I am going to set my 14 yr old daughter up with a semi-long range rifle. I am trying to determine weight & caliber that would best fit both long range shooting and hunting scenerios. I am thinking of the 260 Rem, the 270 win, or the 6.5x284 Norma. I would like to keep the weight at 8lbs or slightly less minus the glass. She is quite a shot and loves to shoot. Last evening she drilled a bedded whitetail buck with my 7mm08 at 233 yards in the brisket (a 9") target right at last light. So, she has great fundamentals including a trigger finger and patience. This was her 5th deer, each getting farther out and growing in confidence. So what do you think?
First off congrats to your daughter on her deer and to you as well for getting her out there. I love hunting and shooting with my children it's very rewarding for sure. I think the 260 rem or the 6.5-284 would be ideal for her. You'll probably get a lot of opinions on this but those would be my choices.
Just this week I've been thinking of my oldest daughter who wants to hunt. The 6.5-284 is the smallest caliber I've ever owned. I have highly recommended the 260 Rem to a buddy for his daughters. My all time #1 recommendation for all women and kids has been the 270. Put a Pachmyer decelerator pad on it and stuff the AB 110 or Barnes 110 bullet in there and watch what happens. When I built a 270 for my friend in CO with his wife and kids in mind, it was a 270. Their ONLY load has been the 130 Barnes TSX and H4831SC and to date, since 2007 when I left it there, they have killed a bunch of mule deer. His youngest at the time was 11 and she has killed several deer in several states like her sister and mom.
AND, the mom JUST KILLED A RAM IN COLORADO with it!!!
So, in short, flip a coin. If my daughter chooses to deer hunt this year in KY, she'll use either my 270 with 110 TTSX loads or the 6.5x284 with either Berger 140 VLDs or I'll stuff some Nosler 130 ABs that I have on hand in it.
My daughter brought up the same subject, after my intitial excitement I thought about it for a min and thought well $&*% she's already shooting a 7mm-08, that'll do 1k and change on gongs, just need to upgrade her stock, scope and lastly the barrel when she wears it out.
Keep in mind the animals we shoot for food and display are not bullet proof. Contrary to popular belief, they bleed and die just like they did a hundred years ago. Being competent with a given rifle is far more important than impressive ballistics and poor shootability. High velocity misses never put a steak in the freezer.
Thanks, I never really considered turning my 7mm08 into a long range deer gun for her. New barrel and stock and we're ready to go...already have the glass. I still might do something with a 6.5x284 for myself, but maybe not. It's only $$$$
Hate to admit it, but it's true.......I flinch, and have to actually talk myselt out of flinching each and every shot, especially if there's fur in the scope! Even if not a flinch, an anxiety sort of thing just before the shot breaks............It sucks! Worse than sucks, but stronger words are probably not permitted here!
Never used to be that way untill I got scoped a couple times by shooting light weight magnums with the same technique that I used to shoot benchrest........basically free recoil and light hold on the gun.
I've never been the same since, and I am now 5'11" and 260 lbs. Still bleed the same as everyone else though, and can't see crud through the scope when it's covered with blood!
Ok, OK, OK.......enough with all that "my name is Shane and I flinch" BS.
Seriously, I can shoot my 11 lb - 6.5-284 all day and not feel like I need a heavier gun or a muzzle break. That's 15 ft-lbs free recoil energy according to Sierra's recoil calculator. I still shoot mostly free recoil, and it kicks enough that I usually can't spot my own shots, but it doesn't aggravate my condition!!
Ballistically it's good on deer to 900 yds and elk to 600/700 at higher altitudes with proper broadside shot placement.
My Dads' old 270 featherweight is basically the same thing when it comes to ballistics, but it's got a steel buttplate and maybe only weighs 8# with scope. I can say for fact, it just plain hurts. 3 shots in a row and I am done! Throw the damn thing in the dirt and drive over it!
Point being, good recoil pads and some weight and decent stock designs help alot. I watched a couple of young boys shoot a heavy 260 really really well just last month. They were banging steel dead center over and over again out to 700 yds with help from spotters calling wind.
My kids are all grown, but I've got some grandsons coming of shooting age here in a few years.
If I were going to buy a LR big game rifle for my daughter or a grandson, it would be 243, 260, 6.5-284, maybe 270 or 7mm-08 if they appeared recoil insensive, and ensure it's heavy enough to absorb some shock, light enough they dont feel encumbered by carrying it and put a decent pachmayer or limbsaver pad on it.
Take my word if you will; a flinch is a terrible thing to have. I wouldn't wish it on any shooter, especially my kin.
Sorry to Ramble, just wanted to get that out. There's nothing better than getting kids involved with LR hunting and shooting. We as mentors gotta remember not to scare them away from it at the same time. We can all probably remember being young, especially teen years; just because it hurt didn't mean we said anything, but that pain can stick and cause issues for years down the road.