View Full Version : Step up from 22 lr for a novice?

July 17, 2007, 09:47 AM
So, my 11 year old son is progressing well with his single shot Stevens 22 lr. Told him when he can put 10 rounds inside of a 3" circle at 50 yards (using the iron sights) we'll get him something better. What would be a good upgrade for him, caliber-wise? He'd like to be able to shoot at the 100 yard line, and I want to keep the recoil down for him. He's about 100#. 22 Hornet? 223?

July 17, 2007, 09:52 AM
glad to hear that your son is shooting well. Mine is 8 and just starting out with a bolt .22 and he is getting good quickly too.

For a couple of reason listed below I would step up to a .223 remington

1. there are a ton of rifles in a hundred different configurations made in the .223 rem caliber.

2. almost no recoil in a normal sized bolt gun.

3. accurate, accurate, accurate.

4. there is a ton of ammo out there, from cheap plinking ammo up to match quality fodder.

5. it will reach out and touch any target that he may choose to try to hit - nice and fairly flat shooting for normal ( 100-300 yard ranges )

6. he'll end up buying a .223 anyways when he is older - most of us have at least one, so you might as well buy one now!!!

nothing against the .22 hornet but the .223 trumps it in every catagory.

have fun and stay safe!!!

July 17, 2007, 10:00 AM
I agree with MJ

July 17, 2007, 10:26 AM
Thanks. I'm certain there are other calibers that'd fill the bill, too. The 22 Hornet and 223 weren't implied as being the only two caliber choices...just a starting point. What else might be appropriate?

July 17, 2007, 11:24 AM
What about stepping up to a better, scoped .22, or .17hmr? My wife inherited a 1940's vintage Mossberg .22 from her grandfather and what a tack-driver! Single hole groups of eight shots at 30 yards with a cheap Wal-Mart scope.

July 17, 2007, 11:47 AM
I agree with you in principle, LT. Always good to have a 22. Just, I'd like to get him into centerfire, and so would he. Would like to avoid as much "100 yard arc" as possible.

July 17, 2007, 11:54 AM
A Savage bolt action with an accutrigger in .223 would work .:D

July 17, 2007, 11:56 AM
.223 .17HRM .22WRM or 30-30 would all be great considerations.

July 17, 2007, 11:59 AM
I think the 243 or 30-30 would not be out of the question for a boy his size.

Just make sure he uses ear protection whatever you choose because blast will be a bigger factor than recoil to him.

July 17, 2007, 12:05 PM
I agree with who ever said scope to 22 (get a good one) and move over to the 100 yd tables :)


Magnum Wheel Man
July 17, 2007, 12:13 PM
& while I agree with all the positive points of the 223...

either of the 17 Rim Fires will give him good range, while keeping him on track with developing his shooting technique...

I love the 22 Hornet, but as was mentioned, the 223 is just more practical... I have seen some Savage accutrigger packages with decient scopes for very reasonable prices in both 223 & 204 Ruger ( I'm mentally anquishing right now between a new 22 Hornet, or my 1st 204 Ruger )

if shooting cost is not as much of an issue, the new "techy" .204 Ruger would be the ticket... but the 223 is just that much more practical...

how about a 357 or 44 mag lever gun... ( though I'm not as big a fan of "normal centerfire lever guns for new shooters ), just because if the gun needs to be unloaded, each round has to be chambered, then ejected...

July 17, 2007, 12:14 PM
If he is ready to step up to a centerfire cartridge, then I would agree that a 223 is hard to beat for versatility and accuracy potential. I would hold off on a 243 or similar hunting caliber until he is old enough to hunt. By then he will be a little bigger and ready for a little bit of recoil. In the mean time, he will gain skill and learn to tolerate muzzle blast and what little recoil the 223 will expose him to.

Notice I said if HE is ready to step up. It's important to not project our desires onto our children, let them develop at their own pace. I still love a 22LR, and I have a rifle that is capable of sub-MOA performance. It is a kick to shoot it at 150 yds and watch people stare at me when I hit things with it. Pretty much across the board, they say "Wow! I didn't think a 22 would shoot that far!" If he isn't ready for a 223, perhaps a good quality 22LR?

July 17, 2007, 12:21 PM
I agree with the .223 with one caveat. If you plan on letting him hunt the .223 caliber is illegal for certain game in some states. Having said that, a CZ .223 would be an excellent choice. Extremely accurate and won't break the bank.

July 17, 2007, 12:32 PM
My soon to be 12 year old has already been out with my AR-15 and he loves it. One of the reasons why I want to get another AR in the A3 config is so I can buy a stubby stock for him, his 8 year old brother, and my wife, and install it on my A2.

He also likes my scoped 10/22 .... the weird part is he's a better shot on the AR than he is on the Ruger.


July 17, 2007, 02:18 PM
Thanks, guys. I'll more'n likely stick with a nice bolt action 223. He and I will go out and start fitting rifles.

July 17, 2007, 03:54 PM
my son's 9 1/2, and has been shooting a CZ bolt .22. He also requested "something with more kick...".

.223 would be great, and I was also considering a Marlin lever rifle in 357mag.

What are some decent .223 bolt guns that a youngster could shoot?

July 17, 2007, 07:28 PM
What are some decent .223 bolt guns that a youngster could shoot?

Since your son is already shooting a CZ in .22 you couldn't go wrong with a CZ in .223. Excellent gun for the money.

chris in va
July 18, 2007, 03:21 AM
CZ carbine in .223, although the stock might be a bit long for him. Very light at 5lbs.


July 18, 2007, 05:48 AM

Your son has learned how to shoot with iron sights, now it might be wise to teach him shooting with a scope. Rather than moving directly to a centerfire rifle, I think a better 22 Rimfire with a scope would be a good move for him.
He's still pretty young and light weight, so spend a year teaching him scope use with a good 22 Rimfire, like the CZ 452. By that time, he will have gained some weight and improved his shooting skills. The improvement in his groups at 50 and 100 yards will give him the satisfaction, and confidence to hold his interest.


July 18, 2007, 09:09 AM
I went from .22 single shot rifle(6yrs old) , to .22 semi auto(8years), to .30M1 Carbine(10 years), to AR15 SP1 carbine by age 13

They gave me a .30-30 M94 before the M1 but it was borderline too much so they switched it for a M1 carbine . But there are many fine choices availible to start the young ones off with.

Trajen...the .357 carbine(loaded with hot magnum ammo) has a stiffer recoil than the .223. I base this one the Browning B92 I had(copy of a winchester 92) when you put 125gr loads you get approx 2050-2100fps out of it, and off the bench i was a bit suprized the first time I shot it...it has a abrupt/sharp slap to your shoulder(light gun , reletively heavy bullet) use .38 special 158RNL in it, and its a pussycat that he could shoot and grin. Alot of the lever action .357 carbines dont like hollow points(my B92 included), they hang up on the chamber mouth during feeding.

July 18, 2007, 12:23 PM
I began teaching my 9yr old grandson to shoot an imported, single shot youth model .22lr. Believe me, it didn't take him long to master the technique and at 50yds the young'un was shooting 2-3" groups inside of three months with regular trips to the range. I was faced with the same considerations. I talked it over with one of the venerable range masters where we shoot. He suggested the youth program at the range and within the 6 week course, the boy had achieved 'Expert' status. With that said, it was recommened that he attend the intermediate youth class but with a 4x scope on his rifle. His Dad and I had the scope mounted and just this past week, he achieved his 'Hunter' certificate. Now we are looking for the same thing. His Dad, his other grand father and I have narrowed the search dow to two rifles: the Savage .223 and the CZ Scout. We can use the same scope on either rifles. I favor the CZ but his Dad and his other Grandpaw are considering the Savage because of price concerns.
Bottom line: low recoil, flat trajectory and familiarity with a bolt action.
The kid shoots my Colt HBAR15A3 (scoped) with confidence and accuracy.
I know this is a long post, but I am proud of the kid. He will be 10 in September (when he gets his Kung Foo Green-belt) and is a very level headed and serious kid.

Pap-paws tend to brag but I'm proud of this kid.

LM...Ft. Worth, Tx.
PO1 USN: 1964-1972 Viet Nam Vet
SFC US ARMY (NG): 1982-1996 Desert Storm Vet (ret.)