Some ammo manufacturers, I know remington for sure, market rifle cartridges (maybe shotshells too) that claim "reduced recoil." how is this possible without reducing the powder measurement, or have they just slipped through loopholes in false advertising with their marketing? What do you know or what are your thoughts on this?
Oh, it's not false advertising. Here's how they do it:
1) There is a tremendous difference in recoil if you use lighter bullets. If you take a 180 grain 30-06 load and substitute a 130 grain bullet, the recoil goes way down.
2) There is a tremendous difference in the burning rate of powders. Slower burning powder can build up more pressure. If you substitute a moderate powder (something like H4895) into a load, the recoil goes down.
3) There is a tremendous difference in recoil if you knock just a hair off the velocity. Normal factory loads are trying to opitmize for velocity. If you knock off just a little velocity-- reduce the load only 2-5% you get a nearly the same velocity with much less recoil.
I do a lot of reloading and this is primarily why. I can take a 30-06 load, knock 5% off the MAX powder recommendation, use H4895, and come up with a load that still kills deer at 200 yards, but has a much nicer recoil. Furthermore, knocking a bit off the velocity also improves accuracy.
With my 35 Whelen, I use a 200 grain bullet, H4895 and load it down to 358 WIN velocities and it shoot not a whole lot different than a 30-06.
My favorite deer rifle is a Savage 99 in 308 WIN. I specifically bought it, because I wanted to take the 308 WIN cartridge and download it a bit so it would work like a hot 300 Savage. The result is a 165 grain bullet travelling at 2600 fps. It has the range of the 300 Savage-- maybe a tad more. It works well out of a treestand, but because it's downloaded, it never develops the pressures of a 308 WIN and therefore the kick is negligible.
My two warnings on Reduced Recoil loads are these:
1) Don't buy a rifle specifically to shoot reduced recoil loads. There's only a few choices. You can get yourself into trouble if you later find that special load doesn't work well in your rifle and now you own a recoil monster. If you want a 300 WIN MAG that has the recoil of a 30-06, buy the 30-06. If you can't handle a 30-06, buy the 7mm-08.
2) Don't expect the same results with reduced recoil loads as full-house production loads. I can cook you up a 30-06 load that has the recoil of a 30-30 , but it's going to perform like a 30-30.