When we had an11 year old girl review a Savage .308, the results seemed to resonate with readers. When we took it upon ourselves to review a TriStar Raptor Youth 20 gauge, we got hammered for not asking the girls what they think. Lesson learned. Today, we’re taking another look at the Savage Rascal, a .22 rifle that is designed for small shooters learning the ropes. So here it is: a youth review of a youth rifle.
I had my 11 year old daughter, Emma, do this review. We took the little Savage Rascal to the range a couple of times and ran a couple hundred rounds through it. Truth be told, the Rascal is a little small for her, but she has not been shooting for very long. Other than the size, though, this has been a great first rifle for her to learn on. I asked her some questions about the Rascal and her answers are below. I will conclude this with a few observations I had about the rifle.
But first some specs!
- Savage Rascal
- .22 LR
- Rate of twist: 1/16
- Barrel Length: 16.125”
- Length of Pull: 11.25”
- Overall Length: 31.5”
- Weight: 2.66 lb
- MSRP: $186.00
- Adjustable peep sight, (tapped for scope mounts)
What do you like about the way the gun looks?
Emma: The Pink color kind of makes it look like a toy, like my BB gun.
Is there a color you would like better than this one? Why?
There is a Dark Red that I like better. I’m not sure why. Red seems to be more of a gun color.
Describe how the gun fits you? Is it comfortable? Is there anything about the rifle that feels too big or too small?
It is a little small for me. But it shoulders pretty good for the stock being a bit short. It is very comfortable for me to shoot, the kick is not bad at all and I can keep shooting for a long time without getting tired.
How easy is it to use the peep sight? What’s it like looking through the tiny little hole?
The peep sight is ok, but I like regular open sights better.
How is the weight? Does it feel too heavy or too light?
Light weight, a good weight for a first gun. I really like the weight for me, I didn’t get tired while shooting like I do with bigger guns.
You’ve shot the gun—tell me about how well it worked. Did you hit what you were aiming at?
I did OK with it but I think I would could shoot it a little better if it was longer [by which she means length of pull]. But I was able to pop some balloons at 50 yards. That’s not bad.
What problems did you have shooting it?
I did have some problems getting the shot cases out of the gun. I had to have you help get them out.
What about the rifle would you change?
I would like it to be longer, and the cases should come out every time so I can keep on shooting and not have to wait for it to be fixed!
When you shoot the gun, do you feel safe? In control? Is there anything about how it works that makes you feel unsafe?
No, the gun feels safe. The safety is big and easy to move.
What makes this a good first gun for someone who has never shot a rifle before?
Well, the rifle is easy to work except for the cases getting stuck. And the size is right–I mean for a kid.
You’re a kid, but not a little kid. How young is too young for shooting a Rascal?
I think a 7 year old could do well with this, 5 or 6 might be too young but it depends on the kid.
After learning the ropes on this gun, what do you want to move up to next? A larger gun? A semi-auto? A larger bullet or more power?
Defiantly a larger gun. I would like to have a Ruger 10/22, so a semi automatic would work for me. I am interested in moving up to a larger caliber soon, too. I am excited to go deer hunting for the first time!
Now my take
It is a big step up from the Rascal to a deer rifle. She is absolutely correct about the brass getting stuck from time to time. The extractor would slip over the rim every 10th round or so. This happened with a lot of different brands and it didn’t seem to matter how clean the chamber or the bolt/extractor was. Clearing the stuck brass was very easy, I used the blade of a screw driver to pop them out. Not a huge problem, but it was frustrating for Emma and, in turn, for dad too!
One huge plus for the Rascal is the trigger. It has one of the Savage AccuTriggers. This is the same trigger they put on the grown-up guns and the nicer ones at that. The pull measured around 3 pounds out of the box. On our last trip to the range, I really started working with Emma on her trigger control and finger placement. The quality of the trigger on the rascal helped a lot towards getting her to feel where the break is and to squeeze and not jerk.
The other thing I really like about the design on the Rascal is the feed ramp. Even though this is a single shot, it still has a feed ramp that pops up when the bolt is open. It really does help to guide the round into the chamber. This is great for both Emma and me. She didn’t have to manually start the round into the chamber, just set it in the open action and close the bolt. She has small fingers that could easily start a round if need be, but the feed ramp makes loading simpler and faster. It helped me in that I didn’t have to try and get my finger in the small action.
As I said above, Emma is a little big for this rifle. Still, I am glad we reviewed it. Even though she is a little cramped shooting it, the quality of the trigger has helped a lot with her shooting. The weight was also great for allowing her to shoot it for hours without getting fatigued. The trouble with the extraction was a bummer. But I treated it as a positive in teaching Emma how to clear a malfunction in a safe and responsible way. And that is the take away from this little rifle. It is a great platform for teaching a young one our great shooting sport.
If you want more on the Rascal, read our big review of it here. It is a solid gun for kids to learn on.