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Q:
what rifle is the one with the least amount of recoil that is still big enough to deer hunt with?

Question by Michael Childs. Uploaded on July 08, 2012

Answers (29)

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from Sourdough Dave wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

.243 Win. is a great deer cartridge. My little 4'11" wife handles hers just fine and uses it to hunt antelope. When she lets me play with it I'm amazed at how little recoil is has.

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

My vote goes to the .243 Win. with an 80-grain bullet.

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from DEER30 wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

.243 - but there have been many discussions on this forum about the performance of a .243. I agree that although it is possible to kill a deer, I would recomend a caliber with a little more power. A .270 is an excellent rifle with very controllable recoil and is very versatile for a multitude of game.

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Since I'm not a fan of small caliber rifles I vote for the .260 Rem or the 7MM-08. With a Simms Limb Saver Recoil pad on them you will think you are shooting a .223.

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from Michael Childs wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Cool, I am looking for a rifle to buy my 8yr-old daughter so she can go hunting with me. She already goes with, she just doesn't have a rifle she can use yet and though I would normally buy her a 22, it is illegal to hunt with one.

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from Douzie wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

A .22-250 or .223 would work, but I agree with everyone else that the .243 would be the best choice for her.

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

I didn't know what age person you were talking about but my 11 year old grandson shoots a .308 that I gave him that has a Simms Limb Saver recoil pad on it and I load managed recoil loads patterned after the Remington Managed Recoil loads. He killed 2 deer with them last year. I shot it on the range and it has very little recoil.

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Personally? If you want a .243, I'd suggest using no less than 100 gr bullets.
There are many acceptable "youth" cartridges out there.
You will never go wrong with the venerable .30-30 Win.
.257 Robts
7x57mm Mauser
.250 Savage
I'm not familiar with the .260 Rem but it sounds like a good "kid" caliber.
From my perspective, stay away from the .243.

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from Michael Childs wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

it's for my eight year-old daughter. She likes going hunting with me but is tired of being the one to do the calls and not being able to shoot what she calls in.She stands 4'4" and 60lbs and doesn't like any kind of recoil.

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from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

For a person that young a bolt action rifle is not really needed, that being said there are several single shot rifles that have interchangeable barrels to change the caliber of the rifle, so you can buy a rifle with different calibers (and gauges) to see which she prefers and the rifle can also "grow" with her. The rifles usually retail for about $300 or so and are made by several manufacturers like Rossi, Harrington&Richardson. Good luck with the girl's hunting and shooting, God bless.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Good recommendations have been given, and I'll add mine for the .243 Win and .250 Sav (if you can find a .250). Understand that recoil is subjective issue, and what feels light to some may be brisk for others, but the .243 (as you can see) with 100 gr. bullets deserves serious consideration for deer, with good bullet placement, and it's devastating on small game with the 80 gr bullet. I didn't start my son on centerfire rifles until he was 11, and he was slightly built at the time. Observe carefully, use your best judgment, because even a .243 can be intimidating to a 60lb youngster. Work with her patiently in practice. Best of luck in the field

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from lil hunter wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

a 25-06 is a nice gun and so is a 30-30. My son has a 3marlin 30-30 in which he hunts deer with and the recoil doesn't bother him

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

25-06 is a killer deer rifle, not much recoil there.

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from 1Browning2 wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Again, my vote goes to the .243 win, with nothing less than a 100 gr bullet. It doubles over as my coyote rifle so that is why I chose a .243. I feel it puts a deer down just as well as anything else and just as fast. Shot placement is key. But when shooting at game, recoil isn't noticeable. A con of the .243 however, don't plan on using it in heavy cover, anything and everything can throw a bullet that light off.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

25-06 is like crossing a 22-250 with a 270 and smallest recommended cartridge for Elk.

Good enough for Alex at age 8 and good enough for me by'golly!

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

.308 or .300 Savage.

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from Michael Childs wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

thanks a ton for all yalls help. It is going to help me out alot. When I was her age I started out with a 22mag and a 30-30 but this scrawney little girl is a bit more sensitive than I was so am not too sure what gun to replace her .177 gamo whisper air rifle.lol I am going to try out a few of yalls suggestions.

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from LostLure wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Im with a few of they guys and say a .25-o6. A little more knock down power than a .243. I got a Ruger M77 Hawkeye .25-06, and it is a great rifle, very little recoil. You can get ammo anwhere from 85gr-120gr.

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from DesertWalker wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

I would suggest either the .243 or the .270 thats what I remeber starting out shooting and it provided a solid platform o learn from and still have enough power to take a deer. I would not suggest a .308 for a young girl, the kick may be to much just my opion though.

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from Treestand wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

The 243W,25/06,260,7MM/08 all have the lowest recoil and come in a Youth Model that all come with "Recoil Pads" the Reason: Shorter Bbl,Stock's,Lighter Gun.
Savage and Remington have the largest Youth Models in Stock. The 25/06 has a long Action not found in most Youth Models.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Friends don't let friends drink and drive or shoot .243's

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from Amflyer wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Judging from the y'alls I'm hearing I'm guessing your shooting deer in the South. Generally speaking, they tend to be a bit smaller in stature than their cousins up North.

I think a 243 with 100 grain slugs would be a wonderful cartridge to start your young lady out with.

Keep the shots close and well thought out, and you'll have a young huntress on your hands.

(100 grain slugs because they tend to have thicker jackets and are more designed for deer- and antelope-sized creatures than the more frangible, lighter bullets)

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Technically, the cartridge producing the LEAST amount of recoil and still deadly enough to kill a deer cleanly is the .223 (if your state allow use of .224 caliber ammo). My young niece used that cartridge on a few until she crossed over 80 pounds in weight. I was with her on one where she shot a nice buck at 150 yards head on. The 55g Combined Technology bullet penetrated very similar to a 150g bullet in a .308. It entered the high chest and exited ahead of the hind quarter, shattering three large vertebrae. Needless to say the buck was dead instantly on the spot without a kick. I've seen similar results in about 25 antelope.

If she can tolerate slightly additional recoil, I'd highly recommend the 25-06. She can shoot 90g Barnes bullets with very light recoil. They are ultra-deadly on deer at 3600 fps. As she gets older, that rifle will allow her to outshoot her dad on just about everything from p-dogs to elk (two years ago, the largest elk taken in the state of South Dakota was taken by a sweet young thing with her 25-06); it never moved a step after impact. It has WAY more versatility than the .243 for the same level of recoil.

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from Treestand wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

The 243Win has taken deer since 1956 with the 80Gr and 100Gr Pill, I had a Win/Mod 70/FW in 243 be fore the Ammo was on the market, I had to weight for 3 Boxes of 80Gr be coze 100Gr ammo was being made as of yet.
I used 2 Boxes 8 rounds to sight-in and the rest on W/chucks, well deer season is here and NO 100gr ammo so 80gr ammo was used One Shot Stops one 8Pt Buck and one Doe, in 20Yrars of Up-North deer hunting the 80Gr served me well in The Mod/70 and Mod/100 on Deer its all in Bullet Placement.
Thanks 99..I forgot about the 80Gr Ammo!

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from reed akemon-buc... wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

30-30.

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from william E. wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

if it is child i would say 234 but if u can handle a little recoil a .270 or .308

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

I saw a used Ruger Model 77 in .257 Roberts this afternoon and remembered this post. I'd shorten the stock an inch to accommodate a youngster's length of pull. It can be restored later by installing a thick recoil pad. The .257 is a good choice!

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from Turkey hunter 39 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

.257 Roberts is plenty of gun, but ammunition may be a little more difficult to find than say, a .243.

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from Don Milosch wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

.243 with the most lead you can get to shoot a decent group at 100 yards. I would try the Hornady SST rounds.

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from Sourdough Dave wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

.243 Win. is a great deer cartridge. My little 4'11" wife handles hers just fine and uses it to hunt antelope. When she lets me play with it I'm amazed at how little recoil is has.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douzie wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

A .22-250 or .223 would work, but I agree with everyone else that the .243 would be the best choice for her.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Good recommendations have been given, and I'll add mine for the .243 Win and .250 Sav (if you can find a .250). Understand that recoil is subjective issue, and what feels light to some may be brisk for others, but the .243 (as you can see) with 100 gr. bullets deserves serious consideration for deer, with good bullet placement, and it's devastating on small game with the 80 gr bullet. I didn't start my son on centerfire rifles until he was 11, and he was slightly built at the time. Observe carefully, use your best judgment, because even a .243 can be intimidating to a 60lb youngster. Work with her patiently in practice. Best of luck in the field

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

My vote goes to the .243 Win. with an 80-grain bullet.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from lil hunter wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

a 25-06 is a nice gun and so is a 30-30. My son has a 3marlin 30-30 in which he hunts deer with and the recoil doesn't bother him

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

For a person that young a bolt action rifle is not really needed, that being said there are several single shot rifles that have interchangeable barrels to change the caliber of the rifle, so you can buy a rifle with different calibers (and gauges) to see which she prefers and the rifle can also "grow" with her. The rifles usually retail for about $300 or so and are made by several manufacturers like Rossi, Harrington&Richardson. Good luck with the girl's hunting and shooting, God bless.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Personally? If you want a .243, I'd suggest using no less than 100 gr bullets.
There are many acceptable "youth" cartridges out there.
You will never go wrong with the venerable .30-30 Win.
.257 Robts
7x57mm Mauser
.250 Savage
I'm not familiar with the .260 Rem but it sounds like a good "kid" caliber.
From my perspective, stay away from the .243.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

The 243W,25/06,260,7MM/08 all have the lowest recoil and come in a Youth Model that all come with "Recoil Pads" the Reason: Shorter Bbl,Stock's,Lighter Gun.
Savage and Remington have the largest Youth Models in Stock. The 25/06 has a long Action not found in most Youth Models.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

The 243Win has taken deer since 1956 with the 80Gr and 100Gr Pill, I had a Win/Mod 70/FW in 243 be fore the Ammo was on the market, I had to weight for 3 Boxes of 80Gr be coze 100Gr ammo was being made as of yet.
I used 2 Boxes 8 rounds to sight-in and the rest on W/chucks, well deer season is here and NO 100gr ammo so 80gr ammo was used One Shot Stops one 8Pt Buck and one Doe, in 20Yrars of Up-North deer hunting the 80Gr served me well in The Mod/70 and Mod/100 on Deer its all in Bullet Placement.
Thanks 99..I forgot about the 80Gr Ammo!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Since I'm not a fan of small caliber rifles I vote for the .260 Rem or the 7MM-08. With a Simms Limb Saver Recoil pad on them you will think you are shooting a .223.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

I didn't know what age person you were talking about but my 11 year old grandson shoots a .308 that I gave him that has a Simms Limb Saver recoil pad on it and I load managed recoil loads patterned after the Remington Managed Recoil loads. He killed 2 deer with them last year. I shot it on the range and it has very little recoil.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1Browning2 wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Again, my vote goes to the .243 win, with nothing less than a 100 gr bullet. It doubles over as my coyote rifle so that is why I chose a .243. I feel it puts a deer down just as well as anything else and just as fast. Shot placement is key. But when shooting at game, recoil isn't noticeable. A con of the .243 however, don't plan on using it in heavy cover, anything and everything can throw a bullet that light off.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DEER30 wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

.243 - but there have been many discussions on this forum about the performance of a .243. I agree that although it is possible to kill a deer, I would recomend a caliber with a little more power. A .270 is an excellent rifle with very controllable recoil and is very versatile for a multitude of game.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LostLure wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Im with a few of they guys and say a .25-o6. A little more knock down power than a .243. I got a Ruger M77 Hawkeye .25-06, and it is a great rifle, very little recoil. You can get ammo anwhere from 85gr-120gr.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Childs wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

it's for my eight year-old daughter. She likes going hunting with me but is tired of being the one to do the calls and not being able to shoot what she calls in.She stands 4'4" and 60lbs and doesn't like any kind of recoil.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Friends don't let friends drink and drive or shoot .243's

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

I saw a used Ruger Model 77 in .257 Roberts this afternoon and remembered this post. I'd shorten the stock an inch to accommodate a youngster's length of pull. It can be restored later by installing a thick recoil pad. The .257 is a good choice!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Judging from the y'alls I'm hearing I'm guessing your shooting deer in the South. Generally speaking, they tend to be a bit smaller in stature than their cousins up North.

I think a 243 with 100 grain slugs would be a wonderful cartridge to start your young lady out with.

Keep the shots close and well thought out, and you'll have a young huntress on your hands.

(100 grain slugs because they tend to have thicker jackets and are more designed for deer- and antelope-sized creatures than the more frangible, lighter bullets)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Technically, the cartridge producing the LEAST amount of recoil and still deadly enough to kill a deer cleanly is the .223 (if your state allow use of .224 caliber ammo). My young niece used that cartridge on a few until she crossed over 80 pounds in weight. I was with her on one where she shot a nice buck at 150 yards head on. The 55g Combined Technology bullet penetrated very similar to a 150g bullet in a .308. It entered the high chest and exited ahead of the hind quarter, shattering three large vertebrae. Needless to say the buck was dead instantly on the spot without a kick. I've seen similar results in about 25 antelope.

If she can tolerate slightly additional recoil, I'd highly recommend the 25-06. She can shoot 90g Barnes bullets with very light recoil. They are ultra-deadly on deer at 3600 fps. As she gets older, that rifle will allow her to outshoot her dad on just about everything from p-dogs to elk (two years ago, the largest elk taken in the state of South Dakota was taken by a sweet young thing with her 25-06); it never moved a step after impact. It has WAY more versatility than the .243 for the same level of recoil.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

.308 or .300 Savage.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

25-06 is like crossing a 22-250 with a 270 and smallest recommended cartridge for Elk.

Good enough for Alex at age 8 and good enough for me by'golly!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

25-06 is a killer deer rifle, not much recoil there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DesertWalker wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

I would suggest either the .243 or the .270 thats what I remeber starting out shooting and it provided a solid platform o learn from and still have enough power to take a deer. I would not suggest a .308 for a young girl, the kick may be to much just my opion though.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Turkey hunter 39 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

.257 Roberts is plenty of gun, but ammunition may be a little more difficult to find than say, a .243.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Childs wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Cool, I am looking for a rifle to buy my 8yr-old daughter so she can go hunting with me. She already goes with, she just doesn't have a rifle she can use yet and though I would normally buy her a 22, it is illegal to hunt with one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Childs wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

thanks a ton for all yalls help. It is going to help me out alot. When I was her age I started out with a 22mag and a 30-30 but this scrawney little girl is a bit more sensitive than I was so am not too sure what gun to replace her .177 gamo whisper air rifle.lol I am going to try out a few of yalls suggestions.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from reed akemon-buc... wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

30-30.

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from william E. wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

if it is child i would say 234 but if u can handle a little recoil a .270 or .308

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Milosch wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

.243 with the most lead you can get to shoot a decent group at 100 yards. I would try the Hornady SST rounds.

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