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What's a good deer gun for youth?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by huntin dad, Nov 8, 2008.

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  1. huntin dad

    huntin dad Member

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    Hi, I'm new hear. I'm starting to consider my options for a deer gun for my kids. My daughter is ten and my son is five,(waiting a couple years). I was considering a .357 mag rifle or a .44 mag. I have never shot either of these in a rifle, but I imagine the recoil is very mild. I'm looking for a gun that will be effective on whitetail deer at ranges 75 yards or less. I want a cal. big enough to make up for less than perfect shot placement (they're kids). As I wish there first hunting experinces to be positive ones. I'm open to other suggestion as well, but would like some advice. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  2. 357sigRog

    357sigRog Member

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    Consider a 30-30 but I would suggest a 243. I know its not a very big caliber but the recoil is not bad for children. As for shot placement goes get them out and let them shoot a lot. Then teach them that if they do not have a good broad sided shot to not take it. The 243 bullet might not be the biggest bullet but a Rem 100gr soft pt is traveling close to 3000 fps and has about 2000 ft lbs of energy, plenty enough to kill a big buck.
     
  3. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    I started a recoil shy 11 year old with a .243 and he has taken 4 deer in the past two years. He is the son of a friend and now has moved up to shooting his dads '06 with a brake on it. I think the .243 is enough gun to take deer cleanly, with little recoil, and can work just fine for as long as they hunt.
     
  4. ants

    ants Member

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    Get a youth sized deer rifle. It will last them forever.

    My Marlin 1895 is 44mag, and it does NOT have a lighter recoil than a 30-30. The bullet may be slower, but it's twice as heavy and generates a stiff recoil. Furthermore, pistol calibers have a lot of bullet drop in flight compared to rifle calibers, so you really need to understand how to compensate for bullet drop on a 75 yard shot. And since the bullet is moving fairly slowly, be sure to select the right bullet type for the penetration and expansion you need on deer. Furthermore, the rifle is long and heavy. Especially with cartridges in the tube magazine, it puts a lot of weight under the barrel. Bottom line: It's probably not the right choice for a child.

    They make bolt action deer rifles in proper deer calibers with a 20" barrel, but the stock is cut to youth size. It will fit the child better and teach them better skills. When they grow up, you can change the stock to an adult size and still use the same rifle.
     
  5. 45Badger

    45Badger Member

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    My son has a youth sized .243 Remington ADL. Seriously accurate deerslayer:D Moderate recoil, easy for him to handle. He's itching for my .308, so it may be for sale after the season:cool:
     
  6. Chuck Dye

    Chuck Dye Member

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    I am convinced that the fit of the rifle to the kid is much more important than the round launched.

    That being said, the honorary nephew, all 85 pounds of him, shoots a .243 Winchester. I argued for the .257 Roberts, but the availability of a left handed Savage and the greater availability (and lower cost) of the .243 won out.
     
  7. koginam

    koginam Member

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    After many years of having that question put to me in my gunshop I almost always advised the .243 was the answer as well. The youth models are a good choice for many reasons, I liked the Savage because as the kid grew you could change the barrel and stock to .308 win. for little money.
     
  8. PotatoJudge

    PotatoJudge Member

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    You might look into a Thompson Encore or Contender in a suitable deer caliber (there are tons that fit the bill, you're only limited my your ability to reload). Parts are readily available and inexpensive. Stocks, barrels, and sights can be changed as the kid grows and decides what they want in a rifle (or pistol as their skills improve and should they get the itch).
     
  9. bang_bang

    bang_bang Member

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    +1 koginam
     
  10. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I agree with the suggestions of a well fitted .243.
     
  11. Blacksmoke

    Blacksmoke Member

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    .30-30 is the traditional first deer rifle in my part of the world.
     
  12. woof

    woof Member

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    It's all about opinions, here are mine:

    1. The .357 is not adequate for deer
    2. As said, the .44 mag is high recoil
    3. The .243 is good in experienced and skilled hands.
    4. Go with the .30-30, keep bullets to 150 gr for less recoil (it won't be higher than the .243)
     
  13. kb2zya

    kb2zya Member

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    Soo does a 30-30 have less kick than a 243? I need a light recoil gun for my wife for deer? looking at rem 770 in 243 or mossberg 30-30 lever?



    Tom
     
  14. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    The Remington Model Seven in .243 is a sweet little "carbine" and also comes in a "youth" model. Either model is a superb deer rifle.

    http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_seven/model_seven_CDL.asp

    They can be bought on Gunbroker.com for less than Remington's MSRP, especially if there is a used rifle.

    The .243 is quite authoritative and legions of newcomers have been started with it. The Remington Model Seven (without a scope) weighs 6.5 lbs. - the same as a Winchester 94 and a half-pound less than the Marlin 336. Adding a scope will add about 3/4 lb. The recoil figures below are for an unscoped Model Seven and an unscoped Marlin 336.

    The 30/30 has a little more recoil than the .243 (11.5 ft./lbs. instead of 8.5 ft./lbs.). Remington makes a "managed recoil" version of their 30/30 ammo that will help a lot if the recoil of regular ammo is bothersome. Using "managed recoil" ammo will shorten the effective range a bit but not so much that the shooter is seriously disadvantaged. Of course an inexpensive recoil pad would help too. It too is a splendid deer caliber and the lever guns are splendid deer rifles.

    One of the nicest things about the lever actions is that they are less weight to carry and that makes a real difference after an hour or so. Unless you're hunting froim a blind, rifles are carried many, many more minutes than they are shot. Marlins are about 1/2 lb. heavier than the Winchester 94. Am not sure about the weight of the Mossberg but it should be close to the others.

    P.S. I have found that earphones have a magical way of "reducing recoil" for young/small/timid shooters. Once such a shooter has fired a dozen shots or so wearing earphones they often reach the decision that the rifle really doesn't kick them much. ;) Making sure they begin with and keep using firm shoulder contact (not "death-grip") and good cheek contact is a must too.

    Good Luck !
    :cool:
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008
  15. woof

    woof Member

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    Weight of the rifle determines recoil as well as bullet weight. Some tables might show .243 recoil with an 8lb rifle with scope. it would be higher in a light Remingtom Model 7. Likewise .30-30 recoil might be based on a 6lb Model 94 with 170 gr loads and will be less in a 7lb Marlin 336 with 150 gr loads.

    The advice on practice with ear protection is good. You don't want a new shooter to develop a flinch which can come from the bang as well as the kick. Also, not so much bench shooting, sight it in for them. Shooting at a bench amplifies recoil compared to standing where the body more naturally flows with it. Besides, there won't be a bench out in the woods.

    If I were buying a deer rifle for a newbie it would be a good used Marlin 336 for under 300, iron sights. I'd check it out and sight it in at 50yds with 150 gr loads. Then using the ear protection, I'd have the new shooter shooting pop cans offhand at that range. 100 rounds burned that way (not in one day though) is money well spent.
     
  16. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

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    I bought my 10 yo a Ruger youth model in .260 Rem. She'd been shooting her .22 for 3 years by then, but found the recoil of the .260 and a friend's
    .243 to be too much, even with an 87 gr. bullet at the bottom of the reloading manual.

    I called Speer, and explained the situation to them and they gave me a recipe of 10gr. of Unique for either one of these cartridges. I now load this for all of her PRACTICE loads, which is the key, because despite your request for
    .....there ain't no such thing.

    She is downright deadly with her practice load to all practical ranges; she does not notice the full-house hunting load when hunting.

    Sam
     
  17. Flatbedder

    Flatbedder Member

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    I highly recomend a versatile and easy to handle 25-06.
     
  18. Blacksmoke

    Blacksmoke Member

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    I seem to recall a little known section of the Constitution of the United States which reads

    "all able bodies citizens must know how to load and shoot accurately, a .30-30 rifle or carbine."

    Well, it should read that way. THe .30-30 is an American tradition at least as important as knowing how to play baseball, eh, make that basketball.
     
  19. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    I agree with the .243 and disagree with that a 357 isnt enough for deer. Out of a rifle a 357 will level a deer within 100 yards.
     
  20. huntin dad

    huntin dad Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I should mention that I will most likely buy a single shot rifle that is either a youth model or have it fitted to the kids. I know that ALOT of people shoot cal. under .30 for deer. I am not one of them. I don't disagree with they're use but I am a fan of .30+ cal. for deer. I like large wound channels. I will let them practice until they are good shooters. I would like to know how the 30-30 managed recoil loads comapre in recoil to the .243 and others. Or if anyone knows what the recoil of the .357 in a rifle is like. I do believe would be effective on deer in the 75 yd or less range.
     
  21. Bozo

    Bozo Member

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    Maybe I am different, but to me, the positive hunting experience is not in bagging a deer the first time. It is in being in the woods, experiencing the thrill of the shot, seeing the deer whether or not you take the shot. Ten years old is pretty young, you can't expect them to be on target all the time, motor skills are just developing. Just giving them the thrill of being there and partiapating is a good thing. Magnum calibers they don't need.
     
  22. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    Recoil on a 357 depends on the rifle and the load. My 357 rifle has a cresent metal butt plate so you feel it more than if it had a recoil pad. As far as ammo I shoot fairly hot reloads out of mine. Actually my hunting load feels like it has less recoil than my main 357 load. My hunting load is a a 180 gr XTP over a full charge of 2400. My general load is a 158 gr JSP over 14 grains of 2400. I wouldn't have a problem using either on a deer here in Texas. I would say the recoil is similar to a 30-30. If you are going for a single shot I would say go with an Encore. They can grow with it and you can change calibers as needed.
     
  23. nathan

    nathan Member

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    My 11 yo boy has been shooting the Russ SKS lately. He is able to manage the recoil. This is his stepup from .22 lr rifle to a .30 cal round. I think SKS is pretty good bec of the shorter buttstock its easy to wield. Also the ammo is cheap so more trigger time. He made an aver of 4 inch groups at 50 yds, not bad for a young shooter with open sights.

    And my son has claimed this rifle as his own. Oh well Im glad my toys are not going to waste .

    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2450215950097072415PeLSMS
     
  24. woof

    woof Member

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    The .357 isn't legal for deer in a number of states because the energy is lower than what is considered necessary for a clean kill. Just like it's a good idea for kids not to sour on hunting because of recoil, it's a good idea for them not to sour on hunting because they have witnessed an ugly scene with an inadequately shot deer. Yeah, yeah, "I" can be lethal on deer with a .357 too, but I still think more is better. If a .30-30 with 150 gr bullets in a 7lb Marlin with managed recoil ammo is too much for even practice, then maybe the kid in question just isn't ready.

    Another thought: why are those rightfully concerned about recoil for kids also looking for the light rifle? The kid probably will have no problem with the weight and it damps the recoil a lot. An old Savage 340 bolt action .30-30 cut down to size might be a perfect way to go.
     
  25. Macchina

    Macchina Member

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    .243 would be the way to go. I was hunting deer with a 3" magnum 12 ga. slug when I was 14: It hurt and I closed my eyes when I shot. Make sure you start them off with a few bricks of .22lr. Each time you go out to shoot, start off with 50 or so rounds of .22. This will help to form good shooting habits such as follow through and flinch control.
     
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