to research the .243. It is a very nice all-arounder with low recoil and excellent shot placement.

Sorry for my comments about the 12ga, I didn't read the OP closely enough.

+1 for the 243

sansone
December 15, 2010, 11:25 AM
my pet rifle is .243

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 15, 2010, 01:36 PM
Well Kylaen, My niece hunts deer with a 20 gauge TC pro hunter and is very deadly out to 100 yards with it. That being said, the .243 will have about 1/3 less kick than most any 20 gauge loaded with slugs. Here in Illinois we are limited to shotgun only for deer so she has no choice. Were it me in your position, I would take a long look at the 7mm.08 in a bolt action. While the 6.5 swede is a wonderful cartridge, it is SOMETIMES a bit difficult to find ammunition (if you are not a reloader) and the 7mm.08 has grown VERY common on the store shelves. 140grain 7mm.08 is about the best white tail deer cartridge made. Low recoil (comparable to the .243) with more energy and is VERY accurate out to ranges to 500+ yards. It can also be a good cartridge for Elk as well with the proper bullet and of course shot placement.

ShootALot523
December 15, 2010, 11:30 PM
If you're going to get a 20 gauge, buy the Savage 220F. This is a slug gun built on the famous model 110 rifle receiver . By using the 110 action, this allowed Savage to lock the Model 220's barrel to the receiver just as they do with there centerfire rifles. The barrel is a fully free-floated in a dual pillar-bedded. I live in slug gun country and have shot them all. The top gun smith in my city (who builds custom rifles and pistols) swears it is the best slug gun out there. Unfortunately people get stuck on the names like Remington ,Winchester and Mossberg. This gun has mild recoil, is tight fitting, easy to maneuver and SHOOTS GREAT. When sighting in at my range, I was by far the most accurate shooter at the range that day. It is not because of my ability as a shooter, but rather the quality gun I was shooting. every guy there thought I was shooting a rifle, until they saw the large hole it put on paper. With a good rested shot, and using good slugs like the Barnes tipped expanders, this gun is accurate out to 200 yds. Last year I took 2 deer (80 & 120 yds) this year I took a nice buck at 166 yards, which dropped in his tracks. Even with a rifle, you need to be experienced shooting at longer ranges. If your hunting area is open country with lots of shot opportunities beyond 150 yds, get the rifle. If you choose to go with a slug gun, don't look at any pump gun. Email me if you want more info. Here is a link to an article-
http://www.chuckhawks.com/shooting_slugging_superstar.htm

wombat13
December 16, 2010, 01:35 PM
If you're going to get a 20 gauge, buy the Savage 220F. This is a slug gun built on the famous model 110 rifle receiver . By using the 110 action, this allowed Savage to lock the Model 220's barrel to the receiver just as they do with there centerfire rifles. The barrel is a fully free-floated in a dual pillar-bedded. I live in slug gun country and have shot them all. The top gun smith in my city (who builds custom rifles and pistols) swears it is the best slug gun out there. Unfortunately people get stuck on the names like Remington ,Winchester and Mossberg. This gun has mild recoil, is tight fitting, easy to maneuver and SHOOTS GREAT. When sighting in at my range, I was by far the most accurate shooter at the range that day. It is not because of my ability as a shooter, but rather the quality gun I was shooting. every guy there thought I was shooting a rifle, until they saw the large hole it put on paper. With a good rested shot, and using good slugs like the Barnes tipped expanders, this gun is accurate out to 200 yds. Last year I took 2 deer (80 & 120 yds) this year I took a nice buck at 166 yards, which dropped in his tracks. Even with a rifle, you need to be experienced shooting at longer ranges. If your hunting area is open country with lots of shot opportunities beyond 150 yds, get the rifle. If you choose to go with a slug gun, don't look at any pump gun. Email me if you want more info. Here is a link to an article-
http://www.chuckhawks.com/shooting_slugging_superstar.htm
I've used my FIL's Savage 212 to take three deer over the past few years. It is incredibly accurate. If it has to be a slug gun, then you can't beat the 212 or 220.

oneounceload
December 16, 2010, 01:48 PM
if you google "recoil calculator", you'll come across several places where you plug in the weight of the gun, the velocity of the ejecta and the mass of the ejecta - it will calculate your recoil for you and then you can compare. That will give you ACTUAL recoil. Perceived recoil, aka "kick", will be dependent on the type of gun used, recoil pad and most important - FIT

d2wing
December 16, 2010, 03:36 PM
The .243 with have less recoil, far more accurate and much more lethal. I've hunted with both many times and their is no camparison. I live in a slug zone but I drive a long way to hunt in a rifle zone. I've seen many deer shot with slugs not go down. The only deer I lost was shot at close range through the lungs with a 20 guage. It takes a very good slug gun to hit at 75 yards much less at greater range Guys do it but not on the average. It takes a specialized rifled barrel and sabot slugs and lots of practice. A centerfire rifle does much more tssue damage as well. I've gutted many deer shot both ways.

wombat13
December 16, 2010, 05:28 PM
The .243 with have less recoil, far more accurate and much more lethal. I've hunted with both many times and their is no camparison. I live in a slug zone but I drive a long way to hunt in a rifle zone. I've seen many deer shot with slugs not go down. The only deer I lost was shot at close range through the lungs with a 20 guage. It takes a very good slug gun to hit at 75 yards much less at greater range Guys do it but not on the average. It takes a specialized rifled barrel and sabot slugs and lots of practice. A centerfire rifle does much more tssue damage as well. I've gutted many deer shot both ways.
What you said is absolutely true. The rifle is better in every way; however, if you have to use a slug gun the Savage 212 groups quite nicely at 75 yards.

Last year I took it to the range prior to hunting season to verify the zero. First two shots were right next to each other, 2" high at 75 yards and I put it back in the case. Two weeks later I drilled two doe at a little over 60 yards, DRT.

I wouldn't feel comfortable shooting much beyond 100 - 125 yards because I haven't learned the drop (which is considerable with a slug), but the Savage is incredibly accurate.

d2wing
December 17, 2010, 06:53 PM
Nice to know Wombat, my rifled barrel slug gun has a hard time hitting a cardboard box, from inside it.

ShootALot523
December 22, 2010, 12:02 AM
d2wing,

I agree yet disagree. I was shooting an old single shot when I was 12 and this thing kicks a hell of a lot less than my old guns.
As far as accuracy, yes any rifle should group tighter, however this Savage 220 F is no slouch when it comes to accuracy. I'm not sure what kind of slug gun you shoot, even my cheap old Mossberg 500 shoots "ethical groups" out to 150 yds (with a scope). At 75 yards, you should be shooting no more than a tight fist size group.
There is no way you should loose a deer when you cleanly hit the vitals, especially under 150 yds. If an arrow ,a .357, 10mm or .41 mag can take deer, the 20 gauge certainly is not underpowered. Even the .44 Magnum, which a lot of guys use under 100 yds, with a 240-grain bullet going 1400 fps turns up only 1044 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle! Bowhunting I'd shoot out to 40 yds, and with my .357 I'm comfortable shooting out to 50 yds. So there's no need to be shy shooting a 20 gauge at distances of 100 and beyond if you practice. Deer hit with higher caliber rifles can run a bit too, but not far enough that you can't track them.
It takes 1,000 ft-lbs. of energy to kill a deer; with that number in mind the 20-gauge has plenty of power. The Winchester Supreme 2 -inch 20-gauge Partition Gold load, has a muzzle velocity of 1900 fps and energy of 2,084 ft.-lbs.

Kachok
December 22, 2010, 12:20 AM
I did a detailed comparison of "sissy kickers" on my first "head to head". The 260rem, 7mm-08, 6.5x55, and 257 Roberts all did very well and had under 14lbs of recoil. I would take any one of those over any shotgun slug 20ga or otherwise. The 243 did really good in the trajectory department, just a little lacking in the 300yd killing power test, although within shotgun range it would be plenty of power for any deer that ever walked the earth. 100gr corelocks/Fusions and 95gr ballistic tips rank among the best easy to find factory loads while 100gr gamekings top the list for handloaders.

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