All Stop! That little 788 is one of the best little actions you could possibly ever desire for your daughter! I wish to high heaven I could locate a semi-sorta-decent deal on one for my little daughter! In all honesty, take all the money you were thinking about on a new build and put it into that awesome little 788!
Sir, you are "talking" with a Remington Model 700 Livid Hater! Sorry if that statement pisses A LOT of you off! But they are just damn near....ok i'll stop there. But that 788 is seriously a *NICE* little action for any kind of "Carbine" / "Youth" / "Petite" shooter! Hell, a very good friend of mine has one in 308 he says will be buried with him, and he is 6'4"!
Call Shilen, Bartlein, Kreiger, Borden, Lothar Walther, ect ect up, find a good smith, take her Length of Pull measurement, and have that little 788 put together for her! I honestly believe you will be money ahead, if not ahead, then you will not be much in the hole by comparison to a whole new youth rifle!
It warms my heart to see a "youth build" / "buy"! It warms my heart even more to see you already have one of the top 5 best actions ever produced already in hand to accomplish a first rifle for her!
Ok, so now 243, it is very good for sure! Do you reload sir? If you do IMR and Hodgdon both have Youth Loads based on 4895 powder that can make even a 308 into a mild mannered pussy cat. Recently another good friend of mine pointedly pointed out that a Barnes TTSX 130 in 308 is absolute Pure Poison for hogs, deer, and other critters. Man don't laugh at it being lite! If you plug in what a 308 will do with one of those bullets Speed and Trajectory wise clear out to 400 yards I think you will be astonished! I sure was! It gives up precious little to a 243, but later on down the line, she still has a 308 that CAN step up to some pretty heavy bullets if there is ever a need. Please do not think I am knocking the 243, heck the 85gr Sierra Game King bullet is a serious game taker too! And Barnes does make an 80gr TTSX, and that bullet is also a serious game taker out to around 300ish yards. I have recently been researching a build / buy for my young (too young right at the moment but...) daughter. So these things are all fresh in my mind, and I am one of those super freak reloaders / shooting enthusiasts who enjoys a good research project! It also helps I have two friens who are super freaks when it comes to hunting
I like to hunt, and will certainly teach my daughter, but I truly love to shoot, and reload.
Have a great day!