My daughter is about ready for her first deer rifle, but I’am not quite sure which direction I should go. All of my other kids have a Marlin 336 in 30-30. For here in East Texas most of our shots are no more then 100 yards, and she will not want anything with recoil. With these east Texas deer, we are talking maybe 125 – 150 pounds.
I would like to stay away from calibers like the 270, 280 and the 30-06, they have too much recoil. On the flip side the coin, I don’t care for shooting deer with the 6mm or 243 either. The smallest diameter caliber I would go with would maybe the 257 Roberts.
Ruger Mini-30 in 7.62X39
The Ruger mini-30 is a semi-auto, 30 caliber bullet and effective out to our average range of 100 yards.
The semi-automatic action will help cut down on recoil, but I’am not real sure of the accuracy. The 7.62X39 does not kick to start with, and the action of the Ruger Mini-30 will just help reduce it that much more.
Then there is the accuracy issue. The Mini-14 and mini-30 are nor known for their accuracy.
Marlin 336 in 30-30
Since we have several 30-30s in the family already, ammo will not be a problem. In the past 100 plus years the 30-30 has proven time and time gain to be effective on deer sized game.
Mossberg recently came out with a lever action rifle, but I like the idea of having all of the rifles made by the same company. Its nothing against Mossberg, but I have already invested a lot of money into Marlin.
My daughter has shot a Marlin 336 in 30-30 Winchester, and she was not that impressed with the recoil
Remington Model 7 in 308 Winchester
Bolt action accuracy with the effective stopping power of the 308. I first saw the Remington model 7 last hunting season, my nephew used his model 7 to take a couple of East Texas whitetail deer.
The 308 Winchester may be pushing the upper limits of what a teenage girl can handle. Then again, it is all subjective.