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Old December 21, 2012, 06:41 PM   #1
No1der
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Thinking Of Getting A Rifle For Teen Family Member To Learn To Shoot

I've been thinking about possibly picking up either a Ruger 10/22 or some other reliable and easy to shoot, and care for, rifle for a young family member who is now coming of age.

I was thinking that if the price is right I might even buy a couple of rifles so that I could go shooting with my nephew.

He's 12 years old and his parents are fine with firearms and even know firearm safety yet they don't personally own any at the moment.

What do you guys recommend besides the Ruger or is that really the best rifle to get a kid started on learning about guns and gun safety?

I wasn't sure where to post this particular thread since it is rather a general question and not just about the Ruger. If it's in the wrong place than I'd appreciate someone moving it please.

Edit: I was thinking that I might even make this like a late Christmas present or something. Thought I'd get some input and see what others have gotten for the youngsters in their family.
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Old December 21, 2012, 06:51 PM   #2
BillM
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10-22's are great, and you can accessorize the heck out of them,
but not my choice for a first rifle.

Bolt action magazine fed 22. I'm partial to the Savage rifles with
accu-trigger, but there are many fine candidates out there.

Pull the magazine and go single shot for initial training. Manual
action teaches them to make every shot count. It might
get pushed to the back of the safe by the 10-22 (maybe next
year?), but he will never outgrow it.
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Old December 21, 2012, 07:06 PM   #3
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Bill, it's been many years since I last contemplated .22 Rifles so any and all help is welcome.

Heard lots of folks gleefully talking about the Ruger but the bolt action or something a bit "slower" may be prudent to really get the learning part started right.
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Old December 21, 2012, 08:28 PM   #4
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I like my Remington 597, very accurate and reliable. Some aftermarket for it, fairly accurate rifle. Good size stock for a teen to full grown shooter.
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Old December 21, 2012, 09:33 PM   #5
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So what kind of price range are we talking on a Remington or Savage or any other bolt action worth it's weight?

I mean Santa Clause is willing but the billfold is weak. lol
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Old December 21, 2012, 11:42 PM   #6
Art Eatman
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Lots of good, clean used .22s around. Pawn shops commonly have about 25% to 30% invested, for a given asking price. Bargain hard.

I'm another vote for a bolt-action. My first "my very own" .22 was a Marlin with a tube magazine; it lived in the closet in my bedroom. I was 12.
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Old December 22, 2012, 02:19 AM   #7
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well i do think you are on the right track with the .22's for the youngster how-ever i would think a bolt action would be very boring and could tend to make the child lose interest in the sport. I cant help to remember when i was that age i really wanted to learn the guitar and my parents got me lessons and the guy only taught country music and i lost interest very fast and didn't pick up an other guitar till i was 30. i would buy him a reasonably priced winchester semi auto like the 290 you can pick them up very cheap and once you have him interested in the sport you can drool over things like the dressed up 10/22 as they are very fine weapons. MY TWO CENTS
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Old December 22, 2012, 02:23 AM   #8
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I started my son with a Marlin 981T. He's 25 now and still likes the thing.

There's just something about a tube-fed bolt .22lr that just speaks to me. The only thing that would have made his better IMHO would have been a walnut stock.
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Old December 22, 2012, 02:37 AM   #9
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Some fantastic suggestions guys and I really appreciate them and by all means keep them coming.

I'm going to do some pricing on the rifles mentioned in this thread and see what I come up with.

I can totally understand the pros and cons of the bolt action guns.

Ultimately what I would love to do is to get two rifles that are as similar as possible so that he doesn't think that he's carrying a "kids gun". Cause that can also cause him to lose interest.

I think it would be great if we each had the same or similar rifle and I could teach him about target shooting, naturally teach him about firearms safety. He's a good kid so I do think he's a responsible enough young man and won't go around shooting the neighbors cat or dog. Thank God he loves animals cause at least I know he's not likely to make a bad turn towards something dark and horrible in the future.

I am sort of leaning towards a semi-auto just because I had a bolt action and it was ok for a while but I got tired of it fairly quickly. That's not to say I'm ruling out a bolt action as I'm mulling this over at the moment and trying to figure out what would work best for us both.

Thing is I think that the .22 is a great caliber for an all around useful and FUN to use weapon. Not to mention all the bonding that comes from shooting with ones nephew or uncle (depending on your point of view). I've got great memories of learning to shoot with my dad and we definitely bonded greatly over that experience.

Like I said, price is a bit of an issue but if I can find a fantastic deal on a couple of good .22 rifles then I'm all in cause that's just all kinds of fun and all the other good stuff that goes with it.
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Old December 22, 2012, 09:19 AM   #10
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hard to go wrong with the good old Ruger 10/22.

Great price, low cost and plentiful ammo and a great platform to learn the fundamentals and practice them, a lot!
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Old December 22, 2012, 09:56 AM   #11
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You need to make it clear that aside from the fun aspect, a .22 rifle is an affordable educational tool. There is a learning curve to shooting. "Walk before running!"

Sight picture. Eye-finger coordination for trigger control. This can only be done by practice, and .22s are the least-cost practice that there is.

No beginning racer jumps directly from his four-door Fordelet sedan into an Indy car or an F1 car. Learning curve.
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Old December 22, 2012, 11:58 AM   #12
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I learned on a bolt action .22 - a remington sportsmaster I got when I was 10 - and 20 years later I'm still not bored with it.
When I was learning/practicing as a youngster I recall fantasizing more about being a sniper - making each shot perfect - than about shooting lots of bullets. Getting smaller and smaller groups, and then shooting at smaller and smaller things (trying to shoot a stick in half etc) kept me interested... well still keeps me interested.
I like my pistols, and I've had a lot of fun shooting AR's and other "exciting" guns, but that remington is still probably my favorite shooter. I don't think you have to worry about the boy getting bored, and you can probably find something great for ~$150.
I'm not saying you shouldn't get him a 10/22 - they're great little guns too - but I just wouldn't eliminate bolt guns because they're boring.
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Old December 23, 2012, 09:55 AM   #13
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I would get a Marlin 60. Inexpensive, widely available, dependable and accurate. Well over 11,000,000 people have bought them over the years.
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Old December 23, 2012, 11:22 AM   #14
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Honestly, I get more enjoyment out of my Henry lever action than any bolt or semi I have.
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Old December 23, 2012, 11:32 AM   #15
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Im with Chris in Va. I bought my son a Henry lever gun when he turned 5. What a fun gun!!! I already had a few semi autos and bolt action 22s. I liked the lever gun so much, i bought a winchester 94/22 mag for myself!! We have alot of fun with that henry!!!
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Old December 23, 2012, 10:37 PM   #16
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Lever action Henry, can't say that crossed my mind yet but it sounds interesting.

Let me check out some prices and get an idea of how much it'll cost me. Sounds like it could have potential.
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Old December 23, 2012, 11:03 PM   #17
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My first time shooting a rimfire was a Ruger 10/22, its a fine choice for a first rifle. Probably not the easiest thing for a 12 year old to take apart.

The first rimfire rifle i owned was a .22 Henry, I like it.

A .22LR bolt action would also be good, Marlin and savage provide plenty of affordable options.

I used to have a very light savage .17 hmr, model 93r17. It weighed about 5lbs, shot well enough. Would be better in a .22, but as far as its size and weight it would have been well proportioned for a 12 year old. That being said, I no longer own it because I love my heavy barreled Marlin 917v .17hmr because it shoots better..
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Old December 23, 2012, 11:06 PM   #18
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I actually tote the 10/22. as stated it can be accessorized more than your average AR15 and can even be made to look like one if you so choose. the 10/22 is not the most accurate gun around but it's one of the most reliable and least picky when it comes to ammo among rimfires. bolt actions may be slightly more cost effective but you learn trigger control and proper technique just as well with a semi auto as a bolt action. also the 10/22 is much cheaper than many of the bolt action 22s out there today so it is just as cost effective to buy the cheaper rifle as it is to give the trigger happy teen a gun that is easy to get carried away with as it is to give him the more expensive but slower firing gun.

I started with a marlin model 60 and it is also a very good choice. more compact and accurate than the 10/22 but just a little pickier with ammo selection and not as customizable but can generally be found for around $150.
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Old December 24, 2012, 04:54 AM   #19
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The last marlin 60 I got at a pawn shop ran me $60. Every ruger 10/22 was at $200. I would get 2 or 3 marlin's for the price of a ruger.
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Old December 24, 2012, 05:49 AM   #20
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My "first rifle" was a break action single shot pellet rifle- wish I knew what happened to it...

My first real rifle actually is now less than 6 months old to me- Savage Mark II bolt action .22. Great to shoot, and with the laminate stock and fluted barrel, its a gorgeous piece of work. I second the comments on the bolt action- easier to understand just how it works, and helps him understand not only THAT the rifle works, but HOW it works.
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Old December 24, 2012, 09:03 AM   #21
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Personally, I like a Bolt Action 22 as a first gun. My girls started out with a Savage Cub. They were younger, but the 14 yr old is still an ok fit for it.

IMO, a semi-auto is a better second gun. Semi-auto's by there nature are harder for young shooters to handle safely, IMHO. A bolt action can be rendered safe by opening the action.
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Old December 24, 2012, 10:47 AM   #22
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Marlin 60 is my favorite .22. It was my first rifle, and I still use the exact same one for squirrel hunting. Cheap to buy, cheap to feed, and reliable. What else could you ask for in a first gun?
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Old December 24, 2012, 10:53 AM   #23
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Winchester 62 pumps are a lot of fun as well. Not sure what the going price is though. Might be kinda pricey for a first gun.
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Old December 24, 2012, 11:27 AM   #24
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I just recently bought a savage .22mag with thumb hole stock, VERY accurate and fun to shoot but a bit on the spendy side for the mag ammo, I have owned several 10/22 rugers and they are very rugged and reliable, I would tend to lean toward a bolt type .22 if its a first rifle, at least with the bolt gun you have to manually cock it by lifting and closing the bolt making it slower yet safer IMO
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Old December 24, 2012, 04:27 PM   #25
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Great case everyone is making for the bolt action and as much as I am attracted to the Ruger, the fact remains that it's not a rifle I'm buying for myself but rather a rifle I'm buying for a youngster as his first rifle.

Honestly, the bolt action is making lots and lots of sense. The cost is also very much in it's favor.
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