First youth gun advice/input/sizing

Solitude

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Feb 28, 2012
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319
Location
Northern CA
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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Solitude

Solitude

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Feb 28, 2012
Messages
319
Location
Northern CA
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.
 

alexanderg23

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Sep 5, 2014
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Wasilla, AK
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.

http://www.ruger.com/products/americanRifleCompact/models.html
 

MuleyFever

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S. UTAH
.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.
 

mtswampfox

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Jun 11, 2013
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se ga
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
 

Roy68

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Jul 20, 2012
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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.
 

bluetick78

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Jan 12, 2017
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Idaho Falls,ID
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.
 

cmahoney

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Jun 18, 2018
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Minden Nevada
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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MK280AI

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Nov 11, 2018
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AZ
I would choose the 7-08 or 308, but a 243 with 100 gr. NP or 80 gr. TTSX does very well in a rifle that fits them.
 

midwest_wi

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Oct 14, 2018
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Location
W WI
My son has been shooting a Ruger American Ranch in 7.62x39 for the last two years. Two deer and a bear so far with it. I like that he can shoot the bigger 30 caliber bullet but with recoil similar to a 30-30. We have a 3-9x Nikon on it and at 70 yards (our range in creek bottom is 70 max) he can put three shots in a spot the size of a quarter. He is moving up in caliber this next year but this was a great gun for starting out.
 

Mark86

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Jun 9, 2017
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Castle Rock, CO
I know this is really old thread but for my daughters (and me when I want to carry less gun) I got them a Browning Micro Midas in 6.5 cm. It comes with a break and thread protector if you don’t want to shoot with the brake. Loaded it light with 100gr TTSX and as they grow or want to shoot at bigger animals they can shoot 130-150 grain. A little less recoil than the 7-08 or 308 so seemed to fit the bill for a youth gun.

But like others have mentioned you can buy reduced recoil ammo for most cartridges anyway so it doesn’t really matter.


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notchfir3

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Oct 29, 2018
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Arkansas
My 11yr old got into SCTP through his school. We borrowed a remington 1100 12 from a friend for the first two months. LOP too long and pretty heavy. I figured if he wanted to continue with that borrowed gun he was really interested. He "broke his piggy bank" and put up several years of savings and paid for part of a Beretta a400 xplor. Probably not the perfect gun but it shoots soft and he enjoys shooting it. We will have to get some custom stock work done this fall. I would try to find a coach or expert to help you get something that fits out of the box if possible. Or used and adjustable.
 

three5x5s

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May 21, 2013
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Central Ky.
With both my boys I got them a 22lr about the same size & scope as their deer rifle. We shot the 22s a lot but the only time they shot the deer rifle was at deer. They both said their deer rifle never kicked. Remington model 7 youth in 7mm08 and Ruger truck gun in 243. the 7mm08 kicked pretty good, the Ruger not to bad.
 

thp277

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Nov 4, 2018
Messages
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Started my boys out at a young age. 5 or 6 years old if I remember right , shooting my .22 and .223/5.56. They loved it and did fine.
When I bought them their first "deer rifle" in .243 they were a little nervous about it. 8 and 9 years old is what they were.
They were real scared to shoot it. They wanted to shoot the AR to help get ready for the big one. Lol didn't matter how much I told them the .243 wouldn't kick any more.
Long story short, they finally shot the 243 and have since harvested a few whitetail.
They are 11 and 9 now. I can't keep enough .243 ammo ,they love to shoot it now.

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quickdrawm249

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Apr 29, 2018
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24
I second .243

My son's first rifle was a youth model .243 Savage Axis combo that came with a Nikon 3-9 factory mounted. He was blowing out the bullseye at 100yrds at 8 years old. It's really a nice rifle, I take it out myself when I plan on covering a lot of area and want to carry something lighter.

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Fudpucker

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May 13, 2013
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Colorado
My son has a Savage youth rifle as well. His is a 30-06. A standard round is pretty rough for him to shoot regularly, but we've had good luck with the HSM or Hornady low recoil loads. He'll run through a box of those pretty quick.

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