Introducing someone to the shooting sports is a tricky affair. You want to show them the fun and adventure behind the sport, but the last thing you want is to put the new shooter off by using the wrong gun for his or her initial ventures into the shooting world. Luckily there are some outstanding firearm choices for the new shooter including some of the best .22 rifles.
Lever guns have a special spot in North American history, especially in the culture of the Old West. One name that many associate with lever-action guns today is Henry Repeating Arms.
Henry .22 LR and .22 Magnum Rimfire
These American-made rimfire classics are quite possibly some of the most famous guns you can still buy. Henry made a name for itself coming out of the Civil War and to this day the guns remain moderately priced. They feature nice walnut stocks and a fit and finish you’d expect in much more expensive firearms. Plus, they are just a lot of fun to shoot.
Henry .17 HMR
The .17 HMR caliber has become an extremely popular rimfire round, and with good reason. The velocity and accuracy of the caliber combined with virtually no felt recoil has made it a great choice for the seasoned varmint hunter and the inexperienced shooter alike. Henry took the caliber and redesigned two of their famous rifles around it. The standard blued model has all the features you’d expect in a classic Henry rifle. The Golden Boy adds a 20-inch octagon barrel and a polished Brasslite receiver and butt plate, giving the rifle a high-end classic look that is very appealing to shooter and collector alike.
Henry Golden Boy .22 LR and .22 Magnum
Everything about these rifles screams American craftsmanship and it’s hard to look at one and not want to own it. After all, it’s a piece of history. For the beginning shooter, they offer nostalgia, accuracy, and a connection that can only be made by enjoying some plinking at targets. You’ll never find that in a video game. The Golden Boy series sport Brasslite receivers, octagonal barrels, and high-grade American walnut. What better way to bring someone into the shooting sports than with one of these rifles that can be passed down from generation to generation?
Henry Youth .22
The Henry Youth model packs all of the features of the legendary Henry rimfire rifles into a youth model. Weighing only 4.5 pounds, the Henry is sized just right for your kids.
Bolt-action rifles offer repeatable, accurate shots and for the first-timer. A bolt-action also helps train the new shooter for a career of hunting with big game rifles.
Savage Arms Mark II .22 LR and 93R .17 HMR
Savage has built their reputation on offering affordable, extremely accurate rifles. They then revolutionized the trigger design with the AccuTrigger system, offering an outstanding custom-quality trigger in a bargain-priced rifle. These rifles from Savage arms take the legendary accuracy and amazing trigger system and partner it with a mounted and bore-sighted Bushnell 3-9X40 scope, making these rifles, available in the classic .22 LR or .17 HMR, a great choice for plinking and small game hunting. You’d be hard pressed to find the amount of rifle you’d get with one of these packages for this price.
Ruger American Rimfire
When Ruger decided to redefine their entire lineup of quality bolt guns, they met the challenge of a quality rifle with a great trigger at a great price. The American series was so well-received that they quickly expanded it to a rimfire series. Available in standard and compact lengths, there is a Ruger American rifle for every shooter. The compact rifles offer a shorter 12.5-inch length of pull. Ruger also made the trigger adjustable from three to five pounds and made them extremely accurate. Each rifle comes with two stock inserts to set the rifle up for the shooter. The rifles use a rotary magazine like the legendary 10/22 and the composite stocks are light and comfortable. Available in most rimfire calibers, the Ruger American rifles are all under $300, making them an outstanding choice for the beginning shooter.
Marlin Model XT-22 series
Marlin designed its XT-22 rifles to fit just about any need and shooter looking for a quality .22 LR bolt gun. Whether you’re wanting a youth model designed to fit even the smallest-framed shooter or a stainless-steel full-sized rifle for the adult plinker, there is an XT-22 for you, all with an adjustable trigger system and pin-point precision accuracy. You can’t go wrong with a Marlin!
How many of us started out with a single-shot rifle? Heck, most of us still have one or two sitting in the cabinet. A single-shot is a great teaching tool for the beginner because only one round is in the rifle at a time.
Henry Mini Bolt Youth
Henry also builds some of the best single-shot, bolt-action rifles for youth shooters you’ll find anywhere. With stainless steel components, an 11.5-inch length of pull, a light, 3.25-pound trigger pull, and bright green Williams Fire Fiber Optic sights, your beginning shooter will get on-target even faster.
Savage Arms Rascal Series Youth .22 LR
Savage brings their legendary quality, accuracy and the amazing AccuTrigger to a pint-sized youth rifle that will have your little shooter plinking targets in no time. Besides the manual safety, light weight and excellent feel of the rifle, shooters will also be drawn to the stock options. Available with a hardwood stock, or a synthetic stock in your choice of black or pink, lets your youth shooter really lay claim to the Rascal.
The .22 LR Crickett rifles are not only a fun way to get your kid shooting—they’re easy on your budget, too. Lightweight at 2.5 pounds and available with a pink or black stock, the Crickett rifle costs only $129.99, making it a perfect way to introduce your kids to shooting.
Semiautomatic rifles allow for fast follow-up shots and make for great choices for the first time shooter because accuracy is immediately repeatable. This builds confidence in the shooter and strong foundation for years to come.
To say that the Ruger 10/22 is the most popular rimfire rifle on the market is an understatement. With proven reliability and accuracy, everyone should own a 10/22! First-time shooters can grab one and find out what millions of others have—the Ruger 10/22 is an icon of the rifle world.
Remington Model 597
An iconic brand, Remington has a reputation for quality rifles. The 597 series has been around for a few years now and has proven to be a great rifle at a great price. The scoped combo from Remington gives you a superbly fast rifle with a mounted optic at an amazing price of $219.99! With internal parts that are Teflon coated for long life and smooth, reliable action, this is a great rifle package for the first-timer looking for a serious rifle at a seriously great price.
Mossberg 702 Plinkster
Mossberg hit the scene with some amazingly fun-to-shoot rimfires and the 702 Plinkster is no different. Here’s what you need to know about the Plinkster—it’s lightweight, comfortable for a wide range of shooters, accurate, and, best of all, very affordable.
This article was produced in cooperation with Cabela’s.
Images courtesy Cabela's