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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first time posting here and I have a couple questions that I am hoping can be answered. First an introduction is in order though:

From the ages of 12 to 17 I hunted whitetails in South Eastern Oklahoma with my dad and three uncles every season for modern arms. Never enjoyed muzzel loader or archery. At 17 I joined up in the Marine Corps and left Oklahoma and didn't return until 4 years later. I came back in 1997 and although my dad and uncles have continued to setup deer camp every year I have just never had the time to go back and hunt. Work, Wife, Kids and I just never got around to it.

Now it's been 18 years since I have been deer hunting and due to some medical conditions with my dad, this will guranteed to be his last year to hunt so I have to go this year and get my son into hunting . Now normally I would have no problem picking out my own rifle but I have a 10 year old son thats never been in the woods with anything more than a bb gun and I am trying to decide on what rifle to buy.

First off I'm a blue collar worker and only have no more than 500 dollars to spend on the rifle itself and I have learned through searching the internet that this limits my options on a accurate rifle. My plans are that my 10 year old will kill his first deer with it and then I will get mine as well. Were hunting on private land (about 4000 acres). The land is owned by another family member and he tells me that it is about 50/50 open fields and scrub oak. The open feilds average about 100-300 yds in size. The scrub oak sections are very dense and not huntable with anything more than a shotgun with a slug.

I have decided on a 25-06 calibre. From the ballistics tables I have checked (Winchesters and Remington's) it has the best coeffecients and least amount of drop in 300 yards (the max distance we will be shooting). Additionally it has similar recoil to the 243 which is ideal for a 10 year old (or so I've read).

I have not decided on the gun manufacture and is what I am needing your assistance with.

With a 500$ cap I have found the following:
1. Mossberg 4x4
2. Thompson Center Venture
3. Marlin X7S
4. Savage Axis

I have listed them in order of what I think are the best quality/accuracy. I have not shot any of them, handled any of them nor do I know anything other than what I have read about them online in other reviews. My hope is that some of you have personal experience with these 4 rifles and can tell me how they really are? What kind of shot pattern I can expect out of them (They all say they are sub MOA - but if I was trying to sell a turd I would probably say the same thing). For ammo I will be using Winchester's Premium Ballistic Silvertip 85Gr rounds (Legal down to 55Gr in Oklahoma).

Thanks in advance for anyone who offers assistance with this.
 

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Okie,
Welcome to the DHC. You should enjoy it.
If I were going for a 25 06 I would simply buy an older Rem 700 in good working shape. I imagine you should be able to find one in that range.
The Sierra 117 gr spitzer boatail is a proven reliable bullet for this caliber.
Just an old guys opinion! But if you want new you will not go wrong with a TC
in any caliber.
daddus
 

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My ideas for you..

The 25-06 round will do anything you ask of it on Deer up to your 300 yard distance. The problem that I see is that your 10 year old will probibly have alot of trouble fitting an adult stocked rifle. There are youth sized length of pull rifles that will fit him alot better. The problem is they will then be short for you to use. Some companies have offered a package where they include two stocks. One youth, one full length for later. Even if you had both stocks you would need to re-verify your zero after switching the stocks. An option might be to get a youth stocked rifle and then add a slip on recoil pad to the buttstock to add enough length for you to be able to shoot it. Later after your son is able to use a full size stocked rifle you then buy a replacement full size stock. The youth models that I have seen are usually .243 or .308. I would recommend either of those over the 25-06 just because of availability of getting ammo at any gas station or mini mart. I know from your post that you are military trained, but 300 yards is along way off to shoot at a Deer.
You want to have a sure hit/kill on any Deer, even more so if your son is the one shooting first. I would hope that you can get into a shot of 75-125 yards. It isn't needed for the .243 but there is reduced recoil loads for the .308 that take a lot of the kick out for a young shooter. Let us know what you decide, plan on spending several fun days at the range with your son..

Karl
 

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Okie,
Welcome to the club, I to am from Oklahoma! I would recommend the Marlin in the youth model (X7Y). They have a 243, 7mm-08, and 308. I bought a X7 series last year in a 270 and absolutely love it! IMO its the best rifle for the money! Good Luck with your decision and I hope your son kills a Big one! God Bless!!!
 

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People that I steered to the Marlin xs7/xl7 are happy

A youth model in the xs7 would really be a great choice for you. A solid well built bolt action, good trigger, and good barrel. Try to make sure you get the one that has a one piece scope mount with multiple positions for mounting the weaver rings. Some only offer one position for each ring, the other offers four positions for the front ring and 2 or 3 for the rear ring. It will help with getting the scope eye relief correct. Plan on spending around $150.xx for a quality scope, you won't be sorry. The new Redfields or a Nikon are great choices at that pricepoint. With the rifle/scope/sling combo you should be right at your price of $500.xx. Stay away from the combo packages from any of the manufactures, the scopes are garbage in the package.

Karl
 

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Does anyone know the length of pull on the Marlin? I would want to know that info for my son. Is your son a big kid or small guy it all makes a difference on what they can shoot well. Also, my vote would go for the 7mm-08 short action instead of the 25-06. Let me say many thanks for the military service we appreciate all that you people do. I love hearing Dad's and Mom's getting their kids into hunting! I think the X7Y is the youth model. I also agree with the $150.00 mark to get a decent scope. Please keep your son's shots a lot closer than 150 yds as he's probably not going to have enough range time in to be trying long shots. Any hard recoil and he may develope bad habits right away. Some thing in a mild recoil rifle is necessary and may compromise your style a bit but down the road you may be able to get your rifle. I will say the 300 savage is a very mild recoil bullet and suitable for you also. It might be an older bullet kinda like me but it is a sure deer buster. Welcome to the site and good luck in your hunting with Dad and son. I lost my Dad in 2009 he and my brother were my best hunting/fishing buddies and I miss them both so do all you can while you have the chance! You cannot go wrong with TC products, period! I would change the order of the rifles in your list to: TC, Marlin, Savage, Mossberg. This is only my opinion
 

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I'd like to suggest two more models (they are actually pretty much the same rifle) the Howa 1500 and Weatherby Vangurd. They are both quality made rifles and IMHO better values than most (all?) the other models you've mentioned. Here's a couple examples:

HOWA Model 1500 RIFLE 25-06 CAL Howa Rifles for sale, gun classifieds or gun auction from James Wayne. Buy or bid on this HOWA Model 1500 RIFLE 25-06 CAL in the category Howa Rifles on GunsAmerica.

WEATHERBY VANGUARD SPORTER 25-06 Weatherby Rifles > Sporting for sale, gun classifieds or gun auction from eurochasse. Buy or bid on this WEATHERBY VANGUARD SPORTER 25-06 in the category Weatherby Rifles > Sporting on GunsAmerica.

Best of luck with whatever rifle you ultimately choose and I hope you all have a great hunt!! :thumbup:
 

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Marlin xs7 youth gun length of pull

On the Marlin website they show the youth model overall length 1 inch shorter than the standard. I beleave the standard length of pull is listed at 13.5 inches. The short action is listed as being 1/2 inch shorter than the full size long action.

Karl
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Have been doing allot of reading on this site and others and decided that the 25-06 may not be the optimal caliber for starting him out. I think I was focusing more on worst case scenario where the target/deer is 300 yards out and not being able to hit it due to not having a rifle with that range capability. After reading around the 25-06 is the flattest shooting of the ones I was looking at but the 243, 223 and 270 can all hit easily within that range as well.

We have plans to hit an indoor range, this coming Friday evening, where we can shoot a wide assortment of rental guns (223, 243, 25-06 and 270) to find out what recoil he can handle the best and that he is most comfortable with.

For the manufacture I have decided on the Thompson Venture as I can't seem to find any bad reviews on it in any large amount. Will post back Friday night when we get back.

PS.
We stood side to side with our arms held horizontally and his fingers ended at the first knuckle of my hand. So he should be able to hold up almost anything.
 

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Be careful what caliber you choose

I have no idea what your DNR requires but I would stay away from the .223 for Deer hunting. Many require a minimum of 6mm/.243 caliber for Deer hunting. I don't think that you would want to hunt with the .223 even if you could. Ask around if you don't have access to one so that you could let your son shoot a 22 rifle first. All of the lessons he would learn on the 22 rifle would transfer over to the Deer rifle. Spending a couple of dollars a box for 50 22s is alot better than 20.xx per box for 20 rounds of rifle ammo. Just my thoughts, go with your instincts....

Karl
 

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Try to keep in mind that such calibers as the .260 Rem, 7/08, .270 & .308 (plus more) also have reduced recoil ammo that still is very effective to 200 yards or more, but allows young shooters the low recoil they'd prefer. Later on, as they grow, full power loads are there with rifles more useful for big game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have no idea what your DNR requires but I would stay away from the .223 for Deer hunting. Many require a minimum of 6mm/.243 caliber for Deer hunting. I don't think that you would want to hunt with the .223 even if you could. Ask around if you don't have access to one so that you could let your son shoot a 22 rifle first. All of the lessons he would learn on the 22 rifle would transfer over to the Deer rifle. Spending a couple of dollars a box for 50 22s is alot better than 20.xx per box for 20 rounds of rifle ammo. Just my thoughts, go with your instincts....

Karl
Oklahoma Reg's says anything above 50gr. On a side note My first rifle at age 10 was a 410 single shot. Used that killing thousands of glass bottles and cans. About 6 months later around deer season time I graduated to a 223 that I used until I think age 14 where I went to 30-30. While hunting with the 223 I never had issues killing deer (all Doe's), with the 55gr rounds and definitely had no issues with the 30/30. Got my first Buck at age 15 with the 30/30.

5 years to kill a buck now seems like a long time but honestly at the time it's amazing I killed anything, as noisy and impatient as I was :)
 

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My oldest son's first buck was with a .30/30. It was an impressive (for Texas) 8-pt and we had the head mounted. My youngest son has a .270, but wants to go "back" to the .30/30 since he finds it more fun to shoot. (no idea why, but who knows with teenagers)

Personal recommendation is the youth model Marlin in .243. My youngest son's first deer was with a Savage Model 11 in .243. He wasn't much more than 10 at the time, either. If he has the reach for an "adult" size stock, then so much the better - get him the full sized (adult) one. If you're going to go with a Savage, get the Model 110 series (Long Action) or Model 11 series (Short Action). The quality of workmanship and the options of Accu-Trigger and Accu-Stock (that came out AFTER my wife bought my rifle) are well worth the extra $$ to invest. (again, personal recommendation)

Best thing of all of this is that you're getting your son into a family adventure, one that he will remember for a lifetime. I still cherish the memories of hunting with my dad and my grandfather. I can only hope that someday, my children will have those same memories of hunting with me.

Best of luck with your son and your dad. Good hunting!!

RR
 

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To some hunter,economical scopes will be most needed

I read the article of the upper post. I kinda know his hunting life in his early years. If I were him,not only would I choose a rifle scope of $500, but I would choose a pratical not-big-branded scope of $140.

check out on this link

ZOS Rifle Scopes and other scopes
 

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Just my 2 cents worth, a 223 is for everything smaller than a deer, not a round I would consider for deer hunting. Some may argue but we all get an opinion.
 

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I have been very happy with a .243 since 1991.Killed more than 40 deer between 20 and 270 yards with it.I can shoot 20 practice shots if need be and no sore shoulder.
 
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