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Old 08-05-2020, 07:37 AM   #1
Bryan11
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Default Youth Rifle Selection

Going to have my 10 year old hunt with me for the first time this year and trying to decide on which rifle to start practicing with.
My Options:
Rem 700 BA 25.06
AR-15 in .223
Buy a 300 BLK Upper for my AR (Would love some information on this option
Or buy a cheap youth .243

Range will likely be capped at 50 yards for him until he proves he's ready to move further out.
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:39 AM   #2
ca1219
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I personally started with a 243, which is the same caliber my oldest son started with at 10 as well.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:04 AM   #3
RifleBowPistol
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If I had a kid now day, I would get him or her a Howa 1500 mini action in a 6.5 Grendel, as a starter rifle, or maybe a 6.5 Creedmoor. I still think that the smaller bullets, should be left to people who have shot a lot of game over the years and are very good consistent shots. Starting a kid off with a small caliber, with a small bullet that the shot placement needs to be perfect, to me is not the best idea. I really think if you have at least a 6.5/264 with a 120 to 130 gr. bullet, you have a good minimum, deer round. Then it needs enough velocity to get that bullet to expand reliably.

I would say something like a 7mm-08 or 308, but not sure how well a 10 year old would do with either as a first deer gun. If you spent some time with the kid and let him shoot it a 100 to 200 times, and he had no problem with it, I would say that would be a great first deer rifle round. I know the smaller Grendel and Creedmoor cases, and smaller, lighter bullets will result in less recoil, which would intimidate a young kid less.

I know when I was 10 years old the idea of shooting my step father's 308, scared the crap out of me. But when I finally shot it, I was like ok, no big deal. I think I first shot it, when I was 12. I killed two deer in a row with that gun, dropped them dead where they stood.

The other side of the first rifle deal, I have to agree, that it is probably best to start a kid out with a single shot or a bolt action. Once they have shown they can be responsible with that gun, then allow them to use a semi auto. But I realize now days, at least haft of the pictures I see of young kids with a kill, they have a AR in their hands. My grandfather would have flipped out, if he were still around and seen what all goes on today. I have been around multiple guns that went off accidently, most every case, the gun was in the hands of a kid. There were multiple close calls, will scare the crap out of you. But all it takes is one round going off at the wrong time, to create a bad situation. I have seen bolt actions go off and almost create very bad situations. There are a lot of ways of looking at the whole deal. Just be safe, preach gun safety, over and over, but not in a manner, the kid finds the info boring.

My first gun was a semi auto 20 ga., followed by a Marlin semi auto 22 LR. The 20 ga. was a blast, the Marlin jammed constantly, was more of a single shot, once you got the jammed case out of the gun. My grandfather was POed at my step father for buying me a semi auto and starting me off with semi autos, I was supposed to start off with a single shot 22, that's they way yours supposed to do it. Then my first deer rifle was a Ruger 44 Carbine, loved that gun, wish I had it back. So I know it's possible to start a kid out with a semi auto, been done successfully many times, but still best not to start a kid out with a semi auto. Just teach good gun handling and safety.

Hopefully y'all get something this year.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:27 AM   #4
coach2
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Savage .243 with a quality scope.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:47 AM   #5
T-roy66
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I would let him start shooting the AR15 at targets. Adjust the stock to fit him. As far as hunting I like the 243 option.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:55 AM   #6
Bryan11
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Sounds like several votes for the .243

I have a .308 as well but i'm surprised no one finds the 25.06 a decent option. Looks like i may need to offload that rifle and pick up a .243
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:56 AM   #7
dirtybay
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I started mine on the cva 243 from academy. Single shot, easy to use and just performs well for the money. Small too
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:58 AM   #8
The Crippler
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My 10 year old received a Model 7 in .243 for Christmas this year. Awesome rifle, I like shooting and hunting with it as well. Killed his first buck with it.
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:13 AM   #9
Zjesse22
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243 will work just fine or the 25/06
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:20 AM   #10
JackRyan
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My daughter started with a Savage 243 and it has done wonderfully.

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Old 08-05-2020, 09:46 AM   #11
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My 8 year old daughter shoots a savage axis xp. I took the piece out of the stock and shortened it up for her. The Hornady custom lite ammo is the way to go.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:05 AM   #12
McLovin
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If you are worried about recoil, Hornaday makes a reduced recoil .243 round
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:08 AM   #13
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[ The Hornady custom lite ammo is the way to go.[/QUOTE]

What he said
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:21 AM   #14
ColinR
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Another vote for 243.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:30 AM   #15
gvick
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Shot at and killed my first one with a, will never mind what that one was. It was many moons ago. But after that one it was a 22-250 that filled the freezer many many times.
Both of my kids shot their first ones with a single shot 223. I never did and still dont like that particular gun but I hold onto it for just because they shot their first.

But before either of them shot their first deer they were knocking squirrels out of trees with 22s. Son was 5 on his first deer, daughter was 6 on her first. Both were neck shots at 100 yards.

All that said I would get your youngun a 22-250, or 243. for there first deer. After i had them on a 22 long enough for them to be able to hit were you tell them to. All 3 of these are fun for them to shoot. Also I do not have a gun in my safe that we use regularly that has more than 2#s, of trigger pull. That helped them more than anything I think.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:33 AM   #16
raider19
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Bergara Ridge Rifle in 6.5 Creedmore
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:45 AM   #17
kkp005
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The AR with an adjustable stock is perfect for kids. If you can run it suppressed, even better.. Seems like the muzzle blast can make kids flinch.
Inside 100 yards, a 300 blackout shooting the 110gr Barnes Tac-Tx would be perfect for deer and hogs
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:54 PM   #18
bphillips
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RifleBowPistol View Post
If I had a kid now day, I would get him or her a Howa 1500 mini action in a 6.5 Grendel, as a starter rifle, or maybe a 6.5 Creedmoor. I still think that the smaller bullets, should be left to people who have shot a lot of game over the years and are very good consistent shots. Starting a kid off with a small caliber, with a small bullet that the shot placement needs to be perfect, to me is not the best idea. I really think if you have at least a 6.5/264 with a 120 to 130 gr. bullet, you have a good minimum, deer round. Then it needs enough velocity to get that bullet to expand reliably.

I would say something like a 7mm-08 or 308, but not sure how well a 10 year old would do with either as a first deer gun. If you spent some time with the kid and let him shoot it a 100 to 200 times, and he had no problem with it, I would say that would be a great first deer rifle round. I know the smaller Grendel and Creedmoor cases, and smaller, lighter bullets will result in less recoil, which would intimidate a young kid less.

I know when I was 10 years old the idea of shooting my step father's 308, scared the crap out of me. But when I finally shot it, I was like ok, no big deal. I think I first shot it, when I was 12. I killed two deer in a row with that gun, dropped them dead where they stood.

The other side of the first rifle deal, I have to agree, that it is probably best to start a kid out with a single shot or a bolt action. Once they have shown they can be responsible with that gun, then allow them to use a semi auto. But I realize now days, at least haft of the pictures I see of young kids with a kill, they have a AR in their hands. My grandfather would have flipped out, if he were still around and seen what all goes on today. I have been around multiple guns that went off accidently, most every case, the gun was in the hands of a kid. There were multiple close calls, will scare the crap out of you. But all it takes is one round going off at the wrong time, to create a bad situation. I have seen bolt actions go off and almost create very bad situations. There are a lot of ways of looking at the whole deal. Just be safe, preach gun safety, over and over, but not in a manner, the kid finds the info boring.

My first gun was a semi auto 20 ga., followed by a Marlin semi auto 22 LR. The 20 ga. was a blast, the Marlin jammed constantly, was more of a single shot, once you got the jammed case out of the gun. My grandfather was POed at my step father for buying me a semi auto and starting me off with semi autos, I was supposed to start off with a single shot 22, that's they way yours supposed to do it. Then my first deer rifle was a Ruger 44 Carbine, loved that gun, wish I had it back. So I know it's possible to start a kid out with a semi auto, been done successfully many times, but still best not to start a kid out with a semi auto. Just teach good gun handling and safety.

Hopefully y'all get something this year.
10yr old should have 0 issues. I got my kids a vanguard compact 7mm08 last Christmas. Got the hornady lite ammo and both my 4.5yr old boy and 6yr old girl were on center of target first day in the first couple shots. Still limiting to 50yds though.
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Old 08-05-2020, 06:46 PM   #19
mrpetera
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My first rifle was a bolt action.243 I bought at a gun show when I was 12 (with my dads approval), just handed it down to my son a few years ago after he killed his first buck with it. Also, that was my only rifle until I handed it down to him when I was 40! 243 is easy on the recoil and gets the job done, I never needed anything else.


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Old 08-05-2020, 06:58 PM   #20
BJ DUPLECHAIN
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My son started killing deer at 9 with a Browning Micro in 7mm08. He was shooting the Hornady CustomLite 120gr reduced recoil loads. We still have the rifle and it makes for a great compact rifle when walking /hiking.
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:13 PM   #21
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Howa mini action grendel or x39 Ammo cheap lots of practice. Truely the best option out there.
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:29 PM   #22
JLivi1224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snipermedic View Post
Howa mini action grendel or x39 Ammo cheap lots of practice. Truely the best option out there.

Yessir. Mini action in Grendel is what my boys are shooting.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:43 PM   #23
dbelcher269
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.243 works great. My 6 year old dropped a big doe in her tracks with a .300 blackout at about 80ish yards using Sig 120 grain HT ammo. Barnes TSX works great too if you go the .300 route.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:47 PM   #24
Bear Charge
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.243
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:06 PM   #25
cwill
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Of those options I'd go with the AR. The adjustability of the AR platform just works for kids and you already own it. I'd put a good single stage trigger in it and a decent little scope on it and see how he does. If you do go with a bolt action make sure it fits everywhere. People get so concerned about length of pull, but overlook scope height/cheek weld. Adjustable padded cheek risers work wonders for younguns! Hope this helps!
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:24 PM   #26
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My first was a Ruger M77 mark II compact in.243 I still hunt with it often and still love it. I have killed lots of animals with it. As everyone has said it's a great beginer cartridge. But my second favorite are my Remington 870s I've killed more deer with them than any thing. shotgun hunting is a great intro to bowhunting as far as range goes. Plus there cheap and very deadly.
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:58 PM   #27
Big pig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coach2 View Post
Savage .243 with a quality scope.
We started younger with a .222.
Then .243 with stock chopped and better butt pad.

Now I would seriously consider a suppressor.

BP
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:20 AM   #28
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My g-son is 12.... He’s been hunting several years with a Ruger American in 300 blackout... He absolutely smashes everything with that gun... Probably 2 dozen hogs and several deer....
The best youth gun I’ve seen... He now has a Remington model 7 in 243...but shoots the Ruger better..
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:18 AM   #29
eneat1119
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I was looking at buying my 8yr old either the Model 7 in 300 Blackout or one of the Howa MiniActions in 6.5 Grendel. Hard to beat the Grendel for a kid. It can take down any Texas game with ease at normal ranges.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:19 AM   #30
stryker93
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I would get a 6.5 grendel upper for your ar 15. A good scope and he will be good to go.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:24 AM   #31
elhefe
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All my kids killed their deer with a Ruger youth model m77 in 243. I have a mid range bushnell scope and shoot the corelokts out of it. It does great.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:38 AM   #32
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Personally i'm a Grendel fan but the 243 has been a staple youth cartridge for a looongg time. One of the Henry single shots in 243 would make a very nice first rifle.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:52 AM   #33
Big pig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keg View Post
My g-son is 12.... Heís been hunting several years with a Ruger American in 300 blackout... He absolutely smashes everything with that gun... Probably 2 dozen hogs and several deer....
The best youth gun Iíve seen... He now has a Remington model 7 in 243...but shoots the Ruger better..
We love our Ruger Americans. Dont like the model 7. I tried.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:19 AM   #34
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Another vote for the Hornady Custom Lite. I run them in a 270 for my daughter and the "published" info says they have similar recoil to the 243. I also considered running them in a 30.06 (as I have a better option in that caliber), but the BC and recoil with those bullets are better with the 270. BTW those were just the two calibers I had on hand.

I am going to have her shoot my 6.5 CM which is on an AR platform here pretty soon. If she likes that I may switch her.

Of the options you mentioned, I like the idea of adding the 300 BLK to your arsenal. #1 you are adding to your aresenal. #2 that round works really good for kids at short range. My little nephew shoots 300 BLK and it works great.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:23 AM   #35
Bryan11
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All great suggestions guys. I think i am going to pick up a .243 to get him started and heck i might even get the 300 BO upper just to play with and have another option. Between 3 boys and me, they'll all get some action.

Anyone have a recommendation for a mid-range AR Upper?
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:30 AM   #36
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My son started killing stuff when he was 6 with a Savage 11 Youth in 7'08. I downloaded em with H4895 pushing a 120 Nosler BT about 2450 fps. He's killed a dozen+ critters with it, only 3 took a step, none required a 2nd shot.

He's 11 now, still shoots that rifle but with full power loads pushing a 139 SST.
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:30 AM   #37
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I've had good luck out of palmetto state uppers and bear creek uppers.
I'd consider them less than mid range price wise but I rarely shoot past 100 or 125 yards with them so long as they are minite of deer accurate im good.
My buddy worked up hand loads on his bear creek that are 1 moa out to 300 yards.
But all ours are 6.5 grendel.
Love that round killed a few deer and 100 or so hogs never lost an animal

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Old 08-09-2020, 10:52 AM   #38
Bryan11
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Ended up picking a Savage .243 off of Charrell71 on here and then immediately went in to cabelas to find ammo and bout another Savage axis compact model .243.

So i'll probably be listing the first Savage Axis .243 again in the classifieds.
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Old 08-09-2020, 11:06 AM   #39
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The 300blk with 110’s is the perfect starter youth caliber in my opinion. I would prefer it in a Tikka or something but as an AR upper, just load one bullet in the mag. My boy shot his first doe at 5 years old with my 300blk suppressed AR. Doe fell in her tracks and he didn’t even feel recoil or flinch.
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Old 08-09-2020, 11:23 AM   #40
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I started with a wood stock m77 mk2 Ruger in 243.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:27 PM   #41
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300 blk


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Old 08-10-2020, 04:08 PM   #42
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My 8 year old daughter starting hunting with a savage axis .243 after plinking a .22 for 2 years. I bedded the stock on that cheap gun and it is an absolute shooter!

Last edited by ninemile; 08-10-2020 at 04:08 PM. Reason: added caliber
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:21 PM   #43
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243


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Old 08-12-2020, 03:47 PM   #44
tmurray
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Remington Model 7 Youth in .243 will last him a lifetime and he will pass it down to his kids. That's exactly what I'm doing, still like shooting mine and it's 30 years old.

Also - Hornady American Whitetail 100gr kills a lot of deer and pigs.
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Old 08-14-2020, 03:10 PM   #45
sharkhunter
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Ruger american compact in 243 or 7mm-08. Heck I’m going to get one for a woods gun. Those things are sweet !
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:51 PM   #46
Jmh05
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Henry makes a single shot break open in various calibers. I'm thinking about getting the .243 for him when he gets a little bigger.
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Old 08-14-2020, 06:22 PM   #47
Tommyh
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223 with a good bullet, 22-250, or 243 have all killed deer for decades.
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:15 AM   #48
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I killed my first deer and first turkey with a .222. I say go with the AR since it has very minimum recoil, is lightweight and has an adjustable stock. Just put a decent scope on it and go practice with the kiddo. The practice is more important than the caliber choice, IMHO. For years, folks illegally shot deer DRT with .22s and .22 Mags. They still do in East Texas! LOL. Unless you are hunting big *** whitetail in Kansas or mule deer, then .223 will do just fine. Especially at the ranges most folks shoot deer at. And if you are 50 yards and in like you said, then that .223 will kill them no problem. Just select the right bullet.

My second choice would be that .243. That’s another fine low recoiling caliber that has served hunters well for decades.
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Old 08-15-2020, 12:04 PM   #49
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My daughter started with ar-15 in.223 wylde. Never lost an animal but good lord placement is sooo critical. She will be 9 this year and I moved her into a 6.5 Grendel on same lower... same LOP and same trigger. She doesn’t know it’s a different gun

I’m thinking it could be the best combination for youth under 100 yards out there. Pushing .243 stats with .223 recoil
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:39 AM   #50
Bryan11
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Picked up some of the Hornady Custom Lite (reduced recoil) in .243 yesterday. Hopefully my son and i can make it to the range next weekend and get his new Savage sighted in.
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