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Discussion Starter #1
I've been debating this for a while and it seems many have different opinions. My son just passed hunter's safety and will be going deer hunting with me this year. He is 12 years old and has shot a number of guns but in general is still pretty green. I have enough of my own guns that he can use for hunting, whatever the quarry may be. I still want to buy him his OWN gun, what should be the first one I buy? A 22? A 12 guage? Something else??
 

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Liberty or Death
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By him a 20 ga. singal shot smoothbore shotgun. You can take rabbit to deer with that gun. But dont get a youth model.
 

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25 Or 6 to 4
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Mod 94 winchester in .30.30. He passed because he wants to go deer hunting. An important right of passage for a young man, and they will all weigh each other and their rifles. Get the 'lifer' model. A sears and roebuck 30.30 is not the same thing.

If you need to buy a used one, make refinishing the stock, or fresh bluing a project BOTH of you do together.

If a .22 is needed pick up a glenfield tube fed used for a knock around gun for him after the deer season. The kid is 12. If it all doesn't go right he will drop the interest in favor of girls very soon, so make the couple years, perfect ones he will remember all his life, should he become distracted.

No one crys over dents and scratches in a glenfield 22, and they take care of the Mod 94 knowing it will last their entire life.
 

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BEEN HERE TO LONG
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12ga with low powered shells he will soon want heavyer shells.
 

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I like the deer rifle idea. To some degree it would depend on your hunting area. I would vote 30-30 for short range (heavy brush, swamp, etc) or .243 for longer range and more open areas. However, that assumes that he already has ready access to a good .22LR for frequent training and recreational shooting sessions. If not, then a .22 would be my vote.
 

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I've been debating this for a while and it seems many have different opinions. My son just passed hunter's safety and will be going deer hunting with me this year. He is 12 years old and has shot a number of guns but in general is still pretty green. I have enough of my own guns that he can use for hunting, whatever the quarry may be. I still want to buy him his OWN gun, what should be the first one I buy? A 22? A 12 guage? Something else??
Get him a two barrel set 20ga/22lr single shot and he will be set for quite a while... NEF makes them
 

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For hunting, I bought my kid a kid sized Remington 870. For deer, I agree .30-30 is a great choice, with a good scope. Just keep telling him in the field---safety on? Say it like a thousand times the first time out and every time the rifle is taken off his shoulder or leaned against the car or a tree.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all your input.. kind of what I expected for the most part although I think some of you might have missed the part where I already have every gun he could possibly want to use for deer hunting or whatever, it's more about buying him his first gun that will be HIS and because I have a bunch he can borrow it really leaes the field wide open. My first gun was a .22 and I still hunt with it today. This whole thing isn't all about the deer season, in fact, we've already gone out squirrel hunting and he seems to be crazy about that. If he gets that into rabbit hunting he might really help put some food on the table this fall/winter! I must admit to those of you who suggested the .30-.30 I had not thought of that one... Ugh... maybe we could make a poll of it?

.22
12 gauge
20 gauge
30-30
410
 

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I would say,find which of your collection he can shoot comfortably with consistent accuracy.Then go to a gunshow/several gunshops if possible.Look for the same base model and caliber and have him try out for feel,fit and then add accessories that will make it his own.Just my thought.
 

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one shot 2 kills :P
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hmm i would sugjest one of savages rifles they have out my first rifle was a single shot 22 but then again i passed hunters saftey at 8 years old. when i was 13 i made honor roll all year round ( i was in 6th grade and thats the first time they had it) and was given a savage 17 hmr with a little bushnell 3x9. hands down that is my favright rimfire, ammo isn't as cheap as 22's but because it explodes upon impact its pretty much imposable to get a rikoshey. also because if you shoot a squrril anywhere but the head you cant skin or eat them they get blown in half. also if hes gona go deer hunting with a slug gun with a scope, muzzel loader, or high powered rifle, the scope will help his shooting skills with a scope. also it shoots really flat in fact it dosen't even drop until your past 100 yards. and i am able to get 1/4 groups at 100 yards on a lieing prone.
But if you want to get him a shotgun i would sugjest a 20 gauge. if you want him to hunt deer with it get a good slug barrel and a scope. a word of warning on remington1100's i use a 20 with a slug barrel to hunt deer since we live in Illinois. its a great shotgun for bird hunting but the trigger is hell on those long range shots its got so much creep. even though i killed a 17 point non-typical with it as my first deer, and have filled both tags each year since it took me a wile to get used to the trigger.

in short make sure whatever you get has a good trigger because the trigger creep kills confidence because you dont know exactly when its gona go off

sorry for the long post and the spelling mistakes, spelling unfortunatly has never been my strong point
 

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I would take a look at something like a browning BL-22 lever action in 22LR. They are very well made firearms and your son will be able to pass it on to his kids one day. He will probably get a lot more use out of a .22 then a deer rifle at his age.

Whatever you buy him I would for good old bluing and wood and leave the synthetic stuff for later.
 
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