There are also a lot of fine old 16 gauge shotguns around, I still use an old H&R single shot. I think a 30-30 is the classic deer rifle, and has a much less objectional recoil than a .243 to me, and since you are probably as old as me, they should fit your age perfectly. Larry
Lighter loads in the 12 will give better patterns than the 28 or even the 20. If recoil is the major consideration a gas operated auto will remove most and a good recoil pad make what remains endurable. As to rifles for whitetails there are many suitable rounds. The 243/6mm's are fine abiet a bit on the light side. A 25/06 or 270 is a great deer rifle and could even work for larger game with food bullets. The 6.5x55 Swedish is a great round. Light recoil, good avvuracy and they kill well. In a modern rifle they produce better ballistics than the 260 and the Swedish mauser sporters can be had for fairly little money...
If the 12 gauge is light enough for you, you can look into the "low noise, low recoil" rounds sold by either Rem. or WIn., forget which, black box. They will turn your 12 into a pussycat.
Same with your '06. If the weight is ok, maybe look into the low recoil loads available. Or, as others have said, .243, .260 in something like a Rem. model 7.
Heck - I wouldn't shoot a 3" 12 gauge again, even if I was a healthy 25 Y.O.
JMO, But EVERY doctor would recommend reduced shooting, if they were asked. Most equate "guns" with atomic bombs, from what I've heard some say.
My best bud (of 45 years) and I both had heart attacks - me in 2002, and him w/open heart surgery in 2003.
Both attacks occurred around the Christmas holidays, so both of us had some time to recuperate before hunting season in those respective years - but we both shot the rifles/shotguns we have all along, with no ill effects. (YMMV, of course)
Heck, three weeks after I got out of the ICU, I was scheduled to fly to Florida for some R&R (this was before my retirement) & told my Cardiologist about it, and he said OK, but just don't go pushing any airplanes around for awhile.
I still don't drag any deer out, by myself - and neither should you.
If I were you, at this time of year, I'd use a .30-30 rifle and a low-base 20ga (light loads) for this year.
I think it would be hard to beat a Remington CDL in 7m-08 shooting 120 gn Ballistic Tips. I had one which a buddy wanted because he had some major back surgery and wanted to get away from recoil. He loves that rifle.
My Doctor said the same thing after a valve replacement and a pacemaker installed I sold my 7mm Mag. and got a 260 Rem and have never looked back. That was in spring of 97 so listen to your doc. and get on with life it's to short.
First, get a copy's of Dr. Dean Ornish's book about healing heart disease with exercise and diet and avoid the next heart attack. There are better sources, but they are not MD's and many are allergic to them, pure stupidity.
The "less recoil" thing got started back when they split the rib cage from your Adam's apple to below your belly button. With breathing that never healed up too good. Now with the tiny hole jobs??? If you heal the heart, by doctor standards, and you didn't have your rib cage split like a butcher might, then you should be able to use any suggestions or in a year or two go back to the guns you got. A 6.5 Swede would be a cheap "mean time" tool. There are those 2 1/2 inch loads for 12, but you might be happier learning to use a 16 or 20. The Ithaca pump (87 now? I still got 37s) is light, reliable and with a recoil pad in 20... Lots of options. luck.
I think Gray Beard is on the right track. Go with a 243 or a 30-30, if the range is going to be longer then a 260 for your deer rifle. You can purchase a number of arms that are light weight and still not recoil much. I believe Remington is chambering the 260 in one of their lighter weight rifles, Model Seven maybe. With your shot gun get a good double in 28 gauge, if you can't find one of those to your liking then get a O/U or S/S in 20 with light weight loads. If you can find an Ithaca 20 model 37, they are light too, about 6 1/4 pounds. If you can stand to carry a little more weight then get a 20 gauge semi-auto. I have never felt under gunned with a 20 in the fields, water fowl and turkeys are a different matter.
Some excellent replies to this one guys, I salute you all.
I got to agree with some of the others your Dr may know hearts, but he doesn't know squat about guns and recoil effects. It's not like you put the butt plate over your heart and pull the trigger. I had my heart attack in Aug of 1994 and used my 12 ga slug gun 3 months later with no ill effects. I was shooting skeet 2 weeks after I got out of the hospital. If you would rather take the Doc's advise I'd get a .260 rem in a light rifle and a gas operated 20ga these will be light enough in recoil and weight to carry. Lining someone up to pull bambi out of the woods is advisable for a year or two.
There are two rules for surviving a Heart attack.
1. Don't sweat the small stuff.
2. It's all small stuff if you look at it right.
Hang in there your gonna be fine!
A forum community dedicated to the great outdoors and hunting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about hunting, fishing, survival, archery gunsmithing, optics, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!