Recommendations On Rifle For My Wife

Fastrig

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My wife has become interested in shooting, and "maybe" hunting. Thought I might buy her a nice rifle/scope combo for Christmas. I'm hoping she'll join me in hunting in Africa and other locals at some point. Debating what caliber would be best. My first thought was a 30-06 or 308 win, but have been reading some articles written by ladies that say they really like the 7mm-08. Thoughts?

I see some companies have started making "rifles designed for women". Savage and Merkel are the ones I've reviewed so far. Is this marketing hype or is there something really to these designs? My wife is fairly tall, 5'9", and medium framed but when I had her shouldering some of my bolt rifles last night the LOP (14.25 to 14.75) was definitely too long for her. Was going to take her out this weekend and have her shoot my 308 win, 300 win mag, and 9.3x62 to see how she likes various hunting calibers and the associated recoil but afraid the LOP on my rifles is going to hinder that a bit. She's shot my lever actions which have much shorter LOP's but this would be a first with my bolt rifles. The LOP on my rifles is a good 1" too long, do you all think that's too far off for her to have a good feel for the calibers?

Lastly, especially to any ladies on the boards, what would you recommend I look at in makes/calibers? Thanks mucho for the input!!!
 

ActionBob

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My experience with women is that for some the guns designed for women fit nicely, and for others they do not. Lady Hunter, Camilla, etc. My ex ended up with a very patient salesman who had her try several and she bought a Ruger Guide gun in 30-06. It has adjustable LOP by simple stock spacers. it is also on the heavier side so mitigates recoil. Ruger now has those spacers available on the Hawkeye Predator model. 6.5 Creedmoor would be a great caliber as would the 7-08. But hard to beat the venerable 30-06, especially if buying factory ammo as there are so many choices. The 125 grain reduced recoil loads work fine on whitetail type game. And you can certainly take an Eland with a 30-06 with a proper load. It is also capable of much more range than often credited with. Not to mention availability of ammo

Equally important as a gun that fits is a scope that works well for he .
 

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My wife has a Remington 700 Mtn rifle in 280 Remington. Bought it 30 years ago. It fits her perfectly. You can load it up or down. Shoots great. She has harvested springbok to eland in Namibia in our 4 trips. Only rifle she hunts with. I know it’s not controlled feed but it has never jammed on her. She has shot a lot of other rifles but this one just fits her perfectly.
 

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Everybody is probably going to have an opinion on this one. I like the .30-06 because of its flexibility to cover a large spectrum of bullets. The ammunition is normally available globally, perhaps not in the brand or bullet you desire at the time. The recoil may send her back to the living room. My boys started on 7mm-08 and .260 Remington and they still use them today. Not sure of your plans for her to hunt, but the .243 is a good starter choice and many states allow .22 caliber centerfire rifles for deer (not here in Virginia). The fit of the gun is probably more important than the caliber.
 

Bullthrower338

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After two divorces I have found that it is wise to get a custom rifle built to fit you perfectly in a chambering that you have always wanted. That way you aren’t stuck with a rifle that is to small for you when her and her boyfriend take off to Tahiti!

In all seriousness a rifle in 7mm-08 or 7x57 Mauser make lovely rifles for women to start out with and are solid performers on game. I had a Remington custom shop rifle built in 270 for my first wife and she never really liked it. It was a little much recoil wise for her. Got the next a Remington Model 7 in 260 and she loved it. Just got my youngest son a Model 7 in 7mm-08 and it is perfect for him.
I wish you luck on getting your wife involved in what you enjoy.

Cheers,
Cody
 

Kawshik Rahman

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After two divorces I have found that it is wise to get a custom rifle built to fit you perfectly in a chambering that you have always wanted. That way you aren’t stuck with a rifle that is to small for you when her and her boyfriend take off to Tahiti!

In all seriousness a rifle in 7mm-08 or 7x57 Mauser make lovely rifles for women to start out with and are solid performers on game. I had a Remington custom shop rifle built in 270 for my first wife and she never really liked it. It was a little much recoil wise for her. Got the next a Remington Model 7 in 260 and she loved it. Just got my youngest son a Model 7 in 7mm-08 and it is perfect for him.
I wish you luck on getting your wife involved in what you enjoy.

Cheers,
Cody
Cody
You mention a 7 millimeter 08 cartridge . May l ask how it compares to the 7 millimeter Remington magnum cartridge of my time ?
 

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Has she ever fired a gun? If you take her out and fire .308W first it will likely scare the crap out of her and you will lose her. Why not start with .22LR, as I do with all of my firearm students.

.300 WIN Mag on first day of shooting! Are you out of your mind? My lady students are (on the whole) VERY report and recoil sensitive!

7mm-08 would be great when she works up to it. Then maybe .30-06/.35WAI/.375 Ruger - as she grows into them.

Savage makes "fittable" rifles now with their Accustock system - total no brainer for comb and LOP. It MUST fit her!
 

Bullthrower338

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Cody
You mention a 7 millimeter 08 cartridge . May l ask how it compares to the 7 millimeter Remington magnum cartridge of my time ?
The 7-08 is very similar to the 7x57 Mauser, it is a 308 Winchester based cartridge necked down to 7mm. Much milder recoil and easier of smaller stature to master than the belted magnum 7mm Remington, which is IMO an excellent cartridge and I have taken much game with it. I actually bought my mother a 7mm Rem Magnum in a Browning BAR self loader. After having the stock cut to fit (ouch, Belgium Browning, but bought to shoot not collect) she shoots it extremely well. She has since fell in love with a Tikka I gave her chambered in the 280 Remington. This is also a 7mm cartridge but based off of the 30-06 case.
Cheers,
Cody
 

Ryan

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I have a friend who got wound up and talked at length about the difference between men and women concerning rifles. She pointed out that it wasn't so much length of pull being different as women generally have longer necks. So a cheek piece and higher mounted scope goes a long way toward better fit. At 5'9" her length of pull will probably be closer to the standard 13 3/4" than your rifles. So check out standard rifles and add a slip on cheek rest to see how they work for her. There's some with inserts to adjust height. Or perhaps check out the Boyd At-One adjustable stocks.

Honestly it's a tough choice between the 30-06, 308, and 7mm-08. I own both 30-06 and 7mm-08. The 7mm has a little less felt recoil, but not much to me.
 

Bullthrower338

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I have a friend who got wound up and talked at length about the difference between men and women concerning rifles. She pointed out that it wasn't so much length of pull being different as women generally have longer necks. So a cheek piece and higher mounted scope goes a long way toward better fit. At 5'9" her length of pull will probably be closer to the standard 13 3/4" than your rifles. So check out standard rifles and add a slip on cheek rest to see how they work for her. There's some with inserts to adjust height. Or perhaps check out the Boyd At-One adjustable stocks.

Honestly it's a tough choice between the 30-06, 308, and 7mm-08. I own both 30-06 and 7mm-08. The 7mm has a little less felt recoil, but not much to me.
And that is why you should get a short, fat girl, then you don’t have to mount your scope any higher from the bore axis than necessary!
 

Fastrig

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Has she ever fired a gun? If you take her out and fire .308W first it will likely scare the crap out of her and you will lose her. Why not start with .22LR, as I do with all of my firearm students.

.300 WIN Mag on first day of shooting! Are you out of your mind? My lady students are (on the whole) VERY report and recoil sensitive!

7mm-08 would be great when she works up to it. Then maybe .30-06/.35WAI/.375 Ruger - as she grows into them.

Savage makes "fittable" rifles now with their Accustock system - total no brainer for comb and LOP. It MUST fit her!

She was in the U.S. Army for six years so shot more than a few rifles, she's just never shot bolt action, hunting type rifles. She shoots my lever action 30-30 and a 20 gauge I have when we shoot clays. I know the "fit" of the rifle is the most important thing in her case.
 

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7-08 is hard to beat for the role you intend. Ballistics with a 7x57 are essentially the same from the game animal’s perspective.
 

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I am a fan of the 7mm-08 but it's a loud cartridge, especially depending on barrel length. I'd probably rather have the tiny little bit more recoil of the 308 than the concussion of the 7-08.

To buy a shortened lop, often the short action cartridges are the only available. I'd do a 308

Long action probably 270, 280, or 30-06 at most. She may not be terrified of a certain rifle in 7mag or 300 win mag but that rifle may weight 10 pounds with the scope on. If you get her a rifle weighting 8 pounds with a scope and you are in a totally different ballgame. I just think anything bigger than a 3006 is asking for problems
 

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I am a fan of the 7mm-08 but it's a loud cartridge, especially depending on barrel length. I'd probably rather have the tiny little bit more recoil of the 308 than the concussion of the 7-08.

To buy a shortened lop, often the short action cartridges are the only available. I'd do a 308

Long action probably 270, 280, or 30-06 at most. She may not be terrified of a certain rifle in 7mag or 300 win mag but that rifle may weight 10 pounds with the scope on. If you get her a rifle weighting 8 pounds with a scope and you are in a totally different ballgame. I just think anything bigger than a 3006 is asking for problems
The 7-08 is a loud cartridge? Compared to a .308? Huh?

Not sure how you calculate cartridge (as opposed to platform) induced decibel contributing factors, but the .308 does have 56 gr capacity to 52 for the 7-08. And the .308 operates at about 2000 psi higher pressure.
 

Fastrig

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7-08 is hard to beat for the role you intend. Ballistics with a 7x57 are essentially the same from the game animal’s perspective.

I'm not overly familiar with this cartridge, but the couple articles I read that were both written by ladies said they really liked the 7mm-08. Is this good enough for bigger game such as elk, kudu, red stag, or evan an eland?
 

Bullthrower338

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I'm not overly familiar with this cartridge, but the couple articles I read that were both written by ladies said they really liked the 7mm-08. Is this good enough for bigger game such as elk, kudu, red stag, or evan an eland?
Limited distance, well constructed bullet and superior shot placement, it will do the job, optimum choice no. The 7x57 has proved its capability on many continents. Shot discipline is the name of the game as margin for error is slim. I have watched many elk fall to the 243 Winchester, definitely not an elk cartridge by anyone I knows standards but the elk didn’t receive that memo before getting put into little white packages and frozen!
 

Fastrig

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7-08 is hard to beat for the role you intend. Ballistics with a 7x57 are essentially the same from the game animal’s perspective.

Was looking at this rifle for her. She's a lefty and CA offers a LH model in both 7mm-08 and 308 win. Only downside to the 7mm-08 here is that it's only available in a 24" barrel where the 308 can be had with a 20" barrel, which I think she might be happier with. Rifle only weighs 6.3 lbs so with a decent scope total weight maybe around 7.5 lbs or so....would think that would be prefect. Thoughts on this CA and barrel lengths?

https://christensenarms.com/ridgeline/
 

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