8th Birthday. What gun for nephew?


El Tejon
March 1, 2006, 02:22 PM
My oldest nephew is turning 8 in June and I am in quite a torment over what to purchase. "His" battery now includes a Winchester M67, a Chipmunk, and a Savage 101 single shot revolver.

My brother, THR's MPFreeman, only permits me to give him one gun a birthday and one at Christmas. I am considering the following options:

1. A repeating .22, likely bolt-action;
2. Another single shot, maybe one of those falling blockesque .22s;
3. A flintlock rifle, maybe .32 or .36 (learn follow through and trigger control);
4. Couple of cases of .22 ammo;
5. A .22 revolver, maybe a M63 or a M17, have to get grips for it for his hands.

Background: He has been shooting since he was 6. They live in the country and have access to own range. The boy is bright (excellent grades and shows a proclivity for all things math like his granddad and father [not so much Uncle Kirk:D]), well-disciplined (has only received one violation and it was administrative, for failing to remove bolt from his Chipmunk when going to check targets with Dad), excellent coordination and visual acuity and strong for his age. However, he was a premie and is still small for his age (this may change when hormones arrive, but he is still in 65 to 70 percentile range in height).

What say you???:confused:

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March 1, 2006, 02:27 PM
I would say Ruger Bearcat .22. it is one sharp firearm. it also has that old west look that a kid might enjoy.

or the Marlin model 60SS. Also a very sharp firearm.

March 1, 2006, 02:28 PM
maybe a Henry lever action .22? they're pretty well suited to smaller shooters, a good simple action for a first repeater.

i guess i'm partial to leverguns, but there's just something about being a kid in the country that demands it. :D

El Tejon
March 1, 2006, 02:32 PM
Play, don't think a self loader is in the cards yet. However, I have been eyeballing that 915Y and 915YS. However, he has a single shot rifle.

lawson, Henry? Had not considered that. He has 3 brothers and one sister behind him. Think a Henry would last that long?:confused: Do they have youth models. I'll check.

March 1, 2006, 02:33 PM
How about his own small gunsafe?

March 1, 2006, 02:36 PM
and get him one of those cool .22/.410 OU combinations. Perfect for plinking, small game, etc. a life time of fun.
Good luck.

El Tejon
March 1, 2006, 02:37 PM
nb, gunsafe, he uses Dad's and will until he can keep guns in his room like we did growing up.

Hey, Henry does have a youth model, but its 13" LOP. Still a little long for hime.:( Maybe in a couple of years?

March 1, 2006, 02:53 PM
How about a CZ 452 Scout? And a couple bricks of ammo?

El Tejon
March 1, 2006, 03:00 PM
CZ Scout, hmmm? I'll look for a website thingy.

Interesting! 12" LOP. Hmmm, http://www.cz-usa.com/01.detail.php?id=5

March 1, 2006, 03:02 PM
I've not been at all impressed with the quality of the (c. 5) Henry .22s I've seen. I'd vote for a S&W Kit Gun in .22 lr or a Bearcat. (Look how happy Taffin's grandkids seem to be with the Bearcat . . . .)

Dave Markowitz
March 1, 2006, 03:05 PM
I like the idea of the flinter.

Or, how about a good air rifle, e.g., an RWS Model 24? It's a spring-piston barrel cocker, very accurate, and can be shot indoors at nominal cost for ammo. Shooting an air rifle is a good way to develop good follow-through due to the relatively low MV and long lock time.

March 1, 2006, 03:05 PM
I like numbers 4 & 5. :D

March 1, 2006, 03:12 PM
My youngest nephews, aged 9 and 11, love my Ruger Bearcat. Perfect size, weight and balance for them, and the whole single-action MOA makes a great teaching tool. Having to pause after every shot helps establish good fire discipline and gives more opportunities for immediate remedial coaching.

My favorite teaching repeater (and it's always gotten a rave reception from the kids) is a pre-Taurus Rossi M-62 pump. I got around the over-long butt problem by getting a spare buttstock and cutting it down to 12" LOP. It took a little effort, but it's worked out very nicely. Changing involves two screws and less than five minutes.

The Henry lever gun would work, too. But as a genuine geezer who has fond memories of shooting galleries, the ol' trombone just seems "right".

March 1, 2006, 03:28 PM
I would recommend against a flint lock if you want to train him on muzzle loading. I would recomend a sidelock percussion gun. Even if you went higher than .36, you can keep the recoil way low by using only a little powder. Junior would still get the oppertunity to make big holes in paper or whatever other tragets you use.

Black Majik
March 1, 2006, 03:33 PM
My vote would be the CZ 452, an magazine fed Bolt action spells out "TOO MUCH FUN!"

Bolt action allows the shooter to take his time per shot, yet without the tediousness of sing shot bolt guns.


March 1, 2006, 03:44 PM
Something with 8 rounds.

Maybe an 8mm C&R?

I like the Bearcat idea.

Doesn't S&W make an Airlite with 8 rds. of .22?


Or a Lever Action .22 has action to it.

March 1, 2006, 03:55 PM
I see others are recommending the Ruger Bearcat also. I think a kid would love such a handgun. If you have trepidations about buying your nephew the Bearcat feel free to buy me one and send it to me to test out for you. I will give you my honest opinion.:D

March 1, 2006, 03:56 PM
Barrett M82, nothing says "Happy 8th Birthday" like a .50 cal. :evil: :D ;)

Seriously, NEF has those nice single shot .22LR/.410 combo's for kids. (My son has one.) The boy needs a shotgun. The nice thing about them is that as he grows older, send the receiver back to NEF and they can fit on other barrels for under $100 each, IIRC.

Oh, here's the webpage http://www.hr1871.com/barrelAcc/index.htm

Makes future gift giving easy, you just buy him a new barrel. :cool:

March 1, 2006, 04:21 PM
Count me in the shotgun crowd. If it's a little big now, he can grow into it.

March 1, 2006, 04:37 PM
I'd maybe lean toward the shottie thing. Every well rounded individual should have a pistol-rifle-shotgun selection. Somebody's gotta make a little .410 (maybe the NEF). If the .22/410 wasn't too heavy, that'd be great

March 1, 2006, 04:42 PM
The Youth .22 has a length of pull is 13 inches and weighs just 4.5lb.


If you guys don't think he's ready for a repeater then go with the ammo. Sounds like he'll use it !

Wish I had a range in my back yard.

March 1, 2006, 04:56 PM
Here's something he can grow into as well as pay for college one day: Gunbroker (http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=44407404)

Although if you'd like to stick with 22, I'd go with a Ruger 10/22. He can always upgrade it later when he gets into tinkering and still be cheap enough ammo to practice often.


March 1, 2006, 05:32 PM
It sounds like the boy's ready for a Ruger 10/22.

If he has good control of the basics, and has mastered a Chipmunk, then he should do well w/ a semi Ruger. As long as he's responsible enough to keep hold of the mag, and remember to check the chamber.

March 1, 2006, 06:40 PM
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO..... why hte hell not buy him what he wants and needs??? get the kid Door # 4 - several bricks of 22 ammo. They will do him more good at this point than any other firearm... hells, you never outgrow single shot guns...:rolleyes:

March 1, 2006, 06:42 PM
(has only received one violation and it was administrative, for failing to remove bolt from his Chipmunk when going to check targets with Dad)

You remove the bolt entirely on rifles? What about semi-autos and pistols? Do you take the bolt out then too?

I think a good air rifle is a good idea.

March 1, 2006, 07:08 PM
I'd get him a Bearcat or a single shot .410 with the LOP shortened.

March 1, 2006, 07:18 PM
I'm thinking a 28ga over and under, a couple of boxes of #8 birdshot and a case of clays ... get him shooting at the moving targets :D

March 1, 2006, 08:44 PM
id go pump. lever or to be really unique, get a chipmunk PISTOL, thats right , just like the rifle, but a 10 in bbl ,free floated pistol!

March 1, 2006, 08:45 PM
28 gauge or 410?

March 1, 2006, 08:47 PM
Get him a FeatherAT22. It is a very fun gun (.22LR) to shoot.



El Tejon
March 2, 2006, 11:04 AM
Thank you all for your suggestions.:) A boy is only 8 once and I want it to count since Matt is limiting me to gifting only one (can't blame him, don't want to spoil him). Some of my most beloved guns and gun memories at my age (36) come from my uncles. I want to turn the favor in spades.:)

KriegHund, since you asked, my brother's procedure is that the boy remove the bolt from his weapon whenever they go forward of the firing line (a picnic table) or go in for the night. He must give the bolt to my brother and then they go forward to check on the massive damage to the enemy coffee and paint cans.:D

I understand the shotgun recommendation. However, I believe as Jeff Cooper recommends that shotguns come last. I.e., it is easier/cleaner to teach trigger control with a rifle than with a shotgun. Shotgun may come at 12 or 13 after rifle proficiency.

Bearcat looks intriguing, however, I have major political issues with Ruger and that stab wound to my back that Bill Ruger inflicted on us has not healed yet, at least for me. Ruger does make very fine weapons I do admit and the Bearcat would make a great deal of sense.

I believe that a repeating .22 is the way to go. Had not considered that CZ Scout. I will now.:D Only a few gun shows between March and June. I have plenty of time to make up my mind (i.e., weekend before his party).:D

March 2, 2006, 11:15 AM
Bearcat looks intriguing, however, I have major political issues with Ruger and that stab wound to my back that Bill Ruger inflicted on us has not healed yet, at least for me. Ruger does make very fine weapons I do admit and the Bearcat would make a great deal of sense.
Is this purchase a way for you to satisy your own personal hurt political notions or to make you nephew happy? As someone who was once an 8yr old boy i can tell you the bearcat would be perfect. I and alot of my friends had rifles at that age but we would have crapped our pants to get a cool revolver like the Bearcat. Plus, blaming the ruger company for what the founder did many years ago is like blaming the great grandchildren of slave owners for slavery. :)

El Barto
March 2, 2006, 03:31 PM
Thanks for posting this topic, I got lots of info on what to get my daughter. She just turned 8 and I was thinking of introducing her to firearms, possibly starting out with a Crickett, since she has never shot before.

BUT I am afraid that I will have to wait awhile for her to mature. I was talking to her the other day and showing her my .22 pump and she asked too many questions that led me to believe that she isnít ready. She does have a problem with not paying attention at times, so I will have to let her grow up a little.

March 2, 2006, 04:39 PM
Single shot .410? and a couple boxes of clays/ammo?

Edit: after rereading the thread, don't buy him a repeating .22 if you are waiting for him to be proficient with rifles. He has a .22 already if I remember right. I say buy him like 60 bucks in .22 ammo (be sure to test it) and a couple of them metal spin targets they sell in cabelas. With the ammo and targets he will have more fun than another gun in a caliber he already has.

more editing: Maybe talk with your brother, and your present can be to take the kid to a real outdoor range like 5 times (or like 25 if your wife limits your range time :) ). I always get a smile when I walk onto the range, so taking him to a real outdoor range (not his backyard, where it sounds like he shoots now) would be a fun adventure.

March 2, 2006, 05:26 PM
You guys are missing it....

Two Words:

BELT FED :evil:

March 3, 2006, 12:32 PM
Had not considered that CZ Scout. I will now. Only a few gun shows between March and June.

Not sure how you feel about ordering online, but if you can't find what you are looking for locally consider:


Whittaker's has better prices on CZ rimfires than I can get from my distributors, and they are nice people to deal with as well.

March 3, 2006, 01:22 PM
A .22 revolver would make a nice gift . . . a K-22 (preferably one of the older ones) will teach him trigger control and sight alignment, and with standard (not oversize target) grips it ought to suit small hands OK.

As for the flintlock, it's been a while since I was 8, but had I been shooting modern guns for a while and been gifted with a smokepole, I wouldn't have been very happy. (Especially if adults actually demanded I shoot that rather than other guns.)

How about a decent air rifle? That way, after homework and chores are done, he and Dad can take a half hour virtually every night and go to the basement and do some quiet plinking.

Otherwise, ammo and/or reactive targets are good choices. (I assume he already has "kid size" safety glasses and earmuffs?)

Greg L
March 3, 2006, 02:10 PM
I gave my 9 (then) year old a M44 but then he is a bit of a recoil junkie :evil: .

I like the flint/percussion option. It's more involved in getting it loaded so that he will appreciate each shot more when he finally gets around to shooting it. And, as was mentioned, you can reduce the powder load & still make a big hole.

March 3, 2006, 02:45 PM
Marlin 39A levergun, no question. When I was that age, a buddy had one, and I had the Marlin 60. He loved my gun and I loved his. As soon as we were out of sight of adults (different times and all), we traded and shot each other's guns all day.

The muzzleloader idea is unique. He may or may not like it. Some kids LOVE all the smoke and fire, other kids want nothing to do with only being able to shoot one shot a minute and having to spend all that time loading. Then there's the safety issue, loose powder and kids do not mix. It's not the same as a cartridge gun. You may want to wait on something like that until 12 or so at least.

El Tejon
March 3, 2006, 03:28 PM
Hank, my brother and I grew up shooting blackpowder weapons at 8, both my grandfathers and my greatgrandfathers had blackpowder weapons and we shot them when we visited their farms. Heck, we weren't picky, can't imagine the nephew would be either.:D

Yes, Matt has all the optimal kid size stuff. He runs a steel mill so he is well-versed with all the safety gear manufacturers.

Greg, yes, that's part of my reasoning as well.

Lonestar, the Marlin lever gun is very heavy and far too big for him right now (Matt has one and a 9422 and has let him try). This boy is mean and lean but not by any means Texas size (he's behind on the growth curve). Marlin is a fine choice of weapon, but not for him, not yet at least.

March 3, 2006, 04:23 PM

I got to handle a Rossi Matched Pair at the last show and thought they were nice little guns and provided the shotgun on the same platform. He may have this pretty much covered already, but...

March 3, 2006, 06:40 PM
Another vote to consider the CZ .22
I got to handle some CZ long guns recently and boy are they sweet. They have a nice high-quality feel that seems to be missing in a lot of new guns today, especially "youth" models.

March 3, 2006, 06:47 PM
Some of my most beloved guns and gun memories at my age (36) come from my uncles. I want to turn the favor in spades.
Hmm...a gun a year from "Uncle El Tejon" eh?

I have an aunt that's not married ... she's a little heavy and in her late 50s but a very nice person (and a fabulous cook) :evil:

Bart Skelton
March 3, 2006, 06:49 PM
Have you considered a Winchester Model 62A? A classic .22 rifle and as safe as they come. Pump with a hammer. It was my first rifle (I still have it). The ones sporting high finishes are pricey, but you can still find one reasonably priced if you're diligent. Plus you'll never lose money buying an old Winchester.

If too pricey, Taurus is reproducing them.

March 3, 2006, 10:33 PM
That is an excellent idea.

March 3, 2006, 10:37 PM
Marlin Model 60 :cool:

the 22 junkie
March 4, 2006, 01:09 PM
Coming from a short 13 year old, I have shot the CZ 452 and it is a dream. If you want to go revolvers, a 4'' Model 34 will fo just fine. Or what about that new Winchester .22 they have on their page?

El Tejon
April 8, 2006, 10:27 AM
Saturday morning I went out and purchased a CZ 452, 3 magazines for it and 400 rounds of ammo for my nephew. It's only April 8th; I'm 2 months early, so unlike me.:)

The 452 is great! Has a sharp trigger and the bolt operates a lot smoother than I thought it would. My brother can install the sling posts so Noah can have a proper weapon and practice his positions and smooth up the bolt so the boy can operate it properly with his forefinger and thumb (no reason not to learn correctly).

Thanks to all for your recommendations! Thank you to those who pointed out the CZ 452. It will make an 8 year old very happy (as well as his 36 year old uncle).:D

Old Fuff
April 8, 2006, 10:31 AM
Oh me....

Uncles are such push-overs... :neener: :D

El Tejon
April 8, 2006, 10:40 AM
What uncle could resist kids who love guns?:D

Just wait until I post pics of Noah's birthday party in June with his new rifle and the other boys who all love "shoot guns" (#2 sleeps with Matt's American Rifleman magazine). Even you will be pushed over, Old.:evil:

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