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Gun for my son(6 year old).

DanielB89

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Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
1,308
Location
Monroe, LA
My son managed to shoot his first deer this year at 6 years old! He was using a .300 blackout and made an absolutely PERFECT heart shot, literally blowing it up, but there was no blood at all on the ground. We got lucky and walked up on the doe around 40 yards away, but I wasn't very happy with the lack of blood. I am looking at other potential calibers to get him and my daughter that will produce better results. We were shooting barnes 120 grain vor-tx ammo. Everything I have read only is "they're the best". I have always taught him to shoot behind the shoulder as I am not a fan of ruining meat if it's avoidable.

Options I have considered:
350 legend
6.5 Grendel
6.5 Creedmoor
7mm-08

All of these rifles will be in the AR platform(or similar) to have an adjustable stock and heavy.

I would love some insight from guys who have been through this stage already.
 

reggoh75

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Jan 11, 2019
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114
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LOUISIANA
I bought my kids a Ruger American Compact in 7mm-08 and they shoot the Hornady SST Custom Lite 120gr rounds.
I will tell you that any ballistic tip round is not designed for pass through but for destruction of the vitals.
The deer rarely go far with a good shot but there is also not much of a blood trail.
These rounds are designed to break up and give all of their energy to the vital area.
 

Cotehex

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Oct 3, 2019
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107
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OK
I would chose the 7mm-08 for an all around gun that will work for almost any game in the USA.
 

DanielB89

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Nov 17, 2017
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1,308
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Monroe, LA
I would chose the 7mm-08 for an all around gun that will work for almost any game in the USA.
I also considered getting a 308 and shooting light recoil ammo..

Do you know how the recoil is in the 7mm-08?
 

Cotehex

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Oct 3, 2019
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107
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OK
I also considered getting a 308 and shooting light recoil ammo..

Do you know how the recoil is in the 7mm-08?
I do not. I do own a 308 and reload so I can do about anything I want to reduce recoil and it is certainly a viable option. I also am currently in the market for a 7mm-08 that I am going to let younger and smaller frame hunters I know hunt with. It should have a lighter recoil with factory ammo because the round is lighter and the powder charge lighter while still maintaining slightly better ballistics down range than the .308. The 7mm-08 is just a .308 round necked down to the 7mm bullet.
 

Hunter260

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Sep 14, 2019
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1,022
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Columbia, MO
How many deer have you shot with the 300 blackout? It may have just been a fluke. I hardly ever find reliable blood trails with rifle shot deer of various calibers. My goal is to have them fall in sight.
 

DanielB89

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Nov 17, 2017
Messages
1,308
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Monroe, LA
How many deer have you shot with the 300 blackout? It may have just been a fluke. I hardly ever find reliable blood trails with rifle shot deer of various calibers. My goal is to have them fall in sight.
Only 1, which is a very small scale study, but I messaged quite a few friends who used one for their childs first gun and they pretty much all had the same story.

I believe my options are to start shoulder shooting, or to upgrade to something with a better BC.
 

Hogtooth

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Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
44
The 140 score 10 point I shot this year was 20 yards broadside and shot with a 7mm rem mag. The shot was perfect right in the crease and he still went 60 yards. The bullet passed through and there was very little blood trail. When I field dressed him it was like a dam of crimson blood broke loose and poured out every where. I am of course not saying a 6 year old needs a 7mm mag but what I am saying is shooting deer no matter what your shooting them with you never really know what is going to happen. They are doing what ever they can to survive. My vote would be the 7mm-08
 

DanielB89

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Nov 17, 2017
Messages
1,308
Location
Monroe, LA
The 140 score 10 point I shot this year was 20 yards broadside and shot with a 7mm rem mag. The shot was perfect right in the crease and he still went 60 yards. The bullet passed through and there was very little blood trail. When I field dressed him it was like a dam of crimson blood broke loose and poured out every where. I am of course not saying a 6 year old needs a 7mm mag but what I am saying is shooting deer no matter what your shooting them with you never really know what is going to happen. They are doing what ever they can to survive. My vote would be the 7mm-08
yeah, that is something to consider as well. I have shot deer with a 3006 and had very poor blood trails. I'll give it a few more chances before making a decision.
 

Maverick1

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Aug 2, 2019
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270
Some pretty good recommendations above. Good luck deciding on a rifle and caliber! (And even better luck finding ammunition for it!)
 

DMTJAGER

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Sep 4, 2018
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349
When it came time to buy my two sons at ages 8 and 10 their very own first big game rifle I figured GO BIG or GO HOME!!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately no rifles in 700 Nitro Express were available at that time:rage::rage::rage:
So I bought them both rifles chambered in none other than 460 WEATHERBY MAGNUMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As you never know when you will have to stop a charging run away locomotive dead in it's tracks.
1610147472166.png
But seriously of the calibers you suggested I would go with either the 7mm/08 or the 6.5CM. I own a Savage 10FCP in 308 and a Mauser 96 in 6.5x55 (ballistically very similar to a 6.5CM) and my sons have shot both a great deal including from the bench and both said the recoil was essentially a non factor, but my sons handle recoil well.
Both the 7mm/08 and 6.5x55 Swede have a exceptionally well proven and established record of taking all types of big game from the smallest of deer up to and including moose and elk. Considering the 6.5CM's performance is slightly better than the 6.5 Swede I feel you would be quite confident either the 7mm/08 or 6.5cm will serve your sons very well in killing anything from deer to elk and even moose.

If I were you and I was hunting strictly whitetails I would stick with a proven bullet with a well established reputation of on game performance of a cup and lead core bullet design like SGK's or even better a Nosler Partition or Nosler Accubond as these types of bullets expand reliably over the widest of impact velocities. The all copper bullets are great but need higher velocities than copper jacketed lead hunting bullets to open up reliably. IMHO when using non magnum cartridges, you just do not need all copper bullets for hunting deer. Yes you can use them I just do not see where you are better served by them unless you make a habit of aiming for major bone masses on the deer.
Again just my opinion.
I reload 98% of all my centerfire rifle ammo. When hunting deer I load Nosler 180 Accubonds in my 300wsm and in my sons JM stamped Marlin 336C's in 35 Remington I load 180 Speer Hotcores.

Both have performed absolutely flawlessly on deer.
 
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Topdog

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Jun 5, 2020
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1,140
I use a 7/08, I kill big bodied north country deer, the 7/08 is a perfect balance of power, speed, and recoil, very little recoil, I mite add. I am also a gun nut and have a wide arsenal of stuff to pick from but still carry my 7/08 because it just plain works and that rifle is a lightweight at 5.5 lbs so it swings nice. The comment up above about ballistic tips exploding, I couldn’t agree more, 20 years ago I had several splash hits and wrote them off to never use again, I also reload, when I started researching loads for my 7/08 everything said a 120 grain nosler ballistic tip which is exactly the opposite of what I like, I always preferred heavy for caliber penetrating bullets, apparently sometime ago nosler reconfigured the 120 grain 7mm bullets to a more dense core or something for better penetration, I had my doubts, but I tried them, it’s true there different, I now get complete pass throughs on front shoulder hit deer, no BS, that buck on the left from a couple months ago was 120 yards hard quartering away shot almost end to end penetration and he dropped, broadside hits come out like a quarter size hole, obviously they changed something big time, at least in the nosler 120 grain 7mm stuff. My vote out of your choices would be 7/08.
 

brydan

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Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
541
Yeah the 7mm 120gr BT is an excellent deer bullet. Very happy with them out of a 7-30AI pistol

FWIW, on the original question I'd go 6.5 Grendel or stick with the 300BO. Don't know if they factory load 300BO with the 125gr BT or not but that's also a good bullet for modest velocities
 

Tony

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Aug 3, 2017
Messages
73
Location
Northern Vermont
You can buy (in normal times) reduced recoil rounds for 7mm/08.

My 100lb 9 year old was using a single shot 7mm/08 this year. He didn’t shoot a deer with that gun, but did with a muzzleloader.

I ordered him a left hand 350 legend with 18” barrel. Felt recoil is supposed to be pretty low and we can both use it in straight wall only states. Plus it’s the smallest shortest left hand bolt gun you can buy.

Also, this year I shot a doe with a muzzleloader (Remington UML, 110 g/v Blackhorn, 300 g, 50 cal bullet) from about 30 ft away. It had less of a blood trail than the buck I shot straight on heart shot with a bow (no pass through, arrow stuck in through hearts and guts).

it all depends sometimes they don’t bleed, don’t mean they ain’t going to die in 40’.
 

Barron79

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Jan 3, 2021
Messages
6
I bought a 6.5 Creedmoor this year for my youngest son. We are shooting a 130 grain Sierra bullet. Shot 3 deer, all inside of 75 yards and it dropped them in their tracks. Can’t testify to a blood trail but the holes were dime sized with lungs turned to jelly. Light recoil and went with a savage youth model for the size. Another son shoots the 7mm/.08 and it’s a great choice too.
 

raisins

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Jan 17, 2019
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2,649
In an AR-platform for that age.....6.8 SPC or 6.5 Grendel complete upper or rifle. Deer aren't that hard to kill (I shoot them short range with 22-250 with no problems, just have to have the right bullet....soft point of sufficient weight or something with proper expansion). I'd want something sufficient within 200 yards that won't kick and that you can shoot full power loads that will cycle well in the rifle. I think if you got a 7-08 and started shooting reduced recoil loads in an ar type platform that you would likely have several adjustments to make to get it to cycle reliably.
 
Last edited:

DanielB89

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Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
1,308
Location
Monroe, LA
When it came time to buy my two sons at ages 8 and 10 their very own first big game rifle I figured GO BIG or GO HOME!!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately no rifles in 700 Nitro Express were available at that time:rage::rage::rage:
So I bought them both rifles chambered in none other than 460 WEATHERBY MAGNUMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As you never know when you will have to stop a charging run away locomotive dead in it's tracks.
View attachment 42717
But seriously of the calibers you suggested I would go with either the 7mm/08 or the 6.5CM. I own a Savage 10FCP in 308 and a Mauser 96 in 6.5x55 (ballistically very similar to a 6.5CM) and my sons have shot both a great deal including from the bench and both said the recoil was essentially a non factor, but my sons handle recoil well.
Both the 7mm/08 and 6.5x55 Swede have a exceptionally well proven and established record of taking all types of big game from the smallest of deer up to and including moose and elk. Considering the 6.5CM's performance is slightly better than the 6.5 Swede I feel you would be quite confident either the 7mm/08 or 6.5cm will serve your sons very well in killing anything from deer to elk and even moose.

If I were you and I was hunting strictly whitetails I would stick with a proven bullet with a well established reputation of on game performance of a cup and lead core bullet design like SGK's or even better a Nosler Partition or Nosler Accubond as these types of bullets expand reliably over the widest of impact velocities. The all copper bullets are great but need higher velocities than copper jacketed lead hunting bullets to open up reliably. IMHO when using non magnum cartridges, you just do not need all copper bullets for hunting deer. Yes you can use them I just do not see where you are better served by them unless you make a habit of aiming for major bone masses on the deer.
Again just my opinion.
I reload 98% of all my centerfire rifle ammo. When hunting deer I load Nosler 180 Accubonds in my 300wsm and in my sons JM stamped Marlin 336C's in 35 Remington I load 180 Speer Hotcores.

Both have performed absolutely flawlessly on deer.
Thank you for the detailed response. You made many great points. I have thought the same about the copper bullets for the .300 black out. I also have some Winchester xp 150 grain that are plated I will get sighted in and try. I know that the gun is shooting around 2000fps so bullet choice is important. I never considered the lower speeds effecting the all copper bullets expansion.

Thanks fellas for all the responses.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

lawrence

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Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Messages
369
love my Grendel in AR, wanted to try the legend..so will build an upper. There isnt any ammo available for them..and i am not wanting to develop another load just to test another caliber. While the low recoil ammo might help on a bolt action, it is been hard to find. i dont think the Creedmoor will fit the AR, unless you go with the AR10. better off with the grendel. The only reason i have the grendel is i wanted a 16" rifle for the saddle. Creedmoor and grendel are both .264 so potato-patahto. I have been shooting 6.5 creedmoor for at least five year in hunting and out to 800 yards in long range. For the creedmoor i am working on a hunting load that is nosler 100 grain bt or partition (partition would be better). I used to be able to buy that load for my 260 and it is a creampuff. less recoil then my 243, but a bigger pill. nocks them down. Found there was less blood on BT verses partition due to expansion. I was always taught to shot thru to the other leg. They wont run that way. The other spot is the base of the neck/head. Some of the guys around here will only take that shot.
I have avoided the blackout for now as I am afraid that i might chamber it in a 223 by accident
 
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