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Youth 22 Rifle Review: Complete Guide, Design And More

Choosing the best gun for your child is never an easy task. If you are going to set your child on the path and way of life that involve firearms, there’s more to choosing a gun than models and brand names. It’s quite obvious why you just can’t choose haphazardly.

If you are looking to buy your kid his or her very first gun, then you’ve come to the right place.

For this post, we will be reviewing a popular youth 22 rifle, the Crickett 22 LR. But first, we have prepared a quick guide on how to choose a firearm for your child.

How to Choose a Child’s First Gun?

Child’s holding her First Gun

So what are the crucial factors to consider when buying the first gun for your son or daughter? Below are some of the key considerations:

  • What Caliber? - Perhaps you’re an avid waterfowler and you are looking to buy your kid a shotgun so he or she can come with you. Or perhaps, you’re a whitetail hunter and you want your young one to be the one to deliver the finishing blow. The first thing to keep in mind is not to overgun your kid. Giving them a firearm that’s too powerful for their age will only make them recoil shy and chase them away from the sport. In this regard, you can’t go wrong with a .22 rifle.
  • What Actions? - Many parents go with a single action firearm because they tend to be more affordable and perceived as safer. However, single shots have the tendency to deliver more recoil and may limit them from doing the necessary follow-up shot. In this case, the beloved bolt-action rifle provides the balance of manual reloading and secondary shots.
  • Does it Fit? - On top of selecting the right gauge or caliber, ensuring that the gun fits your kid properly is important as well. Most adult-sized firearms have a length of approximately 14 to 14 ½ inches which is a couple of inches too much for shooters with a smaller stature. It’s a good thing that many youth-sized guns have an average length of 12 inches. A better-fitting gun will enable your kid to become a better shooter.

Keep these critical factors in mind when purchasing that important first gun for your young one.

Youth 22 Rifle Review: The Crickett Youth .22 LR Single Shot Bolt-Action Rifle

Crickett Youth .22 LR Single Shot Bolt-Action Rifle

Many avid gun owners will tell you that the Crickett Youth .22 LR Single Shot Bolt-Action Rifle is one of the best starting guns for young shooters. Before we get into the meaty details, let’s first check out the key specs of this firearm:

  • Caliber: .22 Short, Long or Long Rifle standard or high velocity or 22 WMR
  • Action: Manually cocking single-shot bolt action
  • Trigger Pull: 2 1/2 – 3lbs. (approx.)
  • Safety: Rebounding firing pin automatically blocked to prevent accidental discharge.
  • Length Of Pull: 11.5″
  • Sights: Adjustable Rear Peep sight, Fixed front sight / Drilled and Tapped to accept Crickett™ scope mounts
  • Barrel Length: 16.125″
  • Overall Length: 30″
  • Stock: Synthetic with Hydro dipped options
  • Weight: 3 lbs.


  • Single shot bolt action
  • Fiberglass and polymer-filled stock with a blued finish
  • Ramp front and a peep rear sight
  • Manual cocking with a sear block for safety

Looks Like a Toy But…

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Most parents will most likely buy a Daisy 1938 Red Ryder BB Gun for their kid’s first gun. That’s fine because it’s hard to go wrong with the classic BB gun.

However, I prefer the Crickett .22 LR Rifle. From its appearance, you’ll think that the Crickett 22 LR is a toy gun, thanks to its fiberglass and polymer-filled stock. However, you’ll be surprised that it actually feels like a real rile, albeit a downsized one.

The Crickett is a tiny gun, it just measures at the legal limit for rifles. This is no surprise since it’s a rifle that is specifically designed for the “children’s” gun market. If you’re going to buy it straight from Crickett, you can choose from the wide range of stock options from the patriotic Amendment to the girlish Muddy Girl Serenity.

Shooting Design

As you can see, the Crickett .22 LR Rifle is a bolt action, single-shot only rifle. For its safety feature, the gun has a bolt that controls whether you can cock the weapon or not. To cock the gun, a plastic knob must be pulled backward on the bolt in order to cock the firearm.

Pulling the trigger will shoot the gun and opening the bolt will eject the spent shell.

The Crickett 22 is also available without the added “Key Safety Feature”, although the models that can be found in most stores will have this safety feature. This feature is basically the button on the bottom of the rifle that when depressed, prevents the bolt from closing. To unlock the button, you need the “key” to insert into the mechanism around the button.

This is a bit of a controversial feature. While it does keep a child from firing the gun without the key, it’s also very easy for the shooter to push the button accidentally while holding the gun. You can use a scope with the rifle but that would require a special mount that is purchased separately.

Build Quality

To be quite frank, the build quality of the Crickett 22 is not the best. Some might even say that the gun feels cheap. Many parts of the gun would have been significantly improved by swapping plastic parts for metal ones. It really gives off an impression that it was slapped together.

Well, it’s weird to be complaining about the build quality for a gun that’s below $120 but I was definitely expecting better. For many youths, this shouldn’t be a problem though.

Shooting and Action

While the build of the Crickett 22 is nothing to write home about, it does more than make up for its shooting performance. With that said, the gun is very accurate and shoots exactly as expected. It’s a well-behaved gun which is important for a child’s rifle.

Since this is a gun that’s aimed for kids, its length of pull is very, very short. However, even adult shooters would find the pull to be quite manageable. It’s worth mentioning that the length of pull is a whopping 12 inches.

The bolt action feels great and cycles nicely. However, the cocking pull is a bit harder than I have expected, probably harder than it has any right to be. There’s also the “gripping” system that is located in the back of the bold which doesn’t accommodate the fingers. Plus, the plastic construction really takes its toll as it makes the action feels flimsy.

What about the trigger? For a kid’s rifle, the trigger is considered to be the heart of the gun. Unfortunately, the Crickett 22’s trigger leaves a lot to be desired. According to Crickett, the trigger pull is about 2½ to 3 inches. However, I doubt it since mine feels about 6 pounds on the trigger. The pull is just harsh and rugged.


The Crickett Youth .22 LR Single Shot Bolt-Action Rifle costs about $120 which is a great price for a child’s rifle. However, the price does come with plenty of caveats and most of the corners that have been cut lies with the build quality.

Although this youth 22 rifle looks like a real gun, its plastic components tell a different tale. Almost feels like a toy. However, this makes the Crickett 22 a great choice for absolute beginners. It is light and easy for young ones to handle and is quite an accurate shot which is great for building confidence.

Pros and Cons

So what are the hits and misses of this bolt action rifle?


  • Very accurate for beginner plinkers
  • Light and easy to operate for youngsters
  • Added safety feature
  • Sized right for small hands
  • Great price


  • Plastic components make the build feel flimsy
  • The trigger leaves a lot to be desired
  • Cocking mechanism can be tricky to operate

What the Reviews Have Been Saying

So how does the Crickett 22 fair with the other buyers?

For the most part, this youth 22 rifle have some fairly positive reviews. Most of the reviews say that the gun is lightweight and is a breeze to operate. It just has the right size which is ideal for young shooters. One review mentioned that in no time, his kid has started shooting accurately with the gun. As mentioned, this is a very accurate rifle which is great if you’re looking to build confidence with your kid.

Many reviews also mentioned that the gun comes at a great price. Here are some examples of the positive reviews:

You would be surprised how much fun this little gun is to shoot! Its small size makes it a great pack rifle too. I would recommend this gun as a perfect bug out rifle to someone who does not want to spend a lot. Best money on a firearm I've ever spent at Cabela's. - Taylor88

Got the 22 for my daughter and within half hour she was hitting the target at 50yds with cricket scope. She now keeps asking when are we going to the range. The rifle is great first-time shooters easy to load and shoot. - Jeff M.

As for the negatives, a couple of reviews mentioned that there are several issues with the gun. One reviewer wrote that there were issues with ejecting the casings, after just two outings. The cocking mechanism is also very difficult to operate. Several reviews were also not thrilled with the build quality and feel of the rifle.

Take a look at some of the negative reviews:

If you want to expose a youth to shooting, go ahead and spend the money on a better gun. I bought one for my girls, and have had nothing but issues out of it. After two outings, it had issues ejecting the casings. The cocking mechanism is difficult to operate. It is what it is, cheap and low quality. - EdgemoorRedneck

If you happen to see a Crickett dirt cheap, don’t be afraid of buying it, they aren’t really BAD guns… this Crickett I bought second-hand for $50 and others are out there in that price range. Pull out the safety, stick it in your GHB and you have a nice little setup. - Salt-N-Pepper

What We Think

The Crickett 22 rifle comes at a great price which is the main selling point of the gun. As far as a youth 22 rifle is concerned, it’s one of the most accurate shooters out there. It’s very light and easy to operate, making it a good option for beginners.

However, there are some glaring drawbacks about the gun which prevent it from becoming a must-have firearm for youngsters. It’s not a bad gun by any means but I will only recommend it for absolute beginners and there’s an issue with your budget.

Other Rifles you May like

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Henry .22 Rifle Review – Why Is It One of The Most Popular Lever Action Rifles?

Whether you’re hunting small game or target shooting, you want a rifle that is durable, accurate and comfortable. Of course, feeling like you’re in a western movie is also a bonus. The Henry 22 rifle is one of the most classic and iconic rifles on the market today. Whether you’ve grown up admiring western-style firearms or have always wanted to handle a lever action rifle, you’ll love the ease of this American-made marvel. This complete review will give you all the information you need about purchasing a Henry 22 rifle lever action rifle. You’ll get an in-depth look at the specifications, find out what makes Henry such a popular gun manufacturer and compare this rifle head-to-head with other great .22 models. Finally, a full review of an American classic.

Henry .22 Rifle 

Pros & Cons

While there are many reasons to choose the Henry 22 rifle, there are also cons to this lever action .22. Consider each carefully and choose the rifle that is the best fit for your style. Like all purchases, you want a rifle that reflects your personality, hunting style, and budget. Take a look at this list and consider the pros and cons of the Henry 22 rifle competitors as well.


  • Has one of the smoothest actions of any lever action rifle in its price range,
  •  Henry 22 is the lightest model on the list
  • Great for both small game and target shooting


  • Expensive than other models
  • Since it's not automatic,  you may become frustrated with the trigger or lack of speed

Henry .22 Rifle

henry lever action 22 rifle


This lever action .22 is incredibly reliable. Because it doesn’t use a semi-automatic action, you won’t have to worry as much about jams or malfunctions. With a little practice, you’ll have far more speed than a bolt action rifle. While the weight of each rifle isn’t significantly different, the Henry 22 is the lightest model on the list. Its American-made quality is very highly rated, and customers love this .22 for both small game and target shooting. Choose a scope and discover the easy-to-use mounting system. It has one of the smoothest actions of any lever action rifle in its price range, and the action is designed to be comfortable for all hand sizes, even while wearing gloves. For a classic, western feel, a lever action .22 is remarkably enjoyable to own and shoot. When it comes to target shooting, one of the most important features is how enjoyable the rifle is to operate.


When looking for a bargain, the Henry 22 rifle is more expensive than other models, such as the Marlin Model 60. While it’s lightweight and easy-to-use, it’s very similar in size and weight to the other .22 rifles on this list. If you don’t find lever action rifles to be particularly enjoyable, you may become frustrated with the trigger or lack of speed. While reliable, the Henry 22 isn’t as versatile as other rifles, like the CZ 455 American. Considering the price tag, decide how often you’ll use this .22 rifle, which generally isn’t a large enough caliber for more common hunting, like a good deer hunting rifle.

What Is a Henry .22 Rifle?

To understand why this rifle is such a popular choice, take a look at various aspects of the rifle. From the manufacturer’s reputation to the caliber and lever action, there are many reasons to choose the Henry 22 rifle.

Henry Repeating Arms

Founded in 1996, Henry Repeating Arms is already one of the leading firearms manufacturers. The company is in the top five ranking for manufacturing long guns and is number seven in overall firearms production. The Golden Boy and the lever action .22 are the two most popular rifles produced by Henry Repeating Arms. While it hasn’t been around for generations, the style and craftsmanship of this company reach back to the days of cowboys and a more rugged era.

Popular .22 Rifle

The .22 rifle is a popular caliber choice for a variety of uses. It’s on the smaller end of hunting rifles, so you won’t want to take it for any big game hunts. It’s not a great choice for a medium game like deer, either. This rifle really works well as a small game hunting and target shooting rifle. .22 rifles are lightweight, easy-to-use, affordable and don’t have the heavy recoil of larger caliber rifles. Because it has such little recoil, it’s a comfortable rifle for beginners. The ammunition is less expensive than some calibers as well, which is great for extended use. There is an extensive amount of ammunition with different calibers, so take your time and research the best gauge for your needs. If you are looking for a deer hunting rifle or a large game gun, this isn’t the caliber for you. However, for a quieter, more comfortable around, it’s a great choice. Pick up a .22 for hunting squirrels, grouse, and other small varmints. .22 rounds also have a great range of fire, particularly with rifles, like the ones on this list.

Lever Action, and Other Action Types

There are several action types available for .22 rifles. Take a look at each one and determine which one best suits your needs. While lever action may seem outdated, it’s an effective means of increasing your rate-of-fire without using a semi-automatic action. Regardless of the type you choose, each rifle must load, feed, fire, extract and eject. These four basic action types for rifles will cover all of these steps. Each action type is very popular and effective with its individual group of users, so which gun to buy is just as much a matter of personal preference as it is effectiveness.

Bolt Action

First, there are bolt action rifles. These rifles use a sliding bolt and can accommodate the longest cartridges of all. The trigger is usually better on these rifles, but each one is slightly different. While it’s still able to malfunction and jam, bolt action is generally the most reliable. However, it’s also the slowest, so it’s not ideal for a high rate of fire. Choose a bolt action if you want a reliable rifle, and plan on only needing one shot.

Lever Action

Lever action rifles are lightweight, reliable and can be very fast. This action type is another option for reliability and simplicity. However, the trigger mechanism is often worse than other action types. It’s one of the best balances between simplicity and rate of fire. Rifles shouldn’t be seen only as tools, but also for sport. With that in mind, a lever action rifle is one of the most enjoyable styles to fire. It takes some skill to balance accuracy with the rate of fire, but after a few rounds, you’ll see why so many avid gun owners own a lever action or two.

Pump Action

Hunting Outlaw Style

The pump action isn’t just made for shotguns but can be used with several different rifle variations as well. Pump action can be used with even greater speeds than lever action but tends to be slightly bulkier and can rattle. This makes it less practical for stealthy situations, like hunting small game. It still takes some practice to increase your rate of fire while maintaining an accurate pattern, but it’s another enjoyable action to learn.

Semi-Automatic Action

Last but not least, semi-automatic rifles have the very best rate of fire, making it easy to shoot rapidly, even without practice. Depending on the rifle, they can also be quite accurate. However, this action type tends to be more expensive, and need more regular maintenance. Because of the additional moving parts, it’s much easier to jam semi-automatic rifles, so you’ll need to keep up your routine maintenance. Some avid gun owners feel the semi-automatic action takes some of the skill and fun out of shooting, but others love the convenience of this easy-to-use action.

Specifications of the Henry 22 Rifle

  • Lever action
  • 18.25-inch barrel
  • Round blued-steel
  • Adjustable rear sight
  • American walnut stock
  • Weight: 5.25 pounds

The Henry 22 rifle is an excellent combination of portable, practical and cost-effective options. While it isn’t the most inexpensive model on the market, it’s reliable, American craftsmanship makes it well worth the price tag. Consider the beautiful, walnut stock, stylish and easy-to-use lever action and compact size, and you’ll see why this rifle is such a popular choice. It’s excellent for small game, and the rear sight can easily be outfitted with a scope for more accuracy. The 15-round capacity will keep you going for longer, and the 18.25-inch barrel is balanced between accuracy and portability. Whether it’s your first rifle or one in a long line of lovingly handled firearms, you won’t regret trying the Henry 22 rifle.


With rifles, there’s no limit to the amount you can spend. Consider rare or antique rifles, as well as handcrafted luxury stocks, and you’ll see rifles being sold for several thousands of dollars. Thankfully, .22 rifles are quite affordable and provide you with excellent features for a low price. The rifles on this list range from $209.00 to $421.00. The Henry .22 rifle is right in the middle of the price range, giving you a great balance of affordable features and high-end quality. Whether it’s a necessity or not, buying a rifle is a big decision. Don’t buy a .22 rifle without carefully researching your possibilities, understanding the safety requirements and being prepared to treat it with respect and responsibility.

Because of its size and price, the Henry .22 rifle makes an excellent choice for first-time buyers. There are, however, many reasons to choose other .22 rifle brands, so look at each one before choosing the best .22 rifle for all your target-shooting and small-game hunting needs.

How It Compares

Henry .22 Rifle

  • Ease of Use: 5 stars
  • Build Quality: 5 stars
  • Warranty: 4 stars

Marlin Model 60

  • Ease of Use: 4 stars
  • Build Quality: 4 stars
  • Warranty: 5 stars

This semi-automatic .22 rifle is an excellent bargain for a great rifle. The length of pull is slightly shorter than with other brands, which gives you a smoother shot. It comes with a 19-inch barrel, with a total of 16 grooves. This rifle also comes with a walnut stock and with a full pistol grip. A 14-shot magazine will keep you going, and the semi-automatic action gives you an excellent rate of fire. While it lacks the durability and reliability of a lever action rifle, the Model 60 remains one of the most popular .22 rifles in the world. If you’re willing to stay on top of cleaning, oiling and maintaining this rifle, it will be a reliable and effective tool for both small-game hunting and sports shooting. With one look at the price tag, you’ll see why it’s such a popular option.

CZ 455 American

  • Ease of Use: 4 stars
  • Build Quality: 5 stars
  • Warranty: 4 stars

Before you turn down this pricey bolt-action rifle, look at the versatile options that come included with your purchase. For just $421.00, you not only get a great quality .22 rifle, but it comes with a barrel change option. You have all the necessary parts to use this rifle with a .17HMR barrel, as well as the .22 barrel. It’s a popular choice and gives you the flexibility to test out another great caliber. The bolt action type gives you excellent dependability and ease of use. However, you lose some of the rates of fire that the competitors have, particularly the Marlin Model 60. The CZ 455 only includes a five-round magazine, but the Turkish walnut stock is beautifully designed, with a pistol grip. Consider purchasing a scope to take advantage of the increased accuracy and trigger of this bolt action .22.


For its iconic look, reliable use and relatively inexpensive price, the Henry 22 rifle receives 4 out of 5 stars. It’s an excellent choice for fans of westerns, lever actions or unique, but iconic, rifles. A .22 rifle is a great choice for small game but isn’t practical for anything larger. While it isn’t the most versatile, fast or affordable .22 on the market, it’s a fun rifle with a great look. If you’re looking for a rifle for a first-time shooter, or need something fun to shoot, try the Henry 22 rifle. You’ll see why it remains one of the most popular choices for a lever action .22 rifle that’s loved by inexperienced hunters and professional sportsman alike.



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