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recoil and felt recoil are two very different things. Recoil can be calculated using some simple math and it comes it two flavors. Recoil energy and recoil momentum. The felt recoil can be modified with stock fit and weight as well as a good recoil pad. You can modify the actual recoil by changing bullet weigh and velocity. Muzzle breaks can reduce recoil depending on their design and the powder charge weight and velocity. Remember that these devices work by redirecting the gases from the powder to a direction other than the bore. The powder weight as a percentage of overall bullet and powder is all the difference you get. A muzzle brake that redirects the gases backwards at some angle will likely work better than the ones that exhaust to the side at 90 degrees. You will never get all the gas redirected.
That said it can make a big difference in addition to a properly fitted heavy stock and a "Limb Saver" or similar recoil pad.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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drone, I don't see how headspace could create or affect recoil. I think it was much more likely that the stock design was a key factor.

I've shot several brands / styles of 12GA and one thing is for sure, if the stock doesn't fit you it is WAY more likely to hurt. Some expensive over/unders have combs way too high for me. Smacks my cheekbone something awful! Yet, an off-the-shelf Remington 1100 or 870 works fine, and they sure didn't customize the stock for me. Just happens to fit well enough. I can shot a 97 Winchester pump OK for trap doubles, but a Browning Auto-5 would let a flying barn be safe from me.

Shotguns all come down to stock fit, whether the issue is felt recoil, or hitting with one.
 

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Just a hint on stock fit, If the stock smacks your cheek, it's too short. That's the time to add a pad. I personally don't like recoil pads except to lengthen the stock.
 

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drone, I don't see how headspace could create or affect recoil. I think it was much more likely that the stock design was a key factor.

I've shot several brands / styles of 12GA and one thing is for sure, if the stock doesn't fit you it is WAY more likely to hurt. Some expensive over/unders have combs way too high for me. Smacks my cheekbone something awful! Yet, an off-the-shelf Remington 1100 or 870 works fine, and they sure didn't customize the stock for me. Just happens to fit well enough. I can shot a 97 Winchester pump OK for trap doubles, but a Browning Auto-5 would let a flying barn be safe from me.

Shotguns all come down to stock fit, whether the issue is felt recoil, or hitting with one.
Same here with the browning auto 5.
A browning pump 30-06 has been one of the worst kickers I have baught.

I started on a 12 g sxs when I was a kid , bashed me in the cheek when I was 10 still bashed my cheek now , I have the same brand 12 g with a stock that is fractionally thinner in the cheek area and it is a dream to shoot.

Can’t imagine myself spending the dollars getting a stock fitted but I think stock fit is everything.

Cheers.
 

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The Shadow (Super Mod)
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I still hold the view that headspace can create recoil.
As others have said, it's in the stock differences. Comb, drop off bore center, buttpad angle, length.

I have a Hawkeye I posted about re-barreling. Ruger even confirmed how close to failing the field gauge it is. That 308 hasn't increased in recoil, with age and headspace change.

Cheers
 

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The 'recoil' of a cartridge case can be calculated as any other, but it's certainly negligible when buried by the main recoil of the gun.
Excess headspace in cartridge guns will hammer them apart fairly quickly. It can be seen in well-used S. American Mausers as set back of the locking lugs, but no human can feel the difference in headspace created recoil unless it's the second 'bump' of a long recoil action with the friction rings set wrong. That secondary recoil of the Browning A-5, M8 and 81 Remington and others is caused by a couple of POUNDS of barrel, bolt and parts moving three inches. Not a hundred grains of brass moving .006 of an inch.
 

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Ulterior motive to recoil abatement

While guiding a (very) wealthy client on a duck hunt back in the ,60’s, he mentioned that he was about to embark on an African hunt. Further, he had recently purchased a M70 in .458 Win. Mag., but figured from previous experience that it would be intolerable to shoot from a bench. As a teen, I had no experience w/anything beyond .270, .30-06. or 8x57, so he had to explain the “why” of it to me.
The following Spring in a photo in a gun mag at the local barber shop, I noticed in the background a device similar to a “pull-up”, or “ chinning” bar in the background at a range. Within a few days I set two 6” creosote posts about 4’ apart, bored 4-1.25” holes about chest high in each whereby a 1” galvanized pipe could be placed level to the ground at “my” private range on a friend’s ranch. (A hand towel taped around the pipe prevented marring the gun.)
I called the fellow and invited him to shoot his gun at his pleasure.
That soon led to several of his amigos (birds of a feather ...) with these type rifles showing up, as well. Thus, allowing me the experience of shooting all sorts of rifles that otherwise I’d never had the opportunity - without the stand up “ bench.”
BTW we used a camera tripod to rest the rifles at the heel to create a fairly solid rest to test loads for accuracy.
 

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For anyone that's seen a tree stand that 'clings' to the tree by leverage, I built a miniature from lawn chair tubing that 'attached' to the 6x6 range shed supports at the state owned rifle range for shooting in express rifles. It wasn't as solid as the concrete benches next to it, but at least I didn't feel like I'd gone a round with Tyson.
(An Aspen client was left-handed and found a 500 Jeffery double that fit him...but not ME! It had been wrecked with hot blue and had to be regulated before final soldering together of the barrels.. I shot almost three boxes (10) of 500 gr. Knoch solids from that thing! The leather bag of four pounds of bird shot I hung on the butt saved me. Reverse cast in a stock means you have to force your face into the stock and every shot was addling. hmm, could be explanatory.)
 

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308 win mag. Hardly think so as the 308 Mag is a Norma mag.

At our sports man club you are not allowed on the rifle range with a rifle with a brake. No one wants to be around some one shooting a rifle with one.
the rule is if you have a brake on your rifle you can shoot for 2 hours every Saturday morning from 8 to 10 AM or on Sunday after noon from 4:00 Pm to 6:00 PM.


My 300 winchester Mag in a factory # 1 Custom has recoil about like my 243, no it does not have a brake it is Mag Na Ported doesn't spew all that noise back at the shooter and others around you.
It also has a good Kickese recoil pad.
Good enough to harvest any game animal in North America.
 

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As I've aged, I've also developed a bit of arthritis in my shooting shoulder so I've become a bit recoil sensitive. I hate the guys that have muzzle brakes at the range as they spoil the experience for everyone else. No thought of anyone else's enjoyment, just "It's all about me."

I'll second the #3 post and recommend a PAST shoulder pad. They come in 3 weights, Field, Magnum Plus, and Super Magnum Plus. I broke down and got the Field and the sharp paint in my shoulder is gone. They are inexpensive and work well as they both cushion and spread out the recoil energy all without adding weight to your rifle or annoyance to your shooting buddies.
 

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When I first started shooting my 338 lapua about 15 rounds was all I could take, and the scope would be shook loose. After I learned how to shoot it, got the scope base fixed, and started loading 250gr smk’s I can now shoot it all day without any problem. You don’t need a 300gr bullet until you get past a mile. Shoot prone and turn your body about 45* to the target to let your shoulder absorb the recoil. With the 250’s it’s not so important, but a few 300’s will remind you to do it. The Ruger Precision has a viper head looking break that really cuts recoil down as well. It weighs close to 20lbs. My savage only weighs maybe 15 and I sighted in and worked loads up for a savage long range hunter that only weighed about 9 lbs. about 30 rounds in a day was all I wanted from it. If after trying these things it’s still is to much then trade it for something smaller.
 

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This anti brake crowd is horse hockey, anything that helps one shoot better is a plus, yes, brakes make noise, so do guns both can damage hearing, end of that story...

The brakes reduce recoil better than anything else, I like them and use them at the range to develop loads, sight it my guns, when I hunt I have the option of unscrewing them, and put on the thread protector if Im amind to...Bottom line is they flat work..In many cases early on when shooting my African big bores I used them and at the end of my bench work, Id take the brake off and shoot the 505 or 458 Lott, and it taught me to shoot them without the brake on over time..

Shooting a big bore with reduced loads to learn to handle recoil as many suggest is not all that effective as far as Ive seen or tried,, if it were true then the transition from 30-06 to 458 would be a cake walk, ands its not, so reduced loads are a mental game and nothing more IMO, albiet the mental game probably works with some, probably because recoil seldom is life threatening.. :)
 

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I've found most recoil pads to be pretty worthless, especially the OEM pads used by the gun manufacturers.

However, in the aftermarket the Limbsaver stands out.

For something like the .338 Lapua, you'll probably need to apply a combination of solutions. That's a lot of horsepower to try and tame.
 

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A guy next to me was shooting a 338 Lapua with a brake. He was a beast of a man and said he was glad he put the brake on it. I enjoyed watching him having fun with his new set up. The blasts of pressure I felt indicated that was a powerful cartridge. That was cool seeing that rig perform.
 

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When I hear comments like the one from COSSTEVE I have to laugh. I could care less if someone has a muzzle brake on a rifle. That is why we use ear protection. Some people are big babies- better yet big pussies. Lol
 

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I kinda wonder where the idea of shooting from the shoulder JOINT got started? That only happens a couple times with heavy kickers and teaches almost as good a lesson as an electric fence. :eek:

What you describe is the 'shoulder pocket' and where long gun butts fit unless it's got a crescent buttplate. Those fit on the upper arm.
 

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there is no cure for being over gunned, a brake will allow you to shoot a much more recoiling rifle, and is the only thing that really releaves felt recoil, end of story, all else is twaddle...In your case Id send that Lapua down the road, and go to a lesser caliber such as a 300 win mag or .338 Win. with a brake if needed..

The so called downside of a brake that doesn't hold much water in my opine is noise, but all big gun are loud and will ruin your hearing, adds length to your gun, two inches at most, is that a big deal, I think not. These are the non thinking nay sayers words of wisdom on the negaitive..

On the plus side a brake releaves recoil almost all together IMo, some say 50%, that's fine, you need ear protection with any firearm so nois is not a problem, You can use a brake at the range to sight in and to test loads all day long, then unscrew it stick on a thread protector to hunt with if you must or desire to or just hunt with the brake on, be polite and advise those nearby or distance yourself from them..I see them more and more in Alaska and the worlds back country by those who survive on what they shoot..I believe anything that allows you to maintain your rifle balance, releaves its recoil and makes you shoot better, and not wound game is a plus, the rest is BS based on nothing..In your case go to a lighter caliber with a brake and enjoy your shooting..dump that big gun pronto.
 
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