Project Appleseed

Appleseed Welcome Center => Appleseed for Kids => Topic started by: LawDog on April 30, 2011, 10:24:32 AM

Title: What rifle?
Post by: LawDog on April 30, 2011, 10:24:32 AM
My son is 8.  He demonstrates excellent safety with rifles and pistols.  He would really like to attend a Shoot, and I want to encourage him.  I have read a lot of the excellent tips here and elsewhere about bringing a young child.  The problem: what rifle to bring?  I have a Marlin 795 but it is really too long and heavy for him.  He could better handle a Cricket or Chipmunk, but they are single shot.  Is that okay?  Am I better off running down a wood stock for the Marlin and cutting it down?  I hesitate to buy a S-W 15-22 (though he would love it!), but it does have an LOP as short as a Chipmunk. 
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: sashok.privetov on April 30, 2011, 12:04:37 PM
Well, this is an appleseed, so bring whatever you have.  However, since there is a rapid fire stage, you might want a semi auto.
Chopping down a perfectly good stock is simply barbarian, so I would get a youth stock instead. 
I couldn't find any youth aftermarket stocks for the marlin, although they did make a youth version of the rifle. (

Blackhawk makes an excellent Axiom stock for 10/22: (, if you want to get that rifle.  The advantage of that stock is that he can use the rifle no matter what his age. (
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: Wade on April 30, 2011, 12:44:41 PM
I am Said barbarian !  :o  Buy a used wood stock if you can find one cheap enough and cut it down ,Save some money and spend the savings on ammo,,,don't spend more then you Need to ;)
Try posting in deals and steals you never know some one miaght have what your looking for .

Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: LawDog on April 30, 2011, 02:16:52 PM
I just found a Ruger with a Tapco adjustable stock that looks like it might fit him.  $289.  A bit more than another Marlin and an extra wooden stock cut down, but not bad.  Now if it is still on the shelf when I get back there tonight, I can use the Marlin and he can have the Ruger. 
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: 9mm4545 on April 30, 2011, 06:54:37 PM
I have a 10/22 with a Tapco stock that I use as a loaner. Nice thing is that the rifle can grow with the user. Good luck.
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: GoldFish on May 01, 2011, 02:17:31 AM
With regard to the Cricket, take a look at this:

Single shots are perfectly OK (though it will slow him down a little bit which may affect him on the timed courses-of-fire).
I've seen Marlin stocks cut down and children shooting really well, but I personally don't like the idea of cutting down stocks, mainly because once they're cut, you can't lengthen them again. 
Why are you hesitant to buy an S&W M&P 15-22?  IMO, that's one of the best rifles you can bring to an Appleseed shoot.
Whatever you end up doing, bring you and your son out to a shoot.  You'll both love it regardless of the rifle you're shooting.

Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: LawDog on May 01, 2011, 08:25:56 AM
I bought the Ruger with the Tapco stock.  At $289, it is far cheaper than the S&W and parts/add-ons will be easy to find.  The LOP goes as short as 10.75", which is about what he needs.  He thinks it is the coolest rifle ever and we are one big step closer to getting to a Shoot together.  I have my eye on Tuscaloosa in late May, if the good people of AL have dug out in time. 
Thanks for all the help here.  Stay safe and be well.
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: sashok.privetov on May 01, 2011, 11:13:48 AM
Good choice. I would suggest you get the Tech Sights for it: (
Stock Ruger sights are at the level of development of mid-19th century.
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: CSHR on May 01, 2011, 06:35:46 PM
Good luck with the Rugar, hope it does well for him.

IF....I'd of seen this thread sooner I'd of pointed you here to have a look:

Noticed LOP is 12" here.

I own several different CZ'z and they are very accurate and a work of craftsmanship similar to years ago....this will most likely be the next one for the grandkids.

Congratulations to you and him.


Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: NMMI9100 on May 02, 2011, 11:14:35 AM
That ruger with the Tapco ought to work well.

My 6 year old is running a CMMG dedicated 22LR AR15 w/EoTech 552 when he accompanies me to Appleseeds and with a Magpul CTR at position 1, the LOP is good for him.

The Tapco has a collapsible stock.  I've considered one for a loaner.  Should work great!

Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: The Wolfhound on May 31, 2011, 06:23:24 PM
+1 on the CZ Scout 452.  They are very well made, supurbely accurate and handle well in the hands of smaller shooters.  Not as inexpensive as a Chipmunk but you can get 10 round magazines for it.  Our first CZ was a Pink Scout 452, we were impressed enough that we now own 3 CZs including a 512 autoloader.  People laughed at the Pink rifle until they saw the targets, then it was our turn to laugh.  In theory TechSights should work on it.
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: techres on May 31, 2011, 07:08:06 PM
My 2 cents:

1. Either the cricket or the 15-22 will work in accuracy, they are matched there.  Either can produce a rifleman score, that has been proved (

2. Either will work to have a good time with, most kids are just glad to be out putting holes in paper with dad and the history is awesome to boot.  Don't lose sleep over this decision.

3. The cricket is better for position work as it is the lightest thing out there so if a kid wants to get off the bipod or sandbag, a cricket is the best for it, but even there the weight is often too far forward.  Working on a solution for this.  The other options are all too heavy for small arms and run to far forward of small kid's center of mass.

4. With either, have a mountable bipod with you, way safer and funner than sandbags.

5. The 15-22 or any semi is able to launch more lead and that is nice, but not the goal as long as you set expectations properly with the shooter.  I will say this, if you start them on the 15-22 it will effect how they operate a cricket later (see picture here (

6. The biggest issue I see with kids is stock length.  That is more important than anything and both the cricket and the 15-22 solve this well. 

7. Know what your goals are going in and know they are probably more important than for the kid.  They will love the event no matter what you bring for them.  And also know a loaner 10-22 is usually possible if you talk to the SB ahead of time.

Have fun and just make sure to be ready for them to go at their own pace and take as many breaks off the line as they need to.  Having fun is more important than anything other than safety at that age.

Looking forward to seeing pics!

Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: Charles McKinley on August 14, 2011, 04:00:06 AM
ATI also makes a collapsible stock for the 10/22.  I think the shortest length of pull is 10 3/4 inches.  My 8 year old daughter uses it on the second from shortest length.

The nice thing about the ATI is it uses standard sling post rather than the sling clips you have to buy for the Tapco.  Some model of the ATI also fold.
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: DBoller on October 19, 2011, 09:58:51 AM
I would recommend that you get a good quality optic to put on it. A scope goes a long way when your a beginner.
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: SPQR on October 24, 2011, 09:36:24 PM
If you start chopping on stocks or buyin other stocks for an 8 year old who is going to grow nine feet in the next five years you may be goming around for no good reason.  Set reasonable expectations.  if the 795 is just too big cutting on stocks or getting the tapco are guess type solutions, you don't know that they will work.  It may not be about the weight or length of pull, it may be about WHERE the weight is and what kind of balance he has with the rifle.  If you brought your kid and had him shoot a crickett or a 795 off a bag or bipod and he spent a weekend learning perfect trigger control, breathing cadence, sight alignment, relaxation, and natural point of aim isn't that a huge win?  So what if he has trouble with standing?  That will come with more beef.
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: techres on October 24, 2011, 09:43:55 PM
Don't over fret the gear.  If they can shot safe, and get comfortable then before you know it they will be having fun with the bigger guns.  My daughter started last year on a 15-22 suppressed because I feared her reaction to noise and recoil.  Two seeds later, this is her on an AR15 doing 100-200 yard steel.

Note: Stock length is vital.  Somehow the stock length got changed between the 100 yard shot and the 200 yard one.  With the stock shortened slightly, the rifle slapped her and it was not comfortable.  It was OK, but I should have caught it then.

A Girl, An AR, Some Steel, KD... (
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: Ratchett on October 24, 2011, 09:55:26 PM

SPQR makes an excellent point. Learning the fundamental skills in prone on sandbags is a great way to begin and not learn bad habits. What gear used is not as important as the skills learned. The final decision will ultimately be with the Shoot Boss after safety evaluation of shooters on Saturday morning. 

If you are looking for a light weight stock that will grow with your young shooter, the following has been a tried and true friend for youngsters and folks in need of adaptives on lines I have instructed.,1371,166.htm

Not intended as an endorsement of this web site but best picture I had on hand. The 10/22 I have set up with this stock is 3.5 pounds total and is easily handled by all that have shot it.

Just a thought :)

Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: Charles McKinley on October 24, 2011, 11:51:13 PM
If you want a bolt the Mossberg 801 Plinkster Half-Pint is an excellent little rifle!

I shot a 228 with it on Sunday!  Dunhams has it out the door for $130 and change with a 4X scope.  it comes with a single feed dummy magazine insert, but you can buy 10 round magazine from Mossberg for $12 each plus shipping.  I bought 4 magazines. one is slightly problematic but the other 3 are flawless.

You are not to dryfire this rifle.  You need to use the dummy rounds to protect the firing pin.  I emailed to ask.

I full review will be posted soon.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about it.
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: LawDog on October 25, 2011, 10:12:17 AM
Here is an update:
I bought my son the Ruger with the adjustable Tapco stock.  We attended the Eunice, LA Shoot in June.  He shot everything prone off a sandbag or kneeling.  He handled the rifle safely and had a great time.  He certainly paid attention to the instruction as well.  We will be in Mobile for the Shoot this weekend.  Thanks for all the great advice!
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: WAshooter on January 28, 2012, 02:23:06 AM
I am Said barbarian !  :o  Buy a used wood stock if you can find one cheap enough and cut it down ,Save some money

That is what I did wood stocks for 1022s are cheap on eBay all those folks going aftermarket replacements
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: nyrasgt on January 28, 2012, 08:30:22 AM
Law Dog et. al.,
   FWIW, instructors attaining red hat instructor status become eligible for Instructor Discount Programs identical to those offered by manufacturers to NRA Intructors.  At present, Ruger has provided  2012 program sheet.  Ruger will sell you pretty much anything they make if you ask nicely; e.g. their compact 10-22, the CRR model, will cost an instructor right around $200.
    Henry's President, Anthony Imperato(who answers all emails sent to Henry - pretty classy) has said he will honor the 2010 instructor sheet prices.  He, too,will sell you nearly anything they make, if you ask.  I know that techres is working on adapting a wood stock to their AR7 survival rifle for use with young shooters.
    S&W, the third company that recognizes PA instructors,is working on their 2012 sheet - which i am told (by them) will also include their subsidiaries, Walther and Thompson Contender...will pass along sheet when I receive it from Smith.
   And just as a tease - the Ruger-TALO Appleseed Training Rifle is still in the works:  Appleseed ID, studs, swivels, sling, 2 mags, tech sights or equivalent, Appleseed info and card good for 1-2 free attendances @ Appleseed event - thus saving purchaser money...stay tuned, and

PS  Can forward copies of current Ruger and Henry program sheets; send email addresses...
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: MustangAME2 on January 30, 2012, 10:29:06 PM
A little late, maybe but...
I 'm a huge fan of Ruger, BUT bought my 7 year-old daughter a Marlin 795 for three reasons:

1. initial cost
2. weight
3. replacement part cost

I cut the stock 7/8" with a miter saw (honestly, a hand saw and tape measure would work on the composite stock), and with a drill and a file made it look "factory" with very little effort.  Replacement stocks are ~$38, so when she grows, replacement won't stretch the budget. Heck, I might even pony up for the Ruger if she sticks with it.

A con of the Marlin 795: magazine release is difficult. My daughter's hands are sore by lunchtime...but she doesn't want to stop shooting! 
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: The Wolfhound on January 31, 2012, 08:51:12 AM
A very gentle sanding of the mag well will make it so you can tilt and pull the mag easily with one hand.  The 795 is a good shooter you will be very pleased with it.
Title: Re: What rifle?
Post by: Nero on February 20, 2012, 02:01:01 PM
I am Said barbarian !  :o  Buy a used wood stock if you can find one cheap enough and cut it down ,Save some money

That is what I did wood stocks for 1022s are cheap on eBay all those folks going aftermarket replacements

The catch with using a cut-down standard 10/22 stock for youth shooters is that the stock and grip area are rather wide/fat due to the rotary magazine's width.  Someone with small hands has a tough time avoiding draggin' wood. 

The Compact 10/22 mentioned by nyrasgt is a good bet.  The stock is designed for a smaller hand.  They are also nice shooters, in spite of the short barrel.  I built up one of those and two carbines as LTRs over the holidays. The Compact outshot the carbines when I broke them in:  A large ragged hole from 5 rounds of my match ammo at 60 ft, and 2MOA using cheap Federal bulk stuff.

Also +1 on the 795s.  The stock width and grip area are better sized for a youth or smaller female shooter than most of the 10/22s, since they use a traditional mag.  Once you put decent sights on them, they are accurate - 4MOA easily with bulk ammo and even given the rather stiff trigger.  Just figure you're going to spend time coaching trigger control for a shooter with a new 795.

(NB:  In addition to 'seeding I run a light rifle class at our range, with a lot of youth shooters. )