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Kid's Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Mencius, Jan 18, 2013.

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  1. Mencius

    Mencius Member

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    Ok, my kids are still really young (oldest is 4), but I have been thinking about their first deer rifle when they get a somewhat older. I believe the 308 is a good caliber, but a bit much on the recoil side when they are young. I was thinking about maybe starting them off with a 243 or something similar and then graduate to a 308 when they get a little older.

    OTOH, I think the more they shoot/handle the same rifle they will get better with it. What do you think about starting them with the reduced recoil loads and just making sure they limit their range? Then they could use the same rifle as they get bigger/older and just use heavier loads for a little bit longer distance.

    I've got some years to figure this out, but it was on my mind and thought I would get the consensus on it.
     
  2. Onewolf

    Onewolf Member

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    Not sure where you live, but depending on the deer in your area, a 243 could be all they ever need. It is in Florida anyway where the deer are like large dogs. :D
     
  3. tfosterjr

    tfosterjr Member

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    Bought mine a 7mm-08. Accurate and light recoil
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  5. Adam the Gnome

    Adam the Gnome Member

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    Here in east KY and WV almost all the guys I know use .270
     
  6. XD 45acp

    XD 45acp Member

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    .243 is a heckuva rifle. I done dropped many a deer with it.
     
  7. gatorjames85

    gatorjames85 Member

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    .243 for the kiddos. Some people around here even start them out on .223 or .22-250. (Not trying to start a flame war about whether these are adequate for whitetail).
     
  8. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    i'd add .250 Savage to the mix. great deer round that often gets overlooked.
     
  9. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Member

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    When it comes to recoil, I've never noticed any difference between a 308, 270, or 30-06. I think that any of these rounds would be a little much for a first deer rifle. My first high power rifle was a 30-30 (which I just traded in for a 270 last week), and I could shoot that all day long without wearing out my shoulder. The more you can shoot, the more fun you're going to have! When he/she gets older and wants to buy a canon for deer hunting, they can save their pennies or ask Santa - the lower recoiling rounds will work plenty well until then.

    If your deer hunting is in more open country, I think a .243 would be a great choice (as would the 7mm-08, but the ammo's a little tougher to find than the .243).

    The only thing that's certain is that no matter WHAT gun or WHAT caliber you decide on, your kid will be doing cartwheels with an ear to ear grin!
     
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    John Shirley brought up an interesting thing to play with around New Years. A Howa .30-'06 in an Axiom recoil-reducing stock. My 10 year old daughter shot it off the bench without pain.

    John and I both actually laughed out loud when we shot it! Kind of like something was missing! Oh...no kick! :)

    As light as that gun was, those loads should have been a bit stiff. That stock was amazing.

    I think if you got some of the managed recoil loads and one of those stocks a .243 or 7mm-08 would feel about like a .30 carbine!
     
  11. gspn

    gspn Member

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    My son started with a .243 when he was 6 or 7. He just turned 13 and is now shooting a .30-06.
     
  12. Jaag

    Jaag Member

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    I went with Model Seven .308s for both my sons. I knew they would be used for large deer and black bears so it was important to me they had enough gun. Started out with light loads using 110g pills and they had no problems shooting quite well. As they grew we gradually increased the bullet weights and powder charges. They've been hunting with these guns for the past ten years and aren't interested in using anything else.
     
  13. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    A .22-250 to .25-06 would be a good rifle.

    Even a 30-30. I have said this a thousand times if I have said it once. I load a 125 grain HP to 2150 fps in the 30-30. I kills as dead as dead can be, and without any recoil. Push that same bullet to 2500 fps and still bucks like a baby.
     
  14. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    I started my now 9 year old step son out with a bb/pellet gun a few years ago. He moved up to .22lr, and has recently graduated to .223.

    I'll hold him there for awhile yet, as he probably won't ever outgrow it. Next step up will probably be my 6.5 Jap, which is light as a feather with no real noticeable recoil.

    If be really gets into deer hunting over the next several years, I'll have a .30-06 by then, and he can give that a shot. If the recoil isn't too much for him (it doesn't bother me at all) then be might get one of his own.
     
  15. c.latrans

    c.latrans Member

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    I did what my dad did to me.

    I started all the kids, and my wife on .270's after breaking them in on a .222 mag. I hand load virtually every round we shoot, so I started with nice mild reduced loads with 100 grain bullets which kicked about like a .243. (If you end up doing this, read up on it and make sure you understand the risks and know how to do it right) I added powder as I felt they were ready for it, eventually switching to the powder/bullet combo I intended for them to shoot. By the time they were ready to hunt I had them eased into shooting full power ammo. I told them about it after a few years, and not one of them had a clue, even my wife, which surprised me as she is a very bright gal. It was a little tricky with the kids because I taught them to hand load as we went along, but I managed for them to be out of the room or occupied with another task when I set up the measure, etc.

    For the record I never caught onto my dad way back then, so the family must not be getting any brighter!
     
  16. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Yes, my daughter is 8 and she is shooting .22LR from a T/C HotShot with a 4x scope. Not at deer, of course, but squirrels beware!
     
  17. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    or maybe it's just proof that it's kinda hard to feel small differences in recoil.
     
  18. ICE1210

    ICE1210 Member

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    Bought my son a Mossberg Bantam Rifle in .243. The synthetic stock comes with spacers to expand the length of pull as the child grows. We use the Hornady 80gr GMX. This season my son used this combo to kill three deer and one coyote. Only one went anywhere but down, that one didn't go more than 20 yards. My son and I are satisfied with this combination.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  19. JEB

    JEB Member

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    my first rifle above .22 magnum was a marlin 30-30, i think i was around 12. that served me very well for several years until this year when i upgraded to a ruger 30-06 (im 24 now). honestly, i think the '06 has less recoil than my 30-30, recoil pad on the '06 vs the hard butt plate on the marlin has something to do with this im sure. with a decent recoil pad and provided the stock fits properly, i see no reason why a kid would not be able to handle a .308, .270, or even a 30-06. plus with a full power caliber, your kid will never outgrow it and will get to enjoy it for decades to come.
     
  20. Kymasabe

    Kymasabe Member

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    I'm going to throw my two cents worth in here and say I think a .243 is a good choice. I recently sold one of my guns, a scoped single shot Rossi 7.62x39 to a Dad looking to get a lower-recoil gun for his son who'd been shooting a .270. Their intention was to use it for hogs and occasionally some of the small deer we have here in south Florida.
    So, lets not forget the 7.62 round, there are plenty of single shot guns out there and I'm pretty sure CZ makes a nice bolt gun in that round as well.
    7.62x39 should be as effective as .30-30 within 100-150 yards or so.
     
  21. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I was about to openly wonder if anyone made a featherweight in .300 black out. But realized a 30-30 lever or a CZ 527 carbine would do about the same thing.

    The CZ (in either .223 rem or 7.62x39) would make a great brush gun and plinker for years to come. It's also a little "nicer" for their first gun (nice wood, blued, iron sights, nicer than most trigger etc...).
     
  22. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    6.5x55 is an excellent cartridge with very little recoil compared to the other mauser rounds.
     
  23. aubie515

    aubie515 Member

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    The .243 would be a good rifle for younger kids/smaller women.

    I just put together a 300BO on a 223 Savage Axis and the 300BO would work well for youth too.
     
  24. Ford

    Ford Member

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    I went with an AR in 6.8 spc. Works great for deer out to 300-400 yards and doubles as a good self defense weapon for when they go out on there own. If an AR isn't your thing then I would suggest a Savage or Remington in .243
     
  25. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    +1 if you can find one the 6.5x55 is the well established king of the sissy kickers!
    The best part about the 6.5x55 is unlike some other light kicking rifles you never grow out of it, I have been hunting for over 20 years, and I can very easily handle the weight/recoil of a 7mm Rem Mag, 270 WSM, 30-06 but I still prefer to hunt with my sissy kicker, easy to tote, does not tear up much meat, does not ring your ears to shoot without earplugs, superbly accurate, kills deer as dead as anything, and I get to watch them drop through the scope; simply put it does not get any better then that.
    If you cannot find one the 243, 257R, 25-06, and 7mm-08 are all good choices as well.
    The 260 Rem and 6.5 Creedmore are ballistic twins to the 6.5x55, only real difference is their factory bullets are faster/harder kicking then the Sweed, while handloaders can push the 6.5x55 slightly faster then the others.
     
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