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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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For Best Mossberg .22 Rifle – Complete Review and Guide

Find out why the Blaze .22 rifle is one of the most popular and highly rated Mossberg .22 rifle options on the market. From the affordable price tag to the durable, synthetic stock, this .22 is perfect for everyday target practice or for a first-time gun owner. Compare it with other popular .22 rifles with this guide.

Few names evoke the spirit of American gun ownership like Mossberg. This American company proudly produces an extensive range of rifles, shotguns and other firearms since 1919. If you’re looking for a great, American-made and family-owned rifle, Mossberg is the brand to choose. Few Mossberg .22 rifle options are as popular as the Blaze, so this complete review will give you all the information you need to consider this as your next .22 rifle. Whether your first or one of many, this reliable and affordable rifle will provide you with the qualities you need for a great target or small game rifle.

What Is a .22 Rifle?

mossberg 22 rifle

Most rifles are described by the caliber of their round, and the .22 is no exception. A .22 round is a rimfire cartridge that is incredibly common and easy to use. This small round is great for target shooting or small game hunting. With a wide range of calibers to choose from, it can be difficult to find the perfect rifle for your needs. Take a look at some of the details of a .22 rifle to determine whether this is the right rifle for you.

Rimfire Cartridge

All ammunition is ignited in one of two ways. Either the round is struck directly on the center of the cartridge by the firing pin, or struck near the rim of the cartridge. Centerfire cartridges are capable of using larger caliber bullets and more gunpowder, like 12-gauge shotgun ammunition.

Rimfire cartridges, on the other hand, are only usable with smaller caliber rounds, like .22 caliber ammunition. Rimfire cartridges have thinner casings, so they are much less expensive than centerfire rounds. It’s the perfect option if you will use a lot of bullets, like target practice. However, a .22 and other rimfire cartridges lack the power of a larger, centerfire cartridge. This means you won’t be able to hunt larger game, like deer or elk, with most rimfire rifles.

Low Recoil, Low Volume

https://captainhunter.com/best-bow-sights/A huge advantage of a .22 rifle is the impressively low recoil. Because of the small caliber round, a .22 rifle will have far less recoil and a quieter sound than many other hunting and sport rifles. This makes it a great choice for first-time gun owners. Larger caliber rifles, even after a few shots, will leave your ears ringing and your shoulder aching. Of course, it isn’t as practical for hunting as a larger rifle, but it’s a great starting point.


The .22 LR cartridges are some of the most affordable rounds available. The small bullet size, combined with the thin casing and popularity of this round, make it an easy to come by option. Any store that sells ammunition should have a plentiful supply of .22 LR rounds available, and you’ll save even more by buying in bulk. Once you see how easy it is to fire the Blaze .22 rifle, you’ll be thankful that you bought plenty of ammunition.

Why Choose Mossberg?

Mossberg is not only the largest shotgun producer in America, but it also is one of the most high-quality and trusted brands for all firearms. Mossberg is proudly owned and operated in America and has excellent customer service and firearm repair services.

Not only can you purchase Mossberg rifles and firearms, like the Blaze .22 rifle, at an official Mossberg dealer, but you can also find these popular items in almost any outdoor, hunting and sporting goods department store. Check out the official Mossberg website to find your nearest dealer. Consider popular stores, such as Cabela’s, or shop at your local sporting goods store for discounts and savings.

Mossberg Warranty

Mossberg provides a limited two-year warranty on most of their firearms, and you can pay an additional cost to upgrade to a lifetime warranty. If you are experiencing any issues with your .22 rifle, Mossberg has an excellent variety of resources available. Whether you look at their blog, FAQ list or contact customer service through the online form, you’ll be able to identify most common issues with your rifle easily. Any warranty request can be sent directly to Mossberg, and you’ll receive repairs or a replacement as long as it is still under warranty.


  • Model Number: 37312
  • Caliber: .22 LR
  • Barrel Length: 16.5 in
  • Twist: 1:16
  • Round Capacity: 11
  • Synthetic Stock
  • Overall Length: 37.75 in.
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 Years
  • Customer Rating: 4 Stars
Ease of Use
Build Quality

Lightweight, affordable and offering competitive features, the Blaze .22 rifle has all the features you’d expect from a highly rated model and well-trusted brand. The price is comparable to other .22 rifles, and it uses the affordable and popular .22 LR ammunition. While it isn’t the most beautiful or long-range rifle on the market, it provides a durable frame and affordable price tag, which makes it a popular choice for many uses.


Not only is the Mossberg Blaze .22 rifle lightweight and affordable, but it’s also particularly easy to use. The semi-automatic design allows you to fire multiple rounds quickly, which is great for target shooting or hunting down rabbits and other small game. Most .22 rifles are semi-automatic, so this feature is shared by all of the competitors in this review.

Barrel Length

In general, a longer barrel means a more accurate shot and a bulkier rifle. However, there are plenty of other factors to consider, and there is a limit to the barrel length that will increase accuracy. The 16.5-inch Mossberg Blaze barrel is shorter than many of its competitors. This means that you may not have quite as accurate of a shot at long ranges. The Blaze is also far more portable than rifles with longer barrels, like the Marlin Model 60.

Synthetic Stock

Despite the beauty and traditional feel of a hardwood stock, the Mossberg Blaze .22 rifle uses a synthetic stock. While it gives the rifle a more modern, less expensive look, it is perfect for reducing the overall weight of the rifle. The stock, along with the shorter barrel, shaves several pounds off the weight of this rifle when compared to other popular .22 rifles. If you’re hiking with your rifle or taking your time to line up the perfect shot, you’ll appreciate the dramatically lower weight.

Lightweight Design

Few .22 rifles can compare with the impressive 3.5 pounds of the Blaze .22 rifle. While most .22 rifles weigh about five pounds, this compact .22 offers a far more comfortable weight. It’s perfect for long target shooting sessions.

Disassembling and Cleaning

Like all firearms, a key to the long life of your Blaze .22 is proper maintenance and cleaning. Because the body and stock of this rifle are made of a synthetic polymer, all you need are a few screws to take the case apart completely. Sixteen screws hold the two halves together, which opens to reveal all the internal mechanisms.

Like all firearms, be sure to thoroughly read the owner’s manual before use and especially before cleaning and disassembling your rifle. You’ll want to make sure you don’t break or lose any parts in the process, and every rifle is slightly different.

Add-Ons and Other Options

Like all good rifles, the Blaze .22 has plenty of customizable features. Choose the standard 10-round magazine, or upgrade to a longer, 25-round magazine. If you’re looking for more accuracy, consider the green dot scope. All of these options, as well as some color options, are available through a Mossberg dealer. If you aren’t convinced you need any frills, you can always buy a scope or larger magazine after you purchase your .22 rifle.


Most .22 rifles cost between $120 and $500. This makes the Mossberg .22 rifle a very affordable option. This price is listed on the official Mossberg website, although other retailers offer lower prices and more savings. Cabela’s offers the same .22 rifle with a 25 round capacity for only $169.99. Check out other department stores to find the best savings.

The Mossberg Blaze .22 rifle can come with several optional upgrades, like a green dot scope or 25-round magazine. With these options, you can pay up to $273.00 for an upgraded Blaze .22 rifle. Consider whether these additional extras are cost-effective for your needs. You can purchase them with your Blaze rifle, or as accessories after your purchase.

Other reliable brands also offer .22 rifles in the $200 to $300 dollar range, so carefully compare each .22 before determining which one is the best option for your needs.

How It Compares

Ruger 10/22 Carbine

With a beautifully crafted hardwood stock, 18.5-inch barrel and Ruger-engineered action, the 10/22 carbine is a premium option for a .22 rifle. While this rifle is considerably heavier than the Mossberg Blaze, weighing five pounds, it’s still comfortable to hold when target shooting or hunting small game. The magazine uses a rotor to separate the cartridges. This makes for a more precise and trustworthy magazine. Just like the Blaze, you have the option of multiple scope styles in order to make it your own.

The Ruger 10/22, while high quality, is considerably more expensive than the other two great rifles on this list. It’s also much longer and heavier than the Blaze .22, so it may be uncomfortable to carry all day. Some customers love the compact size of the rotary magazine. Others, however, feel it’s difficult to load quickly and easily. Consider this rifle if you want a durable .22 with the handcrafted look and feel of hardwood, along with a unique magazine.

Ease of Use
Build Quality

Marlin Model 60

The perfect mid-range .22 rifle, the Marlin Model 60 balances the exquisite feel of the Ruger 10/22 with the affordable price of the Blaze. The walnut stock has a pistol grip and an excellent finish, which pairs well with the 19-inch barrel. The scope mount allows you to add most rifle scopes, and the patented Micro-Groove barrel helps give this .22 impressive accuracy.

At 5.5 pounds, it’s one of the heaviest .22 rifles on the list and a full 2 pounds heavier than the Mossberg Blaze. However, the 19-inch barrel can be an advantage if you are looking for accuracy, and the adjustable, open sight can help you line up the perfect shot.

Ease of Use
Build Quality

CZ 455 American

For a more premium and accurate option, consider the excellent CZ 455 American. This .22 rifle is bolt action, which is both a positive and negative addition. Bolt action .22 rifles tend to be more accurate and allow you to take your time and take a clearer shot. However, it also means you won’t have the same rate of fire. The 455 American only comes with a 5-round magazine, but the exquisite Turkish walnut stock makes this rifle almost a display piece.

This .22 is far heavier and longer than other options, weighing 5.85 pounds with a 20.5-inch barrel. Consider this .22 if you want the classic feel of a bolt action rifle with the premium look and feel of a hardwood stock and a long, weighty rifle.

Ease of Use
Build Quality

Pros and Cons of the Mossberg .22 Blaze Rifle


  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Short length


  • Synthetic stock instead of hardwood
  • Limited round capacity


Once you hold a Mossberg .22 rifle in your hands, you’ll see why it’s such a popular option. The lightweight and affordable Blaze .22 rifle packs a great punch for a great price. Consider some of the options, like a scope, green dot sight or larger magazine for greater convenience. While you won’t be hunting large game with this .22 rifle or admiring the rugged synthetic stock for its beauty, everyone can appreciate the durable design and ease of use that Mossberg brings to the table. Consider the Mossberg Blaze .22 rifle, and you may find your new favorite .22.

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