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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
which is better for a 12 year old,he shot BB guns ever since he was 3, he currently shoots a 243 and is very comfortable with it and he is accurate enough to make a great shot on a deer at 225 yards. his birthday is coming up and wants a 30-06 or a 308. we will be mostly hunting deer but may go elk hunting ???
 

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Buck Slayer,
Take your pick. Both are great cartridges. I have been shooting a 308 since I was 8 years old. I would tell you to start him out on 150 grain loads and work up from there if you need to. I shot 125/130 grain bullets and never saw much difference in recoil to the 150 grain bullets. If you reload you can reduce the loads a little bit to get him used to the recoil. I don't think he will have any problem with either cartridge. The only reason I own a 308 is that dad got a great buy on a pre 64 model Winchester he found in a gun shop.
 

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Guess with the choices I would choose the 308. Depends on his size. I have seen some BIG 12 yo's! When one of mine was 12, he could have handled both.

But if I were getting a gun for a 12 yo that he would never outgrow, could shoot an elk with, and never develop a flinch (assuming he is a normal shooter) I would look at a 6.5x55 Swede or 260 Rem. I have the 6.5 and love it. The Swedes shoot moose with it, and I would shoot elk with mine.

My now 15 yo (big kid/athlete) loves my M70 6.5, and finishing a sporterized Mauser for him. He loves the cartridge because he has shot 3 deer, two w/ the 6.5 and one w/ a 308. Both the 6.5's dropped in their hoof prints, and the 308 deer ran about 30 or so yds. He is a huge 6.5 convert!
 

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I would say it might depend on his size. I think between those two choices I would go .308. Of course that is based off of the info that you gave. Another great option I think would be the 7mm-08. Same case as the .308 just necked down with recoil similar to the 30-30.
 

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Just my opinion here.... There's a huge difference in recoil with a .243 compared to either calibers you listed. Has he been able to handle a 30-30 or .35Rem? Gradually work those young ones up the ladder as not to overwhelm them with recoil :)
 

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LT said:
Just my opinion here.... There's a huge difference in recoil with a .243 compared to either calibers you listed. Has he been able to handle a 30-30 or .35Rem? Gradually work those young ones up the ladder as not to overwhelm them with recoil :)
+1 - why I like the 6.5x55 (or 260 Rem)
 

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I was 9 when Dad gave me a sporterized 6.5 Swede. At 14, I swapped it for a guitar and Dad gave me a sporterized Persian Carbine 8x57mm. 47 years later, the Persian Carbine is still my go-to rifle for all occasions; mice to moose. Your kid is 12. You've taught him and brought him along. He has learned to trust you. ANY rifle that doesn't fit him is going to be uncomfortable to shoot. I've had people say my 8x57mm kicks like their 338Win Mag. To me, it doesn't kick at all, but the stock was made for me and it fits. IF you do not handload, you are short-changing both of you. Handloading, you can virtually make any cartridge suitable for him at 12 and let him grow into it.

I'm not a fan of either the 308 or the 30-06, but a wise man once said you can never go wrong with the 30-06, and I'm smart enough not to belittle a wise man. When your youngster is grown up, 30-06 ammo will still be available most anywhere, until he realizes the blessings of handloading. Then, he will create it at will. Really, no wrong choices.

Jeff
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
he also shot a 12 gauge when he was 10 but the next day his shoulder was bruised but he liked shooting it. he weighs about 100 pounds
 

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oscarflytyer said:
Guess with the choices I would choose the 308. Depends on his size. I have seen some BIG 12 yo's! When one of mine was 12, he could have handled both.

But if I were getting a gun for a 12 yo that he would never outgrow, could shoot an elk with, and never develop a flinch (assuming he is a normal shooter) I would look at a 6.5x55 Swede or 260 Rem. I have the 6.5 and love it. The Swedes shoot moose with it, and I would shoot elk with mine.

My now 15 yo (big kid/athlete) loves my M70 6.5, and finishing a sporterized Mauser for him. He loves the cartridge because he has shot 3 deer, two w/ the 6.5 and one w/ a 308. Both the 6.5's dropped in their hoof prints, and the 308 deer ran about 30 or so yds. He is a huge 6.5 convert!
You took the words right out of my head about the 6.5's. They are amazing! And they have little recoil, so a flinch shouldn't be with them in their use. They're every bit as good in the hunting field as the .308 and .30-06. They get the job done, for sure!
 

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The 308...plenty of power even for elk, less recoil than the 30-06, the rifle will weigh less (in most cases), he won't need a 24" barrel...22" is plenty and 20" will do just fine....these are the advantages of the 308 over the 30-06.

I am not knocking the 30-06, its another great old warhorse...but it just doesn't do so well in short, light rifles.


308 loads...I've had the best luck with Nosler 165 grain Ballistic Tips for deer, and personally I'd use them for elk too but the 180 grain Ballistic Tip would be better for elk in most cases. Lots of people say the Ballistic Tips expand too fast but with 165's at 308 velocities, they do not blow apart...they'll exit through both shoulders on deer, but not before turning the vital organs to mush.

From 10 feet to a tad over 800 yards...I've never had a deer take more than 4-5 steps after being hit, and most just folded up right where they stood. (about 60 deer I guess, haven't really counted)

The 6.5 is another good one...well known for good penetration when proper bullets are used, but a 180 grain bullet from a 308 ain't no slouch when it comes to penetrating either.
 

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Either but the "06" covers more ground as far as bullets size goes. Plus, if needed, you can get
reduced loads. Less recoil. :)
 

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I would go with the .308 choice. ;) I use mine for elk and deer. Have for years. I tend to go with the levers now days (since I got the lever bug). ;D But the .308 is a very good versatile round (as is the 30-06). Both would have ammo easily found in most gun shop or sporting goods store and in a wide varity of bullet choices. If you reload the Hodgdon Powder reloading data site site has "low recoil" youth loads listed using the H-4895 powder. You could easily load up the .308 in reduced loads if needed.

CJ
 

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Be like my dad when I was 12. He had me shooting turkey loads out of a 12 ga pump. Then he handed me a 30-06 and had me shoot it. I thought, wow, this rifle doesn't recoil much at all!

If he can handle a 12 ga, he can shoot the 308 or the 30-06. If he was just shooting deer, I'd go with the 308 because of the shorter action. If he's going to be hunting elk, go with the 30-06, it can handle the heavier weight bullets better.
 

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With the variaty of load options you have there, I wouldn't hesitate to go with a 30-06 rifle for him. I have two boys, now 23 and 16; they grow up so rapidly you don't notice. Start with lesser loads, though.

Cheers
 

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Kaweskar said:
With the variaty of load options you have there, I wouldn't hesitate to go with a 30-06 rifle for him. I have two boys, now 23 and 16; they grow up so rapidly you don't notice. Start with lesser loads, though.

Cheers
Totally agree on all points!! Especially "they grow up so rapidly you don't notice" - that is for real!!

Jeff
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Why is it when the Op askes about the .308 or 30-06 for his 12 year old son, everybody has to interject 6.5 this, 7MM that or whatever Caliber du Jour floats their boat? :mad:

To quote the late great Col. Townsend Whelen, "The 30-06 is never a mistake." I'll never argue that point. Most loads for the .308 (advertised figures) aere about 100 FPS slower than the 30-06. However, the 30-06 is loaded to a lower pressure level due to so many older guns that cannot handle modern pressures. With careful and judicious handloading, the 30-06 can be a more powerful cartridge than the .308 ever thought it coud be. The say the .308 doesn't do heavy bullets very well. ::) :eek:
I'll bet serious money they're wrong. The 30-06 is advertised to do 2400 FPS with 220 gr. bullets. OK, you can kick that up a bit with handloads but the .308 can reach 2300 FPS with judicious handloading and W760 powder. My own Winchester M70 will put them out at 2310 FPS with a max load of W760. Very accurate too with groups in the .375" to .50" range depending on how well I'm shooting that day. Just might be the ticket for elk in really thick dark timber.
I'd just flip a coin, heads it the .308 and tails the 30-06. Can't go wrong with either one. Your choice.
Paul B.
 

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I'd just flip a coin, heads it the .308 and tails the 30-06. Can't go wrong with either one. Your choice.
Paul B.
+1 ;)
 

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i started out rifle shooting a .243 when i was a kid, then for my 12th birthday my dad got me a remington 700 youth in .308. I'm sure a 30-06 would be just fine, but my bias is to the .308
 

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I'd opt for the 30/06 with a stock that fits him, a Limbsaver pad & REM. reduced recoil loads to start with. Let him climb the recoil ladder as he is ready.

Scott
 
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