View Full Version : Starter rifle

April 28, 2012, 04:29 AM
I have convinced my wife to let me get my son (who will be turning 6 a few months after I get home) a rifle. I need some good thoughts on some good starter rifles for him. I'm so excited.

Pond, James Pond
April 28, 2012, 04:39 AM
Despite knowing nothing about rifles I will chime in with my guess on which advice will be given:

.22 LR bolt action, from CZ or Savage, or the like. Iron sights.

Am I right?

(I know I want one!!)

April 28, 2012, 05:00 AM
yep.. .22lr with iron sights would be my recommendation. I certainly don't disagree with it being bolt, but for me it isn't that big of a deal because you as the parent will be there.. you can make sure he is taking time from shot to shot. And then whe he is a little older, he can still have fun with it being semi-auto. My first .22 was a Marlin 60, still have it and its still going great!

I only have a 3 yr old daughter.. wish I had a son to teach! But on the other hand, as long as I buy a pink .22 she'll like it! :) Who knows, maybe she'll love to shoot - only time will tell.

April 28, 2012, 05:06 AM
Pond, reread the post. The lad is 6 years old. Niether of the rifle you suggest work for a lad of that age.

I suggest you look at a Cricket. A small youth model single shot 22 LR with bolt action. About 100 bucks.

Also buy a 10/22 now. When he is 10 or 11 give it to him. It will be Dads gun until then and one he will cherish, when he gets it, for a long time to come.

April 28, 2012, 05:11 AM
+1 for the Cricket. It is made for little people, so he won't be in an awkward position when learning to shoot. He can upgrade later.


April 28, 2012, 05:34 AM
Yeah I planned on starting him out with 22lr iron sights. I have just been debating on which rifle to start him with I have heard good things about the cricket. The cricket really does seem probably the best way to go. I have a marlin model 60 that my dad gave me. I'm going to hand it down to him when he gets older. I get to go home for r&r in less than 2 weeks I'm thinking about going a head and getting it for him and letting him shoot every chance we get. I miss him so much I can't wait to see him. He is basically a mini me lol he looks just like me and acts like me too so I'm hoping he loves to shoot as much as I do. Sorry, for the whole lil rant there yall I guess really miss my family right now guess I'm a little home sick I actually have some tears in my eyes. Sorry, again I gotta go to the gym or something clear my mind. Thanks for the advice and listening to me go on about my son.

April 28, 2012, 07:24 AM
Is the cricket a single shot only or can you find them with a magazine of some sort?

April 28, 2012, 07:25 AM
I'm sure he will love the cricket, and later when he gets that Marlin, it will mean all the more because it was yours first.

April 28, 2012, 07:26 AM
Is the cricket a single shot only or can you find them with a magazine of some sort?

I have never seen one that was not a single shot. I guess they just figure is is better for the little ones to learn slowly... I agree with them.

April 28, 2012, 08:45 AM
Cricket/Chipmunk. Look at their site and they have all kinds of options.

If not, Marlin 981T/981TS. Small and light, but not like the cricket.

Strafer Gott
April 28, 2012, 09:36 AM
Try to find an Ithaca M49. Nice single shot lever action. My brother carried one even as a teenager. He still treasures it. A cricket is smallish and probably gets outgrown. Not many of us have totally outgrown cowboy and lever actions.

April 28, 2012, 10:29 AM
I started my son with a cz youth model. Nice rifle, maybe an inch longer than a cricket, comes with a blank magazine for loading single shot, and a 5 round magazing can be purchased seperately. Here's the rub. My son was smallish at age 6, and really did not fit the rifle untill a few months after he turned 7. By age 10 he had completely outgrown the rifle. On the other hand, the bb gun was used a ton at age six, and still gets used at age 17

April 28, 2012, 12:02 PM
Look in the used market. There are lots of "youth" sized .22s in the used gun racks. A single shot bolt action would be my suggestion. But it could be a rolling block such as a Stevens favorite or any other configuration.

Simplicity is important, it helps a kid to understand how the gun works and makes for relatively easy clean up.

Deja vu
April 28, 2012, 04:20 PM
I think a break action 22LR would be great. Bolt action (single shot) would be my second choice.

April 28, 2012, 05:02 PM
I started bamaboy with a Crickett at that age. One of the issues is that young arms and muscles cannot balance and support adult rifles.

So...little rifle for little guy.

We shot the REd Ryder for a while, to understand safety and handling.

Consider this, when we moved to .22 and real ammo, I bought a couple of hundred .22 LONG CB caps, made by CCI. The long case was easier for little hands to manage, and the report was so mild we did not need muffs, which lent itself to coaching.

The youngster needs to understand, this is a real gun and ALL that means.

April 28, 2012, 05:21 PM
Since others have named the Cricket, I'll throw in the Savage Cub.

Bolt action, single shot with the accu-trigger and the reason I got one...aperture rear sight!

Also, I agree with others that it is best to start with a youth stock that fits.

April 29, 2012, 07:45 PM
I picked up an older Marlin 15YN for my oldest boy which is a nice little rifle. Single shot, bolt action made from Wood and blued steel. Only thing I've done to it is refinish the stock.


April 29, 2012, 08:12 PM
My vote is for the CZ Scout. It's not as small as the Cricket, but it is youth sized. Comes with a single shot adapter, but takes 5 or 10 round magazines as well. Nice open sights, grooved for scope mounts.

I love mine, it's every bit as accurate as a full size CZ.

April 29, 2012, 09:38 PM
I always recommend and "adult" rifle with a stock shortened and perhaps sliimed for a younger shooter. It gets younger shooters in the habit of engaging the safety and of course they will grow into the full sized stock.

April 29, 2012, 10:22 PM
Bought one for each of my kids when they turned 7.
Excellent little rifle~! :)

May 9, 2012, 12:00 AM
Ok, what you think about the Henry Mini Bolt Youth. It has fiber optic sights so I'm thinking that maybe easier to teach him how to line his sights up right. What do yall think. Its between the Henry and the Crickett.

May 9, 2012, 06:44 AM
Get him a Ruger 10/22 which he can learn on and keep for a life time. He will out grow the Cricket real fast and you will be stuck with it.

May 9, 2012, 07:21 AM
Get him a Ruger 10/22 which he can learn on and keep for a life time. He will out grow the Cricket real fast and you will be stuck with it.

Or the cricket can be passed down when his kids are ready to start shooting... passing things down is a great bonding moment :)

bailey bud
May 9, 2012, 09:49 AM
I might also look at a Rossi.

I like the Trifecta --- which is likely what I'll get my young daughter for her next birthday.

May 9, 2012, 10:40 AM
X100 for the Cricket. My 4yo started with one a couple of months ago and is really learning. It takes more to load an cock than a mag fed or tube magazine and you have to physically cock it even after the round is chambered. It adds an extra step of safety as far as I am concerned. Plus they are cheap, I think I paid $125.00 or so.

Evan Thomas
May 9, 2012, 04:08 PM
Get him a Ruger 10/22 ....
A semi-automatic for a six-year-old?! I wouldn't do it, m'self.

Much safer to start them with a single-shot... and after that, move to something mag-fed, but a bolt- or lever-action, so they have to do something to chamber each round. Kids and auto-loaders... not so much, until they're fairly mature and have some solid experience.

Another vote for the CZ scout, here...

May 9, 2012, 06:18 PM
Ruger makes a model called the 801 half pint plinkster, has a removable magazine plug so it can be used single shot or with a ten round magazine, youth model stock, only 4 pounds, scope capable...just my 2 cents:D.....Edit: made by mossberg lol not ruger

May 10, 2012, 06:45 AM
Just because it's semiauto dose'nt mean you can't load one bullit at a time till the kid gets some experiance. I bought a Criket to start my kids off with and they quickly out grew it and moved to a 10/22 but with either gun they need very close supervision.

May 10, 2012, 08:07 AM
A daisy air rifle.

May 10, 2012, 10:38 AM
+1 for the daisy. I had a red rider that i halled through hell and back, tought me a lot about shooting, how to aim, and how to be safe. Not that a 6 year old can't learn all the saftey rules, but I have never met a 6 year old that could pay attention to anything for very long without some kind of lapse.

May 10, 2012, 10:44 AM
Mossberg 801 Half-Pint Plinkster (http://www.mossberg.com/products/default.asp?id=38&display=desc).

It comes as a single-shot,,,
but you can remove the magazine plug,,,
Then you can utilize 10 shot 802 Plinkster magazines.

I've not fired one but I have handled one in a gun store,,,
It seems like a very fine little starter rifle for kids.

Just another option for you to explore.



bailey bud
May 10, 2012, 10:51 AM
ZKM468 CZECH Training 22LR single shot rifle $179 each at Widener's

May 10, 2012, 12:07 PM
"He will out grow the Cricket real fast and you will be stuck with it. "
Cricket sells all kinds of adult stocks. They go for as little as $45 from the manufacturer. I don't own a cricket, but they are suppoedly accurate enough that they serve as a training rifle quite nicely. I will be buying my nephew one for his next birthday(yes, his mom OKed it).

May 10, 2012, 12:42 PM
You can always sell it and get most of your money back.

But here's another idea,,,
Try a H&R Sportster Compact (http://hr1871.com/Firearms/Rifles/sportster.asp).

It's a single-shot break-open rifle,,,
The compact comes with a 12" pull stock,,,
Later as the young man grows order the 14.5" stock.

This rifle is very well made,,,
Mine has countless rounds through it,,,
Accuracy (for me) is a 2" circle at 100 yards.

Again, just another option to consider.



September 27, 2012, 12:13 AM
i know this is a older thread but i just ordered a mossberg 715t its on the ar frame 22 cal. my boy turns 6 next week and this is his present. he has been out shooting with me for awhile and while he can shoot my stevens 87a the lop is just to long to fit him and its very barrel heavy for him. with the mossberg the lop can be adjusted from 10.5 to i believe 13 so it will fit him for a lifetime and hell you know hes gonna be the only 6yr old with a ar. he is very responsible when we are out hunting and never out of sight. and at 279.00 very affordable

October 2, 2012, 11:25 AM
I have a CZ Scout. Great rifle but too big for a 6 year old. The Cricket is the only rifle small enough for that age (unless you want to cut the stock).

October 2, 2012, 04:13 PM
Single shot 22LR or...a nice BB gun/pellet rifle?

October 2, 2012, 07:59 PM
I am not a fan of small rifles. I shot at a very early age, and my biggest thrill was shooting a full size rifle. A 22 has no recoil so we are not worried about grip and holding it right. I learned on a single shot and making the first shot count. We can learn to adapt to different ways to hold it. In a couple of years the small rifle will be to small. Sight picture and trigger squeeze is the most important thing to learn.

October 3, 2012, 09:49 PM
Both of my girls learned to shoot with an NEF break-action single shot .22. Easy to focus on fundamentals of sight picture and trigger press. Also easy to keep track of hammer position. One daughter stayed interested in rifles and now has her own Marlin 795.

I bought the youth combo that also has a .410 barrel. Just recently, my young rifle girl expressed interest when I hit the dove fields, and we swapped barrels so she could learn shotgun fundamentals. Though it is not an ideal shotgun, it is light and compact, and made it easy for her to gains some success fairly quickly.

Good luck!
Tom Lynch

October 4, 2012, 08:58 AM
+1 on the Mossberg 802 half-pint. It's safe, accurate and has nice features for teaching my two boys muscle memory of safely carrying, operating, aiming and firing a bolt-action (as the configuration of their most-likely first deer rifle).