I know this is a bit “off topic” but I am pretty fired up about it. My third son was born yesterday, and God willing he will soon be toting plastic six shooters in plastic holsters, while watching John Wayne movies with his brothers and I!
This little fella represents the last of our “planned” family and I have marching orders to make my self an appointment to………..well, you know. From Bull to Steer I guess……………..
But too the point of my post, I am about to begin yet another “guy buying binge” for boy #3. My wonderful wife, God bless her, she must certainly be the most tolerant of wives, as she has never questioned any purchase destined for the boys! I bought the first one a 30/30 Winchester Trapper when he was 2 (obviously he has not fired it yet) and had Andy Hawk add a recoil pad and do some trigger work to it. Bought #2 a Savage 25 also in 30/30 when he was………….well, he was still 0, but getting close to 1 and had Andy install a recoil pad on that one as well, but only after I had totally re-worked that awful stock into something that actually resembles a functional gun stock. So, obviously you can see that I favor 30/30’s for youth guns, and for good reason as I cast my own bullets and can load them down to nearly zero recoil. Really fun to shoot, not too loud, super cheap, and should turn out to be a good tool for learning to handle “center fire” firearms. Naturally I will be on the hunt for a couple more 30/30’s and at least one of them will be a pump (that will give the boys a bolt, pump and lever to learn on) and of course I should probably have a cheap and well worn Winchester 94 for myself!
Now…………on to .22’s. I currently lack any sort of youth / beginner .22 and I plan on buying three all at the same time, and of the same make and model, then have the boys names engraved on them as these will eventually be given to each boy to be his very own personal rifle as apposed to all the other rifles that I, and they will consider “family property” to be used by one and all. To that end I have been shopping for some time now and note that several companies seem to offer good quality youth sized .22 rifles for reasonable prices (for me that means under $250) specifically the ones made by CZ and Savage. I prefer it to be a repeater and either a bolt gun or leaver action, and I am not opposed to some custom work to shorten the length of pull if necessary, as in the event that one particular 22 seems to be “the ticket” but only available in adult sized stocks. So for you my fellow forum members and experts in all things firearm related………..what would make your personal “short list” of .22 caliber rifles for a child of 8 to 10 years old?
As a personal note, my oldest is only 4, so we got some time to work with here, and I am not really a fan (just my personal preference here, right or wrong) of kids under about 8 (obviously each child is different) shooting anything other than a BB gun. So don’t bother suggesting the “chipmunk” or any other such “micro” .22’s please, as I have tried them all and found them to be…………….well, pretty crappy to be frank. Bad triggers and horrible actions. So, that said, bolt or lever, and your preferred brand if you please. Preference would be for youth size, but as I stated earlier, I can always have the stock and or barrel cut down for the smaller boys.
As always, I appreciate any advice that you care to share, and thank you in advance for your valuable input!