.22 Rifle for a young shooter...which one?


Protein anchor
October 6, 2006, 09:56 AM
Hi, I am new here to the forums :). I have been away from shooting for a few years and am now back to it! My 12 year old would like to shoot in my club's junior rifle program. What are you thoughts on the brand of .22LR I should get for this purpose? Thanks for the info, I have been looking a this site for a week now and it looks to be very high traffic with lots of great info...outstanding! :D

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Uncle Alvah
October 6, 2006, 10:10 AM
CZ Scout!!!!!
Unbeatable value, great accuracy, high quality. What's not to like?

October 6, 2006, 10:29 AM
that or a marlin 925.

Mac Attack
October 6, 2006, 10:34 AM
For a bolt gun Buy one of the Kimber .22 LR trainers from the CMP.

For and inexpensive semi nothing beats a Ruger 10/22.

Protein anchor
October 6, 2006, 10:39 AM
Great suggestions, I will investigate those of course. I was reading the other day and noticed Marlin 60 and 795 etc...do you gys prefer bolt action or is that action required for the Junior Rifle club? I thought an autoloader would be OK. Not sure, as far as my son's physical characteristics, he is pretty stong and average height, so a small rifle is not necessary I do not think. Keep the comments coming, thanks, :D

October 6, 2006, 10:52 AM
12 year old.... depends at what level he wants to compete and your financial ability to support it. He's growing quickly at this point in his life. I lean toward a full sized 22 rifle rather than a youth model. Some of the full sized 22's are still pretty comfortable for a younger shooter.

I would assemble a list of possibles and then go to a well stocked gunshop and have him handle some of the rifles. Most young men these days will want a 22 semi-auto. If they are allowed for the competition and you are comfortable with it, consider them. The Thompson Center 22 Classic is high on my list at about $300-$350. The Marlins and Savage models are great too. I have to mention the Ruger 10/22. Not my favorite, but everyone seems to have one. My personal favorite is a Weatherby Mark XXII as it shoots as good as it looks. (It would have to be acquired used.) The Weatherby may be too large a rifle for a young shooter as it is a full sized rifle. Gun shows would be the place to find one or online.

Bolt guns; I would look again at the Marlin and Savage models that are available as they are more economical. On a slightly higher plane, consider the Remington 504, Ruger 77/22, CZ 452, Browning T-bolt, or the more costly Anshutz, Cooper, Kimber models. Take a hard look at the CZ 22 rifle. High quality shooter at a middle price range and well known for out of the box accuracy. My personal favorite would be probably acquired "used" and that is a Remington 541-S or 541-T. They are in the $500-$600 range typically in as-new condition. The Kimbers, Walthers, Coopers and Anshutz models will be in the $800-$1000+ range generally.

Good luck. You'll need to get one too to shoot with him.

October 6, 2006, 11:08 AM
I haven't had much experience with .22 rifles, but I've heard good things about the marlins and the ruger 10/22.

October 6, 2006, 11:17 AM
Be sure to check out Rimfire Central forum. http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/index.php?

October 6, 2006, 11:33 AM
+1 on the CZ Scout. They are very economical, Accurate, cock when you operate the bolt, can be fed singly or from a mag, and can fit in the adult stock when the shooter grows. One is on my to get list for our son when he's a little older.


October 6, 2006, 11:39 AM
bolt action - marlin
semi- ruger 10/22

i dont like rem-marts- but that is me, many do

October 6, 2006, 11:41 AM
The folks over in the Enemy Camp have compiled a list for your convenient browsing.


October 6, 2006, 11:43 AM

October 6, 2006, 12:39 PM
I know a lot of people with the ruger 10/22 and they all love thiers. I have a marlin model 60....stay away from it.

October 6, 2006, 12:50 PM
Henry Levergun.

I gave my then 12 yr old granddaughter one...she loves it.

October 6, 2006, 12:59 PM
Under $150.00 most areas, bolt action, crazy accurate, four magazines, and a threaded muzzle. Add to that the stock fits a grown man and the bolt cycles MUCH smoother than the oft lauded CZ's.

October 6, 2006, 01:08 PM
I'm a big fan of CZ rimfires and have a couple Scouts. If your kid is anything like my niece, however, they are nearly adult sized at that age nowadays and the Scout will probably be too small for them. I'd opt for the 10/22, which is a little bigger than the Scout but still a little smaller than full size.

October 6, 2006, 01:12 PM
I'd be more inclined to get a G2 Contender with a 22LR barrel and youth stock. Single-shots are great learnin' tools, and you can drop a 223 or 243 barrel on it when he gets older.

It's a neat way to make a rifle that's always "his".

October 6, 2006, 01:14 PM
I would suggest bolt action to start with. I say that because there is generally less tendency to just blow thru a bunch of rounds. With the bolt gun, you can help him learn proper technique, better accuracy, and good habits a little easier IMHO.

As far as type of rifle, again I believe that the CZ452 is the best bang for the bucl out there. They are VERY accurate out of the box and can be had in the Trainer/Special model for $220-240 price range.

If you feel that you must have a semi, a Marlin model 60 is an inexpensive option and is reasonably accurate out of the box. I don't suggest the Ruger 10/22 unless you like to tinker/mod your guns. To get a reasonable trigger, and a fair amount of accuracy out of a 10/22, you are going to have to spend some time and money on it. But for those that love to tinker or do mods to their guns, they are a dream as the aftermarket is pretty much endless for those rifles.

Chuck Dye
October 6, 2006, 01:44 PM
Get in and among the crowd in the junior rifle club and find out what is being used. When you wrote "junior rifle" I immediately returned to my days as a member of the Davey Crockett Junior Rifle Club of Ft. Myer VA. In that club we shot serious 50ft. indoor four position. Everyone had target models with peep and globe sights, and full regalia, slings, cuffs, 10-X jackets. Most of us had middling rifles such as my Winchester Model 75, a few had Winchester Model 52’s, and the envied minority had Anschutz 64’s. I do not recall any turning up, but I suspect a light sporter, even a Winchester Model 52 sporter, would have received a lot of razzing. If your son is headed into the snowbird and pinwheel crowd, an autoloader is not appropriate and may not even be allowed. Indeed, one of my most ignominious moments on the firing line was the very public, very thorough, chewing out I received for loading a magazine.

edit: ooops! I suppose it might be obvious, but bolt action was really the only option at the DCJRC.

October 6, 2006, 06:50 PM
I have had good luck with the CZ 452s. Very accurate. You might want to look at the new CZ 453. It comes with a "set" trigger.

My son's CZ 452 Scout:

My CZ452 Varmint:

October 6, 2006, 09:45 PM
Old school dictates that the first gun be a bolt action and they are good but I advocate keeping the kids interest and realise that sometimes a lever or a semi auto can keep the interest level going.
Not sure what your clubs Juinor program involves but they would be the folks to talk to. Any competitive shooting for juinors is going to require a single shot bolt gun . Most club type programs have available "loaner" equipment. Of course most everyone desires their own equipment but there are going to be only certain guns that would properly fit the requirements of some programs. Better to struggle for a while with borrowed equipment than get the kid something that really isn't suitable . Another benifit of an organised program is that as the kids grow they outgrow their equipment and as they move on this equipment goes up for sale.
Thanks for starting the kid along , they are the future of our sport !

Protein anchor
October 6, 2006, 10:43 PM
Thanks to all...I went to the shop tonight with him, lots to look over. Savage Mark II looked and felt very good (for both of us actually), even had fiber optic sites, SS version for 209. The owner tells me these are very accurate and the trigger is really smooth...accutrigger. He tells me he sells very few marlins, some 10/22's...mentioned Thompson, but said those were really expensive. Savage is his best seller and although he can order anything he seems to sell many of these. Thoughts? No big rush, but would like to settle on something. Thanks again, :)

October 7, 2006, 12:05 AM
Go to another gun shop and look some more. Savages are fine, but you need to actually pick them up and handle them. Any gunshop can order guns. The reason that they don't sell many Ruger 10/22's is Walmart prices. We have gun shops here that will stock CZs, Browning, Marlin, Savage, Ruger, Henry, Remington, Mossberg, Thompson Center, Winchester, Kimber, and Cooper 22's all the time. There must be one in your parts that is similar. This is not Bass Pro or Cabela's; just a gun shop. It is worth something to actually be able to handle a gun prior to buying..... carrying all that stock costs a lot of money.

I believe they told me that they sold something like 1500 handguns between November and Christmas last year. Then throw in all the rifles and shotguns. Amazing for a rural area.

The Deer Hunter
October 7, 2006, 12:17 AM
My .22 WMR was about 600-700 new.

I got a Marlin 782 blued with the wood stock. Lol these days they are called (i think) the 982;

Protein anchor
October 7, 2006, 08:14 AM
22 - keep in mind my location! MA has no real 'mega' gun stores that would stock all of those brands, unfortunatley. Most all, at least around western MA, have to order. I know, I am from IN, no problem there at all finding a store with thousands in stock...not that way here. I only know of 4 shops within 60 miles of me and one of them does ordering mainly. The one I went to last night has about 200 rifles about 100 hand guns in stock, not bad for this area. Plus they have all the ammo and accessories you would need. You know MA! :)

October 7, 2006, 11:52 AM
don't forget this site http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/

October 7, 2006, 12:04 PM
My dad bought me a marlin model 60 when I was 12 and I have loved it ever since. If you want a gun that is easy to mod and has a lot of accessories, then most suggest the ruger 10/22, but if you want a great gun out of the box, the marlin is better. Ive never had a ruger, but I love my marlin. It is also one of the easiest guns to take apart. I can take down mine in under a minute. Whatever gun you chose, try several different types of ammo, as .22's are usually particular to a certain brand/round. Mine, for instance likes cci velocitors, mini mags, and stingers, whereas most others with this same rifle have issues with stingers.

October 7, 2006, 06:52 PM
I am sure your son will be thrilled with whatever gun you all select. Be sure to check to see what is appropriate for competition. It may be limited to bolt actions only?

October 7, 2006, 09:44 PM
It is definetely difficult to tell you what the right rifle is, because you really haven't told us about the program. Is this a precision rifle program with sub-junior and junior catagories that shoot olympic type prone or position shooting or something more informal. That makes a big difference in the type of rifle that you select. If it is prone or position you may want some sort of Anschutz (the 1451 is popular for his age group), or one of the EAA Urals or something like that. Then, there will be other gear to buy as well- jacket, sling, kneeling roll, maybe a spotting scope....

If the program supplies gear, as some do, you may want to let him try it with their gear for a little while. Then you will get a real feel for what it's about, and what works for other people:)

October 8, 2006, 12:05 AM
CZ-452 Trainer.


October 8, 2006, 02:15 AM
Gotta put a vote in for the Browning Grade 1 take down 22 rifle.

www.rimfirecentral.com awesome website.

October 8, 2006, 04:53 PM
Here's my 2 cents worth...
I have taught several kids (starting at age 8-10) to shoot using an old single shot .22 bolt action Remington Targetmaster rifle. This rifle has a Williams peep sight and is very accurate, tho it is a bit long and barrel-heavy for kids, so it's not perfect. But I think a full size bolt action rifle is a good way to start kids. I think an autoloader is a bad idea. A bolt action rifle, either single shot or repeater, teaches them that every shot is important. It is also much safer, and safety is the first and most important lesson a new shooter (kid or adult) should learn. When they first start out, the rifle is pretty big and heavy for them. But that forces them to learn to shoot from a sitting or kneeling position, or to use a tree or rock as a rest. As they get bigger, off-hand becomes easier, but by then they've learned all the other basic stuff (safety, quick target acquisition, safety, gentle squeezing of the trigger, safety, range estimation, safety, etc.). They will grow into a full-size rifle, but they will grow out of a kid-size rifle.

I really hate to see a kid blasting away at targets or cans with a semi auto, just burning up ammo. I don't think he's learning much that way. But it's a joy to watch a kid slowly, and methodically, picking off his targets with a bolt action rifle, and a small handfull of ammo. One of my greatest pleasures was watching my 11 year old nephew grip "old Wanda" against an aspen tree with one hand, take careful aim, and knock a fat grouse out of a tree 30 yards away with one shot. At that point in time, he became a rifleman and a hunter, not just a kid.

Others on this thread have given some good suggestions for modern, currently available rifles so I won't go there. I would suggest, however, that you buy something of as high of quality as you can. That rifle may turn out to be the kid's favorite rifle all thru his or her life, and more kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, may need to learn to shoot with it. So it should be up to the job.

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