Here is a pic of a happy 12 year oldAttachment 8229Attachment 8230
A 6mm Remington would be a great round to start her off with. Loaded with an excellent 100 gr. Partition similar bullet and it would work fine even on an elk. The 25-06 is another one to consider, or the 257 Roberts. One of the things I did with my son when he first started was I made sure and had him shoot with soft plugs in his ears under his muffs. The noise is something that is really distracting to a young shooter and I feel it makes the "kick" seem much worse, or at least that is what they perceive. Have her get lots of practice and another way to make it so they don't concentrate on the recoil and more on the shot is to have some type of reactive target, something that provides immediate feed-back. A round steel 5" plate at 100 yards, old bowling pin, and you can even get some relatively cheap stuff you can shoot that explodes!! Make sure it's fun for them, always try and keep it a lot of fun.
Best of luck to you guys.
My son Jeff and his first elk. One shot at 350 yards with his 6mm shooting a 90 gr. Nosler E-tip. Hit her right behind the front shoulder on the right side and the bullet angled forward and exited her left shoulder. She went 20 yards and dropped.
Andy with his dad and my son Jeff with his first big game animal ever! One shot at 250 yards with my 25-06 shooting a 120 gr. Partition. She was angled and he hit her perfectly on her left side where you can see the spot back towards the rear of her ribs. It angled forward and exited just behind the right shoulder. She ran about 40 yards and went down.
6mm, I love the look on the cows face in the 2nd pic with her tongue sticking out and eyes glowing!!!!
I just bought my 12 yr old son a Ruger American in .308. I had allot of .243 suggestions, however, he is 5'3 and 135 lbs. He has been shooting the .308 very well and I can put him a good range of loads up to 180 gr for elk.
I really like the gun and so does he. I topped it with a Nikon 3x9 BDC scope.
So far he is shooting good groups at 100 yrds.
I was afraid he would out grow a .243 too fast and Im confident in him taking an elk w/ the .308 w/ 180 grs loads
I might as well throw my .02 in here....
My dad started me out with a 7mm/08. Awesome gun, plenty of power, not a lot of recoil and he had me convinced the bullet wouldn't travel farther than 200 yards so no long shots hahahah. One bit of fair warning though, the gun was cut down for youth or women and when he went to sight it in for me, he got a little to close to the scope and got the famous bloody scope ring to the eye.
Good luck, I am excited for my own daughters to get old enough!
With young kids I like 25/06 or 7/08 with a lot of practice pulling the trigger with 22lr or something in the .223 range. They don't necessarily have to shoot what they hunt with a lot, but need to be proficient behind a rifle.
Thank you all for your input.There were a couple calibers in there i didnt think of that i will have to reasearch more.
And I am not to embarrassed to say I have packed in on my back in Hells Canyon with it for spring bear!
Anything in the .243, 6mm, .260 Rem., 7mm-08., 25-06, .257 Roberts or even a 7x57 would be a good fit for a youngsters first rifle. All of these calibers are easy on the shoulder and will get the job done on most big game with proper bullets.