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Old 07-15-2012, 04:41 AM   #1
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Default Starter Hunting Rifle

I've been hunting for years and have a favorite caliber. My son (11, will be 12 in October, 5'11", 150lbs) will be getting his own rifle soon. I've been keeping my nose out of suggesting what caliber to get for him, but do any of you have any suggestions? For your suggestion, propose a reason why he should get whatever caliber you suggest.


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Old 07-15-2012, 04:45 AM   #2
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Sorry, I should have said what he will be hunting primarily.

Whitetail deer, maybe some hogs. In Wisconsin. He'll have the possibility of going out west for elk in the coming years, but primarily, he will be hunting whitetails. Maybe a few bears here and there.


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Old 07-15-2012, 04:48 AM   #3
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what type of game are you going to be hunting and at what range?

a .243 is what god had in mind for deer and below. it is a full on laser beam of a cartridge as well.

i would select something you can shoot economically personally. there is no substitute for trigger time. the more rounds you put down range, the more familiar you become with the rifle; thus becoming a better marksman.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:01 AM   #4
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I would suggest a .270. It is a good round that you can easily change up depending on the game. At his weight he could easily, IMHO, handle a 100 gr (if you load your own) shot and not fear the recoil. If you don't load your own there is 90 gr available. When he is after larger game he can move up to 150 gr round. For whitetail I typically used 130 gr.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:07 AM   #5
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I'd say go .30-06 It's a relatively inexpensive, common shell. Powerful enough to drop a whitetale at 100 yards, and the recoil isn't going to be much of an issue. A quality starter rifle is going to be on the cheaper end, and is going to be easy to obtain. As for accuracy, it's only as good as the shooter so your kid is going to have a ball sighting in and practicing. Plus if you reload, there are supplies everywhere for it. Just my $.02.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:30 AM   #6
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I love a good .243 for whitetail here in Texas. But for anything larger I'd say 30-06 or .308 is a good round. Can't go wrong with either one.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:57 AM   #7
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Can't go wrong with a 30.06, lots of men in ww1 and 2 were only #150 and had no problem managing them. A 308 is a good option as well, at that point I would go with which ever you have or are comfortable with just for commonality sake.

My first rifles were a 45/70 and a 30.06 and I was about that age.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #8
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My first was a .30-06 also. I have two now and I'm a firm believer than proper shooting form mitigates the slightly excessive recoil. Plus, as others have stated the caliber is still relatively cheap to shoot and crosses over as far as being able to handle larger and smaller animals.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:49 PM   #9
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Most of the rounds suggested here are good choices. I personally prefer the 30.06 for myself, I have not found a north American animal I can't put down with it. Most of my nieces and nephews started with .243. My brother purchased the adult version, removed the original stock, bought an aftermarket (cheap) stock, and cut it down to fit the kids. After they grew out of the shorter stocks, put back the original, and you avoid a dust collecting miniature.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:09 PM   #10
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I have never had anything walk away from a .270, including 300lb+ boars. I have a friend that hunts hogs with a .243, but shot placement is critical. At 150lbs I would go with a .270 or 30-06 and pick the appropriate bullet weight.


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