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Hello. I’m looking for suggestions for a deer hunting smooth bore or rifle for a 10 year old. Proper length of pull, quality, fit and finish is high priority. Caliber? Thanks!
 

deermanok

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Check the For Sale section of this forum.
Someone has a nice Thompson Center Cherokee in 45 caliber for sale.
I think that would be a good choice.
 

Old Hawkeye

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Ten is too young! Take him along & he will learn & GROW into it. Start him off at the range with a small bore, like a 36 cal, & let him learn & have fun before you put a 10 lb muzzle loader that kicks in his hands. Targets, squirrels & rabbits are a good place to start. A ten year old shooting a 50 cal ML seems a little much to me. YMMV!
 
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He shoots a lot. We are fortunate to have a range in the back. He hunted deer successfully last year with a carbine length 44 magnum lever action and has been successful with a 20 gauge for both doves and turkey. I agree the weight of the rifle is the biggest challenge but we can setup with shooting sticks. The muzzleloader is his idea and i am just providing opportunity.
 

Rock Home Isle

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I started with a .22 at age six. By age 10 I was wishing for full auto or artillery, but settled for an Enfield. At that time the sporting goods store displayed Enfields muzzle down in a clean 55 gallon drum. Lots of them. I paid $15. It was the jungle carbine model. Very accurate.
You had me at, “full auto or artillery”.
 
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Cut down a Kentucky long rifle to 21 inch barrel for my grandson . Shoots great. FBC
 

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Bushfire

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I shot my first deer at 12 with a 270. I never remembered the recoil but I still remember walking up on my first stag.
 

hanshi

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Kids seem to be taller and heavier these days than we were a few generations ago. Measure his lop for a good fit.
 

new2bp

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Ten is too young! Take him along & he will learn & GROW into it. Start him off at the range with a small bore, like a 36 cal, & let him learn & have fun before you put a 10 lb muzzle loader that kicks in his hands. Targets, squirrels & rabbits are a good place to start. A ten year old shooting a 50 cal ML seems a little much to me. YMMV!

Having had a 8 year old at the range this weekend (and why yes, we did have some FA toys along and no he was not allowed to shoot them - a mini Uzi is a beast to control even in 9mm), I can say the biggest issue is a small kid handling a gun that is too physically big, never mind actually firing a shot and dealing with the recoil. Length of pull, where the head must be to get a proper sight picture, overall length and total weight as well as weight balance. If you are taking a short person to the range, best is to firmly bench the rifle on bags/rest and move and adjust the shooter to a workable position. And one adult needs to sacrifice their own range time to be the one-on-one range master for the short person (this is also my policy with adults new to shooting - remember folks, safety first!). If there are multiple adults, don't assume someone is doing it or that you are all doing it - that means no one is doing it.

One big advantage BP guns have in that regard is that at least federally they are exempt from the barrel length and OAL restrictions that cartridge firearms face, so it would in theory be possible to drop a single shot pistol barrel (12-14") on to say a half-stocked rifle stock/lock and have a much shorter/lighter/controllable package without any NFA worries. State firearms laws and then on top of that state hunting laws may prevent this, so before you go crazy or whip out a hacksaw check all laws for your area.

That said this particular young'un had no problems shooting a .54 PRB over 30gr FFFg real black recoil wise. Too light a powder charge for deer I think, but 50gr would work and isn't much more felt recoil than the 30gr load. But the young'un has to be able to control the rifle.
 

Rock Home Isle

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Hello. I’m looking for suggestions for a deer hunting smooth bore or rifle for a 10 year old. Proper length of pull, quality, fit and finish is high priority. Caliber? Thanks!
I’ve thought about this for a couple days now…10 years old, kind of young to have a kid going after big game. 12 years old, 13 years old yes…if they are mature enough…10 years old, get them into hunting in general.

I have a 9 year old grandson, and a 4 year old grandson. I love these two boys dearly.

Every year, since he was 6 years old, I’ve taken the older one on upland game hunts; dove, quail, pheasant…I carry my shotgun, he carrys his BB gun. Soon his younger brother will join us.

This year I got the boys a .50 calibre percussion smoothbore, and a .32 calibre flintlock rifle.

9225CB62-568D-4D7C-98A5-946FE0C4B108.jpeg

Above image: Top is my .40 calibre TVM Natchez Poor Boy 42” barrel flintlock rifle for scale. Middle is the .32 calibre Flintlock. Bottom .50 calibre percussion smoothbore. Both the kid’s guns have 12 1/2” LoP.

The younger one (4 years old) just got his BB Gun for Christmas this last year. The older one moved up to a bigger Red Rider BB Gun.

We shoot often as a family…range safety, shot placement are emphasized. I’m sure you do this as well. I believe that they need a few years of small game, family hunts before they head out for big game. We’ve developed a nice little load for the smoothbore…family dove hunt on opening weekend in early September; coupled with rabbits on the horizon for this fall. Big Game is a whole different ball of wax.

10 years old…tad too young. 12 or 13, much better. Take him on a big game hunt at 10, but as an observer…maybe carrying a BB Gun, that would be an amazing experience.
 
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