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Go 10/22 and let him grow into it. They will have it forever.
I like 10/22s. I’ve got a half dozen or so. With six Grandchildren at eight years old and younger my plan is for them to start with a Rascal or equivalent. Then move to a 10/22 with cutdown stock and eventually to a full sized one. So this bolt action will get handed down.Go 10/22 and let him grow into it. They will have it forever.
M&P 1522 with a red dot and bipod. Collapse the stock for the little ones.
I think a cricket would get boring fast