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Hunting Rifle for the Boys

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  • Hunting Rifle for the Boys

    So I've been considering buying my two boys (5 and 3) a hunting rifle in the next year or two. I want something that is quality, that will grow with them and be a solid rifle even when they are older. They are already shooting my .22 with help and loving it and I'm getting them a 10/22 for Christmas this year.

    What I'm looking at is the Kimber 84M Classic Stainless (because wood is good) in .243 with a Leupold FX2 4x and lightweight low mount Talleys. I'd like to get an extra stock to cut down to size and keep the original for when they grow.

    My boys are very small for their age (like I was) so recoil is definitely a concern. I developed a flinch as a youngster that I still have to battle at the range. Any thoughts? Does Kimber sell their stocks seperately or would I have to go aftermarket?


  • #2
    I'm not sure about the Kimber but I bought my daughters a Steyr SBS stainless synthetic in 7mm-08. The reason I say this is that the stock had built in spacers that made it very easy to go from when they were younger and smaller to their size as teenagers. That might be a way to go and Steyr's a definitely quaility rifles.


    • #3
      Might try a...

      Remington. They sell a length of pull kit, basically spacers that you add to the stock. It looks like a good idea. I would also suggest a 7mm-08 over a 243. They are light in recoil, can also be loaded down to 243 performance and when your boys grow the little 7 can shoot up to a 175 grain bullet.


      • #4
        Originally posted by bigswede358 View Post
        Remington. They sell a length of pull kit, basically spacers that you add to the stock. It looks like a good idea. I would also suggest a 7mm-08 over a 243. They are light in recoil, can also be loaded down to 243 performance and when your boys grow the little 7 can shoot up to a 175 grain bullet.

        This idea always intrigued me as well. Seems well thought out with their kit. I would also suggest the 7mm-08. More room to grow with the gun as they grew older for moose and black bear than the .243, although either would work.


        • #5
          I had a chance to shoot a 7mm-08 yesterday morning for the first time, quite a nice package and very little recoil.

          The rifle was a Remington 700 BDL, it was old but very nice. I was shooting silhouettes at the 300 yard line, it was very accurate.

          I wouldn't mind putting one in my safe


          • #6
            We have a Remington Model 7 Youth in 7mm-08 for my wife, and that has quickly become one of my favorite rifles. It is very accurate, feels like I'm shooting a .22, and is nice and compact. They don't make it in a Model 7 any longer, so we're now looking for a Model 700 Youth in 7mm-08 for my nephews and my son to use.


            • #7
              What about getting a thompson encore so that you can change calibers and barrels as their needs change ? This is an idea I have been kicking around for my own kids.
              If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.
              Dietrich Bonhoeffer


              • #8
                Originally posted by moose-head View Post
                What about getting a thompson encore so that you can change calibers and barrels as their needs change ? This is an idea I have been kicking around for my own kids.
                That's how I justified buying mine last fall! Plus, I shoot left handed and I wanted to get something my boys (3 and 4) could shoot, whichever hand they end up shooting. My first barrel is a .280-Rem, which with the light weight of the Encore might be a little too much for them when they start shooting. I'll probably get a .223 for them to start practicing in a couple years and then they can use the .280 when they are old enough to start hunting (and packing) in about 6 - 7 years.

                The single shot could help teach them to make the first shot count.


                • #9
                  I think the encore would be a great way to go for them. Something that can grow with them forever plus the barrels are not very expensive. Stocks are pretty cheap for them so you could have one cut down to fit your boys and keep the other stock for yourself/later.


                  • #10
                    I got my son a Rossi youth single shot .243 it has a short wood stock for small hunters and also came with a .22 barrel and a 20 gauge barrel. Got it at sportsman warehouse.
                    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
                    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.


                    • #11
                      I have gone the other way… the CHEAP way…

                      Much like you, I have youngsters in the house (5, 3, and 0) that are all boys and will presumably be shooters and hunters one day. So far, only the oldest has actually fired a gun (under intense direct supervision and physical assistance) and really enjoyed himself!

                      Assuming that firearms will never get any less expensive, I had long ago decided to start purchasing arms for the boys future use as they crossed my path at gun shows, stores etc. to that end, I have come across some excellent buys for boys!

                      A Ruger Bearcat .22 revolver is one of our favorites. We practice safe handling and reinforce our muzzle control and do drills on inspecting the chambers to verify that it is unloaded. Even the 3 year old can participate in this and really likes it.

                      An old Remington 514 single shot .22 was purchased off of this forum for less than $100 and I cut the stock down to boy size and glass bedded it, cut back the barrel to 17” and reinstalled the front site, and presto! A great looking, great shooting boys rifle for about $100.

                      For center fire rifles, I have been scarfing up cheap 30-30’s as I come across them, and have so far picked up a Winchester 94 trapper for $300, although that was some years back, and before the Winchester lever gun price spike really took hold… I had Andy Hawk cut the stock back and put a Pachmeyer Decelerator pad on it, and it is now a very compact, accurate and fun rifle to shoot. I actually carry it myself quite often because of its very low weight and extreme portability.
                      I also picked up a Savage 325 bolt action in 30-30 for $150 and proceeded to thin down and refinish the stock, and then it was off to Andy Hawk for another recoil pad install. This is another great shooting, low recoil boys rifle.
                      Most recently I snagged a Mossberg 427 lever action 30-30 also for $150 and have just recently finished up on the trigger work and re-finishing of the stocks. It has a date with Andy soon, for…. You guessed it… recoil pad! This one is a full size rifle with a 24” barrel that I will probably keep for myself. So I am still looking for one more 30-30 and it will probably be a well worn Marlin 336 the next time I run across one for $200 or less.

                      Lets see now… that is $600 is rifles, plus about $225 for stock work and recoil pads for a total of $825. So, three honest to goodness, usable hunting rifles, chambered for a cartridge that can usually be found on any ammo shelf world wide, two of which are ambidextrous incase I end up with a south paw on my hands, that are each capable of taking the majority of Alaska big game (at ranges up to about 150 yards) for about the price of one new bolt gun…
                      Now I know there are a great number of guys out there that claim the 30-30 is only slightly more effective than throwing rocks, but I whole heartedly disagree. The fact of the matter is that 30-30’s account for a good number of caribou, moose, black bears, musk ox and even a few brown bears, every year here in Alaska, and countless deer, pigs and probably a few elk down south. With good shot placement (that is easier to learn with its very low recoil and muzzle blast) a good bullet (many to choose from, and at reasonable prices) and within reasonable range (under 150 yards) the trusty old 30-30 is surprisingly still a superb choice as a low cost hunting cartridge in my opinion.

                      Then I moved on to full size rifles chambered in 30-06. I have had a Remington 700 BDL for years but recently added a Remington 760 that I acquired for $170 and after a good cleaning and refinishing of the stocks, it turned out to be quite a bargain, and a darn good shooter. Next I had the good fortune of finding a Remington 7600 carbine for $200 that was good to go as is. Also a good shooter, and compact enough to ride sideways on the front of a 4 wheeler. Again, in keeping with my previous purchases, two of these are pump guns and therefore well suited for righties or lefties should that become an issue. Now all I need is one more! And I am pretty confident that an inexpensive 30-06 will work its way into my hot little hands in the next year or so!

                      It is no coincidence that all of these rifles are of the same caliber, as I cast bullets from several moulds that shoot equally well from any one of these guns and should provide for many hours of inexpensive and educational shooting enjoyment. Additionally, and I know it sounds like a silly and petty thing, but I don’t need a dozen different sizes of cleaning patches, rods, brushes and other ancillary crap to keep them all maintained. Once size pretty much fits all in this regard. One kind of primer, two kinds of brass, a few different powders and bullets can keep all six of these rifle firing for years.

                      You may also note the “cheap theme” that is in play here… The majority of these rifles are cheap enough that should some tragedy befall them, say a bent barrel, a fall off a cliff, or being deep sixed in some river or lake, it would suck…. But it aint gonna break the bank.

                      Well… I guess that is my two cents worth!

                      You can be sure of one thing… no matter your choice in guns for the boys, they will surely enjoy them and cherish the time spent with you learning to shoot them, and that is really the whole point now isn’t it!
                      “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio


                      • #12
                        That sounds like a good plan you have there.

                        There is something to be said for the practical side of your purchases, and it’s more interesting than just going out and buying a bunch of guns.

                        All my rifles, with 2 exceptions have been the SAME caliber, ( 7mm) but in different cartridges. 7x57, 280 Rem, or 7mm Mag. That way, when I buy a box of 7mm bullets, they can be loaded in any of the 7mms. I’m not stocking several different calibers of bullets.

                        The exceptions are 30-30 and one 338 WM. I recently acquired another 30-30, for Free, and I have a 222 that I likely won’t be keeping, now that I’ve got it working well.

                        It’s hard for me to own a gun, of any kind, if I can’t justify it with an intended purpose. To put it another way, if I don’t have a reason that I like, for owning a particular gun, I don’t want it. Just to have another gun is not a reason.

                        I agree that a 30-30 is plenty gun for most hunting, and perfect for them boys. FAR BETTER, IMO, than getting a 223, or a 243, for their kids, which many people do. There is some recoil, but not enough to remember, and they don’t make such a sharp noise either.

                        It's also a great choice for cast bullets.

                        Smitty of the North
                        Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
                        Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
                        You can't out-give God.


                        • #13
                          Rifle for boys

                          Hey Abe

                          My 12 year old son shoots a Kimber Montana, in .260 caliber ( stainless, and synthetic stock) which he took sheep hunting this past season and shot a nice Griz with it (pics in the gallery) it doesn't kick much for as light as it is, and he has developed great confidence with it and doesn't flinch, the key with him and this light rifle was shooting Alot of rounds over a period of several days! He's gotten so used to it, he says he wants to move up to bigger calibers. I wouldn't say the .260 would be a great rifle for Griz, but it did do the job with a well placed shot, but a great rifle and caliber for sheep, deer, caribou and maybe blackbear, and moose, However Goats, and griz I would go with bigger.



                          • #14
                            Man, you guys get after it. Three? That's a bit young, but I suppose if he's tailing a 5 y/o, what the heck. My boy is six and I'm going to get his first rifle for him this summer (single shot .22-maybe a Henry?).

                            Oops, guess I really don't have any recommendations for a youth rifle, that being said.



                            • #15
                              Too small and young yet if they still need your help shooting a .22. 7-8 is when they can be able to shoot on their own.
                              The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!


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