A graphical representation of impulse response for various calibers.Think of the recoil of a rifle like a rocket engine ejecting both solid and gaseous masses. The force on the rifle muzzle is a function of the bullet mass, the propellant mass and their respective velocities (ie, their momentum as the time rate of change of the mass leaving the muzzle times their respective velocities), as well as the muzzle exit pressure multiplied by the bore area. In general, the force is complicated in time in that the bullet kicks first, followed by the propellant gas and muzzle pressure. These actions provide the kick force over time, which when combined with the rifle weight can be converted to the recoil energy of the rifle mentioned previously. You can somewhat control the kick from the propellant. If you are able to turn the propellent gas by 90 degrees to the bore axis (ie, muzzle brake) there will be no kick from the burned gases. You can change the bullet mass, but the bullet velocity will also likely change which will, in turn, affect the kick. You can change the bullet (ie, bore) diameter and use a different powder to affect the muzzle pressure to change the pressure induced kick. In all, it is quite complicated in that just changing the bullet mass may not give the expected result. A muzzle brake is at least easy and it will definitely result with less recoil.
Another big factor is how much your rifle weighs. If it's a hunting rig then lightweight is fine for a few shots if you can tolerate it.
Not that you would notice in a hunting situation.
My 300 RUM tossing 230 Bergers at 3000 fps is 8 3/4 pounds with a muzzle brake and still kicks like ****.
Going from a 300 Berger to the 250 Berger in my 338 LM improved, I notice a difference. It's not great but it's noticeable. Could prove to offer another half dozen shots without a muzzle brake before taking a break.I'm shooting a 338 Edge with a 300 grn Berger. I also shoot a 300 RUM. Both rifles are similar in build and weight including having the same brakes. I'm shooting 199 grn Hammer Hunters in the RUM. The difference in recoil is night and day between the two.
My question is, how much bullet weight would I have to drop to start noticing a reduction in recoil with the Edge?
I actually hate to be the engineer in the room. It's 1/2 the mass of the bullet x velocity**2. So if you watch the velocity, you generally get a good result on reducing recoil. Of course, there is an impulse response that tends to be sharper with lighter, faster bullets (depends on what you respond to best), the mass of the rifle, and the loss of downrange energy (based mostly on BC over 500 yards). Some (like Hammers, which seem to be the rage) have a much worse stated BC than your Bergers and limit your effective range by as much as 100 yards based upon your energy on target minimum. Isn't life interesting? Tradeoffs. It's just math and empirical data which doesn't play favorites. I like fast and flat. Good hunting. Best.Going from a 300 Berger to the 250 Berger in my 338 LM improved, I notice a difference. It's not great but it's noticeable. Could prove to offer another half dozen shots without a muzzle brake before taking a break.