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Small 22 Handgun for Child (teaching)

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Trent, Feb 15, 2013.

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  1. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    THANK YOU FOR ALL WHO OFFERED ADVICE - FIREARM HAS BEEN CHOSEN AND PURCHASED


    My daughter is 9, and she's smart, and mature, but very small stature. I want to start teaching her how to shoot but she (and her hands) are still tiny. She's smaller than her younger sister, who is 6... and by a fair margin she the smallest child in her grade. (Every other kid in her grade is at least a foot taller). She's not a midget or anything, just very, very petite.

    She's been going along with me to the shooting range in fair weather every time, for about 6 months now, helping me put up targets, police up brass, etc. (I don't push it on her, SHE asks ME if she can come along when she sees me packing my range bag).

    We went over handguns in great detail tonight (older kids all gathered around - of their own accord - and got a refresher course). To my infinite dismay, I found I have no handguns that will fit her tiny hands. My 22 target gun is a Ruger Mk 3 target model, and has very large, fitted grips. Any centerfire is out of the question because of her small stature.

    So I have an excuse to go gun shopping again.

    Oh my, the agony. :D :D :D :D

    Now, I'm not really in to shooting 22's, so don't really know what my options are here, and I've never done much research in to smaller handguns.

    In the interests of saving time and tapping in on the combined, infinite experience of THR, please educate me and offer some advice.

    Thank you, in advance!

    (EDIT: To give an idea of how small her hands are, and to use a reference gun that many would have, on my M&P 9, Glock, or PT92, her index finger is 3/4" away from the back of the trigger - she can't even TOUCH the trigger. So when I say I need a small gun, I mean, I need a really small gun.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  2. Fryerpower

    Fryerpower Member

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    Rifle

    I can't help on a handgun, but what about a cricket rifle? Wait a minute, what about a derringer type pistol?

    Jim
     
  3. HankR

    HankR Member

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    A Ruger Bearcat is a good size for that age. My 7 year old daughter is not petite, and she likes the Ruger SP-101, but i'm going to try her on the Bearcat when the snow melts. I think the smaller grips will be better. She only shoots the SP in single action anyway.

    I find that the single action is good so long as I'm loading it (this from using a Single Six with my older son when he was 8 or 9). I don't really like the idea of a real young kid loading the single action, it seem too easy to not pay attention to muzzle control. With the DA revolver I hold the revolver and she loads the swing out cylinder. I close it and hand it back to her, always pointed downrange. I'm not sure what we'll do w/ the Bearcat, but she does love to load it herself. I'll probably hold it and index the cylinder and let her eject and put in the new one.

    The Bearcat is probably more expensive than some other options, and she will outgrow it, but....
     
  4. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    H&R made some small ones over the years.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The Ruger Bearcat is The Only Solution.

    http://www.ruger.com/products/newBearcat/models.html

    First, it is the right size & weight for kids.

    Second it is a single-action that must be thumb cocked every shot, before it can load & cock itself and go off accidentally to shoot you, or somebody else.

    Third, it will handle all kinds of .22 ammo, including CB caps for low noise, no recoil training.

    Forth, they will still love it when they are older then you!

    Fifth, they will always think of you, every time they pick it up, even after your are pushing up Daisy's somewhere.

    Whats not to like about all that?

    rc
     
  6. tacxted

    tacxted Member

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    bearcat. nailed it.
     
  7. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Oh wow. Perfect! Thanks a lot guys!!!!

    But .. wow. $$$$.

    Those cost 2x as much as some of my centerfire autoloaders. :)

    Sigh. The things we do for our children.....
     
  8. Tomcat47

    Tomcat47 Member

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    Bearcat ... Ditto! And it will last her a lifetime! :)

    Then many years ahead you might teach your granddaughter how to shoot mommas Bearcat!
     
  9. murf

    murf Member

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    try to find a used one. you may get lucky and find one.

    bearcat is the only way to go for your daughter.

    luck,

    murf
     
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Hey, what about a Ruger Bearcat? ;)

    Yeah, they're dead-on perfect. Just have to work a little harder on the sight picture as those traditional fixed sights are small.
     
  11. danimoth17

    danimoth17 Member

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    Alternate option to the ruger would be a Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider. they are also a scaled down version of the colt saa and can be had brand new for $150. And theres an option for a combo 22lr with 22mag cyl runs about $100 more.

    I havent used them so i am not sure on the quality but have seen them in my local stores.
     
  12. Radagast
    • Contributing Member

    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Rough Rider is similar in size to a Ruger Single Six, which is probably the best starting gun for the 12 year old to 92 year old bracket. Basically give one to someone entering their teen years and they can pass it on when they die of old age.
    For a petite 9 year old? Ruger Bearcat. Has anyone mentioned that yet? :p
     
  13. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    S&W makes (or made) a J frame 22. Not perhaps a target grade revolver but mine, with a 4" barrel is certainly accurate enough for small game.
     
  14. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    For handguns I can only think of the Ruger Bearcat, as everyone suggested, or a North American Arms minigun. I'm not aware of any other revolvers small enough for your daughter's hand.

    As mentioned, check out a Cricket single shot rifle. If she can reach the trigger with the length of pull, it is probably the ideal teaching tool. If it matters, I think they are available in pink. :D

    Let us know what you find.

    Jeff
     
  15. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    The Beretta NEOS has a very narrow, kid friendly grip. It comes in different barrel lengths too, so the weight can be varied depending on how heavy you desire the gun.
     
  16. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Oh Sam, you so funny.

    (For those who don't get it, Sam is joking. He's alluding to my 120+ page 44 magnum thread where people kept answering the original post I made, asking what I should look for, for days after I had already decided what to buy, bought the gun, and even posted pictures of said gun in that thread.)

    :)
     
  17. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    If it must be a handgun, a Bearcat is probably the best bet. However, for a child's first gun I STRONGLY recommend a single shot youth rifle (the aforementioned Cricket, or the Chipmunk). These guns only weight about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds. My 6 year old son has one he practices handling, 3 of the 4 rules, disassembly and reassembly with no problems (he'll learn to shoot it when he is a little older). It is much easier to teach muzzle discipline with a small rifle, and and it is much more difficult for them to accidentally point the muzzle at themselves. And you have something a little longer and easier to grasp if they do forget and sweep the muzzle around.

    These guns sell for between $115 and $200, depending on stock material, barrel finish, etc. So you can always start her on a single shot .22, then move up to the Bearcat in a couple of years.
     
  18. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Member

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    FWIW, my 13 year old daughter hates the Bearcat. HATES it. She's small too but that tiny little piece just frustrates her. She also hates the LCP and all of it's tininess. For her, the P64 was what she likes and can handle, despite how ugly and stupid and, well, how communist it is.
    All that being said, the most important thing remains to put the different guns into her own hands and let her pick.
     
  19. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Ironically, my daughter's two favorite handguns are the Bearcat and the 629, so there's something perhaps a bit false in the idea that the size of the gun is crucial to a kid.

    My biggest gripe with the Bearcat is still the sights. They are the very traditional half-round front and topstrap notch rear. They take a bit of concentration for an adult to use, and certainly are a bit more work to teach a youngster on than a nice sight setup that we're all more used to.

    Having said that, the size is GREAT.

    Bearcat:
    [​IMG]

    629:
    [​IMG]

    At the time she was seven, so probably about the same size as your gal.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  20. dmurdach

    dmurdach Member

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    I would agree with the bearcat as well as one of the North american arms mini revolvers, with the NAA you have a pretty good choice of aftermarket grips to make it fit her hands.
     
  21. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Beretta Jetfire is pretty small. No clue if its accurate enough to teach with thou
     
  22. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I gotta say, those NAA mini revolvers are tiny. I'm not sure there's a benefit in giving her something so incredibly diminutive to try to learn to shoot with. Sights? Sight radius? Not so good.

    Sometimes smaller is better, but I think the NAAs get so far down into the realm of minuscule that they would cause her more frustration than benefit.
     
  23. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    But after everything else is said and done, what do you come back to, except maybe your dog and wife. They're family too.

    The difference is that when we cleave from this plane the dog and wife are headed our direction more or less. The kids are going to the ones to carry on.
     
  24. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    The bearcat has a 4.5" barrel and is 9" overall, looks like the sight base is what, about 6" or 6.5"? If the barrel and ammo is good, that little gun should put together pretty tight groups.

    Anyone own a bearcat and want to comment on accuracy?
     
  25. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Member

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    Oops, I'm an idiot. Please delete post 18. I was hearing Bobcat, the Beretta model. Beretta Bobcat is the one my daughter hates. I'm glad Sam put those pictures up!
    My apologies.
     
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