best youth rifles

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best youth rifles

Postby burnnurse1 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:20 pm

I am looking to buy my 7 yr old son his first rifle for his birthday in sept. Was wondering if any of you dad's out there may have any suggestions as to the right caliber to start him off with. I've looked at the 243 youth but have been told it's not enough gun, especially if he makes a shoulder shot. find that hard to believe! also curious about a 7mm-08. thanks for any help

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RE: best youth rifles

Postby GTOHunter » Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:58 pm

I have hunted for over 35 years with a 30-06 Remington Rifle and I switched over to a Browning A-bolt .243 Rifle and it is plenty of gun to kill a Deer with..a lot has to do with good accurate shot placement and that goes with any gun as far as I'm concerned!My issue was too much recoil on the 30-06 Rifle and I have shot 2 nice 8-Point Bucks with my Browning .243 Rifle,that are mounted on my wall right now! [;)]
I shot one of my Bucks 1/4-ing away lung shot and he only went about 100 yards,the next Buck I got the following year was a direct heart shot and he went about 35 yards and dropped and the Does I got were each broadside shots and they only went about 25-40 yards and dropped.My Daughter shot hers a little high in the shoulder and it dropped a few yards from where she hit it.

I bought my Daughter a Rossi Youth Gun with the .243 barrel,a 22 LR barrel and the 20 gauge shot barrel combo.I let her practice with the 22 LR after I mounted a Tru-Glo Red Scope on it,then I put the .243 barrel on the gun and another red dot scope on it that way I can switch back and forth to each different barrel and have the same type of scope on each one.The Red Dot scope is easier for a Youth to see through and to put the Dot on the vitals spots on a Deer without having to squint or find to eye relief like you would on a regular scope.She shot a nice Doe with the .243 in October of 2006 when she was 12 years and she is a small Petite girl and she handle the Rossi just fine.Another good Youth Gun is the NEF (New England Firearm) Rifle which is grey metal and a plastic/composite stock,it is a good gun that is a little heavier and better made gun.Then there is the Remington Rifle in the Youth Model that is a very nice gun and I believe Browning makes a Youth Gun also?This will give you several Makes and Models to choose from in different price ranges. 

Here in Missouri you can hunt Deer with any center fire rifle which would include a .223 rifle a 22-250 Rifle a .243 Rifle on up.The 7mm-08 Rifle you mentioned might be a very good rifle to consider also because of less recoil.If your Son is a good size Boy it might be better to start off with a full size rifle or even one that has the smaller "Youth" stock on it and it can be changed over to a full-size stock as he gets older.

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RE: best youth rifles

Postby howhill1 » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:36 am

i agree with everything gto had to say. the .243 is a fine round and plenty big enough with very little recoil. youll probably be more likely to find ammo on a reg basis as well as its a very common round.
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RE: best youth rifles

Postby burnnurse1 » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:39 am

thanks for the info GTO. Ive known alot of people who have used the 243 and have killed many deer with that caliber. I just want something that doesn't have so much recoil that he's scared to shoot and in turn develops bad shooting habits. he's been shooting a .22 for the last year with open sights and has actually turned into a pretty good shot! I did look at some adult compact rifles in 243 that I belive he can handle. he's pretty good size for his age. My dad uses the red dot and my son loves to look through his scope. So that may be a pretty good idea!! thanks for your help[:)]

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RE: best youth rifles

Postby shaman » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:35 am

Both 243 and 7mm-08 work.

My sons have been hunting with me for years.  #2 starts this year on his own as an adult with 6 yute seasons under his belt.   #3 son is 10, and is finally deciding he's ready. 

I made some simple rules above and beyond what KY law requires:

1)  My sons had to have passed Hunter Ed before they could hunt.  #2 did it when he was 10.  #3 passed his at 8. That gave them something to work for, and it made sure they understood what they were doing.

2)  No Yute rifles.  My kids are big for their ages.  #2 went three seasons with a regular Marlin 336 in 30-30  and then switched to a M1 Garand.  #3 is starting with the Marlin 336 this year. 

4)  In order to hunt, you have to be able to hit a pie plate 3 times offhand at 50 yards.  With #3, that was his big stumbling block, but he's conquered it now.  #2 on the other hand shot as well as I could with the Marlin 336 from the get-go.

Here are some things we tried along the way.

SKS-- 7.62X39 with a 125 grain soft point is plenty for deer at short ranges. It's a semi-auto, so the recoil is diminished. The stocks are short. 

Mosin Nagant M44 --  I reload in 7.62X54R, so cooking up a 30-30 ish load was no problem. 

20 GA  Rem 1100 -- Semi-auto tames recoil.

Mini-14 in .223 Rem:  Both the SKS and the Mini-14 ended being good transition weapons for the kids.  Neither rifle has actually been out on a deer hunt, but the kids used them a lot, building up good safety habits and good marksmanship.

Some people don't like the idea of a giving a semi-auto deer rifle to a kid. However,  In KY the adult has to be able to take control of the rifle at all times anyway.  I looked at how much time both kids had spent with the Ruger 10/22 and decided semi- operation was not a big deal.  All of us only hunt with only three rounds anyway. Working with a semi in a controlled environment got both my sons very aware of the state of their rifle.  Levers and bolts ended up being simple.

#2 son could not wait to hunt after he saw me bag a buck on his first time out with me at age 9.  I would have taken him sooner, but I was having trouble with the Ex.  #3 was sort of the same way. He started coming out with me at age 4, and got his Hunter Ed out of the way by 8.  Then it came time actually do it, and he balked.   He was happy just to accompany me to the stand and watch for two more seasons.  However, the bug finally hit him this spring, getting ready for turkey season, and he's been begging to shoot the 30-30 at every opportunity.

Some other thoughts:

1)  Although our family has eschewed Yute rifles, we are big on Yute loads.  In fact, I use H4895 in all my deer loads and load well under the max.  As a result, my kids were shooting 30-06 as early as 10 and loving it. 

2)  Try to find a venue that keeps the shots short. Kids get worked up on their first few deer, and a lot of things can go out the window in a hurry. 

3) Shooting offhand was a confidence builder for my sons, but not a requirement for the actual hunt.  Make sure they're shooting off a sturdy rest the first time they shoot a deer.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
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RE: best youth rifles

Postby GTOHunter » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:05 am

Your Welcome BurnNurse1...there's lots of great info here from everyone who responded,I like the idea of you getting a full size rifle because you can actually get a little more recoil from the Youth Model guns because of the smaller stocks,lighter weight guns and the shorter barrel lengths.Please let us know what gun you decided on purchasing for your son and how well he is doing with it!

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RE: best youth rifles

Postby Knockdown » Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:30 pm

The .243 is more then enough to drop a deer. Here in OK, I have killed all of my deer with a Rossi .223 and would reccomend it to ANY hunter. Just firing a 55 gr. bullet ( Monarch makes a great SP), I have dropped most dead in their tracks and never had one run more than 32 yds. The .223 also boasts outstanding knockdown power in close ranges and is probably capable of good accuracy out to 475-550 yds. (does anyone know the range a .223 has? I have seen 3 inch groups at 600 meters but have never shot that far?) Plus there is basicly no felt recoil.
As for the sights, I started using iron sights but now have a Simmons 6Point 3-9X40 which works excellently for my application of the rig.
When in doubt though, its hard to go wrong with a good ol .270[:D]

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RE: best youth rifles

Postby PrairieShadow » Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:42 am

I started off shooting a .308 when i was 12 and then for some reason switched to a .243 4-5 years later. Well being young i thought i could still shoot deer square in the front shoulder and drop them in their tracks like i had been doing with the .308 for the past 4-5 years. Needless to say, i lost the first deer i ever shot with my .243. This was the first and last year i hunted with a .243.
That season has put a sour taste in my mouth about the .243 and it still lingers but i will say that if the bullet goes exactly where it needs to every time (right behind the shoulder) you should be ok with it.
Another option that i didnt see mentioned here is the 25.06 but this cal doesnt come in very many youth rifles if any at all. 
I think the biggest thing is to get your son a rifle that fits him well and this will help him put the bullet where it needs to be.

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RE: best youth rifles

Postby schlupis » Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:50 am

243 7mm-08 25.06 all great for youth but dont for get about the old tried and true 30-30 ammo is plentiful also I just picked up a old model 99 savage in 300 savage still can get ammo pretty easy and about as much kick as a 30-30.

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RE: best youth rifles

Postby mhouck06 » Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:54 am

A 243 should def be enough of a gun. I used a 243 for many years and made good and bad shots with it and never had any problem. Considering your son is 7, a 222 could prove to be an excelent gun. Its nothing big, but certainly gets the job done. the first two deer I killed were with a 222, both dropped right down. I was 12 and it was cerntainly enough gun for me.


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