Gentlest Recoiling Rifle

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by lklawson, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Some of you may remember about a year ago, I was forced to reevaluate my position on "real men's rifles." Frankly, I hated them. They just beat on my shoulder and were unpleasant to shoot. I'd formed my opinion on 30-06, Mosin Nagant 7.62x52R, and 30-30's (which were the least unpleasant but would still "build up" after a while). Lever guns and bolt actions, of course. The pistol caliber carbines, such as the M1 Carbine and a buddy's Marlin levergun in .44Mag were OK (more the .30 carbine than the 44, but whatevs). But a "real man's rifle" was just not what I wanted to shoot.

    Then a buddy talked me into shooting his tricked out .308 AR. 10 rounds down range and no pain. It was a joy to shoot, particularly in comparison with that man-eating Mosin Nagant Carbine. Ugh.

    So I was forced to reevaluate the AR platform and eventually bought an entry level AR in 5.56 (S&W M&P Sport). I've been very pleased with it and even my recoil sensitive wife didn't mind shooting it (though she preferred a HP 995 "Classic" monkey gun citing that it had less felt recoil and felt lighter to her; I think she liked the cheap red-dot optic on it too). Stock, without any special after market accessories, it has about the same felt recoil as my buddy's .308 (which did have after market goodies).

    However, another buddy has a FAL in .308 which he claims is far less pleasant to shoot, bordering on unpleasant after a mag or two, and fairly heavy to boot. Not like the aforementioned .308 AR at all. That got me to thinking about this topic.

    Ground Rules:
    This is mostly a thought experiment, so let's not get all entangled in EOW or too upset over the following general guidelines. Let's try to keep the selections to within these parameters:

    • Must be a "real man's" caliber. I'm going to define that as any rifle cartridge which has a ~.30 projectile or greater and makes energy ranges in roughly 7.62x39 / .308 or better. No pistol cartridges or "poodle shooters."
    • Semi-auto rifle, military or civilian pattern. Yes, I'm leaving out bolt and lever guns.
    • Detachable box magazines are preferred by not required (won't rule the M1 Garand out of the discussion).
    • Price tag, including special bells and whistles, such as non-issue compensator and muzzle brakes, should be under $1,000.
    • Last, and most critically, the rifle MUST be gentle on the felt recoil. Carbine length Mosin Nagant's and Springfield 1903's are benchmarks for unpleasant shooting (as are a number of 12Ga shotguns) to me.

    Fill in your favorite gentle recoiling rifle. Explain what stock options or after-market additions make it gentle recoiling. Compare it to a stock 5.56 AR as a benchmark in semi-auto rifle comfort.

    Peace favor your sword,
  2. Hermitt

    Hermitt Hey! Get Off My Lawn! Member

    poodle shooters..... I love it!!! :p

  3. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    It's what an old martial arts friend of mine used to call any rifle caliber smaller than a military cartridge in .3" or smaller. He particularly liked to apply it to the .223 / 5.56 cartridges. :)

    Peace favor your sword,
  4. GoesBang

    GoesBang Supporting Member

  5. wganz

    wganz Supporting Member

    I'd like to suggest that you look at the 6.5 Grendel or the 6.8 SPC in the AR15 platform for increased performance with low recoil.
  6. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    How do they compare in performance to the .308 or 7.62x39 and how does the recoil compare to the standard 5.56 AR?

    Are you including any after-market goodies as recoil reducing?

    Peace favor your sword,
  7. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    Recoil perception is a personal thing.. what is gentle to me may be too much for someone else. That said, since you already own an AR platform... a .450 Bushmaster upper would go right on your lower. Hurls a 250gr bullet down range at ~2200fps. Recoil is akin to a 20 gauge.

    You can get the Bushmaster .450 Upper Complete Kit with charging handle, forward assist, ejection port cover, bolt and bolt carrier assembly and a magazine for $600-$700.

  8. Hmm when I had my FAL it didn't have much recoil at all. Weight yeah it's heavy that's one thing that kept the recoil down to my estimation. One of the reasons for the creation of the 308 and the 5.56 was to decrease recoil. "Suppressing fire", "Wall of lead" types of shooting as it was becoming the predominate theory of the day. Basically they went back to the old volley fire philosophy.

    A BAR type of rifle in a 243 or similar round would have very little recoil. (In my experience.)

    I don't think the BAR would be too bad in a 270 either.
  9. SWO1

    SWO1 Member

    going with an auto will get you less recoil for sure. The AR gas systems are better than the M1, M14 In that reguard. Might look at some Rem autos in .308 or 30-06. A little lighter than the military ones but not bad. Stay with all wood and no Plastic, the weight is a big factor. with your budget a Springfield M1A1 (M14) or Rem R-25 are out of your price range. but maybe a used one as in the M1 or M14 could be found. New barrels for the M1 are around $200 and are good enough for hunting.
  10. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    The Remington autos kick hard compared to an M1.
  11. I'll have to agree with Planosteve on the Rem autos the one I shot kicked a LOT worse then my Garand.
  12. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    Friend of mine had one in 270 and it flat hurt to shoot.
  13. eet

    eet Member

    300 Blackout - rip the barrel off of your AR and replace it with a 300 barrel and you are good to go. All other parts are the same, including the bolt and magazines. Recoil is a touch more than the AR but very reasonable. Another option would be to buy a new upper for your AR in 300.

    This round is quickly gaining popularity. This is especially true here in Florida as people love it for hogs.

    It is basically a shortened 5.56 case with pistol powder and a 308 bullet.

    If you are into the NFA items, a suppressor and subsonic 210gr rounds are so quiet you just hear the action. Also a short barrel (another NFA item) is all you need, the powder is used up in just under 10 inches.

    Lots of fun in a package you know.
  14. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    Ballistics for the 300 are similar to the 7.62*39
  15. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    The Venezuelan FN-49, in 7 mm Mauser, is a light kicker, by all reports. I have the 30-06 version, its much nicer than the Garand.


    Not what you were asking about, they are bolt guns, but here are some options:

    CZ 527 Carbine 7.62X39


    The Spanish Mauser bolt action in 7mm is also light kicking. I hear the Swede 6.5 is as well.


    And the .300 Savage isn't a beast either.

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  16. MikeinAr

    MikeinAr Junior Member Member

    I have a Yugo sks that is still in military configuration, weighs about 9lbs and recoil is very light because of weight. Ballistics about equal to 30-30 and the recoil is less than my 30-30 Winchester.
    Congrats on the M & P Sport, I just got one myself and really like it. I'm going to keep it as it came out of the box, very light and very accurate. It is the perfect K.I.S.S. rifle.
  17. My Ar-10 seems to be the lightest much better than the mosin. If you want to make your ar recoil less a good muzzle break and stock go a long way.
  18. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    Heretic! Blasphemy! Pinko commie traitor! May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits! :D:D:D:D

  19. I have a M44 mosin nagant recoil on it isn't bad although on my Enfield Jungle carbine with a ATI stock on it is horrible with recoil its worse than my 12 gauge

    Attached Files:

  20. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter


    How many bricks of 22 lr for the savage 300?