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Which caliber is best for youth hunting where recoil is a concern?

  • 243

    Votes: 50 61.7%
  • 357

    Votes: 2 2.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 29 35.8%
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Curious to get peoples' thoughts. My nephew age 11 wants to go deer hunting but is super afraid of recoil. I got some good ideas from the this YouTube Video. I like the idea of a 243 shooting hunting ammo. For short ranges, I would also agree with the idea of using a 357 magnum with the right ammo. Hope everyone is having a great deer season!!!

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Curious to get peoples' thoughts. My nephew age 11 wants to go deer hunting but is super afraid of recoil. I got some good ideas from the this YouTube Video. I like the idea of a 243 shooting hunting ammo. For short ranges, I would also agree with the idea of using a 357 magnum with the right ammo. Hope everyone is having a great deer season!!!

View attachment 200884
I always hunt with my 357 Rossi rifle.. feather light and deadly at 75 yards..
 

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I load the .260 and 6.5 cm with 120's to 6.5 grendel velocities. It's been very effective.

Full power 140/143 loads from those rifles are not difficult to handle.

Last I looked at factory ammo, .308 and .270 were the easiest to source. I've shot factory reduced loads for the .308 and they were mild.
 

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25-06 that is what my son started with. The gun has low recoil is flat shooting and good from anything to groundhogs, coyote or deer. Weatherby Vanguard S2 is a tack driver and reasonably priced. My son quit hunting it is the gun I use now. One step above the 243
 

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Well I have kids 7, 11 and 14 so I have a little experience. Get a Savage Axis youth in 243 or 6.5 Creed. He probably needs a short LOP right now but can pick up a cheap adult stock if it doesn’t come with one. My 11 year old shot a doe with the Axis .243 when he was 8 and weighed like 70 pounds. I used reduced recoil rounds.
The 6.5 which I also own recoils just a hair more but has the advantage of heavier bullets as he grows and may want to hunt other critters besides deer.
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I remember being young and hearing all about shotguns kicking like mules and rifles that would literally knock me down. The first rifle I shot was just before my first deer season. It was a 30-30. Needless to say I was scared 💩less the first time I pulled the trigger as to what was going to happen. I remember it as vividly as shooting my first buck and it was 40+ years ago. WHAT A RELEIF! It just thrust my shoulder back and I survived. Never was I afraid to shoot anything after that. I realized how much everyone exaggerates and how much my worries were not rational.
With all 3 of my sons and nephews I did THE OPPOSITE of what everyone did to me. I always downplayed recoil to them and explained how everyone enjoyed the exaggerated arh arh arh talk.
Never had an issue starting them out. The first rifle my second son shot was my 270 with no recoil pad. He couldn't even hold it up and stay on the target, shot off some pillows. As with all of them, I made sure he had a firm enough hold, snug against the shoulder, and face adequately spaced behind the scope. Then immediately after the shot regardless of the look on their face I simply say, see it's not bad, just pushes your shoulder back hard enough you know you have to respect and be ready for it.
Most of their fear doesn't come from within them, it's our fault.

Whatever you do is going to be a life lesson and hunting isn't child's play. Help him man up a little, you'll both be further ahead. He'll be fine.

6.5 Creedmoor is an excellent all-around chambering with reasonable recoil. A rifle for life. 308 is an excellent round but will definitely have more felt recoil than the 6.5, I've shot thousands of 308 and hundreds of 6.5. 243 is also an excellent choice. There are more. Give him a DEER RIFLE, not something he can get by with.
 

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Tikka .223. Shoot 77gr TMK, 62gr/75gr gold dot or 62gr federal fusion

 

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When my son was ten (1983) I built him a Win 70 in 308 w/20" LWT barrel, MPI stock, Charlie Young LWT pad and etc. This morning he is using my 30-338WM, his 308 for backup.

For my grandsons I bought them each a youth (12 LOP) Savage 14 AC in 7-08. Pulled the 7 barrels and put 243 barrels on them, Now that they're all grown up they have the 7 barrels on them and in full length (13-1/2") AC stocks.
 

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First need to fix the problem. He probably is not going to be able to shoot to the best of his ability with any of the deer calibers listed above.

First, shooting a gun that does not fit one is a step in the wrong direction. A shooter should be able to shoulder a gun properly so the recoil can be distributed over a larger area. Although it may seem that smaller-gauge guns will have lighter recoil, this is not true; guns that weigh less will have even more felt recoil.

Fear of recoil can/will develop flinching, which can be a challenge to over come, but there are methods and it can be done.

I started hunting alone a 8 years old for squirrels, I had a small frame and the 410 suited me fine until my younger cousin want to start hunting and I had to give up the 410. for a 36" barrel 12ga. which would knock me off my feet if I did not set my body for a shot. I switched to a 22 and shot a lot of rounds on targets and learning to concentrate through the shot...then I was able to move onto a 20 ga. for qual and rabbits with good shooting success.

Instructors sometimes teach students the “dummy round technique”—the instructor hands the student the gun, but the student doesn’t know whether or not the gun actually has a live round in it. The lesson is to get the target in sight, determine where the shot should be made, and follow through appropriately regardless of whether or not the gun is loaded. Best to practice these steps regularly to perfect your form and shot placement. Over time, recoil will become just one part of the process. The shooter will notice it less and less and it will have less impact on their performance.

It is good to start a youth with a BB's gun or 22 until they have shooting mastered. Then with a proper fitting gun they can move up to heavier recoil guns.

When they go to the range it should always be fun for them and I personally know recoil can be punishing and can be very difficult to over come.

No want wants a non lethal hit on any animal and if the shooter is flinching I believe they need more training/practice before they are ready for hunting. Not properly fixing this type of problem can last a life time with negative results for success and the game.

There are many shooters out there who are shooting guns with more recoil than accurately handle, but won't admit it to themselves let alone to others.

Few shooters are born naturals and most need the proper start to perform to the ability needed to hunt.

Just looking for a magic caliber will probability not solve the problem is it is more of a conditioned mental issue then physical in nature.

Good luck...enjoy the process.
 

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Forgot to add - I started at age 12 with a .270 760 and a 12 gauge wingmaster. No issues what so ever. I wasn’t the biggest kid either.

I don’t like the idea of anything smaller than a .260 ish caliber. Preference is a .30 caliber….308 in a lighter slug is wise IMO.
 

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Grew up in SRAs and 12g shotgun was the only option in my old mans cabinet. Started with some low brass to get functionality down but quickly got to buckshot/slugs. Buck i shot opening day- my shoulder never felt a thing
 
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