Rifle for daughter


AH senior member
Sep 10, 2009
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South Africa (Eastern Cape), USA (GA, LA, ME, MI, MS, NC, NH, SD, TX, VA)
My daughter has found the joy of hunting this past year and am looking to purchase her a rifle. Her hunting experience is limited to taking an Impala in the Eastern Cape with a 30-06 and a whitetail with a .45 cal muzzleloader. She has also shot a .243 from the bench since then. I offered to let her hunt with .243, but she insisted on using her grandfather's 30-06 as she liked shooting the outfitter's, which was a custom rifle built on a K98 action. Would you all have any suggestions on models to consider? I want something that is CRF and am not opposed to purchasing a used rifle and modifying the stock if needed. She is just shy of 5'-8".
If she can handle a 30-06 I’d look at a short action Winchester M-70 CRF in 308 Win. A little more compact, lighter, and easier to get around with than a long action but has all the power and reach! I took my Oryx at 380yrds with a 308 and it never knew what hit him as it fell over
My daughter shoots a Win Mod 70 in 7x57. She's also shot a Sako 85 in 7mm RM, suppressed that was an outfitter's rifle. Lots of one shot kills.
I’d suggest one of the following:
Win 70 featherweight $1000 range
Kimber select $1500 range
Sako 85 $1500-$1800 range
Custom Mauser $2000+
As for caliber I’d go with one of the following - 270, 308, 30-06
I have a Christensen Mesa in 6.5 Creedmore, I’m planning on putting up for sale. I could send you pictures if you like.
I bought my daughter a basic howa 1500 in 308 as her first big game rifle… it’s been great for her so far..

Her mother and I primarily shoot 308 so keeping the cartridge consistent has been very convenient.. and the rifle is accurate, reliable, and affordable..

I didn’t want to invest a ton of money for what I feared might have been a fleeting interest.. but also didn’t want to cheap out to the point of setting her up for failure…

I found the howa to be a nice balance…

Thankfully her interest in hunting remains strong.. and she’s used the rifle successfully and continues to use it..

For what it’s worth, the rifle came complete with a cheap Nikko Sterling scope (promptly replaced with a leupold) and ready to hunt for about $600… I found it on sale when a retailer was going out of business…
Thank you gentlemen for the suggestions. I like the idea of a .308 vs the long action of the 30-06 for her. Definitely something to consider. I ought to let her use my Ruger RSI in .308, but I would need to put a different scope on it. It has a relatively low power Leupold with an illuminated reticle that I used hunting from tree stands in Mississippi.

Depends on your budget....
Budget is important, and I left it open in the way I posed my question. I would say $1500 or less for the rifle, then add optics. It seems most of the suggestions fit this nicely!
I would think the Model 70--or any clones, would be the ticket. At 5'8" I bet the "standard" 13.5ish" LOP would fit her fine. Then again, if she is comfortable with her grandfather's '06, can she keep shooting that?
Well, grandad still shoots it. Its a nice 1960s era Remington 700.
I have a Christensen Mesa in 6.5 Creedmore, I’m planning on putting up for sale. I could send you pictures if you like.

I have a Mesa in 308. Small, compact, easy to use. It’s a tack driver with 165 gr nosler partitions. I have had great success in Africa with it. It reminds me of the old Remington 700 Mtn rifles when they were good!! I bet the 6.5 creedmore above would be a good rifle for her
My daughter really likes her 30-06.
30-06, 308, in a M70 gets my vote
I assume you would want to carry all the guns in one case. If you plan on going back to South Africa and using one gun case, don't get her a gun of the same caliber you are bringing. There is a limit of one gun per caliber.
I believe the all guns in a case should belong to one individual and I would have your 4457 form reflect that.
If she is of appropriate age to import a gun to South Africa, she could bring her own gun case. The age is 21, from what I have read.
I chose the 338 federal in a Ruger Hawkeye for my daughter. A little more punch than the 308 and good ammo available.
My 15 year old daughter (5'8") loves her CZ550 in 7x57. I would trust her to take most plains game up to Sable cleanly with 170 grain Oryx / 160 Grain A-Frame or North Fork.
Find a rifle that fits her first and go from there. My wife had a Savage Ladyhunter that fit her very well, but to each their own.

6.5x55, 270WIN and 7x57 would all be great starters and useful well into adulthood.
There's a Dumolin 98 in 7x57 in Homer on Alaskaslist for $750. If it was in Anchorage I might go buy it, but I'm not driving to Homer to look at it.
Unless she's going to hunt DG, I'd buy her a Browning X Bolt in .308, .30-06 or 7mmRM and never look back. Stay away from Hornady's and others proprietary cartridges which are becoming increasingly MIA.
I vote Grandpas 30 06, but a 270 in Remington 700 is hard to beat my 2 daughters and wife have all killed Elk with their 270's

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Bill J H wrote on gearguywb's profile.
Do you still have this rifle? I'm in the KC area on business and I'm very interested.
Safari Dave wrote on CoElkHunter's profile.
I didn't get drawn for Wyoming this year.

Are you planning to hunt Unit 4 this fall?

(Thinking about coming out)
another great review