I drew out for a tag in Arizona’s lottery system this year. My deer season starts in two weeks. Last year, my shooting shoulder started hurting off and on, and while I haven’t been formally diagnosed or xrayed or anything, my sports medicine doc cousin thinks I probably need a surgical intervention - probably some damage to the tissue around the joint that needs to be cleaned up. Some activities hurt - some weight lifting moves (I’ve cut way back on lifting) too much tennis, too many pistol draws, too much of anything. I gave myself a new rifle last year, as well, but didn’t shoot it till this summer: a Winchester M70 FWT .270. It is such a nice rifle, and weighs a pound less than my older rifle, a Savage 11 .243. I have to go mountaineering to hunt here, and have killed our little Coues bucks out at ranges from 100-300 yards - sometimes cross-Canyon shots - with that .243. A pound less rifle weight while ridge running is a good thing. But. The reality is, the M70 is chambered in a heavier cartridge in a lighter rifle. Factory 130gr ammunition is very painful to shoot from the bench, even though it has a nice recoil pad. If my shooting position is perfect and all my chest and shoulder muscles are at maximum flex tension - perfect form in all respects - it is tolerable for a few shots. This was with a padded hunting jacket, without which it was worse, or with more relaxed shooting form. Tears were blinked back a few times. I really want to hunt with this rifle this year. It’s lighter, it’s nicer looking, and it’s the new hotness. Lighter handloads fired with a PAST recoil shield are much more tolerable. I hope I can make it work with them. Opportunities on deer here are limited, and usually at ranges measured in hundreds of yards. Part of the point to getting the .270 was to add confidence at those longer ranges - more bullet weight and diameter, better wind resistance, all of those things. But the .243 doesn’t hurt to shoot, even with the hottest loads I dare run in it. One or two shots is all I’ve ever had to get through on the mountain.