The Myth: Big Bore practice has to hurt
The safari is coming up soon, and practice is key. Is it possible to practice effectively with heavy recoiling rifles without developing a flinch?
2. If your rifle doesn't have one already, buy a quality recoil pad like a Pachmayr Decelerator. And if you don't mine the carrying the extra weight, consider buying and installing a mercury recoil reducer like the Graco BreaKO.
3. Spread the pain: We’re all busy, but if you can spread 100 rounds into 4 range trips instead of 1 or 2, you’ll give yourself time to recover and save your shoulder some punishment.
4. Dry fire: This is simply the best practice there is because you can do it at home and it doesn’t cost a dime. Make yourself some “dummy” cartridges and practice reloading.
5. Use light loads: Though you should include full power ammo in every range session, supplementing your practice with reduced recoil loads is a great way to get the rounds out without pounding yourself with recoil. IMR’s Trail Boss powder is like magic in this application. 20 grains of this powder with a 250 grain bullet in my .375 H&H produces only 10 percent of the recoil of my hunting load (3.83 ft. lbs. vs. 38.82) and results in surprisingly similar point of impact.
6. Go hunting: This time of year is a great time to take your big bore out and chase groundhogs, rock chucks, or even feral hogs. And while shooting at game, you'll hardly feel a thing.
7. Analyze: Have someone video your shooting sessions. In this iPhone video clip from one of my first practice sessions with a .375 H&H, you’ll see two problems: 1. I’m breaking my cheek weld to cycle the bolt (something I didn’t realize I was doing), and 2. I’m having some problems with the shooting sticks. After looking at the video, I was able to critique myself and correct the problems, and good shooting form results in less felt recoil.
Tell us about your practice routines, we’d love to hear about them.