Savage Rascal .22 Single Shot Youth Rifle- Range Report

Teaching a kid to shoot can be as exciting as learning it all over again yourself, and the Savage Rascal is a great platform on which to start.
The Rascal carries an MSRP of $174 and comes in all of these colors, including natural wood like the one was saw at Media Day at the Range back in January.
Whether wood or plastic, all of the Rascals employ the same plastic feed ramp. We had no failures with several types of ammo.
The most surprising thing about the gun is that it comes with a full blown Savage AccuTrigger, and breaks clean and crisp at just over 2 and half pounds.
This Hy-Skore rest is a little overkill, but it does keep the gun steady.
Shooting at 50 yards we had to open this group up over more than ten shots to get it to not be a ragged hole. The flyers are of course shooter error.
If you are used to click adjustable AR peep sights, you will not be pleased at having to adjust the Rascal with just thumbwheels and eyeballing. This is the rear peep, and it came set down on its lever touching the frame. For proper zero it has to be slightly above that, just enough to make it difficult. But with a little finesse, it sighted in just fine.
The windage is a little easier, but still difficult to refine with big fat fingers.
It took me only six shots to zero the Rascal at 25 yards. I later had to re-zero it because I didn’t tighten the thumbscrews down tight enough and they loosened, so beware of this and tighten them down good.
The safety on the Rascal is snappy and sure, and not to difficult for little hands.
Savage is making the Rascal in Canada and importing them, and the gun is very well done, and a true Savage.
Savage Arms

Teaching a child the fundamentals of shooting and gun safety is best kept simple. Many of today’s top shooters cut their teeth as a young child on a single shot .22 bolt action. And if you ask any of them, “would you have preferred something cooler, with more shots” they will answer you in the negative. When you have only one shot at a time to concentrate on, you shoot one shot at a time, and you concentrate. That makes for great shooters, and that is why Savage brought this nifty little single shot rifle called the Rascal, to market. We first saw this gun at Media Day at the Range the day before SHOT Show 2012, and now we finally got a chance to really shoot one. Nice little gun! And at an MSRP of $174, just about anyone can teach their child or grandchild the fundamentals of good shooting for pennies a round.

Our Rascal came in red plastic, not wood like the one we saw at range day, and in a poll of my 9 year old twin boys and 7 year old daughter, they preferred the red, and wanted to know what other colors it comes in. The wooden gun actually has a plastic feed ramp like the plastic guns, so there is no difference in the guns outside the actual finish itself. Our test gun weighs 42.7 ounces, is 30 5/8ths inches overall, and the length of pull is 11 1/2 inches to the front of the Savage AccuTrigger lever. With the takeup on the AccuTrigger, the actual trigger pull breaks cleanly at 2 pounds, 10 ounces consistently.

You might ask yourself, why on earth would Savage make an inexpensive gun like the Rascal with an AccuTrigger? The inexpensive deer rifle Axis line doesn’t even have one, and we tested those guns at well under 1MOA, so they aren’t cheap guns. I think the answer lies in the purpose of the Rascal itself. Most of the gun is indeed made of inexpensive parts, the fitting for the buttpad and grip cap aren’t the cleanest in the world, but this gun was made to be a learning tool. They could have made the Rascal with a cheap, heavy, scratchy trigger if the goal was to just make a cheap .22 for the kid market, but you can tell that instead, a lot of thought went into the Rascal to both keep the price down, yet provide a great learning platform. The AccuTrigger on the Rascal is really sweet. If a child is going to get excited about shooting, the best way to do that is to excel at shooting, and the Rascal is meant to provide the tools to do just that.

The only criticism you could make on the Rascal is the sights. But like the trigger, they were clearly chosen for reason. The cheapest sights you can put on a rifle is a standard V notch leaf spring type. It is basically one bent piece of blued steel. Savage elected instead to put a peep sight on the Rascal, and they did so in a low cost manner, but it is quite serviceable. If you don’t know the difference, a peep sight is the ideal iron sight for any firearm. Your eye naturally centers the front sight in the aperture of the peep, so you don’t have to line anything up to duplicate your shots. You can just concentrate on the front sight picture, and trust your eye to naturally center it in the aperture.

The peep sight on the Rascal adjusts with lock screws. For elevation, the whole sight is on a lever that pivots, and you tighten the sight at the correct height with a thumb screw. The windage also has a thumb screw, but like the elevation, there are also no clicks. You just eyeball and feel for your adjustments based on where you are shooting on the target. At first I thought this would be a mess, trying to position the sight exactly right while adjusting the thumb screw, but it wasn’t so bad. The zeroing target is here in the pictures, and as you can see, it took six shots to get it zeroed in a 25 yards. I don’t know that the coarseness of the adjustment would allow an exact zero at 100 yards, but if it is possible it would definitely take some doing. Maybe leave the thumb screw tight, and use the plastic back of a screwdriver to tap the sight into position, while maintaining tension shot to shot. That is how I would try to do it.

The elevation screw does have a slot for screwdriver, and I quickly learned that you need to tighten this very well if you expect the rifle to stay zeroed. If I have one complaint with the gun it is that the windage screw doesn’t have a slot for a screwdriver, and I strongly suggested using pliers to tighten it over a piece of thin leather to protect the finish. With a lot of shooting they will come loose if they aren’t really tight, and that is the last thing you want to deal with when you are out shooting with a child. Zero this gun before you take the kid out shooting, and make sure she is all locked down. It may even be worth LockTite’ing it, with the removable kind.

Savage is the world leader in out of the box accurate guns, and this Canadian made Rascal is a tack driver as expected. At 25 yards there was nothing but a small ragged hole, and to get anything even resembling a group we had to back up to 50 yards and make the group over 10 shots. Even offhand, chipmonks and crows had better watch their step out to 100 yards easily with the Rascal, and you can see here how dangerous it was for these vegetable cans. We tried several types of ammo in it, and the gun never failed, and always ejected forward right.

And to address the concerns of the PC sheeple out there, this rifle is indeed called the “Rascal,” which, is a decidedly male word in common usage. Think “Leave it to Beaver.” We have had quite a few PC comments about excluding young girl shooters in our SHOT Show article on this gun, because we called it a “boys rifle,” which is exactly the way Savage billed it, with clearly no bias against you buying it for a young girl. You would never know it from the liberal PC media and all of the parrots who think they have to buy into all the PC nonsense, but it is really ok to still call a gun a Rascal, and even a “boys rifle,” yet assume that it will be bought for excited little girl shooters as well as excited little boy shooters. Yes, they make it in pink, but not all girls like everything in pink. I do not believe there is a red blooded American kid under 12 that would not be tickled to get this gun, regardless of what anyone calls it, or pretty much what color it is. There is no Hello Kitty version of the Rascal yet, but I was thinking maybe there should be, and maybe they should call it “Whiskers” or something, just for giggles.

Whether you are buying the Rascal for a little girl, a little boy, or even as a backyard squirrel gun, Savage made a lot of good choices in building this gun and it will serve you well. In a .22 rifle there are a lot of reasons to own a semi-auto, a levergun, and even a pump action gallery gun. But for a new young shooter who is best to concentrate on the fundamentals of shooting, and the importance of every shot, a single shot bolt gun is probably the best teaching tool. The Savage Rascal was clearly created just for this, and they did a good job. Tighten down the sights good, and zero it first, and you will not only make a child very happy, you will be creating memories and shooting skills that can last a lifetime.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Daniel Wright May 16, 2016, 2:00 pm

    I saw this little rifle at my local sporting goods store. Since I have been taking my 8yr old grand son Haven shooting with his sisters Pink Cricket 22 Cal rifle he has become quite a shot, with the rifle, and telescopic sight. I thought that a black Savage Rascal 22 cal rifle was just the ticket for him. Pop Pop will surprise him, real soon he’s a great kid and i’m sure he will love it.

  • Mike Pinkston January 3, 2016, 5:47 pm

    My nephew bought this for my 10yr old at walmart new in the box for $79. It was a no brainer. Now my son is an expert shot and loves his favorite cousin.

  • jamie brown December 26, 2014, 11:45 am

    I just purchased a Rascle for my son for Christmas the first thing I did was notice a rattle from the internal components of the weapon. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what this might be. I have field stripped it cleaned and inspected it but have not been able to locate the mysterious rattle. Let me know if you have any suggestions. Thank you,
    Jamie Brown

  • jamie brown December 26, 2014, 11:44 am

    I just purchased a Rascle for my son for Christmas the first thing I did was notice a rattle from the internal components of the weapon. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what this might be. I have field stripped it cleaned and inspected it but have not been able to locate the mysterious rattle. Let me know if you have any suggestions. Thank you,
    Jamie Brown

  • Carlos December 18, 2013, 10:31 am

    Just bought this at Big 5, $159, for my 9 yr old daughter. We couldn’t find pink in stock but she just had to have it ASAP, so we got the black one. She will be using it for youth 25yrd comp. Can’t wait!!!

  • BT July 9, 2013, 2:22 pm

    I just purchased one of these rifles for my son. Have not shot it yet, but I’m interested in finding out what ammo was used in this test fire?

    • Carlos December 18, 2013, 10:32 am

      Will let you know after my 10 day waiting period!!!

  • dick chaney June 3, 2013, 8:45 pm

    Bought for my seven year old son and we are having a blast. I am leaving the scope off until he gets really good with the peep. I do recommend this gun a lot.

  • Bill May 16, 2013, 1:15 pm

    I purchased a rascal at Big 5 Sports. it was as on the show stand and when I got it home there were no sight apertures with it. I went back to the store to see if they could find it. No luck. Where can I get these??

  • Bill May 16, 2013, 1:14 pm

    I purchased a rascal at Big 5 Sports. it was as on the show stand and when I got it home there were no sight apertures with it. I went back to the store to see if they could find it. No luck. Where can I get these??

  • jay vee April 5, 2013, 2:26 pm

    I love these little rifles, I’m going to buy one this weekend.

  • Richard Vyverberg March 17, 2013, 2:02 pm

    What is the value of Continental 22 bolt action single shot 1933, like new condition? Made by Marshall Wells , Duluth Minn.

  • Jeffrey Swanson February 2, 2013, 7:55 pm

    I would like a price on the pink rascal w/ the horse on the butt.

    • Administrator February 2, 2013, 10:45 pm

      Contact your local gun dealer and they can get you one.

  • don July 18, 2012, 3:18 pm

    I am 80 years old and I want to buya rascal for target practice. sincerely,don

  • julian flores July 9, 2012, 7:20 pm

    quiero saber como puedo comprar una pistola 22 beretta. oh estar. les agradesco que me informen

  • June 27, 2012, 11:17 am

    Will it be available in a left handed model?

    • Administrator June 27, 2012, 11:53 am

      No idea

    • JimmyB October 13, 2012, 12:19 pm

      Yes it is. I just picked one up this morning. The LH model is available with wood stock only. It’s sweet!

  • Howard Blair June 27, 2012, 10:16 am

    This would be a wonderful Christmas presents for my 4 grandchildren. You have their colors, only I don’t have 8 hundred dollars. Best of success Savage.

  • troop emonds June 25, 2012, 9:19 am

    ugly little sucker! I do like the idea that it is accurate, has a good trigger and like also the idea that there is a peep sight on it.

    I bought a H&R Sportster for my kid in .22, and put a peep sight on it. How about doing a report on those. One suggestion for H & R: Rossi has a good idea in that they make an off center, drilled .22 barrel for their little break action gun along with their common center fire action to go with extra center fire barrels for both rifles and shotguns. If H&R could make a .22 rimfire barrel by leaving the one inch thick barrel 20″, but untapered. They need to drill it a quarter inch or so off center toward the topside of the barrel, so the center fire firing pin hits the rim of the rimfire. H&R has a nicer looking action and overall gun than Rossi. They could offer the standard little .22 rimfire; drilled off center; for their single barreled, handy rifles and shotguns which are of course center fire.

  • David Hartman June 25, 2012, 8:15 am

    I started out with a Marlin Model 100 given to me by an uncle, and have taught all three of my children (including my daughter) how to shoot with it. In fact I still use if for squirrel hunting. The little single-shot .22’s are fantastic learning tools and make pretty good sport rifles.

  • jtf June 22, 2012, 8:59 pm

    My first was a bolt action .22. I will never forget my dad coaching me. I never looked back from there. Bring the kids to the range. It’s so fun watching them hit reactive targets.
    Great article

  • Tim Elliott June 22, 2012, 8:04 pm

    It looks like a good product. I like the positive safety and the ability to unload safely. I wish that Savage had included a provision for a magazine… allowing a new shooter to later “graduate” to a bolt action repeater. I still wonder why no one has made a 22lr bolt action with an adjustable (think AR) stock so the rifle could grow with a child. This is a good start.

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