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Thread: 1st centerfire rifle for kid

  1. #1
    Member AKdutch's Avatar
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    Default 1st centerfire rifle for kid

    I am planning on taking my 9y/o daughter with me next fall on a moose hunt. The only rifles she has ever shot are a .22 and my AR15. The AR was just on the edge of the recoil she could handle last summer (she's only 60lbs). Does anyone have any suggestions on a centerfire rifle they used for their first rifle? I know I will have to chop down the stock, but would like some suggestions as to the caliber. I don't want to push anything on her too soon, but she is super excited to go hunting with me and loves to shoot her .22.

    I plan on spending alot of time shooting with her this summer, but am not planning on her taking an animal yet. I just don't want to scare her off from shooting. I figure a smaller caliber would be better than nothing and make her feel like she is more involved in the hunt.

    Any suggestions on caliber and or rifles would be appreciated. John

  2. #2

    Smile Good Luck

    The introduction of a youngster into the world of shooting sports is a great thing. And a great legacy to give ones grandchildren.
    A very adaquate rifle for a youth is a 6.5x55 Swede, it produces low amounts of recoil and is used in Norway and Sweden for moose hunting. It can be obtained in lighter style rifles . It has a projectile with a high balistic coefficient and sectional density. Good luck !!
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I'm leaning toward a .30-30 or .308 for my girls first centerfire. Maybe even a .30-06 with light loads. Once they learn that the recoil isn't something to be afraid of, the sky is the limit! My dad started me out with a .250-3000 Savage which I still have. The little 100gr. bullet might be a bit small for the average moose (my sister killed a 52" bull with it though.....) but it is a great caribou gun.
    AKmud
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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    What about a .223 Rem?

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    Thumbs up

    Well, according to the Dumbo of the week we can't use an AR to hunt with so how about a CZ 527 in 7.62x39. Also available in other calibers including 223 as previously posted but the carbine is portable and shootable. Four out of five of my grand kids prefer this little CZ in 7.62x39.

    Of course this isn't an endorsement of this little gun for a moose gun but I think if dad is standing by all will go well. It is more important to introduce a child to a good time afield and some good hunting adventure than to quibble over a caliber. They are available and are about 500 bucks but a very well made and safe and manageble rifle for a young hunter.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    If the only requirement is a centerfire, and not necessarily something large enough to bring down a moose, you might try a lever action .44 of some type. I have a Winchester 92 in 44/40 that barely kicks more than a .22...........Louis

  7. #7

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    I started my daughters out long ago on 7x57's with handloads adjusted for recoil and/or species. Doing it today I'd feel torn between 6.5x55, 260 Rem and 7-08, all handloaded. I like calibers smaller than 30 for gains in SD for larger game while not building up weight (as well as recoil) as fast as the 30's to get similar SDs and velocity. I loaded the sevens with 140gn Noslers initially and would do the same with the 7-08. The 6.5's would be either a 130 or a 140. Hold the velocities down in the 2500-2600 fps range, and recoil with those is on the order of a 30-30 or less.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Murphy,

    How is the muzle blast/noise from the CZ 527 18" barrel compared to the 16" one on a Ruger Frontier? I was considering getting my daughters a Fronteir in 308 or 7mm-08 but have been giving it some thought since everyone keeps talking about excessive muzzle noise.

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    Another vote for a bolt action .223. Ammo is super cheap and it is very accurate with little recoil. Big enough for her to shoot any pests such as coyotes or wolves. With the right bullet and a close broad side shoot I would even take a caribou with it if you are backing her up.
    Tennessee

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    i'm s huge 308 fan, that would be my top recommendation. but the 30-30 is really nice. real easy to handle, those lever guns are great to carry, and really fun to shoot.

    remington is making a "managed recoil" loading, could use that to help her get used to the gun, prevent getting scared of it. i think they're available in most of the common calibers.

    be real careful with her if the AR is the edge of what she can handle. you'll be best off letting her shoot that AR a lot, and then transitioning to something bigger when you get close to the season. i hate to see kids develop a fear of shooting. nothing is worth that - it just takes them so long to recover from it.

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    Member AKdutch's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    for all the responses. Looks like I have some research to do. Letting her shoot the AR alot sounds like the best way to start. I do have a Win MDL 94 Trapper in 44. Maybe I will download some rounds and give that a try. Again, thanks for the returns. John

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    What BrownBear said.

    But, no barrel of less than 22 inches.

    Smitty of the North

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    I started to hunt in MN when I 10 and I used a savage model 99 in a
    30-30. There is not much recoil and a 150 grain lead should take down a moose. I have been looking to get a savage model 99 in a 30-30 and can't find one. If anyone has one for sale let me know. I;m willing to pay a good price for one that is in really good shape. Then when I got a little older I got a 30-60 in a Remington 742. It doesn't kick either since it is a auto loader. I still have that rifle. I know that everyone that I know started out hunting with a 30-30. I can't see where a moose at a 100 yards and a good shot wouldn't be a good clean kill.

  14. #14
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    I started my boys with a 243 at around 9 or so and it was fine for them, in between the first deer hunt and the next season they outgrew them with lots of range time.

    I would let her get lots of range time with your AR and then let her shoot a more all around cartridge a few times and maybe you could start her off with a more all around cartridge.

    Doug

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    Last moose season my 10 yo carried my Savage 99 .300 Savage. He was able to handle the 180's out of it once he saw it wasn't going to slam him. He weighed about 80+ lbs then. For Christmas I took him to Sportsman's Warehouse and let him pick out a rifle of his own. He ended up choosing the Weatherby Vanguard Compact in 7mm08. It came with both a youth-sized stock and an adult stock that can be used once he outgrows the smaller one. Recoil on the 7mm08 is less than any of the .30 cals and it will handle a moose just fine if the hunter does their part.
    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! (Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945)

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default All my boys but one started with...

    .257 Roberts. The other one was a BIG boy at 10, and I built him a 7X57.
    My step-son I gave a restocked 03-A3 to, but he was already six foot tall.
    My daughters handle the Roberts, the 6.5 Swede, 7X57, and downloaded .308 just fine.
    At sight in day at out local range several years back,there was a 12 year old girl there, putting a zero on a little Model 7 Youth in .260 Rem with 140 gr. Nosler reloads. She'd drawn a moose tag down in southeast Idaho. She did well with the rifle, even off the bench, and if a gun's gonna hurt, it's with your butt planted solid going off the bags. By the way, she did take a fully mature Shirras cow with that rifle, killed it clean with one shot through the lungs.

  17. #17
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    7mm-08, ammo is readily available and you can load it as heavy as they can handle.

    Savage makes a youth combo with the accu-trigger and scope already mounted for just under ($400, I think).

    KRS

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've downloaded the .308 w/ 125 gr bullets and blue dot loads for ~2400 fps, but my kids still think the recoil is a bit objectionable. I just got my daughter a 221 fireball which she enjoys shooting.

    I'd say the .223 is about as big a round that has no recoil for starting out kids. With the 53 gr X bullet of some of the other 60+ gr bullets it'll take any blacktail or caribou. The .243 can be downloaded w/ 55 gr bullets to match the 223, and with an 85 or 100 gr X bullet will handle most big game.

    To me the key for a childs centerfire is something that has a stock that fits them, and little or no recoil. Have them shoot the heck out of it to build skills, and then they can work up the recoil scale.

  19. #19

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    If you go 308, 30-06 and load it way down....way down, for targets, then giver her the real deal in the field. I would prolly not want her to zap a moose with a 243 as a lower percent shot could take a long time to bleed out.

    7mm's like 08',x57 all would do fine too. I have a friend who has taken gobbs of moose with a 25-06, but he is a remarkable shot.

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    My son shot his first deer at 8yrs old. I built him a custom 6 X 47 which weighed 6 pounds with scope. All the kids had been shooting 22's and .223's and the natural was to expand to where I could shoot a hundred grain bullet from a .223 sized case. Then we moved up to the .243, 7X57 and now would have to say the .260 for a factory cartridge is an awesome small person cartridge along with the 7 X 08
    and .308 Win. My 5'2" wife took a very large goat two years ago with a 165 grain partition out of her .308 handgun at 225 yards.

    Neal

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