One of the major topics of discussion here seems to be the weight as well as recoil of a given rifle. Both are variables that are pretty much controlled by the individual gun owner. What rifle you buy or build, how much it weighs, what cartridge you choose to chamber it in all affects how much recoil that the rifle will have. Out of the box rifles can weigh anywhere between, let's say for giggles...6 pounds to 12 pounds or more. Those rifles are available in any number of calibers from light recoiling like the .223/5.56 on up to heavy recoiling like many of the magnum loads, which are way to numerous to list here. So how do we determine what rifle to buy or build? Are we buying something practical for it's intended use or simply something to appease the ego or maybe even show off a bit. Is the rifle going to be used for hunting, or is it going to be used for long range shooting? Most people do not like hauling a heavy rifle around through the mountains, woods and fields that we hunt in, especially in the mountains. If one is only interested in long range shooting then the weight of the rifle really doesn't matter all that much since it will only be carried from the car or truck to the range and back. If hunting the type of animal that you are going to be hunting will be a big factor in determining the caliber chosen. It seems that there is a big push on called magnum mania. Thoughts are that if it's not a magnum then it's not an efficient hunting (or for that matter target) rifle. In real life magnum cartridges have a disproportional balance between recoil, range and killing power as opposed to standard calibers which may in fact be a better choice over a magnum. Another factor to be considered is the usual and maximum distance you will be hunting. Most hunters will probably shoot at an absolute maximum of 300 to 500 yards. At those ranges standard rifle cartridges like the .270, .308 and 30-06 have been reliably killing all forms of North American (as well as other spots around the globe) game up to and including Big Bears without issue. So if you are not going to hunt elephants why use an elephant gun? OK, I've beat that topic to death although there is much more to be said, I'm going to stop here. More on the topic of recoil management, getting more into methods of managing recoil will be discussed in Part 2.