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Old May 7, 2013, 01:22 PM   #1
Gods Country
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Females first deer rifle

What's up Firing Line,
This is my first post, even though I read these things all the time. So here is my question, what caliber and make would you guys suggest for a girls first deer rifle? I am lucky enough to shoot a .257 Roberts in the Ruger platform, and have never had a deer make it more than a few steps before keeling over. I didn't realize that caliber isn't all that easy to find though. I am leaning towards the .270 and am pretty Ruger biased but am open to any and all suggestions. Figure the best place to ask would be the people that shoot all the time and not the salesman behind the counter trying to make a dollar.

Oh yeah, shes 23 and a southpaw.

Fire Away.
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:38 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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.243Win, absolutely ideal for anyone who's small or recoil shy.

7mm-08, for anyone who "wants" more than the 243 and doesn't mind more recoil. .308 is fine too.

No one ever needed more than the venerable .243 for deer hunting. It is absolutely ideal for smaller, younger and/or recoil shy hunters and, quite frankly, darn near ideal for everyone else too.

I really like the 7-08 but it's not needed. .243 is plenty enough.
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:43 PM   #3
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Foremost; Get her a left handed gun.
Make sure the butt stock of the gun fits her size (as in length). Some stocks are made too big for smaller stature people. A first gun that doesn't physically fit the shooter will sour someone to shooting rifles.
Put a good scope on the gun. Four power is fine for most hunting under 150 yards. A bolt action .270 with 130 grain loads is excellent for deer and not harsh on recoil.

My first deer was taken with a .270 when I was six years old. It was with mild hand loads that my Papa loaded up. I used a Remington 760 pump, 4x scope, with a cut-down stock that fit my size. That was in 1966.
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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Brian and Twobit have offered some good advice. I'm trying to remember fellows, there's a few manufacturers that market ladies rifles with the shorter length of pull. I would research the manufacturers for a comfortable gun then pick a good caliber and glass.
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:17 PM   #5
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I would think the Rifle type, and calliber would be whatever the Woman shooting it prefers. I know some Women that shoot Rifles I would shy away from and I am a Big Ole Boy, and an X Marine.
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:41 PM   #6
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Depends what part of the country you intend to hunt. Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan. 243 will get you by. But I consider a 243 in this neck the woods marginal. 264 Win Mag and everything inbetween up to and including the 300 Win Mag is perfect for hunting up North. Now if your situated down below that Mason-Dixon Line. Well than anything would work on those little Dixie deer. From a 22 Hornet up to a big one like the 30-06 or perhaps some other. But as you've stated you are leaning towards a 270. Excellent choice that will work well in any compass point across the entire 48 and than some. By the way congrats on your first posting. Well done Gods Country_
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:45 PM   #7
Gods Country
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Hey thanks guys!

I don't think recoil is going to be too big of a problem as she shoots a 12 ga. just fine and loves shooting my Stag Model 6, even though that recoil is non existent. No, I won't let her use that as I know it takes a great marksman to make an ethical shot with the 5.56. Thinking about probably strapping a Vortex scope on it, as they have amazed me with how clear their optics are. I do like the .243 because there are a ton of different options in rifles for it. We'll be hunting in the high desert of Oregon where a 200+ yd shot is pretty normal. Which is the main reason I was thinking .270 for that little extra knock down power.
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:51 PM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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No reason not to use the .270 if she shoots it OK. Unfortunately, "It don't bother me." is often wishful thinking. I know lots of big, tough, burly men who shoot 12ga "just fine" who also look like they got electrocuted if the gun says "CLICK!" instead of "BOOM!"

Most folks shoot guns with less recoil better than they do guns with more recoil.

Like I said though, anything if fine *if* the shooter genuinely shoots it without flinching. I find most folks flinch a lot more than they think and with guns with a lot less recoil than they think.

If she's good with the .270, great, but it won't do anything the .243 won't do. A bad shot with the .243 won't be a good one with the .270, or any other gun.

As for "long shots" with the .243.... it's got plenty of oomph...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY0w1c-gf18
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Old May 7, 2013, 03:09 PM   #9
Gods Country
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Thanks Brian.

I noticed that statement was poorly worded. I couldn't agree with you more, a well placed shot is a well placed shot, no matter the caliber. I too have seen the electrocuted look when that gun goes click, and can't help but smile.
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Old May 7, 2013, 03:24 PM   #10
Brian Pfleuger
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Oh, I always forget to say this first but it's important....

You should let any new shooter/hunter be as involved in the purchase/selection as they are willing to be. They're much more likely to stay involved/interested if they have a personal attachment to the process and end result.

You should give any advice and recommendations as you see fit but also be clear the the choice is theirs.

Even if you think a plastic stocked, stainless, Savage 10 in .243 is best and she wants a walnut, blued, Ruger in .270Win... get the .270.
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Old May 7, 2013, 03:32 PM   #11
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Good to see another female in the shooting sports. Fortunately in shooting size don't matter. Male or female, go with a 270win, 30-06, or 308win. All are winners and do their job!
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Old May 7, 2013, 03:55 PM   #12
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If you would believe the marketing people, anything pink will do.
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Old May 7, 2013, 04:29 PM   #13
histed
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She's a southpaw (like me) and you're Ruger bias...HUMMMM... Doesn't Ruger make the American in a southpaw? My nephew has one of these in .308 (but with th ebolt on the "wrong" side) and my 26 year old daughter would take it in a heartbeat. If it comes the "proper" way, it'll also come in .243. Otherwise, the Model 10 Savage should be a consideration. I agree that she should be involved - it's her gun, after all.
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Old May 8, 2013, 03:14 AM   #14
Gods Country
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She will absolutely be involved in the purchase and it is ultimately her decision for the fit and feel of the rifle. I'll just be there to keep the salesman at bay. She likes the classic wood stock, and yes I have been looking at the Ruger classic in the left hand. Just a classy rifle. I might just have to buy another one for myself while we are at the gun store, 338 Win Mag maybe? Can always use another rifle in the arsenal, as I'm sure many of you will agree.
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Old May 8, 2013, 05:06 AM   #15
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If deer are the largest animal hunted there is really no reason not to choose a 243. Not just for a girl, but for anybody. Conventional wisdom has always said that a 243 was borderline, but in 2013 with the better bullets available that is no longer true. A 243 is just about the perfect deer round for anybody today. You can use larger if you want, but you don't need to.

If you think larger game may be in the future a 7-08 would be the next step up and the smallest round I'd use on all other NA game.

Nothing wrong with a 270, but you are starting to get into more recoil than some smaller, less experienced shooters want.
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Old May 8, 2013, 07:25 AM   #16
tango1niner
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If the women is small in stature a youth stocked rifle may be in order. In any case as previously mentioned get a stock size that fits the body. As far as caliber, give her the .257 and you get the .270. I am left handed and I hunt with a right handed bolt action M70 Win. Never felt handicapped by that. It sounds as if she can handle a little more recoil than the .243. IMO the .243 is suitable for deer only with the heaviest Nosler Partition bullet. My $.02
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Old May 8, 2013, 12:05 PM   #17
Gods Country
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If she kills a deer I know the next thing on her list will be an elk. Thank you for all the input and being such a friendly forum.
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Old May 8, 2013, 02:53 PM   #18
Husqvarna
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Quote:
I don't think recoil is going to be too big of a problem as she shoots a 12 ga. just fine
big difference with shotguns vs rifles, especially it is clays you are shooting. shotguns you are in swing the pull of the trigger is more intuitativ, with a rifle you are squeesing the trigger you know.

I have had a gf on the petite side shoot a 9.2x62 and love it, and a heftier girl who shrieked firing a .222. the petite one had a horrible stance thou because the buttstock was way to long, it is not just the length of pull, the "female qualities" come into play to, especially with shotguns, a rifle it is easier to work around with simple cheeck pad and so on.
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Old May 8, 2013, 04:17 PM   #19
BillM
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Easter Oregon Mule deer? Maybe an antelope someday?


How about a 6.8spc upper for your Stag. It's really close to
.243 performance out to 300 yds, with a slightly bigger bullet.

Bolt action?

Short action. 243, 7mm-08 as several have suggested.

Long action. 25-06, .270. 6mm Remington, 7x57, 257 Roberts.
Don't overlook 6.5x55----it's light on recoil and performs well.

If she can handle the recoil, step up to a 30. .308 or 30-06, either
will get it done on deer and may be a better choice if you decide
to go after Elk.
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Old May 8, 2013, 05:16 PM   #20
WIN1886
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My Sako .243 rifle is very pleasant to shoot and is the most accurate hunting rifle I ever owned ( just amazing ). I bought it more for the purpose of hunting predators but used it last year for hunting whitetail deer ! Both deer I shot with the .243 rifle went down quickly and humanely which is what I like to see...that being said , I normally use a peep sighted Winchester 1886 in 45-70 caliber for deer hunting in the woods which is the ballistic opposite slow / heavy !

Last edited by WIN1886; May 8, 2013 at 05:37 PM.
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Old May 9, 2013, 06:34 AM   #21
upstate81
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Not sure if a left handed rifle is a must but the savage lady hunter 11/111 comes in a great variety of calibers. To name a few, 243, 6.5 creedmoor, 7mm-08. Looks nice to boot.
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Old May 9, 2013, 07:09 AM   #22
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You didn't mention anything about her physical size, but if she is a small lady with short arms, I'd be looking at youth models. I think .243 is an excellent choice without overkill for deer. Maybe after she masters the .243 she might be ready to trade it in on "an elk gun".
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Old May 9, 2013, 07:36 AM   #23
mxsailor803
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upstate81 said my recommendation. My wife loves her LadyHunter.


My wife's is in .243 with reloads using a 100gr Sierra ProHunter.

Last edited by mxsailor803; May 9, 2013 at 07:41 AM. Reason: edit:
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Old May 9, 2013, 01:51 PM   #24
Gods Country
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Does the Lady Hunter have the same bolt as the 25 LV? I have one and it shoots really well but the bolt is not up to par. The lady hunter is a great suggestion and something we will definitely look at, that cheek piece needs to be on the other side though. She's like 5'2 maybe 100 lbs, youth models will also be considered.

Last edited by Gods Country; May 9, 2013 at 02:07 PM.
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:39 PM   #25
Jack O'Conner
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270 is available in Managed Recoil Ammo by Remington and maybe FEDERAL, too. 6.5mm Swede and 300 Savage are two more oldies but goodies for moderate recoil.

My oldest daughter still prefers her 30-30 Marlin with 4X scope.

Jack
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