View Full Version : .308 ok for small female

March 1, 2006, 08:09 PM
my girlfriend has decided she wants to start hunting after seeing how exited I get every season and how much fun i have.she likes going out in the bush with me and doesn't mind dead animals anymore.she is small about 5'8 and 120lbs.she is honestly pretty weak and a very"girly"girl who I can't see handling recoil to well.I might buy her a new gun but I have a remington woodsmaster 742 .308 its a semi and I don't think it kicks hard but recoil has never bothered me with the guns I have owned.everyone who has shot my finnlight .300 wsm thinks it kicks hard but I don't notice it very much and have very little flinch shooting it so I don't know how good my gudgment would be with kick.anyhow would this .308 be to big for her?I don't want to do this wrong and have her hate guns.

March 1, 2006, 08:12 PM
I'd just knock her over the head and drag her back to the cave.

If I were in your shoes I'd use in the range of the .243 to 7mm-08. If the stock fits well and has a good recoil pad then she may be fine with the .308. Take her to the range and find out. (They also sell mucury recoil dampners.)

March 1, 2006, 08:20 PM
my wife is not a big gun fan, but she loves to shoot my 7mm-08. a .308 has a little more recoil, but i do not think you can feel it on the shoulder. i think it is only 2-3 ft-lbs more than a 7mm-08. a good recoil pad on a .308 should be ok.

March 1, 2006, 08:27 PM
Let her try the .308. Betcha she handles the recoil just fine. One of the best M60 Gunners I trained was a female who probably weighed 100 pounds soaking wet and was about 5 foot tall. She loved to shoot that MG and outshot all the guys..lol

March 1, 2006, 08:34 PM
the female of our species can handle a lot more pain than we manly men think they can. they squeeze out 10 lb parasites from their bodies, we don't do that (typically :D ).

recoil is a mental thing, if you cloud her head with thoughts of 'its gonna hurt like crazy' then the mind will make it hurt.

once you decide on the caliber, then take the gun to a smith and have the stock customized for her frame. remember, hunting with a gun that has some ooomph is quite a bit different than sitting at the range from a rest torturing your shoulder for 30 rounds.

up here, its quite common to see women at the range with .338's or .300 winmag.

March 1, 2006, 08:48 PM
well I told her it doesn't kick.I guess i will take her out this weekend and see how she likes it now and if is ok i will leave it and if she wants less kick I will get a pad and maby some mecury.I will just take it from her output.I might just be stying to find a reason to buy another gun too.thanx for the input

March 1, 2006, 11:12 PM
how would they customize the stock?would they just cut a few inches off the butt?could I do this my self.

March 1, 2006, 11:45 PM
You could aways cheat a little and get her a recoil pad for her shoulder. they make a special one just for females. I use one with my 30-06 when I have a lot of different loads to try. Messed up my shoulder when I was younger and now that I'm older it has come back to haunt me.

Art Eatman
March 2, 2006, 07:57 AM
More important than the particular cartridge in this instance is the fit of the rifle. The length of pull from the end of the butt to the trigger is quite possibly too long, which would make life difficult for her.

When she holds the pistol grip of the rifle with her finger on the trigger, the butt should fit easily into the crook of her elbow, when she's wearing the same sort of jacket that she'd wear when hunting.

Unless you're on the short side, yourself, shortening the stock would probably make the rifle uncomfortable for you.

Were it me, I'd buy her a rifle and have it modified to fit. And a quality butt pad is a Good Thing. There are no prizes, no awards, for proving you're dumb enough to unnecessarily tolerate the impact of recoil.


March 2, 2006, 08:22 AM
Have her try different stock configurations and lengths to see what fits her best. That will take a big chunk out of the recoil. Get a good quality recoil pad.
The 7mm-08 will drop any deer in the usa and kick a bit less than the .308.
Even the .260 and .243 will do the job well and she won't develop a flinch.

March 2, 2006, 09:31 AM
I bet she'll be just fine....I had a similar problem last year with my gf and I brought her to the range, let her watch me shoot my .45 and my 30-06', and then she picked em up and out shot me! :confused:

Just tell her not to be intimidated by it..Also, get her some good plugs or muffs, cause alot of times people feel more threatened by the muzzle blast than they are by the "kick".

March 2, 2006, 09:37 AM
The semi-auto action may absorb some of the recoil. I also recall that those are a bit heavy, which would help. With the correct length stock and a good recoil pad, it might work.

My wife was using a Ruger 77 in .308 with the stock adjusted and a Decelerator pad installed. However, since she fired a 6.5x55, the Ruger has been gathering dust. She could shoot the Swede all day long with 125 partitions. The .260 is the short action version of the 6.5x55, and the 7mm-08 is close as well.

March 2, 2006, 10:23 AM
You could also buy some of Remington's Managed Recoil .308 ammo. (http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/centerfire/managed-Recoil.asp) I've never used it, but I hear that it shoots to the same point of impact as regular ammo, is an effective hunting round, and kicks a lot less than the regular stuff. If you wanted to, you could buy a box and use it the first couple of times that she shoots the gun, and then see how she does with regular 150 grain ammo. Remington does state that the managed recoil ammo may not properly operate in a semi-gun like the 742, so you'll just have to try it out and see how it works.

Good luck! :)

March 7, 2006, 04:12 AM
For crying out loud, take her to the range and let her try out a number of different rifles. Let her choose. A woods hunting rifle is a very personal thing. Everyone is different. You might be suprised at her choice. I have heard of a woman no larger than yours, chosing a .577 double for hunting.

March 7, 2006, 03:03 PM
Yah put tape over what caliber she is shooting dont let her see what ammo you are putting in it. Sit her down and let her shoot,my mom is like that she now shoots a .270. The biggest thing with women and guns is fear they see how loud it is and dont want to shoot.:D :D :D

March 11, 2006, 11:57 PM
well I took her out and she was shaking and realy scared but I told her it was nothing to worry about.her first shot was about 4 feet off but then she looked at me with a big grin on her face and said"thats it?i was scared of that"right before she banged off two more shots that were alot closer.now she is realy exited to get some shooting in.doesnt mind the recoil at all

March 12, 2006, 12:22 AM
The weight of the rifle will be a factor too..a heavier rifle means less felt recoil. i think you are right to be concerned...I am guessing from your post that this will be her first rifle...I would try for a little lighter caliber...not that the .308 is a beast...but a 25-06, or a .243 would be a better choice for someone just entering the world of hunting...also with less recoil, she won't be afraid of the gun and she will be deadly accurate.

Because of the smaller round, she can have a lighter rifle which will be important if she is lugging it around on a hunt (you don't want to have to carry two..ha ha) And keep in mind that adding a scope and rings will add to the weight which also legitimizes the smaller caliber/lighter rifle argument.

March 12, 2006, 12:26 AM
here's a little trick....have her line up for a shot on a target and make sure the gun is empty..see if she anticipates the recoil. Also watch for her follow through. If she thinks the gun is loaded every time and one out of ten times it isn't, her technique will become excellent.