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My son is 6 year old. I was looking at the ruger mkII compact .308 for his because it is short. To reduce the recoil I was going to use Remington managed recoil loads and a simms recoil pad, it will be a gun that will stay with him as he grows. If the products listed does what the advertise, this should be the recoil down to at least a .243 caliber recoil. Is this still to much gun? Should I stay with a .223 caliber? Any help would be appreciated. He loves to hunt and fish!!!
 

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If it was me, I would look at a youth NEF handi-rifle in .243. Kids don't hunt deer in Minnesota until 12, yet the same question is still there. The NEF rifles are not overly expensive. You could cut the stock short and add a recoil pad. They are light and short so they might be a bit easier to carry. I would handload reduced recoil loads for practice, a lot of practice for a 6 yr old. Then I would re-zero with hunting loads, and the only full zoot loads would be at game. I have a 5 1/2 yr old. He is young but would love to get more involved. I had similar questions for my 12 year old, but we figured out a solution, I am sure you will find fit also. Good Luck!
 

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I think a full power centerfire for a 6 year old is far too much. In any case, I would never give someone that size a receiver mounted scope due to the potential for eye injury. So scout rifle or open sites would be the way to go.

I can't imagine someone that age hunting deer, but I would certainly say 243 over 308. Problem with the frontier carbine is its short barrel would give him quite a muzzle blast vs a regular length.

If I were to make any suggestion it would be an open sited rifle in 243 with a full length (22"+) barrel, 20 at the very least. Don't worry about it being light weight, because light weight results in greater recoil. The rifle that comes to mind is a Remington 700 ADL, and there is a very commonly found youth size. And remember you can always modify the stock. I would say though that there are worse things than finding a rifle too big for comfort (vs simply getting used to it) and that's having a dangerous situation for shooter and targets.

I never thought I'd hear myself suggest this, but yes I would consider 223, and here's why - younger people have many disadvantages but senses are not one of them. If you're hunting deer with a 223 your shots need to be surgical, and with proper discipline a younger person is more capable of that than an older person with the same discipline.
 

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I like the single shot NEF idea. I think a single shot is safer for all concerned. Plus NEF will sell you another barrel (different caliber) for around $90.00

You can start him out on a .22 hornet and move him up to that deer caliber as his skills increase.

I believe NEF has a youth model.

Lots of options with the NEF. Open sights or scope rails, plus they're priced right.

I souped up my 30-06 NEF with Choate pistol grip stock, which comes with an Anschutz rail on the forearm for bipod or other accessories.
 

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Go with it!!!

I have a buddy that has the Exact same gun for his son who is a SMALL 12 year old. I think he is shooting Federal Reduced recoil loads, and it kicks like a 243. As the kid gets older, switch to full on 308 loads, and he is set. Congrats on your new hunting buddy! Ive shot a few deer, but the most special to me was the one that I got while my Dad was with me.
 

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I second the NEF Handi-Rifle, and also recommend a .30-.30, but that mmight be to much. Either way, I hope you find the right rifle.
 
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