Just as with sixguns, we can extend our rifle shooting life by changing our loads. Companies like HSM of Montana offer a whole series of Low Recoiling Rifle ammunition loaded with Sierra Bullets to produce over 50 percent less felt recoil. For example their 150-gr. bulleted .30-06 and .308 loads are loaded at, or slightly below standard .30-30 loads with both loads clocking out under 2,400 fps and definitely providing less felt recoil.

One of the real thumpers I have is the little 18-1/2" Remington Model 600 chambered in .308. The HSM load clocks out at 2,260 fps in the Model 600 and I do not feel concerned at all shooting this load off my shoulder. In the Encore Contender .308 with a 15" barrel, length includes the muzzle brake, velocity is at 2,050 fps, or about where my .30-30 long-range silhouettes loads were 30-plus years ago. When shooting off sandbags the muzzle rises less than 1" when the Encore is fired. For handloaders, many reloading manuals offer starting loads that are about in this same range.