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What about it "big game" hunters:
  Which of the following dangerous game rifles is the heaviest recoiling in YOUR judgment: 375 H&H; 416 Rigby; 416 Remington; or 458 Winchester Magnum? To what do you compare the recoil of each? Does it seem muzzle brakes help? What about their factory recoil pads...do they work? (CZ 550 Safari Magnum; Winchester Mod. 70; Savage 116SE as examples.) Any experiences you'd like to relate when shooting one or all of these?

Happy shooting,
Timberwolf
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Timberwolf,

This response is not intended to answer you specific questions, but may offer an interesting side-light to the question of heavy recoil.  Thevideos of the recoil are unreal.

Some weeks ago I added a post in the Wildcat category about the 577 Tyrannosaur. Here's a small part of that post that can guide you to the web site with videos of this beast being shot.

577 TYRANNOSAUR
(Note: videos of the 577 T-Rex being shot can be seen
at http://www.accuratereloading.com - chose the 'Humor and Video' option. I'd recommend the 'Ali's Brave Three Shots' video)

Dan




(Edited by DOK at 6:54 pm on Aug. 7, 2001)
 

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That really is impossible to answer not given any specs.  I'll explain why.  I have a 375 H&H, 416 Rigby x 2, 458 Win, and I'll throw in a 45-70 and a 50 BMG.  The 375, one 416 Rigby, and the 45-70 are all No. 1 Rugers.  The .458 is a M77 Ruger, and the other 416 Rigby is a M77 Mk II Magnum.  On these rifles, and these rifles only, the recoil is least felt at the top, going up in felt recoil as you go down the list:
50 BMG AR-50-braked of course -least recoil of almost any CF I own
375 H&H with 250 gr. bullets at 2890 fps-no brake
M77 in 458 win with 500 gr. bullets at 2100 fps-no brake
M77 in 416 Rigby with 400 gr. bullets at 2500 fps-no brake
No.1 416 Rigby with 325 gr. bullets at 2924 fps (sans brake, with brake I would rate it as less recoil than the 375 H&H)

and for the worst recoiling rifle I own:

Ruger No. 1 7.25 pound .45-70 with 450 gr. bullets at 1824 fps-no brake

Rifle weight, stock design, recoil pad, recoil pulse, bullet weight, powder weight, velocity, and of course if a brake is present, all have to do with the way recoil is created and then again how it is perceived by the shooter.

The brake on the No 1 .416 takes a rifle that is brutal and turns it into a ***** cat.  The No. 1 45-70 with lighter bullets at the same speed is not near as punishing, but that little 7 1/4 pound rifle with the 450 gr. bullets is a terror, on both ends. The recoil pulse is extremely fast,and it comes back hard.  Backing off the load just a tad and/or use a 400 gr. bullet and the recoil seems much less.  The 458, even with the 500 gr. bullets are using relatively small amounts of powder, the rifle is heavy, it wears a good pad, and the recoil seems slow as molasses. It just seems to roll you back, same with the M77 416 Rigby and the 375 H&H.  On the other hand, the 45-70-450 is an extremely fast jab that you cannot roll with, it just hammers you.  Ruger factory pads, forget them.  All of mine wear Decelorators and they really help reduce the perceived recoil.  Ruger factory pads are murder in any caliber that kicks.
 

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There are other factors to consider other than just the round. Stock configuration is a BIG factor. Some of the hardest kicking rifles I have encountered had poorly designed stocks that really contributed to the effect of the recoil. A Remington 600 in .308 I had used to beat the dog out of me until I replace the J.C. Penny's (yes they used to sell guns) stock and a Ruger No. 3 in .45-70 damn near caused me to give up centerfires. I have a .458 Magnum that doesn't punish me anything like those two rifles did. I also have a .375 H&H that is Mag-Na-Ported that kicks less than my 12 gauge. I am sold on Mag-Na-Port for the larger calibers.
 

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Free recoil in a 10 lb rifle is given by:

(powder wt in grs X 4700)plus

(bullet wt in grs X velocity).

Divide this total value by 7000.

Square this total value and divide by 640.

Just scale this final result up or down for the reference gun weight divided by the actual gun weight.

Muzzle brakes reduce or eliminate the 4700 value, so the higher the powder to bullet weight ratio, the better the brake will work to reduce free recoil.

Perceived recoil is a function of free recoil, and dependent on stock geometry,and the energy absorbed by the stock, and pads, as well as the surface area of the butt/pad.
 

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DOK,
That video "just aint right". That doesn't look like a user friendly combination!

I've shot the Ruger Mark II in 416 and it wasn't that bad..standing. I only put 10 rounds through it, they where Federal factory equivalent handloads. I wouldn't shoot it off the bench for money. This would be the maximum recoil I can tolerate and still hit things. The .375 H&H, in the two rifles I've shot it, was manageable, not my idea of a leisure activity though. I shot a .378 off the bench once when I was a younger man, no muzzle break or fancy recoil pad. I couldn't lift my hand up to my face to shave for three days. The worst rifle I have ever fired from any position, as mentioned by J.P., was the Ruger #3 in 45-70. It was stoked with full power reloads with a 500gr cast bullet. The recoil was beyond vicious, it was completley beyond my tolerance. Like the foolish man in the video DOK mentioned, I shot it 3 times, not to be humbled by a mere 45-70! The furniture on the #3 was the worst possible for a heavy hitter. The guy who owned it "found a home for that mother________" . That was the way he put it. He wasn't a very big guy, but much tougher than me, as he had actually developed loads off the bench for the rifle. He did mention that bloodshed was part of the load development process with that rifle. He replaced it with a #1 that I later shot with the same loads and could not believe the difference a good stock and some extra weight could make. The largest rifle I've ever fired was a original PO Ackley rifle in .450 Ackley Magnum, it had MagnaPorting, and it was too much for me. It didn't feel like the big push described for the .458 WinMag. It came back quick and hard and almost knocked me on my bum. I had no desire to fire it more than once. I suspect the MagnaPorting, in keeping the muzzle down, directs some additional recoil in the rearward direction.

I think that most of it is related to recoil calculation, but stock design is a tremendously important aspect of heavy-recoiling rifles. I would have a hard time putting a scope on anything over a .375 H&H, and that would be of low power and long eye relief. It would seem to me that you would really want the stock to be tightly under your cheek with any type of sights, metal or optical, with any of these rifles, or you could probably hurt your teeth.
 

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Recoil

bye all means drift that scope forward, boy I learned the hard way shooting some hot loads out of my 450 marlin, those lever guns have no forgiveness;) before I knew it blood was running down my face, the look of the guys at the range, was like they saw a ghost LOL. No just me bleeding all over me and the bench and the rifle etc...geeze that will leave a mark. Thought I would share that with you big banggers;) Go ahead LOL, its ok its been a while I can take it;)Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 

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The first time I witnessed "magnum eyebrow" was with a buddy of mine shooting my .340. I left the gun in my cabinet for a few years, as I had purchased it when Weatherby moved operations stateside, and I couldn't pass up a synthetic Mark V for $380. When I decided to take it from the safe, all I had laying around was a Weaver 2x10, a good scope in it's own right for the money. It became apparent to me that my friend's shooting technique didn't accomodate the rather meager eye relief afforded by that scope. I can say that I made a good effort to prevent injury, I had a KDF installed before I ever took it home from the gun shop. To this day, he'll never trust me when it comes to firing any of my larger rifles, even if I do it first.

That aside, the bloodshed I speak of with the Ruger #3 was not associated with a scope. The bleeding would be a result of the violent recoil that would cut your fingers from the trigger guard, it was truly violent. I think the non-forgiving buttstock plate could also cause actual bleeding from blunt trauma with these rifles. Thankfully, I knew when to say when. I know the old style Ruger 44 auto would make your shoulder tender firing 50 or more 300gr loads, this thing would just plain batter a man. They both shared essentially the same butt plate. Shooting one of these would be like the proverbial "ball kicking" contest, just to see who could take more abuse.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Big gun + big scope + big ego = big dent in forehead!

Seriously, people get in a hurry to put lots of magnification on everything, don't realize that means short eye relief (generally). It can happen if you crawl the stock on a .30-06 and a 20x scope.

When I put a scope on my .458, the ONLY criteria was it must have lots of eye relief! Fortunately, scopes with lots of eye relief are usually lower-powered and light. I ended up with a Leupold VX-III 1.5x5. This has about 5 inches of eye relief at the lowest setting, and as a bonus, the scope is as far forward in the rings as it will go so it can't slip.

You can scope the boomers, just have to approach the problem from the right angle.
 

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Scope Ring Eybrow

Many eons ago when I was a lad of 12 or 13 (around the time dirt was invented) took a jap 7.7 (all orig) with a 4 power weaver, with a brass tube, out shooting. This had the scope set way back, being young and dumb I crawled right up the stock and had my eyebrow on the scope. Then I fired it,thought for sure the gun had fired backwards because of the blood running down my face, not to mention the pain. When I got home, MOM, patched me back to gather, but when Dad got home he put pain on the other end, out behind the wood shed. I kinda took his gun with out asking first. I now set my scopes as far forward as I can and stay away from the long ones that come anyplace near my eyebrow.

Gun Runner
 

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Since the question wasn't specific as to what parameter was being asked about, felt recoil, perceived recoil, actual recoil energy, or limited to guns we can actually afford. One major payer has been left out, probably because most of us can't afford one, want one, or see any practical use for.

Without a shadow of doubt, the caliber being available in a portable and practical rifle, and being legal and also reloadable with cast bullets if we have a mind to, is the .50 U.S. Ordnance, better known as .50 Browning Machine Gun.
 

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I once had a T/C Contender with a 21" .45-70 tapered barrel. Man, I'm telling ya' that thing whollops anyone hehind the scope!!
 

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That's a scope I wouldn't want to sit behind. Thank God for the fact that the T/C's where only safe to be loaded to factory levels. The stout loads for the #1's and such would destroy you behind a T/C. I didn't particularly enjoy prolonged strings of these loads behind a BPCR, which weighs about 13 lbs.
 

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Yeah, I think that the T/C w/scope only weighs around 4 1/2 pounds. And I was using 400 grainers to boot! It was pretty exciting.
 

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The HARDEST kicking RIFLE I've ever shot is my NEF Handi-Rifle in 45/70. I use 300-535gr bullets with loads that aproach the Ruger #1 loads. Pressure is not a problem, but recoil is horrendous! I've fired everything from 17 Remington, to 416 Wheatherby and this is by far the hardest kicking rifle I've ever shot. I guess I should mention that it weighs LESS than 5.5lbs. The hardest kicking SHOTGUN I've ever fired is also made by NEF. Not a 10ga, but a 12ga 3 1/2" that weighs maybe 5lbs. It is absolutely BRUTAL, even when shooting at game. I won't even touch it anymore. It bruises on the first shot, and cuts your finger on the trigger guard. Just my $0.02 worth.

SSB
 

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I have had and fired 375 H & Hs, 416s, and 45/70s. All had plenty of jump, but The hardest kicking rifle that i have ever fired was a savage laminant in 338 Win Mag. That thing would rattle a fellow's bridgework, and knock the blood out of the old pumper.

It would shoot pretty straight, except after about 6 rounds i had the shakes so bad, I had to quit.

Had to be the stock design, reckon?

Steve
 

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12ga. 3" Mag, I was a mere tad of about 12 or so and got invited on my first goose hunt.
Layin' flat on my back in a frozen Hard corn field, told by my elders not to move atall not even blink when geese were near.
Well in they come and I waited real still till they were right on top of me and then just swung that old 12ga straight up without sittin' up any atall!!
Thought I had broke my shoulder for sure!! :(
It's not always what Ya shoot but how.
 
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