Youth deer rifle.

Apache5

New Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
1
Location
Georgia
Grandson turning 12 but expected to grow another foot. Will look at all options. Thanks.
7mm-08 hands down!
I was fortunate to be a youth mentor this year in a Florida program with six kids from 11-15yo. The program's rifles are Ruger American (youth length) in 7mm-08 and shot Hornady 150gr ELD-X (Precision Hunter line, grey box). They totaled well 15+ deer, 3-4 hogs, and a couple coyote.
Additionally, my twin 12yo boys loved those guns so much that they each wanted a 7mm-08 just like mine, so they both got Tikka T3. (They are fraternal twins - remember Danny & Arnold in the movie Twins - one of my boys is built like a HS middle linebacker and the other could be a Kentucky Derby jockey.) The bigger opted for the adult model and the jockey got the "Compact" (youth/ladies) model which comes with extra stock pads to increase LOP. Matter of fact, I love the Compact version so much that if he grows into mine - I'll swap him for the Compact.
You can't beat a Tikka for quality and out-of-the-box accuracy, and its real hard to beat the 7mm-08 for recoil (kid friendly) and lethality on deer-sized game.
 

flhshvlhed

New Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2007
Messages
3
If you want to win the "Coolest Pawpaw" award, then why not think outside of the box. All of the calibers mentioned will surely spank a deer (and larger) sized animal.
But - what if you bought an AR platform with a collapsible stock? This would allow for when he grows that other foot in height. You could get an AR-15 platform and go with the 6.5 Grendel/300 Blackout/6.8 SPC cartridges. Or... go with an AR-10 platform and get a 6.5 Creed upper to start off. It could later be augmented with a 358 Winchester, for larger animals.
It's just something to ponder. The bottom line, enjoy your time in the woods with him.
 

Bud LaRoche

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Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
60
Location
Oregon
Great ideas and suggestions from all.
I'm in the same position with both my kids , 12 and 14. My daughter is 85lbs My 14yr old son is growing by the minute.
The Ruger American Predator is a great choice. Lesser expensive rig , lite weight, very well known accurate guns with after market triggers and more stocks coming out. They come threaded as well. So 6.5 Creedmoor for my son and 243\6mm Creedmoor for my recoil sensitive daughter. I can buy one brake and swap them in between sessions. No breaks for hunting.
A little more in your wallet I'd suggest a Tikka which would certainly be my first choice between the two mentioned. Although more money would be spent on getting it threaded for a brake but a Tikka CTR can be had with a shorter and threaded barrel for more coin.
Best of luck.
 

preventec47

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Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
72
No kid less than ten years old needs to own anything more than a rimfire. Anyone who buys a baby a centerfire has an ego problem. For very small kids they need to be able to progress through BB guns into pellet guns before they ever get into rimfire. Everyone needs a chance to progress and grow in the world of firearms. Buying a 7 year old a 243 is just nuts. Just watch, the same guy is going to by his kid a new corvette as his first car while in high school. 243 for a 12 year old only if he has been through the progression of pellet and rimfire guns. Kids need to do a lot of plinking.
first with BBs, pellets and then rimfire.
 

cjl2010

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Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
649
Location
Payson Arizona
Manners mcs-cs
20” barrel
6.5 creedmoor
AC55DF68-4E1B-4804-BFD3-7A445A4CE6DD.jpeg
 

Thomas Culver

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Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
49
Manners mcs-cs
20” barrel
6.5 creedmoor
View attachment 135088

This is very similar to the one I built for my son except mine has a 22" Mueller #4 fluted barrel. My son is 7 and enjoys shooting it. It is also accurate as all get out. I had never shot past 600 and took it to a new range to qualify and scored hits on 3 out of 5 at 1000 with a full value direct crosswind. I load the 124 Hammer Hunters and it is absolutely lethal on hogs. We're taking it to Africa in June and I can't wait to see what he puts down with it.
 

PoppaW

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
24
I let my 12yr old daughter pick. Showed her all kinds of guns and she didn’t like any synthetic stocks as they were really light in the butt which made them feel front heavy. She liked the Browning Ab3 with the wood stock. Better balance. I put a 3-9 on it and the 6.5 creedmoor has little recoil. She did the sight in at 50/100 and then hit the gongs out to 300 and made it look easy. All in the first box of shells. No complaints about recoil on this one and no need for a brake. She is very happy and that is what is important.
 

JMB 1911

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Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
95
Location
Connecticut
I like the 7/08 cartridge but it simply isn't as commercially available as the .243

I bought Kimber wood stocked model 84 for my my daughter. She has made several nice 1 shot kills with it. The Barnes TTSX factory loads are awesome and I have shot steel to 500 yards with it very accurate for factory ammo with superb terminal performance.
 

redleg1013

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Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
206
257 Roberts (you can even go crazy and get the even better Ackley Improved, yes, I said it) with a 100gr TTSX is just a stoopid accurate deer slayer that is really kind of fun to shoot... like all day, and not having to worry about getting pounded by recoil or succumbing to shooter fatigue.
 

zandroid

New Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
1
You already have a lot of good responses. I purchased my 8 year old a Browning X-bolt in .243. I went with the .243 for low recoil. I didn't want to introduce recoil flinch at an early age, even though he has shot rimfire since he was 5. He's left hand and I was limited to the X-bolt or T3x for options in a left hand rifle. I went with the X-bolt because Browning offers "Growth Insurance" where if you buy a youth rifle you can buy the full stock at half price from them. I also like the tang safety and bolt release button for safely unloading the rifle while leaving the safety on. Browning was also the only one to offer a left hand youth in a walnut stock. I know synthetic is popular, but I think your first gun should be in a wood stock. I don't think Tikka offered any youth models in wood.

I also considered a lightly used Remington 700 from the early 80s to early 90s. I'm a sucker for lightly used examples in Walnut, especially ADLs since that's the first couple of rifles I was given/owned.

Since your grandson is 12 I would consider stepping up to the 7mm-08. My 8 year old had no problems with the recoil from the .243. Practice is important and he has no issues hitting vitals on a cardboard deer at 100 yards. He took his first deer last season under 50 yards.
 
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