Youth hunting rifle

Above Timber

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I am in the market to find a rifle for my son who will be hunting this fall. He is a light weight not very big for a 12 yr. old. He will need a youth model with a short stalk. I am stuck between a 308 and a 7mm08. I know nothing about the 7mm08 caliber and in sight or thought would be greatly appreciated. I thought about a 243 but in Colorado it is too small to hunt elk with in the state according to the regs.
 

Matt Cashell

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When he was born, I bought a 7mm-08 Remington Model 7 for my son's future use. I have since used it extensively for mulies and pronghorn myself. It is a fine caliber with excellent bullet selection for the reloader and mild recoil. I heartily recommend that caliber.
 

bowhnter7

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I would agree with the 7-08. It's been a great gun for my son as he has grown....plus it's very accurate.
 

Matt W.

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Sportsman Warehouse has a nice stainless synthetic Rem 700 Youth Rifle with a cheapo scope & rings in 7mm-08 for $499. Great buy for a kid...
 

robby denning

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Something else to consider for you reloaders out there. You can load very light loads with some of the powders listed in the manuals "reduced" loads. I'm not at my bench but I bought a can of it (IMR something or another) and loaded a 280 remington with 140 grain bullets for a 115 pound gal. She could shoot it all day with no problems with recoil. It shot something like 1700 feet per second, but was great for practice, plinking, small game. Once deer season rolled around, I loaded up the 4831, pushing 2900 feet per second and she shot a buck with it, and never noticed the recoil. To me, this was a great trade off, no muzzle break, light recoil for practice but could still shoot a great gun. A 7mm-o8 loaded down would be even better in the recoil department.

As an outfitter watching some clients show up with small calibers, I've learned there is a downside to shooting bucks and God forbid bulls with 243 sized cartridges. I'd rather get something in a kid's hands that has some killing power. As we all know, recoil not a problem in the heat of the moment- as long as good scope set with plenty of eye-relief is used.

If you're interested, just post on here and I'll look at what the load was later, or you can just look in you manual and should see them. Mine was a Speer manual.
 
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Above Timber

Above Timber

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I was thinking a reduced hand load would be doable for the 08. I grew up shooting a 6mm and would not even consider it for anything larger than a whitetail. I have had bad experiences that I will not go into with the 243 sized caliber. Does the 08 have enough knock down to work for elk? I would like to hear some personal experiences if at all possible. I know the 308 is a good caliber but I am concerned he will develop bad habits with the recoil. I would like something that will grow with my son so I would not have to buy him anything else.

What about brands, any preference Remington, Savage, Mossberg???

I have been shooting archery for so long this is like starting all over. I have not purchased a rifle in over ten years.
 

robby denning

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I know a woman who hunts elk with a 7mm-08. She's careful, but does kill bulls with it. Lots of bullet selection from 140-175 grains, too.

The 280 I referenced was Remington 700 BDL. Shot 1" groups out of box with both the reduced load and the hunting load referenced above.
 

BuckSnort

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I will throw my 2 cents out here so take it for what it's worth... Both calibers would be a fine choice..Model 7's are proven to be good youth/womens rifles.. Having said that a child just starting out with a rifle could develop bad habits from just the sound/concussion alone not from just the recoil.. If you have access to a 223 or a 22-250 that you can let him shoot to teach him the basics of how to use a rifle and shoot, ect... He will be way ahead of the game when it comes time to introduce him to the larger calibers.. Even a couple times to the range with the smallbore rifle(s) would be a huge benifit...

And it goes without saying that ear protection will not only protect his hearing but it will keep him from flinching and developing bad habits while learning..
 
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Becca

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Another vote for the Remington Model 7 in .308! Luke's folks purchased one for him at about 12 years old, and I started "borrowing" it when we met and I started hunting. As a small to average size female (I am 5'3) with a pretty short LOP, this little rifle has served me well for moose, caribou and black bear so far, and I fully intend to take it dall sheep hunting in August. Luke wrote a review of the model 7, which is posted on the main page under firearms I believe...

http://www.rokslide.com/2012-01-09-05-09-42/firearms

Here it is Becca (ha didn't know I could edit someone else's post!) :)
 
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Mckinnon

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I like the 7-08. Tons of reloading options, very light recoil. As far as brands go I love Howa. Howa makes the Vanguard for Weatherby and that is one sweet shooting rifle at a price that even I can afford. My girlfriend recently picked up a .270 Weatherby Vanguard for $300.00 as her first rifle and loves it. Plus thats a steal for a gun of this quality!
 

robby denning

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Vanguards are pretty good rifles for the money...

Also, see the Rem 7 review Luke wrote- pics and everything. I put the link in Becca's post cause it's a good review and I have the power HA!
 
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Becca

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Thanks for fixing that Robby! I was typing from my phone on that one, and in to big of a hurry to mess with adding the link....thanks!
 

couesbitten

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308 is a great choice, and if I remember correctly, Remington makes reduced recoil ammunition for that caliber. I started my son out at 10 years old with a 30-06 and reduced recoil ammo, and no problems.
 
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rebecca francis

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It is a great article for those looking for a youth rifle!
 

Matt W.

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Link is not working for me, but I went to the home screen and found the article there. Thanks.
 
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