Felt Recoil 308 v 243

paultap

Well-Known Member
I am Looking to purchase a light weight (sub 7lb ) rifle for stalking and occasional range use, I had pretty much decided on 243 as my calibre of choice but am now contemplating whether 308 might be the way to go, I am surmising an extended range session with a light weight rifle in .308 might be a little hard on the shoulder! I would welcome any advice/opinions as to the difference in felt recoil from the two calibers. I currently reload for a 44 magnum lever action so would be able to tailor my loads accordingly .This would be my first stalking rifle - as you may have guessed!

Many thanks.
 

6pt-sika

Well-Known Member
I've owned a rather large number of 243's so far in my life and NONE ever had any noticable recoil in my opinion !

I've owned several 308's as well and while they all shot well three of them had rather robust recoil with 150 grain handloads . Two of them were stainless synthetic Remington Model 7's and the third was a tang safety Ruger 77RSI . All three of these rifles were light . By no means am I new to recoil as I regularly shoot most all of the belted magnums up to the 416 REM MAG . But those three light 308's would thump you pretty good at the bench , although they were great for carrying and as usual recoil went unnoticed when shooting deer !

At the present I own one circa 1963 Mannlicher Schoenauer in 308 thats very nice from the bench but it weighs maybe 2 more pounds !
 

gunner269

Well-Known Member
I use a .308 for stalking, using a decent moderator, I hardly notice the recoil. Your problem on the range is more likely to be the barrel heating up on a lightweight spotter set up. I fire three shots on the range and then give it 10 minutes to cool down.
 

Milligan

Well-Known Member
energy = recoil, the remainder of the equation is down to rifle weight and fit.
A 100gr .243 doing 2600fps will kick the same as a 100gr .308 doing 2600fps - all other things being equal.

If it is truly a stalking rifle this shouldn't be an issue as you'll only fire one or two rounds, usually with a jacket on.
Skinny gun putting 20 rounds down on a bench, without a mod and in a tshirt, you'll know about it.

P.S. HTFU :D
 

bewsher500

Well-Known Member
energy = recoil, the remainder of the equation is down to rifle weight and fit.
A 100gr .243 doing 2600fps will kick the same as a 100gr .308 doing 2600fps - all other things being equal.

not as straight forward as that

you will have significantly different charge volume of powders burning at different rates
comparative bearing surface of bullets

a full case of VVN165 going off is a steady shove
a full case of VVN110 going off could feel a lot "snappier"

fit is a big part and one that is often overlooked
I have one .270 that is too short and leads me to hold it in an unnatural position.
have to give a rodeo hold on the sling or it jumps out your hand!!
by contrast a rifle in the same caliber and lighter that I rebuilt with an extra 1" LOP just bounces nicely
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
I am Looking to purchase a light weight (sub 7lb ) rifle for stalking and occasional range use, I had pretty much decided on 243 as my calibre of choice but am now contemplating whether 308 might be the way to go, I am surmising an extended range session with a light weight rifle in .308 might be a little hard on the shoulder! I would welcome any advice/opinions as to the difference in felt recoil from the two calibers. I currently reload for a 44 magnum lever action so would be able to tailor my loads accordingly .This would be my first stalking rifle - as you may have guessed!

Many thanks.

Even a 243 in a light rifle has a noticeable recoil. I have shot a lightweight Ruger in 243 with a short stock and was very surprised by how much it jumped around, whereas my 8lb ish Heym 243 is nice and mild. 308's do give a healthy shove - not an issue with an experienced shot, but enough to cause a flinch in a novice shooter. A 243 is a really good rifle to learn with, and more than adequate for most deer stalking, unless you are mainly shooting Sika and Red. If you feel you want a bit more than 243 then have a look at the 6.5x55, or 7mm-08.

Gunfit is also important - a well fitting rifle handles recoil well. A poorly fitted rifle, badly held will whack you.
 

ejg

Well-Known Member
Just zeroed a 223 a 243 and a 308 yesterday.
The 243 weighed 3.8kg total, the 308 4.4kg total both incl. moderators. 100gr in the 243 and 155/168 in the 308.
Off the bench in a t shirt there was a big difference.
A 308 can be nasty or really pleasant to shoot in my opinion mainly because of stock shape and weight distribution.
The worst example I had was an old sako forester, if you didn't hold the forend tight it would flip up at least 45deg when firing off a sand bag. The scope would swivel very close to the eye and would give me a fright. Same rifle in a different stock cured that.
The nicest recoiling 308 I have fired is my Mauser custom that weighs 6.6lbs without scope. Due to the ultra light carbon stock the rifle has it's centre of gravity on the line of the bore once a medium sized scope is fitted. Very accurate out to 400m, can be shot without holding the forend and has very little muzzle flip because of a fairly high positioned recoil pad.
I guarantee one can judge the recoil behaviour by looking at the side view lines of a rifle and also by checking the weight distribution by picking up a side on rifle by the centre of the muzzle and the centre of the bolt. Side on view show's the American style straight comb would be better than say the Bavarian hog back comb.

edi
 

labrador77

Well-Known Member
I used to have a Tikka T3 in .308 (unmoderated) and found it quite unpleasant to shoot using 150gn factory ammunition, I think this was due to it being fairly light and the stock not fitting me that well. Same rifle in .243 is a pussy cat. Sold the .308 some years ago and bought a Sako L691 in .270 with a moderator which I find much nicer to shoot.
 

griffshrek

Well-Known Member
I have both .243 & .308 which are both a pleasure to shoot moderated , take the mod off and they turn into different animals . Get whatever cal you want and put a small mod on if its only to be used for stalking and occasional range work.
 

paultap

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the posts so far, it looks like a light weight moderator would do a good job in helping to tame the recoil.I currently have a tikka t3 tactical in .223 which I shoot at the range ( its currently up for sale on this forum ) The rifle has a heavy weight barrel and probably weighs in at an easy 10lb scoped with the factory muzzle brake and bipod. I was surprised at how good the muzzle brake was at eliminating the vast majority of the recoil ( even on a .223 ) I only noticed this when I took the muzzle brake off.

Many thanks.
 

paul o'

Well-Known Member
own both one's a rpa 243 hunter 8ish pounds plus glass etc, others a sako 85 in 308 when i pull the trigger cant tell them apart in recoil gess its less than my remmy 1100 with slug more than my .22 rf as per 6pt-s when the hart rate is up i can't feel the thump but then i started with a #4 .303 enfield as a lad :tiphat:
 

6pt-sika

Well-Known Member
In the last 40 years of me messing with rifles and loading for them I've shot just about everything from the 17 Hornet to the 505 Gibbs . I have had exactly four rifles that battered me at the bench . The three 308's I mentioned earlier and Ruger #1H in 458 Win Mag ! Strangely the 505 Gibbs from the bench was way easier on me in that big heavy CZ550 then the Ruger I had in the 458 . My Ruger 1H's in 375 H&H and 416 Rem Mag are also fine to shoot . But for some reason that 458 and I didn't have any love loss LOL's !
 

rabbitter

Well-Known Member
How about stepping up from the .243, but not going all the way to .308? I am using 6.5x55 140gr Federal in a Sauer 202 Outback with Lawrence Nexus Mod and Zeiss Victory HT. The total weight is 2.9 + .4 + .6=3.9Kg which to me is a very light combo. The recoil is negligible (I realise that the Swede has a reputation as a soft shooting round). As mentioned earlier in the thread, heat build up could be an issue with such a lightly built rifle on the range.
 

BunnyDoom

Well-Known Member
I am Looking to purchase a light weight (sub 7lb ) rifle for stalking and occasional range use, I had pretty much decided on 243 as my calibre of choice but am now contemplating whether 308 might be the way to go, I am surmising an extended range session with a light weight rifle in .308 might be a little hard on the shoulder! I would welcome any advice/opinions as to the difference in felt recoil from the two calibers. I currently reload for a 44 magnum lever action so would be able to tailor my loads accordingly .This would be my first stalking rifle - as you may have guessed!

Many thanks.

Can u not try both?

i have both and much prefer the .243 - it's flatter and doesn't kick at all really. 308 is nice but defo thumps the shoulder even with a mod.
 

howa243

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't really want to shoot .308 in a lightweight setup. I use both .243 and .308 but like heavy rifles so neither is noticeable. I used to use a steyrscout in .308 which I thought was reasonably light. it was not printing where I needed so took the moderator off to see if it was that. Didn't much like the effect and I could feel that I was starting to flinch.
 

paultap

Well-Known Member
I have just had a very kind offer from PaulT on here to try out both his 308 and 243 later this week, which is great, this should help me make up my mind. Thanks Paul for the very kind offer!
 
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