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For everything there is a first time

The Mrs and I were having a discussion about teaching children to shoot and what kind of rifle is good to start them out on.  Teaching a youngster the pistol is another subject for another post so I'm going to just stick to rifles for the nonce.

She likes the Cricket .22 rifle.

Cricket Rifle

It's not a bad choice.  It's perfectly sufficient to teach the fundamentals of shooting but I'm not convinced that a single-shot rifle is the best option.  Loading single rounds can be tedious.  Besides, you're there to learn to shoot, not learn to load.

I learned on a Remington Model 34.

Remington Model 34

It's a tube-fed, bolt-action .22LR rifle.  While I understand the idea of not handing a semi-auto to a youth shooter, I think that the safety aspects of a single-shot rifle are over-rated.  To reload a magazine-fed bolt action requires the same steps to reload as a single-shot but deletes the pain of having to fumble around with single rounds.  Depending on the age of the new shooter a box magazine rifle might be a bit too difficult but reloading a tube action is much the same as loading a Daisy BB gun.

Granted, the Remmy M34 can be kind of hard to come by but Marlin does make the XT-22TR series and a few companies make a lever-action .22LR which have many of the same benefits.


Posted by Knitebane

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  1. Depending on physical maturity, I think the 5 to 10 year old crowd does well with the crickett with its length and weight. As someone of smaller stature, having a gun that fits is important. After talking with parents and seeing some kids on the range with 10/22s that are bigger than they are, it can be discouraging to shoot because you constantly need help from someone else. As a child with an independent spirit, there was nothing I wanted more than anything than to do it myself. It would be nice for someone to make a smaller, well balanced .22 for pint sized shooters that was either tube or magazine fed but I am not ready to hand a 6 year old a semi-auto. Bolt action has its place.

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