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Old April 15, 2017, 11:44 AM   #1
bulls n bucks
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light loads for deer

I'm looking to make a light load for youth hunters. around the age of 7 I have 3 different rifles to use I have a savage 30-30 a Mossberg 243 and a marlin 7mm-08. I'm thinking 243 Nosler partition 85gr at around 2600 fps for the 7mm-08 I'm thinking 120gr Nosler BT at 2600fps and 150gr interlock at 1900 fps for the 30-30 all shot would be under 100 yds I just want something that will have a very light recoil but still be good on deer
thanks in advance
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Old April 15, 2017, 01:03 PM   #2
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IMO H4895 is a nice powder that should get you the results that you are looking for:

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Old April 15, 2017, 01:09 PM   #3
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Whole thing is more about how well the rifle fits a 7 year old. And if he can hold the thing still. Who made the bullet doesn't matter at all.
An 85 grain .243 at around 2600 fps would be seriously under minimum with any powder. So will a 120 7mm-08.
The .30-30 with either 4198 powder will be safe though. 1900 fps is roughly start load with the H4198. Mid range with the IMR.
Any of 'em with a cast bullet vs a jacketed would be ok. Cast bullets will kill deer with no fuss and the felt recoil is generally less. Just ask Davy Crockett or Buffalo Bill. snicker.
However, if the rifle is too big(or too short) it'll hurt to shoot so Junior won't want to sight in(that he must do himself) and practice on a 9" pie plate, off hand, at 100, until he can hit it every time.
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Old April 15, 2017, 08:19 PM   #4
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I agree with the 4895. In my 308, I use 42gr of H4895 under 150 Corelokts for 2518 and 1/2" groups.
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Old April 16, 2017, 09:29 AM   #5
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A 243 with normal loads, or maybe just a bit on the light side will not have enough recoil to be an issue and still have enough power for any deer. Don't over think this, you could just use factory 243 loads and be good.

I wouldn't even consider 7-08 or 30-30. Real numbers from a factory 30-30 load aren't much more than 1900 fps from a 20" barrel and would have more recoil than factory 243. And be less effective on game.
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Old April 20, 2017, 01:11 PM   #6
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Last buck season I wanted to bring a backup rifle, the problem was I didn't have a deer load for anything. I remembed that I had a box of s&b 100 gn partition rounds for my 243 that I had never used.
I grabbed them up and took the rifle out to zero them in. On my first shot I thought it was a squibb because it was very quiet and the recoil felt like a .223 at best. Ended up shooting a 3/4" group at almost 2700 fps and has the least amount of recoil I've ever felt in a large rifle.

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Old April 21, 2017, 09:43 AM   #7
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light loads for deer

I agree that I would stick to the 243 only! An 85gr Sierra GameKing with a light charge placed BEHIND the shoulder will bad medicine for deer and make a great round for a youth hunter. Get them plenty of time on the trigger and comfortable placing the bullet tucked in behind the shoulder. Frequent range trips with a smaller string of shots will be a much better experience than one or two trips firing 30 or 40 rounds each time.

Also depending on your local regs, a 223 or 22-250 might be good choice for a 7 year old. Heck I know guys still taking deer each year with a 22 Hornet soft point to the neck.
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Old April 21, 2017, 11:04 AM   #8
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I'm looking to make a light load for youth hunters. around the age of 7 I have 3 different rifles to use I have a savage 30-30 a Mossberg 243 and a marlin 7mm-08.
Any of these rifles modified to fit an "around age 7" shooter?? No matter the recoil level, if the rifle is too big (particularly the stock) they won't be able to use it properly. Also consider the fact that a standard "light" deer rifle, could be close to 10% of the child's body weight. Add a scope and its even more.

How well could you manage a deer rifle that weighed 18lbs with a stock 4-5 inches too long for you???

The loads you are considering will all certainly kill deer, BUT the lighter you go, the more critical it becomes to hit the right spot with a bullet properly built for that spot.

Check you game laws, as well. some places have minimum energy requirements as well as minimum caliber and weight requirements.

One state I know allowed a .25-35 Win for deer, but only the 117gr bullet met all the legal requirements, lighter bullets in that round fell short of the required energy level. (Note, game law minimum energy requirements are NOT the minimum needed to kill a deer, they are a rule of the game)

Also be certain you aren't violating any regs about age, licenses, tags, supervision, etc. These vary widely.

Personally, while I don't think 7 is too young to be introduced to shooting, I think its a bit too young to handle a regular (adult size) rifle, no matter how light the load. Scale the gun to the child (size & weight) or let them grow up a bit more, and you'll have better results, I think.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old April 21, 2017, 11:07 AM   #9
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Hodgdon says their 4895 is safe to load to 60% of full power.

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Old April 22, 2017, 08:39 AM   #10
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Olympus are the .30-30, 7-08, and .243 your only choice. If so I'd use the .243 or 7-08 with the bullets you mentioned and H4895 powder, as already mentioned Hodgdon has youth load data USE THAT. You'll just have to shoot them both and choose which one is more accurate.

If you have other options the 6.5 Grendel or 7.62x39 are great choices for a youth hunter or recoil sensitive. Hornady makes excellent brass cased ammo for both, its accurate, affordable, and loaded with SST bullets.
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Old April 23, 2017, 12:30 PM   #11
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First CF rifle my grandson will shoot will probably be my 30-06. 180gr cast load with 13.0 grs Red Dot held against the primer pocket with a quarter sheet of toilet paper. Shoot's about like a 22 rifle, maybe not that much recoil.

Loading down the cartridges you said with jacketed bullet's might be a mistake for a 7 yr old. Make it fun, no recoil till later on in life.

BTW, I got 1700fps from that load, it will kill a deer I'm told by guy's that have shot deer with cast bullet's.
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Old April 23, 2017, 01:59 PM   #12
bulls n bucks
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Thanks for all the input guy I will probably go with the 243 loaded a little light like I said all the shots will be within 100yds. Now I just am wondering if a 85 gr. Bullet will make much of a difference in recoil over the 100gr. And if I do use the 85gr should I use something like a partition or would a standard cup and core bullet be fine at lower velocitys.
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Old April 23, 2017, 02:14 PM   #13
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A lot of that difference will depend on how big your deer are. Western Mulies are different than puny Florida deer. Recoil will still be very stout for "an almost 7 year old"; coupled with a too long stock and the felt recoil will be even greater.
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Old April 23, 2017, 06:29 PM   #14
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In Oregon, where I live, a hunter has to be at least 12 to hunt Deer. Other states may vary, so check your regulations.
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Old March 7, 2018, 02:01 AM   #15
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  1. Personally, I consider 7 too young for hunting deer. I know it can be done and I started around that age but it's not optimal. Youngsters are still gaining hand-eye coordination at that age, let alone responsibility, care and feeding of firearms etc.
  2. If shots are to be taken from inside 100 yards, most folks are looking at the wrong end of things. High velocity medium capacity cartridges like .243, 7mm-08 will reliably kill deer out to 350 yards or so. If 100 yards is the maximum range to be used, one need only get the muzzle velocity to be the velocity of a full-power load at 250 yards to do the job. That's a starting load for a medium burning rate of powder in those calibres. Further, I would suggest using RN bullets as they tend to work better at lower velocities than the sharpies. Using a lighter bullet and the faster recommended powders will also reduce recoil. If you cut down bullet about 15% and powder 20% below loads for slower full load powders you can cut down recoil nearly 50% and muzzle blast greatly. That will help the first experiences with a deer rifle be pleasant. Save the heavier loads for the teenage years when the youngsters will have bulked up and gained lots of necessary skills. Safety and responsibility can be taught to 7 year old kids but it's easier if they don't fear being beaten by the rifle. There's a reason most kids start with .22 RF.

e.g. 7mm-08 can fire a pretty good load for deer using 53 grains of 4350 at 2900 ft/s with 139 grain SP bullets according to Hornady. At 400 yards, that bullet still has 1265 ft-lb of energy and 2025 ft/s velocity, a real deer-killer. 100 yards back, that bullet has 2227 ft/s. With the 120 SP, also recommended for medium game, we can similarly figure 2300 ft/s muzzle velocity is sufficient, about 37 grains of 4895. So, we get the load necessary with (2300X120)/(2900X139)=68% of recoil momentum due to the bullet and 37/53=70% of the recoil momentum due to the propellant. That's about half the pain... and still quite flat-shooting to 100 yards.

In my youth, I did not feel comfortable with full-power loads until I was in my 20s and weighed nearly double my 7 year old weight. My first deer-rifle was a 6mm Remington, about the same as .243 Winchester. A few years later I was firing everything 20 rounds at a time. Another thing that helps lighter people is to use a heavier rifle. That really reduces the pain and works for hunting/shooting from rest. The worst recoiling rifle I have fired was a 7mm Rem Mag weighing only 7 pounds. That thing hurt shooters and wrecked scopes. Fortunately, it only needs to fire one shot a year or so... Youngsters need to shoot a lot and every bit of recoil reduction pays dividends.
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Old March 7, 2018, 08:59 AM   #16
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I too think 7 is a little young, but if you are going to do it, the advice about rifle size and cartridge (243) seems wise. Most of the .243 cal. bullets for deer sized game are over 80 grains, but there may be a few solid copper ones that weigh a bit less. The bullet makers will typically indicate which of their bullets are suitable for deer.
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Old March 7, 2018, 09:05 AM   #17
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Another option to consider would be a rifle in .357 Mag., which will probably recoil less than the 243. It's probably best to limit the 357 Mag. to less than 100yds. unless it's a clean broadside shot.

Ruger's 77/357 is somewhat smaller and lighter than most other bolt action centerfire rifles. The stock would probably still be too big however.
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Old March 7, 2018, 10:20 AM   #18
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bulls n bucks, are you wanting a load for a 7 year old to hunt deer with? Hmmm, here one cannot buy a deer license until he is 16 years old. A 222 will take out a deer if you can shoot. No recoil to mention. Have fun!
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Old March 7, 2018, 02:32 PM   #19
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Have you considered a .357 or 44 magnum in a lever action?
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Old March 7, 2018, 08:15 PM   #20
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I think the .243 is a fine choice, but I would find out if the youngster likes and fits the gun first by loading it with Trail Boss. The general instruction is to start with 70% fill under the bullet and go toward 100% case fill watching for the best accuracy point (this powder gets erratic when compressed, so don't go over 100%). That upper load will be near 16 grains and will give about 2000 fps with an 85 grain bullet. That should be very light recoiling and make a perfect high power training wheel for a 7 year old. It will still go 100 yards just fine. When you want him to get up toward something that will hunt, try Benchmark. At around 32 grains it comes close to 70% fill and gets about the velocity you want.
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Old March 7, 2018, 10:45 PM   #21
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My 9YO Granddaughter tried out her new 300AAC a couple of days ago .308 125 grainers @ 2200 fps. Even that rocked her pretty hard.
I've shot the 7mm08 some and wouldn't put my Grandkids behind one loaded with 120 grainers @ 2600FPS.
A 243 with 85 grainers @ 2400-2500 would be the limit IMHO.
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Old March 8, 2018, 02:39 AM   #22
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Make sure the bullet you choose will be effective at the lowered velocity you settle on.
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Old March 8, 2018, 09:23 AM   #23
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I download 7-08 to 7Mm BR velocity’s with partitions for hogs and I have liked a number of deer with the 7mm BR. Low recoil and it does the job.
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Old March 9, 2018, 02:00 PM   #24
T. O'Heir
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OP is nearly a year old.
It's more about a 7 year old's attention span. A kid that young isn't going to be able to sit in a blind for long before he gets cold/bored/hungry, etc.
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Old March 9, 2018, 03:08 PM   #25
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I'm looking to make a light load for youth hunters.
Depending on age and size:

1) .22 long rifle to start

as they get older:

2) .22 Hornet for center fire introduction (H&R single shot good starter)

as they get older:

3) .243 Win. with about 47 grains of 4831 when he/she is large enough.

My son was 12 years old before he could handle the .243 without a recoil flinch.
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