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Old January 26, 2006, 10:28 AM   #1
Desertfox
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Rifle for my Daughter to hunt

I am a long time bowhunter and short time rifle hunter for whitetail.
My daughter is 17 and wants to whitetail hunt this fall. Oh the happiness!
On my lease it is required to be elevated to use a rifle.
I put up a double ladder stand already in anticipation.
I am going to purchase a rifle for her, but here is the question.
The youth .243 is light weight. Would a heavier, maybe bull barrel, be a better choice since she is pencil thin and would be seated for the hunt?
We will spend many days at the firing range this summer but the recoil is my biggest concern. If it hurts her she will lose interest in shooting.
Any suggestions for caliber and heavier vs lighter barrel information would be appreciated.
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Old January 26, 2006, 10:37 AM   #2
fisherman66
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I think I'd step up to a slightly heavier velocity, bullet and gun.

Just thinking out loud.....

25'06 is a flat shooting, low recoil round
300 savage is a comfortable round
257 Roberts is low recoil
6mm....
260.....

There are better alternatives to the 243 when going after deer; but the 243 will do the job when the shooter uses good placement and premium bullets.

I'd go with the 6mm or 25'06 in your shoes and in a varmint barrelled heavy rifle with a good quality scope and aftermarket recoil pad. I think Savage offers an entry level priced rifle that will provide all that for a fair price (I'd opt not to purchase a scope package with savage and spend all I could afford for top glass.)

<EDIT> Have your daughter practice with both in-the-ear plugs and muffs. Recoil often get mingled with muzzle blast in the mind. Also have her practice with a 22lr. A 22lr is the best training tool in the world!!! I'd have her shoot at least a box of 100 22LR for every box (20) of centerfire cartridges.
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Old January 26, 2006, 10:52 AM   #3
Wild Bill Bucks
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My daughter weighs in at about 120 and she has no trouble with th 7mm-08
I reload her shells with a 130 grain bullet and she has no trouble with the gun at all.
It is inheirntly accurate cartridge because it comes from the .308 brass, and the 7mm has a great Ballistic coefficient. Caliber has mild recoil and flys at a rate of about 3000 fps.
Bullets range in weights suitable for everything from ground hogs to moose and is an excellent long range OR short range weapon according to the ammo you choose.
Some people think it is probably the best all around hunting rifle around.
Savage makes an affordable rifle in this caliber, I think I gave about $250.00 for hers used.
Check the pawn shops before buying new as most people probably don't shoot more that 50 times with a rifle before they trade them off, and your chances of finding a good one are pretty good.

Just my $0.02 worth.
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Old January 26, 2006, 11:12 AM   #4
fisherman66
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I've changed my mind....(my perogative right?)

Since this may well be a "flash in the pan" desire, I'd have her use your rifle with a good recoil pad and perhaps a mercury recoil suppressor or two inserted into the stock of your gun (I assume you still have your rifle from your earlier rifle hunting days.)

This all assumes you shoot a non-mag 300 cal. bullet or less.

If she falls in love with hunting (and field dressing..ect) then get her the rifle of her choice (have her do the research). That's half the fun, right?
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Old January 26, 2006, 12:35 PM   #5
20cows
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Lotsa' folks have been successful with a .243 and it IS user friendly.

And it IS enough gun.
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Old January 26, 2006, 04:41 PM   #6
Desertfox
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Ok. Having taken in all the response so far, it seems that everyone has there favorite choice.
She cannot use my rifle, winchester 270 wsm. Even with a sims recoil pad it kicks like a mule.
I am new into rifle hunting. I have no experience and nothing to draw on from earlier life. I rifle hunted this year for the second year.
I am glad to say that after many years of bow hunting successfully, rifle hunting has opened up alot of doors for hunting opportunities for me.

The .243 is what every rifle salesman wants to sell but, the 25-06 sounds good too. Tell me about a boss system. I think that is what he called it. (holes drilled in the end of the barrell to release gas and take away some of the recoil)

A heavy barreled 25-06 with this system may be the answer. Yes, she and I will shoot another 500 rounds this summer together thru the 22 long. I put a little scope on it this year so she can get used to looking thru it.

Yes, whatever rifle I decide on for her, I will put a nice Leupold scope on it.

No, the 22 long doesn't have a Leupold on it. Tasco for that choice.

My first gun hunt was with a borrowed 30-30. Shot a buck first thing, first morning at 25 yards. Double lung, and spent 5 minutes looking for what I assume was the arrow before realizing what I was doing.

Bow hunters usually make crappy rifle hunters for this reason. We don't shoot the shoulder, and we set up for 20 yard shots. I am learning as I go.

She has been with me 3 times when I field dressed a deer. She helps butcher the deer every fall for the last 3 years. She has seen plenty of dead deer between me and everyone at the bow shop where I worked on saturdays.
Thanks for the good information and the good info to come.
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Old January 26, 2006, 04:51 PM   #7
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A BOSS, or any other well-made muzzlebrake, will lower felt recoil in varying degrees. This comes at the price of a great deal of noise being directed back at the shooter, and even more so at whoever is sitting by the shooter.
Quote:
She cannot use my rifle, winchester 270 wsm. Even with a sims recoil pad it kicks like a mule.
How much experience does she have with it?
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Old January 26, 2006, 04:57 PM   #8
Desertfox
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she shot my 270 WSM 3 shots at a shooters table, with sand bags not a rifle sled, and she will not shoot it again. Yes, I made sure she held it tight to her shoulder and yes she had proper shooting form and yes she hates it.
It does kick.
Of course, she was wearing hearing protection. Foam plugs and muffs. I work around noise so I am aware of the safety factor. Shooters glasses too.
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Old January 26, 2006, 05:12 PM   #9
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The .243 will kill deer just fine. It is very accurate, with very low recoil. Be advised that it is less tolerant of shooting error than the other, more powerful rounds are. In other words, deer which are gut-shot with a .243 will often run a looong way before they die. She just needs to pick her shots well, and have more patience than I have (I learned several lessons this Season about patience ).

If she is a thin and an inexperienced shooter, go ahead and buy the .243 for her. Most standard size .243s are pretty small and light, so I see no reason for a youth size (I presume this means shortened stock) model, unless she is really petite. Try a Remington CDL; it is a slender rifle, and it comes with a great recoil pad. Load with a 95 or 100 grain soft-point round.

The advantage of the .25-05 and the .7mm-08 is that these calibers shoot a heavier round (117 grn for .25-06, 130 grn for the 7mm, IIRC). But a heavier round means a little more recoil. Not much more recoil, but if she is a really recoil sensitive beginner, I'd rather have her shoot the .243 accurately.

Avoid the BOSS and other porting systems. The increased noise may cause her to flinch even more than the recoil. And the recoil from a .243 is so gentle that she won't need a recoil reducer or a huge, thick barrel.
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Old January 26, 2006, 05:21 PM   #10
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There is nothing wrong with the 243, alot of deer have been taking with this round. Of all the calibers mentioned the 243 is the mildest in recoil. As for the rifle I would look into a New England firearms Handi rifles. These little single shot rifles are inexpensive and in time if she wants to go up in caliber you could get another barrel. This company makes heavy bull barrel rifles as well as ultra lite rifles. I would not over look the Ultra light 243, ease of carry and handling and in 243 no recoil. I liked the NEF ultra lite 243, hunted with one the last two seasons and cannot complain (it put deer in the freezer). Just my two cents worth.
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Old January 26, 2006, 05:22 PM   #11
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The BOSS; or any muzzle porting, should be avoided IMO. The damage to ears is cumulative; whereas recoil rarely causes permenant damage (elephant guns can detact cornias, but that's with nearly 10 time the amount of recoil.)

A heavy 25'06 with a 40mm objective scope is a great combo. Good glass makes all the difference at sunrise and sunset.

There are recoil pads that actually fit around ones shoulder too (independant of the rifle.)

Best of luck.
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Old January 26, 2006, 05:39 PM   #12
john in jax
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.243, 7mm-08, 25-06, are all good choices. Do you know anyone that might let you borrow one of the calibers in question for her to test shoot?
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Old January 26, 2006, 05:51 PM   #13
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Why not just get her a .30-30? Low recoil, accurate, cheap, (including the gun) and it allows for faster follow up shots. Obviously I am talking about a lever gun. A good marlin 336 is around $300 bucks brand new. And get a Marlin over a Winchester because the Winchester is a pain in the ass to mount a scope on.
Otherwise I would get a .25-06 over a .243 because there is more power, same minimal recoil, and more range.
At Gander Mountain I saw this nifty little Remington Model 7 in .260 for 4 bills brand new, I would have bought it but the rifle was a little too small for me. (I am 6'4" and 270 lbs.)
My brother just purchased a nice little Remington 7400 in .243 and the recoil on it is not much more than that of my Bushmaster AR-15 and it shoots great and is another inexpensive rifle. He bought his for $400.
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Old January 26, 2006, 05:53 PM   #14
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Also IMO the bull barrel would get a little tiresome for a little girl to lug around all day and is not necessary.
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Old January 26, 2006, 06:00 PM   #15
loosecannon
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Go with the .243 if your daughter doesn't like it YOU will!
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Old January 26, 2006, 09:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Also IMO the bull barrel would get a little tiresome for a little girl to lug around all day and is not necessary.
+1. Even if you are just sitting all day, a heavy gun is a heavy gun. And I don't think she is going to need the reduced recoil that much. I know a 13 year old girl who can't weigh more than 100 lb and shoots a 7mm-08 just fine. As a matter of fact, her buck last year was a lot bigger than mine.
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Old January 26, 2006, 09:49 PM   #17
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I'd run with .357 mag or .243 for that. Medium weight rifle (up to 8.5 lbs decked out). If she's recoil-sensitive and y'all will be practicing a lot, I'd really look into something like .357 mag - which works great if the ranges are short-ish where you hunt. 3rd choice... .30-30 win.
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Old January 26, 2006, 10:00 PM   #18
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I second both the .30-30 and the .357. If ranges are short, 50-75 yards long, with 100 being way out there, there really isn't much reason to go to a true 'high power' rifle round. The .357, .44 Mag and .45 LC in a carbine format have plenty of reach out and knock deer down power inside 75 yards. A .30-30 with a good shooter behind it will do the same out to much, much longer ranges. You might also look at the venerable .45-70. I know some people are flinching already, but the green box remington loads with the 405 gr SP remind me a lot of heavy upland loads in a 12 guage. You know something went off, but they're more of a push rather than the slap of say the .300 WSM.

The best advice? Go to a range with a good selection of rental guns, have her shoot several in the calibers recommended in this thread. Have her shoot several different types of rifles in the same caliber at the least. It can be surprising how much stock design can mitigate felt recoil. I hate pistol grip stocks on lever guns, but give me a straight stock and I'll shoot calibers I wouldn't think of before. I haven't met a factory monte carlo stock that I like either.

A Browning or Benelli autoloader in any round really ***** cats out felt recoil.
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Old January 26, 2006, 10:09 PM   #19
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ya know, another thought... a browning BAR or rem 7400 semi-auto in .243 is going to kick even less.
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Old January 27, 2006, 12:55 AM   #20
Desertfox
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Thanks for all the input. I never thought to let her try the 30-30. I bought that borrowed 30-30 from my first rifle kill and she can try it. I never thought about it kicking less. I could mount a scope for her easy enough if she can fire it ok.
I use it with 180gr. silver tips for hog hunting in the brush. I can down size the load for her to deer hunt. Any suggestions for a round in the 30-30?

I will probably still buy her "her own rifle". I am going to investigate where a rental firearm range is around here and we can make a weekend of it.
I never imagined such a thing existed.

I am ruling out the boss system. Thanks for the advice.

I will probably go with the .243 so I can take her coyote calling after she is up to snuff on her accuracy. 85gr. nosler part. if I am remembering correctly, for coyotes. 110gr. nosler or hornady for deer?

Browning is the choice most recommended. Like you said, if she doesn't like it, I will.

Thanks to all for the advice. This forum is priceless.
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Old January 27, 2006, 01:31 AM   #21
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I've killed some 20+ deer with the Sierra 85-grain HPBT in .243. However, I pretty much limited myself to neck shots or cross-body shots. No angle shots where deep penetration was necessary. I also limited myself to no more than some 200 yards. Most shot, natch, were within the usual 100 yards, mas o menos. That particular bullet creates mush inside the body cavity, which makes it very good for heart/lung shots.

Federal sells that particular loading, and I've found it to group as tightly as my handloads.

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Old January 27, 2006, 08:58 AM   #22
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I use a Barnes 100 gr in 25-06. I believe that a 25 caliber is slightly small for the game cartridge. I do hunt rather large bodied whitetails with it. I believe that a 243 is also on the small side for deer. I would use it with out any reservations, provided you use a premium bullet. It is very hard for anyone to say that a Nosler Partition is an inferior bullet. You do need to check the accuracy of that load in her rifle. If it is not acceptable try another load.
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Old January 27, 2006, 09:59 AM   #23
fisherman66
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Desertfox;

Put a little research into the bullets available for whichever cartridge you select. These smaller bullets that are often going very fast have a tendency to "explode" if you hit a rib. I really like ballistic tips; and I might still elect to use them in this senario, but I'd ask around and get some suggestions from those who have hunted with your intended caliber. The ballistic tips are absolutly devistating between 270 and 30'06 class, but I don't always get an exit wound when shooting a heart/lung shot (I'm now an afficinado of the neck shot). I've had ribs push the tip in and the entire insides look like they went through a blender. You might elect to go with a bonded bullet with more controlled expansion.... Just something to chew on than many hunters don't put a whole lot of thought into.

One more thought....Lot's of people are steering you toward a light weight gun. That's fine, but I personally find that in addition to lowering perceived recoil; they also steady the gun when the heart is pounding. My 280 varmint barrel and target stock (with a fairly heavy scope) really puts the kabosh on the shakes. I loaned it out to my brother inlaw and used my 30/30 last hunt. It took me considerable longer to calm down for the shot. The reticle was doing a figure "8" across the entire body of the deer at about 150 yards.

Other considerations.... There is no need to crank up the power of the scope at hunting time. I almost always have mine at 4X (sighting it in is the only time I have it at 16X.) You will get more light coming through the scope at lower power. I highly recommend a trigger job. Many rifles can be adjusted by the user. I like 2lbs, but 3lbs is a good starting point.
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Old January 27, 2006, 10:03 AM   #24
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A similar thread is running on The High Road. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=179163

While most people think the .243 is adequate, since its introduction a number of cartridges have been introduced or "rediscovered" that provide more potential, including the .260, 7mm-08, 6.5x55 and .257 Roberts. If you load your own you easily can tailor loads that approximate the recoil of the .243 while preserving the ability to upgrade without acquiring another rifle.

Recoil also is a function of gun fit, recoil pad and maybe even a shoulder recoil shield. A .30-30 with a hard plate may feel worse than a well fitting .260 with a Decelerator pad or Limbsaver and a shoulder worn PAST recoil shield.

Before you run out and buy a Browning, I think you should take her shopping and see what fits her well.
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Old January 27, 2006, 07:46 PM   #25
Desertfox
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stalk fit? Yep, yet another equation I left out.
I was talking at work today and one of my supervisors is going to let me borrow a .308 of his to see if she likes it. He says he will load some rounds for her and she will be right at home with the recoil.

I am looking into a recoil padded shooting jacket for her. If the .308 works for her, we will buy the twin to it.

He also said if I wanted to, he would introduce me to the fine art of loading my own rounds.
Sounds like I am jumping into this with both feet. Wish me luck.

I will surely be back for more information.
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