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GUNS Magazine Digital February 2011 - Page 8

• D A V E A N D E R S O N • It’s a matter of fit and there are plenty of options. hen I started hunting and shooting half a century W ago there were no special “youth” firearms, at least not where I lived. We were expected to get along with adult-sized rifles and shotguns and be grateful for the opportunity. We were, too. The rifles we kids wanted were the light, compact Marlin 336 and Winchester 94. We couldn’t afford either one but my dad borrowed a 94 from a neighbor. At age 12 I could handle it, though the stock was a bit long for me. It also had a lot of drop at heel which made even the mild .3030 cartridge kick fairly hard. At least that’s how I remember it. The snow was deeper then, too. Currently there are a number of bolt-action rifles made specifically for young shooters (or for that matter small-statured adults). Nothing builds enthusiasm like success. Everyone shoots better with a rifle which fits youth rifLes 250s and .220 Swifts, generally using Nosler Partition or Barnes bullets. Browning micro hunter Not promoted as a youth model since the stock length of pull is 131/2", I include it because it is light, compact, well made and accurate. Having the stock shortened an inch or so should not be a traumatic or expensive operation. Back in the early ’90s my 5'4" wife wanted a new rifle. At the SHOT Show one year we looked over a bunch of compact models. She selected the (now discontinued) Micro Medallion A-Bolt in 7mm-08. With 120-grain bullets loaded to 2,700 fps, it has little recoil and more than adequate power and trajectory over 200 yards or so. Works so nice I borrow it once in a while. them. My favorite cartridges for youth rifles are based on the .308 case: .243 Win, .260 Rem, 7mm-08 Rem and .308 Win. I have a soft spot for the 7mm-08, but for deer and antelope hunting I’d be happy with any of them. Actually if someone would build a light .250 Savage on an appropriately sized action they’d have a perfect deer rifle for youngsters. Or women. Or big strong men, for that matter. I don’t use centerfire .22s for deer hunting, for the very good reason they are not allowed where I usually hunt. Others who use them tell me they have excellent success with .223s, .22- CZ 527 This neat little mini-Mauser action rifle weighs under 6 pounds and is just over 37" long. Like the Browning, above it has a 13-1/2" length of pull and for most young shooters will need the stock shortened. It’s available in .223 and in 7.62x39, a cartridge on the order of the .30-30. mossberg 100 atr Mossberg offers this in a youth model. Stock length of pull can be user-adjusted to either 12" or 13". With walnut stock it weighs 6-1/2 pounds, has a 20" barrel and is offered in .243 or .308 Win. Carly Alm was still a preschooler when the Winchester 94 celebrated its 100th birthday. It worked then and it still works today. Given reasonable care it could still be collecting deer for some young hunter a century from now. remington 700 The flagship 700 is currently offered for young shooters as the weight 6.25 5.9 7 7 8-1/4 6 .243 6.5 6-1/2 CaLiBerS .243, .308 .223, 7.62x39 .243, .308 .243 .243 .223, .243, 6.8SPC, 7mm-08, 7.62x39, .308 7mm-08 .243, .308 .223, .22-250 .243, 7mm-08, .308 retaiL $739 $727 $424 $754 $452 $827 $349 $659 $529 Remington Remington Ruger Savage Savage Weatherby BROWNING CZ MOSSBERG make MICRO HUNTER 527 100 ATR modeL 700 770 BarreL Length 20 18-1/2 20 20 20 16-1/2 12-1/2 22 20 LoP* 13-1/2 13-1/2 12-13 12-1/2 12-3/8 12-1/2 40 12-1/2 12-1/2 - 13-5/8 overaLL Length 39-1/2 37.4 38-3/4 39-5/8 39-1/2 35-1/2 6.2 41-1/2 38 77 Compact Edge 20 11FYXP3 Vanguard Youth Notes: All lengths in inches, weight in pounds. *LOP is Length of Pull. 8 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM•FEBRUARY2011

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