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Thread: Choice for 10 year old hunter hunting from a blind

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Choice for 10 year old hunter hunting from a blind

    The youngster regularly gets a 1.5" five shot groups from the bench using a .223.

    The blind is positioned to afford shots up to 200 yards down a shooting lane. The most common shot is at 100-135 yards where the shooting lane T's to the food plot.

    There are three choices. One is to load Winchester 64 gr PP's or Noslers in the .223. The second choice is to download a .30/30 M336 using a 150 gr MP312-159 HP or FP 20:1 cast bullet at about 1700-1800 fps. I also have a Marlin 1894 in .357 and could load something like a 158 gr XTP or hollow point MP 358-429.

    There are scopes on each rifle.

    I am leaning to the .223 for its greater range and accuracy. Plus he is familiar with it. He has shot the 1894 with .38 Spl loads as well. I have not used the MP 312-159 so I would need to work up a load for the .30/30. If using the .357, I would just buy a couple of boxes of XTP's.

    What would you do and why?
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  2. #2
    Boolit Mold
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    Another option would be to keep velocity up and load the 30-30 with a lighter bullet, people use the 7.62x39 with its lighter bullets all the time.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I'd figure the heaviest in .223 would be OK.
    I'd also spend some time teaching him shot placement too.
    Nothing wrong with the .223 at those ranges if it hits the right spot.
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  4. #4
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    Give him what he's already comfortable and confident with, let him shoot the others off season and then see if he has a preference.

    Has he shot any deer shaped targets that teach shot placement?
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I've shot 2 deer with my AR and that bullet my neighbors grandson has done the same. The only issue I have with the AR is that it does not leave a blood trail one can follow. The holes are small and easily covered by the hide as the deer moves away for the hit and when there is an exit it is caliber size. But the bullet is a killer for sure. Heart and longs look like they were hit with a 30-30, but do remember that bullet placement is everything, and for this reason I tend to think of the 223 as a experts rifle when it comes to hunting. But if your grandson is patient and level headed about shooting, takes the time to make the shot count, the 223 will do the job. DougtGuy has it right, he's been shooting the AR, is comfortable with it and is making good hits. A new gun at this point could spook him. Just keep your eyes on the deer and remember they are experts at hiding and have great camouflage.But a bullet in the boiler will be deer in the freezeer.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy

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    Have him use what he shots best. Shot placement is the key to success.
    I have helped several nieces and nephews start out hunting with either a 300 blk out AR or 223 Savage Axis.
    With the 223 we were using 62gr Tula HP's. For a Hp these are a heavily constructed bullet. Deer shot in the chest cavity went down fairly quickly.
    I would hate to not recommend a cast Boolits in the 30/30 but a lighter Boolit at reduced velocity might not produce a good blood trail or break down a shoulder properly enough to anchor a deer. If your hunting in a heavily wooded area this would be my concern. A lost deer might become an unwelcome experience for a new hunter.
    I have no experience with the 357 mag on deer. I have take many deer with a 44 mag pistol. The 357 mag out of a carbine barrel should be a good choice with good expanding bullets. Not sure how they will hold up to shoulder shots. Hopefully some one with real world experience will chime in.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master


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    At this point in the year give him what he has been shooting well and load it as heavy as he can comfortably shoot it without a flinch. A 100yrd shot with the 357 would do it but 200 imho is pushing it but my only experience with it on whitetail was with a pistol at 35yrds. The 30/30 loading up to where he can shoot it well would be my preference but he has been shooting the 223 so stay with it although I'm not a fan but there have been too many reviews of well placed shots with the right ammunition to discount. He seems to be a good shot so that won't be a problem.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    30/30 FTX will get him choosing proper shorter shots, used to gun that recoils. Don't need more pansyfied hunters.
    Whatever!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I like the the .357 because I’ve shot a lot of deer with it, but you’d be denying him shots at the longer distances without a lot of experience allowing for holdover. It’s pretty much a 100 yard gun for most adults, let alone a youngster. I’d opt for the .223 and a Barnes all copper bullet. It’s pretty much a “just hold where you want to hit” trajectory at the distances you indicate. These bullets stay together, are easy to get good loads with, and if he’s comfortable with the gun he’ll shoot it better. The Nosler bullets will work ok if that’s all you have. Bullet placement is the key with any choice of cartridge so it’s best he shoot what he shoots best. If he puts one in the boiler room it won’t matter what cartridge he uses, but he has to be on target with whatever he uses. Just my two cents.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master
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    As soon as you set him up with a downloaded rifle that is only good to maybe 150 yards, the biggest buck he will ever see will step out into the clear at 200 yards. Just the way the red gods work.

    If this is going to happen within the next month or so; I would set him up with the .223 he is already familiar with, and make sure he has a steady rest. Next year you can go with something larger.

    While I'm not all that enamored with using the .223 or any other small caliber for deer, they will work with proper shot placement.

    Robert

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Go with the 223. the 64gr PP or the Nosler partition would be a good choice

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'd go with 223, maybe next year come up with a 243, faster powder like AA2015, & an 85-87 gr bullet @ 2900-3000 fps. This will still be very low recoil with plenty of punch. Please don't rush recoil on a young fella.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    If he can hold 1-1/2" groups from the bench, have him aim for the neck, just below the head. The deer will most likely drop on the spot.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy memtb's Avatar
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    2 of my grandsons and a granddaughter all took their first deer using a .243 Win. from a blind! One was only 5 or 6 years old.....I can’t remember his exact age!

    Given your option list, though I hate it as a deer cartridge.....the .223. He’s comfortable with it, and it will shoot considerably flatter than the other two.....making it more forgiving if the range gets stretched-out a bit! memtb
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Are the woods open enough to visually track the deer for 100-150 yards? Snow on the ground?

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I should have added the .223 is not an AR. It is a Howa mini-Mauser. The Howa is a light and handy gun.

    And this is for next year when he will be 10, so we have time to experiment.

    TMB, you make a good point about a lighter bullet. I could load a 125 gr spitzer in one of the .308’s at 2400 fps. Should have a PBR of 200 yards and recoil should be mild enough.

    Also good advice about shooting at deer targets to ingrain shot placement. We can do that cheaply by printing reduced size pictures at 25 yards and using the PCP’s.

    Love this forum!
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I finally tried a 243 for the first time on a deer this year. Used my little 1967 Remington 600 with a 90 grain ballistic tip. Bang flop!…and very little recoil. It was a heart and lung shot. I also shot one with my 300 RUM that went a good 125 yards with a broken leg and blown apart heart. The 300 RUM hit my eye so I switched to the 243. I’ll be using my 243 over it now.

    Between your options above I’d pick the 30-30 so you have a blood trail if needed. I’ve heard a lot of similar stories with zero blood trails from a 223.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    The .223 will kill deer with a good shot, just like every other cartridge that we've ever talked about. From a blind, with a steady rest for accuracy, no problem. I've only killed three deer with the .223- all DRT with 55gr sp- but I've killed quite a few with the 22-250 and the farthest one ran after the shot was 40 yards.
    This year my .223 AR15 and my Tikka 22-250 are both using the 60gr Hornady sp at maximum velocity. I'm confident with either one from the blind. Still hunting, or pushing through the thickets I'll use a "real deer rifle".
    Enjoy the hunt with your grandson!

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master dkf's Avatar
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    I'd either use a bonded jacketed bullet above 60gr or a monometal bullet like the Hornady GMX or Barnes TSX in the .223. Load them towards the upper end. The heavier more solidly constructed bullet will have a better chance of existing and making a bigger blood trail if it runs. Less chance of blowing up if it hits a bone too. Helps to have room for error because nobody makes a perfect shot every single time.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Try the 30-30 or 308 with a Speer 130gr FP or Sierra 125gr hp. designed for the 30-30

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