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Thread: Small Game Rifle for a Kid

  1. #1

    Default Small Game Rifle for a Kid

    I want to get my six year old son a small game rifle (his seventh birthday is coming up). I have a Browning BLR .22 with a scope on it and I have taken him out shooting and grouse hunting with it (he is ecstatic about getting out and shooting and is just itching to get his first kill). It is too long for him and hard for him to shoot. I also don't want him learning on a scope, rather him learn the old fashioned "iron sights" before he gets spoiled (that's what my dad told me when I was his age and seems like good advice). I think a single shot would be good because again, I want him to learn to be deadly with a single shot with iron sights. I didn't have a multi-shot rifle until I started big game hunting in my teens (even used to hunt with a sling shot and later a bow as a young kid for small game).

    I have looked at the Chipmunk, but I am not sure how it is accuracy and durability wise? I also looked at the Rossi Youth model that comes in .22LR and .410 (break open, stainless). I like the Rossi, I just don't know much about it (or for that matter any of the youth .22s).

    So please tell me your thoughts and experiences on selecting a small rifle for my son. I would not mind cutting a stock down either if it comes to it. I am most interested in accuracy and durability.

    Thanks in advance,

    David

  2. #2
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    my 6 yr old shoots a Rossi .22/410. she is not yet there in size for the kick of the .410 but handles the .22 just fine. it has worked great

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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littleman81 View Post

    I have looked at the Chipmunk, but I am not sure how it is accuracy and durability wise? I also looked at the Rossi Youth model that comes in .22LR and .410 (break open, stainless). I like the Rossi, I just don't know much about it (or for that matter any of the youth .22s).
    +1 for the rossi. This is exactly what I started my little guys with at 5 years old. It is small enough to fit and I really like two guns for one.
    I started my kids shooting off of a shooting stick until they could hold the weight of the gun.

    One thing I noticed with the short barrel .410 is you have to be awful close to a grouse unless your shooting 3" shells. After we figured that out we had no problems. Another thing FYI is it will be a little tough for the kiddo to close the action and pull back the hammer for a while until he gets stronger, but that was OK with me because that part was all strictly supervised in the beginning anyway.

    I highly recommend the rossi set up.

    good luck.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I favor the Marlin Papoose. It is light and points easily. Great for kids. It even breaks down. I used to carry it on my sled for ptarmigan while caribou hunting. You may be able to find one with a wood stock instead of the pricey all-weather models.

  5. #5

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    Thanks hr and northriver. The Rossi seems to be a pretty good bang for the buck and after we looked at one the other day, my son has been itching bad to go get it RIGHT NOW! I might have to make it an early present since I want to get out and help him get a grouse before too much snow flies.

    I agree on the supervision part...we started out at home before ever going shooting and he is learning the basics of gun/hunting safety very well. Thanks for the recommendation.

    David

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I have the rossi 22/20 and would advise you to not get it. The 22/20 is MUCH heavier than the 22/410! The action is bigger to take the 20 gauge barrel which forces them to make a larger outside diameter for the 22 barrel where it fits into the action (chamber area). This makes the 22 way too heavy! The 20 Gauge is also a very stout kicker in that light weight little package! That said I love everything about the 22/410! I spent about 20 minutes when I first picked it up trying to make any of the safety features fail and could not. It is way more gun than the little chipmunk or other plunger bolt guns. I also work the hammer for my young kids as a final "your cleared to fire" step. One thing on the 410, it is stout for a little guy, my bony 7 year old (at the time) shot it and was not happy.My buddies 10yo shot it without issue though.

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    We got the Rossi 410/22 for our kid when he turned 5 (this time last year). They're inexpensive, but the flipside is apparently they are not too servicable. Leads me to believe it's not going to be the durable gun you desire. I know a guy who broke the plastic site on the 22 barrel, he said it didn't take much. Personally I'm not worried about durability. It was only $150 and it's such a small gun I think if we take care of it our boys will outgrow it if it gets too trashed.

    Also, the trigger is stiff - from what I've read it's spring tension that will soften up with a lot of use. My son (at five, almost six) needs a little help to fire it. The upside is safety, I'm standing next to him helping him pull the trigger while he aims - every time. This was last year, right after we got it.

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    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
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    Default .410

    I bought one of those cheap H&R .410's and cut the stock. My boys been shooting bunnies with it since he was 4. I have $90 and 30 minutes of my time in it.
    He likes it and it's bulletproof so dad likes it.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    I thought the Rossi was heavier, longer and more awkward for my son to handle than the Henry mini-bolt.

    Tim

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott_rn View Post
    We got the Rossi 410/22 for our kid when he turned 5 (this time last year). They're inexpensive, but the flipside is apparently they are not too servicable. Leads me to believe it's not going to be the durable gun you desire. I know a guy who broke the plastic site on the 22 barrel, he said it didn't take much. Personally I'm not worried about durability. It was only $150 and it's such a small gun I think if we take care of it our boys will outgrow it if it gets too trashed.

    Also, the trigger is stiff - from what I've read it's spring tension that will soften up with a lot of use. My son (at five, almost six) needs a little help to fire it. The upside is safety, I'm standing next to him helping him pull the trigger while he aims - every time. This was last year, right after we got it.
    Great Photo!!!

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    My son's first gun was the Martin Lil' Buckaroo. I cut the stock down 2 inches and saved it along with the original butt plate for when he grew into it I put a full size scope on it. I only put the scope on it after he got proficient wity iron sights. Its a tack driver and my son now whom is 10 years older still loves to hunt and plink with it.The reason I chose it was its a single shot and the safety was just like normal hunting rifles. Not a fan of a hammer with a small child. If the hammer is pulled back, the possibility of a cold thumb or slippery glove while decocking it to put it on safe has potential for an accidental discharge. Another reason is because it looks like a sturdy gun from the first glance, and not a toy like a Chipmunk does IMO. It is very well made. Later on, I got him a Rossi 308/20. Its much heavier than the 22/410 and a little longer. The 308 barrel and scope weighs about 5 pounds or maybe a hair more. Great first big game gun for a small 10-12 year old.

  12. #12

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    Thanks for all the advice. My comment on durability was mostly directed at the chipmunk. No offence, but the action on it looks like a soup can rolled up! Im gonna look around a little more but i am leaning toward the Rossi. It provides a lot of versatility and options for a very good price. It should give my oldest a few years and then i can get something bigger for him and perhaps pass it on to my younger son.

    We are going out this weekend... I need to get him his first grouse. He is on the ragged edge of getting hooked, so i need to go ahead and get hhe barb dug in!

    Great pic scott!

  13. #13

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    I have an old Remington Military Surplus 22 that has been modified for youth. It has surefire saftey and PEEP sights. If you want accuacy for any youth, go with Peep sights. Also determine whether your boy is right eyed or left eyed before you get too deep in rifle selection and gun training. Some parents are very suprised at what they discover.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littleman81 View Post
    It should give my oldest a few years and then i can get something bigger for him and perhaps pass it on to my younger son.
    My oldest is 11 and still shooting his. I told him the last time we went to buy shells that he was going to have to start shooting moms 20 gauge 870 youth because ammo was cheaper.

    The point is he still prefers this gun for small game after 6 years! Now he's graduated to shooting Moose and Caribou with his .308.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by northriver21 View Post
    My oldest is 11 and still shooting his. I told him the last time we went to buy shells that he was going to have to start shooting moms 20 gauge 870 youth because ammo was cheaper.

    The point is he still prefers this gun for small game after 6 years! Now he's graduated to shooting Moose and Caribou with his .308.
    It sounds like he likes it. I know the feeling...I still have sentimental attachments to my first gun. I am looking forward to my boys getting into big game! I could really use a couple good packers

    I plan to get them engaged early so they will be hopelessly adicted like me. I hope that when they are teenagers they would rather get out hunting or fishing than playing video games or other teenage past times. Most of my best memories from growing up are being out in the woods with my parents and brother. We had some good times....

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littleman81 View Post
    I am looking forward to my boys getting into big game! I could really use a couple good packers

    I plan to get them engaged early so they will be hopelessly adicted like me. I hope that when they are teenagers they would rather get out hunting or fishing than playing video games or other teenage past times. Most of my best memories from growing up are being out in the woods with my parents and brother. We had some good times....
    My sentiments exactly, I think this is a great strategy for these days, so much more entertainment in the woods, anyway, cleaner too

    Great Thread, thanks
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    t/c also makes a little 22 single action im gonna buy my boys (7months-2years) for christmas. hunter will be 3 in the spring and we can start shooting cans then. the t/c is a little bigger than the chipmunk but still light enough to where a 5 year old should be able to handle it on his own,it is also very well build i thought the synthetic stock feels cheap but it looks good and it also has a peep sight on it. price at sportsmans is about 200 bones case u were wondering

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    I have bought both the Rossi .22/.410 and the Cricket .22, Both are great but the rossi is quite heavy with the 22 barrel,and the sights are real wimpy, I got it when my boy was 6 and he's now 10 and still struggles a bit with it. the 410 is perfect once they can handle the kick..... The Cricket is the best in my opinion, don't let the cheap feel fool you. it shoots real well and you can buy replacement parts for next to nothing.... I have not had any trouble with his ( it is actually my favorite 22 super lite and quite accurate for what it is.... I think I have like $110 into it. Go for the Cricket!!

  19. #19

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    I started by kids with the nice walnut stocked chipmunk and it has lasted through 3 kids. Great shooting gun, very safe and even if it looks like a tin can action, it is sturdy. My youngest girl still uses the chipmunk and I bought her a snake charmer (shes too small for much else and loves it) and my older girl the rossi 22/410 set to use. Ive been happy with all of them.

  20. #20
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Started my kids on a 22 single shot bolt. Less room for error with only one shot. Teaches them to aim and make that 1 shot count. 410 single shot isn't a bad starter gun either.
    Most important is to go with a gun that has a safety on it that cannot be easily bumped and disengaged by accident.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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