Review: Crickett Precision Rifle

For over twenty years Keystone Sporting Arms has been making .22LR youth rifles called the Crickett. Just last December Keystone Sporting announced the Crickett Precision Rifle (CPR) on Facebook. We saw them again at the Great American Outdoor Show last February.

Well we got one in for review.

My daughter is a little too young to enjoy shooting the CPR but she looks excited at the thought of shooting it one day.

Keystone Sporting Arms sent their Complete Package CPR for review.

The Complete Package consists of the following:

  1. Aim Sports 4×32 compact scope with detachable sunshade
  2. Muzzle brake
  3. Bipod
  4. Crickettinny scope rail


The Aimsports scope is a simple 4x power scope with a mil-dot reticle. It does come with bikini covers that you can see through. The front cap has a yellow lens.

The scope mounts to the Crickettiny rail with provided rings. I tried to mount a spare 3-9x scope using a Midwest Industries QD mount. Unfortunately it did not work. You can see in the photo below there is a piece of metal that the rail mounts to. It gets in the way of clamp on the MI scope mount. So if you plan on changing out the scope, be careful what rings or QD mount you use.

 

The Accuracy International inspired stock has molded plastic picatinny rails at the front and back of the rifle. This allows you to mount the bipod and a monopod if you have them. I added a Caldwell Harris style bipod to see how it would look.

The rear butt pad has a spacer and can be removed to shorten length of pull. There is an adjustable cheek rest that is secured with two thumb screws. Be careful, the cheek rest is all plastic and the vertical bars look thin. I recommend collapsing the cheek rest when you transport the CPR.

The CPR is tiny. Here it is next to my Ruger American Predator.

The bundled bipod works well. It has the ability to pan left or right and the legs lock in position. Unlike a Harris style bipod where the legs are only kept in position by spring tension.

 

The feet of the CPR bipod can extend but only by one notch. Not much adustment compared to other bipods. The lack of adjustability is one of the major issues with this bipod, .

 

My friend Corey brought along his 7.5 yr old son, DJ to help test the CPR. He is the right age and size to shoot the CPR. If you look at the photo below, I attached my Atlas Bipod and set the legs at a 45 degree angle rather than 90 degrees. This lowered the height of the rifle, making it easier for DJ to get a proper sight picture and shoulder the rifle.

 

The CPR comes threaded 1/2×28 which allows you to attach any compatible muzzle device or suppressor.

The CPR complete package comes with a muzzle brake. You can see how similar it is to the VDI 5.56 muzzle brake on the right.

 

I ordered this .50cal style muzzle brake from Tactical Innovations just for the aesthetic appeal. Lots of positive comments from shooters when I brought it to the range.

 

Of course suppressing the CPR is more fun. I used my Spectre II and Osprey45 on the CPR.

 

I used Remington Golden Bullets and found they grouped decently at 25 yards.

Five shot group at 25 yards.

 

When I shot sub sonic ammo the group opened up but shrank when I suppressed the CPR. I shot 10 rounds of Winchester M-22 Subsonic unsuppressed and suppressed at 50 yards. Using a 25 yard zero and aiming at the red center you can see the two ten shot groups. The group that is smaller and closer to the red center is 10 rounds suppressed. Whereas the larger group, near the top of the target, is the same Winchester M-22 round unsuppressed. I was using my Osprey45 for the suppressed shots.

Suppressed (tighter group) and unsuppressed M-22 Subsonic at 50 yards.

 

The Aimsports 4×32 scope reticle looks like a tactical scope but I found it to be a little fat for shooting these paper targets out to 50 yards. It was slightly challenging to be precise.

 

While shooting the CPR I did have a recurring hiccup. The CPR comes with the EZ Loader. You can see the red plastic follower in the photo below. Often when I am loading the CPR, the cartridge would sit between the side wall of the ejection port and the EZ loader. If I tried to close the bolt like this, the round would not chamber. I had to stick my finger in to try and move the round onto the EZ loader or tap the side of the stock to get the round to shift over.

Another slight issue is that the CPR action is secured to the stock with a security torx screw. The CPR did not have a tool in the box to unscrew this. So I had to get one at my local hardware store.  Looking at Crickett’s website it appears this is the norm for all of the youth Crickett rifles.

 

I wanted to remove the stock to take a look at the trigger. The trigger pull is not great. There is a considerable amount of travel but I found I could pre-stage the trigger pull once I got accustomed to the way this trigger feels and moves. I would pull half way and then wait to break the shot. Of course this rifle is built for children in mind first learning proper and safe firearm handling. So a heavier trigger is somewhat safer.

The CPR is available for $309.96. It will come with a threaded end cap and the Crickettinny rail. For an additional $70 you can get the CPR Complete Package of an MSRP $379.96

I bought a Ruger American Rimfire rifle with a threaded barrel and ordered a youth stock thinking when my daughter is old enough she can learn to shoot with that. But now that I have this Crickett Precision Rifle, I think i can start even earlier since it is smaller and easier to use. We shall see how she grows up and at what age she is mature and responsible enough to learn how to shoot. I cannot wait for that day to come.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • JD
  • CTFish

    How was the pull to cock? It’s what worries me about the cricket compared to the Savage Rascal, which cocks on open.

    • Nicholas C

      I’ll be honest it is a little annoying. I am not used to having to cock the gun with a separate action from the bolt. I am not sure a kid could cock it without some help. But it depends on the child.

      However it can be seen as a safety feature when teaching a child. Having to deliberately cock the firing pin is an extra layer of safety.

  • It’s so cute!

  • M.M.D.C.

    I bought a Crickett rifle for my children (which they almost immediately out grew), and it is a nice little rifle. Mostly. It has decent bluing and a good looking walnut stock, but there are some weak points.

    The cocking handle is plastic. So far it hasn’t let go, but it seems flimsy. The front sight is plastic and slightly loose, so you have to be sure it isn’t askew. Also, the gun will begin to jam, making extraction difficult after ten or twenty rounds of normal velocity ammo, so subsonic ammo is a must.

    I know, I should have returned the rifle, but I’m lazy. I just work around the issues for the day or two per year the gun gets used by the occasional jr shooter. However, I would have gladly paid a little more for the rifle (I paid $150 for it, new) in order to have avoided all the corner-cutting related issues.

    It looks like this one might be suffering from the same corner-cutting issues.

    • Nicholas C

      I would recommend you contact Keystone Sporting Arms and tell them about the issues. Im sure they will make it right.

      I have not noticed the same issues in the CPR I have.

    • The rifle you are describing does not sound like a Crickett to me. They do not have plastic cocking handles and single shot rifles do not really jam. Are you sure you are talking about a KSA Crickett?

      • M.M.D.C.

        Hmm, am I smart enough to know which rifle I bought my kid? Yes. Yes I am.

        • My bad, all of the Cricketts I have have metal cocking handles but I did talk to Nate at Keystone Sporting Arms and he informed me that some models do have plastic cocking handles. He was interested to see who needed help with their Crickett though so I told him where to find your comment. Thanks

  • Anomanom

    It’s seriously called a “Crickettiny” rail? *headdesk*

    • B. Young

      Not sure but its the airgun/bb gun 3/8″ dovetail.

    • Wow!

      I give points that it is cute naming for a cute rifle.

  • B. Young

    When my daughter was 7 (20 yrs ago)she got pink laminated SS cricket she would be so jealous of this tacticool model!

  • John Wisch

    Don’t mess around. Buy a Savage Rascal, it has a self cocking trigger of of actuating the Bolt which a 6 year old can do for them selves. No COCKING pin like the Cricket. The Savage has great irons. But you can remove them and put a 3X9X40 Bushnell or step up to get a Nikon with a BDC for .22LR and throw on a Bi-bod and you have a dead ringer. My kid competes with his in .22 Silhouette Shoots against adults and finishes in the top 2/3rds. Not bad for a 7 year old.

  • The original (and much cheaper) Cricket is a great introductory bolt rifle for children. Depending on start time you can get a few good years in before needing to upgrade/upsize.

    However, if I’m spending $300-400 I’d go with a different rifle like the savage rascal, savage mark II, marlin xt22yr, or mossberg 702 and then use the $150-200 left over to get a decent scope, bipod, and sling.

  • Wow!

    While personally to me bolt actions are practically all the same (aside from the match environment) I always loved the look and feel of an L96 AI style stock even though it really doesn’t bring any practical advantage. In a world where the Ruger 10/22 kind of dominates as the youth rifle (despite originally being intended for adults), it is nice to have a visually refreshing new take

  • Keme Lochesh

    happy school shooting.