First center fire deer rifle for a boy ?

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by XTR, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. XTR

    XTR

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    Curious here. My oldest son will probably be getting into the stand with me next yr. I'll probably find a light weight Ruger #1 for him. (cause personally I love falling block single shots)

    My question is 243 or 30-30?
     
  2. Tommie

    Tommie Gold $$ Contributor

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    Toss a coin. Both great choices.
     
  3. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    243 with a 3x9, or 4x12.
    With a 95 grain bullet he'll have less felt recoil than the 30 30.
     
  4. XTR

    XTR

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    That's kind of what I was wondering. Oddly enough I've never owned a 30-30 so I don't have a personal point of reference.
     
  5. stacy

    stacy 2 TIMOTHY 2 VERUS 15 Silver $$ Contributor

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    243 ALL THE WAY WITH 85 TO 95 GR BULLETS
     
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  6. jds holler

    jds holler Gold $$ Contributor

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    243 would be leaps and bounds ahead in my opinion. Drops deer like a hammer from zero to 200+ yards, and explodes varmints as far as you can see them.

    Those two cartridges are from different eras. jd
     
  7. jds holler

    jds holler Gold $$ Contributor

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    Don't be too disappointed if as the years go by, that you find that he doesn't exactly love the same things that you do. ;) jd
     
  8. BW64

    BW64

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    .243 with 95s. I started with a 30 30 & 3006 when I was 10 & it wasn't fun.

    BW
     
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  9. Sniper338

    Sniper338

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    My first rifle was a Winchester 30 30. Started shooting deer at 6 years old with it.

    But a 243 would have less recoil. Annnd Id be on the side of the fence as to not freak a kid out with recoil. Recoil can be a quick turn off for any young kid. Gotta keep it fun.
     
  10. SSL

    SSL Gold $$ Contributor

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    As a lonnnnng time Ruger #1 fan, good for you and my vote goes to .243. That way he can practice on varmints to get ready far better than a .30/30 can do for him.
     
  11. JSH

    JSH

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    Huh, responses suprise me.
    I guess some like the 243, I don't dislike it but think of it more of a varmint rifle.

    Let the kid have some input. Talk it over with him. I would not hesitate to go 45-70 and down load it. Buddy and I had his daughter and my son shooting #1 458 Lott downloaded at the ages of about 9 and 10.

    Worst thing I ever did for my son was buy a youth shotgun, 20 gauge. I was cautioned by many and told to go with a 12. The following year he snagged my 12 gauge and I was stuck with trying to rid myself of a to small all the way around shotgun.

    Dont have him set at a bench and lean into the gun. Kids can take a fair bit of abuse and tend to figure out quickly how to roll with the recoil. Get a bench he can stand at.
    Chopping a stock off, then adding the piece back later is an option. The better fitting the stock the more apt he will enjoy it.

    You have never owned a 30-30, now is your chance. The 243 has a long way to go to catch up to the 30-30 as far as deer killing.
    30-30 isn't accurate some will say, my IHMSA gun in a TC will run under MOA on demand all day long. It has gotten me a lot of wood and medals.
     
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  12. John from MN

    John from MN

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    Not a big deal to make him start out with single round in a repeater, either.

    An accurate 243 isn't something a youngster would grow out of too quickly.
     
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  13. sawcarver

    sawcarver Gold $$ Contributor

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    My kids started out with a 357 Max ran that for a couple of years. This year their favorite was a 6-06 they are 12 right now.
     
  14. civil82

    civil82 Silver $$ Contributor

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    +8 for 243.
     
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  15. Bill K

    Bill K Silver $$ Contributor

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    Go with a 243, it will served him better and for a much longer time on various animals and hunts, from big game to varmints.
     
  16. Racebannon3855

    Racebannon3855

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    Our son started with a Handi-Rifle in 243 with an 85 grain Game King HP. Reduced load, at 150 yards it was fantastic on a 120# doe. He then moved up to a Ruger #1AB in 7x57. The 243 is a great way to start a kid, no recoil so they have fun practicing. We have a Handi-Rifle in 30-30 and it is great fun and a great shooter. The 243 has less recoil and the 85 gr Sierra GKHP is vicious, even at reduced velocity, around 2800 fps at the muzzle. Shot placement is critical with any of the smaller rounds, we practiced a lot on a cardboard deer target and killed a bunch of water filled milk jugs.
     
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  17. jds holler

    jds holler Gold $$ Contributor

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    Call me partial, or even prejudiced, but my first centerfire rifle was an off the shelf 243 in Ruger 77. I shot it a couple months with irons before I could afford a K-4 weaver for it. And next a Lee Loader. (round pounder)

    In very little time, I could reliably shoot dimes at a hundred yards with a rest, and playing cards standing off-hand. A rifle that shoots like that instills a lot of confidence, especially when it doesn't kick the crap out of ya.

    I proceeded to shoot my first dozen or so deer with it, and every varmint that roams our area. I'd recommend one for any kid starting out. jd
     
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  18. MrMajestic

    MrMajestic Gold $$ Contributor

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    They both kill Cervid well and double as a varmint cartridge, .30 110 gr. V-Max, however it won't be long before the young buck wants to extend the ranges. The .243 would fit his desires...
     
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  19. K22

    K22

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    My first deer rifle was a 243 Winchester Model 70 in the late 60's. I hunted varmints, predators, and white tail successfully with it. Never lost a deer to the 243. Since I hunted year around with it I was very familiar, competent and confident in the rifle which no doubt contributed to my success.

    What's the saying, "if it works don't fix it" - well I didn't heed the advice. I started reading gun magazines and the "experts" convinced me that the 243 was "marginal" at best for deer. Like an idiot I believed them and traded the 243 for a 30 06. Shooting was no longer fun - deer died just as quick with the "marginal" 243 as the 30 06. Forget hunting varmints with the 06, can be done but it wasn't fun as my sore shoulder would attest to. Don't get me wrong the 30 06 is one of the greatest cartridges ever developed but being a young shooter I didn't need the recoil.

    Long story short - While I've own and hunted with other calibers, (i.e. the 270 Win, 308 Win) I keep going back to the 243 especially now being an old fart who doesn't like recoil anymore. I have owned several 243's over the last 50 years. It's a great dual purpose cartridge and a great choice for a beginner with the light recoil, excellent accuracy, and adequate terminal performance for deer. There are also an abundance of rifles to choose from - I personally like the Tikka T3. It's a rifle that could last your son a life time.

    If you reload try the 85 Sierra BTHP w/ IMR 4350 or 4064. This is can be a dual purpose bullet, i.e. varmints/predators and deer. On deer avoid shoulder shots; go for a broad side behind the shoulder shot. They drop like a ton of bricks. I don't think you can go wrong buying your son a 243. The light recoil will encourage him to shoot more and become a better shot. Like most hunting, shot placement rather than caliber is the critical factor.
     
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  20. K22

    K22

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    My first deer rifle was a 243 Winchester Model 70 in the late 60's. I hunted varmints, predators, and white tail successfully with it. Never lost a deer to the 243. Since I hunted year around with it I was very familiar, competent and confident in the rifle which no doubt contributed to my success.

    What's the saying, "if it works don't fix it" - well I didn't heed the advice. I started reading gun magazines and the "experts" convinced me that the 243 was "marginal" at best for deer. Like an idiot I believed them and traded the 243 for a 30 06. Shooting was no longer fun - deer died just as quick with the "marginal" 243 as the 30 06. Forget hunting varmints with the 06, can be done but it wasn't fun as my sore shoulder would attest to. Don't get me wrong the 30 06 is one of the greatest cartridges ever developed but being a young shooter I didn't need the recoil.

    Long story short - While I've own and hunted with other calibers, (i.e. the 270 Win, 308 Win) I keep going back to the 243 especially now being an old fart who doesn't like recoil anymore. I have owned several 243's over the last 50 years. It's a great dual purpose cartridge and a great choice for a beginner with the light recoil, excellent accuracy, and adequate terminal performance for deer. There are also an abundance of rifles to choose from - I personally like the Tikka T3. It's a rifle that could last your son a life time.

    If you reload try the 85 Sierra BTHP w/ IMR 4350 or 4064. This is can be a dual purpose bullet, i.e. varmints/predators and deer. On deer avoid shoulder shots; go for a broad side behind the shoulder shot. They drop like a ton of bricks. I don't think you can go wrong buying your son a 243. The light recoil will encourage him to shoot more and become a better shot. Like most hunting, shot placement rather than caliber is the critical factor.
     

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