Kimber seems unreasonable!

Ridgewalker

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Art II, more great options! Thanks.

Have you picked an outfitter for your 2020 hunt? I’ve been thinking that 2020 would be a good year for a father/son/grandfather safari.

Not exactly, but I love the Limpopo Tent Camp with Johan’s family, so that is number 1 choice. His kids are aged right around my granddaughter, so she should feel more comfortable. Also looking into a Namibia cull hunt where she could get some trigger time on some smallish antelope. Or maybe a week at both then she and I will have two places on our bucket list. As you can tell the hunt is still fluid.

A son/father/grandfather trip would be very special indeed!

Currently at 12 she says I’m her BFF and she wants my guns. We will see once in her teenage years about the BFF part.

Thanks again for your input, I think. Now I have another avenue to look at;).
 

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Go to Boyd's Hardwood Gun Stocks website, they are in Mitchell South Dakota. Buy one of their lightweight stocks and have it cut to length for granddaughter. They have a detailed video of how to measure for the custom fit.

I have had two thumbhole stocks custom pull done by them. What a awesome feel to have a stock made for ME! Lots of options also.
 

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I'll also tell you That the 7mm-08 is a great kids cartridge. Used a friends spotlighting rabbits and was amazed by how mild the recoil felt with 120 gr bullets. It is my top Choice for a kid. Plus it can be loaded up for bigger animals later.
Bruce
 

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Just saw a Tikka T3x Superlite SS at Sportsman’s Warehouse. 5lb 14oz. It comes in 6.5 Creedmoor and 7mm-08. Its now on my possibles list. I have an older model in 300WM that is extremely accurate. Loaded with a light weight, maybe Leupold VX II 2-7x it would be close to my 6 3/4 lb wishlist. The grandbabe might like one similar to pappy’s.
 

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Can you get the stock cut down on a Tikka T3 Superlite? I thought it was synthetic, if so probably hollow. It might still work with some sort of filler that would hold screws for the recoil pad.
 

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Can you get the stock cut down on a Tikka T3 Superlite? I thought it was synthetic, if so probably hollow. It might still work with some sort of filler that would hold screws for the recoil pad.
I’ll have to check but I know you can get aftermarket stocks of wood, laminated or synthetic.
 

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I see that you can purchase a "Light Weight Thumbhole" stock from Boyd for the Tikka T3 Superlite. They have a 12 & 3/4" LOP listed as an option. I'm thinking that a Thumbhole stock would be just the ticket for smaller hands.
 

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My daughters have hunted with Savage Model 10 "youth" rifles. They each have one in 243 and 7-08. I haven't really tried to see how the accuracy is. They shot well enough with the 85gr TSX Federal Premium 243. In 7-08 I have a reload with the the 120gr TTSX. I run it through both rifles. Again accurate enough. I have never really had them shoot for group size.

When practicing, I just have the girls shoot at deer sized deer targets. They like it and they have never had negative thoughts about their inability to shoot groups as well as someone else, or that last shot ruined a good group. Shooting at the deer target, they learned to understand where to aim to hit heart, lungs etc. In the 8-9 years they have hunted, they have never failed to get a deer, but we are not above shooting a doe either. I think they enjoy just being with me and my brother and their grandfather. However, they do like getting a deer. With their studies, they often only get out 1-2 days a year.

The oldest girl struggles with her left eye dominance. The younger successfully deals with it. When I tested them and found them left eye dominant, I offered them the choice of shooting left handed, or dealing with the dominant eye. They both chose to shoot right handed as they are most comfortable doing that. At the range, a small piece of tape in the center of left lense of the shooting glasses is all it takes. In the field, closing the left eye. Again their choice.

Back to the Savage rifles, they are heavy in comparison to the Kimbers. However, they are young and we hunt the prairies and are usually no more than 2-3 miles of the pickup. They can handle it. The Savage was a good starter. I never knew if they would stick with it. They think they are great and if they want something fancier, they can buy it when they finish university. I have scoped them all with Weaver Grand Slam rings and Redfield Revolution 3x9-40 scopes. Decent scope for decent money. I like them for this purpose.
 

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Excellent info AB2506! Thanks! I’ll also watch for that dominant eye issue, but with her 22 it doesn’t appear to be a problem.
 

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About 25 years back, I belonged to an indoor Smallbore Rifle Club. One year we had a right-hander turn up who had to shoot left-handed and the next year we had a left-hander who had to shoot right-handed OR vice-versa. This was a very small club with maybe 20 members plus casuals and a maximum of fifteen shooters competing in Interclub shoots in any one year. The rule here, is that you have teams of five shooters and you drop your lowest score. You can compete with four people but then you have no insurance against a team member having an off-night.

My point is, that you have to test every novice who comes to you, for eye dominance. As one of my old bosses said to me, after I made a silly assumption ... ‘if you assume, you make an ass out of you and an ass out of me’.
 

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I have a great little Ruger Mark II in 7-08 that is a youth gun, walnut stock, light weight. Find one used ready to go.
 

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Can you get the stock cut down on a Tikka T3 Superlite? I thought it was synthetic, if so probably hollow. It might still work with some sort of filler that would hold screws for the recoil pad.

I’ve seen hollow synthetic shotgun stocks cut down. Wood was glued inside to hold the recoil pad screws. If you can do it on a shotgun then I assume you can do it on a rifle.
 

One Day...

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Hello @Ridgewalker;

This all made me wonder: how light and short is the gun the 3 daughters learned on? So, I dug it out of the safe, if only out of curiosity. Here is my 'real-life' entry in the competition: Sako Forester .243 Win. with Zeiss Diatal C 4x32 and home-shortened stock to 12.5" length of pull.

IMG_1420.JPG


Allow me Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury to make my case:

1) You specified up to 6 3/4 lbs (i.e. 6 lbs 12 oz), this one comes at 7 lbs 1.6 oz (if you zoom up the pic you will see that there is a decimal point between the 1 and the 6 on the scale). It is unlikely that 5 additional oz will make or break the deal in term of carry weight (and a bit more weight will soak up a bit more recoil).

2) .243 Win is a great caliber. It always was but it is now even better with the new bullet technologies. In the 70's, when I started, the .243 Win 100 gr Nosler Partition was (and still is) famous in the European Alps as a near ideal caliber/bullet combo for goat, sheep, deer, pigs, etc. By my consistent record keeping of Partition bullets recovered, they loose between 30% and 40% of their weight from the front half of the core. So, after the first inch or so of penetration, you have at best 70 gr of bullet plowing through. An 80 gr TTSX beats that, and gives you a better BC ... and is lead free, which is not an idle consideration when feeding the meat to kids. It will kill any deer or black bear that walks, and most African plain games, and in term of recoil, it is ... nothing: a .243 Win. 80 gr TTSX at 3,350 in a 7.25 lbs gun generates 10 ft/lbs or free recoil. For comparison the 6.5 x55 or Creedmoor, or the 7-08 generate 12 ft/lbs. Maybe a tad too much to start with?

3) One thing I like about that little Forester is that despite being 7 lbs scoped, it almost has a bull barrel, and the joke on me at home has long been that the most accurate gun in the safe is ... the kids' gun. That thing truly shoots 1/4" groups at 100 yd with 100 gr Partitions, which was a great confidence/pride booster for the kids, and drove them to achieve it, i.e. implicitly learn about taking their shot.

IMG_1437.JPG


4) 4x scope is all that anyone needs anywhere for big game hunting, regardless of modern marketing ;-)

5) I always endeavored to give the kids nice guns to develop pride of ownership and encourage the hunting vocation. To do so without going bankrupt, I bought used. Actually, the more I advance in life, the less I buy new (cars, motorcycles, guns...). It is just amazing what one can find on GunBroker, eBay, CraigsList, etc. with a little patience and a little discernment. I put this rifle together way before Internet existed (probably around 1993 to 1995 when our first daughter was reaching 8 to 10) but I remember buying the gun and scope used ... and cheap. If one knows a bit about what one is buying, there are some great deals out there for barely used top quality at discount price (e.g. a quick search on GunBroker shows right now two Sako Forester .243 around $800).


To this day, I think that the combo 7 lbs scoped, 4x scope, .243 Win, Sako quality, (and, I will confess, stutzen stock, 'like Daddy's gun') was dang near perfect. It will be another 3 to 4 years, but my grandson will learn on the very same gun his Mom learned on...

Good luck @Ridgewalker, I can't wait for my grand son to get there. He will start on the .22lr Chipmunk (notice the hand rub linseed oil finish and hand-cut checkering - 'like Daddy's gun' ;-) and will soon enough get to the .243...

IMG_1438.JPG
 
Last edited:

Ridgewalker

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Very wonderful memories One Day! Thanks for the input and a beautiful rifle!
I have booked her first big game hunt for two doe mule deer at Gizmo’s ranch in Texas. He is going to furnish a Ruger in 243 cut down for a small person. I am going to see how she handles it, the hunt, and her first game animal before moving on.
Erik, aka Gizmo, has already trained his two kids and is anxious for us to come hunt with him. I have been to his place quail hunting and seen all kinds of game from several different exotics to mule deer, whitetail deer, hundreds of turkeys, hogs, coyotes and I just can’t remember all of them. It’s a hunters paradise. The exotics are high fenced, but the rest just run wild.
I’ll see how she handles it all. It may spoil her with so many sightings.
Thanks again for your input. Great option!
 

One Day...

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Awesome!
From my own experience, it is important to prepare them ahead of time to the concept of death. Cecile (daughter #1) would have really liked the first doe we took together (I still did the shooting) to stand up and walk away after the pictures were shot. She was 8 years old at the time.

White Tailed doe Connecticut.jpg
 

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My concern as well. She is only 12 now. My plan is if she still wants to go to Africa hunting (she says she does now), I will take her at 14 if she hunts here. We shall see.
Her grandmother has taken a couple of antelope and a couple of mule deer, then decided she loved the walking, but hated carrying a gun (Savage 243).
 

One Day...

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Yep, same story with my wife. She love the hunting, and has a pretty good eye behind a pair of binocs, but she hates the killing. She does not come with me anymore...
 

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I was hoping scoped to be 6 1/2-6 3/4 lbs. she’s 5’ and 85 lbs dressed. She’s strong for her age and size, but as you know carrying a gun for hours can get very tiring.
I don’t want to discourage her just because a gun is heavy. She really wants to go hunt Africa. Being my only child, or grand child the least bit interested in hunting, I want it to be as comfortable as possible.
My very strong 200 lb grandsons aren’t the least bit interested.
It is tiring if you are not used to it. Have her carry the rifle with her for a while. It is also good for muzzle awareness. Practicing keeping good muzzle discipline while your rifle is unloaded builds good habits and muscle memory for the hunt.

Good luck with your granddaughter!
 

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Took everyone’s recommendations plus my lazy maintenance attitude and bought her a 7mm-08. It came down to 7mm-08 and 6.5 Creedmoor. I just have more confidence in “bigger is better” theory. And if she is going to be hunting up to elk or kudu size game, it just made more sense in my mind.
So I got a low maintenance Tikka T3x SS and am having the stock shortened. If/when she grows out of it, I’ll get a Bell & Carlson or Boyd’s depending on what she likes.
The plan is to work up a 120 Nosler Ballistic tip and a 120 Barnes TTSX for lower recoiling loads to start, then either 150 or 160 stoughter bullets for Africa plains game when the time comes.
I have a Burris Fullfield II to use until we decide what she likes which I suspect will be a Leupold with an illuminated red dot (she likes mine). We’ll see.
Christmas will be here soon and the gunsmith said he would get it done in plenty of time.
Before it is shortened the weight with scope is close to 6 3/4 lb. I think as strong as she is that she can handle it. She just did 60 push-ups while testing for her latest Muay Thai belt! I’m lucky to cheat out 20!
We’ll see how it goes!
 

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