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Best deer rifle for 10 year old?

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huntfish
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8/20/09 3:55 PM CST
Well, I guess I'm getting older as my 1st child is ready to hunt the youth hunt in October with hunter safety in about a week! What is a perfect deer gun without the recoil that wont have her saying forget this!!! I will be buying soon to get her ready.

25-06?.....22-250? any other. It would be bolt action.

Thanks for your help and experience!

Displaying Posts 1 through 15 of 34
Longfellow
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10/12/09 10:52 AM CST
Lman, you bring up an interesting point. Most of the deer I've shot with the .243 went down so fast that I couldn't see where they were immediately after the shot.

My two main buddies used a 7mm mag. and a .30-06, and they both had problems with the deer running off, even with a good hit. We used to hunt public land, and you REALLY want that deer to drop fast after the shot.

Any other .243 users out there notice the same thing?

.............LF

land man
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10/11/09 11:42 AM CST
By the way, if you go to the youth hunt thread under the "General Hunting Discussion" board, you can see and hear about how the .243 youth rifle did for my 12 year old daughter. Dropped an adult doe almost in its tracks. I had never used a .243, always used bigger stuff- I was impressed. Its fun shooting a .243 also, other than the muzzle jump, I could not feel any recoil with a remington 700 SPS youth (which has their R3 recoil pad). I full sized 700 CDL with the same pad would kick even less- Hmmm maybe a Christmas present for myself........

huntfish
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10/4/09 8:09 PM CST
Yes, it was a youth 7mm-08 I bought for her. I debated on the .243 which I know is an excellent round having one in my younger day, but the deal was the one I got. Sighted in the rifle today with my daughter. I did the initial sighting in and kept getting asked "when is it my turn"!

Daughter handle the gun well shooting 1st 3 outside the bull, a little adjustment made with the last 3 in the bull. Ohhhhh, she cant wait for next weekend! Smiling from ear to ear! Reduced rounds are sweet! 140 grain

I thank you all for your honest opinion, and was wondering if I had made the wrong choice even though I had done research on my own. I know this is something which will take her through the years without issue.

Good luck to all the other newbies heading out with their mentor for lifelong memories no matter the success.

Longfellow
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9/28/09 11:42 AM CST
When I was eleven years old, I bought a bolt-action .243 Musketeer from the original Gander Mountain storefront in downtown Wilmot Wisconsin. I also bought reloading equipment and supplies for it. Actually, my dad purchased the stuff but he used the money I had earned and saved for it.

I became very familiar with the gun by reloading for it, shooting off the bench with it, and using it for varmints. I started with lighter loads and worked up to max loads.The more I shot it, the better I became. I had the same comfortable feeling shooting it that I had with my .22 rifles, and I became deadly accurate and confident with it.

By the time I was old enough to hunt with it, one-shot kills were the rule, not the exception. The .243 cartridge is absolutely deadly on whitetail, and I do not use any other gun on them, except in shotgun-only areas. I still remember reading an article in Field & Stream which stated that the .243 was the gun of choice used by back-up gunners on lion and tiger safaris. The article speculated that the combination of bullet weight, speed, and rifling twist made it the ideal cartridge for medium-sized game - with the right bullet/velocity combination the bullet delivers all of it's energy into the critter without passing through. Unlike other higher-velocity, heavier-bullet-weight rounds which don't deliver the same shock when they pass through.

I know that there are other valid opinions on other rifle cartridges, and I respect them. But for me, the combination of good bullet performance and the comfortable feeling I have with bullet placement puts the .243 at the top of the whitetail list.

...............LF

piker20
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9/28/09 4:19 AM CST
Dont change this into a political thing. Everyone in my family started with the same 243 bolt. The biggest deer I have ever seen Was taken by my dad with this same gun. He had dropped his reg. gun and the scope got knocked so he used the back up. The ol Swamp buck got one through the heart and falled shortly after. 243 is a hell of a gun. Good luck to your kid. The most important thing is to shoot

TOMMY-2-TONE
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9/27/09 10:20 AM CST
I was all set to get a .243 for my 10 year old and went to the gun shop. A 30-06 reduced load with a 125 grain bullet has the same recoil as a .243. With him practicing with a .22 and getting to be a pretty good shot. A 30-40 yard shot, 125 grain bullet should be the ticket. T-2-T

Farmerman
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9/27/09 8:41 AM CST
Was looking for something for the farmers daughter (who is a lefty) and saw a rossi trifecta break open at cabelias, It came with 3 barrels-22 long, 20 gauge and a 243. Was woundering if anyone had any thoughts on the rossi?

takeme2dwalleye
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9/16/09 2:01 PM CST
Since you're in shotgun territory I would recommend a 20 gauge semi-auto, and Remington makes some reduced recoil 20 gauge slugs. They are the Buckhammer reduced recoil loads. Hard to find sometimes, but will do a great job for the youngsters 1st deer. Also I found out that youngsters tend to be more accurate with a longer barrel as opposed to a slug barrel; yes the shorter barrel eliminates swing problems and some recoil as gas leaves a shorter barrel faster; however they tend to be erratic in someone who is just learning field shooting at targets that will move. Longer barrels tend to reduced barrel rise, and help with balance to hold more stable for the shot.

Hope these tips help; good hunting this fall!

Down2erth
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9/16/09 12:19 PM CST
Are you going to cut the gun to fit?... At 10 yo. I'm sure a bolt action 7mm-08 is going to be long... Can't help but think it's gonna beat the heck out of her small 70 lb. frame. Oh well, good luck...

As far as the guy with the shotgun dilemma, auto's are the only way to go as long as you can trust the child shooting them.... Semi-Autos in the wrong hands can be dangerous... but they kick less than anything else legal to use other than a .45 and .50 cal. blackpowder shooting 90-100 gr. of powder.... another good alternative..

huntfish
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9/15/09 9:48 PM CST
Thanks all for your thoghts. I went with the 7mm-08 and reduced recoil loads for mu daughter. We'll be sighting in this weekend. I wonder, how is it made that it is reduced recoil. Less powder?

Whitecloud
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8/30/09 5:54 PM CST
HF Excellent advice and I'm going to back up a few points that were made that "I" find important. Best caliber would be .243 or 7mm-08. Both are necked down .308 and have enough oomph for whitetail with the right shots. Go with the heavier weight bullets in those calibers.

Avoid a shotgun/sluggun if possible. They kick like a mule and don't let the young ones shoot more than once or twice on a bench. You sight it in, and have them standing when they shoot but give them a rest of some sort. Sitting at a bench shooting, just beats them up and will scare them away. In the field, they aren't going to feel the recoil. If a sluggun in the only choice 20guage slugs if you can.

Good ear protection is a must for 2 reasons. One is obvious but the other is the "loudness" makes the recoil seem even stronger. Sorry about the comment below about the "boss" but it will lessen the kick but the sound will scare the crud out of most kids. PS-even the guys on the range don't appreciate you.(Yes I have one and don't use the muzzle break option)

If your young hunter is going to be using this gun for "bigger" hunts out west in the future, consider the 30-06 but as mentioned, look for reduced loads. They kick about the same as a 30-30 and you'll need to resight in but it does make a good experience early on. We had a kid in our hunting group a couple years ago using them. He's graduated onto bigger rounds now.

Ideally, .243 or 7mm-08 in a youth gun is best. Some deals out there with some rifle manufacturers where you can get a youth stock with your gun for 1/2 off. It's worth considering because you get the best of both worlds and they have a gun they can grow with. Good luck, Tim

[This post was last edited on 8/30/09 at 6:09 PM]
SB XT
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8/26/09 6:01 AM CST
My kids will start out using my Model 70 classic compact. Its a .308 but i will get them the reduced recoil loads. The Classic compact is no longer made but they can be had in 7mm:08 which is a bit milder yet and still a great deer round.

theimer
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8/22/09 12:15 PM CST
a good muzzle break for a rifle can also reduce the recoil of a gun. my dads .338 has a boss on it and the kick is less then the 30 06 i shot.

Igor
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8/22/09 6:24 AM CST
Steve is dead on. Get some 2-1/2 dram 12 ga. loads and see how that works. Also, to add a little weight to the gun and dampen recoil, get a recoil reducer, affectionately known as a "dead mule" in trapshooting. Winchester has AA loads called "Ultra-Lights" and Remingon has STS Low Recoil that are great. I use them all the time and I'm 6'8" and 270 lbs. Why take the recoil if you don't need it, right?

DO NOT get an old single shot gun with an exposed hammer. I've seen way too many kids get pounded by these. The gun is WAY too light and will knock their heads around pretty good.

Another hint is when teaching her to shoot, get someone else besides "Dear Old Dad" to work with her at first. Trust me on this. Many times having dad out there adds to the intimidation factor and leads to things like picking the head up off the stock. That translates to a bruised cheek and flinching which we don't want.

Hope this helps rather than confuses you!

Faststrike115
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8/22/09 12:16 AM CST
It sounds nuts but 30/06 with reduced recoil rounds made by Remington. I have a 30/06 and bought a box of reduced recoil ammo for the gun. I shot 5 rounds of this ammo and then 5 rounds of 180 grain SST rounds. 50% less recoil is what Remington proclaims on a box of reduced recoil and I would say that this is about correct. Recoil is about a .243 and maybe a touch more. My 10 year old is shooting this round with no problem. Faststrike115

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