PDA

View Full Version : .243 or .30-30 for Youth?


baddarryl
October 29, 2012, 05:39 PM
Hi all. I am getting ready to get my kids into Whitetail hunting and am wondering which the better caliber is for them. They are 9 and 10 and on the small side. A youth 20ga is still a little large for them. I have an AR that I can let one of them use, but need to get a second rifle. I am leaning to the .30-30 because I would like to have a cool lever action, but unsure if that is as good a fit as a youth .243. Thoughts? Thanks.

tahunua001
October 29, 2012, 05:43 PM
I learned on a 243, my best friend growing up started with a 30-30. to my knowledge he never had a flinch but I did have a flinch for a while. recoil feels about the same to me between the two so it's hard to say. I would start them both out with the ar15 to get them used to centerfire recoil and then it shouldn't matter which one you get.

but personal experience says that 243 might be the better option if you need to make any shots over 200 yards.

jimbob86
October 29, 2012, 05:50 PM
For the kids, I have a 7-08 carbine that I download to 30/30 velocities, using a medium burn rate powder instead of the slower ones usually listed for top loads. With 139 gr bullets, I get 30/30 level energy, with a flatter trajectory, in a compact package with low recoil and little muzzle blast ..... yet when they get older, we can put the oomph back in it, and by then, I hope to have a can on the muzzle.

My Eldest daughter uses a .30/30 ..... the stock sights were ..... imprecise, let's say ...... the rainbow trajectory is a bit limiting, in some circumstances...... but it's her gun, and she likes it.

baddarryl
October 29, 2012, 07:47 PM
Let me add that we will hunt in NC and WVA so unlikely to see shots over 200 anytime soon. So trajectory may not be as much an issue as in other places.

jimbob86
October 29, 2012, 08:06 PM
unlikely to see shots over 200 anytime soon. So trajectory may not be as much an issue as in other places.

The ThuddyThuddy will drop about 8 inches from a 100 yard zero at 200 ..... kids are going to have enough trouble sighting without having to worry about hold-over......

.243 is a point and shoot proposition at under 200.

Striker1
October 29, 2012, 08:12 PM
I'd go with .243 Win.

jimbob86
October 29, 2012, 08:31 PM
I am leaning to the .30-30 because I would like to have a cool lever action, but unsure if that is as good a fit as a youth .243.

I would advise you to discuss the pros and cons of both, have them heft both at the LGS (if that's possible where you live) and let them make the choice. They'll be more emotionally invested (and therefore more likely to remain interested) they pick it.

If you want "a cool lever action", get one ..... for you. If they want one of those buggly Rossi Combo guns..... after you let them compare triggers and actions, etc and talked about it, then Rossi it is.......

Panfisher
October 29, 2012, 08:54 PM
I learned on a Marlin .30-30. When it came time for my wife and son to deer hunt I started them on a bolt action .243 with soft handloads. My wife simply didn't like the feel or the recoil of the .30-30. With the bolt .243 the controls were simpler, better ergonomics, nice soft rubber butt pad and with the soft reloads you didn't notice any recoil and still have more than enough energy to punch both shoulders of a missouri white-tail. My son moved up to my 7mm-08 last year but my wife loves her .243, although the new R-15 is making points with her, but she still wants her .243 when opening day rolls around and I have my knives sharp and camera charged.

jimbob86
October 29, 2012, 09:04 PM
My first deer rifle was a Remmy 788 in .243, but I was 14. I can't imagine my 9 y.o. son or even my 14 y.o. skinny daughter trying to manage that gun.

Doyle
October 30, 2012, 07:40 AM
I am leaning to the .30-30 because I would like to have a cool lever action
Felt recoil through that lever action (especially a straight stocked Win '94) is FAR more than any .243. In fact, when I had one I found it to be more unpleasant to shoot than my 30-06. I added a recoil pad which helped but sold it off in favor of a much flatter shooting .260.

baddarryl
October 30, 2012, 07:52 AM
Sounds like the .243 is the go. Damg I need to start re loading! Thanks fellas.

Rifleman1776
October 30, 2012, 08:24 AM
.243 is perfect for smaller people.

jmortimer
October 30, 2012, 08:28 AM
The .243 is good for anyone.

kraigwy
October 30, 2012, 08:56 AM
I am leaning to the .30-30 because I would like to have a cool lever action

OK get a 30-30.........FOR YOU.....but the recoil is going to be hard on kids that age. Not much recoil with the 243, less chance of ruining a new shooter.

I started my grandkids (when they were the same age) with either my 257 Roberts or my wife's 243. Recoil was not a concern.

Recoil of the 30-30, though not sever, is much heavier then the 243. My wife broke her back and has three rods between her shoulder blades. She can't shoot a 30-30 but she has no problems with her 243 recoil wise.

Worse thing you can do is start kids off with excessive recoil. Could ruin them for life regarding shooting. The way to get and keep kids shooting is make if fun. Its not fun getting whacked.

Wyosmith
October 30, 2012, 09:33 AM
I agree with Kragwy
I have no idea where the 30-30 got a reputation for "light recoil" they are light carbines and the power they have is enough to make them come back at you some. Not enough to hurt a man but it's absolutely enough to hurt a small shooter or kid.
Between the 243 or the 30-30 the 243 would win hands down.
Others to consider are the 257 Roberts, 250 Savage, the 6.5 Swede, and the 260 Remington
If the budget is available, I think the VERY best gun for a small shooter for deer and antelope is an AR-15 in 6.8 SPC. Same ballistics as the 257 Roberts and the recoil is about the same as a 223 in the same gun. In other words a 6.8 SPC in an AR kicks less than a 223 in a bolt gun
The down side is that such a carbine is going to cost you about a Grand. But it's worth the price if you can swing it.

jimbob86
October 30, 2012, 10:00 AM
I have no idea where the 30-30 got a reputation for "light recoil" they are light carbines and the power they have is enough to make them come back at you some.


Not all .30/30's are light carbines. That's an assumption.

Eldest Daughter's Marlin 30A is well over 8lbs, fighting weight ( weight as carried in the field, w/ scope and mounts, recoil pad, ammo sleeve on the stock, 9 cartridges..... and she wants a sling added) I'd bet felt recoil with her hunting loads is less than many .243 WIN rifles, particularly the hollow plastic stocked single shot youth models being pushed on kids today ....

If you are stand hunting, the weight in a gun is a feature, not a bug. Shooting sticks are wonderfull things.

A heavy gun in the hands of an enthusiastic kid will make a stronger kid, too ...... while a light gun that kicks the hell out of him will make a kid flinch, which will lead to poor shooting.

Nothing is better for kids than hard earned success.

Conversely, nothing is worse for them than a false sense of accomplishment..... but I digress.......

jmr40
October 30, 2012, 05:29 PM
I have no idea where the 30-30 got a reputation for "light recoil" they are light carbines

I have no idea where they got the reputation as light carbines. I own a dozen lever actons, and almost as many bolt guns. When put on my postal scales only my 300 WSM is heavier than the 30-30's. And it is only heavier by 2-3 oz. Most of my bolt guns are the same weight or lighter with optics on them than the 30-30's with just irons.

A typical lever 30-30 and 243 will have pretty close to the same actual recoil. The difference is in stock design and better recoil pads. Most lever actions have 200 year old stock designs with no pads which make felt recoil seem much worse than modern stock designs and new high tech recoil pads.

With modern bullets the 243 is a killing machine. I don't really recommend this, but shows what it will do. On deer at reasonable ranges it is a far better choice than a 30-30.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY0w1c-gf18

baddarryl
October 30, 2012, 06:43 PM
Anyone have experience with one of these? Unfortunately I am not the guy that can drop a grand on a rifle.

http://www.basspro.com/Remington-243-Whitetail-Pro-Model-770-Rifle/Scope-Youth-Combo/product/10218382/

tahunua001
October 30, 2012, 07:04 PM
I'm not sure about the 770 but the 700 would be a good rifle choice. walmart usually has pretty good deals.

baddarryl
October 30, 2012, 08:00 PM
I dd see a youth 700 in the LGS used the other day, but they wanted over $500 for it with no scope. Had to pass, but sure tempting.

tahunua001
October 30, 2012, 08:07 PM
that must have been one of their prettier models. their basic 700 ADLs at walmart and other big box stores should be about the same price range as that 770 minus a scope though.

Doyle
October 31, 2012, 07:29 AM
There are FAR better rifles to be had than the Rem 770 in that price range. Stevens 200, Marlin XS7, etc.

baddarryl
October 31, 2012, 09:55 AM
Doyle, I actually have an XL7 in .270 which I can't praise enough. Unaware if they make a youth version. Thanks for the thought.

jimbob86
October 31, 2012, 11:07 AM
Anyone have experience with one of these? Unfortunately I am not the guy that can drop a grand on a rifle.

http://www.basspro.com/Remington-243...duct/10218382/

It'd work for awhile, maybe. I have only seen 1 770 in the wild, and the kid that bought it liked it at the time ..... but did not like it over time.

How well are your kids capable of shooting? What I'm asking is how far are you thinking then can hit an 8x11 target?

The reason I ask is caliber choice is pretty much irrelevant at under 100 yards, assuming you stay above a minimum energy level (I like 1,000 lbs) and placement is good. Even a 4MOA crusty bored milsurp is twice as accurate as it needs to be at 100 yards: the weakest link is the shooter. The only thing that will fix that is practice, and lots of it.

You can surely find a used youth sized gun for less than $350 on a consignment rack somewhere..... If you are stand hunting, it need not even be a youth model. The thing is, for short range, you could download just about any caliber you found a good deal on to a recoil level that is tolerable to a 10 year old, and still have a lethal deer round..... if you handloaded.

If you handloaded, you could pick up a Mosin for $149 (or an M44 for $275), load some Sierra 125 gr SP to 2600.... or any of the oddball "Spanish Mausers" ... Yugo M48's are sitting in Cabela's right now for under $300 .... any of these can be downloaded for kids and still be packing 1K ft/lbs at 200 yards.... and lighter ammo can be made for practice.

Doyle
October 31, 2012, 11:15 AM
Doyle, I actually have an XL7 in .270 which I can't praise enough. Unaware if they make a youth version. Thanks for the thought.

Yep. $316 on Gunbroker. I can't think of a better youth rifle in that price range.

jimbob86
October 31, 2012, 11:25 AM
I downloaded .270 WIN (130gr Speer SP to 2800 .... dropped Bambi DRT, and recoil was pretty mild) two years ago for my then 14 y.o. daughter. I doubt my now 10 y.o. son could manage that gun though- 24" barrelled Remmy 721 ....would be a bit long and heavy for him.... if we were sitting in a blind, it'd work just fine, with something to rest the rifle on.

nate45
October 31, 2012, 11:37 AM
A bolt action .243 Winchester would be the better of the two.

In general, a good bolt action .243, with a good scope will be more accurate and flatter shooting than a lever action .30-30.
The .243 would also work great on smaller game and varmints, where its flatter trajectory, increased velocity and tighter groups would give it an even bigger advantage.


The brush bucking ability of semi and full round nose bullets has been proven to be a myth.
So, I personally would pick the .243 Win over the .30-30 for even woods hunting.

baddarryl
October 31, 2012, 01:44 PM
Thanks everyone. Going to get the Marlin
xs7 youth in. 243. As I said I already have one in. 270 and highly recommend it as well as know it. Thanks again.

Doyle
October 31, 2012, 03:17 PM
Good choice. Let me offer you one more piece of advise (for whatever my advise is worth). As soon as you buy it, start watching Ebay and/or Gunbroker for a regular sized stock. These come available all the time because someone bought the rifle to use as a build project and they sell off the original stock to try and recoup some money.

Your kid will eventually grow out of that youth stock. Having a full-sized factory stock already sitting in the closet will come in handy.

baddarryl
October 31, 2012, 03:45 PM
So the action, barrel etc is the regular size just with a smaller stock? Good thought. Thanks.

howl
October 31, 2012, 04:05 PM
That Marlin comes in 7mm08, too. Cabela's has a light 120gr load from Hornady for the 7mm08. Only thing better would be a full-house 120gr load from a .260, but you would most likely have to spend more for the rifle.

Doyle
October 31, 2012, 06:22 PM
So the action, barrel etc is the regular size just with a smaller stock? Good thought. Thanks.

Yes, except that the barrel on a youth might be a tad shorter. Either way, a regular stock is just a drop-in.

bamaranger
October 31, 2012, 11:18 PM
I am not a fan of .30-30 levers for kids, though I know many of us started on one. Lowering the external hammer on a live round is tricky for small hands and the "solution" was the now "lawyer" safety on lever carbines.

I think a full size .243 bolt kicks less than .30-30 carbine too. But watch out for too long butt stocks. The big thing for youth can also be rifles that are too heavy.

I would also be very selective on who I gave an AR to for a first deer rifle. The .223 requires exact bullet placement, and I have never been a fan of a semi for newbies either. A single shot HR or a Mini-Mauser in .223 would seem more appropriate. While I'm at it, the 7.62x39mm in a bolt, as in an Ruger MkII or a CZ carbine makes a good youth rifle to about the distance that most youngsters ought to be shooting at game.

baddarryl
November 1, 2012, 12:06 AM
I would also be very selective on who I gave an AR to for a first deer rifle. The .223 requires exact bullet placement, and I have never been a fan of a semi for newbies either. A single shot HR or a Mini-Mauser in .223 would seem more appropriate. While I'm at it, the 7.62x39mm in a bolt, as in an Ruger MkII or a CZ carbine makes a good youth rifle to about the distance that most youngsters ought to be shooting at game.


Yes I am a little leery of the AR for both of those reasons (caliber and semi) too now that I have had a chance to think about it. Fact is I will most likely just take the kids out one at a time for a whole host of reasons and use the .243