243, 270, 30-06, 7mm


Shawn 357
November 11, 2006, 09:47 PM
I made a deal with my little brother that if he got good grades I would buy him a hunting rifle. He held up his end of the bargain so now I have to do my part. My little brother weighs 87 lbs soaking wet, is 13 yrs old, and has never shot a gun in his life.
I have shot 30-06, 300win mag, 375, 308 but I have never shot 7mm, 243, 270, etc. What caliber rifle should I get him?

He will be using the rifle to hunt wild boar, deer, maybe coyotes etc.

I would like to get him a rifle that he will be able to take hunting for the next ten years and not outgrow because I don't have the money to buy him this rifle let alone another one in 5 yrs. I would like some input on what is a good caliber to take down medium game, with little recoil, and has easily accesible cheap amo.

I appreciate all help!

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November 11, 2006, 09:52 PM
I vote for .243, especially since he has no shooting experience.

I remember shooting my Dad's 30-06 when I was 13 and although I loved it, I always had a sore shoulder.

November 11, 2006, 09:55 PM
He should be able to handle the .243 and .270, possibly the .30-06 assuming he is taught good shooting posture. Remember, butt plate + collar bone = painful weekend.

November 11, 2006, 10:06 PM

November 11, 2006, 10:07 PM
Another vote for the .243. Federal sells a load with 100 grain Nosler Partitions that will work well for deer and hogs. He can use lighter bullets for coyotes.

Shell Shucker
November 11, 2006, 10:17 PM
I vote 243. You can buy factory ammo from 55 gr for low recoil to 100 gr for game. Take him shooting as much as possible.

Shawn 357
November 11, 2006, 10:21 PM
Thank you all for the responses! It sounds like 243 is the way to go. I have never shot anything smaller than a 308 so I had no idea what to get him. The first time I shot a firearm I was 14 and 100 lbs and someone handed me a 375magnum with a synthetic stock and said "shoot this", I soon learned what a scope cut was:)
I was thinking of getting him a Savage or CZ because I want to try keeping the cost around $600 total (including scope). Any recomendations?

Thanks again.

November 11, 2006, 10:23 PM
Ruger's are usually very well priced, as are Weatherby Vanguards.

Shawn 357
November 11, 2006, 10:24 PM
Thanks Mr. P I didn't even think of the two.

November 11, 2006, 10:27 PM
30-30. Not on your list, but the bestest/most useful chambering out there if wild piggies are on the menu and recoil is an issue.

Shawn 357
November 11, 2006, 10:30 PM
I have never shot 30-30 but just assumed it recoiled like a 30-06. I am open to, and appreciate all suggestions on caliber an rifle.

Thank you all!

November 11, 2006, 10:42 PM
I seem to remember the Winchester 94 30-30 I shot had similar recoil to an old bolt action Ruger in .270. If anything the .270 was slightly more. Was a while back though, memory might be a little off.

November 11, 2006, 10:43 PM
Get the boy a 7mm-08. Popular round, easy recoil and excellent ballictics. I think it is more versatile the a 243 also.

Shawn 357
November 11, 2006, 10:48 PM
Is the 7mm 08 relatively inexpensive? Whatever I get him I am going to want him to shoot a lot so I want to make sure the ammo is reasonably priced.


November 11, 2006, 11:01 PM
I would check out the Steven 200, look at the .243 Winchester. I would also look at the 30-30 Lever action as well. I like the 336 Marlin my self and thats what im using to hunt with this year.

The 30-30 would work fine for Deer, and Hogs as well.

The 243 would work well for deer and hogs as well.

You could definatly set up Stevens 200 rifle with a scope for $450.

The Stevens rifle is the same as the savage rifles just without the accutrigger, and with the old savage plastic stock. Its a great value and can be found for under $300.

Shawn 357
November 11, 2006, 11:29 PM
Thanks for all the info!
I am going to check out the Stevens in 243.

Again, I appreciate everyone helping out on this I know my little brother will be ecstatic.:D

November 12, 2006, 01:15 AM
Good for you helping motivate your little brother like that. Sounds like you're a great bro.

I'd vote .243 Stevens or Marlin 30-30.

November 12, 2006, 09:09 AM
I have never shot 30-30 but just assumed it recoiled like a 30-06.

A 30-30 recoils much less than 30-06. Probably a little less than the .243, but the .243 gets my vote.

November 12, 2006, 09:11 AM
how about a 30-06 and a good recoil pad?

Shell Shucker
November 12, 2006, 09:30 AM
A 30-06 that is light enough for an 87 lb 13 year old to handle better have a REALLY GOOD RECOIL PAD. I can't think of a better way to discourage a kid than to hand him a rifle that kicks the snot out of him.

If your little brother has never shot before get him a .22 and save the centerfire for later.

November 12, 2006, 10:01 AM
I'd get him a .30-06 and either use Remington's Managed Recoil round, or make a light load yourself, if you reload.

November 12, 2006, 11:24 AM
Get the .270. Perfect deer/hog round. Use a Limbsaver slip on recoil pad for range shooting. In the field, he won't need one because he will not notice recoil in the least when sighting in on a big buck.

Or, get the .270 and use the Managed Recoil rounds, which will kick light (like a .243), and when he grows, he can go up to full sized rounds, and this way have a deer rifle for life.

I'd say away from the .243. It is a good round in experienced hands, but the .270 will give him a little more margin for error.

November 12, 2006, 11:47 AM
If you are looking for the cheapest option, the stevens 200 in .243-used with scope mounts and bases might be a good option-there are probably many more used savages out there with scope mounts, scope etc...


is a NIB option-has it all but a sling though-and you could do some looking and find a nice used one of these for $100 to $200 less.


used, older model with a synthetic stock-good "all weather" option if you need and nice and cheap-but I'd probably up-grade the scope.


a cheap stevens...you would need to buy bases and scope rings though, as well as a scope, so probably add another $100-$150 to the total-

The CZ is a little more expensive but will come with rings and if you find a used one you might get a scope in the deal-the CZ's do have the single set trigger which is nice, but not necessary and some would argue is dangerous for a new shooter


Of course, the above examples would assume you decided on .243, which might be my first choice as well. The bolt action .270 would not be a bad 2nd option, depending on the kids tolerance to recoil-I'd lean towards the .243 myself though, with the 30-30 getting serious consideration-again especially if cost was a big factor-I picked up my last Marlin 336 30-30 that was like new, with scope, rings and bases I am out a grand total of $240 and I can put 5 rounds into 1 inch at 100 yards with that little buggar!!

Good luck with what ever you decide-make sure you take him out for lots of practice!!


Shawn 357
November 12, 2006, 12:26 PM
I am taking him out shooting over Thanksgiving and the people I am going with are doing me a favor and bringing a bunch of different rifles so that I can teach him on the 22 and then have him fire a 243, 270, 7mm to see how he handles the recoil.

Thanks everyone for all the help!

November 12, 2006, 12:28 PM
though 270 with these loads would also be good (or 308 ). Later you can step up to regular loads.


November 12, 2006, 12:28 PM
When you say 7mm, is that the 7mm Mauser, 7mm-08, or the 7mm Mag?

I wouldn't let my son shoot my full house 7mm Mag loads, and he's a good 50lbs heavier than your brother.

November 12, 2006, 12:35 PM

First off, good on you for thinking of your little brother. I remember flipping through countless gun magazines (albeit hopelessly) back when I was younger wishing somehow to be able to afford a nice hunting rifle.

My recommendation to you, sir, is that you take a HARD look at the the blued/walnut Ruger Model 77. This is a finely crafted rifle that will stand up to years of use. Not only that, but it inspires pride-of-ownership and bears the classic lines of fine American rifles. I realize your budget it tight, but since you can only afford to buy this once, and I'm sure you desire to achieve the greatest bang for your buck, you cannot go wrong with this rifle. I've seen them for less than $450 brand new at local stores (the ones with better prices). If you compare this rifle to the cheaper Savage/Stevens lines in person, you will note a huge perceived quality difference. While the Savage and Stevens are good guns indeed, they are more cheaply furnished (stocks and bluing especially) and not in the same class in this regard.

Because your brother will likely be using this rifle for years to come with hopefully many hours afield, I heartily recommend you take this small step up in price to gain this significant leap in quality. If you do, it will likely become something that he will treasure for years.

As far as the caliber, noting your brother's young age, I would recommend you purchase that .243 and ensure that he practices extensively with it before going afield. The beauty of the .243 is that it allows the ability to ensure correct shot-placement with young/inexperienced shooters due to the low recoil. As long as the shots are well-placed (as with any rifle), the .243 has plenty of power for the game here at hand.

As far as scopes go (to keep the rifle in your price range), I would recommend you take a look at the Burris Fullfield II. I've seen that one for as cheap as $150-170 around the web somewhere.

Best of luck with whatever you choose, and way to go bringing another young man to the realization of the great sport we have.


Shawn 357
November 12, 2006, 12:37 PM
I have never shot 7mm anything so I honestly don't have the slightest idea how they are.

This thread has me leaning towards 243 because he will be able to take down just about anything we go hunting for and if I take him elk hunting I can borrow a rifle from a friend for my brother to shoot.


November 12, 2006, 12:58 PM
7mm-08 is okay :D

And with the 7mm-08, he wouldn't have to borrow another rifle for elk.

highlander 5
November 12, 2006, 01:20 PM
as far as rifles go Ruger m77 MKII in SS comes with scope rings,$20-$50 savings right there. Trigger pull is fair but easily fixed. Caliber 243 or one that most don't consider and I believe Ruger chambers 250 Savage. Clay Harvey wrote a book on various rifle cartridges if you can find a copy it's a good read with the pros and cons of the different cartridges for varmint,deer and heavy game.

Steve H
November 12, 2006, 01:30 PM
Hve you looked at the .280? It's 7mm dia. and uses the same case as the 30-'06, .270 & the 25-'06. The 7mm has a great selection of bullets if you reload and the case gives you enough power for the majority of big game in North America.

Shawn 357
November 12, 2006, 01:51 PM
I'm going to check out some ammo prices and go from there. I just had someone give me a reloading set up but I haven't set it up yet (I'm in the middle of rebuilding my garage) so I want to plan on me not reloading for now. I appreciate everyones input on this. I can't wait to get him a rifle for him to learn with and make some very fond memories with.

Thanks everybody!

November 12, 2006, 04:53 PM
Factory loads are already mild. Has much more potential on heavier game than 243.

Is chambered in some nice rifles (CZ550 for instance).

November 12, 2006, 05:31 PM
7X57 (7mm Mauser)
Light recoil,good bullet selection, good Ballistic coefficient, and sectional density.
Has taken every game animal on the planet (in proper hands, but can do it).

November 12, 2006, 05:45 PM
I recommended the .243 early on and stand by it, but I'm not so sure I'd be as concerned about .30-06 recoil as you are because recoil is so subjective. My eight year old has started shooting my old sporterized .303 Brit. He loves it and shoots it very well.

I was really hesitant about letting him shoot it because of the recoil and fear of him developing a flinch, but his curiosity and desire had reached the point where I felt it was in his (and my) best interest to let him try it (the whole forbidden fruit thing--and firm belief honesty is the best policy when it comes to kids and guns). Long story short, I correctly positioned him, checked to make sure he was leaning into it and holding it right, and let him shoot it. He hit the targed and loved it. When I asked him the recoil, he said it was felt like a big push and was fun. Go figure. (Any contributions to the ammo fund will be welcomed! :) )

rich e
November 12, 2006, 09:02 PM
I agree with Lonestar 45...Get your brother a 270..Too add to Lonestars post..The 270 is more forgiving in the field..It flat out performs the 243 on deer sized game..If your brother ever gets the chance to shoot at a record, monster buck at long range,the 270 will get the job done..I think the 243 is an EXCELLANT varmit rifle...I have a 30.06 and a 270 and the 270 has less recoil...Although I shot the 30.06 when I was 13 and 100 lbs soaking wet and LOVED it....I say 270..........or..............30.06

Shawn 357
November 12, 2006, 11:23 PM
I am going to have him shoot a 308, 30-06, 270, etc. and see if he has any issues with recoil. The first gun that I put lots of rounds through when I wasn't much bigger than him was a 30-06 and I never noticed recoil (maybe I didn't know any better). I am going to have him fire all of them while I watch to see how he does. I honestly don't think a 30-06 has much recoil but I see everyone on the internet acting like it's a big cartridge.

I appreciate everyones input.

November 13, 2006, 03:40 AM
Yah..the .243 is one of the best rifles for a new shooter......anything under 90gr for varmint..and 90 and over for bigger game..deer and stuff....I like my Sako forrester...very nice......or you can go with a 22-250..those are fun. Good luck.

November 13, 2006, 04:28 AM
Good cartridge, easy to find like 30-06 when out in BFE. Maybe not the case with others. Maybe a moot point, but worth mentioning.

You might look on online websites for sporterized Mausers in caliber of your choice. I just picked up a 270 mauser for my wife and only paid $200 delivered. But admittedly, I found it here on THR.

It printed two shots within 3/4" of each other at 100 yards during site in. It started raining and cut us short, but I'm now a fan of the 270 and this bargain basement mauser. It is much more gun than I paid for.

I'd set your budget, have a list of calibers to choose from, and go shopping. I say choose more than one caliber simply so you can be more flexible in your purchase. I shot a 308 at that age with a simple recoil pad and it worked fine for me. And yes, I was only about 100lbs +change when wet at the time.

In regards to recoil, just have him shoot a 300WinMag or the like, anything else on your list will feel tame after that. Sometimes this approach puts it in perspective for newbs.


November 13, 2006, 09:27 AM
Not sure how this is going to work out if you don't have money to buy him a rifle - try a used 30:30 Marlin 336 or a new NEF .243 - low initial cost, safety, low cost ammo and versatility. He can move to a bolt action later.

November 13, 2006, 10:53 AM
I've read all the posts in this thread and I can't believe that no one has really approached the .308! Probably one of the most proven calibers in the world, with a less sharp recoil than any of the listed calibers, and better knockdown then the .243 and .270.

My 11 year old twins would rather shoot my .308 than their mom's .243 any day. I don't even like shooting the .243 because of the sharpness of the recoil.

Proper shooting technique is a must, shouldering, grip and overall rest position will not only manage recoil, but improve accuracy.

Depending on what you want to spend, there are several options as far a rifles. The Savage/Stevens is an adequate bolt gun, as well as being reaonably priced. For shear economy and flexibility, the New England Firearms single shot rifles/shotguns are great. For my kids, I've got several stock lengths along with 20 and 12 gauge barrels, .17HMR, .22 LR, .223 and .308 rifle barrels. I think my total investment on all recievers/barrels and stocks is less than $700, a lot cheaper than buying a Thompson/Center Contender system.

Save you money on the rifle and spend your money on the optics. A decent scope is something that can be kept and moved to a newer/better rifle once the 'starter' rifle has served it's purpose.

Thanks for taking care of your little brother and starting him off with the responsibility and priveledge that our sport requires and grants us all. The kids that I see today, that have had a family member spend the time with them at the range and in the field, are better equipped to handle themselves.

Keep it up.

November 13, 2006, 01:05 PM
I think a lot recoil is perceived. "Sharpness" is most likely due to noise/blast rather than actual recoil, especially if you think a 243 recoils more than a 308. Make sure you have him wearing good earplugs, and good muffs, that is both at the same time. That will go a long way towards reducing recoil.

November 13, 2006, 04:54 PM
The other thing to consider is the rifle itself, regardless of the caliber. The heavier the rifle, the less the recoil. I have a Model 70 in .270 (24 inch barrel) with a recoil pad. That's a heavy gun and doesn't recoil all that much. I also own a Remington 700 Mountain, also in .270 with a 22 inch barrel and a recoil pad. It's quite a bit lighter than my Model 70 and thus has more noticeable recoil.

Since 7mm-08 is .308 necked down to a smaller bullet (7mm), they can use less powder to get the desireable velocity. Thus, you can go to a fairly light rifle without increasing the recoil too much. For a smaller person, such as a youth, a lighter rifle is easier to carry, climb into deer stands with, and handle in general.

I know, just more mud to cloudy your waters, but these issues should also be considered.

.243 is also .308 necked down to 24 caliber, in case you were unaware. Thus, in theory, assuming factory ammo, there shouldn't be that much difference in .243 and 7mm-08 with regards to recoil. As another poster said previously, the shooter has a little more margin for error with the larger caliber (7mm) than with .243. That's not to say the .243 can't be effective on deer. My dad has always used that caliber, but he's a pretty sharp shooter (Marine Expert Rifleman).

Also consider the typical ranges the shots will be taken at.

November 13, 2006, 05:02 PM
I vote for .270

Its very managable and though it has kick it isn't terrible. I have a bad shoulder so I was seriosuly considering the .243 over the .270win, I went with the .270 and am glad I did.

If he is still a bit small you can get remington managed recoil loads or load your own that will bring the recoil down as low if not lower then a .243. And as he gets a little older and bigger and able to handle a bit more recoil he can move onto full power loads.

.243 will do the job on deer, but .270 will offer more oppertunity later on for more things.

November 13, 2006, 06:44 PM
(Any contributions to the ammo fund will be welcomed! )

Is he shooting you out of house and home now? :)

I'll donate a couple of bandoleers of surplus .303. I think it may be corrosive though so clean promptly and well.

November 16, 2006, 08:55 AM
.243 is a great gun to start off with.
Good for game up to deer.
I have killed bear with mine.
Lots of fun to shot without the recoil.
Ammo is plenty cheep enough...walmart super X.
I use the NEF single shot with a 4-16 power scope.
17 coyotes last year,mostly during winter with an electronic call, groundhogs in spring, Deer in fall & coyotes. Coyotes all winter here in Maine, no closed season on them.

November 16, 2006, 10:45 AM
Some good suggestions so far. Given that your brother is young and not yet a shooter, he will need to practice, and for that you will need to find ammo that is cheap and readily available. 30-30 fits the bill well here, as it is great for deer and hogs, and can be found cheap: typically $8.99/box for Rem or Win, and under $6.00 for Monarch. Recoil is not outlandish, and there are tons of used lever actions out there that can be had for reasonable prices.

As for rifles, the Handi Rifle makes a lot of sense. Some people recommend single shots for new shooters both to teach discipline and for safety. The Handi Rifles can be had new for less than $200 for basic models, leaving you plenty of change for good optics and ammo.

Yet another option is something in 22LR. Granted, it wouldn't be appropriate for deer and hogs, but it is perfect for learning to shoot, and perfect for learning the basics of hunting by going after smaller game like rabbits and squirrel. When it comes time to hunt larger game, he can borrow the rifle of the adult he is hunting with. Another point in favor of the 22 is its versatility, and with versatility comes longevity - if you give him a really good one (a CZ would be a great choice, and they can be had for around $300 in walnut) he will have it for life, and likely teach his kids to shoot with it, before handing it down to them.

Just a few thoughts. Hope it helps. Be sure to let us know what you end up with and what he thought of the various guns he got to try out.

November 16, 2006, 12:31 PM
If he gets a chance to try out a .243/.270/.30-06/.308/7mm08/whatever, then go with what he likes. He may actually like a full load .30-06, stranger things have happened. However, if he doesn't get a chance to actually shoot the chambering you're going with, then err on the small side and get a .243. He may find the recoil of one of the bigger ones manageable, and if so, go for it. It'll be a little more forgiving of a less-than-ideal deer shot. However, too much recoil is definitely a bad thing. Or, save a few bucks on the centerfire you choose, and buy a used .22 as well. Lots of ones available used for well under $100. In that case you could go a little bit heavier--something he can still shoot well, but maybe more than he wants to shoot all day--that's what the .22 would be for.

Anyway, it's better to err on the small side. A .243's good enough for deer--and a well placed .243" hole will be a lot better than a miss or a grazing shot with a .30-06 because he flinched or didn't practice enough.

Have fun! I wish my brother was buying me a gun when I was 13--of course, he would have been 10 at the time... :)

November 16, 2006, 01:18 PM
I've shot many rifles in my life, and I haven't found one I like better than the 7mm-08. Recoil is very mild, but the round is potent enough for any game you want to go after. (Ballistics are essentially identical to the old 7x57mm mauser, which has been used to take everything up to elephant.)

Ammo is readily available in some parts of the country, but hard to find in others. You can always mail order (www.outdoorsuperstore.com). He may even want to get into reloading. I did, when I was a teenager.

7mm-08 is easy to shoot accurately, and powerful enough that he won't outgrow it. With a .243, he will almost certainly want to get a more powerful rifle in a few years.

I weighed about 85 pounds when I was 12 and owned a few firearms. Had no trouble with a 12 gauge shotgun, but I HATED my .30-06 for its recoil.

November 16, 2006, 02:03 PM
I was 14 years old and about 115 lbs when i got my hunting rifle. it was a .270 win. It had some kick to it for someone my size, but 11 years later, that is still the rifle I hunt with and it does all that I want it to do. If that rifle had been a .243 (my wife's rifle is a .243) I would be in the market for another rifle right now.NOT Knocking the .243, I just really like my .270. My advice is this, get him a .270, use some of the recoil managing rounds that are available so it doesn't kick as bad, and when your brother gets older and bigger, he will still have a very capable round to hunt with. Just my .02. Let us know what you decide on.

November 1, 2008, 08:31 PM
I started using my Rossi .243 when i was 9 and it was perfect. It was a single shot break action rifle and you could get a 20 gauge barrel that i inter change able. I shot to deer with that gun and both nice deer and they never went more than 10 feet. I hope i could help

November 1, 2008, 09:22 PM
I think the 7mm-08 would be your best bet. For Winchester cartridges (the cheapest) they run $20/20. And for the hunting cartridge I use (Federal Fusion) they are $25/20.

Really not too bad.

November 1, 2008, 09:27 PM
Go ahead and get him the 270, he will grow into it.

November 1, 2008, 09:39 PM
Rifle action type may help a bit for a heavier recoiling caliber. My 90ish lb daughter shoots a Remington 742 (autoloader) in 30-06. It's more of a prgressive push than my bolt action .308 which thumps my scrawny shoulder pretty good. I think it is available in most popular calibers; 243, 270, 30-06, etc.

November 1, 2008, 10:08 PM
Browning 7mm Magnum. I was 13 when I got my first rifle, it was that rifle. My younger brother got a 7mm. The browning kicked less than my brothers Remington 7mm due to the muzzle break. It is still my favorite rifle as it is accurate and powerful enough to drop everything from a deer to a water buffalo. Only downside is the rounds can be somewhat pricey, $25 for 20.

November 1, 2008, 10:34 PM
I got my daughter a 7-08 when she was 12 and never complained about recoil. But you did say cheap ammo and it would be hard to get ammo any cheaper then 30-30 in the area I live in. My last box was less than $10.00.

November 2, 2008, 12:44 AM
I'd be all over the 243, either a mossberg superbantam, with adjustable add on buttstock pieces, that he can add on as he grows, or a remmy model 7, proly the nicest of all the shorties.

Coal Dragger
November 2, 2008, 12:51 AM
.308 or 7mm-08. If you can find reduced recoil loads (or reload some yourself) for either caliber then your little brother will then just need some good coaching (on a .22LR if you've got one) and he'll have a rifle he won't outgrow or find wanting in power.

By the way, spend a couple hundred more while you're at it and buy a decent .22 rifle if you don't have one already. Cheap to shoot, and very very good training.

Crazy Fingers
November 2, 2008, 12:57 AM
The issue is not whether or not the boy can take the recoil of a heavier caliber. I am sure there are lots of kids out there who could deal with it or even like it. But just because he can force himself to shoulder it and shoot it doesn't mean it isn't teaching him bad habits. My rifle shooting was seriously hampered by just a few rounds of .300 Mag when I first started out.

I think the .243 is a good choice for him. I don't know why everyone acts like it is some kind of child or wife gun. The .243 is a serious cartridge and will put any deer or hog walking in this country on the ground.

November 2, 2008, 01:30 AM
"...for the next ten years and not outgrow..." In 10 years he can buy his own rifle. He'll be 23. However, he's going to out grow any rifle you buy him. Especially if your ma keeps feeding him. You planning on paying for his Hunter's Safety course too?
Anyway, Remington makes a .243 Win(yep, go with a .243) Model 700 in a 'youth' size. Savage makes a couple of 'em. One as a package. Comes with a scope. Another option is a CMP M1 Rifle. Hoops to jump and they're not exactly light weight rifles, but he'll have a bit of history with not a lot of felt recoil.
"...honestly don't think a 30-06 has much recoil..." Felt recoil has to do with the stock design and the weight of the rifle. Mind you, when I commanded a CF Army Cadet Corps, long ago, I had a small statured female cadet(I suspect she weighed a bit more than 87 lbs though. But not by much.) who could shoot circles around most of the big strapping teenaged guys with either a .303 No. 4 Lee-Enfield or a 7.62NATO FN C1A1 battle rifle. So your bro just might surprise you.
"...a few rounds of .300 Mag..." That'd throw anybody off. There's no game in North America that needs a magnum anything to kill either.

November 2, 2008, 01:55 AM
Recoil tolerance definetly varies a lot from person to person. I'm 145lbs soaking wet, and can go through 20 rounds of .300 Mag at the bench without so much as soreness. Then again, maybe I have just became accustomed to it, as I shoot it weekly, sometimes 3 times per week, atleast 10 rounds per session.

james rogers
November 2, 2008, 01:53 AM
Then on the non-traditional side of things there is always an SKS. They can be bought cheap, shot cheap and recoil seems very minimal to me.
I doubt you could ever find a deal on a 7mm or 257 roberts but they would be perfect. Other than that the 243 or managed recoil loads for a 30/06 he can grow into the std loads with.

November 2, 2008, 02:09 AM
dbl post

November 2, 2008, 02:12 AM
Where is he hunting? For dense bush country, a 30-30 is hard to beat. Excellent for shots up to 75-100 yards and the lever action is great for follow-up shots, just in case you need to shoot a charging pig.

November 2, 2008, 02:17 AM
"...it's hard to beat the 30-30..." One of my first rifles as a Win 94. The felt recoil was far too heavy for the power of the cartridge. A Win 94 is a 6.5 lb rifle with a narrow butt stock. It'll pound an 87 pound shooter hard.

November 2, 2008, 02:25 AM
My first rifle, after the 22 LR, was a marlin 336 at the age of 14. I can't say I ever felt the recoil to be unmanageable. I may have been 100 lbs, though, but I think the excitement to hunt made up for everything else. My first bb gun was a daisy lever gun, so marlin felt good.

November 2, 2008, 03:30 AM
You have a lot of choices. All are good.
You might think about buying a NEF in whatever caliber you decide on, that way you can VERY cheaply swap to a heavier caliber without spending a lot of money on a new rifle.

I would say your best bet will be a .243, good round up to a very large deer, very versatile, great for long range plinking, almost no recoil, I have a 243 with a steel butt pad, it kicks less than my 30-06 with a decelerator pad. A 30-30 is also a super cartridge for short range hunting, out past 200 yards.

November 2, 2008, 05:24 AM
Thinking a Model Seven Remington in .243
Mostly because it is a handi rifle that he will keep for good. He can move up to the larger calibers later. But the smaller lightweight carbine is a great brush gun that is great for plinking or woodchucks with a 60 grain bullet. And more then capable of something Whitetail size with a 100 grain. Come to think of it, it just might be one of the best calibers out there.....


November 2, 2008, 06:14 AM
It is always a new member who drags something out of the basement on a topic they like. The original post was two-years ago. Figure he probably made up his mind by now on which caliber. :)

XD-40 Shooter
November 2, 2008, 09:55 AM
If in 10 years your boy is going to step up to Elk hunting, or larger game, then get the 30-06 and buy the managed recoil loads, or reload lighter loads yourself. If your boy is going to stay in the deer size game arena, then the 243 would be a great choice.

My vote would be for the 30-06, in case your boy wants to branch out to larger game later on, your never gonna outgrow an '06.

November 2, 2008, 12:24 PM
I suggest getting a modest 243 that fits well. Recoil won't be much of an issue, he can learn to shoot and shoot it often. IF, he continues on shooting, it give's him a great excuse to buy another guy when he gets 18+. Why try to predict the future and limit yourself to one gun.

November 2, 2008, 01:09 PM
Just a few considerations:
I pondered some of these same questions when I decided on my oldest grandson's first 'deer' rifle. I eventually settled for a Model 7 Youth rifle in 7mm-'08. The .243 is a great caliber in experienced hands but can be a bit iffy on less than perfect shots (quartering) in the hands of a novice. I settled on the '08 but in hind sight I wish I had spit the difference at bought the same rifle in .260.
The problem with my grandson was that his 55.lb frame was a not up to the recoil/barrel-whip on the 7mm-08 which may/may not be a consideration in your case. I did replace the factory recoil pad w/ a limbsaver and this helped tremendously. No doubt he'll grow into the rifle as he adds bulk but after his initial 'experience' at the range he's a bit 'tentative' about firing it. I did try some reduced handloads using IMR 4895 ( a great powder for reduced loads) over 120 grain noslers which helped somewhat.

Good luck, Ron

November 2, 2008, 01:41 PM
I'll put in another vote for 7mm-08. It has all the stopping power he'll need for a good-size hog or buck but recoils modestly and is widely available. If he would be open to a lever gun, .30-30 is another great choice.

I'm a big fan of both .30-06 and .308, but I don't know if I'd start a novice 13-year-old on them as his first centerfire.

November 2, 2008, 07:04 PM
Maybe you could join a club with a range. I know at mine the people are overly enthusiastic to help the young. Maybe some guys would let your little bro shoot some of the calibers. That way he can see what recoil he can handle and go from there. That way if your looking used you might have more than one caliber to choose from to make it easier.

November 2, 2008, 08:38 PM
this started November 11th, 2006,

surely he has bought the rifle or given up on it?

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