Kid's first rifle thoughts


July 4, 2013, 10:32 PM
I have a 6yo daughter who I want to take shooting from time to time. Unfortunately she is pretty 2yo son is almost as big as she is.

Anyway, my old single shot 22 rifle has waaaay to long of a length of's about 12 or 13 inches, which is similar to all of my other rifles except maybe my model 94. Air rifles come to mind, but the daisy rifles all seem to have terrible quality from what I've read, and the other air guns have long length of pull too.

I've looked at all the kid sized 22s, and realistically, she would probably only shoot a few times per year unless later on she got interested in getting serious about it. Also, I would probably settle on the CZ scout, which isn't really that cheap at $300 plus I'd probably upgrade the sights. Peep sights seem more intuitive to me for teaching sight alignment, "look though the hole and put the post on the target." $400 for a rifle that would see only a few dozen rounds per year seems like a poor investment.

Anyway, it occurred to me that an M4 stock will collapse way short, the pistol grip can be modified a little for smaller hands, it's not terribly heavy, and an M4gery with a .22 adapter or dedicated upper would fit the bill perfectly. It would also be fine for the grownups to shoot too. Single shot operation is a little bit of a pain though, so I'd have to find one with a good bolt hold-open setup.

Any experience with the AR platform with kids?

I was thinking of getting the Ciener because it can come with a 10 round magazine (we're in Colorado), and I could take it apart in the future to build a dedicated upper if we start using it more.



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July 5, 2013, 01:19 PM
Never seen anyone, self included, go wrong with using a cheap little cricket as a good starter rifle for small children. Started my grandson with my old mk1.22 pistol. Wish I'd had it when I started my girls

July 5, 2013, 01:24 PM
I agree with gunman

July 5, 2013, 01:45 PM
It really depends on the kid. My little girls didn't like heavy rifles, so I suspect they would like an AR even less than our 10/22 compact. They would shoot it from a rest, but that's not their favorite, either.

My youngest enjoyed her Crickett, but the lack of a feed ramp made it frustrating for her to load. I would definitely look at the Savage Rascal if I had any more young daughters.

July 5, 2013, 01:51 PM
A friend of mine went thru this and bought a Crickett for his daughter. Worked fine but the problem is a year later and she's moved on to a CZ 452 scout with a peep sight. I'd rather just start with that and not be left with a single-shot rifle that only gets used for a short time. Sure, the CZ is 3x the price but your kid may end up using it for many years.

I like the simplicity of bolt guns for new shooters. An AR would be my last choice.

July 5, 2013, 01:54 PM
I would definitely look at the Savage Rascal if I had any more young daughters.Definitely get the Savage Rascal -- or the previous (nicer) Savage Cub if you can find one.

Great gun with a fabulous trigger, real loading ramp, real cocking mechanism, and great sights.

Also, not very expensive. More than a Cricket, but WELL worth it.

Still Shooting
July 5, 2013, 02:01 PM
+1 on the Savage Rascal. A really good value for money, they are typically accurate, and it will serve now (and later) until it's time for the next step up.

July 5, 2013, 02:17 PM
Got my youngest daughter a regular Cricket a few years back ... she said she'd go shooting with me if I got her a pink one ... problem solved?


She did't like the noise or the way it "jumps" ... got a suppressor and subsonic ammo ... problem solved?

Nope ... now she's too big for the gun.

Got a SiG-522 ... problem solved?

Nope ... its too heavy.

Got a SiG-522 pistol and SBR'd it ... problem solved?

Nope ... Dad, I just don't have time ... I have friends and music and school and dance and ...

Got a grandson from my oldest daughter ... problem solved?


July 5, 2013, 02:31 PM
My girl started with the Chipmunk (smaller than a cricket i think) and she loved it. Nice walnut stock and surprisingly well made for a $79 gun. Her little fingers had no problem loading the rounds. Even after the bolt is closed, you still must pull back on the end to compress the spring and be cocked and ready. Seems safe and really accurate.

July 5, 2013, 04:58 PM
If you can find one, an Anschutz Woodchucker is a rifle you will keep long after your daughter is grown. My sons each have one I gave them when they were in gramar school. They are both in there mid thirties and still use them themselves on occasion. The only addition I made to the rifles was a receiver aperture sight.

July 5, 2013, 05:41 PM
The CZ Scout is a superior gun to most. You can restock it later or easily sell it.

July 5, 2013, 06:00 PM
The CZs are nice. But remember they're in the next tier up, size wise. A CZ Scout weighs over 2 lbs more than a Savage Rascal, is about an inch longer overall, and has about 1/2" longer LOP.

July 5, 2013, 06:14 PM
I've put a lot of thought into this topic. I too, like the idea of the Scout because it is easily converted from a single feed to magazine fed design. But as has been pointed out, it's a little bigger / heavier than I would like for my four (probably five when we actually go) year old. I think I'm going to start with a Savage Rascal and then move him up to a CZ Scout. As has been said, the Scout can be re-stocked for an adult, so it's a gun they can keep for a lifetime.

The 10/22 with a youth stock, or even better, a S&W M&P15-22 would be excellent choices for when they have more experience and have the four rules down pat, but semi-auto rifles in the hands of inexperienced kids are not a good idea, IMHO.

July 5, 2013, 07:18 PM
If you decide on a CZ Scout let me know where you find one. I have been looking for one for months. Hens teeth are easier to find. :)

July 5, 2013, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I think that I'll just troll the used gun shops and see what I can find.

I agree that semi-auto is a bad kid gun, but I usually shoot my semis single loaded since the bulk of my shooting is highpower practice.

It looks like the bolt hold-opens on the different .22 conversions don't really work well, and make single loading from the ejection port almost impossible, so that's really more of a deal breaker than anything else.

Thanks for the feedback!


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