An 11 Year Old’s Review of the Savage Rascal

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The Rascal may be too small for some shooters, but it is still easy to learn on.

The Rascal may be too small for some shooters, but it is still easy to learn on.

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.

Basic bolt actions keep the speed down, which is good for those learning the controls.

Basic bolt actions keep the speed down, which is good for those learning the controls.

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.


The Rascal is small enough for kids as small as five or six, and large enough for older kids.


The length of the barrel makes the Rascal safer for instruction than a pistol.

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.


The bright colors are meant to appeal to kids, though the gun comes in traditional colors and finishes, too.


It is pink, though. A very loud pink.

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.


The peep sight on the Rascal.


The Rascal has a solid black bead front sight.

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.


Accuracy from 25 yards, from Emma, who is still learning.


The Rascal is light enough to hold, though the light weight may make it hard to hold still.

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!


The feeding ramp lets you drop in a round and slide home the bolt.


Some brass slipped off the extractor. Pulling by hand is a pain, but easy enough.

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!

The attention to detail is what makes this a viable teaching tool. Savage could cut corners, but they don't.

The attention to detail is what makes this a viable teaching tool. Savage could cut corners, but they don’t.

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.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Brent September 27, 2017, 5:19 pm

    Thank you for the youth review of a youth gun. I’ve read several reviews by adults, and while they can offer some valid info, such as reliability and accuracy; fit and feel can only be reasonably reviewed by someone the size it is made for.
    I’m a little disappointed in the extraction comment. I wonder if the extractor can be tuned/modified to make it work more consistently.

  • Gabe R. July 5, 2016, 1:51 am

    Great review, I like how you did it. I think the rifle is cool and all, but I’m not so fond of it. Learning on such a rifle is not ideal in my opinion; it doesn’t help with respect for the power of firearms or flinch. I learned how to shoot on an old mosin. It beat the life out of me, but in the end, shooting accurate with something like .458 Winchester mag wasn’t a challenge. Great review, but I think that you should put a more powerful rifle in your daughter’s hands. .223 is not too damaging, and it is much more powerful than .22

  • James Cockerham December 8, 2014, 9:43 pm

    Twenty years ago I picked up a used Daisy .22 in a pawn shop for $29.95.
    It is the cheapest looking rifle I have ever seen. It’s one you would
    not cry about if you lost it over the side of a boat (which is why I
    bought it). It’s all plastic and pot metal. And I think it was Daisy’s one
    and only entry into the real rifle market. But . . . it will shoot! I’m talking
    moment of tin can every time. Some of the best money I ever spent! I can
    see it now as I type this. If Mr. Rabbit shows up in the back yard, and
    I feel like some game on the grill, this is the one I pick up. If Mr.
    Armadillo shows up, I pick up the Stevens double barreled .410 my dad gave me
    one glorious Christmas. Loaded with OOO buck. My cousin, May God Bless Him,
    used to use a .22. Then a wounded ‘dilla found the one spot it could get
    under his house, and decided to die there. Now he uses a .243. Stinky
    problem solved. I learned from his mistake.

  • bmaverick December 8, 2014, 12:43 pm

    Oh, my daughter loves this bolt .22 Here’s is not pink BTW since she is more of a tomboy. She is very happy not to “pull to the cock knob” on the bolt like the other kids bolt guns do. It makes reloading easy and faster. I’ve seen kids with cock knobs point the gun down while holding the barrel between their knees to pull the cock knob. Not safe at all. Thanks Savage for such an improvement! Shooting with shorts, the extrator works fine. The longs tend to have more of the issue getting stuck here or there. The shoulder strap works well too.

  • AZsnipe December 8, 2014, 10:58 am

    Joe Bob, there are a couple of other “miniature” starter guns available. The CRICKET and the CHIPMUNK, both made by Keystone. Both of them have a “pull to cock” knob on the bolt that must be pulled to the rear to cock the rifle. Both are available in several stock configurations.
    That said, I like the RASCAL better as a trainer. It is more like the “adult” rifles they are likely to transition to. The bolt cocks on opening, just like most “big” rifles (I know some cock on close, but very very few have a pull to cock knob). As mentioned in the article, the trigger is probably the best available on a starter gun. The Rascal is also drilled and tapped for scope mounting as well as having a grooved receiver for tip off mounts.
    It would be nice if someone (Savage, are you listening?) offered two other length of pull stocks for this gun. One just a bit short of “adult” and another in the middle. That would allow someone to get this rifle in the correct length of pull, and switch to another stock as they grow out of the shorter one.

  • Joe Bob December 8, 2014, 10:24 am

    I bought one Saturday for my 5 and 7 year old, who are too tiny to use anything else. They are in love!

    I am very thankful someone makes “miniature” 22 rifles for kids to start learning on. My 7 year old daughter is aching to go rabbit hunting.

  • John L December 8, 2014, 9:24 am

    Takes me back. I still own and shoot my first .22. A Remington single shot that is now 52 years old. Still a tack driver even though I probably look ridiculous shooting a youth size rifle. I have always had the same ejection problems. What I found is that I need a quick rearward movement of the bolt and the brass ejects well. Moving the bolt slowly causes FTE’s in my rifle.Good job Emma, great review.

  • Peter Wert December 8, 2014, 7:57 am

    A pink gun looks like a toy…reason enough to not make then IMHO.

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