Have a 12 yr old boy who wants to get his first rifle. My question is what is a good choice? I think I have it narrowed down to a .243 or .308 caliber but I am unsure with what is out there for youth. Personally, I have a Rem model 7 in a .308 which I certainly recommend - it's what I started with. Just not up to speed with all the new options? Maybe a gun with interchangeable barrels would be the way to go due to budget? What does someone recommend?
i agree with the .243, for youth. with new bullet builds it is great for everything in PA up to and including elk and bear.
Sure it is. I just love the idea of kids using it for bear and elk. Can't foresee any problems with that. Seriously the cartridge is on the bottom edge of whitetail cartridges no matter which bullet you use. Let's not overglorify a groundhog/deer cartridge. It is what it is and nothing more. Decent size bear and elk take a real cartridge.
The only bears I've seen shot with the .243 or heard firsthand from others were never recovered. So life experience doesn't permit me to give the .243 a thumbs up for bear. As far as elk goes those who hunt them tell me they're tougher than bear.
There's a pretty big range of size, strength, and skill between 12-year-olds. Assuming an average kid, I'd go with the .308. Managed recoil loads are perfect for now, and full house loads will be great in a couple of years. Without managed recoil, I'd go with 30-30, but you didn't ask about that.