Thursday, September 30, 2010

Principled Security Leadership

Here is the paper many of you helped me with this summer..

Photo courtesy

Principled Security Leadership

A Nagging Question

A serious concern has nagged the security professional in me since the fall of 2001. This concern has fueled much personal introspection and non-academic study since. This concern has informed much of my Human Development program since my beginning course. My concern is this: Have security professionals– through action, passivity, or silence – made use of fear to further their programs, especially in the years since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent anthrax murders? When I express the question to fellow students, faculty, and persons outside the security profession the idea had traction. They immediately agreed that someone has been encouraging them to be fearful of their security, and they resented it.

As I formulated my approach to this question my research took several forms. I reached out via email to security and business professionals I know and respect. I solicited feedback from several online forums in which I participate at LinkedIn. Finally, I looked to the online databases to find papers in the academic literature on the topic of principled security leadership and its opposites. I read a variety of current books on leadership though, as we will see, almost all of them were oriented toward general business or military leadership.

The responses I received varied. Some were predictable, a few were disappointing, and the best of them were challenging.

A Three Part Process


I sent a mass email to my extended business connections informing them that I was reviewing the literature for examples of principled security leadership. By “principled” I told my peers I was looking for security professionals who lead in positive, proactive ways to make good business happen, rather than those who respond to security issues in an acquisitive, reactive, or fear-based manner. I told my fellow professionals I hoped to discern the elements of an effective, positive, and progressive model and eventually demonstrate the benefits of such an approach to our peers. Once I identified a group of such leaders and develop a sense of how their philosophies guide their practice I told my connections I hoped to interview several exemplars. To that end I asked for the names of progressive leadership professionals operating in the physical or logical security space that I should consider. Finally, I asked if there were any articles, papers, or other publications about security leadership practices that they had found useful. If they had any to recommend, I asked if them to share the citations.

The response of my peers was supportive. I received many recommendations for respected security professionals with whom I should speak. One questioned my use of the term “progressive” since most of the security practitioners he knew regarded themselves as conservatives (Thibodaux, C., personal communication, 2010). I assured him I used the term in a non-political sense and that I was seeking professionals who were innovative and willing to lead in non-traditional ways. Some professionals of my acquaintance said they wished me luck but that I should not expect to find business leaders who regard security as much more than an expensive necessary evil and that we will never be seriously considered a direct contributor to a business’s success.

There was little or no feedback with regard to the literature.


Then I posted a similar, if somewhat edgier, question to several different online forums at the LinkedIn professional networking site. The forums I chose – ASIS, ASIS Certified Protection Professional, Security Management Resources, Security Metrics, Private Security Professionals, CSO Roundtable, and National Loss Prevention – are actively attended by persons from a variety of security disciplines, several of whom I know and respect personally. The question I put to these security professionals was whether a positive, proactive leadership approach that centers on business success more productive than pursuing regulatory compliance or giving in to fear mongering? Again, I solicited advice as to citations, publications, and references.

Response on the forums was marked by a great deal of enthusiasm for my line of inquiry (Robinson, 2010). Many references were recommended (du Plooy, 2010), but I quickly found that they were going to focus on general business leadership theory and practice, frequently at a very high level (Richmond, 2010). Despite these helpful recommendations no citations in the academic literature offered, a harbinger of things to come. Still there were no references offered that dealt specifically with leadership of private security organizations.

The literature or the lack of it

Using search terms such as “ethical,” “progressive,” “principled,” “security,” “leadership,” and “fear” I sifted the on-line databases looking for academic papers on security leadership. My mind boggles that this sort of research used to be accomplished without computers! At first I limited my search to resources created since 2000, but dropped that restriction as citations trickled in. Alas, all the light speed electronics at my disposal took only milliseconds to return very few results.

Security and Security Management offered articles on supervision, management, and leadership, but these are trade journals. Mostly these articles described the application of progressive management practices to the security profession. These new practices are refreshing in a trade traditionally organized along hierarchical lines and accustomed to a top down communication style, but overall there was nothing to suggest that security leadership constituted a discrete talent.

Security Journal had a couple papers peripherally related to my line of inquiry. The issue of risk perception and assessment by security managers and how they communicate effectively to their superiors was given an effective treatment by Baron and Zwanenberg (1999). Likewise the issue of the funding cycle, and the means by which expenditures are justified, was examined by Manunta (2000).

The Security Executive Council, recommended to me by security industry notable Jerry Brennan (2010) is an online repository of security articles. Some are created by the Council for the sole use of its paid membership, some for retail sale. Other articles written for security related trade magazines are archived at their web site. Many of these articles focus on leadership issues but generally apply conventional business techniques (Hayes and Fickes, 2007).

Lora Setter, program director for the Masters in Public Administration at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, complained there is a lack of peer-reviewed literature on leadership in law enforcement organizations as well. She reports that her capstone students find many trade magazine articles but very little from the academy (Personal communication, August 12, 2010).


Principled Leadership

With regard to asking for examples of principled leadership some chafed at an implicit accusation. Everyone seemed to regard themselves as principled and not inclined to work for someone who is not. Many gave excellent examples of the virtues of effective leaders.

The leadership of subordinate team members was addressed by several forum respondents. Many with prior military or law enforcement experience addressed security leadership issues from a traditional hierarchical command, “mission first” perspective (J. Hanebury, personal communication, July, 2010). Most of the responses were from professionals committed to a compassionate (Green, 2010), progressive (Greggo, 2010), and democratic style (Polensky, 2010). I would like to think the path we prefer is the best one, but no one could data in support of the idea that a positive approach is more effective in the private sector. Does regulatory compliance still get more traction? Is it easier to react to fear than to work proactively with an appreciation of dynamic risk? There are great leaders who are fine people to work for, but are they judged successful by their executives for their contribution to the enterprise's financial success or for their leadership style?

There is no end of writing on business leadership. Historical leaders have been revitalized and repurposed as exemplars to corporate executives. Sir Ernest Shackleton, who led the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition safely home despite disaster, demonstrated some surprisingly progressive values, perhaps because of his experiences under the heavy hand of other explorers who led as they had in the military – as rigid, tradition-bound, authoritarians (Morrell and Capparell, 2002).

Of course there are plenty of writers dealing with leadership in the military, from an inexperienced George Washington (Anderson, 2000, pp. 50-65) at the incident that started the French and Indian War, to Civil War leader General Grant (Kaltman, 1998), to unassuming WWII heroes (Palmisano, 2008), to young Marine officers in the most recent Iraq war (Ficke, 2008).

The security industry trade journals offer many familiar suggestions for applying both age old common sense and the latest thinking around leadership, compliance, and ethics. Learn to follow if you hope to lead (Chaleff, 2003). Communicate your vision (Dalton, 1998). Lead by example (Heck, 1993). Motivate with a positive, participatory policy (Kennish, 1994). Lead with ethics (Simonson, 1992). Attract and retain the attention of your executives in effective and responsible ways (Lukaszewski, 2009) (Ulsch, 2000). As useful as this guidance is, familiar, if not identical, advice can be found in the books dealing with general business leadership (Palus and Horth, 2002) (Watkins, 2003) (Palmisano, 2008) (Baldoni, 2009).


The other category of leadership is administering a program that seeks to meet regulatory requirements. Compliance was regarded as the easiest to achieve according to several respondents. Responding to a specific regulatory framework makes for measurable results. So between a negative motivation, successfully meeting goals set by regulators, or engaging in principled leadership to help the company deal with dynamic risk, I am wondering which is - or is regarded by our executives as - the most effective method.

Several correspondents repeated the idea that, while it was desirable to find a way to directly connect the efforts of the security organization to a contribution to the bottom line financial results, such opportunities were few and far between (Agcaoili, 2010). The importance of meeting expected financial targets or contributing in quantifiable ways to the success of the enterprise might be inferred from the excellent responses I received but it was rarely at the top of the list of leadership priorities. This does not surprise me. I both extolled and witnessed a sort “warrior spirit” among security practitioners over the years. There is a sense that protection of persons trumps the profit motive. A more sophisticated business approach recognizes that injury, harm, or loss damages profits and must be avoided for both ethical and financial reasons.

Years ago a mentor suggested that while corporate security cannot be a profit center perhaps it will some day be seen a "profit enhancement center." This had shaped my ideas around effectively applied security making otherwise marginal business practical. But when meeting financial targets, making direct contributions to the bottom line, comes into play are positive, popular, principled leaders still highly regarded by their executives? Even the business literature was silent.

Fear Mongering

Perhaps the term "fear mongering" is too loaded a term for use in a friendly discussion.

My use of the term offended several writers. Such a question implied an ethical failure on the part of a leader. Yet beyond attempting to motivate subordinates through fear, I pressed in clarification, are there situations when security directors deliberately feed the fears of executives (or the clients of those involved in sales or consulting), peers, and employees to accomplish their goals when "managing up?” Did any of us oversell 9/11?

More than being offended many people expressed the opinion that using fear to forward an agenda was a short lived strategy that would backfire on a manager who tried it (Glantz, 2010). Others thought it did not happen very often. It is interesting the ways in which responses to my initial question vary depending on which group I asked. It was suggested that the term "fear mongering" is too strong, even a pejorative. The responses rejecting my use of the term were among the most detailed and were very useful to me.

I agreed that recognition and communication of threats to business success – especially issues affecting employee safety – is not fear mongering. Done proactively and with a positive mindset, finding way to secure the pursuit of marginal business in iffy markets is an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate our value to the enterprise.

Conversations, emails, and responses on the LinkedIn groups helped me refine my query. I agreed most of us have experienced the joys of leading high performance teams using positive methods, yet I was left looking for data demonstrating any difference in the effectiveness of various styles used when "leading up" to guide our executives or senior clients.

Flaws in My Premise?

A couple very interesting responses came from persons who had also conducted graduate level work. Several said my question was far too broad for a Master’s thesis. I agreed that more focus was called for.

I was accused of posing a false dichotomy (Taylor, 2010). As I examined the question, especially as put to the forums, I became concerned my original question might have constituted a false trilemma – offering as choices principled and positive leadership, a program that seeks merely to comply with regulations, and operations run by those who leverage fear in the boardroom or in the general employee population.

I was warned that “the greatest challenge will be in working your personal bias out of the equation” (M. Smolecki, personal communication, July 1, 2010). Do the questions betray a cynicism arising from disappointments I have encountered personally? If so, then part of my ethical challenge is drawn from what I usually regard as strength. Over the past 30 years I have worked at every security position in the private sector, from line officer to corporate leadership. I have supported government and industry from the perspective of the security consultant. Most recently I have worked in providing vended security services, which has included sales and P&L pressures for which corporate security and even consulting did not prepare me. While they all have the word security in the title the jobs – and especially their business models – are really very different. I have seen the security profession from many angles, some of which did not play to my strengths. If I am angry about any of my experiences I must be careful to identify this threat to my objectivity and professionalism.

Have I addressed my question – and its implicit blame – to the correct sector? My attribution of fear mongering may be misplaced, or at least overstated, when directed at corporate security leadership. A closer look at the organizations that seem to be fomenting fear leads a person to identify government agencies (Schneier, 2003) (Ranum, 2004) or the news media (De Becker 2002) (Adams, 2010) as more egregious perpetrators than most security professionals. The vended security services sector is certainly guilty of leveraging the fears of its clients in its marketing materials (Lipman, 2009). There are still some security managers who make dire pronouncements in an attempt to influence the public (Lombardi, 2009). While some of fellow forum correspondents were familiar with security managers playing the fear card they thought it was not common in the corporate setting, and that it was done primarily when “managing up” (Saptarshi, 2010).

Though repudiated on several levels, the question nags a little. When we received increased budgets or new business in the aftermath of 9/11 were we benefiting from fear in the boardroom? If so, was our failure the result of relying on an inappropriate tool or some other sort a weakness in our leadership?

A New Three Part Process

Constructing a New Premise

This has been a wonderfully frustrating exercise. The core idea for my independent study has been turned on its head by comments, suggestions, and questions. My initial idea was to examine the literature surrounding principled security leadership. My questions seem now both too broad and somewhat shallow. I have been forced to reexamine my personal assumptions.

Finer focus

I am agreed with my correspondents that my original question is far too broad. If I hope to make some contribution to the literature and my craft I must clarify and focus my attention. If my position paper is to be written on the topic of security I must come up with a concise idea, a lens through which to focus on one particular aspect of my trade. With that in mind, when I look at my original question very closely it dissolves. All businesses will look for a positive, proactive leadership approach that aligns itself with the success of the enterprise (Libhart, 2010). All businesses will attach appropriate importance to the pursuit of regulatory compliance (Martinson, personal communication, August 2010). No business will knowingly or for long tolerate leaders who resort to fear mongering (Greggo, 2010).

Security Leadership?

Perhaps the real question is hidden in the subtext of my concerns. Is there such a thing as security leadership per se (Stephens, 2010)? Some of my peers, such as Carol Martinson, suggest security professionals are simply, and at their best, business leaders who specialize in the discipline of security, asset protection, and risk management, but that good leadership is good leadership (personal communication, 2010) (Lee, 2007).

The one area where security leadership may be different than other leadership opportunities in business is the perception that our special talent is to protect the company from physical harm at the hands of others, that we have a special understanding of such persons, and that we serve as a gateway to the criminal justice system. These talents are the stuff of TV crime dramas, movies, and novels, and people find them fascinating. I have seen this card played in ugly ways, and I have seen it applied with great compassion and sensitivity.

Does our role in dealing with emergencies make us a little more like the military or public safety organizations? The police run to the source of the gunfire. Firefighters run into burning buildings. Paramedics deliberately approach scenes of great pain and possible contagion to render aid. When they arrive there is frequently security officer there to open the door, guide them to scene, and tell them what is happening. What other business discipline might call for the ultimate sacrifice (Offer, 2010)? Does this aspect of our mission call for a specific sort of leadership, or simply the application of leadership methods applied by military, police, and emergency services professions?

In part I feel I am no closer to the answers to my several questions than when I started. Perhaps I have simply found several dead ends and can close out some unfruitful avenues of inquiry. I have identified weaknesses in my argument that will strengthen my approach to a more thoughtful and carefully focused question. But part of me wonders if we do not already know the answers to my three-part inquiry.

There are leaders who are fun to work for and who accomplish great things by abiding by common (Baldoni, 2009), clever (Cameron and Green, 2008), and progressive (Palus and Horth, 2002) principles. There a leaders who know how achieve results and earn the respect of their executives, peers, and team mates doing it (Goleman, 2000) (Watkins, 2003). There are ways to identify and prioritize dangerous, or even deadly, business risk (Jackson and Frelinger, 2007) and mitigate its effects (Hertig, McGough, and Smith, 2008). These days we can worry a little less about fear mongers – whether in government, the media, or the security manager’s office next door. There are vocal, high profile gadflies who will call their bluff (Mueller and Stewart, 2010) (Phillips, 2007). There are even those, in our post-Enron world, who challenge security leaders to expect excellence from their executives (Fine and Horowitz, 2010) (Dion, 2008).

There is some light. Tim Prenzler, Professor of Criminology at Griffith University in Australia (2007) calls on the security profession to engage in research of “the human side of security.” The industry might pursue more professionalism in the security field rather than laying more technology. Perhaps if there is no such thing as security leadership it is because its practitioners have not taken the time to stake out our turf, to identify why what we do is different from the other business disciplines, and how we can make what we do better. Now that is a compelling challenge and very interesting potential topic.


Adams, J. (2010) What kills you matters – not the numbers. Retrieved from The Social Affairs Unit web site:

Agcaoili, P. (2010, June 22) Message posted to

Anderson, F. (2000) Crucible of war: the seven years war and the fate of empire in British North America 1754-1766. New York: Vintage Books.

Baldoni, J. (2009) Lead by example: 50 ways great leaders inspire results. New York: American Management Association.

Baron, V. and Zwanenberg, N. (1999) Cues, needs, and decisions: a ‘lens’ model of security operations. Security Journal. 12, 41–55; doi:10.1057/

Brennan, J. (2010, June 23) Message posted to

Cameron: E. and Green, M. (2008) Making sense of leadership: exploring the five key roles used by effective leaders. London: Kogan Page Limited.

Chaleff, I. (2003) The courage to follow. Security Management. 47(9), 26-32.

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Dion, M. (2008) Ethical leadership and crime prevention in the organizational setting. Journal of Financial Crime. 15(3), 308-319. DOI 10.1108/13590790810882892

Du Plooy, J. (2010, June 23) Message posted to

Feeny, J. (2010, June 23) Message posted to

Fick, N. (2005) One bullet away: the making of a marine officer. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Fine, S. and Horowitz, I. (2010) Managing big egos. Security Management. April 2010.

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Goleman, D. (2000) Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review. March-April 2000.

Green, D. (2010, June 29) Message posted to

Greggo, A. (2010, June 23) Message posted to

Hayes, B. and Fickes, M. (2007) Tomorrow’s security leaders today. Retrieved from web site:

Heck, G. (1993) Managing by example. Security Management. 37(6), 47-48.

Hertig, C, McGough, M., and Smith, S. (2008) Leadership for security professionals. Security Supervision and Management: Theory and Practice of Asset Protection (3rd Ed.). Sandi Davies and Christopher Hertig (Eds.). Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Jackson, B. and Frelinger, D. (2007) Emerging threats and security planning: how should we decide what hypothetical threats to worry about? Occasional Paper, RAND Homeland Security. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

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Kennish, J. (1994) Motivating with a positive, participatory policy. Security Management. 38(8), 22-23.

Lee, J. (2007) From banking to bakeries: managing asset protection at Supervalu. Retrieved from Loss Prevention Magazine web site:

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Lipman, I. (2009) The time for urgency is now. Security Management. October 2009.

Lombardi, L. (2009) Who’s guarding beaver stadium? Retrieved from web site:

Lukaszewski, J. (2009) Getting the boss’s ear. Security Management, 53(5) pp. 111-112.

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Mueller, J. (2004) A false sense of insecurity. Regulation. 27(3), 42-46.

Mueller, J. and Stewart, M. (2010) Hardly existential: thinking rationally about terrorism. Retrieved from Foreign Affairs web site:

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Palmisano, D. (2008) On leadership: essential principles for success. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.

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Prenzler, T. (2007) The human side of security. Security Journal. 20, 35-39. doi:10.1057/

Ranum, M (2004) The myth of homeland security. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing Inc.

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Saptarshi, M. (2010, July 7) Message posted to

Schneier, B. (2003) Beyond fear: thinking sensibly about security in an uncertain world. New York: Copernicus Books.

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Williams, C. (2010, June 29) Message posted to 

Managing Rifle Recoil

New shooters, or old ones for that matter, need not bruise themselves to cleanly take their yearly whitetail...

image from wikimedia commons

There are two kinds of people in the world; folks who admit they don't care for recoil, and those who claim not to feel it. Even Jeff Cooper admitted the 600 Nitro is physically challenging. Toward the end of his career the African adventurer, F. C. Selous, complained that his four bore flintlock elephant gun was hard on his nerves and that he wished he'd "never made its acquaintance." I don't care for rifles that don't fit, have a hard-edged butt plate, or are needlessly noisy. I can shoot a light 30'06 with 220 grain bullets a lot, or a 375 Holland and Holland a little, without complaint, but I've done some of my best marksmanship with a 223 and a 243. I don't worry about recoil too much but I select rifles that kick as little as is required to get the job done.  New shooters and young hunters are a different story.  We can create lifelong hunting partners or we can bruise them until they'd rather stay home and play video games all day.  Our sport needs all the new hunters we can find so let's give some thought as to how we can make shooting a big game rifle pleasant and rewarding.

Setting up the Rifle

Try to find a rifle with a stock cut short enough to suit your new hunter.  Make sure it has a proper recoil pad, even if you have to pay to have it neatly installed.  Many youth size rifle have short (16-20 inch) barrels but a full length 22 inch barrel reduces the effect of blast and flash. To further reduce perception of recoil have your shooter wear shooting glasses, a PAST recoil shield, and ear plugs under ear muffs. Do not shoot under covered firing positions if you can avoid it.  They accentuate shooter discomfort by reflecting blast and providing shade in which muzzle flash is more visible. Get away from the bench to practice from sitting, kneeling, from crossed stick and from post rest if that can be arranged with your rangemaster. With shotguns the importance of good fit and an effect pad is doubly important. Put on a Pachmayr Decelerator pad and have your new hunter wear a PAST recoil shield at the range.

Lighter Cartridges

Just because you started your hunting career with your father's full-power 30'06 there is no reason your wife, son, or daughter has to.  If you haven’t chosen your new hunter’s rifle yet it’s hard to beat a 243 Winchester (the same used to be true of the 6mm Remington or the 250 Savage but they are not common these days). Kids, women, and grown-up men alike shoot it well and ammo can be found anywhere centerfire rifle cartridges are sold. I've used my 243 off and on for many years now.  I like it out to 200 yards or so, which is a far poke for the neophyte.

For deer cartridges with mild recoil and practical 300 yard trajectories the 257 Roberts, 260, 6.5x55, 270, 7mm08, or 7x57 come to mind.

The Russian 7.62x39mm is almost the equal of the 30/30 Winchester, which makes it an acceptable close range deer cartridge if you use a proper softnose bullet. The affordable surplus SKS may serve even though it’s a little clunky. The delightful little CZ 527 is as handy a bolt action carbine as you'll find anywhere. If your venison making shots are under 200 yards and you pass on "raking shots" through monster bucks the little AK round will suffice.

The .22 centerfires will work on deer where legal. I’ve done it with a 223, but the deer was out in the open. This is a case where you'll want to use premium bullets intended for big game, such as Winchester PowerPoint, Barnes X, Trophy Bonded, or Nosler Partitions and then do your best to arrange for carefully placed broadside shot on a relaxed deer at close range. These days there are also factory loads with game bullets in 223, 22/250, and 220 Swift.

Reduced Recoil Ammunition

My brother-in-law is man enough to admit he does not care for unnecessary recoil.   He borrowed my 30’06 one season and fed it the Remington Managed Recoil load to fill his antlerless whitetail tag as shots tend to be very close where we hunt.  The Managed Recoil load's 125 grain bullet clocks 2525 fps from the 22 inch barrel of my rifle (instead of the usual 180 grain bullet at 2700 fps). That makes it 200 fps faster than the 7.62x39 (but with a better bullet) or about 200 fps slower than a 257 Roberts (but with less sectional density). I'm guessing Remington chose the pointed 125 grain pill so they could claim a 50% recoil reduction yet maintain a reasonable trajectory for marketing purposes. It kills deer just fine from five yards to 60. Three shots, three deer.

The selection of reduced recoil factory ammunition just keeps getting better.  Nowadays Remington makes Managed Recoil loads for the 260, 270, 7mm08, 7mm Remington Magnum, 30-30, 308, 30'06, 300 Winchester Magnum, and even the 300 Ultramag.  Federal makes their Low Recoil loads for the 270 Winchester, 308, and 30'06.  In choosing the 170 grain flat nose @ 2000 fps for their Low Recoil 308 Winchester and 30'06 loads Federal essentially recreates 30/30 ballistics. My son used the Federal 308 load his third season but found the trajectory to be an issue when hunting out in the open; still he put two deer in the freezer for four tries.

Of the two brands I prefer the Remington Managed Recoil cartridge as a load for a young shooter to use in a 308 or 30’06 he or she aspires to grow into. Adult hunters who choose it because they are tired of being beaten up by their hard-butted '06s will have to choose their shots more carefully than is necessary when using full power ammo and abide by a 200 yard effective range.

Shotguns Slugs?

In some states shotgun slugs are required instead of rifles.  Shotgun slug recoil can be brutal and has been known to bring tears to eyes of adult male shooters.  Reducing it can only be a good thing.  At our gun club's annual "deer rifle sight-in days" I notice that teenage girls shoot their "little" 20 gauge slug guns much better than teenage boys shoot their Dad's 12 gauge slug guns.  So, if you don't have a slug gun yet consider the 20 bore variants.  In 12 gauge there are Managed Recoil and "tactical" slugs (cops don't like the full power rounds either) that are appreciably slower than the full-speed nasties (1 ounce @ 1200 or so instead of 1600 fps) but still pack a significant wallop (1610 ft. lbs., or more than most hunting pistols or 20 gauge sabot slug loads).  Their trajectory will be a little steeper so I'd limit my shots to 50-75 yards but I’d like to see the deer that will walk away from a center hit.  There are those who will suggest a .410 shotgun slug for slightly built hunters.  Most everyone knows somebody who has bagged a deer with this puny cartridge, but the 1/5 ounce .39 caliber projectile is not one I'd choose on purpose.


Those of us with access to a reloading bench can tailor our ammunition to specific shooters and conditions. Years ago I started my cousin's son deer hunting career with a 308 handload using data for the similar but less powerful 300 Savage.  He didn't connect his first couple seasons but not because he was afraid of the gun.

These days Hodgdon offers professionally developed “Youth Load” data

For the 308 Winchester and the 30’06 the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook has loads using IMR3031, IMR4198, and RL7 to start 125-150s in the 2200-2500 range. I've used the same powders to make "30/30'06" loads using 150 grain Remington roundnose softs intended for the 30 WCF.

Ken Waters Pet Loads has data for 30/30 duplication loads for the 30'06. He also recommends loading the .30'06 four grains below maximum for lever actions, pumps, and self loaders. No reason you can’t do the same to take the edge off a boltgun. The 30'06 has always struck me as possessing a significant surplus of energy for the average deer so throttling it back is a fine idea for most anyone.

Thank you!

Again, good job getting your new hunter off to a strong start by preparing a gun that fits and providing ammo that does not inflict pain on tender shoulders. You and your family can concentrate on having a safe and enjoyable time in the deer woods.  The sport needs all the top quality talent it can get. Good hunting!