Ideal calibre for sport/target shooting for my Sons

swara kijana

New member
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Eastern Cape , South Africa
Member of
S.C.I. Rowland Ward Guild , E.C.G.M.A. , Border Hunt Club
Hunted
South Africa , Namibia , Zimbabwe, Mozambique , Spain .
Dear All ,
Advice , if I may ,please . My sons , aged 16 (5'7") and 13 (5')have been asked to take up sport/target shooting . We recently joined a local hunting and shooting club where we go once a month to practice . Having seen how the boys shoot , with my 7 x 64 , the experienced members want the boys to go competitive . Note , one son shoots right and the other left .
Here's where I need some advice please . The debate is around the calibre , in the main , 223 and 243 . Further mention is made of mini stocks and short stocks , further the type of stock (normal to Boyd AT one ) bull barrels and semi bull barrels , lengths , silencers etc .
I am an ordinary hunter and certainly don't have the knowledge of any of the above . It would appear that it would probably be best for each of them that they get teir own rifle as opposed to sharing !!!
We have also been advised to start reloading !
Thanking all in advance for any advice , it will be much appreciated .
 

Alistair

AH enthusiast
Joined
May 25, 2018
Messages
367
Reaction score
676
Location
Burton-on-Trent, UK
Media
2
Member of
BASC
Hunted
Scotland, Ireland & England
Evening.

Great to hear your sons are keen on the sport! What discipline are they interested in? THat'll allow much more useful advice!

AS a very general comment until we know some more details, I'd suggest that .308 is a good starting point for most competition shooting, be it F class, FTR, practical etc. In the longer term you might want to move to something more specialised though, especially if it's Benchrest or something.

.223 is fine and fairly accurate out to 600 or so, but beyond that will not be competitive. Wind is a real issue with these light projectiles and due to the relatively poor BC values of most bullets, especially those that'll stabilise in standard twist barrels, they go subsonic before 1000yds and accuracy suffers.

.243 is not a popular competition chambering, but is a perfectly good round in the main. No real advantage over .308 unless they're recoil sensitive though, and if they're happy with the 7x64...

Many competition rifles use a heavier weight barrel compared to a sporting rifle and I'd say that for competitions such as F class this is an absolute necessity. No need to go full on custom for new shooters, but something like a Rem 700 with an adjustable stock and a heavier profile barrel will serve them much better than a sporting gun. A longer barrel of 26+ will also help if they intend to shoot at 800yds+, again to avoid issues with transonic or subsonic projectiles.

Reloading is a great hobby in its own right and will allow you to develop better, cheaper, more accurate rounds than factory. I'd recommend it! That said, if you can find a brand of 'match' quality ammo with decent bullets that the rifles like, then it's not a necessity. Just bear in mind that a 1MOA load isn't going to be competitive for most disciplines, so you may need to change your expectations of an 'accurate' load...
 

Hogpatrol

Silver supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
6,136
Reaction score
13,748
Location
Delaware, USA
Media
76
Articles
4
Member of
Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA,
Hunted
RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX, ME
Buy a couple 6.5 Creedmoor rifles with heavy barrels, good match ammo and practice, practice, practice.
 

Major Khan

AH legend
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
2,189
Reaction score
5,647
Media
159
Articles
46
It is nice to see the young lads get introduced into our world. I would highly recommend a .243 Winchester for them . It is a very versatile , accurate , yet easy to shoot calibre for a young man.
 

curtism1234

AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 28, 2016
Messages
812
Reaction score
883
Media
6
What type of competitions are you wanting to do in the next couple years?

If they have just started shooting and people in your club are recommending the 223 and 243, then I'm kinda under the impression this is a semi-casual weekend thing where folks shoot traditional hunting and varmint rifles at just a few hundred yards but nothing too crazy. Is this what you are referring to???

If so, I think a 223, 243, 25-06, 6.5 creedmoor, 260, 7-08, 270, 308 all would be acceptable. If very windy, I'd would probably not go with a 223. Depends on what good ammo or components are in your area.

A Savage or Remington 700 is probably a good place to start as both have a lot of aftermarket accessories if you need another stock, barrel, trigger, etc. I would probably look for a wood / very stiff synthetic stock that is fully bedded as opposed to just pillar bedded if you are shooting a ways away.

This would probably be all you need. May have to shorten the stock an inch

https://www.savagearms.com/content?p=firearms&a=product_summary&s=19136
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot (323).png
    Screenshot (323).png
    139.6 KB · Views: 29
  • Screenshot (324).png
    Screenshot (324).png
    495.2 KB · Views: 28
Last edited:

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,578
Reaction score
3,511
Location
WYOMING
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
4
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
I'll agree with Hogpatrol. The 6,5 CM is made for them. The ballistic twins of the .269 or 6.5X47 will both do essentially the same thing. They can be loaded up or dowm. Great range of factory ammo. Plenty of opportunity for reloading. Generally easy to get them to shoot accurately. What's not to like?
Bruce
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,849
Reaction score
4,747
Location
Eastern US
Media
101
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
I've said more than once that if I knew then what I know now...
Caution...this is not an inexpensive venture, but it will be worth it in the end.

Get them each their own Blaser R8 and they can each grow with the gun.
Switching barrels and calibers as they grow would be a great advantage.
I wish my Grandfather had shown me something like this when I was much younger.
If not Blaser, there are others like the Merkel Helix or Mauser M03.
As for caliber, maybe start with 6.5x55SE, 270WIN or even 30-06.
 

shootist~

Bronze supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
451
Reaction score
495
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Media
11
Member of
NRA Life Member, USPSA Certified Range Officer (inactive), NRA Certified Instructor (inactive)
Hunted
USA, Mexico
Ditto on the 6.5 Creedmoor. Just a great round with excellent long range target potential, low recoil, and a lot more energy than the 243W.
 

mark-hunter

AH elite
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
1,795
Reaction score
2,227
Media
23
Articles
2
Hunted
Namibia - Kalahari, Namibia - Khomas highland
@swara kijana

I have kids, in similar situation and age:
The definitive answer will rest on their final affinity to specific sport... hunting, bulls eye shooting, long range shooting or practical shooting sports, those are interests which will develop in time.

however, for start my strongest advice is following:

- 22 lr is a MUST, cheap rifles, cheap ammo, gives the longest trigger time, and training hours.
then,

- 223 remington, long barrel life, milsurp ammo, (as opposed to 243, which is not service caliber, and has significantly shorter barrel life, and less available ammo) then,

- 308 win, similar points, with added recoil and power of hunting rifle. long barrel life, milsurp ammo available.

For barrels in center fire calibers, choose semi weight, heavy weight, or bull barrels... they can be considered to withstand long training sessions

(rifle platforms: varmint and tactical types, of bolt action rifles)

But, if you want to train the kids with open sights, you will have to choose wisely because such barrels are not fitted with iron sights, so back market sights could be considered as additional equipment.

Scopes are nice, but they will spoil the kids.

Optionally, scout rifle concept may be considered... In conclusion following rifles to be concidered: scout rifle, varmint rifle, tactical rifle - all bolt actions.

check Tikka T3x Arctic - for new service rifle for canadian rangers, a rifle with very fine concept, savage scout, etc
tikka ctr arctic.jpg
savage 110 scout.jpg


For 22lr, heavy barrel is not necessary. my advice is brno 2, cz 452, cz 455, cz 457.
all with iron sights, later if need be, scope may be added.

For long hours of training, and substantial trigger time, I think I covered 3 basic calibers, with long barrel life, and affordable ammunition options and three reasonable choice of rifle platforms.

Iron sights should be additional feature, optics at later stage for young boys.

Once they start developing their interests, they will get their taste to more specific or specialised calibers and rifles.

good training, have fun!
 

Newboomer

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Sep 10, 2016
Messages
1,928
Reaction score
3,523
Location
Nevada
Media
13
Member of
NRA, SCI, American Legion, Freemasons
Hunted
RSA, Maine, Montana, Colorado, Texas, Alaska, California.
Another vote for 6.5 Creedmore. Good range, low recoil, very accurate, good medium size game rifle, reloadable with a variety of bullets, good selection of factory ammo.
 

Standard Velocity

AH enthusiast
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
424
Reaction score
596
Media
2
Articles
1
The specific type of competitive shooting they plan to do will dictate the type of rifle and caliber.

They will each need their own gun and an adjustable stock will allow you to fit each to the shooter (especially the still growing youngest). It would be nice if each had a standard hunting stock as well so the rifles could serve dual purposes.

Get them the same caliber if they are both doing the same competitions. Consolidation.

A single stage reloading press kit will get them started in reloading as cheaply as can be expected.

22 rifles that approximate the size of their competition rifles are also a must. Much cheaper to feed, less recoil and a good way to bide time between shot strings waiting for the barrel to cool on the centerfire rifle.

On the absolute cheapest side you may be able to get away with 2k in starting costs. It will cost much more over time.

The people on **NOT**PERMITTED** website should be able to help steer you in the right direction and may even have some affordable gear they are willing to part with.

Good luck.
 

Shootist43

Gold supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2015
Messages
5,952
Reaction score
5,999
Location
Grosse Ile, Michigan
Media
25
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA
Hunted
Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
Personally I prefer the 6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser over the Creedmore. What I don't know is how available they are at your location. In the States, sporterized versions are available that are cheap and as accurate if not more so than most any rifle out there.
 

rookhawk

AH legend
Joined
Mar 4, 2015
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
4,771
Location
North America
Media
138
Articles
2
Member of
NRA Life Benefactor, Trout Unlimited, Safari Club International
Dear All ,
Advice , if I may ,please . My sons , aged 16 (5'7") and 13 (5')have been asked to take up sport/target shooting . We recently joined a local hunting and shooting club where we go once a month to practice . Having seen how the boys shoot , with my 7 x 64 , the experienced members want the boys to go competitive . Note , one son shoots right and the other left .
Here's where I need some advice please . The debate is around the calibre , in the main , 223 and 243 . Further mention is made of mini stocks and short stocks , further the type of stock (normal to Boyd AT one ) bull barrels and semi bull barrels , lengths , silencers etc .
I am an ordinary hunter and certainly don't have the knowledge of any of the above . It would appear that it would probably be best for each of them that they get teir own rifle as opposed to sharing !!!
We have also been advised to start reloading !
Thanking all in advance for any advice , it will be much appreciated .

@swara kijana I don't know your budget or your location but there are many nice guns out there. If vintage guns are your thing, I can report that a pre-64 Winchester Varmint model in .243 weighs a ton of bricks, has zero recoil, and with its 26" bull barrel I've yet to see one that wasn't sub-minute of angle with MOST off-the-shelf .243 ammo. They also came with a factory stock on the short side of things and there are many scope mounts available to get the optics as low on the gun as possible making shooting very pleasurable. They tend to sell for about $1600 here in the States in exceptional condition. Because of how heavy and long they are, most of them are in near perfect condition as they didn't get carried around a lot the way a typical deer rifle would.

For the left handed child, I'd look for a custom, very high-end rifle for him. Left handed guns that would be $4000-$5000 to make at today's prices often sell for little more than $800-$1000 because they are lefty guns. The lefty stocked guns with the right hand bolts are even less desirable. I'm thinking of a barely used custom mauser that someone paid a fortune to have made in the 1950s-1990s and is now being sold off by the heirs that find it worthless. There are dozens of them to be found on the internet, many by quite famous makers...many of them very cheap. (1/2 to 1/3 the price they would be if they were right handed)
 

Nyati

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
7,889
Reaction score
3,333
Location
Madrid, Spain
Media
117
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Europe
1
Member of
RFEC, RFETO
Hunted
Spain, Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Free State ).
Take it from an old competition shooter and shooting instructor.

.22lr, open sights, of course.

Then, in a few years, they will make their own choice, depending on what type of shooting they are interested in.
 

rookhawk

AH legend
Joined
Mar 4, 2015
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
4,771
Location
North America
Media
138
Articles
2
Member of
NRA Life Benefactor, Trout Unlimited, Safari Club International
Take it from an old competition shooter and shooting instructor.

.22lr, open sights, of course.

Then, in a few years, they will make their own choice, depending on what type of shooting they are interested in.


@Nyati a .22lr? These "kids" are nearing adulthood, it seems a bit far down the path to be getting them .22LR unless they have a passion for that particular shooting sport. My point not to dismiss the .22, but the inference was they needed .22s at their age.
 

Nyati

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
7,889
Reaction score
3,333
Location
Madrid, Spain
Media
117
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Europe
1
Member of
RFEC, RFETO
Hunted
Spain, Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Free State ).
@Nyati a .22lr? These "kids" are nearing adulthood, it seems a bit far down the path to be getting them .22LR unless they have a passion for that particular shooting sport. My point not to dismiss the .22, but the inference was they needed .22s at their age.

@rookhawk , whatever your age, if your intention is to get into serious target shooting, you should first master the technique, and there is nothing better than a .22lr for that. Well, excluding a competition air rifle, but in this case the OP is asking about firearms.
 

Hogpatrol

Silver supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
6,136
Reaction score
13,748
Location
Delaware, USA
Media
76
Articles
4
Member of
Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA,
Hunted
RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX, ME
I'm on the same page. Regardless of age, a 22 rimfire is the way to start off. I cringe at fathers who start their kids off with high power centerfires. Kids aren't emotionally mature enough to understand what they have in their hands with a centerfire. I've heard too many adult males tell children "Don't do that" at the gun ranges to think otherwise.
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,849
Reaction score
4,747
Location
Eastern US
Media
101
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
@Nyati a .22lr? These "kids" are nearing adulthood, it seems a bit far down the path to be getting them .22LR unless they have a passion for that particular shooting sport. My point not to dismiss the .22, but the inference was they needed .22s at their age.
This is one more reason to have a rifle system with interchangeable barrels.
Using the same stock for the 22lr and the centerfire cartridges promotes proper body positioning.
Familiar ergonomics make things much easier when transitioning between calibers or simply moving up.
 

rookhawk

AH legend
Joined
Mar 4, 2015
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
4,771
Location
North America
Media
138
Articles
2
Member of
NRA Life Benefactor, Trout Unlimited, Safari Club International
This is one more reason to have a rifle system with interchangeable barrels.
Using the same stock for the 22lr and the centerfire cartridges promotes proper body positioning.
Familiar ergonomics make things much easier when transitioning between calibers or simply moving up.

But they’re nearly grown men currently shooting their dad’s 7x64 brenneke competently enough to be invited into competitive shooting?
 

Hogpatrol

Silver supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
6,136
Reaction score
13,748
Location
Delaware, USA
Media
76
Articles
4
Member of
Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA,
Hunted
RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX, ME
More fitting suggestions would come with additional information on the shooters. How long have they been shooting? Which rifles cartridges have they been shooting on a regular basis and for how long. What do they weigh? Do they wear glasses?
Encouraging shooters to join in a competitive match may just be a recruitment drive to keep it on the club schedule.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
36,777
Messages
697,448
Members
64,805
Latest member
Publisherka
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Rifle57 wrote on Rimshot's profile.
I bought some bullets from Rimshot and he is good to trade with!
Greetings all! I've been a hunter for 50 years, but only now planning a trip to Africa. I was fortunate and successfully bid on a couple hunts for plains game in SA later this year and next. Also a rare Native Texas (5th generation) and USMC Vet. Hunt safe y'all!
uujm wrote on trg's profile.
I am looking for a Safari Express. Was yours made in New Haven or South Carolina? Any other details you can give me? I am very motivated to buy.
pimes wrote on flatwater bill's profile.
Hello Bill - can you tell me that landowner/ranch/outfitter - Thank you!
Pete0905 wrote on damundsen87's profile.
Hello
Is the Khales 1-6 still for sale?
Thanks
Josh
 
Top