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Hey, I've been looking over this board & it looks to be a great board with excellent information. I have a 14 yr old son that I would like to get a new rifle for. I'm looking at a .243. Would you recommend the Handi, Ultra Hunter or Ultra Varmint? We're mainly hunting whitetails & doing a little target shooting. I like the idea of being able to change barrels. We could get another barrel & use these rifle for primitive weapon season. Any suggestions? Do you agree with the .243 or have another recommendation?

thanks
 

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gonhuntn

Welcome aboard , as much as i like my 243 ::) , you may want to look at a 30/30 or a 308 . The 243s can be a tad picky but i have not heard of a bad 30/30 or 308 also the 7mm/08 would be a good choice too .

stimpy
 

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This argument has been betten to death before.
If it is just for deer why limit him to a small bullet.
I would recomend a 30/30 also for a new shooter on JUST deer.

Now If you want a rifle for deer coyote and varments or plan on shooting a lot at the target.
Get a heavy .243.
 

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Welcome aboard. You will find a lot good, free advice here. I recommend the 30-30 in the Handi. The 30-30 is one of the must have's in a Handi for good reason. Dependable and usually shoots well with out a lot of fuss. If your primary use is going to be deer with just shootin' a target now and then. If you are going to use it for deer and primarily target/varmint shooting then a 243 would be a good choice. If I were to get the 243, it would be the heavy (bull) barrel variety. The 243 can be a little fussier about shooting well, but I think higher expectations go with it too. You expect a 300 yard rifle to shoot a little better than 150 yard rifle. One thing you could do is get the 30-30 for deer and then when you send it in for your smoke pole add another barrel in a more suitable varmint/target barrel like a 22 Hornet or .223. Both of those seem to be a little easier to shoot well than a 243, but there you go again with longer ranges and higher expectations. ;)
 

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I bought a youth Handi for my son in 7mm-08. It will be used mainly for deer & target shooting. I don't reload so I have to buy factory loads. I sold the 7mm-08 barrel because of ammo availability & cost. I am sending it in to get a 30-30 barrel. You can still buy that ammo for under $10 a box.
 

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Welcome aboard, gonhuntn!! Another vote for the 30-30, it's a great choice and as LaOtto said, a must-have chambering in a Handi. Mine shoots the 150gr Remingtons inside an inch at 100yds. ;) If ya want, you can even spruce it up a bit with camo stocks and make it a bit different than just any Handi!!

[img]http://www.myhostedpics.com/images/quickdtoo/3030camolegend_1.jpg

snmann said:
You can still buy that ammo for under $10 a box.
I wouldn't count on that for very long, there's another 10-15% increase coming in January :(, Federal Powershoks can be had for $9.50 on sale right now, Remington Core-lokts are $16 a box, but have a $5 rebate on up to 2 boxes., seems to me Federal has a rebate going too. ;)

Tim
 

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Hello gonhuntn, I agree on the 30-30 as the best choice for him, I have never heard of one that did not shoot great. Get the standard Handi with wooden stocks and he will love it and it will shoot well, and relatively cheaply and it will kill any deer out there. Another choice would be a .357 Mag if he is recoil shy or perhaps a new .44 Mag with the smaller .429 or .430 bore diameter. The only problem with a newer Handi is it will come with an extractor rather than the ejector. But even I would give up the ejector and go to an extractor to get a good .429 bore .44 Mag barrel. A big part of the decision would be the area you hunt, the distance of the average shot, and what your son wants, heck if he does not like the caliber you first get, keep it for yourself and another gun or just pick up another barrel for his first here, then he will have 2 choices of calibers with the same receiver. Oh. and by the way, welcome aboard the Handiholic train, to both you and your son....<><....:)
 

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Not a 30-30!!! OK now, just kidding....

My number # choice was a 243 and even with a reduced youth load it was still a bit of a kick with a light weight plastic stock for a young shooter....

This year my 12 year old pick out my 44 mag with a laminated stock and open sighted from a nice collection of deer riffles... I have to admit I think he done good as it fits him very well!

To be honest I would not have picked a 30-30 until I seen all of these post and would have considered the 7mm-08 but I do prefer to shoot a rimmed cartridge with a single shot riffle like the handi's and after reading all this I might have to send one of em back in for a 30-30 barrel now!! (for me)

I think the 357 Mag would be another fun one for deer as well, (shot my biggest buck with a 357 Mag handgun)....
 

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How big is the kid? How can he stand up to recoil? These are things you need to take into consideration. When my son was 14 he got his first 30-06. But he had already been shooting for 9 years at that time. If they have not been shooting, or are small persons I would recommend something like a .243, or 7MM-08. If he is a big kid, go ahead with the 30-30.
 

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The 30-30 is a good one...but since your wanting to punch targets with the same...I say go for the Ultra Varmint 243...and if he can handle the weight of the rifle...go for the bull barrel...

Mac
 

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gonhuntn, welcome to the gbo site, its great you have a 14 year old son thats wants to hunt, i agree with all the guys above on the 30/30 is a great cal. and most of us have killed deer with it, but i would buy him a 308 cal., i have a 308 it is just a great all a round deer and varmit rifle, buy what you want both the 30-30 and 308 are good rifles, i saw in your post where you were thinking about also getting a primitive season barrel, you must live here in mississippi, you must get you and your son a 45-70 or 500 sw mag handi-rifle, they are great deer guns and shooters.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all of the great comments. It sounds like the 30/30 is the overwhelming choice. :) We do live in MS & the new primitive weapons rule is a big reason I'm looking at the Handi. That & I really like the idea of forcing my son to learn to get a good shot on his first shot. That'll help him more going forward than anything. I would love to get a rifle that my son can use for both seasons. I'm going looking this weekend to check out prices at a few shops around the area. Thanks again.
 

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What? No one suggested the .45/70 with the full loads for the kid? ;D J/K

The .30/30 is definitely a sound choice for a good deer-class round - but what range are you planning on hunting at? More than 150yds and then maybe the .308 would be a better choice - and you can even get the "reduced recoil" rounds if the full loads are a little much for the young fellow. While the .243 is a good round, I know how bad buck fever can get - and that little bullet just doesn't seem to fare too well when placed outside of the proper kill zone.
 

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please please please don't get him a 30-30 the 30-30 has one reason for being here thats deer hunting inside of 200 yards , buy a 243 so he can do more then one thng with the gun, i'm 21 175 lbs with about 20 some differant guns and i bring my 243 out to the range and woods more then anything
 

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I'd go with the 243. Besides deer hunting it is hard to find a better coyote caliber than a 243. When your son gets older he can still keep the 243 and get a bigger gun if he feels he needs it for his hunting.
 
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