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Author Topic: First deer gun for a teenager  (Read 7816 times)

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Offline LeeB

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First deer gun for a teenager
« on: November 23, 2007, 02:31:44 AM »
I'm leaning toward buying the boy a deer rifle for Christmas this year. He's 15 now and took his first deer with my 30-06 this year. The 30-06 was fine in Texas but the woods are a good deal more dense in North Arkansas where we live now. Any suggestions without breaking the bank?
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline Larry

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2007, 07:06:00 AM »
My experience is a little dated but I would recommend a Savage.  There butt ugly, but one of the most accurate off the shelf rifles going and affordable.  The trigger used to be terrible but I see they are advertizing something new and improved.

Far as caliber goes I like to see a youth shooting something with less recoil than a 30-06.  Most 15 year olds can only handle a few shots before recoil becomes a factor...and starts to introduce flinch.  A .243 is more than adequate for the small deer we have and may encourage a lot more practice.  With the high price of ammo now, reloading may also make sense...and can become a satisfying hobby.
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Offline sgtmaconga

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2007, 07:08:38 AM »
We use a 30-30 in the woods around here. most of your shots will be close and this round handles hitting the twiggs realy well.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2007, 09:46:27 AM »
I've read good things about the .260 Remington http://www.chuckhawks.com/26cal.htm  Sounds like a good round for a teenager or smaller adult  8)
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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2007, 09:47:44 AM »
.30-o6, will handle any game in north America, and can be loaded down or up to fit the need, or the recoil.  Savage still best out of box accuracy you can get, sold one to a client that was fiber stock, stainless fluted barrel, in .308,  fine gun.
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Online beenthere

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2007, 09:55:52 AM »
I'm leaning toward buying the boy a deer rifle for Christmas this year. He's 15 now and took his first deer with my 30-06 this year. The 30-06 was fine in Texas but the woods are a good deal more dense in North Arkansas where we live now. Any suggestions without breaking the bank?

First, I'd get what the boy wants.. ;D ;D..and a 30-06 should be good even in AR.  Both my boys started out with a $15 used British Enfield chambered to .303. Sporterized, it was a real kick, open sights. Both killed deer their first two years. Both then moved to .308's, same as mine. One was my Savage 110, which unfortunately I learned the hard way that it would reliably shoot handloads, as the handload dies were at the far end of the tolerance for re-necking the brass, while the barrel was at the opposite end of that tolerance...misfires when the primer and the hammer pin were not close enough.  Poor kid heard that dreadful "click" several times while aiming at a nice buck.
I'm not a believer in needing a "brush" gun to bust brush as a clean shot is needed when/where-ever (IMO).

Presently, I use a 12 ga, rifled slug barrel, and if a brush gun is ever the thought, that might be it. It is accurate to 100 yards with a 2.5 - 5 power scope. It's taken a lot of deer.
It's a Marlin Slugmaster Model 512, 3" chamber bolt action. Reasonable price on it.($250 - 350)
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2007, 10:44:37 AM »
I started my kids out with the Model 94 Winchwester and open sights the first couple years, then they moved into the Model 99, 300 Savage with scope; and now they use a 30-06 or 270 with scope. I have 3 identical 30-06's, but the boy in Montana favors the 270.               
~Ron

Offline Norm

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2007, 11:57:20 AM »
Some good advice by all, I'll throw my personal opinion in as well. Not knowing how big your son is Lee but by 15 most boys can handle the bigger rounds. My personal favorite is the 30-06 with the 7mm mag close behind but those are pretty heavy for teenagers. My youngest son's first centerfire was a .270 and he seemed to tolerate the kick pretty well. Maybe custom load some rounds light for practice and then after he gets used to the kick gradually work up to hunting loads. My niece who is 13 shoots a .243 and has done very well putting down deer with it. My only hesitation would be that they soon outgrow those calibers.

Offline LeeB

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2007, 05:46:56 PM »
I've been leaning toward .243 or 30-30 myself. The only gun I have ever hunted with has been my 30-06 which he seems to do ok with. I figure whatever I get him should be able to stay with him till he gets ready to start buying his own, so I was also thinking maybe another 30-06. Thanks for the suggestions and any more to come.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline jon12345

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2007, 06:49:37 PM »
I'm only 125 lbs, my first rifle was a Remington 7400 in .308, now I have a marlin 30-30.  Neither of their recoils bothered me, I just switched to a 30-30 because it holds more shots (legally) and sometimes I need them  ::)
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Offline Reddog

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2007, 07:15:58 PM »
I've been leaning toward .243 or 30-30 myself.

If that is the case, like Corley5 said look at the 260 rem. Better knock down and shoots pretty flat. The 243 does not leave much trail on the deer here in MI. A couple guys I work with really like their 7mm-08's.

Offline LeeB

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2007, 08:32:04 PM »
I have to say the only reason I was leaning that way is because i don't know any better. My brother had a 243 when we were kids and I 've always heard 30-30 for brush. I figured there were people on here a lot more gun savy than me, hence the post.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Online beenthere

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2007, 08:42:57 PM »
One of my hunting partners in camp fixed up his son with a .243. At 12, he was small, so they put a stock on it that fit his short arms, and both he and his Dad liked the accuracy of the gun. But after two years in a row, spending most of the day (and the second year part of the next day) following a wounded deer, they decided it didn't have the killing power they needed. Both deer were found with very little damage, when the fast bullet zipped right through. Shot placement is important, with any gun/bullet. The third year, with a 30.06, the lad's deer didn't travel far.  :) 
I don't recall any other particulars, but sure do remember those two tired hunters after trudging through the central Wisconsin swamps all day.  ::) ::)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Part_Timer

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2007, 09:22:17 PM »
I'm a fan of the 30-30 and 35 remington for hunting in the woods.  I've seen a great many moose taken with these calibers up north.  Just need to keep your shots around 150 yards or less and put the rounds in the boiler room.

They opened up a rifle season here in IN for pistol caliber rifles.  I shot a button buck with a 357 max. encore a couple of days ago, went 40 yards and my son is carrying it now.   very close to a 30-30 and no recoil in that rifle.
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Offline Stump Jumper

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2007, 10:39:52 PM »
my son was having trouble shooting my 280 he developed a bad flinch.  So we decided to look for a 243.  Because many years ago I borrowed one from my father-in-law he told me if I was to fill the salami permit I had to shoot the deer in the head and I did.  I was very impressed with the rifle.  We looked at WalMart they had a Remington Model 770 JUNK imo.  Ended up buying a Stevens/Savage Model 200 243.  It is a very accurate gun I can keep them in a dime at 100 yds and my son is holding a 1" pattern.  He has now put down 2 deer right where they stood.  Using Federal Premium w/the 100 gr sierra gameking BTSP bullets they used up most of their energy in the deer which is critical.  I have shot Remington corlock ammo in my 300 WinMag  and the bullet did not even expand in the deer it went straight through NO GOOD so the 243 will do an excellent job if you have the right ammo. 
Jeff
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2007, 11:51:55 PM »
A 25-06 is another good caliber to consider.  As I recall it's as flat as a .243 and has minimal recoil, but more knockdown power.

I sure like my .270 Mag - it's a great all around caliber.

Scott
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Offline Don K

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2007, 07:06:02 AM »
I started at 14 with my father's 30-06 and still use the same gun today. Of the many deer I have killed very seldom was tracking a issue. That round in 150grain has incredible knockdown power and most of my shots have been in the woods. Ranges from 20 yds up to 100 with some well picked openings.  Scott beat me to suggesting the 25-06 and I have a friend that shoots a Ruger 7mm-08 and is well pleased with that round. It also does excellent with reloads. My stepson had a 223 and last year graduated to a 243 he uses when he hunts with his dad. Most of the time I hear stories of a lost blood trail. ::) I told Colby to get a 30 cal. or something close to that and the ending will change in his stories.

Don
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Offline Larry

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2007, 10:53:23 AM »
Stump_jumpers post reminds me of a problem I had some years ago.  I traded for a slick Remington 25-06 out of there custom shop.  Figured I would work up a suitable load for western mule deer at longer ranges.  Spent a pleasurable summer shooting and came up with a screaming load using the 117 grain Sierra SBT.  I could group less than a MOA out to 400 yards.  Missouri white tail season opened and I tested the round.  First day a perfect lung shot but the deer ran over 100 yards.  Second day the same results.  Had an exit hole about the size of a quarter.  Iím not used to deer taking more than 3 or 4 steps when hit with my 6mm using the Sierra bullet stump_jumper mentioned.

So...8am Monday Iím on the Sierra tech line ranting about there crapola 117 grain bullet.  The technician informs me the 117 grain was designed for bigger game such as western mule deer and even elk with proper shot placement.  He tells me to try there 90 or 100 grain bullet for whitetail...whole new ball game.  Iím back to instant kills and extended my killing range a good 100 yards over my 6mm.  Never did take the gun out west to test the 117 grain bullet.  Iím quite satisfied with the 7mm Rem Mag out there.

Guess the moral of the story is proper shot placement along with the right bullet is a whole lot more important than the caliber.  Who wants to follow a blood trail...no matter how big, for a mile?
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Offline Reddog

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2007, 01:34:47 PM »
A whole other side, that no one has touch on is the rate of twist.
On the smaller cal. you have to watch if it was for varmit bullets or heavy deer loads. The light bullets take a less rate like 1-12 or 14. The ones that work best for putting large game down with small bullets are in the range of 1-8 to 10.

Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: First deer gun for a teenager
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2007, 02:28:16 PM »
I used to like to shoot and trade guns when I was younger and had more time and money.  I learned that hitting what you are shooting at doesn't necessarily jive with the ballistics tables.  I'm thinking of some guns I've had that just don't stack up according to the tables,  but I could hit what I was aiming at with them.  I think that and the weight of the gun as well as safty factors would be more important for a first gun.  A gun that fits the person,  doesn't wear him out lugging it around (especially important if hunting in the brush) and one that the hunter isn't afraid to shoot.  At the same time it shoud be big enough to do the job.  If I were buying a 'brush gun' for a youth,  I would look for a good used (when they made them with good wood and workmanship) Marlin lever action in 30/30,  better yet if recoil isn't an issue a .35 Rem. or even a 45/70.  If a scope is used,  I'd reccomend a low power , but high quality scope.  Nothing worse than not being able to find y0our target in the danged scope.  A youngster with good eyesight is probably better off without a scope up to 150 yards.  These are just my opinions based on the best I can remember from when I was a youth :D
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