Browning BL-22 Micro Midas

browning bl 22 micro midas youth rifle
Browning BL-22 Micro Midas | $580 Browning

A kid only gets one first gun, and this one is heirloom quality. The short-throw ­lever action cycles any mix of short, long, and long-rifle ammo.

Ruger Hawkeye Compact

ruger hawkeye compact youth rifle
Ruger Hawkeye Compact | $979 Ruger

This rifle in .308 is one of my personal favorite whitetail guns—but with a 121⁄2-inch length of pull, it’s a perfect fit for young shooters. It kicks a bit, so go with the .243.

Remington 870 Express Compact Jr.

remington 870 express compact jr youth gun
Remington 870 Express Compact Jr. | $350 Remington

This 20-gauge has an 18-inch barrel, interchangeable chokes, and a 3-inch chamber. Your kid can use it for everything from doves to gobblers.

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Savage MSR 15 Recon

savage msr 15 recon youth rifle
Savage MSR 15 Recon | $999 Savage

Traditions Buckstalker Youth Model

traditions buckstalker youth muzzleloader
Traditions Buckstalker Youth Model | $219 Traditions

Muzzleloaders teach kids how a gun works—bullet, powder, primer—and the importance of a clean first shot while hunting. This in-line is easy to clean, has good open sights, and is a tackdriver.