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Kids first 22lr

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by WestKentucky, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I have 2 beautiful little girls that each need their proud papa to procure their very first shooting irons. I have reservations. On one hand, they fight like cats and dogs over things that are even remotely different, but they want to be a bit different. My thought there was same gun in different colors which brought me to the idea of buying one pink and one teal cricket (kid size) rifle corresponding to their favorite colors. The next thought was that they would be heartbroken immediately as they outgrow it because the fancy colors aren’t available in “youth” sized guns, and I really want to use shooting as a lesson on focusing and achieving goals (accurate shooting). So that thought led me down the path of considerations to the point where I have strong reservations about buying them real rifles that look like toys. So now I am back to thinking blued steel and wood.

    What are y’all thoughts on buying that very first rifle?

    I’m torn between a single shot, a bolt repeater (with single shot conversion), and a marlin 60 like I had as my first rifle. My dad only let me shoot 1 at a time til I was about 12 and I would probably do the same. I keep looking at the 795 like my wife has though as it’s light, reliable, and crazy accurate (and cheap).

    I’m not really interested in suggestions on specific guns to consider, but more on rationale for aesthetics, and action type.
     
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  2. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Stevens Favorite falling block.
    Light weight.
    Very easy to monitor rifles statis.
    Easy to understand action.
    Easy to put on upgraded peep sights.
    Classic.
    Classy.
     
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  3. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    Both of my youngest have a cricket. The boy got the blue laminated and the girl got the pink one. She wasn’t really interested till I put some hello kitty stickers in it. Maybe you could get 2 pink ones and let them decorate it themselves they way they want.
     
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  4. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    As a hunter safety instructor, I used single-shot bolt actions. They worked well for the purpose. I bought one for one of my daughters and regretted it shortly thereafter. Once she had safety and technique down, the single shot became a nuisance. I think I’d opt for a bolt action repeater were I to do it again. You can always give them a single round to load and shoot while they learn.
     
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  5. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Don’t buy them anything. They may get to shoot what you have, as you allow and form their opnion on what they like.
    After that process is done you will have a better idea on what they would prefer.

    In the end, if you would like “shooting buddies” no opinion matters than those you wish to shoot with.
     
  6. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    No luck. I’m a big guy with full sized guns. The kids are going to be small. The combination on full sized guns with half sized peoples isn’t going to work.
     
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  7. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Years ago I bought my daughter a Remington Model 5 youth model .22LR rifle with a pink painted wood stock. It came with one 5 round magazine and a magazine plug/loading tray for single shot use.

    My daughter was about in middle school when I got the rifle for her and she had plenty of experience with a break barrel Gamo Recon air rifle beforehand. Due to that, she advanced past the single shot plug after maybe 30 minutes of shooting time.

    With what is available today, I'd probably pick a CZ 455 Scout. It too comes with a single shot plug, but regular CZ 455 magazines fit right in.
     
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  8. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    One thing to consider is how old are your daughters and will a 5 to 6 pound repeating rifle be too much for them to hold?

    I happen to still have a Crosman 2260 CO2 air rifle. In my opinion, it replicates single shot firearms better than break barrel airguns do. At 4 lbs. it's lightweight, cocks super easy with the little bolt action, has a crossbolt safety, an aperture sight, and is mostly wood and steel. You can get two of them with plenty of CO2 and .22 pellets for less than the CZ 455 scout I mentioned above.

    https://www.crosman.com/heritage-2260

    Edit to add: Sorry about the airgun derail. My daughter's Gamo Recon made me think of my 2260. I think the only advantages of the 2260 over a Crickett would be no FFL needed, low noise, and no cocking striker to pull.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
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  9. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    go for the crickets they are good to learn on and teach the basics and are very safe.
     
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  10. TheSquire

    TheSquire Member

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    I bought a Magtech copy of a Mossberg Plinkster for about £150 new. Its quite a small rifle, lightweight and a bit rough and ready and the trigger is awful; however, I was able to teach my younger son (about 15 at the time and very skinny) to shoot it at our local 25yrd range and in 6 months he went from a 15" group (well, more a shotgun blast than a group) to one ragged half inch hole, centre target, with that rifle. I mention this as the semi-auto action meant he could concentrate on breathing, trigger pull etc. and not have to keep breaking off to cycle the bolt. We started with single shot then went up in increments to slowly fill the magazine until he could safely load and shoot a full 10 round magazine. Its a small, cheap, lightweight gun and shooting from a rest initially, it worked for him, might not work for all, especially young kids, but thought I'd share.
    The truly awful trigger on the Magtech means he now appreciates and can shoot well with my other rifles.
     
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  11. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    The above-mentioned Mossberg Plinkster 702 is probably as close to perfect in size and weight as you can get. It's not wood-stocked, but it's not pink or yellow, either. I have one, and it is a surprisingly-slick shooter for the $99 I paid for it a couple of years back at WM (they run closer to $130-ish now.)

    I have an old Stevens 89, too. It's a lever-gun look-alike based on the Favorite, complete with faux magazine tube and, like the Favorite, uses a lever-actuated falling-block mechanism. I find the 89 to be pretty heavy for the OP's target user; I don't know how much lighter the Favorite is.

    As an aside, I bought a Crickett a while back for future introduction to my own daughter. In keeping with the idea that guns are not to be equated with toys and are to be taken seriously, I bought it in black. I have not yet presented it to her, though, as her age and interests have not reached that point.
     
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    WestKentucky

    My daughter wasn't interested in any sort of rifle as her first .22. After shooting my .22s (she did really well with them too), she went straight to the handgun display case and started looking at semi-autos. Narrowed it down to the SIG Mosquito, S&W Model 22-A, and the Beretta Neos. She liked the overall balance and feel of the Neos the best and that's what I got her, along with 3 or 4 spare magazines (that girl can burn through a brick of .22s like nobody's business).
     
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  13. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    They don’t have to shoot off hand to have fun. This ones been shooting since she was two and having a good time.

    07FF91E1-6B35-4383-8A92-3D59A0C2CD51.jpeg

    She has her own pink “kid” gun too but the trigger is horrendous so she prefers to shoot decent rifles.

    B989D7CD-EE7D-4A3A-9ADD-B3C7D9B3D131.jpeg
     
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  14. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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    The only thing I have against the smaller "kids" rifles is,,,
    They tend to have mediocre triggers.

    The only one I really like is the one I don't have one of,,,
    That's the Savage Rascal with their Acu-Trigger.

    The trigger on my Henry Mini-Bolt is "okay",,,
    And the one on my Cricket is dismal.

    I would say get them a full-size Savage Mk-II with the nice Acu-Trigger,,,
    Slap a single-shot adapter in it and let them shoot from a bench,,,
    Buy identical guns and let them decorate them with stickers.

    Just my not-so humble opinion.

    Aarond

    .
     
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  15. RedlegRick

    RedlegRick Member

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    Nice thing about both Cricketts and Rascals are you can get replacement stocks in whichever color they like. I also like Chiccharones suggestion about stickers to personalize them. I will admit the Crickett has a horrible trigger out of the box, but mine smoothed out nicely over time.
     
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  16. George P

    George P Member

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    I started my kids with the Marlin "Lil Buckaroo" or model 15yn. Accurate as any 22 out there, light, small stock for young kids and it is a single action bolt gun so an adult can maintain cintrol
     
  17. hq

    hq Member

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    That's pretty much what happened with my oldest son as well. It's a good idea to listen to the kid and unless his/her ideas are totally unreasonable, follow them. When the child really likes what he/she has chosen, it's always a good motivator for practise. In our case that resulted in him joining the local shooting club and shortly afterwards qualifying to their IPSC training program, and he loved every minute of it.

    Even though you'll lose the surprise factor, letting the kids choose for themselves may well turn out even better. Food for thought.
     
  18. Stormin.40

    Stormin.40 Member

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    I got 1 Rascal for my kids to share, blued steal with black composite stock. The trigger has been to biggest issue for my kids which is why I went with the savage.

    When they get older and if they like shooting I will look at getting them their own firearms, until then they can share.
     
  19. holl

    holl Member

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    I started my son and daughter on crickets, $100 at Walmart. They both now have Henry youth levers, as they grow you can order the full size stocks from Henry. For Christmas this year they are getting Uberti Stallions, they are smaller size 6 shot SA's.

    A side note about the Uberti Stallions. Their is a seller on Gunbroker selling them for $250 right now, brand new! Says he bought a pile of them. I bought 2. I am not associated with this seller in any way I just found a great deal and would like to pass it on.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  20. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    It's not clear how old or big they are. While I can see very young kids enjoying shooting with Dad, it's really a lot more practical for them to build usable skills when the gun fits them properly. A gun that works well and doesn't have a cheap, plastic, crunchy trigger is also going to help them succeed. You probably know by now I'm also going to advocate for lead safety by writing that it would be best to shoot lead-free primers and lead-free or at least lead-safe bullets.

    I've shot with 10 year old boys that found a Marlin 795 too heavy to shoot offhand. The Crickett can be shot offhand earlier, but it has limited appeal as kids grow older and bigger. Since I did not intend to take them big-game hunting anytime soon, I resigned to bench rifles on a bipod. The good thing about bench rifles is you can get excellent quality rifles made for the adult market and all you need are a low-recoil chambering (giving consideration to the rifle's weight, which might be over 10 pounds with an optic), and an adjustable stock or a stock that can be cut down to the right length of pull.

    Really little kids will probably just shoot with the stock under their arm. But if the kid is over 4', the stock can be adjusted or cut down to around 12" and it has a chance of fitting them. I cut down a Marlin and added a bipod. I've had kids use it with the irons, a red dot and a low-power scope. We shoot seated and off a folding plastic Lifetime table. Smaller kids might do better shooting prone. My next step is going to be a centerfire rifle with adjustable Magpul furniture. I was going to go with a Ruger Precision Rifle in .223 which are on clearance right now, but decided in the long-term I would rather have it in 6mm (.243) Creedmore. With an optic, it's a substantial expense, but I think it would be an outstanding rifle for a child that is adolescent age and one they will never outgrow. In the mean time, I want to get a Ruger MPR or another AR15. The AR is a good value right now, easily adjusts for short length of pull, is low-recoiling, and can easily be setup with a bipod and optic for bench shooting. As kids grow, they'll be able to take off the bipod and heavy optic and shoot it offhand. A quality AR might evolve over time, but it won't really ever be outgrown.

    I'll be loading my own Starline brass with Fiocchi lead-free primers and Barnes lead-free bullets. In .223 and 6mm, they offer the Varmint Grenades at $0.20 and $0.23 per bullet. The advantage of the 6mm is it can be loaded with heavier, VLD bullets for long range but those aren't cheap to shoot. Now I've been paying $0.04 to $0.05 per shot with .22LR, but even with a semi-auto and a revolver, two kids are only shooting about 100 rounds in an hour-long range session and that's a good day for them. I might take them shooting a few times a month, because they've got a lot of other activities and things to do. Shooting a hundred rounds of centerfire ammo at $25 to $30 a day is a lot more expensive than shooting $5 of rimfire ammo, but it's still not very expensive, and that's for two people. Buying the absolute cheapest ammo you can find might not be the best choice for children. Paying a little more for safety could be well worth it. For any kid to get to shoot even 50 rounds a month is a wonderful priveledge, especially if you take the time to help them make those shots count.

    Children can also learn to shoot handguns. Small and medium frame single-action revolvers with small grips can work very well for mature kids that will act soberly with the short sight radius. Examples are the Ruger Bearcat, and Single-Six (etc.). You can also try the Ruger Mark IV to see if their hand fits the grip. The blued versions have an aluminum frame that is lighter. A blued standard model is much lighter than any of the stainless steel versions. Because I'm wanting to get away from rimfire, I want to get a Single-Seven in .327 magnum and load it with .32 Long. There's also a Blackhawk in .32 H&R that can shoot the Longs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
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  21. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    I can't wait to get the boy started shooting. I have an old H&R single shot. Single shots are safe and tend to help teach the basics. If the youth bolt guns come with a single shot plug then thats cool.
    Pink, blue, black, woood... whatever floats their little boats. I agree with the "toy" angle... but its not like it'll be left laying around to "play" with...
    And really... what is a gun to many of us if not toys of some kind or another:)

    I like the crickets. Cheap, small, single shot... what's not to like? Yeah they'll outgrow it, but its not alot of money so you can hang onto them as another memory.. and it'll serve their children as well( and any other kids that tag along)
     
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  22. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    JM- I absolutely love that thumbs up pic! Way to go!
     
  23. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    We went w/ pink plastic and pink laminate Crickets at age 5. Our girls are now 15 & 13 1/2. The little Crickets are OK, but are sometimes finicky about cases sticking w/ bulk rem ammo, and etc. Still a great bargain and high on simple-to-understand performance. They welcome stickers, etc! We did not permit most any 'toy' guns apart from squirt guns. No BB guns either when girls were younger. Both now have Colt 6920s, but the Crickets still appear more often for plinking.
     
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  24. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Girls don't necessarily like things that are pink, blue or purple simply because they're female. My first suggestion would be to involve them in the process - these will after all be "their" guns. You might be surprised to find out they want all black (i.e. polymer stock) or black and brown (i.e. conventionally finished wood stock).

    I made it a "research project" with my son (don't have any living daughters) and had him research the various actions (i.e. bolt action, break-open, semi-automatic, etc.) and report back to me on which one he wanted - and why. When he could explain his choice to my satisfaction, we went shopping. He settled on a Marlin XT-22 bolt action with black polymer stock.

    I also bought several additional magazines. When we were at the stage in firearms instruction, we just loaded each magazine with one round; effectively making the rifle a single shot. The nice thing is that as his skills improved, I didn't have to buy a new gun; I just let my son have more than one round in each magazine.
     
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  25. BWS

    BWS Member

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    When it came time for my oldest son to get his first rifle...... he'd been shooting for a cpl years,both rifle's and revolvers and trad bows.

    We sat down over a cpl evenings with a gun digest and went over all they had listed.I'd explain a few things about them but didn't really wear him out on the details.He was 9 or 10.

    He ended up picking a Marlin 60 over the Ruger.There was a gun show that coming weekend,we went and found a like new,used #60.... still had a factory sticker on the stock.Forget the price but my son basically made the deal and the seller let him have it very reasonable.

    I cut the butstock off an inch,added a white line spacer,then added a fake ebony slash cut forend tip with spacer.Mounted a Tasco 3-9x40.... then lathe turned a nice sunshade for it.He shot the heck outta that thing.

    His 7 y.o. daughter now has it...... It's interesting,when he wanted her to start shooting it,I gave her an old 3-9 scope to play with for a few days.So she could get used to eye relief and understand about the magnification and power settings.Had never done that before with youngins,it really paid off,she took to the little Marlin quickly.But She's been shooting trad bows for 3-4 years,and is a heck of a good bow shot on pro 3D archery courses.
     
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