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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

Thats pretty much a gimme,22 lr should be the first rifle anyone shoots,my neighbor wants to start his kid off right deer hunting and in a few years elk,so I was looking for a centerfire recommendation for him.I made a cailber recommendation and type of rifle but being older and out of touch with kids I needed some experienced hunters advice.Drop-Shot
 

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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

For deer I've started my nieces and nephews off with 30/30 of various types. My favorites are the old Savage and Stevens bolt actions. Other good calibers would be the .250 Savage and .257 Roberts. I'm not too hot on the .243/6mm class though I like my 6mm Remington for pronghorn. Other good choices might be the .260 Rem and the 6.5x55 Swede. These with stoutly constructed bullets ought be enough for elk with good shot placement. The 7mm/08, 7x57 Mauser, .300 Savage, 30-40 Krag, and .308 might also be worthwhile though they might have a bit more recoil to them than one would like. These might be better for elk after the kids cut their teeth on the lighter guns.
 

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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

My boys took their first deer with .223 Remingtons and Muzzleloaders. That is not the answer for everyone.

I agree with everything uglydog said. Avoid the lever guns with a half cock safety. Small, cold, gloved hands and half-cocks are an invitation to an accidental discharge. I like the old .30-30 bolt guns but most require a side mount for scope installation.

If your neighbor is a reloader, go to the Hodgdon site for Youth Loads for many intermediate and full size rounds.

Make hunting fun and he will hunt for life.
 

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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

DS, my son is now 12 and not on the large side but not to small either. I started him off with a Weatherby Vanguard in .270. He shoots it really well and the recoil does not seem to bother him. He is shooting solid 1" to 11/2" groups at 100yds. To date he has taken 4 nice hogs, 2 coyotes and 1 doe. 3 of the hogs were over 100 yds and one of these was nearly 180 yds according to the range finder. He shoots 130's in Winchester and I think that is what the Federal Premiums are as well. Both rounds shoot tight in the gun.

I have to say that the Vanguard is a great rifle.
 

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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

A 22 LR is a great starter gun but I started my young 'un off at 12 years old with a 25-06 bolt rifle (didn't have a 22 LR so I had to make do). Had a good recoil pad on it and he did alright. The bolt gun is nice since it makes supervising the new shooter a bit easier and it is easier for a rookie to operate. A 223 is also a good choice for entry into shooting centerfires and lets the novice shoot a lot without going bankrupt. Add good hearing protection and eye protection as well.

All in all I think a lot depends on the individual. The key thing I think, maybe even more than choice of rifle, is the "patience" of the mentor. It can be hard to remember that new shooters take time to develop skills that some of us take for granted.
 

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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

A little trick I learned in starting a kid or woman off shooting...have them wear ear protection that almost completely muffles all sound. If they can't hear it, it doesn't kick much. :idea: :idea: :wink:
 

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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

I started on a 22, then a 30/30, then a 243. still shoot the 243 for deer. (place the shots right, and they're small deer.) I've told many of my friends who have little ones the 22 is the best starter, and a 223 as well. other choices, would be a 243, 257 roberts, all good choices for first timers. or, the ol 30/30!
 

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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

Sorry I have been away,have had computer problems.I loaned my 243 to my neighbor and his son balked at it and said all his friends shoot a 300 win mag,I then loaned him my 300 weatherby mag and he said too much gun!He shot the 30/06 and said too much gun also,since the distances are going to be from 3 feet to 300 yards I recommended 7mm08 or 270,he is a fair size 15 year old but everyones threshold for recoil is different and his seems like low recoil rifles will be the match for him,he is even looking at 260 and what rifles are chambered in it.They both read all posts on the matter and now believes he doesn't want a 300 win mag anymore but is sold on high quality scopes like Nikon and Burris and Leupold.Thanks for the help guys.Drop-Shot
 

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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

ehehe I was about to say 30-06 to much gun :shock: !!!! then I read the 15yr old part. :D
They just need to get alittle more meat on them, try some of that power builder bulking powder, and spinach, get them in some AP classes at school that'll put a couple of more books in thier backpacks, and some steel toe shoes. That should solve your small kid problem :p
 

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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

L2S had a great point,we went shooting at our shooting range and with ear plugs he would flinch pretty hard with a borrowed 270,I loaned him my muffs and he didn't flinch the rest of the shooting session.1 box of 270 140gr and 1/2 box of 30/06 165 gr.His dad bought a winchester shadow 270 and a burris fullfield ll 3-9,with good hearing protection the kid shoots just fine.Thanks for the help guys.Drop-Shot
 

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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

Kids I grew up with usually started with a 223 or a 22-250 are great calibers even into adulthood. I personally like the 22-250 because it's one of the fastest & Flattest shooting rounds out for shooting varmits to deer. I shoot a 7mm STW (long range kicker up to 400meters) and a 338 Lapua Magnum (long range good by arm, reliable up to 1500m) and I still want a 22-250.
 

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Re: re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off

Papadoodles said:
.22-250 for deer??? :shock:

I don't think so
I'm with this guy. The only time I could see .22-250 for deer is if it's a really small deer and you know to put a very good bullet where it needs to go, and even then I'd still reach for something a bit bigger.
 

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re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

id say start the kid off with a .700 nitro express n tell him or her that it has no recoil :twisted:

nah seriously id say either start the kid off with a .30-30 or .308 cuz those dont kick much but got the power to take big game when hes ready to start hunting

lol thats better than my 1st gun experience cuz i was 3 years old and shot an sks but hey i didnt cry but did fall down
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
re: Whats the best caliber and rifle to start a kid off with

I watched a person I respected very much bring a ruger mini-14 deer hunting,my respect went south when he shot a 6 point going up a steep hill 11 times and I had to finish the deer off,almost all 11 bullets hit the bread basket but didn't cause enough shock to kill the buck quickly,that was only 30-40 yards and he figured the bullets needed more distance to open up and kill quickly,he said he had killed deer before quickly but this time it didn't.From 40 some odd years of hunting I feel the 223 is too light to kill deer effectively,its a great varmit round though.Drop-Shot
 
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