Caribou Gear

Kids, elk, and the 7mmO8?

usmc1371

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Feb 18, 2016
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Looking for some opinions on the 7-08 for my kids. My daughter is 14 and my son is 12. Jazmin is an athletic 5'8" and Brock is a skinny 5'. My plan is to get them a each a rifle for the fall but I would like to get both rifles in the same caliber. I have never owned or even shot a 7-08 but on paper if looks like a great low recoil gun for the kids. We hunt elk and mule deer in eastern Oregon. The last 2 years I barrowed a 25-06 for Jazmin and she has taken a cow elk and small buck. I feel like thats all the recoil she wants and I don't want to get her flinching.
Right now I am thinking ruger American compact for Brock and one in normal size for Jazmin. Also looking for some info on the Howa youth that may come with the adult size stock as well for the little guy, then when he grows a foot in a year I won't have to buy another rifle. I also wouldn't rule out a Marlin or Savage bolt gun. I don't have thousands of extra monies to get this done so thats the reason for looking at low-ish priced rifles. Plus I am figuring $200 min each for scopes, I can't stand crap scopes and don't want to handicap my kids with the $40 bushnell/tasco crap I grew up with.
Rifle suggestions? Oninion on the 7-08 for elk? What are your kids packing?

Thanks for any help, Donovan.
 

VAspeedgoat

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I think you are spot on with your choices. The ruger american has a great reputation as well as howa. The youth package with two stocks is a great idea. As far as the 7mm-08 you cant do any better especially for kids. There are reduced recoil loads available as well as 120 gr loads that don't kick as much. Then there are fully loaded stuff up to 160 gr that would be fine for elk. One bit of advise, I don't like remingtons reduced recoil because the bullet doesn't have enough velocity to mushroom the bullet correctly. Stick with hornady managed recoil for better results. I have my oldest son shooting nosler 120gr bt right now and will pro ably go to 140 soon. I think you are making great choices.

What scope? vx 1 and vx 2 leupold would do pretty good.
 

usmc1371

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Big fan of the Leupold scopes just not the VX1, its the only scope I have seen actully fail. It was on a 300wby that was a hard kicking sob. I do love my VX3 LR but the kids aint getting a $900 scope, VX2 is a top contender so is the VX-R.
 

7mm08mo

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Great choice in the 7mm08, I have one for myself and my son also has one. I had to buy him one to get mine back. I might suggest the savage trophy xp it comes with a nikon prostaff bdc scope and can usually be purchased for in between 450 and 550 depending on the sale or gun shop. I highly regard mine.
 

BuzzH

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I have a bit of first hand experience with elk and the 7-08.

In the last 3 seasons, I've seen 12 elk shot with a 7-08. Shots have ranged from 58 to 629 yards. All have been shot with the same load (2 different rifles) 43.0 grains varget and 140 AB's.

I've recovered a few bullets on elk, none on antelope or deer.

Shot angles have been mostly broadside, but I did shoot one bull quartering toward me at about 70 yards. I broke the on shoulder and the bullet exited about mid-body.

IMO/E, the 7-08 kills much better than I thought it would. The nice thing is, all the 7-08's I've shot and loaded for, its easy to get them to shoot.

I really like the mild recoil, long case life, and frugal powder charges. I really don't have any complaints on elk, and its also very good for anything smaller.

I find myself using my 7-08 more than any of my other rifles.
 
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Roswell, NM
I've killed 6 Barbary sheep (aoudad) with a 7-08 shooting 140gr. Accubonds. From 30 yds out to 460yds. 5 of them were one shot kills. I have been more than happy with my 7-08 and the accubond.

Andy
 

nuevo_eph

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FYI on the Howa. According the Howa rep on the thread Randy started, they have stopped making the 2n1 youth rifle that came with a free adult stock. Bummer!
 

Firehawk54

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Dec 7, 2014
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My two boys and my daughter have used 7-08 to cleanly harvest 3 elk so far. A couple mule deer bucks and a couple antelope have also fallen quickly. We have used 140 Accubonds and Ballistic Tips over Varget on all of them and not stopped a single bullet in the animal.

Ranges from 130-360 on elk and all the way out to 477 yards on a muley. Very impressed and can't wait to try them again.
 

T Bone

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I went through the same decision two years ago. Everyone recommended the 243 for my daughter, but I felt the 7-08 had better margin for error on elk.

We got a Ruger American full size. 120 grain Noslers over 44 grns of Varget. The girl is extremely confident with that combo. It'll flatten any elk on the mountain.
 

F250

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My wife shoots a Browning X-Bolt Micro in 7mm-08. She is only 5'2". She shoots Federal Premium 140 gr. Nosler Partitions, and has taken elk from 95 yards to 437 yards.
 

sbhooper

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Try to up your scope budget to at least $300 and you will have better options.

Based on my Ruger American .308, I would say that would be a good choice. The only problem that I have with them has been the magazine. Ruger replaced them free and so far, so good.

If I had it to do over, I would be shooting 7-08s instead of 7 mags. Load them with partitions or abs, and go kill stuff!
 

usmc1371

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Thank you all for the information. The 7-08 is a round that I don't have any personal experience with so its great to hear so many people are happy with the round using it like I am planning on. With my daughter I worked really hard to make sure she had reasonable shot distance and shot angles. I explained to her that a 120 pound mule deer has tiny bones compared to a 400 pound cow elk. I like the savage rifles so that package is one I will be looking into.
Glad to hear the Nosler partition and AB's are working good in this caliber, I have been a life long fan of the partition and the AB has worked great the couple times I used it... Although I don't think shooting a doe and a coyote with a 375 H&H and 260 grain AB is a good test of the bullet. Boy did it work!
 

Sawtooth

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Weatherby makes a youth compact in 7-08 with an adjustable stock that might fit the bill for your youngest.
 

Kneetopia

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Missoula, MT
Great information, I've got to start saving up to get rifles for my 3 little ones. This caliber was one that was recommended to me recently as well.

Not to hijack the thread, but say a guy has twin girls.... For apprentice hunters (2 seasons away) should I just worry about getting one rifle that can be shared? The 3 of us will be together anyway. I know they'll eventually both need their own, but maybe for now I can just buy one rifle.

Anyone have experience with hunting with twins?
 

Gunner46

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I have a Ruger RA, as well as two Howa actioned rifles in the safe. All shooters, period. Any rifle along those lines will serve your children well into their adulthood.

Don't let anyone try to tell you a 7mm08 is a 'kids' or a 'ladies' starter rifle. It's A Killer. End of discussion.

120 BT's are rediculous. They just should not do what too many of our HTer's have done with them. I cannot image the number of dinners served because of this Mouse the Roared. When you step up to a good 140, then nothing short of big teeth & claws is out of your reach.

I'll pass on an eloquent statement given to me long ago : "Tis not the round that successes the hunter, but the hunter who enables the round to successed".
 
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Straight Arrow

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My thirteen year old grandson has two hunting seasons under his belt using the Savage 7mm-08 which I purchased for youth hunting. He has taken a trophy antelope buck, two nice muley bucks, and a big five-point bull elk. The 7mm-08 is comfortable and fun for him to target shoot and obviously has proven to be a great hunting rifle for him. I highly recommend that caliber for all big game.
 

Rooster52

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The 7mm-08 is a great choice but the 25-06 that was borrowed will work also. I know a guy that hunts everything from antelope to elk with 25-06 and has been very successful.But the 7mm-08 is a proven round also.
 

usmc1371

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Feb 18, 2016
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Pilot Rock, OR
Update. I ended up going with the Ruger full size in 308. Mostly because I load for 30-06 and 300 win so I am sticking with 30 cal. I think I got a good buy I paid $329 at my local Bi mart. My sons birthday is a few days away so as soon as we can get out shooting I'll post up an update.
 
AMK Sportsman

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