My name is Lydia Paterson and I have been a competitive marksman for most of my life. I began shooting at the age of 7 in 4-H and am now a 2016 Olympian in the Women’s Air Pistol event. While attending the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits this spring, I had the privilege of meeting with Keystone Sporting Arms and learned more about their products. After meeting with the McNeal family, I knew that this was a genuine company that I wanted to work with. Their important mission is to get proper firearms in the hands of young people and help develop safe marksmanship for youth across America.
I had the privilege of testing their Crickett Model .22 rifle and I was very impressed! The American walnut stock is gorgeous and the overall function of this rifle was flawless! The safety features of a rebounding firing pin that automatically blocks to prevent accidental discharge makes it safer for children to handle. I also think that the manual cocking feature of the gun allows parents to have greater control of the shooting situation. This is because the manual cocking lever is more challenging to pull, allowing the adult to actively help the young marksmen to ensure the firearm is ready only when the shooter is. This rifle also has a loading assist feature which allows the young marksmen to easily load the ammunition themselves, giving them a greater sense of independence while shooting. Don’t let this gun’s small stature fool you, I tested this rifle at 25 yards and was very pleased with the accuracy! This rifle can do much more than knock over pop cans! Young people can confidently fire accurate shots and enhance their shooting skills! This shrunken down version of Dad’s hunting rifle is the ideal first gun for any youngster wanting to learn how to shoot. This is exactly how I got my start in shooting live ammunition. My brother was given the Chipmunk model of this gun and we both had our first experiences shooting a real gun. I am proud to say that this was “My First Rifle” and am certain that any child with the experience of this gun would say the same! (More information on the rifle is here.)