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Mar 25th, 2012
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Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? #7454114 03/09/19 12:59 AM
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Not dealing with the .243 here... I'll need something softer shooting. Something that shoots soft enough for a youngster, specifically a little girl, to use in a super light and handy little rifle. Very small frame youngster. What do you suggest?

I spoke to a gentleman at Hoffpauir's Ranch Supply in Lampasas today, that told me he shot his first deer with a .22 Hornet. I am no expert, in fact only ever shot one deer myself, but I feel like that would be pushing it.

So I am thinking some .22 centerfire shooting partitions or something like that? Suggestions? Or just wait it out? She's 10. I fear if I hold out too long I may miss the boat, and be too late to keep her interested.

Last edited by regularguy11B; 03/09/19 01:01 AM.

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Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454154 03/09/19 01:31 AM
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Reduce recoil loads for a 243 should be fine, my daughter was tiny, 7 when she shot her first deer with a model 700 Remington 243 youth model, 19 years later she is still hunting with the same gun. Forrest

Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454162 03/09/19 01:37 AM
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Savage Axis youth model "Muddy Girl" in 7mm-08. and shoot Hornady Lite ammo, its a creampuff.

Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454216 03/09/19 02:13 AM
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What about the .300 blackout?


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Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454224 03/09/19 02:20 AM
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6.5 Grendel , 6.8 spc, 22250 with some of the newer weights,

A big help would be a suppressor to cut the noise

Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454233 03/09/19 02:25 AM
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For the least recoil 223, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8SPC, 300BO in a 16 to 20 inch barrel AR. You can still load single shot if you want but the gas system curs recoil even more than those would in a boltaction.

Good hearing protection is a must. The muzzle blast is worse for kids than the recoiil with some.

I have killed deer with the 22 Hornet on several occasions and never lost one using it but I do not consider it a good beginners gun. More for a seasoned hunter that knows where to put the bullet and can with accuracy and is willing to pass on marginal shots.

Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454236 03/09/19 02:27 AM
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As much as I grump about people deer hunting with a 223, it will work. Iíd use Partitions. Many years ago my cousin had a beautiful little single shot 223 made for his young son. He tells me they never lost a deer. What I donít know is what bullet they shot. Must have been 20 or 25 years ago, and bullet choices were limited. Iíve always assumed they used the 63 gr Sierra SMP. I should have asked.

Every now and then, when all the family is here, I drag out the 223 for the Golf Ball Shoot at 100 yards. The grandkids donít care much for shooting paper, but they do like the golf ball shoot. Lots of trash talking, cheers, and boos. Good friendly competition with everybody involved, from old me to the 10 year old granddaughter. I hang the golf balls from a T frame, using string and duct tape. Nobody has ever complained about recoil.


Not my monkeys, not my circus...
Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454256 03/09/19 02:48 AM
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My nieces and nephews all hunt with a single shot 243 and 223. They both have low recoil and will kill a deer or pig no problem. Just keep the shots close. When I take them to the range I make sure they have good hearing protection and user sight vice. The site vice will reduce recoil and build confidence when they shoot. My 10 yearold niece was hiring cans with a 243 at 100 yards every time.

Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454271 03/09/19 03:11 AM
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Please dont take this this the wrong way but if she cant handle a 243, than light and handy dont make it any easier. The best thing if shes recoil sensitive is to keep her shooting a 22 or 22wmr. Dont put her behind a rifle to shoot a deer just yet. Let her pick off some coons, rabbits and crows to keep her interested in hunting. When she can handle the 243 then shes ready

Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454291 03/09/19 03:31 AM
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What about a pistol caliber carbine? Maybe .357 mag? Less recoil or less effective?


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Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454301 03/09/19 03:46 AM
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I hunt a lot with a Marlin 1894 in 357 Mag. Every deer or hog I have shot with it has been dead very quickly. Just limits range which is not a bad thing for a kid

Can practice with 38s for lower recoil and noise

Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: cxjcherokec] #7454312 03/09/19 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cxjcherokec
Please dont take this this the wrong way but if she cant handle a 243, than light and handy dont make it any easier. The best thing if shes recoil sensitive is to keep her shooting a 22 or 22wmr. Dont put her behind a rifle to shoot a deer just yet. Let her pick off some coons, rabbits and crows to keep her interested in hunting. When she can handle the 243 then shes ready


Most sensible advice yet. Further handicapping a kid with an ultra small caliber who is already challenged by youth and small size only makes things worse.

That said, my bet is she can handle reduced recoil loads in .243 or 7mm-08 if no one tells her she canít.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454318 03/09/19 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by regularguy11B
What about a pistol caliber carbine? Maybe .357 mag? Less recoil or less effective?

Both my son and my nephew are recoil sensative. I now own 3 .357 mag rifles that have each taken multiple deer and pigs out to 110 yards. 357 mag in a rifle is very tame, and you can even have her practice with 38 special loads to make it even more tame.


Originally Posted by txhuntingguide
If I choose to hunt in a coon tail hat, a pink tootoo and hip waders that is my fine...
Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454319 03/09/19 04:18 AM
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I am going through the same thing. I have 2 kids 12 and 11 that have been shooting for 4 years now, both want to start service rifle training at our local gun club, and for their ages great shots. I did not start them with a deer capable round. I started them off with scoped 17HMRs not for deer but paper and prairie dogs. Both a deadly on the prairie dogs at inside of 150 yards. For us going on a prairie dog shoots has been perfect. It requires them to practice at the range, get good at shooting, and when you go they have lots of action. The daughter (12) has graduated to a 223 and now a 6.5 creed with a muzzle brake. She has taken a doe and now a hog with that round. Both are asking to shoot and to hunt.

I recommend you find something like a prairie dog shoot or as a previous poster has made about the rabbits or coons. Find something with requires some practice to prepare for, action while doing it, requires a small caliber, and fun.

I recognize this does not help with the caliber selection, but the more important question is how to get your 10 year old girl interested in hunting. What I have written above is how I am doing it and it appears to be working.

Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454331 03/09/19 04:30 AM
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Others here have, and will, chime in on potential calibers as well as reduced loads.

I'd recommend looking at other alternatives to further reduce felt recoil. No muzzle brakes; you do not want to do permanent damage to your daughter's ears. Look at a better recoil pad such as Limbsaver. I have a Remington 870 12 gauge with a 18.5" barrel. That booger kicks. I put a Limbsaver on it and it made a significant difference in felt recoil.

Another option is training. Have her shoot a 22 LR several rounds, 1-2 of a larger centerfire caliber, and then several more 22 LR. Rinse and repeat.

Hunting small game with a rimfire will go a long way as cxjcherokec stated. It is great training as well as builds confidence.

Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454362 03/09/19 05:33 AM
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My daughters first rifle for big game was a Rutgers Predator .308 it is short lightweight and surprisingly very little recoil and an affordable weapon she will be able to use her whole life. They make that model in a .243 also if you wanted to go lighter but she and my son both started shooting that .308 at 10 years old. Pic of my son and rifle below. [Linked Image]

Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454531 03/09/19 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by regularguy11B
Not dealing with the .243 here... I'll need something softer shooting. Something that shoots soft enough for a youngster, specifically a little girl, to use in a super light and handy little rifle. Very small frame youngster. What do you suggest?

I spoke to a gentleman at Hoffpauir's Ranch Supply in Lampasas today, that told me he shot his first deer with a .22 Hornet. I am no expert, in fact only ever shot one deer myself, but I feel like that would be pushing it.

So I am thinking some .22 centerfire shooting partitions or something like that? Suggestions? Or just wait it out? She's 10. I fear if I hold out too long I may miss the boat, and be too late to keep her interested.



Just curious, but what do you not like about the .243?



And like some else said, if you pick up a .22 I'd stick to rabbits and squirrel hunting.


[Linked Image]
Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454533 03/09/19 03:52 PM
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Reduced recoil ammo is also available in 30-30 with several gun makers offering compact lever actions in that caliber.

Marlin makes one designed specifically for younger hunters. Comes with a shorter stock, barrel, and length of pull. I've seen them at Academy in the $350 range.

Marlin 336Y

Remington Managed Recoil 30-30 Ammo

Last edited by Texas Dan; 03/09/19 04:09 PM.

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Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: Hopedale] #7454541 03/09/19 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Hopedale
Originally Posted by regularguy11B
Not dealing with the .243 here... I'll need something softer shooting. Something that shoots soft enough for a youngster, specifically a little girl, to use in a super light and handy little rifle. Very small frame youngster. What do you suggest?

I spoke to a gentleman at Hoffpauir's Ranch Supply in Lampasas today, that told me he shot his first deer with a .22 Hornet. I am no expert, in fact only ever shot one deer myself, but I feel like that would be pushing it.

So I am thinking some .22 centerfire shooting partitions or something like that? Suggestions? Or just wait it out? She's 10. I fear if I hold out too long I may miss the boat, and be too late to keep her interested.



Just curious, but what do you not like about the .243?



And like some else said, if you pick up a .22 I'd stick to rabbits and squirrel hunting.




I personally like the .243, it's probably my favorite cartridge. I used to have one, and I shot it as often as I could. It was a fun rifle. I shot my first and only deer with it, perfect neck shot dropped it on the spot. I got a great deal on it, too. I was able to flip it for a good price and still make money, so I did.

My wife felt like the recoil of the .243 was abit much. It was a very light weight gun though, Ruger American. Strangely, she could deal with 20 guage slugs much better than the .243 shooting 80 grain powerpoints. It was a very light rifle.

My daughters, I am fairly confident will not handle it well. I just got my oldest daughter to the range for the first time a couple weeks ago. I had her double up on ear pro and even then, she felt like the .22 lr was abit loud. My youngest still hasn't shot anything other than a bb gun, i hope to change that soon though, when I make it back.

I thought about the 300 blackout, but perhaps not? Is the recoil about the same as a .243? Or closer to 5.56? A 5.56 AR I think they might handle fine. If the 300 bo is closer to the .223/.556 then that is the way I will probably go. Maybe with some good custom handloads from chad. Maybe the 30/30 downloaded instead. Maybe a .357 carbine? I don't know. If I knew, I wouldn't post this query to the forum!

My goal is to get them ready to hunt within the next two years. I don't have time to take them on a prarie dog shoot or etc right now. I don't even know where to go around here for that. They way things are looking, I'll have precious little time in the woods for awhile. I want to spend that time in the stand in a for sure location with the girls. By then I want to already have a gun they have been shooting and building their confidence. Probably hit the range once a month up to that point, plus shooting bb guns and etc as much as possible. I need a rifle they can handle now to get them started.

I Am just looking for that perfect balance of recoil and killing power for a gun my little girls can use.

I appreciate all the information from all.

Last edited by regularguy11B; 03/09/19 04:16 PM.

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Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454549 03/09/19 04:17 PM
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Another suggestion if you're set on a .243 with or without reduced recoil ammo.

My youngest now claims my Browning A-bolt Micro Medallion that I picked up years before she was born in hopes one of my girls would one day want to hunt. I've taken several deer and hogs with it. Like hunting with a high-powered BB gun, though obviously much more dangerous. Browning now makes a less expensive version that's still a fine rifle for any youngster. Still, it might be a little too nice for your needs.

My choice would be my earlier suggestion, the more economical Marlin 336Y with Managed Recoil Ammo.

Good luck and remember, they grow up fast.

Browning X-bolt Micro Midas

Hornady Reduced Recoil .243 ammo

Last edited by Texas Dan; 03/09/19 04:28 PM.

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Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454557 03/09/19 04:27 PM
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My son, 9 yo. shot his first spike with a .223 16" Thompson Contender. When he was 10 he graduated to a ULA .243.

Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: Texas Dan] #7454568 03/09/19 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas Dan
Another suggestion if you're set on a .243 with or without reduced recoil ammo.

My youngest now claims my Browning A-bolt Micro Medallion that I picked up years before she was born in hopes one of my girls would one day want to hunt. I've taken several deer and hogs with it. Like hunting with a high-powered BB gun, though obviously much more dangerous. Browning now makes a less expensive version that's still a fine rifle for any youngster. Still, it might be a little too nice for your needs.

My choice would be my earlier suggestion, the more economical Marlin 336Y with Managed Recoil Ammo.

Good luck and remember, they grow up fast.

Browning X-bolt Micro Midas

Hornady Reduced Recoil .243 ammo



I have a 336y at the house already. It's the only gun we have bought new vs used, and I picked it up specifically with the youngsters and the future in mind. Still I worry it's gonna recoil abit much for them. Although I feel the 336y 30/30 does not kick as hard as the .243 American I used to own.

Last edited by regularguy11B; 03/09/19 04:43 PM.

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Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454573 03/09/19 04:54 PM
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.300 Blackout AR


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Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454586 03/09/19 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by regularguy11B
Originally Posted by Texas Dan
Another suggestion if you're set on a .243 with or without reduced recoil ammo.

My youngest now claims my Browning A-bolt Micro Medallion that I picked up years before she was born in hopes one of my girls would one day want to hunt. I've taken several deer and hogs with it. Like hunting with a high-powered BB gun, though obviously much more dangerous. Browning now makes a less expensive version that's still a fine rifle for any youngster. Still, it might be a little too nice for your needs.

My choice would be my earlier suggestion, the more economical Marlin 336Y with Managed Recoil Ammo.

Good luck and remember, they grow up fast.

Browning X-bolt Micro Midas

Hornady Reduced Recoil .243 ammo



I have a 336y at the house already. It's the only gun we have bought new vs used, and I picked it up specifically with the youngsters and the future in mind. Still I worry it's gonna recoil abit much for them. Although I feel the 336y 30/30 does not kick as hard as the .243 American I used to own.


If you haven't already, try some reduced recoil ammo in it and you may decide you don't need a new rifle.


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Re: Recoil sensitive youngsters... cartridge? [Re: laid over] #7454594 03/09/19 05:27 PM
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Get a suppressor.

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