Have you thought about your technique? I was out last Sat shooting with some friends, and I passed around my CZ550 chambered in 416 Ribgy. As I watched some of the guys shoot it, I noticed some had no problems with the tremendous recoil of that rifle, while others found it more punishing.
These are my thoughts on big rifles.
Do not initially be concerned with printing tight groups. With big rifles, you should first learn to handle the recoil, then focus on accuracy. In fact, most will tell you that in a DG rifle, accuracy is of lesser importance, being that most engagements are a 50 yard affair. This means to start with the rifle off-hand. After you get that down, then move to sticks or sitting. Do not go to the bench until you are really comfortable with the recoil.
The guys who had trouble with the rifle were the ones who shot sideways. That is to say, they pointed their left shoulder (RH shooter) at the target, and had their chest nearly perpendicular to the target. This caused the rifle butt to set out near their shoulder socket, and the recoil was absorbed by the shoulder and arm forming more of a hook. When I shoot a heavy recoiling rifle, I keep my chest nearly facing the target, and keep the butt of the gun down nearer my peck and away from the shoulder socket. When fired, the chest acts as a pivot against the butt, and you should allow the rifle to rise significantly. This really mitigates the recoil, and the chest takes the recoil easily.
Ruger No1s seem to me to punish shooters more than other rifle designs. I have two .375s, one a M77 African (with brake), and the other a K series No 1 Tropical. Of the two, the M77 recoil is light like a 338 Win Mag, while the No 1 feels like getting run over by a truck. What I'm saying is, don't get too down on the 45/70. The No1 could be making it worse than if you had an 1895 Marlin or something similar.
Tomorrow my dies and supplies show up for my new Ruger No1 in 458 Lott. If nothing else, it will make the 416 Rigby seem quite tame, or it will send me to the hospital to reconnect my retinas.
I got into 45-70 to compete in Black Powder cartridge matches with a couple buddies. I had to wear gloves because I was getting whacked by the trigger guard too hard and then I added an over the shoulder decelerator to spread out the recoil. Forty rounds of 520 grain cast bullets @1200fps was all I could handle in a day. That is an Uberti Win 1885 High Wall with 32" bbl.shot off X-sticks. 500yd competition.
I added a 1895CB Marlin later. In the Marlin I started loading the 405 gr lead over 60gr (by volume not weight), of Pyrodex Triple 7 @1360fps. That is a load I can shoot until I run out of ammo. BTW I'm 5'6" and 160lbs and 66 yrs old.
"In The Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is King."
A good option is the standing bench rest. Like sticks but a little more stable. it allows full support of the rifle & lets the shooter recoil with it.
I shoot a 404jeffery in a 10# rig. REcoil is there but I can do 40-50rds off the bench with a sissy pad. The rifle is capable if 3shot groups under 1". I don't need that as a DG rifle but mine does double duty as a hunting rig to 300yds. SO accuracy matter for me. The big Rigby would be the same.
IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
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I load a 300 RNFP bullet with 32 grains of IMR
NRA Range Safety Officer
NRA Certified Instructor - Pistol / Personal Protection Inside the Home
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