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Considering the OP, said he isn't going to shoot past 300 yards, won't even try it.  "Flat shooting" rifles don't even have to be considered.  Hell, why not just go with 30-30?  i mean it's only been around since the 1800s, killed as many if not more critters than a 06, with much less recoil.  It's nowhere near as sexy as the newer offerings, but there is minimal recoil, good to over 300 yards (doesn't matter in this case), ammo is cheap and everywhere.  And for shìts and gigs, it's fun and feels kind of traditional deer hunting with a Marlin 336 lever.

Edited by orangediablo

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I am surprised how many people worry about the recoil. Do you really feel it in the excitement of/when shooting an animal?  I don't  think I ever notice it even when shooting a 12 ga pump.  I will notice it when sighting in after 6-8 shots. jmo

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Ever need a quick follow up shot on a heavy recoiling rifle?  Or try to see what you just took a shot at out of a lightweight 300 WM at 600 yards?  Compare that to a rifle with little recoil.  IMO, keeping your site picture after the shot is just as important as before taking the shot.  Just trying to add another thing to consider when choosing a rifle/caliber for the specific purpose.

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