Deer rifles for young hunters

Gman12

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Jul 26, 2019
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30
I bought my son a little Savage in 243. It is black synthetic/stainless. Virtually no recoil and shoots 1/2" groups at 100 yards. It's lightweight and very handy. I have grabbed it myself several mornings when he decided to sleep in. It's a bad a$$ rifle.
 

Hankg

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Oct 26, 2015
Messages
48
I want to purchase deer riles for my grandchildren!
Was thinking a first time hunter would be able to handle a .243, 6.5 creedmore, or .308. What do you guys think would be a good first rifle?
It was an investment but I bought my daughter a TC encore with a .17 hmr barrel when she was young. It got her used to shooting the gun with a fun, inexpensive low recoil round. I bought a wooden "bantom" stock that I cut another inch off of. Once she was ready for deer I bought a bergara 7mm-08 barrel with a muzzle break. She has shot several deer with the gun and it gets loaned out several times a year to friends kids. Perfect for kids and I don't hunt much anymore but use it when I go.
 

Horse

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Jan 21, 2018
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packerland
When I went down that road, I leaned towards a TC encore-7mm-08, with 120gr Sierra, pooch handloads. Bought extra stock and cut its length down too.

I then bought a Browning A bolt III, youth model, in 7mm-08. Really accurate rifle. They now shoot 140gr Nosler handloads. Figured its was a little more knock down than a 243 and didnt need to switch rifles down the road.
 

lpshunter29

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Nov 19, 2020
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Not knowing your grandchildrens' ages or physical condition I'd say .308, 7mm-08, or .25-06. At 11 I started with a .243 and quickly moved to a .270. I'd say that was a bit much then, but 5 years, 100lbs, and a muzzleloader later it's almost indistinguishable from a .22, which may be something to keep in mind.

The three I mentioned above can reasonably kill anything you can shoot in North America which doesn't require a magnum caliber, but may not be the absolute best first firearm (I'd pick a .243 for that).
 

pre6422hornet

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May 21, 2015
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461
You can't go wrong with either of them, but I chose the 243 win when it came time to purchase a rifle for my daughters ( we have four of them)...

Loaded with reduced recoil handloads, the 95 Gr Ballistic Tip hits deer like a Mack truck and between my kids and numerous friends running the same combo for their kids, we haven't seen a deer hold one yet. All pass throughs and dead deer. Then you can load up normally and go after elk no problem. Rumor has it the 95 ballistic tip was designed by Nosler for one of their own employees who loved elk hunting but due to a shoulder injury couldn't handle recoil anymore.
 

Elmacho

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Oct 26, 2017
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Location
Fullerton, CA
Depends on the kid. I have one that is 16 and extremely recoil/pop shy- he is working his way up to 243 still....---its mental for him---frustrating for me, one of my other boys took my 270WSM at 10 years old and never looked back- my 3rd boy is between the other two...

Know your kid a bit and dont push him too hard or it may backfire on ya..
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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414
I want to purchase deer riles for my grandchildren!
Was thinking a first time hunter would be able to handle a .243, 6.5 creedmore, or .308. What do you guys think would be a good first rifle?
For game field utility the .308 cannot be beaten
 

westelker

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Feb 9, 2021
Messages
50
The boys and girls will grow out of the .243, but it's a great gun for smaller deer and antelope. Like the other postings if large mule deer and elk are on your menu than it's a no brainer... get a .270 with a muzzle-break. The boys as they get older may want something a little bigger than a .243 ... girls too!
 

Rhino55

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Feb 22, 2021
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15
I vote for the 6MM Dasher. It is the baby brother to the 243 but with 55% less recoil. I'm pushing a 107 SMK at 2880 FPS. Holding a .038 group at 200 yds. Only bad thing is you have to reload for it.
 

JT88

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Oct 2, 2020
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219
Location
Montana
Get 'em a .30-06 and a pack of Marlboro reds so they can flinch AND cough for the rest of their lives. But they'll be tough as nails

(.243, no smokes ;) )
 

AndyPOW

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Jul 9, 2020
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177
Location
Alaska
I bought this in 7mm-08. My boys love it!

That is a darn nice rifle from the looks of it.

If the grandkids are all in TN, and whitetails are the game plan for the foreseeable future there is no reason to not stick with .243. No worries about recoil and developing a flinch.

I have gone the .243 route so far with the five boys we adopted. The second oldest wanted to go .308 right away, and against my better judgement that is what we did. The recoil proved too much for him in the Winchester M70 lightweight. The solution was to split the cost of a Tikka Veil Wideland in .308 with its muzzle break. He shoots that comfortably, and can choose to remove it in a couple of years if he likes.
 
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Txbluelacy

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Feb 24, 2021
Messages
31
I prefer the 243, but my 12yr old has killed 3 deer with his 30-30, and he’s handled the recoil very well since age 10. Would also be a good choice for a young shooter.
 

TomTeriffic

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Dec 26, 2021
Messages
195
Location
SW Oklahoma
I want to purchase deer riles for my grandchildren!
Was thinking a first time hunter would be able to handle a .243, 6.5 creedmore, or .308. What do you guys think would be a good first rifle?
.308 has the most kick I believe in a bolt gun, but it can be had in the venerable soft-shooting Browning BAR. THREE-OH-EIGHT is the most likely to be in stock and can be had for under $1.00 a shot in standard 150-grain deer cartridges.

I'm so fond of .308 because my grandfather's lovely 1962 Husqvarna Model 3000 Crown Grade was chambered in that. Since I was a boy, 308 was always synonymous with definitive American deer cartridge.
 

MiHunter1

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Joined
Jan 11, 2022
Messages
18
Picked up a savage .242 for my daughter awesome gun and she loves it. Has put two deer under her belt already with that gun. Now that we’re looking to expand our big game options I’m wishing I would have gone with a 7-08.
 

Don Fischer

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Jun 27, 2017
Messages
1,758
Getting the kid a 243 is the safe way to go. Will work as a deer rifle! I think if you took two kids the same height and weight and age you might find that one is less effected by recoil than the other. or at least one will simply suck it up and take it so he/she can shoot some more. That being the case I would think get the kid around a number of different cartridges to try if you can. always see the 7mm-08 mentioned a lot but cannot imagine it being gentler to shoot than a 243! Might be a thought to try 243, 260/6.5 CM and 7mm-08 and let the kid decide what he/she likes best. 14 yr old here in town all he'd ever shot was his grand father's 30-30. said it did not bother him at all. I think BS he simply wanted to shoot more and the price he was willing to take was recoil. Let him shoot my 6.5x55 a few times and he always asked to shoot it. Then let him try my 243 and today he'll go for it every time! Wish I'd have let him do the 243 first then the 6.5 to see what he actually liked best, I suspect the 243! Might be if you could still easily get a 250-3000 that would be a good starting spot, who knows. I don't think the 25-06 would be a good starting place for no other reason than the muzzle blast, might give a kid the booger's even if it didn't hurt him/her.

Guys on the internet talk about first rifle's for kidss and women all the time and the relate recoil to what they think is easy recoil, and to them it may well be! But they shoot quite a bit and have learned to handle it to the point where it's no problem, different story with a kid or first time woman. I think a lot of people are pushing their kids into it to soon with rifles that do recoil. Kid should start with a 22RF then good idea if you have one somethinf like a 223. Work their way up a bit and start with a bit older kid.
 

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