View Full Version : Looking for a VERY low recoil deer hunting rifle
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.
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 ;)
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.
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,
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.
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).
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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 all...one 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...
I'd advocate the .243, the 25-06, or the .257 Roberts also. All are mild recoil rounds.
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.
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.
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.
Originally posted by leeinmemphis
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 first...plus I have one chambered in 30-06 and like the way the gun feels. Don't know much about the other brands. Any suggestions?
For a bolt gun look at the Tikka's. They are so smooth and have such a nice trigger and cost around the $450-$500 ball park. For semi-auto check out the Browning BAR or if you don't live in MA or KA even the Armalite AR-10 in .243.. .though that's going to cost ya'.
Everyone has their favorite rifles, as well as cartridges.
Here is my suggestion for a light recoiling rifle you can use for deer, target, and varmit.
Remington 700VLS, .243, 9 3/8 pounds, 26 inch barrel, MSRP = $688. Put a Leupold scope of your choice on it.
Not a quick brush gun, but it's not going to recoil too much. I had the non-laminated version in 6mm (only sold it to go to college, still not sure if that was the right decision! ;a )
Here's the link to the gun
Hey Lee, a couple of things first what type of scope, did it have proper eye relief? So you dont have to be so close to the scope to be "bitten". You should be able to rest your head on the stock comfortably with the scope a few inches from your eye or face. You should be able to look into the scope and see it clearly, not a black shadow or only half of the crosshairs. I would have it mounted at a gunshop or by a gunsmith if this was not done? Second, caliber choice would be a 243 or 7mm-08 and possibly a 308? If you want to reduce recoil even more I would check into a semi-auto if legal in the state you are hunting. Such as a browning bar to take some more recoil out. Next as mentioned above a recoil reducer in the stock. Adding weight takes recoil out of the rifle. Lastly if necessary I would put a recoil brake on the muzzle. When hunting are you wearing ear plugs or any hearing protection? I wear hearing protection when I hunt, it is uncomfortable to me but it protects hearing and reduces flinch by taking out high noise levels. Hope this helps and good hunting. Esox357
Thanks for all the help guys.
I just ordered a browning bar auto with synthetic stock black matte finish with a 22" barrel. It weighs around 7 lbs without the scope. I also ordered a nikon monarch 3x9x50 (I know a little overkill but I really like the nikon line and if I ever sell the gun I can mount the scope on another gun). I am also going to take the gunsmith my 30-06 and have them put on a pachmeyer recoil pad on both of these guns. I went to 4 gun shops and ended up in a smaller shop where the guy didn't have the "gun store" mentality. Even though I am going to pay a little more than the larger stores their customer service went a long way. I really appreciate everyone's help.
If you add the Browning BOSS you will get reduced recoil at the expense of increased noise. Basically its a muzzle brake.
What caliber did you get? I would suggest the 25-06. I have a Ruger MrkII and it is a tack driver. I only wish I could shoot as strait as the rifle can.
It is chambered in .243
Well, have you shot that new gun yet?
If so, how is it? How's the recoil?
Report man, dagnabbit!
It should be in any day now. Can't wait :)
I used to do a lot of hand loading and would always site the rifles in for myself and my brother. They (brothers) asked me to help teach their kids to shoot. We used .243s and always had good ear protection. I'm convinced that 90% of flinching is from noise. I don't like to shoot a high-powered rifle with out hearing protection. Hell, a rifle doesn't kick that hard. It seems to me that a 12 gauge with heavy duck loads kicks more than a big rifle (300 Win Mag, etc.).
The kids shot extremely well - even the girls. They didn't seem to mind the kick - never even mentioned it.
So, practice with a .22 and the next time you shoot a center fire, make sure you use good (GOOD) hearing protection.
I hunted for years at a lodge in the Catskill Mountains which attracted many good hunters. In the early to late 1970's most of them used 30-06's, .308's and similar rounds. By the mid 80's nearly all of them had .243's. A great round. My pal had one and his deer dropped as if struck with lightening.
Personally I never felt the need for more than a .30-30 which is a pretty nice round to shoot. And I pratice with it a lot out to 200 yards.
My old Daddy told me, upon watching me flinch while first shooting his Marlin .30-30 many many years ago, "You'll never hear the shot, or feel the recoil once you've got the deer in your sights."
Ya know... he was right.
I agree with Knuckledragger on the old M-38 in 6.5x55, but also like your choice of the BAR in .243. Action and rifle's mass will soak up what little recoil the round generates. Watch out for that scope tho', depending on how much eye relief you give yourself. Wear good eye and double your hearing protection may take some of the fli... outa the flinch factor.
Practice Col. Cooper's "Snap Shot", practice prone, sitting, etc.
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