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Youth rifle

14 Oct 2014
@ 07:20 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

From email- just keying in readers:

Hi Nathan: hope all is well. you guided me through bedding & stock stabilizing my 30-06 and my buddy's 308 ruger Americans with your products. They feel incredibly stout and rugged now and we love how they shoot. Thank you.

I read your entire article on game killing fundamentals. I'm looking for a rifle for my daughter (12 yrs old) to harvest deer and hog at under 200 yrds, but trying to balance felt recoil vs ability to cause hydrostatic/hydrolic shock so the game will drop.

.243, 7mm-08 or .308 lite? but afraid of getting too much recoil from .308 or not enough velocity or impact from .243. Hogs - plan on her taking a below the ear shot. deer - an upper lung(upper half of chest shot) (based on your article). Can you help?

Thanks .....


14 Oct 2014
@ 07:21 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Youth rifle
Hi ....., could you please check pricing on a Tikka T3 compact. This would be my preference for accuracy and a trigger than can be adjusted to 1.5lb-2lb- very important for delicate fingers.

You can skin this cat two ways-
1. Velocity (eg .243)
2. Heavy frangible bullets moving slowly (eg 7mm-08)

Both will give the same result. Modern frangible bullets have really changed the game as I wrote in my long range cartridges book, creating wide wounding at very low velocities.

In the 7mm-08, you could run the 120gr V-Max until the lass is able to shoot a 162gr A-Max (if you can get your hands on any). No great need to load the 162gr A-Max past 2400fps until her later teens.

Head shooting hogs is OK but with the .243, the bullet will sometimes explode on mud. Neck shots can be the same. In many ways, it can be better to just use an 85gr TTSX and go for the shoulder.

I don't generally allow the .243 on our hunting block due to past problems with pigs. But I have an exception. If a Barnes bullet is used along with shoulder bone shot placement, and ranges kept inside 300 yards- the .243 is a go. Deer are much easier to address.

If you go with the 7mm-08, fire form 50 cases with Trail Boss powder loaded to 90-100% case capacity. Sight it, then let the lass shoot the rest off. But- make sure that trigger is adjusted right down. Full set up procedures for the Tikka are in my Accurizing and Maintenance book.

If using the 120gr V-Max:
Fireform loads will go say 1600-1800fps.
Then work up a V-Max load going around 2400fps (say 9 shots for her)
Then work up a load doing say 2600fps and see how she goes.
Final load around 2700-2800fps if she is up to it.

After fire forming- Preliminary load development in 2 shot groups to save you time and ammo when studying the velocity spectrum. Jump up in 1 grain increments. Probably use IMR4350 or H4350 to keep the case capacity up when downloading. Start load 40 grains, end load 48 grains. Total round count 16 shots.


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