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Looking for a deer rifle for her!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by h20oni, Sep 15, 2014.

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  1. h20oni

    h20oni Member

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    So my girlfriend is a bit on the small side, 5'1 115lbs, and has a hard time shooting my 30-06. Not so much on the recoil side of things, but the size of it... it's a wood stocked sporterized 1917 and it's fairly heavy.
    I'm looking for opinions on caliber and brands. I was thinking a 308 or 243, possibly 6.5 Swedish as far as caliber and maybe a Ruger American youth sized...
    What do you guys think?
     
  2. CaliCoastie

    CaliCoastie Member

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    dont know were you are shooting, what terrain you are hunting. I like 7mm-08, youth gun would be good, or one with a wood stock and cut it down to the approate length and throw a soft recoil pad on it.
    I like Tikka.
     
  3. RuggedAK

    RuggedAK Member

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    I think she would be alright with a Remington 700 in 308 or 243. Avoid a Remington 770 in 243. I had one once terrible gun all around.
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    What is she gonna shoot with it, and your budget?

    As a deer rifle there isn't much reason to go bigger than 243. Recoil will be light even in a light rifle. For paper punching no reason to go bigger than 223. Only if there is the possibility she may hunt game larger than deer should you consider anything bigger than 243. From a light gun the recoil of 7-08 or 308 will equal or exceed that of a standard weight 30-06.

    For a limited budget the Ruger American is my pick. I have some very nice $1,000 guns, but also have a couple of the Americans and they impress the heck out of me for the money. I have the Compact in 223, and a standard rifle in 308. I use them as beaters on the 4 wheeler or to keep a cheap gun in the truck or at camp. I wouldn't trust them for long term durability, but priced at $350 they shoot as good as anything I own and I don't worry about one getting stolen from camp or falling off the ATV.

    If you want to spend more, the sky is the limit. A Kimber in 243 would weigh under 6 lbs scoped, but set you back around $1200. And there are dozens of options in between.
     
  5. armedwalleye

    armedwalleye Member

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    A 7mm-08 should be worth a look. Solid performance on deer and light enough but heavy enough to not hurt. Short action a d a little more than a 243 a d a little less than full-on 308. Youth models are available. Niece is the same size and she shoots it pretty well, but she's had a solid teacher.
     
  6. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    Keep an eye open for a Remington Model 7 Youth in either .243 or 7mm-08. .243 is adequate for deer-sized game; 7mm-08 gives you a bit more margin. My kids who hunt took their first deer with a Model 7 in .243. Now that my daughter is 5'9" it wears a full-sized stock ... but it is still a handy carbine-length rifle.

    But don't decide finally without her handling it and, preferably, shooting it.
     
  7. David4516

    David4516 Member

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    Compact or "youth" size rifle would be good, something like the Ruger M77 compact.

    Good calibers would be .243, 7mm-08, or .257 Roberts
     
  8. Corn-Picker

    Corn-Picker Member

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    I'd let her shoulder rifles and see which one she likes the best, then pick an appropriate caliber in that rifle. If you pick the caliber first you'll limit your options. I feel qualified to comment on this thread because I've shopped a lot of youth models (I prefer a shorter LOP).

    I liked the fllowing (in this order)

    Weatherby Vangaurd S2 youth. Excellent trigger, light, compact, acccurate, and Weatherby stands behind their products. This is what I bought (mine is in 308).
    Browning x-bolt micro midas. Wonderful fit and finish, fine trigger, great looks (I didn't like the stock).
    T/C dimension/Venture compact. Very functional, OK trigger.

    The Ruger American is something I'd avoid, as are the other super budget rifles. I'm sure they'll kill deer fine, but why bother with a so-so trigger and poor fit and finish unless you absolutely don't want to spend the money.

    Savage makes a lady hunter that looks nice, but I've never shouldered it. All of them will be chambered in 243 and 308. If she plans to shoot a lot I'd probably choose one of those two calibers. They are most plentiful, have the most variety of ammo options, and there are some cheap plinking ammo options (especially for the 308).
     
  9. sappyg

    sappyg Member

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    I really want to recommend the Ruger American compact in 243. It's a sweat little package. Very light weight. Very handy. But, if and when the second generation magazine comes along it's just an also ran.

    IIRC Savage is making a youth model axis in 243 that's worth a look. Never had an issue with my rifle of any consequence. Not too pricey and comes in really neat colors/ camouflage. You could easily spend much more on a rifle if you want.

    The 243 would be my 1st pick cartridge pick. Maybe even 2nd as well. 308? No thank you. Unless you reload for such a light gun it can get a little nasty and then you're right back where you started.
     
  10. Ks5shooter

    Ks5shooter Member

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  11. MattB

    MattB Member

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    I bought my wife the savage 11 Lady Hunter in .243 and she loves it. It is very light and handy and has a stock perfect for a woman. I got this for her for deer hunting. With it 's short barrel it does have a decent muzzle blast but it is highly accurate and fun to shot (I even shoot it but the stock is a little small for me--I am 6ft3", she is 5ft6")
     
  12. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

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    I had. Rem classic 7mm08 back when the Classic 700 was released in only one caliber per year. Nice rifle but that straight stock and rubber pad would punish my shoulder on the bench. It had a way of sharply smacking my shoulder and collarbone junction area that I really didnt like. That one went down the road. If she's 115 lbs Id skip the 7-08 and go 243. I have a nice hawkeye stainless 243 coming in this week cant wait to shoot it. Already have 50 rounds loaded for it.
     
  13. johnnydollar

    johnnydollar Member

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    Another vote for the .243. A lightweight .308 is still a bit much for someone who is recall shy. Remember, too, that to her it's just a tool, something she uses to do the job. She's not worried about what her buddies will say about her choice of caliber, nor is she likely to pore over ballistics charts in search of the ideal cartridge for any given situation, nor is she likely to think about having one gun to hunt with from Alaska to Africa. Most of all, she wants a gun that she's comfortable holding and comfortable shooting, and she may even pick one just because it looks good. Whatever she picks she must feel comfortable with. I'd look at a lightwieght .243.
     
  14. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    7mm-08 or a 6.5 x 55....will take anything in North America with little recoil.
     
  15. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    .243 is a fine deer rifle and ammo is available everywhere ammo is sold. I have several .243s with a Remington 700 being my favorite. The single shot, Rossi I think, that I bought for my wife several years ago actually has more felt recoil than my 30-06 when I shoot it but that may be because it is really too short for me.
    The 6.5x55 is also a great round with low recoil. I have a sporterized Swede that is an awesome shooter with very low recoil. I have no experience with that caliber in "modern" guns. Ammo isn't nearly as readily available but can be purchased online quite easily.
    Either one of those is more than capable of killing whities with decent shot placement. If this is mostly for range use then maybe a bolt action .223 would work. It would work on whitetails around here as they tend to run small and it is illegal in some places. Just make sure that whatever gun you buy it has a smooth trigger. I bought a Savage WITHOUT the accu-trigger in 25-06 last year and it is almost impossible for me to shoot it accurately because of the HORRID trigger pull. My every day deer rifle is a 30-06 savage with the accu-trigger and it is a very nice trigger.
     
  16. LAGS

    LAGS Member

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    I vote for the 7mm-08 then the .243 and if you can find one, a .257 Roberts
     
  17. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    I posted a thread about the recoil. But if recoil is not really a concern, I just bought my mother in law a Browning 81 Lightweight in .243. It is a BEAUTIFUL gun. Nice stock, high gloss blued finish, and perfectly balanced. Its pretty snappy for a .243 because of the weight, but its a great deer rifle.
     
  18. interlock

    interlock Member

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    guys, i have to disagree with some of what you say. we can't simply say the 7mm08 is low recoiling... it is far more complex than that. I had a 7mm08 remmy model 7 for a lot of years. killed lots and lots of deer with it with various loads. But with a max load with a 145gr bullet it had very heavy felt recoil. With a 120gr prohunter on a lower load it was very pleasant and mild to shoot... and still hit hard. Physics is physics.
     
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    There are some very good suggestions above especially the .243 and the 6.5X55mm. Since you mentioned your girlfriend is having trouble with the size of the rifle but using a very light rifle would bring problems of it's own, I'm going to suggest a different direction.

    IMO your solution is a levergun in 30-30. You can easily scope a Marlin and the rifle is not hard to handle. I don't think anyone here will argue the 30-30 isn't capable of taking deer so it sounds like a winner to me.

    If price is a concern a Marlin 336W will run ~$400 new and if you want something a little nicer with a good Walnut stock the 336C will run another $50 or $60 more. Of course if you're hunting in very wet areas they also sell a stainless model, the 336SS for ~$565.
     
  20. dab102999

    dab102999 Member

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    My wife's two favorite guns are 220 swift custom for varmints and her savage 111 in 243 for everything else. She shoots all the other rifels I have but can consistently quarter size 4 or more shots at 250 yards with her 243.
     
  21. HDMF04

    HDMF04 Member

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    My daughter who is 10 years old has a Marlin X7 bolt action in 243win and she loves the gun. Shoots extremely well and very mild recoil.
     
  22. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    243.................
     
  23. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    I will definitely second the 30-30 suggestion, especially for deer hunting. I have older model Win and Marlins, 1970's production. They are beautiful guns in a compact package and the recoil is very moderate. The lack of a safety on the older guns is a concern, especially with novices and younger kids.
    Another point that was brought up is that recoil can be very different with different ammo. I helped a friend sight in a Savage in 7mm-08 for his 10 year old son who is very small even for a 10 year old and the recoil was not pleasant. Actually it was at least as much as with my 30-06 but it was my first time firing the gun and it was a smaller model.
    If you have a Gander Mountain near you then they will probably have a good assortment of guns that will "fit" her. Since recoil isn't the main issue then caliber isn't as critical. As I said earlier if this is for range use then ANY of the smaller calibers will work nicely, from .223 all the way up to 30-06 and plenty in between.
     
  24. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    My daughter, who now hunts with a .243, hated my Marlin 336 in .30-30. It brought tears to her eyes at the range; three shots and she was done. Certainly could just have been her geometry with the rifle, or she might have been having a bad day. But no such objection to the .243. Again, don't buy anything she hasn't handled, and preferably shot.
     
  25. h20oni

    h20oni Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys! I'll see what I can find locally, might have to go to gunbroker to find what looking for though, like I said in the first post, it's the fit and weight of the gun, not the recoil that gives her fits. She's a tough girl, she shots my 1911 with 230gr loads all day and loves it... to be fair though, she does hate shooting the 44...
     
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