Thursday, August 13, 2009

Letters, We Get Letters...

...and sometimes, those letters put a smile on my face that can't be taken off even by watching the news and hearing of the latest vote-buying dumbassery coming out of Washington...

Today's e-mail is from lurker Nancy, who writes:


Do you know of anything out there for a new, young shooter that’s smaller than a Cricket?

My husband and I took our daughter to the range this past March thinking she’d be bored out of her mind, but she enjoyed watched us grownups shoot. Even better, with plenty of supervision, she got to shoot a neighbor kid’s BB gun.

The next day she asked for her own gun for her birthday. And the next. And the next. After a week of this, I suggested she tell her daddy what she had in mind.

“I want a gun for my next birthday.”

{My husband’s chest puffs out with pride and he got a stupid grin on his face.}

“I want a handgun like Mommy’s!”

{Husband has a look of glee combined with a look of “OMG … what have we done?!?!} “Hmm. Maybe we can find a toy gun that will fit your hands …”

“NO Daddy! I want a real gun that puts holes in paper!”

“But honey – your hands aren’t big enough. Wait. I’ll show you.”

{Husband trots down to the gun closet, gets out the Glock Airsoft, checks to see it’s unloaded and hands it to our daughter.} “See honey? You can’t possibly hold …”

::: CLICK :::

{Husband mutters to self “What in the world mumble mumble must have been a fluke mumble mumble ...” Checks pistol, hands it back to daughter}

::: CLICK :::

So. They’ve been practicing with the Airsoft hitting a pie tin hanging from her rocking horse. She clears the range: “Weady on the weft! Weady on the wight! Weady in the center! The wange is weady!” With her daddy supervising all hans-on time and helping with the aiming process, they plink away at the pie tin. When the magazine is empty, she calls for a cease fire, picks up all the pellets she can find, and they start over. She has a good grasp of the 4 rules, and understands the difference btween a tool and a toy.

Her birthday is coming up in a few weeks and she still wants a gun, although she now wants a “long gun”. We took her to Gander to Mountain this past weekend to see what was available, and everything was still a big too long for her to get her shoulder behind.

Oh. Did I mention she’s going to be four?


You bring this up with anyone that’s not a gun nut and they look at you like you’re teaching your kid to torture puppies and drown kittens. You bring it up with a gun nut who doesn’t know you, and they think you’re one of *those* people – the kind that’s waiting for “Red Dawn” to happen for real. But with government agents instead of Soviets.

Thanks in advance for any help you can send this way,

Nancy R., humble lurker

First off, if that doesn't put a smile on your face, I don't want to know you. Nancy's daughter - at the tender age of (almost) four, has a better grasp on firearms and their place (tool) than 90% of the nitwits in Congress. I'd almost guarantee she doesn't think a barrel shroud is the "shoulder thing that goes up", that's for damned sure...

Secondly, I think in the firearm world the Crickett is about the smallest rifle they're going to find. I know that, under NFA regulations, the barrel length of a rifle must be 16" or more, and the overall length must be 26.5" or more. The Crickett has a 16.125" barrel (1/8" for good measure I guess) and an OAL of 30". Really not going to get too much smaller.

I recommend that Nancy buy her daughter a sweet pink laminate stock Crickett with stainless barrel (because that's the gun that BabyGirl G. wants, and if Mrs. G. felt the way Nancy did, BabyGirl G. would already have that gun...). Let her daughter get used to it, dry fire it (with snap caps or spent casing), etc. Kids grow damned fast at that age - the winter my son turned six, he grew nearly four inches from September to April! She'll be big enough to handle the Crickett before you know it.

Nancy, thanks for writing (and lurking). If someone out there in blogland knows of a smaller rifle than the Crickett, I'm certain they'll leave that information in comments. For now, keep on teaching your daughter right and bringing her up as a good citizen, not a subject. Buy her a gun, an actual firearm - make Sarah Brady cry and an angel get its wings.

And most important of all, keep us posted on your daughter's progress - I have a feeling we're seeing the next Julie Golosky here...

That is all.


Lissa said...


Mongo said...

First of all, that must be the cutest thing I have heard all year. I'm grinning so hard it hurts.

Second... I think your advice is spot on. She'll grow into that so fast it will bring tears to papa's eyes.

Mikael said...

Yeah that'll work, but if they really want one that'll fit her sooner... they could do so with some with some custom work. If Mr. R is up for some woodwork... they could take the cricket, cut off about 3" from the stock, refinish where necessary and cut the buttplate down to size to refit it.

Brad_in_MA said...


Holy Brother of Moses !!!!! What a terrific story. If only My Progeny had the same gumption as this little lady. When I started reading, I was expecting a kid of about 7 or 8 years of age, certainly not one coming up on four. Wow. As for the length of the Cricket, is there a bull-pup stock for the cricket action & barrel?

There's an important lesson here which everyone knows, so I'll be the one to state the patently obvious. Here goes. Start 'em young and have 'em for life. Why has the left, i.e. the teachers' unions, turned the public schools into socialist indoctrination centers? Same reason, start 'em early. And for Mom Nancy, you've given your child one of the greatest gifts any parent can pass along -- the beginnings of self-reliance.

- Brad

Wally said...


I'd say get a cricket and have a couple of inches cut off the buttstock. Even with the mod, it's still darned affordable. And in a few years, just replace the stock and you'll be set.

Caleb said...

The concept of an SBR Cricket brings joy to the black rock I call a heart.

Ambulance Driver said...


Reminds me of KatyBeth.

You know, they make a short version of the Cricket: shorter barrel and cut down stock. Looks vaguely similar to a Remington XP100.

the pistolero said...

Oh, dude. Made of win and drenched with awesomesauce. I'd say that's good for about 8 or 10 sets of angel wings. Lol

Rick R. said...

I'm Nancy's husband (some of y'all may recognize me from other posts on other blogs, or by my long time Web nom de plume Geodkyt).

I'me really hoping to avoid saying, "Here, honey -- just like you asked for. Only you'll have to wait an unknown period of time before you're big enough to use it." That's a total buzz-kill for a kid's birthday.

How about a very affordable .22 single shot with a longer barrel? That way I could shorten the stock more and still have a non-NFA rifle. . . a 20" barrel should give more than enough room.

Heck, I'll put a bipod on the thing or use a resting yoke stuck in the ground if the long barrel proves too nose heavy for her to hold offhand.

I'd LOVE to be able to afford to do something like this to a Winchester 67, but it's been a spendy summer.

Inexpensive long barreled single shot bolt .22LR, anyone? Not necessarily "kid size"? Preferrable with reasonably priced stock options for when she gets big enough for an adult LOP?

Mikael said...

As a sidenote, too bad JB custom doesn't make mare's leg "pistols" in .22LR. But perhaps one in .45 colt sporting powder-puff loads might work?

Unknown said...

Hey Jay,

What do you think about the possibility of a Ruger 10/22 charger.

It's got a pistol grip which might be easier. It also comes with a bipod support. Allowing for shooting at rest easily.

It's also short cause it's officially a pistol. (Albeit, many would claim it's a short barreled rifle with a pistol grip.)



I must say, I've looked at the Cricketts and I don't think I care for them. I'd like a more traditional safety mechanism.

Mad Saint Jack said...

I'd look at cutting the stock down in 1 inch sections that could be added back on as she grows up.

Old NFO said...

Good advice! I "think" they might make a composite stock that could be cut down, but then you'd run afoul of the dreaded SBR rule... Teach her and let her grow for a year!

Rick R. said...

Problem with a 10/22 based pistol is:

A. We're looking for a longarm.

B. We're looking for a manually operated (preferrably non-repeating) weapon for her first rifle.

I fully intend to get her a 10/22 rifle when she's older.

Phillip said...

If you did decide to get her "a handgun like mommy's", I can recommend the Beretta Jetfire models. I have a friend that has very small, very weak hands that couldn't handle hardly anything, and she ended up happy as a clam with the Jetfire. She also tested out one of the double action Taurus .22s and said that it was usable.

Hope that helps sometime.

BrianS said...

Bully For You,, Proud and excited that we have another member that knows the freedoms that were entrusted with us the AMERICAN People

chris said...

another thought, a 10/22 with a tapco stock is VERY short...

you can use the 10/22 as a single shot, just load an empty mag in it and insert each round in the breech manually...

Rick R. said...

Anyone know offhand what the minimum Length Of Pull is on that Tapco stock? Nancy seems to be leaning towards our following that option. Although AD is supposed to have a line on an especially short Cricket. . .

If we get her a handgun -- and we might, even if she gets a longarm -- it is already selected as the Crosman 1377 pellet pistol. Beautiful training gun, one she can use with her offhand on the forarm if need be, big enough to be easily controlled by her coach if she lets the muzzle wander (she is still a kid, after all), low powered enough a few pumps she can practice in our yard, and it's a nice piece that will still serve her well into adulthood as a practice and vermin gun.

Mad Saint Jack said...

I grew up shooting pellet guns.

I think it helped me be a much better shooter.

Nikki said...

When I was more or less Nancy's daughter's age, I had a tree that was just the right height to act as a gun rest. And, if my dad would have brought in a pink gun, I'd have been upset it wasn't more like the boys' guns. Maybe Nancy's daughter is more into pink than I was, but I'm just saying.

Kevin said...

First off, if that doesn't put a smile on your face, I don't want to know you.

I was grinning from ear-to-ear before "Weady on the weft!"

Damn, that is so cool!

I may get a post out of this one myself.