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#437360 - 10/08/07 10:48 PM Youngun First Rifle Help?
12 Point

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 6349
Loc: Nashville, TN

My nephew is 11, has gotten his Hunter's Ed. Certification, and is dying to hunt. I've taken him with me hunting a few times, and we've shot his pellet gun a bunch. It's time to step up and start practicing with a deer rifle.

There are so many other things vying for his time. I need something reliable but inexpensive because I have no idea if soccer, girls, video games or whatever will win the battle. His father, my brother, doesn't hunt, and I only get a few windows every year to feed his hunting fire. Unfortunatley, I can't break the bank on this one.

His 12th birthday is November 4th, and I'm stepping up to the plate by buying him his first deer rifle. I didn't start hunting until my late 20s (with a 30.06), so I don't have the knowledge to buy something. I need someone to hold my hand with caliber, model, scope, heck everything. Please help a young would-be hunter out with suggestions. Thanks so much.
It is not the killing ...; it is the contest of skill and cunning. The true hunter counts his achievement in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport.

Dr. Saxton Pope

#437367 - 10/08/07 10:52 PM Re: Youngun First Rifle Help? [Re: gil1]
big 8's in Weakley county
16 Point

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 14675
Loc: south fulton

.243 in a h and r
Got something for sale need something get ahold of me I will try and help I trust in God.
All others pay cash
Big 8s Pawn and Sales

#437373 - 10/08/07 10:56 PM Re: Youngun First Rifle Help? [Re: big 8's in Weakley county]
6 Point

Registered: 11/01/06
Posts: 668
Loc: Bartlett

243 would not be a bad place to start, or a 30/30. H&R makes a good product and can be sent back for additional barrels.
You sure you can skin Griz pilgrim?
Skin this one and I'll bring you another!

#437388 - 10/08/07 11:23 PM Re: Youngun First Rifle Help? [Re: Tnyoteboy]
12 Point

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5235
Loc: Mississippi


I've got 3 kids who will be up and coming hunters, and I've thought about this extensively. I personally started with a .243 at age 11. I wasn't very good a tracking deer, and the first few deer I shot with that .243 did require tracking jobs.

I like the concept of putting a little large hole in the deer, and I also like the concept of having a rifle that a kid can grow up with and continue using throughout his/ her lifetime if they so choose.

That being said, I decided on a 7-08 to start my kids out with. Granted, I'll be handloading very mild loads with 120 grainers only going around 2200 fps, so recoil should be negligible. Even if you don't handload, an 11 yr old should be able to handle the recoil of standard loads in the 7-08.

I'd lean towards a lightly used savage, of course you'll probably need to replace the stock for a youth model unless he's a really big kid. You should be able to find one for around $250-350.

For a scope, I'd lean towards one of the burris fullfield II's. Again, I'd pick one up lightly used, should be around $135-150.

That's a combo he'll be able to use forever, and if he doesn't want it, you could resell for what you have into it.

#437401 - 10/08/07 11:37 PM Re: Youngun First Rifle Help? [Re: megalomaniac]
10 Point

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 4027
Loc: Humphreys,Co

I've got 3 boys all started with a .308,in hind sight if I had it to do all over again they would have been toting a 7mm-08. You can buy over the counter loads from 120 gr all the way up to 175's and recoil is next to nothing.

This will get me in trouble. I think the 243 is a great round for kids that get alot of range time and can place their shots well.
A government big enough to give you everything you want,is big enough to take away everything you have.Thomas Jefferson

God Bless Our Folks Over Seas and Vet's Everywhere

My Heros my 3 Sons

#437405 - 10/08/07 11:40 PM Re: Youngun First Rifle Help? [Re: megalomaniac]
12 Point

Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 6877
Loc: Knoxville, TN

The 243 is an excellent deer caliber. Very light recoil and fun to shoot. I'd look into a Browning A-bolt Micro and for a scope a Leupold VX-I 3-9x40 with Talley mounts. The 95 grain Fusion is perfect for deer.
Winchester Model 70 Stainless Left Hand .270 Win.
McMillan Edge
Talley Lightweights
Zeiss Victory Varipoint #60 Illuminated

#437572 - 10/09/07 07:27 AM Re: Youngun First Rifle Help? [Re: Model70Man]
6 Point

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 816
Loc: TN

I would go with something like a Stevens 200 in either a .243 or 7mm-08. You should be able to find this gun for around $260-$300. I would then put something like a Nikon Buckmasters or Bushnell scope on it. It's an accurate little gun and it won't break the bank.

If your nephew decides not to take up hunting, you can usually get rid of this gun fairly easily as many competition shooters use them for their action and usually re-barrel them themselves.

#437613 - 10/09/07 07:54 AM Re: Youngun First Rifle Help? [Re: vonb]
10 Point

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 3543
Loc: Knoxville

I would split the difference and get a 260 if you handload. If you dont handload go with the .243 or 7mm-08. 257 Roberts, 250 Savage, or 6.5x55 are all easy on the shoulder as well.
So many smallmouth, so little time.

#437898 - 10/09/07 10:32 AM Re: Youngun First Rifle Help? [Re: gil1]
Bambi Buster
14 Point

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 9113
Loc: Middle Tennessee

This question is asked multiple times on multiple forums every year. Usually overlooked in the ensuing discussion about calibers is the fact that the FIT of the firearm to a young and/or small-statured shooter is at least as important as the caliber. If the shooter cannot hold the rifle comfortably and properly, he/she will be inaccurate and will likely be punished far worse by whatever recoil is present than would be the case with a properly fitting rifle.
"The American military is like a finely crafted sword. To be effective, it must be wielded by a discerning, skilled and merciless hand."

#438009 - 10/09/07 11:31 AM Re: Youngun First Rifle Help? [Re: big 8's in Weakley county]
10 Point

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 3896
Loc: bradley county,TN/Lancaster,SC

 Originally Posted By: big 8's in Weakley county
.243 in a h and r

Ditto. I started out with a youth model h&r handi rifle .243

killed a bunch and big deer with it.

Edited by Bassfishing Deerblaster (10/09/07 11:31 AM)

Turn your caps lock of goober, we can hear you.

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