I need some help in picking an appropriate gun


June 23, 2007, 11:42 AM
I am trying to pick an appropraite deer rifle for my 11 yr old girl. She is very wimpy when it comes to recoil. Is there any place i can find recoil information on different calibers and loads. Im not the competitive shooter and dont reload myself. There are so many variants to what increases and decreases the recoil and I would like suggestions on things that will help me to choose a rifle that keeps this child shooting. She is awesome with a .22 and I am so happy to see her wanting to hunt. Any suggestions guys?

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June 23, 2007, 11:54 AM
When my son turned 9 I bought him a Remington Model 7 youth in 7mm/08.
He loved it, handled the recoil well and was a crack shot with it. Killed his first buck ( a 6 point) at 165 yards with one shot.
Check out the 7mm/08. Then there is always the .243 which is what most people think of when asked about a youth caliber for deer. I have also heard that the .260 has mild recoil but have no experience with it and not quite sure how long that round will be with us. Good luck.

June 23, 2007, 11:56 AM
Has she shot a .223 before? It can be used to hunt varmits with minimal recoil.

June 23, 2007, 12:05 PM
I did consider the .223 however on deer the caliber is somewhat smaller than I like for a kid who's shot placement may not be as accurate as necessary with a caliber that small.

Big Daddy K
June 23, 2007, 01:51 PM
My 10 year old has a Rossi 243. This year he is going to use a Ruger 44 mag carbine. To him both are very gentle on the recoil with the carbine being the least.
We hunt in NE Texas and almost all shots are under 100yds unless we're are hunting a hay medow.

June 23, 2007, 02:01 PM
My first was a Remington 700 in 7mm-08. Still is. It's killed plenty of deer in the last 15 or so years. One of those with a limbsaver recoil pad should work fine and have plenty of punch for a deer. Keep in mind the lighter it is the more recoil it will transfer even though it's nicer to carry if you are out hiking around.

ETA: if you aren't shooting at long distances a lever gun in 44 mag like Big Daddy K suggested might be a great choice (where I hunt 100 yards is an unusually short treat).

June 23, 2007, 02:18 PM
I've got a pump action .270 that I've dropped elk with before. Recoil doesn't seem too bad, but that is in comparison to the 30-06 that I shoot now for hunting.

June 23, 2007, 02:20 PM
May want to consider one of the semis. They will have less recoil than a bolt or single. A BAR or Rem. 7400 in .243 or .270. Not that expensive of a used gun either, if that is a concern.

June 23, 2007, 02:23 PM
A couple of suggestions FWIW a good rifle for small or young people is a Remington 7400 or Browning BAR in .243 or .308 the .243 has little recoil to speak of especially in a gas operated semi auto.
The barrel can be shortened and recrowned by any good gunsmith and the stock can be shortened and have a recoil pad added to fit length of pull.
Extra stock sets turn up on ebay if you want to save the original for years later just get one and tuck away the originals.
Many say the Remingtons are not reliable this comes from allot of use with little if any cleaning (especially the chamber) mostly with the older 740 742 Remington rifles which use IIRC 9 small locking lugs on the bolt instead of the large ones on the 7400.
Any lighweight rifle such as the Ruger 77 Remington 7 or 700 Mountain or Browning A bolt or Tikka could also be trimmed down to fit the stature of the shooter.
The bolt action will have more felt recoil but does have an edge in accuracy at longer ranges.
Allot of young people and ladies tend to like lever actions with the slim profile fast handling and light weight they come with 20 or 16 inch barrels and replacement stocks are easy to find and swap.
Browning even makes the BLR if you want to go with a .243 or .308 or even larger caliber.
Also don't overlook sporterized SMLE Enfields Mausers and Springfield 1903A1/1903A3 rifles many have been made into nice short handy first deer rifles often for much less than a new rifle, The disadvantage is they are full power rifles with a little bit of recoil.
If recoil is a consideration you can have the barrel ported or have a muzzle brake fitted.
Check into The Gun List and Shotgun News allot of good options out there try a few different ones and pick which ones feels and works best.
Best of luck.:)

June 23, 2007, 02:31 PM
.243, 7mm/08, or .260 come first to mind. I don't own them, but I've shot them and all will get the job done with deer at reasonable ranges with a mild recoil. Also depending on the hunting terrain don't overlook pistol caliber carbines. A .357 or even .44 carbine should work just fine out to 100 yards or so and provide vary doable recoil as well. Short, handy, and will do fine for most brush hunting ranges.

Don't go .270. The .270 is by no means a monster and even with a bad shoulder I can do a day at the range, but then agian I happen to be a big guy with a bad shoulder. For smaller folks who a recoil whimpy, it's just up there past the notch IMO. And while you will get more power out of it a well placed .243 will do the job a lot better then a poorly placed .270 will.

Also on the other note don't go .223. If you were just getting something to start with a centerfire sure, not for something that will be used as a deer rifle. Deer are not varmints.

Kali Endgame
June 23, 2007, 05:15 PM
Check to see if there is any managed recoil or reduced recoil rounds for the rifles you have on hand. Iv'e put some reduced recoils through my 30-06 and they are nice. IIRC they were 115 grain. Maybe 125 grain.

June 23, 2007, 06:24 PM
The main thing is gun fit, get a short barrelled youth stocked rifle and you're 1/2 way there. I can't emphasis this enough, for a kid even a .223 stocked to adult length will not feel good. I got a friends son, who is extremely wimpy when it comes to recoil, a youth model single shot Rossi in .243 and he has taken deer and hogs with it. But he did not like my adult stocked .223's.

A .223 that shoots the Corbon DPX or 60 gr. Nosler Partition load well would work really well, but the .243 with 90-100 gr. loads will be ideal. Everything above that is adding recoil, so it depnds on how much you want to add.

Vitamin G
June 23, 2007, 06:59 PM
A Garand :)

June 23, 2007, 07:25 PM
I usually hunt with a .243, the recoil really isn't that bad and it's big enough for "kid" shot placement. I've hunted with either my .243, or my father's .270 since I was 10. If your daughter is a good shot, and it's legal, try a good .223. I'm planning on taking my AR deer hunting one of these years :neener:

June 23, 2007, 07:40 PM
I'd like to 2nd the .243 for all of the above reasons. It's a great caliber for the recoil shy.

June 23, 2007, 08:04 PM
+1 on the .243. Excellent for kids. Easy to find ammo and it comes in a wide variety of ammo styles to hunt a lot of different stuff. Also I have shot it in a semi before and it is a real baby like that.

June 23, 2007, 11:48 PM
The .243s suggested are, indeed, of minimal recoil but one must consider the task of actually KILLING THE DEER. I'd consider a 7mm-08 or the 7x57 as minimal, especially for an inexperienced hunter. 7.62x39 in a bolt gun is another possibility. They have better energy margins for less than optimal shot placement. If your daughter can't handle these cartridges just yet, I'm sure that she will NEXT YEAR. Adolescent humans grow quickly. My daughter always out-shot her brothers. She'll get there. Be patient. . . . :D

June 24, 2007, 12:23 AM
The .243s suggested are, indeed, of minimal recoil but one must consider the task of actually KILLING THE DEER.

Not to be smart but the .243 has much better ballistics out through deer hunting ranges than your 7.62 x 39

Cartridge (Wb + type) MV (fps) V @ 200 yds ME (ft lb) E @ 200 yds
243 Win. (100 Sp) 2960 2449 1945 1332
7.62x39 (125 Sp) 2365 1783 1552 882

June 24, 2007, 12:32 AM
While I agree with TCB that the .243 outperforms the 7.62x39, I think his suggestion of a 7.62x39 boltgun is a very good one. You are getting pretty much 30-30 performance with it. Of course one of those old savage boltguns in 30-30 would be fine too, but much harder to find.

Check out CZ they make a sweet little carbine in 7.62x39, as well as an 'american' version with longer barrel sans sights, but drilled and tapped for scope

June 24, 2007, 03:07 AM
If you can find both the rifle and, more importantly, the ammo. Look into a Mini-14 in 6.8 Remington SPC. It won't be a tack driver or cheap, but it'll take deer without pounding her.
Or look around for a 6mm x 45. A .223 necked up to 6mm. It'll take deer as well. Again, look for the ammo first.
Even the .243, 7mm-08, etc can have too much felt recoil out of a bolt action.
The .223 isn't adequate for deer using factory ammo. Most factory .223 uses varmint bullets. Varmint bullets are NOT suitable for deer sized game. They expand rapidly upon impact without enough penetration.

June 24, 2007, 08:03 AM
As others have said the fit of the rifle is very importaint. The thing working against you with many "youth" rifles is they are quite light which makes the recoil more "snappy".
I like the idea of buying a name brand 243 so you can later replace the stock and cut it short so it fits your kid . If the barrel is to long/heavy it might need to be trimed back but try to start out with a mediun/heavy barrel so the gun doesn't end up too light. You might want to drilll out the stock (under the butpad) and add some weight.
Many of the aftermarket but pads will far outperform the harder factory ones.
A port job on the gun will help some,try to go with both muffs and foam plugs during practise as it will be loud . Many shooters with little experience with centerfire weapons are totally overwelmed with noise,women more so.
Teach your kid good technique. Have her pull the rifle firmly back into her shoulder. Instinct for someone who is recoil shy is to pull back from the gun and lift their cheek,both will bite you! Make shure during practise that she has a jacket or some other semi heavy clothing on to protect her some. I like a shotgun type vest with built in pad . Do not have her start shooting from a bench, bench shooting will allways increse felt recoil! Start her out slow with the practise. Don't expect her to shoot a whole box of ammo at her first shoot with the centerfire,bring the rimfire along and have her try just a few shots. Don't force her to shoot more than she is comfortable with.
The .243 seems the way to go but a .308 with one of the factory "reduced recoil" loads will be nearly the same and then you have the option of steeping up to heavier loads somewhere down the line. Other calibers to look for would be 6.5 sweadish or 30/30 .
The 223 has to be carefully matched to proper hunting bullets but even if you consider it to light for your type of hunting it might be a good gun to have your daughter practise with to get her feet wet in centerfire rifles.

June 26, 2007, 11:43 AM
I just want to thank everyone for their suggestions. Im thinking a 243 or 6mm. Depending on what we find that fits my girl. Who is large for her age so this will help in finding a good fitting rifle. I do so appreciate all the great advice. I knew i could count on the guys of thr to point out alot of things I didn't think of. You are awesome and thanks so much!..Brenda

June 26, 2007, 11:58 AM
Winchester lever .44 Mag might be a good choice.

Easy to load and operate.

Minimal recoil.

Comes in a variety of lengths, including a very short version.

Short trigger pull and thin grip.

Plenty accurate and enough for deer <100 yard range.

June 26, 2007, 12:09 PM
Marlin 1894 in .357. .38's for nice easy plinking, and hot .357's out of that long tube give you 30-30 ballistics. Check out BuffaloBore's .357's (http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#357) out of an 18.5'' Marlin.

June 26, 2007, 12:25 PM
I started my older daughter deer hunting with my Ruger Mini30 in 7.62x39. It has since become HER Mini30! A light weight, carbine size, semi-auto with 30-30 performance,acceptable accuracy and no appreciable recoil. We use only commercial loads for hunting,no mil-surp:). Works for us!

June 26, 2007, 12:35 PM
Go with a .243. They are plenty of gun for deer and antelope. My grandfather even hunted elk with his. DON'T get a semi auto. Go with a lever, bolt, or pump. It will encourage shot placement when you can't get off 3-4 shots without even working the action. Semi autos for new shooters are BAD.

June 26, 2007, 12:47 PM
Rancidsumo,THAT would depend on the training that the new hunter receives. The type of action is irrelevant if one is properly trained on "shot placement",which let's face it is more citical than anything else when it comes to hunting. If the new hunter is left handed or left eye dominate then a right-hand bolt action would be a poor choice. Since our new hunter is already proficient with a .22 ,basic gun safety (I assume) is already known. ("Spray and pray" is only taught in the Army)

1911 guy
June 26, 2007, 05:26 PM
My first choice would be the 7mm-08. Cut the stock to fit if needed and install a Pachmyer Decelerator recoil pad and use a lower powered scope for more eye relief.

.243 is a decent deer round, provided you go with a heavier, non-varmint bullet. Look at 100 grain projectiles in SP flavor.

The .357 and .44 caliber carbines have their place when needed something effective yet manageable for a youngster or anyone else in need of light recoiling longarms.

June 26, 2007, 09:32 PM
A .243 might kick a little when your at the range, but when you got your sights on a big buck, you can hardly feel it.

June 27, 2007, 10:30 AM
The heavier the gun the less recoil.

Get her a nice Heavy Barrel .243 :) That way when she grows out of it and starts to meet boys you can have a nice fun small game gun for yourself :)

June 27, 2007, 11:32 AM
I have not seen one, but if they actually exist...

Ruger now makes a Mini-14/5 in 6.8 SPC.

They're more accurate than the old models, and the heavy piston and operating rod of the gas action absorb nearly all the recoil.


It's stainless/synthetic, too, so you don't have to worry about rough handling in the field. Weighs under 7 lb. and is just a tad longer than a stock 10/22.

June 27, 2007, 12:49 PM
A friend of mine (a class mate) taught his grandson to deer hunt with a bolt action in .243. The grandson took his first deer with it at age 5! He is now 9 years old and has taken 7 deer. All were ONE SHOT kills! Not one had to be tracked.

June 27, 2007, 01:05 PM
Other guns are also available in 6.8 SPC, e.g. Model 7. The guns may be a bit pricey, but it's a nice low-recoil deer round.

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