20 replies [Last post]
Location: Idaho
Joined: 01/16/2007
Posts: 16
New rifle for son.

My son finally is old enough to go deer hunting this year. We have been to the range a number of times over the past few years. He really enjoys firing the .22. The problem I am having is he is really uncomfortable shooting my 7mm mag. I do not want him to develop any kind of a flinch from having to use that rifle. My plans are to get a new (or good used) rifle of a smaller caliber for him to use. Right now I am looking at a .243, but a local shop has a used .270 for a good price. Do you experts out there have any suggestions for me?


elkkill06's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 2050
New rifle for son.

My son has shot a 270 for the last three years and he his very afraid of recoil. I load him up with 90gr and 110 gr Hornady bullets. He has taken both elk and mule deer. A 243 is a great caliber also, my father has had bad injuries and two surgeries on his shooting shoulder, and that is all he shoots. Like you said you don't want him flinching. Good luck and good hunting!

exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
New rifle for son.

I think a .25-06 is a good compromise between the .243 and .270. My friend's son is pretty deadly with his .308, which is another great round, or 7mm-08. Is there a minimum legal requirement for any game in Idaho? Some states don't allow .24 calibers on elk.
Back to the .270 though, most kids I've met seem to be able to handle a .270, which is the minimum caliber we allow on our youth and women's hunts with the Hunter Outreach Program here in CO.

Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
New rifle for son.

6.5X55 swed is also a great caliber with little recoil. The 30-30 and 300 savage would be excellent choices if you want 30 cal bullets.

Location: Somewhere Up There
Joined: 01/06/2007
Posts: 217
New rifle for son.

The couple of youngsters I've known that had 270s seemed to do well with them. I bought a 7mm 08 this year and am very pleased - definitely low recoil. I also personally like the 308 for the same reasons: low recoil with excellent performance (they are efficient!). The 260 Remington is also a good up and comer (approx. same as the 6.5 by 55).

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
New rifle for son.

The 7mm mag is considerable recoil even for some adults. The 30-06 case isn't really needed either which rules out the 270 and 25-06. In my opinion the best named so far is the 6.5x55, I'm on my third! My ex had one and greatly prefered it to my 25-06. If you could find one and you reload, I'd recommend a 260 Rem even though I've never shot one. It's the right combination of case size and proper weight bullet's for a hunting rifle. It should be very tolerable for a recoil sensitive shooter. I don't think I'd go to any 30 cal now, he's young and can go there on his own if he wants later.

Location: Mobile County, Alabama
Joined: 09/09/2007
Posts: 310
New rifle for son.

.260's are great. So are .257 Roberts and .25-06.

Location: Plano, TX
Joined: 08/09/2006
Posts: 92
New rifle for son.

7mm 08 for sure. I shot one and love it, very little recoil and because of the efficiency of the 7mm bullet, a very good killer, much, much better than the 243. If all you are ever going to hunt is average sized whitetails the 243 will be okay, but not better than okay for most people, though I know there will be some expert shots who disagree. Note that Larry Weishun, the Texas whitetail and hunting expert says that the 243 is a great rifle, for coyotes.

As a guide, I have seen lots of deer fall to the 243, but I have also seen lots run away, wounded to die later, yes from less than perfect shots, but that happens and to not be prepared with enough gun for it is, well less than ideal. The 7mm 08 will allow your son to hunt bigger bucks, mulies, black bears, and even elk at under 200 yards with the right bullets. It is what I recommend to all of our very young youth hunters, from those we guide here in Texas to those we book into places as far as Africa for light plainsgame.

In any case, great luck with whatever you go with. You are doing a great thing getting your son into hunting, thank you from all of us who want to see hunting continue.

Location: Dallas, TX
Joined: 02/18/2009
Posts: 5
New rifle for son.

I'm not sure a .270 will be a big enough reduction in recoil for your son if he can't really handle the 7mm. A .243 has worked great for me shooting small bodied Central Texas whitetails which usually don't weigh much more than 100-120 pounds field dressed. Like many above have said I think I'd go for something between the .243 and 270 if you're going to shoot bigger animals.

Location: Misouri
Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 365
New rifle for son.

243 would be perfect. He may never grow out of it.

Location: Butte, MT
Joined: 01/02/2006
Posts: 234
New rifle for son.

My first deer rifle was a .222. Don't see many of those anymore, but I really wouln't recommend something that small anyway. I would concur with Remington, I don't think you could possibly go wrong with a .243. Darn good caliber for deer sized game.

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