View Full Version : ideas for the wife...

August 17, 2012, 10:59 PM
my wife is goin g to do some deer hunting with me this year, so ive been looking for a .243 not sure is shes going to even like it or not ( she likes duck and upland bird hunting, but deer/elk require a bit more work) so i dont want to break the bank, but dont want junk. i would much rather get an entry level rifle this year and if shes into larger game hunting ill drop the coin for somthing special next year....so im looking for ideas on what to look at as i usually am looking for a specific firearm and not just somthing entry level... thanks

August 18, 2012, 06:15 AM
The most important aspect is that the rifle fit her. Therefore look at the youth models.

Be conscious of rifle weight. Should not exceed 7.5 pounds all up (scope, sling, etc. but unloaded.) Length of pull probably should not exceed 13"

As for caliber, I would step up a bit. 708 or 308. Start her out with "managed recoil" loads which are softer shooting then full power loads.

Should get you started.

Brian Pfleuger
August 18, 2012, 06:32 AM
Why would you recommend youth models and short LOP when we know nothing about the size of the shooter? And "stepping up" from 243 for deer? Why? Extra recoil? 243 is an excellent deer round. I'm a big fan of 7-08 too but there's absolutely no need to "step up" to anything more than 243 for deer.

Anyway, my suggestion for an entry level rifle would be a Savage 11. BudsGunShop has them for $389 delivered with stainless barrel, less for blued.

The Savage is a good gun. I wouldn't even call it "entry level" really and you won't find anything much less expensive, particularly with anywhere near the quality.

August 18, 2012, 09:57 AM
gonna go check out some savages today...local shop has a model 11 for 400.00 thanks brian

August 20, 2012, 01:28 PM
While .243 is a great WT Deer round it's a little little for Elk. I like .308, with a good bullet it'd take an Elk. If it were me I'd let her pick a gun then settle on a cartridge. Almost every maker has a good basic rifle with a scope package deal. It's just a matter of her pickin' one.

August 20, 2012, 02:41 PM
For deer, the .243 will knock them down all day, and will do it with minimal recoil. For a budget gun with well above budget performance, the Savage 11 is a great gun!

For elk, however, the .243 is on the light side. The .308 might even be a little on the light side for some people, but I would not have a problem going after an elk with one with the right bullet.

August 20, 2012, 03:10 PM
Lots of budget rifles out there, Savage, Remington, Ruger and Thompson Center all make entry level rifles that seem to get excellent reviews on this site. I think you are very smart to look at rifles chambered for the 243 Winchester. Very low recoil, excellent accuracy, and a very potent deer cartridge.

Mayor Al
August 20, 2012, 05:36 PM
Are you talking about open country hunting, or shorter range 100 Yard Plus shots?

And the comment about fitting the gun is very important, before caliber can be even considered.

We live in the Mid West where hunting is usually in the shorter range shooting and some limits on calibers are part of the legal regs.

So for us the wife uses a Ruger 44 mag Carbine, while I use my Saiga 12 gauge slug gun. Next month we will go over to Missouri to do a Hog Hunt as a prep for the deer season coming...She will use her 44 mag Carbine, and I will use a Winchester 100 in .308 or a Ruger Mini-30 in 7.62x39mm, I haven't made my choice yet.

Brian Pfleuger
August 20, 2012, 05:56 PM
243 is on the light side for elk but there are plenty of people who use it regularly.

It's not about power, it's about shot placement and selection.

243 will kill every elk you shoot with it if you do your part. If you don't, a 50BMG doesn't make up for shooting them in the leg.

Clifford L. Hughes
August 21, 2012, 03:21 PM

I would purchase her a light weight or feather weight Winchester M-70 iin .243. I'd top it off with a 2X7 Leupold scope. Not exactly the cheapest combination, but one that will last a life time. If your wife can place her bullets properly she can hunt elk with it. The Nosler partitioned bullet will penetrate deep for a quick kill.

Semmper Fi.

Gunnery Sergeant
Clifford L. Hughes
USMC Retired

August 21, 2012, 03:34 PM
Howa youth combo comes with 1 youth 1 adult sized stock with 3X9 scope I think they're going for around $550. .243 is what I use for deer, excellent choice.

I'm not going to mention anything about elk 'cuz I can see you didn't.;)

August 21, 2012, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by chucknbach:
I'm not going to mention anything about elk 'cuz I can see you didn't

Originally posted by k511 (the OP):
she likes duck and upland bird hunting, but deer/elk require a bit more work

He actually did mention it :rolleyes:

August 21, 2012, 04:57 PM
I think Clifford Hughes hit on an interesting point when he mentioned a Win 70. Yes, that's not exactly an entry level rifle, however- it's still a good quality one that a family might be proud to keep around a couple of generations.

Just because she may not yet like deer/elk hunting- does that really mean ya'll need to part company with the rifle? The .243 is so versatile, it would even be handy if she was to determine she's a varmint hunter at heart.

Just a thought or two.

August 21, 2012, 05:59 PM
I would go Savage for the wife. If she likes it and wants a larger caliber you can do it yourself for a couple hundred bucks.

August 21, 2012, 09:24 PM
she likes duck and upland bird hunting, but deer/elk require a bit more work

He actually did mention it

Jeez, it's just like last years hunting season. I didn't see the elk.:o

August 22, 2012, 07:16 PM
While looking at the offerings from Savage at the local shop....the wife fell in love...needless to say she now owns a Tikka T3 lite with leupold VXIII...actually a very nice rifle IMO,spent more than i wanted,but shes happy :D happy wife, happy life :D gonna take it out friday after work

August 22, 2012, 07:17 PM
It might be more than you were wanting to spend.... But after you shoot it you will realize that it is worth much more than what you spent on it...

Those Tikkas are some fine rifles!

Sent from my HTC One X

August 22, 2012, 09:36 PM
A good choice. I have one myself. Is there any other that has a smoother bolt?

If she ends up not liking hunting or shooting, you'll inherit a good rifle.;)

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
August 23, 2012, 09:04 PM
AS has been said, make sure the rifle fits the shooter.

I am liking what I read and see about the new RUGER American. Sould like a lot of rifle for a real reasonable price.

Then, if you reload, for get about the recoil of noise of a full power hunting round fired at a game animal. How many times can you recall the recoil or noise of rounds fired at game? Not many I'd guess.

So, providing your reload, get a rifle of elk worthy caliber. I like and own a .243, but it AIN'T an elk rifle!!!!!!!!!!!

In stead, load reduced practice loads with light bullets and proper loads of powder giving reduced velocity and then be sure to load plenty of ammo, as the shooter can burn a lot of ammo when they are having fun.

Also, shoot at targets small in size, dime or quarter size close in. 25 - 30 yds and then the relation ship of the larger target/critter at normal hunting distance will be close to the same.

Before hunting season, make sure you are the one doing the sight in off the bench. All the wife needs to do is understand proper sight picture and put the cross hairs where she wants them.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

Major Dave (retired)
August 24, 2012, 11:26 AM
documented in the Sept 2012 American Hunter magazine ("official journal of the National Rifle Association') concluded that the Winchester XP3 95 grain load achieved an average penetration of 32.37 inches. In the real world, that doesn't mean that the same results will be achieved when penetrating deer/elk.

Compared to 4 other loads tested, they averaged from a puny 17.5 inches to 26.0 inches of penetration. So, choose your loads carefully.

There was no data related to group size of the loads reviewed. Just as well, because every rifle is different, when it comes to which loads are the most accurate.

So, IF your rifle shoots good groups with Win XP3 loads, that would be the best of both worlds, i.e., best penetration, best groups.

This test also included a 180 grain 30-06 load, which penetrated 9.5 inches further than the best .243 load, and had an expanded frontal area diameter of .584 (compared to .497 for the .243 XP3). So, in conclusion, a .243 is NOT a 30-06.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
August 24, 2012, 04:33 PM
You called that right Dave!

I know some people argue that the .243 or rifles close to that like some of the .25s are OK for elk. Not so.

I have seen deer taken with a .22 rimfire, but there is no way that makes it a deer rifle.

And although I have owned and loved .243s for years, an elk rifle it is not!


Brian Pfleuger
August 24, 2012, 06:58 PM
And yet there are hunters all over the west who successfully use the 243 on elk, year after year.

First choice? Nope.
Capable and effective within the limits of shot quality, placement and hunter competence? Yep.

I have a good friend who has spent many years hunting elk in Colorado. He hunts with a bow only, set at 47 pounds.

Yes, 4-7. He gets told all the time that it's not enough for elk, he's crazy, it shouldn't be allowed, blah, blah, blah.

He's taken over a dozen elk with less than 50lb draw weight, wounded none and shoots completely through most of them.

He knows several woman and a few men who hunt every year with 243. It makes a fine elk cartridge, if you know it's limits, just like anything else.

Gut shots and blown off legs aren't going to end well with a 47lb bow, a 243 or a 50BMG.

An animal with holes in both lungs that can't take another breath is going to be dead in 150 yards or less, with any of the above.

August 24, 2012, 09:35 PM
Having started three beginners myself, I stuck with the Handi Rifle. They're simple, versatile, accurate, affordable, and above all else safe. You can cheaply switch stocks for length of pull changes. You can affordably add a multitude of shotgun, rifle, and muzzle loading barrels to suit your game needs. I also tried the Rossi, but just don't find the accessories very available yet. I have two Handi Rifles, and love the simplicity of their system. You can also add some good quality quick detach rings to save money on barrel optics with the Weaver rail sustem. It's hard to beat if you don't know which way to go or may want to get out later.;) -7-

August 24, 2012, 10:25 PM
Look at these.






August 25, 2012, 10:37 AM

What was the quality of the trigger pull on the handi's

August 25, 2012, 10:21 PM

Sorry for the delay. One of mine feels heavy to me, ok for the kids. I didn't have them weighed. When I bought the low pressure .22-250, I put it back in the box and sent it back for a factory adjustment, a new .30-30 barrel, and ejector replacement. The report that came back with it says it's 3-3.5 lbs. now. It breaks very cleanly, so I don't have any problem with that. The newer gun was originally a higher pressure .243 youth Super Light. It came with an extractor only and a short 11.5" LOP stock (the shortest available). Its trigger is obviously a little heavier, but clean breaking as well. I have since added barrels in .25-06, .30-30, .308, 28 ga., 20 ga., and the .50 cal. muzzle loader barrel. They all shoot sub-moa with factory ammo. I must say I haven't tried the newest Remington-owned versions, though. I just hope they don't change much. They're a great value.


August 26, 2012, 01:00 AM
my 15 year old son is 5' 5" tall and weighs 140#, (stature of an average woman - don't tell him I said that!) he shoots 300 Savage, 7x57 mauser, 38-55 and 30-30 with no ill effects.