Short Light weight Stalker/Foxer/ Training Rifle

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by Bilbo-K, Jul 22, 2012.

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  1. Took the son and heir (9 yr old) out bunny bashing for the first time last week. Little so and so was whacking bunnies at 50 yds off sticks in pitch black / pouring rain with Ruger 10/22 heavy barrel and digisight (which doesn't perform well in the rain).

    So as a very proud and pushy parent I would like to reserve a lane on Sennybridge for him to shoot 50 cal at 1500m.

    However as an intermediate step, I would like to combine 2 projects:

    1 Short(under 40" OAL) deer legal rifle in the 6/7lb class (unscoped/unloaded/un-modded) vehicle weapon (fox out of the vehicle)
    2.Weapon to teach son and heir centrefire stuff with a short length of pull

    My thoughts to date

    Remington Model 7 in .243 (prepared to rebarrel a 22-250) as shortest LOP
    Tikka T3 Lite 243
    Kimber Montana 243

    Would appreciate comments from anybody who has experience teaching little people to shoot centrefire in the field.

  2. Well, to be honest, I think that 9 is a bit young...

    I did not start my lads on guns until they were 14, which is the minumum age they could go on an MOD range. I did take them out rough shooting when they were younger, but they were only pickers up. I then joined a local archery club when they were about 12, which had a load of junior members and they learned the basics of safety and shooting dicipline there.. At 14 I then started them on target shooting using a .310 Cadet rifle, which will reach out to 200m but is light and small enough for them to cope with. Before that, they had learned the basics of position, hold and let off with an air rifle in the back yard..

    I have seen kids who have been pushed down the fullbore path too early lose interest. I have also seen young shooters with the most terrific flinches as a result of being scared by too large rifles at too young an age..

    There is also the issue of game welfare to be considered.. are they really able to take on foxes and have they the patience and concentration needed to take safe, humane shots at that age?

    I know you are a proud dad, but perhaps a slightly more paced approach would be better all round.. Does BSAC in your area run a junior shots course?
  3. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Both my lads shot from nappies onwards, kids are fickle so will want to shoot at odd times! I have a rem 700 ADL very lightweight in stock from an arSser in .243!

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9780 using Tapatalk
  4. You make some very good points. Particularly with regard to flinching and animal welfare.

    The lad has been coming to the club ever since he could walk. When the inevitable 'can I have a go' came I was actually quite resistant and it was other club members that said they would supervise initially air rifle and then 22. I made a conscious decision to let someone other than me hammer in the safety basics on the premise that he was much more likely to listen to somebody other than me.

    He has become quite an accomplished target shot and his pretty handy with the junior compound bows we have as well.

    Ugly is quite right the enthusiam comes and goes and I try to encourage him to have a go at as much stuff as can.

    He has shown he has been able to translate his range skill with a 22 to the field on bunnies at 50 yds. I agree he is probably not ready to start taking 100 yd shots at fox/deer with a centrefire rifle.

    I think he is probably ready to have a few shots off bags with a moderated 243 with HE117s point about flinches taken on board.
  5. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Getting them using a .243 isnt always the soft option, it has quite a bit of recoil compared to a 120 or 140 grain loaded 6.5 swede! I have struggled to get the left handed CZ527 in for my nipper as he loves the 7.62 x 39 and bagged his first Fallow Prickett aged 15 with it!
  6. Mate of mine is trying to flog me his Kimber Montana in 260. Despite the fact that the rifle weighs in at 5.75 lbs ish he says he can shoot it all day long...

    Don't really want to taken on another intermediate cartridge as already reload for 243, 6 x47, 270 and 308.
  7. Sounds like a future Zaitsev...!

    You can get junior hunting rifles in the States, however I don't know if anyone stocks them here. Howa make a Youth .243 - HWR66209, but again, I think this would be better when they have a bit more upper body strength and maturity... .243 out of a 20" barrel will not be a mild combination..

    To be frank, I think you stick to bunny bashing with a .22LR for the moment, preferably with a single shot from a safety point of view. Remember under the Firearms Acts the barrel needs to be at least 30cm (11.8") with an overall length of 60cm (23.62").

    The trouble with kids at that age is that they grow out of stuff as you watch.. I got SubCal (#2 son) an old Remington 1100 with a shortened stock when he was a teenager and getting into clays. Semis are ideal for youffs as they take the edge of the recoil and only have one barrel to look down. (He was not allowed to use the magazine until he had mastered IA drills!) He started off (annoyingly) well, but then began to lose the plot after a year or so.. cue teenage tantrums etc.. Eventually he was persuaded to have a round with the club coach who diagnosed that the stock had shrunk..Duh! A new butt pad and he was back smashing again..

    I still think the old .310 cadet is an ideal youth rifle - single shot, reloadable and accurate out to 300m. Not big enough for deer, but ideal for rooks & rabbits.. worth looking out for - make the cases from cut down .32-20 brass!
  8. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    You can get single shots rechambered to .38 special or just buy a Thompson contender or rossi single shot, they come up for pennies in the auctions and you can usually sell them on later. 38 is ok for close up fox work and most clubs gallery ranges. The .260 is interesting but if I was spending good money I would go down the road of a Rem 700 in a youth stock or perhaps the Ruger 77 in a youth stock, all are available new.
    Consider the CZ 527, they can be found used for a couple of hundred pounds. Available in .22 centrefire up to 7.62 x 39.
  9. Ever thought of .223 instead of the rather 'impressive to shoot' .270?

  10. I'd go along with Plunderer on the smaller full-bore calibre suggestion. My 9yo (started at 8) is getting pretty good with the .223 (off a bipod), and consistently out-performing the 13yo (doesn't go down well) on the ranges. For the loud bang effect nothing beats the "cowboy guns" and BP pistols, they always have a huge grin after that.

    As you did, I got someone else at the club to spell out range drills and etiquette as they won't listen to me. But for field stuff I stick to the .22LR for now with them. Part of learning to stalk (even bunnies) is the legwork in getting to the right downwind and safe firing position, and I got fed up quite quickly with "Dad, it's getting heavy" when we took the .223 out! It's also much easier and safer for the juniors to fire from a standing or kneeling supported position having a lighter weapon helps there.