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Help. My 30-06 is beating me to death

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jduff8505, May 5, 2012.

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  1. jduff8505

    jduff8505 Member

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    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.

    Jeff
     
  2. elkdomBC

    elkdomBC Member

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    have you tried "air-soft" ? :)
     
  3. jduff8505

    jduff8505 Member

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    Thanks Smarty.
     
  4. Sergeant Sabre

    Sergeant Sabre Member

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    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.
     
  5. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    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...

    BSW
     
  6. jduff8505

    jduff8505 Member

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    That could be it though. Maybe I'm a wuss.
     
  7. Uncle Grinch

    Uncle Grinch Member

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  8. jduff8505

    jduff8505 Member

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    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. :)
     
  9. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    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.
     
  10. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    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 gauge....you will get used to bruised shoulders if the shooting is good.
     
  11. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  12. Bullet Bob

    Bullet Bob Member

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    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.
     
  13. RickMD

    RickMD Member

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    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.
     
  14. XM855

    XM855 Member

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    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:
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm
     
  15. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    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.
    Best
    T

    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.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  16. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    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.
     
  17. valnar

    valnar Member

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    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.
     
  18. ScrapMetalSlug

    ScrapMetalSlug Member

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    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.
     
  19. BigN

    BigN Member

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    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!)
     
  20. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Those 180 grners can be stout on recoil. Shoot more and you will get used to it.
     
  21. nathan

    nathan Member

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    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.
     
  22. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Get a PAST recoil shield. Works like a charm.
     
  23. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    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.
     
  24. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    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.
     
  25. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    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.
     
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