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Looking for a VERY low recoil deer hunting rifle

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by leeinmemphis, Sep 4, 2002.

  1. leeinmemphis


    Nov 20, 2001
    Hey guys,

    I am wanting to get a new hunting rifle for the upcoming season. I have had problems in the past with shooting high power because I have a terrible flinch when shooting a rifle. Without going into great detail....I never had anyone show me how to shoot and bought a 7mag mounted a scope....took it out to shoot and pulled the trigger. Gun came back because the gun wasn't on my shoulder well and the scope broke my nose. Ever since then I have had a terrible flinch.

    I am looking for a gun that will go around say 150 yards or so with very low recoil. I am thinking that if I get a low recoil gun maybe I can somehow start to work out my flinch. I have been thinking about maybe a .308 or .44 but don't really know which one I should get. I have heard of people have trouble with shot placement on a .243 so I would probably prefer to stay away from that one.

  2. TScottW99

    TScottW99 NRA Life Member

    Jul 15, 2002
    Roanoke, VA
    well nothing is wrong with the .243win, if using the right bullet weights, i.e, 100 grain and above. Now for a better deer gun that has little recoil, .257Roberts. Ruger makes a nice 77 in that round and the round can be had for varmints and whitetail. Only problem is finding ammo for it can be expensive unless you reload. Another great low recoil round is the .25-06. This round is a deer knocker downer ;) Has a mile recoil and in the 115-130 grain bullet weight is one of the best whitetail rounds going. If your wanting to hunt in the 150 yard and under area even a 30-30 is a great round for whitetail. Out of these rounds I'm saving up for the 25-06 right now in a T/C Encore carbine... have shot dozens of deer with the 30-30 and hopefully will have a .257roberts one day ;)

  3. Ron3


    Sep 6, 2001
    Sounds like you need a .22 rifle and some range time. This will help you alot.

    You can't rush learning how to shoot a rifle. But it seems as though you want to have one rifle for now and one that will kill deer at common ranges.

    I would suggest a 20-inch barreled .44 magnum rifle. When you shoot these with .44 special they have nearly "zero" recoil. You can practice shooting these to get your shooting fundementals down without concern of recoil. Afterwards you can load up with .44 magnum rounds, which kick some but far less than that 7mm Magnum you had a bad time with. The .44 magnum loads will take down deer at the ranges you mentioned IF you put the bullets where they need to go.

    Mind you .44 special ammo is a little expensive and not all brands will feed in all rifles. So buy perhaps three different boxes of .44 special ammo and a box of .44 magnums and go shoot. You'll probobly pay about $15 a 50rnd box for the .44 spec and maybe $18 for a 50rnd box of .44 magnums.

    You can find new Winchester .44 mag lever action rifles for about $275 and Marlin .44 mag rifles for about $350. I reccomend the Marlin but others may disagree. The Marlin is ready to accept a scope mount and scope. I'm not sure about the Winchester.

    Also consider:

    Marlin or Winchester .30-30 lever action rifle
    Savage model 110 .243 caliber bolt-action rifle

    All of these rifle will do what you need yet low-recoiling and inexpensive.

    I would stay away from the semi-automatic rifles until you are more skilled.

    Just my advice,

  4. Recoil sitting at bench shooting a target is WAY worse than recoil standing up shooting a deer (or even a target). Keep that in mind.

    The .243 is a GREAT round. It is just enough for deer and has low recoil. That's probably the one to go with.

    The .308 is probably a better deer round, but will have slightly more recoil.

    Any problem you have with either of those two rounds will be much more mental than physical--especially if you are not sitting a bench for a whole box of ammo at a time.

    The heavier the gun, the less recoil.
  5. dgg9


    May 26, 2000
    Bucks County, PA, USA
    My $0.02 as a rifle shooter at roughly the same point on the learning curve: just get a $10 shoulder pad. It soaks up the recoil, and instantly got rid of my flinching problem when shooting .308 from a light rifle (700 ADL synthetic).
  6. Tom Horn

    Tom Horn Duty & Country

    Jul 9, 2002
    Belly of the Beast
    A 243 is a great deer round!! You will not flinch so you will probably be more accurate. A good solid hit with a 243 will kill any deer!!
  7. leeinmemphis


    Nov 20, 2001
    Thanks for the information guys I really appreciate it. I should have also mentioned that I have several high power rifles now. Browning A-bolt .270(my dads), winchester 30-30, remington 7400 carbine 30-06 with a kdf arrestor. The remington 30-06 is probably my favorite rifle and the one I shoot the best. On a bench I can make the shots touch at 100 yards. However whenever I get out in a treestand I subconsciously flinch while shooting. What do you guys think about me maybe putting an aftermarket recoil pad and having the trigger adjusted down a little and buy a case of surplus ammo? Would that still be a good start or do you think I'ld be better off buying a new setup all together? I have read that the difference in .308 and 30-06 is basically unrecognizable so I don't know if I'ld be better going this route. What do you think? Thanks again.

  8. 3MartiniLunch

    3MartiniLunch Vegan Slayer

    Jan 21, 2001
    also make sure you have a good cheek weld to the stock (won't matter w/ .243 et al, but more important .308 and above).
    I've found that most if not all production stocks (even Monte Carlo, but they're not as bad as the straight ones) appear to still be designed for open sights. thus, I have to lift my head slightly to get a scope picture. I haven't been whacked too bad, but then again I use either a .270 or a .50 muzzleloader, neither of which recoil badly.
    my solution was to build a cheekpiece on the comb of my .270 stock (a pre-'64 Win model 70 - straight stock, FYI), using an elastic 10-rd. ammo carrier (Walmar/Kmart ~$5.00, fits over rifle or shotgun buttstock to hold extra rds.), and an old sock. not the best solution in the rain (stays saturated against wood...not good for the lacquer), but works ok otherwise. Cabela's has a suede version with various sized rubber wedges to accomplish the same thing.
    now get thee a .22 and practice that flinch away!

    just saw your last post... maybe a touch of buck fever?
    practice shooting from field positions, not just benchrest while you're at the range.
  9. Something else that might help, is when you practice at the range make sure you are practicing shooting from the same type of position you will shoot from when hunting. In other words, get off the bench and practice shooting with and without a rest. Others here can probably name and describe the various stances better than I can. I have heard of a book called, "The Art of the Rifle" recommended several times before; I dunno if it will address these issues yet I expect it will.

    I second the idea of getting a .22 and practice, practice, practice.

    Best of Luck in becoming a sharpshooting rifleman.
  10. knuckle dragger

    knuckle dragger NSAWC

    Jul 15, 2002
    Nevada elev 7800 ft
    you might think im nuts.. but i use a swedeish mauser 6.5x55 cal the gun was very cheap around 150.00 bills almost like new condition barrel is like a mirror....any way the 6.5x55 is a very mild shooter with great range and very good power a very flat shooter and does not kick hardly at can get the carbine version or the long barreled m96 like i have...i know this sounds silly but i have used only milsurp guns for deer hunting for my whole life ..and deer in michigan and nevada..have filled my freezer with these old war horses enfield .303 mosin nagant 7.62x54 swede mauser 6.5x55 my favorite!!! if yer on a budget try looking at a swede!!! you wont be dissapointed!! remember this is only my opinion...
  11. Guest

    I'd advocate the .243, the 25-06, or the .257 Roberts also. All are mild recoil rounds.
  12. As a hunter that has his shooting arm pulled off, in a work acc.Try installing in stock mercury recoil reduceor. its inexpencive and works great. Also you might consider porting your rifle. it sure beats haveing to wear morphine patches after a hunting trip.

    good luck
  13. Sounds like you could do fine with one of the guns you already have. If you want a lighter recoiling rifle, I've heard nothing but good about the 7-08. Lot's of good calibers to choose from.
  14. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    concur with ron3 and deerslayer.

    marlin 44 mag ported is the ticket or .308 win

    but you have to get rid of that flinch or it will always haunt you.

    go to a firearms instructor.
  15. Something is not right here.

    You can shoot the 06 fine at the bench, but not while hunting? The physical aspect of the recoil is much greater at the bench than with the typical hunting position.

    The problem, then, is mental and changing calibers may not help. You should try the .243 anyway, but you may still have some problem with your shots while hunting--but it will not be because of recoil.

    Are you sure it is the flinching that is causing bad hunting shots? Of course, all of our shots will go from a quarter at a benched 100 yards to a basketball at an unsupported hunting 100 yards. Is that what is happening?
  16. leeinmemphis


    Nov 20, 2001

    What happens I think is that when it is on a bench I can sit there a totally concentrate on the pull of the trigger and not have to worry about making a steady shot because the rest does that for me. But once I get up in a tree stand for some reason and I have a deer in front walking/prancing whatever(not running) I seem to revert back to me old ways of just jerking the trigger. I also always fight my eye that is looking through the scope trying to close. I have almost gotten over that but every once in a while I notice my eye fluttering as the trigger is being pulled. Don't know if I am making any sense typing this stuff.....guess it is a little easier to explain in person.

  17. Well, then maybe just as long as you have confidence that the rifle you are holding will not recoil, then you might be ok and not flinch.

    That's why I think a .243 would be a good choice. I've had one and it is very gentle on the shoulder. Not even 1 tenth the recoil of a .30-06. The 06, if you think about it, and let it, hits like a Mack truck. The .243 does not do that and is much more like a .22LR in recoil.

    Tons of people use the .243 for deer. They like it for the same reason. Accurate, flat shooting, and kills deer good.

    Hard to go wrong with it, unless you take game larger than deer.

    Secret on how I overcome recoil. I mentally accept it. My .44mag revolver kicks some. Mostly has noise and blast. But I stagger the rounds and spin the cylinder. Then I aim and pull the trigger. Will it fire? Nobody knows. If I flinch, it is funny. FLINCH, click! The mind learns that flinching for no reason is silly. So, no flinch, then click! Or, no flinch, then BOOM! The mind learns to accept the boom.
  18. leeinmemphis


    Nov 20, 2001
    Ok Ithaca....

    You've convinced me. I'm going to go with a .243. Which brands/models are the most reliable and accurate? I would prefer a semi-auto over a bolt action. I'm going to go do some research and see what I can find out about the different brands/models available. Thanks again.

  19. Also, don't go light, get a heavy gun if you have a choice. Even a bull barrel.

    The down side is in lugging a heavy gun around.
    The up side is, better for target shooting, multiple shots, and less recoil.
  20. leeinmemphis


    Nov 20, 2001

    Here are a few choices:

    Remington 7400 22" barrel 7.5 lbs $520

    Browning Bar 22" barrel 7 lb 9 oz $833

    Winchester Model 70 coyote bolt action 24" barrel $691

    Savage Varmint series 112bvss bolt action 26" barrel 10 lbs $616

    For the money I would probably go with the remington I have one chambered in 30-06 and like the way the gun feels. Don't know much about the other brands. Any suggestions?