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300 WSM recoil ?

I am wanting to purchase a 300WSm rifle. If anyone owns one, how punishing is the recoil. I currently use a 270, but have not shot anything larger than a 30.06.


  • dcso3009dcso3009 Member Posts: 2,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The 300WSM has a very punishing recoil compared to what you have used in the past. Is there a reason that you want the 300 over the 30-06? Not going to gain all that much for the expense, recoil, and noise from the mag.
  • woodybr549woodybr549 Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I was looking at a short compact rifle like the Ruger Frontier and it has a short action and caliburs are limited.
  • SCOUT5SCOUT5 Member Posts: 16,195 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I am also considering a 300 wsm for the short action and ballistic combo. I've shot 300 win, and 300 weatherby (not mine but my friends) and have found the rifle style makes as much difference as the cartridge. I want 1 rifle to hunt everything from antelope to moose. Any one have an opinion. HA HA
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,934 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    Recoil is a very subjective, with a lot of different variables that can influence a person's opinion. Recoil to you is probably not the same as recoil to me.

    Rather than having to wade through subjective opinions, use some real world numbers to compare several cartridges.

    One example:

    The first number is rifle weight, second is recoil energy, third is recoil velocity. Recoil energy is usually what gets discussed and it is labeled as Foot-Pounds

    .30-06 Spfd. (180 at 2700) 8.0 20.3 12.8
    .300 WSM (180 at 2970) 8.25 23.8 13.6
    .300 Ultra Mag. (180 at 3230) 8.5 32.8 15.8

    Thoughts on Recoil
    by John Ross

    Copyright 2003 by John Ross. Electronic reproduction of this article freely permitted provided it is reproduced in its entirety with attribution given.

    Everyone has different perceptions of and tolerance to recoil. Proper stock design, a good recoil pad, and proper shooting technique can all lessen perceived recoil, even though the gun is coming back just as hard. A muzzle brake can redirect gases and actually reduce the actual amount of recoil.

    Note that brakes are ineffective on guns where the powder charge is a small percentage of the bullet weight (most handgun ammo) and the muzzle pressure is low (again, most handgun ammo.) Brakes work their best in high pressure bottlenecked rifle cartridges like the .300 Weatherby or .50 BMG, where a big fraction of the ejecta is the powder. The ultimate example of this is the recoilless rifle, where enough powder is used (and directed rearward) that the gun doesn't recoil at all. For this reason, I am not a big fan of brakes on revolvers. In most cases the only result I can detect is increased noise and blast.

    Recoil energy is measured in foot-pounds, but what many people do not realize is that this number is of little relevance to the shooter. It is not recoil energy that makes your shoulder or hand hurt, it is recoil velocity. Few if any of the articles about recoil mention this fact, let alone list recoil velocity numbers.

    Fortunately, spreadsheets make such calculations easy to perform and to sort. I have created an Excel spreadsheet to calculate recoil velocities. You can download it here and add your own data.

    For those who don't have Excel, or just want to see some numbers, below are some figures of handguns I shoot with recoil velocities and energies listed, with each group sorted in order of increasing recoil velocity. At the bottom is a bunch of rifles and a couple handguns, sorted the same way. The spreadsheet assumes 4400 FPS for the exiting muzzle gases, which may be a little low for some of the rifle rounds, and a little high for the low-intensity handgun stuff and the black powder 4-bore. This is a pretty accurate table, though.

    With well-shaped grips that do not cover the backstrap and are NOT made of Sorbothane or other Decelerator-type material, I am okay with up to about 20 FPS recoil in a revolver for extended periods, i.e. 200+ rounds. My standard load for the .44 mag. is third from the top, a 250 Keith at 1450 FPS, and I've shot over 100,000 of these with good-fitting wood grips.

    Sorbothane, Decelerator, or the Taurus factory "Raging Bull" grips which cover the backstrap raise that number to perhaps 30 FPS, though I don't have enough experience yet to say for sure. Regular rubber grips that cover the backstrap are somewhere in between, closer to wood than to the high-tech shock-absorbing rubber compounds.

    The most unpleasant repeating handgun I have ever fired bar none is the 18.5 ounce 396 .44 Special with factory Hogue grips and a grooved, exposed backstrap shooting heavy Keith loads, 250 grain bullet at 1150 FPS.

    I shot a friend's 360 once but I don't have any real data for 2" .357 ballistics so the MV numbers are a guess. The 360 did not hurt as badly as the gun/load listed above.

    I have shot quite a few .500 S&W loads, using bullets from 400 grain slugs at 1900 to 725s at 1175. With the great Sorbothane grips on the .500, sessions with this gun are no problem, but you definitely know when it goes off.

    I'll update this table when I get more data.
    The table and article are:

    I forgot to add a calculator...

    Here is a Plug In and Play Recoil Calculator:

  • ContacFrontContacFront Member Posts: 1,113 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Recoil goes away after 500 rounds down range. =)

    I use to think my 300win mag had a nice kick but after a few weekends with her, she is a puppy like my 308. [}:)]
  • young n dumyoung n dum Member Posts: 2,327 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    own a tikka t3 lite (6 1/4 lbs) in .300wsm....and it kicks a bit but not much more than my 06
  • JustCJustC Member Posts: 16,055 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    ditto,..ifin you have been running a 30-06, you need yo borrow a 300mag of some sort and get used to the recoil before making a choice. I found my ruger M77 in 30-06 far less in recoil than a pards 300WSM browning a-bolt. Both sporter barrels.
  • woodybr549woodybr549 Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for all the replys. You have been helpful.
  • sandwarriorsandwarrior Member Posts: 5,453 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Like most have said it is subjective. Some take recoil well some don't. I have friends who weigh 50 lbs. less than me that don't mind the recoil as much as I do.
    I shot a friend of mines .300 WSM, it kicked less than my lightweight 30-06. It kicked more than my .300 WSM. in CZ model 3. The rifle would be okay for recoil if it has enough weight. A synthetic stock will usually absorb more recoil than a wood stock. I would say that the recoil of my rifle is less than the .300 in the Win classic that I shot. I would say overall the .300 WSM is do-able for recoil.

    I will say that high recoil is the best way to ruin a good shooter. Try not to 'tough it out'. Instead, go back to a rifle that doesn't hammer you after shooting the .300 a while. Get your good habits back in place before taking out the artillery again. Shoot the .300 again and when it starts to bother you go back and work on technique. -Good luck
  • roysclockgunroysclockgun Member Posts: 310 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I agree with what others have said, regarding recoil. I have seen shooters at the range with muzzle brakes on a .270Win rifle! To me, that is ridiculous, but if they need it, it is up to them to use same. Whatever it takes to avoid recoil that is objectionable to the shooter and will cause flinching. IMO magnums are worth nothing unless loaded up to their potential. Up near the top, is where you are going to get trajectory in a .30cal magnum, that is flatter then what you could wring out of a 30-06. And flatter trajectory, coupled with high bullet weight, is the primary justification for Magnum calibers. The 30-06 with the right load and in the right hands will cleanly kill elk at 300 yds. Some will argue for even a longer range for the 30-06.
    Bottom line: If you want the 300WSM, buy it and pray that it will give you that which you seek. Worse case scenario is that if you are not satisfied, you can put the rifle up on one of the firearms sales sites, take a beating money-wise and go forward with something else. I have seen a number of hunters who killed everything with a 30-06, suddenly get the fever to get a "Magnum". Many used the Magnum for a year or so before hanging it on the wall and returning to their trusty 30-06. There is just no telling what will really ring your chimes until you try. No one can tell you ahead of time if the 300WSM will produce too much recoil for you.
    "Magnum" has become a term primarilly used to punch up the price on ammo and sell new firearms to hunters who already own fine firearms, but then, the commercial arms industry has to do something to keep arms sales going!
  • woodybr549woodybr549 Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well, you guys made me think about it. I have got a great shooting 270 and don't really need a 300WSM. I have been successful year after year with my 270 and my sons 243. I believe I will wait until I take that trip that requires a 300WSM. Thanks
  • rudioredrudiored Member Posts: 94 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I got a 300 WSM and love it....I loaded the 150 and 165 Grain bullets and recoil was fine. I added a Limb Saver butt pad and my 15 year old sone shoots it with no problem.. Am building him a 270 Short mag now...
  • david mcintyredavid mcintyre Member Posts: 45 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a Tika T3 ss and it is a good elk gun. Kicks a bit more than my 06 and 270. Have dropped 3 elk with it and nosler partitions. The nice thing about it is you can load it down to shoot same as 06 or pump it up to the max plus for a short mag. It likes imr 4350 or 4831 and 165 gr nos part or hornady sp,s. Killed two at 340 yrds., and one at 120 yds. pretty flat shootin at 350 yds. just my 2 cents worth,but if you are looking at them, you should look at the T3. Good rifle for the price.
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