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Posted: 12/16/2017 11:41:49 AM EST
My wife has never gone hunting, but has shot a few rifles and handguns since we've been together.  I consider her a pretty new shooter (though I have have a tendency to underestimate her skills when she's new at things, which I'm trying not to do in this case).

Anyway.  She taught some outdoor skills classes at a women-only mentored hunt, and has gotten interested in perhaps trying such a mentored hunt herself.  I'm blown away, as she's never really expressed much interest in it, but I'm very happy that she wants to try something like this.

She's asked me (as though I needed ANY prompting) to think about guns.  I don't have anything in the way of a hunting rifle.  My milsurps ("the brown guns", Katie calls them) are iron-sighted and honestly beat the shit out of me, let alone her 5'3" self.  I don't think she'd handle the recoil well enough to enjoy shooting them, and wouldn't then put enough time in to become accurate with them.  Plus, again, irons.

So I have two options.

Option 1: Buy a new gun .   This is never a bad thing.  I'm assuming that, since she's small and has T-Rex arms, a youth or compact model would be a better option than a full LOP rifle.  If we decide to go this route, does anyone have recommendations for model or caliber?  I'm looking for something that would balance power with recoil.  I'm sure a well-placed .223 would do the job on a Texas deer just fine, but I'd honestly like something with a bit more power (on the off chance that is shot is less well-placed).  I don't think she'll be taking any 300m+ shots at this point, so long-range power probably isn't the biggest issue.  Something akin to a 3-9x scope would also be purchased.
Pros:
New Gun
Caliber/model options
She has real input in helping choose the gun (try them on)

Cons:
Fixed LOP on most hunting bolt guns
Not much experience on bolt guns yet.  
May be difficult to test-drive caliber choices for recoil (its important that the she be comfortable shooting this thing)

Option 2: Buy a new upper for my AR.   This stems from her asking "can't I just use the AR?"  Of course she could!  But probably not with a red dot and fixed irons on that upper.  I'd rather get a midlength free-floated barrel and install a 1-6x or something like that.  
Pros:
Adjustable LOP (which could be handy for her since she may have to adjust her shooting position in the blind.  And I means I can shoot it)
She's already sorta familiar with the AR.
Recoil is a non-issue.
MAYBE less initial investment (maybe not).  But still, I already have half a gun.  
Extra uppers tend to turn into whole rifles .

Cons:
Stuck with 5.56mm or .300 BO, and I'm not buying .300BO.

I know I'm not the first guy to try to set out some gun options for his wife, and I want to avoid making all the decisions for her.  I'm just looking for a starting place.

What are ya'lls thoughts?
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 11:53:01 AM EST
My wife started going with me at the end of last year, which was a surprise, it was always "my thing"; (I've been hunting 25+ years).

She is currently using a Remington 700 ADL Youth in .243 with Barnes VOR-TX TTSX 80GR ammo. The scope is a Nikon Buckmasters 3x9-40. This was a rifle I purchased for my daughter to use, but she's no longer interested in hunting. I've killed a few deer with this combo from 25 yards to 200 yards and it works just fine.

I can also recommend the Tikka T3x Compact in .243, it's a better rifle.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 11:57:51 AM EST
Why ard you stuck with 5.56?

Get an upper, or a new rifle, in 6.8 SPC or 6.5 Grendel. A bit more power than 5.56 on deer and hogs. A decent muzzle device can tame any of the recoil from the slightly heavier/powerful round.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 11:59:11 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SEAN10MM:
Why ard you stuck with 5.56?

Get an upper, or a new rifle, in 6.8 SPC or 6.5 Grendel. A bit more power than 5.56 on deer and hogs. A decent muzzle device can tame any of the recoil from the slightly heavier/powerful round.
View Quote
Because I completely forgot those still existed, TBH.  Something new to shop for!
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 11:59:37 AM EST
simple

6.8 upper
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:01:33 PM EST
OP,,,,find your wife a Rem. "model seven" in 6mm or .243. I bought one for my wife in the late 70s` and to this day it is a shooter. It remains our "house gun" for everything from pigs, whitetail, beavers and anything else that needs shooting. It is light, small and FUN to shoot. I put a Zeiss Conquest on it and it works very very well. The wife ( 6mm) has taken everything from Mulies and on down with it for almost 40 years. Very easy to shoulder and easy for her to handle. Short enough to manipulate from inside a vehicle and light enough for her to carry anywhere. I taught my son to shoot with it many years ago and he is a pro long distance shooter now. We have a safe full of hunting weaponry but THIS is what we grab on the fly on our place. I make accurate head shots on beavers out to 300 yards or more with ease. I do not know if it is subject to the "recall" that Remington has going on. We`ve never had a single issue with it on horseback hunts to chunking in the back seat.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:04:06 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By reelserious:
simple

6.8 upper
View Quote
THIS

Job done....though "her" new upper may well end up being used by yourself more once you see how effective it is

Barnes TTSX 85 gr are supposed to be good - the 6.8 has a nice range of monolithic bullets for it now.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:05:01 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Deadtired:
Because I completely forgot those still existed, TBH.  Something new to shop for!
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Deadtired:
Originally Posted By SEAN10MM:
Why ard you stuck with 5.56?

Get an upper, or a new rifle, in 6.8 SPC or 6.5 Grendel. A bit more power than 5.56 on deer and hogs. A decent muzzle device can tame any of the recoil from the slightly heavier/powerful round.
Because I completely forgot those still existed, TBH.  Something new to shop for!
Well there you go. Build or buy her her own. Make it hers to take care of, and I'm sure she'll do fine. She like's the AR platform from what it sounds like so that would be a natural shoe in. I did the same thing for my wife and we go shooting in together often.

With all the sales going on this time of year on components and complete rifles, it is the perfect time.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:07:01 PM EST
My kids were shooting and taking deer with a 6.8 AR at 10. Low recoil, super accurate and adjustable LOP. My younger son drilled a nice 8 at 294m at 11.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:11:11 PM EST
"Well placed shots" and "beginning hunter" are phrases not generally associated with one another. I know that a larger caliber isn't a substitute for shot placement, but still...you may need to resign yourself to investing in another caliber.

I'm from PA, so it was mostly 30-06 and 30-30. But one guy carried a .243, and I fired it a couple of times. Relatively soft shooting, with plenty of range and energy.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:13:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ACEB36TC:
OP,,,,find your wife a Rem. "model seven" in 6mm or .243. I bought one for my wife in the late 70s` and to this day it is a shooter. It remains our "house gun" for everything from pigs, whitetail, beavers and anything else that needs shooting. It is light, small and FUN to shoot. I put a Zeiss Conquest on it and it works very very well. The wife ( 6mm) has taken everything from Mulies and on down with it for almost 40 years. Very easy to shoulder and easy for her to handle. Short enough to manipulate from inside a vehicle and light enough for her to carry anywhere. I taught my son to shoot with it many years ago and he is a pro long distance shooter now. We have a safe full of hunting weaponry but THIS is what we grab on the fly on our place. I make accurate head shots on beavers out to 300 yards or more with ease. I do not know if it is subject to the "recall" that Remington has going on. We`ve never had a single issue with it on horseback hunts to chunking in the back seat.
View Quote
Oh, or a 788, though they are getting a bit pricey.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:14:24 PM EST
Just get her a bolt gun in .243
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:17:28 PM EST
TexasNative00

Lone Star Boars

Two of my favorite YouTube hunting channels. These guys pretty much exclusively use 6.8 and 6.5, handloads and factory offerings. Tons of good info and decent video of their hunts along with some gel block tests.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:30:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/16/2017 6:37:03 PM EST by phdui76]
Here’s what you do. I’m 5’4” and need a short length of pull to fit me. After 30 years I finally found the ‘cure.’

Search for Browning’s Micro Midas line. Everything in it has a short length of pull. Theyve got rifles and shotguns made just for us.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:39:25 PM EST
If you don't reload then you should.  It allows you to turn out ammunition that is from wild to mild and you will need a lot of it for practice.

My advice after getting my daughter first (she dragged mom into it) into deer hunting is to pick a .22lr and a centerfire hunting rifle that are set up the same way when it comes to the position of the safety, scopes, etc.

My daughter started her process by raiding my gun safe.  She unfortunately has good taste, so she first grabbed my Sako Quad chambered in .22lr and .22 Magnum.  The safety is in the same place on that rifle as the line of Tikka T3s, so when she handed a T3 at a shop she declared it would be acceptable to receive one as a gift.

I requested that she choose a .308, only because I already load for it and had all the components she would need.  I put on a limbsaver pad and replaced the aluminum recoil lug with a stainless steel one.  A Nikon Monarch scope was hanging around in the collection so I mounted that.  She chose the stainless/synthetic version of the Tikka as we hunt in crappy weather and wooden stocks (in particular) can get funky with point of impact changes as well as being heavier than the synthetic stock Tikka uses.

I wanted to keep weight down to 7.5 pounds or less and wanted the balance to be neutral in her hands.  How a rifle carries is important- if it doesn't easily balance then it is exhausting at the end of the day of carrying it over hill and dale.  We hunt in thick stuff (cedar swamps) and a sling is a liability more than an asset.

Don't forget to get a good set of binos for her.  They are an essential part of a deer hunting rig in my opinion.

When my wife decided to join in on the fun she decided to get a matching Tikka.  They are truly excellent values- I wish I could have had one when I started hunting back in the dark ages.  I had no problem cooking up a set of loads- one with a 125gr bullet loaded to 7.62x39 velocities for practice and a hunting load with a 150gr Nosler Accubond.  Both rifles are sub-MOA and I wish all my rifles were like that off the rack.

The light load is a real key to getting practice sessions that are FUN.  The more she shoots the better she gets, and why deal with excess recoil?  She can shoot steel plates at 100 yards and challenge herself with longer distances, learning wind, etc.  The thick limbsaver pad is a requirement in my opinion.  I am not overly recoil sensitive, but the Limbsaver really works as advertised.

When she does enough shooting you introduce a full bore hunting load, and you will know you have found success when she says "it wasn't that bad," when you ask how she found the recoil impulse.  Think recoil tolerance and if she develops a flinch put her back on the .22lr.  Flinching is as much about the muzzle blast as it is about recoil, so make sure she has ear muffs that FIT.

Make sure she has the right gear for comfort in the field.  Boots are often overlooked and women sometimes have a fashion first attitude that needs to go under the bus for hunting season at least.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:42:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/16/2017 12:42:22 PM EST by kev10mm]
If you can afford it I would buy her her own gun so she feels like she owns it more.

Id rather hunt with a bilt action but you could show her the options and see what she likes.
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:55:26 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Cheesebeast:
If you don't reload then you should.  It allows you to turn out ammunition that is from wild to mild and you will need a lot of it for practice.

My advice after getting my daughter first (she dragged mom into it) into deer hunting is to pick a .22lr and a centerfire hunting rifle that are set up the same way when it comes to the position of the safety, scopes, etc.

My daughter started her process by raiding my gun safe.  She unfortunately has good taste, so she first grabbed my Sako Quad chambered in .22lr and .22 Magnum.  The safety is in the same place on that rifle as the line of Tikka T3s, so when she handed a T3 at a shop she declared it would be acceptable to receive one as a gift.

I requested that she choose a .308, only because I already load for it and had all the components she would need.  I put on a limbsaver pad and replaced the aluminum recoil lug with a stainless steel one.  A Nikon Monarch scope was hanging around in the collection so I mounted that.  She chose the stainless/synthetic version of the Tikka as we hunt in crappy weather and wooden stocks (in particular) can get funky with point of impact changes as well as being heavier than the synthetic stock Tikka uses.

I wanted to keep weight down to 7.5 pounds or less and wanted the balance to be neutral in her hands.  How a rifle carries is important- if it doesn't easily balance then it is exhausting at the end of the day of carrying it over hill and dale.  We hunt in thick stuff (cedar swamps) and a sling is a liability more than an asset.

Don't forget to get a good set of binos for her.  They are an essential part of a deer hunting rig in my opinion.

When my wife decided to join in on the fun she decided to get a matching Tikka.  They are truly excellent values- I wish I could have had one when I started hunting back in the dark ages.  I had no problem cooking up a set of loads- one with a 125gr bullet loaded to 7.62x39 velocities for practice and a hunting load with a 150gr Nosler Accubond.  Both rifles are sub-MOA and I wish all my rifles were like that off the rack.

The light load is a real key to getting practice sessions that are FUN.  The more she shoots the better she gets, and why deal with excess recoil?  She can shoot steel plates at 100 yards and challenge herself with longer distances, learning wind, etc.  The thick limbsaver pad is a requirement in my opinion.  I am not overly recoil sensitive, but the Limbsaver really works as advertised.

When she does enough shooting you introduce a full bore hunting load, and you will know you have found success when she says "it wasn't that bad," when you ask how she found the recoil impulse.  Think recoil tolerance and if she develops a flinch put her back on the .22lr.  Flinching is as much about the muzzle blast as it is about recoil, so make sure she has ear muffs that FIT.

Make sure she has the right gear for comfort in the field.  Boots are often overlooked and women sometimes have a fashion first attitude that needs to go under the bus for hunting season at least.
View Quote
She birdwatches and hikes, so bino's and boots are no problem for her.  I never thought much about ear pro, but that's something else to consider.

I wish I could get into reloading, but right now the financial outlay to get the bench AND a rifle set up just isn't there.  We bought our first house not long ago, so this is at the bottom of a long list of up-front expenses.

I'm leaning toward a bolt gun right now.  The recoil pad makes a lot of sense.  I might invest in a scoped .22LR bolt gun just for the hell of it anyway...
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 12:59:39 PM EST
Go grab a Savage Axis while they're still on sale for $180
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 1:01:36 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Deadtired:
She birdwatches and hikes, so bino's and boots are no problem for her.  I never thought much about ear pro, but that's something else to consider.

I wish I could get into reloading, but right now the financial outlay to get the bench AND a rifle set up just isn't there.  We bought our first house not long ago, so this is at the bottom of a long list of up-front expenses.

I'm leaning toward a bolt gun right now.  The recoil pad makes a lot of sense.  I might invest in a scoped .22LR bolt gun just for the hell of it anyway...
View Quote
Ya, you will need a .22lr for varmints around the house at a minimum.  I use my .22lr and Magnums all the time for pests.

Excellent that she birdwatches.  That will make her an excellent hunter as you can't shoot the game you can't detect.  Ear pro has to fit right and depending on her size she might find the ear pro made for "kids" will be scaled correctly for her to get a comfortable cheek weld on the rifle.  You can always use plugs under the ear pro if she finds the muzzle blast to be too disconcerting.

Anyhoo, reloading is expensive to begin with but boy does it pay dividends when you are shooting centerfire rifles.  There are commercial reduced loads out there and consider using them.  Keep your eyes peeled for yard sale/estate sales for used reloading gear.  Build it up over time and before long you will not be able to remember the last time you fired commercially loaded ammunition.

Best of luck to you and keep it fun!
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 1:25:12 PM EST
Compact or youth bolt action like Ruger American in .243 with a Vortex 3x9 or

An upper in 6.5Grendel
On a recent youth hunt with my son, a 13 yr girl about 5' 90 lbs was using an AR-10...a got a nice hog with it
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 1:49:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/16/2017 1:50:24 PM EST by RumbleTruck]
Double tap
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 2:22:08 PM EST
7mm-08
Link Posted: 12/16/2017 2:59:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/16/2017 3:01:28 PM EST by wildearp]
Remington model 7  (243 Win., 260 Remington, 7mm-08 Remington and 308 Win)

LINK

Link Posted: 12/16/2017 3:16:49 PM EST
Something in .243 would be a great choice.
Link Posted: 2/23/2018 4:12:16 PM EST
A little late to this thread but I figured I would add in another opinion!

As a female, I personally am not a fan of the wood hunting rifles,mainly cause they are often to heavy. I have used a tikka t3 lite (.30-06) and a kimber montana (6.5 creedmoor) for hunting. The Kimber was lighter weight but the tikka had the nicer bolt. Either of those rifles I would recommend, .243 is a good option for caliber for less recoil with enough power still.
Link Posted: 4/30/2018 5:46:47 AM EST
If she likes the AR platform, rock out. Outside the AR platform, youth model .243......savage, mossberg, howa
Link Posted: 6/24/2018 5:10:20 PM EST
If you're still looking, I would suggest the AR with a free-floating barrel and a nice scope if allowed in your state. The options are endless and well, we women like to change our minds! I have to say I love my 20gauge youth stock shotgun...super accurate and easy to load and fire. I prefer it over all my rifles.
Link Posted: 11/1/2018 1:31:27 AM EST
Here is my suggestion.  243 Win, 7mm Mauser, or 6.5 Swedish.  Low recoil on these calibers.  But most import the rifle MUST fit here.  If it fit her, she can manage the recoil better.

Bob
Link Posted: 12/20/2018 4:26:47 PM EST
If a bolt get the Savage Lady Hunter in 243.  If AR go with the 6.8.
Link Posted: 2/21/2020 6:09:54 PM EST
It does not matter what it is as long as, meets requirement for the game, is soft shooting, fits her and she's comfortable with the recoil after lots of practice. That's the instructors job.

My sister in law came to me because my brother just threw her into the fray. I took an old Remington 30.06 ADL my brother had cut it down to fit her and fit with a decent recoil pad, mounted a 3x9x40 scope. I added a little weight to the butt to balance the swing.

Pennsylvania, MA, VA regional hunting, deer, and bear mostly so I loaded up some soft 150 grain round nose at 2350 FPS average. I took her to the range every weekend for 6 weeks and she did well, placing her shots and grasping bullet drop.

I loaded up 8 boxes of the same load and she bags game every year since then, even took an Elk a few years back with the same load. The 8 boxes lasted over 20 years.
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