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  1. Default Question for the Ladies

    I have a nine year old daughter that I want to get shooting. I am planning on working her into either a lighter or medium caliber to start hunting. My question is what did you guys start off with at that age. She has shot 22's and a 12 ga with bird shot but it was too much for her even with me holding the shotgun. I don't want her to be recoil shy and dissuaded from shooting. I was thinking 243 or 7mm-08. Any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default

    Do you handload? What state are you in? If you handload and in a state that requires .243 or bigger for game, I'd not be scared to recommend a 243 as you could tailor very low recoil rounds for her. If the state allows a .224" bullet for game, I'd suggest a .223. IMO/E they are more than capable on deer size game with the right bullets. They recoil MUCH less and the ammo is cheaper to load or buy making it easier to shoot lots. Having worked with my two young boys, just be sure to keep it fun and take care of their ears. New shooters, to a point, seem to be bothered more by the noise and muzzle blast than the physical recoil.

    PS- If you don't handload, this would be a great time to start and an easy sell to the spouse for purchasing the equipment to do so!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
    Posts
    638

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    I learned to shoot very early. Dad didn't have many small calibers, so it was just .22 and .243. I never had any problems. When I was about 9 or 10, I shot those really well so he decided it was time to try the 30-30. This was back in the days before lead sleds and all. The stock was too long for me, I couldn't see through the scope so I didn't have it shouldered correctly, it slipped under my armpit at the recoil and the scope hit me right on the bridge of the nose. I was bawling, he was horrified....it went down in family history. I wouldn't shoot a rifle for quite a while after that. When I did, I went back to the .243 and did just fine. I absolutely loved shooting that gun, and I still do whenever we get a chance to take it out. Looking back, I think he was right in that the recoil itself wouldn't have bothered me. Turns out that wasn't really what he should have been most worried about though.

    I obviously got over it and have no recoil sensitivities now so it worked out ok in the end. But take it slow, and be sure she's really ready to shoot whatever it is and that it fits or is set up in a way that she can handle it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Billings, Montana
    Posts
    335

    Default

    My daughter started with a 243 (even for elk), but now is shooting a 270.

  5. #5

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    I'm not a woman but I would go .243 and start her off with some light varmint loads 60gr before moving up to a big game bullet (100gr)

  6. Default

    Thanks all for the input. I think I am going to start off with 243. Shot placement trumps all and I want her to want to shoot. I also got a 223 that she can shoot as well.

  7. #7

    Default

    For shotgun, they make an insert to adapt your 12 gauge and turn it into a smaller gauge. She'd be able to shoot lighter rounds. I believe they go down to .410. They're called "little skeeters" mini tube gauge reducers. I have never used them but I have a friend that uses them just for fun.
    "A hunt based on trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be...time to commune with your inner soul as you share the outdoors with the birds, animals, and fish that live there." --Fred Bear

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Billings, Montana
    Posts
    335

    Default

    The biggest issue my daughter had was holding steady and the weight of the gun. Of course she is shooting my Dad's old pre 64 winchester so they are heavier. If I would do it again I would have bought her a gun that better fit her physically. FYI

  9. Default

    Never knew you could put insert into shotguns... interesting. I have it down to 243 and6.5... I have an at that I plan on letting her shoot. If she's comfortable with that may just let her deer hunt for awhile and see if she likes it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
    Posts
    638

    Default

    Good luck with the shooting lessons. I only make it home every couple of years these days, but when we do Dad and I always go shooting. He never took me hunting growing up, but he says one of his proudest days was when he and I went to the range with some of his buddies and I shot his 45-70 better than they did. I don't remember this, but he still talks about it sometimes. We have a lot of good memories from the range. I hope you and your daughter have the same.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,333

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    As with many above, my daughter started out at that age shooting a .243 and also a 25/06, with no problems at all.
    Can't figure people down there eating hog when they could feed on elk.
    Bear Claw "Jeremiah Johnson"

  12. #12

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    My daughter is 4'9, 90lbs, and shoots a .270 Tikka T3 lite with a reduced recoil load. Several ammo makers have reduced recoid loads. Also, make sure you have a good recoil pad like a limbsaver, and good hearing protection. Using a bipod and having the length of pull right for her size is really important. I think for my daughter, the noise was harder to deal with than the recoil. I a. lso have a carbine ar15 .223 and a 6.5 Grendel that are easy to shoot. The Grendel is low recoil and great for deer and antelope out to pretty far distance.

  13. Default

    Amazing the difference in recoil some can handle that other's can! My youngest grandson is 6 and to start him out with CF I've got some loads loaded up for my 30-06 that won't hurt at all. 183gr cast bullet's with 13 grs of Red Dot! Not sure what his first rifle will be but I have a 243 and a 6.5x55 for him to pick from if he'd like. Got the 6.5x55 for his sister but she's not gonna be a shooter or hunter.

  14. #14

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    When I started hunting you had to be 12. So I was of fair size and started with a .308. Didn't know any different. It didn't bother me to much. If she can handle a .12 gauge should be able to handle a lot of different calibers.
    I went to a .270 Weatherby later on. Now that I'm a lot older, I've went to a Tikka T3 .243 for deer and love it.
    Will go back to the .308 or so for elk though. I have never felt much recoil with the T3 .243 so she shouldn't have much trouble.

  15. #15

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    I started my daughters out With a 50 cal muzzleloader. They are very accurate and can shoot out to 200 yards no problem. It really teaches them the value of shot placement. The best part was I started them out with half powder loads that didn't kick at all. I gradually upped the charge without telling them and they were never the wiser. My oldest now 14 loves her littlehorn so much that's all she will hunt with. My youngest shoots a ruger American youth .308 and has hunted with it for two seasons now. With reduced recoil loads she shoots it with ease.

  16. Default

    It could be good to get her an option of recoil pad shirt. Here is the shirt on ebay that has the option for both side pads, just in case she may want to shoot left handed.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Beautifully-...8AAOSwJoNZvcDk

    It does not hurt to be ready as young bones are fragile. Good luck!

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