Savage’s Rascal .22 rimfire youth rifle.

Savage hits the mark yet again.

Getting kids into shooting is critical for the longevity of our sport. The youth of today are the consumers/hunters/shooters/teachers of tomorrow so as shooters ourselves we have a duty to, at the very least, assist youngsters in having a go at shooting. Of course one of the challenges is always gun fit and how many times have we all seen a slightly built young adult or child trying to manage a full size firearm? Indeed, my own girls have been in this situation….that was until last Thursday evening.

In recent years Savage Arms have really upped the ante in the firearms market. In terms of accuracy and affordability the good old boys at Savage take a lot of beating. A friend of mine has one of their .17HMR varmint rifles and it is a tack driver right out of the box. The Cast Bullet Association (CBA) “production class” competition is pretty well dominated by Savage rifles. Savage just seem to have the formula right and not to forget our young buddies on the firing line they now offer the Rascal .22 rimfire built specifically for children.

The Rascal is a bolt action, single shot chambered in .22 long rifle but suitable for .22 short and .22 long also. Manufactured in Canada at the Savage Lakefield facility the Rascal is made to fit little people and that’s exactly what it does. The rifle is a minature version of a regular rimfire; here are some of its vital statistics:

Overall length 30 1/2 inches
Length of pull 11 1/2 inches
Barrel length 16 1/8 inches
Grip dimensions 1 1/4 X 7/8 inches
Foreend width 1 1/4 inches
Bolt length 4 3/4 inches
Butt plate width 1 1/2 inches
Weight 2.66 pounds
Action 0.81 inch
Barrel breech 0.68 inch
Barrel muzzle 0.50 inch
Rifling 1 in 16 twist

Features of the Rascal are a peep sight, Savage’s Accu-trigger, spring loaded fed ramp, quick release sling studs, floating barrel, side mounted safety catch, half cock bolt position, cock on opening bolt, drilled and tapped for scope mounts and a choice of 8 different colours (black, green, ‘wood’, blue, yellow, red, orange and pink).

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Here’s what I really like about the Rascal (other than the obvious – it fits kids):

1) The peep sight. Priceless idea and makes the task of teaching kids to shoot just one bit easier. Initially I thought the fairly rudimentary sight might be a challenge to adjust but really it was not. What’s more, once sighted there is little need to readjust.

2) Cock on opening. No silly cocking knobs that little users just can’t operate but more to the point are plain dangerous.

3) The integral firing pin/ejector. It’s so simple but clever. The firing pin floats and it activated by a striker. Upon opening of the action the firing pin stops against the bolt stop plunging the pin forward and ejecting the spent case.

Below see the extractor (top) and firing pin/ejector (bottom)

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4) The weight. 2.66lb all up and prefectly balanced.

And the things I’m not so keen on:

a) I think the comb is a little low even for the peep sight. Certainly with a scope the comb would not have sufficient height.

b) The feed ramp is not cycling the ammo I have been shooting. Possible it’s too early to be critical until I try other brands but the 1977 vintage Eley standard velocity needs to be chambered manually. Given the girls have nearly 5000 rounds of this ammo they had best get used to that quirk.

Yeap, that’s it, only two things and neither is of major significance.

So, how does it shoot? Very, very respectably I can tell you. Today was the first session. I wanted the rifle sighted before I took the girls to the range to shoot it for themselves. I used the Savage supplied 25 yard target and put this at 25m and began shooting with the standard velocity Eley ammo I bought in bulk some years ago with the girls in mind. After bringing the point of impact (POI) down and right I settled in for a 5 shot group. The first four shots measure 7/16 inch but as my eye became tired by the very bright conditions I allowed the fifth shot to open up the group to near 5/8 inch. Still, just over 1/2 inch at 25m is VERY respectable.

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For rabbit hunting the girls will use the Eley ammo hollow pointed by my rimfire reforming tool but for the much larger hares I am considering buying a hyper velocity round such as the Stinger and limiting them to 30-40m. Speaking of ‘the girls’ here they are with their new acquistion and well pleased about it.

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For more info visit the good folks at Savage. www.savagearms.com

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About JeffinNZ

Dedicated cast bullet shooter, runner, fisherman and father for two beautiful girls.
This entry was posted in Rifles, Rimfire. Bookmark the permalink.

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