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In many practical applications requiring variable-rate coding and/or high-rate coding for spectral efficiency, there is a need to employ high-rate convolutional codes (CC), either by themselves or in a parallel or serially concatenated scheme. For such applications, in order to keep the trellis complexity of the code constant and to permit the use of a simplified decoder that can accommodate multiple rates, a mother CC is punctured to obtain codes with a variety of rates. This correspondence presents the results of extensive search for optimal puncturing patterns for recursive convolutional codes leading to codes of rate k/(k+1) (k an integer) to be used in serially concatenated convolutional codes (SCCC). The code optimization is in the sense of minimizing the required signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for two target bit-error rate (BER) and two target frame-error rate (FER) values. We provide extensive sample simulation results for rate-k/(k+1) SCCC codes employing our optimized punctured CC.