Just weighing in here. I have a 6.5 lb Ruger M77 in .30-06. It kicks so hard that I am reluctant in using it. I am going to try the 125 gr reduced recoil which should help. I am of medium stature at 5'9"-175#. I have learned through the years that you do not need a Howitzer sized firearm to bring down most animals. Bullet placement rules. You will hold better groups with less exposed recoil. I prefer the .25-06 - .270 caliber/recoil range for whitetail hunting. In my opinion the .30-.35 cals align to moose,black bear,etc.