What type of .22 parents should get when purchasing that first kids 22 rifle. I get asked this question all the time, so I did a little research and here you go.
Choosing a Kids 22 Rifle
For my kids’ first gun, we went with a cheap BB gun. Nothing fancy, just something so they could learn the mechanics of loading, cocking, aiming and firing. It didn’t take my son long and he wanted to “graduate”, so we looked at air rifles first, but then decided on a .22 rifle (I almost went with a .17, but that was more for me, for rockchuck hunting with my kids so I restrained myself).
Basically, there are a few different kinds of rifle available for kids first rifle.
The single-shot bolt action; the bolt action repeater; the lever action repeater; and the pump-action repeater.
Now, the only category left is the semi-auto repeater. In my humble opinion, semi-autos aren’t the right choice for a first kids 22 rifle, but I’m going to list a few here for older kids. You don’t need anything fancy… they’ll be putting scopes on their 22 and building AR’s in no time and that’s when you can get fancy. 🙂 I hope this helps, and I know I’m probably going to get some argument from you.
I’m a fan of single-shot bolt action rifles for your kids 22 rifle.
This is mainly because shooting them requires several steps for loading, time to think about each shot. The whole process is suitable for teaching gun safety and getting kids comfortable with the rifle. When I was a kid, I had a pump-action repeater, but sadly, the market for them is not big—and I can’t understand why because pump-action .22 rifles are a blast (pardon the pun) to shoot. Winchester no longer makes their ancient Model 62, and even Taurus’s faithful copy, also called Model 62, seems to be getting hard to find.
I already have three or four .22’s around the house, but they were all too long for my sons and not the right gun for them. So here are some good choices for your kids.
My picks for the best Kids 22 Rifle
Savage Rascal .22 Long Rifle
This little rifle is great for kids and one of my favorites. The Savage Rascal is lightweight and the accu-trigger helps kids with flinching. Also, since it is a bolt action, it adds a level of safety.
Keystone Arms’ Crickett
For smaller-statured kids, there’s probably no better than Keystone Arms’ Crickett, which comes in several kid-pleasing colors. The little Crickett’s are just over two feet in total length, weigh pretty much nothing, and are excellent “starter” rifles.
Mossberg 702 Plinkster
This little gun has a 10 round capacity with a detachable magazine. I suggest loading one at a time until your youngster is ready for going semi-auto.
Remington 597 HV
This .22 is a bit heavier, but that weight makes for better accuracy. Your kid will appreciate that once they advance.
The 801 Half-Pint has a plug that restricts it to a single shot rifle. Once your kid is ready for more, the plug can be removed and replaced with a 10-round magazine.
Henry Mini-Bolt Youth Rifle
This single shot “mini” is one of the best choices for your kids first rifle in my opinion. It has easy-to-see fiber optic sights, it’s lightweight, and kids think it looks cool. Endorsed by the USA Shooting Team.
Probably not the best option for a first rifle, however this is a great next move up for older kids.
Henry Lever Action Youth
One of the oldest names in rifles is “Henry”, and the Henry Repeating Arms Company makes a classic “western” youth model .22 rifle. It is lightweight and compact with a wood stock, famous smooth lever action and you can mount a scope on it.
Henry also makes a pump-action rifle, and it has a cool looking octagonal barrel, but it’s more expensive….but I’d get one if I could afford it.
Remington Model 572 Fieldmaster
This is what I had when I was a kid. Man, I loved that gun.