The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 25, 2013, 03:51 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: February 24, 2006
Posts: 249
.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!
"History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. We must acquire proficiency in defense and display stamina in purpose." Dwight Eisenhower

Last edited by Wheel-Gunner; January 25, 2013 at 04:27 PM.
Wheel-Gunner is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 04:26 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: February 15, 2007
Posts: 1,204
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.
To a much greater extent than most mechanical devices, firearms are terribly unforgiving of any overconfidence, complacency or negligence.

Last edited by lockedcj7; January 25, 2013 at 06:45 PM.
lockedcj7 is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 05:02 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2006
Location: South Texas
Posts: 1,974
CZ Scout

That's what I did. A little more expensive but nice quality and small.
hodaka is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 05:04 PM   #4
Junior member
Join Date: October 25, 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 736
I'd go with a single shot. Think Savage makes one called the Cricket.
breakingcontact is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 10:45 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: December 20, 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 950
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.

stu925 is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 11:12 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: November 4, 2012
Location: Georgia
Posts: 908
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.
alex0535 is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 11:50 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: January 2, 2013
Posts: 7
jlr2267 is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 12:37 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 13,281
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.
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 01:39 AM   #9
chris in va
Senior Member
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 13,552
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.
chris in va is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 01:04 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: February 8, 2010
Location: Norfolk, Va
Posts: 1,200
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.
mxsailor803 is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 04:40 PM   #11
Join Date: January 24, 2013
Posts: 51
Thopson center hot shot in pink camo
Liambobbi is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 04:47 PM   #12
Junior member
Join Date: January 21, 2013
Location: NY
Posts: 150
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!
Revolver1 is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 04:50 PM   #13
Junior Member
Join Date: March 25, 2009
Posts: 8
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.
papaul is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 05:27 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: September 16, 2009
Location: I live in the foot of the Green Mountains of Vermont
Posts: 1,602
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 .
Don't forget to have your liberals spayed or neutered !
oneoldsap is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 11:22 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 5,951
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.
Mobuck is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 11:52 AM   #16
Peter M. Eick
Senior Member
Join Date: August 3, 1999
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,991
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.
10mm and 357sig, the best things to come along since the 38 super!
Peter M. Eick is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 12:44 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 3,427
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.
603Country is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 08:42 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Location: Minnetonka, MN
Posts: 117
Savage Rascal. I have been impressed.
goalie is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 09:31 PM   #19
Junior member
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Posts: 9,996
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
johnwilliamson062 is offline  
Old January 29, 2013, 05:00 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: January 3, 2013
Location: S.E. Alaska
Posts: 146
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.
alaskabushman is offline  
Old January 29, 2013, 10:49 PM   #21
Junior member
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Posts: 9,996

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.
johnwilliamson062 is offline  
Old January 29, 2013, 11:13 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: January 27, 2000
Location: Washington State
Posts: 693
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.
"Where Zen ends, asskicking begins" - Hyde - That 70's Show
makarov is offline  
Old January 29, 2013, 11:45 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: January 3, 2013
Location: S.E. Alaska
Posts: 146
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.
alaskabushman is offline  
Old January 30, 2013, 01:12 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: October 20, 2010
Location: Pawleys Island
Posts: 1,513
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.
Saltydog235 is offline  
Old January 30, 2013, 03:44 PM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: August 4, 2007
Posts: 861
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.
Waltzes with woofs
dalegribble is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:56 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09092 seconds with 10 queries