Help me feel better about my new rifle...please?


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Mulliga
January 25, 2004, 01:15 PM
I went to Wally World to pick out a new rifle (I don't have a car, and other gun stores are way too far away and/or are much more expensive on hunting rifles than Wal-Mart). Luckily, I've bought guns from that Wal-Mart before and I know many of the people who work in the sporting goods department. All the usual suspects were there, and I told them what I wanted: a Winchester Model 70 Classic Featherweight in .308. They call their supplier and it's not in stock. So I ask for a multitude of guns - a Ruger M77 in .308, a Tikka T3 in .308, a Browning A-Bolt Hunter in .308 - nothing.

I probably should've walked away right there. But I really, really wanted a nice bolt action and the resident gun guru suggested a Remington 700 (probably because it was the only major brand I hadn't mentioned :) ). He also said .30-06 would probably be better. I raised issues about the quality of the extractor, but he said it was good enough for Florida. I had said earlier I wanted a lightweight rifle, so they checked to see if they had any mountain rifles in stock at their supplier- and, lo and behold, they did.

So now I have a Remington 700 Mountain DM in .30-06 coming to me. I've already paid for half of it, so I can't back out. I bought a Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm scope to go with it, and they're both going to be there within the week. Total cost - 800 bucks - I can just afford it, but I won't be going out to eat any time soon.:rolleyes:

So here's the thing. I'm kinda worried that the 700 Mountain will be too light - it's only about 6-3/4 pounds. The scope adds another pound, but this is still going to be a fairly lightweight .30-06. I'm concerned the recoil will be too much and I'll develop a flinch...does anyone have any tips on how to deal with it?

Thanks for reading my story - and watch out when buy guns from Wal-Mart ;).

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DMK
January 25, 2004, 01:20 PM
If it's too light, you could always add weight. There's often voids in lightweight stocks, especially synthetic stocks. Fill some of these voids with fishing sinkers or BBs. Just make sure to add weight evenly so as not to mess up the balance of the rifle.

Mikul
January 25, 2004, 01:27 PM
The 700 is a good rifle and you've got a nice, portable setup. The weight won't be much of an issue unless you're going to be spending hours at the range with it. I would guess around 80 rounds into it, and you'd be ready to go home. I've fired 5 rounds out of a 7-1/2 pound 700 chambered in .308 and it was no big deal.

There isn't much that you can do to deal with the recoil. While many people dislike them, muzzle brakes are the most effective if they're designed properly. A good gunsmith can install one for a reasonable price. You can also add a decellerator pad on the buttstock to absorb some recoil. Finally, you can add weight. A heavy barrel will put the weight forward a bit, but is going to cost you. Plenty of people drill big holes the stock and fill it will lead or just put bullets in there (they're lead too, right? and removable). A bipod on the front may be an option if you find it useful. It adds weight and it puts it forward.

I would find out if Walmart will do firearm transfers. Since they're an FFL, they can do so legally. That way when they don't stock the rifle that you want, you could buy it from another gunshop and have them ship it to Walmart for you. The only downside is that if you don't like the rifle, you can't blame it on Walmart.;)

Onslaught
January 25, 2004, 01:37 PM
Not what you wanted to hear, but I had a 6 lb Savage .308... which I sold after firing 13 rounds. If you can get through 80 rounds in one session, you're a tougher man than I am...

I also had an 8.5 lb .308, and it was a hard push but nothing painful at all. I could have fired 50 rounds at a time without any problems.

But on the other hand, I have finally admitted that I am recoil sensitive when firing rifles. There's just no padding up there...


You have a good rifle... If you don't like the caliber, you could always look at Midway USA for a new barrel in a lighter recoiling caliber.

I have (almost) learned the hard way that impulse buying and firearms don't go together... I've been impatient many times, and usually regretted it.

Good luck

Mulliga
January 25, 2004, 02:17 PM
Thanks, all.

I'm okay with the 700 action I suppose (not the biggest fan, but at least it's made in America ;)) . I'm happy with the scope. I'm happy with how the rifle looks (the white line spacers on the regular BDL just don't do it for me). But I'm probably going to have to weigh this bad boy down and/or use really light bullets (say, 150 gr. max) in order not to develop a flinch. I'll try the fishing sinker idea (luckily, one of my friend's uncles is a commercial fisherman.

Art Eatman
January 25, 2004, 02:19 PM
First off, I'm not particularly recoil-sensitive, but I'm no masochist, either.

The common '06 load is a 150-grain bullet at around 2,800 or 2,900 ft/sec.

For comparison, I have a 700 Ti in 7mm08. It totals at 6-/14 pounds, hanging on my shoulder. A 140-grain bullet at about 2,900.

So, the energy level isn't a lot below an '06--of which I have several :).

My Ti is not painful from the benchrest, and the recoil is not really noticeable when fired offhand.

The mainest thing is that the rifle fit you. Shorten or lengthen the butt as you need to, for a proper length of pull. That tends to help. (But give consideration to the thickness of the clothing you will wear most of the time when shooting.) Same-o, same-o for the way you hold the rifle: Snug, not loose; but not crammed hard into your shoulder.

IOW, recoil shouldn't be a problem, and whatever does bug you is correctable. And there is no shame in putting some padding between the butt and your shoulder when shooting from the bench. Other people's macho BS doesn't mean squatly doodoo.

:), Art

454c
January 25, 2004, 02:41 PM
You might try a better recoil pad.

Murphster
January 25, 2004, 02:44 PM
I'd recommend using a shoulder pad for practice. PAST and Winchester? make them in several different thicknesses. Back when I used to watch black powder cartridge rifle matches, I think pretty much everyone used them to avoid bruising and (worse for competitors) the dreaded flinch. You can leave it at home when hunting. I use mine for 45-70 (BPCR and smokeless) and with my .375 H&H. Probably ought to use them for other calibers as well.

Mulliga
January 25, 2004, 02:52 PM
How about those ...strap things... (I don't know what the specific term is) that fit over the stock and hold extra cartridges? Seems like an ideal solution - more weight, and more firepower .:D What are these things called, where can I get them, and what do you guys think? :)

I'll definitely try another recoil pad. From the Remingtons I have shot (i.e., my 870 and my uncle's .243), the stock factory pad seems to transmit recoil fairly well.

larryw
January 25, 2004, 03:14 PM
Remington's a good gun. And for every pound you add to the gun, that's an extra pound you have to hump through the bush.

If the recoil bothers you, bolt on padded butt plates are available, but what will that do to the LOP and will the soft rubber hang up as you shoulder the gun? Practice with a rolled up towel between butt and shoulder, wear a PAST shoulder gizmo, slip on butt pad, etc. And practice using field positions: standing, kneeeling, Indian style, etc. Recoil of these light hunting rifles can be bad when firing from a bench because your body doesn't give (and there aren't too many benches available when hunting, so why bother?); these field postions allow your body to give with the recoil instead of being beat by it. Prone is a good field position in low cover, but recoil has nowhere to go but into your shoulder.

When it comes time to fire the gun "for real", trust me, you won't feel it.

One man's opinion: 30-06 is a better hunting cartridge than 308 because of its slightly better velocity.

Relax, you done good. :)

theCZ
January 25, 2004, 03:29 PM
I worried about the same thing with my ultralight model 70 .270. And it was a lot of recoil when I was prone firing at paper, but when I hunt with it I could be firing a 22 for as much recoil as I feel.

Redlg155
January 25, 2004, 03:34 PM
If you can get through 80 rounds in one session, you're a tougher man than I am...

We all know Onslaught is a wuss anyway..he lets a little ol FAL slap him around! :D ;)

Seriously though, A thicker recoil pad and a or recoil shield should help a lot in the recoil department. You won't notice it when firing at deer. As for cartridge, you will soon own one of the most versatile rifle cartridges out there.

$800 bucks for that setup?..OUCH!

You could have gotten by a couple hundred cheaper if you would have went with a standard Rem 700 or Win Mod 70.


Good Shooting
Red

Mulliga
January 25, 2004, 04:05 PM
Yeah, but I'm addicted to the lightweight rifles *kicks himself for starting out with an AK*. And that's 800 bucks after taxes and all that crap.

Another question: the gun guy said that heavier bullets kick less. This is contrary to nearly everything about cartridge design that I've read. What gives? He seems like he has some experience with firearms...is recoil really that subjective?

Black Snowman
January 25, 2004, 04:17 PM
If you reload you can tone down the ammo, recoil pads both for the gun and the kind you wear can make a huge differance too. I have the Winchester Field recoil pad on sale at MidwayUSA.com for $10 and it saved my shoulder shooting my lightweight single shot .30-06. I could barely stand 5 rounds off a bench before and now I can shoot it nearly all day.

MeekandMild
January 25, 2004, 04:50 PM
OK, this is a fixable problem. Two years ago I was unable to enjoy shooting for the same reason. Then last year I got a recoil pad. Mine is a "Past" brand wearable pad and it is so good I'm thinking of using a bigger deer rifle next year or maybe even going on a bear hunt. You've got to try the pad to believe it. It is WONDERFUL!!http://www.outdoorlife.com/outdoor/shooting/article/0,13285,195366,00.html

I don't know how old you are nor what sort of physical shape you are in, but I did one other thing which helped my shoulder immensely. I joined a gym and went twice a week for a year to lift weights. This put muscle on top of those tender bones that get whacked by the rifle butt. Now that I'm in the country I keep the muscles on by digging, hauling wood and other real work.

Fatelvis
January 25, 2004, 04:54 PM
I agree with the Snowman. Do you reload, Mull? If so, try 150 grn bullets, and the 4895`s are great for reduced loads! You could make that `06 feel like a 243.

Mulliga
January 25, 2004, 04:58 PM
Well, looks like I'm going to have to start reloading :).

I'm 5'10" and 165 pounds. I'm a scrawny guy with no muscles :uhoh:. A normal 20 gauge load fired from my 870 doesn't bother me at all, but shotgun shooting is different from rifle shooting. I'll definitely have to start lifting weights...if only I could use my thighs (I bike at least 5 miles a day).

Recoil pads seem to be a sensible solution. Thanks all.

Publicola
January 25, 2004, 05:58 PM
Mulliga,
I'm 5'9" & around 160. I've never met an '06 that hurt.

I think you (as well as people in general) make too much an issue out of recoil. Sure, it'll bother ya if it feels uncomfy, but I think it'd bother you a lot less if it wasn't in your mind that it'd bother ya

Recoil is perceptual & a lot of that perception occurs before you pull the trigger. So first off I'd try not to sweat it so much.

Second is that for many people the flinch comes from the loud noise rather than the rifle kicking you. Wear ear plugs & muffs. That won't affect the actual recoil impulse, but it'll lessen the chances of flinching.

Third is recoil is dependent upon several variables & the easiest of which to change is the ammo you use.

If everything else is equal (gun weight, muzzle velocity, etc...) then a heavier bullet will generate more recoil than a lighter one. But if you load a 180 grain bullet to 2000 fps it will generate less recoil than a 150 grain bullet traveling at 2950 fps. So consider trying a load that generates less recoil. Mil-surp '06 is usually loaded to slower velocities than the commercial stuff of the same bullet weight, & the match stuff is usually loaded to Garand suitable velocities. Those are two lower recoil options for you.

Fourth you can increase gun weight. Adding lead as some suggested will work, but so will recoil tubes made by some companies to dampen kick in heavy hitting calibers. The perfect time to install some weights would be when your gunsmith is installing your recoil pad. Just make sure the weight is in the stock tight & not rattling around.

Fifth, recoil is cumulative. Firing 10 rounds out of a certain caliber may be no sweat, but 100 may be too taxing for ya. Just figure out what your limit is with your '06 & stay below it.

Last, firing from a bench will increase the perceived recoil. Your body can't flex as much & takes the recoil instead of bending with it. So spend a little time on the bench getting sighted in, comparing groups, etc... but do most of your shooting from Standing, Kneeling, Squatting, Sitting or Prone. The higher from the ground you are, the less steady your aim is, but the better you'll be able to handle recoil.


So don't spend too much time thinking about recoil, as that'll amplify it before you even get the sights lined up. If it's a problem after you've shot it then start looking for remedies.

444
January 25, 2004, 06:37 PM
Not trying to be a jerk here, just offering some advice.
It sounds to me like you are absolutely convinced that this rifle is going to have ferocious recoil. And it sounds like you are equally convinced that you are going to devolop a flinch because of it.
I would say you are probably right simply because you have convinced yourself of it before you even fired the rifle.

Again, not trying to pull any chains here, but the kind of recoil we are talking about here is a moderate shove to the shoulder. It isn't like someone is stabbing you with a dagger or something. It is a shove. Surely a shove isn't bad enough to warrant lost sleep is it ?
I fully agree that this rifle will probably have more recoil than a heavier rifle. Ok, no big deal. As was already mentioned, shoot it until you begin to fatigue or become uncomfortable and put it away for the day. I have a couple rifles that exhibit pretty substantial recoil. One example would be my Marlin 444 when using full bore 300 grain handloads. I can fire about 20 rounds from it before my shooting starts to be effected. At that point, I put it away. I also have a .338 Win Mag that is about the same. I fire about 20 rounds an retire to the house.
I think that if you keep an open mind about it and be positive about it from the get go, you will have a very long and happy relationship with your rifle. And you will really appreciate it's weight during those long days afield.

Dave R
January 25, 2004, 06:41 PM
Good advice has been given. I'll just summariz with a few thoughts.

If you're going to hunt/hike with the rifle, adding weight is the last thing I would do. At least adding weight that won't come off. The scope and a good sling will add some weight. Maybe a butt cuff with cartridges, but I'd work on two other things first.

1) Recoil pad. A good one makes a big difference. Don't skimp.

2) Fit. Goes along with 1). The recoil pad can be used to affect fit.

3) Form. If you haven't had an experienced shooter check your form, try it. Costs nothing, and can make a big difference.

When you are at the range, put a sandbag between the butt of the rifle and your shoulder. Let the sandbag take the recoil.

When you are hunting, you'll not notice the recoil. (Unless you have conditioned yourself to flinch).

When you plink, pad your shoulder, and use 1-3. Also feel free to use light loads. Buy loads with light bullets if you don't reload. If you do reload, use reduced loads for plinking. I found a .308 load at about .30-30 levels that hits same POI as my hunting load at 100 yards. I shoot a lot of those.

444
January 25, 2004, 06:48 PM
http://www.remington.com/ammo/centerfire/managed_recoil.htm

Tag
January 25, 2004, 07:33 PM
A good recoil pad will make all the difference.


I only notice the recoil on my .300 WSM when shooting off a bench or prone, and then it's just a quick shove and a loud bang, both of which can be easily ignored with a little practice.

This rifle weighs just over 7.5 lbs. with a scope and bi-pod, so it's relatively light, which adds to the shove/bang factor but is real nice when I'm up to my waist in snow.

here's a link (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=53538&highlight=ducking+the+recoil)

good shooting and keep your eye's open :what: :D

Mulliga
January 25, 2004, 07:56 PM
All right. 444 is probably right. How hard can a .30-06 possibly kick, anyway? I'm not going to be shooting boxes and boxes of the stuff - I'll probably shoot maybe 10 rounds at the range to sight in, and from then on only occasionally on the field. The Mountain Rifle has a slimmer barrel anyhow, so it'll just get more and more inaccurate as it heats up.

Still, thanks for all the help. Expect a range report in a few weeks with pictures :)...

Sharpshooter223
January 26, 2004, 08:32 AM
I would get a pad for your shoulder. Just a strap that goes around your arm and has the padding where the butt of the gun will be. If i'm firing my 7mm mag much then i'm out there using it. No reason to kill your arm while trying to have fun. As far as the rig you picked it was a good choice. The leupold scope is one of the best and reasonably priced for great quality. The rifle is great for hunting especially if you walk a lot with it. And as far as the remington 700 action there's nothing to laugh at there. It's a strong action that is very popular.

Onslaught
January 26, 2004, 12:28 PM
I did one other thing which helped my shoulder immensely. I joined a gym and went twice a week for a year to lift weights.
It's probably just me, and Red's right, I'm just a recoil sissy, :p but having extra muscle in the chest/shoulder area hasn't done anything, and in fact it's more painful because of the sore muscles from working out to begin with.

I'm not bragging, because I'm barely middle of the road in the gym... but I've been working out this time around for nearly three years, and off and on since I was 18 (I'm 34). Before I hurt my wrist a couple months ago, my bench press was up to 295 (again, I ain't bragging, and that's only moderate weight compared to others in the gym who've been there that long, but I say it for reference, and because those are the muscles involved in "padding" the bones...). I'm also definitely overweight, but I don't have any fat on my chest/shoulder area. I would think that a little "pudge" might help.

Again, I'm certainly not argueing with anyone over recoil, as it's a subjective thing. There were 2 other guys with me the first time I fired the 6.5# Savage, and between the three of us we didn't finish the 20 round box.

I was also told by a gun store owner who I know has a lot of experience with his rifles that, in his opinion, Savage rifles have more felt recoil than Remington rifles in the same caliber, although he doesn't know why.

Hopefully, you won't have any problems, and you'll come back and post that you too have joined the growing number of people on this board who believe that I'm a recoil pansey :neener:

goalie
January 26, 2004, 12:40 PM
I would wait until you shoot the thing before you start worrying about the recoil. I have a 7 1/2 pound Remington 700 in .375 H&H Magnum that I will shoot 20 rounds or so off the bench without too much of a problem, and I have had reconstructive shoulder surgery. I also happen to know a guy who talked himself into thinking an AR-15 kicked like a mule. Don't be that guy. :)

MeekandMild
January 26, 2004, 01:30 PM
Onslaught, I think everybody has to (pardon) WEIGH the positives and negatives for themself. For me it was a matter of chronic pain and muscle wasting because a careless nurse hit the nerve in my deltoid giving me a flu shot. I couldn't raise my arm over my head when I started in the weight room. :what:

Redlg155
January 26, 2004, 02:33 PM
Onslaught,

I didn't know you were a fellow gym rat! :D

I'm like you..all the creatine, glutamine, protein powders, vitamins and weights haven't helped me a bit in the recoil department. If anything it feels like I soak up the recoil a bit more than a lanky fellow. At 5'5" and 205 I'm anything but lanky! Hopefully I'll get big enough to do a NPC show one day.

I'm hoping to recieve my DSA FAL within the next couple of weeks. I get to see if I get pimp slapped still. :D

Good Shooting
Red

Larry Ashcraft
January 26, 2004, 02:43 PM
No one has mentioned the Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pads? Try here: http://www.wholesalehunter.com/

I put the thinnest one (3/8" I think) on my 25-06 just because it looked cool, but it really soaks up the recoil. I'm not particularly recoil sensitive, but I'm 5-7, 140 lbs.

Spinner
January 26, 2004, 03:07 PM
A couple of thoughts occur to me.

1) You haven't shot the rifle yet and you're worried that its going to kick like a mule. I'd say try it first and then decide whether you can cope with the recoil or not.

2) Your first shots should be taken from a sitting, kneeling or off hand position so that your torso is upright, your body has a chance to move to absorb and dissipate some of the recoil and you get an idea as to how it feels in a real hunting situation.

3) You should only need to shoot from a bench when you're sighting in the scope. Bore sight the rifle first to get it close - saves on ammo and possibly the shoulder.

4) There is nothing wrong with starting out shooting 150 gr rounds ..... you don't need to start off with 220 gr light magnum loads.

5) Wear good ear protection

6) Recoil is not going to kill you. The rifle is not going to pick you up and toss you on your butt .... in fact a 30.06 is unlikely to develop as much recoil as a 12ga shotgun. At worst its going to be a loud noise and a sharp push on your shoulder that lasts about a second. The other end of the rifle is the dangerous one.

7) The Remington mountain rifle stock is a classic shape that helps to transmit the recoil in a straight line back into your shoulder. Let your upper torso dissipate the recoil by allowing your body to twist and absorb the force .... roll with it.

8) There was an excellent post here a couple of weeks ago about dealing with recoil ...... read it (again).

9) If you try firing it and the recoil really is too unpleasant for you, that's OK. You don't have to be a macho BS gorilla. If you were going to do that it'd be cheaper to ram your head into a wall a few times. Its your choice and if you don't like it, you don't have to put up with it. You can always sell or trade the rifle for the one that you wanted in the first place.

Personally, I find that shooting a 30.06 from the bench or prone I need to concentrate on the target much more .... otherwise I start thinking about the rifle and when the trigger is going to break and what's going to happen then. I've never been hurt by recoil .... its just a shove in the shoulder and a loud noise. Even so I limit the bench and prone shooting and practice from more comfortable shooting positions ..... they're the ones you use in the field most anyway.

Spinner

Sulaco
January 26, 2004, 03:08 PM
I shot a Featherweight Winchester in 30-06 for years (and one in .270 which in my opinion has a harder kick than the '06) and never had any problems.

I am a big fan of the 700 action as is most of the rest of the civilized world. Isn't it the most widely used action in custom builds and precision shooting of all time?

I think you should stop worrying about it. I would love to have the setup you are getting.

Onslaught
January 26, 2004, 03:17 PM
I didn't know you were a fellow gym rat!
Redlg - I've seen some of your pics you've posted firing your 9mm...
I'm taller, but you're bigger :cool: When my daughter was born, I went from 4 days a week religiously to 2 days a week, maybe 3, but sometimes just one... :eek: Hard to "grow" when you're not sleeping!

One thing I haven't mentioned in all of this "group therapy" where I admit to being a wu$$ (ooh, can I say wu$$ here :confused: )

100% of the shots fired through both bolt-action .308's were off the bench, on a bipod or sandbags. I keep reading that this magnifies the "kick".

Whatever the reason... I think I'll just stick to my semi-autos. They don't hurt nearly as much :uhoh:

Best Regards,

Pink Pansey Recoil Sissy :scrutiny:

Mulliga
January 26, 2004, 03:52 PM
Well, I'm going to just ignore the recoil - though I still have a Winchester shoulder pad and a buttstock cartridge holder just in case :). I always wear ear and eye protection anyway - hell, one of my friends is into muzzleloading, and those are loud as hell (though not as loud as a CETME).

I know a bunch of people think highly of the 700 action. Hell, I did, too, except for when I read this classic TFL thread :

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=13813

Since then I have seen snippets of this info repeated in other places (especially the criticism of the recoil lug), but, again, since I don't live in North Dakota or Africa, I shouldn't have any problems with the extractor - hopefully. I have read that the 700, and the 700 Mountain in particular, is quite an accurate rifle.

See here:

http://www.gun-tests.com/performance/may97fixer.html

(He says it's a fixer-upper, but he gets a 5/8" group BEFORE doing anything to it. Pretty damn good to me :) )

Well, after really, really thinking about it, I'm quite happy with my purchase. And all thanks to THR and the great people there :).

Jaywalker
January 26, 2004, 04:21 PM
Black Snowman gave you good advice. With the recoil shield for shooting from a bench, you'll be fine. I wish I had paid Midway $10 for one, though having used it with my .300 win Mag off a bench, would pay double the $30 I did pay! I should buy stock in the company, with all the new magnums being introduced...

Jaywalker

Litefoot
January 26, 2004, 04:46 PM
I've got to agree with the folks who are telling to shoot it before you try to fix it. I think we're trying to resolve a problem that doesn't exist. Since when did 30.06 recoil become ferocious??? Am I missing something here? PLease don't take this the wrong way, but you're worrying too much. You've got a dang fine rifle/scope that I, for one, would love to have. And you couldn't have picked a better caliber. So BE happy.

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