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Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

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Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

Old 09-08-2011, 05:10 PM
  #101  
Spike
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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I'm very new here, but I am in the process of buying my son his first deer rifle and I put up a post like this (in the Gun forum down below) and found the same back and forth between about 4 or so different caliber's with all very good arguments for why i should pick one over the other and came to a really good way to decide on which one.

I am taking my son to a indoor rifle range (tomorrow after work) at one of our city's gun shops were you can rent guns for like 9$ + ammo and just let him shoot some rounds through them to find what he likes best

Get a list of 5 or so caliber's from the pro's here and let him sample each one and the one that he likes best is the one you go with. Every major city has an indoor range with gun rentals don't they?
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:29 PM
  #102  
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Well, here's an oldie.... But, since it's seeing daylight again....

I've seen a few posts over the last couple of years regarding the purchase of a "starter" or "beginner" rifle for a young hunter. Just a FEW of my observations from the range and from the field:

1. Possibly the most important - Length of Pull and stock design. None of us wants to cut down a beautiful piece of walnut, but consider that many bad habits grow from poorly-fitted rifles (as well as shotguns, for that matter). Fortunately, many makers now offer stocks specifically for the youth market, whether part of a factory deal like Howa's, or the possibility of affixing a full-sized aftermarket stock down the road.

2. Overall weight. A couple extra pounds slung on adult shoulders, or propped up for an offhand shot isn't a big deal for most of us. For someone half our stature, it can be a deal breaker. Discomfort, if not an out-and-out liability moving through the brush safely - all the way to needing shooting sticks (one more thing to carry) to put lead on target. Youth rifles tend to be built on short-actions to start with, shorter stocks, often with shorter barrels as well. All are obvious weight reductions over a standard rifle. But, one can still cut down on weight by NOT putting on the biggest, most powerful 4-20x50mm scope one's parents can find or afford. A good 4x will not only handle most shooting situations, but also save a few more ounces and potentially be more reliable than a cheap variable.

3. Choice of caliber. When you're looking at a lighter weight rifle as a desirable trait, felt recoil becomes a more serious concern. Put a "standard" like the .30-06 or even the .270 into a "youth"-type rifle that weighs a pound or so less than its full-size counterpart, put it in front of a person who weighs half what most of us do, and you'd better be prepared for them to take a beating. The flinch they learn will follow some of them for the rest of their lives, possibly ruining their experience in the process. In a lighter rifle, I'd recommend cartridges based on the .308 Win: the .243, the .260, and the 7mm-08. If your youth hunter can handle the .308, he/she can probably handle a .270 or possibly even a .30-06. As has already been mentioned, many states mandate a minimum caliber of .23 or .24, which makes calibers like the .22-250 questionable choices for deer hunting (check your local regs to be certain)

4. Don't assume that the "starter" rifle and caliber will be abandoned once your young shooter grows up. My first centerfire - a .243 - remains in my battery in spite of my moving to heavier calibers in the years that followed. Nonetheless, it continued to fill a niche for long-range varmints and light big-game work that my .30-06, .300 Wby, and .375 H&H didn't make sense for. While that first rifle - A Remington 600 Mohawk - seemed cheap (hardwood stock, pressed checkering) in comparison to my Dad's and my uncles' 700 BDLs and 70 XTRs, its major metal components were of sufficient quality to ensure reliability, function, and accuracy. Compare that with some of the "youth" packages today. Cheap stocks are common, but now we add cheap components and wonder why our kids complain? (think of the Remington 710 or 770, or any number of single-shot package rifles). If you purchase them something intending it to last, it will. Purchase something you wouldn't carry to the field, and they won't carry it either. Nonetheless, if it's all you can afford - it's all you can afford. Something is still better than nothing.

Last edited by homers brother; 09-08-2011 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:56 PM
  #103  
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You have to love these old threads.

When my Dad bought me my first deer rifle when I was twelve, I never even heard the term "length of pull". However, with that first 30/30, I could hit a gnat right between the eyes at 100 yards if it wasn't flying to fast. Then, the next year, when we moved up to the 30.06, he just bought it, scoped it and brought me to the range. Now with the 30.06, I could hit the gnat right between the eyes, no mater how fast it was flying. That's the way I remember it. One thing I remember for sure, my Dad didn't act like he was worried, weird or indecisive. He bought me the gun and taught me how to shoot it.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:52 PM
  #104  
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.243 using 100 gr bullets is perfect.
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:55 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by Colorado Luckydog
When my Dad bought me my first deer rifle when I was twelve, I never even heard the term "length of pull". However, with that first 30/30, I could hit a gnat right between the eyes at 100 yards if it wasn't flying to fast. Then, the next year, when we moved up to the 30.06, he just bought it, scoped it and brought me to the range. Now with the 30.06, I could hit the gnat right between the eyes, no mater how fast it was flying. That's the way I remember it. One thing I remember for sure, my Dad didn't act like he was worried, weird or indecisive. He bought me the gun and taught me how to shoot it.
Exaggerations don't really add much to the conversation here. Gnats? Really? I bought my first deer rifle on my own, Dad just asking questions - probably to make sure I understood what I was doing, even if the term "length of pull" wasn't yet in my vocabulary - it and many others were in his.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:45 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by homers brother
Well, here's an oldie.... But, since it's seeing daylight again....

I've seen a few posts over the last couple of years regarding the purchase of a "starter" or "beginner" rifle for a young hunter. Just a FEW of my observations from the range and from the field:

1. Possibly the most important - Length of Pull and stock design. None of us wants to cut down a beautiful piece of walnut, but consider that many bad habits grow from poorly-fitted rifles (as well as shotguns, for that matter). Fortunately, many makers now offer stocks specifically for the youth market, whether part of a factory deal like Howa's, or the possibility of affixing a full-sized aftermarket stock down the road.

2. Overall weight. A couple extra pounds slung on adult shoulders, or propped up for an offhand shot isn't a big deal for most of us. For someone half our stature, it can be a deal breaker. Discomfort, if not an out-and-out liability moving through the brush safely - all the way to needing shooting sticks (one more thing to carry) to put lead on target. Youth rifles tend to be built on short-actions to start with, shorter stocks, often with shorter barrels as well. All are obvious weight reductions over a standard rifle. But, one can still cut down on weight by NOT putting on the biggest, most powerful 4-20x50mm scope one's parents can find or afford. A good 4x will not only handle most shooting situations, but also save a few more ounces and potentially be more reliable than a cheap variable.

3. Choice of caliber. When you're looking at a lighter weight rifle as a desirable trait, felt recoil becomes a more serious concern. Put a "standard" like the .30-06 or even the .270 into a "youth"-type rifle that weighs a pound or so less than its full-size counterpart, put it in front of a person who weighs half what most of us do, and you'd better be prepared for them to take a beating. The flinch they learn will follow some of them for the rest of their lives, possibly ruining their experience in the process. In a lighter rifle, I'd recommend cartridges based on the .308 Win: the .243, the .260, and the 7mm-08. If your youth hunter can handle the .308, he/she can probably handle a .270 or possibly even a .30-06. As has already been mentioned, many states mandate a minimum caliber of .23 or .24, which makes calibers like the .22-250 questionable choices for deer hunting (check your local regs to be certain)

4. Don't assume that the "starter" rifle and caliber will be abandoned once your young shooter grows up. My first centerfire - a .243 - remains in my battery in spite of my moving to heavier calibers in the years that followed. Nonetheless, it continued to fill a niche for long-range varmints and light big-game work that my .30-06, .300 Wby, and .375 H&H didn't make sense for. While that first rifle - A Remington 600 Mohawk - seemed cheap (hardwood stock, pressed checkering) in comparison to my Dad's and my uncles' 700 BDLs and 70 XTRs, its major metal components were of sufficient quality to ensure reliability, function, and accuracy. Compare that with some of the "youth" packages today. Cheap stocks are common, but now we add cheap components and wonder why our kids complain? (think of the Remington 710 or 770, or any number of single-shot package rifles). If you purchase them something intending it to last, it will. Purchase something you wouldn't carry to the field, and they won't carry it either. Nonetheless, if it's all you can afford - it's all you can afford. Something is still better than nothing.

Pick the kid a good reliable rifle. One that you know has a good history and will fit the terrain he will be hunting. Then teach him how to shoot and how to hunt.

Last edited by Colorado Luckydog; 09-10-2011 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:59 PM
  #107  
Spike
 
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The Remington Model 7 in Youth model .243 caliber. It is made specifically for what you are wanting to do. It is light, short and easily manuvered in a blind. Put a 3x9 Leupold VX-1 on it and it will last until grand children come along.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:37 PM
  #108  
Nontypical Buck
 
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243,25-06,260,6.5x55,7mm08 & the 30-30 are all good 1st gun 2nd gun and last gun choices!! if you do your part with any one one of those calibers your gonna have a quick humane kill
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:02 AM
  #109  
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if u r looking for something he can grow into, a 7/08 is a great no kicker starter as well as the 243 good luc on yer pic and first hunt !
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:07 AM
  #110  
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243 or 25-06 or go with what i got my boy for his first rifle 708.
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