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Discussion Starter #1
Whats the most severe recoiling gun you've ever fired? For me the answer is easy. I've can shoot 30-06 bolt guns all day. The 7mm mag recoil is sharper and "quicker" than the 30-06. 10 ga 3.5 inch magnums give a big shove. My black powder .58 rifles - a massive Hopkins @ Allen underhammer and a light handy [email protected] Huntsman using 500 gr minies - a big "slow" push. Hands down the most severe recoil I've ever experienced comes from my Ruger #3 .45-70. The recoil from this very lightweight carbine, with modern full power handloads fired from a kneeling position, will consistantly knock me backwards on my butt. You DO NOT insert your fingers into the action lever to fire. You must wrap your fingers around the outside of the lever or the recoil will just about break those fingers. I generally load a 400 gr cast bullet to no faster the 1800 fps maximum to be able to fire any real quantity of ammo and it is still very, very punishing. That being said, that 400 gr load will put 3 shots into 1 ragged hole at 80 yards. And no, I do not have a recoil pad on it because I so seldom shoot it.

Ken waters in his "Pet Loads" book used a #3 and described the recoil as absolutely brutal. Here is a quote from a shooter from Ruger Forum,"The man who designed the Ruger #3 in 45/70 Govt. should be beaten to within an inch of his life, and then kicked in the face. The Ruger #3 in 45/70 the most miserable rifle to shoot of any rifle I've ever owned. Even with standard 45/70 loads it will jump up and bust you right in the cheek while crushing your knuckles at the same time. I'm not sure what it does to the shoulder, the other beatings were too distracting. I've owned and shot, extensively, several 375 H&H Magnums and 416 Remingtons. My elk and similar sized game rifle is a 340 Weatherby throwing 250 grain bullets at 2800 fps. These rifle kick, but they don't hold a candle to the brutality inflicted by the rotten, ill conceived, poorly designed piece of junk called the Ruger #3 in 45/70."

I don't share THAT level of extremism about the recoil. I love that powerful little carbine. I load it down some to tolerate it and admire its handiness and accuracy. However it IS the hardest kicking firearm with standard Level 3 - for Ruger #1, #3, and bolt guns - that I've ever shot. Level 1 loads - for Trapdoor Springfields - or Level 2 loads for Win 1886 guns make it more tolerable.

Whats the hardest kicking firearm you've ever fired?
 

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When I was 11 years old my stepfather let me shoot his shotgun. He laughed his a** off when that 10 gauge shotgun knocked me on my a**.
 

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600 rounds of testing through a 357 Magnum Double shot Derringer will make your hands bleed, but each kick doesn't sound anything like the #3 45/70.
 

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That would likely be L4E's Barrett 50 cal some years back at a KTOG Shoot up at Knob Creek Range. Other than that, my Mosin Nagant M38 gets one's attention.
 

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In my teen years (50+ years ago), my friends and I had a 20 gauge single shot breach shotgun. It would breach every time it was shot. We would take newbies into the woods and have them shoot it. We would laugh at them til we wet our pants. We did this until it broke someone's nose.
 

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My first hard kicking shotgun was a 20ga full choke single shot model 37 Winchester, It won many a turkey shoot,just because it would just simple take out the middle X ring...
Here's a Pic of my first squirrel I shot with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
My first hard kicking shotgun was a 20ga full choke single shot model 37 Winchester, It won many a turkey shoot,just because it would just simple take out the middle X ring...
Here's a Pic of my first squirrel I shot with it.
I had a Winchester model 37 in 12 gauge and it kicked like hell! I learned quickly to not shoot at squirrels directly overhead. The 1st ( and last! ) time I tried that, I thought it had broken my collar bone! Geez, that thing kicked hard! Reflecting on your experience about your model 37 taking out the X ring, mine had the tightest choke of any shotgun I ever owned - it would turn quail to soggy powder when shot at too close a range. Until I bought the Ruger #3, it held the top spot as the hardest kicking firearm I ever owned. o_O
 

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I surprised myself one time by firing a 3" magnum buckshot shell in my Mossberg 590 (or maybe it was the Remington 870 I had at the time, I forget). Someone gave me a bag of mixed shells and I didn't notice a few of them were 3-inchers mixed in with the 2.75's. BOOM! Got some looks from other lanes at the indoor range. It was kinda fun, so I dug around and fired a couple more I found in the bag. Felt it for a day or two afterward, though. :D

Only thing harder-kicking than that was when my cheap ol' little Wards Westernfield double-barrel that I long ago cut down to coach gun length decided it wants to start firing both barrels simultaneously no matter what load you use or which side you try to fire first. I had two plain ol' nothing-special 2.75" 00 buckshot shells in there, and for whatever reason when I went to fire just the one side (trigger sears are probably worn), that thing lit off both barrels at once. OW. I was already bracing for the recoil because that gun does kick pretty good, being a really lightweight thing with Bakelite type plastic furniture. But good God, it still almost put me on my butt, and the stock kicked up against my cheek like someone kicking me in the side of the face with a boot. :eek: It still sits in my safe because I haven't decided yet if I wanna try to fix it or just decommission it and make it into a wall-hanger.

Prior to that, the stoutest-kicking rifle I've fired was any one of the Mosin-Nagants I've had over the years - a 91/30, an M44 (sold for a small profit), and a crappy Type 53. With a slip-on Limbsaver recoil pad, it's not bad at all - pretty good shove, but nothing unbearable. However, with nothing but a T-shirt between my shoulder and the plain ol' metal buttplate of the stock ... to quote E.T., "OOOOOUUUCCCH."

Still have "shooting a .50 caliber anything" on my bucket list, so I can't attest to that just yet...


Hardest-recoiling pistols (or at least the most unpleasant to shoot because of recoil) for me have been:

1. Ruger LCR .357 (had some 170gr full-power loads I tried in it once - OUCHIE)
2. Ruger Blackhawk .45 LC with bear loads (basically equivalent to a low-end .44 Mag)
3. Taurus Public Defender Poly (weirdly, birdshot kicked the worst)
4. Diamondback DB9
5. Kel-Tec PF9 / P11 (the PF9's just a smidge worse)

I know, not impressive to some because 3 of them are 9mm's and one's a little .357, but it's more an issue of pistol weight and physics than bore size. Anything that feels like you're trying to hold onto a firecracker when it goes off and stings sharply like someone just whacked your palm with a stick is NOT what I call pleasant. The Blackhawk with bear loads had a heck of a thump, but it wasn't painful to shoot at all - just a lot of mass and velocity going downrange, giving a heckuva good shove. The Taurus was similar, except the lightweight polymer frame exaggerated the recoil, and the shape of the factory grip meant my middle knuckle would bang against the back of the trigger guard with every shot, which was very NOT fun. (The Poly has a different trigger guard shape that contributes to this. I never had this problem with the steel-framed models.) With .45 LC loads, or with .410 loads specifically made for handguns (Federal or Hornady), it wasn't too bad, but with .410 birdshot loads, it was a beast - never have understood that one. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
600 rounds of testing through a 357 Magnum Double shot Derringer will make your hands bleed, but each kick doesn't sound anything like the #3 45/70.
My gosh! Were you being tortured for information? LOL! I would have given up my units location, where the ammo dump was located, the blueprints of our latest super weapon, anything at about round 20! :help:
 

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Our company does testing for a number of the manufacturers. Their requirements are to put 600 rounds through each of the exemplar firearms and see what happens. You generally want to complete the test in one session. FTFs that are not associated with a bad round can disqualify the firearm. There is a whole battery of tests that need to be performed, that is just one of them.

We also get to have fun and see all different kinds of responses and targeting (like can we drop the center out of the target, etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I surprised myself one time by firing a 3" magnum buckshot shell in my Mossberg 590 (or maybe it was the Remington 870 I had at the time, I forget). Someone gave me a bag of mixed shells and I didn't notice a few of them were 3-inchers mixed in with the 2.75's. BOOM! Got some looks from other lanes at the indoor range. It was kinda fun, so I dug around and fired a couple more I found in the bag. Felt it for a day or two afterward, though. :D

Only thing harder-kicking than that was when my cheap ol' little Wards Westernfield double-barrel that I long ago cut down to coach gun length decided it wants to start firing both barrels simultaneously no matter what load you use or which side you try to fire first. I had two plain ol' nothing-special 2.75" 00 buckshot shells in there, and for whatever reason when I went to fire just the one side (trigger sears are probably worn), that thing lit off both barrels at once. OW. I was already bracing for the recoil because that gun does kick pretty good, being a really lightweight thing with Bakelite type plastic furniture. But good God, it still almost put me on my butt, and the stock kicked up against my cheek like someone kicking me in the side of the face with a boot. :eek: It still sits in my safe because I haven't decided yet if I wanna try to fix it or just decommission it and make it into a wall-hanger.

Prior to that, the stoutest-kicking rifle I've fired was any one of the Mosin-Nagants I've had over the years - a 91/30, an M44 (sold for a small profit), and a crappy Type 53. With a slip-on Limbsaver recoil pad, it's not bad at all - pretty good shove, but nothing unbearable. However, with nothing but a T-shirt between my shoulder and the plain ol' metal buttplate of the stock ... to quote E.T., "OOOOOUUUCCCH."

Still have "shooting a .50 caliber anything" on my bucket list, so I can't attest to that just yet...


Hardest-recoiling pistols (or at least the most unpleasant to shoot because of recoil) for me have been:

1. Ruger LCR .357 (had some 170gr full-power loads I tried in it once - OUCHIE)
2. Ruger Blackhawk .45 LC with bear loads (basically equivalent to a low-end .44 Mag)
3. Taurus Public Defender Poly (weirdly, birdshot kicked the worst)
4. Diamondback DB9
5. Kel-Tec PF9 / P11 (the PF9's just a smidge worse)

I know, not impressive to some because 3 of them are 9mm's and one's a little .357, but it's more an issue of pistol weight and physics than bore size. Anything that feels like you're trying to hold onto a firecracker when it goes off and stings sharply like someone just whacked your palm with a stick is NOT what I call pleasant. The Blackhawk with bear loads had a heck of a thump, but it wasn't painful to shoot at all - just a lot of mass and velocity going downrange, giving a heckuva good shove. The Taurus was similar, except the lightweight polymer frame exaggerated the recoil, and the shape of the factory grip meant my middle knuckle would bang against the back of the trigger guard with every shot, which was very NOT fun. (The Poly has a different trigger guard shape that contributes to this. I never had this problem with the steel-framed models.) With .45 LC loads, or with .410 loads specifically made for handguns (Federal or Hornady), it wasn't too bad, but with .410 birdshot loads, it was a beast - never have understood that one. :confused:
I use 3 inch 12 ga 00 loads for HD in my Stoeger Coach gun. That thing has the heaviest and densest stock wood I've ever seen. The recoil is out and out nasty! Outside of checking their shot dispersal, I seldom fire it from the shoulder with those loads. With ordinary 2 3/4 field loads it does not kick bad because of the weight that heavy stock, I reckon. I have on hand a couple of turkey loads given to me by a friend who assured me that they are the worst kicking things he ever fired in a shotgun but I have not shot any myself yet.

I have loaded and fired more .357 mag rounds, with .45 acp running 2nd, than any other caliber. So when choosing a SD gun for my wife, I picked the Ruger LCR .38 special over the .357 because I was familiar with the vicious recoil, flash, and muzzle blast of full power .357 in a short light handgun. The loads I picked for wife's LCR .38 are Buffalo Bore Short Barrel Low Flash 158 swhp in standard .38 Special. Brian Pierce did an article in Handloader testing various self defense loads designed for short barreled revolvers and the standard BB 158 gr swhp ran an honest 850 fps ( faster than BBs advertised velocity ) out of an LCR. The bullet is dead soft and feels like pure lead, but is gas-checked to prevent leading. It was actually faster that many of the +p loads from other makers when fired from an LCR, plus that dead soft bullet will expand well as any SD distance. The low flash, low blast feature is nice too.

Like you, I have never fired any weapon in .50 BMG but I'll bet it leaves a real impression on the shooter. TxCajun seems to have been very impressed with it, lol!
 

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I was taught to "bark" a squirrel if I wanted to leave some meat to eat.
I could put a dime over the end of it and the choke was tighter than that...
 

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I've got an old 16ga Stevens double barrel with an extremally light double trigger. Very easy to discharge both barrels by accident. Combined with a very narrow butt plate it would knock the fool out of you if you catch both triggers using hi-brass shells.

A few years ago I had a gunsmith work on the triggers and put a butt pad on the thing. Much more enjoyable to shoot now.
 

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That would likely be L4E's Barrett 50 cal some years back at a KTOG Shoot up at Knob Creek Range. Other than that, my Mosin Nagant M38 gets one's attention.
I shot that 50 the same day & IMO it was more of a shove than a punch. The doubled up foam pads Bruce put between the stock & my shoulder made a difference I'm sure.

The most unpleasant gun I've shot was earlier the same day. I shot my Dad's Marlin 336, 30-30 three rounds & that was enough. Light rifle, hard narrow butt plate & a tee shirt, I had bruises on my shoulder the shape of the butt plate so I know it wasn't Bruce's Barrett.

Sold it a few years ago to my best friend for his nephew for deer hunting. Replaced it with a Rossi 92 357/38.

The cut down Monkey Ward 12 ga double was a close second. I was a lot younger then tho so that's apples & oranges.
 

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Friend of mine won a DoubleTap in .45 ACP in a raffle. While .45 isn't rough out of most guns, it was an absolute nightmare out of this abomination of aluminum. Two rounds is all I could suffer. The bottom-most knuckle on my thumb hurts just looking at that picture.
 

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When I was 11 years old my stepfather let me shoot his shotgun. He laughed his a** off when that 10 gauge shotgun knocked me on my a**.
12ga at 9 years old, 40 plus years ago bloody lip and on my a**. Uncle and grand dad are the culprits here. Asking are you ok while laughing and picking me up off the ground back in Good ole Mississippi.
 

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12 gauge slugs in an 870 with a rifled barrel. Some one had a 5 gallon bucket on a stack of tires on the range. After 20 slugs and watching the bucket wiggle I had a bruised shoulder and going down range realized it was balanced on top of a 4x4 down the middle of the tires.
 
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