I am helping a friend make a decision for his 11 year old son's first rifle. He wants to take him deer hunting with the possibility of Elk in the future. The issue is he wants to get him something that will be adequate for both but will have negligible recoil. He likes the idea of a .243 but is concerned about it being a little light for Elk. Another friend of his believes the 7mm - 08 is the right choice for a combination rifle. Again recoil is the issue as most of us own rifles perfect for both deer and elk but for us recoil is not an issue. I am beginning to think he may have to make a decision between a deer caliber Vs. an Elk caliber and maybe start with something on the lighter end (such as a .243) and then if there is an elk hunt in the future maybe look at something larger at that time. He does like the idea of a Marlin .336 in 30-30 because it can be scoped easier than a Winchester and I guess it could not be discounted as an elk rifle but lets not get into the 30-30 for elk debate here. Thanks.