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Old March 8, 2006, 12:39 AM   #1
bigredhuskers
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Have you shot a .243 and a 7mm-08

I've been doing way too much research on these two calibers. Situation - looking for a deer gun for my 9 year old. He is large for his age and seems ok with recoil on other guns. He has shot a lot of larger pistols (9mm, 40 s&w). My research shows that everyone likes the .243, but their is a small group that say the 7mm-08 is the best long-term cartrige. It can be purchased off the shelf with lighter loads and then move up. Also, I am hearing that the 7mm-08 is more forgiving with slightly off shots at deer. He is new (actually we are both new) to deer hunting. So my question.... have you shot both? If so what is the recoil difference?

Now I keep thinking that I should buy us both 7mm-08 rifles (I was leaning at a 30-06).

thanks
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Old March 8, 2006, 01:17 AM   #2
buckster
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rifle

The 7-08 would be fine for a youth. The 7mm would be good for you. The 7mm wsm would be even better. net rifle .com Forget the 243.
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Old March 8, 2006, 01:28 AM   #3
chemist308
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I wouldn't discount the 243. I know a lot of folks who swear by the cartidge. If he's 9, get a 243 now and then a 30-06 or 308 later. The recoil on the 243 is light enough to keep him from developing a flinch but the impact is plenty for deer. And as far as recoil goes, you might find this interesting: http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm
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Old March 8, 2006, 08:33 AM   #4
loggerhead
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Get the kid a .243, he can shoot it for as long as he likes. Its a very effective deer rifle. Get yourself the 30-06, you can't go wrong, wide range of readily available ammo and will take anything on the North American continent.
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Old March 8, 2006, 09:26 AM   #5
Fremmer
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Bigredhuskers, huh? I'll guess that you're from Nebraska!

The .243 will be fine; just make sure you drill into him that he must pick his shot carefully. A deer that is gut-shot with any caliber can run a long way, and a deer that is gut-shot with a .243 can run a really long way.

Patience with the shootin' is the key -- with any caliber.
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Old March 8, 2006, 10:06 AM   #6
fisherman66
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+ 5 (or what ever the current count is on the 243.) take care that the stock fits well. A thicker recoil pad can add length of pull as he grows.

If you don't have a 22lr I'd suggest you make that a high priority. Make sure he understands where the heart and lungs reside in a deer. You can draw pictures of deer at different angles and have him practice "finding" the vitals with his 22lr.

Teach the breathing technique of: Take a medium deep breath, hold for a moment. Then release half of the breath. Squeeze the trigger with even and consistent pressure until a surprise break occurs. The snap shot can be learned latter. Practice in all the positions he could encounter in the field. Use a premium bullet regardless of the caliber.
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Old March 8, 2006, 10:28 AM   #7
Jack O'Conner
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You should look at the Reduced Recoil ammo offerings from Remington. To find their website simply type Remington Arms+firearms. Many popular cartridges are now offered this way.

I started my kids on .223, then .243 and 30-30. But 44 Special ammo fired in a 44 magnum carbine is also a good approach. This is a technique we use at our Gun Club for new shooters.

Good hunting to you.
Jack
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Old March 8, 2006, 11:51 AM   #8
Art Eatman
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Walking-hunting, where I'm likely to get a quartering shot on a running buck, I carry my .30-'06. Mostly-sitting for my hunting, I commonly use my .243 and mostly take neck shots.

I've killed over 20 bucks with each rifle.

Were it my kid, I'd get a .243 and cut the stock down to fit. A thicker recoil pad can be added with age, to keep the correct length of pull.

My legs went and got old, so I've gone to a 700Ti in 7mm08. I figure it's a good 300-yard do-it-all critter, or, say 200 yards on a running mulie.

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Old March 8, 2006, 04:31 PM   #9
shureshot0471
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get him a .234 I am 19 and I still hunt with one I also stand 6'1"and weigh in about 270 I love it. I do have many calibers of Firearms but when I "start huntin" the big deer that's what I pick up. For your self my first choice would be a .270 that's preference for most people here in Texas but a lot also shoot the .30-06 just a matter of choice.
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Old March 8, 2006, 07:53 PM   #10
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I know one hunter that has probably taken more than 50 deer with his .243. He swears by it. Never owned one myself, I prefer the 30.06.
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Old March 8, 2006, 08:36 PM   #11
Vic303
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I have owned both, tho' the 7-08 was a TC Encore so it recoils a bit differently due to stock shape. I sold the 7-08 recently and replaced it with a .308 for personal reasons. The .243 I will not part with willingly. I love it! It is a M70 Win heavy barrel and it is a tackdriver! Not the ideal rifle to haul around a field hunting, but for still-hunting from a stand it is fine. It is soft recoiling and has plenty of power to do the job--all you have to do is put the bullet in the vitals, and that is something you would want to do anyway.

The 7-08 recoiled a lot more than the .243, and the TC stock directed it up into my cheek more than my shoulder. That's one of the reasons I sold it--it was not a 'fun' rifle to shoot.

I'll suggest an oddball caliber for you to investigate should you decide to consider something else than 243. Try the 6.5x55 Swede. Soft recoiling, far reaching, and with excellent knockdown power. You can load up to 160gr RNs in it if you want, but most folk use a 129 or 140 gr. It is very accurate and everyone I've ever met who owned a 6.5x55, loved it!

BUT--if your short list is 243 vs 7-08, I vote 243. Make your child & yourself practice shooting not only from a bench, but offhand if at all possible. If you can find some, get some paper targets with deer photos on them so as to condition yourself to shoot the animal and to practice looking for the vitals area, rather than a black or red target circle.
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Old March 8, 2006, 08:38 PM   #12
dragonfire
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ive owned a savage 243 i bought when i was sixteen to hunt deer with and im now 26 it has been the best gun and extremely accurate.now the wife shoots it cause i just bought a new weatherby in 30.06
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Old March 8, 2006, 09:14 PM   #13
bigredhuskers
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ok - it looks like the 243 is winning...

now which one.. I'm looking at the savage youth package (I'm assuming I can always add recoil pads or get a new stock), the vangard 243, would love to find a 7600 pump 243... anyway.. if its a 243 which one gets your vote? P.s. time to hit the pawn shops to find one unless you have one you want to part with? send me a pm.. thanks
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Old March 8, 2006, 10:02 PM   #14
john in jax
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The .243 is a good whitetail round, but as Art says the 7mm-08 is more of a "do-it-all" cartridge. If you choose a .243 I think you'll want to "upgrade" sooner than if you went with the 7mm-08.

Get yourself a .30-06 and him a 7mm-08. When he's ready to "upgrade" you might just be ready for something with a less kick and yall could just trade.
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Old March 9, 2006, 12:13 AM   #15
WYO
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I think the 7mm-08 is a lot more versatile for big game, but you have to be able to handload to get the most flexibility for a youngster, because factory offerings are generally stuck in the 140 grain range. I made reduced 7mm-08 loads with 120's for my son to keep recoil below factory .243 levels. He was big for his age and started when he was 10. He now is shooting 140's and this year (at 13) he probably will be up to full house 140's. We went with the 7mm-08 so it could take him from antelope to elk, and I didn't want to go there with a .243, although some do.
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Old March 9, 2006, 02:28 AM   #16
chemist308
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Savage.
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Old March 9, 2006, 08:55 AM   #17
shureshot0471
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The savage 110 is what i have and it is very durable.
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Old March 9, 2006, 09:51 AM   #18
drhunta2
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I have had a .243 for years, love it but I've never deer hunted with it. Just sold a 30-06 to buy a M70 in 7mm-08. I love it. (incidentally I own 2 other 06's best all around round) Off the bench there is very very little recoil to the 7mm-08. My 5 year old son has rattled off 5 rounds off the bench and never flinched. Recoil is just not an issue and the caliber will fit your child longer than the .243 IMHO.
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Old March 9, 2006, 01:52 PM   #19
Windjammer
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BigRed,

As I have stated before IMHO its hard to beat the single shot Handi-Rifle in 243 youth model for a starter rifle. It has 12 1/2" LOP which is great for youth. I prefer not to worry about more than one shot at a time, also it helps the kids become better shots. Its stops the spray and pray mode of hunting.

As the kids grow the rifle can be fitted with additional barrels from .223 to 45-70 and now the S&W .500 mag. The additional barrels cost between $82.00 - $100.00

Again Just my $.02 worth
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Old March 9, 2006, 02:08 PM   #20
fisherman66
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Have you thought about splitting the difference with the .260?

Almost right smack in between the 7mm-08 and the 243 in the same parent case. Recoil is a little closer to the .243 than the -08. Energy is improved...what's not to like in a deer starter rifle.
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Old March 9, 2006, 02:17 PM   #21
Dirty_Harry
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How about just getting him a .308, it recoils like a baby, and is more powerful than the latter two, otherwise go for the 7mm-08.
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Old March 9, 2006, 03:02 PM   #22
Fremmer
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Quote:
How about just getting him a .308, it recoils like a baby
I disagree. The .308 ain't no 300 mag, but it doesn't recoil like a baby, either -- especially for a 9 year old kid.

The .243 has a very soft recoil, with plenty of power to kill a deer. Which is why it is a great caliber for a 9 year old (or older!).
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Old March 9, 2006, 04:35 PM   #23
alleyyooper
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I really like my 243's and have killed a fair share of white tails with them. I also like the 7MM 08 and have killed a few white tails with them also. I would really buy a Remington Model 7 in 260 for my son if he were 9 again. A bit beefer in bullet weights can be had than with the 243 and can handle many of the same bullet weights as the 7mm 08. The recoil is an in between thing. Might add a tiny bit of weight in the stock to help with the recoil also. If you have the bucks Mag in port it andf it will feel like a 22LR.

Al
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Old March 12, 2006, 12:53 AM   #24
H&R Hunter
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H&R Rifles 243win

H&R makes a grate little 243 that is only $250 you could cut off the stock and replace it later when he gets older plus you can get a secound barrle in a differnt caliber.

I have one and it makes a good varmet and deer rifle, after lapping the barrle it makes .5" groops at 100 yards.

Have a look they come in a lot of differnt cartrages
http://www.hr1871.com/

ps. H&R is made by New England Firearms who also own Savage
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Old March 12, 2006, 10:50 AM   #25
Kyote
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Bigred: I have a 243 in the "handi rifle" that I have been needing to get rid of now for 5 years. Laminate stock, blue barrel. The thing I like about the handi rifle is that you can look over at your kid and immediately tell if the rifle is on safe. (Exposed hammer) When I was being taught how to handle firearms, I can't tell you how many times my dad would ask "Is that gun on safe?" Another benifit of the single shot is teaching shot placement. When you've only got one shot, you learn to place the shots. (This still is true for me quail hunting, if I have a pump or a semi, I never seem to hit on the first shot!?)

If your intrested, leave me a PM and we'll cuss and discus it.

Later tatter
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