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Light Recoiling Deer Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Olympus, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Olympus

    Olympus Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to help my nephew get that "right" deer rifle. Admittedly, he's a bit skittish with recoil. He's 13 right now and I'm trying to teach him that 22lr isn't the standard to compare recoil to. He needs to learn that some recoil is good and that it can be fun even. He's starting to see a little of that with shooting some revolvers with REALLY light 38 reloads. But the rifles are another story. He desperately wants to go deer hunting with us, but he's scared of the recoil.

    So far we've tried a .243 bolt action, and that wasn't bad. But he still was a little skittish. I'm racking my brain to think of another caliber option that would still be suitable for whitetail while also being relatively short in overall length for his size. I'm wondering if a semi auto in .243 would absorb a little of the recoil. I know some say the 6.5 Swede is not too hard. Or possibly a 7.62x39 in a CZ bolt. Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated.
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    If long range isn't necessary??
    Like woods hunting from a stand??

    A Lever-action carbine in .357 Mag might get-R-done.

    He can shoot .38 Special in it for no recoil, and work his way up to full power .357 Magnum loads for hunting.

  3. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Well-Known Member

    Lighter loads or a heavier rifle.

    .223 bolt action?

  4. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Well-Known Member

    What about a 7mm-08 on a platform like a Rem 700 with a limbsaver recoil pad. That's what I started on when 13 or 14 (and still use 20-some years later).
  5. I6turbo

    I6turbo Well-Known Member

    What grain bullets did you try in the .243? With the lighter bullets it shouldn't have much recoil at all. Has he fired the gun many times? Maybe a few more rounds at the practice range might get him used to it...
  6. Olympus

    Olympus Well-Known Member

    Didn't think any a 357 lever. That's a good option. It might lose practicality in a few years though when he gets bigger and has longer shots.

    He will definitely be in a stand this year, but probably with an adult.
  7. Olympus

    Olympus Well-Known Member

    I may need to look a little closer at the pads. We tried one that slips over the stock but it made the length of pull a little too long for him to get comfortable.
  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    Honestly a 243 is about as good as it gets.

    A 223 will have a little less recoil and is another option. The 243 is more versatile, the 223 is about the minimum I'd use on deer and doesn't offer much room for error. If you have confidence in his ability to make good hits and limit ranges to 150 yards or so it will work.
  9. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    Youth model .243 will probably be the best choice you can make.
  10. DAP90

    DAP90 Well-Known Member

    Don’t forget noise and muzzle blast. That can be a cause of recoil sensitivity as well.
  11. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    My brother hunted with a Remington 742 in .243 and the recoil was nearly non existent. Of course, I'm used to the recoil of a .30-06 loaded at near max loads, so any .243 seems light. However, my wife has a .243 in a bolt action and the auto was definitely lighter kicking.
  12. Olympus

    Olympus Well-Known Member

    I figured the 243 was the best option. I will check the length difference between youth models and compact models.
  13. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Well-Known Member

    I got my youngest a Weatherby Vanguard youth model in 7MM-08. That rifle is pretty heavy which cuts recoil. I started him on 100 gr. downloads and he handled it very well.
  14. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

  15. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    Nothing, and I mean nothing kills recoil like "weight". :D My 18 pound M700 Police, in .308 Win was like shooting a BB gun. I switched out the factory stock of a B&C fully adjustable tactical stock, then added my M1913 rail, Nightforce 30mm steel rings and Nightforce scope. :D Heavy metal in the truest sense. :cool:

    Given how a .243 Win flies, ultra-flat, I'd check into a "varmint" model of bolt action...you know, heavy barrel. You will have awesome accuracy, and near zero recoil. Did I mention that I love heavy firearms? You can shoot them all day, very forgiving in the "punishment" department. Given my 12 neurosurgeries...that's a good thing. Might look into Savage, Winchester, or CZ. Don't think Ruger makes a .243 Win varmint rifle anymore. If I were setting up this package, I'd go a M70 Coyote Light, in .243 Win, and a 3-9 scope.

  16. jogar80

    jogar80 Well-Known Member

    I was faced with the same dilema when trying to find something suitable for my wife. She is extremely recoil sensitive and frightened by muzzle blast, but wanted to go hunt deer with me, lol. In the end, the only combination that worked was a bolt action .243 with a muzzle brake AND a good recoild pad, along with earmuffs AND ear plugs! But IT DID work great
  17. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    .243 is the right answer. It was great for deer as an adolescent, and it still is today.

    If he's holding the rifle correctly and focusing on his trigger squeeze, there won't be much noticeable recoil with a .243, unless it is a very lightweight rifle with a very light polymer stock.

    Another thing to take into account is to make sure he has adequate hearing protection. Double up with plugs and earmuffs if you have to. When I was a young shooter, anticipation of the noise was much more of an issue than anticipation of recoil. Remember that young ears are much more sensitive to sound than older ones.
  18. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    My friend hunts with a Ruger Deerfield semi auto in .44 mag. Took a 183 class white tail a couple years ago, one shot. I think I could hold it against my chin and fire it and be no worse for wear. I couldn't feel any recoil, and it's good for 150 yards.
  19. falmike

    falmike Well-Known Member

    Scoped handi rifle in 357 or 44 mag with bull barrel.

    When either hit, they will trump a 30 cal. Neither will recoil much. Rest on window of blind or stand and weight should not be an issue.

    Just my $.02 :)

  20. pikid89

    pikid89 Well-Known Member

    Haha lobo, are you sure bout that 30-30 being a good deer round? haha...Marlin 336 would be prime i think


    My 110 lb mom loves her ruger m77 compact in .243

    Imo, the percieved recoil in youth 243s is not from kinetic energy, but from the excessive blast in the short barrels compact 243s have.

    Plugs and earmuffs for practice and he'll be whackin deers in no time at all

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