7MM-08 for youth

Cornell Cowboy

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Apr 5, 2019
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Laramie, WY
If you reload, and if you can find it, H4895 is good for reduced loads. As I have not been unable to find a stainless Tikka 7mm-08 for my 12 year old daughter, I am getting ready to work on some 308 loads with 124 gr Hammer Hunters for her elk hunt this year.

If your son will just be deer hunting for a few years, I agree with @Cornell Cowboy - a 223 with a good bullet works well.
A 223 will always make a great coyote gun!
 

BAKPAKR

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May 16, 2018
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Up a Holler
Ruger makes a compact model of the American in 7mm08 with a shorter lop. Great rifle for the $$. My daughter is 5'3", it fits her well.
The two Ruger American rifles I have been around - my daughter’s 243 and my friend’s 6.5 CM - have been tack drivers. They are relatively inexpensive and they feel and look cheap, but those two are shooters.
 

WildWill

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Jan 10, 2016
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SE Oklahoma
I'd go Ruger American or Savage axis. IMO the ruger is the better rifle but I don't believe they have true youth stocks just some " ranch" type rifles where as the savage does. Definitely look into reduced recoil loads my wife found the 140 gr standard loads to be a bit much in her Ruger american. Ended up using a 120gr sst in a reduced recoil load and have been very happy with it. I'd take him and let him hold a couple different ones see what fits best and go from there.
 

Nunyacreek

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Dec 13, 2013
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I started my daughter with 223 savage compact and she has now moved to a 7mm-08. I bought a pink Boyd’s thumb hole stock (spike camp IIR) and cut it down. She is barely 5’ tall, very small. The absolute best thing I ever did for kids shooting is GET A SUPRESSOR! I can’t say this enough, I’ve read various reviews on how much recoil reduction there is but I’m guessing close to 50%. Shooting a suppressor with a kid is absolutely fantastic. I bought a .30 cal. Suppressor and I use it as well and cannot say enough good about it.
 

QuazyQuinton

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Jun 8, 2020
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Western Oregon
My wife shoots a Weatherby Vanguard (Original series) youth model 7mm-08. Nothing fancy, but that rifle has accounted for a first kill for quite a number of people. Just seems to have good luck (or a good guide 😉 ). My daughter has a Savage Model 11 youth model in 7mm-08. I probably would have bought another Weatherby, but she's left-handed, and that's what I found in a left-handed youth size. My youngest shoots a TC Venture Compact in .308. (Of course the middle kid was big enough to play linebacker by the time he got his own rifle, so we went straight to a full-size TC Venture .300 Win Mag. It knocks both of us cross-eyed when we shoot it, but it is very accurate, and he has killed deer, elk, and antelope.) Overall, there are quite a few choices in youth models, and you can really pick what you like. The 7mm-08 is a fine caliber for both beginners and advanced shooters.

My approach overall with my kids learning to shoot was to only let them shoot reduced recoil loads at the range. Hornady makes the Custom Lite line of ammo, and we used a lot of it. Recoil is pretty manageable. If you do the fine-tuning of the scope with hunting ammo, they will only shoot full-power loads at game, and recoil tends to be less of an issue for that one shot (hopefully). If you reload, look into reduced power loads with H4895. Or reduce even more with Trail Boss. Then practice, practice, practice.

QQ
 

Keep on

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Nov 9, 2021
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167
Look for a good recoil pad or a break/suppressor if you're getting a youth model 7mm-08. I'm a huge fan of the 7mm-08 so I bought a youth Savage Model 11 for my son when he was 10 or so. Didn't have much of a recoil pad and in that light rifle recoil was noticeable to me, after sighting it in, I had had enough for one day, and I'm not a small guy or especially recoil sensitive. He ended up using my 223 until he was large enough to handle my model 70 in 243.
 

mxracer317

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Nov 20, 2020
Messages
606
I started my daughter with 223 savage compact and she has now moved to a 7mm-08. I bought a pink Boyd’s thumb hole stock (spike camp IIR) and cut it down. She is barely 5’ tall, very small. The absolute best thing I ever did for kids shooting is GET A SUPRESSOR! I can’t say this enough, I’ve read various reviews on how much recoil reduction there is but I’m guessing close to 50%. Shooting a suppressor with a kid is absolutely fantastic. I bought a .30 cal. Suppressor and I use it as well and cannot say enough good about it.
Have a nomad ti in ATF jail as we speak, that’s why i felt good about the 7mm-08
 

Dougfirtree

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Jul 27, 2016
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Adirondacks
Looking around for the Tikka T3x lite compact in 7mm-08, seems like it's sold out everywhere! Seems like that is a great model! Just need to come across one or switch to a different caliber.

Never shot the 7mm-08 however. Wondering if the 308 would have much more bang factor. Trying to ease my 9 year old into things.
I had the same experience and ended up getting my kids a .308 win. If you're a handloader, I think it's a very workable option, if you buy factory ammo, I'd probably hold out. I load 130 grain Barnes TTSX's at about 2740fps for my boys and they kick about like a .243 and seem to kill stuff.
 

VikingsGuy

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Aug 2, 2017
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9,302
Location
Twin Cities
Looking around for the Tikka T3x lite compact in 7mm-08, seems like it's sold out everywhere! Seems like that is a great model! Just need to come across one or switch to a different caliber.

Never shot the 7mm-08 however. Wondering if the 308 would have much more bang factor. Trying to ease my 9 year old into things.
You could buy the full-size and find an aftermarket compact stock and do the reverse swap (put the adult stock away for later).
 

jwatts

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May 22, 2015
Messages
74
My son started on some reduced loads using H4895 and 120gr ballistic tips at around 7 or 8 years old. It was loaded about as light as you'd want. Velocity was just at the minimum velocity to expand a ballistic tip around 150yd. He killed several deer with it and had no issues with the bullet doing it's job. I'd definitely recommend doing something similar if you reload and go the 7mm08 route. I ended up finding some ammo loaded with 130gr Barnes TSX in clearance and bought 4 boxes of it. He started hunting with it last year and the recoil is manageable now that he's bigger.
 
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