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Undergunned

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I have a friend that purchased a .357 cal lever gun with the intent of letting his 12 year old son use it for deer season. His thoughts are for reduced recoil and easy to handle.

I basically told him this was not a good idea, as the gun is too light to be truly effective on deer sized game, especially in the hands of a youth hunter.

I think that in the hands of an experienced shooter/hunter that can truly place the shot properly, and have the patience to wait for the right shot a .357 would be adequate. I especially think this is true since we are working with an 18" barrel rifle instead of 8" hand gun.

My advice to him was to get a 300 Savage/.308/.243/. 257 Roberts or similar gun and put a good recoil pad if he is concerned about recoil.

I have all confidence in my advice but would request affirmation that the advice I gave is accurate in more then just my mind. What is every one else thinking?

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.243, .257, and .270 are all excellent guns for deer hunting that won't strain a youngsters shoulder. I remember when I was young using a 6mm remington (almost the same load as .243) and shooting my first deer with that gun. I guess my biggest issue with calibers for young people is finding something that will not cause them to flinch due to being scared of recoil. However I do also remember that this is mostly a range shooting issue as I can't ever remember being scared of recoil when shooting at a deer.

Good advice!

Take care!

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My two daughters shoot 7mm-08 deer rifles and do not complain about recoil. I agree that the 357 is a poor choice for a young hunter's deer rifle. Too many limitations and judgements in regards to deer postion and distance for an inexperienced hunter.

Personally the .243 would be a bare minimum and the .257, .260 or 7mm better options.

Recoil is impacted by many factors. Caliber is but one and often not a the primary player. The gun's weight and proper gun fit to the hunter often impact recoil more than caliber. Add a good recoil pad into the equaition and caliber's role diminishers even more. Also I'm not a big fan of muzzle recoil reducing devices. The muzzle blast has caused as much flinching issues as recoil itself.

Have the youngster target practice with a .22 until they gain some proficiency and confidence. Then have them engage in short target sessions with an already sited in deer rifle that has been checked for fit and feel. Don't have them shoot a box or two at one session unless they really are doing well and want to keep going. Even then beware that soreness may develop and you may want to end it with them wanting more rather than being too sore.

When the deer shows up they won't feel a thing. My one daughter swears her gun doesn't kick in the woods. You want them to target shoot enough that they hit what they aim at and have confidence in making a good shoot. Some kids that a couple of boxes worth. Others it may take much more than that.

Good Luck!

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I started my son out with a .243. I was worried at first that it would be too light. Not the case, this caliber has put down many a deer. In fact now that my son has grown I find myself using the .243 more often than my other rifles because of the light recoil. I have not had one deer go more than 50 yards. Another issue with a lever gun for beginners is the exposed hammer. after chambering a round you need to squeeze the trigger to lower the hammer.

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No need to go into great length....ditto whats already been said. Plus, I just plain don't like lever guns.

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For kids I would agree Wade, especially exposed hammer types like the Win 94 and Marlin 336 series.

I personnally enjoy my lever guns. I currently use a Savage 99 in 250-3000 as my prefered deer rifle. I have several others that work very well but that old 250 is my favorite. Call it nostalgic or maybe it is because it was grandpa's gun and well you know.

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Borch,

Tell me more about the 7mm-08 your daughters use. I'm picking up a different gun for myself this fall but my oldest daughter will be hunting next fall and I'll need to get her a gun shortly. I've heard really good things about the 7mm-08 cal. but it is not available in the browning bar longtrack that I'm looking at for myself.

What action, make and model do you have in that gun?

thanks,

ccarlson

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Quote:


Borch,

Tell me more about the 7mm-08 your daughters use. I'm picking up a different gun for myself this fall but my oldest daughter will be hunting next fall and I'll need to get her a gun shortly. I've heard really good things about the 7mm-08 cal. but it is not available in the browning bar longtrack that I'm looking at for myself.

What action, make and model do you have in that gun?

thanks,

ccarlson


One daughter has it in a Rem 700 mountain rifle and the other in a Rem. Model 7 youth. My freind's two daughters both use the 7mm-08 in Savage. All shoot great groups and put deer downusing facotry ammo 140-150gr bullets.

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Let me rephrase....I do not like exposed hammer lever guns.

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I know alot of people think a 243 is to small for deer.I have totally smashed and drop in its tracks deer up to 125 yards.I always thought it was to light of caliber but after using it for 3 years I was wrong.Any caliber will work for a well placed bullet.

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You hit the nail on the head Harvey, a well placed round is the key. Unfortunatly most don't take the time on the range to ensure that happens, either by choice or because they are not able too.

I use a 250 savage which with a 100gr is not near as effecient as a .243 and don't ever go more then 75 yds to recover the animal. I also spend a good bit of the summer behind that trigger so I get the pratice needed.

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CCarlson I have a mod 700 classic in 7mm-08 and by uncle has it in a micro medallian. Look at the mountain rifle or an a-bolt. You won't be disappointed! Sweet caliber.

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That sounds like the gun, or very similar, to what I will be looking at next summer for my daughter. I looked at a micro stock sized bolt action last night and think the stock length would be great as well as the bolt action for a beginner. I am not an exposed hammer or auto loading fan for beginners. I feel the bolt is the best option for her for safety.

For my daughter, the micro length stock may be something that she uses well into adulthood too so I like the 7mm-08 caliber as a long term, versitile option.

Thanks for the advise.

ccarlson

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It's a sweet caliber. My one daughter is pretty small framed. So I went with the Rem model 7 youth. If she needs a bit more length a regular stock will work with it and a thicker recoil pad is another option. I feel the same as you in regards to gun choice for youth. That's the reason I made the choices I did. My son is a big framed young man who I started out with a HOWA 1500 in .308. That's been a good gun for him as well.

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