I have a number of cartridges including 270win, 308win, an 30-06, between those three I do not see much difference in recoil, yes the 270 an 308 are a little less then the 30-06 but not any thing of significance at lest to me. My 35 Whelen's have more recoil but even they are not bad. Magnum cartridges is were I see a big recoil difference as they have more recoil velocity. I have a 338 win mag that has a mercury dampener in the stock, I see little if any difference in it. My wife's 270 has a decelerator recoil pad on it and the recoil of it is a lot less then that of my 270's. My son's savage edge 30-06 has a very soft factory recoil pad and the same as my wife's rifle, recoil is greatly reduced. If your wanting a 30 caliber rifle for elk and larger game I'd go with the 30-06 over the 308, it will push heaver bullets better, other wise you may as well just use your 270 with 150gr. bullets. If your wanting to stay with a standard length action the 35 Whelen and the 338-06 are go options as well, they shot to 400/500 yard at about the same trajectory as the 30-06 but with heaver bullets. The 300 mags., an 338 mags. are very good elk and larger game but the 30-06, 338-06, and 35 Whelen are all grate cartridges too.