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Old 11-25-2020, 04:40 PM   #1
Bowtech1233
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Default Youth Deer Rifle - Which Caliber?

Looking to buy my kids a deer rifle. Iíve always thought Iíd go .243 but Iím also intrigued by the 6.5 CM (donít own one, just heard good things). Am I missing any other options? Thoughts? Recommendations? Sorry, I know this is a bowhunting site... 🤣
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Old 11-25-2020, 04:44 PM   #2
Chad C
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H has a 300 AAC and 6.5 creed.

I wish I would have gone with a youth or compact 7-08.


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Old 11-25-2020, 04:48 PM   #3
meangreen
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Bought my 10 year old son a savage youth .243. Fits him well and he dropped a doe last weekend.
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Old 11-25-2020, 04:49 PM   #4
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Kids used 243's for decades. I don't know that the 6.5's are any better. That being said, I'm going with the grendel for my grandsons.
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Old 11-25-2020, 04:53 PM   #5
Jtrage
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I also but my 9 yo a savage youth but in a 6.5 CM. He hasnít had the opportunity to use it in a hunt. It fits him perfect and the caliber has worked for him with a target.


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Old 11-25-2020, 04:53 PM   #6
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My oldest is almost 8 and has used a ruger American youth 223. Shot two doe with it so far. No complaints but do wish it was a larger diameter bullet now that he’s getting bigger.
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Old 11-25-2020, 04:54 PM   #7
mikemorvan
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I bought my son, now 30, a Savage Mark V .243 about 18 or so years ago. It's the same rifle he uses today. I think .243 is a good choice.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:02 PM   #8
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7mm-08. Start them on the Hornady light loads, they are about the same energy and recoil as a 243. They can grow into the full power 7mm-08 loads.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:08 PM   #9
sambo73
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6.5grendel
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:14 PM   #10
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My 5 yr old nephew did this just fine on his own standing with a tripod with a 6 Creed I put together for him.

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Old 11-25-2020, 05:15 PM   #11
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My personal opinion...if you truly want to start your kid out right, recoil management is the way to go. You can accomplish this a number of ways...small caliber (less than or equal to .243), moderate caliber with light loads (25 and 26 calibers) and/or muzzle breaks. I think many dads end up buying too much gun at the onset, hoping their kid will "grow into it" and minimize having to buy another rifle later on. The problem with this is that many kids develop poor shooting habits (flinch) and have difficulty managing it down the road.

My personal choice for my son began with a Ruger American 22 Mag, then stepping up to .243 in that same platform. It has worked like a charm, and I don't regret the decision at all.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:18 PM   #12
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As stated above, the savage axis youth .243 is a great gun for little guys. You don’t have to worry about them beating it up and it will drop them like any other gun.

Now, my daughter has one of those pink .223. She likes it because it doesn’t kick. If you have really small kids, that stationary shooting tripod is a great accessory.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simek View Post
My personal opinion...if you truly want to start your kid out right, recoil management is the way to go. You can accomplish this a number of ways...small caliber (less than or equal to .243), moderate caliber with light loads (25 and 26 calibers) and/or muzzle breaks. I think many dads end up buying too much gun at the onset, hoping their kid will "grow into it" and minimize having to buy another rifle later on. The problem with this is that many kids develop poor shooting habits (flinch) and have difficulty managing it down the road.

My personal choice for my son began with a Ruger American 22 Mag, then stepping up to .243 in that same platform. It has worked like a charm, and I don't regret the decision at all.
Good advice.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:20 PM   #14
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.243 for starter or something similar!
Something besides a mule.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:22 PM   #15
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7mm 08 great gun and they can use it forever
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:30 PM   #16
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I feel a .243 is like a right of passage in Texas hunting. I have hunted with one for years, even as an adult. Then again there are so many good choices with 7mm-08, 6 creed, 6.5 variants, nowadays you really canít go wrong. Donít rule out a 22-250, maybe not perfect for everything, but something that the whole family will enjoy.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:38 PM   #17
Chad C
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Much like Simek, I started H off with a Ruger American bolt action .17 HMR and he graduated to a Ruger American Ranch .300 AAC shooting .110 Barnes Tac-Tx rounds. Since then I got him one of the Ruger American Magpul Hunters in 6.5 creedmoor shooting 135 grain Berger hollow points. He's killed with all of them.

If I had it all to do over. I would go with the 7-08 shooting reduced recoil loads which actually kicks less than a .243. and your shooting a larger bullet with a little more punch.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:38 PM   #18
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I have one son that shot his first with a 22-250 and one that used a 6.5 creedmoor. .243 is just boring in my opinion. TYHP hunts require a minimum of .243 so there's that. The one boy who used the 22-250 used a 308 weatherby vanguard on all his other critters with no problem, and I've seen alot of youth's use 308. I would take it into consideration. 7mm-08 would be my choice.(cause I don't own one yet

And my youngest son, if we get a chance, will use the creedmoor or the new 223 I just bought(though my ammo is very limited). So probably the creedmoor.

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Old 11-25-2020, 05:43 PM   #19
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The 6.5 is a Savage Axis Heavy Barrel in Camo, and it shoot ridiculously well, and I'm no savage fan. Literally 3 bullets touching at 100 yards. And that particular rifle seems to fit youth particularly well.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:54 PM   #20
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6.5 cm all the way

I bought a cheap tc compass a couple years ago, dropped it in a Boydís thumb hole stock and my daughter loves it. I love it too, so much that Iím going to buy another one on sale cause we fight over it
They are crazy accurate and I have my suppressed. Every single Animal we have shot has been recovered.
I know people will holler fan boy but I love the round. Low recoil, accurate and the hornady eldx 143g is a flat out killer

Both my kids started with a .243 and it worked great but the 6.5 just gives you more fire power
If you go .243 the hornady lite rounds are devastating

Only problem with every caliber is AMMO!!!


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Old 11-25-2020, 05:54 PM   #21
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I like the 22-250 with partition ammo. I also picked up a 7-08 last year and have been surprised at the light recoil.


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Old 11-25-2020, 06:03 PM   #22
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My oldest is 12 now and has had a Browning 7mm08 for a few years and never complains. My 10yo has a savage axis 6.5creed and just killed his first good buck with it.

Either of these are great for kids or women.
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:04 PM   #23
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I’m not a fan of 243s. In the right hands they are fine but every deer I’ve shot has ran. None of the deer barely left a blood trail. I prefer the 7-08 or 30-30 for decent blood trails. I’ve never shot the Creed, so I can’t say.
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:44 PM   #24
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All good thoughts, guys. Keep them coming. They’ve been shooting a 223 and they are both ready to move up. I’m leaning towards a Savage Axis or Ruger American.
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:15 PM   #25
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25-06
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:30 PM   #26
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My daughter is 11 and I bought her a 7mm-08 and used the reduced recoil loads from Hornady. I looked at it from the long term, a .243 will only be a deer and varmint rifle. I figured the 7mm-08 would be good up to elk if she ever wanted to do that when she got older.

She shot two does this year and dropped them both in their tracks, DRT!

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Old 11-25-2020, 07:36 PM   #27
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6.5 grendel, 7mm08, 250 savage if you could find one, 22-250,
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:40 PM   #28
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My son is currently shooting a 6.5 Grendel. I recently picked up a Bergara 308 Ridge and put a Boyd's At One adjustable stock on it. I have had him shoot it off the bench suppressed and he seems to be doing well with that. He seemed to show interest in using the 308 bolt action over the AR in 6.5 Grendel. Plus I think it will give me a wider range of ammo if it ever comes available again!
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:44 PM   #29
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Bought my 10 yo son the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight Compact in .243 last year. That thing is an absolute tack driver. Bought my 12 yo daughter a Weatherby compact model in 7-08 and itís equally as impressive. My son didnít care for the recoil on the 7-08, heís a bit of a mommaís boy...


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Old 11-25-2020, 07:52 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icetrauma View Post
25-06
Amen!
I was going to let it go without sharing my thoughts, but saw yours and will pile on.
My 15 year old has been laying deer down with 25.06 since he was 7.
It doesn't kick any more than a .243 and is going to knock them down 10x these smaller calibers.

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Old 11-25-2020, 07:57 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone_Wolf View Post
The 6.5 is a Savage Axis Heavy Barrel in Camo, and it shoot ridiculously well, and I'm no savage fan. Literally 3 bullets touching at 100 yards. And that particular rifle seems to fit youth particularly well.
I am a huge Savage fan. My kids and wife went from .22 to .22 mag to .222 to .243.
I cut down a .222 and the .243. Added large butt pads.
Wish I had a suppressor back then

I used 80 grain rem. in the .243. Now son and wife shoot .270s with large kick pads.

But that was before the Creedmore. I like my mine cause itís already threaded
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:04 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXJIM View Post
7mm-08. Start them on the Hornady light loads, they are about the same energy and recoil as a 243. They can grow into the full power 7mm-08 loads.
Solid advice right here!
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:21 PM   #33
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223

Check out this thread. Look at the pics. Keep an open mind.

https://www.rokslide.com/forums/thre...-moose.130488/


I had my wife (who has never shot a rifle) hitting at 200 and 300 yds today with a 223. Literally her 3rd and 4th shots ever with a rifle. The no recoil thing is a big deal.

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Old 11-25-2020, 08:42 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXJIM View Post
7mm-08. Start them on the Hornady light loads, they are about the same energy and recoil as a 243. They can grow into the full power 7mm-08 loads.
I bought my oldest son a 7mm-08 and used it with hornady custom lite. No issues at all

Bought my youngest boy a 6.5 Grendel to be different. Had a less than stellar experience with it and then I shot a deer and had less than stellar results as well. A .22-250 produced better results.

Both my kids and my wife shoot A 7mm-08. The custom light ammo is real similar to a 6.5 cm and is devastating on whitetail size game. We now use 140 grain accubonds and wife killed a kudu and a zebra with hers.

Imo the 7mm-08 is one of the best deer rounds ever made.


That said, a 6.5 CM is a great youth rifle round, a great deer round in general
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:52 PM   #35
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22-250 would be a great choice. Excellent round. Iíve shot many a deer and hog in over 40 years of hunting with a 22-250. 7-08 and 25-06 would be my next choices.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:59 PM   #36
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Remington Model Seven in 7MM-08.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:00 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXJIM View Post
7mm-08. Start them on the Hornady light loads, they are about the same energy and recoil as a 243. They can grow into the full power 7mm-08 loads.
This is what mine have and use the same ammo. My 5yr old handles it no problem
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:00 PM   #38
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The 6.5 Grendel is a perfect transition caliber and thereís some really nice guns like the Howa and CZ mini action rifles.


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Old 11-25-2020, 09:43 PM   #39
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My daughter(15yrs old) has hunted with a 22-250 for the last 5 seasons. She has killed numerous deer with it! Very rarely does one run more than 20-30yds. Only thing I don’t like about it is that there is never a pass through on bigger body bucks. But they don’t run really anywhere. I keep telling myself I need to get her to shoot a bigger caliber but I really don’t know if it will produce any better results?? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it��
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:49 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yelladog View Post
I like the 22-250 with partition ammo. I also picked up a 7-08 last year and have been surprised at the light recoil.


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This is exactly what I did. Started off with the Browning micro-Midas in .22-250 and then switched over to a Weatherby in 7mm-08.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:51 PM   #41
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I grew up hunting with a 30-30 and a 243. I also have a 6.5 Creedmoor now I think all three are great youth guns. I can’t see you going wrong with any of the guns mentioned though. Right now for me it comes down to bullet availability
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:00 PM   #42
TB80
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Default Youth Deer Rifle - Which Caliber?

Iíve had a 223, 243, 7mm08 and 6.5cm.

I ended up starting my kids on a 223 axis youth and 243 youth ruger american. If I had to choose one to start them with Iíd do a 223 and keep shots at less than 50 yards due to the low recoil. Then Iíd move them up to a 243 or 7mm08.

One problem with the youth sized models is they are lighter so they end up having more recoil than a full sized gun. Just something to keep in mind.

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Old 11-25-2020, 10:30 PM   #43
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7mm-08
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:30 AM   #44
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Another vote for the 7-08. My 10yo daughter shot her black bear this year with the reduced recoil loads at 100 yards and it ran 15 yards. I’m highly impressed with the caliber and the ammo.
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:40 AM   #45
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Yet another vote for 7mm-08...its my wife and kids go to, and if I have to be honest, I’ve used it myself more than any other rifle in the last 4-5 years. Great round
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:47 AM   #46
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7mm-08 is what my kids use. They've killed plenty of deer and hogs with it.
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Old 11-26-2020, 07:42 AM   #47
TB80
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Default Youth Deer Rifle - Which Caliber?

I think age and size is a factor as well. If you are starting a small five year old with a deer rifle, Iíd go with a 223 due to the low recoil. If you are starting them out at ten, Iíd go 7mm08 or 243 but lean towards the 7mm08.


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Old 11-26-2020, 07:50 AM   #48
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22-250
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Old 11-26-2020, 07:58 AM   #49
glen
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Got my kids both Encore rifles. When shooting paper 223. Also have 30-06, 270, 25-06 barrels for them. All same optics. When I wanted more bullet weight than a 55 grain I just switched barrels. Never once did they feel recoil shooting at a target with hair. Now oth are grown and both kill most with a 22-250
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:00 AM   #50
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My boys shot their first deer with a 243. I didn't let either one of them shoot the gun before they shot an animal. I started them shooting a 22. They practiced with the 22 until I felt like they were good enough to shoot a deer.. I did that so they wouldn't be scared of the recoil.. Youngest is still shooting the 243 but my 16 year old used my 7 mag last weekend .
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