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Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

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Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

Old 09-19-2006, 12:02 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 568
Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

I hunt with a 243. It is savage model 12, 26" barrel and it weights in at 8.75 lbs. That gun weights a whole whopping 3 lbs more than a regular rifle. I can pack that gun around all day long and I can not see why sports man who are carring a 25 lb deer stand on thier back along with other gear can complain about a gun thats 3 lbs heavier. I do not understand it, especially when its a gun the person can shoot much better than a regular, lighter rifle. My recomendation is to start a the kids with a rifle like that. They are more steady and don't really kick at all.

Kids need practice and a good coach to learn to shoot. Hell I needpractice so I can make good shots.Maybe youcan tryhaveing themshooting bigger rifles and see what works good for them and what they are comfortable with. As far as a 243 being a bad round for deer. Thats a joke. If you shoot a deer in the heart or lungs with a 243 he isn't going far. If you gut shoot it yea, its going to a long ways. If you gut shoot it with a 7 mag or 300 win magits still going to go a long ways due to a bad shot.Accuracely and being able to make the shot is what kills. Not how big the caliber is. A deer shot with a 243 is just as shot as one with a 30-06. They don't care what caliber it is!
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Old 09-19-2006, 05:14 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Amherst, MA
Posts: 32
Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

I just went through the same dilemma.
I purchased a 6.5x55mm TIkka T3 Rifle with a Leupold 3.5-12x40mm scope for several reasons including:
Chuck Hawk recommended it- He is an expert on firearms and writes many insightful articles. In research trying to find the perfect whitetail round, I stumbled across thewebpage listed below and mymind was made up. My requirements weresimilar to yours;something with minimal recoil for whitetail,versatile for varmints or big gameand light kicking for target shooting at the range. I have been keeping my shells and plan to reload in the near future. Enough said, read below. http://www.chuckhawks.com/firearm_favorites.htm

He quotes here

Favorite CXP2 Class Game Cartridge = 6.5x55 SE
"The 6.5x55 is one of the all-time classic cartridges. It is useful for a wide range of hunting (and target shooting) applications. It seems to do everything well, without unnecessary fuss or bother. Recoil is moderate and killing power is surprisingly good. I would rate it as just about perfect for hunting all manner of deer, antelope, goats, sheep, caribou, black bear and similar size game worldwide. In Northern Europe the 6.5x55 has routinely been used in to take even very large animals such as Scandinavian moose and polar bear. It is not a specialized long range cartridge, but its trajectory is flat enough for about 95% of all big game hunting. Read about the 6.5x55 on the Reloading Page and the Rifle Cartridge Page, and then give this Scandinavian import a try. I think that you will be as impressed as I am."

You can also see the "deer rifle" article on the website under rifles at top of page.

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Old 09-19-2006, 07:27 PM
Boone & Crockett
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Wall SD USA & Jamestown ND
Posts: 11,474
Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

Best starter rifle of all. The 6.5x55. Never need to move up though. Thats starting with probably the best deer rifle out there. Low recoil, very accurate and enough rifle for most all NA big game.
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Old 09-23-2006, 06:16 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,234
Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

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Old 10-05-2006, 02:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Coushatta, LA
Posts: 1
Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

A 7mm-08 or .308 Win. will take deer cleanly anywhere you go. Bullet selection becomes too critical with a .243and isbest left to above average shooters who practice regularly. My daughter took her first buck withmy 7mm-08 using 140 gr. Sierra Pro Hunter bullet @ 2600 fps m.v. and it did a superb job, ran 40 yds. with a heart shot,and didn't kick at the modest velocity. She took a hog a few days ago withher own new.308 using a 150 gr. Sierra @ 2650 fps m.v. and it went 20 yds. with a lung shot.

The main thing about bullet dia. is the smaller it is, the smaller the blood trail. I hunted with a .257 Roberts for a few yrs. but sold it after continually not finding a good blood trail on solidly hit deer. And forget about a front on chest shot. A 7mm-08 or .308 will give you that if in a pinch. The woods are thick here in LA. and you cannot watch 'em fall like out west.

Note: Remington makes some reduced recoil loads for the recoil shy if you don't handload.

The cartridge selection you make could be the difference between a happy hunt/start of something new and exciting (pictures, bragging rights), or on the flip side of the coin, a bad experience/not going back hunting (poor deer had to have died but we couldn't find it).

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Old 10-05-2006, 02:18 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 4,264
Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

Man, the loss of posts really killed you didn't it?

I mentioned besides the .243, the 7.62x39. (SKS).
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:58 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,447
Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

i still say 20gauge..more uses..makes em a better still hunter
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:00 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 42
Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

.243 is a great caliber to start with. My brother started out using his at 12 years old. Great to start and grow with.
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 87
Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

I started deerhunting with a 30-30, no scope,when I was 12 and still use the same gun. (I'm only 14 now)

The reason I don't use a scope is because my dad wants me to get experiance using plain sights before moving up to a scope. I probably will start using one in the next couple years though.
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 22
Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

I have to agree with Folically challenged. A 25-06 or 7mm-08 are great choices due to low recoil and very good trajectories. Not only are they great first rifles, but your son will never have to buy "more" rifle to hunt any deer in North America.
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