Very Low Recoil Deer Rifle

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by mcflyfisher, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. mcflyfisher

    mcflyfisher Member

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    I have been lurking here for a few weeks now. I can tell in that amount of time that you all can answer my questions better than most. I live and hunt in Michigan. Long range for us is about 400 yards. I know this is medium range for most of you westerners, but it is what we have here. My grandfather is very small framed 80 year old. He has hunted all of his life, but has become very recoil sensitive due to a combination of deteriorating shoulders, and an abusive Rem 7600 in 30-06. He has ditched the 30-06 in favor of my Savage Model 10 in .243. Herein lies the problem. The .243 is much too long stocked for him. As a result it causes him stretch out too far over the gun and separate his shoulder just enough to make the small recoil of this gun painful enough to continue his flinching. This in turn causes him to make very poor shots at all distances. I don't expect I will have too many years left in which to hunt with the old guy, and want to make the time we have left more productive for him.
    I need a little input on my current plan. I want to build him a rifle that he can shoot without any recoil pain. To this end, I think I will stick with the .243. A .308 or 7mm-08 would be a great choice for killing deer, but for recoil concerns the .243 seems like a better choice. The current savage is bone stock. It has the Savage tupperware stock. It has the non-accutrigger. Here is what I have in mind

    RifleBasix Trigger
    Boyd Laminated thumbhole stock shortened two inches
    Simms Recoil Pad
    Float and Bed

    My questions are about barrel selection. I could just leave the stock barrel, but I think adding a heavier barrel would help reduce recoil just because of the added weight. The first question is what barrel should I be looking toward? What length is the most efficient for the .243? With the idea of using 95+ grain bullets what twist should I be looking for? Is a brake going to be very effective on a .243, or will the added muzzle blast increase the precieved recoil? By the way, this idea is just on paper at this point, so I am open to any input.
     
  2. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    The 243 is a fine deer round out to 400yds if you can shoot it strait and good bullets are used.
    it sounds like you on the right track with the stock shortening and the Sims pad as they work realy well. Also most guns will benifit from a good bedding job and trigger work.
    A very light framed youg lady we hunt with shoots a custom 243 loaded with factory Hornady Custom ammo with a 95gr SST , she has killed deer out to 375is yds and a big hog 400+lbs at 200yds. tracking here deer is never a problem as they bleed good and don't go far. the pig was hit behind the shoulder bullet go to both lungs and he only walked about 20 feet , she said he just kinda looked around and walked off.
     

  3. jeffbird

    jeffbird Well-Known Member

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    fwiw - my wife was shooting a Ruger M77 in 6mm Rem and having problems similar to what you are describing. Set her up with a heavier rifle, Win M70 Coyote, in 7WSM which has much more muscle, but added an Ops Inc brake and load some rounds for her to run 162 Amaxes at 2800. The gun has almost no recoil and she shoots it lights out. She used to complain after 4 or 5 shots from the 6mm. Now she can shoot 50+ rounds from the bench without any problems.
     
  4. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    If you can spend the money I would build him a heavier 243 with a good brake and set up to shoot the 105 amax. If not, have the rifle you have worked on with the upgrades you mentioned and get a brake.
     
  5. mcflyfisher

    mcflyfisher Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    If you can spend the money I would build him a heavier 243 with a good brake and set up to shoot the 105 amax. If not, have the rifle you have worked on with the upgrades you mentioned and get a brake.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Is there any reason to not use the savage action to build a heavier .243? He hunts out of a box blind, and uses his ATV to get there, so this can be built as heavy as needed. What is needed to make a "heavy" rifle? It seems like a heavy barrel, and a heavy stock would go a long way. What else should be done?
     
  6. James H

    James H Well-Known Member

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    All your ideas are good. A brake on a 243 Win would make recoil almost nil. However I will never again shoot a gun with a brake without hearing protection, in a hunting situation that means electronic hearing protection.
     
  7. mcflyfisher

    mcflyfisher Member

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    Seeing as how he is very nearly deaf, and uses very expensive hearing aids, I don't think the report of the rifle will be an issue for him. I use electronic protection on my much younger ears while at the range. The question still is, what barrel?
     
  8. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    MCFLY

    Barrel weight will effect recoil:

    Example- A 3006 sporter weight rifle that shoots a
    150 gr bullet at 3000 ft per sec produces
    24 ft lbs of recoil @ 14.8 ft per sec.

    A 243 sporter weight rifle that shoots a
    90 gr bullet at 3000 ft per sec produces
    10.1 ft lbs of recoil @ 9.6 ft per sec.

    A 708 with a 20" # 7 tapered barrel that shoots a
    120 gr bullet at 3000 ft per sec produces
    10.0 ft lbs of recoil @ 7.7 ft per sec.

    So as you can see a heaver barrel can reduce recoil
    with out the use of a muzzle brake. (None of these examples
    have a brake)

    I hope this helps
    J E CUSTOM
     
  9. Roll-Yur-Own

    Roll-Yur-Own Well-Known Member

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    I Agree. If it a .243 then I wouldn't bother with a brake, just make the rifle heavier. You could use your savage action, just get a #7 Barrel and see if you can get a Savage laminate stock for their heavy barrel varmint rifles. That should be a nice heavy stock.

    Good Luck
     
  10. speedbump

    speedbump Well-Known Member

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    I'd put the brake on a .243 with a heavy-ish barrel, shortened stock, & give him some range time on reactive targets for fun. Once he sees the impact on target every time - since the recoil won't be sufficient to move the target out of the field of view - he'll get back to enjoying the shot & following through like he used to. Set his blind up like the range's bench top & you're in business.
     
  11. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    The Savage actions are great to build on , if your even half way handy with tools you can change the barrel yourself give Fred at Sharp Shooters Supply (SSS) and see what he has aas far as barrels go , he uses Douglas barrels and I have never seen one that diden't shoot well.
    A 243 with a factory Savage heavy barrel and the Sims recoil pad will have very little recoil I woulden't bother with a brake. Fred has stocks also if the funds are their you could have him to the shortening and pad fitting for you , its alot easier with a big disc sander.
     
  12. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    I understand your commitment to keeping your grandpaw out in the woods.

    I see that you posted ranges out to 400yds, would he be shooting this distant or keeping his shots in closer?

    One other thing, if you handload, have you considered reducing the loads?

    I have a Ruger Compact in .308 which is only about 6 and a half pound field ready. I dropped some handloads which use a 125gr Nosler BT @ 2350fps. My 5yr old grandson has no problem shooting up to around 10 rounds at a time through it. (After that he gets a little stir crazy.) The loads are found on the Hodgdon website under Youth loads.

    Just another option to building him a lighter weight rifle, shortened stock and lighter loads. Handloading some bottom end stuff you can still get away with using a little heavier load, but not using top end stuff. Remington and Federal both load reduced recoil loads for the .308 which are good for deer out to 150yds or so. One is a 125gr bullst the other is a 170 gr. At the loaded velocities, they both have decent penetration for use on whitetails.

    Just throwing out other options.

    On the .243 the 95gr bullets do well in a 1-10. I have used them for years in a couple of .243's. I have loaded them to the max and down to the minimum loads and had good luck with both ends. With the BT's I found that anything leaving the muzzle at around 2800fps worked great out to 200yds, from just about any angle. The higher the velocity the more critical the placment do to hitting heavier bone. When they hit at the higher velocity they tend to have more of a splatter effect and not penetrate as much.

    SImilar to mentioned above, if you handload or have a friend who does, you can talor the loads to a standard rifle which will have little recoil, especially if the stock fits him and you add the recoil pad. I have loaded for several small framed kids who shot the 243 including my daughter when she first started hunting. One of them was totally recoil shy as well as didn't like the muzzle blast. I used some AA-3100 and the 95gr BT's and it worked out great for him.

    Good luck in your decisions and hope you get to spend the time your looking for in the field with your grandpaw.
     
  13. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

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    "I used some AA-3100 and the 95gr BT's and it worked out great for him."
    This is the same load I use in my Sako .243, I shot 3 whitetail in Tx this year, they never moved. I normally shoot BLR in a 7mm-08 in the woods here in Pa. loaded with 145 Speers over 760 powder. Wish I had taken the .243 though on the last day, I know that would have reach across that field and hit that big doe (200+).
    I think if you put that .243 together for Pop he will put that shot where it he knows it has to go without the recoil. I've had 3 shoulder operation myself, nothing macho about recoil now it hurts. I Pachmyered the 7mm-08 to soften the blow this year also.

    Its good to here you hunt with your elders, I'm sure he bubbles all up thinking about hunting with you.
     
  14. mcflyfisher

    mcflyfisher Member

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    Thanks for all the information. It gives a lot to think about. I do hand load for the .243. To be honest, it seems like a marginal Deer round to me. He lost one deer this year to a poorly placed shot. If I can get him to shoot enough to get rid of the flinch, the .243 will be fine. He needs to be able to put the bullet in the right spot everytime. We tracked several deer that he shot this year due to less than stellar shot placement. Every time I see him I say something to the effect of "high front shoulder". It is an odd greeting, but he should start to think about shot placement. The venerable .32 special that he hunted with for 40 years would kill deer out to 150 yards if they were hit just about anywhere in the front half of the body. 95 grain BTs seem to kill deer quickly only if they are shot through the front shoulders and anchored right where they stand, otherwise they seem to run about 50 yards. I hesitate to light load the .243 for this reason. BTW, most shots are under 200 yards, but there could be a need to reach a bit farther.