1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Henry mare's leg for kids?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ishoot1st, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Ishoot1st

    Ishoot1st Well-Known Member

    My daughter started shooting a .22 cricket when she was 6. This little rifle was great to teach her to shoot on, gun safety, and hunting. She could safely load and fire this before even a bb gun. She has always been small for her age and could not safely cock a red ryder. She is 9 now and ready for a .22 repeater. We looked at the henry lever action youth models, but they were too long and heavy for the hiking/shooting/huntig/camping that we do. She could hold them up and get a shot placement, but not for long before her little arms got tired.

    None of my local dealers have any henry mares leg, i was able to handle a rossi ranch hand .357 though. I handed it to my daughter and it was like they cut that rifle down just to fit her. Its about the same size, little heavier, than her crickett. Its like a legal SBR for kids! So i am just about sold on the Henry Mare's Leg .22. Only drawback is the price! $300-350. I didn't spend that much on my .22 plinker with a descent scope. So before i drop that much coin on a rifle for my daughter i wanted to ask your opinions or experience good or bad with henry lever actions. Could you suggest a comparible, lightweight, short length, REPEATING, .22?

    I have read tons of info and great advise on THR for years. It has helped me with lots of my firearm questions, thanks to everyone for making this a great site! I am excited to join in the discussion now that i have a little bit of experience and hope to gain lots more knowledge.
  2. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    I am not a lawyer, but there are some technicalities involving juvenile possession of handguns (from 18 USC 922) -

    (x)...(2) It shall be unlawful for any person who is a juvenile to
    knowingly possess -
    (A) a handgun; or
    (B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun.
    (3) This subsection does not apply to -
    (A) a temporary transfer of a handgun or ammunition to a
    juvenile or to the possession or use of a handgun or ammunition
    by a juvenile if the handgun and ammunition are possessed and
    used by the juvenile -
    (i) in the course of employment, in the course of ranching or
    farming related to activities at the residence of the juvenile
    (or on property used for ranching or farming at which the
    juvenile, with the permission of the property owner or lessee,
    is performing activities related to the operation of the farm
    or ranch), target practice, hunting, or a course of instruction
    in the safe and lawful use of a handgun;

    There's a lot more, naming written permission, transporting unloaded in a locked container to a place where the above activity will occur, etc.

    So, as long as you supervise her use of the Ranch Hand, there are probably no problems. However, if she sticks with shooting, and wants to do it on her own when she's older, you should remember that the Ranch Hand is just a handgun and there are restrictions on possession by juveniles. A .22 rifle has no such restrictions.

    I don't know of anything like the Ranch Hand that is both light and inexpensive.

    I would suggest a Browning SA-22 as a very light semi-auto .22, as I shot one when I was a little kid and didn't have any trouble with the weight (around 4.5 lbs) or the controls. But it is around double the price of the Ranch Hand... :)
  3. Ishoot1st

    Ishoot1st Well-Known Member

    <deleted> the legality of my daughter being able to shoot it won't effect us unless we go to the range. I have drilled gun safety into her for a few years now and feel confident she is ready. The mares leg is the same overall length of her crickett, nothing new except its a repeater. She has also shot my naa black widow, and gsg5-pk, with me directly behind her to make sure all safety precautions are taken. These guns just aren't that accurate for her to hunt with. I do understand your point about minors using pistols though...kind of a grey area for me, my dad let me shoot any of his guns i was able to, including several .22 pistols at the same age as my daughter. Could anyone help me understand the laws a little better about minors shooting pistols? I am pretty sure there is a youth competition pistol shooting at my range.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2012
  4. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    Again, I'm not an expert in this area. The law I referenced was federal. NH state law may be different, but I believe federal law "wins" if there is a conflict.

    Summarizing the quote, to the best of my ability -

    Juveniles can possess handguns for several reasons. Activities related to farming is listed, and so is target practice, hunting, or handgun training. With adult supervision, the "temporary transfer" is simply letting them shoot the handgun, but you retain possession of it for transportation and storage and you remain the legal owner.

    The way I understand it, if they possess the handgun "on their own" for one of the exempted activities, they have to transport it unloaded, in a container to & from such activity. And they have to have written permission from the owner (you) to possess the handgun.

    So, IMO, you should be able to negotiate this easily and comply with the law by just writing a letter of permission for her to keep with her when she is using your Ranch Hand for hunting, if she is not with you.

    There may be hunter safety requirements that affect juvenile hunting, without supervision. I believe this varies from state to state, and you would need to check NH regs to find out what, if any, requirements would apply.

    Best wishes in your endeavors. I wish I had had a Ranch Hand when I was a kid!
  5. Ishoot1st

    Ishoot1st Well-Known Member

    Thanks, that helps clear it up a bit. My daughter woulnd't be shooting or hunting with anyone else anyways. So what would be different about a rifle? Are minors allowed to legaly own rifles? Or transport them loaded? Or without the owners permission? I am thinking of setting up a trust to own the rest of my firearms so that all of my family can be trustees and have legal access to all of firearms. So would this allow my kids (as minors) to use and posses firearms, pistol or rifle? Just wondering...
  6. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Well-Known Member

    I got my hands on a friends new mares leg a few days ago, I really could not see a practical use for one. cant really aim it like a rifle, might as well go with a handgun in a revolver.
  7. Ishoot1st

    Ishoot1st Well-Known Member

    On a side note dmazur, i used to live in Washougal, WA. At the mouth of the columbia river gorge, beautiful country out there.... for about 3 months. Great fishin and huntin up there. Its a bit colder here, but lots more sunshine!
  8. Ishoot1st

    Ishoot1st Well-Known Member

    I agree...there is no practical purpose for this pistol, unless i am 4 feet tall and have 16inch arms! Refer to original post!
  9. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Well-Known Member

    Look into a Browning BL-22. Those are about the shortest, lightest .22 leveractions I've ever held.

    What about a Marlin Papoose or the Armalite Survival rifle?

  10. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

    Browning BL-22 also comes in a youth size w/12" LOP and 16" barrel. Since the 20" rifle weighs just 5 LBs, this should be real light, but it's spendy, but worth it.
  11. Ishoot1st

    Ishoot1st Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the suggestions, i have always wanted a breakdown Survival rifle. We have tried a few other .22 rifles, lots of friends and family that shoot. But nothing else is as comfortable and accurate for her as the small cricket, it has a pull of 12", and 31" overall length. Only drawback is that its a single shot, she spends so much time reloading, she is losing interest. All the other rifles you listed are too long a pull. She is small for her age, but a darn good shot.
  12. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Well-Known Member

    At 17 the sheriff caught me packing a pistol after a brief discussion he chuckled handed me my pistol and told me to get home and put it away next time he wouldnt be so generous, If i had been 18 i would of been legal in the state of washington due to the fact i was on private land i had permission to be on and hunt and i was in the act of returning from a hunt, so differant states differant laws best to call down to your local department and find out.
  13. Ishoot1st

    Ishoot1st Well-Known Member

    That bl-22 youth is nice, just what i'm looking for. But $450 for a .22 plinker is a little steep! Especialy since i know sooner or later it will get dropped, its a kids rifle after all. I thought $300 for the mares leg was pushing it. I bought my first .22, a marlin bolt, brand new for $150, plus sling, mounts and scope for $225. That was 7 years ago and it still shoots great!
  14. Ramone

    Ramone Well-Known Member

  15. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    Henry youth lever gun:
    Have you considered calling Henry and asking if they have a spare stock to cut down for your kid? It would come out a bit front-heavy, but then you'd avoid all this (malum prohibitum) nonsense about "minors and handguns" ... AND you'd have something for either you or your daughter when she gets bigger.

    Actually, do it with a lever carbine, then you'd have a cut-down kid's stock at the minimum NFA length of 26" overall (dummy check me on that one, I'm going from memory) and an adult stock to go with a youth-sized barrel/action. I have the lever carbine, and it is a great gun. I also have the mare's leg, and I've wondered if it would work as a small kids' gun, too ... but only for a limited time and it would be awkward to have the lever so far back, I think. If you were near me, I'd offer up a pile-o-guns for her to try ... look for someone nearby that can offer demo guns.

    A Henry USSR (AR7 clone that actually works) might be nice, but I'd suspect that the rear of the stock would be too wide, you'd need an aftermarket stock. A Papoose might work, but you might want to trim down the stock, and at that point, why not a Marlin 795 or 60 trimmed down?
  16. SGW42

    SGW42 Well-Known Member

    The Mare's Leg fits her now, but how fast do kids grow up?

    A BL22 might cost a little more, but she'll grow into it and be able to use it much longer.
  17. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    Don't know. I know the referenced 18 USC 922 covers juvenile possession of handguns. I don't think there is any federal regulation of long arm possession.

    I believe juvenile possession of rifles/shotguns varies from state to state, and is generally more permissive. Also, there can be somewhat troublesome fish and game regulations that can make it illegal to possess a rifle/shotgun because it is assumed you are hunting out of season, even if you think you are just shooting cans.

    For example, you can't transport a loaded rifle in a motor vehicle in Washington State without violating Fish & Wildlife regulations, but I believe it is OK to walk down the road with one slung on your shoulder. Someone told me it was not intended to inhibit self-defense, but to make it easier for officers to enforce "no shooting from motor vehicles".

    However, if you had a CPL, you could have a loaded pistol in that motor vehicle. But, until recently, you couldn't have it with you when archery hunting, because the State figured you were using it (illegally) for hunting instead of for self-defense. (This was finally fixed.)

    And, while it is legal to shoot grouse in Washington State with a deer rifle, you can't have a deer rifle in the woods outside of deer / elk seasons (and you have to have a tag) or the State assumes you are poaching. A .22 or a shotgun are OK, however.

    I believe the key thing about a handgun is that it isn't legal for the juvenile to own it. They can possess it with the owner's written permission, and there are restrictions on transporting it loaded. And (I'm guessing) this is all to permit farm kids to use dad's pistol without throwing the door wide open to juvenile possession of handguns in urban areas.

    As someone else said, you should check with local authorities. If you're lucky, they will know something about NH firearms laws.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  18. Ishoot1st

    Ishoot1st Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the input. I wish we could try out a couple leverguns, see what fits her best after shooting some rounds, but my range has none for rent. I have a 4 year old that will be joining us shooting soon,when he is six also. He can start on the crickett, then the mares leg my daughter may soon have. I will give her my marlin, then daddy gets to buy a new toy. I have been eye balling the s&w 15-22....druell....but i can't afford another $500 plinker. I have a gsg5-pk that the kids will learn to shoot also, lots of fun with the right ammo. Besides...truth be told, who wouldn't want a completely impractical .22 mares leg for the collection? Plus Looks really awesome in a leg holster!
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  19. x_wrench

    x_wrench Well-Known Member

    as much as i like guns, both hand and long, i really can not figure out why anyone would want one of those monstrosities. other than a wall hanger conversation piece, i can not see any practical use for one.
  20. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    It doesn't need a practical use. If I must provide one, after the fall of civilization, I intend to put my ML action and barrel on a rifle stock and have a trapper. With zombies roaming the streets, the BATFEIEIO won't care about my SBR, and I imagine that it will be about perfectly balanced and nicely lightweight.

Share This Page