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Old January 12, 2014, 09:51 PM   #51
Againstthewind
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308

I agree with JASmith the .308 was a bit much. I was hoping that it would be ok because he will be legal for big game this year, but we are going to have to take it a little slower I think. The .308 was all I have right now but I will have to look into something like a .243 to start out with. October is a ways away still.

I also agree that shooting from the bench and sandbags is not the same as shooting in the field. Someone else said aim small, miss small and being able to hit a small target consistently at the range gives a lot of confidence in the shooters ability when it comes to the field. Those drills are also a good idea. That would be pretty fun too.

I don't think 5" or 6" is small enough. The very convenient picture shows an instant kill area about 6" diameter maybe. If you are only able to group your shots at 6" your aim in the field would have to be perfect to still be in the kill zone consistently. I am with the person who refuses to shoot at an animal offhand unless it is with a .22 or shotgun. Some people can do it, but I don't practice off-hand and I won't shoot offhand at a deer. I know there are a lot of more experienced hunters out there but I am pretty stuck on requiring better accuracy than a pie-plate for myself.

Last edited by Againstthewind; January 12, 2014 at 10:08 PM.
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Old January 12, 2014, 11:42 PM   #52
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Someone else said aim small, miss small and being able to hit a small target consistently at the range gives a lot of confidence in the shooters ability when it comes to the field. Those drills are also a good idea.
How about, 'aim small, hit small'? Whether you miss small or large, a miss is a miss, LOL.
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Old January 13, 2014, 09:33 PM   #53
JASmith
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Here is a way of looking at a first rifle for medium game hunting:

Do you want that first rifle to have the potential to be used for all hunting except where the .22 rimfire makes sense?

or,

Are you thinking that this is the first of several rifles, each more or less specialized for type of game and hunting environment?

If the second, the .243 Winchester is an excellent start.

If the first, one needs to choose a rifle with load flexibility that allows the rifle to "grow" with your son's developing skills. In this picture, the .243 Winchester, while nominally a light recoil rifle, is stressed for the heaviest deer and should not be the first choice as an elk rifle. The .260 Remington is good for elk and when handloaded with 140 gr lead-free bullets, is on the edge of being useful for moose. Your son can readily use the .308 for moose when he goes with heavy premium bullets.

Handloading lets one tailor the recoil so that both the 260 and the 308 kick about as softly as the 243 while employing bullets suitable for deer.

If one is restricted to factory ammunition, the picture is pretty close to the same when using managed recoil ammuntion:

1) .243 Win 100 gr Core-Lokt 2960 ft/sec and 8.7 ft-lb recoil energy with 8lb rifle.

Larger calibers using Remington Managed Recoil ammunition:

2) .260 Rem 140 gr Core-Lock 2360 ft/sec and 8.5 ft-lb recoil. The 140 gr Core-Lokt is also good for Elk.

3) .308 Win 125 gr Core-Lokt 2660 ft/sec and 10.5 ft-lb recoil. The 125 gr is good for deer but not Elk. On the other hand factory ammunition with heavy premium bullets make the .308 Win suitable for moose.
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Old January 13, 2014, 10:48 PM   #54
Texascoonhunter
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Kids hunting Deer

Man oh man, you have gotten so much info here on this topic that I don't think I can give you anything new. However by all means take the kids hunting, be safe, teach them safety in the field and let them have fun. Heck, so what if they miss. Just show me someone who has never missed a shot and I will show you someone who doesn't hunt or he is a liar. Good hunting.
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Old January 14, 2014, 07:56 PM   #55
Againstthewind
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First rifle

JASmith,

I think that we are going to go with the first of a couple of different rifles for different purposes option. I grew up with the one rifle for everything option. A couple of things are different now, though. First I am a little tired of re-sighting in with different loads. I started out with a 30-06 when I was 13 ish and every year I would sight in with 150's for deer and then switch to 180's for elk and then go back to 150's for coyotes and had to re-sight in every time. I found some 165's that worked with that rifle pretty well, too. 150's are a little big for the puppies but its the only rifle I have had since I was 13. Second I am built a little bit differently than my son. Stout would be the polite way to describe my build, and he is on the slender side. By slender I mean he could hide behind a flag pole. By stout I mean I couldn't hide behind a refrigerator. I didn't have a problem with the 30-06, but things are different.

Thanks for the advise on the choices. I guess its time for shopping.
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Old January 14, 2014, 08:07 PM   #56
tahunua001
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How about, 'aim small, hit small'? Whether you miss small or large, a miss is a miss, LOL.
the only time I've heard "aim small, miss small" is in the film "the patriot". aside from being complete drivel with the intent of being braveheart with muskets, this statement does make sense to me.

muskets are pretty innaccurate especially smoothbore. giving someone with such a gun the advice of aim small miss small is that the smaller target you are focusing on the greater chance of hitting the entire enemy even if you miss the small area you are aiming at. the same can be said for deer. focusing on a tiny area instead of the entire kill zone means even if you miss that small region you still stand a good chance of hitting the killzone.

aim small hit small is not really advice at all, it's an unrealistic expectation and does nothing but hurt a young hunters confidence when they drop a deer with a lung shot and you were expecting them to put it straight through the heart.
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Old January 14, 2014, 08:44 PM   #57
JASmith
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Againstthewind,

I hear you! We sure want to hear how things go -- sounds like you are starting down a good path!

BTW Here is a discussion about choosing rifle cartridges with matched trajectories but with different hunting capabilities: Paired Rifles

Also, it looks like the adjustable length stock pioneered on AR15 style rifles is now becoming available for bolt action rifles too. This type of stock would allow the rifle to shrink and grow as needed for both growth and the differences in clothing between winter and summer.
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