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Posted: 12/25/2005 6:18:23 PM EDT
Well my oldest daughter is almost 5 so it's time to start thinking about picking up a rifle for the small of stature set.

So far I have found around 5 that might fit the bill:

Rogue Chipmunk
Henry Mini-Bolt
Savage Cub
Marlin 15Y/915Y
CZ 452 Scout

All of these are lightweight, single shot bolt actions, although the CZ is convertable to magazine fed. I'm not opposed to a repeater (exactly) but definately would want a manually operated action.

Both the Rogue and Henry have a manually operated cocking mechanism, which I am thinking is probably a negative, one more (odd) thing to do in the firing sequence, and I don't think on the face of things that having a child struggle to cock the firearm is neccessarilly the best thing for maintaining muzle controll. Anyone have any experience in this area?

The CZ is most likely the long term best rifle (based on CZ's quality and the convertable nature of the rifle) but I don't think I've ever come across a CZ dealer.

I have not yet had the opertunity to handle any of these, as this type of rifle has never exactly been thick on the ground, although this week should be a good week to go looking. Obviously I'd hate to simply order anything sight unseen.

Anyone have any recomendations among the 5? Anything else I should look at.

Link Posted: 12/25/2005 6:22:36 PM EDT
I purchased my girls (5&7) a cricket.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 7:02:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/25/2005 7:03:55 PM EDT by newracer]
My 7 year old son just got a Henry Mini-bolt for christmas. I decided on that one because of the sights. Front sight is orange and the rear is green, very easy for a new shooter to see. I was also conserned that he would not be able to cock the hammer but he had no problem doing it today. We are going out to the range tomorrow, should be a good day.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 7:25:06 PM EDT
A few years ago, I got BlammO Jr. a Rossi Matched Pair in .22 LR & .410. The main reason was because it's lighter than the Cricket or other youth .22's, but it was like getting 2 guns for the price of one. Hell of a deal. They've been promising a barrel program so you can add more barrels, but that's dragging for now.

Anyway, he's 10-1/2 now, so for Christmas this morning, he got an 8mm Mauser M48.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 9:27:43 PM EDT
Check out Budsgunshop.com for a CZ 452. They had some screamin' good prices on those when I was looking for one. I wound up getting one from a local dealer as he helps me out on transfers all the time.

The gander mountains by me stocks CZ 452's, but they never had the trainer model which is what I was looking for.

I love my 452 and think it would be a great rifle to start with as its clearly one that will last a lifetime.

good luck in your search!

Link Posted: 12/26/2005 10:29:13 AM EDT
I bought a Cricket for my daughter, 4 1/2, at Walmart ($99).
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 11:15:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By brushdog:
I bought a Cricket for my daughter, 4 1/2, at Walmart ($99).



How hard is it for her to manually cock the action? I'll be heading out to Wally World at some point as they also carry the Savage Cub (~$135 per walmart.com). Latter today I'll be heading out to this new Sportsman's Wherehouse place that went in around 10 miles away.

How are the sights on the Cricket?
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 12:18:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2005 12:18:44 PM EDT by brushdog]

Originally Posted By NVGdude:

Originally Posted By brushdog:
I bought a Cricket for my daughter, 4 1/2, at Walmart ($99).



How hard is it for her to manually cock the action? I'll be heading out to Wally World at some point as they also carry the Savage Cub (~$135 per walmart.com). Latter today I'll be heading out to this new Sportsman's Wherehouse place that went in around 10 miles away.

How are the sights on the Cricket?





It's a little tough for her, she needs to put a bit of effort to get it back. But I think it's better like that, for now so she can't accidently fire off a round until I'm ready. The sights are a basic peep sight, but it's tapped for a rail and you can order it for $12-16. My daughter saw me camo paint my brother's 7mm and she wants me to paint hers pink. My wife suggested a pink base with a gray camo pattern. I'm considering it.

My dad and I bought a pair of Savage bolt actions for my twin nephews last week. They'll be 8 in a couple of weeks and my brother wanted a magazine feed, bolt action. He figured it would be safer and easier to make sure they were 'clear'. Walmart also had a Mosberg Plinkster semi auto that seemed decent. Both are on the medium side and a bit too big for my daughter. The Savage and Mossberg were both under $100.

Link Posted: 12/26/2005 12:21:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 12:24:13 PM EDT
Thompson Center.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 12:28:48 PM EDT
I got my daughter the Rossi Combo (mentioned above) It's a good little rifle (singleshot) but she's kinda outgrown it. I'd suggest something she could grow into of maybe find yourself one of the collectable single shots you could enjoy too. I'm thinking of getting her a 10/22 next. Thats something even grownups can have fun with.. not to mention lots of parts and aftermarket support is avalable.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 3:22:55 PM EDT
So far I have looked at the following:

Cricket
Chipmunk
Marlin 15Y
Rossi

Man I hate spending the day going to Gun Dealers. he
The Marlin is much to big for my daughter, and the sights were pure crap. Marlin is out of the running.

I'm starting to like the Rossi, although the first one I looked at (stainless and synthetic) was pretty heavy. The second one was wood/blued and seemed much lighter. Also a wood stock would be easier to cut down if necessary.

I have not yet mannaged to locate the Henry Mini-Bolt, Savage Cub, or CZ Scout in stock anywhere close by.

The option of picking up a Tomson Center and then picking up a short 22 barrel and spare stock to cut down is a good idea though.

I'm not too concerned about her outgrowing the rifle, as we have a second daughter a year and a half younger than her, and a third child of unknown gender arriving sometime next month. That being said, I would think it would be ealatively easy to restock either the Savage, CZ or Rossi as the kids get older.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:29:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2005 4:30:21 PM EDT by brushdog]
Check out the Taurus 22 pump, (model 62?). With the 16" carbine, it looks like it's a lot of fun and the size might be a good fit.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 5:04:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2005 5:05:31 PM EDT by SRM]
I have bought and shot 1,4 and 5.

#5 The CZ452 Scout will likely be passed on through the generations.

SRM

ETA: I think J&G is a CZ dealer
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 5:13:39 PM EDT
Crickett makes a pink wood stock. My wally world has them as well as the black tupperware and american flag colors wood. They have a website.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 5:30:37 PM EDT
I own (well, my kids own) 3 chipmunks. They never shoot them - it is way too hard to cock. Really, it's nearly impossible for a kid to grab that plunger and pull it back.

I'd look for a magazine fed self-cocking bolt action.

Barring that, get a collapsible stock for a light AR and a bipod. My kids have the most fun (and success) shooting my AK with an Aimpoint.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 6:39:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SRM:
I have bought and shot 1,4 and 5.

#5 The CZ452 Scout will likely be passed on through the generations.

SRM

ETA: I think J&G is a CZ dealer



J & G is a CZ dealer with exactly Zero (0) 22 cal CZ rifles in stock. They are also about a 2.5 hour drive from here, but they are great folks and would likely bring anything I ordered down to one of the Phoenix area gun shows if I asked them to though.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 8:05:20 PM EDT
I took my son out with his Henry mini-bolt today and he had no problem cocking the action. He fired 100+ rounds today. He commented several times that the sights made it easy to target. It is also very light.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 11:27:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2005 12:10:30 PM EDT by CAAAwarfighter]
How about the H&R Versa-pack 22lr/410 youth model. I am pretty sure you can get an adult stock for it later as she gets bigger.
H&R



ETA I just shot my nephews H&R with the 410 barrel installed, it's a sweet little shooter. Mkaes me wish i hadn't sold my 223/12ga Survivor.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 6:55:24 AM EDT
Another vote for either the Rossi or H&R combos. I bought a Rossi matched pair for my oldest daughter when she turned 9. Her younger sister uses it now. The only down side, is it takes some strength to break it open.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 2:00:32 PM EDT
I finnally found a local dealer with a CZ 452 Scout in stock.

SRM was right, the CZ is the Cadillac of youth rifles. In fact, I think it's probably nicer than half the rifles I own. The CZ comes with a plastic block machined simillar to a magazine, but with the top milled to act as a single round loading device, which means you can get a standard CZ 5 or 10 rd mag latter.

The one thing I don't understand is the sights, the rear is a simple stamped tangent notch, I expect a lot more on a ~$230 rifle. Length of Pull measured 12.25", so I'd have to cut down the stock a bit. And I would have to do something about the sights.

So far the Savage is an illusive beast. I've had a half -dozen folks tell me they can gladly order one for me, but that they have never actually seen one. Anyone ever actually see one in person?

If the wife gets back from the store within the next hour, I'll take the daughter to look at the Rossi (gun store 1/2 mile away has one in .17). I suspect it is to heavy for her. I personally thought it was easy to open, but took a bit of effort to close.

I appreciate all the input. Once I actually buy something I think I will have to write this up as an article for our local libertarian news rag.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 2:37:23 PM EDT
I just bought a Cricket for my 8 year old and it is perfect.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 4:54:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 5:25:38 PM EDT
I took the daughter to the gun store.

She can not pull back the cocking knob on the Chipmunk
She can cock the Cricket however.

She can not close the Rossi action. (no surprise really) I'm thinking the Rossi is really more appropriate for an 8-9 year old.

The Cricket looks realy hard to load, and the one I loked at had a seriously gritty/draggy triger. Is it as dificult to load as it looks?

I was not impressed with the Marlin sights, but it does at least have a feed ramp. For the price of the Marlin I would spend a few more dollars and get the CZ scout for your son, since you can turn it into a repeater by purchasing the appropriate magazine. The CZ sights are simmiler to the marlin, but are stamped a bit sharper.

I still want to find and look at the Savage....
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 6:05:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 7:16:30 PM EDT by Easy_E]
My daughter opened this for Christmas and yes I opened the tee shirts


Link Posted: 12/27/2005 6:25:33 PM EDT
Easy_E, you failed to mention your daughter's age...( That looks like a Cricket I'm thinking)
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 6:46:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NVGdude:
Easy_E, you failed to mention your daughter's age...( That looks like a Cricket I'm thinking)


Sorry watching the Red Wings meant to add that.

My daughter is eight years old. She has shot my 10/22 and my 9mm AR15. I have to help her because they are too heavy. The stocks are too long also.
We carry the Cricket and the Henry at work. The Cricket will take a scope or red dot is why I went this way.
This is her first gun and I wanted something nicer than the Rossi.


Link Posted: 12/28/2005 12:24:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NVGdude:

Both the Rogue and Henry have a manually operated cocking mechanism, which I am thinking is probably a negative, one more (odd) thing to do in the firing sequence, and I don't think on the face of things that having a child struggle to cock the firearm is neccessarilly the best thing for maintaining muzle controll. Anyone have any experience in this area?






Big +1.

Your kids will struggle to cock it and not give the muzzle a second thought

I picked up a cub for my kids (7 and up) and have been happy with the quality and accuracy. The only downside is teh plastic trigger guard.

I like the CZ and the local funshop had the Cub, but not the CZ, so I bought the Cub.

Cub or CZ.



Link Posted: 12/28/2005 7:32:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By NVGdude:

Both the Rogue and Henry have a manually operated cocking mechanism, which I am thinking is probably a negative, one more (odd) thing to do in the firing sequence, and I don't think on the face of things that having a child struggle to cock the firearm is neccessarilly the best thing for maintaining muzle controll. Anyone have any experience in this area?






Big +1.

Your kids will struggle to cock it and not give the muzzle a second thought

I picked up a cub for my kids (7 and up) and have been happy with the quality and accuracy. The only downside is teh plastic trigger guard.

I like the CZ and the local funshop had the Cub, but not the CZ, so I bought the Cub.

Cub or CZ.






My daughter has no problem cocking the thing but I noticed another problem. I remind her about the safety all the time.
So whats the first thing she notices? No safety.
This kinda differs from the rules I drilled in to her.
I ordered the Savage to look at our supplier was out of the CZ.
The Savage is a pound heavier and has the Acu trigger also.
I will let you know how it works.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 8:31:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 8:59:32 PM EDT by NVGdude]
Sounds like a wonderfull plan, looking forward to the report. The CZ is a beutifull rifle, but I'm thinking peep sights are better. OK, maybe after 15 years of shooting M1 Garands I'm just biased towards aperturtes. hterwierd to me. (The hammer is the safety, you don;t cock it until ready to shoot) (Edit: sorry missed that you didn't think the Rossi was that nice, I rather liked the wood/blued one I looked at)

I'm definately down to either the Savage or the CZ. It just seems that no one in the Phoenix Metro area has the Savage in stock to look at.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 9:18:52 PM EDT
You need to make sure that shooting is fun for your daughter, not frustrating.

Five year old girls will not successfully operate bolt action rifles. Buy her a Daisy Red Rider and a hundred balloons. Hide the balloons in the woods and take her "hunting". When she spys a balloon ask her if she has identified the target, ask her if she knows what is behind the target, ask her if she is willing to shoot the target. Then tell her to align the sight and that she may put her finger on the trigger and shoot. After the shot we collect the "trophy" so no littering.

Balloon hunts are incredible fun for father and daughter.

At five, we shot the Daisy.

At eight my daughter started shooting a rental chipmunk at the range.

At nine she got her own CZ 452. It is a fine piece and as said before will be handed down through generations. Even at nine she had a bit of trouble working the bolt properly. Now she's eleven, loves her CZ, and we will soon get her a Walther P22 with the local "practical" matches in mind.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 7:44:05 AM EDT
Id say got for the CZ Scout Im 5'7" and I always take that gun to the range, its has EXCELLENT build quality I have nothing bad to say about. My only gripe was the one round magazine which was promtly replaced with a 10 rounder. Yeah I won a CZ scout and im 22!
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 4:07:12 PM EDT
or you could go right for the big money

Link Posted: 12/29/2005 5:54:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 5:57:36 PM EDT by Easy_E]

Originally Posted By NVGdude:
Sounds like a wonderfull plan, looking forward to the report. The CZ is a beutifull rifle, but I'm thinking peep sights are better. OK, maybe after 15 years of shooting M1 Garands I'm just biased towards aperturtes.

Easy_E, your daughter looks big enough to handle the Rossi break open to me, although a manual safety on a break open seems wierd to me. (The hammer is the safety, you don;t cock it until ready to shoot) (Edit: sorry missed that you didn't think the Rossi was that nice, I rather liked the wood/blued one I looked at)

I'm definitely down to either the Savage or the CZ. It just seems that no one in the Phoenix Metro area has the Savage in stock to look at.



NVGdude we carry the Rossi's in stock while they don't look that bad the Cricket looked better.
I ordered the Savage today in 22 I debated on the HM2.The cost of ammo is a factor. Last summer my daughter used my 17HMR to shoot clay birds. After shooting them she shot the orange pieces. Then she shot cans and plastic bottles.I about went broke but the smile on her face was worth it.
So this is where I'm at.
The 10/22 worked well but she wanted to rapid fire.
The Savage 17hmr bolt slowed her down and shot better but was expensive to shoot.
The Chipmunk was lighter and was a single shot but the controls were different.

I didn't want to change her Christmas gift but the Savage was a better choice and she was ok with it.


edit to add RED_5 that is a great pic.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 7:50:15 PM EDT
The cricket/chipmunk (to me at least) are just toys. They don't shoot worth crap either. My personal philosophy (what I'll do with my boys) is to get them started on something that is a pleasure to shoot and at least fairly accurate.

I have a single shot .22 rolling block that was the first gun I shot at age 4. Not sure who made it, but it's not a bad shooter. That's where I will start for sentimental reasons. After that, I guess I'll buy them a repeater (10/22 maybe or a remington fieldmaster pump) for the field or let them use the rem 513 for bench. After that it's time for the real guns.

Now my old man is another story... he's already got the boys each a ruger bearcat and a russian SKS, and has already given them his pair of 1911s in his will (bypassing me). In a year I'll have the most heavily armed pair of toddlers around because of that crazy old man. I did, however, put my foot down: no shotguns until they're at least 8.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 8:39:09 PM EDT
Ya need to really mess up your dad and have a third kid, then he'll have to go out and buy a whole new arsenal to arm the third one. That ought to teach him not to leave you is 1911. I'm leaning more towards the CZ. Think I can convince the wife I need a matching one in grown up size?
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 8:51:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NVGdude:
Ya need to really mess up your dad and have a third kid, then he'll have to go out and buy a whole new arsenal to arm the third one. That ought to teach him not to leave you is 1911.

I'm leaning more towards the CZ. Think I can convince the wife I need a matching one in grown up size?



LOL That was exactly my approach! I bought a 452 american for myself! Common mags you know.....

SRM
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 8:56:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 8:57:25 PM EDT by MurdockTheCrazy]

Originally Posted By NVGdude:
I was not impressed with the Marlin sights, but it does at least have a feed ramp.




Yeah, but was it an M4 feedramp?

­

<­BR>
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 10:35:29 PM EDT
I gave a Cricket to my 6yr old for X-mas. We've been practicing safe handling in the house all week.

Link Posted: 12/31/2005 12:46:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NVGdude:
Ya need to really mess up your dad and have a third kid, then he'll have to go out and buy a whole new arsenal to arm the third one. That ought to teach him not to leave you is 1911.

I'm leaning more towards the CZ. Think I can convince the wife I need a matching one in grown up size?



I've not had any experience with the other 4 rifles you mentioned, so this is purely a subjective evaluation.

I bought a CZ Scout for my boys last Christmas (7 and 9 yrs old then), got a great deal, and the dealer even threw in two 5 round mags, "because it's Christmas, and for the kids". Heck, he just wanted more deer stalking.

Big selling point (apart from the size and the limited availability of small rifles in the UK) was the bolt action and single shot magazine that can be changed to a multi shot mag when experience allows.
I have a cut-own 10/22, but single feeding is a no go and the big magazine just lets them shoot all my ammo in half the time. There is the safety aspect as well with the self-loader, but properly supervised this isn't a problem. They feel a bit more in control and self-sufficient with the bolt action and even though I'm right there beside them, I can metaphorically stand back a bit more - they feel more 'grown-up'. Let's face it, every 8-10 year old says, "I can do it myself, Dad".

It's a lovely rifle, but my youngest did find it a little bit stiff to operate the bolt at first. However, he now has no problem. Fitted a bipod and generous eye-relief scope and they are getting very good scores at 200yds and groupings that anyone would be proud off at 100 and less (the 22lr and short barrel seems to limit the accuracy a bit past 100). I even like shooting it, so much so that I might just get its bigger brother myself.

Matt
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 5:15:15 AM EDT
THE MARLIN 15Y OR THE 915Y ARE TWO GREAT LITTLE GUNS I PICKED UP A 915Y FOR MY GRANDSON AND HE LOVES IT HE JUST TURNED FIVE ALSO
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 12:17:43 PM EDT
The Marlin 15Y was one of the first ones I loked at. I absolutely hate the cheap sights, and most of the other options are lighter. Glad your Grandson like his.
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