Savage 22 Long Rifle Single Shot “Rascal” Youth Model Bolt-Action Rifle

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

May 1st, 2012




Click pictures for a larger version.





Excellent set of fully-adjustable sights.





Two-position safety.



Tactile and visual cocking indicator.



Rascal is drilled and tapped for scope base.



The Rascal has the superb Savage AccuTrigger.



The barrel is free-floated for improved, consistent accuracy.



The Rascal compared to the discontinued Savage Cub.





One of the most important things that we can do as shooters and hunters is to pass along the gift and right of gun ownership to our children and grandchildren. Shooting together as a family is a time-honored tradition in America, and using 22 Long Rifle ammunition is an enjoyable and inexpensive way for a family to spend a memorable day.

For many years, we had to try to adapt full-sized rifles to fit younger shooters. The day that I found out that my wife was “with child” many years ago, I ordered a Savage/Stevens Model 72 “Crackshot” falling block single shot 22 rifle from my local gun dealer. Before the baby arrived, I had cut down the stock to kid-size, and had a pretty decent starter rifle for my new daughter. Still, it was a bit muzzle-heavy for a two-year-old, but using a rifle rest, worked out pretty well. I used that same rifle to start my grandson shooting when he was two years old, and he ran a lot of 22 Long Rifle bullets down its bore. The little Crackshot is slim and trim, but the one thing difficult for a child was thumbing back the hammer. By the time that my grandson came along, there were other choices on the market; trim little single shot bolt actions that were easy to handle, but the had a couple of flaws. One was that most had trigger pulls that were excessively heavy. A six pound trigger on a three pound rifle is hard to shoot accurately, even for an experienced shooter. A kid deserves better. The other flaw for a young shooter is that most youth-sized bolt action rimfire rifles have to be manually cocked using a T handle or a round knob at the rear of the bolt. Most young shooters lack the hand strength to do this operation one-handed, and end up holding the rifle between their knees with the muzzle on the ground, trying to pull that cocking knob with both hands. That is not a good system.

Savage greatly improved upon that manually-cocked action used by others by incorporating their standard Mark I single shot action into their youth-model single shot Cub rifle several years ago. The Cub was, until recently, the best of the youth model single shot 22 rifles, but it was really just a shortened Mark I, yet the Cub incorporated the superb Savage AccuTrigger, giving the young shooter a decent trigger which was much superior to any of the Cub’s competitors. The Cub was a move in the right direction, but its replacement, the new Rascal shown here, is the best of the breed of current miniature 22 rifles built for the small shooter. The chart below compares the new Rascal to the Cub. While the Cub was a modified Mark 1, the Rascal is designed from the start to be a youth rifle, with smaller dimensions on almost every external surface. The Rascal has a slimmer receiver and also a slimmer barrel than does the Cub, and weighs one and one-quarter pounds less. It is also three inches shorter. Thankfully, Savage incorporated the AccuTrigger into the new Rascal, giving the young shooter a great trigger, which results in better practical accuracy and greater satisfaction and confidence. Barrel diameter is measured just forward of the receiver.


Savage Rascal

Savage Cub

Weight 3 lbs. 4.26 lbs.
Trigger Pull 2.5 lbs. 2.52 lbs.
Barrel Length 16.125" 16.375"
Barrel Diameter 0.682" 0.682" (fluted)
Muzzle Diameter 0.508" 0.525"
Sling Studs 1 fore, 1 aft 1 fore, 1 aft
Butt Pad Plastic Plastic
Length of Pull 11.25" 11.78"
Stock Width 1.295" 1.625"
Receiver Diameter 0.81" 0.93"
Overall Length 31.6" 33.6"

I tested the Rascal with several brands of 22 Long Rifle ammunition for velocity and function. The velocity results with each brand and type of ammunition are listed in the chart below. Reliability was perfect with all ammo tested. There were no misfires, extraction was easy, and ejection was positive. HP is a lead hollowpoint bullet. Solid is a lead roundnose bullet. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of 66 degrees Fahrenheit, with the relative humidity in the thirty-five percent range. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS), and were recorded ten feet from the muzzle of the Rascal. Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Federal Bulk HP 36 1183
Winchester DynaPoint HP 40 1100
PMC Match Solid 40 1014
Wolf Match Solid 40 1011
CCI Mini-Mag HP 36 1201
CCI Mini-Mag Solid 40 1189
CCI Velocitor HP 40 1323
Remington Yellow Jacket HP 33 1378
Remington Hi-Speed Solid 40 1219
American Eagle HP 36 1109
PMC Zapper HP 38 1199
Olin Solid 40 998
Winchester XPert HP 36 1154
Hansen Solid 40 1023
CCI Blazer Solid 40 1153
CCI Stinger HP 32 1421

To load the Rascal, the bolt is opened and a cartridge dropped onto the bright red loading tray. The action cocks upon opening. After closing the bolt, the safety is pushed forward (if necessary), and the rifle is ready to fire. The bolt can be operated with the safety in either position. As mentioned, the Rascal has the Savage AccuTrigger, which is adjustable for pull weight. I left the trigger pull as set from the factory at about two and one-half pounds, very crisp, and easy to use. Firing for accuracy testing presented a slight problem for me. The Rascal has an excellent fully-adjustable aperture (peep) receiver, reminiscent of the old Lyman sight that was built for the Model 95 Winchester many decades ago, but my eyes no longer work really well with the small hole on a peep sight. The Rascal is drilled and tapped for a scope base, which will be available from Savage, but it is not ready yet as of the date of this review. However, I was able to get sub-two-inch groups at fifty yards using the Rascal’s sights, shooting from a rested position using the Target Shooting, Inc. Model 500 Rifle Rest. I am certain that the little Rascal is capable of much better accuracy, and when I get a scope base, I will update this review with better accuracy data. Disregarding all that, most of these little rifles will never have a scope base attached, as the Rascal is a perfect starter rifle as is. Kids take very quickly to using a good aperture sight, and I am glad that Savage chose this sight instead of just a set of open sights on the barrel. The rear sight on the Rascal is easy to use, and adjustable for both windage and elevation without the use of tools. This makes it very easy to regulate the sights for the ammo chosen, giving the shooter the precision needed to concentrate on the target, instead of having to adjust the hold to get a good hit.

The Savage Rascal is in the same size class as the popular Chipmunk and Crickett rifles on the market, but the Rascal has a superior trigger and a much superior cocking system. With the Rascal, the shooter loads a cartridge, closes the bolt, releases the safety (if in the “SAFE” position) and has a rifle that is ready, without having to clumsily try to hold the weapon and cock the T-handle. These features make the Savage Rascal safer to operate than other designs, and is in my opinion the best 22 rifle on the market for the small shooter. It is sized right, built right, and has all the features need to allow the budding shooter to concentrate upon shooting, without having to adjust to an oversized rifle. The Savage Rascal shown here has a hardwood stock, but other variations are available with synthetic stocks of various colors. The Savage Rascal is reliable, accurate, and affordable.

Check out the Rascal online at

To locate a Savage dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the Rascal online, go to

To order quality rimfire ammunition online, go to

Jeff Quinn

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Grandkids Ethan and Abigail get the feel of the Rascal.



Ethan and Abigail shooting the Rascal.







As should be any 22 rifle, the Rascal is fitted with sling studs.