What level does recoil become painful.

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Thaddius Bickerton, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. I have had it pointed out that even the 22LR has "recoil" so I had this question running through my mind.

    At what level do people start to find it disturbing to themselves and their shooting?

    I start noticing it when firing rifles above 300 win mag.
    Handguns above .44 mag
    shotguns, well I pretty much haven't shot bigger than 12 gauge and that does not bother me so I really don't know for that.

    I also have seen people complain about stuff that I do not even pay attention to such as .223 and 7.62x39.

    So I was just hoping some folk would weigh in on what level recoil starts to impact them.

    And just to keep it simple lets say firing 20 rounds of ammo. but If one wishes to change to first round fired, then that is cool also.

    The first time I fired a .458 winchester mag, it truly got my attention. It wasn't so much as painful as it was a whole different level of recoil that I knew would take dedicated effort to master, and always tend to push me away from using it.

    My upper end comfort calibers are .308 / 30 06 and .45long colt, .45 acp .44 mag.

    Comfort meaning I can shoot them as much as I want or can afford and have no worries about experiencing any pain from them.

    Beyond those I have to focus on managing the weapon a bit more.

    What are ya'lls comfort and max reasonable calibers?

    Any insights would be of interest to me. And I'm not trying to start a pissing contest where we all brag on how much we can manage. I understand it is different for each of us for a plethora of reasons, and I'm just wondering if I'm so out of touch with typical, or if most folk have little problem with like .308?

    Well I'll check back later

  2. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    IMHO, it's not just the caliber, but also the design of the weapon. I have been bruised by a .308 Savage 99 with a steel buttplate, but have also fired .50 BMG rifles in the standing and prone without problems with proper compensators and buttpads. Granted I am tall and stout, but it depends on the gun. Anything with a 180 grain bullet over 2600 fps would need something to mitigate felt recoil for me to consider shooting it all day (buttpads, compensators, etc).
    tulianr, wrc223 and Gator 45/70 like this.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    30 cal with military stocks will bother me at between 10 and 20 rounds at a session. Can do two or three sessions a day, separated by a couple hours. 20 years ago, was recoil insensitive, no longer ---
  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I have had to quit the range after firing about 100 rounds from a 9x18 P64. Believe it or not, that little bugger has some serious recoil. Good training though. My 7mm Rem Mag kicks a bit, but a recoil pad makes it tolerable enough for 20-40 rounds. A 91-59 carbine (Mosin) kicks like a three-legged mule, especially with a bare steel buttplate. That's a low count shoot for sure.
    WestPointMAG, VisuTrac and ghrit like this.
  5. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    There is a difference in 'felt' recoil and recoil. Recoil is the same, felt recoil is not.
    With every action there is an equil and oppisite reaction, or something like that. (can't remember the exact quote). The weight of the firearm, size of the projectile and stance have a lot to do with the 'felt' recoil. A 454 Causal in a light frame will tear u up. As will a light weight rifle in 300 mag. The 300 in a 6lbs rifle as opposed to a rifle at 9lbs. A .22 mag derringer as opposed to a Ruger Single Six. How does the weapon fit the person? A lot of things to consider. I have shot .303 brit off the hip when people said it would knock me on my, uh, hinnie. 12 gauge, large bore rifles, LARGE hand guns were shot by my 'friend' and she was only about 105lbs, I was (still am) impressed by her ability to handle recoil. SS is correct IMNSHO, design, weight and practice of proper handling matter a whole lot.
    Gator 45/70 and BTPost like this.
  6. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I can Rock these all day long ...Including the Lahti...

    However the second one...Man O Man....

    [alllies]all [alllies]
    B-daybash12004. crickett_rifle_case_pink_camo.
  7. groovy mike

    groovy mike Immortal

    totally depends on the rifle. 303 in my No 1 Mk III kicks half as hard as 303 in my No 5 carbine. I've had 2 Winchester model 70s in 375 H&H (made about 40 years apart). One is stout but reasonable recoil. The other deliveres recoil that rattles your teeth and jumps the rifle out of your hands wityh the exact same load.
  8. ISplatU

    ISplatU Monkey+

    I agree. The rifle makes a big deal. My Sub 2000 in 9mm has more felt recoil than my AK 47.
  9. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    My Sako .375 H&H Magnum is much more pleasant to shoot than my 1903 Springfield in .30-06 but my Garand is a delight to shoot in the same caliber. My .45-120 Sharps is easier on my shoulder than my Remington .45-70 double-barrel,which kicks much more than my Sharps Carbine in the same caliber. My M-79 40mm grenade Launcher kicks like a mule when you shoot a .22-18 beehive rounds (18 .22 LR at once). My point is that the design and fit of a weapon has more to do with perceived recoil than the caliber, at least with rifles. Proper grips and grip on a hand-cannon makes a big difference too. I shoot a .50 S&W that has a ten inch barrel and Hogue grips with less cringe than I do shooting a .357 with small wooden grips and a short barrel.
  10. wrc223

    wrc223 Monkey+

    I can shoot my Sako .300 Win Mag all day with no problem. My Ruger No.1 in .300 Win Mag gets only 10 through it to ensure accuracy and group, cleaned, and put back away.
    I have yet to shoot a shotgun that has enough recoil to bother me (keep in mind that is shooting shot...NOT slugs) and I have shot many models in many gauges up to 10 gauge.
    Pistols are difficult to say for me. Back years ago I broke my wrist. A few years later I broke my arm. Ever since, amount of recoil I can handle is completely dependent on the angle and size of the grip in relation to the caliber being shot. In .22LR it doesnt matter....
    But if the grip angle is really shallow then even a .40 S&W could cause me discomfort. With a sharp angle like in a 1858 Remington, 1911, 1873 Colt, or a Glock, I can handle all of your standard pistol rounds with ease. None of that rifle round in a pistol stuff for me though.
  11. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    my max is a 12 gauge with 3" slugs in a pump 870. Sighting that sucker for deer hunting is NOT enjoyable for much more than a couple of boxes of 5 ea.
    That said, same round in a Semi Auto shotgun only limited to how many rounds i want to send down range.

    It's mostly a matter of the weapon, I will not shoot a snub nosed 44mag with an alloy frame ever again. I think I finally got the feeling back in my hands.
    tulianr likes this.
  12. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    By fare my P-64 is the one firearm that I own that I find uncomfortable to shoot and with a 29 pound trigger pull gets hard on the finger after a wile. Shooting a P-64 is like banging on a telephone pole with an aluminum baseball bat. Do not get me wrong it is my EDC and do not think it will have any problem getting the job done if need be.
    I do not have a problem with recoil from any long gun. My little company makes the best recoil pads on the market and can bring any long gun down to zero felt recoil.
  13. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    I heard someone say that "real men don't complain about recoil". I think that someone is an idiot. I myself am not above telling anyone when a mule just kicked me. What is 20 rounds downrange? "Oh that's nothing." Yeah, if your shoulder is dying, then how do you expect to be ready for a sustained firefight? My train of thought is find your caliber. You know the one you are most comfortable with for reasons of stopping power, penetration or whatever. Then choose the weapon. If you have to alter said weapon because it kicks the crap out of you, don't worry. When hero man can't shoot more than 40 rounds accurately because the "real man" in him is an idiot, those with the right equipment can rock on. Standard load out for a soldier with an M4, 210 rounds. That is just .223. What if it was .308? Can you fire 210 rounds from a 308 in your weapon?

    Hopefully you will never be in a sustained firefight where you have to expend all those rounds, but wouldn't you rather be able to do so, comfortably? I am an advocate of recoil pads and as with the military rifles, buffer springs. I am personally wanting to swap out my SKS with no recoil pad for an AR10 with a buffer spring. If I can't shoot accurately and often because of the pain in my shoulder, then my buddies might die. So instead of holding on to pride, "I'm the man", I will adapt my equipment to me so that I may be successful. And for me, my 3030 kicks like a mule. The SKS 7.62x39 agitated it and my .308 finished me off. So I'm on that level.
    tulianr, Gator 45/70 and oldawg like this.
  14. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    It most definitely is the weapon design!
    For instance my older Mossbergs in 12 gauge were a real pleasure to shoot and I could shot 4 and 5 boxes ( of 25 rds. ea.) all day long. I could easily handle 2 3/4 inch slugs and have shot up to 25 in one setting. Now I have newer Mossbergs, with synthetic stocks, and they KICK like mules on locoweed! I hate them. The only weapon I ever fired that HURT me ( severe recoil) was a .458 Winchester a friend in Denver bought to take to Alaska. That trip ended before it ever began. 1 shot and I went one way and the massive rifle went the other way, and he sold the cannon right then and there to a guy on the range! That was a nasty gun...But I have been told it was NOT the caliber as there are many ein that caliber (or were at one time) and not all rifles ar made alike...
    I am a firm believer in that today!
    I'm 6 ft, and 220 lbs...and I have fired a lot of weapons, but there is a real difference in the designs...
    tulianr likes this.
  15. Fridge

    Fridge Monkey

    Weapons have been a part of my life for over 45 years and I will honestly say my 308 has now become a real kicker at my age. Yes AGE has now dictated what I am comfortable shooting. I recently was target practicing with a bolt action 308 and realized the darn weapon was kicking my butt. As a sniper in the military, I never thought I would ever say that but now it's said.
    tulianr likes this.
  16. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    There are two types of recoil, calculated and felt.

    Calculator: Recoil Calculator

    Calculate Recoil Energy | Outdoor Life

    The calculator does not consider all the variables and there are really a lot of them. Burn rate is a good example.
    If you know and need all the variables considered there is a Physics BBS. For the rest of us the calculator does just fine. ;)

    There is also felt recoil which can modify free recoil. Stock design can change felt recoil. Also the way you hold the firearm can affect recoil radically. ;)
    tulianr likes this.
  17. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    I forgot to mention, there use to be a material called Sorbathane or something like that. It's used to make sleeping ground mats. Stick that in side of your shooting jacket. It can make a difference especially with a mule kicker.
    dragonfly likes this.
  18. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Recently ( due to mileage and not so much to age) LOL! I made some changes to all my large bore rifles and shotguns...
    I had purchased about 6 or 7 of those red rubber "slip on" butt pads and had them put away for future use. I put them into use! Now I need to go out and see if they do help cushion the recoil. Their design is good and they are pretty heavy duty, which is why I bought them several years ago....The ones I am concrned about is not so much the shotguns, as I can always trade them or change the stocks back to the older wood designs...I am concerned about those Moison-Nagants in 7.62 x 54r caliber! The steel buttplates have me a bit worried!
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You may need to shorten the stocks on the MNs for those boot style pads. The stocks are on the long side to begin with. That said, there's good reason to use something to make them bearable for more than 20ish rounds. (Especially with the heavier bullets that come in milsurp, say 182 gr and up.) :D
    dragonfly likes this.
  20. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    yep, like the 203 gr. ones i got for dead eye to sight his MN with. (I kinda hope it kicks like a p.o. mule that just got stung by a bald faced hornet) W/ the 148 L.B.S. in the spam can we should only need to adjust elevation when the time comes to crack them open.
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