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Thread: Softest shooting UK wide calibre for all deer species

  1. #1

    Softest shooting UK wide calibre for all deer species

    Hi all,

    Interesting question that I was asked today by another stalker. He is thinking ahead for his daughter who is getting further into stalking. What is the softest shooting, i.e. lowest recoil deer calibre for all species in the UK? I said 243 100gn which is overall, I think, the lowest calibre and weight allowed in all parts of the UK on the larger deer species. Action results in equal opposite reaction, etc. Does this sound right? Minimum muzzle velocities/energy requirements apply obviously. Please ignore individual gun weight, action length, ballistics, etc. just focussing on recoil of particular calibres and bullet weights. She's been using a 25-06 estate rifle which I think is a good choice but he wondered if there is something better out there when she gets her own rifle.

    All best,


  2. #2

  3. #3
    7-08 or 7x57


  4. #4
    6.5x55 may be worth a look, a bit nicer to shoot that a 243.(I have both)

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by gr1ffer View Post
    Good share, thanks!
    6.5x55mm it is then...
    Sako 75 6.5x55 - Z6i 3-18x50. Sako 75 .308 Habicht 2.5-10x56. Beretta 690. Benelli M2.
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    Recoil is, if rifle weight and stock configuration are equal, a product of bullet weight, bullet velocity and importantly but often forgotten bore area.

    Thus a 100 grain .243 will have recoil than a 100 grain .257. But to be honest there is also muzzle blast which either a 24" unmodded barrel...or pretty much any sensible length modded barrel will deal with this.

    But IMHO stock fit is the most important factor. I've shot a properly stocked .470 NE double that had, for me, at 6' 4" tall, less felt recoil than a .303 No 4 Lee Enfield with the factory "S" marked short butt fitted.

    Best compromise would be .257 Roberts with 117 grain bullet in a well stocked rifle. Then .243 with 100 grain bullet...but this will have more muzzle blast.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 27-12-2014 at 03:04.

  7. #7
    Muzzle blast on my browning lever action, 20" barrel is very ordinary, the rifle fits me just nice. My 6.5 is a tikka t3 lite and is so much more pleasant to shoot. And about 350grams lighter. No mods here in Australia either

  8. #8
    If she is shooting a 25/06 ok then I would use that as a yardstick and not overthink it on her behalf. As has been said the stock fit and design is far more important than the calibre. Saying that the 6.5 and 7x57 would spring to mind as obvious choices to your question. The best answer however might be any calibre with a PSE composites stock fitted as to me these manage the recoil best of any I have tried without a weight penalty

  9. #9
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    May 2012
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    I certainly wouldn't describe a .25-06 as soft shooting!
    Yes I should have taken the Blue Pill!

    We were so busy congratulating ourself of dodging Orwells vision we marched right into Huxley's.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthDorset View Post
    I certainly wouldn't describe a .25-06 as soft shooting!
    9.4 on the table with a 100 grain bullet. Looks quite soft to me?

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