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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 7mm-08, as well as a 25-06 for my Encore.

I have two other rifles - a 30/30 lever Marlin and a 270 Remmy 700ADL, so I was trying to avoid those calibers.

I have a .357 mag rifle barrel on order, and I'm starting to think I made a mistake in getting that one. I was ordering it so my young son (6) could shoot it on the place I hunt, which by the way - has "rumored" caliber restrictions for next year, with most of my rifle calibers on the "not allowed list", with the exception of the .30-30. .357 mag, .44 mag, etc... in rifles were on the "suggested allowable" list.

HOWEVER - found out this year, that area sucked for gun hunting. They "met their quota" in the 3rd week of gun season (6 days of hunting - Sat and Sun only for 3 weeks). The first two weeks were "reserved stands only", and you had to pick one of the four days available to hunt. Then there was the following weekend. So basically, I had three days to gun hunt - one of the four reserved days, plus the final Saturday and Sunday before they closed it down. I'm finding a new gun-hunting area.

So now I'm considering a different caliber for my son. What would you recommend for a tall, but thin 6 year old (he weighs 45 lbs right now)?

All the best,
Glenn
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh... by the way - TC rep recommended a "new" caliber - 6.8 SPC, for my son. I looked at the recoil tables and compared to calibers I knew. 6.8 SPC was 8 foot pounds of recoil energy. Lighter than the .243, which had 8.8. The .223 only had 3.9 at the worst, but I'm not too keen on such a small bullet for hunting deer (55 or 62 grain).

8 foot pounds of energy seems like a lot for such a young boy. What do you think?

All the best,
Glenn

P.S. I know, I know... reload some reduced loads for him.... :D I'm not at that stage yet (soon - Christmas I hope).
 

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The 6.8 will do. I don’t like the 243 but it will do too. I prefer the 250 Savage or the 257 Roberts – I am a .25 caliber guy.
Gunsmith David White – “Assassin” on this forum will cut your barrel for a rimmed 6.8 if you like and this makes the cartridge easier to handle in the TC’s.
The 357 Mag or the barrel opened up to Maximum will do the trick if your ranges are reasonable. I have seen deer killed with 38 Spl wadcutters using lung shots. The good thing about the 357 is it provides a lot of off season shooting practice.
 

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The .357 is a good choice in a rifle and can be set up for 200 yard shots (not sure if an 8 year old could do 200 yards with the .357 but you could for sure.) I believe for less $$$ than your barrel you could get a "youth" Handi Rifle from H&R in .243 that would be a fine gun for your son for the next 8 years. The 243 has been doing its job for a long time and will be around for a long time for good reason. With a 95 grain partition it will kill just about anything in the lower 48. The 6.8 is no improvement over the .243 - just an improvement over the .223.
 

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Started my son with a .250 Savage. Nice thing about the Savage is you can load it down and bit and not worry about terminal effectiveness. 100gr. Core-Lokts and 100gr. Speer Hot-Cor bullets work great at .250 velocities. The old Nosler Solid Base has worked well for me in the .257 Roberts but seems a little tougher. I am going to save those for the Roberts, though.

My dad has also taken some careful shots with mild loads and 87gr. soft points and gotten good results.

No idea re: the 6.8, no experience with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I believe for less $$$ than your barrel you could get a "youth" Handi Rifle from H&R in .243 that would be a fine gun for your son for the next 8 years.
Thanks for the response jmortimer. That was my original plan. I've owned quite a few H&R / NEF's over the years, and had my eye on a few $150 used .243's. However, H&R customer service has ticked me off pretty bad this year. I sold off my last two H&R singles (20 USH and a .30-30), and vowed them off for the time being. Tempting... but their customer service ticked me off so many times over various issues, I just can't get myself to give them any of my hard earned money.

That is the reason I bought an Encore to begin with - To give my son something to shoot other than the H&R / NEF. I never intended to start buying barrels for myself... but after getting the receiver and stock/forearm, I caught "Encoreitis". :D I might have to buy another reciever for myself if my son likes it.

Thanks for the responses everyone. I think I might just wait to see how the .357 barrel does, and then go from there.

All the best,
Glenn
 

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I'm not sure I would call a standard .357Mag a 200 yard deer gun, but certainly out past 100 yards. A good way to improve on that performance, especially since you already have the barrel on order for your Encore, is to do what the gentleman on this website ( http://357maximum.com/ ) did. The Max is very useful cartridge and the easiest way to comply with the 1-5/8" requirements being imposed in several parts of the country. There are other options that are more powerful, but none are as cost-effective or as simple as the 357 Maximum.
 

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I love my .260 Remington barrel (made my MGM). Great cartridge and fine shooting with low recoil. Get a 1:9 twist if you want to shoot 120gr primarily. I got 1:8 twist to shoot 140gr (primarily) and 120gr. Low recoil, excellent characteristics of 6.5mm bullets (SD and BC). I've already put four deer in my freezer with it. You can even get factory loaded Managed Recoil cartridges from Remington. I wouldn't hesitate to take a shot at 300yds with mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not sure I would call a standard .357Mag a 200 yard deer gun, but certainly out past 100 yards. A good way to improve on that performance, especially since you already have the barrel on order for your Encore, is to do what the gentleman on this website ( http://357maximum.com/ ) did. The Max is very useful cartridge and the easiest way to comply with the 1-5/8" requirements being imposed in several parts of the country. There are other options that are more powerful, but none are as cost-effective or as simple as the 357 Maximum.
Where I'm hunting, I wasn't planning on shooting more than 100 yards. Most of my areas are prime ".30-30 carbine" areas, if that makes sense. The .357 Maximum was recommended (and available) from TC. Kinda wish I had went with that instead. I wonder if it's too late to change?

All the best,
Glenn
 

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I have a 250 savage Barrel for my Encore. Not only does it have minimal recoil it is extremely accurate to boot. I hunted whitetail for years with a 243 before switching to many different larger calibers. I have had excellent luck with the 250, not to big not to small.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm kinda wishing they had it (250 Savage) in a standard barrel, as I'm seeing a lot of posts here and elsewhere about that caliber. Right now, it's custom order only through the shop. Even though I don't mind going the custom shop route, it sure would be nice to pick one up through EABCO for $257 (standard blue), and then get that $50 rebate TC is offering right now on their barrels. They don't offer the rebate on the custom shops orders. I might have to just bite the bullet and do it anyway.

I noticed that Remington has the Reduced Recoil loads for both my .25-06 and 7mm-08. I might check those out this weekend before buying another new barrel. I don't think it's going to bring either of those loads down to the recoil I want though. I am also about to order some reloading equipment, so I might just start doing it myself after the new year.

Luckily, I've got some time.

All the best,
Glenn
 

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Just as an FYI...

Rechambering the 357Mag to 357Max is one of the simpler jobs in gunsmithing and there are many out there who would gladly relieve you of ~$100, or so, to extend the chamber. If your shots are going to be 100 yards or less, your son will do quite well with the recoil of the 357Mag and still be able to harvest deer with it. If you'd like to eventually extend that range (loading down, in the meantime) the Max will give you more flexibility. In other words, it's not too late to have it chambered for the longer round and with appropriate handloads, will still give you everything you originally planned on, PLUS the option for more power, as your son grows into it.
 

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How about a 6.5X55 Swede with a 160 gr SP bullet, MV 2493 fps, enough energy for moose but shouldn't rattle your teeth. You want something different, that is different and has a long venerable history. Or you could use a more common loading with 120 gr bullets and be good for 400 yards.
 

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How about a 6.5X55 Swede with a 160 gr SP bullet, MV 2493 fps, enough energy for moose but shouldn't rattle your teeth. You want something different, that is different and has a long venerable history. Or you could use a more common loading with 120 gr bullets and be good for 400 yards.
While I agree this would be a very comfortable load for a full-grown man to shoot, did you read the OP? I can't see a 45lb 6 year-old boy shooting a 6.5X55 without developing one heckuva flinch...plus, it most certainly wouldn't be legal, if the area he's hunting in is set to impose 1-5/8" restrictions.
 

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6.5x55SE is pretty light recoil... just a smidgen more than a .243 with the 120s, should be similar to the .30-30. The 160s would have a little more kick to them. At 6 and 45lbs, though, I think I'd probably be looking into a .223 or just letting him sit on the stand with me and me doing the shooting. For practice, get him a .22LR and go to the range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Chuck Hawks recoil chart has the 6.5x55 Swede at 10.6 ft lbs of recoil energy with a 140 grain bullet, so it looks like the exact same recoil energy as a .30-30 shooting a 150 grain bullet (10.6). The .243 is listed as having less recoil energy (I put the figures for that one a few posts above).

I've got a great little .22LR for him this year. I bought him a Henry Mini-Bolt. I don't know of your experiences with Henry, but I've been nothing but extremely impressed with the quality of their firearms, and their customer service has been top-notch. My son's Mini-Bolt is in their shop right now, being drilled and tapped for a cantilever scope mount. He has shot the rifle already, but hasn't used a scope yet. I'm going to put a nice little scope on it for Christmas.

I've bought him out with me on stand already. He is all but begging to shoot one himself. He's VERY excited about hunting deer. He currently shoots a longbow with me for practice, and he was begging me to let him shoot a deer with his longbow. It doesn't have anywhere near the energy required to hunt, and would more than likely bounce off a deer if shot at them. Ha! (No - I'm not even considering letting him try - no way, no how - he's got years to go and needs a much stronger bow to do so - I'm a archer, so I'm familiar with what it takes archery wise to take a deer, and what he has is only sufficient for target shooting). I told him that his bow wasn't strong enough, and that a .22 wasn't made for shooting deer... and his reply??? ..... "Well, I guess you're just going to have to buy me a deer-rifle daddy". :p I got a good kick out of that, especially since he said it so "matter-of-factly". :D

All the best,
Glenn
 

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Re: 6.5x55SE, I have a .260 Remington (practically the same thing) I started hunting with this year and have been very pleased with it (using 140gr bullets). Light recoil and has proven to be a freezer filling machine ;)
 

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While I agree this would be a very comfortable load for a full-grown man to shoot, did you read the OP? I can't see a 45lb 6 year-old boy shooting a 6.5X55 without developing one heckuva flinch...plus, it most certainly wouldn't be legal, if the area he's hunting in is set to impose 1-5/8" restrictions.
I did and that is why I brought up the 6.5 Swede.

I can't speak for the restrictions since so far it seems to be at the rumor stage and no limits have been placed yet. How do you limit a rifle in a rifle zone except maybe to ban anything above a certain power level. I am only guessing here but that sounds more like political games than game department rules. My post stands.
 

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A 6.5 Swede, with a total weight of around 8 pounds, shooting 160gr bullets, at ~2,500fps, is going to generate closer to 15 pounds of felt recoil...roughly 50% more than the .243, mentioned above. This is comparable to the venerable 130gr .270 load, at 3050fps and, at least in my book, NOT the kind of recoil I'm going to subject a young boy to!

The .357 Magnum, in a 7lb gun, shooting 158gr bullets, at 1650, generates right around 5lbs of recoil. Plain and simple: The .357Magnum (or even the Max, loaded down to that velocity) only has 1/3...yes, ONE THIRD, the recoil of a 6.5 Swede.

Please understand I am not knocking the Swede...it's an awesome caliber and if I didn't already have a .270 and a 7RM, I'd probably want one really bad! But, truth be told, you can only call the recoil "mild" when comparing it with old standards like the 30-'06 or magnum rounds. For a slight youth, it's still too much gun and you don't want him afraid of it before he grows up enough to shoot the bigger stuff. When he's 12 or 15, that would be a great gun for him, but don't you think it's a bit much for a 45lb boy?

As far as the restrictions go, many states/regions/game agencies are imposing what they call "1-5/8 inch" regulations. This is usually set with a minimum bullet diameter (.357), minimum case length (1.100") and a maximum case length (1.625"). In a nutshell, you can shoot magnum pistol cartridges from a rifle, but this bans pretty much ALL of the traditional, bottle-necked rounds. If this sounds horrible to you, you're absolutely right!

I live and hunt in the great state of Indiana, where they have these regulations in place. The logic is that it limits range, which improves safety...except we all know that the only thing unsafe about most any firearm of good manufacture, is the person pulling the trigger. How these restrictions are going to prevent some idiot from firing at motion in the brush, or how a 240gr slug from a 44Mag is less likely to hurt somebody than a 150gr pill from a .308...is completely beyond me!
 

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Understand your objections and you are right the logic is impeccable if you are on the loony left. Love Indiana, personally, have caught and eaten many fish there and have fed may of your mosquitoes. They irritate no more or no less than Wisconsin mosquitoes.

However OP is listed as San Antonio Texas so I'm thinking he doesn't have the same flavor of silliness to contend with. Also as a point to consider is it even legal for a 6 year old to be allowed to shoot at game, minimum age to get a license here in the Badger State is 12 and they have to pass the hunter safety course first.

Another question is what gun was used to generate those numbers. All guns are not created equal. An Encore with a 15" barrel on a bipod with a scope and just for giggles lets say it has been been magna-ported. What is the felt recoil now?

Another question was about recoil and was 8 pounds to much. Well it depends on the shooter no matter how big or what age. I have seen a 350 pound shooter wince in pain shooting his 35 Remington and he quit shooting after I let him shoot my .348. I have also seen a 5'4" 120 pound 14 year old girl stand there and shoot up a couple of boxes of 12 gauge without flinching and wearing nothing but a tank top, she bruised but she dismissed it as nothing. I have seen men complain my 45 was to hot for them using standard military ball ammo yet one of my pistol team shooters was a WAC who didn't weigh 110 soaking wet in her uniform and combat boots on. Her and my 12 year old son and his 11 year old sister were shooting that same gun and shooting qualifying scores. My opinion on OP question about recoil tolerance is a shrug and its about the shooter, not some arbitrary number.

Don't know what gun cajuntec is thinking of but a youth model rifle with the stock cut to fit and a 20" bull barrel reduces felt recoil, so does a Past pad and a shooting jacket or vest with a padded shoulder. Problem isn't insurmountable just a challenge to be puzzled out and solved. In 3 or 4 years he will grow out of this problem and his tastes will start to get more expensive. Sounds like an interesting saga to follow. Wish my dad had been as accommodating.
 
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