Stick with the 7-08 and use 140s. Even lighter if needed to reduce recoil. 120 grainers are great deer bullets also. Recoil should be mild. Another option is going bigger but going heavier on the rifle. I shoot a 284 and it's around 14lbs. I shoot 162s and it hardly pushes me much. Very mild.Is there something in between a 7-08 and .308? My son wants bigger, but the .308 has too much kick.
Not really going to help the recoil sensitivity...though recoil is so subjective to a host of factors. Unless I missed something, the OP'er hasn't posted more than once since his OP. No use wasting our time on this thread if he's not serious about his question/problem. We haven't received responses to important questions asked by various posters regarding relevant factors of consideration in order to give pertinent counsel. Why play the game?How about getting a 270?
I understand where you're coming from. I don't particularly like wearing hearing protection while hunting. But after suffering significant hearing loss I'm a huge advocate of them. And since I hunt alone I'm now considering a muzzle brake on some rifles.Most people have a love hate relationship with brakes. I certainly do. They really help shooting comfort but the noise level is horrible. Not a fan of ear protection when hunting so that is the biggest negative for me. Some say they really like electronic hearing protection while hunting. Wish I shared that feeling.