Gun for my daughter......which one???

Thread starter #1
I am looking to buy my daughters first deer rifle and have a few questions. I am looking at getting her a 243 but is this a good caliber for deer hunting? I know a lot of people hunt with this but I am worried it may be a bit small. If not what grain do you use? Any other suggestion on a rifle? I want it to be something she can use for a while, but I dont want her to be scared to shoot it either. Any input would be great.



Senior Member
The 243 will do but is minimum caliber IMO, and my choice would be a 270, 308 or 30-06 using reduced recoil ammo that's effective on deer to 200 yards and recoils less than a 243. You may then use the same gun with full power loads and replace youth stock with adult stock when the youngster grows into it.
IMO, you sold the perfect gun for her. That Rem Model 7 7-08 that you sold to Ken would be my suggestion. Go buy another one and keep it forever.


Senior Member
The .243 is a great deer rifle. Many deer have been killed with mine over the years. I use Remington CoreLokts PSP 100 grain. I've never lost a deer using them (a complain others have had in the past) and I've only had to track a couple. Both were hit a little far back and recovered within 150 yards. Mine is Rem 788. I'm not sure your daughter's size but the best thing to do is let her shoulder many rifles and find the one that fits her best. A good recoil pad (like Limbsavers) and very good hearing protection at the range are both a must. Let her shoot what she is comfortable within reason. The .243 is adequate but the 6mm, 7mm-08, .260, and .308 are all excellent short action choices. The .308 will give you the most versatility if she ever wants to shoot anything besides deer. It is adequate for anything in North America. If Georgia-sized deer will be her only game, the .243 is plenty of gun to get the job done.

My wife shoots a Ruger compact in .308. It is an excellent choice for smaller shooters.


Senior Member
Contrary as usual....

Look at the bragging board. And all the threads about first deer, or my 8,9,10 yr old got their deer.

Notice how many of them are with .222, .223 or .243.

A "hunting" bullet put in the boiler room in any of these calibers will drop any deer in GA and surrounds.

With the reduced recoil loads available, anything up to '06 is in play.

I suggest concentrating on finding a model that fits her. So she has a better chance of shooting well, and therefore is more satisfied with the experience. I would also worry little about keeping it forever. If she outgrows it (and they grow like weeds). Sell/trade it someone with a kid that needs to get started and find something new that fits.


Senior Member
I'm with Deadeye on gun and caliber. My daugther was left handed so she has a Thompson Contender Carbine in 7x30 Waters just because it came along at a price that I could afford. If Remington will ever make a Model 7 in a left handed gun I will buy it without a second thought. It would be in 7/08 or 308 (she is older now). That is my useless opinion.


Gone But Not Forgotten
Remington YOUTH Mod 7 -7mm-08. Put a Syms recoil bad on it. My Grand Kids were all started on this combo.
i would start off getting her something like a atr100 .308 good all around gun minimum recoil.
I hunt with a .243 and really don't care to carry anything else. 100 grain in the boiler room is lights out.

Put .243 in the search feature and you will get enough threads to make you head explode.


Senior Member
I usually do not plug Ruger products, but a Mini 14/30 fits most young people, offers light recoil, is accurate enough to take a deer, and is affordable.
Shot placement with any round is what matters. Range time is very important. Find a model she is comfortable with and caliber she like to shoot. 243 is a great place to start.


Senior Member
I still shoot my first deer rifle that I ever had of my own (age 8) to this day more than any deer rifle I have bought for myself. Synthetic/Stainless Model 7 7mm-08. If you buy her the youth model you can upgrade the stock later to a full size and you can get reduced loads or make your own if you reload. I still love it b/c its so short and light for walking through the swamps and holding it free-hand is a breeze. Best thing to do is to take her to the gun store with you (unless its a gift and you dont want to give it away) and just get a feel for what she is comfortable with.


Senior Member
Yes, it is a good caliber for deer w/most 85-100gr bullets. I chose a 243 for my wife because it is the easiest short action cartridge to get ammo for, it is very easy on the shoulder, and you can get it in more makes/models than the newer cartridges. I have also witnessed its effectiveness on deer. I got the Remington 700 SPS youth, when they first came out with them; now they make it in the 7-08, as well as the 243, and they cost less $ than a Rem 7. If you get a 7-08 don't get the low recoil ammo; I don't think that is necessary, especially with a good pad. I would rather have a 243 than a 7-08 loaded to 30-30 velocity. The only way that reduced loads make since is if you're going to let her use a larger rifle you already have. If you've already picked out the 243, don't worry about changing because I gaurantee you that if you don't hit 'em right with a 260, 270, 7-08 or any other cal. that might be suggested as a youth rifle, you'll get the same results as with the 243. IMO, both the 243 and the 7-08 are great youth/ladies deer rifles. The only real advantage between them that I can think of is that the 243 factory ammo is less expensive and easier to come by.


Senior Member
Have a friend that just got her first deer with a .243. She's 22, but not even 5 feet tall and under 100 pounds. Anyways, she got a good sized point with no problems. Didn't run more than 20 yards.

My grandfather-in-law-to-be uses one with no problem. It's a good round. Like anything, it's all about where you put the lead. It's a fast round, so it should definitely do some damage.
Kimber 84m 7mm-08. Its the perfect gun for a kid. The 7-08 doesn't kick too bad and the Kimber is a sweet little rifle. A little pricey, but trust me, if you get her one you will try and take it back. They are sweet little guns.