Help. My 30-06 is beating me to death


May 5, 2012, 05:50 PM
I have a brand new Ruger American 30-06. I shot it for the first time today, and after 6 rounds I couldn't go on. I am 6'1" 210lb. I am holding the rifle firm against my shoulder, and it felt like my old 300 win mag. Is this a manufacturer issue or maybe I need to go down to .243 or even .308. I don't want to have a gun that just sits because it isn't fun to shoot. Can someone maybe give a breakdown on the recoil by caliber? It may also be entirely my technique. I'm just very disappointed that I feel like I just shot a couple of boxes of 12ga 00 buck.


If you enjoyed reading about "Help. My 30-06 is beating me to death" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
May 5, 2012, 05:55 PM
have you tried "air-soft" ? :)

May 5, 2012, 05:57 PM
Thanks Smarty.

Sergeant Sabre
May 5, 2012, 05:57 PM
Are you shooting from a bench? If so, that could be the problem. I had a .300WSM that was a beast from the bench, but off-hand it was really quite manageable.

I think the problem is this: When you are shooting from a bench, you end up hunched down with most of your body straight behind the rifle. Your body can't move and roll with the shot, so the rifle just pile-drives into your shoulder. When shooting off-hand your body is more straight up-and-down, with only the shoulder behind the rifle. Your body moves with the recoil, spreading the duration of the recoil action out some.

Shoot from the bench only to get sighted in. Use a shoulder pad or sand bag between your shoulder and rifle if you have to. After that, practice shooting standing and kneeling.

May 5, 2012, 05:57 PM
Heavier rifle or lighter ammo.

For sighting in and suchlike get a good shoulder recoil pad.

If that doesn't work switch it out to a lighter caliber.

What's the intended use of the rifle? .30-06 is a might bit much for plinking cans...


May 5, 2012, 05:58 PM
That could be it though. Maybe I'm a wuss.

Uncle Grinch
May 5, 2012, 05:58 PM
You didn't say what load you are shooting or what you are shooting at.

There are many choices.... youi can use a lighter bullet (if it is applicable for your target), you can change the recoil pad, or you can use Remington's Managed Recoil ammo.

It may even be the technique you use when shooting.

May 5, 2012, 06:02 PM
I was shooting from a bench with no support but me for the rifle. Intended use is food on the table. I will try again with a sandbag and shoulder relief. Glad to hear that what I was doing was probably causing me the pain. I could not get it sighted in due to being distracted by what I knew was coming next. :)

Ky Larry
May 5, 2012, 06:05 PM
I looked at a Ruger American at Buds last week. Seemed to be a good rifle for the money but it was very light. I think it would be a very good rifle to carry all day but not to shoot all day. To me it is a hunting rifle, not a plinking rifle. You could try folding a small hand towel and placing it between your shoulder and the stock. Good luck.

May 5, 2012, 06:07 PM
I don't think sandbags will make it better. Try a folded up towel or something, you will likely be hunting with a heavy coat anyway. Or try dove hunting with a 12 will get used to bruised shoulders if the shooting is good.

May 5, 2012, 06:13 PM
Try going with a good aftermarket replacement recoil pad.

The 30-06 is definitely not in the "bruiser" category as far as recoil is concerned. However, just about any respectable caliber will hurt if the rifle does not fit you. That is where the recoil pad can be a big help.

You did mention that it could have been your technique. I would try the crane stance (ala Karate Kid style) with the left leg raised about waist level. Take your hat and place it sideways on your head in the opposite direction of your rifling twist....don't skip this as it is very important. Have a volunteer take a switch and hit your buttocks at the exact moment you pull the trigger. That should help your technique.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Bullet Bob
May 5, 2012, 06:14 PM
It's hard to say without seeing you shoot, but some rifles recoil more for some people because of the rifle dimensions and the persons build.

A PAST recoil pad that you can wear would probably be of some use from the bench. I do think sandbags could help, because if you're not leaning forward to support the forend with your left arm, you can ride the recoil easier.

May 5, 2012, 06:16 PM
I've always considered a 30-06 to be a very mild recoiling round even off the bench. My 115 pound wife shoots a 6.5 pound Model 70 Featherweight for hours without any issues whatsoever.

May 5, 2012, 06:22 PM
I'd suggest a recoil pad. A friend of mine has a 300 WSM with just a generic Remington recoil pad; I'm 6', 185lbs and I will shoot that thing all day. He loads his rounds hot too, it feels like getting hit in the shoulder with a sledgehammer made of marshmallows. I absolutely love it.

As far as recoil by caliber, I like Chuck Hawks:

T Bran
May 5, 2012, 06:24 PM
Put a grind to fit Limbsaver pad on it and dont grind any off of the shoulder end of the pad. Just grind it to fit the stock it will be an angle cut/grind but it really spreads the pressure out evenly. This made a world of difference on several of my hard kickers.
If you try it again without any mods to you or the rifle and it still hurts stop before you end up with a flinch as they are tough to overcome.

Edit to add.
If you need to add weight to the gun some birdshot in the stock really works well.
Be sure that it cant migrate to any moving parts.
I do this to 12ga singleshots a lot but try a good pad first.

May 5, 2012, 06:31 PM
PAST field model recoil shield would help, as would a good shooting coat. Good recoil pad. Beyond that, try lighter bullets. Next comes a heavier gun or lighter caliber.

May 5, 2012, 06:42 PM
Let someone else at the range shoot your rifle and ask them if it feels "normal" for a .30-06 before you go any further. Yah, I doubt the rifle is at fault, but get that variable out of the way first before you start banging your head.

May 5, 2012, 06:54 PM
There are reduced recoil 30-06 loads available. It sounds like if you had a heavier rifle it would be a lot more comfortable to shoot.

May 5, 2012, 06:59 PM
243 or 270, dump the 06. It's an inefficient cartridge that puts more on the recoil end then you get on the muzzle end. There are endless smaller calibers that kill just as quickly with negligible recoil. That's just my personal opinion. Lots of folks stand by the trusty old 06 but I've never seen the attraction myself. I have an extensive arsenal here and don't even own one. (here they come!)

May 5, 2012, 06:59 PM
Those 180 grners can be stout on recoil. Shoot more and you will get used to it.

May 5, 2012, 07:01 PM
If you try the .25 06, it be a cakewalk . Now the Garand is a breeze to shoot . Its gas operated so thats another thing.

May 5, 2012, 07:02 PM
Get a PAST recoil shield. Works like a charm.

Vern Humphrey
May 5, 2012, 07:14 PM
My favorite rifle is Fionn MacCumhaill, a Winchester Model 70 made in 1938. This rifle has a steel buttplate and is stocked for iron sights, so it has a low comb, which contributes to recoil with a smack on the cheek.

When shooting from the bench, I get my body behind the gun and let the mass of the body absorb the recoil -- but once sighted in, I practice almost exclusively from the standing, unsupported position, which makes recoil much more tolerable.

Of course, I grew up shooting a M1917 Enfield and an 03A3 Springfield, so maybe I'm aclimitized to recoil.

Mike J
May 5, 2012, 07:15 PM
You mentioned your shoulder being sore. I don't know for sure but it may be where you are holding the rifle. If I hold a rifle with the butt on my shoulder (upper arm) it hurts. The buttstock is supposed to be in the pocket where your shoulder & chest meet. It is the spot where things bend if you reach out in front of you with your arm. This might not be the problem & someone else can probably describe the proper technique better but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

May 5, 2012, 07:17 PM
I shoot quite a lot, but unlike some of the he-men I use a PAST shoulder pad whenever I am shooting anything with more recoil than my .243 off a bench. And since my .243 weighs 12.9 pounds I don't use additional recoil protection with that. But the .308's and 30-06 there is no reason not to use one, why beat yourself up.

May 5, 2012, 07:20 PM
go to walmart. buy a funoodle pool floatie with the hole in the center. cut off 7", then slit lengthwise. slip it over your butstock. see if that works for you as far as reducing recoil. you can give the rest of the floatie to the kids. if it works for you, you can get an aftermarket recoil pad that is more aesthetically pleasing. no point in adding a pad if it's still not going to be enough for you.

I recently added a big squishy shotgun pad to a heavy 257 roberts. (not known as a bruiser) I just found it far more pleasant to shoot.

May 5, 2012, 07:22 PM
For food on the table shooting you're not going to notice the kick. Try some lighter loads, though.

dagger dog
May 5, 2012, 07:34 PM
Sometimes a new rifle takes some time getting used to.

I just took a look at the rifle on Rugers web site, it does look like the stock has a little more drop at the heel, more than the M77 or Hawkeye. That can contribute to a little more muzzle rise on recoil.

Vern has a solid point, the gun isn't really made to shoot from the bench and that could be the reason for the extra felt recoil. I have a M77VT .308 it has a bench stock hardly any drop and a wide forearm for shooting off bags or rest.When I get sloppy in my form it gets to popping me pretty hard.

Give your form an honest evaluation and see if it's that and the combo of a new gun, especially before giving up on the gun.

May 5, 2012, 07:37 PM
pachmeyer magnum decellerator buttstock pad,

May 5, 2012, 07:43 PM
I would install a one inch thick Pachmayr decelerator recoil pad with a length of pull that is comfortable to shoot with a light jacket. Then I would try some Sierra or Speer 150 grain boattail handloads with 48 grains of IMR 4064. Recoil will be noticably lighter but your velocity will still be around 2700 fps. It has been fashionable in later years for stocks to be made without a cheekpiece and to me they seem to have more recoil because the shooter can't place the cheek in tight to the stock. BW

May 5, 2012, 07:49 PM
5 pound bag of shot between the butt and your shoulder.

May 5, 2012, 07:59 PM
pachmeyer magnum decellerator buttstock pad,I had an 1895 Marlin in .45-70. First thing I did was add one of these. I shot some VERY heavy loads rated for these lever action rifles. As in nearly .458 Win Mag levels. Recoil was fine.

The macho men here can carry on about how tough they are. At my age, I've figured out that pain hurts and if there alternatives I'm gonna take them.

Honestly,I suspect that it's bench shooting more than anything, but the new pad REALLY helps.

May 5, 2012, 08:16 PM
My J. C Higgins M50 in 30-06 is a very light rifle and with its plastic buttplate, it was not fun to shoot. So I put on a hard rubber recoil pad. That made the recoil tolerable.

The 30-06 was originally shot in 8 to 9 pound M1903 Springfield rifles and even then, the recoil was described as vicious. You just have to shoot a steel butt plate straight grip 03 to understand that vicious is an accurate description.

If you want to cut felt recoil try 125 grain bullets. The 270 Win gained its reputation with 130 grain bullets, a 125 or 130 out of a 30-06 has about 100 fps more velocity than a 270 Win and should perform just fine.

May 5, 2012, 08:40 PM
Wrong length of pull and scope height will increase felt recoil. Get the LOP and scope height adjusted to fit you and install a good recoil pad like the Pachmyr Declerator and felt recoil will be reduced

May 5, 2012, 08:56 PM
I have a limbsaver on both my 30-06 it makes quite a difference. I did put a muzzle break on one of them out of necessity after I dislocated my shoulder. It feels like a 243, but the only bad thing about it is anyone withing 100 yds will have their ear drums blown.

Now that my shoulder is healed the limbsavers makes it very nice and I don't get dirty looks at the range anymore since I no longer use the break.

May 5, 2012, 09:42 PM
The Ruger American weighs just over 6 lbs in 30-06. One of the lightest available. Some are more recoil tolerant than others. I've no doubt it is a good rifle, but maybe not a good choice for you.

I'd suggest a heavy scope, and possibly filling the hollow buttstock with something to add a little weight. They already come with a pretty good pad on those.

Personally I like lightweight rifles, I have 5 lb. 308's and have owned 6 lb. 300 win mags in the past, but a heavier rifle might be more to your liking.

May 5, 2012, 10:03 PM
When I go shooting with my Mosin I just grab an old towel and drape it over my shoulder. The soft towel absorbs a great deal of the recoil and unpleasantness provided by the steel buttplate. I'd assume it would work well for you as well.

May 5, 2012, 10:38 PM
Federal makes low recoil rounds.
But ask yourself: "Why do I need/want a 30-06
I traded for a 4 digit Winchester 88 in .308 and after one trip to the range traded for a Winchester 1897. My next rifle was a 257 Roberts.

Art Eatman
May 5, 2012, 10:50 PM
I commonly place a small sandbag behind the butt pad when at the bench rest. That adds to the apparent weight which is under recoil, as if adding about a pound to the rifle itself. It also spreads the impact across a wider area.

And I'd install one of the above-mentioned recoil pads...

Papa G's comment has merit, but it seems like a bit of overkill. :D

May 5, 2012, 11:05 PM
I understand where you're coming from. There are intangible factors that influence how any particular shooter and stock interact. I'm relatively insensitive to recoil--when I get the opportunity to shoot I usually make a day of it and shoot a whole bunch of rounds from my various centerfire rifles. It's not uncommon for me to shoot 100 centerfire rounds from hunting rifles off the bench in a day.

I say that not to brag but as context for this statement: two of the most painful shooting rifles I own are a 44 magnum Marlin and a Tikka lightweight 308. Neither of those are remotely thought of as 'heavy' calibers but there's something about the particular stock designs of those two guns that really makes them unpleasant. The 44 lever gun seems to be especially bad because I'm a lefty--my cheek really takes a pounding. I would rather shoot a full-power milsurp with a metal buttplate than that little rifle chambered for a handgun cartridge.

For sighting in and shooting from a bench the others have given you plenty of good advice: get a PAST recoil shield or use a folded towel. On game you won't feel the recoil or even hear the shot.

May 6, 2012, 01:40 AM
I would say evaluate your form, make sure you're not too low on the bench where too much of your body is behind the rifle and you have room to roll with the recoil. Next try a recoil pad like others have suggested. Make sure the LOP and all fits you as well. Too short a stock can always be a big issue.

May 6, 2012, 04:50 AM
Not trying to be a jerk, but are you sure you are holding it right? Lots of people have problems when they put the butt to far inside or outside of the pocket in the shoulder or they don't raise their elbow (about parallel to the ground) enough. Once they get proper stance and hold, they find 12 gauge isn't too bad.

May 6, 2012, 04:50 AM
In one word: Limbsaver.

It helped me out with my .270 WSM

May 6, 2012, 07:29 AM
Ruger American weighs in at 6.25#, add a base, rings, and a scope, and you add another lb...

Anything over 7#'s in an aught-six is fine...

But then, been shooting them since I was 7...

May 6, 2012, 08:55 AM
If you're looking for a cheaper recoil pad, give this some thought.

Carne Frio
May 6, 2012, 09:02 AM
Limbsavers work great. Also, for bench
shooting, a Lead Sled takes out all of the kick.

May 6, 2012, 09:39 AM
If the rifle is not already to long try a small sandbag between your shoulder & the rifle.

May 6, 2012, 09:42 AM
You need to shoot the rifle more to condition your shoulder to the recoil. How much rifle shooting have you been doing lately. If you have not been shooting at all, see sentence number one. When I don't shoot my short Mosin Nagants for a while, the recoil is a bit stiff until I shoot them on a regular basis and my body is conditioned to the recoil. Try shooting from a standing position. That way your body can more easily absorb the recoil. As posted above, get a recoil pad. There are alot of good ones on the market today....chris3

May 6, 2012, 10:26 AM
From what I've seen over the years shooting the clay games and rifles, a man 6' 1 and 210 is going to absorb all the recoil from said gun. Smaller framed and lighter shooters seem to flex a lot more and are not bothered by recoil as much. Not carved in stone, but just what I've experienced.

May 6, 2012, 10:32 AM
^ i agree my scrawny 130lb 5'9" frame can handle full 180 or 220 gr loads up to around 30 rnds before i get tired of it

35 Whelen
May 6, 2012, 11:38 AM
I have a brand new Ruger American 30-06. I shot it for the first time today, and after 6 rounds I couldn't go on. I am 6'1" 210lb. I am holding the rifle firm against my shoulder, and it felt like my old 300 win mag. Is this a manufacturer issue or maybe I need to go down to .243 or even .308. I don't want to have a gun that just sits because it isn't fun to shoot. Can someone maybe give a breakdown on the recoil by caliber? It may also be entirely my technique. I'm just very disappointed that I feel like I just shot a couple of boxes of 12ga 00 buck.

The causes and amount of felt recoil can vary greatly as there are many, many determining factors. The first and most obvious is cartridge and load. The heavier the bullet, the more the recoil. The rifles stock design can greatly add to or take from percieved recoil. Buttstocks with lots of drop greatly raise the amount of recoil perceived where a relatively straight stock can reduce it. My Dad has a CZ 9.3x62mm that when fired with 286 gr. bullets at close to 2400 fps beats the soup out of me. Ditto for a little Husqvarna 30-06. Conversely, my custom 358 Norma Mag firing 225 gr. TSX's at 3000 fps or 250 gr. Noslers at 2800 is n big deal. The difference? The CZ and Husky, are both European rifles designed to be fired with open sights so it has alot of drop in the buttstock. The 358 is an American designed rifle with a relatively straight stock.

If you have a scope with a gigantic objective lens (over 40mm) then the scope likely had to be mounted using tall rings so the objective lens would clear the barrel. Mounting a scope as such raises it higher off the receiver which means the shooter typically rests his jaw on the stock instead of his cheek. Shooting this way hurts as it's very difficult to get a nice, firm cheek weld. If this is the case, get a smaller scope. (Don't tell anyone this little secret, but 99% of the big game hunting in this country could be accomplished with a 3-9x40mm scope, and realistically, a 2-7x32mm.) Shhh......

Recoil tolerance is something that can be acquired as I've seen it many, many times, most notably in myself. If you handload, begin by loading lighter loads and increase them slowly and incrementally as your tolerance increases. If not, shoot the reduced loads offered by Federal and Remington until you are comfortable shooting the rifle.

Personally I'd steer way clear of devices like Lead Sleds and the strap-on shoulder protectors unless you can figure out a way to use them in the field. Using these devices just delays the inevitable.


May 6, 2012, 12:31 PM
Nobody suggests a compensator? Sure, he'd have to get his barrel threaded, but it would cut recoil significantly. Complemented by a buttpad and it would probably go from a beast to a beauty.

Seems like the extra noise and side blast would be ok for hunting, no?

May 6, 2012, 12:51 PM
The main selling point of the Ruger American is its lightweight, couple that with a full sized rifle caliber like the 06 and a good mule like kick is a given. To minimize this kick for sight in at the bench sit lower so you upper body is more upright and not hunched over the gun. The butt should be in the same positon as if you were shooting off hand, this will let your body move with the recoil as if you were standing rather than pounding the top of your shoulder when anchoring you body to the bench.

May 6, 2012, 02:28 PM
If it hasn't been covered yet, learn to reload. Then come up with a handload that doesn't rattle your teeth out when the rifle cracks.

bigger hammer
May 6, 2012, 02:32 PM
I've got a shoulder that needs surgery and so I don't shoot off the bench anymore unless I use my Caldwell Lead Sled. I put a two 25 pound bags of lead shot on the weight tray and it lets me shoot all my heavy recoiling rifles with no problems.

If you go this way, don't use the cloth bags that the shot comes packaged in. When the rifle recoils, it shakes the bags of shot and puts lead powder into the air, right under your face. I double seal the shot into vacuum bags and then put them into a nylon bag.

In the field, I avoid going prone, so my stance is more upright and it's easier to absorb the recoil.

Mr. T
May 6, 2012, 02:38 PM
I have a few ideas. For starters you could drop your bullet weight down to say 150 grains; and next look at getting a limbsaver butt pad installed. I did it for one of my rifles that my son uses and it made all the difference in the world to him. Another thing we did when he was really young was we used reduced recoil ammunition. The ammunition's point of aim was exactly the same out to 200 yards. You could practice with the reduced recoil ammunition and hunt with the standard ammo also.

May 6, 2012, 02:44 PM
I have had some rifle that just try to stomp you. Namely the last Savage 110 30-06. I have horrible back problems and cannot believe the difference in the Savage 110 and the Rem 700. I have had to retire my Savages and go to Remington. Maybe you have a Ruger that is like the last few Savages I've owned. I even had a 110 .270 split the factory wooden stock. That being said the limbsaver will help. I shoot a Rem 700 in .308 very very regularly and the 30-06 a couple times a month. The way I grip the Savage is slightly different than my Remingtons too. So I feel your pain"literaly", but it has never been enough to make me quit shooting the calibers.

May 7, 2012, 03:51 AM
Nobody suggests a compensator? Sure, he'd have to get his barrel threaded, but it would cut recoil significantly. Complemented by a buttpad and it would probably go from a beast to a beauty.

Seems like the extra noise and side blast would be ok for hunting, no?

No. My experience with most muzzle brakes are that I'd rather deal with the recoil than the added blast

May 7, 2012, 05:23 AM
+1, Not so good for hunting.

35 Whelen
May 7, 2012, 07:49 AM
No. My experience with most muzzle brakes are that I'd rather deal with the recoil than the added blast

^^^^^ What he said.

May 7, 2012, 09:02 AM
If you use the rifle for hunting, when you pull the trigger on game, you won't feel the recoil or hear the muzzle blast anyway..............chris3

May 7, 2012, 12:34 PM
If you use the rifle for hunting, when you pull the trigger on game, you won't feel the recoil or hear the muzzle blast anyway..............chris3
This is true. But for practice or plinking, use a lead-sled or something.

Or just get a muzzle brake installed on your rifle. I had the same problem with a Browning x-bolt in .308. I tried the pads and a recoil-reducer installed in the stock. All helped, but I was still developing a flinch. Got a muzzle brake installed and now it feels like a .223. You will HAVE to wear hearing protection while shooting with it, but booooy will it feel nice to shoot it.

Another thing you could do is make the rifle heavier. Many of my friends with synthetic stocks fill the hollow in the buttstock with lead shot and it works great.

May 7, 2012, 12:40 PM
If you use the rifle for hunting, when you pull the trigger on game, you won't feel the recoil or hear the muzzle blast anyway

Yes, but if the recoil has gotten to you at the range, you still might anticipate the shot and make a poor hit (or clean miss).

May 7, 2012, 08:16 PM
I have to agree with Ball 3006. I have a feather weight '06 which boots like a mean mule. When the cross hairs are on a deer, the rifle doesn't kick and it doesn't make a lot of boom. The deer falls down dead.

My rifle is handy in the field because it's not real heavy. I would rather it be this way because I carry it more than I shoot it. Not trying to be a smart sss but learn to live through the boot and enjoy the rifle. I had to learn trigger control because I know the boot is comming.

I loaded up some 130 gr Speer HP's for some project I was working on and discovered I could shoot the 130's all day and not hurt. Tim

May 7, 2012, 08:28 PM
I had the same issue, bought a Tikka T-3 Lite in 30.06 and it kicked like a mule on steroids with 180 gr Noslers, I put a limbsaver on it and it was the best money I ever spent as it no longer thumps as bad............

May 7, 2012, 10:18 PM
I basically felt the same way, that the recoil from the .30-06 was more unpleasant than I liked. So I got rid of the gun, and it was a really nice one. A Winchester Model 70 Super Grade.

I have rifles in 7x57 Mauser, 6.5x55 Swede and .257 Roberts for hunting N. American game. They should all do the job with well placed, well constructed bullets, and when the shooter does his job. Because all of the above rifles are pleasant to shoot, I can shoot them often and well, and accordingly, I have confidence that when I hunt, I will bring game home.

Try all or some of the suggestions, but in the end if you still have a gun that is unpleasant to shoot, you might consider getting rid of it for something else.

May 8, 2012, 04:47 AM
there has been lots of advice issued on this thread. Can i suggest that the OP breaks down his shooting and starts afresh by looking at how he holds and shoulders the rifle. I think that these are the blocks he needs to start with. the more he shoots whilst getting beaten up the more he will flinch and the worse it will get. If you have access to a .22rf then use it and practise a lot with it. This will overcome the accuracy destroying flinch.

May 8, 2012, 08:37 AM
At 6 and a quarter pounds (without scope) the Ruger American is light but hardly a featherweight. It looks like it already has a decent recoil pad too. 30-06 is stout but can hardly be considered abusive.

I'd say that means the culprit is the shooter's form or the fittment between the rifle and the shooter.

May 8, 2012, 08:57 AM
Tikka T3 Lites tend to turn into meat tenderizers after a few rounds of 180 grainers, especially with the Federal HE loads. I put a Limbsaver on mine and tamed it down quite a bit.

May 8, 2012, 08:59 AM
I hunt with a sporterized 1903A3 with a very light stock. The same as you, after a half a dozen shots, my shoulder is worn out. Until I bought one of these:,0,1551,903&scl=4.081578947368421&fmt=jpeg&id=396UAE5waKY4DxJZB9AWKs

Now I can shoot all day. When hunting I rarely shoot more than one or two rounds so no pad necessary.

May 8, 2012, 09:04 AM
Creature, that is very nice. Good colors and all.

What brand is it? I'd be interested in a shooting pad like that, or maybe even a vest that has pockets for ammo. Most of the shooting vests I've seen are just mesh overlays.

May 8, 2012, 09:21 AM
Cabelas for $30.

May 8, 2012, 09:29 AM
I shoot a couple of 30-06's on a regular basis including a Wally World Savage, a Remington 700, a Remington 742 and occasionally a Mossberg. I use a Lead-Sled for target practice because I can shoot all of the above guns without recoil consideration which means I can judge the accuracy of the gun/scope combo without worrying about my form and such. If I know the gun is accurate then I am more confident in my ability to be accurate without the lead sled. The Rem 700(1968) kicks harder than any of the rest. I have begun to experiment with the reduced recoil loads and they seem to perform well though I have not yet shot a deer with the ammo. I have seldom felt the recoil of any gun when shooting at a deer.
I did get my Swedish Mauser drilled and tapped and have fired two boxes through it so far. Recoil is negligible and it is quite accurate out to 200 yards which os all I ever shoot.

May 8, 2012, 09:39 AM
I have problem with Ruger's stock design also. It kicks the crap out of me no matter what cartridge I'm shooting. I would suggest a new stock of a different design from McMillan. That way you upgrade the stock, get the LOP that fits you, and a better recoil pad. At a minimum, get a new recoil pad.

May 8, 2012, 09:44 AM
I put a B&C stock on my Savage 7mm and the difference was like night and day. With the factory stock I would get a headache starting at the base of my neck after just a few shots off the bench. The new stock and thick recoil pad make it much more pleasant. I would also suggest you get a bipod and try shooting prone. My rifles seem much more manageable when you get them off the bench.

May 8, 2012, 09:46 AM
Grip the rifle firmly.

May 8, 2012, 09:49 AM

Grip the rifle firmly.

He already said he is.

May 8, 2012, 10:56 AM
Actually a heavier bullet can reduce your recoil. It seems counter-intuitive but they can have less muzzle energy. Less muzzle energy means less recoil. Heavier bullets use less powder than a lighter one.

A 110gr bullet at 3000 fps has about 2200 foot pounds of energy. A 180gr at 2300 has 2114.

Recoil pad and loads with less muzzle energy.

May 8, 2012, 11:02 AM
Pushing into the shoulder is not my idea of a firm grip. Shooting off bags with loose hand grip is a recipe for bruising.

May 8, 2012, 11:42 AM
Well stellar advice then.

May 8, 2012, 11:46 AM
Plenty of good advice here. I'm one of those folks who are relatively recoil-tolerant. Maybe it's because I've been shooting center-fire rifles for a long time. I'm pretty much a little guy - 5'7" and about 160lbs. I have definitely found that a higher, straighter combed stock reduces felt recoil. A friend of mine bought a used Rem 700BDL 7MM Rem Mag and he hated shooting it. He bought a straight combed thumbhole walnut stock (ugly as sin, but some guys like thumbholes, I guess) and it tamed that gun right down.
I hunt with an 8lb Mauser chambered for 30-40AI, which is pretty much a 30-06. It has a steel butt plate on the sporterized military stock. Only when shooting from the bench do I notice the kick. I always use a shoulder pad when sighting in at the bench. I don't shoot from a bench unless sighting in or developing a load, and I've found '06-class rifles to be easy to shoot from all field positions.

It sounds like the OP really has a problem here and I think the perfect remedy would be to trade the Ruger for a 7X57. The little 7mm does pretty much anything a 30-06 would do anyway, and it's way easier to shoot well.

May 10, 2012, 12:25 AM
Thanks everyone. Lot of good information here and I'm learning a lot. I really like Creature's shoulder pad. I may try one of those. I'll break down my shooting history a little. I am good with the .22s and have been shooting them since forever. Now with the centerfire I am experienced with the .223-5.56, 250-3000 Savage, M14. I could shoot those all day long and they are fun to shoot (that's the key to getting good at shooting I believe.) So I'm tossing around the idea of getting over my ego and going .243, if it is fun to shoot I will get better and be able to put the bullet on target as well as the guy shooting the .30 caliber round. I would rather be good and take the deer with one shot and very little suffering rather than maiming him and losing him and he has to suffer. Keep up the recommendations because I'm a sponge when it comes to this stuff.


phil dirt
May 10, 2012, 10:22 AM
My 03A3 used to beat me to death off the bench since the stock is too short. A bloody nose and a fat lip was not uncommon. I started using a slip on rubber butt pad to give the stock some more length. Problem solved.

May 10, 2012, 10:41 AM
Get a good recoil pad, either a pachmyer decelerator or a Sims Limbsaver. It will make quite a bit of difference.

May 10, 2012, 11:03 AM
It's all been said, but there's also the possibility of swapping with someone looking for an .06 who has something lighter.

If you were closer I'd offer my 270 for trade. Just bought a Garand and want to consolidate to one high power cartridge.

May 10, 2012, 11:40 AM
Has anyone mentioned putting a recoil reducer in the stock?
Brownells sells them.
Just buy the size you want, take off your recoild pad, and fit it into the butt of the stock.
Some stocks have to be drilled, but its easy enough to do.
Wrap the reducer with duct tape till it fits snugly in the stock.
You dont have to glue it in place.
Put you butt pad(the butt pad should be the softer type) will hold the recoil reducer in place.
In the future, you could easily remove and install the reducer in any of your other guns.

Hope this helps.

Mauser lover
May 10, 2012, 11:46 AM
I don't have, or use a fancy recoil pad when I shoot off of the bench. I just take my Allen padded gun case and stick part of that between me and the gun... Works great, cheap too.

If you enjoyed reading about "Help. My 30-06 is beating me to death" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!