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Arkie Lefty 01-05-2012 09:06 PM

Woman's Gun
My wife is of small stature, 5ft,1/2inch with arms to match. For the past twenty years she's done very well deer hunting with a 7.62X39 Ruger Mini 30, but this year it seems to have lost a lot of accuracy. Yes, I know they're not known for target grade accuracy, but this particular one has been a 2" gun since new, now closer to a 5" gun. She absolutely refuses anything but standing neck shots, and has never lost a deer or needed a second shot. I have several thoughts on what's happened, but since I'd like to move her on to a bolt gun, this seems the best time to do so.

Accuracy; this is her #1 concern in a new firearm

Lightweight; #2 as she can't handle a fullsize manly gun.

Lethality; No wimpy cartridges.

Manageable recoil; She will never do a great amount of target/paper shooting, so can handle moderate recoil, but will quit before being punished.

She has a fascination with 308 Win, but I'm afraid in a short, lightweight arm it will be more than she can handle, though it's accuracy and lethality are first rate.

Another possible I've thought she might find more suitable is the 7mm-08, and can be fairly easily found in a youth model.

Then I'll admit the 243Win is a super accurate round with mild recoil, but I've never cared much for it because of all the lost deer I've heard of over the years because of nimrods attempting to use varmit grade bullets.

25-06, 257 Roberts, 7X57, 7mm Rem express, etc. are all good viable cartridges, but require a long action, which adds to overall length and weight, so not really an option.

Anyone care to rate the three at the top of the list? Any other options? No single shots!

Also, what brands of rifles should I be looking for? While price IS an object, it doesn't have to be bottom of the heap.

JDWinCO 01-05-2012 09:24 PM

My advice.... take wife to gun store. Find clerk not into being a macho hunter/gunner/shooter but is wiling to talk guns frankly. Turn him loose on wife as you go wander the store.

Back in 20 mins, wife should have rifle that fits... a good cartridge and she should be smiling. pay the bill and go home.

seriously, you can thank me later.

By the way, in spite of public opinion, Nimrod is actually a complimentary term and the 243 is a very capable cartridge.

ColtSnakeTamer 01-05-2012 09:25 PM

Remington Model 7 in 7mm-08 followed by .308 Winchester would be my suggestion.

ivan 01-05-2012 09:32 PM

The 7.62x39 round is great... obviously she can handle it, and it kills your deer dead.

So based on that, I'd look at the CZ 527 in that caliber.

Arkie Lefty 01-05-2012 09:32 PM

J.D., I won't settle for whatever any of the numnutz in this area might recommend. We're going to a moderate sized gun show this weekend and will go to more till we find something "just right".


timberbeast 01-05-2012 09:54 PM

Tikka T3 in 6.5x55Swede. A nice light rifle, the Swede is deadly on whitetails, and the recoil is very similar to the .243.

If you can't find a Tikka, Ruger and CZ and Howa make rifles in this caliber.

My second choice for caliber would be the 7mm-08. But you can find a Tikka T3 in .243, 7mm-08, and other calibers and it is a lightweight but it is an outstanding rifle.

Sophia 01-05-2012 09:56 PM

The 7mm-08 is top of my practical list. Easy to find in a variety of rifles. Ammo is easy to find. Hodgdon has published some recommended youth loads if you handload ammo and want to load it down to "managed recoil" velocities. Ballistics look great -- MPBR of about 285 yards with standard loads, easily lethal on average size deer to 400 yards, and with 30% less recoil than the .308. The 7mm-08 made the short list when I was shopping for my dedicated deer rifle... might have made the final cut if not for a great deal on a Tikka that fell into my lap.

Second choice (and the one that made my final cut) would be the 6.5mm Swede or (harder to find) .260 Rem. I put this second on the list only because it's harder to find rifles chambered for the Swede and ammo availability (unless you load your own, of course).

Tikka T3 would be an excellent choice for a light rifle but it won't have the shorter LOP that would work better for her. I think an excellent choice for one with shorter LOP would be a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight Compact. LOP is 13", empty weight is only 6.5 lbs. Three position safety, which I think is a big plus. All that, and they are pretty, too. :)

The Remington compact version of the Model 7 is a tad lighter than the Winchester.

Edit to add... I also have a bolt action .308 that is running about 7.5 or 8 lbs with scope (forget the exact weight right now). Never notice the recoil while hunting, but a dozen shots on the range is enough to have me ready to set it aside for a break.

Gizzy 01-05-2012 10:10 PM

I also go along with the 7mm-08 and they can are extremely accurate. :bthumb:

Raztus 01-05-2012 10:16 PM

My deer rifle for 20 years has been a Remington 700 in 7-08. I happened upon it by accident and I've never regretted it. Recoil is mild and the deer have always dropped within a few steps.

I have a few guns in unusual chamberings and it can be inconvient finding ammo. 7-08 ammo is often even available at Walleyworld.

Weatherby Vanguards (Howa 1500's) are a bargain right now...

Arkie Lefty 01-05-2012 10:21 PM

Thanks all, I plan to show her this thread before gunshow Saturday.


OKShooter 01-05-2012 10:25 PM

Cartridge Choice:
7mm-08 is first by quite a bit. Ballistics and sectional density are great. Recoil is very manageable. My eleven year old son shoots this round with no problem. There are two factory rounds of managed recoil if you do not handload. Remington sells a Managed Recoil (CoreLokt) with a 140 grain bullet that performs pretty well. My favorite is a round by Hornady. They have a 120 grain bullet that shoots just as flat as the standard 140 grain round. She can sight in 2 inches high at 100 yards, and be only 2 inches low at 200 yards. The Hornady light recoil round is only sold by Cabela's and is called the "Custom Lite" round. It is very accurate in my Tikka T3 Lite.

The second choice for cartridge would be the 6.5x55, but for compact rifles, I prefer a short action.

For the rifle I would rank the Tikka T3 Lite at the top. The length of pull is only 13-5/8" and should be light enough for her to handle. Of course, it might depend on how she feels about a synthetic stock.

Second would probably be the Remington Model 7.
If she wants a youth rifle, you might check out the Brownings. They are a youth rifle with a grown-up look to them.

jim46ok 01-05-2012 10:30 PM

Or, maybe just copper foul clean it, see if it helps. If so, she may be back on cloud 9...... good luck with that....

JDWinCO 01-06-2012 01:25 AM


J.D., I won't settle for whatever any of the numnutz in this area might recommend. We're going to a moderate sized gun show this weekend and will go to more till we find something "just right".
Its cool there Arkie, you wanted advice I gave mine, but you think a better response to it might have been "why do you say that"?

rico903 01-06-2012 04:58 AM

Tika T3 Lite in 243 would be another good choice. Don't worry about losing deer, as you said it was the idiots shooting varmint rounds that you read about. Use the right round.

Arkie Lefty 01-06-2012 07:55 AM


Originally Posted by JDWinCO (Post 3797015)
Its cool there Arkie, you wanted advice I gave mine, but you think a better response to it might have been "why do you say that"?

I understood the motive. Distance myself so that my prejudices wouldn't have bearing.

Already tried that. The dumb SOB was trying to sell her on a Tarus "Judge" something or other REVOLVING 44mag rifle. Told him I wouldn't have one a them up my arse if I had room for a steamboat!


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