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saskie's picture
Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
rifle recommendation

All the calibres mentioned would be good choices, excluding the 30/06. The .243 is the lightest calibre that is (as far as I know) legal for big-game everywhere in N America (yes I know some states/provinces allow .22 calibre centre-fire, but they're the exception). And as was mentioned, it is the definite light-weight of the bunch. It will work on deer buts gets real iffy for anything with tougher skin and bigger bones.

The only one I would add is the lowly 30/30, especially for a new hunter. Its low recoil, rugged, dependable and will take down any big game animal in the lower 48 (and most of Canada) out to 75-100 yds.

Also, bear in mind its almost a given that within a few years once they get experience they'll have their own rifle/calibre preference, which probably won't be the one you chose for them, however suitable it was. Your carefully chosen rifle will become a back-up weapon for their own; used rarely in the field and (hopefully) valued more for sentimental reasons that its field abilities.

30/30s are cheap Whistling

Location: new brunswick
Joined: 03/09/2007
Posts: 164
rifle recommendation

The only downside to those .30-30's is the handy lever rifles they come in, after I've moved on to my .30-06 for my main rifle I find myself looking at those light weight deer slayers and wishing I had one of my own. Of course I don't want to duplicate dads rifle so .35 rem and .32 special are what I'm looking for.
Marlin, winchester as long as they're still in good condition, the classics are classic for a reason.