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BonesD 10-16-2011 01:32 PM

Rifle for Daughter
Hello, I am considering buying a BAR in 308 or 243 for my daughter. It will be used mainly for hill country deer and possibly some hog hunting here in Texas. I have settled on the Semi Auto for the lower recoil to help insure that she enjoys shooting as much as possible. I would prefer the 308 as it would make shot placement a bit less critical but would consider the 243 as well. My question is would there be a substantial difference in recoil between the 2. I have never shot either one although I did have a 308 Savage when I was a youngster and it kicked pretty hard, did not have a recoil pad.
If anyone can give me some advice I would appreciate it.

bkt 10-16-2011 02:08 PM

Is your daughter an experienced shooter? If she is, the recoil shouldn't be a big deal if she knows what to expect. If she is not experienced, these are some hefty calibers to use as an introduction. I suggest you get her started with something with little or no recoil to get her hooked, then work up to the bigger stuff. :)

As for the difference in recoil...I don't know. Personally, I don't find the .308 to be all that bad even in a bolt action, but I'm probably somewhat larger than your daughter. I haven't fired a .243 before.

Axxe55 10-16-2011 02:18 PM

Bones, welcome to the forum. a little more detail about your daughter would help in making suggestions of caliber. age? size? shooting experiance? one of the first centerfire rifles i ever shot was a bolt action 243 of my dads, when i was about 9 or 10. the 308 would be better if she has some experiance with hunting and shooting, especially in the semi auto type rifle, the recoil shouldn't be too bad. if her skill level is just starting out, the the 243 would, IMO be a better caliber. the 243 would still be an excellent caliber for deer hunting, hog hunting, i have no input as to if it would be satisfactory for that or not. need more dtail to help you make a better decision.

BonesD 10-16-2011 02:47 PM

Axxxe 55
She is 27 but lightly built. We have done some shooting over the years together but never with any purpose other than to have fun. I have no doubt that she will be able to hit what she needs to I am just trying to make sure that it is enjoyable and she will continue her new interest. I was out at the range the other day with my Remington 7 mag and I realized that old gun of mine that I got for my 12th birthday in 1968 was still trying to beat me to death. I remember vividly all the trips to the range with my dad (big in to reloading) and not exactly enjoing the experience. I will probably use the gun as well as I am seriously considering putting the Remington up for sale.
Thanks for your input.


I would say she is semi experienced, had her out at the range a couple days ago to warm her up a bit . Started with the old 22 to get her used to squeezing the trigger and take her time, then she emptied a few clips out my Marlin Camp 9. Of course the 22 has no recoil and the 9mm has very little as well. She was still making nice little groups at 100 yards. Those 9mm get kind of side ways at that distance. My biggest problem with this kid of mine is she is very goal orriented, she does not like to do anything she can't conquer almost immediatley so I need to give her the best opportunity I can. Probably the 243 would be better for her but the 308 would be better for the deer.


Axxe55 10-16-2011 03:02 PM

Bones, given the info, i would suggest the 308 if you are leaning towards a semi auto rifle like the BAR. beings she has done some shooting and your plans, i think IMO, the 308 would better suited as far as caliber for the type of hunting. i have a heavy barreled 308 in bolt action, and it's not bad at all on recoil. so a BAR in 308, should be even less in felt recoil than mine. i think she would be fine with the 308. good luck.

BonesD 10-16-2011 03:40 PM

Thats the info I was hoping to hear. Thanks again

JTJ 10-16-2011 05:40 PM

My wife is small and she had a 243. Recoil was easy for her to handle and was very accurate. Especially after I got her to keep her eyes open. I cut the stock down for her which helps as a properly fitting gun will dampen the felt recoil. Hers was a bolt action. You might consider a 7mm 08 as a compromise. The Weatherby Vanguard is available as a 2 stock set. Standard and youth. She will shoot a lot better with a stock that fits her.

BonesD 10-16-2011 06:18 PM

Thank you, I will look in to your suggestions.

dteed4094 10-16-2011 06:58 PM

243 or 308
I have both in bolt action. If she is recoil shy the 243 has a lot less recoil and is a more than adaquate deer rifle with proper bullet selection but I wouldn't use it on anything larger. You could save yourself some $$ buying the bolt action over the SA but the 308 would be somewhat buffered in SA. My 308 is a 6.5 lb rifle and actually is the hardest kicking rifle I own for that reason. The 243 is a M700 Rem and has very little recoil but is the most accurate rifle I own and shoots .38 MOA. We can't hunt with semi autos in Pa so if you plan on hunting out of state you may want to check their laws. By the way, I bought my 243 from my 80 year old aunt who took a few deer with it. She probably weighed 130 lbs at the most. She never had a problem with knock down power, she also hunted in Texas and Az.

Axxe55 10-16-2011 07:40 PM

dteed, very good advice. bolt actions will have a little more recoil, and more the lighter the rifle. but a bolt action is going to be a little more accurate than most semi auto rifles, so there is a trade off here. suggestion, a new Marlin XS7 in 243, and see if you can find a decent used BAR in 308. just an idea to kick around.

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