Help picking the right rifle


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txhoghunter
November 8, 2010, 02:09 PM
Hey guys, so my dad and I are searching for the "right" first rifle for my little brother. He is 11 years old but is very small for his age and quite responsive to recoil (he did not like a .243). We are looking into .223's but are wanting to go more towards a compact bolt action than a youth Rossi. Perhaps a Remington .223 SPS Tactical so that he will continue to enjoy it for years to come. I'm just wanting other opinions on a gun that could fit him, and would work for more than a year or two. We are completely open to other caliber guns as well, the .243 comment was just as a baseline.

Thanks in advance.

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Psyco Tyco
November 8, 2010, 02:25 PM
Right first rifle in respect to what? Hunting? Range shooting? Combination? I had a 22 mag lever gun that I learned all my basics on and practiced with, then I had a .243 that I used for actual hunting and although i didn't like the recoil I knew I could handle it for one shot on hunts and practice fundamentals with the lever gun

txhoghunter
November 8, 2010, 03:06 PM
Sorry that I was not clear in that respect. His use of this rifle will be as an introduction to hunting. He has shot .22 LR's and we are ready to step him up into a longer range target arena, and eventually into deer and hog hunting. We understand the .223 is not a deer cartridge so that is pretty much out, but we hog hunt often so maybe a small hog. Overall, it will not be a rifle that he will be carrying around all day nor shooting offhand, so weight is not an extreme factor.

BrocLuno
November 8, 2010, 03:14 PM
243 is not a very heavy hitting rifle. But if he's small, a youth sized stock may help tame whatever you get. Also, I'd look at recoil reduction devices. In the stock type are not too weighty and help a great deal. Limbsaver recoil pads are great for a soft shoulder "push".

I suspect you may want to go with a .22 WMR for now like a Remington 597. Very easy to shoot. You know it's "bigger" than a .22LR, but still not intimidating at all. Then maybe a 243 auto-loader? Most gas operated autos will be much less kick prone. Any recoil operated gun can actually have a bit more felt recoil, but it's different.

How about a Ruger Ranch Rifle? You can step up the barrel quality if he needs to reach out a bit further as he gets more used to it? Stock is shorter so it might fit well? Fun little rifle :)

Psyco Tyco
November 8, 2010, 03:41 PM
Plus one on the limbsaver, I really think the 243 will be more useful later on in his shooting experience but if even with a limbsaver he doesn't like it you can always trade it in and get the 223

DanTheFarmer
November 8, 2010, 04:43 PM
Food for thought.

I visited the LGS today and held a Ruger 77/44 (bolt action Ruger in 44 magnum). It was a compact, handy thing with a synthetic stock and stainless metal. It might fit a young shooter well.

That got me thinking, what about the other lever action, pistol caliber rifles? 357 and 44 mag lever guns are easy to find and are powerful enough for hogs and deer at moderate ranges according to the "experts".

I haven't shot any of the above so maybe somebody with experience will chime in but I wanted to give you some other ideas to consider.

Good Luck!

Dan

BrocLuno
November 8, 2010, 04:50 PM
Yup, that's another good suggestion. Pistol ammo based lever. A little Rossi in .357 will stop a hog (depending on bullet configuration) and and with .38SPL in the chamber the recoils is very low :)

stubbicatt
November 8, 2010, 07:11 PM
A little Rossi in .357 will stop a hog. saith BroLuno

I really don't know much about hog hunting, other than a friend of mine in the early 90's went "whole hog" into that sport. He bought a flatbed trailer and built a blind on it, and would take it up into the panhandle of Texas to hunt feral hogs. I remember that he started with a 44 magnum lever rifle. Then he had some "experiences" and went to the 444 Marlin. After a few more experiences he went with a 416 Remington Magnum.

I don't remember now the details of his experiences with those hogs, but I do remember the horror I felt as he relayed those stories. Now, you do what you want, but if I go hog hunting the minimum cartridge I am using is a 375 H&H.

I know that is not much help in getting a rifle for a recoil sensitive youngster, but there you have it. Perhaps a semi auto of some nature would ameliorate the recoil impulse somewhat, which combined with a decent brake might make it bearable for him? Good luck in your choices.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
November 8, 2010, 08:56 PM
I really don't know much about hog hunting, other than a friend of mine in the early 90's went "whole hog" into that sport. He bought a flatbed trailer and built a blind on it, and would take it up into the panhandle of Texas to hunt feral hogs. I remember that he started with a 44 magnum lever rifle. Then he had some "experiences" and went to the 444 Marlin. After a few more experiences he went with a 416 Remington Magnum.

I don't remember now the details of his experiences with those hogs, but I do remember the horror I felt as he relayed those stories. Now, you do what you want, but if I go hog hunting the minimum cartridge I am using is a 375 H&H.

I know that is not much help in getting a rifle for a recoil sensitive youngster, but there you have it. Perhaps a semi auto of some nature would ameliorate the recoil impulse somewhat, which combined with a decent brake might make it bearable for him? Good luck in your choices.

Ok someone told you some seriously demented horror stories. While yes hogs can be very tough and quite dangerous when angered, you can hunt them with a whole lot less than a 375 H&H. My 7mm.08 drops them just fine with the proper bullet and load configuration. 139 grain SST's or Interbonds do a wonderful job on porky.

As far as the OP's question, you are going to have a pretty big hurdle to cross if he is shy of a .243 recoil impulse. My 6 year old daughter handles my 7mm.08 with a smile. Suggestions would be for the Limbsaver pad and a good dose of toughen up. I would guess that it is more of a "fear" than an actual uncomfortable reaction to recoil. Good way to check would be test for flinch. Put a couple of rounds in and then a dead round for a dry fire without him knowing. As far as a hunting round, the .243 is pretty much the minimum calibre for deer and a precise shot is required of it without a margin for error. Not my first choice for a kid because of that. Seen too many deer get away to go die without a recovery because of that calibre rifle. It's fine for an experienced shooter that can put it right in the kill zone easily, but it kind of sucks for a kid that may get a little over excited and miss just a bit. The 7mm.08 has pretty much the same recoil with a much better energy delivery and a much greater margin for error.

JDMorris
November 8, 2010, 09:31 PM
SPS Tactical is a mans rifle. Not a little kids rife. It is Heavy and has a full size hogue stock. I'm 14. and basically man sized. I'm 5'10" and 150 pounds. I shoot a Howa sporter .308 In a Hogue stock. It is not a little stock. the think is full size on me.
But, the stock is solid, and helps a bit with the .5" groups I'm getting.

BrocLuno
November 8, 2010, 09:41 PM
True enough - I hear that Texas hogs are bigger and meaner (and I ain't making a TX joke here). The baddest hogs we face out here are in the wilds of the coastal mountains between Carmel and and the Ventura Co line. there are well respected hunters who go in there looking for hogs with only a .357 revolver (6"). The rifle will add a few hundred FPS to a 6" revo.

I personally don't want to shoot a hog with less that a 30-30, 308, or 30-06. But a small boy ain't going to do that. AND, I made the assumption that big brother, dad or uncle would be there with a bigger gun if he needed back-up?

Seems this is about a learning gun for a small boy. Light, compact easy to carry rifle that will put one through an engine block out to be enough for him to learn on?

kludge
November 8, 2010, 09:45 PM
.243 is THE low recoiling deer capable rifle, but if he shot one with an ill-fitting stock, it could have been a factor. Reduced recoil/reduced load 7mm-08 or .308 ammo would still be effective. .44 Mag or .357 Mag is a good choice for hogs and deer also, .44 Special ammo in the .44 Mag will still get the job done at 50-60 yards, and until he has proven himself at longer distances, I would discourage him from taking longer shots regardless of the caliber.

How about a Rossi matched set? There are several calibers to choose from with a youth size stock.

.22LR, 44 Mag, 20GA
.22LR, .243, 20GA
.22LR, .243, 20GA, .410
.22LR, 20GA, 50 cal
20GA, .44 Mag
20GA, .243
20GA, .223

Mamertine
November 8, 2010, 09:50 PM
Has he tried shooting a .243 with lighter bullets? The 75 grain are easier on the shoulder.
http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm
If you reload I would think you could get an even lower reciol by using minimum loads.

fullmag
November 8, 2010, 11:24 PM
+1 for .243 win
The .243 has broken in thousands of young deer hunters and is a great round with many uses, it is plenty big enough for hogs with the proper bullet being used of course. I've seen small deer lost to .300 win mag when proper shot placement was not achieved.
As far as recoil put a good butt pad on it and make sure stock fits his build. A rifle in .357 or .44 would be ok as well with short ranges but I think that the .243 would see more use in the years to come. Check out a Remington model seven my 12 year old son has one in 7mm-08 light, short, packs very well and when he's not hunting I'm usually using it instead of packing my .300wsm or .270

jwsracin
November 8, 2010, 11:46 PM
have you ever fired a 25-06 -- not exactly a feather recoil but not really all that bad either - i dont have one my self but its my dads go to deer gun and i have shoot it many many times - my six year old niece shoots it at least once on every outing

peptoe
November 9, 2010, 12:36 AM
Marlin 30-30 with the 125 grn soft points is a real softy, my 11 year daughter handled them just fine. He'd be able to work up to 150"s in no time, thye pretty tame as well. A .308 with reduced loads is also very light as well, I have a Savage 10 youth 20" barrel in .308 that my step son used, been think about getting rid of it.

http://www.ammoengine.com/find/store_frame/3563213?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ableammo.com%2Fcatalog%2Fproduct_info.php%3Fproducts_id%3D74343

10-96
November 9, 2010, 06:16 AM
This might be as about as close to the "middle ground" as it gets... A Ruger Hawkeye 16.5" bolt action in Remington 6.8 SPC ctg.

http://www.hyattgunstore.com/product.php?productid=96303

txhoghunter
November 9, 2010, 12:33 PM
Thanks for the help guys, now one more question. Yes, when hunting both my father and I will be there with him, probably myself with my .270 WSM (in my opinion a fine hog rifle). We also own a .308 and I am wondering if anyone has any experience firing the .308 Managed Recoil loads from Remington?

kludge
November 9, 2010, 02:06 PM
.308 with 125gr reduced loads are very easy on the shoulder, similar to the 7.62x39 recoil.

Which means, another easily available cartridge with manageable recoil, yet still adequate for deer and hogs is the 7.62x39mm. To me it kicks about the same as a .243 Win.

So I say try the reduced loads (125gr at ~2500fps) in the .308 (cheaper than a new gun). If that's still to much, then I say go for a .357 Mag, .44 SPL, .45 Colt.

sappyg
November 9, 2010, 02:46 PM
CZ still makes the 527 carbine in 7.62x39 and 223. i've loaded 130g bullets in a 308 for practice rounds and believe me they are a lot easier on the shoulder. still feels a lot like a .243 or there about. i wouldn't do it myself but if it's legal to hunt deer or pigs in Texas the 223 might work for him.
however, there would be nothing better than lots of practice with a 22lr. i think.

Barker45
November 10, 2010, 10:00 AM
A lot of good suggestions here! I too think the CZ 527M carbine in 7.62X39 would make a great rifle for your little brother. It would serve very well for deer/hog and is a really sweet rifle. Light, accurate, cheap to shoot, beautiful, and just plain fun! I would aslo look at the Marlin 1894C in .357mag and the Marlin 336 30-30 youth model. Let us know what y'all decide on and it sounds like y'all are going to have a lot of good times!

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