Rifle Recoil Table: Updated for 2021 with all popular cartridges

I have spent literally hundreds of hours collecting the information in this blog post. I created it because other recoil databases I found online are dated and do not have the depth of research to truly compare cartridges apples-to-apples.

For those of you who are new to firearms, let’s discuss the basics of what recoil is before we look at the data.

Recoil is the force of a gun pushing back against the shooter when a bullet is fired. It is commonly called a gun’s “kick.” More recoil is created when more powerful powder loads and lighter-weight firearms are used. Recoil is measured by free recoil energy, and recoil velocity.

Selecting a rifle and cartridge combination which does not produce too much recoil for the shooters is critical to being able to shoot accurately without developing a flinch.

Without further ado, I give you… the rifle recoil database!

CartridgeFree Recoil Energy (Ft-lbs)Recoil Velocity (FPS)Avg Bullet WeightAvg Muzzle Velocity
.378 Weatherby Magnum60.6819.382933,040
.30-378 Weatherby Magnum45.7818.392053,205
.458 Win Mag55.5717.955002,135
.416 Ruger52.7217.563882,528
.416 Rigby52.4917.524002,412
.416 Remington Magnum50.4617.184002,401
.338-378 Weatherby Magnum45.4016.952562,974
.300 RUM34.9716.072053,017
.375 Ruger41.6716.062932,713
.300 Weatherby Magnum33.1815.652053,002
.300 PRC32.4215.472103,021
.338 RUM37.8015.462562,872
.338 Lapua Magnum37.7015.442562,920
.375 H&H Magnum38.2815.392932,650
.340 Weatherby Magnum36.8815.282562,866
.30 Nosler31.5815.272053,009
.300 Winchester Magnum29.9914.882052,903
.325 WSM28.9514.802042,817
.28 Nosler28.2714.721673,152
.45-70 Govt30.8114.683312,065
.33 Nosler33.9114.652582,892
7mm Weatherby Magnum26.0714.131683,055
7 STW25.9114.091683,044
.300 WSM26.5414.002052,861
.27 Nosler25.2813.931593,157
9.3 x 62mm Mauser30.7213.822772,555
6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum24.7213.791383,325
.338 Win Mag29.9013.752562,705
.270 Weatherby Magnum23.2513.361443,154
7mm Rem Mag23.1513.321632,937
7 WSM22.5013.131623,008
.35 Whelen27.1413.022252,805
.26 Nosler21.4512.851283,312
.270 WSM21.2412.771493,050
.300 Ruger (RCM)21.6012.631952,613
.30-06 Springfield21.3412.552052,646
7 SAUM20.5312.541622,890
6.8 Western20.4412.531632,888
6.5 Weatherby RPM19.9312.381433,123
.450 Bushmaster22.2212.272682,175
.257 Weatherby Magnum19.1312.181113,294
.444 Marlin22.9912.162662,278
.280 Ackley Improved19.2912.161632,834
.338 Federal22.8412.022392,510
.50 BMG83.1711.917242,799
.280 Remington18.3511.851602,848
.264 Winchester Magnum17.6811.661383,002
.270 Winchester17.6411.641492,944
.308 Winchester18.2711.622022,491
6.5 PRC16.2711.191422,972
7mm-08 Remington14.8810.681602,672
6.5-284 Norma Match14.4810.561432,782
7mm Mauser13.2410.071602,565
.25-06 Remington12.699.921112,988
.260 Remington12.569.831432,673
.240 Weatherby Magnum12.069.701013,063
6.5 Creedmoor11.879.561382,695
6mm Creedmoor10.899.221053,022
6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser10.909.161392,532
6mm Remington10.368.991032,919
.22 Creedmoor9.158.60653,500
.30-30 Winchester9.978.581632,320
.243 Winchester9.228.481032,922
.220 Swift8.548.30553,794
.204 Ruger6.187.37383,963
6mm BR6.927.35853,011
.22 Nosler6.527.25653,342
7.62 x 39mm7.117.241372,303
6.8 Remington SPC6.797.221102,579
6.5 Grendel6.186.891252,283
.224 Valkyrie5.516.67713,095
.223 / 5.565.486.65693,122
.350 Legend7.086.611732,231
.222 Remington4.005.69543,124
.300 Blackout4.025.451921,530
.22 Hornet1.373.32502,469
.17 Hornet1.233.31233,527
.17 WSM0.762.60212,903
.17 HMR0.251.50172,520
.22 WMR0.261.44401,761


How Rifle Recoil is Calculated

The formula for determining the free recoil energy of a firearm is (Rifle Weight in Pounds/64.34) *(Recoil Velocity in FPS^2). This formula relies on the formula for recoil velocity, which is simply (Bullet Weight In Grains * Muzzle Velocity in FPS + Powder Charge in Grains * Muzzle Velocity * 1.75)/(7000 * Rifle Weight in Pounds).

The trouble with this formula is that most people don’t know the powder charge unless they hand load their own ammunition, and all of the other number depend on several factors. This makes it tough to figure out the recoil of a rifle unless you look up a lot of other information first.

After shooting a lot of different rifles and cartridges, I have found that recoil velocity number accurately predicts how much pain you’ll feel, and the recoil energy predicts how much you’ll get rocked back and thrown off your target in the scope. Why? I’ll explain.

Suppose a giant, heavy semi-truck is parked in front of you with your shoulder on the bumper. Now that truck creeps forward and pushes your shoulder at a speed of 2 inches per second. Because it’s giant and heavy, it’s going to move you significantly, but it won’t really hurt at all since it’s moving slowly.

Instead, imagine a baseball traveling at 25 inches per second that hits your shoulder. It would hurt much more than the semi-truck.

The same is true with guns. Some people look at the recoil energy of a 50BMG and think they will be KILLED by 83.17 ft-lbs of free recoil energy; however, the 50BMG is a physically heavy gun (usually over 30 lbs), so the recoil moves slowly (also because of the muzzle brake). People who have actually shot a .50BMG usually report mild recoil similar to a .308 Winchester. The recoil VELOCITY number of the .50 BMG is similar to a .308. Just recognize that it’s going to push you a lot–even though it won’t be painful.

About Backfire’s Rifle Recoil Table: How we perform calculations

  • Analyze over a dozen models of rifles chambered in each cartridge to determine the average rifle weight to put in the formula. If you’re shooting a particularly light or heavy firearm, you’ll need to do a separate calculation, but this will be a fair comparison of what the rifle weight normally is. Most recoil tables simply use a 9 lbs firearm for all calculations, but this leads to crazy results for the lightweight 22lr and the heavyweight 50BMG. Also, we include scope and other common accessories to get a realistic field rifle weight.
  • Normalize powder charges within each caliber to make a fair comparison. You can load a 7 Rem Mag with Retumbo or H4350, but the amounts will be different. We keep powder charges consistent to reality within each caliber of firearm.
  • Average over 6 common loads for each cartridge to determine realistic muzzle velocities to include in the formula. Most recoil tables take the muzzle velocity on the box at face value, but we all know that’s rarely accurate–especially if you shoot a shorter barrel length. If you see our recoil numbers are usually just a little less than what you see elsewhere on the web, it’s likely because we’re using more precise averages of muzzle velocities across a variety of common loads for each cartridge.
  • Consider multiple loads for each cartridge to determine a fair average of bullet weights for that cartridge, and caliber.

Lightest Recoiling Firearms for Deer and Elk Hunting

After surveying the Backfire audience, we found that 96% of shots on big game are taken within 500 yards. So in the below table, we look at the rifles and their recoil sorted by recoil velocity (the pain it will inflict) from most to least.

Then, look in the three right columns to make sure it has enough power to kill the animal you’re hunting. For deer-sized game, it is recommended that you have at least 1,000 ft-lbs of energy, a Hornady HITS formula ranking of at least 500, and at least 1,900 fps of velocity.

For elk-sized game, it is recommended that you have at least 1,500 ft-lbs of energy, a Hornady HITS score of at least 900, and at least 1,900 fps of velocity.

CartridgeFree Recoil Energy (Ft-lbs)Recoil Velocity (FPS)500 Yard Energy (ft lbs)Hornady’s HITS Formula at 500500 Yard FPS
.378 Weatherby Magnum60.6819.382,1881,5951835
.30-378 Weatherby Magnum45.7818.392,5011,4782346
.458 Win Mag55.5717.951,4891,9711158
.416 Ruger52.7217.561,6841,7341399
.416 Rigby52.4917.521,5731,7571331
.416 Remington Magnum50.4617.181,5561,7481323
.338-378 Weatherby Magnum45.4016.952,3381,6642027
.300 RUM34.9716.072,1791,3802191
.375 Ruger41.6716.061,7161,4131625
.300 Weatherby Magnum33.1815.652,2001,3862201
.300 PRC32.4215.472,2381,4502193
.338 RUM37.8015.462,1501,5961944
.338 Lapua Magnum37.7015.442,2371,6281982
.375 H&H Magnum38.2815.391,6641,3911601
.340 Weatherby Magnum36.8815.282,1381,5911938
.30 Nosler31.5815.272,1631,3742182
.300 Winchester Magnum29.9914.881,9961,3202096
.325 WSM28.9514.801,7601,1231971
.28 Nosler28.2714.722,0871,1692374
.45-70 Govt30.8114.68589669895
.33 Nosler33.9114.652,2081,6371962
7mm Weatherby Magnum26.0714.131,9511,1432287
7 STW25.9114.091,9361,1392278
.300 WSM26.5414.001,9301,2982061
.27 Nosler25.2813.931,7971,0592258
9.3 x 62mm Mauser30.7213.821,4421,2531531
6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum24.7213.791,9199792500
.338 Win Mag29.9013.751,8831,4931819
.270 Weatherby Magnum23.2513.361,6288692258
7mm Rem Mag23.1513.321,7251,0272183
7 WSM22.5013.131,8131,0442245
.35 Whelen27.1413.021,2178811561
.26 Nosler21.4512.851,7648392488
.270 WSM21.2412.771,6149102210
.300 Ruger (RCM)21.6012.631,4861,0571855
.30-06 Springfield21.3412.551,6511,2011907
7 SAUM20.5312.541,6559972145
6.8 Western20.4412.531,6001,0352106
6.5 Weatherby RPM19.9312.381,7259772330
.450 Bushmaster22.2212.27421421842
.257 Weatherby Magnum19.1312.181,1935862200
.444 Marlin22.9912.16467489889
.280 Ackley Improved19.2912.161,6321,0012122
.338 Federal22.8412.021,5981,2371736
.50 BMG83.1711.918,4796,6142296
.280 Remington18.3511.851,5609462098
.264 Winchester Magnum17.6811.661,5268732229
.270 Winchester17.6411.641,4078502064
.308 Winchester18.2711.621,4011,0861767
6.5 PRC16.2711.191,5299082204
7mm-08 Remington14.8810.681,2838581903
6.5-284 Norma Match14.4810.561,3298602044
7mm Mauser13.2410.071,1948271836
.25-06 Remington12.699.929735301987
.260 Remington12.569.831,2138211952
.240 Weatherby Magnum12.069.709375032046
6.5 Creedmoor11.879.561,1917711969
6mm Creedmoor10.899.229465352016
6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser10.909.161,0407291834
6mm Remington10.368.998564981931
.22 Creedmoor9.158.607242692240
.30-30 Winchester9.978.587435701434
.243 Winchester9.228.488625001938
.220 Swift8.548.304211611853
.204 Ruger6.187.37263881766
6mm BR6.927.355482981704
.22 Nosler6.527.253801951623
7.62 x 39mm7.117.245793881382
6.8 Remington SPC6.797.226033541571
6.5 Grendel6.186.897075111596
.224 Valkyrie5.516.674222371631
.223 / 5.565.486.653382031483
.350 Legend7.086.614543631088
.222 Remington4.005.692461181436
.300 Blackout4.025.454275561001
.22 Hornet1.373.32129771075
.17 Hornet1.233.3183311288
.17 WSM0.762.6051231038
.17 HMR0.251.502110750
.22 WMR0.261.448244961

Same Table As Above, But Now at 300 Yards

CartridgeRecoil Velocity (FPS)300 Yard Energy (ft lbs)Hornady’s Hits Formula at 300300 Yard FPS
.378 Weatherby Magnum19.383,3561,9752273
.30-378 Weatherby Magnum18.393,2381,6822670
.458 Win Mag17.952,4232,5151477
.416 Ruger17.562,7782,2271797
.416 Rigby17.522,5942,2571709
.416 Remington Magnum17.182,5692,2461700
.338-378 Weatherby Magnum16.953,2161,9522377
.300 RUM16.072,8451,5762503
.375 Ruger16.062,6471,7542019
.300 Weatherby Magnum15.652,8481,5772504
.300 PRC15.472,9211,6562505
.338 RUM15.462,9741,8772286
.338 Lapua Magnum15.443,0851,9122328
.375 H&H Magnum15.392,5501,7221981
.340 Weatherby Magnum15.282,9601,8732281
.30 Nosler15.272,8251,5712494
.300 Winchester Magnum14.882,6191,5122401
.325 WSM14.802,3741,3042289
.28 Nosler14.722,6381,3142669
.45-70 Govt14.681,0809061212
.33 Nosler14.653,0471,9232304
7mm Weatherby Magnum14.132,4811,2892578
7 STW14.092,4631,2842569
.300 WSM14.002,5371,4882363
.27 Nosler13.932,3771,2182596
9.3 x 62mm Mauser13.822,2271,5571902
6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum13.792,4281,1022812
.338 Win Mag13.752,6111,7592142
.270 Weatherby Magnum13.362,1519992595
7mm Rem Mag13.322,2061,1622469
7 WSM13.132,3121,1782535
.35 Whelen13.022,0101,1322006
.26 Nosler12.852,2349442801
.270 WSM12.772,1181,0432532
.300 Ruger (RCM)12.631,9791,2192140
.30-06 Springfield12.552,1711,3772186
7 SAUM12.542,1211,1292428
6.8 Western12.532,0831,1812402
6.5 Weatherby RPM12.382,1991,1032631
.450 Bushmaster12.278175871173
.257 Weatherby Magnum12.181,6746952606
.444 Marlin12.169446951263
.280 Ackley Improved12.162,0761,1302393
.338 Federal12.022,1731,4432025
.50 BMG11.919,9717,1732490
.280 Remington11.852,0111,0742383
.264 Winchester Magnum11.661,9549882522
.270 Winchester11.641,8949862395
.308 Winchester11.621,8671,2532040
6.5 PRC11.191,9601,0282495
7mm-08 Remington10.681,7039882192
6.5-284 Norma Match10.561,7189772324
7mm Mauser10.071,5789512111
.25-06 Remington9.921,3736292360
.260 Remington9.831,5769362226
.240 Weatherby Magnum9.701,3165962425
6.5 Creedmoor9.561,5448782242
6mm Creedmoor9.221,3306352391
6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser9.161,3628342098
6mm Remington8.991,2125932299
.22 Creedmoor8.601,0533252700
.30-30 Winchester8.581,1036951748
.243 Winchester8.481,2175942304
.220 Swift8.307852202529
.204 Ruger7.375341252516
6mm BR7.358943802176
.22 Nosler7.257162682226
7.62 x 39mm7.248764771699
6.8 Remington SPC7.229144361934
6.5 Grendel6.899535931852
.224 Valkyrie6.677333122151
.223 / 5.566.656502812055
.350 Legend6.617604701409
.222 Remington5.694871662019
.300 Blackout5.455846501171
.22 Hornet3.322581091520
.17 Hornet3.31204492022
.17 WSM2.60119351589
.17 HMR1.5044151079
.22 WMR1.44123541177

How Much Recoil Is Too Much Recoil?

Just seeing a list of recoil numbers is helpful, but it can still be difficult to know what that feels like in reality. Hopefully, the following comparison of some of the most popular cartridges today will be helpful.

In general, most large-bodied and experienced adult shooters can comfortably shoot a rifle with a recoil velocity of under 13.5 fps without developing a flinch. Many smaller-bodied or inexperienced adult shooters begin to experience flinch at approximately 11.75 fps of recoil velocity.

  • The.243 Winchester’s recoil produces 9.22 ft-lbs of energy at a recoil velocity of 8.48 fps. That amount of recoil is low enough that even youth shooters have no problem shooting the cartridge. It feels more like a sudden vibration than actual kick.
  • The 6.5 Creedmoor produces 11.83 ft-lbs of energy at a recoil velocity of 9.54 fps in an average-weight rifle. It is considered to have very mild recoil, which many youth shooters and all adult shooters can generally shoot without any flinch or pain.
  • The 6.5 PRC generates 16.27 ft-lbs of energy at a recoil velocity of 11.19 fps. Its recoil is noticeable, but most adult shooters consider it sufficiently mild as to not require a muzzle break or suppressor. It has very similar recoil to the 7mm-08, and slightly less than the .270 Winchester.
  • The .270 Winchester’s recoil produces 17.64 ft-lbs of energy and 11.64 fps of recoil velocity. Most people consider the .270 a moderate-recoiling cartridge that can push the shooter off target during the shot, but is not enough to cause pain in the average adult shooter.
  • The 7mm-08 Remington’s recoil produces 14.88 ft-lbs of energy at a velocity of 10.68 fps. Because of its mild recoil, it is often recommended as a good hunting cartridge for youth and small-framed shooters.
  • The 7mm Remington Mag generates significant recoil of 22.15 ft-lbs at 13.32 fps. Smaller-framed or young shooters generally consider the cartridge as having high recoil, but its recoil is manageable for experienced large-framed shooters to be able to shoot it regularly.
  • The .28 Nosler produces a sharp, powerful recoil which most shooters find to be too much unless they shoot with a muzzle break or suppressor. It produces 28.27 ft-lbs of recoil energy at a velocity of 14.72 fps. Because of its recoil, a .28 Nosler should generally only be shot out of heavier rifles, coupled with a brake or suppressor.
  • The .30-06 cartridge has a strong but not particularly sharp recoil. It generates 21.34 ft-lbs of energy at 12.55 fps. In a well-designed rifle and stock, the .30-06 recoil is acceptable for most adult shooters, but in many older rifles with poorly-designed stocks, the recoil can feel too powerful.
  • The .50BMG produces a tremendous amount of recoil, measuring at 83.17 ft-lbs of energy. Although the recoil energy is significant, it moves relatively slow at 11.91 fps. Additionally, the .50 BMG is almost always shot with a massive muzzle brake which can reduce the recoil by 50%.

Reducing the Recoil of Your Rifle

I have tried many different methods for reducing the recoil of cartridges that are too powerful. The most common method that shooters choose is to simply add a muzzle brake. This can reduce the recoil between 20% and 50% depending on the size and effectiveness of the brake. Personally, I hate muzzle brakes and don’t use them at all anymore.

The problem with muzzle brakes is that they increase the volume of the gunshot significantly. Even with foam earplugs or earmuffs, the sound can still be loud enough to make ears ring. When I shoot muzzle brakes, I use both earplugs as well as muffs in order to protect my hearing.

Muzzle brakes come in two basic varieties: radial port and side-port. A radial-port brake has holes all around the sides which can make it more effective, but sends out a blast of dust when shot near the ground because it blasts down and not just to the sides.

My preferred method for reducing recoil is using a silencer (suppressor, if you will). A silencer can reduce a firearm’s recoil up to 45% while also making the gunshot quieter. While I still use hearing protection with a silencer, it makes the sound more tolerable.

An additional method to reduce the recoil of a firearm is to use “downloaded” rounds. Handloaders can simply put less powder in the cartridge, but even those who purchase factory ammunition can often find “reduced recoil” loads which can reduce the recoil by approximately 10%.

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  1. Jim Harmer says:

    I spent SOOOO long putting the data for this post together. Hope y’all enjoy it!

    1. Thank you for all the work! It’s nice to have an updated chart with modern calibers!

    2. Thanks a million Jim! Very nice!

    3. I like it! I see sportsman’s guide pulled down the plagiarized article from their site. I hope they pay you your due. You earned it for running down this rabbit hole in such beautiful detail.

    4. Thanks Jim. Your time and efforts are appreciated. It’s fun to compare cartridges in a compact, informative way.


    This was helpful and interesting! It was put to use in picking which caliber to get a new rifle. With the recoil data, I opted for 6.5 creedmoor as one my wife could be able to use comfortably to protect her animals from predators.

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Glad it was helpful! 6.5 Creedmoor is a great choice for many unexperienced or small bodied shooters. My kids both shoot 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting deer-sized game. There are other good options as well, but 6.5 Creedmoor has such good bullet availability (during normal times) and rifles to select from that it’s a no brainer.

      As mentioned, though, there are other good options that are similarly situated for light recoil hunting capabilities. Some that come to mind are the .243, 25-06, and 7mm-08.

  3. You have the 300 Weatherby as having less recoil than the 300 Win mag. It should be other way around. The Weatherby drives a similar bullet at least 200 fps faster and thereby has to have more recoil

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      I have gone in and fixed the error. Thank you for pointing it out. I want this to be perfect.

    2. David King says:

      I believe this is one of the best recoil tables I have seen. I am no expert but I would say I’m at least more experienced than the average bear. One thing I did learn from this is how light the 6.5 creedmoor’s recoil was. It’s a round that I was never really interested in until now because it seems to be the only ammo I can find these days. I love y’all’s videos and articles keep it up guys!

  4. Why are the numbers in the “HOW MUCH RECOIL IS TOO MUCH RECOIL?” area different than the corresponding calibers on the chart?

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Thank you for noticing. We updated a few numbers in the chart but forgot to update the text. It’s fixed now.

      1. Lu Timdale says:

        The table seems to be messed up. I tried Chrome and Firefox. I am interested in this, but your cartridge column seems to have values for velocity (fps), muzzle energy. If you send me your email, I can send you some screenshots.

        1. Jim Harmer says:

          Thank you. I fixed it.

  5. Jay Williams says:

    Sooo Glad that you’ve decided to Bypass these Anti-Second Amendment Attacks . By Continuing Your Rights Under a Free Society . Great Channel , Great Content , Great Nation . Hopefully you’ll include an Old Redfield Widefield Scope to the mix . The Old Timers will get it right away . The Younger Generation Not So Much .
    Here are a couple of Cartridges that would make for some Interesting Video’s in the Future . The 257 Roberts , 7 x 57mm Spanish , 7.5 x 55mm Swiss . Cheers To All of Those that Support Your Channel , the Second Amendment and Our Freedom Loving Nation ..!!!!!! God Bless America , The Constitution , Bill Of Rights & The U.S. Warriors & Veterans Of The United States Of America

  6. This is fascinating. Your YouTube video used a 500 yard range in selecting the lightest recoiling cartridges for deer and elk. Is there somewhere we can adjust the ranges? I would not need 500 yards – I’d need more like 300, and I’d be curious to see how the reduction in range would affect the cartridge selection. It would seem like you could get away with even less gun if you limited your shots to closer in. Regardless, thank you for all your work.

  7. Bobby Bessette says:

    Hey Jim just wanted to tell you that I love the channel.. very informative about not only what rifle options are best for our budget but what caliber might be best for our needs. I was wondering why I never see anyone do videos on one of the greatest calibers of all time.. the 8 x57 Mauser. Just wish it would get more respect. Without the 8 mm Mauser there would be no 30-06 or 308 or any other cartridges that have that head size. Thank you again Jim for your excellent channel

  8. Mark Scarboro says:

    Just curious of your thoughts on the 6mm Remington I have a Mohawk that is chambered in that as you know the Mohawk has an 18 inch barrel. What are the capabilities of that rifle at distance and is there a more popular round that is comparable to the flight path of that round that I could get a BDC scope for that would work or is there one for the 6mm

  9. Gene Greiner says:

    Wow!! I have no idea where you sourced all of this information but, this is very impressive and extremely helpful. I love learning about these types of topics – your videos and presented data are very well done!

    Just because I am curious for the <5% that might take an animal greater than 500 yards, did you happen to extrapolate FPS and ft. lbs of energy out to 1,000 yards?

  10. Kolte Breck says:

    This is rad, but would be even sweeter if you allowed visitors to sort by columns of their choice.

  11. Jim, love your blog and YouTube channel. Why not offer Patreon support since YouTube demonetized your channel? I would support you.

  12. Where does the recoil of a 12 gauge shotgun fit in?

  13. David Jow says:

    Great data! How can we calculate wind drift for these calibers? Is there a formula for it?

  14. Frank Kibbon says:

    Did a wonderful job but forgot the 250 & 300 savage

  15. Beau Tanner says:

    This is a really epic resource! One item I remain curious about is where the 12 gauge shotgun cartridge fits.

  16. Mark Williams says:

    Howdy Jim…………I noticed on your recoil chart……….that you have the 300 Win mag 11 notches higher on the totem pole…………than the 338 Win mag………..can this be true ????………..Mark in Cypress, TX

    1. James Willmus says:


      If you take a look at the first table, the cartridges are NOT sorted by ft-lbs of energy, but by velocity (feet per second). Both cartridges kick fairly hard, but the 300 win mag has more velocity behind it. The 338, with a heavier, wider bullet, exhibits lower recoil velocity as a result.

      That being said, the two cartridges are very similar and whether felt recoil is more in one cartridge or the other is more about rifle design than cartridge design. That’s why we are using more objective stats such as free recoil energy and velocity.

      1. Mark Williams says:

        Thanks for that James………God bless from Cypress, TX

  17. Larry Hemmert says:

    Is there any possibility you can provide the spreadsheets themselves?

  18. I was hoping that you might be able to help me on a recoil question if you have the same weight gun at 8.25lbs or 10.25 lbs with scope on one is a weatherby 300 mag and the other is a weatherby 30-378 what would there recoil numbers be I know that the 30-378 would be higher but didnt know the exact difference and both guns would be shooting 180gr ammo 300 mag muzzle velocity would be 3250fps and the 30-378 muzzle velocity would be 3450 fps. Thanks for any help

  19. Rob Anderson says:

    I shoot a 340 Weatherby and have always said that it doesn’t kick as bad as a 300 WBY. It’s more of a push. I could never explain or prove this until I saw your video and recoil charts. Now it all makes sense. Great job Jim!

  20. Tom Sells says:

    Jim I heard on one of your videos that you were going to upgrade your kids rifle. I am interested in buying your kids Ruger American in 6.5 Creedmoor with the scope. I am more of a prepper than a hunter and this seems to be a good starter rifle. I wouldn’t mind hunting but not sure how to start. Thanks in advance.

  21. Really simply great information, many thanks, did you consider looking at the .303?

  22. Dan Kosek says:

    Jim, so much work is summarized in what you have built. I just wanted to say thanks. I would love to see a Googlesheets or Excel version where you can turn off cartridges (many of which I will never use/have) to slim down the table. Also, how hard would it be to add a 12 and 20 gauge sabot slug to the work? I’m still on the fence about using Hornady’s values instead of straight ft lbs of power. I listened to your Youtube explanation of why but I think its a little bit of “I like apples and don’t like your oranges.” Kinda talk. I also think it rules out a lot of fine cartridges that I have seen people use very effectively. I do agree that people won’t keep their own rules when their personal trophy walks into view at an unreasonable range for what they are toting. When you have to hike a mile to close 200 yds, will you? Overall, thanks again for the work and please publish the data with straight ft lbs instead of the Hornady math as well. Sorry, I love Hornady ammo, but marketing is still marketing.

  23. I’d like to see more AR calibers listed. IE 450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, etc. but this was a crazy amount of work even without adding more calibers to it. Thanks!

  24. Thanks Jim.
    Greatly appreciate not only your brain of knowledge but more so, your heart of sharing.