Your child's first gun is a momentous choice to make. Children who are brought up without an introduction to firearms become adults who are afraid of guns. One of the best firearms on the market today is the Cricket series of single shot 22 rifles.
This is no high-power sniper rifle that you can run out and take Cape buffalo with at 1000-yards during a hailstorm. Its super-simple youth model rifle that is just...tiny. The has a short length of pull, an ideal for those pint-sized shooters. The firearm will only accept one round (in the chamber) and after inserting the .22 caliber cartridge, you have to cam the turn bolt forward then cock the striker before you can fire. This gives the user, especially new shooters, a simple and safe experience.
A nice little rear peep sight that is adjustable for windage and elevation with a tall ramp front post help train those basics of proper alignment. A pushbutton safety on the bottom of the rifle will lock the bolt from being able to cycle. This safety button pin has a locking key that Mom or Dad can use to disable the rifle to keep those unauthorized little hands out of it.
Besides the basic 22LR, kids' models there are adult models (with longer lengths of pull), bull barrel models, thumbhole stock models, and a WMR variant. In the kids models there is a dizzying series of stock choices including synthetic, walnut, and laminates in dozens of colors and patterns.
Specs (22 Youth model):
Controversy and Counterpoints
- Caliber: .22 Short, Long or Long Rifle standard or high velocities
- Action: Manually cocking single-shot bolt action with a forged steel and machined low scope bolt handle.
- Trigger Pull: 2 1/2 lbs. (approx.)
- Safety: Rebounding firing pin automatically blocked to prevent accidental discharge.
- Length Of Pull: 12 inches
- Sights: Standard with Iron Sights
- Barrel Length: 16 1/8 inches.
- Barrel Diameter: 3/4" - 1/2"
- Finish: Blued barrel and receiver OR stainless barrel and receiver
- Length: 30 1/2 inches overall
- Weight: 2 1/2 lbs. (approx.)
You still need to follow basic firearms safety in the home and on the range with these small, simple 22s. They are not toys and should always be treated as loaded firearms outside the reach of unsupervised children. This is as shown by the tragic accidental death of a youngster in Kentucky at the hands of a prepubescent sibling.
On the opposite side of this are youngsters that are properly trained. For instance, there is the case of the 11 Year old that stopped three armed home invaders with a single shot .22 Crickett, Did I mention it was pink?
Either way, if a good, simple single shot 22 is something you have a use for, you would be hard-pressed not to jump on the Crickett.