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Advice for an 8yr old

molsonarchermolsonarcher Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
My son just passed the hunter safety course and I was told that I should start him out with a muzzle loader. I live in Washington and there is a rule here that we can't use sabboted bullets. Now, I have never even seen a muzzle loader in person and I need some help understanding which one to buy for my son and how to stay within the guidelines in Washington state. We can't use scopes either.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Roger

Comments

  • PATBUZZARDPATBUZZARD Member Posts: 3,556
    edited November -1
    Are you personally very familiar with firearms, or specifically muzzle loaders? Muzzleloaders can initialy be a little bit complicated. If you are not very familiar with them I would find a friend or felllow shooter at your local conservation club and have them teach you. Also personally I wouldn't choose a muzzleloader for a new hunter's first firearm. Muzzleloading offers a great challenge and alternative to conventional hunting, but a new hunter would probably enjoy more success with a conventional rifle. My first hunting tools were a winchester .22 rifle, and a remington 870 shotgun. These are still my primary hunting tools. When he gets a bit older get him a .270 or a 30-06, he'll be set for life.
  • KX500KX500 Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The advantage of a muzzleloader for an 8 year old is that you should be able to figure out a light kicking load using a low powder charge and standard weight bullet. I've given this a bit of thought as well for my 8 year old - living in Illinois it is Muzzleloaders or shotgun only.

    If you have the option to use a centerfire rifle, that is still probably a better choice. I recently shot some of the Remington reduced recoil ammo in my 30-06. It was very low recoil - I'd say similar to a 20 gauge or less. That'd be my first choice for the kid.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,336 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I agree a muzzleloader is not the right gun for an eight year old to begin with, especially since you are not familiar with them. They are a hassle to clean, and must be cleaned every time they are fired.
    I assume you are talking about deer hunting. If so get a bolt action .243
  • ZinderblocZinderbloc Member Posts: 925 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    No kid should have a muzzleloader as a first rifle.

    I would recommend a single-shot rifle in .357 magnum. 8-yr-olds are still rather little. A .243 might be too much for him to handle.

    A .357 rifle can be loaded with light .38 Specials for practice. NEF makes a good one, easy to operate, easy to clean, reliable and not to pricey. Ammo is cheap and readily available.
  • 44caliberkid44caliberkid Member Posts: 925 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I was having similar thoughts, a pistol caliber rifle, probably single shot, only I'd go with 44 magnum or 45 Colt. It will recoil no worse than a .410 and gives good killing power at the ranges a youngster would shoot at.
  • KX500KX500 Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Another thing to think about when having the kid shoot guns that may recoil a little more than they like is - have then bring a friend along.

    My family was shooting a few clay birds the other day. My 8 year old was shooting his single shot .410 and one of his little buddies was there too. We ran out of .410 shells & I asked my son if he wanted to shoot the 20 gauge. He looked at me with terror in his eyes. But his buddy, who had no experience with guns, said 'sure, I'll shoot it'. And since he would, then my son had to also.

    And both of them didn't really have a problem with the 20 gauge except for being able to hold it up.
  • frontier ganderfrontier gander Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    i think a muzzleloader is to much for an 8 year old. I think it would be better to take him rifle hunting with a light recoil 223 or 243. In colorado we have that no sabot rule too but a .45 muzzleloader loaded with a minimum of 80 grains powder and a 195 grain powerbelt is a lot of kick for that young of a boy. Also, have you had him do any off hand, real woods shooting? He may shoot good on a bench but when you put the rush of actually shooting a deer and having only a tree limb to shoot off of, a misplaced shot can really be a mess. I'd wait a few years and give him lots of practice. Maybe do small game hunting with a .22 for rabbits. Or even a .32 caliber muzzleloader so he gets used to the sound and smoke.
  • amsptcdsamsptcds Member Posts: 679
    edited November -1
    I think something in 36 cal would be appropriate.
    don't pay any attention to the city slickers

    Theres not alot of recoil. easy to deal with and a good teaching tool. if you can find a 36 cal ml rifle, that would be about right.
    8's probably a good age. make sure he learns the proper safety issues etc. Have him shoot at a water jug so he can see what happens when it hits something.
  • hissinggoosehissinggoose Member Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Biggest problem you'll have is finding a muzzleloader in small enough size for him to actually shoot! I can't think of one mfg that makes one in youth size. I got my son a Rossi "matched pair" that comes with a shotgun and a rifle barrel in a mix of calibers/gauges. Small enough for him to heft and hold steady and double safety to reduce chance of ND. And, they're priced good. I think I paid @ $125 for his. Deer calibers may be a bit strong for starting hunters to shoot confidently; you don't want to be out there wounding game with a bad shot. I started mine hunting small game, rabbits, squirrels and birds. Gives them more confidence and holds their attention when they are starting out. Try keeping an 8 yr old still in a stand for more than 30 seconds....it ain't happening!!
    Start him out small, and you'll know when to advance him when he's ready!

    Best, Mike
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 49,588 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Obviously a lot of generations of kids grew up with muzzleloaders as the only firearms they ever knew. Given your lack of familiarity, I would not start there, I would start with a .22 and after shooting thousands of rounds, work him up to a light recoiling centerfire. Front stuffers do have some avantages which I think are lost with a newbie teaching a newbie.
  • longbow589longbow589 Member Posts: 60 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    If he wants to hunt deer. You may want to get him a .410 bore shot gun .my sister who is very peitie."92 pounds" hunts deer and rabbits with a .410 and she has got some nice bucks. And a truckload of rabbits and pheasants
  • molsonarchermolsonarcher Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks everyone, I truly appreciate every comment/suggestion.

    Here's my issue w/ not going muzzleloader -

    1. Where we hunt, if you don't hunt archery/muzzleloader all of the deer get spooked by these two seasons and your chances of even seeing a deer during rifle season are slim to none.

    2. My son has been shooting a .22 LR for quite some time now and can hit a 20oz bottle at 50 yards with nothing but iron sites and has been VERY excited to get a muzzleloader.

    I guess I'm not too worried about the learning curve w/ the muzzleloader; I was simply looking for a suggestion of which to get.

    Some of the calibers that were suggested are too small to hunt with in Washington State too. I believe the smallest legal cartridge is .25-06

    All of the cleaning is NOTHING compared to when my son was racing Motocross...cleaning those dang bikes and all of the maintenance took hours at a time (probably close to 12hrs a week) so that is not really an issue for me.

    Thanks again, truly. If I have learned anything, it's not to get him a muzzleloader for his first gun! :)
  • KX500KX500 Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    On the subject of cleaning muzzleloaders - If your state allows the use of smokeless powder in a muzzleloader, you might give some thought to the Savage muzzleloader, as it is capable of shooting with smokeless powder (the only ML mass produced that is). I didn't get into muzzleloading for any nostalgia or anything, so I have a Savage and shoot only smokeless - and can't imagine going back to pyrodex of 777 powders.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,336 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I hadn't thought of that! The Savage might be just the thing. You could get Richards Microfit to make a custom stock. I bet if you loaded the Savage with 35 grains of 5744 and the 250 XTP it would make a nice load a kid could handle, but still kill a deer.
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 49,588 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ah, you have a good be more going for you than it appeared at first, sounds like you have already been doing a great job with that young man. I would suggest looking for a .45 caliber rifle. large enough for deer and a little lighter recoil than .50 or .54. I believe Hatfield among others made some, and those were fine rifles.
  • plains scoutplains scout Member Posts: 4,563
    edited November -1
    22 rifle single shot. Don't make your kid's first rifle experience miserable by having him learn that he has to clean that baby with scalding hot water before he puts it away, even after one shot!

    The 22 will make him love guns and shooting.
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 49,588 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Scout, read again; the youngin is proficient with a .22 already and is moving up.
  • OklahomaboundOklahomabound Member Posts: 829 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You can go to Muzzleloader.com and look under percussion rifles and you'll find a Traditions Crockett Rifle (Kentucky Rifle) that comes in .32 caliber... maybe what it is you're looking for...........
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