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I have 7 and 9 year old boys that are ready to get their first deer. What is a good caliber and brand rifle to start them on? I want something thats not going to scare em to death when they pull the trigger, meaning too large a caliber. They've shot BB gun's, .22's, and a 410 before with no problems. Also, is a scope for a youngin' a good idea? Thanks.

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I would go with a .243 youth rifle. And I had my son shooting a .22lr with a scope very early. I let him practice with it and then shoot small rifle only a few times. It's best not to let them shoot the deer rifle enought to form bad habits. Let him shoot the 22lr with scope alot and then only hunt with the 243 with scope:up:
 

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Jam pretty much echoed my thoughts and what I was going to post, especially the practicing with the 22. But I would like to add that when they are shooting the deer rifle hearing protection is a must. Muzzle blast can cause as many bad habits as the actual recoil.
 

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the .243 is good, the 7-08 is better in my opinion but ammo is higher. Call me old school, but i shot a .30/30 from the time i was 7 years old and think that it is a great caliber for anyone. I took up shooting a slug gun when i was 15, but i was a big ole boy and the recoil of a 20g slug is just too much for most young shooters. i would stick to a .30/30 or a 7mm-08, plenty of knock down for little recoil.

luke:up:
 

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The rifle you should / can get is directly tied to the amount of money you wish to spend. You can get a Browning Micro Hunter, Remington Model 7, Ruger M77 Compact, or a Mossberg ATR 100 youth, and others in a bolt action..... Then there is the idea of a break breech single shot..... they can run from a couple of hundred $$$ for the single shot up to 600 + for a Model 7. There are all different configurations to choose from. I would start with the .243. I would also get a Sims slip on recoil pad for whatever you get, just for added insurance against hurting / scareing them. It will make any perceived recoil almost nonexistant.

Another way you can go is to not get a .243, but instead get them a larger cal. like a .308 and use the Remington managed recoil ammo. The perceived recoil is just under that of a .243. Then as they age, they can have a very versitile cal. for any kind of hunting.

As far as them growing up and a small rifle being of no good to them, that is bunk... I currently have a lot of rifles to choose from for hunting. But the rifles I use most are a Ruger M77 Compact in .243 ( and my kids all use / shoot this rifle and love it ) , a Browning Micro Medallion in .308 ( not made anymore but they still make the micro hunter ( same gun but not as detailed and different wood ) , or a Remington Model 7 in 7mm-08. The Remington has taken the majority of my deer. I do have full size rifles to choose from, but a short , quick handling rifle is a pleasure to shoot and use. It is easy to manuver in a tree stand too.

So if you have a little money to spend, but don't want to break the bank, I would first look at the Ruger M77 Compact , then the Browning Micro Hunter, then the Remington Model 7. The Mossberg is just a straight rifle, no frills. It is synthetic stocked and comes with either a blued or Marinecoated barrel. The Mossberg Youth ATR 100 Combo ( rifle and scope already mounted ) is 300.00 in a .243 at Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop , La. So that is a very economical rifle that will serve you for a long time and do what you need it to do as well as any other gun. I bought a full sized Atr 100 in .270 last year as a gift. It is a solid gun.

The single shot is a good starter gun, but it will leave a lot of folks wanting more ( something different / better ) later. But if economics is a issue, it is the most affordable, coming in a few $$$ less than the Mossberg Combo, after you buy a scope and have it mounted on the single shot.

So it is really up to you and what you want to get them. Tell us your thoughts and or price range, and we can better narrow it down for you.


I would look at 3 - 9 x 40mm scopes exclusively. They are a good all around power and can serve on many different cal.'s of guns. They are not too big and not too small, and they can learn that size as well as any other.

The brand of scope I would look at also is price / investment dependant. You can get in to a scope on the lower end, ( but not too low ) for about 100 - 150.00 . Those include scopes like the Nikon Prostaff.

The next range is 180 - 225.00. That includes Nikon Buckmasters, and Burris Fullfield II. They are good quality and work really well. I have several Buckmasters scopes and have never had a problem with any of them.

The next range is 250 - 350.00 and includes scopes like the Bushnell 3200 and bigger magnification Buckmasters and Fullfield II's. The Bushnells are not bad scopes by any means, but I do not find them to be worth the extra $$$ over the Buckmasters and Burris's.

I don't really suggest buying a scope more expensive than that shown for a kids rifle. There really is no need, and not much need even on an adults rifle, unless you just have money burning a hole in your pocket.

Like I said, let us know your thoughts and $$$ range you are looking to spend onthe gun, and on the scope, and we can figure this out with you.

Or you can go get the Mossberg and be done with it.

And like I said, no matter what you get, consider starting them with a Sims slip on recoil pad. I did and it really helped the kids to not be scared of the gun or recoil.

Hope this helps you some.

God Bless

MIchael
 

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My opinion is to try to find someone with a 243 and let the kids shoot it. I don't know what size your kids are, but if they are small framed, the 243 might be more than they can handle. I know us big ole boys have no problem with a caliber like a 243, but the last thing you want to do is to get a gun that they are scared of shooting.

If the 243 is too much, you could always start them off with an inexpensive single shot H&R in 223. Limit shots to 50 - 75 yards, and let them become proficient with it. A double lung shot with a 223 is better than a gut shot with a larger caliber because they flinched when they pulled the trigger. As they get older, they could upgrade to a larger caliber and either sell the 223 or keep it as a predator rifle.
 

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my boys are 12 and 11 now and they started when they were 7 and 8 with a ruger youth 243 also called a compact, been a great gun with a inexpensive 3x9x40 they have harvested a lot of deer with it and still fight over it as we have a full size 7mm-08 but they like the ruger better. Good Luck
 
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