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Rifle Caliper For 12 year old


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With the age of youth hunting on the verge of being 12 years old I find myself having to fast track my thought process on what rifle caliper to get in the now near future. My daughter will be 11 in a few weeks so that gives me about 1.5 years to get a gun and get her use to it if she is going to join me in hunting. Question is what caliper is better suited for a young girl who is tall but only weighs in at maybe 80 pounds. I feel recoil is the largest factor when choosing a rifle for her. 

My only experience is with 12ga, 22's and 30-06. The last 2 being way to much recoil for her to handle. I don't need to scare her off guns. 

Ideally I like the idea of a .270 as its a popular round and versatile but perhaps its on the high end of recoil versus maybe a 7mm-08 or a .243.

Thoughts, opinions and experience is welcome.  

 

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I've been shooting a 30-30 for over 40 years .... so when my Grandson starts hunting -hopefully this coming season - he's gonna inherit my 40+ year old Winchester #94 30-30 ! But that's just me !

Thats why I went with a larger caliber like the .244..... hehehehe It's seen plenty of shoulders and always performed with cheapo Winchester ammo. Let's remember the point of the thread, which is

When Dinsdale talks guns, and shooting, I listen!! The voice of experience talking.

22 minutes ago, Moho81 said:

maybe a 7mm-08 or a .243.

I think either of these is a safe bet but I'm partial to a 7mm-08. My wife shoots that caliber, and her last two wall hangers dropped in place.

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You want a common cartidge or something a little different?

I would think a 257 Roberts or 250-3000 would be great .

Or any of short action cartridges like 260,  6.5 creedmore, or 7-08 shooting a 90-120 grain bullet would work great as well and not have excessive recoil.

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7mm-08.......all day with 120gr. NBTs!

Light recoil and lights out, DRT results. Your daughter will never need another deer rifle using this cartridge. 

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7mm-08 or a 6.5 creedmore would be my first two choices and not necessarily in that order.  Both offer mid-size bullet weight with minimal recoil along with great accuracy.  Another advantage is they both are readily available. 

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CVA Scout in a .243 or a 350 Legend. They're built well for the pricepoint, the single shot will give her ample opportunity to focus on the shot, practice loading and unloading, and proper gun care/handling. Neither offer major recoil but are effective options. I know some people try to steer away kids from .243 but you are right that recoil sensitivity can be a major factor at that age.

7mm-08 would be next up choice.

If you ever take her to Ohio or places where straightwalls are allowed, the 350 will be legal to use there too.

Even if she outgrows it at somepoint it works well as a back-up. Heck I've hunted with my Scout .243 more than any other of my rifles the past two-three seasons.

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just get disc instead of drum and i'd recommend slotted, but not drilled rotors.

 

On a serious note, I'd say .243 if you're able to invest at a later date in a .270 or if your kid is bigger just start with a .270.

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Just now, Belo said:

just get disc instead of drum and i'd recommend slotted, but not drilled rotors.

Go home. You're drunk.

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So the 7mm-08 seems to be the really really popular opinion and if I was reading correctly it's a necked down .308 right in the middle of the .243 and the .308. I've always heard that while legal the .243 lacked for White Tail's. Obviously I've heard that statement right with the "if your not shooting 30-.06 your not a real man" statement from the older generation so there is no science to back up what i've heard LOL.

where does the 7mm-08 stack up against the 6.5 Creedmore? I'm not a huge fan of the 6.5. On paper it looks great but some real world experience I've seen the last 2 years has me thinking different on that round. 

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3 minutes ago, Moho81 said:

So the 7mm-08 seems to be the really really popular opinion and if I was reading correctly it's a necked down .308 right in the middle of the .243 and the .308. I've always heard that while legal the .243 lacked for White Tail's. Obviously I've heard that statement right with the "if your not shooting 30-.06 your not a real man" statement from the older generation so there is no science to back up what i've heard LOL.

where does the 7mm-08 stack up against the 6.5 Creedmore? I'm not a huge fan of the 6.5. On paper it looks great but some real world experience I've seen the last 2 years has me thinking different on that round. 

The newest ballistic data actually points to the .270 as being the perfect whitetail gun for our neck of the woods. Old timers often forget that recoil will affect accuracy in many shooters outside of the best and most experienced. So most importantly for youth, I'd rather they shoot a smaller caliber than to flinch when squeezing the trigger. I have 3 boys and my intentions are to buy both a .243 and .270 that get shared and upgraded with age. 

When they become adults they can choose to go bigger than a .270 if that should tickle their fancy. Personally I only went .30-06 because I still hunt the allusive black bear. 

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3 minutes ago, Belo said:

The newest ballistic data actually points to the .270 as being the perfect whitetail gun for our neck of the woods. Old timers often forget that recoil will affect accuracy in many shooters outside of the best and most experienced. So most importantly for youth, I'd rather they shoot a smaller caliber than to flinch when squeezing the trigger. I have 3 boys and my intentions are to buy both a .243 and .270 that get shared and upgraded with age. 

When they become adults they can choose to go bigger than a .270 if that should tickle their fancy. Personally I only went .30-06 because I still hunt the allusive black bear. 

I only went 30-.06 because I won it in a raffle (and I wanted to be a real man for once in my life). If I was buying I would have went with the .270 for myself. 

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My FIL did a bunch of research when he was buying his first deer rifle and settled on 7mm-08.  A few years later he mentioned wanting a 6.5 creed.  I explained that for what he does, medium range NY deer hunting and target out to 300 yards... they are very similar and the 7mm-08 does offer the ability to use a heavier bullet.  But like all of us... when you want a gun, you want it, so he has both now.  Cant go wrong with either.  6.5 excels at distance, while 7mm-08 offers more flexibility.  

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35 minutes ago, Moho81 said:

So the 7mm-08 seems to be the really really popular opinion and if I was reading correctly it's a necked down .308 right in the middle of the .243 and the .308. I've always heard that while legal the .243 lacked for White Tail's. Obviously I've heard that statement right with the "if your not shooting 30-.06 your not a real man" statement from the older generation so there is no science to back up what i've heard LOL.

 

Bullets have never been better, that's the significant difference in old school and new.

Shot a fair amount of deer sized animals with everything from a 223rem to a 458winmag. Shot placement and being comfortable with what you're shooting to achieve that placement trumps all. 

The trend is to light rifles. Avoid that. No one is climbing mountains for days with a rifle here. Put some weight in the stock if you have to.

I'm not big guy, but can handle stiff chamberings, know how to shoot. Stay away from benches. Teach standing off sticks, so she can recoil with the rifle.

Dry fire practice. Get a couple of snap caps so she can cycle a bolt. Cheap and easy way to get comfortable to squeezing a trigger.

Have fun.

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9 minutes ago, Dinsdale said:

Dry fire practice. Get a couple of snap caps so she can cycle a bolt. Cheap and easy way to get comfortable to squeezing a trigger.

Have fun.

I have a bolt action .22 that she's been shooting. I like it for a couple of reasons. One it forces her to slow down and not just pull the trigger as fast as she can. Two being a bolt gun she's getting use to cycling the bolt after every shot. No joke when I switched from Semi auto shotgun to the bolt action it took me a good 20-30 seconds to remember that I had to manually cycle the gun after shooting a doe. Good thing the first shot was spot on and I didn't need a follow up shot because I completely botched it. 

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As stated earlier don't overthink it.  A 7mm-08 will be all the rifle she ever needs for deer and like sized game.  Add to that (as previously mentioned) that reduced recoil factory loads are available and to me it's a no brainer.

I have one in the safe and enjoy shooting it but never really gave it much time in the woods (yet).  I have a couple 6.5's in the safe but they are pre-man bun rifles, so they are chambered in 260 Remington, which is also  an excellent caliber but due to its' lack of commercial success, ammo availability can be an issue .  I carry one often and I've shot quite a few bucks with it and it always performed very well, even with sometimes "less than optimal" shot placement.

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