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Old January 25, 2013, 03:51 PM   #1
Wheel-Gunner
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.22LR For My 5 Year Old Daughter

Hello fellow gun enthusiasts! I usually spend all my time over at the handgun forums but I need some advice for a little .22 rifle for my little girl who is frustrated with the fact that I have to help her shoot the Golden Boy.

So I have been looking around at a Savage Rascal (seems very cheaply constructed), Crickett, Marlin 915Y (like very much), H&R Sportster Compact (break open action the way to go??) and a few others. I like the idea of a Ruger 10/22 compact (would be compatible with the mags for my Ruger), but do not want an auto-loading gun for her just yet. I think a bolt action is the way to go here.

First off, size. Is there a proper way to determine what length of gun she should be using? Is there a standard sizing approach based on her height, arm length, etc. The rascal seems very small at 31.5", the marlin 915Y seems like it may last a little longer at 33.25". What do I need to keep in mind here?

The other thing I am curious about is whether or not to get her a single shot, one with a magazine, or my initial preference of a tube loading repeater. I love the idea of having a knob that she has to pull back every time she chambers a round that I have seen on some bolt actions (not sure what the safety is called exactly). Would a single shot be tedious for her after a while? I would love to get her a Henry Youth lever action, but would really like an added safety mechanism. I just ran across the Mossberg 801 Plinkster Half-Pint. This is intriguing because it can be used as a single shot or with a magazine.

Also, I would like her to have the ability to remove a loaded round instead of having to fire it with ease. I am looking down on the Crickett for this reason. To unload a Cricket requires grabbing the "cocking piece" while pulling the trigger and then slowly lowering the cocking piece, like on a cocked hammer on a single action pistol. To much room for an accidental discharge here for my liking.

So I know this may start off a bit broad, but what are the factors I need to consider here and please give some suggestions on specific rifles that you would recommend and why. Thanks a bunch!
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Last edited by Wheel-Gunner; January 25, 2013 at 04:27 PM.
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Old January 25, 2013, 04:26 PM   #2
lockedcj7
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A quick and easy way (not technically the right way, but close enough) to check stock fit is to have her grip the pistol grip normally and point the gun straight up while bending her arm 90 degrees at the elbow. The stock should be the same length as her forearm and just fit in the crook of her arm.

I just went through this with my son and decided on a 10-22 with a collapsible stock. It can grow with him and I'm not too concerned about it being an auto loader since I hover over him anyway and could instantly take control if I had to.
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Old January 25, 2013, 05:02 PM   #3
hodaka
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CZ Scout

That's what I did. A little more expensive but nice quality and small.
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Old January 25, 2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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I'd go with a single shot. Think Savage makes one called the Cricket.
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Old January 25, 2013, 10:45 PM   #5
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I picked up an older Marlin 15YN at a gun show last year for around $75 I think. It shoots great and fits my 7 yr old like a glove. No trouble with him getting bored with the single shot yet but he's only been out with it a couple of times so far so it's still new to him. I think more than the rifle, it's the targets they get bored with. Pick up some sort of reactive targets and it'll hold their interest a bit longer. I think the Marlin 915Y would be a great gun for her and she'll be able to teach her kids to shoot with it.

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Old January 25, 2013, 11:12 PM   #6
alex0535
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My first rifle was a Henry .22 lever action. I probably got it when I was 6 or so. They make a youth version that is a little smaller, and both are lighter than the golden boy.

Single shot is probably a little bit more appropriate, but if she is pretty comfortable with how to use a henry golden boy, consider a Henry .22 lever youth as it would probably be a lot easier for her to shoot. Smaller, lighter by 2.5lbs.

I still have that Henry after 15 years, and it has seen a lot of use.
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Old January 25, 2013, 11:50 PM   #7
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http://cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-452-scout/
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Old January 26, 2013, 12:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
22LR for my 5 year old daughter
Sounds like a fair trade, I'll take her. Once received, I'll send the rifle.


JK. Any of the single shot rifles would get outgrown pretty quick, choose a bolt action. CZ makes a good one.
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Old January 26, 2013, 01:39 AM   #9
chris in va
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The Golden Boy is pretty heavy and oversized for a 5 year old. Probably should look at the Henry Youth model. Bolt actions get boring after a while, and I have plenty of evidence after watching many shooters and their kids on the line.
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Old January 26, 2013, 01:04 PM   #10
mxsailor803
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If you are so worried about a child shooting a semi-auto, how about the 10-22 with the single shot mags? At least that way it could be something they could grow into.
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Old January 26, 2013, 04:40 PM   #11
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Thopson center hot shot in pink camo
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Old January 26, 2013, 04:47 PM   #12
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The S&W M&P 15-22 has a collapsible buttstock for easy adjustment and is fun to shoot. Don't load up full mags for a while. I can't get mine away from my wife who hates guns and shooting!
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Old January 26, 2013, 04:50 PM   #13
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I bought a Henry mini-bolt for my sons when they were small - I've been absolutely delighted with it. A dozen kids have learned to shoot with it, and even though the boys have grown up, it is still goes to the range with us regularly.

http://www.gunshopfinder.com/Henry/henryminibolt22.asp
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Old January 26, 2013, 05:27 PM   #14
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I really like the Marlin 15Y , there are usually one or two on the different auction sites . I bought a NIB one 3 years ago for my grandson ( same gun I started his dad with at 5 yo) for $130.00 . I was tickled pink to get it ! Girly colors are cute , but if resale is a possibility , they're a little harder to move .
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Old January 27, 2013, 11:22 AM   #15
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We decided to go with the TC HotShot for our short shooters. I'm not fully satisfied with either the break open or the exposed hammer but had to compromise to make one size fit all(siblings have different ideas about how their kid should start and I required that all the rifles be alike).
I have two Grandsons 8 years old and they will want to hunt with their rifles so the guns have to be light enough for carrying and holding in a hunting scenario. We concluded that none of the full sized rifles with cut down stocks would be satisfactory. One parent didn't like the operation of the Cricket and one didn't like the sight setup on the Savage so we met in the middle with the TC.
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Old January 27, 2013, 11:52 AM   #16
Peter M. Eick
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I got a henry mini-gun for my daughter at about 5 yrs. Great gun and she shot it well. Very good trigger and the single shot works well. My only issue is putting the rounds in is a bit of work. Very small space to work with.
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Old January 27, 2013, 12:44 PM   #17
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The pink single shot would be a great choice. So what if she grows out of it. It's cheap. When she's bigger, get her a bigger 22.
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Old January 27, 2013, 08:42 PM   #18
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Savage Rascal. I have been impressed.
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Old January 27, 2013, 09:31 PM   #19
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Chipmunk.
When she gets to about ten you can buy a longer stock and at about 12 an adult length stock. Each for about $50.

They have a surprising range of quality and features you won't find displayed at your local sporting goods store
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:00 PM   #20
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I have two young daughters and understand your desire to find a suitable gun for them to learn on and enjoy. I would steer clear of the Chipmunk/Cricket rifles (I have one), as they require manual cocking of the bolt, which usually forces the kid to put the rifle between their knees and pull back on the bolt with both hands. Not a great safety feature. Also there is no manual safety and no feed ramp, so you have to manually stick a round in the chamber. I'd take a hard look at the Marlin or Savage.
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Old January 29, 2013, 10:49 PM   #21
johnwilliamson062
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ejn54A3wAbM

Safe until you cock it. Cock it doesn't look hard I've not done it personally though.

I don't see the problem with manually placing the cartridge in the chamber in a single shot bolt gun. It may be difficult for an adult with big finger to do, but shouldn't be too hard. I manually loaded a single shot target gun in this manner without problems when in college.
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:13 PM   #22
makarov
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I bought my daughter a CZ Scout. It is a little bigger than the chipmunk. I started my daughter out on a BB gun. Then moved her up to the CZ. The CZ is a very accurate rifle.
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:45 PM   #23
alaskabushman
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Quote:
Safe until you cock it. Cock it doesn't look hard I've not done it personally though.
True, but the only way to uncock it without some good thumb pressure is to fire the gun. The spring in my Chipmunk is pretty stout, and while I, a 6 foot 220Lb guy have no problem with it, little hands do. No feed ramp is also not a SUPER big deal, but my Remington Targetmaster is much easier to use than the Chipmunk. The Remington is a full sized rifle with a 24'' barrel, not a good youth rifle. The Chipmunk has a 4lb trigger (I checked mine)...but the gun weighs less than 3 pounds, thats hard on little fingers when the pull is heavier than the gun.
The Savage addresses these issues by providing an adjustable trigger, feed ramp, cocks on opening and has an external safety. I still like my Chipmunk, makes a great backpacking rifle (its quite accurate), but it is no longer used by my girls.

Last edited by alaskabushman; January 30, 2013 at 02:12 AM.
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Old January 30, 2013, 01:12 PM   #24
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I bought my 4yo a Cricket last spring and he has loved it. I wouldn't worry so much about it being a proper fit, she'll out grow it pretty quickly. The main thing is to find something safe and fun for her to shoot. At 5 years of age, the pulling of the trigger and basic handling are the things to concentrate on, you'll be helping her aim and hold it anyway. Heck if my bo hits the paper or milk jugs full of colored water, I make a big fuss. Marksmanship to a kids is making a noise and seeing dirt or water shoot up, they hit the bullseye every time as far as I am concerned. Buy cheap and safe and don't over think it, the look on her face when it goes bang is worth all the precision shots you'll ever make.
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Old January 30, 2013, 03:44 PM   #25
dalegribble
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since your daughter is only 5 and not 15 your choice would be different and more age appropriate. i started my sons out at 5 years with a small daisey 22 cal single shot bolt action rifle. i think a single shot is important for safety reasons and to develop accuracy. the daisy rifle we had had a plastic stock, it looked like a normal wooden rifle but it had a button in the stock that would allow the but plate to extend as the child grew. i feel that a single shot rifle is important for a first time young shooter to develop good shooting skills and habits. the daisy rifle had iron sights, again every shooter should start with the basics and develop their skills before they advance to scopes, red dots etc.

the daisy rifle we had was a well thought out rifle for a first time shooter, i dont know if they are still available. the features it had that i thought were good for a first time shooter are:
small size and light weight for a child.
bolt action single shot for safety and developing shooting skills
iron sights for learing to be accurate
expanding stock to grow with the child
add to that good adult supervision
these are features i would recomend in a childs first gun. try to find a gun with as many of these features that you can.

things i would avoid.
buying too much gun (length, weight, ammo capacity, semi auto) for the child even if it is a good price.
i would avoid semi autos of any kind at her age.
i would also avoid any multiple shot rifle. lever actions, tube or magazine feed rifles are all great but they should be something the child should graduate to at a later age.

i am sure there are many brands of rifles out there that meet my recomendations. i think that if you find one for your child it will pay big benifits later in skill, accuracy and safety.
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