Youth rifle recommendation...

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by bookworm, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. bookworm

    bookworm Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for suggestions on which rifle caliber you would recommend for the following application:

    - Youth (starting age 12-14, but something they could grow into as well)
    - Big game (deer obviously, but also something they could use to take down an elk at moderate range with proper practice - maybe around 500 yds)
    - Tame recoil (with the help of a brake and a good butt pad, I need something that isn't going to scare a new hunter away)

    Thanks for any suggestions!
     
  2. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    My son was still 14 when he shot this doe with a 7RM Sendero:
    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f17/first-long-range-kill-64955/

    The weight of a Sendero and the brake make a huge difference.

    He had already been shooting about 4 years working up from 22LR, 223, 25-06, to 308.

    In any case, you want to keep it fun. e.g. 22LR with reactive targets such as balloons or water jugs

    243 Win or 260 Rem would be great choices.

    Get a 7RM or 300 WM for yourself and let him borrow it when he works his way up to 500yd Elk.

    -- richard
     

  3. hatfield954

    hatfield954 Well-Known Member

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    .243 winchester, 6mm remington, .243 wssm, .240 weatherby mag, .250 savage, .25 wssm, .257 roberts, .25-06 and the old timer 30-30 would be a number of choices.
     
  4. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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  5. durak

    durak Well-Known Member

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    Just built my 13 year old son a .257 Roberts and he loves it. He also hunts with my 6.5 WSM but it's a little heavy for him. Any of the above mentioned cartridges would be great, other than the 7 Mag. I started at 12 with a 7 mag and learned to flinch very well. I'm sure with a muzzle break and practice it would be fine....
     
  6. comfisherman

    comfisherman Well-Known Member

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    I always seem to err on the side of the 243 mainly because that's what most of the young hunters in my area cut their teeth on. As an aside I've never seen one harvest elk at 500, nor would I strongly suggest it. However I watched more than just a couple elk die in the under 200 yard category from a well placed 243. With the addition of quality bullets like the new 95grain accubond I think you could stretch a little further.

    With the addition of a brake, pretty much any caliber under 30 would be fairly light in the recoil category. It may sound a little weird but my 7 rum with a good brake has virtually no felt recoil with 150's. Its muzzle blast is enough to level the guy sitting next to me, but the recoil is non existent. With the muzzle brake option just figure out what kind of bullet you want to launch and find the cheapest to load round that launches it. Then let your son do what 12-14 year olds do best, pull the trigger a lot.
     
  7. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    I have to say a 243 with 100 grain partitions is a pretty hard to beat youngster elk rifle. I have seen my sister kill a LOT of elk with hers, on out to 350 yards. I dont know that 500 yards would be the best choice for it. However i think itll prove to be a great beginner rifle, and I believe Howa sells them with an adult and youth stock so thats kinda cool. I like Tikka's myself. Also if you can find one in a 6.5x55 then a 130-140 accubond would be great for elk.
     
  8. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    I'd go no bigger, or less standard, than 260
    I also do not agree with the notions of muzzle brakes for recoil reduction.
    Regardless of the hype, actual recoil happens, and the added noise and pressure felt from a muzzle brake(after mass recoil) INCREASES the impression of overall recoil(subjective recoil) while providing only a reduction in muzzle rise..
    You don't want the shooting experience to be bad for a kid, right?

    I would also provide the most accurate gun for a kid within your means.
    Kids hold very high shooting potential. Their eyes are better, they haven't yet picked up bad shooting habits, they adopt a consistent 'routine' right off the bat.
    Get the best damn trigger available, the best scope, ammo, barrel, and a stock that is right for the kid(drop, comb, pull, etc).
    You want this kid to hit what they aim at, right?
    Add 5mins of attention to the moment a kid understands that their skills exceed a gun's potential..

    I don't know if you reload, but this is an excellent discipline for some kids.
    Big factor in cartridge choice.
     
  9. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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    I agree on no less than a 6.5 for Elk @ 500. A 7-08 is a very common choice for youths
    as well. I think Rem and Savage both build a youth model. One of them comes with a
    longer stock to swap out later. (just plastic, as most are these days). Without the Elk
    requirement I would say a 243. Any of them with 5744 powder can be loaded to very
    tame levels. I started my kid out with an 80 grain 243 running 1900. The gun recoiled
    like a 223 or less. Of coarse in the field they feel nothing so it ran full loads with a 85 barnes. I hated 100 partitions in my 243. 2 deer and 3 antelope all had massive blood
    shock between the muscle tissues. Just a mess to package meat that way. None of the
    animals went down like they were hit with a dozer either. I guess that bullet just puts
    out a lot of hydraulic shock or I was very unlucky 5 times in a row.
     
  10. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    A good brake does significantly reduce felt recoil.

    But as Mikecr points out, the added blast can still cause an inexperienced shooter to develop a flinch.

    My son had a lot of trigger time with 22LR and 223 before working his way up.

    Even so, he regularly shoots 22LR pistol/rifle and a very accurate 6BR. If he flinches, it'll show.

    Keep it fun and you'll be rewarded with a hunting partner for life.

    -- richard
     
  11. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    Is he going to be carrying this gun a long ways? If so a light weight gun needs to be considered which will drastically change the cartridges you should look at.

    If not then you can go a bit heavier and get a larger cartridge.

    I personally don't like muzzle brakes for kids but that is just me.

    +1 to the Howa Youth models. You get a short and standard LOP stock and a very good gun! All of mine have great crisp 2lb ish triggers with great accuracy.

    The 260 Rem or 6.5x55 would be a nice starting point IMO. Great BC's, SD's, and potential accuracy, and very low recoil. If you go with a light gun look at the 243, 25'06, 257 Roberts with partitions or interbonds.

    The 7mm-08. 308 are obvious great cartridges as well.
     
  12. durak

    durak Well-Known Member

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    I forgot about a great rifle that is out there - and don't flame me for saying, Ruger - Ruger makes a M77 in a youth/compact in .260 that is an awesome little package. A buddy of mine has bought 4 of them over the past couple years for his wife, son, and 2 daughters. He swears by them...
     
  13. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    not trying to discredit you but i have to say that in my experience ruger is not the way to go. they can be modified to shoot no doubt but to me they have a lot of short comings. the biggest being the intrigal ring mounts. there is no way to get them rock solid in my opinion. you need to just drill and tap the top of the receiver and put a rail on. if I were to get one it would no doubt be one with a wood stock.. the synthetic stocked ones that I have had all seemed mushy in the recoil lug area
     
  14. durak

    durak Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I'm not a Ruger fan either, but the fact is that the before mentioned firearm seems to be top rate - for a youth, at closer ranges of course.