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Re: Heavy Recoil versus Imagined Recoil

23 Jun 2017
@ 11:49 am (GMT)

Stephanie Foster

I am really glad that you started this thread Lane because I find the subject of recoil very fascinating. What I find so interesting is the question when did recoil and the avoidance of it become paramount when using a rifle? It seems that people spend more time thinking about recoil than they do thinking about a planned hunt. So to me it seems that maybe the issue is more about where a person puts their focus, rather than actual recoil.

Maybe I have been very fortunate in the sense that over the years I could not afford to worry about recoil. I mean it. I don't even think about it - at all. The reason for this is because every time I go out with a rifle (or 2 or even 3), regardless of what caliber it is, I have a job to do. Generally I will have a couple of rifles with various loads that need testing on animals at different angles and a small window of opportunity to get the shots I need once the first shot has been fired. I have no time to think about recoil! Get in, get the job done!

For some months now I have been going out with a .358 Norma, the .35 Whelen, the 7mm Practical, our little AR .223, the 6.5, .308, 7mm Rem Mag and a .300 Win Mag. None of these rifles are braked or weigh less than 9lb. The only one that actually fits me properly is my 7 Rem Mag. I walk to where I can get the shots I need, often carrying a couple of rifles so I can get the results. A classic example of a day for me is getting close enough to animals to use the Whelen at close to intermediate ranges and then once the animals get further out, swap to a Magnum to test at longer ranges. And then it is time to gather the carcasses, autopsy, get them into the trailer and get home in time to cook tea. I honestly have no time to think about recoil - doesn't even cross my mind.

The most intense recoil I have ever felt was from using the .375 RUM unbraked firing 300gr bullets at 2950fps, the rifle weighed 9.5lb. I have to admit that this is my absolute limit as far as recoil goes. I did shoot some animals with it but it was not a happy experience. It was the first time I had ever felt like I had been kicked in the jaw when I pulled the trigger lol!

I understand that not many people are hunting with the intensity that Nathan and I do but that kind of makes my point. It strikes me that the issue of recoil comes from having too much time on your hands. Because of the lifestyles that so many people are forced to lead there is more space for thinking about hunting than there is actually doing it. And when our brains get busy things can very quickly get out of proportion - small hills very easily become mountains. Also I think making recoil a big issue is a marketing ploy by various companies who sell gadgetry. There are solutions for sale out there for problems you didn't even know you had!

So at the end of the day I think the issue of recoil is just about where you put your focus. And perhaps the question people need to ask themselves is, is recoil really an issue for me or have I just let myself be sidetracked by it because I have lost focus on what my true goal is?



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