Click pictures for a larger version.
Excellent set of fully-adjustable sights.
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.
||1 fore, 1 aft
||1 fore, 1 aft
|Length of Pull
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.
|Federal Bulk HP
|Winchester DynaPoint HP
|PMC Match Solid
|Wolf Match Solid
|CCI Mini-Mag HP
|CCI Mini-Mag Solid
|CCI Velocitor HP
|Remington Yellow Jacket
|American Eagle HP
|PMC Zapper HP
|Winchester XPert HP
|CCI Blazer Solid
|CCI Stinger HP
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
Check out the Rascal online at www.savagearms.com.
To locate a Savage dealer near you, click on
the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the Rascal online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality rimfire ammunition online,
go to www.luckygunner.com.
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Click pictures for a larger version.
Grandkids Ethan and Abigail get the feel of the
Ethan and Abigail shooting the Rascal.
As should be any 22 rifle, the Rascal is fitted with sling studs.