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.22 pistol for the kids

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by The Freeholder, Feb 14, 2005.

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  1. The Freeholder

    The Freeholder Member

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    I may be in the market for a .22 semiauto pisto for my kids (ages 9 and 12) introduction to pistol shooting. The ones I'm aware of are

    Ruger Mark I/II/II
    Walther P22
    S & W 22A
    S & W 41
    Browning Buckmark
    Colt Woodsman

    I figure the Woodsman is out based on price. I''m looking to hold this to $300.

    I'd like to have something that they can handle, from a size standpoint (small hands). I'd also like something that would be easy to dis/reassemble, so that they can learn to clean their own guns.

    I may shoot it as well, but that's a secondary consideration.

    Any thoughts from those who have "been there, done that, got the t-shirt"?
     
  2. pax

    pax Member

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    Beretta Neos (extremely easy to disassemble, and has the 'cool looks' factor too)

    Walther P22 (very good for small hands)

    Actually, if you want easy to disassemble, nothing has ever been easier than the old High Standards. But maybe not the best gun for small hands.

    pax
     
  3. DrAmazon

    DrAmazon Member

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    Two thoughts-

    Have you considered a revolver? The mechanics and loading are simpler for a 12 year old to understand, and cleaning is easier for a kid to learn.

    How about taking at least the 12 year old to the shop with you to see how the different guns fit the hands. Can the kid reach the safety, magazine release, trigger etc? Is the kid able to easily work the slide while keeping the muzzle pointed safely downrange? Including the kid in the process of selection, and teaching the maturity and respect that one must have to be shooter is almost more important than what model is purchased.

    I got my first revolver at 12. Nothing got my behavior in line quicker as a kid than my Dad commenting that immature behavior at home/school indicated that I was not mature enough to be on the range on Sunday!
     
  4. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

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    My son and I tried a half dozen different .22 autos. Although he thought the P22 was "cooler", he much prefered shooting the Buckmark. That's what we got.
     
  5. anapex

    anapex Member

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    You'll want to cut the S&W 41 out too if you're wanting to keep it around $300.

    As for the others the P22 has a nice grip size for little hands. If you get the short barreled version takedown wouldn't be too bad. The 5" version requires removing some screws before you can pull the slide off. Downside though is it's not considered near the top of the barrel for the budget type .22s.
     
  6. dav

    dav Member

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    It really is important to let them try them. Everybody is built just a little differently.

    I really like the Beretta Neos, but it does not point at all well in my hands.

    The Colt Woodsman is too much, but it is the only other .22 auto I can compare to - it points very naturally for me.

    I do not like how revolvers fit my hand, but they are more reliable in .22. Autos often jam if you are feeding plinking ammo. Not a problem when plinking, but you have to do something... manipulate the slide, or remove mag, etc. With a revo you just keep pulling the trigger. Often when it comes around the 2nd time it fires.
     
  7. Doug Add

    Doug Add Member

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    Where in NC are you? If you are in the Raleigh area I would be glad to meet you at PDHSC and let you shoot my P22.

    I bought it for the very reason you describe, to teach my son to shoot a handgun. It has been perfect for that role. It may even be for sale soon.
     
  8. donkee

    donkee Member

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    P22 all the way. My 9 and 10 year olds love theirs. Haven't had any problems at all...........
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I strongly favor revolvers when teaching children, and for that matter most anyone new to handguns. A revolver doesn't autoload a new cartridge into the chamber each time it is fired, and when starting off it's easier to load one round at a time. Also you won't get into the possible issue of someone getting mixed up and removing the magazine but leaving a round in the chamber.

    You can also find revolvers that are smaller and lighter then the popular automatics, and the handles are often smaller because they don't have to be shaped around a magazine. They may also come closer to your budget level.

    Later, when the kids have grown bigger and have some experience under their belts consider a pistol.
     
  10. Nick96

    Nick96 Member

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    In my personal opinion, a DA/SA revolver is the best handgun training tool for beginers (or anyone wanting to develop good handgun handling skills). If you can shoot a DA/SA revolver well - you can shoot any medium & large frame auto well.

    Unfortunatally, the pickings are pretty slim any more for reasonably priced DA/SA revolvers. The manufacturer with the best selection of such handguns is Taurus. They are reasonably priced - but reviews are mixed with regard to quality of DA trigger pulls. Probably the best bet would be to find a used S&W K-22 or M-63. New S&W choices are limited and very expensive.

    I have a Ruger SP101 that's an excellent little .22 - but I understand they are no longer in production - and they are pretty heavy for a .22 revolver that is to be used by persons with small hands or limited upper body strength.

    I'd advise against a single action revolver or auto for training purposes. There are many fine examples of reasonably priced, high quality guns of this type currently being manufactured. But the operating systems just don't lend themselves as well to teaching beginners the basics of safety, sighting & trigger control as does a DA/SA revolver.
     
  11. larryw

    larryw Member

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    My son, 9, has a Ruger Bearcat and loves it. But his favorite handgun is one of my 1911s with a 22 conversion kit bolted on. If you have a 1911 (and everyone should!), give this some serious consideration.

    http://www.marvelprecision.com/unit2.htm
     
  12. isofluorane

    isofluorane Member

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    I really like the grip frame of the Ruger Bearcat single actions; for kids, the grip frame is small, and they won't be blasting away indescriminatedly, as they might be tempted to do with a semi-auto. There are lessons to be learned from making each shot count. The current stainless Bearcats have a lot to offer.
     
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Nick96:

    The reason the double-action trigger pulls are heavier on small frame .22 revolvers is because the .22 R.F. cases are thicker and harder the the battery cups found in modern C.F. primers. In addition heavier springs are needed because the hammers are smaller and lighter.

    It has been my experience that there is little difference between the trigger pulls found on small-frame S&W and Taurus revolvers. With a little breaking in both are more then satisfactory, and are equal or better then those found on all but the best and most expensive target pistols.

    That said, for purposes of training new shooters, especially children, the double-action trigger pull should be ignored until all of the fundementals have been mastered.
     
  14. sm

    sm member

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    Revolver

    I too prefer to teach new shooters - especially kids , with simple MOAs such as the Revolver and single shot bolt rifles.

    Safety is paramount. Having the experience fun is very important as well. Sensory overload to a kid - depends on a kids maturity. Physiologically the brain just is not able to handle too much at one time.

    Bearcats are great guns. Some kids get turned off by the long hammer drop...adjust teaching methods to make it best for kid.

    I've always said learnig to shoot a Revolver DA will make one a better shooter - no matter what they chose to shoot later in life...still believe it.

    I prefer the DA of a J or K frame sized revolver. Great if a couple of different sets of stocks can be tried...and as time goes on the stocks may need to be tweaked.

    Magazines are an integral part of making a semi go bang. Loading mags can be a chore , maintaining mags, and I recall one kid was so upset - accidently stepped on mag. It was okay - kid had been physically abused by a male ( his dad) and so afraid of "making a mistake"...especially around males. We got past that. :)


    I - I want to see clearly what is going on with a kid. Revolvers makes that responsilbilty easier.

    The Ruger MKI and MKII Standard is great for kids. The weight is such they can hold it for extended times. NO adj sights to fiddle with...and if it ain't there - a kid won't want to fiddle with it. :)

    Buckmarks are great - forget the model - again the simple standard model. These simple guns last and they can teach their kids with them.

    High Standard Duramatics have worked well. Harder to find, as are mags. Easy takedown.

    Then there that Colt Woodsman...*ahem* I recommend these for the Big Kids [ Parents] I mean ...well...the kid had a gun....what about the Bigger Kid?

    That bonding , quality time dealie.... :D
     
  15. Steelcore

    Steelcore member

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    How 'bout a Jenning J-22? :cool:
     
  16. camaroman

    camaroman Member

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    Im sure Steelcore is just jesting.


    Get a Ramline!! :D
     
  17. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    I am also a fan of starting off with a revolver. Maybe not as cool, but I feel in general, just a tad safer and they get to see and understand all the mechanics involved. Plus, I can't think of the last time I had a 22 revolver fail to feed or eject.

    On the pistols though, I don't count myself among the fans of the Walther P22 or the Neos but those were the first two that came to mind though for starting out, I'd probably encourage the longer barel of the P22 as they will probably find it easier to hit with.
     
  18. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    Of the ones you listed I'd go with the buckmark, but I also agree with what most people are saying:

    1) Let the kids see what fits their hands well
    2) Consider a revolver for teaching (I like the ruger single six)

    waterhouse
     
  19. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    I recently saw the SIG Trailside at my local shop for just over $300 (~$329 or so). Felt nice in the hand, but I have not shot it.
     
  20. cidirkona

    cidirkona Member

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    I just recently picked up a Walther p22 for new shooters, girls who can't handle larger calibers and for myself when ammo money is scarce -- and I LOVE this thing! Fits small hands well, recoil is very light and is reliable -- although I don't trust the safetey on this thing... ten DA whacks on the safety and it pops into "fire"... that just may be the one I have though. I bought it used.

    -Colin
     
  21. The Freeholder

    The Freeholder Member

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    Thanks.

    Thanks for all the input.

    For those who advocate teaching on a revolver, I understand your points, but I taught them to shoot initially with a magazine fed .22 rifle. They're familier with the drill, so I'm not too worried about problems.
     
  22. Pointman1776

    Pointman1776 Member

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    Sig Trailside. Period.

    I bought my daughters (when my youngest was still 7) the Trailside after we all shot the Rugers (Mark II's and III's with all kinds of barrel variations), P22, S&W's, and Brownings. The Trailside has great ergos, very simple to use, very reliable, easy-to-operate levers/safety, lightweight, easy trigger pull (that revolver DA at 10-12lbs was a showstopper for my youngest).

    I got my Trailside for $319 NIB otd.

    Most of the guns you mentioned are either really expensive, or are heavy, or use a lot of plastic parts (even the guide rod), or are nearly impossible for a young'n to field-strip and clean (my girls take turns breaking down and cleaning their Trailside with dad after a long day at the range...around 500-750 rounds).

    I would NOT recommend the NEOS...in addition to the extreme grip angle, the mag release is EXACTLY where your right hand trigger finger should be when off the trigger and out of the trigger guard, causing my girls to drop the mags all the time...dumb dumb dumb design imo, regardless of Beretta's "progressive" attempt to try to innovate the industry by relocating the mag release to a place where an experienced shooter could quickly drop the mag without shifting grip and using right thumb or left-hand.

    I use Remington gold-nose and every once in a while, there's a dud which requires my girls to correctly clear the jam...an excellent teaching opportunity...even my youngest clears a jam second-nature now, no worries.

    At the range, instead of boring old paper targets, I hang a tennis ball by a string about 16 inches below the hanger...much more challenging and instantly rewarding...much more satisfying to see that tennis ball swing rather than guessing if you hit paper at 7-10 yds. And a lot of fun to try to hit that tennis ball while gently swinging from the last hit. With the accuracy and ergos of the Trailside, my oldest hits a still tennis ball 8-9 shots out of 10, and my youngest hits 4-5 out of 10. My youngest likes to challenge the adults at the range for a plate of cookies and a glass of milk.

    Hope you get the Trailside. It's the perfect .22. Besides, how could you go wrong with a Hammerli and Sig collaboration?

    Good luck!
     
  23. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    I'm with Pointman on this one. As I said, of the ones you listed I'd go buckmark. My favorite is the Trailside though (I've owned the ruger 22/45, the buckmark, and the walther, but not the colt or S&W).

    Plus, after you teach them to shoot you can steal it away, scope it, and turn squirrel hunting into a whole new game. :D

    IMGP0645.gif

    here's mine

    waterhouse
     
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