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Author Topic: Options for kids first gun  (Read 3041 times)

Offline Jpmiller

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Options for kids first gun
« on: April 08, 2020, 11:04:42 AM »
So lots of options for me. I'm starting to think about a centerfire hunting rifle for my oldest son (5 y.o.). I currently shoot a model 70 .308 and it was the first centerfire I got. My old man got it for me and honestly I was scared to shoot it when I was a kid, like cry at the range didn't like the beating it gave me scared. My old man didn't want me to outgrow a smaller caliber with a lower kick and have to buy me another rifle so his thing was get through a couple years until I grew bigger and then I'd be fine. I love my dad and he did a great job getting me into hunting and shooting but I would like to avoid that.

My oldest boy is average size but he is a little bit delicate. He is getting better slowly but he definitely doesn't like discomfort and pain so I definitely want to start him on something with a light kick, looking back and talking to some other guys I feel Lucky my 308 experience didn't sour me on shooting.

I kind of want a new rifle for myself (I even have one picked out in my old man's safe  :chuckle:) so I had thought about maybe just getting a better recoil pad for the 308 and working up some lower pressure loads for it and having him start there with my current rifle but I've never actually done either. I don't know if a recoil pad will actually cut down all that much felt recoil and how much a lower powder charge will affect things.

I've got two more future shooters coming up behind him so I was also thinking about just buying either a 243 or a 6.5 creedmore and possibly doing the same with a recoil pad and reduced loads since I can get more service out of the rifle. I shot a buddies 6.5 the last time I had my rifle out and it was considerably less felt recoil than my 308 and it was super accurate to boot. Like, my buddy had just bought it, shot it a dozen times before he handed it to me so he could get it on paper and my first three shots were as close as my 308 does (I'm a decent shot not a great shot). I know guys talk about how a 6.5 is the best and greatest but I feel like eventually he would need a bigger caliber but who knows. Maybe he needs that when he is old enough to buy his own rifle.

Would love to hear what some of the more knowledgeable folks think and what other dad's of young kids have done for a first centerfire rifle, especially experiences with recoil pads and reduced loads. Don't really want a brake as I don't like shooting at the range at opposite ends with a guy shooting a brake so I can't imagine how loud it must be pulling the trigger. Thanks.

Offline ghosthunter

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2020, 11:11:06 AM »
I was in the same boat with my grandson and two grand daughters coming up.

I went Savage 7mm 08. Kill anything in this state, pleasure to shoot. Tons of ammo choices.

In fact I like the 7mm 08 so much it will be my next rifle for retirement. Instead of the 30 06.

Ruger American or Savage :tup:
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Offline kselkhunter

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2020, 11:11:28 AM »
When my nephew was younger, and before I started reloading, I used the Hornady Custom Lite reduced recoil loads in my 30-06 to teach him how to shoot.   They make them for 308 also.  My guess is those would make it feel like a 243 or 25-06, depending on the weight of your rifle.   

But an excuse to buy a new rifle is always warranted and welcomed.   :)

Offline magnanimous_j

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2020, 11:13:10 AM »
You didn't mention how much you wanted to spend. If it were me, I'd get him a bolt-action .22lr. I personally like the CZ 457. He'll always have room in the safe for a .22lr bolt, and it will last his whole life.


Offline Jpmiller

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2020, 11:16:29 AM »
You didn't mention how much you wanted to spend. If it were me, I'd get him a bolt-action .22lr. I personally like the CZ 457. He'll always have room in the safe for a .22lr bolt, and it will last his whole life.

He has a 22lr now, he can manage the recoil on that still  :chuckle: I'm thinking more centerfire in a year or so. I don't want to spend a ton on it but I want it to function.

Offline ghosthunter

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2020, 11:24:17 AM »
You didn't mention how much you wanted to spend. If it were me, I'd get him a bolt-action .22lr. I personally like the CZ 457. He'll always have room in the safe for a .22lr bolt, and it will last his whole life.

He has a 22lr now, he can manage the recoil on that still  :chuckle: I'm thinking more centerfire in a year or so. I don't want to spend a ton on it but I want it to function.

Look at the Ruger and Savage package rifles. Come with scopes too. Great starters and glass can be changed later.
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Offline bearpaw

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2020, 12:18:20 PM »
Pretty tough to beat the weatherby vanguard youth compact, all the popular youth calibers, shorter rifle, removable stock spacer to shorten or lengthen stock, guaranteed accuracy .99 or better. You can get them for about 5 bills.

https://weatherby.com/store/vanguard-synthetic-compact/
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Offline Jpmiller

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2020, 12:25:59 PM »
Bearpaw I was thinking I'd get a weatherby for myself if I can't pry my grandpa's old Remington from my dad. Always wanted one, it would be a hard pill to swallow to get one for the kids before I get one for me  :chuckle: thats significantly cheaper than any of the options I looked at for myself though.

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2020, 12:33:18 PM »
My thoughts:

1. Make sure the rifle fits.
2. Use reduced recoil ammunition to start, even with a milder caliber.
3. Make sure he uses excellent hearing protection. The anticipation of a "boom" can lead to flinching as much or more than recoil.

If you decide to get a new rifle, I'd consider the 7mm-08 as an excellent all around cartridge. I got my son a Savage youth-sized rifle in 7mm-08 when he was younger. It came with a 3-9x Nikon scope that's more than adequate. My son has killed plenty of critters with it. When he outgrew it my daughter used it to kill her first deer. It's a joy to carry and shoot.

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Offline Igor

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2020, 12:34:56 PM »
With both of my sons I had the same inclination your Dad had........I wanted them to grow up using the same rifle that they started with.  I chose the .30-'06 and it has worked out fine.  The oldest is now 43 and the youngest is soon to be 39, and they both still have the Browning A-Bolts they started with as 11-year-olds as their hunting rifles.  I wanted them to have quality rifles, and those Brownings have been an excellent choice. 

I did my homework and learned to reload light loads for both of them.  Those loads worked fine and they both killed deer with them.  Eventually, they worked their way up to full loads, and they still shoot those today.  You do have to be very careful when working with light/reduced loads, but in my experience it has been worth it.
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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2020, 01:16:35 PM »
I bought 2 of my kids Ruger American compact 7-08s. Worked perfectly, and aftermarket stocks are easy to find when they grow out of the youth model. Liked the 7-08 so much I ended up with one for myself, though a little more "fancy" than a Ruger American

Offline The scout

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2020, 01:22:20 PM »
 :yeah: I prefer the 243 but the youth Ruger American, for a cheap gun they shoot really really well.

Offline jasnt

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2020, 01:31:37 PM »
I’d go with a 243 or 6cm.  Definitely recommend the Weatherby vanguard bear paw brought up. If they start to out grow it change the barrel to 7/08 or 308 and the stock if need be. Cheaper than buying a new gun and they will enjoy shooting it much more
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Offline HAGEMANIAC

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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2020, 01:41:20 PM »
Weatherby Camilla in 7mm-08  :tup:
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Re: Options for kids first gun
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2020, 01:56:54 PM »
I've had a bunch of kids take their first (second, third,) deer with Rem 700 Youth in 243.  I handloaded for accuracy, not peak velocity, and used lead spitzers. I was really astonished at the knock down power out to 200.

My bigger boys are on to 7mm Mag, and 300 Mag, and the smaller ones are likely fading away from big game, at least until I find another high percentage meat getting spot! But I'm really grateful for the time we had with the 700 Youths and the 243. (I myself find them great timber guns for Cougars too!)
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