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Youth deer rifle choice

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Old 11-26-2017, 06:25 AM
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Default Youth deer rifle choice

My son is enjoying sitting with me and I think next year he will be ready to try to shoot a deer himself. I am thinking about getting him a rifle for Christmas this year so we will have plenty of practice time for next season. He is 8 1/2 now so will be 9 1/2 next season. Normal size kid for his age. I have heard good things about some of the handgun loads for rifles that Indiana allows. We now allow high powered rifles as well but I don't think he is read to go that large yet. Of the rounds listed below which would you recommend for a youngster. I know I am asking to have my cake and eat it too but good knock down power with the least amount of felt recoil is my goal. He is not a frail weakling by any means but not one of those stout big kids either.


.357 Magnum, .38-.40 Winchester, .41 Magnum, .41 Special, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .44-.40 Winchester, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .458 SOCOM, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, .50 Action Express, .500 S&W, .460 Smith & Wesson, .450 Bushmaster, and .50 Beowulf. Full metal jacketed bullets are illegal.
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:31 AM
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Something else to consider is the Remington Model Seven in 7mm-08. A great caliber for deer with no kick. My daughter has been using it since was 12. Last month she took a Mule Deer at 290 yards with it using a 140gr bullet. She is 22now and still uses it.
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:33 AM
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If .243 is a legal caliber, it is a good gun for a child and adults as well.
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:35 AM
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Yes .243 is legal and I use one part of the season. I think that is a little to much for him. I dont see the 7mm-08 on the list. The places we will be to start with will be 100 yards or less so I think the handgun rounds would be a better fit.

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Old 11-26-2017, 08:27 AM
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one of the best youth rifles ever made was the 250 savage, closest thing available now is either the 6mm creedmore or 6.5 creedmore and yes they are legal rifles for private land in Indy, as is the 7mm/08, hell about everything is legal, case if anywhere between 1.16 and 3 inches firing at least a .243 bullet, but you can only possess 10 rounds while hunting.
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Last edited by Ridge Runner; 11-26-2017 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:44 AM
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One that is often either ignored or forgotten in the 6.5x55 Swedish. Low recoil, great performance on game and easy to get ammo and components for it. If I didn't have one of these I'd be looking at the 7mm-08.

From the IN deer hunting regs either of these would be legal per the "high powered rifle" category

Centerfire Rifles

Rifles chambered for cartridges that fire a bullet of .357-inch diameter or larger, have a minimum case length of 1.16 inches, and have a maximum case length of 1.8 inches are legal to use only during the deer firearms, youth, reduction zones from Nov. 18-Jan. 31 (in zones where local ordinances allow the use of a firearm), and special antlerless seasons. These rifle cartridges can be used on public and private land.

Some cartridges legal for deer hunting include the .357 Magnum, .38-.40 Winchester, .41 Magnum, .41 Special, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .44-.40 Winchester, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .458 SOCOM, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, .50 Action Express, .500 S&W, .460 Smith & Wesson, .450 Bushmaster, and .50 Beowulf. Full metal jacketed bullets are illegal.

High-Powered Rifles

A state law passed in 2016 that allowed certain rifle cartridges to be used for deer hunting on private land was amended earlier this year to allow additional cartridges. During the firearms, reduction zone from Nov. 18-Jan. 31 (in zones where local ordinances allow the use of firearms) and youth seasons, rifles with a minimum 16-inch barrel that fire cartridges meeting the following requirements may be used to hunt deer on private land only: cartridges that meet the following requirements may now be used to hunt deer on private land only seasons:

The cartridge must have a minimum case length of 1.16 inches and a maximum case length of 3 inches
The cartridge must fire a bullet with a minimum diameter of .243 inches (same as 6 mm)
A hunter must not possess more than 10 of these cartridges while hunting deer
Full metal jacketed bullets are illegal

Last edited by flags; 11-26-2017 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:50 AM
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You talk about pistol rounds in a rifle. Now to me a rifle is a rifle and is going to have to fit the boy. It is the weight and how long the barrel is ya know.

So if he is able to handle a rifle chambered for a pistol round then a Remington Model 7 in 243, 7mm08 would work.
I would have said a 260 also but the ammo is ungodly high priced.


My self I would not get thre youth model I would get the adult model and use a razor saw and cut thre stock down to fit than when he grows and has really long arms just add ther chunk you cut out of the stock for him.


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Old 11-26-2017, 04:23 PM
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Flyinlowe, knowing that you have some goofy regulations to deal with. The best gun for your son is the one that fits him the best.

Take him to some reputable dealers, like Bass Pro and Cabela's or some such, whatever you have near you with LARGE selections to choose from.

Then when you find one he likes, and that agrees with your budget, get it from a local dealer.

But keep in mind, you're GOING to pay more for one of those calibers in a YOUTH model. Rather than buying a standard youth model gun in a regular production caliber, like .243/7mm-08, even the venerable .30-30.

Last edited by sconnyhunter; 11-26-2017 at 04:26 PM. Reason: additional thoughts
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:45 PM
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just buy a wood stocked rifle, drill the butt plate screw holes with a very small bit about 3" deep, take that razor saw and cut 1/2 " "slivers" off of it till it fits, then as he grows add the pieces back using longer screws, when he's ready order a new stock from boyds and he'll have a rifle he can use his whole life.
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Old 11-27-2017, 06:00 PM
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Both my 10 year olds started with synthetic stocked 270ís. They knock down deer and do not kick that bad. As they grew I replaced the stock and they use the guns to this day as 20 & 21 year olds. I felt like I made a good decision.
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