Dealing with the Recoil of a Rifle

Most people are aware that firing a gun will cause a certain amount of recoil, which is especially noticeable in larger, more powerful rifles that take serious ammunition with a big kickback. Still, even when you're expecting it, it can be a shock to inexperienced shooters and can cause problems even for those who use guns regularly.

You might be thinking, of course, that recoil is just part and parcel of firing a gun; something that you either have to learn to deal with, or accept that guns just aren't for you. And, while there's some truth in that, there are actually a few things you can do to make recoil less severe. That, in turn, may just be enough to completely transform your experience of firing a weapon, so give some of these tricks a go next time you're at the range.

Check your stance

The way you stand and hold the gun accounts for a large amount of how recoil is felt and perceived.  First of all, stand so that your shoulders are both straight on, facing the target. Place your feet apart at about shoulder width, and put your dominant-side foot back about a foot, perhaps less. This is a good position to absorb the energy of shooting and reduce the recoil's impact. When you hold the rifle, make sure the butt is pushed firmly into your shoulder, with no room to hit you as it kicks back.

Change up your ammo

Try using a lighter ammunition, which will result in less recoil. You might be surprised at how much difference it makes. People often use rounds with far more power than they need, just because they're available. Whatever your purpose for shooting, chances are you can get away with a lighter type of ammunition.

Try a recoil pad

This will fit over the rifle's butt and soften the impact when the gun is fired. It can make a much bigger difference than you may be expecting and is definitely worth trying. What's more, they can be placed and removed easily, so you always take it off again if you decide it's not for you.

Don't be afraid

As with any aspect of firing a gun, there's a lot of psychology involved in how you cope with recoil. When you're worried about it, your body will tense up, and you're less likely to be thinking about your standing and holding positions. Try to relax, and soften your body up without holding the gun weakly.