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az_runner

Youth Rifle Recommendations for Big Game

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You're right about that. heck, I didn't have my first gun until I was 18 and had the cash saved up. My boy did opt out from buying lego sets and other crap and just saved enough to get himself a set of Diamondback binos for when he comes out with me.

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I picked up a little .22 years back from a gun show for my son, so I may do the same with this spend or at the very least before I hit up Sportman's.  I got a heck of a lot of things to think about now due to all these responses.

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I’ll bite,  I bought my 12 year old the ruger American compact in 6.5cm.   I can shoot it comfortably and so can he.   6.5 is a pretty solid round that penetrates deeply.  Very little kick.

 

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7mm-08 mainly because there are lots of factory ammo options including a hornady reduced recoil.  also higher grained bullets for elk.

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My kids use a 7mm08.  I have a Savage Axis Compact and AR10 in 7mm08 that they both shoot comfortably in the field.  For practice I load a reduced recoil round that they both enjoy shooting.  Most of their shooting is done with a suppressor, which also helps keep them comfortable.   Last week I bought a new Tikka T3X Lite in the compact size and also chambered in 7mm08.  It has a 12.5" LOP and 20" barrel, and comes with a 1" spacer to increase LOP when they grow.  If you're in the east valley I'd be happy to have you swing by and take a look at it if you can't find one at a gun counter somewhere.

The complaints against buying a rifle that they will grow out of are pretty unfounded, in my opinion.  When the kid is done you can sell a youth sized rifle for darn near what you paid for it if you originally purchased it on sale.  Watch the youth rifles that get posted on here, they never last long.

As for the posts complaining about catering to kids, that's some of the stupidest stuff I have ever seen posted on CWT.  Keep your kids comfortable.  Do whatever it takes to make their first hunting experiences as positive as possible.  My first rifle didn't fit me and kicked like a mule.  I hated shooting it and I shot like crap.  Thank goodness I shot so poorly that I always straight up missed instead of gut or a$$ shooting everything.  It took me a long time to overcome my flinching.  If I didn't love being outdoors and the thrill of the hunt so much, I wouldn't have stuck with it.  With kids who might be on the fence about hunting, you can really win them over for good with a little bit of extra effort and equipment tailored to their needs.

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260 Remington or 7mm08

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Started my daughter with a .270 and used Managed Recoil bullets. These bullets are made for numerous other calibers as well. Here is a good article .......... https://www.chuckhawks.com/rem_managed_recoil.htm

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my first rifle was a   sako .243. it was good for everything. to date id has taken 2 elk , 3 antelope , both coues and whitetail, and 50-75 coyotes. 

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I did end up getting the kid a Tikka compact in a 7mm-08. Unlike myself, he landed a cow tag this year. I just need to find the right box of over-priced ammo for this thing now.

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22 minutes ago, az_runner said:

I did end up getting the kid a Tikka compact in a 7mm-08. Unlike myself, he landed a cow tag this year. I just need to find the right box of over-priced ammo for this thing now.

Good choice! It's a tikka I'm sure it will shoot lots of over priced ammo perfectly fine. 

What unit? Youth cow tag?

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Yeah, youth hunt in either 7W or 6A/5B, praying for 7W. I just saw my card was hit, but not sure of the unit just yet. I don't know much about either unit for elk so we're going to due some serious camping this summer to learn the areas.

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1 hour ago, az_runner said:

I did end up getting the kid a Tikka compact in a 7mm-08. Unlike myself, he landed a cow tag this year. I just need to find the right box of over-priced ammo for this thing now.

If you want to go lead free, the Barnes factory loads in 120gr are hard to beat.  If you dont mind lead, the cheap Hornady American Whitetail round shooting the 139gr interlock will handle a cow just fine.  They are very reasonably priced for what you get.   Save your brass in case you ever learn to reload.  (Or send me a PM and I might be in the market to buy some of it off of you). 🙂

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