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Reduced Recoil Hunting Loads & Retinal Separation

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Lone Star, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. Lone Star

    Lone Star Well-Known Member

    Federal is coming out with a reduced recoil Fusion load in .270, .308, and .30/06. I thnk Remington has had the same idea for some time.

    Ballistics are 2200 FPS with a 145 (?) grain bullet in .270 and 2,000FPS in both .30's. (150 grain bullet.) About what we'd get from a .30/30, BUT with spitzer shaped bullets, so they'll retain trajectory and energy better. Probably not much different than a 7.62mm AK-47 round...

    Has anyone used this stuff, and on what? How much does it cut recoil? They claim 50% at Federal.

    Because of a medical condition, I am considering trying this on deer and pigs and smaller stuff, like coyotes. I doubt that it would be a good idea on elk, if I hunted those, or moose or large African game.

    I'll be up front about this. I am concerned about the effects of recoil on loosening the retinas in one's eyes. Two gun writers had retinal separations, and both suspected that longterm effects of recoil was the cause.

    I don't shoot nearly as much as they did, but am very nearsighted, so have heard that I may be especially subject to separations, due to forces within the eye. (My vision corrects to about 20/20, but the eye does what it does, behind those lenses.)

    Consulting an opthamalogist wasn't as helpful as I'd hoped. The guy seems almost proud that he doesn't shoot, and although he said that recoil shouldn't be a factor in causing retinal separations, I wonder...Of course, he's no use at all in estimating how much recoil might be dangerous.

    Has anyone asked another opthamologist about this, and what did he/she say? Does your eye doc hunt?

    I am without insurance now, or would ask for another doc's opinion, but ideally, one wants a hunter who is familiar with various levels of recoil and is an opthalmalogist to boot.

    Have we got any eye docs here who will answer this question, in general terms? Obviously, the individual patient's condition will be a factor.


    Lone Star
  2. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Well-Known Member

    I'm not a dr. nor do i pretend to be one. I did have zyoptic eye surgery, and have a condition where the jelly in my eye kind of congeals, causing floating spots in my eye sight and making me more prone to retinal rips.

    I have gotten my eyes checked every 6 months by an optometrist, and shoot 30-06, 270, 7.62x54, 223, 7.62x39 and a smattering of 22-250 regularly. added together, well into several thousand rounds per year. I have shown no signs of my condition leading to rips or separation as of yet.

    I am young though, 23 years old, so maybe it just hasn't been long enough to take its toll

    hope this helped
  3. GunTech

    GunTech Well-Known Member

    I recently had occasion to bring this up with my opthamologist because it looked like I had the beginning of a tear or detachement in my retina. The jury is still out and they are keeping an eye on the area to see if there's any change. My doc is a shooter, and upon learning that I am a big bore fanatic, advised my to reduce or stop shooting the big bore rifles (e.g 458, 470 NE, etc). He didn't think that shooting standard calibers like 308, 270 etc would be particularly hazardous but it was my decision. It's my left eye and I'm right handed, so I'm still shooting. But I'm not shooting anything bigger than 30-06 currently until they figure out what's up.

    Rather than pick a reduced recoil load, I think I'd pick a lighter cartridge. 7mm-08 and 260 are both adequate for most game and have little recoil. Add in the unappreciated 7x57, 6.5x55 and even the lamented 257 roberts. Stay away from super light rifles. I'm betting those gun writers shot a lot of free magnum and short magnum ammo.

    Worst case for me, I'll get an eye patch. I'm not giving up shooting.

    BTW, I'm 20/400 without glasses.
  4. zinj

    zinj Well-Known Member

    The cases I have heard have all involved heavy rifles (like .375 H&H and up) or super-magnum shotguns. I wouldn't be too worried about moderate .30 calibers.
  5. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Well-Known Member

    Not seeing any 7.62x54r reduced recoil loads. I know Winchester makes it under their metric caliber line, But nothing other than soft point.
  6. silverlance

    silverlance Well-Known Member

    don't shoot at indoor ranges next to the guy with the .500 Phallic Metaphor.
  7. Lone Star

    Lone Star Well-Known Member


    Yes, I am about 20/400 uncorrected. Same boat as you are in.

    At 63, I am cautious, more so than the 23 year old gentleman who has the dangerous condition. I, too, have "floaters" and eye flashes. Have had them off and on for some years as the vitreous substance recedes due to aging.

    Shooting from a bench adds to the absorption of recoil, compared to field poisitions, but my local range requires bench rest use.

    Any others have views? (Views...no pun intended, ha, ha!)

    My sole shotgun now is a Remington M-870 Wingmaster. Nice wood, but it is a 12 ga. I am thinking of using the lightest loads I can find that I think will do the job on birds. No baby or three-inch Magnums...

    Are 6.5X55mm and .260 really much lighter in recoil than a .270? A 7X57mm? I am thinking of going to a .243 and using 100 grain Nosler bullets if I trade my Winchester M70 Classsic Featherweight. But I'd really rather keep this nice rifle if recoil won't represent a risk to my eyes. The reduced recoil loads would be as potent as 7.62X39mm, surely, with better ballistic coefficient and sectional density. And the Russian round has only a 125 (?) grain bullet. Is it not effective on deer to at least 200 yards?

    I recently retired and have to get by on Social Security and what I earn in a part-time job, so my gun trading will be very limited. I'd really like to keep the .270 and spend any stray money on handguns.

    Lone Star
  8. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Well-Known Member

    Actually it doesn't take too much to bring down a moose. Get one of those rifles with a boss on the end of the barrel. Recoil is limited. The 270 is a power puncher as it is with less recoil and with a boss...You should be good to go.
  9. One of Many

    One of Many Well-Known Member

    I had a retinal detachment several years ago. It was NOT caused by recoil. I am severely nearsighted (10 diopter correction), and was near 50 years old when it occurred; age and nearsightedness are two of the main considerations for susceptibility to detached retinas.

    After my corrective surgery, I was told to wait several months for the eye to heal completely, before shooting guns with significant recoil. I now shoot .308 Win, and 12 Ga shotgun with no worry at all.

    I had the eye surgeon (retinal specialist) do a laser procedure on the other eye, to 'spot weld' some weak areas of that retina, as a preventive measure. I still have 'floaters' in the eye that suffered the detachment, and vision in that eye is corrected to the same ability (sharpness) as the other eye, but focusing seems to take more time, and it seems to appear like looking through some sheer window curtains. My detachment is on my hand dominant side, but not my dominant eye, so handgun shooting is affected less than rifle and shotgun.

    The main thing is to be aware of the symptoms of a detached retina, and if they occur, to go immediately to the ophthalmologist for surgery. I had started showing symptoms ( FLASHES OF LIGHT, AND EXCESSIVE FLOATERS) two weeks prior to my detachment, and had been checked out by the ophthalmologist, and told no detachment was observed. When the detachment started (APPEARED TO BE A BLACK CURTAIN COVERING PART OF MY VISION), I went back to the same doctor for confirmation, and he had me driven to a surgeon that specializes in retinal surgery; I went into emergency surgery that afternoon, and took the next six weeks off from work while things healed up. Healing places severe restrictions on head position, rate of movement, shocks to the head, etc.

    When caught soon enough, and with the proper treatment, detached retinas cause minimal loss of visual ability. In some cases, preventive measures may be appropriate (the laser treatment I had on the other eye).

    You should follow the advice of the ophthalmologist, and ask for a second opinion referral to a specialist in retinal surgery, if you think that there is a possibility that shooting may be causing damage to your eye.
  10. Lone Star

    Lone Star Well-Known Member

    One of Many-

    Thank you for that account and for listing the symptoms.

    If I suddenly see an increase in floaters and have more lightning flashes, I will seek treatment. The black curtain effect is the telltale sign, and I hope that I never get that far along.

    The part about seeing as if through a curtain and taking longer to focus is scary, too. But it beats blindness!

    I am not currently shooting shoulder-fired arms, just handguns. I want to determine the risk factor before I shoot rifles above .22 or a shotgun.

    Because I do have age and eye predisposition (strong nearsightedness) to a possible detachment, I don't want recoil to push me over the edge.

    Lone Star
  11. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Well-Known Member


    Thats a real number?
  12. Lone Star

    Lone Star Well-Known Member


    It sure is, and I have heard that it amounts to legal blindness in some states, when uncorrected. I know another person who has similar sight.

    Lone Star
  13. GunTech

    GunTech Well-Known Member

    If I don't have my galsses, i am screwed. I have to leave them where I can find them by feel. I have high refractive index lenses, so they don't look like coke bottle bottoms. Yes, 20/400 is real.

    Surprisingly enough, that was still good enough for the Infantry. 'If you can see lightning and hear thunder...'

    Lone star,

    If you reload, I would look at some of the light bullets for 270. Thanks to the 6.8, there are several excellent 0.277 bullets in the 100-115 gn range, and that will substantially reduce recoil. Adding weight to you rifle will also make a difference. Have some lead put in the fore end and/or butt, or use a mercury recoil reducer.
  14. Oldnamvet

    Oldnamvet Well-Known Member

    Lone star,
    I had the retinal tearing and detachment 10 years ago. Started out looking like I was seeing through a shower curtain and then the black curtain started coming up from the bottom of the vision (actually it was peeling from the top of the eye but our brain inverts everything for us). The next day I had surgery with scleral buckle. A silicone rubber band was put around the eye to squeeze things in and the retina cyrogenically spot welded back into place. Since I had not been shooting for 6 months or so, the immediate cause was just bad luck. I am also very near sighted but again OK for the infantry :cuss: as long as it could be corrected.
    I asked my eye surgeon (who is a duck hunter) about recoil and he said if it wasn't bothering my shoulder, he doubted that it had much effect on my eye. I only sight in my .30-06 occasionally for deer hunting so don't shoot it that much. But I do shoot 12 ga. for skeet on a regular basis (75 to 100 rounds a week). Here he advised a good recoil pad such as limbsaver as well as using the 1 oz shot loads. That was 11 years ago. Since then I have had cataract surgery on that eye and lasik on the other. Vision is now 20/20 and 20/25 without wearing glasses. I am still shooting shotgun regularly without any further problems. So it is not all gloom and doom. There are enough recoil reducing accessories that work well on the market to keep you shooting for a long time. As long as you aren't benchresting a 600 nitro express or some such item anyway.
  15. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    I use this on my 12 gauge sporting clays shotgun. Reduces the recoil to maybe a .410 or less

  16. RyanM

    RyanM Well-Known Member

    20/400 may as well be perfect sight. My vision is more like 20/4000. I not only can't see the big E, I can't even distinguish between the chart and the wall. Fortunately, my vision corrects to about 20/20 with glasses only. Probably 20/30 by now since it's been awhile since I've had the perscription updated.

    Anyway, I'm probably at a big risk for retinal detachment, but I really wouldn't consider recoil much of a factor, for sub-magnum rifle calibers. The recoil hits your shoulder, and anything that makes it into your eyes has to go through your neck first. And the neck is a pretty good shock absorber. It's blows to the head that you really need to be careful of. But for stuff hitting you elsewhere, if it's not hard enough to give you severe whiplash, it's not going to be enough to detach a retina, either.
  17. AVESguy

    AVESguy Well-Known Member

    Hi all, I am also pretty nearsighted. I had a vitreous separation and large retinal tear last Christmas eve. It was repaired by laser surgery on Christmas day. I've since had more floaters and further vitreous tears, and a small vitreous separation in the other eye (dominant) but it's reasonably stable now. My retinal surgeon didn't think shooting a twelve gauge or standard 3006/308 would do much either. I don't know if he is a shooter or not. I go to another one now but haven't asked the question of the new one yet.

    I haven't shot anything bigger than a .223 since though, I'm literally gun-shy about it. Don't know what I'll do, I have a brand new 30-06 Winchester 70 that is still unfired that I bought last year....

    7-08 or .260 is sounding real good right now.
  18. rr2241tx

    rr2241tx Well-Known Member

    Lonestar, save a bunch of money and bother, load your .270 down to a soft shooting 2400-2500fps if you are concerned and refigure your trajectory. Out to 200yds, there's not a deer in Texas that will suspect the difference. Trading guns is about the most expensive and unnecessary option. rr2241tx

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