.223 rifle advice

RobG

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Messages
4,994
Location
Bozeman, MT
Hi - I'm looking for a high power rifle for my 12 year old son to practice with and possibly hunt deer with. I'm liking the .223 because of the cheap ammo and light kick, but is it enough for deer assuming imperfect shot placement?

I looked at a Ruger American Rifle bolt action and it seemed adequate - shorter stock and barrel so it will fit him better than my .270. It's definitely cheap. How's the action and trigger under real world circumstances? Accuracy? I'd put a 3x9 scope on it and be practicing to 200-300 yards I suppose.

What other brands I should consider? I don't want to dump a bunch of money into it since he will likely grow into a full size and/or bigger caliber rifle in a couple years.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
12,591
Location
Where the Wild Things Are
I've been looking hard at this model also. The price is right, and I've read a number of very positive comments on these.

If you reload, get a bigger caliber and do reduced loads unless you WANT a .223. My daughter is 12 and has been shooting a 30-06 for two years with reduced loads.
 

Nameless Range

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
3,853
Location
Western Montana
If you reload, get a bigger caliber and do reduced loads unless you WANT a .223. My daughter is 12 and has been shooting a 30-06 for two years with reduced loads.

That's what I was thinking. My dad started me with a .308 loaded light. It is still my primary hunting gun.

That said, and I know calibers can be debated ad nauseum, the .223 will get it done but IMO it does have a smaller margin of error when it comes to poor shot placement. Than some other 'lighter' calibers.
 

idahojoe

New member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
126
I have that rifle in 223 because it's my go to gun for coyotes, IMO a 243 might be something to look into as well that's what I was started on killed numerous deer with it and a few elk has enough power for both shot placement is key IMO
 

Randy11

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
6,109
I bought a very early Ruger American and it has treated me well. It's a very utilitarian, no frills gun. I've absolutely beat the piss out of mine, and other than some magazine problems it's worked flawlessly. Very handy little rifle and a great bargain.
 

Jwill

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
1,341
Location
Virginia
I wouldn't let my kid hunt deer with a .223, granted he will only be 3 next month, but that's beside the point :). 7-08 or maybe a .243 would be my pick for a first deer rifle in the Ruger American. Savage also has comparable rifles. Both cheap and ugly, but they generally shoot and are pretty rugged.
 

RobG

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Messages
4,994
Location
Bozeman, MT
What sort of problems? The detachable magazine looked like it could break given it was plastic.

I shot my first deer and elk with my grandpa's 30'06 but my son is already flinching with it. I made up some light loads for it and my .270, but both stocks are too big for him. I don't have the time (or equipment) to reload.

My first choice was a .243 but the salesman said the ammo for a .223 was much cheaper (I see on midway they are as low as $0.25/round compared to $0.75-$1.00/round for the .243). The gun was cheaper too, but I haven't compared much. The main purpose of the gun will be for practicing longer range shots.
 

pabearhunter

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
2,517
Location
Pa,
My wife has a Ruger American compact in 7mm-08. She says it does not kick any harder then her 243. The gun is great for the cost. Start him out shooting a 22 for targets and rabbits.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
12,591
Location
Where the Wild Things Are
I shot my first deer and elk with my grandpa's 30'06 but my son is already flinching with it. I made up some light loads for it and my .270, but both stocks are too big for him.

Next time you take him out shooting, regardless of the caliber, do this.

Have him get into position, put his crosshairs on the target.
With his finger OFF the trigger, put yours on it and press the trigger to shoot the gun.
Repeat about five times, check the group.
Now, have him put his finger on the trigger, but completely relax it.
Put your finger on his and press the trigger, firing the gun.
Repeat five times and check the group.
Have him shoot two rounds with YOU loading the rifle.
Have him shoot a surprise empty chamber two times in a row.
Have him shoot a surprise round that you have loaded.
Repeat this several times.

This will teach him to properly PRESS the tigger instead of yanking it.
 

jryoung

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
4,959
Location
Unable to determine due to velocity
What other brands I should consider? I don't want to dump a bunch of money into it since he will likely grow into a full size and/or bigger caliber rifle in a couple years.

A little more expensive than the Ruger but I bought a Howa barreled action and put it in an aftermarket stock. Probably something you could sell pretty easily down the road if it isn't getting used much. You can get a warm fuzzy for supporting Howa too since they do so much for Randy.

 
Last edited:

worm

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
561
Location
Nevada
Remington Model 7 with a 55 grain NBT. I've started both of my kids out with this combo and we all have taken several whitetail with it. Your right it's all about shot placement. High front shoulder or behind the ear. After he out grows it you will have an awesome coyote gun. Next choice would be a .243.
 

RobG

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Messages
4,994
Location
Bozeman, MT
A little more expensive than the Ruger but I bought a Howa barreled action and put it in an aftermarket stock. Probably something you could sell pretty easily down the road if it isn't getting used much. You can get a warm fuzzy for supporting Howa too since they do so much for Randy.

Yeah, if Randy were to give me one of those I would probably never express my David Allen induced butt-hurtedness on his site again :D.

Howa packages were pretty competitively priced.
 

MinnesotaHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
3,706
Location
Gem Lake, Minnesota
JR inspired me to do something similar this last winter. I put this together as a replacement to my old coyote rifle (REM 700 VLS in .243, that weighted about 12 lbs, and sucked to carry through the drifts in the winter).

I found a deal on a Remington 700 SPS Stainless at Scheel's, and found a B&C Alaskan II stock on sale via the interweb. Talley lightweights and Leupold VX-2. It is dramatically nicer to carry when out searching for coyotes.

I also use this as a cheap way to practice field shooting in prep for the hunting season.

IMG_1977.jpg
 

Sawtooth

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
1,645
Location
Idaho
I bought my son a Weatherby Vanguard rifle that came with both a Youth stock and Adult stock in 308 win. I had him shoot all summer with reduced load under a 110 grain Hornady SP bullet. Then at the end of the summer he shot a reduced load under a 150 Accubond for deer. He kept the Youth stock on until he was 14. At age 19 he still shoots the same rifle for deer and elk using a 165 Accubond. Rifle shoots inside of an inch with both stocks.
 
Last edited:

danr55

Active member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Messages
4,328
Location
Mesa, AZ
I won't swear to it, but I believe if you look closely, you'll find that .228 is the minimum caliber in most states for deer hunting. That being said, there are a raft of soft recoiling calibers to choose from. 257 Robert, 250 savage, 6.5X55 are the first ones that come to mind. Any one of them perfectly suited to hunting deef and soft enough for the most tender shoulder.. like mine..
 

Rancho Loco

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 2, 2010
Messages
1,097
Location
Bozeman, MT
.223 Rem is a perfect deer gun, and will kill any deer standing with a good bullet.

The American would be a fine choice.
 

WT_in_MT

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
272
.223 Rem is a perfect deer gun, and will kill any deer standing with a good bullet.

The American would be a fine choice.

Sure, unless you're stuck in the '50s...

Just got some 62 TTSXs for my 12 y.o. to use in his RAR compact. I bet they'll overpenetrate...
 

Forum statistics

Threads
94,635
Messages
1,412,395
Members
29,685
Latest member
rangespec3
Top