Rossi Single-Shot Youth-Size Rifle
Here you go, folks, No. 10 in this series, and since setup No. 9 was a tad on the pricey side, I thought I'd swing the pendulum the other way and give you a real dollar saver.
I'll say off the bat that Rossi didn't publish a length of pull for this gun, but it is specifically a Youth-Size Rifle. I Googled a bit and found someone remarking that LOP was 12 1/2 inches, so between that, Rossi's own description, and the fact that the butt pad has a spacer that can mix things up in the length department, I'd bet a fair amount that this gun is appropriately sized and fairly accommodating to a large number of small-statured shooters.
I love that this rifle is a single-shot–just plain safer all the way around for young shooters. I like even more that this is a takedown rifle–you don't put it together until you're in the stand, and you take it apart immediately before you climb down or exti a ground blind. This light little 6.25-rifle also has a transfer bar safety (won't fire unless the hammer is pulled back and the trigger is pulled completely rearward, which means even accidental drops are highly unlikely to discharge this gun), a breechlock systm that prevents the gun from being opened if the hamemer is cocked, a manual hammer block safety, and the Taurus Security System (Rossi is owned by Taurus), which provides a keyed remedy to rendering the gun inoperable.
That's the safe part. From a functional standpoint, one of my favorite features on this gun is the removeable cheekpiece, for it lets the gun grow with your child. Put it on to bring a really small face and body in better alignment with either the gun's fiber optic riflesights or a scope that attaches to the provided Weaver base, then take it off as your pre-teen gets their driver's license and perhaps no longer needs it. Finally, the gun also comes with a hammer extension, a big help for small, less-nimble hands and fingers, especially when they're wearing gloves or glomitts.
MSRP: Rossi's website lists this gun at an everyone-can-afford-this $263. When you add in the fact that this gun can grow with your child, this one's a definite bargain. Available in five deer-ready rifle cartridges–.243, .308, .270, .30-06, and 7.62×39–as well as the .44 Magnum handgun round, which can be easy on the recoil while still allowing for effective kills at limited ranges. In .223, I like this gun as a wild hog or varmint gun, as well.
Nikon Prostaff Rifle Scope
I've never met a Nikon scope, rangefinder, or binocular I didn't like. Even the money-saving lines have clear glass and hold up well under pressure and hard handling. The Prostaff line is one of those money savers, and its 2-7x32mm rifle scope is solid choice for topping the Rossi Single-Shot Youth rifle. A smaller-bodied scope designed to better fit and balance on more compact rifles such as the Rossi Youth, this Nikon comes with many of the features its more expensive cousins do, such as fully coated optics, quick-focus eyepiece, and the ability to shed water like a duck's back (yup, it's waterproof and fogproof). Backed by a lifetime warranty, so again, this is one to grow with your kid both on a gun like the Rossi Youth, and for use on their next rifle as they step up.
MSRP: The Nikon site had this at $164.95, but a solid Google search will turn up oodles of these scopes much closer to the $100 mark.
Hey readers, this is the end of the Youth Deer Gun series. There's an e-book verison of this collection coming soon, with added material, including three slug shotgun picks and some advice on how and why to fit a gun properly to a young, small shooter. We'll let you know when the e-book is available, and stay tuned for January's theme, coyote gun setups. It's sure to be a howlin' good time!
The Author Recommends: Can't miss having a copy of the Rossi Long Guns Exploded Gun Drawings Digital Download. A great help for disassembling for cleaning–and for reassembling to make sure you don't have parts leftover!