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Old 09-27-2006, 09:07 AM   #1
AWoods
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Default Elk caliber for youth

I am trying to decide on the best caliber center fire for my 12 year old daughter who has a youth cow hunt this year. The caliber's I am considering are 25-06, 250 roberts, 6mm, or 308 Norma mag or 300 Savage. Her hunters safety instructor suggested a .243 but I concerned about that rifle not being large enough for a totally ethical kill. Trying to find a balance between a rifle that wont knock the hell out her, and one that will provide an ethical kill. And before you tell me, I already know, shot placement,shot placement, shot placement.

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Old 09-27-2006, 09:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

I bought a .270 for myself but I'm thinking that if my 12 year old and I go elk hunting I'll let her use it and I'll shoot my 30.06 The .270 that I got doesn't seem to kick too bad and I think she would do just fine with it. She's using a .243 for deer.
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

In general, the ODFW is going to err on the side of an ethical kill in setting minimum calibers. They likely already have a built-in margin of error so I don't feel that you need to do it again to be "Uber-ethical"

I bought a NEF youth in .243 for my 12 year old Daughter (2 years ago). Nice thing about the NEFs is that you can get other barrels for them. She will be hunting this weekend with the .223 barrel. This allows her to practice with a lighter caliber. (We also have a .410 barrel for it.)

I bought the ultra-light youth model which was a mistake. The recoil from the .243 in a 6-1/4# rifle is brisk. You don't want to have her be afraid of the gun so consider recoil. Here is a recoil calculator you should use before choosing a gun or caliber.
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Skip the small stuff and go straight for the 338 Mag. That is what my dad bought for me when I was 11. Oh yea, this was my deer gun. I can only imagine what he would have bought me if we were going elk hunting. :grin:
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Hey thanks for the feedback. Isnt the NEF a singleshot? I like that idea alot(pack the rifle unloaded), and was considering the Thompson centerfire for the same reasons you mentioned. Also she is left eye dominant, so buying a gun with no action allows for right or left hand shooting.

If you dont mind me asking where did you pick up the NEF and approx how much did they get you for?
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Get her a 30-06, .270, or a .308 THEN put a GOOD muzzle break & a SIMS lab recoil pad....You can not believe the difference in felt recoil!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

There are yout model guns available in decent calibers suitable for klling an elk..
While I don't think you have to go big for elk, I would want the most energy available within reason and comfort for any child taking their first animal. I have heard too many stories about bad shots on first animals.
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

a 7mm-08!

mild recoil that still delivers a nice punch. IMO its exactly what you need :smile:
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

260 Remington, 7 x 57 mauser, 7-08, 6.5 x 55 swede, .308. All pretty tame in the recoil department. I built my daughter (5' 1" maybe 90 pounds) a 7 x 57, she loves it. A "Past" pad for practice is also a must. Oh yeah, and shooting sticks.
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

One more vote for 7-08. Or .308
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Yes they are a single shot. The lever to open the action is on the right but is easily accessable for lefties and the hammer extension can be installed on either side. Take a look at these
They have a barrel accessory program to have your gun fitted for other calibers. You send in your receiver minus the barrel and they will have it back in a bout 2 or 3 weeks with the new barrels. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I purchased a .223 and a .410 shot barrel for fun. the only differance in the youth model is that the stock is 2-1/2" shorter. Stay away for the ultra-light option on elk calibers. My Daughter is 14 now and the youth stock will be too small for her next year. I need to try to find a standard stock for it.
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

I used to hunt with a 30.06 and a 300mag but anymore I just use the 25.06. Works great.
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:24 AM   #13
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Get a 30.06 or .308 and then have someone load down about 100 bullets shooting the 165gr at like 2300-2400ft/sec.

Then she has one of the best catridges available for any type of hunting she would ever want to do as she matures.

My wife is small (5'2") and she shoots a BAR chambered in .270 with a 140gr that I loaded down to 2400ft/sec for deer with about the same recoil as my bull barrel .223

I believe a .243 with a good shot would do awful destructive things to any animal even an elk.
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Awood

I've seen my aunt and grandmother kill many of elk with a .243 as long as you hit the elk in the motor they will go down. I bought my daughter a 25-06 with a Limb saver recoil pad. The pad took all the kick what little there was right out of the gun.

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Old 09-27-2006, 11:53 AM   #15
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Quote:
I need to try to find a standard stock for it.
PM sent with info on NEF and H&R stock replacements.

William
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Quote:
Quote:
I need to try to find a standard stock for it.
PM sent with info on NEF and H&R stock replacements.

William
Thank you. After I made this post I discovered that (stock) stocks are available for under $40 under the barrel accessory program. Thanks for the link, looks like most of their stocks are better than I need.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Just bought my wife a Ruger Frontier in 7mm-08. Great gun! Nice and short, light recoil but still packs a punch.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

I shot my first elk with a borrowed .270. Guess what I bought?
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

I bought a Marlin .30-.30 for my son. It's fairly heavy gun and a light recoil. I added a recoil pad and cut down the stock to fit him a little better. I did not want him reaching out over 100yds his first year anyway, so the 30-30 fit the bill. I thought the recoil on the youth .308's might be a bit much.
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

I'd look at the Remington SPS 7mm-08; the plain one to keep cost down. On the net sites list it for approx.$429.
It has the R3 recoil pad and a 24"Bbl.Good for a lifetime of hunting. Since it's my opinion I'll add to put a lightweight 2.5X Leupold on it. Good luck.
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:45 PM   #21
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

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And before you tell me, I already know, shot placement,shot placement, shot placement.
Yep. I would also add, bullet selection, bullet selection, bullet selection. The calibers you're considering are often loaded with deer type bullets, such as ballistic tips, that would not be good for elk. Make sure you use an elk bullet, choose your shots carefully, and any of the calibers discussed will do the job.

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Old 09-27-2006, 04:05 PM   #22
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

I'd probably get her something like a 270. You can sight the gun in with normal loads....then let her practice a few times with the reduced (managed) recoil loads, but put regular loads in while she hunts. You should be able to do this (different loads) without her knowledge. I'm sure that it would be a more tramatic experience for her to wound an animal and watch it suffer rather than getting a little more kick from the gun. I really think that a gun like a 243 is a poor idea for an elk for an inexperienced hunter...this is just my opinion so take it for what it's worth.
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:07 PM   #23
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My recollection of shooting a gun at age 12, prior to actually shooting at an animal was this! I shot a 30-30 at a target and got hurt. Shooting at an animal, I didn't hear the shot, I didn't feel the recoil. I was so focused on the the shot, that nothing else mattered. Point being, get 'em to put it where they should know where the shot is placed, and the shot should produce! I've never recalled any reaction physically, to actually shooting an animal, that I remember, except for my 7 mag muzzle report on a deer at 20 feet. Ouch, that hurt my ears! The deer was hurt much more than that. :tongue: Shooting standing offhand is much less painful than off a bench. And to boot, it should be practiced, as that is what would simulate a hunting situation in most cases!
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:16 PM   #24
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Started my baby brother out shooting a custom mauser 98 in 7x57,mild recoil and he shoots it great,the 7mm-08 would be a good choice in my opinion too,or maybe even a 308win.
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:36 PM   #25
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I have four sisters that use .243's. Many, many deer and Elk taken with them. No problem. Ammo for a .243 is a lot easier to come by and is cheaper.
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:52 PM   #26
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

308. My 16 year oldd has killed three with his. Good bullet in the 150 gr class equals dead elk. He has killed two and 150 yds and one at 300. man it just did not look that far, but he killed it with one round through the lungs. Clean through. Not much kick. Nothing will ruin a kid faster than recoil.

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Old 09-27-2006, 06:48 PM   #27
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Rem. 260, 308 or '06. My Kris.
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Old 09-27-2006, 07:39 PM   #28
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

I know of someone who might be willing to part(sell) a Winchester .308 bolt action for a decent price if you are interested. This rifle has a shortened stock on it and might just be a perfect fit.

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Old 09-27-2006, 08:10 PM   #29
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Remington Model 7 in 7mm-08. Or the model 700 Mountain Rifle in the same. Left handed actions available.

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Old 09-28-2006, 08:22 AM   #30
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Two aids to shooting(practice) you might try are; shoulder pad w/harness and a mono-pod with a Pole Cat rubber 'V' for the buttstock. Standing or sitting it steadies the hold amazingly well. It allows fore-end hold practice by lessening overall weight of the gun.
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:20 PM   #31
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

I vote for .243. .308 would be my next pick.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:17 PM   #32
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

When i am looking at a youth/womens gun I am looking to get the most kill power with the least recoil. You want the gun to have a light enough recoil that she ENJOYS shooting the gun besides just hunting with it. Everyone has there own opinions and there was alot of great suggestions and here are mine.....
For Elk i look at the energy (ft-lbs) that my gun has......for elk i believe it is best to have at least 2000 ft-lbs of energy at impact to cleanly kill a full grown elk. Looking at rifles that means that the absolute smallest gun i would get is a 25-06 shooting 125 grain bullets....you would be at around 2027 ft-lbs at 100 yds...now i wouldn't want to go any further then 150 yds with it....your 6.5mm rifles would basically give you the same thing only a 140 grain bullet( i would stay away from a 264 winnie mag because of recoil.)
Your also good with a .270 out to a couple hundred yards
Going up from here everything is good energy wise....but looking at recoil i would choose the 7mm-08 or 7x57 mauser....leaning to the 7mm-08. IF you put a quality recoil pad on this gun the recoil is extremely mild for as powerful a rifle it is.....The only other one's i would recommend would be a .280 or a 30-06. Loaded down. 308's and 270's are a little notorious for recoil......

My Wife shoots a .243 for Deer and currently a .280 for Elk. On her christmas list is a 7mm-08 for elk because of the milder recoil.....

Once someone gets nervous of recoil its hard to break them of bad shooting habits and it takes away the fun of it....
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:42 PM   #33
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:10 PM   #34
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Energy doesnt do the killing. Heavier moderate speed bullets are better for elk regardless of what the ballistic table tells you. A 165 in .308 loaded down will work great
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:07 PM   #35
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

7mm-08 with 140gr Nosler partition or 140gr Barnes TSX.
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:25 PM   #36
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

One of the best all around youth guns I've found for deer and elk is a Rem. 788 .308 carbine.

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Old 10-02-2006, 09:15 PM   #37
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

7mm-08. One of the most underated and overlooked cartriges out there. I'd skip the muzzle brake (you are trading one painful experience for another) and get a SIMMs/Limbsaver recoil pad. Another option is to get a 06' or .270 and use the reduced recoil ammo. That way when she gets older, she'll be able to use the same gun. Although the 7-08 is no slouch as an elk cartridge for a small framed adult, as long as the shots are kept to a reasonable range and you choose a good bullet. IMHO, and I know others disagree, a .243 is a marginal deer cartridge and has no place as an elk gun. Will it work yes, but would not be my first choice.
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:02 AM   #38
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30-06 with reduce recoil rounds and a sims butt pad.
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:21 AM   #39
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

Take a look at this recoil table for some comparisions between rounds.

My neighbor's 9 year old boy was able to shoot my 7-08 without any problems. Even the Hornady Light Magnum rounds don't kick very much.

Recoil Table



"The Sensible 7mm-08 Remington By Chuck Hawks

The 7mm-08 Remington is a cartridge whose time has finally come. For a long time there has been a demand for something approximating .270 Winchester performance in a cartridge short enough to work through short action rifles.Soon after the .308 Win. was introduced, back in 1952, wildcatters had a field day necking the new, strong, short case up and down. One of the neatest results was the 7mm-08 wildcat, the .308 necked down to accept .284 inch (7mm) diameter bullets. It didn't equal the ballistics of the classic .270, but it gave about 90% of that performance, enough to be satisfying, and it would work in any action for which the .308 could be chambered.Winchester realized by 1963 that there was a market for .270-like ballistics in a short case, and they brought out the .284 Winchester. But rather than just necking down their .308 case, as they had done with the .243 Winchester and .358 Winchester, they tried to get fancy. Realizing that the smaller .308 case could never equal the velocity potential of the larger .270 case, they created a new .308-length case with a fatter body, but a rebated rim of (smaller) standard diameter, so the new cartridge would still work through standard short actions and mate correctly with standard diameter bolt faces. This solution never caught on with the buying public, and .284 sales languished, although ballistically the new cartridge did come close to the classic .270.Jump ahead to 1980, when Remington finally did the obvious, and designed a 7mm cartridge based on the .308 case. The new Remington 7mm-08 was identical to the wildcat version except Remington technicians lengthened the .308 case by .020 inch, for a case length of 2.035 inches. Reloaders can still neck down .308 brass to accept .284 inch bullets and the resulting cases will work fine in factory chambered 7mm-08 rifles.The industry standard for the 7mm-08 Rem is 52,000 cup. Recoil energy amounts to about 12.1 ft. lbs. shooting the 120 grain factory load in a 7.5 pound rifle, or 13.5 ft. lbs. shooting the 140 grain factory load in an 8 pound rifle.At first sales were slow, but they are picking up. The 7mm-08 is now being loaded by the big three ammo companies, and already more rifle models are being chambered for it than for the much older .280 Rem. It has earned a good reputation in the field.In terms of performance, as factory loaded by Remington, it exceeds the velocity of the 7x57 by 200 fps with the 140 grain bullet, and comes within 100 fps of the .270 Winchester. With maximum reloads it can achieve velocities within about 100 fps of the slightly larger 7x57 Mauser, and within about 200 fps of the .270 Win. (Both the 7x57 and .270 can be handloaded to higher velocities than offered by Remington factory loads.)The 120 grain bullet would be a good choice for small, light framed animals. For most big game hunting, I would select the 140 grain bullet.Remington loads a 120 grain hollow point spitzer bullet (SD .213) to a MV of 3,000 fps and ME of 2,398 ft. lbs. They load the Premier Ballistic Tip (Nosler) 140 grain BT spitzer to a MV of 2,860 fps and ME of 2,543 ft. lbs. At 200 yards the velocity of this load is 2,488 fps and the energy is 1,925 ft. lbs. The Nosler BT 140 grain spitzer has a BC of .485 and a SD of .248.With a rifle zeroed at 200 yards, both the 120 and 140 grain bullets are 2.9 inches low at 250 yards according to Remington figures. At 300 yards both bullets strike 7.3 inches low. This gives the 7mm-08 about a 275 yard point blank range on big game (where no hold-over is required).With a 200 yard zero, the drop at 300 yards is .4 inch more than a .270 (shooting the 140 grain Nosler bullet as loaded by Remington), and 1.1 inch less that the parent .308 (shooting the 165 grain Nosler bullet as loaded by Remington). This seems like a reasonable level of performance for a short action 7mm.Reloads can equal or in some cases slightly exceed the velocity of the factory loads, which are loaded pretty close to the maximum SAAMI pressure in 7mm-08. The reloader has access to bullets weighing from 110 to 195 grains. The 140 and 150 grain bullets remain the obvious choices, however.The Barnes Reloading Manual Number One gives the following loads for the 7mm-08. 43.0 grains of H414 powder gave a 140 grain bullet a MV of 2578 fps, and 47.0 grains of H414 gave a MV of 2874 fps. 40.0 grains of H414 behind a 150 grain bullet gave a MV of 2450 fps, and 44.0 grains of the same powder gave a MV of 2714 fps. These loads used Remington brass and Federal primers, and were chronographed in a 26 inch barrel.I can't summarize the 7mm-08 any better than the Barnes Reloading Manual Number One does, so I quote: "This is a sensible cartridge that efficiently burns powder to produce velocities not much less than the .270 Winchester and .280 Remington." Its performance, much like the 7x57, qualifies it for consideration as an all-around hunting cartridge."
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:39 AM   #40
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

I agree with the 7-08 crowd.
I own a Tikka and it's light.
I also agree with the 30-06 at 2400FPS crowd.
DO NOT get a muzzle brake.
Get a sims lab recoil pad.
Full speed 25-06 and .270 have huge muzzle blast and it's not necessary.
Really you could buy anything based on the .308 cartridge and do fine.
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:22 AM   #41
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I just want to thank everyone for all the good advice. Yesterday, I ended up getting her a very lightly used Weatherby Vanguard 7mm-.08. Its light, has a synthetic stock, good safety, decent trigger. We mounted a fixed 4X power Leupold scope on it. Some shooting sticks and I think were all set!
I am looking forward to this hunt with her, more than any of my other hunts. Again thanks for all the good information.

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Old 10-18-2006, 10:39 AM   #42
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Very good choice!! Perfect..............
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:46 AM   #43
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

What a "sensible" choice:grin:!
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:16 PM   #44
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

good choice!!
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Old 10-18-2006, 07:24 PM   #45
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Default Re: Elk caliber for youth

It depends, how gun shy is she? just go with the 300 win mag for safe measure
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