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Re: Caliber for youth bolt action

21 Apr 2016
@ 10:19 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Hi John, you can see here that the guys are going at this from two different directions. One is to use a light bullet at high velocity (and velocity does need to be high- downloads only for target work) or you go heavy soft and slow.

The Roberts is problematic in that it needs to be driven fast (or full power) for best results. So you are back into .243 territory but without the rifles to choose from such as the Ruger American.

You could go either way with this so it must come down to your personal preference.

If you did wish to opt for the .243, the two areas that let people down are 1. Bullet choice and 2. not being confident in the ability of the .243 and therefore taking meat saver shots when a frontal shoulder shot will put game down rapidly.

As for small pre and early teen girls, the noise of the .243 is too much for sensitive girls. You would need to start with a very soft and quiet load for target, then make the jump to full power for hunting.

Regarding my choice of the .308 for Riley. For starters, it is a personal favorite of mine but I do not have any good reason for this- a 7mm-08 would shoot flatter with far less drift. I simply like what I like and this is also my client trainer rifle. Its easy to load for and many clients shoot .308 as starter anyway, so it fits the bill. Any extra wind drift can be used as a part of training here.

When reloading for Riley, I can load it right down for low recoil but also low report. And I find that accuracy tends to remain very good all the way through so I don't have to get into serious load work. I can start at sound barrier speeds and work up, allowing a straight transition from the .22LR to the .30 cal, without need of a .223 etc.

Just keep in mind that for hunting, you need the .308 to be going around 1600-1700fps minimum for short range hunting, then build up in speed in power as soon as longer ranges come into question. You can start with H1000 rather than trail boss for hunting loads. Make sure you have some good neck tension to ensure a full burn.

Note- the 6.5's are a bit harder to download to mid speeds. You can make them super slow with Trail Boss or mild with H1000, but its really hard to work around that 1600-2200fps range. That's the only issue I have with this bore diameter for youth training.

As for bullet designs, Thomas has mentioned how I have been approaching this. I also talked about the ELD-X in the long range thread yesterday.

Whether they shoot with a .243, .260, Creedmore, 7mm08 or .308, the key factor is getting the girls to aim forwards and aim small.

This can be a bit of a tough call because the fast .243 does produce a wider wound than a downloaded .308. So I can see why Bryan is pushing in this direction.

Take note what happens if you clap your hands in front of the girls. Some girls are so sensitive that they cover their ears, even when a person claps. If this is the case, the .243 is off the menu even if you have good earmuffs.

Regarding optics- make sure the optic has a good long eye relief and is also not sensitive to distance. Keep an eye out for a used VX1 3-9x40 or 4-12.


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