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Thread: calibre / rifle choice for 14yr old stalker?

  1. #1

    calibre / rifle choice for 14yr old stalker?

    My son is about to turn 14 and will be applying for his own FAC (he's had the forms printed out for at least a year ) so that he can legitimately stalk deer with me, with his own rifle. He's been shooting since he was old enough to hold the gun straight and is a safe and accomplished hunter in his own right, so I have no problem with supporting him in his application. He intends to ask for a .22LR for vermin shooting and a deer calibre. As we have access to Fallow and Red deer in addition to Roe and Muntjac, obviously it needs to be larger than .240

    As I shoot a .270 - which is a bit fierce for him still - I'm not sure what calibres to look at for him. I'm not a massive fan of the .243 myself but it might be a good 'youth' calibre - not too much recoil to put him off or affect accuracy. I also thought 6.5x55 might be a good choice too - mild mannered but capable? Any other choices I should consider for his first C/F rifle

    Lastly, given the above, what rifles should I look at? He's about 5'4" and fairly slender framed (doesn't take after his father ) so it needs to be a light rifle with a compact build. I was thinking about the Remington Model Seven if calibre choice allows, but what other small rifles are out there?

    Budget is flexible - not that he knows that - as I'd rather make the right choice rather than end up with a rifle that is a pig to shoot, thus risking putting him off.



  2. #2
    not sure what the prob is
    even if the lad is a wuss
    a moderator will compensate for that
    if you don't like the .243 then look at a 25-06
    personally i feel parents are often to over bearing in trying to get the right balance
    but it is your money and choice after all

  3. #3
    Adam a 22.250 will cover all the requirements unless he's out for red then its min of .243

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by widows son View Post
    Adam a 22.250 will cover all the requirements unless he's out for red then its min of .243
    or local Fallow and Roe

  5. #5
    If you reload, you could make him gentle loads in kicky/barky calibres until he's used to it. Remington did make a 'managed recoil' range of cartridges, which might be of use. Anything to prevent the develeopment of flinch would be preferable to having to cure it once it has developed!

    I'm not sure there'd be much to choose between .270 and .25-06, really, would there?
    If on factory ammunition, .243 or 6.5x55 as the two wussiest UK deer all-rounders would seem the obvious ones, especially if a lightish rifle is in order.

    A mod, as suggested, will make a great deal of difference; but having owned a .243 for a couple of years I now have a 6.5x55 Finnlight, and my experience is that the 6.5x55 is a pleasanter rifle to use, mod or no mod. Might just be the fit of the rifle, though - something else worth bearing in mind!

  6. #6

    both my sons have shot my .243 wetherby. both at 100 yards have a 21/2 inch group. Its a case of what he will be able to carry. Neither can carry mine with the pes moderator on it. just too heavy.
    The best suggestion i would have is take him to a store and find, first what he can carry and then let him shoot it.
    No point picking a calibre he will not be able carry mate. there is a thread not long started with a couple of links to different models which are lighter.

    good luck,
    well done for introducing him at a young age,
    my four year old daughter is furious every time i bring a deer home


  7. #7
    25.06 with a moderator. good for a first and a last rifle. Any rifle can be tamed with a moderator.

  8. #8
    Well I am going to play devils advocate here:-

    My suggestions are three fold on cartidges suitable for him:-


    All three will give you the choice of bullet weights for any species in the UK and beyond. Most are available in a wide range of rifles including the Model 7 ( Yuk) but anyway if it were me once the rifle had been picked for the right calibre/chambering I would then have the stock cut to suit his build making sure that spacers could be added later to lengthen it as he grows in stature.

    Now I don't have anything against other cartridges but I feel these three will do it all all three will shoot bullets of 110 grains and more. The 123/125/130 grain bullets in teh .308 perform well and to start you can reduce the load slightly then increase as he grows used to it. H4895 is a good powder for this use .

    Oh how I wish Dad had an interest in shooting and hunting. He's a lucky lad.

  9. #9
    trouble is that you cant go on recoil.if you are shooting reds you have to use a capable calibre.Really dont mean to be rude here but you have to use a calibre that is suitable to the quarry you are after..243 is fine for recoil but not the prefered choice for reds as stated by others already would go bit larger calibre. go for larger calibre moderated and maybe heavier rifle if he is of slighter build

  10. #10
    Just a couple of random thoughts, not sure if they add anything to the discussion.

    1. Don't Ruger make a youth rifle? (Hawkeye compact 16.5inch barrel). Remington make a compact rifle especially for young people, though personally I dislike the make, but that's my personal preference. Howa also make a compact rifle called I believe the ranchland but I am not sure if this is available in the U.K.

    2. I hear that 7mm 08 is an effective but lightly recoiling round.
    Last edited by 8x57; 06-06-2010 at 07:51.

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