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Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

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Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

Old 10-06-2006, 12:50 AM
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:21 AM
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Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

ORIGINAL: nchawkeye

Man...I hate these kind of posts...I was trying to stay out of this one...
I have killed 130-140 whitetails with a .243...Never lost a one, never gut shot one or shot one in the hams...I have killed them from 3-4 steps under the tree out to 300 yards...As I have stated before, we own 3 farms in eastern NC...Used to see 35-50 deer in our fields...For the past 15 years or so we have taken 40-50 deer a year off these farms...I have killed and seen deer killed with basically everything from a 22-250 to a 300 Win Mag...

I am the one that puts the hunters in the stand, loads up the deer, takes to the barn and skins them, so I get to see the damage done by these cartridges...I'm also the guy that is tracking wounded deer throughthe woods at 10:00 at night when somebody screws up...Guys, It ain't the gun....its the shooter...You will see more difference in bullet types used in any given caliber than by moving up another caliber...When we have a hunter miss (or wound) a deer, we always go to the back 40, I set up a WorkMate, put my Outers rest on and pull up a 5 gal bucket...Most guys can't keep their shots inside of 4 inches...I check the mounts, guns screws, etc...Then I shoot....Usually nothing is wrong with the gun...I can shoot their gun better than they can....Once I have their attention...I get them to shoot again...I set them down and get them to shoot...I put 2 rounds in the gun...Give them some advice on trigger control, breathing etc...And have them shoot those 2...No matter where they hit (I'm looking through the spotting scope) I tell them they are shooting just a little left and I want them to shoot one more, I take the gun, act like I'm adding another round and watch them flinch when they pull the trigger......I bet 60% of deer hunters will flinch when you do this...It has ticked a few guys off...I tell them "I just did you a favor"...There ain't nothing wrong with the gun....I have had 3 hunters give up their larger bores for a .243 and 2 others buy .243s for their daughter and son...

If you spend some time with a young hunter and teach him to shoot and also set them up in a stand where the shots will be no more than 100 yards and have a shooting rest for them and have an experienced hunter in the stand with them to coach them through the shotthey will be fine...I would also suggest that you take them squirrel hunting with a .22 for a few years before you start thinking about teaching them to shoot a high powered rifle...

The 3 deer that I tracked the farthest last year were shot with a .270 and a .270 WSM...They wereall hit too far back...We got lucky and recovered 2...The next day I shot a 3 shot group with the .270 WSM that you could cover with a nickle...The owner couldn't keep them in a 5 inch circle...He did learn during that trip that he has a problem flinching...

my brother-in-law did that to me when i was sighting my gun in at his house one year. i shocked the heck out of him when i didn't flinch. i shoot a 30-30. i have considered getting a more powerful gun, but hunt in the thick stuff and decided against it. if you get a 30-30 for a young hunter, be sure to get one with a double safety. don't want any accidents.....
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:54 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

375 H&H? That's what people go on African safaris with!
I think that's way too much gun for a kid.
I mean, why go with a 37 caliber rifle when you can easily ahnnilatea deer with a 24 caliber(.243)?
I think getting a 375 H&H would just be a waste of lead,brass,
and the kid's arm muscles for whitetail hunting.
Ewig316,don't geta 375, get a .243, or a .308, on which you can use reduced recoil loads if necessary.
I've heard great things about the 7mm-08, and I myselfam itching towards getting one,
but I would stick to a .243 or a .308 just to keep it simple.
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:58 AM
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Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

Yep. You're much better off shooting a deer through the lungs with a .243 than trying to shoot one with the latest greatest ultra magnum and your eyes closed.
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:35 AM
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Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

Caliber?....Anything bigger than .24 is probably legal, and anything will kill a deer.

More important than caliber I think is to find a rifle that he likes and is comforable with. Take him to a store with a large selection and let him pick up and hold anything you can afford. Eventually he will put one to his shoulder and say, "This feels great!"
When that happens, pick a caliber.
He may pick up a Marlin lever action and say, "I love this gun.", then get a 30-30.
He may pick up a Remington bolt action....Get a .243/7-08/30-06....

Caliber Shmailiber...get a GUN he will love.
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:40 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

I don't think he'll be able to handle a 30-06, but reduced recoil loads would work, but when the adreneline is pumping in the woods, the kick won't matter. The 30-06 can be punishing at the shooting range though, making it hard to practice, that's why I said,"reduced reoil loads".
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

My first deer rifle was a 25-06. I shot my biggest deer with it at @75 yards and have also killed a buck at @ 310 yards with the same gun. Great round at any age for deer.
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:52 AM
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Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

I've got a 25-06 and love it. Recoil is more noticeable than my .223, but not bad at all. It shoots flat and stabilizes bullets up to 120 grains very well. It's will take out any deer, hog, coyote, or antelope in North America. Unless he's going bear hunting, he shouldn't need a bigger caliber.
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Old 11-07-2006, 03:09 PM
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Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

257 roberts......My son won't even let ME borrow it.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:02 PM
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Default RE: Caliber for son's first deer rifle?

Gosh, for a first time hunter you cannot go wrong with a 30-30. You can pick up a nice used one for very reasonable, the shells are cheap to practice with until you get good with it. I just cannot see a first timer trying to take a 300 yard shot with any amount of confidence no matter what caliber you give him/her. A .243 would be my next choice. And if the kid is experienced enough or big enough then a .270 would last them a lifetime. A .243 will too for deer hunting but if they decide down the road to hunt for larger game then a .243 just doesnt have the poop for that.
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