I'm not that far behind you.lol The years really do fly by, especially as we get more seasoned with age. The hills become steeper for some unknown reason and the body becomes less willing.
Good luck with your knee replacement, in a few more years I believe I will need a new hip myself
For a long range rifle it helps immensely to have a muzzle brake. From practicing more because of less recoil, having better form, and being able to spot shots. Another alternative is a suppressor for you. Best of both worlds.
I hear you about better shot tracking at long range, the only issue is that I will also be using this rifle in the woods. I don't want to chance ever shooting a braked 338 RUM without hearing protection, also 2-3 inches on a 26" barrel is a little long for me, granted I could take the brake off while hunting.
I'll get my rifle in next week, who knows maybe one shot will completely change my mind about a brake
I have to agree with several of the experienced guys here that posted that the muzzle break just makes for a more enjoyable and accurate shooting! I have been shooting unbreaked rifles all my life, from 12 ga 3'' Shotguns loads to a 338-378 wby and 416 Rem Mag, these kick!!! I am by no means recoil shy. Any one that has shot the latter rifles knows what I mean about recoil! I also shoot tactical rifle competition with a 308 and 260. On the competition side, I see more and more shooter showing up with breaks and suppressors. They are chasing accuracy and quick repeatable, accurate shots. I too have switched over to breaks and supressors and have found that my accuracy has greatly increased, especially for follow up shots on additional targets. I use the Peltor electronic hearing muffs in comp, they work great.
On the long range shooting, the break allows me to spot my shots and send a second corrected one if I miss judged the distance/wind or need a finishing shot. I was one of those guys that really disliked breaks because of the noise, however, my big rifles would jump so much, it was not as fast getting back on target, especially on dangerous game! My 416 Rem Mag still does not have a muzzle break for the trackers and PH, but I did install a mercury reducer in the stock. Now, I just make it a point to always have hearing protection with me from Africa to the Artic circle. I use the hearing protection that has an orange neck plactic neck band so they are always within quick reach for hunting.
My belief, do what works best for you, this just happends to work best for the shooting that I do.
I finally got my 338 RUM in today, it's the model 700 XCRII. I shot some 225 grain Hornady SST's at max load from a bipod and I was amazed at how mild the recoil was!! by putting my hand on top of the scope I was able to maintain my sight picture after each shot, my shoulder isn't even the slightest bit sore after 5 rounds from the prone position. I seriously feel that the 210 grain bullets I shoot from my 300 win mag have slightly more recoil than 225's from the 338 rum. Maybe Remington really designed the stock well, at any rate I will definitely not be needing a brake for this gun.
I still haven't tried any 250 grain bullets yet so maybe there will be a big jump in recoil, I doubt it will be enough to consider excessive.
So far I'm loving this round, and the craters it leaves in the dirt are something else!
Well, your definatley not the norm, calling the recoil mild! FWIW, putting your hand on top of the scope to shoot, is a bad habit to get into. IMO, its one more variable that can cause poor shot placement.