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My sons 308 brought tears to my eyes on the recoil. Not sure what that was all about but I've shot some heavy calibers that didn't punish me like it did.
All my kids were raised on a 30-06. That's what was available and that's what they shot. None developed a flinch and turned into pretty good shooters.
I bought a .243 for coyotes and other varmints just to allow more shooting without the punishment of an .06.
My grand daughters shoot a .243 really well and that's what they started with when they were 12.
 

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My sons 308 brought tears to my eyes on the recoil. Not sure what that was all about but I've shot some heavy calibers that didn't punish me like it did.
The stock matters ALOT! My son shot my 7STW at age 12, thought it was fun. That gun recoils way less than my wifes 30-06 in a Rem700

I went looking for a 350 legend rifle last week to try it for my upcoming bear hunt. HA!!!! Not one rifle to be found, but tons of ammo out there. Now I know why there is ammo available.
Loads of them on gunbroker... and pretty cheap prices relatively:


-DallanC
 

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These days you need to watch who you are buying from on GB like a hawk.

There have been a number of scams on it where the seller won't send extra pictures, wanting USPS Money orders, and not shipping until the MO clears among other problems.

I've even seen where they have taken a different picture of a rifle and then placed it onto the add as their rifle to sell.
 

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Don't even listen to the guys that are blabbing about some crazy-named cartridge that you can't find ammo for. Unless you reload, the ONLY realistic choices that fit with what you said you want are:

1) 243 Win...a necked down 308 that's kilt many, many a deer and 'lopes and some elk. Shoots bullets around 3000fts in the 80-105gr wt. Great for any shooter w/ mild recoil and great performance.

2) 7mm-08...a necked down 308...wait a minute, just read the above except they shot a little heavier bullet...120-140gr and kick a little harder. Bigger bullet makes them a better choice for elk. Great for all shooters on any game.

3) 308Win...one of the absolute best "only own one gun" choices in the world. Gunna kick quite a bit harder than the other two with heavier bullets, but if you can find some 130gr bullets your kid will probably survive long enough to grow into it.
Keep in mind that a 130gr bullet will kick somewhere in-between the 7mm-08's 120 and the 140 if the rifles weigh about the same, but the 308Win can also handle bullets up 180gr...150-165gr are the best choices and are deadly elk fodder.

One good test...go to the sporting good store and see what ammo they go laying on the shelves
 

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The stock matters ALOT! My son shot my 7STW at age 12, thought it was fun. That gun recoils way less than my wifes 30-06 in a Rem700



Loads of them on gunbroker... and pretty cheap prices relatively:


-DallanC
I wont purchase any weapon I cant hold, feel, and check out before slapping money down.
 

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I took my son shooting today and he shot my 7mm Ridgeline with the factory supplied brake. After one shot, he turned and said, “This doesn’t kick at all!” He proceeded to smash a basketball sized rock at 300 time after time after time.

The reason I share this is because I think you probably already have a gun that he can shoot - the 308. Put a brake or a suppressor on it, get some ear plugs and let him fire away. Plenty of 308 ammo available.
 

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If you can swing it, Browning X-Bolt Micro Midas in 7mm-08.

I had the same decision to make several years ago and I decided on a Ruger American (Compact, youth model stock) in .243.

If I was to do it again, I would have went straight for the 7mm-08 as I ended up buying one shortly after he drew the any bull elk tag at age 12. Might as well give him a better chance at elk with a bigger bullet. Hornady makes a reduced recoil round for it and my kids didn’t seem to be affected by the increased recoil.

Whatever you decide on, be sure to get a youth model stock and start them off slow. You can ruin a kid by having them shoot something too big too soon.
 

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One note about the Ruger American is the bolt action isn’t smooth like the Tikka’s. All my boys had to learn to push the bolt hard forward or they couldn’t bring the bolt down. At a young age, they all fumbled with the action for a while, so that was a bit frustrating for them. They didn’t have any problems cycling the bolt of the Browning X-Bolt Micro Midas, however.
 

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I started shooting at 10 with my dads 30-30. Never was an issue. Shot my first deer with it and many others after. I almost exclusively use my .270 now. My oldest son started with a .270 at 11. And my eight year old with my help shoots the .243 without any issues.
 

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All of it. Hiking is terrible without a gun or rod in my hands.
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You could spend the money you'd spend on a gun and instead get a suppressor. The sound and recoil reduction will pay for itself. Caliber doesn't matter then. But having a youth stock or a shorter LOP is important. But a kid that isn't afraid of a gun is importanter than LOP. I had a .30-06 as a kid. I hated that gun. Kicked like a mule. Shot my friends .300 RUM as an adult and also hated it. I wouldn't ever shoot that gun at a critter because I would be flinching before I pulled the trigger. Supressor would be a worthy investment.
 

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I went looking for a 350 legend rifle last week to try it for my upcoming bear hunt. HA!!!! Not one rifle to be found, but tons of ammo out there. Now I know why there is ammo available.
Hey Tax, if it's a big bore you want, I got a sweet H&R Handi-Rifle chambered in 35 Whelen. 2 boxes of expensive ammo goes with it. Scoped up, ready to go...$450
 

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I bought a Ruger Predator in 6mm CM a month or so ago and been really happy.
Pretty much a souped up .243 I would say.
Definitely not as buttery an action as my Tikka, tons of ammo, and definitely stout enough for deer and antelope with a hunting bullet.
Bought it on sale at Sportsmans for $399.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Out of curiosity, what’s your gripe with 6.5?
Ammo availability went bye bye real fast, need to only have a few rifles in my life (child support..), would rather buy a few calibers and base rifles around that instead of multiple calibers and rifles. They are great for Deer, I know one of my buddies swears by them for Elk, but I just wasn’t happy! The .308 feels better to me.

I think I am settled on the .243 though, I want my kids to be into it and not get scared off at all. I get that some 9 y/o’s are tough, but I’ll be the first to admit mine isn’t. Hasn’t been an easy road for a lot of my kiddos with divorces, and I don’t get to raise them 100% how I’d like. Not a lot of leeway so I have to work with what I get. My 6 y/o’s are just starting with .22’s and having fun, my 9 y/o is ready for a step up, but I do want to treat him with kid gloves cuz my ex (bless her heart…) likes to hype up negative experiences, so if he comes home saying I blew out his shoulder, she’ll hype him up for 2 weeks till he gets back and he’ll be done. I’d rather he go back and say he had fun, so there isn’t anything negative to dwell on. I don’t get to run interference, so I gotta control what I can control. Ya know?
 
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