Rogue Rifle Company’s "Chipmunk" Youth Rifles
by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn




For a few years now, the Rogue Rifle Company in Lewiston, Idaho has been producing a great little .22 rimfire that is sized for use by youngsters.  Youth model rifles have always been available from manufacturers of .22 rifles, but they have mostly been standard sized guns with shorter stocks and barrels, with all other dimensions being the same as for their full-size rifles. While these youth rifles are better than trying to teach a youngster to shoot with an adult sized rifle, they are still, for the most part, too long and heavy.

Rogue Rifles has taken a better approach with their Chipmunk rifle. This rifle was designed from the ground up with the younger shooter in mind. The rifle is smaller in nearly every dimension, not just the stock and barrel, but the lock also. The gun is made with a trim little receiver and bolt that has been sized perfectly to the .22 rimfire family of cartridges.

We recently received for testing two rifles from Rogue. Both rifles have good looking laminated stocks, and polished blued barrels and receivers. One rifle is chambered for the .22 Short, Long, and Long Rifle cartridges, and has a ramp front sight and an aperture rear sight, along with a trim barrel profile. The other rifle has a heavier barrel, no sights, a scope base, and is chambered for the .22 Magnum cartridge.
Both rifles have barrels of sixteen inches in length, an overall length of 30 inches, and an eleven and three-quarters inch length of pull. Both rifles exhibited excellent fit and finish, with no visible tool marks or gaps between the wood and metal.

The length of pull is a very important measurement in a youth rifle, and the little Chipmunk has enough stock that it can be trimmed if necessary, and still be long enough to serve an early teenager as well. Before shortening a buttstock for a smaller shooter, it is a good idea to first remove the butt plate and drill the stock for two wooden dowel rods so that the piece that is removed can be easily and accurately reattached as the young shooter grows.  The length of pull on the Chipmunk need not be changed for most young shooters. Only the smallest percentage shooters will find the stock to be a bit long.

After shooting both rifles to check for function, I enlisted the aid of two fine young men to help in the testing  and shooting of the guns from a kid's point of view. Casey and Evan Williams were good enough to volunteer to bring their dad along  for an informal shooting session involving shooting at a swinging steel plate. I have found that kids bore quickly shooting at paper, and greatly prefer, as I do, the fun of shooting at reactive targets. A swinging steel plate gives the shooter instant feedback, and is just more fun than shooting holes in a piece of paper.

The two young shooters both had experience with a BB gun, and learned quickly to hit with the little Chipmunk rifles. Casey, who is nine years old, really took to the .22 Long Rifle chambered Chipmunk, hitting the steel target with amazing regularity. The stock proved to be a little long for his brother Evan, who is only five years old.  Also, while Casey could cock the action, Evan lacked the strength to pull the cocking knob back, needing assistance from his father. This is a good safety feature of the rifle, preventing a too-small youngster from firing the rifle without adult supervision. Both kids also fired the .22 Magnum, which I had fitted with a small four-power scope sight, but seemed to do better with the peep-sighted Long Rifle gun. These Chipmunk rifles are single-shot bolt actions, and are the ideal action type with which to teach a new shooter. The design requires that the bolt be opened, a round inserted into the breech, the bolt closed, and the action manually cocked before firing.

The little Chipmunks exhibited great accuracy during the plinking session, and later in accuracy testing. As can be seen from the photos, the little rifles are plenty accurate enough to serve as squirrel guns for young hunters. The squirrel was shot through the head at about forty yards with the peep-sighted .22 LR Chipmunk.

Both rifles functioned perfectly, firing and ejecting the cases with no problems. The trigger pulls on both rifles were very good, letting go at a bit over three pounds after an initial lighter travel of about one-quarter inch, much like a military two-stage trigger.

Many youth rifles on the market exhibit poor finish and quality. I believe that this is unfair to a young shooter. A youngster who is learning the fundamentals of shooting needs a quality firearm as much or more than an experienced shooter does. Rogue Rifles supplies a quality product with the size, safety, and accuracy needed by a developing shooter.

Check out the complete line of Chipmunk rifles online at:

If you have a young marksman in your household, I recommend the little Chipmunk as a great first rifle. It has the quality to serve the shooter for many years, and then be passed on to another little rifleman.

Jeff Quinn

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Rogue Rifle Company produces their nice little Chipmunk youth rifle in .22 Magnum (top) or .22 Long Rifle (bottom). The .22 Magnum version comes with a heavier barrel and no sights, with receiver drilled and tapped for scope mount supplied with the gun. The .22 LR version shoots .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle cartridges, has a lighter barrel and comes with a very nice peep sight system. The .22 LR's receiver is also drilled and tapped for optional scope mount.



The Chipmunk's design is a very safe one for young shooters, requiring that the single-shot bolt gun be manually cocked as shown. Operating the bolt allows access for loading and unloading only, and the cocking piece is equipped with a stiff enough spring to preclude operation by younger marksmen.



The bolt face of the Chipmunk shows the spring-loaded extractor. Loading and extraction were very positive, with no failures of any kind.



Rear aperture sight on the .22 LR Chipmunk is a simple and well-designed arrangement, perfect for training young shooters in the use of peep sights.



Receivers of all Chipmunks are drilled and tapped for scope mounts. Scope mounts are supplied with models not including peep sight.



The Chipmunk's scope mount system is a very nice rail-type mount, allowing for installation of a wide variety of scopes.




The Chipmunk rifle is not just a .22 rifle with a smaller stock. The entire gun is scaled to fit young shooters, as is evident when compared to a "full-size" .22 such as the author's trusty Marlin Model 39.



To aid him in testing the Chipmunk rifles, author enlisted the help of Casey Williams (age 9) and his little brother Evan (age 5). Both young riflemen were already experienced in the use of BB guns, and trained by their dad in basic gun safety.



Casey fires the Chipmunk. Author used reactive steel targets rather than paper targets so that testing the Chipmunk would be more fun for the young marksmen. Jeff believes the use of "active" targets makes shooting more fun for beginners, and makes it more likely that they will continue their marksmanship training.



Evan gets a few pointers from his dad. The Chipmunk rifles performed very well for the boys, and both shooters rose to the occasion and enjoyed the experience.



Two little Tennessee hunters with a squirrel for supper!