What youth rifle for my son?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by pburton, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

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    My son just turned 10 years old. He has been shooting .22's and his little .410 for a couple of years now. I am looking to get him his first deer rifle. Just not sure which one to go with. He is a little guy @ 55# right now. The length of pull on most of the "youth" rifles is just to long. He needs something in the 11.5" range. The other factor is that money is an issue. I don't want to buy him junk but I also can't afford any kind of custom rifle. Any ideas on what would be a good starting out rifle? I am thinking 7mm-08 as a caliber but not completely set on that.
     
  2. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    OK this is pretty simple. Get a youth or woman's model with a wood stock and then cut it down to what he needs. 18" barrel and a small profile sound great to me, no real reason to go bigger than a 243, Savage would be my choice as almost all of it can be done in the garage.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54l76JER3dY"]Gunsmithing - How to Shorten a Stock to Change the Length of Pull - YouTube[/ame]
     

  3. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. Didn't think about cutting the stock down. I still think that the 7mm-08 will be a little more versitile as he grows. Plus it will give a little better knock down on these big mulies. Savage was were I was leaning.
     
  4. toddc

    toddc Well-Known Member

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    Savage SA in whatever caliber you choose. Cut the stock, Then as he grows you can rebarrel to whatever and restock. Lots of stocks and barrels cheap as castoffs. Whatever you get buy a brake too. Even a 7mm-08 will be a handful in a lightweight gun without a brake, a 300 ultra is a puppy with one. A 270 wsm or a 260 might be a good choice too.
     
  5. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I've been looking at the Ruger compacts for the same reasons. Length of pull listed at 12 & 3/4"overall length I think is 35". I don't think they make the 260 anymore, but I've got my eye on a used one. If it's there at tax return time I think temptation may get the better of me.
     
  6. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

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    I was just thinking about something. I have a 6.5x55 swed in my safe that is built on an old mauser action with a 20" barrel and a cabine sized stock. It was given to me by my father in law and it is so short that it just does not fit me well so I have never shot it. Not sure how he shot it because he was a lot bigger than me. How is the recoil of this round?
     
  7. Alfred Crouch

    Alfred Crouch Well-Known Member

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    Do you hand load ? You would be hard pressed to beat a 260 for a beginner. A little more whump with virtually no more recoil and better downrange performance (study ballistic tables for the two). Added downrange performance becomes more and more important as he starts reaching out futher with it as he gains experience, and this will happen much quicker than you think if he shoots very much. If you don't hand load and 260 ammo isn't stocked in your locale you can always order it. It is much more readily available than most think.
     
  8. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

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    I do not hand load yet. One of those things on the list to do for a couple of years now. I don't know much about the .260 but I will do some research. I have heard a lot of people rave about that round.
     
  9. Alfred Crouch

    Alfred Crouch Well-Known Member

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    According to the post time stamp on our 2 post you posted at the same time that I did.

    Seems to me tweeking the sweed for him would make him a perfect rifle. You can hand load it down a bit to begin with and load it up later on creating an excellent caliber for him to use now and on out till he has kids of his own starting to hunt. Of course he will likely add another caliber or two in between. Many people on the webb sites talk about the Scandinavians using the 6 x 55 Swede for Moose. As I understand it it is a 260 "on a mild dose of steroids". Hand loading allows you to make the Swede a very versatile cartridge. I have not owned a Swede but I have a 260 and my 10 year old grand son has one. He has killed 6 out of 7 deer that he shot at with his in the last 2 years. He has handled it with no problems and he isn't a large frame individual. I considered a Swede when I was studying different calibers 6 years ago and almost went with it instead of the 260. I concluded the 260 provided as much performance as I needed for my uses. Hopefully some who have owned both and used both will add to this for you.
     
  10. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

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    I am not convinced that this 6.5x55 is the right starter rifle for my son. I just had him hold it and try to work the bolt. It is still to long for him. He is having to reach for the trigger and cannot work the bolt. Although I have a hard time working this bolt smoothly. Father in law swears its a mauser action, I have never seen one like it. The bolt is super stiff. Father in law told me he had it built about 30 years ago. The action is nothing like I have ever seen. I will try to post some pics in a little while so you can see what I am talking about. Wish I knew more about this stuff to explain it.
     
  11. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

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    Here is a picture of the action. Is it a mauser or not?
    6.5x55 004.jpg
     
  12. chucknbach

    chucknbach Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind they are small and light with a 16"barrel which equals to a lot of muzzle blast and jump, recoil also is higher. They are pretty vicious in that department.

    I wouldn't recommend them unless you want to do a little work and reload as the .243 I got my daughter last year was a pain to get to shoot under 3" at 100yds. Pillar and glass bedded, Timney trigger with the right load turned it into a very acurate gun. It shoots better off a bi-pod than bags, I figure it's the extra weight. It still won't shoot factory ammo.

    They are however one of the cutest and smallest rifles you'll ever see. I just want to make a key chain out of it.

    11 1/2" LOP and you'll have to cut as youth rifles usually start at 12" on up.

    The next youth rifle I get will be an AR10.
     
  13. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Good thoughts, I suspected muzzle blast would be up, and treating like a muzzle break would work out. I've got a lightweight 6mm, and didn't think recoil would be up that much. Thanks for the first hand feedback. Better a key chain than an decoy anchor I suspect. LOL
     
  14. chucknbach

    chucknbach Well-Known Member

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    There was a few times it almost became an expensive target stand. I thought about a muzzle break but I didn't want to mess with it since it's shooting good and the kids will still shoot it.