Youth Deer Rifle


February 14, 2009, 11:12 PM
I'm looking for suggestions for a deer rifle for my son. I would like for it to be light, bolt action, and sized for youth, and economical. I've looked at a Rem 700 .243 youth model and it looks like a good fit. Weighs about 6.5 lbs.
Any other good ones to look at?

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February 14, 2009, 11:17 PM
What age and size / weight is he? That matters a lot.

I'd honestly go with a Savage over a Remington, truth be told. Savages tend to be better guns out of the box. Remingtons aren't quite what they used to be, either. Check out a Savage 11 .243 Youth. Same weight, but it's got the Accutrigger which is the hallmark of Savage's full size rifles.

February 14, 2009, 11:17 PM
Last year I bought a remmy 700 adl in a youth model .243 for my oldest son who was eight at the time. It was going to be his first deer hunt. I brought it home to his delight he checked it out and then asked if he could still use my encore. "I guess the boy has taste." He now enjoys shooting his rifle and has become a decent shot. At 9 years old he keeps around a 1 1/2 to 2" group at 100 yards shooting prone using a harris bi-pod.

February 14, 2009, 11:18 PM
neighbor bought his boy a weatherbee something or other, sorry i dont remember, it is the normal gun, just has a youth stock so its handleable. Might be a tad heavy but then when he becomes older he can put the other stock on and you have a full size rifle. Just an option

February 14, 2009, 11:23 PM
Savage makes several in .243 and .308. Comes in their scope included 'packages' too. MSRP varies between $400ish to $650ish. Their site is currently down. Hard to beat a Savage for price and out of the box accuracy.
Take him shopping. Have him try a few rifles on for size.

February 14, 2009, 11:30 PM
Do you handload? If so I'd get something like a .308 for him. Buy the Hodgdon 2009 Annual load book. It has an article on handloading .308 (and other calibers) with Barnes bullets to have the recoil of a .243 but the same performance of the .308. You can gradually load heavier as he gets older and gets more shooting experience.

I recommend a Remington Model 7. Used guns in .308 are all over.

February 14, 2009, 11:31 PM
I've got a Remington 700 SPS youth in 308 that I use for deer. I picked it up at Gander Mountain a couple of years ago for a really good price and replaced the factory stock with a cheap Houge overmoulded one to get the longer LOP. I really like the 20" barrel length and the light weight. It shoots 5 shot groups into less than an inch at 100 yards with Black Hills 155 Grain A Max if I let it cool down a little between shots.

I don't think the 308 is available in a youth model any more but I can't see why the 243 wouldn't be a fine rifle.

February 15, 2009, 12:19 AM
I saw a Savage the other day in .243 with the youth stock and the full size stock in the same box. Cost around $550? Pretty hard to beat the accu trigger.

February 15, 2009, 01:12 AM
I have a CZ 527 Carbine that I use for woods hunting, but have been considering it for my son, It is small, light and has mild recoil; the detachable magazine gives me control over the ammo until he is on stand and rifle can be unloaded without having to cycle all the rounds through the rifle to empty it; cheap ammo is available for practice; the round has power comparable to the 30-30 which is more than adequate for deer but is not a super long range round if he should miss his shot. The Ruger 44/77 also fits these criteria and they have started selling it again according to the Ruger website.

February 15, 2009, 02:23 AM
Sorry, I have to go with a single shot. For under $300 and new barrels for $100/ea H&R's are hard to beat for a new shooter. He might end up with a .243, 20ga, muzzleloader, and a few others all in one receiver.

February 15, 2009, 04:38 AM
Both of my kids cut their teeth on a Rem Model 7 youth in the .243. Problem with going to a .308, unless ya load it way down, you may develope a flincher. .243 kills deer DEAD! Mine are both grown now. I drag her out of the safe from time to time for a little backstrap fun. :)

41 Mag
February 15, 2009, 05:30 AM
I have a pretty head strong grandson. When he posed to me he wanted to shoot his own boar hog, mid spring several months before his fifth birthday, I figured it would pass, but it didn't. He insistantly brought it up every time we were together and even on the phone when we talked he brought it up.

Well I went through everything I had and the only thing I had which he could possibly hold up on a rest, on his own, was a Ruger Compact in .308. I pulled the data from the Youth Loads on Hodgdon's site and away we went. Took a few times to work up to more than 3-5 rounds at a sitting, but he was determined to get his hog, what ever it took.

This was mid -Oct. three years ago, with him setting up to shoot at 50yds,

His results that day,

Then the first weekend of that November two weeks before his birthday,

If you can find one of the Compact's I highly recommend them. I was shooting this particular one very comfortably for a couple of years before he swiped it from me. The reduced starting loads using 125 - 130gr bullets are less than that of a .243, and will do the job out to 50 - 75yds easily, and using the H4895, you can continue to add to the load all the way up to full power for caliber with out changing powders. We started out at the bottom load and within the next year had worked up to 42grs, and switched to the 130gr Barnes TSX and now the TTSX. This particular load averages just over 2650 from the stubby little Ruger and he can shoot groups under 1" at 100yds with it. IT has plenty of punch to reliably drop up to 200# feral hogs with complete shoulder shot pass through. The recoil seems to be just now getting up to a standard .243 factory load level, when I compare them side by side. However the .243 I used has a 24" barrel and weighs a couple pounds more. The Ruger as it is in the picture weighs just under 6.5# with a loaded magazine. the kid is now 6 and has much better control of it and has taken another hog and a coyote at 158yds with it.

I wish you luck in your quest, as I know from experience that the time ahead of you is very rewarding. Just remember that patients is the key and a few rounds at a time is better than them learning to relate shooting with a sore shoulder. I got my first deer when I was six, and then I faced these same issues with my daughter when she was 6, so I guess it runs in the family.

Again enjoy the time spent they grow up WAY to fast.

February 15, 2009, 09:34 AM
41 mag, that is a great story.

Growing up, my dad got me a youth Winchester M70 Ranger in .243. I killed my first deer with it when I was 9. As a teenager, I had a Remington model 7 carbine in .308. Both have killed truck loads of deer.

The old youth .243 that I used to kill my first deer was also used for my brother's first deer, 3 cousins' first deers, mom's first deer as well as 12 other friends' kids' firsts. Now it is in my safe and is waiting for me to crank out some youngsters.

I bring it out every once in a while for coyote hunting. The short stock and flat shooting makes it an excellent predator rifle.

41 magnum fan
February 15, 2009, 10:13 AM
I recomend a Ruger compact in 260.This is the rifle that my kids use to hunt with.

February 15, 2009, 10:59 AM
I went through this with my grandson this deer season. I went with a Savage in .243 and was pleased with the rifle. I waited too long to get one as I kept looking for a good used one.

All the dealers around here told the same story: some years the shelve will be full of good used and the next there won't be any at all. My luck was for none at all.

When it got to the point I had to get one, the dealers were down to bare bones on selection. We ended up with a standard trigger fixed magazine that will be very servicable but I would have preferred to get the higher grade with detachable mag and better trigger. The standard Mod 11 trigger is adjustable so that isn't much problem. I think the detachable mag is a safety improvement for kids when it comes to unloading time.

One feature about the Savage that I didn't know untill we bought the rifle was a coupon to buy a full size stock for $50.00 so he can use ths rifle all his life if he wants. I would checkl to see if that is still available.

When I was looking Howa also had a package deal on youth models that included both a youth and full size stock. More money up front but worth asking your dealer about. Unlikely to find one on the shelf. I have a Howa in .22-250 and it is a very good rifle.

The scope with the Savage package was a middle of the road Simmons and Howa listed a better scope at the time. If I could have found the Howa package it would have been a slightly better value overall but more money than what I ended up spending. It was within $50.00 of the best Savage package if I remember the details, but that is several months ago.

February 15, 2009, 12:48 PM
Lots of good advice here, so all I can add is my experience. I started my son off with a Remington Model Seven Youth in .243. He eventually passed it on to one of his sisters, who took her first deer with that same rifle. It now sports a full length stock and is used more for varmints, although it remains great deer medicine. So we're fans both of the .243 as a deer/varmint cartridge, and the Model Seven Youth as a beginner platform.

February 15, 2009, 04:59 PM
I could probably be talked outta mine with a bunch of Ammo :p

CSA 357
February 15, 2009, 05:10 PM
Mod 7 in 7 08

February 15, 2009, 08:36 PM
stevens 200 22-250 or 243 and cut the stock down. I just put three shots in one ragged hole with mine today.

February 15, 2009, 11:04 PM
Another vote for Remington Model 7.

February 15, 2009, 11:26 PM
Thanks for all the great suggestions! As far as the age size question, my son is 10 and on the smaller size for a 10 yr old. He shoots a CZ Scout and it fits him well. The Rem 870 Youth is a little long LOP but is not bad. As far a the single shots go I've looked at the Rossi's and thought about the fact that he could switch out barrels, especially with a muzzle loader bbl. I have a problem with hammer guns for kids, I'm sure that others would argue that hammer guns are ok but they are not an option for me. I like CZ's what kind of price difference am I looking at between those and Rems and Savages?
Thanks to all.

February 15, 2009, 11:37 PM
I have to 2nd the H&R Combo. I think these come with Marlin button rifled barrels now, (or is that the NEF handi-rifle? same review for that rig) in all the .308 based cartriges (.243, .260 rem, 7mm-08) with a 3x9 scope. The 7-08 would be my choice. Not as much recoil as the .308, but still enough pop for anything in the lower 48. The single shot is safer/easier to teach, and definately puts an early emphasis on shot placement. Great pics---

February 16, 2009, 12:10 AM
oh yeah, savage makes a good youth, a model 10 youth i believe, and mossberg makes a superbantam, with extra fitted buttpads, that you can add, as the little dude gets bigger. But the king is the remmy, they are nice, beautiful, and i know a lot of full size dudes that carry them right now...

February 16, 2009, 12:14 AM
now then, for full size, that are really micros, look for any cz american carbine, especially in 762x39, it is a fabulous piggie round, and still cheap.
and for really fancy and unusual, look for an old remmy 600, mohawk , or 660. these have bent, butterknife bolt handles, good recoil pads, and tiny stocks, on a 16 or 18 inch bbl, they come in lots of cals; 6mm(fabulous), 243, 7.08, 308, all the ones you want. expect to pay at least 500 for one though...

February 16, 2009, 07:04 AM
About $700 new $450-$550 used on model 7

February 16, 2009, 11:07 AM
Mossberg also does a "youth" rifle in 243. I almost bought one but I have a thing about a .308 and bought my daughter a Ruger M77 Frontier in .308 at the last minute. I don't think I would have gone wrong with the Mossberg though.


February 17, 2009, 12:28 PM
I'm going to have to go with what a lot of others have suggested. My favorite of all the choices is the Rem. Model 7 Youth in any of the .308 cartridges (.243, .260, etc.) I have one that I still use to this day. It's light weight, short, easy to carry, and accurate. In a deer rifle, you can't really beat that combo.

February 17, 2009, 04:45 PM
Weatherby compacts used to come with youth and adult stocks. Good Luck

February 17, 2009, 04:51 PM
The 7mm-08 is available in a managed recoil load of 140 grains that has less recoil than a .30-30 with better ballistics. At 100 ranges I have found this load to perform better on deer than full power loads. I think it is great for youth who can then use that rifle for bigger stuff later on with full power loads.

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