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Q:
Whats a good deer rifle for my son? Hes a beginner. Would a .30-.30 be to much?

Question by Spence. Uploaded on February 19, 2009

Answers (28)

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

As his first deer rifle, I presented my son with a well used Winchester Model 94 chambered for the .30-30 and equipped with a William receiver sight. He was (is) delighted. I handload, so the first loads he used were assembled with light (110 gr. RN) bullets, but he quickly transitioned to 150 and 170-grain bullets.
A Marlin 1894 in .44 Mag is another good choice in dense brush and, if you handload, you can provide him with affordable light loads for plinking and practice. Your son is a fortunate lad. Best wishes to both of you.

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from Southtexan wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Im 13 and i took my first buck, 11 points, with a
300 win. mag. I was 9. That thing kicked so hard, but I was so excited I didnt even feel it. I think a
30-30 would be great. If not, a .223 kicks like a bb gun but it definitely does the job fine.

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from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

other virtues of a 30.30, i'm assuming it is a lever like a model 94, is that it is light and compact, which makes it easier for a youngster to carry, handle, and shoot comfortably. The only downfall is that many 30.30s have hard plastic or metal butt plates that can bite the shoulder if he is practicing with only a t-shirt on. Padd it a little bit or add a rubber recoil pad and it should work out great.

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from bomberpride wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

30-30 would b really good

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from rabbitpolice88 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

A 30-30 is a great gun for a first time hunter to start with. I started off with a 30-30 and loved it.

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from deerslayer2 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

A 30-30 would be a great gun. But if he is big enough I would get him a 30-06.I said IF he was big enough.

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from T wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

My first deer rifle was a .243 and it worked out great for me. It just depends on what your son is built like and what he feels comfortable shooting.

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from Bigbuck14 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

NO im 14 years old it also depends on his age if he is under 13 start him of with a .243 or .308 those would be the to guns I would use but i also use a 20 which is a great gun some people think its a short range gun but it really isn't it can reach out about 200 yards

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from Cantrell44 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

30-30 would be a great gun to start with

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from pumakitchen wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I have a .243 and I love it, it is great for deer, pronghorn, and even elk. However if I was buying for my son I would buy a .270 it is a great gun for many species, its big enough to take down an elk, but small enough its not going to blow a hole in smaller game. It has a great range of bullet grain sizes and they are popular enough you could probably find one for a good price. Take the money you save and buy him a really good scope, it will make all the difference.

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from rrmont wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I would go with a .243, but it also depends of what type of terrian you hunt in. If it's brush and up close then go with the 30-30, if it's alittle more open then the .243.

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Most 30-30's are lever actions with exposed hammers. The only safety is the half-c0ck notch and you can't see what's in the tube magazine. No companies make lever-action youth guns that I can recall. Because of safety they are not the best gun for a beginner. There are several youth model bolt actions that can be loaded like a single shot and have excellent safeties. A 243 or 7mm08 is about as good as it gets cartridgewise accurate, light recoil, plenty power for deer sized game.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Although the .30-30 is not a bad choice I tend to start kids with either a .243 or .270 bolt action. I have owned .30-30's that were more obnoxcious to shoot than a .270 of reasonable weight with a light bullet and a good recoil pad. I don't ever remember a kid complaining. I own a .243 that has killed over 40 deer and antelopes. Most of them by kids or beginning adult hunters. Invariably it was their first kill but not their last.

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from kolbster wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

30-30, 223 or 243 all kick about the same 223 is the lightest kicker of the bunch though, and will bring down a deer just fine.

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from silsbyj wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I used a .243 my first year and moved on to a 30-30 from there. Either of those would be a great biginner gun.

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from texasfirst wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Man, I can't help but get nervous about exposed hammer weapons and kids, and that goes the same with auto-loaders, etc. Get your boy a bolt-action rifle in whatever caliber you think suits him. I mean, safety is in the hands of the shooter, but man, those hammers are tricky...

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from tyrell wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

yea i think so i think he should use a .22250

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Not a fan of the .223cal rifles for deer, in the hands of a beginner especially. In the hands of a sharpshooter they're very affective, but begginers? If you are looking for a lever the 30/30 is fine. If i was looking for a beginner deer rifle for my son(i am), the .243 and 7mm/08 are great light kicking versataile guns

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from lovetohunt wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

Depending on how old he is I would go with a .270 or if he is older a .300 win mag. or .300 wsm.

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from em17 wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

I am 12 but i shot my first deer when i was 11 and i had a 30-30 then and when that deer walked out into the field and i shot it i didnt even notice the kick.i thought it was a good gun and it was a lever astion so i had more safteys.now i have my own gun and it is a 243 and it has killed every deer i have shot at and i think it would be a good choce also.

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from hjohn429 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I use a Marlin 1894 in 44 mag and I killed my first 2 deer with it. Both deer dropped within 60 yards of where they were shot. I think a 30-30 or a Marlin 336 in 35 Remington would make great deer rifles.

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

If you already have a 30-30 its perfect. If you are buying him a rifle, buy something a little more versataile. With a 30-30 his range is limited. That is fine for a beginner, but he won't be a beginner forever.

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from Huntandtrap09 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

i think 30-30 is perfect

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from PotterMan96 wrote 5 years 6 days ago

Try a .243 they have range but they don't have a big kick.

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from wyo hunter wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

I have a model 710 30-06 which i got cheap and it don't kick much but i don't think a 30-30 would be to much. But a 30-06 is a good all around gun that will take anything you put your sites on and so would a 30-30 but its range is limited. Another gun you can't go wrong with is the 280 or the 270. A 243 is good for deer. But really it doesn't matter what kind of gun as long as you have good shot placement.

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from 3030forlife wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I own a marlin 336 in 30-30, it is an amazing gun. With 125 grain bullets you can kill varmints, a 150 grain bullet will flatten a deer, and a 170 grain bullet will kill up to black bear.

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from hunting man wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

243 becase it has little recoil, its just enough to kill a deer, but it isnt a good rifle for longrange, not a good blood trail but they usually go down in sight( within 20 yards). I got five deer all bucks with a 243 when 12 loved but went to a biger cal for larger game

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from hunting man wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

oh and it is very acurate at 50 yards try and hit them in the shoulder or right behind it doesnt go throught it very often

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from rudyglove27 wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Agreed with Edward J. Palumbo answer above and A + 1 for you sir!!!

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from themattlyone wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

marlin 336 how much would a limbsaver help with the recoil. I am a new shooter but have a bum shoulder.
Do you think the limbsaver would help decrease the recoil as much as limbsaver states up to half?

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from T wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

My first deer rifle was a .243 and it worked out great for me. It just depends on what your son is built like and what he feels comfortable shooting.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 3030forlife wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I own a marlin 336 in 30-30, it is an amazing gun. With 125 grain bullets you can kill varmints, a 150 grain bullet will flatten a deer, and a 170 grain bullet will kill up to black bear.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Southtexan wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Im 13 and i took my first buck, 11 points, with a
300 win. mag. I was 9. That thing kicked so hard, but I was so excited I didnt even feel it. I think a
30-30 would be great. If not, a .223 kicks like a bb gun but it definitely does the job fine.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

As his first deer rifle, I presented my son with a well used Winchester Model 94 chambered for the .30-30 and equipped with a William receiver sight. He was (is) delighted. I handload, so the first loads he used were assembled with light (110 gr. RN) bullets, but he quickly transitioned to 150 and 170-grain bullets.
A Marlin 1894 in .44 Mag is another good choice in dense brush and, if you handload, you can provide him with affordable light loads for plinking and practice. Your son is a fortunate lad. Best wishes to both of you.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

other virtues of a 30.30, i'm assuming it is a lever like a model 94, is that it is light and compact, which makes it easier for a youngster to carry, handle, and shoot comfortably. The only downfall is that many 30.30s have hard plastic or metal butt plates that can bite the shoulder if he is practicing with only a t-shirt on. Padd it a little bit or add a rubber recoil pad and it should work out great.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bomberpride wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

30-30 would b really good

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rabbitpolice88 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

A 30-30 is a great gun for a first time hunter to start with. I started off with a 30-30 and loved it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerslayer2 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

A 30-30 would be a great gun. But if he is big enough I would get him a 30-06.I said IF he was big enough.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bigbuck14 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

NO im 14 years old it also depends on his age if he is under 13 start him of with a .243 or .308 those would be the to guns I would use but i also use a 20 which is a great gun some people think its a short range gun but it really isn't it can reach out about 200 yards

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cantrell44 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

30-30 would be a great gun to start with

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pumakitchen wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I have a .243 and I love it, it is great for deer, pronghorn, and even elk. However if I was buying for my son I would buy a .270 it is a great gun for many species, its big enough to take down an elk, but small enough its not going to blow a hole in smaller game. It has a great range of bullet grain sizes and they are popular enough you could probably find one for a good price. Take the money you save and buy him a really good scope, it will make all the difference.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rrmont wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I would go with a .243, but it also depends of what type of terrian you hunt in. If it's brush and up close then go with the 30-30, if it's alittle more open then the .243.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Most 30-30's are lever actions with exposed hammers. The only safety is the half-c0ck notch and you can't see what's in the tube magazine. No companies make lever-action youth guns that I can recall. Because of safety they are not the best gun for a beginner. There are several youth model bolt actions that can be loaded like a single shot and have excellent safeties. A 243 or 7mm08 is about as good as it gets cartridgewise accurate, light recoil, plenty power for deer sized game.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Although the .30-30 is not a bad choice I tend to start kids with either a .243 or .270 bolt action. I have owned .30-30's that were more obnoxcious to shoot than a .270 of reasonable weight with a light bullet and a good recoil pad. I don't ever remember a kid complaining. I own a .243 that has killed over 40 deer and antelopes. Most of them by kids or beginning adult hunters. Invariably it was their first kill but not their last.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

30-30, 223 or 243 all kick about the same 223 is the lightest kicker of the bunch though, and will bring down a deer just fine.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from silsbyj wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I used a .243 my first year and moved on to a 30-30 from there. Either of those would be a great biginner gun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from texasfirst wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Man, I can't help but get nervous about exposed hammer weapons and kids, and that goes the same with auto-loaders, etc. Get your boy a bolt-action rifle in whatever caliber you think suits him. I mean, safety is in the hands of the shooter, but man, those hammers are tricky...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Not a fan of the .223cal rifles for deer, in the hands of a beginner especially. In the hands of a sharpshooter they're very affective, but begginers? If you are looking for a lever the 30/30 is fine. If i was looking for a beginner deer rifle for my son(i am), the .243 and 7mm/08 are great light kicking versataile guns

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

Depending on how old he is I would go with a .270 or if he is older a .300 win mag. or .300 wsm.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from em17 wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

I am 12 but i shot my first deer when i was 11 and i had a 30-30 then and when that deer walked out into the field and i shot it i didnt even notice the kick.i thought it was a good gun and it was a lever astion so i had more safteys.now i have my own gun and it is a 243 and it has killed every deer i have shot at and i think it would be a good choce also.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I use a Marlin 1894 in 44 mag and I killed my first 2 deer with it. Both deer dropped within 60 yards of where they were shot. I think a 30-30 or a Marlin 336 in 35 Remington would make great deer rifles.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

If you already have a 30-30 its perfect. If you are buying him a rifle, buy something a little more versataile. With a 30-30 his range is limited. That is fine for a beginner, but he won't be a beginner forever.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huntandtrap09 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

i think 30-30 is perfect

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PotterMan96 wrote 5 years 6 days ago

Try a .243 they have range but they don't have a big kick.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wyo hunter wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

I have a model 710 30-06 which i got cheap and it don't kick much but i don't think a 30-30 would be to much. But a 30-06 is a good all around gun that will take anything you put your sites on and so would a 30-30 but its range is limited. Another gun you can't go wrong with is the 280 or the 270. A 243 is good for deer. But really it doesn't matter what kind of gun as long as you have good shot placement.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunting man wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

243 becase it has little recoil, its just enough to kill a deer, but it isnt a good rifle for longrange, not a good blood trail but they usually go down in sight( within 20 yards). I got five deer all bucks with a 243 when 12 loved but went to a biger cal for larger game

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunting man wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

oh and it is very acurate at 50 yards try and hit them in the shoulder or right behind it doesnt go throught it very often

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rudyglove27 wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Agreed with Edward J. Palumbo answer above and A + 1 for you sir!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tyrell wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

yea i think so i think he should use a .22250

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themattlyone wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

marlin 336 how much would a limbsaver help with the recoil. I am a new shooter but have a bum shoulder.
Do you think the limbsaver would help decrease the recoil as much as limbsaver states up to half?

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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