Low Recoil Rifle for Deer

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Low Recoil Rifle for Deer

Postby farmerjim » 27 Oct 2021 04:41

I am a week away from major back surgery. I would like to be able to do some deer hunting this year. I have a stand about 200 yards from my house that will give me about 50 to 200 yard shots. Most are at about 100 yards.
I will not be able to shoot anything with much recoil.
I have a Handi rifle in 357 Max, and am considering shooting a 357 mag in it for lower recoil.
Should I use a light ( 125 gr) bullet going fast, or a heavy ( 200 gr) going much slower.
I have been shooting it with the 200 grain with great success, but it has been with a heavy load and the associated recoil, so it would have to be downloaded quite a bit.
I could also download a 308 , 30-06, or 270 win. ( I wont even consider the 45-70)

What would give me the best killing power with the least recoil for a 100 yd shot ?
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Re: Low Recoil Rifle for Deer

Postby Ranch Dog » 27 Oct 2021 07:05

I'm sorry to hear about back problems, farmerjim; I hope the back surgery goes well and that you recover in record time. Of your selections, I would recommend the 357 Mag with the heavier bullet. I worked quite a bit with the 357 Mag, both in a Marlin and Rossi, with bullet weights of 135, 175, and 190, and the heavier bullet delivered quicker kills. I've killed deer out at 125 yards, but only one. I did not lose the deer, but the killing authority just wasn't what I wanted. So when using the 357 Mag, I limited my shots to 75 yards. This said, I'm a 1000 ft-lbs of energy guy. I've killed an unbelievable number of deer and hogs in my lifetime. With rifle bullets, if you want them dead, don't shoot them further out than where the bullet drops below 1000 FPE.

I don't think the others on your list can be downloaded to match what you can do with the 357 Mag. The other consideration is bullet design. Everything fits its purpose unless you are making your own. Even with a lead bullet, the alloy must match the purpose, velocity, and pressure. I don't think you will be able to find a suitable bullet for the bottlenecks.

While you work on that load, I would bring your feeder run-time way back and start hand feeding closer to your blind. This front that is pushing through today should knock whatever mast crop you have out of the trees, so the deer will go off corn for a couple of three days—a great time to change it.

Here is what my 357 Mag hunting load looked like. Notice that I had to use 38 Spl brass to make case length, neck diameter, and other things work out.

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My scout scoped R92 weighed 6.9 lbs. The recoil energy of this load was 6.5 FPE. Good luck, but more important... God bless!
Michael
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Re: Low Recoil Rifle for Deer

Postby RBHarter » 27 Oct 2021 11:44

Just food for thought an 8# 1895 in 45-70 downloaded to a spicy 454 .

Not much kick in a similar 30 cal backed down to 30-30 .

I don't know too much about the 357 max aside from it a super mag ..... I would think that a 180 or 200 over a start load of something slow for the cartridge 4198 maybe , 4895.
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Re: Low Recoil Rifle for Deer

Postby farmerjim » 01 Nov 2021 06:31

I went down to the barn to try to make some of the suggested loads. I can't find my 357 dies anywhere. After an hour of looking I gave up. So I decided to try some of the 357 mag loads that already have loaded.
All shot at 100 yds.
first I tried some 158 gr Semi wad cutters with 8.5 gr of Herco. All were within 2 in of Bullseye with low recoil. I would like to try this one with 11.6 gr of Herco ( max load Pistol)
Then I tried some 158 gr Jacketed HP. I don't know the Load, but it is my notes down in the barn. This load also shot well with little recoil.
Then I tried some 125 gr RNFP with 9.5 gr of Herco. They were low recoil and on target, but the spread was about 5 in.
Just to see how they would do, I tried some of my 125 gr RNFP 38 SP. No recoil at all , The spread was larger than any of the larger than any of the other loads but all were on the 8 1/2 X 11 paper target.

I have some Lee 200 gr RNFP that I have loaded in 38 SP brass. They worked well, but I am out of them.
I also have some 180 gr jacketed soft point that I may try.
I have ordered a new set of dies ( I will find the lost ones on the day the new ones arrive , But I will then have turrets set up for 38 and 357 ready to go.
Thanks for the responses to my question.
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Re: Low Recoil Rifle for Deer

Postby Macd » 01 Nov 2021 12:32

Sorry to hear about the back issues. I have used JBM calculators https://www.jbmballistics.com/ballistic ... tors.shtml to help answer questions regarding recoil for reduced loads for our GC's youth and introductory shooting programs for women. RD, as always, is dead on regarding retained energy and bullet choice. You may find this article of interest. https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowle ... agnum.html

My go to low recoil calibre is the 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser but the rifle is heavy at about 10 lbs.
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Re: Low Recoil Rifle for Deer

Postby RBHarter » 01 Nov 2021 20:13

I had a 6" Security 6 and a 16" 1894C . I gained 375-425 fps MV in every load from the pistol to the rifle .
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Re: Low Recoil Rifle for Deer

Postby farmerjim » 02 Nov 2021 04:57

Macd wrote:Sorry to hear about the back issues. I have used JBM calculators https://www.jbmballistics.com/ballistic ... tors.shtml to help answer questions regarding recoil for reduced loads for our GC's youth and introductory shooting programs for women. RD, as always, is dead on regarding retained energy and bullet choice. You may find this article of interest. https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowle ... agnum.html

My go to low recoil calibre is the 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser but the rifle is heavy at about 10 lbs.


Thanks for the great article.
I found my 2 38 die sets yesterday and I should have the one I ordered in by Friday. I will be able to set up 3 turrets for 38 sp, 357 Mag, and 357 Max.
My 357 Handi is considered a primitive weapon down here, and lets me start hunting a week early.
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