Reduced Recoil Reloads

By Chuck Hawks


Until the recent advent of Federal Low Recoil and Remington Managed Recoil factory loads, there was virtually no factory loaded ammunition designed to control recoil. Quite the contrary; most factory loads represent maximum loads, intended to generate the highest performance possible within the maximum average pressure (MAP) specified by the SAAMI or CIP.

Reduced recoil is desirable because it allows a quicker recovery of the sight picture, better shot placement, and (most of all) the shooter is less likely to flinch. Lower recoil is precisely the reason that cartridges along the lines of the 6.5x55 and 7x57 have earned such a deadly reputation in game fields all around the world.

Lowered recoil loads allow recoil sensitive shooters, which includes nearly all beginners as well as many women and youth, to borrow and use existing hunting rifles in powerful calibers such as .270 Win, .308 Win., and .30-06. And it allows more practice shooting at the range without discomfort.

Reloaders, of course, have always had the option of loading "minimum" or "starting" loads. Practically all reloading manuals list such loads. These are loads at the lower pressure end of the normal performance envelope of the cartridge/bullet weight combination in question. They do offer slightly less recoil as well as slightly reduced ballistics. (Probably on the order of a 10% reduction in both.)

However, what I mean by "reduced recoil" for the purposes of this article is a much larger recoil reduction, essentially reducing the performance and recoil of the cartridge in question to that of a lower power cartridge. For example, .45-70 performance from a .458 Winchester Magnum rifle or .30-30 performance from a .30-06 rifle. This is the kind of recoil reduction the loads that follow offer.

Some of these are just practice loads, while others are perfectly practical deer or varmint hunting loads within their trajectory limitations. Most are based on the use of IMR SR 4759 powder, which is specifically designed for lower power (but not necessarily lower pressure!) loads. Since purchasing the IMR Powder Company, Hodgdon no longer recommends SR 4759 for reduced velocity loads. They say it is because SR 4759 produces pressures similar to full power loads (but with a reduced powder charge and reduced velocity). Personally, I thought that was the idea! I don't see the problem there and neither did DuPont (who developed SR 4759) or IMR (before it was sold to Hodgdon). However, it is something you should be aware of before using SR 4759 in the loads listed below. All SR 4759 loads mentioned in this article were taken directly from reputable reloading manuals and should be used as listed, without alteration.

SR 4759 powder allows reduced power and performance without the problems of erratic ignition, unpredictable performance and unintended pressure spikes that can sometimes occur when using, say, a light charge of pistol powder in a rifle cartridge. The latter are what I call "gallery loads," which essentially reduce the power of rifle cartridges to that of pistol cartridges, suitable for indoor shooting. That is not the intent of the loads listed here.

Most of the loads presented here are in-between gallery loads and full power loads in performance. They are designed to reduce recoil to tolerable levels. Most of these are actually MAXIMUM pressure loads, despite their reduced performance. Do not attempt to increase performance by increasing the amount of powder. If you want higher velocity, use another powder.

None of the data presented below was developed by yours truly. It is based on data developed and published by other sources, primarily the IMR Powder Company, creators of IMR 4759 and all other IMR powders, and the Speer Reloading Manual Number 13. These two sources are to be commended for listing so many reduced power loads. The Lyman Reloading Handbook is a good source for cast lead bullet loads for most calibers, a few of which are reproduced here. The source of every load is identified.

CHECK THE SOURCE BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO USE ANY OF THESE LOADS. Despite my best efforts, sometimes typos and mistakes do sneak past the editing process. No one, certainly including me, is 100% perfect at transcribing data, so inadvertent errors in the data presented here are always a possibility. If you are a shooter and a reloader, you must be a responsible adult, so I accept absolutely no responsibility for your actions or the use of this data. If you damage your gun or yourself, it is your fault, not mine!

REDUCED RECOIL LOADS

.22-250 Remington - 55 grain Speer SP bullet, 13.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Remington case. COL 2.350". MV 2002 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.220 Swift - 55 grain Speer SP bullet, 13.5 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Winchester case. COL 2.650". MV 2000 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.243 Winchester - 80 grain Rem. PSP bullet, 25.5 grains SR 4759 powder, Rem. 9 1/2 primer, Remington case. COL 2.640". MV 2710 fps in 24" test barrel. MAP 51,300 CUP. (Based on the IMR Smokeless Powder Reloader's Guide, April 2004.)

.243 Winchester - 100 grain Speer BT bullet, 29.0 grains H414 powder, Rem. CCI 250 primer, Winchester case. COL 2.635". MV 2270 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

6mm Remington - 100 grain Rem. PSP bullet, 23.5 grains SR 4759 powder, Rem. 9 1/2 primer, Remington case. COL 2.735". MV 2400 fps in 22" test barrel. MAP 51,600 CUP. (Based on the IMR Smokeless Powder Reloader's Guide, April 2004.)

.240 Weatherby Magnum - 90 grain Speer SP bullet, 20.0 grains of IMR 4198 powder, CCI 250 primer, Wby. case. COL 3.062". MV 1982 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.240 Weatherby Magnum - 105 grain Speer SP bullet, 22.0 grains of IMR 4198 powder, CCI 250 primer, Wby. case. COL 3.062". MV 2024 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.257 Roberts - 100 grain Speer SP bullet, 17.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 2.770". MV 1945 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.257 Roberts - 120 grain Speer SP bullet, 19.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 2.770". MV 2003 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.25-06 Remington - 120 grain Speer SP bullet, 21.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Winchester case. COL 3.155". MV 1861 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.257 Weatherby Magnum - 100 grain Speer SP bullet, 22.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Wby. case. COL 3.150". MV 1975 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.260 Remington - 120 grain Speer SP bullet, 24.0 grains of XMP 5744 powder, CCI 200 primer, Remington case. COL 2.720". MV 2156 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.260 Remington - 120 grain Sierra SP bullet, 23.5 grains SR 4759 powder, Rem. 9 1/2 primer, Remington case. COL 2.780". MV 2280 fps in 24" test barrel. MAP 57,600 PSI. (Based on the IMR Smokeless Powder Reloader's Guide, April 2004.)

6.5x55 SE - 120 grain Speer SP bullet, 17.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Federal case. COL 3.000". MV 1911 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

6.5x55 SE - 140 grain Speer SP bullet, 17.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Federal case. COL 3.035". MV 1797 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

6.5mm Remington Magnum - 140 grain Speer SP bullet, 22.5 grains IMR 4198 powder, CCI 250 primer, Remington case. COL 2.790". MV 1792 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.264 Winchester Magnum - 120 grain Speer SP bullet, 23.0 grains IMR 4198 powder, CCI 250 primer, Winchester case. COL 3.300". MV 1932 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.270 Winchester - 130 grain Swift Scirocco bullet, 24.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI BR-2 primer, Federal case. COL 3.340". MV 2190 fps in 22" barrel. (From American Rifleman, Volume 161, No. 11)

.270 Winchester - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 26.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Winchester case. COL 3.270". MV 1957 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.270 Weatherby Magnum - 130 grain Speer SP bullet, 28.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Wby. case. COL 3.250". MV 2021 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

7x57 Mauser - 145 grain Speer SP bullet, 22.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Remington case. COL 2.800". MV 1842 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.280 Remington - 130 grain Speer SP bullet, 24.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.205". MV 2024 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

7mm Remington Magnum - 130 grain Speer SP bullet, 26.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.285". MV 2084 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

7mm Remington Magnum - 145 grain Speer SP bullet, 28.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.280". MV 2112 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

7mm Weatherby Magnum - 145 grain Speer SP bullet, 29.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.360". MV 1970 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.30-30 Winchester - 100 grain FP bullet, 15.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Winchester case. MV 1834 fps in 24" barrel. MAP 23,400 CUP. (Based on the Hodgdon Data Manual, 26th Edition.)

.30-30 Winchester - 150 grain FP bullet, 17.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Winchester case. COL 2.550". MV 1794 fps in 24" barrel. MAP 35,600 CUP. (Based on the Hodgdon Data Manual, 26th Edition.)

.307 Winchester - 150 grain Speer FP bullet, 38.0 grains of H322 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 2.520". MV 2146 fps in 20" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.308 Winchester - 130 grain Speer HP bullet, 29.0 grains of IMR 4198 powder, CCI 200 primer, IMI case. COL 2.615". MV 2185 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.308 Winchester - 150 grain Speer RN bullet, 25.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, IMI case. COL 2.490". MV 1925 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.30-06 Springfield - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 28.0 grains of XMP 5744 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 3.250". MV 2052 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.30-06 Springfield - 165 grain Speer SP bullet, 25.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 3.250". MV 1941 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.308 Norma Magnum - 180 grain Speer RN bullet, 31.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Norma case. COL 3.220". MV 1918 fps in 24.5" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.300 Winchester Magnum - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 28.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Win. case. COL 3.330". MV 2028 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.300 Winchester Magnum - 165 grain Speer SP bullet, 29.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Win. case. COL 3.340". MV 2000 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.300 Weatherby Magnum - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 29.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.560". MV 1970 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.300 Weatherby Magnum - 180 grain Speer SP bullet, 35.0 grains of IMR 4198 powder, CCI 250 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.560". MV 1988 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.303 British - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 25.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.075". MV 1925 fps in 25.25" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.303 British - 180 grain Speer RN bullet, 25.0 grains of IMR 4198 powder, CCI 200 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.075". MV 1839 fps in 25.25" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.32 Winchester Special - 170 grain Speer FP bullet, 18.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 2.560". MV 1710 fps in 20" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

8x57 Mauser - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 21.5 grains SR 4759 powder, WLR primer, Winchester case. COL 2.945". MV 1960 fps in 25" test barrel. MAP 37,000 CUP. (Based on the IMR Smokeless Powder Reloader's Guide, April 2004.)

.340 Weatherby Magnum - 200 grain Speer SP bullet, 33.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Wby. case. COL 3.560". MV 1970 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.35 Whelen - 280 grain Lyman #358009 cast lead bullet, 25.5 grains of SR 4759 powder, Rem. 9 1/2 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.040". MV 1654 fps in 24" barrel. MAP 25,300 cup. (Based on the Lyman 47th Reloading Handbook.)

.350 Remington Magnum - 180 grain Speer FP bullet, 28.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Rem. case. COL 2.800". MV 1926 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.350 Remington Magnum - 250 grain Speer SP bullet, 26.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Remington case. COL 2.800". MV 1650 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.358 Norma Magnum - 180 grain Speer FP bullet, 32.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Norma case. COL 3.340". MV 2013 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

9.3x74R - 270 grain Speer Semi-SP bullet, 25.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, RWS case. COL 3.665". MV 1537 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.375 Winchester - 248 grain Lyman #375248 cast lead bullet, 20.0 grains of 2400 powder, WLR primer, Win. case. COL 2.450". MV 1595 fps in 20" barrel. (Based on the Lyman 47th Reloading Handbook.)

.375 H&H Magnum - 235 grain Speer SSP bullet, 30.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Winchester case. COL 3.600". MV 1701 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.378 Weatherby Magnum - 249 grain Lyman #375248 cast lead bullet, 25.0 grains of Unique powder, Rem. 9 1/2 primer, Weatherby case. MV 1760 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Lyman 47th Reloading Handbook.)

.45-70 Government - 300 grain Hornady HP bullet, 25.5 grains SR 4759 powder, Federal 210 primer, Win. case. COL 2.550". MV 1300 fps in 29.5" barrel. (Based on the Hornady Handbook, Sixth Edition.)

.45-70 Government - 325 grain RCBS #82045 cast lead bullet, 26.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 2.463". MV 1314 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

.458 Winchester Magnum - 385 grain Lyman #457124 cast lead bullet, 18.0 grains of Unique powder, WLR primer, Winchester case. COL 3.012". MV 1315 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Lyman 47th Reloading Handbook.)

.458 Winchester Magnum - 400 grain Speer Flat-SP bullet, 26.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Winchester case. COL 3.125". MV 1262 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)




Back to Reloading

Copyright 2005, 2013 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.


HOME / GUNS & SHOOTING / NAVAL, AVIATION & MILITARY / TRAVEL & FISHING / MOTORCYCLES & RIDING / AUDIO