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Old April 1, 2016, 10:29 AM   #1
aarondhgraham
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.22 rifles for young shooters,,,

There have been a few threads lately asking about good rifles for young shooters.

I thought I would attempt to compile a list of what's on the market today.

I'm only including rifles that are available new from the manufacturer.

Crickett - My First Rifle:
Manufactured by Keystone Arms,,,
They don't get any more basic than this little rifle,,,
Manually cocking single-shot bolt action made from Alloy Nickel Plated Steel.
The peep sight is a bit crude but works just fine,,,
$115.00 from budsgunshop.

Chipmunk:
Manufactured by Keystone Arms,,,
Virtually the same gun as the Crickett.

Savage Rascal:
Very similar to the Crickett but with much better peep sights and the Savage Acu Trigger,,,
Unlike the Crickett or Chipmunk, this rifle is not need to be manually cocked.
$152.00 from budsgunshop.

Mossberg 801 Half Pint:
This rifle is somewhat similar to the Rascal in that it isn't a manual cock action either,,,
It differs from the first three in that it comes with a "single-shot magazine plug",,,
It will accept the 10-shot magazines made for the full size 802 Plinkster.
$184.00 at budsgunshop.

Henry Mini-Bolt Youth:
Manually cocking single-shot bolt action with a manual safety switch,,,
Stainless steel with Williams Fire Sights.
$239.00 at Cabela's (out of stock at buds).

These five rifles are what I could find that are suitable for small shooters,,,
I think it's safe to call them dedicated children's rifles.

Aarond

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Old April 1, 2016, 11:57 AM   #2
DaleA
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After a long time of disliking the 'tacticool' .22LR's I finally was won over when someone impressed me with the fact that the adjustable stock lets youth as well as adults use the same rifle.
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Old April 1, 2016, 12:06 PM   #3
aarondhgraham
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You are correct DaleA,,,

You are correct DaleA,,,
A range acquaintance of mine does just that.

I'm old school though,,,
And an daily becoming more Fudd-like,,,
I feel that a semi of any ilk is a poor starter rifle for a youth.

I'm not against repeaters in general,,,
Just semi-automatics.

Unless the youth needed the smaller frame rifles I listed,,,
I would probably opt for a Savage Mk-II,,,
Or a Mossberg 802 Plinkster.

Both are mag fed bolt-actions,,,
That have a single-shot adaptor available.

Aarond

.
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Old April 2, 2016, 11:47 AM   #4
Noonan
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My 7-year-old got the Crickett for Christmas. I think it's a perfectly fine starter 22lr.
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Old April 2, 2016, 12:23 PM   #5
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When I was growing up in the fifties, there was a big market for relatively cheap .22 rf rifles suited for boys and models and variations were offered by all of the major and not so major manufacturers, from Winchester and Remington to Colt and Harrington and Richardson. Sadly, this glut of choices has largely disappeared over the past few decades, leaving mostly only the offerings as listed by aarondhgraham.

Would there still be a demand for affordable, bolt-action .22 rifles, single-shot or otherwise, like the Winchester Model 67, Remington Model 514, the Colt Colteer and H&R Model 865 rifles of yesteryear? I would like to think so but I'm afraid that kids of today want a .22 rifle looking like something you'd go to war with (not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that). The market for anything is largely dependent on what the culture demands.
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Old April 2, 2016, 06:08 PM   #6
aarondhgraham
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Hello dgludwig,,,

Quote:
Would there still be a demand for affordable, bolt-action .22 rifles, single-shot or otherwise, like the Winchester Model 67, Remington Model 514, the Colt Colteer and H&R Model 865 rifles of yesteryear? I would like to think so but I'm afraid...
Sadly I think you are correct,,,
Henry dropped production of their Acu-Bolt rifle,,,
It was as closely related to an old Model 67 as any made today.

Aarond

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Old April 2, 2016, 08:04 PM   #7
sgms
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After having been taught to shoot with a manually cocked single shot and doing the same with my 2 kids and now with the grandchildren I am a big supporter of the single shot manually cocked for learning. As soon as the basics are learned they can start shooting some of my other .22s. I find that it works so I stay with it but thats just me and my .02 cents.
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Old April 3, 2016, 09:33 AM   #8
aarondhgraham
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But my kid gets bored shooting single-shots,,,

But my kid gets bored shooting single-shots.

I hear this a lot,,,
And have experienced it myself.

My take on this is if the kid is bored shooting slow,,,
We need to work on his changing his attitude rather than cater to it.

I took a young boy shooting at the request of his dad,,,
I did take a semi-auto but started him on a Henry Acu Bolt,,,
That's a very accurate manually cocking bolt-action single-shot rifle.

I had the kid shooting off of an MTM rest at 25 yards,,,
He wasn't doing very well hitting clay pigeons.

His dad said: He's bored. I thought you said he could have some fun."

My reply was: "I thought learning to shoot well and hit a target was fun."

I did let the kid do a few 10-round mags out of a 702 Plinkster,,,
But as expected he wasn't even trying to aim at the clays,,,
He was just pulling the trigger as fast as possible.

Basically the kid just wanted to turn money into noise,,,
That's fine if the parent wants to support that.

But when it's my guns and ammo/money it's an entirely different story,,,
I'll allow a bit of that but only after he or she displays a desire to learn to shoot well.

I know they are just kids so I try to have fun targets,,,
Plastic eggs full of talcum powder or spinners,,,
But if they aren't trying to hit the target,,,
Their attitude isn't proper for guns.

So if a single-shot bores them,,,
I won't be taking them to the range.

Aarond

.
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Combat: "A Silent Cry"
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Old April 3, 2016, 12:14 PM   #9
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I guess I was lucky because I learned to shoot a 22 in the country. A simple bolt action JC Higgens with targets such as sticks floating in a stock tank, soda cans etc.....
Paper targets were for zeroing a scope. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved a semi-auto, but I feel fortunate my Father saw things differently. There has been plenty of time since then for semi-auto fun and shooting.
Good marksmanship and safety should be the main goal.
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Old April 4, 2016, 02:24 PM   #10
SIGSHR
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I prefer instructing the young with "regular" actions where they learn to engage the safety as part of correct shooting techniques. Just my $.02.
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Old April 4, 2016, 02:55 PM   #11
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I learned to shoot with my dads Remington 552 Speedmaster. It was fun shooting but can recall many times him telling me to slowdown! I enjoyed going shooting as a young man and now take my sons shooting. They both have Ruger 10/22's and this was what they learned to shoot on. Working the safety, doing mag changes are all part of learning to shoot, Ruger even has a single shot mag you can use with these but we just loaded one at a time until they showed the proper control then we would load 3 at a time and so forth.
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Old April 4, 2016, 03:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aarondhgraham
Basically the kid just wanted to turn money into noise,,,
That's fine if the parent wants to support that.

But when it's my guns and ammo/money it's an entirely different story,,,
I'll allow a bit of that but only after he or she displays a desire to learn to shoot well.
Writing as an overgrown child, I think it is unrealistic to expect young boys to want to "blow stuff up" and spray the countryside. The problem is that if they never learn the hard stuff, form, deliberation and accuracy, they will get bored too, only later in life.
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Old April 5, 2016, 03:46 PM   #13
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I own a little black and pink cricket, think there my funnest rifles and I hardly every get to shoot them.

The grandkids really liked the 15-22 but grandma couldn't load the mags fast enough...
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Old April 5, 2016, 04:23 PM   #14
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Whatever you choose as a first rifle for a child, please educate them on what a bullet can do....Them just hearing the crack of the .22 means nothing to them. I was shown as a child to impressed me, to respect the power of what I held in my hands. Shoot into a couple 2x4's and show him or her how much it will penetrate and keep reminding them why to not ever point a gun at anything you didn't want to shoot. I learned this way and taught my 3 kids this way. They all respect firearms for what they can do.
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Old April 6, 2016, 09:08 AM   #15
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CZ scout tops my list for youth .22s. Great trainer thats tough to out shoot.

Chiappa Little Badger-cheap, light, accurate, safe, simple, adjustable stock length.

Little Badger Deluxe- same thing as LB, but with wood stock and forend.
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Old April 6, 2016, 03:15 PM   #16
aarondhgraham
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Hello Vt.birdhunter,,,

Quote:
CZ scout tops my list for youth .22s. Great trainer thats tough to out shoot.
You are right about that,,,
I was in error not to add it to my original list.

I missed it's 12" LOP when I looked at it,,,
For some reason I was thinking it had a full size stock.

Aarond

.
__________________
Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
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Old April 9, 2016, 07:28 AM   #17
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I like repeaters, not necessarily semi-autos, but levers, pumps, or tube/detachable magazine rifles. Too many single-shots sit in the closet because kids get bored with them.

Tube-fed rifles are great, but more difficult to teach kids how to check them. They also aren't great on a managed firing line, when guns must be unloaded every 10-15 minutes.

I'd look seriously at the new Ruger American Bolt action .22LR. It uses 10-22 magazines, so has 10-25 shot mag capability and it's a very accurate rifle. It can be had with a wood stock now.
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Old April 9, 2016, 05:12 PM   #18
michaeldarnold
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Fundamentally sound

I've started my five year old in the basement, with me, using an Air Soft pistol. Same fundamentals, just no need to get to the range. He knows there is a gun is his future, but not until he can prove to me that he knows what is going on.

His first gun will likely be the Cricket. Kind of a cool little rifle.
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Old April 10, 2016, 08:31 AM   #19
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I wonder how many kids get bored because of their video game experiences prior to when their real firearm shooting starts. I didn't let my son get any shooting type games until he had learned to shoot and was well aware of the potential out come. By that I mean the finality of ending the life of an animal after being the shot. It can be a very sobering and real experience, instead of just hitting a reset button on a video game.
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Old April 11, 2016, 08:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
I wonder how many kids get bored because of their video game experiences prior to when their real firearm shooting starts. I didn't let my son get any shooting type games until he had learned to shoot and was well aware of the potential out come. By that I mean the finality of ending the life of an animal after being the shot. It can be a very sobering and real experience, instead of just hitting a reset button on a video game.
Speaking only for myself, before I ever fired a real gun, I had killed thousands of indians, other imaginary cowboys, and opposition spies. I am not sure that is all so different.
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