Women’s rifle and cartridge suggestion

Radman

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Nov 23, 2019
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270
Location
TN
I’m looking at buying my wife a new hunting rifle, I was mainly looking at a weatherby mkv or vanguard Camilla. She’s short and got short arms so a small frame rifle is a must. Gun will be mainly used for whitetail hunting but she says she wants to go elk hunting with me someday. Was really thinking a .308 with a brake would be the ticket. My choices of what they offer in the vanguard series are 7mm-08 or .308 and the mkv in 280 ai or 6.5 rpm. What would be your choice of a light recoiling deer/elk gun?
You probably already know but frequently a call to a manufacturer will yield up items not listed or known to the consumer.
I recently landed a shortened buttstock for a ladyfriend who is short & has short arms. Though her weapon was not offered in a downsized or youth model there WERE unlisted parts for gunsmiths or the do-it- yourselfers! Good luck.
 

Mike from Texas

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Sep 7, 2013
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North Texas
Camilla in 308 would be my choice and I agree with no brake. I wouldn’t even consider a long action for this application.

I built my wife a custom R700 in 6.5x47 Lapua and she absolutely loves it. Recoil and report both a very mild, and it’s not overly heavy as it has a lighter contour Rock Creek barrel on it topped with a VX5.

I don’t know if a custom build and/or reloading is an option for you but something to consider. It’s an 8 twist barrel, 22” and it shoots 129 ABLR @ 2922fps and it hammers whitetail, axis and pigs here in Texas.
 

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ElCazador

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Sep 13, 2021
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Highcountry, Colorado
I would definitely go for the 7mm-08. It's what I got for my wife and daughter. I love the .280 AI and almost always go to it myself but since I have two already, 7mm-08 was the clear choice if recoil is one of your primary factors. Ammo choice, selection, and availability is the only reason to consider .308 over those cartridges.
 

xsn10s

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Mar 7, 2016
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3,136
I’m looking at buying my wife a new hunting rifle, I was mainly looking at a weatherby mkv or vanguard Camilla. She’s short and got short arms so a small frame rifle is a must. Gun will be mainly used for whitetail hunting but she says she wants to go elk hunting with me someday. Was really thinking a .308 with a brake would be the ticket. My choices of what they offer in the vanguard series are 7mm-08 or .308 and the mkv in 280 ai or 6.5 rpm. What would be your choice of a light recoiling deer/elk gun?
Even though I'm a 308 win fan I would've suggested a 7-08. The problem I see is the Camilla Vanguard is only listed with a 20" barrel on the 7-08, I don't think that'll get you the velocities needed for 1500 ft/lbs at your listed distances. So it you reload I'd try a 280 AI. The Mark V Camilla Ultra Lightweight would be braked with a 26" 1-9" barrel. It would still be light at 5.8 lbs. But really it's up to her. If you could let her try a variety of rifles that would be best. Or think of this as a learning process that might call for several rifles over time.
 

Carp1

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May 27, 2021
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Location
Texas
Both my daughters shoot my Fierce Edge 7-08. It has a 20" barrel and no break. They shoot 120gr Hammer Hunters out to 500 yards no problem. My 19 yr old took a pronghorn at 400yds with it this year. I don't think you go wrong with the 308 either.
 

akdad

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Sep 23, 2020
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aniak ak
I saw a Camilla at sportsman’s and handed it to the wife and asked her to try it. She immediately said she like it a lot more then then anything she had ever used before!
The stock is not just shorter it’s completely redesigned. I have a dozen youth models and trust me it’s not just a youth stock
 

HNDLDR

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Jun 25, 2014
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321
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Billings MT
The best cartridge or gun or whatever for anyone that is isn’t you, female or otherwise is education and choice.

If she is interested, she will absorb the information and make a informed decision of what she might prefer. Since, after all, she’s the one that has to pull the trigger.

Ultimately, experience is the best teacher. The more anyone shoots, the more they know what they like and why. I find that explaining the pros and cons, and creatively leading access for someone to get hands on tends to allow these dilemmas to work themselves more than not.
My wife did her own research and chose the 7mm-08. She has a left handed Browning micro hunter and loves it. The 7mm-08 was never on my radar until she chose it for herself. Now all the kids shoot one and I have one in an AR10 style rifle.
Got some 130gr Absolute hammers coming for them as I type this. Wouldn’t hesitate on an elk inside 500 yards with them.
 

freddiej

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Aug 10, 2010
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Carson City, NV
BMCCART, I have looked over your parameters and have come up with a couple of suggestions without over thinking the cartridge and knowing/shooting the cartridges in my suggestion.
the two cartridges I suggest are both WSM's. 270 and 300. use the 1:8" barrel for both, you can shoot heavy loads in both with minimal recoil.
 

billflangjr813

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Joined
May 21, 2014
Messages
45
I’m looking at buying my wife a new hunting rifle, I was mainly looking at a weatherby mkv or vanguard Camilla. She’s short and got short arms so a small frame rifle is a must. Gun will be mainly used for whitetail hunting but she says she wants to go elk hunting with me someday. Was really thinking a .308 with a brake would be the ticket. My choices of what they offer in the vanguard series are 7mm-08 or .308 and the mkv in 280 ai or 6.5 rpm. What would be your choice of a light recoiling deer/elk gun?
25-06 all the bang for your Buck.
 

Idaho Lefty

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Jan 29, 2018
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704
A decade ago, hunting with a NC outfitter a group of 5 ladies showed up all decked out and ready for the tree stands. In 3 days all 5 had tagged out, 3 whitetails each. Further investigation showed they were all shooting some flavor of a 6mm. Two had Remington 600's in 6mm Rem and three had Remington Model Seven's in .243win. The outfitter said that a couple of them had shots out to 425yds. The ladies said the rifles were short and handled easily in the confines of the elevated blinds, while muzzle blast and recoil were mild. And the stocks all fit them adequately. It turned out these ladies knew what they were doing and they could shoot. They were all shooting factory Hornady Ammo.
Yes, the .243 Win IS an Excellent Choice for,..Deer and Antelope and, IN the Hands of an Expert, probably fine to 300 Yards on, an Elk,.. BUT,..
NOT, the best choice for, LESS than, PERFECT Shots at,.. 300 to 500 yards on,.. Elk !
A GOOD, 135 to 140 grain Bullet at, 2,800 FPS will do IT,.. BETTER !
The 6.5 CM, .260 Rem, or, the 7 mm-08 will ALL, Kill Elk, just fine !
And, most Women, CAN, "handle" the recoil without, a Brake !
 
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HRM Johnny

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Nov 13, 2019
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527
Location
Virginia
Just a thought: if the concern is getting a rifle that will fit the shooter, mightn’t one consider an AR. On the other hand, any bolt action rifle that will fit into a chassis. Both give adjustable length of Pull, and adjustable cheek height. If you choose the second option the world is your oyster in terms of cartridge choice. You could choose any cartridge you like. Regarding the first option, I have on my bucket list to put together an A.R. 10 in 270 Winchester short mag.
just my two cents worth.
 

MagnumManiac

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Feb 25, 2008
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3,982
We spent months shouldering different rifles, Rem Model 7’s, Weatherby Vanguards, Tikka T3 Lites, Model 70 EW’s and some other obscure rifles like a Mossberg and a CZ something or other.
The Model 7 fit really well, but the only model in stock was a 243…illegal for us to use on our deer.
So after all the months looking we settled on the SPS Stainless in 7-08.
Prior to this, my wife has shot and used all of my comp guns, 22-250AI, 264WM & 300WM. As they are all very heavy she had no issue shooting them off a bench.
Shooting my other rifles, all sporter weight models, the only 2 she liked were the 25-06 and 22-250 VSSF II that is stock other than having a switch barrel set-up.
Her 222 is the gun she ALWAYS wants to use, but we can’t use that on deer even if we wanted to. She doesn’t like the 270, it’s too loud, which I totally agree with and everything else I have are just too much of a good thing in lightweight rifles.
The SPS also has the super soft R3 recoil pad on it, however this has given her a false sense of security and she doesn’t hold the rifle tight enough.
There really is no other cartridge I would be confident in her using, noise and blast is just right, even the 25-06 is noisier, although she can shoot those very well, especially my custom Ruger as it weighs over 10lbs.

Cheers.
 

Bmccart

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Dec 5, 2017
Messages
167
I took an elk with a rifle that had a brake on it once. I’ll never do that again. It happened fast, and there was no time to put on hearing protection.
It hurt bad enough I hunt suppressed now.
Basically, I can’t say I’d recommend a brake on a hunting rifle.

I know a few women who hunt with a .25-06. It’s got about half the felt recoil of a .30-06. Anything you listed would be good though.

I’ve killed countless animals with a brake and don’t think I’ve ever even heard the shot. Doesn’t bother me a bit when I’m hunting, target shooting is another thing tho.
 
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