My son's first rifle build thread!

codyadams

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So, my son is 9 years old, and loves everything outdoors. He loves going hunting, fishing, scouting, or even just hiking with me, and he is eager to start hunting big game once he turns 12

This year for 4-H, he raised and sold a goat, which made him enough money to get this build underway. I want him to learn that things in life cost money, and nice things cost more money. I purchased my first rifle when I was 10 from a pig that I raised and sold in 4-H, and I treated that rifle well, because I knew the time, effort and work I put in to earning the money for it. I did get him started though, with a donor rifle, an older left hand (yep, he's a southpaw like me) savage short action, top bolt release 22-250 I purchased a couple years ago from a member on here, specifically for this purpose.

I want this rifle to grow with him and be modular, so we're starting with an XLR Element 4.0 aluminum chassis, and an adjustable stock that I already have on hand. From there, we're gonna get a prefit barrel, chambered in one of two cartridges, that I haven't decided yet......either a .270 SS, or a 6.8 western. If more brass availability comes out, the 6.8 would be a good option as *some* factory ammo may be available in a pinch, but otherwise, the availability of ADG brass for the ss will outweigh that. It will be somewhere between 18-20" in length.

As far as the scope, I will probably help with that, and I haven't decided exactly on that yet.

This rifle will also get a trigger, and a bolt lift kit. He is going to help with assembly of everything, so he can also learn how a rifle is built. When we get to the reloading stage, I am going to have him do the loading, under my supervision. I think this is going to be my favorite build yet, and I can't wait to get it going with my son! More pictures to come!

Here is what we are starting with!

20220808_224030.jpg
 

FEENIX

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Great Falls, MT
So, my son is 9 years old, and loves everything outdoors. He loves going hunting, fishing, scouting, or even just hiking with me, and he is eager to start hunting big game once he turns 12

This year for 4-H, he raised and sold a goat, which made him enough money to get this build underway. I want him to learn that things in life cost money, and nice things cost more money. I purchased my first rifle when I was 10 from a pig that I raised and sold in 4-H, and I treated that rifle well, because I knew the time, effort and work I put in to earning the money for it. I did get him started though, with a donor rifle, an older left hand (yep, he's a southpaw like me) savage short action, top bolt release 22-250 I purchased a couple years ago from a member on here, specifically for this purpose.

I want this rifle to grow with him and be modular, so we're starting with an XLR Element 4.0 aluminum chassis, and an adjustable stock that I already have on hand. From there, we're gonna get a prefit barrel, chambered in one of two cartridges, that I haven't decided yet......either a .270 SS, or a 6.8 western. If more brass availability comes out, the 6.8 would be a good option as *some* factory ammo may be available in a pinch, but otherwise, the availability of ADG brass for the ss will outweigh that. It will be somewhere between 18-20" in length.

As far as the scope, I will probably help with that, and I haven't decided exactly on that yet.

This rifle will also get a trigger, and a bolt lift kit. He is going to help with assembly of everything, so he can also learn how a rifle is built. When we get to the reloading stage, I am going to have him do the loading, under my supervision. I think this is going to be my favorite build yet, and I can't wait to get it going with my son! More pictures to come!

Here is what we are starting with!

View attachment 388119
Kudos to you for raising him with the same family values and interests as you, esp. on passing the tradition. My wife and I attended many 4H fundraising events, and those kids and their programs are outstanding. Enjoy the moment with him while you can. They will be living their own before you know it. My sons are now 33 and 31, and I miss those days with them growing up. Good luck with your project with him.

Ed
 
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Idaho Trecker

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That is great to hear instilling the value of work to earn money for things wanted rather than havimg them handed to.
I know the majority of people out there will disagree on your caliber choice but not me :)
My 19.5" 270ss has been awesome! In fact I took my wife out Tuesday and she harvested her first animal ever (cow elk) with it. If she want to continue hunting after this I will build her her own 270ss.
If you do go 270ss when you get to that point and need some data let me know.
Hope you have a great season Cody!
 

Outlaw6.0

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Southpaws unite! 😎 I remember back in the day when quality lefty rifles were really hard to come by. Which is why I got into custom rifles so early, there really wasn't a choice 🤔

This will be an awesome project Cody, one that you and your boy will remember for the rest of your lives. I still have my very first centerfire, a Savage 110 (originally in .243) gifted to me by my grandfather. The only factory part that remains is the action but, the sentimental value of that rifle far outclasses even my most expensive custom rigs.



t
 

lancetkenyon

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Arizona
A couple comments:
1. AWESOME JOB!
2. You will need to swap bolt heads from standard .473" with the .22-250 to a .534" magnum for the .270SS or 6.8 Western.
3. Don't think you need a short magnum to kill deer a long way out. My daughter is a surgeon with her 6.5SLR (think .260 Rem case size). She has killed 3 pronghorn and 3 big mulies with it pushing a 130 OTM. From 381 to 771. She has also killed a pronghorn with my 25SST at 331, and it was no more dead than any of the other pronghorn.
4. For a 9 or 10 year old to start shooting, you might want to start with a bit lighter cartridge choice, or plan on a brake. I hate to see someone get recoil shy when they start out.
 

codyadams

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A couple comments:
1. AWESOME JOB!
2. You will need to swap bolt heads from standard .473" with the .22-250 to a .534" magnum for the .270SS or 6.8 Western.
3. Don't think you need a short magnum to kill deer a long way out. My daughter is a surgeon with her 6.5SLR (think .260 Rem case size). She has killed 3 pronghorn and 3 big mulies with it pushing a 130 OTM. From 381 to 771. She has also killed a pronghorn with my 25SST at 331, and it was no more dead than any of the other pronghorn.
4. For a 9 or 10 year old to start shooting, you might want to start with a bit lighter cartridge choice, or plan on a brake. I hate to see someone get recoil shy when they start out.
All good points! And, ones that should be addressed. I forgot to mention that swapping the bolt face is another thing that is going to happen.

I was very heavily thinking of going with a .260 ai, as I have all the dies and such, and it's a great round. I have even killed elk with my 29" barreled .260ai, at over 900 yards, 156 eol @2940. It's doable, but also on the borderline at further ranges, on elk. There are a couple reason why I decided against it. I want to have a shorter barrel on it, so it is easier to handle for him. He got the short genes from his mother, and is probably only going to be around 5'5" as an adult ha ha. And also, it may eventually be ran supressed. Another reason is, as stated, elk. I usually get two elk tags every year, a general as well as a late season cow/calf, and while I know I have killed elk at range before with a .260ai, I would have to take off 200-250 fps from what I have used, putting performance at or likely below that of a standard 6.5 creed. I can always just make sure we get close, but I'm sure you know, hunting elk in open country doesn't always allow you to do that. I just don't want the limiting factor to be the rifle, but instead, his ability.

As far as his ability, I have watched him consistently hit prairie dogs at over 400 yards with my .260 ai, which has a MBM Lil Beast brake on it.....since he was 6 ha ha! He has been at it for a bit. Also, he has done the same, with his mother's 20" 7 sherman max, which also wears a MBM lil beast 3 port brake. Which comes to the next part, I would definitely put a solid brake on it, at least at first. Once he got comfortable with his rifle, I would probably swap out to a supressor, as long as he was still able to shoot it well.

The other aspect to that, is I want to try to get a load with the 140 Badlands bullet, we have seen great terminal performance from it, and with the speeds attainable from it, as well as the .333 G7, it outruns the 170 Berger, with significantly less recoil. I would expect to run that 140 around 3100 fps or so, from an 18-20" .270 ss, putting it actually very similar to my .260ai. I know there would be more recoil, as it burns a lot more powder, but it will certainly be nicer than a 170 @ 2850 or so.

That is how I came to this cartridge choice, I think a short mag 30 cal would be a little too much, even with a brake, but I feel confident that he can handle a lighter bullet in a .270 cal, even a magnum, as he has shown with his mother's 7 Sherman Max. My first rifle was a sporter weight 30-06, shooting hand loaded 190 Hornady spire points at 2800, and no muzzle device ha ha. It wacked me pretty good, but I still loved that rifle and shot it as much as dad would load me rounds for ha ha. I think he will feel the same.....probably gonna wear my press out!
 
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codyadams

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I should have known your son has been out shooting up a storm, knowing who his Dad is....
I agree, with elk on the table, I would go a bit more horsepower too. You can always load DOWN to a light load, but you can't load UP to the next level of case capacity.
Exactly my thoughts. I think this will make a good balance for him!
 

257WTBY

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WA STATE
You know this is going to be something he treasures as well as yourself. Many years from now when hes grown and has his own family you will be able to look back on the memories and honestly the gun will be a minor part of it. Raise em right dad and he will turn out the man he ought to be...
 

skipglo

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Alberta
So, my son is 9 years old, and loves everything outdoors. He loves going hunting, fishing, scouting, or even just hiking with me, and he is eager to start hunting big game once he turns 12

This year for 4-H, he raised and sold a goat, which made him enough money to get this build underway. I want him to learn that things in life cost money, and nice things cost more money. I purchased my first rifle when I was 10 from a pig that I raised and sold in 4-H, and I treated that rifle well, because I knew the time, effort and work I put in to earning the money for it. I did get him started though, with a donor rifle, an older left hand (yep, he's a southpaw like me) savage short action, top bolt release 22-250 I purchased a couple years ago from a member on here, specifically for this purpose.

I want this rifle to grow with him and be modular, so we're starting with an XLR Element 4.0 aluminum chassis, and an adjustable stock that I already have on hand. From there, we're gonna get a prefit barrel, chambered in one of two cartridges, that I haven't decided yet......either a .270 SS, or a 6.8 western. If more brass availability comes out, the 6.8 would be a good option as *some* factory ammo may be available in a pinch, but otherwise, the availability of ADG brass for the ss will outweigh that. It will be somewhere between 18-20" in length.

As far as the scope, I will probably help with that, and I haven't decided exactly on that yet.

This rifle will also get a trigger, and a bolt lift kit. He is going to help with assembly of everything, so he can also learn how a rifle is built. When we get to the reloading stage, I am going to have him do the loading, under my supervision. I think this is going to be my favorite build yet, and I can't wait to get it going with my son! More pictures to come!

Here is what we are starting with!

View attachment 388119
Great family effort and memories for the two of you for LIFE! But have just one question...where in the Hell-o did the Pig get the rifle from? 🤣
 

TX Badger

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Exactly my thoughts. I think this will make a good balance for him!
Sounds like you have him on the right track. I learned a lot in 4H and showing and the county and state fairs too.

Once he puts in all the work to get this done, you could reward him with a surprise trainer barrel for varmints and targets. Would save you component $s and keep him from getting recoil shy.
 

Aoudad shooter1975

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Ovalo, Texas
Good to see that ol rifle getting used for a great project. My kids are in 4h and ffa both—-and they are wonderful programs. I’m with lance—a 260 would work with less dollars out of pocket.

Again kudos for getting your kids involved!!!

Ed
 
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