Keystone Arms makes accurate rifles. The Crickett single shot and Model 722 bolt-action repeaters both have very accurate barrels.
Meant mainly for kids learning the basics of marksmanship, Crickett rifles are a bit light for benchrest use and have relatively heavy triggers.
These types of rifles are a great choice for a first rifle.
Features and Specs
The CPR, the Crickett-based precision model, adds a heavier threaded barrel and a very comfortable thumbhole stock that is visually similar to what Accuracy International uses on their precision rifles, though it is not bedded.
The stock comes with a spacer to extend the minimum length of pull from 10 3/8″ to 11 7/8″ for older kids. The cheekpiece is height-adjustable. A Picatinny rail under the stock gives the option of installing a monopod.
Additionally, a Picatinnny rail on the front of the forend supports the optional bipod. The kit bipod is solid, but lacks tilt and has a very limited leg length-adjustment range. It is best suited for flat, even surfaces.
The trigger breaks at four pounds, a bit lighter than the stock Crickett, but still a bit heavy for a long-range rifle.
What’s in the Kit
The standard CPR kit includes the default AIM 4×32 scope that focuses at 35 yards, so the intended maximum range is roughly 75 yards.
At that distance, a four-pound pull is within reason. The spring-loaded feed ramp, standard on all Cricketts as of about three years ago, makes single-loading quick and easy.
A three-port muzzle brake also comes as a part of the kit.
The muzzle is threaded the standard 1/2×28” pitch.
Performance and Function
The rifle is quite accurate within the limitations of the scope. Past 35 yards, the thick and prominent crosshairs with Mil-Dot marks begin to obscure any targets smaller than a pop can.
The Crickett Precision Rifle is easy to shoot well, even for small kids. Five-year-olds were able to go from zero to hitting pop cans at 25 yards in the span of 10 minutes.
Older kids, age 10 to 12, could fire the rifle easily off-hand. The greatest threat to the kids’ enjoyment of the CPR to date has come from the adults asking to try it and then not relinquishing the rifle for long time.
For adult hands, the CPR stock works better than the regular Crickett stock, removing any chance of the thumb interfering with the cocking piece.
All testing was done with PRIME subsonic ammunition and a Gemtech Outback sound suppressor. The combination proved silent and deadly on sporting clays past 110 yards.
The Mil-Dot reticle of the scope proved useful for drop compensation.
Anticipating the limitations of the kit optic, the top rail is a clever combination of Picatinny and 3/8″ rimfire. Full-size optics can be mounted over the top of the shallow rimfire rail.
It’s for those optics that the cheek rest can rise significantly to center the eye.
Conclusion: Crickett Precision Rifle
The rifle is available by itself or as a kit. The metal can be had in stainless (.22 LR only) or blued; the stock comes in a half-dozen colors and patterns.
The CPR comes only in the right-hand configuration, but that actually fits left-handed shooters well while prone (the support hand can run the bolt with less disruption of the hold than the strong hand could).
For a junior shooter, the Crickett Precision Rifle is a competent learning option.
Have you ever tried a Crickett Precision Rifle? What did you think? Let us know in the comments section below.