TFB Review: Savage RASCAL Target XP

    I was sent the Savage Rascal for review. It is a very compact .22 bolt gun built with a synthetic stock and a heavy threaded barrel. The Rascal arrived with a 4X scope. I found it light and rather small. Clearly designed for a kiddo’s first .22. How many generations of American kids learned to shoot on a single action .22? It fills the bill in an outstanding way. With a combination of the Savage AcuTrigger and the ability to cock the action just by lifting the bolt (and not opening the chamber) it is perfect for trigger training. It is small enough for even a five or six year old to shoulder.

    As you can imagine my daughter is long “pew-indoctrinated”, but happy to help the old man out (not really). She is long familiar with firearms. For a while now she has had a .22 in both pistol and rifle, both semiautomatic. Fortunately, she does not have experience with a bolt gun or any precision experience, so this review is her introduction.


    I think the heart of the Rascal is the trigger. Savage put a quality trigger on the Rascal giving the opportunity to really teach a child good, consistent trigger pull. The Savage AcuTrigger is both well known and well liked. I run one on my target rifle. It is easy to adjust, and aftermarket upgrades are affordable and easy to find. It took me twenty minutes to adjust the trigger, just to make the point. I would not adjust the trigger for a beginning kiddo (except maybe to stiffen it), but after some experience and maturity, I would. The safety of the AcuTrigger is a big plus, as kids drop things.


    The stock is hardwood that comes with a matte black finish that gives a synthetic look. It is durable and very light. It is small with only an 11.25 pull length. Ideal for a young’un.

    Following one of the disassemblies I performed, I found the screw unwilling to retighten to a snug torque. It was already stripped enough to require a little filler. This was the only disappointment in my review. If you give a kid a .22 you have to assume they are going to completely take it apart at some point.


    The heavy barrel is just over 16 inches and threaded. I like that it is threaded. As a young boy, a suppressed .22 would have been manna from the god’s.  Under supervision from the NFA holder, that is…

    Training Day

    We spent an evening in the dining room going over nothing but grip, breathing and trigger pull. All ammunition was secured in the opposite side of the house.

    “There is nothing to aim at, this is stupid” Great bonding with my teenager!

    Having the ability to recharge the action by just lifting and lowering the bolt allows quick easy repetition. It provided a superb adjunct for establishing fundamentals in a “young’un”. I wish I had a Rascal five years ago, rather than starting her on a semiautomatic. We were able to go over at least 40 trigger pulls in 30 minutes. The ease of doing this is ideal as I think a child’s attention span would challenge normal dry firing practice. They want to feel and hear the pew.

    I think the heart of the Rascal is the trigger. Savage put a quality trigger on the Rascal giving the opportunity to really teach a child good, consistent trigger pull.

    Gettin her pew on. I pulled her from school, it was a “Don’t tell your mom about this” adventure.

    30 yards. I’ll take it. Atta girl!



    I asked if she had fun, this was her response


    The Savage Rascal Target XP is an excellent starter training rifle. It is safe, accurate, and light. Getting good trigger manipulation habits at a young age is a great foundation for a future shooting enthusiast. I certainly recommend this for a young shooter. If this is for a grandkid, get them a suppressor as well. When my daughter has a son, I know I will.

    Teaching your child to properly respect a firearm, taking them shooting and then giving them their first .22 on Christmas is an all American tradition. The Savage Rascal Target XP is a perfect choice to fit the bill.

    Doing my review of Savages Rascal allowed me some great one on one time with my daughter. As she grows I get less and less of that. Being able to steal some time with her was priceless. Just don’t be a horrible father and introduce your daughter to a bolt gun when she is in her teens

    Thanks to Savage Arms for the rifle and Target XP  (Savage Arms –  I love them Savage pews, The Rascal Target XP), and Federal for the ammo (

    Mike R

    Mike spent his entire adult life riding an ambulance throughout the Southwest US. He found humor in long in-depth philosophical conversations with crack heads and other urban street survivalists.

    His highest point was being invited to instruct for some “special” medics in the military. A 30 year gun enthusiast, he started down the path of reloading to keep up with his desperate need of more ammo. Reloading is like medicine, you never stop learning.

    He can generally be found at the local range picking the brains of the old timer, looking for brass, and banging away at gongs. He reloads everything from .32 to .45, .223 to 7 rem mag.