Help me choose a .22lr rifle. Crickett?


March 10, 2013, 06:54 PM
I don't yet own a .22lr rifle, and it is a silly hole to have in my collection, so I'm going to correct it.

I want a small knockaround gun for general plinking and perhaps for camping etc.
I'm in NY (State not City) and don't yet have a pistol permit, so it must be a rifle.

My initial idea was to get a small light single shot bolt action.
I saw the Keystone Crickett, and it looks ideal. I don't know what to think about the stock however. They do an adult version, but the junior version would be great for a small knockaround gun, providing I could actually shoulder the thing and use it.

Anyone got any experience with the Crickett with the junior stock?
I'm 5'11" so I'm wondering if I could make it work.

While in my LGS yesterday, the guy had no bolt action .22s whatsoever, but he did show me a Remington 597.
After reading about the reliability issues and especially the weak receiver, I'm put off buying a 597, but did get turned on to the idea of buying a semiauto instead of a manually operated rifle.

I'm going to a different gun store tomorrow or Tuesday, and I believe this one has a much larger inventory. From looking at their website, it looks like they will have Cricketts, but they don't have any 10/22's, which is the semiauto I would buy if I decided to go that route.
It is possible though that they might have inventory in the store that is not on the website, so maybe I'll see a 10/22 there when I visit.

So, I guess what I'm asking is, if I see a 10/22 for sale in my price range when I get there, should I buy it or go for the Crickett?

If you enjoyed reading about "Help me choose a .22lr rifle. Crickett?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 10, 2013, 06:59 PM
We have a .22 that's very similar in size -- the Savage Cub. (A far better rifle, by the way. The Cricket is very cheaply made and has some features most would not want in a firearm.)

I can use that tiny .22 just fine -- love it, in fact! The only concession I've had to make for my stature is to mount a scope. The iron sights are so low to the bore that I found it literally impossible to sight through them.

While our Cub is the kids' rifle, it is my go-to gun for groundhogs here in the yard! :)

Now if you can find a 10/22 or a Marlin 60, you'll have a fine .22 rifle that's a lot more "grown-up" sized.

March 10, 2013, 07:14 PM
savage rascal

March 10, 2013, 07:18 PM
Right, the Rascal is the new descendant of the older Cub. If it's 75% as good, it's still a great little rifle.

March 10, 2013, 07:19 PM

You'll only regret it....find a 10/22 or Marlin 60, or Marlin 795, or Savage Mark II, or something else for plinking. You'll enjoy an adult-sized gun much more and the difference between a Marlin 795 with a 10 round magazine and a single-shot Crickett is night and day for ease of use, accuracy, and fun.

Cricketts are niche market guns to introduce kids to shooting.

March 10, 2013, 07:20 PM
If you want a great youth-sized gun that is a top quality .22 bolt action, go for a CZ 452 Scout. It's a gun that you'll continue to use even if you buy other "adult sized" rifles later. The Scout is a high quality gun that you will really appreciate once you have it. Beware that you will very likely start buying more CZs afterwards, though!

March 10, 2013, 07:23 PM
Bought the savage cricket for my 7 year old and the chipmunk for the 6 year old and they love them and they are very accurate ,I can shoot both just fine.
But if i had my choice i still like my 10/22

March 10, 2013, 07:51 PM
Hmm, some good suggestions so far.
That CZ is gorgeous!

What's the going rate for a 10/22 nowadays?
Is the panic buying driving the prices up?
A lot of online sellers seem to have reasonable prices but none in stock...

I won't be buying online though, with the ffl transfer fee and shipping, it's just not worth it.
Maybe this gun store will have something interesting.

March 10, 2013, 07:51 PM
Get the Savage Scout.

chris in va
March 10, 2013, 08:04 PM
Totally agree about the CZ. Even a basic bersion like the 512 is something you can use for years and pass to your grandchildren.

March 10, 2013, 08:16 PM
CZ Scout. Also... the Scout barreled action will fit in at least one of the stocks that are sized for adult (it might be the CZ Trainer stock).

If you are ok with used, I have had good luck when buying .22's from pawn shops. Especially bolt action rifles, they are simple and if something is wrong with it, generally cheap to fix.

March 10, 2013, 09:09 PM
If you can get your hands on a Ruger 10/22 Takedown they are a very cool little rifle, about 4.5 pounds and can have a small or large magazine. They are selling at Sportsman's in Colorado for about $330.

Of course at this panicked time I have seen them on the auction boards for obscene prices that I would not consider.

You might tool around the pawn shops in your area. Some pawn shops have enough turn over that you might stumble onto a reasonable deal and most pawn shops are into moving product as opposed to collecting it.

You might also want to start picking up ammo here and there as you find it. The stuff comes and goes on the same morning at Wal Mart. But if you are persistent you can find it now and then.

March 10, 2013, 09:11 PM
CZ, Ruger, Savage.

loose noose
March 10, 2013, 09:21 PM
What's wrong with the AR-7, for a knock around rifle that is very accurate. When I was heavy into 4 wheeling I never left home without it. I believe Charter Arms is making them again. BTW the rifle will float if you ever decide to take it canoeing.:)

March 10, 2013, 09:32 PM
Try the Marlin XT-22

Bolt Action
Grown up size and fit
can be had for about the price of a ruger 10/22

March 10, 2013, 09:38 PM
CZ Scout!
I'm 6', but enjoy shooting the Scout quite a bit. A lot of gun for the money.

Ohio Gun Guy
March 10, 2013, 09:45 PM
Another vote for the savage cub / scout.

My little guy shoots one, and I shoot it too. Great little rifle, very accurate as well. Open a box of shells, and have at it.

In full size rifles, A ruger 10/22 is another very good option, Ruger makes a take down, but it is expensive for a .22. In my opinion, nearly any major manufacturer (Remington, Ruger, Mossberg, Savage, etc.) all have very good .22 rimfire rifles.

March 10, 2013, 10:47 PM
I compared hand-in-hand both the Cricket and the Rascal youth guns yesterday. The Rascal was marked $20 less, though both were overpriced at this particular store (159 and 179.) Though I would not be able to shoulder-fire either of these (would be fun maybe to shoot as pistols), I liked the feel of the Savage a little more..

Kickin' round the idea of picking one up for my four-year old to learn with soon..

March 10, 2013, 10:47 PM
Cricket shoots well, but savage is nicer. Marlin Model 60 or 10/22 are both great. My granddaughter's Cricket has a weak extractor or something, so I have to keep a pocket knife handy for getting spent shells out.

March 10, 2013, 11:16 PM
You'll have a difficult time shooting the Cricket well due to its size. It can be done but I'm not real big and it makes me a contortionist to shoot it well.

I bought a Pink Cricket for a 5 YO and it fits her well and shoots well. You should look at a Ruger 10/22 in my opinion.

March 10, 2013, 11:18 PM
If a semi-auto is attracting you then the 10/22 is hard to beat for reliability and price. That CZ shown in the earlier post by 16turbo is a much better gun IMO.

March 10, 2013, 11:26 PM
High quality, bolt action, single shot rifles have been around for decades from just about any American manufacturer you can name, that will out shoot any off the shelf 10/22. Shop used and I'm sure you'll find a treasure. Not that I don't like 10/22's, I own a couple, I've just never been impressed by their stock accuracy. My 1959 vintage Remington nylon 66 will out-shoot them any day of the week.

March 10, 2013, 11:28 PM
No considerations for a Henry?

March 10, 2013, 11:31 PM
What about splitting the difference between a bolt action and the semi auto and go for a regular or youth sized Henry lever rifle?

You get the ability to cycle the action rapidly while not taking the rifle down from the ready to fire point on your shoulder. And they pack up nice and flat for transport and carry well.

And the lever action style is just plain old good fun.

If you were to go for a youth size Henry and found that the LOP was a trifle short you can easily length it by adding a recoil pad to the butt in place of the steel butt plate.

March 11, 2013, 09:37 AM
I would love a lever action, but I'm afraid I won't find one within my price range.
I'm looking to get something for a maximum of about $200-$250.
I might just scarpe a used 10/22, but I doubt I'd get a lever gun for that.
There's definitely one in my future though

I guess I'll visit the store and see what they have. There's no point speculating too much, because it remains to be seen what they have in stock. Apparently they have over 4,000 guns in inventory though, so I have high hopes.

I'll definitely be looking at some of the older bolt action repeaters and the semiautos, I've got some good info to go on now.

March 11, 2013, 09:39 AM
No considerations for a Henry?The Henry Micro-Bolt is a very nice rifle as well. Not quite as nice as the old Savage Cub, but far above the Crickett.

It is funny to me to read about contortions required to shoot these little guns. I'm about 6'2" and well over 200 lbs, and (with a scope, not the irons as I said) I have no problem what so ever shooting the Cub.

March 11, 2013, 09:46 AM
My nephew got a cricket for his 7th birthday and it has served him well for 3 years now. It is very accurate for him, but it is entirely too small for me. I can't line my eyes up with the sights if i shoulder it, but I never tried it with a scope.

I have held it like a pistol and shot it before, but it is extremely awkward to do.

March 11, 2013, 09:47 AM
I bought my daughter a Savage Rascal, great gun, but I would have a hard time shooting it well.

March 11, 2013, 02:26 PM
Well, you're right. A Henry lever would likely cost you a lot more than your original budget.

Oh, the cost to buy the rifle itself wouldn't be a LOT more. Certainly it should be tolerable unless you're on a pretty tight budget. But the way they seem to drain a box of ammo really ups the daily cost.... :D

Seriously though, if they have the Henry in stock check it out and give it a little thought on the short term vs long term cost breakdown. The lever rifle might cost more up front but you're buying a LOT of long term smiles with those extra dollars.

Of the single shot, pump, lever and semi auto rifles I've taken along to the Jr .22 nights the lever is hands down the most popular gun amongst the kids. I think the pump would have rated nearly as high but the really small kids can't reach far enough forward easily enough to reach the pump handle. This is from a prone position on a bench. At times we've seen the Henry "reserved" by the kids 2 or 3 turns in advance. And for a group that can't seem to remain focused for more than a couple of minutes when in that sort of crowded scenario I suspect this says lots about how much they like the lever rifle.

Speaking of the smaller bolt rifles I forgot to write that the club bought two of the Savage Rascals with the wood stocks for the smaller kids.

I haven't shot them myself yet but I've shouldered them to check for fit and while a little crowded I was still fine despite my 6' 1" frame. My head had to be cocked to the side a little more than I'd normally like to line up the stock rear peep sight but I was far from uncomfortable.

March 11, 2013, 03:12 PM
If your LGS has a 597 and it is priced right, I would jump on it. Don't get hung up in 10/22 vs 597 talk, because I own both and I have not had any issue from either one. If I had to do it over again, I would have saved the money I spent on my 10/22 and boght something else. I have had zero issues with my 597 and those who have seem to be variable. For an inexpensive .22LR (Cabelas: &$169.00), that is a pretty decent shooter, the 597 is not a bad gun. Everyone has an opinion and that is my 2 pennies.


March 11, 2013, 05:25 PM
For your price range a Savage Mark II, Marlin 60, or 10/22 would fit the bill nicely. I have a pre-accutrigger Mark II with synthetic stock and sporter barrel, it is extremely accurate and is light and handles well. I would definitely not get a kid-sized rifle for yourself, it is much easier to shoot a rifle that fits you.

March 12, 2013, 08:51 AM
Going against some of the advice here, I have been thinking about picking up one of the new polymer stocked Savage Rascal's. I found one in a LGS and was able to play with it. It is amazingly light, has excellent peep sights, and is surprisingly well built. I am looking forward to the day of buying one for my kids.

If you can live with it being a single shot then I would go for it. If you want small and multiple rounds/magazine fed then I would go for the CZ Cub. It comes with a block for the magazine well to limit it to 1 round. You can just take that out and pop in a mag and have multiple rounds on hand.

Mr. D
March 12, 2013, 05:01 PM
OP, if a lever action is what you really want, save up for it. Anything else will seem like a compromise and will be gathering dust in your gun cabinet a year from now. If you decide to buy a new gun, CZ and Marlin both have great bolt action .22s that have a lot of fans.

If you really are ok with a bolt action, shop around for a used one - like others have said, there are plenty of good, old bolt action .22s that can be had in your price range. I just picked up a Remington 34 NRA for $250. It even came with peep sights.

If you decide to go semi-auto, don't limit yourself to a 10/22. Look at and handle other models as well. There are other semi-autos that are just as good as (if not better than) the 10/22, especially new production 10/22s. You could look at Marlin's Model 60 or 795 for instance.

March 12, 2013, 10:46 PM
If your LGS has a 597 and it is priced right, I would jump on it. Don't get hung up in 10/22 vs 597 talk, because I own both and I have not had any issue from either one. If I had to do it over again, I would have saved the money I spent on my 10/22 and boght something else. I have had zero issues with my 597 and those who have seem to be variable. For an inexpensive .22LR (Cabelas: &$169.00), that is a pretty decent shooter, the 597 is not a bad gun. Everyone has an opinion and that is my 2 pennies.

It's not the 10/22 vs 597 talk that put me off the 597, it was the design of the receiver.
The receiver is aluminum, and it's very thin.
I saw how the barrel is attached to the receiver and knew that I would always be worried about it.
There are photos all over the internet of the unbelievably thin 'ears' that hold the barrel with cracks in them. Some are from tightening the barrel wedge down too tight, others where the ears cracked all on their own and the first the owner knew about it was that accuracy dropped off.
Tightening the barrel wedge too much seems to be way too easy, you can crack the ears with application of too much hand pressure.
I asked over on a rimfire forum about it, and the 597 folks responded by telling me that a new receiver is only $50 + FFL transfer so it's no big deal!
Apparently, the area at the top of the receiver where scope mounting holes are is really thin, and the threads strip very easily.
That, coupled with the reliability problems put me right off the rifle.

I'm not trying to make you feel bad for owning one, I'm sure they are just fine if you're careful with them and don't touch that barrel wedge screw, but I don't want a rifle that I have to be careful with.

I ended up getting a Savage model 64.
I looked at a Marlin model 60 too, and I had a real hard time choosing.
What it came down to was the following:

The Savage has a box magazine. I know a Marlin 795 has a box magazine too, but the store didn't have one.
The Marlin magazine looked a little flimsy in the area where the inner tube latches into the outer tube. I could see myself denting or bending the magazine.
Also, since I will be using this to teach my son and daughter, I'd worry about them covering their hand with the muzzle during loading/unloading.

The Savage has a steel receiver. The Marlin receiver looks plenty strong enough, but I'll take steel over alloy if I have the chance. I expect this rifle will outlive me.

The Savage has steel everything else, too. No plastic (apart from the stock) whatsoever as far as I can tell, though I haven't dismantled it yet.

The Marlin felt muzzle-heavy compared to the Savage, presumably because of the tube magazine. The Savage felt better balanced and more natural to shoulder.
This would have been even more apparent with the magazine loaded.

Despite feeling better balanced and handier, the barrel on the Savage was 2" longer than the one on the Marlin. Bigger sight radius, lower noise.

The Marlin was $20 cheaper, which I spent on ammo.
For those watching ammo prices, I paid a rate of $5/50 rounds of Winchester Wildcat. The gun store guy was apologetic.

The Marlin also came with a crappy scope, but I wasn't actually aware of this until I got it home and opened the box. Probably wouldn't have affected my decision if I had known about it.

I am most definitely not knocking the Marlin model 60, it really is a nice gun.
The rifles are so similar that I really had to nitpick in order to decide which one to buy.
I had such a hard time deciding that I very nearly flipped a coin :D

Thanks for your help everyone, as I said, I know very little about .22 rifles so all comments I received were helpful.
I can't believe I have waited so long to get a .22 rifle, and I can't wait to go and shoot it :D

March 12, 2013, 10:52 PM
Henry,they have lots to pick from..

March 13, 2013, 12:33 AM
I got a basspro flyer in the mail today, they have a Savage 64btv 22 LR for 229.99 special price from 499.99.not a bad price,,

March 13, 2013, 04:21 PM
jamesbeat, you will never worry about making me mad. I am completely satisfied with my 597 and I love my 10/22. As for being careful with my rifle, I treat it the same way I treat all the rest of my weapons. I believe everyone has to make their own decision and the internet is very misleading when it comes to reliability. I can only attest to my own personal experiences. My 10yr old son has carried this rifle for the past 18months in the woods and I have not had any issues of cracks or such. Good luck with your new gun.


March 13, 2013, 10:48 PM
Another vote for Marlin XT22, there is a youth version, and. Remington 514 is the same thing and cheaper usually.

May 27, 2013, 12:09 AM
I hate to be "that guy" to revive a 2 month old thread, but I have to put in my .02, if going semiauto, don't be afraid of the 597, if you follow the proper steps when working on it, namely don't over tighten the barrel clamp, loosen the rail screws, and don't over torque the action screws, the 597 out of the box will easily out shoot a box-stock 10/22. I've owned both, and did $250 in machine work to the 10/22, and a little trigger customizing on a box-stock 597 got it to punch paper just as well at 100 yards after proper barrel break-in. For a bit more "cool" factor, look for a 16" heavy barrel version, that's what is next on my list.

If you enjoyed reading about "Help me choose a .22lr rifle. Crickett?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!