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Popping Smoke - Need Help
Big Game Hunting topics that dont fit other categories
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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:46 am    Post subject: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

Ok, so the legal hunting age for big game in Colorado is 12 my son is nearing that age and I am wanting to narrow down my thoughts on a rifle to present to him for the occasion. Here is my quandry - I will sound off a little and then hopefully you good folks will provide me some great pro/con testimony.

So, my thoughts right now are to let my son use my 6mm for the first couple of years to associate a good shooting habit and style that accommodates him. At first my intentions were to present him with a smaller caliber either .243/6mm or .270 rig, but as I thought more on the subject, my leanings thought he could use my 6mm until he is about 15 or so and I could provide him with a larger caliber rifle such as a 7mm or .30-06 (more than likely a .30-06 because of my comfort with it's versatility). My reasoning for the waiting is more for the weight and length of some of the larger calibers I think would be unwieldly (is it a word?) for his body size and the terrain we cover.

What I can really use some advice on is not so much caliber issues, rather my thought process. What have you folks done over the years to transition your children, grandchildren etc from the .22 into the larger rifles? How did this go for the kids? I personally believe each child will be different and that in order for any transition regardless of the issue, positive attitude is 95% of the battle. I just want to make sure that I will be providing the right tools for the job at the right time, I would hate to provide too large of a rifle which would make the transition become cumbersome and the event would not be as positive.

Please help, any advice on this subject will allow me weigh into the issue a little more educated. Oh yeah, I realize that beggars can't be choosers, but I am not sure I can entertain any advice regarding duct tape and a .50 cal - he has sensitive skin and the duct tape would cause him to rash. I thank you in advance!

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DallanC
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

Couple points. First a .243 is a fine 250 yard deer / antelope gun that someone wont out grow. My wife absolutely loves hers, recoil is so non-existant she is much more accurate than say, with her 30-06.

I grew up starting on a .22-250, great fun, put thousands of rounds through it shooting everything from squirrels to sunflower stalks in the fields. Killed a few deer with it as well before taking up muzzleloader hunting.

IMO, I've started my boy off with a .17HMR. He is learning scope / target aquisition and trigger control while shooting a gun you simply cannot flinch with. From there as he approaches 12, I think I will go 7mm-08 for a caliber, handloaded with reduced power initially. It would be a fine deer gun and as he gets older, with cartridge power restored to max, an even finer deer rifle and possibly elk as well.

There just isnt a plain old "this is the answer" when it comes to guns. There is too much calibers that will fit the bill, expecially when you can handload which opens alot of doors by allowing them to learn on a larger caliber rifle, with reduced power loads.

PS: He can easily learn to shoot a .50 cal Muzzleloader Smile pop in a round with about 25 grns of powder and watch his eyes as he touches it off LOL


-DallanC
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Weinbender
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:14 am    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

Well for me i started out with a pellet gun then went on to a .22, after that came 12 gauges and then .300 mag. For me this helped alot, if ur kid has shot a shotgun or pretty much any gun before i tdont hink he should have a problem.

daniel

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moose2
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:07 am    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

Like most kids, my son started out shooting a .22, but when he turned 12 he also could start hunting big game, which ment deer for him. Started him that summer shooting my 6MM, which he handled very well even though he was's the biggest of kids. He successfully hunted with it for two years. Tired of shooting my 6MM, he bought himself a used 30.06, which he also shot very well taking several elk and deer with it. Then a funny thing happened, my 6MM started disappearing during the week, primarily after school classes were over. He'd take it deer hunting. He just loved the 6MM. One day after he got out of college, he asked me if he could buy it from me, because he had really become attached to it.
Well I couldn't sell it to him, so I gave it to him. I guess the bottom line is, start him on a the largest caliber he is comfortable to shoot and see where it goes from there. Good luck and have fun with your boy. They grow up way to fast.-tr

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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:05 am    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

Wiley,
I like most others went the BB gun, pellet gun, 22 LR (510, 10/22, Bearcat, Mk I) route. I went to a youth SS 20 ga (big mistake, vicious recoil), then to an A-5 12ga and then to a Marlin 444, then to a 6.5x55 and then to a 300 WSM. He was shooting junior silhouette at 9. Son is now 36, a top shooter and a Black Crow. He is the #8 CRO created by the DOD. I pinned his wings on at Benning, as is the tradition.

Today I would save a couple of steps and go to the 6.5x55 from the 22 LR. However, I own several 6.5x55 guns and the gift (which he has now) would not be a problem. The 6.5, whether it be a 260 or a 6.5x55 is an excellent choice for a youth or small frame female. But, a lot of folks swear by the 243 for deer and elk, so I would go that way were it all I had to work with and did not want to buy another gun. Just go to a tough bullet for Elk.

Yep, the 444 actually has a push recoil, just like a 45-70, with a moderate load. A youngster can handle it easily. Son shot his first deer at 12 with the 444. You have never seen a more dead, one shot, deer. Very Happy
Ed

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300wsman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:57 am    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

Hello, my son shot his first elk at the age of 12, used my 300wsmag, he weighed about 95 lbs at the time. I bought him a 243, he prefers my 7/mm-08 rem over them all, he shot a nice whitetail last week with it. The 243 sits in the cab. now and it's only a year old.
300
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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

This is good stuff guys. As a side note, he has been shooting .22 for almost 2 years with open sights only. I have really worked on safety, repetitive technique and lots of praise...in that order. I do want to keep him on the antelope & deer path for a while and then I will let him move up to elk in a few years.

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skb2706
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

My son is two years older but when he started I bought him a Remington Mtn Rifle LSS in .260 for his first big rifle. Great rifle for deer and antelope, not too heavy and plenty of power for those. He started out shooting pds with me using a 22-250 and a .223. Now he likes to shoot my .300 Win mag for big game hunting........I'll use his .260 any day.

PS this year is his first to draw a CO elk license....we go in two weeks.
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FALPhil
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

I like the way that skb2706 thinks, and the 260 Rem ha a whole lot going for it. But you have an excellent point that the 30-06 is so versatile. In fact, it is so versatile, why look anywhere else? There are some excellent bullets in 30 caliber in the 125gr class that you could "download" in a bolt action that your son should be able to hand quite nicely. When my daughters were 12, they were shooting 308s and 30-06s loaded with 125gr Hornadys.
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Pitt55
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

I started my son at 10 with a 30/30 win. They are light and with 150 gr. loads don't kick too much. It also keeps the shots short, better chance for success. At 12 I bought him a 308 carbine with 18.5 inch barrel. He killed 2 deer with that gun at over 200 yds. He's almost 30 now and still shoots a 308 although a different gun. Whatever the gun I think more than anything the lad has to enjoy shooting it to get good technique, gotta hit'm first!
Don

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

Dads only mistake was taking a 5 year old to the range while trying to do load developement for a varmit gun. At first a single shot 22 kept me busy, but dads gun made alot more noise and I wanted to shoot it. After a years worth of nagging and bugging and whinning and so on, dads shooting buddy came to the rescue with a 222 Remington.

I belive a 222/223 is a great way to transition to the high powers. Take the young ones varmit hunting with you let them get started there. It'll give them the fundementals of taking game and it will give them a idea of what the bigger guns are going to be like.

When it comes to caliber choice I'm with DallalC. It's hard to beat a 7MM08 for its versitility. For deer size game load it with the 120gr Nosler Ballistic Tips. It's soft shooting and will drop deer in their tracks.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

When my son turned 12 I allowed him to purchase his first rifle from his own money that he had saved just for that purpose. Like your son, his size had a big factor in what he chose. Winchester mod 94 .30-30 Angle eject. I would think that the 308 in a smaller frame like a carbine would make a good choice also.

My son is 39 now and still has that .30-30 and is handing it off to his daughter who hunts and fishes with him...

I believe Pitt55 also said the same thing... Smile

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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

Living in a shotgun only state puts a different spin on things.
I know it wasn't included in the original question, but mastering a shotgun (whether it wears a smooth or a rifled barrel and fires one or several hundred projectiles at a time) has been an important part of the "education" process for millions of hunters. No other weapon offers the versatility of a shotgun.

That being said, I would start your son with a .243. He'll use it for the rest of his life, and with it's minimal recoil, he'll be able to develop proper shooting form and technique. All of the "young'uns" in our family are required to pass a shooting course developed by my Brother-In-Law and myself before they can even apply for a permanent hunting license.
Every one has opted to shoot my .243 rather than shooting my .22-250 or the BIL's .222.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:13 am    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

When I decided to buy a "deer" rifle for my teenage daughters I looked at the .243 and others but settled on the .260 Rem in a Ruger 77 Compact. The rifle is a joy to handle, light weight, handy, but solid. The .260 cartridge allows you bullet weights from about 90 to 160 grains. (NOTE: While the 160 gr Hornady round nose shoots great in my rifle it won't feed from the magazine. Not sure how it would do in other rifles.) I have had young shooters try it, loaded with 140 gr bullets, and they enjoyed it. I've used it some and its great in a tree stand. I've only killed one deer with it so far, using a 129 gr Hornady SST. I plan on continuing using it until one of the kids decides they need it more.

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vint2
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:14 am    Post subject: Re: Popping Smoke - Need Help Reply with quote

I started all of my kids out with a 22, so the girls learned to shoot, but were not interested in hunting. My son was given a 20 guage 3" mag , which worked quite ncely for him to grow into the 12 gauge because of carrover loading. We had a shotgun only state at that time and are still limited to a few counties in southern Iowa that are allowed to use high powered rifles. Once they get to the 12 gauge they can handle 30.06 class weapons with no problem. Smile

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