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Old July 7, 2012, 01:45 PM   #1
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Rifle for my daughter

My daughter will be taking a hunters safety course soon and wants to get into deer hunting with me. I have taken her with me the last couple of years and she thinks she is ready for her own rifle. She is kinda small so a long full size gun will be out of the question. I was thinking of a compact/youth model like a Ruger M77 or something similiar. I would like some input as to what you all think. Deer season is a ways away but I would like to start looking now so she can get used to the gun. We live in Ks so I was thinking about a 243 would be the smallest calibre we could go down to. Any input would be appreciated.
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Old July 7, 2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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When I bought my son his first rifle I got him a Rem 660 6MM Rem. I had the stock shortened and a recoil pad installed. I kept the piece of wood that was removed from the stock, and when he grew into it I put it back into the stock, and reinstalled the recoil pad.
Worked fine. If you get a junior size gun and she grows, the gun will be too short.

The .243 is an excellent cartridge. I have one in a pre 64 M 70 Fwt. I like the .243 better than the 6mm as the short actions do not permit loading the bullets out where they need to be. Accordingly, I get more velocity from my .243 than I can get from the 6MM. The barrel on the M660 is also 2 inches shorter than the M70 Fwt.

I have taken a fair number of deer and antelope with the .243, and have found it kills as well as my .270 and 7MM Mag. A hit in the lung area has never let a deer or antelope move more than few feet.

Ecclesiastes 12:13  ¶Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Last edited by JerryM; July 7, 2012 at 03:18 PM.
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Old July 7, 2012, 03:14 PM   #3
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There are several youth models available that are quite good. The Marlin XS7 comes in a youth version. It is an excellent rifle that sells for only a few hundred bucks. Savage sells some youth models but they are a little more expensive. The Remington Model 7 youth is super rifle but get ready to shell out some pretty serious dollars to get one.

As to calibers, the .243 is a fine caliber and a lot of parents buy it for their kids. However, I'm not a big fan of that. Shot placement is important with any hunting rifle but the less potent a particular caliber is, the more critical shot placement becomes. A .243 shoots a pretty light weight bullet making shot placement really important. With a new shooter, I'd personnally prefer to see them use something that packs a tad more wallup without significantly increasing recoil.

I believe that a .260 or 7mm-08 provides better terminal perfomance without significantly increasing recoil. 7mm-08 ammo can be had in pretty much any larger sporting goods store. .260 will usually need to be order online.
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Old July 7, 2012, 03:15 PM   #4
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One more thing adding ot what Jerry posted. If you choose one of the modern guns I mentioned in a youth model, the only thing you will need to do to convert it to an adult model later is to swap the stock. Any of the models I mentioned can be restocked for less than about a hundred (Ebay is usually full of factory take-off stocks).
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Old July 7, 2012, 09:49 PM   #5
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If recoil is a major concern and if the budget will allow, the very best rifle I could recommend is an AR-15 in 6.8 SPC or maybe 6.5 grendal.

They can be built for left or right handed shooters.

The recoil is so light that it's easy for 8 year old girls to handle it.

Accuracy with good barrels is as good or better then a lot of bolt actions.

If you have it made with a good trigger, the trigger pull is better than most bolt actions today.

You can use them as a single shot, or with 5 round, 10 round, or 25 round magazines.

They can be made with very light barrels and made to weigh only about 7 pounds.

If you'd like you can also have a 5.56 upper made so you can swap from a "coyote rifle" to a "deer rifle" in seconds, with no re-zeroing needed at all. Swap and go shooting.

If you make it with a telescoping stock it will fit her if she's 4 foot 7 inches, 5 foot 2 inches, 5 foot 8 inches or 6 feet tall. It fits about anyone.

The only down side to such a rifle is that they cost about $1100-$1200. But for a lifetime investment, that is not very much really.
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Old July 7, 2012, 11:58 PM   #6
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You did not mention how much shooting experience your daughter has, her age or limitations as to her accuracy at different distances. Personally, I like the idea of a .44 Mag, .45 Colt or 30-30 lever action rifle for all new deer hunters as long as the local regulations allow them for deer hunting. If they happen to miss their target, the bullet is not likely to travel as far as a .243 Win, 6mm Rem, 7mm-08, etc. I agree with lower recoil, but also suggest looking at the potential distance the bullet may travel on a missed shot.
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Old July 10, 2012, 11:58 PM   #7
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Two suggestions:

1. Not many know of this rifle yet, as it was a new Ruger product in 2011. This is the 77/357. Bolt action, stainless barrel, all weather stock, iron sight, very accurate, ridiculously light rifle, yet very light recoil for bolt action. Uses a Ruger rotary magazine that holds 5 rounds. It'll set you back $600.

2. If that's too pricey, why not consider a nice chinese Norinco SKS? Being semi-auto, the recoil is less than an equivalent bolt action. The guns are accurate, reliable and fun to shoot. Okay, so more work to clean than a bolt action. This is true. There are dust covers available with see through scope mounts, if you don't like iron sights. The 7.62x39mm ammo is abundant and inexpensive. It's like having a Ruger Mini-30 that isn't so fussy about ammo and for less than half the price!!! And at least around here, the built in ten round magazine is legal for deer hunting.
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Old July 11, 2012, 01:01 AM   #8
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Sako 85 Finnlight in .260 Remington. With a Trijicon TR20-2G Accupoint. Take her shopping and let her pick out accessories. Teach her to handload.
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Old July 11, 2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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Youngsters' rifle...

KST 8 Fan--Had to go through the same process myself, with my #1 son, who was smallish and slender. We found that a youth model rifle was just the ticket. Several makers have them now (Only Win when we did this.)

We decided on .243 Win as the cartridge: Accurate, easily available, easy to reload, light recoil, 100, or 95, grain bullet works on deer. Every deer my son pointed his .243 at was DRT.

As to Discern's concern with bullet overtravel: Isn't one of the rules, "Be Sure Of Your Target--And Beyond""?? And in KS you do have some wide-open spaces for a longish shot.

Of course #1 son grew out of the "Youth Model" stock, but since the rifle is a cut-down Model 70, an adult-size stock was easy to find. It's still his favorite deer rifle.

Enjoy the search! Be sure to include the daughter in the shopping and the choosing, and practicing, as well as the hunting. All in all, makes a fine dad-and-daughter project IMHO!
God Bless America

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Old July 11, 2012, 03:49 PM   #10
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My daughter liked her Rossi Youth Combo, .243-20 guage, it's light and very accurate, with 100 grn Winchester "silver box" ammo, we sighted it dead on at 100 yds and she killed a nice eight-point with it but she outgrew it, and moved up to a Savage Weather Warrior in .270 and she shoots it lights out,BTW
Thanks for coming!
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Old July 11, 2012, 07:12 PM   #11
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.243 is a beautiful thing. With a Nosler Partition it is a fantastic caliber for hunting and has low recoil and long range to boot. Short of brown bears, elk, bison and moose, there is nothing that it will not kill humanely. Any caliber that will kill "anything," will have more recoil and wasted "energy."
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Old July 11, 2012, 09:53 PM   #12
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Smokey Joe,

It appears this is a person new to hunting. We can teach and work on practicing safety, but we won't know how they will act when a deer is spotted. Fact is, many people miss their target while deer hunting. I rarely ever hear just a single shot while deer hunting.

People can do what they see as being best. IMO, having a new, inexperienced hunter use a cartridge like a .243 Win, etc. is not the best choice. If they hit their target, chances are things will be alright. If they don't, how far is that bullet going to travel before it stops?
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Old July 11, 2012, 10:06 PM   #13
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7mm/08 is a dandy caliber for your purposes!

"If Ands and Buts were Candy and Nuts, everyday would be like Christmas"
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Old July 12, 2012, 08:54 PM   #14
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Get a bolt action for sure, some how when I was starting out my Dad got me a combo 700 .243. He bought it as a full size .243 with a 22" barrel but it came along with a youth stock that was 3 inches shorter in the butt and had a good recoil pad. I shot it for 4 years that way with Nosler Partitions and then swapped on the full size stock and kept the same ammo and the gun stayed true. I really liked that gun and I still have it today even though I rarely shoot it
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Old July 14, 2012, 10:22 PM   #15
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I'm singing the praises of my Marlin today.

I agree with Discern. It might not have the range of a .243, but as a young'n (starting at 9) I was hunting deer with my Marlin 336. It's light enough for a kid, not too expensive, and still has some power. Mine was a .35, but in .30-30, it might just suit her needs.

The pistol calibers might be the ticket as well. They sure won't kick too much.
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Old July 15, 2012, 10:22 AM   #16
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You didn't mention the average range she would be shooting, or if you would be handloading or using store bought ammo.
I would go with a good accurate scoped single shot. I have set up many young shooters with an H&R Handi Rifle in .357 Mag for deer stand, .243 for open country hunters. Scopes being either a quality red dot, or a good quality fixed 6 power.
There are many out there that will denigrate me, but all of my young hunters are comfortably taking their deer every time using these combinations.
Fast follow up shots are not what they are capable of when starting out.
Plenty of range time and confidence in their ability to place the shot properly are the earmarks of success.
Ease of operation as well as simple, safe loading and unloading will allow them to shoot less stressfully and more accurately.
Replacing the, (possibly), cut down youth stock with a full size one at a later date is very inexpensive.
For those that may say the .357 Mag is underpowered, the 158 gr bullet leaves the muzzle at about 1400 to 1600 fps depending on the load.
I recommend the Hornady XTP because of it's great prformance for me in the past.
For the .243 Win, I recommend the 100 gr soft points from Federal, Remington, Privi, etc., as they are designed for deer hunting applications.
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Old July 17, 2012, 07:21 PM   #17
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rifle for daughter

I agree with jerry! Cliff
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Old July 17, 2012, 11:26 PM   #18
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I've got a 1972 ADL Rem 700 with a 1967 weaver wide view on it. My wife loves to hunt with it and she's very recoil sensitive. All I did was put and grind to fit recoil pad on it and she couldn't be happier with it. And she hits everything she aims at with it too. I've found the guns with more recoil have her flinching.
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Old July 18, 2012, 09:23 AM   #19
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Definitely a .243 or 7mm08. Maybe a .257 Roberts if you can find one.
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Old July 18, 2012, 10:20 PM   #20
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My rather slightly built daughter (and I) who is reading over my shoulder, seconds the .257 Roberts idea. We have killed or seen killed literally hundreds of mule deer, white-tail and antelope with this round, using 100gr, 117gr, & 120gr bullets. It seems to be the minimum threshold of consistent "BOOM...flop!" performance on medium game animals. No better than the .243 on paper, but a clear cut above in actual use.

Also, given a tough 120gr bullet such as an A-frame or Partition, it would give at least adequate service on an elk hunt, should you ever happen to go on one.

Note: we are subsistence hunters who regularly shoot a dozen such critters a year between the two of us.
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Old July 19, 2012, 10:10 AM   #21
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I started out with a lever action 30-30 and still take deer with this "oldy but goody". Some companies now offer Reduced Recoil ammo.

CZ527 is a short and lightweight carbine that is available in 7.62 X 39. Recoil is moderate but this Soviet designed cartridge has what it takes to down deer effectively out to approx 150 yards or so.

.243 is always a good choice for deer-sized game whether a beginner or seasoned older hunter.

Good hunting to you.
Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
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Old July 19, 2012, 12:43 PM   #22
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There are a lot of good options, but I love the 243.

I shot a 7mm-08 awhile back though and it was awesome. That's a lot of bullet with little recoil.

Quarter bores are sweet too.

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Old July 19, 2012, 12:58 PM   #23
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Savage .243
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Old July 19, 2012, 06:53 PM   #24
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For a small beginner, it would be hard to beat a lever action 30-30. They shoulder very well, and the recoil is very mild.
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:07 PM   #25
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I saw your post , "Rifle for My Daughter." I will not trade you any of my rifles for your Daughter. I'm sure she is very nice , but it is shameless that you would post such a thing on here. I'm surprised the moderator hasn't deleted your selfish and horrid inquiry. I do know these other guys down South of here though. They asked me to find out what type of rifle you are looking for and they had some questions about your daughter which I could email you.
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