Look to the Savage Rascal as an ideal youth gun.
It’s funny how we tend to think of a kid’s first gun as a purchase of little consequence.
All too often we shop around for the cheapest 22 we can lay our hands on and call it good enough. Maybe we figure that the kid will rapidly outgrow the gun or cast it aside for bigger artillery the second they turn twelve, but that’s not necessarily the case.
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Most true gun cranks have nothing but misty-eyed memories of that first rifle, and I can’t help but notice that most real gun enthusiasts had a pretty nice 22 when they were kids. If we want the kids to catch the bug we need to get them good equipment that shoots accurately to build confidence.
I don’t think there’s any reason to break the bank, but it’s also important to spend enough to obtain a well-built firearm just like we do when we’re picking out a new rifle for ourselves.
Right now the youth model 22 on the market that I’m the most impressed with in terms of design, accuracy and accessories is the Savage Rascal line of rifles.
The Rascal line attempts to incorporate all the little things an adult would want in a rifle into a kid-sized package. Naturally, the Rascal is an accurate rifle just like all the others from Savage. It possesses a sleek little bolt action that cocks when the bolt handle is lifted and functions smoothly enough for small folks to work the action without a lot of difficult wrenching.
To get the kids familiar with grown-up gun accessories, the Rascal comes stock with an adjustable trigger. If nothing else, it’s a great opportunity to teach a kid that it’s important to pick a setting for a trigger and leave it alone.
The other adult accessory on the Rascal is a fully-adjustable peep sight, which is mounted to the very rear of the receiver where a peep sight belongs.
Not only is the peep one of the most functional open sights you can have, they are also very easy to explain to kids. With a peep sight the youngster only has to worry about getting the front sight on target and can leave the rest to the natural centering tendency of the human eye.
A varied collection of day-glow stocks round out the Rascal package, and allows the kid to pick their favorite color to go along with their new gun.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Savage’s tiny rifles is that they are available in left-handed versions for no extra cost. Traditionally a left-handed kid simply soldiers along shooting right-handed guns until they grow up and can buy a left-handed centerfire. I’m glad to see that Savage has corrected this problem with the Rascal and that it doesn’t cost extra to get it.
MSRP for any given Racal variant is $231, which is a little steeper that some other kid’s 22s on the market, but you get what you pay for in this world.
Think of it as an investment in a kid’s future — like the old saying goes, “Take a kid hunting and you won’t have to hunt for them when they’re grown up.”
Images via SavageArms.com