Rifle for my son - Advice?


February 23, 2010, 10:37 PM
My son confounds me. With an SKS and can of ammo, or an M1 Garand with a pile of clips, he'd rather shoot at a piece of paper using a scoped rifle. He'll check every shot on the scope, and can really make a box of ammo last a while. Man, I want that M1 and a can of ammo.....

So, I want to get him a rifle. He appreciates 'em all, but really wants accuracy. I like the idea of him hunting with me, so I am trying to find that accurate rifle in a deer (at least) and elk caliber. I understand the glass part, but I am in a quandry trying to find the rifle that will combine the accuracy that he will enjoy, the ability to hunt (which Dad enjoys), and will fit the budget (since he heads for college in the fall).

I think a bolt action is going to be the preferred action, though a Ruger No. 1 would work but for cost.

I welcome any suggestions!

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February 23, 2010, 10:42 PM
Cartridges that I'd suggest.

35 rem
7mm mag

Does he like bolts, pumps, semis, levers, or whatever? I think if I had my pick for a first gun, all around, and I was hunting where short shots are the norm, I'd take the 45/70. Its more fun to shoot than anything else that I have. Otherwise, I'd say 7mm mag or 30.06. Will be good for elk, a blast to shoot.

February 23, 2010, 10:46 PM
He's grown up around muzzleloaders (traditional) and bp cartridge - he's most interested in a bolt action (I guess I coulda filled that in the orig post). I love the 45/70, but I think he would like smaller faster and more precise.

February 23, 2010, 10:48 PM
Being that he is an accuracy nut, I would suggest something like 300WM, 308, 7mm, or 30-06. A Stevens model 200 is a good rifle for a great price. In general any Savage will fit the bill and many can be had for under $400.

February 23, 2010, 10:48 PM
Get him a bolt action in .308. Sounds like he'd appreciate pretty much anything you'd give him. A bolt is an inherently more accurate action and there are many good shooting rifles available at reasonable prices.

February 23, 2010, 10:48 PM
I can shoot my 45/70 more accurately at 100 than my 30.06.

But, for a bolt, I think its hard to beat either the 30.06 or 7mm mag. There are a lot of good budget rifles out there that will perform nicely.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 23, 2010, 10:49 PM
Action: Turnbolt

Rifle: What's the budget?

Chambering: Depends on the rifle and what chamberings are offered in it, which in turn depends on the budget? What's the budget? Willing to buy used, or new only?

Uncle Mike
February 23, 2010, 10:50 PM
Deer AND Elk AND accuracy..... 280 Remington, 270 Winchester, any of the 300 Mags., 30-06. Bolt Action.

The 7mm Remington Mag. will do also, as would any of the 7mm Mags., but they are not stellar in the accuracy department, as offered in many of the readily availble production rifles.

I'd say a Savage 116 in 30-06 or a Remington XHR, CDL or even the XCR or SPS in 280 or 30-06.

February 23, 2010, 10:51 PM
Used is my preference, as is his (we're strange, we like the character of used but well cared for guns, cars, furniture, etc). My budget is tight, and will depend on how many of my trade fodder items I can sell at the next gun show (bayonet, knives, reloading stuff, ammo for guns I don't have any more, and so forth) coupled with some hideaway bucks and a 22 I hope to trade.

February 23, 2010, 10:53 PM
The T/C ICON comes to mind in 308 Win...Sub MOA Guarantee! http://www.tcarms.com/firearms/icon_precision_hunter.php


February 23, 2010, 11:02 PM
Bolt action .308 Winchester.

I like Remington.

February 23, 2010, 11:03 PM
For OEM accuracy, this is hard to beat for the money. I just got a LH weather warrior version, and it is my most accurate rifle. The OEM pad really soaks up recoil if that is a concern.


February 23, 2010, 11:12 PM
I like what jpwilly suggested but if you are interested I have a very accurate howa hogue (green) 308 with a 20" bbl that fits in a tactical case for sale for $400 plus shipping. Its like new and doomsday aka taxday is coming soon and I need the money more than the rifle. PM me if you are interested. You could also look at the remington 700 vtr desert recon 308. It should be wicked.

February 23, 2010, 11:14 PM
Tikka T3, around $500 made by Sako in a 7mag or 300wm or wsm.

Arkansas Paul
February 23, 2010, 11:18 PM
For what you need, I like the Weatherby Vangaurd in .308 Win. It's GREAT for target, GREAT for deer, and pretty good for elk if the conditions are good. The rifle can be had brand new for around $400 and guarantees 1 1/2" MOA out of the box. I have one in .30-06 and absolutely love it. It's worth a look.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 23, 2010, 11:35 PM
Hmm, used, like classic, and on tight budget...

that leads us to a used Winchester 70 or Remington 700 (the older the better), in the likes of .270 Win would be about perfect. Common calibers are cheaper to buy, too. Maybe .30-06. Used Savage works too, and can be had really cheap.

February 23, 2010, 11:38 PM
Tikka T3 in a 270 Win or 270 WSM would be worth looking at. Both cartridges are accurate and will work fine on an Elk.

February 23, 2010, 11:42 PM
USED...okay then where will you shopping for the used rifle at - locally? internet? What's the budget?

February 24, 2010, 12:15 AM
you didnt' mention his age or size, so if say 16 or under, look for a cz, savage, or remmy, kids model, or an old remmy 788, or old remmy 600/660/ mohawk.
and get in 7.08

February 24, 2010, 12:19 AM
winchester, remington, ruger

not in that order but stick to this and all with be fine

Big Bill
February 24, 2010, 12:48 AM
I think the Marlin XL7 is VERY accurate for the money spent. Savage rifles are also very accurate right out of the box.


If you get the Savage, get one with an accu-trigger and accu-stock.


You can't miss with a .270, .308, or 30-06. They've all killed lots of deer and elk.

February 24, 2010, 01:00 AM
As said already since he likes accuracy I think a Savage or a Marlin XL-7 or XS-7 would be a great choice. Both seem to be very popular and known for great accuracy at great prices. The Savage Model 10 or 110 depending on long or shot action with the accu trigger is a great gun. I don't think you can go wrong with either.

As for caliber that's really up to you. My personal opinion is I like .243 for target shooting and light stuff as it's easy on the shoulder. 25-06 is another light caliber I'd consider. Then I like 30-06 or .308 if going to be doing a lot of hunting big game or even large deer. The .243 and 25-06 will do fine on most white tails though.

Shadow 7D
February 24, 2010, 01:37 AM
Why not a nice .22 cheap to shoot and many have all the accuracy you can want out a gun, lots great choices like a CZ or Anschultz.

February 24, 2010, 02:37 AM
I have two rifles that I use for hunting and are very accurate out of the box. Savage and Tikka T3 in 30-06. This rifles will not break the bank and in this caliber will allow him to shoot up to 1000 yds for paper and bring and elk down. 30-06 is the most versatile bullet around, can be loaded for coyote with a 110 grain bullet or bear with a 220 gr.

February 24, 2010, 03:33 AM
any modern bolt action rifle in a cartridge of 6.5 or above. 6.5 x 55, 260 rem, 270, 7mm08, 7 x 57 on and on the list goes.

February 24, 2010, 08:35 AM
you didnt' mention his age or size, so if say 16 or under, look for a cz, savage, or remmy, kids model, or an old remmy 788, or old remmy 600/660/ mohawk.
and get in 7.08
He said he is heading off to college in the fall. So I would guess that he is 17 or 18.

February 24, 2010, 08:46 AM
Buy a beat up 788 in .308, have a nice stock fitted to it and add a VX-II scope.


February 24, 2010, 08:48 AM

February 26, 2010, 03:30 AM
sounds to me you would want two rifles: accuracy .22lr or 223 rem, look for anschutz cz or savage, and the savings in ammo wil soon pay for the rifle.
I combine an Anchutz 64 single shot 22lr (used 200 ) with the anschutz 1770 in 223 rem (varmint) and a interarms mark X in 270 win (used 400)
works for me
my other combo, marlin 39a and marlin 336 work nice to, if he likes levers.



February 26, 2010, 06:01 AM
For deer and elk, I would suggest a 300 Mag / 300 WSM....versatile caliber from light loads of 100 grain to heavier 200 grn bullets. You won't find those in .270, 7mm, etc. If you're gunnin' for deer and some elk, probably a 270 or 7mm....Elk and some deer, back to the 300. Since it is assumed that you're son is at least 18, I would assume that too much recoil shouldn't be an issue. However, wanting to concentrate on accuracy and maybe even work up a load will take some shots on the shoulder so, gearing down to a 30-06 may be in best interests. I have an -06 which I cut two inches off. Takes the velocity down about 100 FPS (if that) but I still retain the versatility of the .30 cal and also, have a sportier rifle for carry in the brush.

February 26, 2010, 06:10 AM
My 15 yr old son loves my Rem 600 mohawk in .308 for larger deer,and Savage .223 for the rest.....if your lad loves making ragged holes in paper then try a .223 Savage or CZ 527 American both out the box moa.cheers.

February 26, 2010, 08:38 AM
Remington Model 700. There's alot of them floating around, many different calibers of which are great for Deer + Elk. Tried and true rifle, I'm a happy owner of one in .22-250.

February 26, 2010, 05:55 PM
His age ,build and weight etc would all be relevant factors to be considered when making a choice for a rifle and calibre,he needs to be comfortable with the fit and recoil ,last thing you want is for him to develop a flinch,cheers.

February 26, 2010, 06:12 PM
Hmm, well it wouldn't be used, but if I were to go for an affordable deer/elk rifle right now, I'd probably go for a Marlin XS7. T/C Ventures look pretty nice too (I have one in .223 on order). They make them in the short action calibers, which I'm a much bigger fan of than the long action. Milder recoil and usually chambered in a handier sized gun. I'd say 7mm-08, but a .308 might be better for elk.

If I were to get a used deer rifle, I'd probably look for a marlin in 30-30. The LeverEvolution rounds from Hornady increase the performance considerably. I don't know if you've got any lever action guns, but they're a blast to shoot. Pretty mild recoil too.

As you can tell I'm not a fan of recoil. I love being able to shoot a box at the range and not have to worry about my shoulder feeling like crap. To me, the extra recoil just isn't worth it.

February 26, 2010, 06:41 PM
If he is that much of an accuracy nut sounds like a 6.5-284 will fill the ticket, but a .308, 30-06, 7 rem mag, 284, 264 Win mag, 270 would also suffice.

February 26, 2010, 10:06 PM
6.5X55 is a sweet thing, very accurate, light recoil and great for Deer and Elk. Hell people hunt bear and moose in europe with them. If you can find a Tikka T3 lite in 6.5 swede, that my friend would be perfect. I just bought my son savage 110 in 308, it's a super accurate rifle. Savage is good because he can up grade them pretty easily as he ages.

February 27, 2010, 01:03 AM
His age ,build and weight etc would all be relevant factors to be considered when making a choice for a rifle and calibre,he needs to be comfortable with the fit and recoil ,last thing you want is for him to develop a flinch,cheers.
Make sure you check his length of pull as well :)

Ignition Override
February 27, 2010, 01:32 AM
Some sons have no real interest in any gun. Many of you guys are very fortunate, but it might be taken for granted.

Al LaVodka
February 27, 2010, 02:07 AM
.243 is versatile, relatively inexpensive, accurate, and easy to shoot -- its a necked-down .308! .270 should be on the list next IMO. Oh, and I agree in the bolt. I would probably look at a Savage for the value and a Simmons 44 Mag. scope as well though they have scoped packages.

February 27, 2010, 02:20 AM
If you're budget concious then stay away from magnums and stay far away from the short mags. It's like burning $1.50 with every trigger pull. There is nothing in the lower 48 that a 30 06 or .270 can't take care of at a responsible distance. If he is a good shot and doesn't mind limiting his range on elk you could even go to a .243. As far as a rifle you can't beat a browning A-bolt but good luck finding one used.

February 27, 2010, 03:30 AM
Hey Wyohome ,Lovely 788 i rebuilt one in .223,i was stoked with the way it came out.There in the legend status now....great rifles.I will have to post a photo.

Max C.
February 27, 2010, 05:32 AM
Why not a 30-06 for Ammo interchangeability with the Garand?

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