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First youth gun advice/input/sizing


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My son recently passed his hunter safety course and is eligible for big-game tags next season.

I am looking to purchase a used light caliber deer rifle for him to use for the next few years.

My question is if I should pick up youth model or a full-size stock and take it to a gunsmith and have it trimmed down to fit him? If I go the trimmed down direction, does it matter if the stock is synthetic versus wood?

Any advice you guys are willing to offer would be appreciated as I am not a "gun guy"/collector. Been shooting the ole 30-06 for over 30 years.

He is a fairly small 11-year-old so shooting a full-size gun is out of the question.

Thanks for the input in advance.


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Wow, Great tip/combo package.

Given the cost of the new youth combo package it does not appear to make much sense to buy a used adult frame gun and trim it down.


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with a youth savage there is a coupon that comes with the gun to put an adult stock on when the youth stock becomes to small. Both of my kids started out with one.


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I've got a Remington 700 youth 308 that I think would be great for a kid, got it at a pawn shop, for <$400. Those Ruger American rifles in 308 youth, should be great for that age. Remington makes reduced recoil rounds, you might be about to find subsonics for him to practice with. Then for the shot use full power and he'll never notice. That's what I did for my 12 y/o. If you know someone who reloads, I use around 8-9gr of Trailboss with 180'gr bullets for subsonics, for practice. I don't think the 243 kicks much less than a 308, to justify the smaller bullet. They both basically use the same about of gun powder. I guess a 7mm-08 would be a good compromise.



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.308 or 7mm-08 would be my choice. We got my nephew a Ruger youth .308 and the reduced recoil rounds and he likes it. Got my wife who is smaller a 7mm-08 and she likes to shoot it. And both rounds will be great for game bigger than deer.


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for the smallish deer in the south when a 22 cal is not legal,which it is in ga, the 6x45 or 6mm tcu is all one needs and the recoil is minimal


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Like Alexanderg23 said Ruger American is a good choice.

Ruger American's have a stock option as well for a shorter length of pull. When you need the longer stock later on, you remove the lower sling stud and the cheekpeice & butt come off as one. The longer piece costs about $25 if I remember. I also believe there is an option for the comb type (straight or raised). I wish they chambered them in 6.5x55 or .260 Both versatile rounds, and there is a lot of room to soften them up for a kid imo if you have a way to handload.

Where I live I can easily get my kid within 100yds or less of deer, and his Grandpa's 30-30 is a strong candidate. Sure its ugly, slow, has the BC of a cinder block. Yet is open sights, kids struggle with scopes imo when learning to shoot at game. Plus it fits him very well. Instead of snappy recoil it merely pushes hard.


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I bought my 9 year old son a tikka compact in 7mm-08 for Christmas. I actually purchased it quite a while back. I had the barrel threaded and installed a muzzle brake on it to reduce recoil. The recoil is very light with 140 gr Accubond handloads. They are pretty close to maximum loads, but the muzzle brake tames them way down. I know Ruger offers some very economical rifles that come with a threaded barrel if a brake is something you might consider for recoil reduction. You can even get a self timing brake that's easy to install yourself and can be removed for hunting if you want.


Well-known member
Howa makes a mini action rifle in 6.5 Grendel, which is an awesome youth option. The mini action is shorter than a short action. The Grendel has less powder than the above mentioned cartridges and is plenty good for deer out to a few hundred yards.

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