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How much Recoil on 556(223) vs 762(308)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kangspec, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Kangspec

    Kangspec Well-Known Member

    I don't have either size if gun now. However, in the future i will have one.

    I heard/saw ar15 / .223 have little recoils that you can shoot all long. how about .308? how much kick harder than .223?
  2. Paradiddle

    Paradiddle Well-Known Member

    I have both calibers and without the AR is the softest shooting rifle I own - even a little softer then my M1 Carbine. You can shoot all day and twice on Sunday. I've had a M1A and it kicks like a Garand - not even close to the AR.
  3. Kangspec

    Kangspec Well-Known Member

    i know 308 kicks much harder.but how bad is it? still able to shoot all day?
  4. jpwilly

    jpwilly Well-Known Member

    223 is basically a little love tap. The 308 is a like a quick jab. Of course a lot depends on the rifle being used. My M1 Garand in 308 is very comfortable to shoot.
  5. Fumbler

    Fumbler Well-Known Member

    It really depends on the guns they're shot in.

    An Ar-15 in 223 recoils about like a single shot 410 with the heaviest 410 loads, maybe a tiny bit more.

    My Tikka T3 Lite in 308 recoils like a 12ga pump with a standard 1oz slug.
    308 in a heavier gas operated semiauto recoils about like bird shot in a 12ga pump.
    Mil surplus 7.62NATO ammo recoils quite a bit softer than commercial 308Win.

    You can definately shoot a lot more 223 than 308. Heck, I don't think anyone could get tired of shooting a 223.
  6. P. Plainsman

    P. Plainsman Well-Known Member

    .308 recoil in a military-style autoloading rifle like a FAL is noticeable, but not too bad. If you're a reasonably healthy adult man you should be able to go through 100 rounds without problem, which, given the cost and availability of good .308/7.62x51 ammo these days, is probably all you'll want to shoot.

    Now, .308 in a trim, sporting bolt-action rifle will kick you harder.

    Also, back on the autoloader side, I hear the HK91/ G3 type rifles do kick harder than M1As or FALs. I don't have any trigger time on HKs that would let me confirm this.

    As for .223, like was said, you can shoot it all day long.
  7. Hammerhead6814

    Hammerhead6814 Well-Known Member

    Are we allowed to bring in rifles other than the AR-15 into this conversation? If so then I say the .308 can be just as light on the recoil as the .223. My Savage .308 for example hits so little you'll swear your shooting a .22lr.

    Put the .223 in the wrong rifle and you'll wonder where all the kick came from.
  8. Gaiudo

    Gaiudo Well-Known Member

    I can shoot two matches of highpower without getting phased with .308, so that's 176 rounds with sighters. That's using an M1a, so not as "heavy" of recoil as a light bolt gun. I have never found .308 to be anywhere near prohibitive, and I think you could easily shoot it all day.
  9. RoostRider

    RoostRider Well-Known Member

    OooOoOoo..... that question is so open ended.....

    What guns?
    How tall are you?
    How much do you weigh?
    Do you use good technique, or are you sloppy?

    I have an AR-15 (.223), and I can say that even the short skinny 11 year old kid down the block can shoot it with no recoil issues... he does, however, have a hard time holing it up.... if that tells you anything about the recoil of that gun....

    On the other hand, I have a short, light bolt action .308 that puts a pretty good whalop into your shoulder... It sent my son (5' 8" 150#) reeling in pain when he held it up as haphazzard as he holds the AR-15 and lit off a round down range.... twice (once the shoulder is bruised, you can give it up for the day)..... lol.... a great learning experience for him, and a good laugh for all the fellas he was talking up his skills too just before....

    A recoil operated semi-auto .308 won't have nearly the kick as a bolt action (all other things being equal)

    A heavy gun won't have as much felt recoil (all other things being equal)

    A bigger guy could take it with more ease (all other things being equal)

    A guy with better technique will do better dealing with recoil (all other things being equal)

    The .308 will kick considerably harder than the .223 (all other things being equal)

    So, it's kind of more of an equation rather than a 'rule'.....
  10. AgentAdam

    AgentAdam Well-Known Member

    My Carbon-15 M4 kicks pretty good but it only weighs 4.5lb where as my Rem700 SPS Tactical,7.5lbs naked, with a 20" heavy-contour tactical-style barrel is literally like a .22lr with all the weight and the soft recoil pad on the Hogue stock.
  11. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    I wouldn't want to shoot a bolt-action .308 all day long if the rifle had a steel butt plate, but with a proper recoil pad and a proper hold it's no big deal.

    Whether AR or bolt-action, a .223 is trivial in the recoil department. Not even worth thinking about. Maybe a third as much as a .308, approximately.
  12. jackdanson

    jackdanson Well-Known Member

    Same here, I don't like shooting a light .308 (think tikka) more than 20 or so rounds. After that it becomes a little uncomfortable... not killer, but not comfy. My FNAR, on the other hand, I can shoot all day.

    Recoil in .223 is practically nothing. Depends what you are doing, if you just want to punch paper at under 300 yards I would take a .223. For longer ranges or big game hunting I'd go with the .308.

    IMHO This really doesn't matter. The problem with recoil AFAIK is developing a flinch, not pushing you around. I only weigh 140 and I've never had a problem.
  13. Arkel23

    Arkel23 Well-Known Member

  14. Reid73

    Reid73 Well-Known Member

    As Art said, the .223 / 5.56 has essentially no felt recoil.

    .308 / 7.62 does have some recoil, but nothing most people can't handle (especially in a semi-auto). And as P. Plainsman correctly points out, with the cost of ammunition being what it is, your shoulder will likely outlast your wallet.
  15. 6.5x39

    6.5x39 Member

    To be pedantic: the 5.56x45 NATO round develops 1,177–1,708 J (868 - 1,260 ft-lbs) of energy at the muzzle, the 7.62x51 NATO round develops 3,275 J (2,416 ft-lbs) of energy. Factor in the weight of the firearm in question to offset that, but the .308 has a lot more recoil than a .223.
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Suffice it to say neither one is going to hurt you.

    About fifty gazillion GI's learned to shoot with a 30-06, .308, or .223 over the last 100 years.
    And some of them shot them a lot, but none of them were crippled or maimed by it.

  17. LTR shooter

    LTR shooter Well-Known Member

    Having owned both in bolt action Remington 700s with 26" heavy barrels - the .308 undoubtedly recoils far more.

    As far as shooting "all day"? If all day means a few hundred rounds I would surely go with the .223 . I find the .223 much more pleasing to shoot for extended periods. Nearly anyone can comfortably shoot a .223.

    The .223 is even relatively mild in my Super 14 Contender. Where firing the .308 in something like an Encore can get you attention quickly!
  18. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member


    You can shoot the .223 in bolt action or auto all day, the .308 you can shoot until you get tired and forget your form and then it will teach you that it is not a .223.

    Shooting from a bench with front and rear rests I find I can go about 50 rounds of medium power reloads shooting 155 -168 gr bullets before the recoil starts to wear me down, the first 20 or so I can shoot full recoil with out holding onto the gun just letting it slide across the baby powdered leather bags. The next 20-25 I tend to start feeling the recoil as my form starts to collapse and I start taking a death grip on and climbing up the stock. It is not painfull untill you get cut across the bridge of the nose by the ocular bell of the scope (red eye brow) or you take one on the boney part of your shoulder (I've done both). The recoil is a lot milder than most 12 gauge pump guns shooting 2 2/4" high brass duck and goose loads or heavy 2 3/4" magnum 00 buck or slugs.

    The .308 is a great round and is well worth the learning curve and occasional slap on the face, it is a stepping stone up from the .223
  19. krs

    krs Well-Known Member

    Yeah rc, but a bunch of 'em FELT LIKE they'd been crippled or maimed....:)
  20. RP88

    RP88 Well-Known Member

    .223 is a quick, but soft, tap. Nothing hard. Still enough to get a slight reaction on you, but nothing that is going to hurt even after shooting a thousand rounds in a day.

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