1st gun for 12 year old

Sawtoothsteve

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I am looking for some input on make and model of a bolt action gun for my son's 12th birthday. I am strongly biased to .270 Win. since I already have one and having a duplicate caliber for ammo swap would be of bennifit. As far as budget is concernd, I have some flexibility here, but don't want to get a top of the line gun for a kid to beat up on the hill. What I am looking for is a good field gun that can shoot straight and is reliable. I have a Remington 700 BDL circa 1982 and is still shoots very well but seem to see many with the opinion that Remington's quality has suffered of late.

Thoughts?
 

Jager

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Imo a .308 is a great calibre for youngsters, just doesn't have the sting to the shoulder like the .270, but kills emphatically.

Rem 700, Tikka T3, Browning Abolt, all good solid performers.
 

crumy

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Don't know where you are at or what restrictions in min caliber but a .243 is deadly as well as 7mm-08. I purchased a .243 for my son to shoot and everything he has pointed it at has dropped. Two antelope, a mule deer and an elk. he shoots it very good out to 300 yards Also using barnes bullets.

He enjoys shooting it, so he wants to go to the range more often. I purchased a 7mm-08 for my wife and will shoot it as well.

**My son was 12 when he started using the rifle. He will be 15 this year.
 

Bighub1

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I bought a .243 for my son. Works great. Did make the mistake of buying a single shot 20 gauge/.22 combo. The .22 works great, but with the short barrel on the 20 gauge, it kicked hard for him at 11.
 

Shrek

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I recommend the 7-08. Load it with some 120gr bullets to start him with and as he get older he can move up the bullet size to the 140gr and for elk or bear you can load some of the heavier 160 gr bullets. Unless he wants to shoot long range for large animals he may never need another rifle.
I would look at a model 16 Savage. Make sure it has the accutrigger and accustock and it should be just the ticket. The trigger is easy to adjust so he doesn't struggle with the trigger and the stock won't need to be bedded. The stainless steel and the synthetic stock can take a beating. Put a 3x9x40 scope thats of decent quality but nothing too expensive so when he bangs the glass out of it you only cry a little. Burris has a scope and binocular combo package that sells for around $220 that is pretty good. Both the scope and binoculars are decent quality and not too much money for him to loose or break. I have one of the scopes on my muzzle loader and it does the job well.
 

DADSGOTTAHUNT

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I am a self confessed Remington guy, but the guns in my safe that always impressed me the most for out of the box accuracy and quality were my Tikka T3 Lites.
The .270 Winchester is a great round but I chose the 7mm-08 to get my daughter started hunting. I started out with reduced loads and slowly worked her up to shooting full power loads.
 

Justin Crossley

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.243 or 7mm-08 are both good kids guns. The .243 is one of my all time favorites. I think the .260 Remington is about as good as it gets though for youth. You could also get the .270 like you want and just load it down for him so that the recoil is better. 130 grain bullets and a light powder charge would work great. I also really like muzzle breaks for kids. I would get a Savage or Tikka in stainless and he'll be set. The T3 light stainless is a pretty nice rifle.

This is what I setup for my daughter to use when she went last year. She was nine.
Rem 700 ti .260
 

sab

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I think the recoil of the 270 is too much for a small, beginning shooter. Flinches come easy, but go hard...

Others have recommended more gentle rounds for a beginner. Personally, I'd go with those recommendations.

Scott
 

tstowater

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My son got his 270WSM when he was 12. He won a Tikka at a RMEF banquet playing a "hi-low" card game where I already had the gun won and gave him the rest of my plays and he kicked my butt. Anyway, he started shooting it right away and never complained about kick. Get the synthetic model and don't look back and it will last him forever. If you like the 270 Win, then get it. The Tikka is a nice gun for the money. Just make sure the stock fits him reasonably well. BTW, you had me in a small panic when the title said "first gun at 12". Needs to have a gun of his own before then. Great idea.
 

hunting1

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My son turned 12 in January and I bought him a compact .308. I am loading 125 gr NBT and NAB's. He is a skinny kid and it kicks him a little, but he is shooting 1" groups at 100-yards. I did buyhim a magnum slip on recoil pad for the range. He is covered now from coyotes to elk.
 

pyroducksx3

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I know you said bolt gun but something very overlooked are the ar rifles. I get mine next week in 6.8 spc. The collapsible stock makes adjustments easy and the vertical grip makes the hand position and trigger pull so much nicer than reaching for the trigger small hands end up having to do
 

actionshooter

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I started both of my girls with Tikka T3s in .243, worked great for them. Every kid is different, 270 might be fine, but looks at the T3s
 

Justin Crossley

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I read that Remington just signed an $80,000,000 contract with New York. I won't be buying any new Remingtons until that changes.
 

Liv2HntBigBullz

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Hands down a .270 Tikka T3. That thing shoots slick out of the box. Dad started me on a Ruger .260. Just from an availability of ammunition standpoint I would stick with a .270. You will not beat anything model/price that a T3. A 12 year old kid can handle the pop of a .270 without any issue and when he gets older he will appreciate the fact it is a popular caliber with plenty of power for anything in NA.
 

crumy

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I read that Remington just signed an $80,000,000 contract with New York. I won't be buying any new Remingtons until that changes.

Saw that too. They made their decision on who to do business with and I can't fault them for that. Business is Business. But I will make a decsion as well. Mine is to NOT do business with Remington.
 
OP
Sawtoothsteve

Sawtoothsteve

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts and opinions. I should have noted that this is not his first gun, but his first hunting rifle as he has been shotgun hunting since 10 (can't big game hunt in Idaho until 12). I am not too concerned with his ability to handle the recoil of the .270, and really was looking more for gun make and model than caliber. We will be hunting in our home state of Idaho for deer, elk, antelope, bear, etc. so don't want to have less than the .270. He is not ready for a magnum, but the .270 shouldn't be a problem. I like the .308 ballistics for those who recommended that, but already having .270's in the safe, being able to share ammo seems a good idea.

Based upon the responses so far, it sounds like Tikka T3 gets a big vote with Rem 700, Browning A-bolt and Savage model 16 also recommeneded. I'll start there and start looking around. It's been a little while since I have purchased a hunting rifle as I have the array needed for the hunting I do in many various calibers.

Thanks again everyone for your thoughtful responses. Keep them coming if you have more thoughts!
 
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