Recommendations On Rifle For My Wife

Philip Glass

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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!!!
Consider a suppressor so she can shoot a larger caliber if she does go to Africa with you. I have my 13yo son in a 7mmMag with suppressor and he does great with it. When I was initially looking for him a gun I found .308 to be best bang for the recoil so to speak. I looked at Chuck Hawks recoil table to gain some insight.
You can’t go wrong for deer and similar sized animals with 6.5 Creedmore.
Best of luck in your search.
Philip
 

ufg8r93

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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/

I have two Christensen rifles and a guy at my deer club also has one. They are very well made, incredibly accurate, and the softest shooting rifles I own. And that's without the muzzle brake. Christensen's customer service has been great also.

I own an older steel barreled 300WM (Model 14 action) and a newer 6.5 Creedmoor Mesa. Both rifles shoot everything I feed them really well - they'll shoot decent factory ammo sub-MOA all day long. I will definitely own another Christensen.

I wouldn't hesitate to suggest a 7mm-08 or 308 Ridgeline for your wife. If you want to use heavier bullets for bigger game, I'd suggest the 308 since you can find factory 180 grain ammo.
 

perttime

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Has a budget been mentioned?
(sorry, didn't read all posts)
 

perttime

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One of my many soft spots is for Sako rifles. Quality rifles with many different options: blued, stainless, wood, laminate, carbon fiber, lightweight, good range of action sizes chamberings. Many come with threads for a suppressor.
 

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Fastrig - I used to be in the business.
Depending on your wife's size, look at the Mossberg Youth Models. MOST of the ladies I helped purchase a rifle and some I taught to shoot, all seemed to prefer a youth model over a "ladies" model. It just fit them better.
The Mossberg is a lot of rifle for the $$$. Further ladies, unlike us gents, tend to be satisfied with one rifle - no need for multiple calibers/chamberings, etc.

2nd: hard to do for a surprise, but LET HER PICK IT OUT. She'll know what fits and how it feels. Time to put your ego aside.

Thus the best suggestion for a surprise is to get a gift certificate for the purchase. Again, I had a gun shop, we'd take the ladies or newbies out and let them try a weapon BEFORE they purchased. We KNEW we were making the sale and we wanted completely satisfied customers, and their husbands really appreciated the extra effort.

As for chambering, most "youth" models are short action: Shortening the stock but not the barrel makes for an unbalanced gun and ladies typically do not have the upper body strength to compensate for a muzzle heavy configuration. this is EXACTLY why the H&R single shots are butt heavy, and EXACTLY why I'd shy away from a moderator or suppressor.

.308 0r 7-08 take your pick - I'm a HUGE fan of the 243 - PLUS should you decide later, you can get another rifle just like the first one and have it re-barreled in a 338 Fed or a 358 Win - depending on where you live and where you hunt.
 

Dr Ray

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Maybe start with a 22/250 or 243 - recoil reasons.
Scope - depends on your budget.
Suggest that your wife doesn’t have a hard recoiling to start with AND I feel that a 308 etc may just deter her to start with.
 

perttime

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Has she done any shooting?
With what? How did she feel about it?
 

Fastrig

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Has she done any shooting?
With what? How did she feel about it?

She was in the U.S. Army for six years, shoots clays with a 20 gauge, and shot my lever actions when we’ve been camping...no problems. She just never shot any of the bolt actions, hunted, etc. She handled my 308 win this past weekend with no problem whatsoever. She could probably handle a 7mm mag or 300 win mag, but haven’t gone there.
 

greyfox

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Off subject, but where was she stationed and what was her MOS?

I'm retired Army, yeah we shot a lot of weapons and calibers however there is a HUGE difference between military and sporting. Just think of the WWII Mausers and then what people did with them after the war. Some really nice bolt action rifles meant for hunting (lighter thus more recoil) versus a two handed fighting tool.
 

perttime

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So we don't need to worry about her ability to fire a rifle that is suitable for "medium" sized game.

Better just find one that she likes. Others have made suggestions on that.
 

Fastrig

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Off subject, but where was she stationed and what was her MOS?

I'm retired Army, yeah we shot a lot of weapons and calibers however there is a HUGE difference between military and sporting. Just think of the WWII Mausers and then what people did with them after the war. Some really nice bolt action rifles meant for hunting (lighter thus more recoil) versus a two handed fighting tool.

Have no idea what her MOS was exactly...mostly computer operations though she said she still had to "shoot' twice a year :) She was in Germany, at the Presidi0, and one of the forts in the South during her tenure. Understand the hunting vs military rifle equation, thus the reason I was looking for everyone's thoughts. I'm dialing in a new 300 win mag and going to have her pull the trigger on that this weekend. The 308 didn't phase her at all and if the 300 win mag doesn't I'll probably suggest she go with that caliber as that's what I'll be traveling with which means one type of ammo for both of us. Going to take everyone's advise about having her pick the rifle out, though am thinking of having one built for her as she's a lefty and I didn't realize how much that reduced the available options (a bunch it turns out).
 

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I like my 7mm-08 and own .308 too. Im sure she would hanfle both. Whats on the agenda if she hunts? That may give you some ideas based on the target species.
There are some nice rifles marketed at women. Some by soze being compact and maybe others with feminin coloring.
Try get her behind a few and buy her something she likes
 

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Let her decide and choose what she feels most comfortable with. My daughter ( 5-2 ) shoots my hunting rifles off sticks nearly as well as I do: 5.56, 6.5 CR, 7RM, 375HH. All the stocks are way too long even though I've had them cut to fit me. She's not afraid of recoil or noise. She does have a bit of a problem running the bolt for a second shot because of the reach. Going to be interesting when I get my 404 because she will definitely want to try it.
 

Fastrig

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Let her decide and choose what she feels most comfortable with. My daughter ( 5-2 ) shoots my hunting rifles off sticks nearly as well as I do: 5.56, 6.5 CR, 7RM, 375HH. All the stocks are way too long even though I've had them cut to fit me. She's not afraid of recoil or noise. She does have a bit of a problem running the bolt for a second shot because of the reach. Going to be interesting when I get my 404 because she will definitely want to try it.

Let the cat our of the bag with her on the rifle....she's happy with the idea but likes the idea of having a custom rifle built to fit her....she "wants" to try out my 300 win mag and 9.3x62, especially the 300 wm. Going to let her decide then take the kudos for being "so thoughtful" :)
 

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Let the cat our of the bag with her on the rifle....she's happy with the idea but likes the idea of having a custom rifle built to fit her....she "wants" to try out my 300 win mag and 9.3x62, especially the 300 wm. Going to let her decide then take the kudos for being "so thoughtful" :)

If she can shoot the 9.3 and 300, you might consider a 338 Federal for her. Its a 308/7-08 just necked up to .338 bullets. Short action and short barrel in a light weight rifle with good energy.
 

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Let the cat our of the bag with her on the rifle....she's happy with the idea but likes the idea of having a custom rifle built to fit her....she "wants" to try out my 300 win mag and 9.3x62, especially the 300 wm. Going to let her decide then take the kudos for being "so thoughtful" :)
Fastrig,
Smart man. Wisest decision you could make.
 

Fastrig

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If she can shoot the 9.3 and 300, you might consider a 338 Federal for her. Its a 308/7-08 just necked up to .338 bullets. Short action and short barrel in a light weight rifle with good energy.

Considering the 338 federal for a light-weight, hunting AR-10 build I’ve been considering. For that platform it’s an interesting option over the 308 to get a harder hitting round and probably what I’m going to go with. For a bolt action that is going to get traveled with I think I’d have to lean towards a chambering for ammo that’s readily available internationally. 308 win, 300 wm, 30-06, 9.3x62, 7x64, and 375 H&H all would be better choices over the 338 fed for that targeted use, at least IMO.
 

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Considering the 338 federal for a light-weight, hunting AR-10 build I’ve been considering. For that platform it’s an interesting option over the 308 to get a harder hitting round and probably what I’m going to go with. For a bolt action that is going to get traveled with I think I’d have to lean towards a chambering for ammo that’s readily available internationally. 308 win, 300 wm, 30-06, 9.3x62, 7x64, and 375 H&H all would be better choices over the 338 fed for that targeted use, at least IMO.
Seeing as you started this thread, your opinion (and your bride as well) are the ones that matter most.
I agree with the International traveling caliber choices for the same reasons of availablity, shootability and game to be harvested.
The AR platform is not in my wheelhouse and I'll leave it to the pros.
Let us know how the shooting goes that you had planned...
 

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