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  #1  
Old 12-13-2011, 05:10 PM
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Low Recoil Hunting Rifle


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I've been looking for a low recoil hunting rifle that will take down anything in the North East. I wanted it for deer, bear, and up to Moose.

I started with a 7mm-08 semi-auto. and I use the Remmington reduced recoil ammo. At first the Browning wouldn't cycle properly with the reduced recoil loads. It wouldn't pick up the next round out of the chamer.... sometimes. Sometimes it would cycle fine.

So I brought a few boxes of full strength loads, and I invited my friends to the range. I let them get into the hobby, and have fun. That seemed to be enough to break in the rifle, and the semi auto action.

Now the gun cycles with the reduced recoil loads, and it's very accurate. The recoil is slightly less than a .243 bolt action.

So far I am very happy with it.

And if I ever want to go bear hunting, I can use 2 reduced recoil rounds, and 2 full strength rounds behind it, should I need 4 rounds.

I really like the combination.
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2011, 06:28 PM
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Is it the Browning BAR? Nice rifle, though I have no experience with it other than holding some that I'm keeping for a friend; never fired one, but slick action. Keep it squeaky clean and it should do alright with the reduced loads.
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2011, 10:05 PM
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yes, the browning BAR.

I also have a remmington .30-06 semi auto, that will Not work at all with reduced recoil rounds. Maybe it's the diffence between the long and short cartridge.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:02 AM
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Glad to hear your BAR is now cycling the reduced-recoil rounds, but your post does bring up a couple of questions.

Why are you shooting those rounds in a semi-auto that relies on timing and gas pressure to cycle? If you want to shoot with less recoil, you'd be better off getting a bolt-action or single-shot that doesn't need that additional pressure to meet its design specifications.

The second question is even more perplexing. Why on earth would you choose to load your gun with a cartridge that MIGHT NOT cycle the action, while hunting bear?! Wouldn't you want all of the reliability and stopping power you can get from your gun, on every shot you take? I feel the 7-08 is enough gun for smaller bears, but your original post was asking about cartridges that will also cleanly take down moose.

Unless there is some reason you need to avoid recoil, I would step up in power with a larger diameter cartridge, shooting full-strength loads, if and when you go on a moose hunt. At the very least, do not consider using the reduced-recoil 7-08 loads for moose. Do the animal and yourself a service by shooting rounds that will consistently cycle the action of your gun and dispatch the game quickly. You'd probably be better served to stick with the 30-'06 and full-power loads for hunting bear and moose. Save the 7-08 for deer, since you already have the bigger gun for bigger game.

Just my .02.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:15 AM
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Shoulder surgery, and getting older, which results in not liking recoil very much.

A black bear is not hard to take down with proper shot placement. The reduced recoil rounds expand all their energy in the game, rather than passing through. you need to see the results of a reduced recoil round under 100 yards.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:31 AM
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I would practice with the reduced recoil rounds, and sight in and hunt with the regular stuff. Should be able to tolerate one sight-in session? If nothing else have a friend sight in (be sure to check it yourself with one group) and then good luck hunting.

One shot in the field, with a gas-operated .308 and heavy clothing, ought to not be too cruel to your shoulder.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:25 AM
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I'd put a good recoil pad on a .30-30.

I have a 7-08 Mtn Rifle, and with full power loads, recoil is real close to a .30-06 with bullets of similar BC and SD. Both are 50-60% more recoil than a .30-30. Most shooters would be surprised at the effectiveness of the older round with proper bullets, if they've never used one. With something like a 170gr Silvertip, it would be as good a moose/bear gun as a 7-08 with a managed recoil load. And I've loaded .30-30/Speer 130gr FP's for myself and others for deer, and that's a combination that would surprise a lot of deer hunters. Recoil is way less than a 170gr bullet.

If manually cycling the 7-08 isn't a problem, there is always Trail Boss or Unique reduced loads for practice, and full powered Nosler Partition or Speer Grand Slam for hunting. It's often stated, but I find that even my 12Ga with a 1 1/4oz Buckhammer is not a concern shooting at a buck, and that has a recoil in a class with a .338 or .375 magnum.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2011, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the blur View Post
Shoulder surgery, and getting older, which results in not liking recoil very much.

A black bear is not hard to take down with proper shot placement. The reduced recoil rounds expand all their energy in the game, rather than passing through. you need to see the results of a reduced recoil round under 100 yards.
Believe it or not, I handload reduced-recoil rounds in 30-'06 that my wife uses for deer hunting, so I've seen first-hand how effective they can be. I think Mike's suggestion of practicing with light loads and then hunting with the full-throttle rounds is solid advice. Would your shoulder be able to tolerate one or two rounds, when needed to make the shot on a bear?

The 30/30 option isn't bad, either. If you're looking for reduced recoil, a bigger caliber, hard-cast bullet, with a wide, flat meplat will penetrate all day long, particularly if you keep the yardages on the short side. I've never shot a bear but isn't it good to have a blood trail from an exit wound?
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:04 AM
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I know many on this forum are opposed to muzzle brakes, but they can be very effective. Years ago I put a muzzle brake on a lightweight Model 70 .30-06 and it reduced the recoil enough so that I could stay on target and see the bullet hit.
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2011, 07:07 AM
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True. That's not a bad option if it helps get back into the hunting fields....
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2011, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by beartracker View Post
<HR align=center SIZE=5 width=601 noShade><TABLE summary="Recoil Information" width=601 bgColor=palegreen><TBODY><TR><TH>Free recoil energy is 15.7 ft-lb. (21.3 Joule)</TH></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

That is 0.1ft/lb+ I got from the recoil calculator I used for my 7.5lb Mtn Rifle.

My first 7-08 was a M7, and my first trip to the range was an "eye opener". I had a 2X Leupld UL scope on it, and at 6.5lbs, it was meaner than my Ryanite stocked M700/06 by quite a bit.
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:52 AM
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I don't know. Whenever I have used reduced recoil loads in any gun and in any caliber they shot to a different point of aim than full loads even at the same bullet weight. And it makes sense: Much less/different powder to get the reduced recoil. ...So if you practice with reduced recoil you will shoot at one point of aim and then when you go to full strength to HUNT you will hit to a different point of aim. Spells disaster to me.
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:59 PM
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Right, it would be reasonable to re-zero before hunting season.
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2011, 03:57 PM
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I tried the old deal of using two different rounds in the gun at the same time (your suggestion of 2 Reduced Recoil followed by 2 regular) and it makes no sense to me whatsoever. If you can't handle the regular recoil, load all rounds with reduced recoil and limit yourself to closer ranges and great angles.

Get that shoulder healed up! Mine has been bothering me for the past couple years, and I'm slowly working down the recoil ladder too. I hardly ever use my 270 WIN anymore, and use a 260 REM and a 243 WIN. Love all three calibers.
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:15 PM
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Funny how some think a reduced recoil 28-cal won't stop a moose. Especially funny when moose are regularly put down quickly with comparatively slow-moving 26-cals in Scandinavia.


It may be work, but could you learn to shoot left-handed?
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:36 PM
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I'd go with a lever gun in .357 Magnum. Use 158's for deer and smaller, 180 grain if you're hunting for bigger than deer.

Ruger makes a nice M77 in .357 Magnum that would work well too.

Your idea is solid though.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:05 PM
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JMO, but planning on needing 4 shots brings some disturbing pictures. I would get a heavier gun and hunt from a stand whether it is a tree kind or ground kind so that you would have a solid rest for the gun. A full load for 7-08 on bear or moose is the least you should use with that caliber, IMHO. As others have suggested a very good pad and clothing for 1 shot maybe 2 if needed should be doable.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beartracker View Post
I know of a 13 year old boy who took a 63" bull moose with a 7mm-08 and a 140gr Partition this season. One shot and the moose went down a few feet from where it was shot.
I know a fellow who shot a Moose with .35 Whelen and 250 gr bullets and lost it. It seems shot placement trumps all the cartridge talk in the world.
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:21 AM
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So if you practice with reduced recoil you will shoot at one point of aim and then when you go to full strength to HUNT you will hit to a different point of aim. Spells disaster to me.
Well, it would if you didn't make adjustments.

Most shooters seem to consider reduced loads solely in the context of recoil. I use reduced loads to minimize wear and tear on the hardware, because I actually shoot my rifles a lot. I can shoot them a lot because I use reduced loads. A five shot string, at a hunting rate of fire from my 7-08, .243, .280, 30-30, Whelens, etc. on a hot day, leaves the barrel so hot it's hard to handle. And, it takes about 15 minutes to cool down. Brass life is short with full power loads and that ain't cheap these days.

Rewind that scenario, load up with Trail Boss or Unique under a cast or very light jacketed bullet. I can shoot two five shot strings from a sitting position, or offhand, and barrel temperature is about the same as two shots of full power. POI is not affected either, and the loads I use are tack drivers. I always know how well I'm doing, as the ammo/gun is not affected by volume of fire. Now practice is a good thing, and I put a lot of ammo through my 77/22 VBZ every year, but I also like to shoot my hunting rifles a bit. Reduced loads make that easier.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by the blur View Post
I've been looking for a low recoil hunting rifle that will take down anything in the North East. I wanted it for deer, bear, and up to Moose.
I'm tempted to recommend the .35 Remington, but I think I would step up to the .358 Winchester.

What do you mean by "low recoil"?

The .358 Win recoils about like a .30-06. The .35 Rem has notably less recoil.
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