Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Things I Don't Get, #492,207...

Go on any internet gun forum and you'll see people talking about the recoil of their Mosin-Nagants like they were some sort of elephant gun. I'll agree that the short M38s and -44s have the sort of muzzleblast one can expect from a carbine-length barrel firing a long cartridge stuffed with slow-burning propellant, but recoil? Pffft.

A few months from now, American adolescents will be heading into the woods with shiny new ~7 lb. Savages and Remingtons firing commercial hunting ammo in .30-'06 and .300 WM that makes the ~9 lb. Mosin and its antediluvian three line cartridge look tame in the recoil department, to say nothing of the people hunting with 12 gauge slugs or buckshot. The Mosin was dragged across half of Europe by underfed Kazakhs for heaven's sake, and they didn't have none of these.

I think a lot of it is just that the $79 Mosin is frequently the first manually-operated* centerfire rifle experience for people who didn't get a .308 for their seventeenth birthday and therefore, compared to the .22s and borrowed SKSs fired previously, it seems to recoil a lot. I know I didn't grow up in a gun household, and so I thought my bubba-ized No.4 Enfield kicked like a mule when I first got it. Now I remember it fondly when touching off my .405 Win Encore.


*This is important. A lot of people don't seem to realize how much the recoil impulse gets moderated by the function of a self-loading weapon. The difference in felt recoil between an SKS and a CZ 527 in 7.62x39mm is illustrative. The stubby .30 Russian has a lot more shove when it's exerting it against a manually-unlocking bolt.
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37 comments:

Blackwing1 said...

You mention the difference between shooting a bolt-gun and a semi-auto.

As it happens, my wife's deer rifle is a CZ427 in 7.62x39, and we also shoot AK's, a Mini-30 and SKS's. While there is some difference in recoil, it doesn't actually seem to be all that much (although the difference in ACCURACY is amazing; the CZ will punch tight little clover-leafs with the same ammo that the SKS/AK/Mini-30's scatter around in 4" to 6" groups).

To me a much bigger difference is in the .30-06. I can shoot my Garand all day long despite a metal buttplate. But three rounds from the Remington "youth-model" (hey, I'm a small guy except for diameter) light-weight makes me happy to quit when I've verified zero for the season. A short (20") barrel and 7-lb. versus the big beefy Garand with the long-piston operation...BIG difference in recoil.

Montana said...

I don't find the recoil to be out of line, but the stock sucks in comparison to a modern bolt gun.

Sport Pilot said...

Buggers need to go out and put rounds downrange through a #5 Enfield before they sniffle about the recoil.

Woodman said...

I agree with Montana, I can shoot my 12 gauge all day long and maybe a get a bit sore. An hour behind my Morin and I'm sporting a bruise the next day.

Maybe operator error, and tve only other long rifles i can compare to are an M16A2 and a 9mm Carbonero. Ir BlackBerry powder.

Tam said...

Even a Jungle Carbine's not all that bad.

Probably the worst smokeless-era military rifles in the recoil department I can think of off the top of my head are the little Berthier carbines, which combine a weight of slightly more than six pounds with a skinny stock that has way too much drop in it. Combine that with the fact that most of the surplus on the market was warm "Balle N" stuff, and they'll get your attention if you're not holding them right.

Tam said...

Woodman,

"I agree with Montana, I can shoot my 12 gauge all day long and maybe a get a bit sore. An hour behind my Morin and I'm sporting a bruise the next day."

All day long with low brass birdshot? Or all day long with buck and slugs? Big difference. ;)

Any centerfire rifle with a metal buttplate is going to leave bruising from an extended shooting session.

Heck, I got all black and blue from shooting a thousand rounds of 5.56 over the course of a three day class. Ow.

mikee said...

It isn't the pushback of recoil so much as the fireball from the Hungarian milsurp ammo that leaves new Mosin carbine shooters with a look of amazed disbelief on their faces.

I mean, really, who knew one could keep on burning powder that far out of the barrel?

Roger said...

Ffor those that wish to tame that steel "punisher" of a Mosin, (or any other hard kicking milsurp) there is the Uncle Mikes slip on recoil pad for less than $20.00. It extends the rifle's pull by just under an inch and eases the pain.

Firehand said...

So I'm not the only one who doesn't think the MN is bad in the recoil department?

I'm not alone!

Woodman said...

Good point Tam. Most of my shotgunning is target shot for fun.

I have done some serious shoot ex's with an M16, and I can't imagine bruising from one. But most of my time I was running a SAW which is a totally different animal anyway. I have noticed that civilian shooters pull the rifle in much tighter than I was taught. I'm sure it's more accurate, but that might reduce the flesh buffer.

In any case , I love my cheap ass rifle, even if it was $125. I want another one though.

Wolfman said...

The first full size centerfire rifle I ever shot was a 7mm Remington Mag- I was 12. Was it the best choice? Probably not, but it was the one we had, so it was the one we used. Later, I got my own rifle, a 721 Remington with an aluminum butt plate and a sub 7# curb weight. My cut down SMLE was the kitten of the group until a 7x57 Mauser came along. The M-N and the 7.62x54R are not the world's hardest hitters, for sure. The impressive muzzle flash and poor stock design don't help it, of course. I've often thought that a shooter who complained about the Mosin's ludicrous recoil was a shooter that could use some horizon broadening.

Erich505 said...

I always assumed the Mosin complaining stemmed from the volume of fire - but then I mostly heard these complaints in the days when (high quality) cans of 7.62x54R were $34.95.

.45ACP+P said...

It is all relative. I don't much notice the recoil until I shoot 3" magnums from a turkey choke or a .300Win Mag. They get your attention a bit better.

Windy Wilson said...

Another thing that affects felt recoil is shooting position. The Mosin M91 isn't bad at all standing or offhand, where the M44 is more assertive. Prone, the M-39 or K-31 begins to hurt at around 65 rounds. Seated or kneeling, of course is somewhere in between.

Matt said...

I didn't know Mosin's had a recoil problem. Must be something wrong with mine. They recoil, but not noticeably so, regardless of model. That fire ball though....

I have a 5lb single shot 12ga. with no recoil pad. Shot 25 rounds of trap with it. Never again. I flinched for two days afterwards.

global village idiot said...

Hunting rifles with magnum or wildcat loads aren't quite designed for high volumes of fire.

I've shot hunting rifles where I could find no way whatsoever to address the weapon in such a way that it didn't hurt.

"Rate of fire" isn't a design consideration in things like the Ruger Model 1.

gvi

Anonymous said...

Steel butt plate or recoil pad? Big difference!

12 ga? I'm ready to quit after one slug!

A shoulder ravaged by arthritis (caused by cumalitive recoil damage) doesn't take kindly to much recoil. Everyone's tolerance is different.

Merle

Scott J said...

I was surprised how adding a scope affects felt recoil. I mean they don't weigh all that much.

But after shooting a friend's 700 in .308 I was sort of surprised when I took my first rifle (a Sportsman 78 in .308) and fired it with the irons.

Kristophr said...

I'll second this.

When I first fired an M38, my thought was "Where is all that recoil people where whining about?"

D.W. Drang said...

I remember when a 1911 shooting 230 grain hardball was said to be uncontrollable.

Will said...

D W Drang:

When you get down to the 24oz Lightweight Officers Model 1911 with the original CorBon 185gr ~1200fps, it does get lively. Flinch inducing, actually. I see they reduced the speed rating to 1075fps at some point. Gee, I wonder why?

Weer'd Beard said...

I think people don't give high brass 12 from a manually operated shotgun enough credit in recoil impulse.

Before I ever fired a shotgun I had shot a .460 Weatherby mag haf-a-dozen times.

Maybe I didn't have the fowler tucked in as tight, but Yow! It sure surprised me!

Anonymous said...

As usual, Tam is dead on. My very first center fire gun was a big ol' 91/30. First time out I thought the world was coming to an end. It was a GOOD pain, however...

Fast forward 20 years and a few rounds into various berms. Now-a-days, I could just about empty a spam can through my M44 before I noticed a problem.

Medical issues & anatomical variations aside, it is really what you're used to. First-time shooters might flinch at the crack of a .22, while the IYAOYAS crowd just remembers to keep their mouths open while about their business.

And I keep thinking about getting used to something bigger, maybe like a Solothurn or Anzio. Remember, the size of the grin is inversely related to the violence of the flinch - eventually.

Bubblehead Les. said...

There's a picture of me buried in Jay G.'s Archives shooting Wally's (of York Arms Fame) AK-54 One-Off.

Imagine an AK firing 7.63x54R Moisen Ammo from a Minimum BATFE length barrel. He got a Wild Hair a few years back, and decided to convert a Dragonov to as close to an AK as is Legal.

Recoil wasn't bad, about like a Garand. But the Noise Level was outrageous! My ears are still ringing.

But if someone LIKES Recoil, just ask Zercool if you can shoot his Shotgun with his 3.5 inch "Turkey Loads."

My shoulder twinges at the Memory of it to this day.

Sport Pilot said...

I agree the No. 5 JC isn't terrible, heck I used to run a 700 Classic in .350 RM, Browning M-78 45/70 and other little kickers. None compared to a range day shooting 12 GA slugs from the prone position. Or shooting a bolt action .50 BMG rifle, it was all fun.

Anonymous said...

The shot recoil on a Mosin can be disconcerting, but it's nothing compared to the shoulder impact you get when you finally put all your muscle into opening the bolt and it comes slamming back.

Antibubba

Goober said...

Thank you, Tam. I've been making this comment for years.

Also, responding to people who talk about the "raw power" of the Mosin Cartridge as if it could take down a barn in one shot, or something.

By the standards of military rifles in the past 200 years, the Mosin isn't even in the top ten of most powerful rifles. It's really not that impressive, to be honest.

By the standard of your every day, average deer hunting rifle, it is nearly a poodle popper.

You want recoil?
I'll loan you my Benelli Nova pump gun and some 3 1/2" magnums to go shoot some geese.

Or maybe my 300 winchester magnum that weighs a little more than half of what that Mosin weighs.

The Mosin doesn't even HAVE a recoil by comparison.

And here I am going on, my buddy has a .404 Jeffries that will set you back on your seat...

Goober said...

And mine was a .30-06, for my ninth birthday.

Wore it out. Throated the barrel after I fired an estimated 8,000 rounds through it. still have it, ut haven't shot it in years, because it is innaccurate as hell now.

Skip said...

8x57= mule.

NotClauswitz said...

There's an old story from back when they adopted the M1 Garand. They took a unit/platoon/whatever shooting the Garand, and another bunch of troopers shot the 'O3 Springfields. They shot all day, many many rounds, lots of holes in targets. On Day-2 half the soldiers with the Springfields were unable/unwilling to continue.

Rob said...

Scott J said...

"I was surprised how adding a scope affects felt recoil. I mean they don't weigh all that much.

But after shooting a friend's 700 in .308 I was sort of surprised when I took my first rifle (a Sportsman 78 in .308) and fired it with the irons."

Weight makes a much bigger difference in felt recoil than people think. I have a Remington 700 in .30-06 with a plastic stock. Weighs around 7.5 lbs. It's fine for hunting, but if I'm going to be shooting it for an extended period of time at the range, I put a pound or two of lead birdshot in the hollow butt stock. Tames it down to not-quite .243 Win levels.

Peter said...

The problem with the Mosin Nagent is the same problem as the original '03 Springfield, the stock is too short for today's adults. Back before the 68 GCA my family used to sporterize '03 Springfields the recoil was tamed with a sporter stock, even without a recoil pad.

Jeremy Brock said...

I never thought recoil from my M91/30 was memorable at all. For a while I had a Golden State pseudo-Jungle Carbine that I recall as about a 20 round-per-session rifle, so comparatively frisky.

The worst I've ever been kicked was by a Ruger #3 carbine stuffed with .458-WinMag-wannabe handloads. I managed 4 shots before concluding that this particular experiment should be filed under 'Hey y'all, watch this'.

akornzombie said...

It also depends on what you're wearing: T-shirts and metal buttplates do not mix.

I put one of those rubber screw in buttpads on my Nagant, not for the recoil, but to add an inch of pull to the stock, which made it a lot more pleasant to shoot.

DW Drang: I don't know why they were complaining in the first place. My 1911 is a kitten for recoil, even with ball ammo.

Now for something with a bit of a kick to it, they can try my .45 LC SAA with hunting loads....

Lewis said...

Only one rifle has ever hurt me to shoot. A friend of mine, who is a frickin' wizard with the tools, converted a Steyr-Mannlicher 95 into a six pound straight pull .45-70, loaded with his 400 grain hard cast loads at 2000 fps.

It was ouchy.

Gewehr98 said...

I've shot the Noisy Magnet carbine. I won't do it again, and I'm something of a recoil junky. (500gr Hornady loads in that .45-70 Ruger #1S)

I attribute it to the stock design, angle, steel buttplate, etc. No5Mk1 JC is much more pleasant, as is an FR-8 Mauser.

Steve Skubinna said...

Probably my heaviest recoiling rifle is my Marlin 1895G in .45/70. I shoot Buffalo Bore magnum rounds, and even still the kick at the shoulder never bothered me - but I did note that the level was beating up my firing hand.

So I got a big loop and that fixed it.

On the other hand, I'm over six feet tall and well over two hundred pounds, so obviously a lot depends on the shooter's stature, and of course stance.