Don't Flinch! 8 Ways to Save Yourself from Rifle Recoil

Don't Flinch! 8 Ways to Save Yourself from Rifle Recoil

Recoil is a nasty byproduct of shooting rifles, but ignoring recoil can cause major problems that are quick to develop and hard to correct. Developing a flinch can ruin your ability to shoot well, so follow these steps to stop this nasty problem before it starts.

LIMIT RANGE TIME

Taking a beating at the range doesn't prove anything. If you are serious about accuracy you need to be sure that you are shooting at your absolute best, and if you are wincing each time the recoil pad touches your battered shoulder it's safe to say you won't be shooting pretty little cloverleaf groups. Take time between shots and groups and make the most of your time at the range.

BORE SIGHT AHEAD OF TIME

By bore sighting your rifle before you arrive at the range you prevent spending a half a box of ammo trying to get on the paper. Laser bore sighters are relatively inexpensive and they cut down on the time, money and punishment you'll have to take when sighting in a new rifle.

HOW MUCH POWER DO YOU NEED?

Do you really need a magnum? If so, you'll have to be prepared to deal with a spike in recoil. Low-recoiling rounds like the .257 Roberts, 7mm-08 Remington and 6.5x55 Swede work well on medium-sized game at moderate ranges.

UNDERSTAND WHAT CAUSES FLINCH

This seems elementary, but it's not just recoil energy that affects the shooter. Perceived recoil is the culmination of a variety of factors including recoil energy, recoil velocity and muzzle blast. If you don't wear hearing protection while shooting the cumulative effects of excessive noise can cause you to flinch in much the same manner as heavy recoil.

DON'T ALWAYS SHOOT FROM A STANDARD BENCH

Don't feel tied to the bench. The use of shooting sticks and stand-up ranges reduce the impact of long shooting sessions. Odds are there won't be any shooting benches in the field anyway.

TAKE A BRAKE

Muzzle brakes are one effective method of recoil reduction; however, brakes increase muzzle blast a great deal. In fact, some outfitters and professional hunt won't hunt with a client who has a muzzle brake on their rifle. Some muzzle brakes like the one on the new Savage Bear Hunter turn off and on with a twist of the wrist, meaning you can use the brake to reduce recoil during practice sessions and turn it off in the field.

LEARN PROPER TECHNIQUE

Make sure that the rifle is seated properly on the medial portion of the shoulder and be sure your face is against the rifle's comb. When a rifle has space to 'œjump' with recoil it creates a more painful jolt. Be offensive. Lean into the rifle slightly to absorb the recoil.

FIND A GUN THAT FITS

My first experience with a .416 resulted in a large gash between the knuckle and first joint of my right index finger. Why? The gun was built for someone much smaller than me and my hand was positioned too far forward. Proper rifle fit helps reduce the effects of recoil, so find a rifle that fits you, have your existing gun fitted or purchase a new recoil pad to adjust length of pull.

Recommended for You

The Hi-Point 10mm carbine, technically the 1095 TS, sports a 17.5-inch barrel, is 32 inches long and weighs seven pounds empty. Semi-Auto

Review: Hi-Point 1095 TS 10mm Carbine

James Tarr - April 04, 2019

The Hi-Point 10mm carbine, technically the 1095 TS, sports a 17.5-inch barrel, is 32 inches...

Announced in 1958, the .264 and .338 Winchester magnums hit the market in 1959 amid one of the biggest media blitzes the industry had seen. Both were introduced in “new” versions of Winchester's beloved Model 70. Ammo

.264 and .338 Magnum - Winchester Twins

Craig Boddington - May 24, 2019

Announced in 1958, the .264 and .338 Winchester magnums hit the market in 1959 amid one of the...

Rifle Shooter editor Scott Rupp provides a comprehensive list of ideal Father's Day gifts. Accessories

Rifle Shooter Father's Day 2019 Gift Guide

J. Scott Rupp - May 07, 2019

Rifle Shooter editor Scott Rupp provides a comprehensive list of ideal Father's Day gifts.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Steyr Arms Announces Sniper Rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor

Steyr Arms Announces Sniper Rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor

Scott O'Brien from Steyr Arms sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to take a look at Steyr's new tactical heavy barrel sniper rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor.

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense's New Precision Bolt Action Rifle

Those looking to explore precision rifle shooting without going broke will be well served by Daniel Defense's new Delta 5.

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - BULLPUPS

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - BULLPUPS

Joe Mantegna talks about the origins of Bullpups.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Want to get into the long-range game and not go broke? Check out the Mossberg MVP Precision Rifle. Reviews

Review: Mossberg MVP Precision Rifle

J. Scott Rupp - March 21, 2019

Want to get into the long-range game and not go broke? Check out the Mossberg MVP Precision...

The Marlin Model 1895-.444 Marlin is a handy, powerful rifle capable of taking down elk, moose, hogs, black bear and deer. Lever-Action

Marlin Model 1895-.444 Marlin

J. Scott Rupp

The Marlin Model 1895-.444 Marlin is a handy, powerful rifle capable of taking down elk,...

The Federal Berger Hybrid Hunter Ammo combines high BCs with a forgiving bullet profile and promises versatile performance. Ammo

Federal Berger Hybrid Hunter Ammo

Brad Fitzpatrick - April 30, 2019

The Federal Berger Hybrid Hunter Ammo combines high BCs with a forgiving bullet profile and...

See More Stories

More How-To

Want to turn your old deer gun into a tackdriver? Consider these five steps that are guaranteed to How-To

5 Steps to a Rifle Revamp

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 05, 2012

Want to turn your old deer gun into a tackdriver? Consider these five steps that are...

There was a time in my life when every range session or hunt was followed by time at the bench, How-To

How to Clean Your Muzzleloader

Keith Wood - January 12, 2015

There was a time in my life when every range session or hunt was followed by time at the...

Starting a collection of Curios & Relics (C&R) firearms is a rewarding hobby How-To

How to Obtain a C&R License

Chris Hendrix - April 04, 2014

Starting a collection of Curios & Relics (C&R) firearms is a rewarding hobby

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.